ISC NRLVIC 9's adds another chapter to a growing rivalry.

NRLVIC 9’s Grand Final Preview

The Grand Final is upon us and it shapes as a classic matchup in the continued rivalry of Casey against Werribee. The reigning premiers from last year in both the 9’s competition and the First Grade will be looking to add to their trophy cabinet, while Casey will be looking to continue their dominance in the first grade competition, and to gain some confidence against the Bears’ outfit.

The Bears were invincible in their last encounter in the 9’s competition, blitzing the Steelers 30-12, with the Pomale brothers both orchestrating tries and finishing them under the posts. The wide space of AAMI Park complemented Werribee’s run down the sideline, and the pose to cut inside and break the lines. However, Doveton were a slightly older group, so the youth of Casey and the bigger bodies might be a more damaging barrier for Werribee’s attack to break through.

Werribee coach, Josh Makiri outlined that while he knew how tough the game would be, that he was confident his boys could do the job. “While the timing of the Final isn’t ideal for either side with big games the day before, we just have to make sure our boys turn up to defend our 9’s title.”

The defence would not have been as good as what they planned at the start of the game, conceding unnecessary penalties, gifting Doveton one try, but probably should have been more by the final whistle. For the Bears to have a strong chance, their defence will have to be on song with no costly errors close to goal.

The Warriors weren’t as prolific or convincing in their matchup with Pakenham. While their attack at times looked good, and their defence was superb with minutes just remaining, their ball use through the middle of the ground will be something they look to work on 

Off-loading is so important, especially in the 9’s competition, to use the extra space on the wings and use the speed to break through the defence. However, they were unable to get any flow during their Semi-Final, with the middle of the ground being occupied by the Pakenham defence.

Yet, with an undefeated record in the First Grade Competition, and being comprehensive in each victory, with only one real scare from the Bears, Casey should go into the game confident about the match-up.

 

Key Match-Up

 

T. Pomale v Sweet

The two key players for their respective sides in the Semi-Finals will look to outclass their opponent in the Final, with the matchup being a decider on who will take the victory 

Waka Sweet is Casey’s general going forward, if it’s not him scoring the try, he will have played a part in setting it up. He’s awareness of who is around him with his off-loads is extremely vital for the success of Casey. He has scored eight tries in the First Grade competition, while scoring in the Semi-Final of the 9’s.

However, it will not be easy to contend with Tevita Pomale, whos acceleration and upper body strength allows him to break the line and his lightning quick. He scored a hat-trick in their Semi-Final victory, and has been scoring a try per game in the First Grade competition.  

 

Prediction: Werribee 16 – 10 Casey




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