Junior Grand Finals Previews (U11-U18)
Under 11 – Casey Warriors v Hume City Bulldogs @ 9:00am
Minor Premiers Casey put together an incredible season, dominating their competition from start to finish in attack and controlling the scoreboard from the outset. In their qualifying final, they were pushed right to the final whistle, however were able to come out narrowly against second-placed, Hume City. While the Warriors were able to get a rest last week, Hume had to contain the Altona Roosters. The third placed Roosters were able to sneak past them in their first meeting during the season, however, were unable to cause an upset in the preliminary final.
In their last meeting, it was a high scoring encounter with Casey running out 40-34 victors. Isopo Taunuu cross the line once, taking him to 20 tries for the season. While for the Bulldogs, Tyrus Siania Salanoa has also scored 20 tries, after scoring twice in their last meeting.
Under 12 – Werribee Bears v Casey Warriors @ 10:50am
After a dominating season winning the minor premiership, Werribee, will be looking to add another premiership to the trophy room against Casey this week. They earned a week off, after a tight win against Altona, 26-22.
Casey was able to surprise the Roosters in the preliminary final however, outclassing them in attack with a dominating and convincing 40-12 victory. Their attack was superb, with seven individual try-scorers, including Rhylis Hohepa, who’s been a class above the rest of the competition this year, scoring 26 tries for the season.
In their last meeting, the Bears were able to scrape over the line, winning 14-12, with Victoria Under 12 representative Frankleen Newah-Jarfoi being one of three try-scorers for the victors, making for a thrilling contest in the Grand Final.
Under 13 – Sunshine Cowboys v Altona Roosters @ 9:00am
After finishing fourth at the end of the home-and-away season, Altona Roosters will look to keep the dream alive after sneaking into the Final. The Roosters had to do it the hard way, firstly going down to the wire with Casey in the elimination final, snatching a 10-8 victory.
From here, they faced second placed Waverley, who had comfortably beaten them in both occasions during the season, 28-12 and 34-10. Defence was always a problem, allowing Waverley to score at will and putting scoreboard pressure on. However, with their defence being more solid than it at had been all season, they were able to upset the Panthers.
Their record against Sunshine has been somewhat strong, taking the minor premiers to the final whistle, only to fall by four points and two points respectively. The Grand Final promises to a close contest, with Altona’s momentum and form possibly being the difference.
GTag Under 14 – Northern Thunder v Werribee Bears @ 9:55am
After winning one game during the short season, Werribee has strung together two strong performances and booked their place in the Final. A close contest against North West Wolves was followed by a solid win over Altona in the preliminary final with a dominating 32-12 victory.
However, their task this week will be tough, with Northern Thunder winning the most games in the division, despite finishing second at the end of the season.
This week’s game will be the second time these teams meet, with Northern Thunder winning the first match-up 16-8.
Werribee will be looking to stop Ameena Kanj who is leading the competitions try scoring tally, and will be damaging in attack for Northern Thunder. In last week’s game, scoring wasn’t a problem for the Bears as they piled on eight tries, including two each from Jade Te Aute and Jayde Hunia-Esau.
Under 14 – Northern Thunder v Sunshine Cowboys @ 11:20am
Undefeated Minor Premiers, Northern Thunder, will be sure to continue to their consistent season, after a comfortable 20-10 victory over South Eastern Titans in the major semi-final.
After a 10-point victory over Werribee in the elimination final, the Cowboys delivered on the big stage, booking their place in the Final with a 10-4 upset win over the South Eastern Titans.
Harry Sio, who has been leading the Cowboys’ attack, did so again last week, helping set up the win.
In their first and only meeting this season, Northern Thunder dominated the scoreboard in a convincing 58-10 victory, in which Sualauvi Faalogo scored four tries, with five other try-scorers for the Thunder.
Under 15 – Altona Roosters v Casey Warriors @ 10:10am
After a close loss in the major semi-final, Casey will be looking to get revenge after their close win against Sunbury last week. Supileo Lanumata Fauhiva scored a hat-trick in what was an attacking display from both sides, but Casey getting the edge, running out 30-24 victors.
However, in the last contest against each other, Xaviour Taufa scored a game-winning hat-trick, and will be looking to hit the scoreboard again to get his team over the line.
In the first of their meetings this season, Altona ran out 38-22 victors, while Casey returned stronger in the next meeting, in a dominating 34-10 victory. However, it has been their last two contests, the semi-final and last game of the season, in which Casey won 24-22 that will excite both teams. A close encounter that is physical, full of speed and run and high-scoring will be fitting to crown the Premiers of 2017.
GTag Under 17 – Waverley Panthers v Northern Thunder @ 11:45am
Waverley Panthers’ confidence will be high, winning the minor premiership and having a week off before the Grand Final. They narrowly defeated Altona Roosters Blue, 18-14, before the Roosters were unable to get on top against the Northern Thunder, ending a disappointing season.
In the first meeting between the two finalists, it was the Panthers who were able to get on top, with a 16-8 victory, with Tajhulyene Taea-Tere scoring twice, adding to her season tally of 20 tries, which leads the league.
Under 16 – Sunbury Tigers v Casey Warriors @ 12:30pm
The top two teams will playoff for the under 16 Premiership, after both being the two most dominant sides in the competition. Separated by only goal difference after the last round, the Tigers were able to get the advantage with a convincing 30-6 victory in the major semi-final.
Having only played twice this season, the ledger is squared with a win for each side. In round 2, the Tigers won a close encounter, 26-22, while for the next game in round 9, Casey were able to fire back and win with some breathing space, 22-14.
Poasa Telepe is the co-leader in the try scoring tally for this season, as he has lead from the front for the Tigers. While Rj Roma , Supileo Lanumata Fauhiva  and Darnel Hotunam-Pirere  have been a three-man attack for the Warriors throughout the season.
Under 18 – Sunbury Tigers v South Eastern Titans @ 1:50pm
The two best teams from the Under 18 competition will battle it out for the Premiership. It was a convincing victory in the semi-final for the Tigers, winning 50-26 in a dominant attacking display. The Tigers scored nine tries, with Teofilo Seigafo scoring a hat-trick, while for the Titans, John Salatielu and Jacob Cordtz scored twice each in what was a disappointing display from the minor premiers.
In their season series this year, the Titans were able to begin their season perfectly, with a 46-10 demolition over the Tigers. In their reverse fixture, it was the Tigers who were able to square the ledger, with a comfortable 22-6 victory.
One thing for sure is that the Grand Final will be fast and high scoring, with the two best attacks in the competition, and pressure will be in their own territory on the ground.