Old ri­vals set to do bat­tle once again

South Western Times - - Swfl Grand Finals - Mitchell Wood­cock

WHILE Har­vey-Brunswick-Leschenault chase their third-con­sec­u­tive colts premier­ship, Bun­bury seek ret­ri­bu­tion to ease the pain of last year’s grand fi­nal de­feat.

The Bull­dogs took all who came be­fore them on their way to the mi­nor premier­ship, be­fore belt­ing the Li­ons in the semi­fi­nals by 68 points.

De­spite their re­cent dom­i­nance, Bun­bury coach Troy Hol­lands is not tak­ing the Li­ons lightly and said he be­lieved an early sea­son win had their op­po­si­tion con­fi­dent they can top­ple the premier­ship favourites come this weekend.

“The Li­ons are a good side and we re­spect them,” he said. “We are not tak­ing them lightly.

“We have to stick to what we do best and that is play team-ori­en­tated and dis­ci­plined foot­ball.”

Hol­lands’ Bull­dogs boast a pow­er­ful mid­field that is high­lighted by speed­sters Tobi Hor­ton and Kai Luzi.

“Tobi played in last year’s grand fi­nal loss and I know he is de­ter­mined to stand up this Sun­day,” he said.

“Kai is a rip­per kid and just leads by ex­am­ple dur­ing ev­ery game.”

Li­ons coach Matt Stevens ad­mit­ted his team needed to put some time into the Bun­bury mid­field duo.

“Both those blokes will get some spe­cial at­ten­tion come game day,” he said.

“But the em­pha­sis will be on win­ning the foot­ball.

“We need to have first use of the foot­ball and if we use it well then we should con­trol the game.

“The guys who are given jobs on Bun­bury’s mid­field­ers will be cru­cial.

“If we can halve their in­flu­ence it will be a good start.”

Hol­lands said for­ward Coen Brad­shaw would be vi­tal to the Dogs’ chances of kick­ing a win­ning score.

“I imag­ine they will throw a spare man in de­fence like they have the past few times we have played them,” he said.

“But he is cer­tainly ca­pa­ble of stand­ing up.”

Hol­lands said he would put some time into stop­ping Li­ons for­ward Taine Wil­liams, who has booted 68 goals so far this sea­son.

He also ac­knowl­edged ruck­man Zavier Wil­liams would need to be stopped.

“They are go­ing to need a fair bit of at­ten­tion re­ally,” Hol­lands said.

Both coaches agreed on one thing and that was the game will be fast-paced and free flow­ing on the open space of Hands Oval.

Bun­bury mid­fielder Tobi Hor­ton will be a piv­otal player for the Bull­dogs this Sun­day.

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