Match-ups to decide game
Ahead of this weekend’s SWFL grand final we look at the five key match-ups that could help determine who wins the 2017 premiership...
Thomas Quaife (HBL) v Brett Peake (BY)
Reliable Lions defender Quaife has played on Peake on the past three occasions with great success. But the former Fremantle Docker and St Kilda player has been moving up the ground a bit more this finals series and playing on the wing or at half-back. This should not trouble Quaife though, who is a former long distance runner and has great cardio.
Rhys Gelmi (HBL) v Harry Creasey (BY)
Gelmi has been coach Derek Hall’s number one tagger this season and despite Bunbury having a deep midfield, the obvious match-up is Creasey. The 19year-old Bulldog has taken his game to a new level this season and was the best player in the weekend’s preliminary final. Gelmi is likely to run with the young midfielder and look to win his own ball around the contests.
Kristin Thornton (HBL) v Codey Hay (BY)
This match-up is a little out of left field in that Hay may not have the pace to keep up with Thorton. But with fellow defender Kane Bumann acting as the third-man up in most contests and Hay’s ability to win one-on-one contests, he could stop the former Sydney Swan from taking the game away from the Bulldogs. Hay will need help from his midfield though.
Bailey Taylor (HBL) v Patrick Farrant (BY)
Arguably two of the league’s best teenagers will do battle this weekend when Taylor does his best to curb the influence of the mercurial Farrant. Taylor has the speed and leaping ability to stop Farrant. Bunbury’s rising youngster was quiet in the preliminary final, but rarely does he have two of those in a row and the big occasion of a grand final suits his talent.
Zach Piper (HBL) v Aidan Clarke (BY)
This is not so much a defensive match-up as it is one that will excite and entertain. Both young midfielders have plenty of speed and like to run-and-carry on every occasion. Come Sunday, they will look to use their speed to their advantage and put pressure on their opposition’s defence. Clarke is one of the keys to Bunbury’s game-plan, while Piper has something special about him.