PINDAN PREMIER GRADE PREVIEW: PRELIMINARY FINALS

Aug 8 • Australia, General News • 1761 Views • Comments Off on PINDAN PREMIER GRADE PREVIEW: PRELIMINARY FINALS

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Nedlands v Cottesloe at Hartfield Park, Forrestfield – Saturday 3.20pm
Last time they played – Game 1: Cottesloe (20) defeated Nedlands (15) at Harvey Field, Cottesloe
Last time they played – Game 2: Nedlands (43) defeated Cottesloe (24) at The Foreshore, Nedlands

The Pindan Premier Grade preliminary finals kick-off on Saturday with a replay of last season’s grand final between Nedlands and Cottesloe.

Halfway through the season Cottesloe was sitting 9-0 and clearly the premiership favourites but have dropped off in the latter half of the season, winning just one game from the last seven.

The loss last week saw the Gulls slip from second place on the ladder to fourth and set up a scintillating clash against arch rivals Nedlands.

Cottesloe Coach Ian Fowler said his team is not there just to make up the numbers, despite the dip in form over the past two months.

“We have not been that far off the mark,” he said. “Different things each week have not come together and we have not been able to get over the line.

“Possession is the key to the game. If we can hang onto the ball for long periods that will go a long way, they did it very well last time.

“Finals footy is a little bit different, we played them twice during the year but those games are water under the bridge.”

Despite going into the game out of form, Cottesloe did win the first game of the season between these two sides convincingly and has the likes of Nili Afeaki, Alec Hepburn, Charl Nieuwenhuis and Ali Haining to help them against a strong Nedlands defensive unit.

Nedlands will go into the game as favourites after finishing on top of the ladder, 15 points clear of their nearest opponent after losing only two games throughout the season.

They have been in the top-two all season and last time thrashed Cottesloe by 19 points at home. They are also currently sitting on a five game winning streak and are the only side to allow less than 300 points in this season.

Nedlands Coach Gus Martyn said finals was the goal for the team all year and is not fazed by playing on a neutral ground.

“It doesn’t matter who we play, we made it through the season and this is what we have been working towards all year,” he said.
“I do not have to motivate them. That is their goal and that is what they have all achieved.
“We’re not sure what to expect from Cottesloe, they have struggled in the second round and will no doubt come out firing as they’ve been a quality team for years and are used to playing in finals.”
For Cottesloe Stefan Cooper has moved into the hooker position in place of Robbie Abel and Wian Lamprecht will start at fullback while Nedlands have named an unchanged side.

Nedlands: 1. Lei Aholelei, 2. Joseph Richiek, 3. Travis Church, 4. Tyler Edwards, 5. Scott Stevens, 6. Jandre Van Der Westhuizen, 7. Shane Hemi, 8. Richard Nailer, 9. Michael Ruru, 10. Davis Tavita, 11. Cameron Crowley, 12. Ryan McLeod, 13. Warren Black, 14. Jordan Fantasia, 15. Dylan Loversidge
Cottesloe: 1. Alec Hepburn, 2. Stefan Cooper, 3. Shaun Nankervis, 4. Damien Carley, 5. Kieran Stringer, 6. Adrian Hall, 7. Chris Walker, 8. Rory Crowhen, 9. Charl Nieuwenhuis, 10. Ali Haining 11. Pate Ratubuli, 12. Sam Heinemann, 13. Nili Afeaki, 14. Nate Howard, 15. Wian Lamprecht
Referee: Graham Cooper

Wests Scarborough v UWA at Pat O’Hara Reserve, Morley – Sunday 3.20pm
Last time they played – Game 1: Wests Scarborough (27) defeated UWA (10) at Bennett Park, Scarborough
Last time they played – Game 2: Wests Scarborough (34) defeated UWA (25) at McGillivray Oval, Mt Claremont

Wests Scarborough and UWA will meet for the second time in eight days when they go head-to-head for a coveted position in the grand final this Sunday.

Wests Scarborough will be confident after coming back from 17 points down to claim a bonus point win and finish the season in second position when they defeated UWA on their own turf last Saturday.

UWA have not beaten Wests Scarborough this season after they lose the first game by 17 points and the match last week.

Wests Scarborough coach Dwayne Grace said he expects the intensity to step up as every point counts.

“That was one of our aims at the start of the year, to be a top four club,” he said.
“We will take that momentum through, but it does not count for anything in finals and we know we have to step it up because they will come out fired up to knock us off.
“In that first half last week they put us under a lot of pressure and scored a few points so we are looking at where we can improve and what we can do against them.”
UWA coach Steve McFarland said finals was always the goal at the start of the season.

“The intensity always goes up,” he said. “For both sides it is potentially the last game for the season so there is more desperation to ensure the season does not end a week before the grand final.

“We looked over the footage from last week’s game and we had some promise in the first half and in the second we were not really in the game.”

UWA are the second ranked attacking team in the competition and boast the competitions leading try scorer and fullback Christian Joubert.

McFarland said it doesn’t matter who scores the tries as long as they get over the line.

“Joubert has been a prominent weapon for us but we have a lot of boys who have the ability to score,” he said.

UWA just missed the finals last year and will be itching for an opportunity to potentially play in a grand final. Wests Scarborough played finals last year, but were bumped out in the early stages.

Wests Scarborough has added Jeremy Corliss to the front row in place of DJ Ferris and Steve Chetkovich in place of Perth Spirit centre Brad Lacey. UWA has just the one change to the starting XV from last week adding Steve Miller to the front row in place of Ed Brook.

Wests Scarborough: 1. Dylan Crawford, 2. Jeremy Corliss, 3. Justin Terry, 4. Matt Obrien, 5. Brad Griffiths, 6. Matt Obrien, 7. Keith Andrews, 8. Kane Koteka, 9. Michael Marshall, 10. Teava Terangi, 11. Maia King, 12.Marty Campbell, 13. Saula Fifita, 14. Sean Harwood, 15. Chance Bunce
UWA: 1. Nevin Mills, 2. Harry Scoble, 3. Steve Millar, 4.Oscar Backhouse, 5. Tim Carslaw, 6. Cian O’Connor, 7. Richard Hardwick, 8. Jeremy Smith, 9. Ethan Carlisle, 10. Cal Dogget, 11. Levon Kvas -Rothwell, 12. Joel Rapana, 13. Ben Taylor, 14. Steve Chetkovich 15. Christian Joubert
Referee: Alex Ninkov

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