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NEAFL Preview and Team: Preliminary Final 1

NEAFL PRELIMINARY FINAL 1

Sunday, September 8, 2019
Brisbane Lions v Sydney Swans 
South Pine Sports Complex, 1pm

SUMMARY

It’s Preliminary Final time in the NEAFL and it’s a battle of the two AFL clubs to meet Aspley or Southport in the Grand final next weekend.

The Lions had the first-round bye in the finals while the Swans did it tough against a spirited Sydney University outfit last weekend, but were able to secure a nine-point victory in the end.

These two sides met in the final round of the season with the Swans giving the Lions an almighty scare in the pursuit for an unbeaten season. Could the Swans strike the blow to knock the so far invincible Lions out of the premiership race?

NEAFL TEAM

In: Starcevich, Mathieson, Eagles, Cox
Out: Koleman, Cumberland, Madden, Martyn

Position Player
Player Player
B #22 Hinge #14 Walker #35 Lester
HB #19 Allison #40 Payne #18 Robertson
C #26 Cutler #8 E Smith #34 Wooller
HF #38 Ballenden #47 Fullarton #1 Keays
F #13 T Berry #21 Skinner #28 Taylor
FOL #44 A Smith #4 Bastinac #39 C Lyons
INT #20 Cox #41 Eagles #36 Mathieson
  #45 McFadyen #37 Starcevich
EMG #51 Coleman #54 Cumberland #52 Madden
#53 Martyn

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Round 21, 2019: Brisbane 19.13 (127) d Sydney 14.6 (90) at Tramway Oval
Round 17, 2019: Brisbane 15.13 (103) d Sydney 10.11 (71) at Blacktown 
Round 9, 2019: Brisbane 17.19 (121) d Sydney 8.2 (50) at South Pine Sports Complex

TALKING POINTS

  1. A lot has been made about the list strength of the Lions all year with Brisbane fielding on average 20 AFL-listed players each week. This week will be no different with only Tom Joyce on the Lions’ injury list, and the Lions not falling under any restrictions when coming up against fellow AFL clubs in finals. It’s a huge advantage Brisbane has up its sleeve with the Swans down to just 12 AFL-listed players available against Sydney University last week.
  2. For Sydney, its young players really stepped up last week to inspire a come-from-behind victory when they kicked the last six goals of the game for a thrilling nine-point win. Justin McInerney, James Rose and Toby Pink lead the best on ground ranks last weekend. Momentum is everything in finals and the Swans will be confident they can put their best foot forward and throw everything at Brisbane this week.
  3. The Swans gave Brisbane the biggest scare of the season to date in the final round with the Swans holding the lead with just under 10 minutes to go in the game. Sydney’s tackle pressure over the season and last month in particular has been outstanding. The Swans pressure at the footy has culminated in the Swans leading the competition in tackles per game with 72. Sydney’s intensity is clearly rising on the finals stage with the Swans making 97 tackles last week against the Students.

ROOKIE WATCH

Swans’ Academy member Errol Gulden was impressive in his side’s victory last week. Playing only his second NEAFL game of the season in an Elimination Final, the 17-year-old finished in the bests for the Swans with 18 disposals and six tackles.

STATS THAT MATTER

Neither Brisbane or Sydney has ever been knocked out of the premiership race in the week before a Grand Final, including the Eastern and Northern Conference system from 2011-2013. When it comes to a Preliminary or Semi-Final to get to the big dance, both clubs have flawless records. The Swans are 7-0 (three Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and four NEAFL Preliminary Finals) and the Lions are 3-0 (two Northern Conference Semi-Finals and one NEAFL Preliminary Final).

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs