GRAND FINAL PREVIEW – Women’s Premier Division
Who – UNSW Eastern Suburbs Stingrays vs. Sydney University Bombers
When – Sunday, 10 September 2017 at 2pm
Where – Blacktown International Sportspark
Entry – $10 at gate (Under 16’s get in free)
Head to Head in 2017
Sydney University – 0.3 0.3 2.7 4.8 (32)
UNSW-Eastern Suburbs – 3.0 3.5 3.5 4.5 (29)
UNSW Eastern Suburbs – 2.1 6.2 8.3 8.5 (53)
Sydney University – 0.0 2.1 3.1 4.1 (25)
Sydney University – 0.1 0.5 1.6 3.7 (25)
UNSW Eastern Suburbs – 1.2 4.3 6.6 6.7 (43)
The two form teams of the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division face off in the Grand Final this weekend as the Sydney University Bombers take on the UNSW Eastern Suburbs Stingrays. In a clash of epic proportions at Blacktown International Sportspark, the physical Bombers will look to limit the free-scoring Stingrays.
Nicola Barr is arguably the form player of the competition, and a big game by her will go a long way to secure a Sydney University victory this weekend.
Jen Lew, as with many years before, has been a shining light for the Bombers this year in defence, even earning herself another call up to the AFL Sydney Women’s Team of the Year.
Joining Lew in the Team of the Year are her teammates Pippy Clegg, Nicola Barr, Erin McKinnon and Rachael Stack, who will all – though unlikely for McKinnon – be looking to impose their talents on the opposition this weekend. McKinnon looks set to miss the Grand Final after dropping out of the AFL Women’s Allies squad for last weekend’s AFLW State of Origin match with injury.
Rachael Stack will also be dangerous up forward. Stack was the leading goal kicker in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division competition this year, and will want to add to her tally in the biggest game of the year.
One of the young players that has excelled for the Bombers this season has been Pippy Clegg. Not only is she a great team player, but her skills have improved as the year has gone on.
For the Stingrays, they have been imposing all season and will want to continue that into the Grand Final. They have scored the most points this season, as well as conceded the least in what has been an impressive 2017. Across 17 games they have only conceded 220 points – an average of 12.9 points a game.
This success has come under the leadership of Sandra Janjetovic who has expertly marshaled her defence all season.
However, for the Stingrays this year, it has been all about Phoebe Monohan. She looks set to be a giant of the competition for year’s to come, and a big performance in the Grand Final would cap off what has been a great season. Her clean work around the stoppages has helped the Stingrays put on some big scores throughout the year. Monohan is also a big reason as to why they will be playing for the Premiership this Sunday.
Monohan is one of five Stingrays to have made the AFL Sydney Women’s Team of the Year, including Maddy Collier, Sandra Janjetovic, Rebecca Beeson and Sera Kaukiono.
Zoe Devlin has also been mightily impressive this season wit the young midfielder proving how valuable she is with the ball in hand. Her disposal efficiency and her contributions all around the ground have led to some comparisons to some of the best from the AFL Women’s competition. Devlin has had a very strong season and will head into Monday night’s Phelan Mostyn Medal as one of the Women’s Rising Star favourites.
The two sides have faced off twice during the home-and-away season, both sides earning a win a piece. The Bombers won the chocolates back in Round 4 by three points, while the Stingrays showed their Premiership credentials in Round 13 with a 28-point victory.
The teams also met in the first week of the finals, where the Stingrays caused an upset victory. The Bombers finished on top of the ladder but have been forced to make the Grand Final the hard way after falling to the Stingrays by 18-points in Week One of the finals. They will be out for revenge, but the Stingrays know what it takes to beat the Bombers now, so expect both sides to leave everything on the field.
No matter what happens this Sunday, the clash will be an enthralling finale to an exciting season of the XBlades AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division.