GRAND FINAL PREVIEW AND PREDICTION: Men’s Platinum Reserves
Platinum Reserves Grand Final
Written by Michael Shillito
Southern Power vs. Macquarie University Warriors – Sunday, September 9 at 3.50pm at Blacktown International Sportspark
The first season of the new Platinum Division structure comes to an end on Sunday and as the sun sets, the premiership will have been decided.
Macquarie University were Minor Premiers with 14 wins from the 15 games they played in the regular season, but it was Southern Power who were first into the Grand Final. They had 13 wins from 16 home and away games which was enough to clinch second spot, and then had a convincing 40-point win over the Warriors in the Semi-Final at Henson Park.
The Power have spread the goal-kicking love around. No player has kicked more than 20 goals this season, but they still managed to accumulate a winning score more often than not. Justin Lucas and Reagan Sharpe have led the way up forward, but one secret to their success is they haven’t relied on one individual to spearhead the charge.
There’s no shortage of contributors to the Power cause around the ground. Luke Jansson, Ryan Thomson and Rhys Davis have done plenty of good work for the Power this season and will again be looking to feature prominently.
The Warriors have been strong performers in this division in 2018, and have the firepower to go all the way. They were stunned to go down in the Semi-Final, but hit back strongly last week with a 39-point win over Western Magic in the Preliminary Final, restoring some much-needed momentum.
There’s some handy avenues to goal, with Andre Sliwka and Brodie Cooper likely to put their hand up on the forward line to contribute to the scoreboard.
Around the ground, look out for Stewart Thompson, Mitch Healey and Jonathan Ortiz, who have all featured prominently this season and will be fired up and ready to perform on this occasion.
The two teams clashed twice during the regular season, with honours being shared as both clubs won their home games. The Warriors got up by 13 points in Round 6, but the Power had a 61-point win in the return game at Waratah Oval in Round 14. The Power were again victorious in the Semi-Final a fortnight ago.
The game at Waratah Oval was the only game the Warriors dropped during the home and away season. After such a strong regular season, it would be a disappointing way to finish the year if they are unable to take out the premiership. But the Power look to have hit their best form at the right time of year. They’ve had a couple of good wins against the Warriors this year, and being rested ahead of this match, would fancy their chances of doing it again.
Prediction – Southern Power by 11 points.