PREVIEW AND PREDICTION: Women’s Premier Division Second Semi-Final
Written by Phoebe McWilliams
Macquarie University Warriors vs. UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs – Saturday, September 1 at 9.40am, Blacktown International Sportspark
The story so far…
Macquarie University – 2
UNSW Eastern Suburbs – 0
The two sides have met twice this season and on both occasions Macquarie University has come away with the W.
In saying that, the two games were close with the margin in single digits both times. In Round 3, Macquarie University were four-point winners and in Round 11 the difference was seven points.
The two games were low scoring with only five goals kicked in both matches.
Three things to consider
1. Battle of the forward lines
Both teams have first class forward lines.
The Warriors with Simone Freeman, Laura Russell and Aislinn Albury, and the Bulldogs with Rebecca Privitelli, Jacinda Barclay and Roxy McGee.
Which combination will be able to apply scoreboard pressure on the day?
2. Herron vs. Kiely?
Seems like a logical match up to me.
Meagan Kiely wins a lot the ball from a lot of stoppages. Ellie Herron likes to prevent people winning the ball at stoppages.
Really excited to see these two go head-to-head.
3. Nielsen vs. Smyth and Russell
UNSW Eastern Suburbs’ Ingrid Nielsen has been rucking the majority of the matches I’ve seen and has been in top form.
Macquarie University like to switch between Phillipa Smyth and Laura Russell.
Will Nielsen have the stamina to go against Russell and Smyth who get to share the load?
What the players are saying
Macquarie University – Ellie Brush
“UNSW are a very experienced side when it comes to finals but I think if we can keep our composure, stick to our game plan that we’ve used all year and remain disciplined, we should go close.”
UNSW Eastern Suburbs – Meagan Kiely
“In order to beat Mac Uni we’ll have to invest in physicality and winning contested possession early. It’s going to be a high pressure game so a quick start is going to be important.”
What the coaches are saying
Macquarie University – Dan Ranson
“To beat UNSW on Saturday we’ll need to be very disciplined and put in a four-quarter effort. They’ve been the benchmark for a long time and they’re experienced with finals intensity.”
UNSW Eastern Suburbs – Tracey Kick
“To win we will need to play our brand of football. Own the footy, dictate play, relentless in defence, maintain our structure and play to our values – respect, unity and commitment.”
I cannot wait for this match and to see both these sides play with finals intensity. In the end, I think it will come down to the midfield battle where I believe Macquarie University have a slight advantage. Herron, Kristy Suttcliffe and Lisa Steane have been hard to stop all season and I think they will be the difference on the day. It should be another close one.
Macquarie University by 8 points.