Friday Preview – Round 16 2016

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Season to finish on a high

By Toe Punt

After 15 enthralling rounds of MPNFL Nepean Division football, we come to the end of the home and away season today.

Not unlike any round in the past five months, there are some cracking matches this afternoon.

There are none more important than FRANKSTON v HASTINGS.

The Bombers are playing to hang onto top spot on the ladder and a rest in the opening week of the finals.

Hastings is playing for third place. If the Blues can win and Crib Point cause the upset of the season and knock over Somerville, then the Blues can grab the double chance.

Both the Bombers and the Blues will be looking for momentum going into finals.

The Blues have lost three of their past five matches, going down to finals-bound Red Hill (26 points), Rosebud (46 points) and Somerville (9 points).

Hastings’ two wins in the past five weeks have come against Sorrento in a low scoring battle and Crib Point by more than 100 points last week.

The Bombers and the Blues met in round three at Thomas Barclay Reserve and it was the home side that got over the line by three goals on that occasion.

They were neck and neck going into time-on in the last quarter, before the Blues kicked a couple of late goals to notch-up the win.

At that stage of the season, the Blues were flying, coming off wins against Sorrento and a 100-point belting of Rosebud. The Blues were the early pace setters.

Wind the clock forward and it’s the Bombers who are doing everything right.

Whilst the Blues have won two of their past five matches, Frankston has won five on the trot. Its last loss came against Sorrento in Round 10.

The Bombers were also the last team to beat Rosebud, back in Round 9.

Hastings simply has to make a statement today. It wouldn’t want to head into a finals campaign having lost to every other team taking part in the finals in the final six weeks of the season.

The battle between Josh Mulheron and Ryan Kitchen in the ruck will be worth the $10 Entry. Neither big man knows how to take a backward step and they’ll be at it all day.

In the middle, Dale Sutton and Sam Fox go head-to-head with Mark Devereaux and Nathan Gray. Peter Mawson and Luke Smith need to produce something special for the Blues.

This is where the game will be won and lost. Which team can provide the greatest amount of pressure for longer?

There is potency at either end of the ground in both line-ups and they are difficult to split.

The Blues have weapons in attack in McVeigh and Luke Hewitt and the Bombers do in Scott Foster and Longham. Luke James will also be back for the Bombers. Brendan Dunne is the obvious match-up there, given his strength.

Shaun Foster is a trump card for the Blues and they’d like to afford to have him floating forward. One senses though that the leg speed of Scott Foster and Longham will require Shaun to play back.

RED HILL too will be looking for some momentum as it heads into an Elimination Final when it plays host to SORRENTO.

The Hillmen were sensational last week despite going down to Somerville, a lapse in concentration and pressure in the third quarter hurting them in the end.

Sorrento’s season might be done but I’m sure the club will be keen to have a win for outgoing president, Gary Woodhams, who has retired from the top job after 10 years at the helm.

A win would be the best way to thank Woodhams for his outstanding services to the club over the past decade.

The Sharks have put more than 100 senior games into the likes of Shannon Gladman, Zack Byrns, Rhyce Byrns, James and Luke Brigden, Danny Stephenson, Chad Harris, Jack Grant, Marcus Gardiner, Joey Boas, Max Clevercamp and Mitch Towers in 2016.

Coach Nick Jewell put 117 games into kids in his second year at Rosebud. Jewell has also subtly transitioned the list, with the likes of club legends Dave Lawson, Ben McCormack, Trev Mattison, Nick Muller and Brent Kenyon all being starved of regular opportunities in 2016.

It’s clear that it’s been a case of one step back in 2016 to take two steps forward for the Sharks.

It won’t change the fact that they’ll want to win today.

Red Hill simply can’t let this one slip. They need to stay true to their style and ensure there is a relentlessness for 100 minutes – that’s the different between winning and losing this season – who can sustain it for longer!

RYE and DROMANA will both be looking to finish the season on a high.

The Tigers have made a lot of inroads in 2016 under new coach Rikki Johnston, who will be much better with a season of coaching under his belt. There’s whispers floating around that this could be Rikki’s final game. Let’s hope this is nothing more than just a rumour.

Hopefully a number of the talented Dromana youngsters hit the gym in the off-season and come back stronger.

Rye would be disappointed with its season. It’s not often that the Demons miss finals two years on the trot. There’s a hell of a lot of work to be done in the off-season and that will be made easier on the back of a final home and away victory.

ROSEBUD can taste back-to-back premierships and DEVON MEADOWS won’t get in the way of their preparation today.

The Buds have got it all – experience, youth, hardness, skill, system and desire – they know what it takes to win a premiership and two blokes at the helm in Michael Kraska and Anthony Agius know what it takes to win flags too.

The Buds could also finish on top if Hastings beat Frankston.

SOMERVILLE will be looking to finish the season off strongly against CRIB POINT.

David Hirst said after the game against Red Hill that his side wouldn’t be resting players or taking the game lightly.

“I don’t believe in flirting with form and we’ll be going hard against Cribby,” Hirst said.

I expect the Eagles to go hard early, get themselves in a strong position and then manage their players for as long as possible to ensure they are fresh for the Qualifying Final.

It’s been another long year for TYABB and PEARCEDALE. Again, both clubs will be looking for momentum going into the pre-season.

Pearcedale was pretty good for the most part against the ladder leaders last week and should win, which means another winless season for the Yabbies.


Netball Preview Nepean FNL – Round 16 2016

Last game of the home and away season! Who would have thought it would come around so quickly. Well done to all teams in all grades for battling it out for season 2016, and if you’re team has worked hard and made finals good luck, hopefully you are the ones standing at the end of the day with the premiership cup!!! Let look into games for this week…

Rye v Dromana

Dromana looks to have one last chance at making it into the finals, but in order to do so they need to win this week and also have Rosebud beat Devon Meadows and Sorrento to beat Red Hill. It will be in the hands of the netball gods so the Tigers need to make sure they fulfil their part of the bargain. Rye on the other hand are coming off a bye and would love nothing more than to finish the year with a win and end Dromana’s finals chances.


Red Hill v Sorrento

Red Hill like Dromana are still a chance of stealing the last spot for finals. But in order to do so they will have to boost their percentage. Sorrento will need to be ready for no mercy from Red Hill as they will be looking to capitalise on any and every chance they get. The Sorra’s have done a fantastic job in their return season for having an A Grade side, and no doubt will improve again in 2016.


Crib Point v Somerville

Another chance for Somerville to prove they can match it with the best. Last time they faltered against Tyabb and this week is a great lead up match for finals, not just for Somerville but Crib Point. Whilst it is likely the Somerville will take on Devon in the 1st Semi next week, this game will have a finals like atmosphere and if the Eagles can get up, they will bring plenty of confidence into the final series. Crib Point will be feeling refreshed after the week off in A grade, and will be looking to maintain their top of the table and undefeated status to finish of the home and away season.


Tyabb v Pearcedale

Pearcedale were able to notch up win number five for 2016 last week against the Bombshells. The Panthers will have their work cut out for them this week taking on Tyabb who will be in finals mode. Hard to see Pearcedale troubling the Yabbies for the win this week.


Rosebud v Devon Meadows

A must win game for Devon Meadows this week. Whilst they have a healthy percentage and it should get them through to finals if they win, a loss here will pave the way for Red Hill or Dromana to take 4th spot. Rosebud certainly made it interesting last week for the finals race when they defeated Dromana, can they do the same today and end Devon Meadows hopes for finals action?!