By Simon Andrews
Kingborough v Clarence – 2:30pm, Twin Ovals
The Tigers and Roos will battle it out for a spot in the 2022 TSL Grand Final. Kingborough must take full advantage of its second chance after going down to Launceston last week, while Clarence has momentum on its side coming off a tight Elimination Final win against Lauderdale. On paper, the Tigers are favourites, being 3-0 against the Roos in 2022 and finishing a spot above on the ladder. Despite this, Clarence ended the year with a higher percentage and with the momentum of a tight elimination final win last week, Peter Ryan may have set his side up for a Grand Final berth in his first season as coach.
Rd 2 Kingborough 14.9 (93) def. Clarence 8.13 (61)
Rd 9 Kingborough 9.16 (70) def. Clarence 6.7 (43)
Rd 14 Kingborough 11.5 (71) def. Clarence 8.6 (54
Tigers coach Trent Baumeler has an abundance of experienced players to rely on. Eddie Cole stood up in the face of adversity last week with 29 disposals, five clearances and 10 effective tackles. 2022 Matthew Richardson medallist Jordan Lane was held to no goals by the Blues, and if the Tigers want to mount the pressure on Clarence, he is the man who needs to hit the scoreboard. Tigers skipper Lachie Clifford will have to lead from the front and by example to spur his side on to a Grand Final and will no doubt be a catalyst at the fore of the Tigers’ midfield-dominant game-style. Clifford and co. will relish a contested scrap and would back this in against the impact of Clarences speed and ball movement.
The Tigers’ defenders will have their hands full with Clarence boasting a number of key avenues to goal. Hudson Medallist Colin Garland has registered goals in all three of his games against Kingborough this year, but will be in for a cracking contest with Ben Donnelly, the Team of the Year full back. If Kingborough can curb Garland’s impact, it will go a long way to limiting the ‘Roos ability to hit the scoreboard and overall moral. The Roos forward pressure doesn’t end their however, with both Ollie Preshaw and Jacques Barwick notching up more than 20 goals during the home and away season.
Clarence’s defensive effort was immense against Lauderdale in the Elimination Final. With players such as Keegan Wylie (23 disposals, 8 marks and 8 rebound 50s) stepping up in a big way.
Whether you are heading to the Twin Ovals or watching along on the Daly Potato Co Live-Stream, there are some key areas to watch in this Preliminary Final. The area where Kingborough thrive the most is during contested play – when the ball is in dispute and the game becomes a scrap. In contrast to this, Clarence will want to make the game as open as possible, finishing first for both marks and disposal efficiency and towards the bottom for contested disposals.