We’ve looked at the backs and the midfield, now we break down the Allied Pickfords Cup grand final forward lines.
Springwood has produced a great spread of goal kickers this season, with midfielders bobbing up more and more to support their forwards as the season has gone on.
Superstar: Rhan Hooper
Anyone who saw Hooper’s electrifying performance against the Magpies knows exactly how talented the 25 year-old is. He will certainly not be ignored by the Lions, but he doesn’t need much space to pull off a game-breaking performance.
Under the Radar: Josh Mitchell
Mitchell has provided a strong marking target in the Pumas’ forward line this season. While he hasn’t kicked a huge number of goals, he has played a key role in the Pumas’ side, among their best most weeks.
X-Factor: James Pennycuick
Pennycuick joined the Pumas from Mt Gravatt halfway through the season and he has added plenty of unpredictability to the side. The 22 year-old has a massive boot and could be a major weapon for the Pumas on Saturday. He didn’t play in the sides’ last match up and adds a different dimension to the Springwood line-up this time around.
Palm Beach’s forwards have been wasteful this season, though that’s not entirely the fault of the six key attackers. Nonetheless, they’re the line under the most pressure this Saturday, and will need to make the most of their opportunities in front of goal.
Superstar: Nathan Carr
It was a flip of the coin in this between Carr and Clint Kelly, but Carr wins out –just. He has been his side’s leading goal kicker this season, missing out on the top gong by only one major, and he was best on for the Lions, with five goals, in last weekend’s preliminary final.
Under the Radar: Bryce Perry-Bolt
It’s strange to think that Perry-Bolt could ever go under the radar, but with only a handful of games this season, the big man has probably escaped a lot of attention. His forward pressure in recent weeks has been solid and if he can get his hands on it, he’s more than a reliable finisher.
X-Factor: Kristan Higgs
Higgs suffered with injury in the first weeks of Palm Beach’s finals campaign, but he showed some spectacular footy in the Lions’ preliminary final on Saturday. He has the ability to kick a bag easily, and with a number of forward threats, he could slip out of the Pumas’ grasp.
Who wins it?
If Palm Beach kicks straight, they have the more potent forward line. The greatest threat from the Pumas’ side is their spread of goal kickers. Not one Puma is in the top 10 for goal kicking, because they don’t rely on anyone in particular to make their scores.
Purely looking at their attacking six, you’d say the Lions are more dangerous. But bad kicking’s bad footy and they’ll need to be on their game come Saturday.