Allied Pickfords Cup preliminary final

Two of the oldest clubs on the Darling Downs will face off in the 2012 Allied Pickfords Cup Preliminary Final and there is one thing for sure, this will be the seasons end for one.

The reigning premiers will be looking to go into their third straight Grand-Final while the Roo’s will look to bounce back to the big stage after missing the finals series in 2011 for the first time in years. So, who has more to play for?

Tigers are looking to go back to back to back and as they clearly stated wanted to build a dynasty. Coolaroo on the other hand missed finals last year and are looking to regain their powerhouse status by winning this clash. The ledger is at one all at the moment with Tigers easily accounting for the Roo’s way back in Round 3 to the pumping tune of 43 points.

Coolaroo got their own back in Round 16 on their annual Old Boy’s day, getting over the line in a tight tussle by 19 points.

The advantage was taken out for any side this year with the final series reduced from 4 weeks to 3 weeks, so who has the greater advantage this week? Coolaroo are coming off a 5 goal defeat to the high flying Bombers and looked lost at times throughout the game. Meanwhile, Toowoomba are coming off a hard fought 16point victory in the Elimination Final.

That was Coolaroo’s second consecutive loss after their Round 18 loss to University, something that would be worrying Nick Barker and his coaching staff.

Tigers haven’t lost a game of footy since Round 16 and like the last two seasons are building themselves at the right end of the year. Hugh Priest has been the main contributor in the reigning premier’s defence of the 2011 title and will more than likely get watched very closely this week.

Priest’s ability to break defensive lines and his long kicking has been a great asset for the Tigers this year and Coolaroo will need to stop his influence.

On the other hand, Coolaroo have their own strike weapon in the ever reliable Tom Rudolph. Rudolph has been the key to the Roo’s revival this year and will probably need to be watched closely by Tigers coaching staff; otherwise he will single handily stop the Tigers juggernaut.

Miels Grice is another that will need to be stopped in this blockbuster, finishing second on the league goal kicking table and averaging close to 4 goals a game will need to be checked closely also. At the other end Tigers have their own big unit in Andrew Wickes, the veteran will be the go to man in side 50 and will no doubt cause headaches for the Roo’s defensive crew. Bastian Buerger should get the job on Wickes; this battle alone would be worth watching itself.

So a game that has one thing for sure, an ending the loser finishes for the season and the winner will face the South Toowoomba Bombers in 2012 Allied Pickfords Cup Grand-Final.

Who will win? The side willing to take the game on!

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