Can the Cougars Stop Tom Matthews?
Darling Downs Under 12 2nd Semi Final – University Cougars v Dalby Swans
University and Dalby face off in this week’s crucial Under 12 major semi-final.
These two teams have clearly been the form teams of the competition during the year with their matches split one a piece, each winning at their home grounds. Playing this match at the neutral venue of Rockville Oval will provide neither team with the advantage going into the match.
Although this game can be pumped up as much as possible, it ultimately comes down to one matchup, can the Cougars stop the influence of Swans superstar Tom Matthews? Matthews has kicked an incredible 112 goals so far this season from just 13 games after missing a few due to representing the region at a variety of sports.
Matthews was restricted to just one goal in the first matchup, however he ran riot kicking 4 of Dalby’s 5 goals in the return fixture. The Irish newcomer Killian Doyle has taken to AFL quicker than a toddler to tearing things out cupboards and looms as the most likely matchup. He has the pace, endurance and size to shut down Matthews however lacks the ball-reading ability of his more experienced opponent.
Outside of this crucial matchup, the bigger Dalby bodies will ultimately win the one-on-one contests. Cameron Ferguson has played well throughout the season as had Jordan Richards when he’s been in the side.
However when the ball is out in the open, the pace and agility of the Cougars midget brigade of Abdullah Haddad, Lincoln Bouttell and Andrew Bani-Freeman amongst many others will shine.
Uni have been blessed with exceptional numbers in the Under 12s all year and will have plenty of run through their bench. To the University players who don’t make the final team, work hard and prove you deserve a spot for the next match.
Expect a low scoring affair with many kicks to space and some long chases on the expanses of Rockville Oval. No team has kicked more than 5 goals in a match (both on smaller grounds) between the sides to date so getting on top early will be key.
Round 9: University 4.6 (30) d Dalby 2.5 (17)
Round 17: Dalby 5.4 (34) d University 5.1 (31)