By Alex Suchocki
Semi finals are upon us, with Pine Rivers facing Ipswich in a do or die clash on Saturday. Both teams will come out firing in order to keep their aspirations of a grand final alive.
History shows that Pine Rivers should have the upper hand over Ipswich, having had the better of them the last two meetings.
Pine Rivers put on a dominant display last time these two teams met, over running Ipswich 114-82 in round 14. Drew and Colvin proved to be too strong upfront with seven between them. Before this, Pine Rivers met Ipswich back in Round 5, further reinforcing their dominance in a tight scrap 87-74.
Pine River’s senior coach, Ben Long says he is looking forward to the contest after a solid week of training and a few timely inclusions.
“We’re feeling excited going into the game, we obviously used our double chance and now we’re in sudden death mode,” Long said.
Prior to last week’s loss, Pine Rivers have won their last seven games and will be keen to bounce back.
“Last week we were a bit slow to adapt to the tempo of finals footy, we didn’t play the best game,” Long said.
Leading goal kicker, Cameron Colvin is set to return after missing the last two weeks. He has been a dead eye in front of the big sticks having slotted 68 majors.
“We’ve got a few players to come back that didn’t play last week that should make a difference,” Long said.
After an impressive win last week, Ipswich will come out firing with a point to prove in order to stake a claim in the finals series.
Brick and Konstanciak were among the best last week against University and were instrumental in snagging the four point win.
Ipswich form has been patchy leading up the finals, having won two out of there last five. As the away team, they are set for a tight tussle at Rob Akers Reserve and won’t be expecting any favours from the home team.
“Playing at home is big for the club,” Long said.
Long says he is expecting a big game from ruckman, Andrew Miller, who’s tap work and mobility around the ground will be an influential factor this weekend.
Griffith-Moorooka v Redcliffe
The semi finals are set to be a cracker, with Griffith-Moorooka set to host Redcliffe this Saturday at Alexander Park for a spot in the grand final.
Both teams have come off convincing wins and are in a string of vitalising form.
Griffith-Moorooka had a well-deserved break last week after slaughtering Ipswich 158-31 back in Round 18.
Redcliffe continue to get the results, over-running Pine Rivers 124-68 in the qualifying final.
Last time these teams met was back in Round 13, where Redcliffe bagged the four points in a tight affair 80-70.
This game is built for a ferocious contest with Griffith Moorooka looking to bounce back with the home ground advantage.
Redcliffe’s forward, Alan Flower is currently leading the competition with 76 majors. He is sure to pose a headache for Redcliffe defenders after booting 7 goals last game.
Redcliffe have been in a rich vein of form and will strive to cement themselves in the grand final. Furness, Milligan and Foley put Redcliffe in the driver’s seat last week against Pine Rivers, tearing the opposition apart.
This game will be decided in the center of the ground, determined by who can get there hands on the footy first.
These two teams have been the benchmarks of the competition and will sweat it out in a nail-biting affair on Saturday.