By Terry Wilson
2019 QAFL Grand Final
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN v SURFERS PARADISE
At Metricon Stadium, 2.30pm Saturday
The match will be livestreamed here.
Ins: Palm Beach Currumbin – John Macansh. Surfers Paradise – Sam Jewell.
Outs: Palm Beach Currumbin – Cooper Portelli (omit). Surfers Paradise – Cody Filewood (omit).
HEAD-TO-HEAD THIS YEAR:
Round 6: Palm Beach Currumbin 20.10 (130) d Surfers Paradise 6.7 (43) at Salk Oval.
Round 18: Surfers Paradise 13.11 (89) d Palm Beach Currumbin 3.7 (25) at Sir Bruce Small Park.
Qualifying final: Palm Beach Currumbin 11.12 (78) d Surfers Paradise 8.8 (56) at Salk Oval.
WHAT THE REGULAR SEASON LADDER SHOWS:
Palm Beach Currumbin (15 wins, 1 loss): Scored 1646 points and conceded 914 for a percentage of 180.09.
Surfers Paradise (12 wins and 4 losses): Scored 1285 points and conceded 974 for a percentage of 131.93.
Jack Anthony (PBC): 44 goals from nine matches (average 4.89). Best hauls were a nine, eight and two sixes. Best support act was Jesse Derrick with 24 in 17 matches.
Dan Green (SP): 39 goals from 15 matches (average 2.60. Best hauls were a six and two fives. Best support act was brother Matt Green with 20 from 16 matches.
Palm Beach Currumbin: Big Jack Anthony in front of goals; their quality midfield spread headed by Steve and Tom, Thynne, Jason Burge and Tyler Cornish; and a defence that has been solid all season.
Surfers Paradise: With Sam Jewell back from concussion the Demons have a three-way ruck/forward rotation that, combined with a brigade of speedy small goalkickers, plus Dan Green, could trouble the Lions.
It is fitting that the two best performed teams of the 2019 QAFL season will square off for the title of being premiers at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
Defending champions Palm Beach Currumbin, chasing a hat-trick of titles for the first time in club history, are up against cross-town rivals Surfers Paradise in the fourth all-Gold Coast grand final in a row.
And it promises to be a ripping clash between the two great rivals who play a similar, all-guns-blazing style.
Both sides have gun forwards, both sides have quality in the midfield and both sides have strong defences.
So perhaps the overriding factor could be experience in grand finals and this is where the Lions have a clear advantage.
When it comes to that valued commodity of having been there, done that, the Lions have it in truckloads.
Jesse Derrick, Jackson Emblem, Steve and Tom Thynne, Tyler Cornish – they have all played in multiple grand finals together – and won a lot of them.
In fact Derrick’s flirtations with grand finals goes back to 2005 at the Gabba when he was a 16-year-old playing against Burleigh in the second division finale.
It is that familiarity on big occasions that could stand the Lions in good stead this weekend.
Surfers have few, if any, players who have sampled a seniors grand final atmosphere let alone win one.
There are those people who say a team needs to lose a grand final before they win one.
And they point out the fact that the last two QAFL premiers lost grand finals before they won one.
But it also has to be noted that Surfers is the only team to have beaten PBC this season.
Surfers coach Brad Moore feels the grand finals experience is one thing. But he also believes that the thrill of the chase, as in the lure of a premiership, can do wonders for those chasing one.
There are so many important match-ups coming up at Metricon but the biggest ones will be at either end of the ground.
It’s all about key forwards Jack Anthony (PBC) and Dan Green (Surfers).
“They are big part because if either of them has a great day then that’s going to be highly beneficial to either side,” said Moore.
“We’ll be grateful if Dan Green can kick six, like he did last weekend, and we’re hoping like hell that Brody (Haberfield) can do a great job on Jack.
“But no doubt Palmy are probably hoping Jack can kick six and whoever they place on Greeny – and I know Liam McNeven has played a bit on him – can keep him short of goals.
“They’ll be little battles within the bigger battle.”
When match committees sat down on Thursday to finalise their line-ups both clubs made just one change each.
As expected, Surfers regain ruck/forward Sam Jewell at the expense of fellow Southport NEAFL-listed Cody Filewood, and PBC resurrected John Macansh to come into their side at the expense of Cooper Bortelli.
That was just one of a number of tough calls made by the Lions.
“It was like shooting Bambi,” said coach Jess Sinclair of the PBC change.
“John has been killing it and on a big ground as a hit-up half-forward it suits him better.
“But there were a number unlucky to miss out – like Glenn Screech, Dale Neuhaus and Tom Frazer, guys who have played plenty of senior games this year.
“Unfortunately, 26 doesn’t go into 22. We stewed over the selection for an hour or so because every guy had a case to play.”
Now all the rhetoric is done and dusted and it is on to that one day of the year that matters most for footballers.
Tune into the 2019 QAFL Grand Final from 2:15pm, Saturday September 14 right here.