Wide Bay Sunshine Coast Grand Final Preview

It’s decided. It will be Maroochydore taking on the Brothers Bulldogs at Gympie, for the QFA Wide Bay Sunshine Coast flag. These two have been inseparable all year and both finished the season on 38 points, but that’s the beauty of grand finals, on Saturday only one side can put their mitts on the cup.

They know each other well by now, after playing twice this season with the Roos winning in round 12 at Bundaberg, while it was the Bulldogs that came out on top in their recent semi final at Maroochydore. Even though these clubs are as even as it gets, both achieving ten wins for the season, their paths to the grand final are polar opposites.

Maroochydore are looking to string together back to back premierships, after taking out the 2016 QAFA Sunshine Coast competition with a 19-point win over Pomona. The Roos have managed to deal with the pressure of being considered a contender, making their way through a long season to find themselves here again, on the very last day of the season.

“I think both sides are in for the game of their life,” said Roos coach Leigh Roberts.

“The key for us is to win that midfield battle around the ground.”

It’s been a different sort of journey for the Bulldogs, who finished last in the 2016 Wide Bay Senior Premiership competition. To go from the bottom of the ladder, to claiming a place in the grand final in a newly restructured competition, speaks volumes to the club’s hunger for success.

“It will be a big day,” said Bulldogs coach Jason Baulch.

“I think we’ve got to get a good start against them, they just seem very fit and committed to play the whole game out.”

Pending selections, Jeremy Cockram can be dangerous around goal for the Roos if he gets off the chain, while the same can be said for Bulldog Brennan Dempsey, the league’s leading goal kicker with 42 goals, though he’s able to play multiple positions.

The third and deciding game between the Bulldogs and the Roos now approaches and if their semi final’s 11-point margin is anything to go by, this one has all the needed ingredients to be a classic.



By Sean Melrose

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