This weekend, the Yass Roos will face off against the ANU Griffins for a place in the 2018 Canberra Men’s Fourth Grade AFL Grand Final.
Although the Griffins finished sixth on the ladder and only won eight of their 18 matches for the season, Yass coach Sam Campbell said that his side has good reason to be cautious.
“ANU, they always get up for finals,” Campbell said.
“If they’re in it, they’re the most dangerous team. We went out and had a bit of a look, and it was a good game. To get up by a point, it was a good watch in the end.”
As Campbell indicated, the Griffins won by a single point, 7.10.52 to 8.5.53, over the Woden Blues, who finished the season in second position and were expected to face off against Yass.
The Roos will keep an especially close eye on the Griffins’ tall forwards, who Campbell says are the most dangerous assets.
“They’ve got a really strong forward line and a couple of big talls that we’re definitely gonna have to stop,” he said.
“We had a pretty good look at ‘em two weeks ago, because we played them in the last round.
“I think we’re gonna focus on what we can control and just have really good sessions throughout the week.”
The match a fortnight ago ended with a Roos victory, 6.3.39 to 8.10.58, at the Griffins’ home ground, South Oval.
The two teams played once before in the season, in round nine. The match took place at Joe O’Connor Park, and resulted in a heavy victory in Yass’s favour, 20.9.129 to 3.0.18.
This weekend’s preliminary final will take place at Stirling, a neutral venue which shouldn’t favour either team.
Should the Roos emerge victorious from this weekend, it will set up a Grand Final clash with either the Southern Cats or the ADFA Rams, who will face off in this weekend’s other preliminary final.
Of these two teams, Campbell said that his side do not have a preference as to who they would rather face.
“They’re all strong sides,” he said.
“It looks like ADFA’s peaked at the right time, we haven’t seen them since April so they’re a bit of an unknown to us.
“Cooma, they play very similar to us, so we don’t prefer anyone. I think if we do get to that last leg, it’s gonna be tough.”
Despite the threat posed by the remaining sides, Campbell remains optimistic, and believes that the Roos are close to finding the peak form to which they have been close all year.
“I think we’ve had a couple of really good games at the end of the year that show our form’s been pretty strong,” he said.
The preliminary final will kick off on Saturday from 12:00pm at Stirling 101.