Grand final prelude
Saturday, 30th July, 2011
Today’s big clash could well be a prelude to the 2011 grand final and it doesn’t come any bigger than a Bulldogs and Roos match.
The Bulldogs will go into the game without Ruddock while the Southerners will be without Dolan, but this will be a great game.
The Roos look to have a settled forward half with Schorn, Corey and Weller as the key targets and Purcell, Magin and O’Brien all capable of floating forward and kicking goals.
The Bulldogs’ forward structure is still a little unsettled. Bates, Henderson and Clare will start forward and I expect Fenton to go forward at some stage.
The battle in the midfield is worth the admission price alone - Kelly, Howard and Johnson up against Caldwell, Dunne and Mackiewicz. All use the footy very well and they get plenty of it.
Throw in Higgins and Billings as the opposing rucks and first use of the footy will be ultra important.
Defensively both sides look pretty even. South will start with Simon O’Brien, Staker and Bird in the back half compared to Northís who will start with Dempster, Garrick and Napier.
Both sides have efficient runners from the back half to cause plenty of headaches to opposing coaches. I just feel that the North runners in Stuart, Beaven and Burton have the advantage over Westley, Neal and Caldwell.
Another interesting duel will be between Watson and Stephens. I would like to know the instructions given to both players today.
This game is surely worthy of a grand final atmosphere and I expect a big crowd to witness another classic between this two arch rivals.
Let’s not forget they are also playing for the Egan/Schuster Cup today. If the Bulldogs get over the line they will claim the cup back from the current holders South.
While the Cup is important, the four premiership points on offer is the big prize.
Simply put, if North win they have one hand on the minor premiership and the important week off. But if South win the race is still open. North by 15 points.