THE ULTIMATE PRIZE
Saturday, 10th September, 2011
It doesn’t get any better than this; North playing South in a Grand Final.
The arch rivals going toe-to-toe for the grand prize, the T.C. Gunn Cup, and of course bragging rights until the end of time.
Both teams have their own strengths and weaknesses, and a fierce hatred of being beaten by the other.
The stage is set; let the game begin.
Over the years these two sides have played some classics, and in my time they have met in 10 Grand Finals with the Roos holding a commanding 7-3 record.
Although the record means nothing today, what it does show is that both teams are experienced when it comes to the big stage.
Today it just comes down to who is the best prepared mentally and physically, and who can perform on the day.
The Roos suffered a huge loss through the week when star midfielder Billy Dolan was suspended by the tribunal. His replacement is Wes Burns who has been rushed back into the side along with Pettitt and Magin, while
Keenan and Davidson have been omitted. The Bulldogs have made six changes from their round 18 game, out go Mason, Hibberd, Schorn, Oldsen, Harwood and Richard Billings and into the side comes McConnell, Burton, Beaven, Garrick, Stuart and Ruddock.
While the reward is great, it really is a tough job for coaches at this time of year and you have to feel for Davidson, Keenan, Oldsen and Fenton. How Fenton can’t get a game in the back half of this North side is beyond me.
This is one game that should excite football fans all over town - the two best sides going at each other.
Both play similar styles of fast flow-on football and they have both named sides that can execute that game style.
As a contest it will all revolve around the middle and start with the big men. South will go with Jayson Higgins first up with back up from Holmes and possibly Pettitt, while North will start with Tom Billings with support from Rayner and Grundy.
All six will not only play important roles with the ruck duties, but also off the ball where they must also feature. If either side can gain the ascendancy in the ruck it will go a long way toward winning this game.