By the Thailand Tigers Australian Football Club
The AFL Finals Series marches into the penultimate week with two pressure-packed games coming up to sort out who will be the two teams to meet on the final Saturday in September.
And that final weekend of September also means the only place to watch Australia’s biggest sporting contest is at The Coffee Club 2019 AFL Grand Final Family Day in Bangkok on Saturday 28 September – undoubtably Asia’s best celebration of the great game.
The two preliminary finals will see (according to ladder positions) first take on third between Geelong and Richmond on Friday night and fourth taking on sixth when Collingwood play Greater Western Sydney on Saturday afternoon.
Two cracking games, to be sure, with both to be played at the home of Australian rules footy, the MCG, and obviously the two winners will return the following week, to fight for the 2019 premiership cup.
Friday night first. Richmond get back to their favourite ground, where they have a great record this year, to play Geelong who lost their spearhead full forward Tom Hawkins on a striking charge for this game. So Geelong will probably be looking to restructure their forward line to play a defence that has been well settled after early-season injuries. Geelong played an undermanned Richmond at the MCG earlier this year and won comfortably and boast a host of superstars around the ground. Richmond are also not short on superstars of the game who seem to be hitting their straps at the right end of the season. This will be a grinding contest and the game is given some extra spice as Geelong coach Chris Scott makes no effort to hide his dislike, or some may say disrespect, of Richmond. Richmond coach Damien Hardwick and Scott have always had a testy relationship, which goes back to their days as two firebrand opponents. So will it come down to Geelong being able to slow the game down to their terms and get Richmond panicking? Or will Richmond’s run and gun style of forward handball into a potent forward line be too slick for the Cats? What a contest this is going to be on the field and from the coaching boxes.
Saturday afternoon will see Collingwood take on the young guns from Greater Western Sydney – who amazingly play in their third preliminary final in four years. Collingwood will come into the game as (deservedly) heavy favourites after the Giants have endured a tumultuous week, losing star midfielder Lachie Whitfield to injury and hard nut Toby Greene’s off-field woes with the tribunal. GWS will be relying on Coleman Medal winner Jeremy Cameron to have a dominant impact on this game, but he will have to take on in-form defender Big Darcy Moore. If Moore can keep Cameron quiet, it should go a long way to winning this game. With Brodie Grundy having a stellar year in the ruck, Collingwood’s much-vaunted midfield should be getting plenty of supply, so Giants’ stopper Matt De Boer will have his hands full, but who does he try to nullify? No doubt the Pie’s “23rd man” will be out in force in the terraces, so it will be up to the Giants to continue their brutal attack on the ball and get out to an early lead to silence the crowd. Will the Giants finally win a prelim or will Collingwood make consecutive grand finals and get a chance at redemption for last year?
What a second week of the finals series it will be and don’t forget to get in now and book your ticket to see the two best teams play off on 28 September.
From the Thailand Tigers Australian Football Club