Preview | NAB League finals roll into town

FINALS time has arrived in the NAB League, presenting ideal opportunities for budding AFL Draft prospects to shine on the big stage. After an extraordinary Wildcard Round which saw the bottom four sides advance, the flag race has been blown wide open.

>> Final Siren Podcast: Wildcard Round recap & finals preview

A pair of double-headers open the postseason, starting at Ikon Park on Saturday. Third-ranked Tasmania enters the equation against Bendigo – who knocked off former premiership fancy Oakleigh last week – before minor premier Gippsland locks horns with Northern.

The Devils last played all the way back on August 6, making for nearly a month away from the competition. Nonetheless, with quality in the form of skipper Lachlan Cowan and bottom-age star Colby McKercher available in an unchanged side, they are sure to impress.

Fresh off arguably the biggest win in their history, the Pioneers have named a bunch of stars who were under injury clouds. The likes of Jason Gillbee, Harley Reid, and Malik Gordan will be key to the cause should they get up, along with inspirational captain Harvey Gallagher.

In the day’s second game, Gippsland may come in having lost three of its last four games, but should hold a great deal of confidence given its last win came by 100 points, against Northern. The Knights finished bottom, but had been building to their Wildcard Round upset last Saturday.

Bailey Humphrey starred in Gippsland’s Round 14 win over Northern | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

A star studded Power side is lead by Bailey Humphrey at the heart of midfield, alongside Coby Burgiel. Forwards Zane Duursma and Jacob Konstanty can also roll through there, while the addition of tall target Archer Reid looms as a massive one for team structure.

Northern will trust an engine room run by Patrick Dozzi, Cooper Harvey, and Jonathan Tomasiello to compete hard against highly touted opponents, with the X-factor of Nate Caddy and potential wildcard for the underdogs.

The action moves to Mars Stadium on Sunday, as Dandenong takes on the Western Jets. A reliable Stingrays midfield will be the big watch, with Mitch Szybkowski and Henry Hustwaite leading a line which is sure to keep the Jets’ hands full.

Western key forward combo Jovan Petric and Logan Morris will likely do the same to the Stingrays, who enter finals as the third-ranked team. Although, after winning seven of their last eight games, they are arguably the form side of the competition.

Rounding out the NAB League action is a clash between Sandringham and Calder. Keen draft watchers and recruiters alike will hope stars like Will Ashcroft, Harry Sheezel, Cameron Mackenzie, and Olli Hotton can stay alive for another week, but the Cannons can spoil the party.


Tasmania Devils vs. Bendigo Pioneers | Saturday September 3, 11:30am @ Ikon Park
RMC tip: Devils by 15

Gippsland Power vs. Northern Knights | Saturday September 3, 2:00pm @ Ikon Park
RMC tip: Power by 28

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Western Jets | Sunday September 4, 11:00am @ Mars Stadium
RMC tip: Stingrays by 18

Sandringham Dragons vs. Calder Cannons | Sunday September 4, 1:30pm @ Mars Stadium
RMC tip: Dragons by 23

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments