Explainer: Coates Talent League Wildcard Round

THE 2023 Coates Talent League Wildcard Round is just around the corner, but takes on a slightly different look this year. After the top three sides earned automatic passage to finals in 2022, only minor premier Tasmania is guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals in a revamped finals structure.

Instead, the remaining 12 teams have been split into conferences – Country and Metro – with Tasmania slotting into the Country group. Teams from either conference will not cross over until the preliminary finals, where the highest ranked team from Country takes on the lowest from Metro, and vice-versa.

As mapped out in the fixture below, either conference’s first placed side will play sixth in Wildcard Round, while second faces fifth, and third takes on fourth. The highest-ranked Metro loser will also advance to the quarter finals alongside the six victors.

From there, the best two teams from each conference will be decided and test themselves against fresh opposition in the prelims. The Grand Final has also already been locked in for Sunday September 24 at IKON Park – the same venue as last year’s decider.


Saturday, September 2

Calder Cannons (Metro #3) vs. Eastern Ranges (Metro #4)
Mars Stadium, Ballarat, 11:30am

Sandringham Dragons (Metro #1) vs. Western Jets (Metro #6)
Mars Stadium, Ballarat, 2:00pm AEST

Sunday, September 3

Gippsland Power (Country #4) vs. Dandenong Stingrays (Country #5)
La Trobe University Sports Park, Bundoora, 11:30am AEST

GWV Rebels (Country #2) vs. Murray Bushrangers (Country #7)
Mars Stadium, Ballarat, 12:00pm AEST

Northern Knights (Metro #2) vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Metro #5)
La Trobe University Sports Park, Bundoora, 2:00pm AEST

Geelong Falcons (Country #3) vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Country #6)
Mars Stadium, Ballarat, 2:30pm AEST


Quarter Finals (September 9-10)

1st-ranked Metro WR winner vs. 1st-ranked Metro WR loser
2nd-ranked Metro WR winner vs. 3rd-ranked Metro WR winner

Tasmania Devils vs. 3rd-ranked Country WR winner
1st-ranked Country WR winner vs. 2nd-ranked Country WR winner

Preliminary Finals (September 16/17)

Top-ranked Metro QF winner vs. Lowest-ranked Country QF winner
Top-ranked Country QF winner vs. Lowest-ranked Metro QF winner

Grand Final (Sunday September 24)

PF 1 winner vs. PF 2 winner

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