Grand Final hosting on the line for Rebels and Tigers
The Orange Tigers Women and Bathurst Giants Men’s teams await the unlucky losers of Saturday’s Senior Major Semi-Finals. The men’s contest sees the Bushrangers Rebels host the Orange Tigers in a mouthwatering encounter. The victor of this match will host the Grand Final on September 6 so both teams will seek that. Meanwhile, the women’s contest will be a Bathurst derby between the unbeaten Giants and the improving Bushrangers.
AFLCW Senior Women’s Major Semi-Final
Bathurst Giants vs Bathurst Bushrangers – 12:30pm
The quirk of the finals allocations means that the minor premier Giants “travel” to George Park #2 for their final against the Bushrangers. Although the club will be thrilled with the regular season result, their worst performance a come-from-behind draw to this weekend’s opponents, the job is half done and a premiership beckons. Their opponents the Bushrangers started slowly, but as the season has progressed, and the injury list has decreased, their performances have vastly improved. This culminated in a 48-point drubbing of the Orange Tigers in Round 9. The two sides have the most potent offence in the competition. Alora Dickson and Danita Lane spearhead their sides leading the league in goals.
Giants 11.13-79 def Bushrangers 1.1-7 Round 1, George Park #1
Bushrangers 2.3-15 drew with Giants 2.3-15 Round 13 (Gala Day), George Park #2
Bushrangers 2.4-16 def by Giants 4.14-38 Round 10, George Park #1
Final thoughts: The Bushrangers play many “home” games on George Park #1 and their best result this year against their opponents was at the larger GP2. Both teams were well represented in the AFLCW Women’s representative side so like the Men’s fixture, there is no shortage of talent on display. Bethanie Durham and Donalee Delahunty will be important cogs for the Bushrangers whilst the Giants will rely on a strong team effort with the likes of Lane, Matilda Flood and Hailee Provest all top five in the goalkicking to contribute on the scoreboard.
AFL Senior Men’s Major Semi-Final
Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels vs Orange Tigers – 2:30pm
These two clubs can’t get enough of each other in finals. It seems that every year a Bushrangers side play Orange in the Major Semi-Final and then again a fortnight later for the premiership. In fact, five of the past six top grade grand finals have been between the two sides. With the Tigers and Rebels being standouts in a competitive top 5 this season, only the Bathurst Giants remain to stop this from occurring for a sixth season.
Both teams are stacked and are deserving of being the top two teams in the competition. The Rebels have an endless supply of stars, Matthew Archer, Bill Watterson, Tim Hunter, Paul Long and Harry Bowden just a sample of what awaits the Tigers come 2:30pm Saturday. The Tigers on the other hand have a great split of veterans and youth that have complimented each other so well throughout 2019. Mark Mori, Mick Evans and Jaxon Mumme have all shown their capabilities this season and with the under-17s playing upwards of half the season, the future is bright at Tiger Park.
Orange Tigers 10.7-67 def Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels 9.12-66 Round 3, Waratah’s
Bathurst Bushrangers 5.4-34 drew with Orange Tigers 3.6-24 Round 10, George Park #2 *
Final thoughts: We didn’t get a full match at GP2 after an Adam Ryan injury lead to the game being called off just before half-time. The sample size we have from this season shows that this will be a tight, dire affair. The #1 ranked Bushrangers Rebels offence come up against the #1 ranked Orange Tigers defence so scoring will be at a premium and the firepower that the Bushrangers have may be somewhat negated. If the Rebels can turn it into a shootout, expect them to win but if the Tigers defence stands up, then in true Bushrangers-Tigers fashion, either team can take the spoils.
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