Road to the Finals – 2022 season
The 2022 AFL CW Home and Away season is drawing to a close, and ladder positions are up for gabs in all grades. With hosting rights determined by ladder position, there are some key matchups still to come.
A home final could easily be the difference between making the grand final, or having a team’s season end prematurely. With two-three rounds to go, we look at the games where everything is to play for.
Tier 1 Men’s:
Dubbo Demons vs Bathurst Giants – South Dubbo Oval (Saturday August 6, 2:15pm)
Previous matchups – Round 1: Dubbo by 2 points (away), Round 5: Dubbo by 107 points (home), Round 7: Giants by 1 point (away), Round 10: Giants by 72 points (home)
Current ladder positions – Dubbo 2nd (12p, 5w, 7l, 93.24%) Giants 3rd (12p, 5w, 7l, 88.35%)
Having won two matches apiece, the final H&A meeting will be a crucial one. Separated on the Tier 1 table by only 5%, whichever team wins this is in the box seat to finish second.
Crucially, second place hosts the senior Preliminary Finals that is all but certain to be played between the two sides. This gives that team a huge advantage of progressing to the main event a week later.
The Giants will be buoyed by their big win over the Tigers last week, and whilst the Demons threatened the unbeaten Bushrangers, they ultimately fell short.
Dubbo Demons vs Bathurst Giants – South Dubbo Oval (Saturday August 6, 12:30pm)
Previous matchups – Round 1: Giants by 15 points (home), Round 5: Dubbo by 5 points (home), Round 7: Giants by 14 points (away), Round 10: Dubbo by 33 points (away)
Current ladder positions – Giants 1st (12p, 10w, 2l, 432.84%), Dubbo 2nd (12p, 10w, 2l, 310.45%)
Like their Tier 1 clubmates, this weekend’s matchup is a huge encounter for the two sides. Both sides separated by only percentage, making this game crucial for determining ladder position. Unlike the Tier 1 game, the stakes for this clash are a week off and automatic qualification through to the Grand Final in Bathurst.
If dealing with hypotheticals, a Dubbo Tier 1 loss coupled with a Dubbo Women’s loss, could lead to the Women’s side travelling to Bathurst in Round 15, and both weeks of senior Finals, a horror run home for the competition’s western-most side.
With all of this at stake, the Dees will be putting everything they have into knocking off the competition’s premier women’s side of the past four seasons. The Giants have proven they can get it done on the road this season, and a win this week will go a long way to securing the club’s 3rd women’s premiership.
Tier 2 Men’s:
Cowra Blues vs Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels – Mulyan Oval (Saturday August 6, 11am)
Previous Matchups – Round 6: Rebels by 7 points (home)
Current ladder positions – Cowra 2nd (11p, 8w, 3l, 278.92%), Rebels 3rd (10p, 8w, 3l, 177.32%)
In their only matchup, the Rebels upset the fancied Blues side missing key forward Nathan Worth. “Worthy” is back this time around, and is in form, having booted 29 majors in the past four weeks.
The Blues have been held to fewer than 10-goals three times in 2022, having lost all three. Their Round 6 encounter to the Rebels was one of these matches, a side who have only conceded 10-goals once (vs Parkes Round 9). A low scoring contest plays into the Rebels hands, so expect a heavily contested match with goals at a premium.
With the bye next week, and then finals all away, this is the last chance for Blues fans to support their local side in 2022, so get to Mulyan Oval and cheer them on.
The reward for the winner is the double chance and a date with the unbeaten Parkes Panthers in the Qualifying Final, whilst the loser will play Dubbo Demons in an Elimination Final.
Bathurst Giants vs Dubbo Junior AFL – Sunday August 14 (George Park 1, 9:30am)
Previous matchups – Round 1: Washout, Round 6: Giants by 36 points (away), Round 10: Dubbo by 7 points (home)
Current ladder position – Giants 2nd (9p, 5w, 4l, 88.19%), Dubbo 3rd (9p, 4w, 5l, 67.94%)
With this weekend seeing the Giants taking on the top-placed Orange Tigers, and Dubbo hosting the one-win Bushrangers, it is likely that the final round matchup will be a battle for second place.
The teams are one-apiece, with both games having been played in Dubbo, with the edge given to the Giants having been the only side to defeat Orange this season. The result won’t change the fact that the two sides will square off again seven days later, nor will it have an impact on that game’s location. It will however, give the winning side plenty of confidence having won the season series.
Orange Tigers vs Bathurst Giants – Sunday August 7 (Waratah Sports Ground, 11am)
Previous matchups – Round 2: Tigers by 1 point (away), Round 4: Giants by 5 points (away), Round 8: Giants by 1 point (home)
Current ladder position – Orange 1st (10p, 8w, 2l, 232.86%), Giants 2nd (9p, 7w, 2l, 174.68%)
Is there any better contest than this across the competition for a potential Grand Final matchup? Across three matches, the combined margin is just seven points, following two 1-point thrillers. The Giants gave up top spot last weekend with defeat to Dubbo, but can win it straight back on Match Ratio by defeating the Tigers this Sunday.
Both teams are stacked with talent. Orange having Cayden Metzeling (23 goals), Nicholas Chopping, Bailey Stewart, and Travis Wright (9 goals) all towards the top of the leaderboard whilst the Giants boast improving stars Jack Mackie, Riley Goodsell, Callum Munns and a supporting cast of elite Under-12s backing up each week.
The winner gets the first week of finals off, the loser plays Dubbo for a chance to do it all again on the last Sunday of August.
Every single game – Orange vs Giants (Waratah’s) & Dubbo vs Bushrangers (SDO) – Sunday August 7, 12:30pm; Giants vs Dubbo (George Park 1) & Orange vs Bushrangers (Waratah’s) – Sunday August 14, 12:30pm
Current ladder position – Orange 1st (10p, 7w, 3l, 160.36%), Giants 2nd (9p, 6w, 3l, 184.18%), Bushrangers 3rd (10p, 6w, 4l, 180.90%)
With two rounds remaining, you could toss a three-sided coin to determine the Youth Girls ladder, but more importantly, the finals hosting rights.
We are here to help though, and have broken it all down to determine first place:
- Beat Giants and Bushrangers – finish first
- Lose to Giants – finish first by beating Bushrangers IF Dubbo beat Giants
- Lose to Bushrangers – finish first by beating Giants IF Dubbo beat Bushrangers
- Beat Tigers and Dubbo – finish first on Match Ratio
- Beat Tigers, lose to Dubbo – finish first IF Bushrangers beat Orange BUT lose to Dubbo
- Beat Dubbo and Orange – finish first IF Giants beat Orange, AND Dubbo beat Giants
- Beat Dubbo and Orange – finish first if Orange beat Giants
Confused? So are we. Anyway, the Bushrangers have won their past three games, having beaten both the Giants and Orange in this period. The Giants were clinical on the road last weekend against Dubbo, and have already beaten Orange twice this season. Orange are yet to lose at home this year, and have both remaining matches at Waratah’s.
All we know, is that the next fortnight of Youth Girls footy is going to be exciting, so turn up and cheer on your club.
Dubbo Junior AFL vs Bathurst Bushrangers – Sunday August 7 (South Dubbo Oval, 2pm)
Previous matchups – Round 2: Bushrangers by 26 points (home), Round 5: Dubbo by 20 points (home), Round 8: Bushrangers by 24 (home)
Current ladder positions – Dubbo 3rd (9p, 3w, 6l, 64.84%, 33.33MR), Bushrangers 4th (10p, 3w, 7l, 67.79%, 30.00MR)
Separated by match ratio, a win to either side could secure the 3rd and final spot in the Under-17s finals. This weekend’s match became even more interesting after Dubbo accounted for the top-of-the-table Giants on Sunday.
Dubbo have beaten each of the competition’s teams, whilst the Bushrangers have beaten Orange once and Dubbo twice. Neither side have won away from home this season, which would lean towards Dubbo going in as favourites. A Dubbo win guarantees the club their first Under-17s finals appearance, an impressive effort considering their winless 2021 campaign.