By CHARLIE GOODSIR
2018 Tribal Sport NEAFL Final Series
Elimination Final 1
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Sydney University (3rd) v Canberra Demons (6th) at BISP, 12pm
*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl) *Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App
This is it! For one team, their season will be over and the other will face the Sydney Swans for a spot in the 2018 NEAFL Grand Final. Sydney University and the Canberra Demons will come up against each other for the fifth time in 2018 in a knock-out final at Blacktown this week.
The Students have put together a very solid last month in which they defeated Redland, the Demons and the NT Thunder last week by 109 points. Due to that enormous win, the Students were able to jump up to third position over Aspley and are heading into the finals in good from.
Conversely, the Demons are coming into the 2018 finals series on the back of four straight losses which included a 103-point drubbing against minor premiers Southport. However, the Demons will know that their best footy can beat any of the teams that remain in the finals as they have demonstrated throughout season 2018.
*Full teams announced Friday morning.
Round 20, 2018. Sydney University 17.19 (121) def Canberra Demons 11.8 (74) at BISP Round 14, 2018. Canberra Demons 13.14 (92) def Sydney University 10.13 (73) at UNSW Canberra Oval Round 6, 2018. Sydney University 12.10 (82) def Canberra Demons 9.8 (62) at BISP
1. For the first time in their history, the Canberra Demons defeated Sydney Uni earlier in 2018. Canberra were victorious against the Students by 19 points in Round 14. It was a gritty win that will be one of the Demons’ highlights of 2018. Despite only defeating them once, Canberra will take confidence knowing have beaten the Students before.
2. After another strong season, the Students were well represented in the 2018 NEAFL Team of the Year with four players. Defenders Ryan Hebron and Adam Gulden were included with 2015 NEAFL MVP Tom Young and ‘Clearance King’ Craig Bird. These four players will be the key to whether Sydney Uni can not only win on Saturday but potentially go deep into finals.
3. After a stellar debut season, Canberra’s Mitch Maguire was rewarded with several accolades at the NEAFL Awards Ceremony. Maguire was included in the 2018 NEAFL Team of the Year, finished fourth in the NEAFL MVP voting with 80 votes and was the 2018 NEAFL Rising Star. Maguire has the ability to make the Preliminary Final in his debut season if he can lead his side to victory on Saturday.
Nathan Oakes is another young player from Canberra who has indicated that he has a future in the NEAFL. In last week’s loss to Aspley, Oakes collected eight touches and had four clearances, three inside 50s and two tackles. In his five games this year, Oakes has averaged a little over nine disposals a game, 3.2 tackles, 2.2 inside 50s, 1.4 clearances and has kicked two goals.
STATS THAT MATTER
Since the creation of the top six finals series in 2014, no side that has finished in sixth position at the end of the home and away season have won in the elimination final.