By CHARLIE GOODSIR
2018 Tribal Sport NEAFL Final Series
PRELIMINARY FINAL 2
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Sydney Swans v Canberra Demons at BISP, 11.30am *This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl) *Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App
The Canberra Demons pulled off the shock upset of the season when they defeated Sydney University last week in an Elimination Final, and in turn created history by becoming the first team to advance to the second week of the NEAFL finals from sixth position.
Their opponents, the Sydney Swans, are in their third Preliminary Final in as many years and a win on Saturday will see them make their third successive NEAFL Grand Final appearance.
As last week showed, anything can happen in finals and this fixture is sure to be another fantastic contest.
*Full teams announced Friday morning.
Round 19, 2018. Canberra Demons 8.7 (55) def by Sydney Swans 9.14 (68) at Phillip Oval Round 14, 2017. Canberra Demons 7.5 (47) def by Sydney Swans 20.18 (138) at UNSW Canberra Oval Round 7, 2017. Canberra Demons 6.8 (44) def by Sydney Swans 25.15 (165) at UNSW Canberra Oval
1. The Sydney Swans are currently undefeated in Preliminary Finals. On the three occasions the Swans have made the penultimate match of the season in 2014, 2016 and 2017, they have been victorious and gone on to the Grand Final. On the other side of the coin is a Demons side in a maiden finals appearance.
2. NEAFL Rising Star winner Mitch Maguire put on a masterclass in his first ever finals match last week. Maguire collected the most disposals on the ground last week with 45 touches, and was resolute in defence with 10 tackles and seven rebound 50s. The 20-year-old was also strong in the middle of the ground with five inside 50s and five clearances, and other match-winning performance against the Swans will further stake his claim for AFL Draft selection.
3. Despite being overwhelming underdogs last week; Canberra didn’t play like a team that had lost their last four matches. The Demons played in their first final and looked right at home. Canberra will once again go into this week’s match as underdogs, the Demons will once again go into this match with the ‘nothing-to-lose’ mentality as last week.
Swans coach Tadhg Kennelly has been very outspoken in his support for the Swans Academy players who have slotted into the team at various stages in the year nicely. Academy player Joey Reinhard has had a very strong year for such a young man. The defender has played 11 matches this season and has averaged 13 disposals at an efficiency of 67.1 per cent with five of those being contested. Reinhard also has the ability to go forward and has kicked two goals this season.
STATS THAT MATTER
Since 2014, the average winning margin in a preliminary final held at Blacktown is 73.8 points.
Canberra Demons by four points.