2021 Finals

Discussion in 'ORFFU' started by insider, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. insider

    insider Administrator Staff Member

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    Congratulations to a formidable Barracuda team

    @YAD69 select your week 1 finals opposition when you wish good Sir
     
  2. YAD69

    YAD69 Moderator Staff Member

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    The Barracuda's select the Hughenden Prairie Dogs @Batfink

    You're up @insider
     
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  3. Batfink

    Batfink Well-Known Member

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    After much thought I’ve declined the Baracudas offer and request he reconsiders.
    @YAD69
     
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  4. insider

    insider Administrator Staff Member

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    I’ve gotta go the Buff. Fearsome side to come up against, especially as I picked a Barracuda v Buffalo grand final, but if there’s any hope of stopping @wrightbrendan and his marauding Bomber quartet, surely it’s against the point-hungry doggies
    Best of luck to my African friends from Serengeti.
     
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  5. Mick

    Mick Well-Known Member

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    Who's it going to be?...
    @bryzza
    Choose your own adventure!
     
  6. bryzza

    bryzza Well-Known Member

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    This is a tough decision, nothing is guaranteed but on current form I choose cross town rivals Sandgropers @eagle_eyed
     
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  7. bryzza

    bryzza Well-Known Member

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  8. Mick

    Mick Well-Known Member

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  9. martyg

    martyg Well-Known Member

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    Good luck all in the finals!
     
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  10. JPK

    JPK Moderator Staff Member

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    Good work everyone, and good luck to all.
    I'll update the fixtures shortly
     
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  11. eagle_eyed

    eagle_eyed Training the house down!

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    For the last time this season,...Your Southern Cross Sandgropers for the 3rd Elimination Final against @bryzza ‘s Nuytsland Vikings:

    DEF: R.Laird, I.Cumming, J.Rotham, K.Briggs
    MID: D.Mundy, J.Selwood, D.Prestia, D.Smith
    RUC: B.Grundy
    FWD: K.Lambert, D.Cameron, J.Darling, T.Phillips
    INT: M.Bergman, T.Berry

    Getting the W without Dusty, Fyfe, Neale & Docherty is improbable, if Tom Berry doesn’t make the cut, it will be impossible.

    Plenty was invested at the trade table, to take the next step this season, unfortunately it is not to be. A potential 5th place finish, whilst an improvement on last year, is still disappointing.

    We’ll leave no stone unturned in our quest for success, as we regroup, assess the game plan, and take our fitness to new levels, over the coming pre-season, to come back bigger, smarter & stronger in 22.

    .Go Sandgropers!!!
     
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  12. JPK

    JPK Moderator Staff Member

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    Fixtures uploaded
     
  13. wrightbrendan

    wrightbrendan Well-Known Member

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    Time to get excited about these finals matchups! Here's the first of our 4 previews for the upcoming battles.. @YAD69 @Batfink

    Groote v Hughenden
    Summary
    In the first of the finals chosen we get a matchup of true David v Goliath proportions. Groote have dominated all year as they look to go one better than their GF loss in 2020 while Hughenden scraped into the top 8 with an impressive final round victory over the top 4 Sandgropers. Even though they may have just snuck into the finals, the Praire Dogs have had an impressive season on the back of some young talent that looks to have set them up for some sustained success.

    Lineups
    The Barracudas have copped an injury where they could probably least afford it with Bachar Houli out of ther defensive set up for the remainder of the season. That has been coupled this week with the news that Ryder will definitely be missing from the ruck department this week and potentially the whole finals series putting more than a desirable amount of pressure on Rhys Stanley to hold his own. As much as the Barracuda boys may be sweating they've got nothing on the P-Dogs who have looked on in disgust as their forward line started dropping like flies. They've recently re-integrated stars like Mills & Shiel back into the lineup but against the might of the Barracudas it looks like injuries to Langford, Breust & Cox as well as Sinclair proving out of favour, will cost them a chance to really put some pressure on.

    3 Keys

    1. Rhys Stanley - It may not matter this week but with doubt surrounding Ryder, the Barracudas will be hoping that Stanley can maintain enough form to warrant a spot in the side if they are to make a serious run at making a deep run in 2021. A matchup against a weakened P-Dog big man department provides him a golden opportunity to get things rolling
    2. Forward lines - The Barracudas have traded well to put together a stacked front half but with big man Hawkins always susceptible to a low score and Aaron Hall only ever a slight scratch away from returning to the inconsistencies we have all come to know and hate, coach yad will always be a little nervous. Its the Hughenden forward line that is the real concern though. With injuries cruelling the setup it will be up to the likes of Membrey & Tippa to rediscover their best form if they are to give their team any chance.
    3. Youngsters in finals - Both teams will be relying on some youngsters to play key roles in their pursuit of victory. Gulden has been a revelation for the Barracudas in season 2021 while Robertson and Stocker have also played some impressive hands at different times. For Hughenden, their backline has emerged as one of the competitions best on the back of a breakout year from Callum Mills but equally impressive have been the performances of defenders younger still like Ash, IQ & D B-J. Both teams will need the form of these young guns to stand up to the pressure of finals intensity if they want to find success.

    Prediction
    Even at full strength it is hard to see the P-Dogs taking down the might of the Barracuda, at least for this season, but with the key pieces they'll be missing this looks to be one that the boys from Groote Eyelandt should be able to take out. With their own form and injury worries to fret over it won't be a walkover but a comfortable victory is still on the cards. Season 2021 has been impressive for Huighenden and although it may come to a close at the first finals hurdle, promising things are in store for seasons to come
    Final score prediction - Groote 1345 defeat Hughenden 1295
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
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  14. wrightbrendan

    wrightbrendan Well-Known Member

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    Now for the one closest to our heart!
    @insider

    Ararat v Serengeti

    Summary
    In perhaps the most surprising of the finals selections (although two top 4 teams being matched up is potentially an ORRFU first?) the second top scoring Armadillos are up against the 3rd ranked Buffaloes in an early heavyweight contest. On the back of the People's Beard and an impenetrable defense the Armadillos out of Ararat have overcome injury concerns all year to produce another stunning season while Serengeti have continued their improved performance in 2020 to put in their own impressive season. This will be a matchup worthy of finals billing and is sure to go down to the wire.

    Lineups
    As impressive as the Armadillo backline has been in season 2021, it has just started to show the slightest signs of wobble. Led by Rich, Stewart & a fit again Ryan, the team is begging for a 4th teammate to come and join the party. Jack Bowes looked like he would answer the call only to fall away at the wrong time of year, leaving the burden of responsibility on either youngster Highmore or club favourite Luke McDonald. The Armadillos aren't without concern at the other end of the field either with Tom McDonald under an injury cloud and the less said about mid-season recruit Walker who finds himself unavailable, the better. Fortunately there is the potential return of star, Adam Treloar, that may offset some of these loses but important choices will need to be made between Highmore and McDonald and the likes of Snelling, Rozee, Higgins & Blakey. After injuries had derailed the start of the season, the Buffaloes had almost timed their run perfectly only to lose Heppell in the lead up to the finals matchup and being unable to get Jeremy Cameron onto the park in time. That leaves important decisions to be made on who fills the last spot in the forward line as well as the often match defining in these finals, final spot on the interchange. A hamstring injury to mid-season recruit Switkowski probably leaves Sam Powell-Pepper as the last man standing for the forward line while the final interchange spot will be a more difficult choice between the up and down depth defenders.

    3 Keys
    1. The rucks - Sam Draper may be one of the most promising ruckman of the future but that matters very little for season 2021. If Draper can get somewhere near Max Gawn and show more of the form of the final H&A game rather than the previous month, the Buffaloes may be in with a fighting chance. If however, Gawn dominates abd puts Draper to the sword, the Armadillos may have one foot into week 2 of finals 2021.
    2. Selection choices - As mentioned in the lineups discussion, both coaches are going to need to make key selection calls for this matchup. Picking the right replacements for best XV players that are missing may prove to be the difference between a path to premiership glory or being bundled out before their run even begins.
    3. Stars v Stars - At the other end of the equation, this matchup sees some of the best players in the competition running out against each other. With the likes of Gawn, Rich, Stewart & Brayshaw for Ararat and Merrett, Parish, Dangerfield & Kelly for Serengeti all putting up monster scores at different stages of the season, this one may end up coming down to which stars can produce their best when their teams need them the most.

    Prediction
    In initial testing this prediction came out as a dead-set draw. Will McDonald get up? Does Thomas' inclusion improve the Serengeti forward line enough? How does Treloar perform after such a long layoff? Can the red & black flavour of the Buffaloes perform against a tough, tough opposition? So many intriguing questions in this contest that is leading to a bigger prediction that the winner of this contest will go on to taste premiership glory in season 2021. Who will that be come the end of this matchup? Despite the clear bias of the writer, it's hard to go past the consistency of performance that Ararat are able to produce year in and year out.
    Final score prediction - Ararat 1355 defeat Serengeti 1350
     
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  15. wrightbrendan

    wrightbrendan Well-Known Member

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    The top 4 battle!
    @bryzza @eagle_eyed

    Nuytsland v Southern Cross
    Summary
    In a brutal conclusion to season 2021 for one of these teams, a top 4 finish is going to result in a first week finals exit. Should this be something @JPK looks at in the off-season? Does it provide enough reward for a season long, hard-earned result? Those are questions for another day. All that matters this day is a matchup between two teams that have had similar seasons dealing with long term injuries to key players and finding enough depth to still perform extremely strongly. Both clubs boast impressive star power as well as the scurge of still having to deal with key players missing.

    Lineups
    As has already been alluded to, both these teams have had their unfair share of luck when it comes to the injury front this year and unfortunately for both coaches that hasn't stopped just because finals are on the doorstep. For the Vikings, Jack Viney did his worst Lance Franklin interpretation and managed to take it even further and earn himself a holiday while Cunnington, Shuey and Duncan all still remain on the sidelines from a decimated midfield. They'll be desperately hoping that Isaac Heeney's thumb doesn't cause him to be a late out or they may just be struggling to field a full team. In an ordinary matchup, those missing pieces would prove an insurmountable obstacle, let alone a final, but then we move across and look at the Sandgropers. I'm not sure what they did at the start of this year but after trading themselves into an impressively strong squad for season 2021 they have copped injury after injury and have barely made it to the finish line. With Nat Fyfe having to be put on ice for the remainder of the year, joining stars like Neale, Docherty & Martin, the equation quickly evens up and depth on both sides is going to be tested.

    3 Keys
    1. Depth - With the amount of injuries both coaches are dealing with, the depth of these two squads is going to be severley tested. Southern Cross have the advantage of their missing pieces a little more spread across the field while the Vikings sore point is focussed almost primarily in their midfield. Where they have the advantage is the Sandgropers having to cover injuries to arguably more important players. How each team is able to fill in those gaps and find players to perform where needed is going to be critical.
    2. Top end talent - The Sandgropers are missing almost their best player from each line after Grundy, and are going to be extremely reliant on him and Laird playing out of their skin and producing astronomical performances to come up trumps. If on the other hand, Mitchell & Petracca are able to negate those two, the Vikings may have enough in reserve to grab the win.
    3. Inconsistent consistencies - From the likes of Greene, Stephenson, Taylor & Powell to .Darling, Cameron & Rotham, both teams have players capable of going from the proverbial chocolates to boiled lollies in the blink of an eye. With so many key players missing, who can get the sweeter version of performance out of the most of their group that falls into this category could come out on top.

    Prediction
    As the summary suggests this is going to be an extremely tough way for season 2021 to end for either team. With less longer term injuries the Vikings probably have a better chance at making a run past this week if they were to get passed the Sandgropers but so many injuries to their mids is going to make it tough. Fortunately for them they recruited heavily in that area and should have enough in reserve to cover against the unluckiest of grouped season ending injuries this comp has potentially seen that Southern Cross are faced with.
    Final score prediction - Nuytsland 1290 defeat Southern Cross 1250
     
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  16. wrightbrendan

    wrightbrendan Well-Known Member

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    Last but not least
    @Mick @choppers

    Korumburra v Banchang
    Summary
    In a matchup neither coach would have predicted, both will be content in facing the other as one will have the chance to turn a bottom half of the 8 season finish into at least a preliminary final appearance. Banchang & Korumburra have both shown signs of life at different stages of the season with the Barcrawlers starting the year strong against the Blowflys periodic displays of their top-end scoring power. As with pretty much all the finals aspirants, injuries to key players will need to be covered and another close encounter is on the cards.

    Lineups
    Some key inclusions for both camps sees the return of Robbie Gray for Banchang and Nick Vlastuin slot back into the defensive lineup for the Blowflys. This was especially timely for Korumburra with Dougal Howard joining Balta and Corr on the injury list of Blowfly defenders leaving a threadbare cupboard to choose from. The Barcrawlers have got their own worries they'll need to cover with Hugh Greenwood down for the season and Oleg Markov unable to get his hamstring right to make an appearance in his first final.

    3 Keys
    1. Late changes - Perennially injured players combined with some returning from long term lay offs has us predicting that there may be the odd late change that will need to be covered if a match winning score is to be posted. Will Sam Reid's body hold together long enough to get him through another sore spot? Will Buddy take the rest he should have been forced to take last week? Do Gray and Vlastuin actually get up to play after such a long time out or are their coaches just trying to out fox the other?
    2. Old v Young in the mids - The Blowflys strength is their star veterans in the middle. Will the likes of Boak, Kennedy, Sloane & Goldsteing be able to produce after yet another regular season of hard knocks? Steele & Menegola are around to spur them on but will it be enough? If the younger Barcrawler mids have stayed off the drink enough this week to outperform their older opposition, they may have enough talent in the other parts of the ground to get the victory
    3. The Blowfly defense - Korumburra will be doing everything humanly possible to make sure that Nick Vlastuin gets on the park this week and Jeremy Howe continues his comback. The return to form of Caleb Daniel has revelaed a pulse for Korumburra in season 2021 but if they can't keep these other two on the park and are forced into drastic action to try and cover the gaps they may not be able to make up the difference they create.

    Prediction At the risk of being too boring with selections, we're sticking with the higher ranked team in this one as well. There is bound to be at least one upset and there's no reason why this couldn't be the one, especially if those late changes fall on the Korumburra side of the coin. But all things being equal, the seasoned scoring of the Blowfly veterans should be enough to overcome a Barcrawlers outfit who at this stage of their development need their absolute best XV on the field if they are to compete at the pointy end.
    Final score prediction - Korumburra 1255 defeat Banchang 1215
     
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  17. wrightbrendan

    wrightbrendan Well-Known Member

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    There we have it.
    Agree or disagree? Who's the most likely to cause an upset?

    Best of luck to all the coaches involved!
     
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  18. Batfink

    Batfink Well-Known Member

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    Hughenden is decimated with injury, limping into the finals with a makeshift forward line, the cost of victory in the last minor round game. The unusual shape of the Groote Island ground may be to our advantage as we take on the formidable Barracudas who have been on fire running into the finals:-

    Def: Mills, DBJ, IQ, Ash (Morrison)
    Mid: Oliver, Seedsman, Yeo, Ward (Jordon)
    Ruc: Ratugolea (Logue oop)
    Fwd: Membrey, AMT, Thilthorpe Shiels oop (Sheppard oop)

    Int: Shiel, Mayne

    @YAD69
     
  19. wrightbrendan

    wrightbrendan Well-Known Member

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    Here we go @insider
    The squad running out for the Buffaloes to launch our season 2021 finals campaign

    D:
    Jordan Ridley, Steven May, Adam Saad, Trent McKenzie (Ballard)
    M: Darcy Parish, Zac Merrett, Bailey Smith, Dom Sheed (Byrnes)
    R: Sam Draper
    F: Patrick Dangerfield, Tarryn Thomas, Joe Daniher, Sam Powell-Pepper (Henry)
    I: Ryan Burton, Harry Cunningham (Coffield)

    IN: Thomas, Burton, Cunningham
    OUT: Kelly, Heppell, Henry

    Josh Kelly. Ouch.
     
  20. ddsaints

    ddsaints Well-Known Member

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    Good luck to all involved
     
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