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GNFLW Finals Preview: Chapman Valley are the team to beat as Railways face elimination against Rams

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Railways' Jasmine Johansen runs away from the pack.
Camera IconRailways' Jasmine Johansen runs away from the pack. Credit: Justine Rowe Around the Traps/RegionalHUB

The GNWFL prepares for its final series as one team already looks to be streets ahead of the rest.

Chapman Valley will take on Towns in the second semifinal and though just separated by one spot on the ladder there looks to be a considerable gap between the two sides.

The Royals finished the season with only one loss and more than 300 per cent ahead of Towns below them.

Nothing expresses their dominance more than their average of scoring more than 56 points a game while conceding an average of below nine points a game.

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They shut out teams on five occasions and only gave up more than one goal four times in their 14 games.

In fact, more than 30 per cent of all points they’ve conceded this season came in one match against the Rams in round 13 which they still managed to win.

Tayah Palmer and Lucinda Rouse have kicked 29 and 26 goals, respectively, this season to finish one and two in the charts, seven clear of Ashleigh Jones from Towns in 19.

They have scored more points this season than the bottom three sides managed as teams and are expertly led by Taylah Broadhurst who is having an outstanding season.

The only thing they don’t have going for them is they are not playing at home but that will matter little for a side that looks unbeatable.

Towns were the one team that did mange to beat them this season in round nine when they held the Royals to just one goal.

Olivia Bidwell finished the season with a best player nomination in every game and is a talisman for their side.

As stated they have a goal kicker in Jones, with Samantha Biddiscombe also dangerous at times.

But they will have to play out of their skins to cause an upset especially after they were kept scoreless just two weeks ago.

It means they are likely to face the winner of the Railways Rams clash which is a harder clash to pick.

Railways finished in third a game clear of the Rams but their percentage is significantly worse sitting at below 100 despite having a 9-5 record.

That is mainly because of a stretch in which they scored just one point across three games against top four sides which included a 75-point drubbing at the hands of the Rams.

Thankfully for the Blues, they managed to find the goals again and win their last three matches although they were all against the bottom-three sides.

It is hard to get a read on how they will fare against the better teams and a lot may rest on Jasmine Johansen who was their leading goal kicker and only player inside the top 20 for best player nominations.

Rams seem to be the more well-balanced side. They pushed the Royals, losing by a single point which is no mean feat and Asha Poletti is timing her run magnificently, playing some of her best footy toward the back end of the season.

Mikenna Schultz has also been one of the best and Selina Kiddle has scored all of her goals in her last five games.

Their goal kickers perhaps haven’t been as prolific as other sides but they seem to have more options and would perhaps go in as favourites for this clash.

Royals will face Towns at 12.30pm at the Recreation Ground on Saturday and Railways will play Rams at Greenough on Sunday at 12.30pm.

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