GNWFL preliminary final: Towns’ defence prepare to take on charging Rams

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Rams will be sweating on the fitness of Mikenna Schultz.
Camera IconRams will be sweating on the fitness of Mikenna Schultz. Credit: Snapaction

It’s do or die time now as the Towns prepare to face off against the Rams for a shot at the flag in this Saturday’s GNWFL preliminary final.

The Rams are coming off a demolition of Railways, built on the back of a five-goal haul from Selina Kiddle and defensive pressure that saw them give up only one goal in return.

Towns were well beaten by the Royals as they were held goalless across three quarters in a 46-point loss.

However, last time they played the Royals they didn’t score any points at all, so even putting up 21 points against them may be considered a success such has been the dominance of Chapman Valley this season.

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Rams are definitely the underdogs after not beating a top two side all year but their last encounter in round 14 was tight, with only a single point in it before the Bulldogs kicked away in the last quarter.

But if they are to get over the line on the weekend they may have to do it without one of their best stars after Mikenna Schultz suffered an ankle injury last weekend.

She has earned eight best player nominations from her 12 games this season and has been a key cog in their midfield, along with Asha Poletti.

For Towns, it may sound like a broken record at this point but Olivia Bidwell will be key, however Lani Paradella has emerged in recent weeks, along with Michaela Clarke providing quality support.

Outside of their thumpings of Rovers, the Bulldogs have not been a high-scoring team and relied on their defence, with an average score of just more than 28 points.

The Rams are averaging 47 points a game since round 9, excluding their own demolition of Rovers, so it will be an intriguing battle of opposing styles. If the Rams can break through the Bulldogs’ defence, they may lack the firepower to match them.

The final is set to start at 12.30pm at the Recreation Ground.

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