Roosters and Panthers in last-chance showdowns

Fine form: Trent Rollason crashes through the Roosters on a dominant run through the middle for the Panthers last week.
Fine form: Trent Rollason crashes through the Roosters on a dominant run through the middle for the Panthers last week.

The Bega Roosters will have potential to see two grades through to the grand final, while the Bulldogs can hope to feature three after Sunday’s preliminary final. 

Ironically, the two clubs each ended the others hopes in one grade with the Bega Chicks ejecting the Hot Doggies from contention, while the Bulldogs ended Bega’s first grade chances.

The Roosters have already laid claim to early entry in the reserve grade competition after a surprise upset of the minor premier Candelo-Bemboka Panthers in Cooma last Sunday. 

Meanwhile, the league-tag Bega Chicks will have the battle of the year as they look to take down the Moruya Sharkettes. 

The Sharkettes ran undefeated until a late-round loss to the Bombala High Heelers, falling to second place on for and against. 

After losing to the Heelers again on Sunday, the Sharkettes will look to close out Bega’s year and claim their place in the headline game. 

However, it was the Bega Chicks who nearly startled the competition front-runners earlier in the season, when the Bega contingent held the Moruya outfit to a 10-10 draw. 

The Chicks will still be without the services of Ali Ringland, but have Madison Parbery and Taelar Williams in fine form. 

Elyse Philipzen is also a crux player for the Chicks with her immense speed off the mark able to break through opposing lines. 

Fiona Holmes and Heidi Jessop are both in top form and showing some blinding pace and good stepping. 

This will be a hotly contested match as both sides are desperate to lock in the grand final spot.

 In the later reserve grade fixture the Candelo-Bemboka Panthers will be out for redemption and something in the way of vengeance after their shock loss to the Roosters. 

Captain-coach Jake McDonald has had stern words with his troops this week after an underwhelming performance in the qualifying final. 

Luckily, the Panthers were not hit by any severe injuries in the clash and should be fresh to meet the Bull Ants and reclaim their spot at the top of the reserve grade food-chain. 

The Panthers only dropped one game in the regular split, which was to the Roosters and most pundits would be backing the Panthers to meet the tri-colours again in the grand final. 

Trent Rollason was a standout during the last round and will lead the charge in the front lines with Haywood Fraser also boasting some strong hit ups in recent outings. 

The Panthers will look for their big men to lay the foundation in the middle, while Troy Harvey and Bevan Taylor will take charge of setting plays to keep the team in contention.

Preliminary finals are at Moruya’s Ack Weyman Oval with league-tag at 10am and reserves at 12.45pm.