The final round of the Group 16 season is upon us, with the top-five already set after last weekend’s results.
In spite of this, every game is still extremely important, with clubs fighting for the best possible position heading into what should be an extremely tight finals series.
Let’s have a look at where each club stands before the final round, and what they can hope to achieve this weekend.
Bega Roosters (20 points, +96 Points Differential)
Round 14: v Moruya at Ack Weyman Oval
The Bega Roosters have been the most consistent team to this point, and thoroughly deserve to be leading the competition going into the final round.
They’re not free of concerns however, as two of their three losses this season have come at the hands of the Bombala Blue Heelers. They also lost to the Batemans Bay Tigers in round one.
The Roosters can’t finish any lower than second, and can only be bumped from first place with a 13+ point loss.
A road win over the Sharks would cement these boys as premiership favourites heading into the finals series.
Predicted Finish: First
Moruya Sharks (18 points, +71 Points Differential)
Round 14: v Bega at Ack Weyman Oval
The Sharks will be ruing their two-point loss to the Tigers last weekend, as it’s left them in a fairly precarious position.
Moruya will need to win to finish in the top two, as a loss guarantees a drop to third place. If they do win, it comes down to the margin as to whether they finish first or second.
A win of 13 points or more will see them take out the minor premiership, but that seems unlikely against a strong Roosters side.
Predicted Finish: Third
Bombala Blue Heelers (17 points, +12 Points Differential)
Round 14: Bye
Another club that will be ruing their round-13 performance, a win last weekend over the Cooma Stallions would have seen the Blue Heelers in play for a minor premiership.
Nevertheless, the club still can’t finish any lower than third, and are in the enviable position of being the only club guaranteed to take home two points this weekend.
They’ll be following the scores of the Roosters/Sharks matchup with a keen eye, as they jump into second spot with a Sharks loss.
Predicted Finish: Second
Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs (15 points, +39 Points Differential)
Round 14: v Cooma at Pambula Beach Sporting Complex
The Bulldogs’ slow start took away any chance of a top-two finish rather early in the season, but they’re building into some nice form at the right time.
They’ve only lost once since round five this season (a heavy loss to the Bega Roosters), and have shown they can win both at home and on the road.
They’ll have to travel for week one of the finals series regardless of what happens this weekend, but a win over the Stallions will make sure they finish in fourth place.
Predicted Finish: Fourth
Batemans Bay Tigers (14 points, -36 Points Differential)
Round 14: v Narooma at Mackay Park
This may be controversial, but I truly believe the Tigers’ best football is better than any other team this season. They just haven’t done it consistently enough.
A worrying mid-season slump put them in danger of missing the finals entirely, but back-to-back wins over the Stallions and Sharks made sure they’d play finals after two years in the football wilderness.
A win could see them in fourth position depending on the result of the Bulldogs game against Cooma.
Predicted Finish: Fifth
Narooma Devils (10 points, -73 Points Differential)
Round 14: v Batemans Bay at Mackay Park
The Devils finals hopes were officially dashed last weekend in their loss to the Bulldogs, but there are still a lot of positives to take out of this season.
They beat the Sharks in Moruya, and played the Roosters tough in both matches this season.
While they’ve got nothing to play for, they’d love a win over Batemans Bay to finish the season on a good note.
Predicted Finish: Sixth
Cooma Stallions (10 points, -109 Points Differential)
Round 14: v Merimbula-Pambula at Pambula Beach Sporting Complex
Has there been a bigger fall from grace in recent memory? From undefeated premiers to potential wooden spooners, the Stallions are left to wonder what went so wrong this year.
Having said that, they had a good win over Bombala last weekend, and could avoid the spoon with another upset win this weekend.
Predicted Finish: Seventh