IN three weeks it is finals time but for now, it’s the perfect opportunity for the elite teams to tune-up and get ready. Last week the Darwin Buffettes got a rude awakening from St Marys, this Saturday they will need to regain their composure against an in-form Pint. The battle of first vs last will follow as Nightcliff take on the reigning premiers Waratah.
Up next, the Palmerston Magpies will get a chance to flex their muscles against Tracy Village. With the Razorbacks’ current form, the Pies will head in heavy favourites. On Sunday morning it is do or die for St Marys when they meet an angry Southern Districts. The Crocs suffered their worst defeat of the year last Monday, so will be eager to bring order back to the side and crush St Marys’ finals hopes in their upcoming match.
DARWIN BUFFETTES V PINT
Saturday February 2, 11:00am
If Pint secure this win they are a guarantee for finals regardless of other outcomes. Queen Ants, Cassi Henderson, Samantha Barnett, and Katie Streader should be well rested from the bye in round 15, while the once dominant midfield of Darwin has looked in trouble in recent weeks. Kylie Duggan and Machaelia Roberts seem to be shouldering most of the load while other stars are either injured or down on form. Dominique Carbone will need to step up in order to fill the void and strengthen their resolve. Up forward, Celina Whan has become the spearhead for the Buffs as she continues to perform despite the losses. Whan may prove the difference this week as Darwin need to escape their current rut.
WARATAH V NIGHTCLIFF
Saturday February 2, 12:30pm
With only a few games left Nightcliff will have pride on the line. This match could not be any more one-sided, with the likes of Warratah stars, Amy Chittick, Lisa Miceli, Lisa Roberts, Madeline Gault, Lauren O’Shea taking the field. There have been glimpses of skill when Nightcliff were supported by Adelaide Crows draftees, but have struggled to have a consistent star from their main line-up. This match will be streamed live on YouTube, so hopefully the broadcast will spark the Tigers into action as they head towards the end of the season.
PALMERSTON MAGPIES V TRACY VILLAGE
Saturday February 2, 2:00pm
The Palmerston Magpies have beaten the odds this season, with ladder leaders Southern Districts, Waratah, Darwin Buffettes and Pint all falling to the mighty Magpies. Pies stars Jessica Stassi, Tabitha May, and Natasha Medbury sent a statement to the rest of the competition when they broke the Crocs back on Australia Day. Shenaida Bush and Freda Puruntatemeri have also formed a dangerous combination in Palmerston’s forward line. This will be hard for Tracy to combat as the Razorbacks have struggled of late. Kristi Irvine is impressing, but the high injury list is taking its toll.
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V ST MARYS
Sunday February 3, 10:00am
The Crocs were disappointing with their last performance. The late byes and Tracy Village forfeit has clearly caught up to the Crocodiles and affected their form. The Crocs only managed one goal last week – Tahlia Holtze – while forwards Charles Deegan and Tayla Thorn failed to kick through the big sticks. Crocs leader, Lateesha Jeffrey will want to see a colossal effort against St Marys. However, the Saints will be no pushovers with Alana Coombes always dangerous up forward and Laelia Dunn a star against the Buffettes. The Saints are fighting for their season on Sunday – if the Saints lose there is no tomorrow, but if Pint defeats Darwin then St Marys is out of the finals race regardless.