By Grace Knight
After a long season of hard work and determination, Bond’s men’s seniors have claimed their place in the finals of the QFA Division 2 South competition.
Cementing their position of third on the ladder, they will begin their pursuit for their second flag in four years.
The first round of finals will kick off this Saturday when the Bull Sharks take on their long running rivals the Coolangatta Tweed Blues.
In Bond's round 18 match against Carrara last weekend, a Saints player broke his tibia and fibula in the first quarter, which resulted in the match being abadoned and points being split.
The Bull Sharks are now hungry for a strong four quarter effort against the border town team.
The match will be at 2:00pm on Coolangatta’s home turf Eximm oval.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Coolangatta and the Bull Sharks faced-off two rounds ago at Bond University with the Sharkies scarcely managing a one-point win over the blues, 65-64.
There have been alternating wins from both teams all season long, with each side proving to be strong contenders for the flag.
Historically, the Blues dominate games at Eximm Oval, however with the Bull Sharks fresh legs and some returning players, it will prove to be a highly competitive game that could go either way.
Winning on Coolangatta’s home turf is never an easy feat, but the Bull Sharks will welcome back key players from injury.
Midfielder Harry Ireland will make his return after suffering concussion and a broken nose in a nasty head clash at training two weeks ago. Ireland's height and skill will serve the Bull Sharks well in view of Coolangatta’s general height advantage.
Midfield pocket rocket Jay Meaney will also make a comeback just in time for finals following three weeks off the field due to a rolled ankle.
WHERE IT WILL BE WON
Head coach John Chenhall said his players have a huge challenge on their hands this Saturday.
“They’re always a bit tougher to beat down there. It will take a strategic approach on our part if we want to take the win,” he said.
Chenhall is imploring his side to focus on taking away Coolangatta’s assets.
“We know they have some good players in their backline and they like to get a player loose behind the ball, so our guys will focus on taking that aspect away from them,” he said.
“We beat them last time so we know we’ve got it in us, it’s just important that we stick to our game plan and if the boys can do that, it will go a long way in getting the result.”
IF WE WIN/LOSE
At the conclusion of the regular season, Coolangatta is going into the finals placed second on the ladder, with the Bull Sharks trailing close behind in third spot.
The winners of this weekend will head into a play-off against minor premiers, the Carrara Saints in a battle for direct admission into the grand final.
The losers of this weekend’s match will face the winners of fourth placed Ballina Bombers or fifth placed Burleigh Bombers.
IN THE OTHER GRADES
The men’s reserves will be desperate for redemption as they take on Carrara for the second week in a row, following last weekend’s tight loss.
FINALS WEEK ONE MATCH DAY INFORMATION
Saturday August 20
Carrara v Bond University 11:45am Eximm Oval
Coolangatta Tweed v Bond University 2:00pm Eximm Oval