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2019 NEAFL GRAND FINAL
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Brisbane Lions v Southport Sharks
Fankhauser Reserve, 1pm
After 21 rounds of home and away football, a year full of records broken and a thrilling finals series, we have reached the Grand Final for 2019.
The two best sides this season will battle it out for the title, with Southport chasing the elusive back-to-back crown after their success in 2018, and the Lions looking to cap off the most dominant of unbeaten seasons with a premiership cup the cherry on top.
The Lions took care of the Swans at South Pine Sports Complex last week in convincing fashion with a 50-point victory, while the Sharks disposed of Aspley for the second year running in their Preliminary Final at Fankhauser Reserve by 30 points.
Two teams in great form, two powerhouses of the competition, and one huge prize to win. Bring it on!
Round 18, 2019: Brisbane 26.16 (172) d Southport 7.5 (47) at
Round 14, 2018: Southport 7.18 (60) d Brisbane 8.1 (58) at Fankhauser Reserve
Round 12, 2017: Brisbane 27.13 (175) d Southport 4.1 (25) at Fankhauser Reserve
1. With Brisbane restricted to 16 AFL-listed players in the final it brings a new challenge for the Lions side, having averaged 20 listed players every week. They haven’t ever dipped below 18 this year, and have played 20 or more every week since Round 13. The six academy players who get their opportunity this week will no doubt relish the chance to play on the big stage, and we’ll get a real sense of the future of this club in Sunday’s final.
2. Southport have made their way into the big dance once again in 2019 after another successful campaign. With a healthy list, the Sharks have also had a consistent side on the park the last month with Southport comfortably accounting for Aspley last week. In the headlines of Brisbane’s remarkable campaign in 2019, the defending premiers have largely flown under the radar, and coach Stephen Daniel and his players wouldn’t want it any other way as they flip the coin once more and head in Sunday as the hunters, rather than the hunted.
3. Southport’s game is based on their solidarity in the backline headlined by Ryan Davis, co-captain Seb Tape and NEAFL Team of the Year member Brodie Murdoch. Brisbane plays a very up-tempo, attacking-based game which will be a great challenge for the often solid Southport backline. Last time these two sides met the Lions only led by two goals at the main break before breaking the Southport defensive barriers in a 17-goal second half. Davis finished best on ground in last year’s final and if the Sharks do get up, one would imagine he has played a very big role in that across half back.
The watch will be all over how the Lions Academy players go in this matchup after sporadic game time at NEAFL level this season. Keidean Coleman will prove even more valuable to the Lions this weekend as an academy member alongside the 16 AFL-listed players. Noah Cumberland and Will Martyn also come in for the Lions for the weekend too, and after some mid-season Allies experience, will prove vital to Brisbane’s pursuit for the crown.
STATS THAT MATTER
At the end of the home-and-away rounds, Brisbane and Southport was ranked first and third in the NEAFL for total contested possessions. But only one player – Sharks co-captain Andrew Boston – sat in the top 10 for total contested possessions by an individual player, demonstrating how even the spread is across these two clubs in this key statistic. It won’t be just one player who leads their side to victory on Sunday, rather a true team effort is needed to win the flag.
Brisbane to complete a flawless season. Lions by 20 points.
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