An 80-point loss at Southport was hardly the pre-finals outing Tom Morrison’s Students were hoping for, but the Sydney University coach is confident they can put their best foot forward in a crunch Elimination Final against Sydney this week.
The Student were outplayed by the defending premier in the last minor round. However, following a mammoth list turnover in 2019’s pre-season, Morrison is optimistic for the finals to come.
“We’ve probably overachieved given the age-profile of our list and the turnover we had last year,” he told neafl.com.au post-game at Southport.
“We’ve had 16 debutants (this year) which we’re really happy about. At the same time, we expect to win games of footy.
“Age isn’t an excuse. A lot of their best players out there (against Southport) were young players. We just need to play better in big games.”
Sydney Uni had every right to be confident ahead of their clash with the Sharks, following a stellar undefeated run over the six games prior, but struggled to match Southport’s intensity.
“Southport was really good. We didn’t rock up and compete the way we said we were going to which was disappointing,” Morrison said.
“We’ve had a really good eight or nine weeks. Things unravelled pretty quickly (on Saturday), a lot of guys probably had their worst game of the season which was unfortunate, but we’ll learn from it and bounce back next week.”
Uni will take on the Swans at Blacktown in a do-or-die clash in the first week of finals, where star Student Jake Bartholomaeus will play his first match as a NEAFL MVP.
Morrison hopes his young cohort will treat the match the same as any other.
“We’ll try and keep the prep as normal as it is every other game,” he said.
“We’ll obviously put a fair bit of time into (our opposition). The intensity of the game will naturally go up, but we’ll keep our preparation as normal as any other week.”
Sydney Uni will meet Sydney at 11:30am on Saturday, whilst the GIANTS will head to Voxson Oval to tackle Aspley at midday.
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