Leading into the Round 16 split round we are taking a look at the run home for the Senior football competition and where the contenders sit coming into September and home their finals three matches look in the lead in to the 2022 finals series.
It is familiar territory for Leongatha sitting top of the table and are the premiership favorites. The Parrots continue to amaze Gippsland League pundits with their consistency and depth. They have rarely had their best 2022 on the field so far this year and have still managed to go through undefeated. They have been challenged a few times but have managed to keep their streak going. They have a good mix of youth and experience with the likes of Tom Marriott, Cade Maskell, Aaron Hillberg and Aaron Heppell leading the way while Jack Hume, Kim Drew & Ned Hanily are among the younger talent that are standing up when required. The run home looks friendly with Maffra at home and the injury ravaged Lions away. The last question remaining for 2022 is can they get it done in September?
R16: Maffra (5th place) – Last meeting: Leongatha 13.11-89 def Maffra 9.15-69
R17: Moe (7th place) – Last meeting: Leongatha 21.12-138 def Moe 6.8-44
R18: Drouin (10th place) – Last meeting: Leongatha 23.20-158 def Drouin 0.5-5
Predicted Finish: 1st – 18-0
The Magpies are sitting second on the table but still have a few key games on the run home. Their five losses this year have come to the fellow top four sides which they have failed to register a win against. They have arguably the best top end talent in the League and will need to rely on their stars for a serious finals run. Shannen Lange has backed up his Trood Award and Rodda medal season with an outstanding showing. He would be a big favorite to go back to back based on his form so far. Jack Leslie looks capable of dominating a final and his usage in the ruck has been suiting the Magpies game. A huge match against Traralgon in round 17 could be the decider for the double chance. They will go in favorites in all three matches and could go 3-0 but could also very easily drop a few games and end up in the Elimination Final. Even if they win all three, Wonthaggi Power has matches against Bairnsdale and Moe at home which could see the percentage gap eroded if both side win all three on the run in.
R16: Warragul (8th place) – Last meeting: Sale 16.18-114 def Warragul 7.11-53
R17: Traralgon (4th place) – Last meeting: Sale 12.6-78 def by Traralgon 14.14-98
R18: Morwell (6th place) – Last meeting: Sale 17.16-118 def Morwell 6.7-43
Predicted Finish: 3rd place 13-5
The Power sit in thirds but equal with Sale on 40 points. They are only 4% behind which in the current form of the competition is nothing. Two draws and a 1 point win over Sale have been vital to their finish. Snatched two points late against Warragul and the Sale result have kept them in the top three. Their four losses have come at the hands of the Parrots, Maroons and Tigers. They are right in the mix and with their run home they should be favored to keep a top three position and the double chance. Goal kicking accuracy has been an issue in some matches this year and will need to take their chances over the next 7 weeks. Jack Hutchinson and Ryan Sparkes have been great inclusions this season and added something to their midfield and forward line. The Round 16 match at Morwell is vital as a win there should see them secure a top 3 finish and a double chance.
R16: Morwell (6th place) – Last meeting: Wonthaggi Power 9.12-66 def by Morwell 10.7-67
R17: Bairnsdale (9th place) – Last meeting: Wonthaggi Power 14.20-104 def Bairnsdale 7.7-49
R18: Moe (7th place) – Last meeting: Wonthaggi Power 12.3-75 def Moe 4.7-31
Predicted Finish: 2nd – 12-2-4
Traralgon have sat in the top two teams for a large part of the year and remain a key player in the premiership race. Have the best record against the undefeated Parrots with two narrow losses in games they could have won. The Maroons have beaten both Wonthaggi Power and Sale but dropped matches to Moe and Warragul which have places them in half a game behind in fourth. They should beat Bairnsdale at home in Round 16 and then it will come down to Sale and Maffra in the last two weeks to decide their fate. It’s been rare for a team to come from the Elimination Final in the senior grade to make the Grand Final so they will be pushing hard to pick up at least two of the last three to snatch a spot in the top 3.
R16: Bairnsdale (9th place) – Last meeting: Traralgon 18.10-118 def Bairnsdale 6.11-47
R17: Sale (2nd place) – Last meeting: Traralgon 14.14-98 def Sale 12.6-78
R18: Maffra (5th place) – Last meeting: Traralgon 12.8-80 def Maffra 9.8-62
Predicted Finish: 4th 11-1-6
Maffra showed their championship DNA, as has been one of the most overused terms floating around the AFL in 2022, last weekend with a come from behind win over Morwell. The Eagles occupy fifth place and will be clawing to hold on. They sit level on points with Morwell but their big percentage gap essentially gives them a game head start. It looks likely to come down to the final match against Traralgon. Morwell have Sale at home in Round 18 so it looks like the final place will be decided come 5:30pm on the 20th of August.
R16: Leongatha (1st place) – Last meeting: Maffra 9.15-69 def by Leongatha 13.11-89
R17: Warragul (8th place) – Last meeting: Maffra 17.8-110 def Warragul 9.13-67
R18: Traralgon (4th place) – Last meeting: Maffra 9.8-62 def by Traralgon 12.8-80
Predicted Finish: 5th – 9-9
The Tigers have the hardest run home with two games against top 3 sides. They need to pick up one more match than Maffra to get in. Both sides have Drouin and Warragul respectively in Round 17 which on current form they would be penciling in. They have the ability to win both round 16 and 18 however will go in as under dogs. An amazing year from the team that lost a number of key experienced players in the off season. They have beaten Wonthaggi Power already in 2022 and if they can snatch the win in Round 16 it could turn the entire trajectory for the final five.
R16: Wonthaggi Power (3rd place) – Last meeting: Morwell 10.7-67 def Wonthaggi Power 9.12-66
R17: Drouin (10th place) – Last meeting: Morwell 16.17-113 def Drouin 8.8-56
R18: Sale (2nd place) – Last meeting: Morwell 6.7-43 def by Sale 17.16-118
Predicted Finish: 6th -9-9
Mathematically still a chance however have won just the solitary match since Round 7. Decimated by injuries through the middle part of the season. A victory over Drouin could have them level points with fifth but Leongatha and Wonthaggi await after that.
R16: Drouin (10th place) – Last meeting: Moe 12.11-83 def Drouin 11.7-73
R17: Leongatha (1st place) – Last meeting: Leongatha 21.12-138 def Moe 6.8-44
R18: Wonthaggi Power (3rd place) – Last meeting: Wonthaggi Power 12.3-75 def Moe 4.7-31
Predicted Finish: 7th - 8-10
2022 Gippsland League SENIOR LADDER at Round 15