Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Tough Battle Tipped in Aussie Rules Encounter

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Tough Battle Tipped in Aussie Rules Encounter

Article excerpt

Byline: Jon Winters

THE Grafton Tigers AFL team are only one win away from successfully defending their 2011 Australian Rules North Coast premiership when they face off against the Sawtell Saints in the 2012 grand final at Coffs Harbours BCU International Stadium tomorrow.

The Tigers and the Saints have squared up three times already this season and it's the Tigers who have the bragging rights in those matches with two victories to the Saints' one.

The Tigers, however, will take little comfort in that fact after some monumental battles between these two sides in 2012.

They first met in round one in Grafton this year, when the Tigers romped home convincing winners, 140-46, but the Saints were able to regroup by the time the sides met in Sawtell for round six and it was the Saints who were singing the club song after kicking clear late in the game with a 70 to 44 victory.

By the time their round 10 encounter came around, the game had been labelled as a possible grand final preview, with the Tigers only suffering the one defeat and sitting on top of the table, and the Saints heading into the match with a six-game winning streak and second on the ladder.

A titanic struggle ensued between two evenly matched and determined sides, only being decided in the final minutes of the last quarter with the Tigers gaining the upper hand for a 94-79 win.

The Tigers have proven themselves to be the benchmark team throughout the season, finishing comfortably at the top of the table to take out the minor premiership for the second year in a row.

With a formidable forward line that includes captain Dan Zacek, Lee Anderson, Evan Duryea, Carl Boehme, Chris Holder and Luke Hayman, the Tigers have the ability to use multiple players as goal scorers, giving many an opposition coach nightmares throughout the season.

But the depth of talent doesn't stop there. …

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