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2022 NAB Boys League Finals



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The 2022 NAB Boys League moves into finals mode today with yet another American innovation - the wildcard round - which will determine which eight teams will contest the finals series. The top three teams on the ladder (Gippsland Power, Tassie Devils and Dandenong Stingrays) all have this week off and the remaining 10 teams will contest a matches this weekend to decide which teams make up the final top eight over a three week period in September culminating in the Grand Final on September 16. All finals, including the Grand Final, will be streamed live and free on the NAB League app.

We’ve seen many AFL careers made in this series as talented players have risen to the occasion under the pressure of a finals series. The one that comes to mind for me is Steele Sidebottom who kicked a bag of ten goals for the Murray Bushrangers in the 2008 TAC Cup Grand Final. Sam Walsh was a standout for the Geelong Falcons in their 2017 premiership.

This weekend’s wildcard matches are:-

Today

• First Wildcard Match: GWV Rebels (4)  v Northern Knights (13) Mars Stadium 11:00am
• Third Wildcard Match: Geelong Falcons (6) v Western Jets (11) Mars Stadium 1:30pm
• Fifth Wildcard Match: Sandringham Dragons (8) v Murray Bushrangers (9) Williamstown 2:00pm

Tomorrow:

• Second Wildcard Match: Oakleigh Chargers (5) v Bendigo Pioneers (12) Mars Stadium 11:00am
• Fourth Wildcard Match: Eastern Ranges (7) v Calder Cannons (10) Mars Stadium 1:30pm

With the return of the best private schoolboys out of the APS and AGS, we can expect teams such as Oakleigh and Sandringham to rise for the finals. But let’s wait and see.

Here’s a preview ~

NAB League Wildcards hunt finals fortune

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Strugglers Northern Knights got off the floor to knock fourth placed Greater Western Victoria Rebels (Aaron Cadman - 2 goals) out of the finals action in a four point thriller yesterday. 

The trend continued with the Western Jets beating the Geelong Falcons by 35 points.  Sandringham Dragons (8th) just prevailed by 8 points over the Murray Bushrangers (9th). There are fears that Bushranger Brayden George has suffered an ACL injury after attempting a mark early in the game.

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I’d love to know how this came to be the finals system. I wonder if the AFL is encouraging pathways clubs to be more flexible in season to give players the ability to play in different positions and learn different systems. When I played my junior footy in the then TAC cup I was always surprised at the level of input recruiters had over team selection - and often the push back they got from coaches with their own careers to manage.

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There is always a lot of unhappiness at Sandy dragons around the favouritism issue, not only of team selection but positions. So mediocore Johnny would turn up from Haileybury and get plonked straight in as a midfielder.

Vic Metro selection seems to have similar bias.

Of course, people very reluctant to rock the boat and comment.

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In NAB Boys League action over the weekend, Gippsland Power prevailed over the Northern Knights by 10 points. Strongly built midfielder Bailey Humphrey and Konstanty stood out for the winners. The Tassie Devils had a 25 point win over Bendigo. Yesterday the Dandenong Stingrays and Sandringham Dragons had big wins over the Western Jets and Calder Cannons respectively. Harrison Jones booted five goals for the Stingrays and Will Ashcroft was again the best for the Dragons.

2022 NAB League: Quarter Finals snapshot

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In NAB Boys League today the Sandringham Dragons fought their way into the Grand Final with a comfortable 34 point victory over the Gippsland Power. They will meet the Dandenong Stingrays who won a thriller against Tasmania by a point.

Best for the Dragons were Harry Sheezel, Darcy Gilbert, Cameron Mackenzie, Will Ashcroft, Angus McLennan and Charlie Clarke. 

The Power were best served by Sebastiano Amoroso, Max Walton, Archer Reid, Thomas Hanily, Nate Pipicelli and Cooper Vickery.

Details of the other game still to come.

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2 hours ago, Redleg said:

Nice night for it.

Has anyone actually been able to watch this NAB League GF? I’ve checked the article both in the App and on the website,  it have not managed to find an active link to the live coverage.

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Qtr Time: Sandringham Dragons 5.2.32 lead Dandenong Stingrays 0.0.0.

Will Ashcroft has 13 touches. Harry Sheezel  - 2 goals plus an out of bounds on the full. Clarke & McKenzie are two highly fancied players with a goal each.

Dandenong’s Binns is picking up touches but they frankly look shell shocked.

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16 minutes ago, Whispering_Jack said:

Will Ashcroft starring. 

Do you have a link to the stream? 
edit: found it and at the same time discovered that I’m thick as a brick.

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It’s half time and the Dragons remain in full control. They lead 9.6.60 to 2.3.15. The usual suspects outstanding for the Dragons - Will Ashcroft leads the way with 26 touches. Sheezel, McKenzie, Hotton and Clarke all prominent and McLennan playing a great game in defence. They’re going to be hard to beat from here.

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