Grand Final Day! After two years of dsrupted rugby, it feels almost foreign to be talking about The Big Dance again.
But for those who have overcome countless lockdowns and interupted campaigns, the 2022 Rugby Victoria Grand Final Day will be a celebration like no other.
To those who competed this year, we tip our cap to you. The finish line awaiting our worthy victors comes at the end of a marathon unlike any other. Let's throw back a cold one tomorrow in celebration of the game that has united our community.
DEWAR SHIELD - Winners are Quinners
Harlequin vs Power House (ref: Ollie Kellett)
Let’s look back at our prediction at the start of the season. Like everyone, we never saw the House coming - especially after winning 2 from 7 to start the season!
Power House (from Meat Pie preseason prediction)
Power House have promoted assistant coach Eric Tom into the hot seat with the departure to New Zealand of long term coach Cole Mooney. Tom will bring some flare to the Albert park club whilst trying to maintain the set piece stability of his predecessor.
The big question is whether House will have the depth in their playing group to really compete week in and week out to keep their finals ambitions alive.
Prediction - No Cole in the stocking this year, so hard to see the House climbing into the 4. 6th
For Harlequins, we knew they would be somewhere up the top but runaway minor premiers by 10 points on the ladder was a bit of a surprise.
Harlequins (from Meat Pie preseason prediction)
Perennial finalists Harlequins would have been disappointed with their start to last season so look to them to come out of the blocks early this year.
Some new additions to their coaching staff and some bolstering of their pack should see the Quins right in the race at the pointy end of season
Prediction - Just can't see Quins going ANOTHER year without an appearance at the Big Dance. 2nd
So here we are (with a little pie on our face!). It's David vs Goliath.
We all know how that turned out, but a week off and some tall timber back in the team will see Harlequins fresh and looking to finish the season off with a bang.
They have really struggled against Power House this year and this is one team they probably didn’t want to meet on the big stage. Chris Allen and his men will have been studying what makes the House tick and will try and break them down clinically.
You can factor in all possibilities but it is hard to plan for a team that just wont lie down.
Power House have found something that’s special in a team. Everyone talks about playing for your brothers and being a family. Power House live this every day. They have been written off so many times this season but they find a way. Eric Tom and his team have one more game to get this family up and about. Is their tank empty, or are they ready? That’s the big question.
Very hard to tip but lets go.
Surely David can't topple Goliath again?! Quins to be too dominant in the collision areas and will win by 9 points.
PREMIERSHIP - Bucks Party
Brimbank vs Kiwi Hawthorn (ref: Jason Breytenbach)
The unbeaten Brimbank will have had their feet up last week watching Kiwi Hawthorn take down the more fancied Panthers.
Kiwis are a team that struggled at the start of the year for numbers and cohesion but have built steadily and like we predicted, are a tough finals outfit and know what it takes to win the big games. Can they stifle the young Bucks and put them off their game?
We think the energy and pace Brimbank will bring will be just that little bit too much for the Kiwis; but they won’t go down without a fight.
Brimbank to record the perfect unbeaten season and win by 12 points
Lindroth Cup - Eagles Clipped
Northern vs Endeavour Hills (ref: Andrew Cumming)
We said last time these two teams met that it was one of the best games of women’s rugby seen in Victoria.
This Grand Final is going to lift the standards of play that has never before been seen on our fields. Two teams that have the great mixture of youth and experience. Two coaches that have the trust and belief of their teams. Two teams that can score tries out of nothing.
Do yourself a favour and get down early to watch this one as it will be a classic!
Northern start deserved favourites but the Eagles are at their Nest and feather will fly. Andrew Cumming will be in the hot seat and will have his work cut out controlling this tight battle.
The Panthers should get the job done but will have to hang onto the ball otherwise Endeavour will swoop.
Northern by 6 points
Dewar Shield seconds - Quinsanity
Harlequins vs Melbourne (ref: Andrew Schwilk)
Minor premiers Harlequins really put Melbourne to the sword when they met in the major semi. This week the Unicorns will be better placed to handle the expected onslaught and should stay in the game longer but the hungry Quins should be too classy and would like to set the tone for their 1s team playing after them by winning this one.
Harlequins by 15 in a high paced, high scoring affair.
Dewar Shield thirds - The House Always Wins
Power House vs Endeavour Hills (ref: Aaron Reid)
Endeavour have really finished the season off well with 2 upset wins to see themselves here on the big day. They too will relish playing at the Nest and will come out hard.
Power House have been the form team all year and play a well-rounded style of game that is not normally seen in 3s. The House will want to set the stage for their firsts team later on in the day and will be hell bent on winning this one.
Power House to be to dominant at set piece time and win by 12 points
Premiership Reserves - In Like Griffin
Cerberus vs Maroondah (ref: Matt Parker)
These two teams have only met once this year and it was a 39 – 36 thriller to the Navy men.
Cerberus go in favourites as minor premiers and will look to control the tempo of the match and play high speed, high energy footy.
Maroondah on the other hand will try and control the collision areas and get their big ball runners into the game. This is a clash of two styles on the biggest stage.
In all games we have picked the favourites but not in this one.
Look for an upset with the Griffins winning over Cerberus by 7 points.
Congratulations to all referees that have a role to play in the Grand Finals. Thank you for all your efforts this year and we hope you enjoy a great day of community rugby.
Whilst we are at Endeavour Hills, across in Adelaide, Rugby Victoria’s very own Amber McLachlan will be taking charge of the Wallaroos vs Black ferns test. I am sure through her ear piece she will be getting regular updates on the state of play in our finals😊
We entered this season with hope and trepidation about whether the pandemic would affect us again. Our clubs and families have shown resilience and spirit all season to keep our comp going. Clubs have been tested but rugby has emerged as the true glue that holds so many communities together. Well done everybody and lets enjoy our celebration of rugby on Grand Final day.
Finally, please remember to respect everyone and celebrate the opportunity to have our community together on this great day.