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Premier League Grand Finals – Match of the Round Previews

Published Fri 15 Sep 2023

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Grand Finals – Match of the Round Previews
Preview by Bevan Jones

Premier League Women – Port Adelaide v Seacliff – Saturday 16 September

The women’s season has reached its climax and what a way to finish with Port Adelaide taking on Seacliff in a repeat of last year’s grand finale.

The 2022 Grand Final was an absolute thriller with Seacliff defeating Port Adelaide 4-3, so there is no doubt Port Adelaide will be desperate for redemption.

The two sides met in the Semi Final with Port Adelaide taking a 3-1 victory, whilst Seacliff defeated Adelaide 3-1 in last week’s Preliminary Final.

Port Adelaide Coach Paul Finnie said they would have to be at their best to overcome Seacliff.

"Although we take confidence from our previous encounters v Seacliff this season, and our methods the entire season, we know Saturday's big one is an entirely different ball game.,” Finnie said.

“Seacliff showed their true capabilities with a dominant display against Adelaide in the Prelim, and we expect them to bring the same quality but no doubt with a few surprises this week.  

“We are well prepared ourselves and may have a few of our own up our sleeve.  

“We're all looking forward to a quality, tough encounter, with no quarter expected or given on both sides, and a beer either way afterwards between opponents who have respect for each other".

Seacliff Coach Matt Morton said whilst they were happy with last week’s win, they know it would be another big challenge this week against Port Adelaide.

“It was great to get the result last week and play the way we know that we can, whilst we acknowledge last week was a great game against Adelaide this week is a new week, Morton reflected.

“We need to focus on the moment and the challenge at hand, we know that there have been some tough battles with Port this year and previous years.

“It is all about controlling the game, nullifying their long game and counterattack game and we need to ensure that we maintain the ball, utilise our speed and make the most of our moments.”

Prediction: What a way to finish what has been an unbelievable season of women’s hockey. It is very hard to pick a winner with two sides that are so even but with fresh legs from a week off and the confidence of their Semi Final win over Seacliff. I am going to tip Port Adelaide to win 2-1.


Premier League Men – Seacliff v Adelaide – Saturday 16 September

The stage is set for an electrifying showdown as Seacliff battles with Adelaide in a highly anticipated Grand Final, between two sides that have had some recent history on Grand Final day.

Adelaide come into the game in some fine form with a confidence boosting 5-1 victory in the Preliminary Final last week against North East, whilst Seacliff will be well rested after a week off, following their 3-0 victory against Adelaide in the Semi Final.

Adelaide will be incredibly playing in their fourth Grand Final in a row and looking to break a hoodoo after losing their last three grand finals in a row, two of those coming against Seacliff.

Last year Adelaide went down 1-0 to Port Adelaide, in 2021 Seacliff recorded a 2-1 Grand Final victory over Adelaide and had a 2-0 win over Adelaide in the 2000 grand finale.

Ironically Adelaide’s last premiership came in 2019 against Seacliff, when they won 3-2 in a thrilling finish that went to overtime.

Adelaide Coach Shaun Dawson said the team had taken some good learnings out of the Semi Final loss against Seacliff.

“We were happy overall with our plan when playing Seacliff in the Semi Final, it was just our execution that we could have improved on,” Dawson explained.

“We have made some adjustments and have really started to click since then, as we demonstrated against North East on Sunday.

“We have been getting better and better each week of the final’s series, and this weekend will be no exception.

“It will be an exciting game of hockey, which the boys and I are extremely keen for.”

Seacliff Coach Matt Morton said they had created a good rivalry with Adelaide over the years, and those were the games his team relished.

Morton also reflected that they were looking forward to a cracking game on Saturday between two sides in good form, with Adelaide having a good win on the weekend against North East and Seacliff winning the Semi Final clash between Seacliff and Adelaide.

Prediction: After the heartbreak of last year’s Grand Final loss there is no doubt that Adelaide will be desperate to turn things around against Seacliff. Seacliff will go into the game with confidence after their 3-0 Semi Final victory against Adelaide. I am going to tip Adelaide. They were impressive last week with their 5-1 victory over North East and I think they can bounce back from the disappointment of being runners up in 2022. Adelaide to win 3-2.

This week’s Matches of the Round are LIVE on LiveHockey -