Border Mail Preliminary Final – Preview
CULCAIRN star Dane Hallinan says the Lions’ aggression, risk-taking and ferocity will have have to be at a season high if they are to advance to the grand final.
The Lions face Osborne in the preliminary final on Saturday who are the only side they are yet to defeat.
The Tigers have won both encounters by 23 and 48 points in their most recent clash in round 12.
The Lions have notched two workman-like finals victories over Billabong Crows and Holbrook over the past fortnight.
Hallinan conceded the Lions would have to find another gear to overcome the Tigers who lost a low-scoring arm-wrestle to Brock-Burrum last weekend.
“I think we still have got room for improvement,” Hallinan said.
“We have been getting through more on grit and determination rather than a four quarter performance.
“Osborne are a powerhouse and we will have to bring our A-grade game just to match it with them.”
Hallinan said the Tigers renowned run and spread was by far their biggest asset.
“Their run and spread is what does the damage,” he said.
“Our biggest strength is our big forwards and that’s where we have to try and exploit them.
“We just have to ensure our delivery gives our forwards the best opportunity to kick a winning score.”
While Lions trump cards Jye Shields and Adam Prior aren’t usually far from the spotlight, Hallinan has overshadowed his two high-profile teammates during the finals series.
Hallinan was as his dangerous best against Billabong Crows and bobbed-up with three goals which proved crucial in a low-scoring encounter.
The prolific possession winner also kicked three goals alongside taking one of the marks of the season against Holbrook to claim best-on-ground honours for a second consecutive week.
Hallinan alongside Shields have been instrumental in the Lions emerging as a finals force since crossing to the den from Kiewa-Sandy Creek in 2016.
The 28-year-old has travelled from Melbourne on a weekly basis for the past four seasons.
The hard-running midfielder played in flags with the Hawks in 2008 and 2014.
He also won a best and fairest with the Hawks in 2008 and the Lions in 2016.
“There is a reason why I have made the commitment to travel from Melbourne each week for so long – I genuinely love it there,” he said.
“We have got three grades in on the weekend and it would be unreal if we all could get through to the grand final.
“Time will tell I suppose.”
Saturday, September 14
OSBORNE v CULCAIRN
(Former Brock-Burrum coach)
(The Border Mail)
(Holbrook life member)
TURNING BACK TIME
The league unveiled its book ‘Hume’ at Wednesday night’s Azzi medal count.
Written by Leon Wegener, it covers events dating back to 1933 when the competition was formed.
The book is set to be launched on grand final day with the cost $50.
TURN IT UP
Howlong’s Tim Seymour was fooling no one when he claimed to be 25 while accepting his reserve grade best and fairest medal.
A former Spider and close friend revealed he was 39.
Seymour returned to Howlong this year after spending time in the Upper Murray and several other district league clubs.
BIG MATT’S GOOF
Matt Seiter’s victory speech didn’t go down well with everyone.
While many thought the Brock-Burrum larrikin provided some late spark to the evening, some thought he went a bit too far.
It is believed the radio broadcaster wasn’t thrilled with some of his language.