The Centralian advocate Fri 11 Mar 2016
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44 SPORT FRIDAY MARCH 11 2016 CAVE01Z01MA - V1 THE Central Australian Rugby Union finals series is back on track this weekend with the semi-final between Federal Devils and Dingo Cubs finally set to take place after it was postponed two weeks. Originally scheduled for February 27, the semi-final and the grand final were both postponed due to vandalism of the Anzac Oval pitch but the league is set to resume tomorrow evening. Federal Devils will tackle Dingo Cubs for the right to take on Eagles in the grand final next weekend, with both clubs having an up and down season to date. This season has seen a dramatic turnaround for Devils after the club failed to win a game last season and captain Daniel Presley said the club is confident of winning through to the final despite the unfortunate extended break. I think (the break is) probably going to be good and bad really, its taken away the hype and put a bit of a dampener on the game, Presley said. Devils player Steve Ariston and Cubs Sharali Mahomeni reach for the ball to win a lineout earlier this year. Their clubs will be hoping to reach the grand final after tomorrows elimination semi final. Picture: REX NICHOLSON Demons pitcher Kyle Nettleton is one of the players Pirates will have to counter tonight to win their way in to the Zodiac Senior League Baseball grand final next weekend. Picture: JUSTIN KENNEDY A grand final berth is up for grabs next weekend when Pirates tackle Demons in the Zodiac Senior Baseball League semi-final at Lyle Kempster Park tonight. The two sides will square off in the semi- final with the winner to take on minor premiers Cubs in the grand final, while the loser will be resigned to playing off for third place next weekend. Pirates head into the match as favourites after a season that saw them narrowly miss out on the minor premiership, but coach Steve Bell is wary of an improving Demons outfit that comfortably beat his side in their last outing. If you look at the ladder, weve won 13 games, the same as Cubs on top and a draw to them was the only difference between the top teams but if you look at the next team below that they only had six or seven wins so there is a big difference, Bell said. We certainly arent underestimating Demons though, theyve got the likes of Kyle (Nettleton) their pitcher and also Sol (AlburyHarriton) who can throw and then theyve got a very strong batting line-up so weve got to be on our toes and make sure our batters are hitting well. Bell said the Demons have developed a formidable squad late in the season and their match this week will by no means be an easy one, saying his side will need to contain Demons strong hitting line-up if they wish to win through to the final. Whoever gets on top of the pitcher and re Pirates tackle their Demons in battle for place in grand final duces their errors in the infield and outfield, that will go a long way towards winning the game, he said. We need to make sure our pitchers are working well with Brett (Trindle) and Peter Drover to be able to contain their batters because if we cant do that were going to be in all sorts of trouble. Demons meanwhile will draw confidence from their last match up against Pirates, a match they won 17-5 in convincing fashion and coach Steven Bell is hopeful of a repeat tonight. The last game against Pirates does give us some confidence going into the final, not only did we score a lot of runs against them but we held them to only 5 runs as well, Bell said. The key to winning last time was depth in our pitching and being able to score runs in nearly every inning. The finals series will be played over seven innings instead of a timed match, a move Bell said might work to his sides advantage and is confident his side is far better than the end of season ladder would suggest. We seem to play better towards the end of our games this season so being a seven inning game will probably work in our favour, we have a strong pitching side with four good pitchers that I can rely on, he said. Because we have a new team this season, the first half was used to train our new players and try a few things and we lost a few games early on. I think now we are a lot closer to the two top teams than the ladder would suggest. The two sides will square off for the chance to play off for baseball supremacy tonight at 7pm. Anthony Geppa BASEBALL Semi-finalists raring to go after unscheduled break Were probably going to miss a couple of players due to the timing but at the same time weve picked up another couple of players that werent going to be there for the original timing so it works both ways. Presley said he is confident his side will be able to cope with the interrupted post season schedule and the added pressure of finals football, saying he hopes to make 2016 a memorable one for the club. We should be all right, weve been pretty relaxed the last couple of weeks but weve had some good training runs both weekends just gone and a bit of a get together as a family but well knuckle down this week and focus on the job at hand, he said. Its pretty much going to be heads down and bums up this week in regards to training and whatnot so well be focusing a lot this week on the job at hand. Devils opponents tomorrow night have had an up and down season themselves so far as Cubs began the season on fire and led the competition at the Christmas break before falling away, but president Richie Wehipeihana believes his side is ready to make a run towards the premiership. I think we have the strength in our team to go through to the grand final, Wehipeihana said. (Well need to) keep our structure and give our playmakers room to move, we have to stay strong across our line. Wehipeihana echoed Presleys sentiments that the break will have positives and negatives for both squads heading into the match, but said it gave key players the chance to return to the line-up. It will affect both teams, trying to keep intensity up over a two week layoff is hard to do, he said. It gives a chance for players with small injuries heal; a couple of key players will be back, Phil Childs and I to name a couple. The two sides will square off at Anzac Oval tomorrow night at 6pm. Anthony Geppa RUGBY UNION Trying to keep intensity up over a two week lay-off is hard to do. R I C H I E W E H I P E I H A N A
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