PREVIEW - Grand Final (2017) V Peel

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 10:25 PM
It has all come down to this, a showdown between Subiaco and Peel Thunder for the 2017 WAFL Premiership, in the final Grand Final to be held at Subiaco Oval.
Both teams have had magnificent seasons, and will meet again for the second consecutive grand final, after Peel defeated Subiaco by 23 points in last year’s finale.
The Lions finished the 2017 season as the minor premiers after only dropping one game throughout the home-and-away season. That loss occurred in round one to South Fremantle, before the Lions went on to a 19-win streak. Their finals series did not start ideally - they lost their Semi-Final against the Thunder by 24 points, and did not start well against South Fremantle in the Preliminary Final, trailing at quarter time. But like all good teams, the Lions came out firing, beating the Bulldogs by 32 points to take momentum into the Grand Final.
In 2016 Peel defeated Subiaco to claim their first WAFL premiership on the back of running power and grunt inside work. And in 2017, the Thunder also dented the Lions’ confidence when they beat them by 24 points in the Second Semi-Final. You can expect the Lions to be ruthless in the contest, as they will be hungry to vanquish the Thunder and claim their third WAFL premiership in four years
It is well documented that this will be the last game of football played at Subiaco Oval. The ground, Subiaco’s home before the club relocated to Leederville Oval, has given them many special memories. The Lions will be keen to add another storied chapter into their history books from this ground.
Finals are clearly a different games to those in the home-and-away campaign, but the Lions will take pride in their home-and-away form against the Thunder. In round four they won by 15 points, in round 11 they just snuck in by four points, and in round 18 they claimed victory by 46 points. However, as stated above, finals are a different game to home-and-away fixtures.
Subiaco has had the stingiest defence in 2017, only conceding 1152 points for the year, which is at an average of 63 points per game. The likes of Jordan Lockyer, Aaron Heal, Declan Jackson and Angus Litherland have all been revelations down back. 
A fast start is crucial for Subiaco in this match. In their past two finals losses to Peel they have given up a quarter time lead which has allowed Peel to dictate the game on their terms. Getting on top early and getting a Subiaco Lion brand of football going early; tough and uncompromising in tight will be pivotal for Grand Final succes.