Well, this is it. Another season is pretty much in the books. This year’s West Bowl will make it number 20. Gridiron in WA has been going for a bit longer than that, but 20 years for one league is a pretty good achievement.
Still, with one round to go, there’s lots of things that could happen to change the finals for the senior mens league. Unfortunately for those currently outside of the top 4, that won’t change. With the Steelers losing to the Broncos in Round 13, it eliminated them from mounting a finals charge with favourable results in this weekend’s final round.
So, the current finals participants are:
- Rockingham Vipers (36 points)
- Perth Blitz (34 points)
- Curtin Saints (32 points)
- Perth Broncos (26 points)
The Vipers have (essentially) played their last game for the season, having three weeks off and a fortnight to prepare for their Semi Finals opponent. However they, along with the Perth Blitz, have a game still to play courtesy of their adventures with Western Power in the Round 11 clash in Port Kennedy. This means their status could change based on that results of that replay.
Going from fourth upwards, the Broncos can do whatever they like this weekend. They can only finish fourth and that’s it. Either on 26 (a loss), 28 (a draw) or 30 (a win) points. They may experiment this round with personnel doing things different from normal just to see what happens.
Could finish: 4th
Currently holding third place and with the potential to still take second, the Curtin Saints will still want to post up a win this round, doing so will stop the Blitz from finishing first as they need both wins to secure their first league finish at the top of the ladder. It also means the teams would face each other in the semi finals. Surely a tasty prospect for the marching Saints.
Could finish: 2nd
The Perth Blitz have the most amount of variety to move still in their season, anywhere from the top spot to the 3rd place could be in their future before it’s all said and done. All the while, working hard for their first top of the ladder finish, having watched the other teams finish ahead of them (and could still) in every other season. A win over the Saints in this round would secure 2nd place and with a further draw or win over the Vipers enough to finish in 1st, ensuring a semi finals matchup against the holders, the Perth Broncos.
Could finish: 1st-3rd
The mainstay at the top of the ladder, the Rockingham Vipers, will be wanting the results to go their way this weekend to ensure a top finish. Even so, the lowest they can fall is to 2nd so it’s not a massive drop. Losing it to the Blitz might hurt but more than likely provides more than enough incentive to make sure they get to the Grand Final and hopefully meet them there again.
Could finish: 2nd
Now, over in the juniors league, the finals places are mostly said and done. In stark contrast to their senior counterparts, the Wolverines have done an outstanding job in maintaining their unbeaten run all season, a 14 point lead over 2nd place established their top spot weeks ago. The Westside Steelers, also secure in their 2nd place by 6 points, also have nothing to worry about nor can they move from their spot on the ladder.
|XIV||2018-2019||Claremont Jets||Rockingham Vipers||Dorrien Gardens|
|XIII||2017-2018||Perth Blitz||Rockingham Vipers||14-6||Dorrien Gardens|
|XII||2016-2017||Perth Blitz||Rockingham Vipers||46-20||Dorrien Gardens|
|XI||2015-2016||Rockingham Vipers||Claremont Jets||58-28||Dorrien Gardens|
|X||2014-2015||Westside Steelers||Perth Blitz||20-8||Gosnells Oval|
|Westside Steelers||Gosnells Oval|
|VIII||2012-2013||Curtin Saints||Perth Broncos||50-0||Kingsway Sporting Complex|
|48-42||Kingsway Sporting Complex|
|VI||2010-2011||Rockingham Vipers||Perth Broncos||35-8||North Beach Rugby Club|
|V||2009-2010||Perth Broncos||North Beach Rugby Club|
|IV||2008-2009||Westside Steelers||Rockingham Vipers||24-0||Bassendean Oval|
|III||2007-2008||Westside Steelers||Perth Broncos||25-20||Ashfield Reserve|
|II||2006-2007||Westside Steelers||Perth Broncos||18-6||Ashfield Reserve|
|I||2005||Rockingham Vipers||Westside Steelers||18-12||Challenge Stadium|
It’s the 3rd-6th places that are of most interest for this weekend. The Vipers (5th), however, have been eliminated from the finals having finished their games for the season.
6th place Saints, the current Junior State Champions, haven’t had the follow up season they expected but can still make an impact come finals if they get a win over the Blitz. Sitting on 20 points, they can possibly leap frog two teams and finish in 3rd with 24 points.
Could finish: 3rd-4th, 6th
The youngest of all the juniors teams, the Perth Blitz having completed only one season before this, have the opportunity to continue playing past this weekend if they can secure a win over the Saints. Sitting 4th with 2 other teams on 22 points (Broncos and Vipers), a win would secure their finals berth, a Broncos loss would put them in 3rd, to meet the Steelers in the Semi’s.
Could finish: 3rd-5th
Unlike their senior teammates, the Broncos clash with the Wolverines holds a lot of importance in terms of who they face in the Semi Finals. A win over the Wolverines would allow them to avoid them until the GF, whereas a loss means they would meet them again in the Semi’s a fortnight later.
Could finish: 3rd-4th
After all that, in large part it’s still up in the air. There’s still lots of football to play and as we all know; on gameday, anything can happen.
See you on the weekend!