It doesn’t get much bigger than a Grand Final re-match in Round 1 and all is in anticipation for what is sure to be a cracking way to start the PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW 2017 Season.
Match of the Round
Edgeworth Eagles v Broadmeadow Magic
7.15pm Friday 10th March at Jack McLaughlan Oval
Last Meeting: 2016 Grand Final: Edgeworth 2 (McBreen 27’, 71’) Broadmeadow 1 (Virgili 12’) at Magic Park.
2016 Ladder: Edgeworth 1st (46 pts), Broadmeadow 3rd (32)
The most successful Grand Final winning side of the 21st century take on the most successful side of the last two seasons.
It’s been a long time between victories over the Eagles for Broadmeadow, with their last win seven matches ago, which include six PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) fixtures and one in the Westfield FFA Cup last year. The last win was back in April 2015, on a Friday night at Jack McLaughlan Oval. Maybe a good omen for Magic fans.
Key: The big moments. It’s a match which is hard to split, whoever can win them will go a long way to claiming the three points. Broadmeadow had their chances in the Grand Final last year and didn’t take them, they need to here.
CLICK HERE for the full Round 1 preview.
Newcastle Jets Youth v Adamstown Rosebud
2.30pm Saturday 11th March at Adamstown Oval
Last Meeting: Round 15, 2016: Jets Youth 4 (Brymora 20, Parris 23; Carroll 76’, Joice 78’) Adamstown 1 (Lino 34’) at Adamstown Oval
2016 Ladder: Jets Youth 5th (24), Adamstown 9th (11)
The Jets Youth play their first competitive match since the National Youth League season finished in January against an Adamstown side brimming with confidence after their NNSWF Heritage Cup victory on Sunday.
It was a long time coming but finally, after 26 long years, Adamstown fans have something to cheer about. A victory over Edgeworth in the inaugural NNSWF Heritage Cup on Sunday would have brought a smile to many of the Rosebud faithfuls.
While they have won the NewFM Division during those 26 years, this will be much more satisfying especially considering they knocked over a side who have been unstoppable over the last couple of years.
Key: Physicality. How well the smaller Jets cope with the larger physical presence of the Rosebud’s will go a long way to determining the result in this one.
Charlestown City Blues v Valentine Phoenix
7.30pm Saturday 11th March at Lisle Carr Oval
Last Meeting: Round 10, 2016: Valentine 3 (S. McGinley 51’, 61’, Tserepas 86’) Charlestown 2 (Johnson 45’, Hughes (p) 66’) at Blacksmiths Oval.
2016 Ladder: Charlestown 6th (24), Valentine 8th (19)
Two sides who punched above their weight in 2016, will do battle in the first round of the season for the second year in a row.
Over recent history, it has been the Blues who have had the upper hand in clashes between the two sides winning four of their last six clashes, but it was the Phoenix who are undefeated in their last two clashes against Charlestown.
Potentially it was the Phoenix who ended the finals hopes of Charlestown in their last meeting when they came from behind to win 3-2 in a controversial match at Blacksmiths Oval where two of the club’s former players in Ridge Marpu and Scott Smith were both given their marching orders in separate incidents.
Key: Charlestown’s Dan Casciaroli vs Valentine’s Dan Minors. Two new signings from last year’s Grand Finalists. How well can they control the midfield battle?
Weston Workers Bears v Lake Macquarie City Roosters
2.30pm Sunday 12th March at Rockwell Automation Park
Last Meeting: Round 10, 2014: Weston 3 (Morris (p) 27’, Ryan 44’, Cowburn 69’) Lake Macquarie 2 (S. Walker 45’, Horne 74’) at Macquarie Field.
2016 Ladder: Weston 10th (6), Lake Macquarie 1st in NewFM League
The two sides who are expected by most to finish in the bottom two this season meet in round one and it’s no better opportunity for one of these sides to breathe some hope into their campaign.
While they have had a big turnover in personnel and most probably won’t remember their recent record the Bears have won just 2 of their last 23 PS4 NPL matches dating to the back end of the 2015 season, where they fell from top four to finish fifth.
Key: Sam Walker. He dominated the NPL in 2014, but, can he do so this season? Weston need to stop him if they are to win first up.
Hamilton Olympic v Lambton Jaffas
6.45pm Sunday 12th March at Darling Street Oval
Last Meeting: Round 12, 2016: Hamilton 2 (Cooper 34’, Goodchild 57’) Lambton 2 (Hay 2’, Davidson 45+1’) at Darling Street Oval
2016 Ladder: Hamilton 2nd (42), Lambton 7th (19)
If a Grand Final re-match wasn’t taking place on Friday night this one would almost certainly have ‘match of the round’ billing. Two of the strongest rosters in the competition do battle in a match which could count for a lot come to the end of the season.
Hamilton and Lambton played out some outstanding contests in 2016 and based on both sides strengthening their rosters in 2017 it would seem the quality will only get better.
Key: Hamilton’s defence coped with the pace of Magic’s James Virgili and Kale Bradbury on opposing flanks for much of last season. Can they do a similar job on Marpu and Remington?