QUIETLY CONFIDENT: Grafton Tigers under-17 captain Nick Wheaton will be hoping his side can set the tone for the seniors on Saturday by defeating a red-hot Sawtell-Toormina side in the grand final. Photo Gary Nichols
QUIETLY CONFIDENT: Grafton Tigers under-17 captain Nick Wheaton will be hoping his side can set the tone for the seniors on Saturday by defeating a red-hot Sawtell-Toormina side in the grand final. Photo Gary Nichols

GRAND FINAL: Turning Saints into sinners

GRAFTON Tigers under-17 AFL side will go into Saturday’s grand final as rank outsiders against a red-hot Sawtell-Toormina side.

Sawtell remained undefeated throughout the competition with eight wins compared to Grafton’s four.

But it’s the way Saints have disposed of opposition sides this season that is a real concern for Grafton.

Saints notched up 826-points this season and only leaked 190. But it was their round 10 clash against the Tigers that raised alarm bells with Sawtell running out winners 85-10.

Grafton can however take solace from their round eight meeting when the game went right down to the wire with Saints prevailing 91-87.

COUNTDOWN BEGINS: Grafton Tigers' players going through their paces on Tuesday night in preparation for their North Coast AFL grand final appearance on Saturday. Photo Gary Nichols
COUNTDOWN BEGINS: Grafton Tigers' players going through their paces on Tuesday night in preparation for their North Coast AFL grand final appearance on Saturday. Photo Gary Nichols

Tigers’ captain Nick Wheaton knows his side will have to be at their very best if they are to bring home the premiership flag.

“Sawtell have been pretty dominant all season,” Wheaton said during the week.

“They are a tough side and pretty stacked but we also have plenty of talent in the side as well.”

The fifteen-year-old McAuley High School student said teammate Ned O’Neill could be a key factor on Saturday.

“Ned is a weapon on the field. He covers plenty of ground and knows how to kick goals,” Wheaton said.

“We have a lot of good players in the side but Ned will be vital for us on the day.”

When asked if any of his side will get the call up for the main game, Wheaton remained tight-lipped.

“I’m not sure. We will talk about it during the week and see what Adi (Lawrence) decides to do,” he said.

“It would be a bit nervy but some of the older guys have been fantastic in giving us advice and pointing us in the right direction.”



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