AFL North West: New England Nomads face Gunnedah for grand final spot

The New England Nomads have their sights firmly set on another grand final berth but standing in their way is a determined Gunnedah Bulldogs outfit. 

The Nomads booked a spot in this Saturday’s preliminary final against the Bulldogs with a dominant minor semi-final win against Tamworth Kangaroos 22.12-144 to 9.5-59. 

Gunnedah were downed in the major semi-final by Inverell but their second-placed finish to the season ensured second crack at making the decider.

While the Nomads cruised past the Roos fairly easily, coach James Treweeke is wary of coming up against a Bulldogs team on their home soil. 

“It wasn't the best for them but I think for them to keep it as close as they did was really good,” he said.

“Inverell are very tough but Gunnedah are a very strong team, we can't underestimate them at all, especially playing on their home ground.

“They play really, really well there.

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“I think we can take confidence that we have beat them every time we have played them this year.”

While the Nomads may hold a slight “mental edge” the Bulldogs enter the game with the knowledge they beat the New England team in last year’s grand final. 

“After their finals performances last year I think they can take a lot of confidence out of it. 

“They would probably back themselves too, especially beating us in the grand final there.

“I think they would love to have another crack at us this weekend.”

Though Treweeke’s side is firmly focused on the final prize. 

“A lot of the boys are keen to get to their first ever grand final and try and win it so I think everyone has their game faces on,” he said. 

The Nomads had a three injuries come out of the Roos clash but Treweeke said the trio are fine to take the field against the Bulldogs. 

“We had two of our midfielders go down with ankle injuries but they are all good,” he said. 

“Angus Quail dislocated his finger which looked pretty bad at the time but I think he is good to play.”