After another thrilling season of the Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League (VWFL), Collingwood and Richmond are set to go head-to-head for the 2019 VWFL Grand Final.
In 2018, it was the Pies and the Tigers playing off in the decider. This year, the same two sides will again face off in this weekend’s Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League Grand Final.
Essendon set the tone at the start of the year with a couple of big wins and looked like the team to beat. Hawthorn registered back-to-back wins in the first half of the year, and St Kilda always threatened to make it all click and show their class. However, as the year rolled on, Richmond and Collingwood quietly went about their work, putting together a consistent season resulting in the teams finishing 1st and 2nd.
The two sides have had very different preparations for the match; Collingwood defeated Essendon in a do or die Round 10 fixture to secure their place, while Richmond finished their season with a BYE.
In last year’s playoff, Richmond failed to convert some early chances before Collingwood hit the accelerator, prevailing by 60 points.
Richmond Captain Matt Morris believes a greater focus on training and developing structures over the course of the season holds them in good position for the final.
“We feel like we can cover the Pies with some solid matchups. We have done everything to prepare and are feeling confident heading into the game.”
Will the BYE lead to another slow start from the Tigers, or will they be hungry for revenge after last year’s disappointment?
“We’re expecting a close, hard-fought dog fight, similar to our last encounter,” Morris said.
Collingwood Captain Brendan Stroud also believes it will be a tough match.
“All teams have been great this year. A tight contest, an edge of the seat game for the fans would be great. Richmond have a tight unit as does Collingwood. We believe we can go back to back. Side by side we roll together,” Stroud said.
One this is for sure, the crosstown rivalry is alive and well in the VWFL with bragging rights and the Robert Rose Cup on the line this weekend.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chris Henderson is one of the new Tigers who has had a big impact in his first year. Strong bodied and an accurate shot at goal, Hendo can out anyone from just about anywhere on court.
Vincent Naidu plays with passion and you can’t miss his trademark celebrations. The dynamic forward is a barometer to the Richmond line-up, when he’s up and about the Tigers are almost unstoppable.
Brendan Stroud is the Collingwood Captain and Coach and has done a great job of getting his squad into another Grand Final. He plays in a variety of positions but don’t be surprised seeing him control the game from defence.
Riley Fitzgerald is one of the most damaging forwards in the game. He scored the most goals in 2018 with 52 and backed it up with 53 in 2019. Last year he was wearing a yellow sash adding another element to this clash.
Round 4: Collingwood 11.5.71 defeated Richmond 9.9.63
Round 9: Collingwood 9.10.64 defeated by Richmond 10.6.66
Get down to Boroondara Sports Complex on Sunday 1 September to check out all the action from VWFL Grand Final Day.
All Star Game at 11am, Richmond vs Collingwood at 12:15pm. Tickets are strictly limited visit http://bit.ly/2019VWFLGrandFinal for more information.
You can also live-stream the action from the day on the Victorian Wheelchair Football League Facebook page from 10:45am courtesy of Red Onion Creative.
AFL Victoria would like to thank major naming rights partner Robert Rose Foundation, program partner Disability Sport and Recreation, and venue partner Boroondara Sports Complex for their ongoing support.