Shellharbour Suns wary of AFL South Coast rivals Figtree

Charge: Shellharbour's Mark O'Rourke is under pressure against Wollongong Bulldogs. The Suns face Figtree on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts
Charge: Shellharbour's Mark O'Rourke is under pressure against Wollongong Bulldogs. The Suns face Figtree on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts

SHELLHARBOUR coach James Walton expects Figtree to be fearless on Saturday as they fight for their finals future.

The Suns are on course to finish fourth on the AFL South Coast ladder, which would mean they are likely to meet Figtree or Bomaderry in a sudden-death final next month.

In contrast, the Roos face defining days ahead, with games against Shellharbour, Bomaderry and Wollongong Lions to come.

“I expect them to play like they’ve got nothing to lose,” he said.

“Now it’s a top five, it’s changed the outlook on finals a bit and they’ll throw the kitchen sink at us.”

Bomaderry remain just half-a-game behind Figtree on the ladder.

However, the Tigers meet ladder leaders Kiama. 

The Power and Lions are separated by just nine percent, making margins as well as victories vital in the race for the minor premiership.

The Suns have tested premiership favourites Kiama and Wollongong Lions this year and beaten last year’s grand finalists the Bulldogs. But they remain a game and a half behind the Dogs on the ladder and almost certainly facing a run of elimination games to push for the flag.

“We’ve shown we can match it with the top teams, but if we don’t make the top three it will make it harder,” he said. “Our structures have held up really well under pressure, we had the Lions tagging our players last time, so that’s a sign of respect.

“We just have to keep playing well and see where it takes us.”

  • AFL SOUTH COAST

Round 16

Friday

WOLLONGONG LIONS v NOWRA-ALBATROSS at North Dalton Park

Saturday (2.10pm)

KIAMA v BOMADERRY at Bonaira Oval, NORTHERN DISTRICTS v WOLLONGONG BULLDOGS at Hollymount Park, FIGTREE v SHELLHARBOUR at Figtree Oval. 

Ladder: KIAMA 14-1 (266.89%), WOLLONGONG LIONS 14-1 (257.87), WOLLONGONG BULLDOGS 10-5 (169.94), SHELLHARBOUR 8-6-1 (136.51), FIGTREE 6-8-1 (92.54), Bomaderry 6-9 (69.09), Northern Districts 1-14 (32.86), Nowra-Albatross 0-15 (31.40).