Kiama Power take on Wollongong Lions in AFL South Coast clash

We meet again: Wollongong's Lachlan Maples handballs against Kiama earlier this year. Picture: Georgia Matts
We meet again: Wollongong's Lachlan Maples handballs against Kiama earlier this year. Picture: Georgia Matts

Kiama coach Rod Richards couldn’t care less about winning the AFL South Coast minor premiership.

The Power have already achieved their first target of a double chance in the finals series and are destined to meet Saturday’s opponents Wollongong Lions again in the major semi-final next month.

With both having 14-1 records this year and Kiama ahead by a significant percentage buffer, it’s difficult to even gauge the prospect of landing a psychological blow on the Lions either, given the recent history between the two clubs.

For two years this rivalry has steadily grown, as Kiama beat the Lions twice to earn the express ticket to the 2017 grand final, only to fall in the final quarter on the biggest stage. The Lions thrashed Kiama by 70 early in the season, but the Power returned serve with a 27-point win last month.

“We haven’t mentioned (the minor premiership),” Richards said. 

“Of course we want to keep winning, but we’ve got three big games to go. The timing of the bye has worked out pretty well for everyone to have a six-week run to finish the season.

“It’s always a tight balance against the Lions, if you over-do the aggression, something else can give and you get beaten on the outside or over the back. We’re looking forward to it, but we know it’s all still to come.”

Prior to the general bye, the Power dominated the second half against finals-bound Figtree to win by 28 points, even though spearhead Troy Cole, who has 55 goals for the season, only booted one.

“I think he finished with 1.5, but he also created some opportunities for some of the other boys,” Richards said. 

“We changed up our forward structure against Figtree and it gives us confidence we can win a game like that without relying on our main goalscorer.”

AFL SOUTH COAST

Round 17

Saturday

Men (2pm)

KIAMA v WOLLONGONG LIONS at Bonaira Oval, NORTHERN DISTRICTS v WOLLONGONG BULLDOGS at Hollymount Park, SHELLHARBOUR v FIGTREE at Myimbarr Oval.

Women

DAPTO v ULLADULLA at Myimbarr Oval (10.40am), BOMADERRY v WOLLONGONG BULLDOGS at Artie Smith Oval (12.30pm), KIAMA v WOLLONGONG LIONS at Bonaira Oval (12.30pm), NORTHERN DISTRICTS v WOLLONGONG SAINTS at Hollymount Park (12.30pm)

AFL SYDNEY

Women’s division one, Saturday (9am)

EAST COAST v WOLLONGONG SAINTS at Kanebridge Oval. 

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