City won’t rest players in pivotal final round | photos CLOSE: Max Quinlan and Courtney Knights celebrate a goal in Newcastle City’s nail-biting loss to Terrigal Avoca at No.1 Sportsground on Saturday.
TweetFacebook Newcastle City v Terrigal AvocaPictures: Max Mason-HubersNewcastle City coach Mitchell Knight says he will not rest healthy players in this weekend’s final round against Warners Bay as the Bulldogs strive for a place in the Black Diamond AFL semi-finals.
The Blues are already assured of third place, but the Bulldogs must beat the defending champions at Feighan Park on Saturday and hope fourth-placed Nelson Bay loseto cellar dwellers Killarney Vale.
Warners Bay kept their faint hopes alive with a 10.11 (71) to10.5 (65) victory over the Bombersat Adelaide St Oval on Saturday and now have a superior points percentage to the Marlins.
Nelson Baywill not take victory over Killarney Vale for granted on the Central Coast afterlosingeight of their past nine games, including a15.9 (99) to5.6 (36) defeat against Cardiff on Saturday.
The Marlins thrashed the Bombers in late June, but that was in Nelson Bay.
The Bulldogswill meet a City side with nothing to play for after Saturday’s 9.14 (68) to 9.11 (65) loss to Terrigal-Avoca on a windsweptNo.1 Sportsground.
“If there’s anyone who’s carrying a niggle, they’ll definitely be rested, but we’re not just going to rest guys for the sake of it,” Knight said.
“You want to try to get a full team on the park so you can start to play the footy you want to coming intofinals. A lot of teams rest players then find it difficult to switch it on when they need to.”
Based on recent results, City may prefer to face Nelson Bay in anelimination semi-final anyway.
“Warners Bay have been playing some good footy and pushed Terrigal the other week, so they’re full of confidence,” Knight said.
Terrigal wrapped up the minor premiership with Saturday’s win over their perennial rivals. They kicked fivegoals in the opening term to lead by 26 points before the Blues closed to within eight points at half-time.
Knight said it was hard to draw conclusions from the game as both sides had about four key players missing, including City’s Conor Haswell (hamstring strain).
“He might get up for this weekend, but we might give him another week off,” Knight said.“He plays a big role for us. He rebounds the footy and sets us up off the half-back. He takes a few grabs as well, cuts off a lot of possessions. He would have been pretty handy yesterday.
“The pleasing thing was they only kicked one goal after half-time, so our defence is obviously working well.”
The Bombers’ Scott Reed kicked five goals at Adelaide St to maintain a 32-27 lead at the top of the goalkicking charts over BulldogKayne Gibbs, who also booted five.