Tigers give Saints a shake-up ahead of finals
AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL: Down but not out, the South Burnett Saints got a shake-up before the elimination finals at the weekend.
Up against the Toowoomba Tigers, who, at sixth on the ladder and unable to qualify for the finals, had nothing to lose, the Saints were put to the test at Kingaroy's Lyle Vidler Oval on Saturday.
Goal for goal the Tigers and Saints tussled for the lead but neither team let the other get too far ahead in the final fixture game of the season.
Tigers coach and player Nick Talbot, who kicked two goals, said it was good to wrap up the season on a high note.
"I think South Burnett would have enjoyed a tough game before the finals,” he said.
In a dogged battle, mere points separated the teams after each quarter.
In the end the Tigers emerged victors with a 15.14.104-13.17.95 score line.
"It's kind of good to finish the year off like that,” Talbot said.
"I don't think anyone got two goals above.”
After the first quarter both sides had scored five majors a piece, but the Tigers clinched a one-goal buffer in the middle quarters and then landed the final blow in the final minutes of the last quarter.
Talbot said inconsistent numbers had the Tigers falter but the win in the final round should act as a confidence booster for next year.
After seven years with the club Talbot said he would take a step back and was not sure if he would continue next season.
South Burnett Saints' coach Paul Pressnell was impressed with the home side's determination on the field even though they did not claim the winning points.
"They never give up,” he said.
Pressnell said the intensity of Saturday's game would most likely be matched by the Goondiwindi Hawks which finished fifth on the ladder, one place behind the Saints.
The safe final fixture round allowed Pressnell to experiment with a number of changes ahead of the final.
As the Saints were safely slotted fourth on the ladder, win or lose the result would not change their end of season standing.
Pressnell said there were still about half a dozen players set to return at the weekend which would help bolster their strength on the oval.
The Saints' women's squad was downed 26.11.167-4.3.27 by the Tigers which sit comfortably at the top of the table after an undefeated season campaign.
Finishing fifth on the ladder, the Saints' women finished just outside of the finals qualifying top four.