Final preview: Riverina, Farrer, North Coast, North West, Sapphire Coast

As we deepen into August, the sounds of footy finals ring out across NSW and the ACT.

Ryan O’Keefe and Simon Smyth continued their deep dive into community leagues across our region with local experts on the Play On podcast.

Catch the pod on our websiteApple Podcastsor Spotify.


Farrer FNL

It’s been a tight year in the Farrer FNL, says Joel Robinson, Competition Manager for AFL Riverina. He says Marrar Bombers is the team to beat, only losing once and having a draw in 2022.

Riley Budd for The Rock-Yerong Creek has been the standout player of the year, with the big-bodied midfielder dominating his opponents all season. The Rock has been the only team to beat Marrar all year but Joel Robinson believes any team can take the cup this year.

A special note about Barellan Two Blues, which hasn’t played finals since they joined the competition in 2015, (having sat out 21 season previous!). The side started 2022 out of the blocks, undefeated after the first four matches. Injuries and some missed chances meant it narrowly missed out on finals, but expect big things from the town with a population fewer than 600 people in 2023.

Riverina FNL

Ganmain Grong Grong Matong and Mangoplah Cookardinia United Eastlakes have set the standard in Riverina FNL for the past two seasons. In their first meeting in 2022 though, Ganmain dominated the Goannas by 95 points. When they met again, MCUE beat the Lions…footy, right!?

Collingullie-GP is a well-drilled outfit, and Joel Robinson thinks the Demons are shading the rest of the finals teams, but only just.

We’ll have to wait until Grand Final day at Narrandera Sportsground on 17 September to see how it all plays out.

AFL North Coast

League Manager, Paul Taylor, says AFL North Coast is still rapt with the drafting of Port Macquarie Magpies local, Cambridge McCormack, to the GIANTS. He’s also keen to discuss the resurrection of the Casino Lions. The club was moved into reserve grade this season after losing convincingly in Seniors in 2021. The team is playing finals in 2021 – go Lions!

AFL North Coast includes the Lismore Swans which did not get teams on the park this year following the floods. Paul Taylor fondly thanks new North Melbourne coach, Alastair Clarkson for putting the club through their paces earlier in the year.

C.ex Stadium is the venue for the grand finals, taking place on 3 September. Paul Taylor expects the Coffs Breakers to be tough to beat across all four competitions, with each of them already qualifying for the grand final. In the men’s Senior comp, Grafton Tigers are the most likely to challenge.

In the women’s, the Northern Beaches Blues should face the Coffs Breakers on the first Saturday in September.

AFL North West

AFL North West is a newly minted AFL NSW/ACT-managed league in 2022 and it’s been a great year, punctuated by Gunnedah Bulldogs player, Alice Mitchell, being drafted to the Sydney Swans.

The league’s inaugural pride round was a highlight of the season, where players wore rainbow socks, umpires wore rainbow sweatbands and the league incorporated rainbow colours into its logo.

Paul Taylor is impressed at the evenness of the men’s competition, with Tamworth Swans and Inverell Saints the teams most likely to get to the grand final.

The Gunnedah Poochettes in the Senior Women competition will be the team to beat. Since 2020, the side has not lost a match, but were dealt a draw against second placed Inverell Saints in 2022 so the stage is set for a mouth watering conclusion to the season!

AFL Sapphire Coast

Maddy O’Connor, League Manager of AFL Sapphire Coast, is pumped for the Sapphire Coast’s finals season. Grand finals will be played on 9 and 10 September at Berrambool Oval, Merimbula.

The league has achieved something few others have in 2022, without having a single washout round this season…impressive!

Predictions for Senior division are the currently undefeated Narooma A in the men’s and Tathra in the women’s. Tathra should easily account for their grand final opponent, having not lost a match this year and boasting an incredible percentage of 1445 (1,070 points for, 74 points against after 14 rounds).


Picture main: Tathra Sea Eagles’ women’s side is the dominant team across the state in 2022