Crocs finish season on top ahead of blockbuster semi final


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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The Crocs outclassed the Saints at every turn to win the match and end the home and away season on top of the ladder. Image: Rick Moyer.

The Port Douglas Crocs are entirely focused on the upcoming AFL Cairns finals despite smashing the Saints to come away with the league’s minor premiership.

The crocs had a very comfortable 118-point victory over the Cairns Saints on Saturday 31 August in the final game of the home and away season.

The Saints couldn’t get past the Crocs’ backline with the side kicking only two goals to the Crocs’ 20 across four quarters of footy.

Brett McKeown, Josh Mawson, and Josh Lea were great on the day along with Josh Wilson who dominated in the ruck.

The loss ended the season for the Saints who only had a chance to play finals if they could beat an in-form Port Douglas side.

However, Port Douglas Crocs Football Operations Manager Jim Buckley said finishing the regular season at the top of the ladder doesn’t faze the team.

“We don’t even give it a thought, in fact, we try to eradicate the idea,” he said.

“We are focused totally on the finals; that’s where the real kudos is so the minor premiership doesn’t mean anything and can even be a distraction.”

The Crocs will come up against the South Cairns Cutters in the first round of the 2019 AFL Cairns finals series.

The Crocs and the Cutters have faced off three times this season with the Crocs winning two of the three matches.

The Cairns City Lions and the Munanda Hawks are also through to the finals with both teams showing improvements over the last few weeks and presenting fierce competition for the Crocs.

If the Crocs defeat the Cutters, they are automatically through to the Grand Final but if they can’t get up, they’ll be knocked back to the preliminary finals. 

Buckley reckons it’ll be hard-fought finals season and the Crocs will have to be at their best if they want to win their fourth flag in a row.

“It’ll be brutal, a real last man standing and the team that can maintain a confronting and combative style the longest will win,” he said.

“It’ll all come down to endurance and whoever is the most durable. The teams are very close and very tight which is absolutely good for the competition.

“We have to embrace the fact this is the level of competition and take it on, confront it, and overcome. The premiership will not be handed to us; we will actually have to win it.”

The Crocs take on the Cutters in semi-finals at Cazaly’s Stadium on Saturday 7 September from 2.30pm.

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