Premiership-winning Penrith Rams coach Kevin Kirk isn’t too worried about his side’s form heading into this weekend’s AFL Sydney Platinum Division Finals.
The Rams started the 2020 season in fine fashion winning six of their first seven games, but in the past fortnight they have suffered big losses to fellow Finals-bound teams Southern Power and Macquarie University.
Kirk said he isn’t too concerned about his team’s effort in recent weeks but that they needed to do more with the Sherrin in hand.
“The effort from the boys over the past two weeks has been pretty good but we probably haven’t used the footy as well as we would have liked to have,” he told the Weekender.
“We’re looking to bring that effort this weekend but concentrate more on using the football better once we have it.”
This Sunday the Rams will travel to Rosedale Park in Warwick Farm to face the in-form Balmain Tigers for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final. Despite beating the Tigers handsomely by 25 points in the opening round, Kirk said they’ll have a fight on their hands.
“Balmain have improved a bit from the first round judging by their results, so we’ll have to play pretty well,” he said.
“I’m tipping the Tigers will field a bit of a different side compared to the first round but if we play our game I’m confident we can beat anybody. It’s just about lining it up on the day.”
Fortunately for the Rams, they’ll be heading into the all-important clash a picture of health. Despite the challenges of a COVID-affected shortened season, Kirk said the lads are primed and ready for a big game.
“They are all looking OK, we’re very excited by the opportunity,” he said.
“They’ve been very resilient this season; COVID has been difficult with all the accompanying conditions that go with that, but we’re excited about Sunday and looking forward to it.
“The boys have worked hard, so we’re keen to get out there and play some Finals footy.”
The Penrith Rams take on the Balmain Tigers this Sunday, September 20 at 2.50pm.
Minor premiers Macquarie University will take on Southern Power in the weekend’s other Grand Final qualifier.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.