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Saints marching in to host first local finals

Daniel Clacy Photo Helen Spelitis / South Burnett Times
Daniel Clacy Photo Helen Spelitis / South Burnett Times Helen Spelitis

SOUTH Burnett will host its first ever AFL final when the Saints take on University on Sunday.

Saints' Daniel Clacy said it was a key milestone for the Saints and Aussie rules in the region.

"We are planning to make it as big as possible," Clacy said.

The club earned the right to host a final after it defeated Coolaroo on Sunday in Toowoomba, 8.7 (55) to 20.16 (136).

The win meant that the Saints finished on top of the ladder.

"I never thought it (the club's success) would happen this quick, but I did know that eventually we would do well," Clacy said.

"We just have a great bunch of guys.

"This is definitely going to help us build for next year; get a second senior side and build up the junior teams."

Auskick co-ordinator Jeff Neumann said playing a finals game at home would inspire younger players to take up Aussie rules, a sport steadily growing in popularity in the rugby league-dominated state.

"It gives the region and the wider community a chance to see a final footy game in action," Neumann said.

"Over the last 10 years there's been rapid growth with close to 165,000 Queenslanders playing Aussie rules. That's down to regional towns like Kingaroy exposing the community to AFL."

Going into this weekend's final against University, Clacy said one thing the team took out of the game against Coolaroo was to be more adaptable.

"The game isn't the same from start to finish," Clacy said.

On Sunday, the Saints scored six goals and six behinds in the first quarter.

Six goals again in the second gave South Burnett a commanding 62-point lead going into the shed for the long break.

"It was a good game going into the final," Clacy said.

"They definitely came back at us in the third quarter."

But the margin was too great and the Saints started where they left off in the fourth to run out victors by 81 points.

With the regular season behind them, the Saints are looking to their next opponent, University.

"We just have to focus on the basics and the one percenters," Clacy said.

At the final whistle:

South Burnett 20.16 136 defeated Coolaroo 8.7 55

Topics:  afl

South Burnett

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