BURNIE will get the chance to defend its State League crown against South Launceston next week after the Dockers brought down Launceston in last night's preliminary final at Aurora Stadium.
The reigning premiers had to fight hard to shake a resilient Blues outfit, winning 10.14 (74) to 9.6 (60).
The match was evenly poised at quarter-time, with Burnie holding a two-point advantage after a free-flowing opening 25 minutes.
Reliable Blues forward Sonny Whiting opened the scoring in the second term with a close-range goal but that is where the fun stopped for Launceston as they lost all ability to penetrate the forward 50 with conviction.
Russell Robertson took hold of the game, and a magnificent high-flying mark, as Burnie piled on the tackling and scoreboard pressure.
The Dockers kicked five second-term goals and kept their opponent to a three-goal first half to lead by 31-points at the main change.
Launceston coach Brennan Savage moved Jake Kolodjashnij into the ruck and his brother Kade into the engine room, which seemed to give the Blues a spark and narrowed the deficit to three goals with a stanza to play.
Burnie coach Brent Plant called on his players to show some leadership and they responded as Launceston continued to butcher the football by foot heading into attack.
``It was one of those games, at half time, the complex of the game changes completely,'' Plant said post match. ``Both sides sort of stopped their run-on flow and played a bit of possession footy and slowed it right down.
``I thought our tackling was great all day, we actually outnumbered them in tackles in the second half.''
Robertson finished with four majors for the victors, as did the Blues' coach.
Dockers' Rohan Baldock and co-captain Luke Shackleton kicked two goals each, while Rudy Barrett, Darren Banham and Nick Walters were among the best.
For Launceston, Jake Kolodjashnij, Kurt McCabe and club veteran Scott Stevens, in what could have been his final game before retirement, toiled hard.
``I couldn't fault our effort, I never questioned our effort through the finals series,'' a disappointed Savage said.
``It was always of a high standard and we were unable to execute on the skill required.''