NORTH Launceston will be playing for a top-three spot and an all-important finals’ double chance when it takes on cross-town rival and ladder-leader Western Storm in a blockbuster final round clash at Aurora Stadium under lights on Friday night.
The Bombers sit third on percentage behind Clarence but so close is the competition that the final make-up of the top five will not be known until the outcome of the weekend’s matches.
The Northern Bombers will have marquee recruit Chris Tarrant available and were in top form in disposing of Devonport at the weekend while the Storm struggled for three quarters against Launceston.
North must beat the Storm to hold on to third spot assuming Clarence beats bottom side the Tigers.
A loss could see it slump to fourth or fifth depending on the Glenorchy and Lauderdale results.
‘‘North are in some really good form and played really well yesterday,’’ Storm coach Mitch Hills said.
‘‘But we’ve guaranteed our final’s spot and now we want to focus on ourselves and getting to playing some really good football and trying to get a week off.
‘‘It would be really valuable for our group to freshen up and really have an assault on finals – but we know North are going to come on very strong on Friday night and they have some guys in good form with Chris Tarrant playing that game as well.
‘‘They’re very dangerous and are playing for ladder position and I know if they lose they could finish fourth so we’ll be trying to make that happen.’’
Northern Bombers coach Zane Littlejohn praised his team’s performance in beating Devonport and the fact that they again had 22 contributors and said the Storm represented a ‘‘massive game.’’
‘‘It would be nice to win that and secure a double chance and our destiny is in our own hands,’’ Littlejohn said.
‘‘We know our footy is good enough if we turn up and play four quarters against the top side who will go in as favourites as they should and we’re fine with that and having to chase them down.’’
LAUNCESTON will face Burnie at Windsor Park and will be keen for a victory at home in its last game with both sides out of final’s contention.
Glenorchy must beat Hobart City and Lauderdale will look to overcome Devonport at home with victories crucial for both those sides.
FRIDAY: North Launceston v Western Storm, Aurora Stadium, 6.40pm; Hobart City v Glenorchy, North Hobart Oval, 6pm.
SATURDAY: Devonport v Lauderdale, Devonport Oval, 2pm; Launceston v Burnie, Windsor Park, 2pm.
SUNDAY: Clarence v Tigers, Bellerive Oval, 2pm.