NORTH Launceston and the Western Storm will do it all over again on Saturday afternoon, with the two cross-town combatants set to face off in the State League qualifying final at Aurora Stadium.
It followed Friday night’s dress rehearsal that saw the Northern Bombers grab a 24-point victory in the final roster round to consolidate third spot and a double chance.
Conversely, the defeat proved costly for the Storm, which forfeited top spot on the ladder to Clarence, a week off in the first week of finals and a home second semi-final.
North Launceston coach Zane Littlejohn was rapt with his side’s performance but was not content with just making a qualifying final.
‘‘It’s a nice reward for our group, who did a truckload of work, and they deserve where they finished, but we want to continue to build,’’ Littlejohn said.
‘‘We knew if we won there was every chance we would have to play them again, and we’re happy with that and welcome every opportunity to be playing them, and I think it is good for footy in Tassie.
‘‘We didn’t play our best footy so we will move on and focus on what we need to do better next week, so there is work to do.’’
Littlejohn said it was a long time since the club had played finals footy at senior level and they did not just want to play finals but win them.
‘‘It’s finals footy now and I don’t think you treat it as a normal week.
‘‘I want them to enjoy it but we will do what we need to do properly and be professional in our recovery and how we train this week, as we do every week, but with a bit more incentive at the end of it.’’
Western Storm coach Mitch Hills was obviously disappointed with the loss but said the Storm would rebound and work hard this week to improve and reverse the result on Saturday.
‘‘We’ll look at the footage and rejig things, and they played near to their best footy from what I could see, so that gives us a platform to work on for next week,’’ he said.
‘‘Our guys who have been playing well and firing weren’t able to stand up, so we will have to get those guys to stand up next week.
‘‘Our group has been able to fight back all year and I’ve been really proud of them from where we’ve come from in January, when we didn’t even have a team to finish equal top on points.
‘‘Now we have to reset ourselves and use the double chance we’ve earned, and hopefully we are going to do some serious damage in the finals.’’