NORTH Launceston will head South to play Clarence in the second semi-final full of confidence following its big qualifying final win over the Western Storm on Saturday.
The Northern Bombers will be hoping to continue their finals form and momentum with the prize of a grand final berth and home region final on offer for the winner.
But they face a rested and ready Roos outfit on its home ground at Bellerive Oval – the only side the Bombers have not beaten this season.
The last time they met in round 11 the Roos inflicted a 102-point thrashing on North but coach Zane Littlejohn said that Clarence would face a different side on Saturday to the one that lost in June.
‘‘They don’t fear much these guys and will have a crack and they showed a fair bit of character to respond like that,’’ Littlejohn said after their qualifying final win.
‘‘The boys were disappointed after that Clarence game but they were a very different group that day.
‘‘We’ll do our homework and get the boys up and ready to go.’’
Littlejohn said achieving their preseason goal of a senior final victory, would be beneficial for the group and the players would revisit their goals from here.
Asked if his side could win the grand final, he said it was in a better position after Saturday’s victory.
‘‘It’s pleasing for them and will only make them hopefully more mature for the different situations yet to come,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got an opportunity but we haven’t beaten Clarence this year and they’re in our way at the moment so we will focus on that.’’
Western Storm coach Mitch Hills faces the challenge of resurrecting his side’s finals campaign for the first semi-final against Lauderdale following consecutive losses to North and a disappointing performance in the qualifying final.
The Storm players are showing the effects of a long season, including two Foxtel Cup trips, and Hills must find a way to re-energise the group.
‘‘We’ll look forward to next week and be positive about it and it’s a winnable game for us at home,’’ Hills said.
‘‘We’ll have a lighter week and throw in a bit of sun and enjoyment to freshen up because losing twice to the same team takes a bit of a toll physically and mentally after a big year.
‘‘Anything can happen in the next couple of weeks.’’
NEXT WEEK’S GAMES
STATE LEAGUE FINALS SERIES WEEK 2:
SECOND SEMI-FINAL, Saturday, Bellerive Oval: Seniors – Clarence v North Launceston, 2.30pm; Development League – Clarence v Devonport, noon.
FIRST SEMI-FINAL, Saturday, Aurora Stadium: Seniors – Western Storm v Lauderdale, 2.30pm; Development League – North Launceston v Lauderdale, noon; Representative Game: King Island Football Association v Meander Valley Suns, 10am; U-18 Northern Regional Final: Devonport v North Launceston, 5pm.