Despite a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Albion Park in the dying seconds of their major semi-final clash last weekend, Uni have maintained a strong morale within the team are confident of securing the chance to take out their fourth straight championship.
Uni will get their second chance to qualify for the Grand Final when they play Wests in the Preliminary Final at the Illawarra Credit Union Hockey Stadium this Sunday.
Although Wests showed their strength with a convincing 7-3 win over Robertson in the Minor Semi, Uni are quietly confident they have the upper hand and their strong record against them will help them through to another Grand Final.
“We’re obviously disappointed with the result on the weekend, but a lot of the guys have turned up to training looking like they’re ready to go,” Uni Captain Coach Simon Beaton said.
Beaton feels his side have so far been able to put aside their disappointment from their loss to Albion Park and is ready to tackle the task at hand.
“We’ve got a lot of young blokes and it won’t take too long for them to get over the loss but I think they will definitely be looking for an improved performance this week,” he said.
“They like to counter attack and go all out to try and score the first goal and then defend, so one of our main goals will be to try and make sure we can score first because if they get in front, we’ll just make it difficult for ourselves,” he added.
One of Uni’s main focuses for the upcoming game is improing their defence from penalty corners having conceded all four goals against Albion Park from corners.
“We definitely need to tighten our defence,” said Beaton.
“They (Wests) scored a fair few of their goals in their semi from corners, so it will certainly be one of their strengths,” said Beaton.
Uni have also received a boost going into the clash with news Australian representative Tristan White will be available to play.
Uni midfielder Flynn Ogilvie, who has also represented Australia at Under 20 level feels the addition of White will be a bonus but is still expecting a strong contest from their opposition.
“It’s going to be tough,” he said.
“We will really need to be on our game.”
“I think in attack we’re stronger and our defence is just as good if not better than theirs, so we’re confident we can get the win.”
“It’s always a good game against Wests.”
“We’ve had a pretty good record against them in the past few years and a win against them would
definitely help our confidence going into the Grand Final.”