South Mandurah Falcons secure place in 2021 PFNL grand final

TO THE FINALS: South Mandurah's Brody Wemm. Photo: Shazza J Photography.

TO THE FINALS: South Mandurah's Brody Wemm. Photo: Shazza J Photography.

After a thrilling battle between the Pinjarra Tigers and the South Mandurah Falcons, the Falcons have cemented their spot in the 2021 PFNL grand finals.

The preliminaries offered the chance for both teams to prove they have what it takes to knock out the seemingly indomitable Rockingham Rams in the fight for the premiership flag.

South Mandurah started strong and remained undefeated for the majority of the season - until the wheels fell off in round 12, when they took a massive hit in the form of a 101-35 loss to Pinjarra.

Pinjarra's success has fluctuated since the beginning, with the team initially struggling to find their footing amongst a new lineup of players, which included former AFL stars Hayden Ballantyne and Harley Bennell.

Both teams have been impacted heavily by illness and injury throughout 2021, from being three strong players down in some rounds to nine strong players down in others.

STAR PLAYER: Ex-AFL star Harley Bennell played a solid season for the Pinjarra Tigers. Photo: Shazza J Photography.

STAR PLAYER: Ex-AFL star Harley Bennell played a solid season for the Pinjarra Tigers. Photo: Shazza J Photography.

It was a tight preliminary game, with Pinjarra looking set to win it until the third quarter when South Mandurah pulled it back to claim a 75-67 win.

South Mandurah coach Kallen Williams said the game had prepared the team for what would be a challenging grand final.

"We're still on a bit of a high from yesterday's game," Williams said.

"I'm super confident now knowing that the boys can push through and show some resilience to work through - we were five goals down from halftime.

"We have confidence going into grand finals knowing we can work hard and show our character."

Hopefully South Mandurah won't be traumatised at the thought of facing off their biggest adversaries in the Rockingham Rams.

It will be a replay of the 2020 grand final, but maybe a different result after South Mandurah lost to the Rams by just one kick.

After last year's grand final we're pretty aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

Kallen Williams

"I think with last year being a shortened season we only got one or two looks at Rockingham," Williams said.

"This season we've gotten to play them three or four times."

Williams added that last year's grand final also helped South Mandurah to get a read on Rockingham's gameplay.

"After last year's grand final we're pretty aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

"But that goes both ways - they will be pretty onto us."

The grand finals will take place this weekend on September 18 at Rushton Park - the league game will begin at 2.35pm.

Williams said the team was going into the game strong, with "four or five" players returning after healing from injuries for the last slog.