Hockey: Workies and Kiwis to clash for Tamworth men's first grade silverware

They’ve been an almost unstoppable force, and on Sunday Workies will be shooting for an incredible ninth straight Tamworth men’s first grade title.

Key weapon: Kiwis will have to shut down Workies star Isaac Farmilo if they are to be a chance of knocking off the premiers on Sunday.

Key weapon: Kiwis will have to shut down Workies star Isaac Farmilo if they are to be a chance of knocking off the premiers on Sunday.

Standing in their way is a Kiwis side that held them to a draw in their last meeting and has provided a stern test for the premiers, even if the score hasn’t reflected that.

“All the games against Kiwis, it’s been very tight,” Workies coach Andrew Farmilo commented.

“It’s only been a little five or 10 minute period where we’ve put four or five goals in, which has turned the game.”

The ability to score quick goals is one of Workies’ biggest strengths and a product of the attacking potency they possess.

Farmilo accepts that the pressure is on them – they are the defending champions and undefeated so far this season – but also knows what his side is capable of.

The only real chink in their armour is their defence but so far that has stood up pretty well. Even the last few games when they haven’t played well, defensively they haven’t been that bad.

It’s been more an issue of not having the numbers helping out, Farmilo readily admitting they will have to play a lot better than they have in recent weeks.

“Just the effort hasn’t been there, whether working back in defence or to get the movement going,” he said.

Acknowledging that Kiwis have the better defensive unit, but they have the better attacking unit, Farmilo believes the midfield battle will be decisive.

“Whoever gets on top in the midfield that will determine how much ball our strikers will get,” he said.

Plotting how to stop Workies’ juggernaut, Kiwis captain Josh Worpel said defence will be the priority.

Driving forward: Luke Wilson will have a crucial role to play as part of Kiwis' midfield when they take on Workies in Sunday's men's grand final.

Driving forward: Luke Wilson will have a crucial role to play as part of Kiwis' midfield when they take on Workies in Sunday's men's grand final.

“Defence is the key for us. If we get that right it will go a hell of a long way,” he said.

“If we get that right we can go forward as well.”

It will be their first time in the grand final since 2012 when they were usurped by Workies 3-1.

“We’re all pretty excited, hopefully we can play better than last week,” Worpel said referring to their preliminary final win over South United. 

One of the most disappointing aspects for Worpel was their defence. It has been a real strength for them.

Conscious of what has transpired in their previous encounters, Worpel stressed that they will have to be on their game for 70 minutes.

“They (Workies) don’t need much of a sniff to score,” he said adding that they’ve got to take their opportunities when they get them.