Cairns Saints tipped to win Cairns AFL grand final, says North Cairns coach Kane Richter
AFL Cairns coach of the year Kane Richter has had the displeasure of losing to both grand final teams in the past fortnight.
The twin defeats mean North Cairns, who finished the year in second, will not be in the senior grand final tomorrow.
"It hurts a bit," he said.
"Whether or not we could compete with Saints, just to be there competing in the big game is something we wanted to do."
Instead of controlling the Tigers’ backline at Cazalys, Richter said he would likely be manning the pie station in the canteen.
And he hopes the fans he serves are treated to a good contest.
"I hope it is, and I think Manunda can match up to Saints, at least physically and size-wise," he said.
"When you can put immense pressure on their midfield you can shut down their run and if the Hawks can do that it’ll be interesting."
The problem is, Saints have a squadron of capable men rotating through the engine room and more often than not, like Norths found a fortnight ago, other teams just can’t keep up.
"We did it in the first quarter against them and not the last three," Richter said.
"Saints like to back themselves to win the ball and spread early and they are able to do that pretty often because they’ve got fresh legs going against midfielders."
It is that midfield superiority that leads Richter to think that, try as they might, Manunda won’t be able to keep up.
"Saints have been the clear favourites all year and you can’t really go past them," he said.
Richter, who on Monday night was crowned coach of the year at the Crathern Medal dinner, remained confident the Tigers would build on what was a productive 2012.
And he confirmed he would be interested in being involved if an NEAFL side was established in Cairns.
"I’d probably be a little too old and slow by then (2014)," he said.
"But it gives the young guys an avenue.
"It gives the public a Cairns team to support and I’m definitely keen to be involved."
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Tip: North Cairns coach Kane Ritcher is backing Cairns Saints to add to their impressive AFL Cairns trophy cabinet.