Reviving 2020 AFL rivalries

The Yeppoon Swans remain untouchable this season.

By Liam Emerton

The AFL Capricornia competition will enter round eight this week with a 2020 grand final rematch on the cards.

The dominant Yeppoon Swans had a minor scare in that grand final when they were behind in the first quarter against the BITS Saints.

But then the muscle of the Swans took over and they secured their sixth flag and the national record for most consecutive wins in that match.

Fast-forward just short of two years later, the Saints have just regained their feet after three losses on the trot they finally broke their duck with a win against the Gladstone Suns.

Winning 12.7 (79) – 6.3 (39), the BITS’ key player Ayang Nyanjok finally had his breakout game of the season.

Nyanjok kicked in six goals against the Saints’ local rivals and thrust his name back into the spotlight.

Despite their dominant win, Yeppoon found a way to be even more impressive, beating 2021 grand final opponents, Glenmore Bulls 19.16 (130) – 1.4 (10).

The Bulls were blown out of the water early when the Swans managed 6.5 (41) to their 0.2 (2) in the first period.

Jamie Garner’s four goals made him the best sharpshooter on ground while teammates Matt Wallin, Tyler Spencer and Josh Mckee all kicked three.

That sets up an intriguing clash with both teams firing early on in matches, but it will be a tough task for the Saints.

The sides met back in round five where the Swans tore apart the Saints, winning 14.14 (98) – 2.1 (13).

The BITS’ best quarter was in the first period in the clash but two scoreless periods hindered their efforts of challenging the league leaders.

The Swans have continued that undefeated record they set 18 months ago and will be eager to keep up their warpath to the finals.

In the second round eight matchup the Rockhampton Panthers will look to test their recent run of results against the Gladstone Suns squad.

The Suns’ most recent win came against the Panthers back in round five but they’ve had a rough couple of losses since then.

The Panthers are on the other side of the results scale, having won their last two matches after not being able to score a win for the first five rounds.

Their winning streak was extended when they knocked off the Brothers Kangaroos in the seventh round, beating them 12.9 (81) to 6.8 (44).

The Kangas led 5.4 (34) – 4.4 (28) at half-time of that contest but a huge second half for the Panthers and a great defensive effort helped the Rockhampton squad secure their second victory of the season.

Jesse Johnston was the Panthers’ best in front of the sticks, scoring four goals for his side.

In the final men’s round eight matches the Glenmore Bulls take on the aforementioned Kangaroos.

Both sides will want to get back on their feet after suffering losses in the round prior.

In the women’s league, the Yeppoon Swans’ stronghold on the competition grew when they knocked off the Glenmore Bulls 8.8 (56) – 3.3 (21).

The side now sits eight points clear of the Rockhampton Panthers and could potentially extend that when they match up against the fifth-placed BITS Saints.

The Saints defeated their local rivals Gladstone 5.4 (34) – 1.5 (11) on Saturday but knocking off the league leaders will be a much different task.

The second-placed Rockhampton Panthers women will collide with the bottom-dwelling Suns in the second round eight fixture while the final match will be played between the Bulls and the Kangaroos.