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THE TEAMS FOR 2019:
COACH: James Pascoe. 2018: 4th. LOSSES: Joel Griffiths, Ryan Griffiths, Jobe Wheelhouse, Ridge Mapu (retired), Marcus Duncan (Hamilton), Ben Hay (Valentine), Jarrod Baker (Magic). GAINS: Will McFarlane (Western Pride), Brock Messenger, James Pendrigh (Canterbury NZ), Andrew Pawiak (Hume), Josh Sutton (Belswans), Isaac Sefo (Jets 18s).
The losses on paper look enormous but the Jaffas still have a quality roster, including Luke Remington and Braedyn Crowley, and their recruits appear promising. Messenger and Pendrigh will miss at least the first month, but it will not surprise to see Lambton push late for silverware. KEY: Leadership: Wheelhouse and the Griffiths brothers leave a huge hole and Jaffas will need a few to show the way.
COACH: Peter McGuinness. 2018: 5th. LOSSES: Tom Davies (Maitland), Jacob Bailey (Valentine), Simon Mooney, Leo Bertos (retired), Daniel Eisenhauer (Adamstown), Blake Green, Stuart Musialik. GAINS: Marcus Duncan (Jaffas), Reece Pettit (Valentine), Ren Fukumoto, Shinichi Kawachi (Japan), Musa Kamara (APIA), Jez Murray, Beau McDonald, Jakob Cresnar.
With mass changes last year under new coach McGuinness, it took Olympic a while to click but they finished strongly to just miss the finals. Bertos and Davies were consistent performers and will be missed but Olympic have recruited well, especially in defence, and have depth, youth and speed. KEY: Cohesion: A slow start was costly last year and they again have several new faces.
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