Following the excitement of the ANZAC Day clash between West and Central, the Toyota AFL Broken Hill Premiership Season continues with a clash between the North Broken Hill Bulldogs and the South Broken Hill Roos.
The most heated local rivalry in the local game sees two sides who have regularly dominated the league since 2000. The two sides have met in 14 premiership deciders in the 21st century alone.
North was looking like the main challengers to the Roos dominance of the local footy scene for most of the 2022 campaign but fell away badly in the back end to finish third and were eliminated at the semi-final stage.
Last season saw South win their fourth premiership in a row, easily accounting for Central in the Grand Final. In an example of their dominance last season, South were the only club to finish with a positive win/loss record and had the top spot sewn up weeks before the end of the home and away season.
Ahead of the 2023 campaign, South have done things a little differently, starting preseason a little later than the other local clubs.
“We used the Lightning Cup as part of our preseason training this year,” South coach Craig Thomas told the Barrier Truth.
“We finished our preseason last week. Rolling right into round one, perfect timing to kick off and give a good account of ourselves.”
Player changes have been high at South ahead of this season, with several going on to play at Sunraysia level. That is going to open the door of opportunity for several youngsters this season.
“A lot of our senior players have gone on and are playing at the Sunraysia level, which is great, and what that does is it gives us an opportunity to bring our younger ones through and the pre-season that they have had has been outstanding and you will see the rewards of that on Saturday against North,” Thomas says.
For North the 2023 season presents them with the opportunity to snap a five-game losing streak against their biggest rivals and put the nightmare that was the back half of the 2022 campaign behind them.
North and South open their local AFL Premiership season today at the Jubilee Oval from 2.30pm.