ROUND 3 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) promises to be a big one, with plenty of teams close on the ladder facing off. The Tiwi Bombers and St Marys each have a chance to get their first wins of the season, while Nightcliff and the Southern Districts can keep their undefeated streaks alive.
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V TIWI BOMBERS
Saturday October 20, 2.30pm
Both sides are on the opposite ends of the table, with Southern Districts sitting second on two straight wins while the Tiwi Bombers are second-last with no wins from two games. The Crocs got a big win over St Marys, and Shane Thorne and Leroy Jetta led the way with four majors each. Expect Bradley Vallance to join them on the scoreboard this week, after he kicked three goals against Darwin in Round 1. Lionel Odgen and Samuel Smith could also be set for big performances. The Tiwi Bombers took it up the Wanderers in Round 1 in a high-scoring game but struggled with a big loss in Round 2. If the Bombers can revisit their Round 1 form, they might be in with a chance. Dionysuis Munkara will need to have another big game in order to snatch an upset win.
WANDERERS V ST MARYS
Saturday October 20, 5pm
St Marys will be desperate to secure its first win of the season, and the Saints have a good chance to do so against the fifth-placed Wanderers. Despite a big loss last week against the Crocs, Nathaniel Paredes showed promising signs, kicking a goal and being named best-on-ground for the Saints. St Marys took it right up to ladder-leader, Nightcliff in Round 1 so it will by no means be a sure win for Wanderers. They secured a high-scoring win in Round 1, highlighting their scoring power. Beau O’Connell led the way in that game with four majors, while Patrick Fairhead and Liam Patrick each kicked three majors. If the Wanderers can get even contribution from the board again, then expect them to win the game.
PALMERSTON MAGPIES V DARWIN BUFFALOES
Saturday October 20, 7.30pm
Both teams are sitting on one win and one loss heading into this game, so this game is well and truly anyone’s for the taking. The Magpies got their win in Round 1, while the Buffaloes got on the board in Round 2, meaning they could have the slight edge in terms of momentum. In that win last week, Darwin got over the line against the Wanderers by a convincing 52 points. The Buffaloes will require stellar performances from Jarrod Stokes, Malcolm Rosas and Kevin Maroney if they are to record that same winning margin this week. For Palmerston, Kyle Emery could be dangerous with his scoring power while Matthew Dennis is a ball magnet who could trouble Darwin’s ball-winners. He was named best-on-ground for the Magpies in each of their two matches this season, so the Buffaloes will need to minimise his influence to get the win.
WARATAH V NIGHTCLIFF
Sunday October 21, 4pm
Another enticing match takes place at Gardens Oval on Sunday, with first taking on third. Nightcliff will go into this match as favourites, given the Tigers haven’t dropped a game so far. But Waratah only went down narrowly against Palmerston in Round 1, so the Warriors go into this game with a big chance to record a victory. The side has plenty of known goal kickers, with Brock Orval, Lachlan Collihole, Raven Jolliffe, Samuel Weddell and Sam Godden all able to hit the scoreboard hard. Collihole is coming off a five-goal performance in Round 2, so he is likely to have a target on his back in this game, as the Tigers won’t want him getting out of the blocks early. However, one of Nightcliff’s own is coming off a bag of majors too, with Trent Melville kicking five goals against Palmerston last week. Matthew Bricknell and Cameron Ilett can also hit the scoreboard, kicking three goals each in that game. Expect this to be a high-scoring game, with the top two leading goal kickers, Melville (seven) and Collihole (six) going head-to-head at Gardens Oval.