NTFLW Round 2 Preview: Will second time be the charm?

AFTER an exciting Round 1 over the weekend, the TIO Northern Territory Football League Women’s (NTFLW) Premier League is gearing up for another couple of days of exciting action. Two teams emerging victorious by over 79 points (with one team registering a 172 point triumph) and the reigning premiers downing a worthy adversary controlled the headlines following the weekend. With some mammoth wins posted in the opening round, it will be interesting to see if teams can maintain these high-scoring ways, or will some surprising upsets present themselves?

Tracy Village vs. Wanderers

12:00pm, Saturday 9 October

Tracy Village Oval

Both of these sides will be searching for their first win of the season after delivering disappointing performances in the opening weekend that culminated in a pair of tough losses.

Tracy Village were on the end of the 172-point drubbing mentioned above, allowing Kingscliff to essentially do as they pleased. The side will be eager to ensure this result is not repeated in consecutive games, so expect a response from the players when they take the field this week. The team were without a win last season until they faced this side in the final round, so that will be the first item on the agenda. They were held scoreless for all four quarters last week, and should be strong enough to produce a better performance against their opponents this round.

The Wanderers were also on the end of a big loss, albeit not quite as extreme as the one mentioned above. They were toppled by St. Mary’s to the tune of 79 points, in a result that would have stung the players, coaching staff and fans. They have shown in the past they are capable of producing winning scores, and will be looking to do just that against Tracy Village. The Wanderers were held goalless by their opponents in the opening round so they will be hoping for a big outing from not only their forwards, but those delivering the ball inside-50. The last time these two sides met, Tracy Village recorded an unlikely win in the final round of the season and this result will still be fresh on the minds of the Wanderers players.

Nightcliff Tigers vs. Waratah

2:30pm, Saturday 9 October

Darwin Mazda Nightcliff Oval

Two sides coming off an opening round win will face off on Saturday afternoon, with many eyes watching to see if Nightcliff can repeat their efforts of Round 1.

The Tigers delivered one of the most dominant wins in recent memory, tearing apart Tracy Village by an astounding 172 points. The performance would have caught the eye of all opposition teams, with Nightcliff suddenly asserting themselves as a genuine threat if they can duplicate scoring performances like that. The Tigers had three players booting four or more goals in Kirra Hill-Carter (five), Olivia Hatzismalis (four) and Mickayla Ward (four), so the opposition defense will certainly have their hands full.

Waratah were able to start their season in ideal fashion against the Magpies last weekend, taking the four points by grabbing a powerful 40-point victory. After missing out on a finals berth last season by just one win, the team will be desperate to amend this, and a win over the Tigers would do much to aid this. Lisa Miceli proved to be a threat up forward in the opening round, booting four majors, so expect her teammates to look for her once again as an avenue to goal.

Pint vs. St. Marys

5:00pm, Saturday 9 October

TIO Stadium Oval

An enthralling match-up awaits fans late Saturday afternoon, with two sides expected to make finals appearances set to do battle at TIO Stadium Oval.

It was an ideal start for Pint in Round 1, as the reigning premiers took down some of their toughest competition in the Southern Districts to the tune of 22 points. They once again showed their ability to score in ridiculously fast fashion, booting four first quarter goals as they broke away from their opponents. An area of their game that may cause concern is the scoring drought that occurred for the rest of the game, with just three goals booted in the last three quarters, but they were facing a tough opponent, and were missing some key troops. Hillary Grubb delivered a best-on-ground performance and is set for a stellar year, so she will be looking to match this performance again this weekend.

St. Marys were ruthless in their 79-point win over the Wanderers in Round 1, starting their season in the strongest of form. The victors held their opponents goalless in a marvellous defensive display that they will be looking to emulate again against the reigning premiers. Their scoring was also strong and most importantly, consistent, which is an area that may give them an advantage in this matchup.

Darwin Buffettes vs. Southern Districts

2:00pm, Sunday 10 October

Cazaly’s Arena

The final game of the round will see the Southern Districts take on the Darwin Buffettes in what should prove to be an enthralling clash.

The Southern Districts fell short in their matchup against the reigning premiers, but certainly delivered some promising signs regardless. If it wasn’t for their scoring drought for about two and a half quarters, they would have been able to match it with the very best. Their final quarter scoring blitz showed their potential, but the biggest step will be turning this into a four quarter effort. With plenty of dangerous forwards for Darwin looming, Southern Districts defender Malory Nankervis will play a crucial role for her side.

The Buffettes will be fresh and ready to go after unluckily being stuck with the bye in Round 1. Last year’s grand finalists always prove to be one of the stronger sides in the league, and will be looking to kick off their season in style with a win over a side that won the flag only two seasons ago.

Photo: Glenn Campbell

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