Tag: jay dahlhaus

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 16

ROUND 16 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League saw the top sides flex their muscle as they up the ante just a fortnight out from finals time. Among the big results, St Mary’s and Wanderers defeated fellow finals-bound opponents to keep the top two race alive between them, while Nightcliff has all but officially sewn up another minor premiership and Southern Districts picked up a consolation victory. That, and more in our weekend wrap.

TIWI BOMBERS 1.0 | 3.0 | 3.3 | 5.3 (33)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 6.5 | 13.9 | 18.14 | 23.18 (156)

GOALS:

Tiwi: F. Vigona-Daniel 3, B. Rioli 2
Districts: B. Rolfe 5, J. Farrar 4, L. Kiel 3, M. Barlow 2, J. Dahlhaus 2, J. Bailey 2, T. Demamiel, E. Barlow, L. Bugeja, C. McAdam, J. Ross

BEST:

Tiwi: B. Rioli, F. Vigona-Daniel, J. Monigatti, P. Heenan
Districts: E. Barlow, M. Barlow, B. Rolfe, L. Kiel, J. Farrar, J. Dahlhaus

Southern Districts crushed a severely undermanned Tiwi Bombers by 123 points at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon, making for the Crocs’ sixth win for the season. While the crushing 23.18 (156) to 5.3 (33) result means little in the grand scheme of things, it serves as a rewarding consolation for Districts, who have clearly been the best side outside of finals contention.

Ed and Michael Barlow were instrumental upon their maiden outings in Crocs colours for the season, putting their side on the front foot from midfield and setting the tone for a dominant victory. Having started with six goals to one in the opening term, the Crocs found themselves over 11 goals ahead at the main break despite some typical Tiwi spark and resistance. In the end, the Bombers simply could not keep up against a Districts side which outclassed and outmuscled them.

Billy Rolfe dined on five goals for the victors, followed closely by Jonathan Farrar‘s four as 11 Crocs found the big sticks. Among them, Luke Kiel and Jay Dahlhaus were terrific, while young gun Tom Demamiel also impressed. Brayden Rioli booted a couple of late majors for Tiwi, with Francis Vigona-Daniel (three goals) the only other goalkicker for their side.

NIGHTCLIFF 4.4 | 12.8 | 17.11 | 26.13 (169)
PALMERSTON 0.1 | 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.2 (14)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: K. Emery 6, B. Filo 4, J. Hammond 3, T. Melville 3, S. Wilson 3, R. Nyhuis 2, A. Moniz Wakefield, N. Brown, P. Wills, D. Bowles, K. Riley
Palmerston: A. McAdam, F. Wilson

BEST:

Nightcliff: K. Emery, B. Filo, R. Nyhuis, S. Wilson, K. Emery, N. Brown
Palmerston: M. Dennis, E. Guthrie, S. Lampton, K. Annand, R. Warfe

Nightcliff’s finals preparation is well and truly cooking with gas, after the Tigers dismantled Palmerston to the tune of 155 points at Nightcliff Oval on Saturday night. The 26.13 (169) to 2.2 (14) result sees the reigning premiers only needing a draw in the last two games to secure yet another minor premiership, while Palmerston remains rooted to second-last spot.

The scoring feast was led by former-Magpie Kyle Emery, who snagged six goals for the victors to bring his season tally up to 54. He was one of 11 goalkickers for Nightcliff, with Nichols Medal winner Brodie Filo (four goals) right among the action alongside the likes of Trent Melville, Shaun Wilson, and Ryan Nyhuis – all of whom also bagged multiple goals. 150-gamer Nathan Brown put the cherry on top of his milestone game with a six-pointer of his own.

Familiar faces in Matthew Dennis and Eric Guthrie again put their hands up in a heavy defeat for Palmerston, who have only overcome the winless Tiwi Bombers this season. While they restricted the Tigers for much of the first term, the floodgates opened swiftly and saw an irresistible amount of traffic pass through in the one-sided encounter.

WARATAH 1.4 | 2.5 | 2.7 | 2.8 (20)
ST MARY’S 2.1 | 6.2 | 9.5 | 10.8 (68)

GOALS:

Waratah: W Collis 2
St Mary’s: J. Landt 3, N. Paredes, D. Landt, J. Calder, S. Rioli, D. Walters, S. Edwards, L. Ferreira

BEST:

Waratah: A. Moloney, W. Collis, B. Carroll, R. Turnbull, D. Collis
St Mary’s: K. Parnell, D. Landt, L. Jellyman-Turner, R. Clarke, J. Landt, N. Paredes

St Mary’s picked up an important win against Waratah on Sunday, excelling despite greasy conditions to salute by 48 points at Gardens Oval and bring an end to Tahs’ four-game winning run. The Warriors’ last loss came against St Mary’s and the Saints continue to be a thorn in their side after the 10.8 (68) to 2.8 (20) result, sending a strong statement of intent with finals just around the corner.

The Saints opened up a 21-point buffer at half time and pulled away thereafter with four goals to Waratah’s nil, showcasing outstanding skill in the wet to outclass their opponents with clean hands and excellent efficiency. Jack Landt finished with a game-high three goals for the victors, while Will Collis (two goals) was Waratah’s sole goalkicker for the day.

Further afield, Nate Paredes set the tone in midfield with desperate contested work, while Lucas Jellyman-Turner was influential on the rebound and Kieren Parnell earned plaudits from his coaches. Alex Moloney was among Waratah’s best alongside Brodie Carroll and Robert Turnbull, as the Warriors’ top two hopes have all but officially been dashed with two games to play.

WANDERERS 1.0 | 2.1 | 5.2 | 8.4 (52)
DARWIN 2.1 | 2.1 | 3.3 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:

Wanderers: M. Totham 3, B. Eddy 2, J. Cubillo 2, D. McFarlane
Darwin: M. Hagan, M. Campbell, C. Abala, N. Cooper

BEST:

Wanderers: M. Motlop, M. Totham, J. Cubillo, B. McLean, B. Newman, D. McFarlane
Darwin: J. Stokes, K. Williams, B. Archard, K. Maroney, T. Eldridge

Wanderers’ hopes of a top two finish remain alive after the Muk Muks trumped Darwin by 23 points at Tracy Village on Sunday. Scores were tied at half time but the Eagles soared after the main break with six goals to Darwin’s two to run out 8.4 (52) to 4.5 (29) winners and round out a rain-soaked weekend of NTFL action.

Marcus Totham kicked a game-high three goals as both sides were serviced by four respective goalkickers, with Wanderers spearhead Brett Eddy remaining on top of the competition-wide charts after adding another two majors. Fellow Eagle Josh Cubillo was the only other multiple goalkicker, as the likes of Marlon Motlop and Dane McFarlane led from midfield and were backed by Braedon McLean and Brodie Newman in defence.

The ever-reliable Jarrod Stokes was among Darwin’s best, while Kelvin Williams and Ben Achard also put their hands up for the Double Blues. Veteran forward Matt Campbell was again in the goals with a single major, in what were tough conditions for forwards. The Buffs can only move as high as fourth with wins in their final two outings, but have guaranteed a finals spot.

Image Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 14

BLOWOUTS were balanced by a couple of close contests in Round 14 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, with the mixed bag of results going a long way to confirming the top five with four rounds left to play. Waratah and Darwin shut the door on the top three with important wins, while Wanderers notched its highest-ever score and St Mary’s remained in the race for top two status. All that, and more in our weekend wrap.

TIWI BOMBERS | 1.2 | 3.5 | 6.8 | 7.9 (51)
WANDERERS | 10.4 | 19.11 | 26.15 | 37.19 (241)

GOALS:

Tiwi: D. Munkara 2, H. Puruntatameri 2, S. Puruntatameri, N. Hooker, A Mungatopi
Wanderers: B. Eddy 9, S. Bates 6, S. Mannagh 5, J. Cubillo 4, E. Simpson 3, M. Totham 2, J. Motlop 2, B. Hodgson 2, S. Tipiloura, J. Erlandson, D. McFarlane, D. Thompson

BEST:

Tiwi: H. Puruntatameri, D. Munkara, J. Monigatti, P. Heenan, J. Puruntatameri
Wanderers: S. Mannagh, D. McFarlane, B. Eddy, S. Bates, B. Hodgson, E. Simpson, J. Cubillo

A 190-point blowout saw Wanderers signal its intent heading into the pointy end of the season, with the club’s highest-ever score of 37.19 (241) making for formidable reading against Tiwi’s 7.9 (51). The Muk Muks burst out of the blocks with 10 goals to the Bombers’ one in the opening term, before adding no less than seven in each of the remaining quarters to build the fearsome final margin. Brett Eddy was the main destroyer, helping himself to his second haul of nine goals for the season and backed well by partner-in-crime Simon Bates (six). Midfield guns Shaun Mannagh and Josh Cubillo also combined for nine majors, while fellow engine room operator Dane McFarlane was at his dominant best. Combined, they easily outclassed a young Tiwi side which lacked raw starpower. Dion Munkara and Harley Puruntatameri booted two goals apiece as the best Bombers afield, with bigman Jack Mongiatti also continuing his rich vein of form despite the Bombers’ 13th-straight defeat.

WARATAH | 5.2 | 11.8 | 17.13 | 24.18 (162)
PALMERSTON | 2.3 | 2.4 | 3.5 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS:

Waratah: A. Ankers 5, K. Kantilla 3, R. Turnbull 2, B. Orval 2, B. Carroll 2, A. Kirby 2, T. Mosquito 2, H. Kerinaiua 2, J. Sutton, M. Blake, J. McGrath, J. Simson
Palmerston: M. Rankine 3, J. Harvey, S. Lampton

BEST:

Waratah: R. Turnbull, C. Searle, T. Mosquito, H. Kerinaiua, A. Moloney
Palmerston: E. Guthrie, S. Brock, K. Annand, A. McAdam, T. Lui

Waratah stood up at both ends to easily account for Palmerston, riding home to the tune of 130 points at TIO Stadium on Saturday. The Warriors have somewhat gone under the radar in their top five tilt but made a statement with the 24.18 (162) to 5.6 (36) victory, proving their scoring prowess and the killer instinct to run their opponents into the ground. A potent Waratah midfield was spearheaded by Abe Ankers, who booted a game-high five goals in the winning effort. Robert Turnbull was also outstanding through the middle while Callum Searle went to work on the rebound and Kim Kantilla notched three majors as part of Tahs’ 12 individual goalkickers (eight multiple). Matthew Rankine was Palmerston’s main source of scoring with three goals, accounting for half of his side’s total. Eric Guthrie proved typically solid as young defenders Sandy Brock and Tyrrell Lui were kept busy in the heavy loss.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 2.3 | 4.4 | 6.6 | 9.10 (64)
DARWIN BUFFALOES | 4.1 | 6.3 | 8.6 | 11.10 (76)

GOALS:

Districts: L. Ogden 2, J. Dahlhaus 2, J. Sexton 2, B. Rolfe, K. Jones, J. Ross
Darwin: M. Campbell 6, B. Foster 3, R. Pendlebury, S. Ahmat,

BEST:

Districts: J. Clark, L. Ogden, J. Sexton, J. Dahlhaus, J. Ross
Darwin: M. Campbell, R. Pendlebury, B. Foster, K. Kossack, C. Atkinson

Darwin all but sealed the top five with a month left to play after downing Southern Districts by 12 points, putting the Buffaloes three games clear in the finals places. The two-goal margin was established early on and remained consistent throughout the scrappy contest, as the Double Blues answered every challenge to run out 11.10 (76) to 9.10 (64) victors. Veteran Buff Matt Campbell continues to thrive up forward and notched six goals to be the best player afield. Brodie Foster again proved his reliability inside 50 with another three majors, while Lionel Ogden, Jay Dahlhaus, and Jack Sexton all snared two for the Crocs in a more even spread of contributors. Ryan Pendlebury was another important figure for Darwin and found a scoring opportunity, also featuring among the best players alongside 100-gamer Kayle Kossack.

NIGHTCLIFF | 3.1 | 4.3 | 4.6 | 5.10 (40)
ST MARY’S | 0.4 | 2.9 | 3.11 | 3.13 (31)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: L. Holt-Fitz 2, S. Wilson, R. Mu, J. Butcher
St Mary’s: J. Calder, B. Tedcastle, J. Williams

BEST:

Nightcliff: T. Boyd, J. Peris, A. Jorgensen, S. Wilson, P. Wills, B. Filo
St Mary’s: D. Landt, S. Edwards, J. Calder, K. Parnell, M. Wilkinson, T. Saunders

Only eight goals were kicked between Nightcliff and St Mary’s as the Tigers adapted best to run out 11-point winners in a rain-effected contest on Sunday night. The reigning premiers brought their typically skilful style in the opening term to build a defining three-goal lead before the heavens opened and both teams were made to get their hands dirty. Despite scoring pressure from the Saints, Nightcliff held on to win 5.10 (40) to 3.13 (31) in the low-scoring slog. Tom Boyd was instrumental for Nightcliff as the dependable Shaun Wilson and Phillip Wills also played their part, while Liam Holt-Fitz finished as the game’s sole multiple goalkicker (two). Dylan Landt continued his excellent season for St Mary’s, named best afield in front of the likes of Shaun Edwards and Tylah Saunders. Jackson Calder was another to stand up in difficult conditions, finding the big sticks on one occasion.

Featured Image: Waratah were big winners over Palmerston in Round 14 | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Midseason review: Darwin, Nightcliff, Palmerston, Southern Districts

WITH the NTFL Men’s Premier League season coming to a halt over the Christmas period Draft Central casts an eye over how the teams are tracking, some of their key contributors throughout the season so far and how they are shaping up for the rest of the season.

Darwin Buffaloes

Position: 5th
Win-loss-draw: 7-5-0
Percentage: 113.77%

The Buffaloes are well within touching distance of the top four, sitting just outside based on percentage and will be eager to climb further up the ladder to better position themselves for finals. They have had a relatively inconsistent run of form recently but have also been faced with a couple of top contenders in Nightcliff and St Mary’s. The Buffs will head into the break on a high collecting a strong win over Tiwi Bombers to cap off the 2020 part of their season and will be preparing for the top of the table Nightcliff in the opening game of 2021.

Brodie Foster has been the main avenue to goal for Darwin, nailing 36 majors from his 11 outings while Matt Campbell has also proven to be a livewire up forward with his ability to slot them from anywhere and notching up 23 for the year so far. Ishmael Palmer and Jarrod Stokes have also showcased their worth with 17 and 15 majors respectively highlighting the number of options they have when going forward. Ryan Pendlebury has proven to be a smooth mover for the Buffs while Joseph Collinson can hit both the scoreboard and the bests making him a crucial cog in their armour.

Nightcliff

Position: 1st
Win-loss-draw: 9-2-1
Percentage: 142.90%

Sitting pretty on top of the table, Nightcliff have won nine of their 12 games this season but have had a bit of a chequered run of form in their last five outings notching up three wins, a draw and a loss to the Southern Districts. They boast a commanding percentage, which provides some much needed separation between them and the second placed St Mary’s who are hot on their heels. On return, Nightcliff are faced with Darwin Buffaloes making for an exciting battle.

When looking at their key standouts it is hard to go past the services of Kyle Emery who has been a star up forward with his 38 goals from 12 games, leading the goalkicking tally for the squad. Cameron Ilett has also featured highly on the goalscoring front, booting 28 majors from his 11 appearances while the next closest is Liam Holt-Fitz and Trent Melville with the pair putting on 15 goals apiece. Aside from scoreboard impact Dominic Brew has proven to be a force to be reckoned with appearing in the bests eight times while Ilett has displayed his ability to have a regular presence across the ground frequently named in the bests for his efforts. Other key contributors in Ryan Mu, Mack Rivett and Thomas Boyd are just a few names to keep an eye out for when play returns next year given their ability to have an impact on the course of a game and ply their trade effectively for the top of the table side.

Palmerston

Position: 7th
Win-loss-draw: 2-10-0
Percentage: 61.01%

It has been a difficult season for the Magpies who have only managed to muster up two wins for the year and suffered a number of hefty defeats. In fact Palmerston has only won, one of their past five games and that victory was against the bottom placed Bombers. Despite having strong moments, the Magpies have been unable to maintain that same pressure and presence for a full four quarters as shown through their win-loss ratio. Unfortunately it will not get any easier when they return in 2021 up against St Mary’s who are in hot form.

The scoring options are somewhat limited however Toshie Kunoth has put his hand up to steer the ship throughout the season with his 15 majors while he has been ably assisted by the likes of Nigel Lockyer Jnr who has booted 13 goals across his nine games. The scoring drops off after that with the next best Aiden McAdam with six. In terms of consistent performers Eric Guthrie is up there registering nine best on grounds while Matthew Dennis has also accumulated nine. Rohan Armstrong is another commanding force for the Magpies as is Christopher Williams with the two capable ball winners.

Southern Districts

Position: 6th
Win-loss: 5-7-0
Percentage: 103.56%

Although it might not have been the start Southern Districts were after there are still plenty of positives to take out of their season notching up five wins, with two of them coming in their past five outings, one against Nightcliff and the other against the Magpies. They have struggled to string together consecutive wins but are still somewhat in the hunt if they find the right mix and build a strong backend of the season. Their campaign kicks off against the third placed Wanderers when play resumes in January.

Looking at goalkickers for the Crocs and it is Andrew Boseley that holds the mantle as number one with 19 goals from his 12 appearances while Jay Dahlhaus has been influential since joining the side with his 12 majors. Luke Kiel is a handy goalscoring option boasting 12 goals for the season while Billy Rolfe and James Tsitas have managed 10 goals apiece for Southern Districts. When it comes to reliable performers it is hard to go past the likes of Charles McAdam and Jesse Clark with the duo recording seven bests each. Dean Staunton is not far off with six while Dahlhaus and Kiel are also heavily influential with ball in hand.

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 10

SATURDAY’S top-of-the-table clash fully delivered on the hype, as nothing could separate Nightcliff and Wanderers after four quarters of high level football. The clash headlined a ladder defining round where Palmerston picked up win number two, St Mary’s consolidated its top three spot, and Waratah extended the gap to the bottom sides by trumping Southern Districts. That, and more in our weekend wrap.

TIWI BOMBERS | 0.4 | 3.6 | 5.6 | 6.10 (46)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES | 3.3 | 7.4 | 8.7 | 8.7 (55)

GOALS:

Tiwi: P. Heenan, A. Christensen, A. Tipungwuti, A. Wonaemirri, J. Monigatti, N. Ebinger
Palmerston: S. Autio 3, R. Armstrong 2, T. Kunoth 2, B. McDonald

BEST:

Tiwi: G. Turner, J. Monigatti, F. Carroll, M. De Wit, N. Ebinger
Palmerston: E. Guthrie, M. Dennis, R. Armstrong, S. Autio, T. Lui, J. Mentha

Palmerston came away from one of the competition’s toughest away trips with premiership points, defeating Tiwi by nine points at Wurrumiyanga Oval on Saturday. The 8.7 (55) to 6.10 (46) result is the Magpies’ second win for 2020/21, and their second against the winless Bombers. After breaking away to a three goal to nil start, Palmerston never looked back despite Tiwi’s best efforts to bridge the gap late. Samuel Autio booted three goals for the winners, with fellow multiple goalkicker Rohan Armstrong among the Magpies’ best alongside Eric Guthrie and Matthew Dennis. Tiwi finished with six individual goalkickers, with the likes of Gibson Turner, Jack Mongiatti, and Fletcher Carroll among the best Bombers afield.

ST MARY’S | 4.6 | 6.10 | 9.14 | 13.15 (93)
DARWIN | 0.2 | 3.4 | 5.7 | 9.10 (64)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: B. Tedcastle 5, J. Calder 3, J. Quinn, S. Rioli, B. Grenfell, D. Andrews , R. Smith
Darwin: B. Foster 5, J. Collinson 2, M. Hagan, M. Campbell

BEST:

St Mary’s: T. Saunders, D. Landt, D. Andrews , B. Tedcastle, J. Calder, R. Smith
Darwin: B. Foster, R. Pendlebury, M. Coombes, M. Campbell, N. Lowden

St Mary’s stamped its finals credentials with a 29-point win over fellow contender Darwin at TIO Stadium, seeing the Saints go clear in third spot. A four-goal head start helped set up an unassailable lead for the victors, who ensured they kept their noses in front with consistent scoreboard pressure in the face of Darwin’s charge. Young gun Beau Tedcastle starred with five goals, a feat matched by Buffs spearhead Brodie Foster. Jackson Calder also found the big sticks with three majors, while the likes of Tylah Saunders, Dylan Landt, and Daly Andrews also impressed for the Green Machine. Ryan Pendlebury and Matt Campbell were among Darwin’s key contributors in the loss.

NIGHTCLIFF | 3.1 | 8.8 | 9.10 | 11.13 (79)
WANDERERS | 2.2 | 6.3 | 8.5 | 12.7 (79)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: C. Ilett 3, K. Emery 3, T. Melville 2, L. Holt-Fitz 2, B. Filo
Wanderers: S. Bates 4, B. Eddy 3, S. Thorne 2, B. O’Connell, J. Priest, D. McFarlane

BEST:

Nightcliff: C. Ilett, R. Mu, J. Bowen, K. Emery, D. Brew, P. Wills
Wanderers: B. Newman, S. Bates, D. McFarlane, B. McLean, M. Totham

Nightcliff and Wanderers played out to a 79-apiece draw at Nightcliff Oval on Saturday night, seeing the two-pronged top-of-the-table race continue. The Muk Muks trailed at every break but remained within touching distance of the reigning premiers before taking the lead in the final term with an early four-goal blitz. But two late Nightcliff goals tied the scores and saw a golden opportunity for either side squandered. Veteran Cam Ilett was Nightcliff’s best player having booted three majors alongside Kyle Emery, a feat matched by Brett Eddy for Wanderers and beaten by Simon Bates‘ four majors. Defender Brodie Newman was also among the best for Wanderers, while Ryan Mu and Dom Brew stepped up for Nightcliff.

WARATAH | 3.2 | 5.3 | 9.7 | 11.8 (74)
S. DISTRICTS | 1.3 | 1.6 | 1.8 | 4.13 (37)

GOALS:

Waratah: A. Kirby 2, C. Arnold 2, D. Lang, M. O’Donnell, J. Keras, C. Searle, A. Ankers, R. Turnbull, B. Carroll
Districts: B. Rolfe, L. Kiel, J. Dahlhaus, A. Boseley

BEST:

Waratah: S. Godden, D. Collis, B. Carroll, A. Kirby, M. O’Donnell
Districts: J. Clark, J. Dahlhaus, L. McGregor, J. Bailey, D. Staunton, M. Pemberton

Waratah widened the gap to the bottom three with a comprehensive 37-point win over Southern Districts to round out the weekend’s action, shaping the ladder even further. The Crocs were kept to just one goal across the first three terms as Tahs helped themselves to nine, before Districts managed to make some consolation inroads come term four. In the end, Waratah still doubled their opponents’ score in the 11.8 (74) to 4.13 (37) result. Waratah finished with nine individual goalkickers in a terrific team spread, with the likes of Sam Godden and Dylan Collis contributing well to the win. Meanwhile, Geelong Falcons graduates Jesse Clark and Jay Dahlhaus were at the forefront of Southern Districts’ effort.

Featured Image: St Mary’s forward Beau Tedcastle in action | Credit: Glenn Campbell/NT News

In Contention | AFL Draft smokies to consider: 19-year-olds

COME the end of a year like no other, there is likely to be a greater amount of hard luck stories and near misses than ever before, especially after the recent cuts to AFL list sizes. But for all that doom and gloom, the 2020 AFL Draft intake is also poised to provide some of the best stories of positivity as elite level hopefuls rise from the adversity this year has put forward.

In Draft Central’s newest series, we take a look at some of the draft prospects who remain in contention to fulfil their draft dreams despite missing out on invites to their respective states’ draft combines, or being overlooked as top-agers. 19-year-old talents are next to go under the microscope, and there are plenty of prospects around the mark having come on strongly after initially being overlooked. Of course, those from Victoria were unable to add to their resumes in 2020, but some have put strong runs on the board already.

Profiles for many of the players mentioned below can be found in our free to download AFL Draft Guide.

>> 2020 AFL Draft Pool
>> AFL Draft Whispers: 2020 Edition
>> Power Rankings: November Update

One over-age prospect has already realised his AFL Draft dream, with Gold Coast Academy graduate Hewago Paul Oea recently placed onto the Suns’ Category B Rookie List. ‘Ace’, as he is better known, is a Papua New Guinea native and earned an International Scholarship before his promotion. Last year, he remained one of the many Northern Academy products who were unlucky to be overlooked at the draft table. Former teammate Josh Gore was another, a small forward who has an uncanny knack of finding the goals. After a terrific senior QAFL campaign with Broadbeach, he could well remain in contention.

Sydney also has access to some fine over-age talent, of whom stood up during this year’s Academy Series. Sam Gaden put together a strong top-age campaign in 2019 before injury hit, but the strong and versatile bigman served a reminder of his talents this year. Likewise, Jackson Barling booted three majors in Game 1 of the Academy Series to put his hand up, while Sam Thorne‘s impact at ground level was evident as he shone in midfield. Both are solid operators, with Barling arguably the more flexible of the two, while Thorne is a reliable small with less expansive upside.

Still in NSW/ACT, the GWS Academy continues to produce some strong talent, albeit not quite in the same ballpark as Tom Green last year. Diminutive ball winner Harry Grant was impressive in his outings for the Giants Academy this year, as well as at his state’s draft combine come season’s end. The 173cm midfielder is tough and deceptively strong over the ball considering his size. Liam Delahunty is one who was widely considered unlucky last year, with his athleticism, marking ability, and versatility at over 190cm all desirable traits. He was set for a switch to the Northern Knights and North Melbourne VFL side before COVID intervened.

Continuing the Allies theme, Tasmania had a couple of 19-year-olds on the cusp after promising 2019 seasons. Jared Dakin attracted some interest after a couple of strong showings towards the end of last year, and his more recent TSL form saw him earn a late call-up for his second combine appearance in as many years. He is a tough inside type with terrific defensive attributes and a solid athletic base. Tall utility Jake Steele was another late inclusion to this year’s combine and has showed his wares on every line thus far. His competitiveness and versatility are key pillars of his overall game.

Of the other states in action this year, Western Australia has one of the deepest over-age pools and many of the prospects in this category boosted their standings in 2020. Max Spyvee is at the pointy end of that list, having burst onto the League scene and earned best afield honours in game two of the WA Under 18 All-Stars fixtures. Fellow Claremont product Kalin Lane, a 204cm ruckman, showed a similarly impressive rate of improvement and looms as a developable ruck option. Nick Martin was another tall to stake his claim having led Subiaco’s League goalkicking charts, while the likes of Conor McPartland and Callum Johnson found mountains of the ball at Colts level before earning promotions. Johnson’s West Perth teammate Brady Alvaro also showed handy balance through midfield, rotating in off the wing.

South Australia’s stocks have also proven to be quite strong, with plenty of mature-agers also entering the draft radar. In terms of 2001-births, Glenelg pair Callum Park and Luke Parks were outstanding after being overlooked in 2019, slotting straight into the reigning premiers’ League side and providing great intercept/rebound value from defence. Parks is also a former Swans Academy member. South Adelaide’s Beau McCreery was another to impress with his goal sense and defensive pressure, while Lachlan McNeil was a key part of Woodville-West Torrens’ premiership midfield, and Nic Couroupis earned an All-Stars call-up for his form across multiple levels. North Adelaide defensive pair Dyson Hilder and Karl Finlay also rotated through the senior squads having been key members of the SA Under 18 squad as top-agers.

Last, but certainly not least are the Victorians, who typically make up over 50 per cent of the overall draft pool. There were a bunch of over-agers set to prove doubters wrong with another strong NAB League campaign but alas, that was not to be. Darcy Chirgwin would be near the top of that list, and the tall inside midfielder has not given up on his AFL pursuit having added nearly 10kg to his frame. He was set to rejoin the Geelong Falcons after a stint with Sandringham as he boarded at private school. Jay Dahlhaus, the cousin of Luke was also set to go around with the Falcons again, keen to impress after injury scuppered his top-age season. He earned a NTFL Rising Star nomination recently for Southern Districts, bringing his forward creativity and pressure to the Top-End.

A December-birth, Isaac Wareham also had his top-age run foiled by untimely injuries and could have developed quickly this year. Gippsland’s Jai Newcombe could have been a feel-good story having missed the cut in multiple preseasons prior to his selection in 2020, and the Power are high on his talents as a big-bodied inside mid. Another fast developer is former volleyballer Blake Kuipers, who represented Vic Country last year and has great potential as an athletic key position utility. On the Metro scene, Felix Flockart was set for a big year after impressing in the 2019 APS competition, but is still very much a raw prospect. Would-be Sandringham teammate Oscar Lewis has similar upside, but as a running outside midfielder with good height. Lachlan Gawel, who would have switched from Eastern to Northern, is forward with high class, but like many on this list, was looking to prove his value with a consistent season.

Featured Image: Max Spyvee was best afield in game two of WA’s Under 18 All-Star fixtures | Credit: @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

In Contention | Outsider AFL Draft prospects to consider: Vic Country

COME the end of a year like no other, there is likely to be a greater amount of hard luck stories and near misses than ever before, especially after the recent cuts to AFL list sizes. But for all that doom and gloom, the 2020 AFL Draft intake is also poised to provide some of the best stories of positivity as elite level hopefuls rise from the adversity this year has put forward.

In Draft Central’s newest series, we take a look at some of the draft prospects who remain in contention to fulfil their draft dreams despite missing out on invites to their respective states’ draft combines. These combine lists are often the best indicators of clubs’ interest in players, with at least four nominations required for those who were not selected in the two national Under -17 showcase games last year. Outsider talent from the Vic Country regions are next to go under the microscope, and there are plenty around the mark despite missing a full year of football.

Below are pocket profiles of some players to watch, which will also feature in our upcoming annual AFL Draft Guide.

>> 2020 AFL Draft Pool
>> AFL Draft Whispers: 2020 Edition
>> Power Rankings: November Update

BENDIGO PIONEERS:

Sam Conforti | Midfielder/Small Forward
15/03/2002 | 174cm/72kg

The diminutive mover quickly established himself as a mainstay in Bendigo’s lineup last year, going on to average 17.3 disposals across 16 games. He played mostly on the wing but was looking to develop as a hard-running, creative small forward.

Aaron Gundry | Ruck
17/02/2001 | 200cm/84kg

A player who could have benefitted greatly from another year in the NAB League system, Gundry is a mobile ruckman who has also enjoyed stints up forward. The 19-year-old’s clean hands and upside are his strengths, but he has some filling out to do.

Jack Tillig | Half-Back
07/03/2002 | 186cm/84kg

Tillig could have been one to surprise this year with a full NAB League season, set to return to the Pioneers after representing GWV while boarding at St Patrick’s Ballarat for school. He is a solid rebounder who also intercepts well at half-back.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS:

Henry Berenger | Key Defender
31/01/2002 | 193cm/86kg

One who contributed a solid bottom-age campaign consisting of 15 games, Berenger showed he was capable of playing a key defensive role. His athletic profile does not jump off the page, but the 18-year-old is a readymade and versatile rebounder.

Blake Kuipers | Key Defender/Ruck
25/07/2001 | 197cm/82kg

A former high-level volleyballer, Kuipers is a player with plenty of upside who featured at last year’s Under 18 National Championships. He is quite raw, but very athletic and can fill key position posts at either end or in the ruck. Was poised for a big 2020.

Deakyn Smith | Outside Midfielder/Forward
22/08/2002 | 179cm/68kg

Part of Melbourne’s Next Generation Academy, Smith is a lightly-framed outside midfielder who can also rotate forward. He has good speed and plenty of raw talent, but is working on adding polish and consistency to his overall game.

Bayleigh Welsh | Midfielder/Forward
19/01/2002 | 180cm/82kg

Dandenong players and staff alike rate Welsh as a talent who was poised to make a real impact in 2020. He averaged a tick under 12 disposals across 14 NAB League games last year and was set for a more permanent midfield role.

GEELONG FALCONS:

Gennaro Bove | Midfielder/Small Forward
14/01/2002 | 177cm/78kg

One of two Geelong Falcons co-captains for 2020, Bove is a clean and agile small midfielder who can also get his hands dirty on the defensive end. His size and smarts bode well for development as a small forward in future.

Darcy Chrigwin | Inside Midfielder
25/07/2001 | 191cm/89kg

Another player who was poised to shift back to his native region in 2020, Chirgwin was also unlucky not to be picked up last year. The 19-year-old has grown to 89kg and would be a readymade choice as far as inside midfielders go.

Jay Dahlhaus | Small Forward
21/05/2001 | 172cm/71kg

Currently plying his trade with Southern Districts in the NTFL, Dahlhaus is an exciting small forward who brings terrific creative energy and defensive pressure to the forward half. Injury curtailed his top-age season last year and he was set to impact as a 19-year-old in 2020.

GIPPSLAND POWER:

Jai Newcombe | Inside Midfielder
02/08/2001 | 184cm/85kg

Was poised to stake his claim as one of 2020’s feel-good stories, having finally made the cut at Gippsland after being overlooked in multiple preseasons. He is an inside bull who proved hard to tackle at this year’s trials and the Power were certainly high on his potential as an over-ager.

GWV REBELS:

Isaac Wareham | Outside Midfielder
24/12/2001 | 186cm/77kg

Another who was unlucky to be overlooked last year, Wareham looked set to put injuries behind him and build on a top-age season which saw him represent Vic Country. He has plenty of development left as a December birth and makes things happen with ball in hand, playing into his overall upside.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS:

Ethan Baxter | Key Defender
31/01/2002 | 193cm/82kg

A Richmond Next Generation Academy member, Baxter was an Under 16 All Australian in 2018 and had some development left to make in 2020. He is a strong key defender who can hold his own in the back 50, especially in one-on-one and aerial contests.

Kade Chalcraft | Outside Midfielder
28/03/2002 | 182cm/79kg

Chalcraft was touted for some more time on the inside this year having already showed his worth as a creative outlet on the outer. He is an evasive small-medium type who played 16 games as a bottom-ager.

Sam Durham | Balanced Midfielder
09/07/2001 | 185cm/77kg

One of last year’s state combine invitees, Durham missed out on being drafted as a top-ager but garnered interest with his speedy adjustment to the code as a multi-sport athlete. He moves well and has good skills, but would be working on his game sense and consistency.

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 8

THE NTFL Men’s Premier League finals frontrunners will look to continue ticking over their win columns, with three of the top five sides set to take on teams on the outer. Meanwhile, Darwin and Waratah lock horns in the closest clash on ladder position, rounding out a full Saturday of action and the TIO Stadium triple-header. All that, and more in our weekend preview.

Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-7) vs. St Mary’s (4th, 4-3)
Saturday November 21, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Tiwi and St Mary’s are set to meet for the second time this season when they do battle at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Saints notched their first win for the campaign back in Round 3 against the Bombers, trumping their rivals by 51 points at the same venue. Since, they have improved to 4-3 and climbed into finals contention, while Tiwi remains winless after seven games despite showing glimpses of form. Saints spearhead Jackson Paine looks like missing this clash, leaving Jackson Calder to headline the forward 50. The Bombers should have plenty of firepower with Ross Tungatalum and Austin Wonaeamirri named on the same attacking line, while the likes of Nathan Scagliarini and Harley Puruntatameri are no stranger to the goals. In midfield, Nate Paredes and Shaun Edwards will have their hands full with Tiwi’s Fletcher Carroll and Adam Tipungwuti, while Mason De Wit will be the Bombers’ defensive driver, much like Dylan Landt for the Saints.

Wanderers (2nd, 6-1) vs. Palmerston (7th, 1-6)
Saturday November 21, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Wanderers’ push for top spot continues as the Muk Muks take on Palmerston at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening. The 6-1 Eagles have proven one of the competition’s most improved sides over the first seven rounds, and have the wood over Palmerston having won by 48 points in their Round 4 clash. For all the Magpies’ promise, they currently languish in seventh with just one win on the board, coming against bottom-placed Tiwi. But some positive news for Palmerston sees Eric Guthrie free to play after an appearance at the tribunal, which he escaped with a reprimand. Aaron and Alwyn Davey are also poised to take the field, while Sandy Brock‘s return to the backline will be a welcome one. Wanderers is flying and boasts a settled lineup, but will be missing Warwick Williams for this clash. Still, Brodie Newman has held up the defence superbly, while Brett Eddy and Simon Bates run riot up forward and Beau O’Connell hits his straps. Their attacking threat and midfield strength should again prove too much for Palmerston.

Nightcliff (1st, 6-1) vs. Southern Districts (6th, 3-4)
Saturday November 21, 6:30pm
Nightcliff Oval

Nightcliff will hope to maintain its business as usual approach on Saturday night as it hosts Southern Districts under lights. This will be the first meeting between the two sides this season, with the reigning premiers looking strong as ever and Districts slowly climbing the ranks. While the Tigers have laid waste to most adversaries, the Crocs have been ultra-competitive across the season thus far and could have gained a positive record if not for some tight losses. Round 7 Rising Star nominee Jay Dahlhaus has been one of many Crocs to find form, combining well with the likes of Andrew Boseley and Luke Kiel in the attacking half with service from the reliable James Tsitas and Dean Staunton. Nightcliff has its own forward firepower though, with Liam Holt-Fitz fresh off an electric return and looking to have more of the same impact alongside fellow dynamic goalkickers Kyle Emery and Trent Melville. Dom Brew also faces a big task in midfield, with his defensive pressure key to blanketing the run of Tsitas and Nikolaus Rokahr.

Waratah (5th, 3-4) vs. Darwin (3rd, 5-2)
Saturday November 21, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin and Waratah will look to end Round 8 on a high as they provide the weekend’s sole top five clash at TIO Stadium on Saturday night. The Buffs’ early-season form saw them soar to top spot, though they have faltered a touch of late with their two losses coming in the last three weeks – albeit against top two sides. Similarly, three of Waratah’s four losses have come in the last month of action, with one dealt at the hands of Darwin by six points in Round 4. Double Blues midfielder Jalen Clarke looks set to return to the fold, joining the in-form Jarrod Stokes in midfield. Brodie Foster is a glaring absentee from the team list though, perhaps forcing Mihail Lochowiak to shift forward with Ryan Pendlebury covering the back six. Waratah should be up for a good fight, with the likes of Callum Searle and Dylan Collis providing good value this season, while Brodie Carroll has led from the front.

Featured Image: Southern Districts’ Jay Dahlhaus gets a kick away | Credit: Celina Whan AFLNT/Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 7

WANDERERS are the new Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League ladder leader after seven rounds of action, having dismantled Darwin in a top-of-the-table clash. Reigning premier Nightcliff managed to keep touch with the soaring Eagles, while Southern Districts and St Mary’s snuck over the line in games decided by one and two goals respectively. All that, and more in our weekend wrap.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 4.1 | 5.4 | 9.7 | 11.7 (73)
TIWI BOMBERS | 3.1 | 5.5 | 6.6 | 10.7 (67)

GOALS:

Districts: J. Tsitas 2, A. Boseley 2, M. Duffy 2, J. Bell 2, J. Farrar, D. Robertson, N. Rokahr
Tiwi: J. Tipuamantamirri 3, H. Puruntatameri 2, A. Wonaeamirri 2, A. Tipungwuti, A. Byrne, J. Simon

BEST:

Districts: J. Tsitas, J. Dahlhaus, N. Rokahr, L. McGregor, C. McAdam, J. Clark, M. Duffy
Tiwi: A. Hams, M. De Wit, F. Carroll, G. Turner, J. Tipuamantamirri

James Bell proved the hero for Southern Districts as his winning goal helped the Crocs defeat a dangerous Tiwi Bombers outfit by six points on Saturday afternoon. Districts had created a handy third term buffer which looked likely to see them home, but the Bombers hit back strongly to draw level with just a few minutes left on the clock. Up stepped Bell, whose all-important major score sealed the 11.7 (73) to 10.7 (67) victory. The result sees Southern Districts move up to fifth on the back of three wins in four weeks, while Tiwi remains without any premiership points after seven games.

For the victors, James Tsitas was again prominent with his ability to win the ball in all areas of the park, while Jay Dahlhaus‘ creativity in the forward half brought others into the game. Spearhead Andrew Boseley was another key figure in the result, finishing with two goals which came at ideal moments. Tiwi was not without its contributors either, as Ashton Hams lead the charge and Mason De Wit again proved rock-solid in defence. Harley Puruntatameri and Austin Wonaeamirri each notched multiple goals, behind Jerome Tipuamantamirri‘s game-high haul of three. St Mary’s looms as the Bombers’ next assignment, while Southern Districts will take on Nightcliff.

ST MARY’S | 1.1 | 3.3 | 5.6 | 9.13 (67)
WARATAH | 3.5 | 6.7 | 7.8 | 7.12 (54)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: S. Edwards 3, J. Paine, B. Grenfell, R. Smith, A. Wilson, B. Tedcastle, D. Walters
Waratah: B. Carroll 2, S. Godden, J. McGrath, J. Cattanach, M. Newton, S. Baulderstone

BEST:

St Mary’s: D. Landt, D. Andrews, L. Jellyman-Turner, J. Landt, K. Parnell, S. Edwards
Waratah: B. Carroll, D. Collis, A. Ankers, T. Graham, Z. Westerberg

A four-goal to one final term ensured St Mary’s ran over the top of Waratah at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening, seeing the Saints return to the winners list. Having trailed at every break, the victors’ fresher legs helped them take advantage of Waratah’s sub-standard conversion rate in front of goal, with multiple debutants breathing some life back into St Mary’s side. In the end, a Shaun Edwards goal put the Saints ahead and they held onto a 13-point win, totalling 9.13 (67) to Waratah’s 7.12 (54).

Edwards finished with a game-high three majors to be one of his side’s best afield, with Dylan Landt another to prove key to St Mary’s cause. Daly Andrews and Kieren Parnell, who are both fresh off stints in the SANFL, were also influential. For the Warriors, Brodie Carroll stood up when it mattered with a couple of clutch third term goals, though it proved too little in the end. Meanwhile, the likes of Abe Ankers and Robert Turnbull were solid performers alongside Carroll through midfield. While St Mary’s will fancy another win against Tiwi in Round 8, Waratah is set for another tough assignment when it takes on Darwin.

PALMERSTON | 0.1 | 2.6 | 2.8 | 4.10 (34)
NIGHTCLIFF | 3.5 | 9.7 | 12.10 | 19.15 (129)

GOALS:

Palmerston: N. Lockyer Jnr 2, R. Armstrong, R. Warfe
Nightcliff: L. Holt-Fitz 5, K. Emery 4, A. Jorgensen 2, R. Mu 2, W. Wheeler, C. Ilett, D. Bowles, T. Melville, M. McGregor, J. Peris

BEST:

Palmerston: M. Dennis, N. Lockyer Jnr, E. Guthrie, C. Williams, J. Mentha, K. Annand
Nightcliff: M. Rivett, R. Mu, K. Emery, D. Brew, D. Bowles, L. Goonan

Nightcliff’s statements of intent continued in the form of a 95-point thumping of Palmerston at Cazalys Arena on Saturday night. The fixture served as the 2020 Warren Berto Memorial Game, played in honour of one of the Northern Territory’s finest footballers who was tragically killed in March last year. It was a game controlled by Nightcliff from the outset, with Palmerston made to wait until 15 minutes into the second term for its first goal. By then, the Magpies were already well behind. A 44-point half time margin was more than doubled by the final siren, as Nightcliff took out the 19.15 (129) to 4.10 (34) result.

Nightcliff’s Mack Rivett and Palmerston’s Matthew Dennis won best afield medals for their respective sides, both continuing their outstanding individual form. The likes of Dom Brew and Daniel Bowles were again at the forefront for Nightcliff, while Liam Holt-Fitz (five goals), Kyle Emery (four), and Ryan Mu (two) were among those to run riot forward of centre. Nigel Lockyer Jnr ended as Palmerston’s lone multiple goalkicker, accounting for half of his side’s four majors. The Magpies face a tough ask in bouncing back next time out against Wanderers, while Southern Districts presents as Nightcliff’s next task.

WANDERERS | 4.1 | 7.3 | 12.4 | 14.5 (89)
DARWIN | 0.2 | 2.3 | 3.6 | 5.9 (39)

GOALS:

Wanderers: B. Eddy 5, S. Tipiloura 2, D. Thompson, B. Hodgson, B. O’Connell, E. Simpson, J. Cubillo, D. McFarlane, J. Cubillo
Darwin: J. Stokes 2, I. Palmer, D. Gordon, D. Matricardi

BEST:

Wanderers: R. Fejo, B. Newman, B. Hodgson, W. Williams, B. Eddy
Darwin: R. Pendlebury, B. Stokes, C. Atkinson, J. Stokes, S. Ah Mat

Wanderers took out the Nungalinya Cup and notched its fourth-consecutive win in one fell swoop, defeating Darwin by 50 points in a one-sided top-of-the-table clash on Saturday night. The Eagles came out firing at TIO Stadium with four goals to Darwin’s nil in the opening term, setting up a game-defining lead. It was only extended from that point, getting out to 58 points at the final break before the Buffs scrounged a better fourth quarter in the 14.5 (89) to 5.9 (39) result.

The bed of Wanderers’ solidity was formed by the likes of Brodie Newman and Warwick Williams in defence, while Brett Eddy (five goals) benefitted from the tireless outside run of Ronald Fejo and midfield acumen of Dane McFarlane. On the other side of the coin, Ryan Pendlebury proved the Double Blues’ best on a disappointing night, while Jarrod Stokes finished with two classy goals and Ishmael Palmer booted his side’s first early in the second term. Darwin will look to rebound against Waratah next time out, while Wanderers will look to continue its winning run against the lowly Palmerston.

Featured Image: Wanderers’ Beau O’Connell and Simon Bates celebrate a goal | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 7

ROUND 7 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League is headlined by a top-of-the-table clash between Darwin and Wanderers, two of the three sides tied with 5-1 records. The high-stakes bout will close the show on Saturday’s TIO Stadium triple-header, with the weekend’s only standalone game poising Palmerston against Nightcliff at Cazalys Arena. Find out which players are poised to make all the difference, and more in our weekend preview.

Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-6) vs. Southern Districts (6th, 2-4)
Saturday November 14, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Tiwi’s search for a maiden win in season 2020/21 returns to TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon, when the Bombers meet a Southern Districts side on the up. Both teams are showing signs of improvement after lacklustre early-season form, though the Crocs are a little further along having already notched a couple of wins. Two of those have come in their last three outings, including a 58-point drubbing of the Bombers in Round 4. That was one of Tiwi’s four losses of over 50 points in the first month of the season, though a bunch of big name recruits and returnees have seen the Bombers cut those margins over the last fortnight.

Former Geelong and Brisbane midfielder Allen Christensen remains in the Tiwi lineup after booting three goals on debut, set to line up in midfield alongside the in-form Fletcher Carroll. With Ashton Hams also in the side, the Bombers should have plenty of firepower in that department. The likes of Adam Tipungwuti and Adam Sambono should also aid their forward drive in the absence of Harley Puruntatameri. Southern Districts’ one-two punch of James Tsitas and Nikolaus Rokahr has worked wonders its engine room, with Andrew Boseley spearheading a potent attack. Meanwhile, Oakleigh Chargers graduate Lachlan Bugeja has been named in the side, joining fellow NAB Leaguers Jesse Clark and Jay Dahlhaus as the Crocs push for top five status.

St Mary’s (5th, 3-3) vs. Waratah (4th, 3-3)
Saturday November 14, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

An important top five clash takes place at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening as St Mary’s does battle with Waratah. The Saints looked to be turning their season around with three-consecutive wins, before they ran into Darwin last week and fell back to an even keel. Waratah boasts the same 3-3 record but sits a place higher that St Mary’s in fourth, having only narrowly gone down to premiership fancies Darwin and Nightcliff (twice). The Warriors’ win-loss trend sees them due for a win this time out, with a return to the winners list and the chance to keep touch with the top three up for grabs. It is the first time these two teams will meet this season, with plenty to play for either way.

Some handy inclusions look likely to spruce up both lineups, starting with Daly Andrews for St Mary’s. The 20-year-old Victorian is fresh off a fantastic season with South Adelaide at senior SANFL level and will slot straight into midfield alongside Nate Paredes. After managing just one goal last week, spearhead Jackson Paine will also be out to do some damage, while the likes of Jackson Calder and Nick Yarran may have to earn their way back into the side. Waratah will be buoyed by the return of Michael Newton up forward, set to form a formidable partnership with Jae McGrath. His inclusion sees Thomas Graham swing down back, adding to Waratah’s tall stocks across the ground. Tah’s midfield depth should also match up well against the Saints, making for a tight contest overall.

Palmerston Magpies (7th, 1-5) vs. Nightcliff (3rd, 5-1)
Saturday November 14, 7:00pm
Cazalys Arena

Nightcliff will look to string together three-consecutive wins for the second time this year when it travels to face Palmerston at Cazalys Arena on Saturday night. The fixture looms as Palmerston’s third home game in four weeks, though that factor has hardly proven advantageous of late given the Magpies have not won since Round 2 – against the winless Tiwi Bombers. Currently seventh at 1-5, the Magpies are running out of time to keep with the finals contenders, despite showing glimpses of form. It has largely been business as usual for the Tigers, boasting an equal-best 5-1 record having only slipped up against St Mary’s in Round 4. The reigning premiers will fancy their chances of keeping the heat on their main premiership rivals.

As if it needed any more firepower, Nightcliff’s forwardline is set for a boost with the inclusion of Liam Holt-Fitz, who is set to join Trent Melville and Kyle Emery in a dynamic front six. Cam Ilett also comes straight back into the lineup and will rotate through there, while Dom Brew looks to continue his dominance of the midfield. Palmerston will be buoyed by the return of Nigel Lockyer Jnr, with the enigmatic swingman likely to aid Daniel Stafford in attack. The midfield battle should be a good one, with Palmerston’s trio of Chris Williams, Eric Guthrie, and ruckman Matthew Dennis set to be tasked with plenty against Nightcliff’s formidable outfit. A good news story could also be the return of Jayden Kickett, who takes his place in Nightcliff’s extended squad, pending final selection.

Wanderers (2nd, 5-1) vs. Darwin Buffaloes (1st, 5-1)
Saturday November 14, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Arguably the best Round 7 fixture will be left for last when Darwin and Wanderers lock horns in a blockbuster top-of-the-table clash. The game rounds out Saturday’s TIO Stadium triple-header, forming the perfect end to a super day of Premier League action. The Buffs have lead the competition most of the way thus far, going down only to Nightcliff as Wanderers remains the only side they are yet to compete against. The Muk Muks have been fit and firing in 2020/21, with their only loss also coming at the hands of Nightcliff and three-consecutive wins putting them in ideal form of late. With only percentage separating the two sides, this game looms as a crucial factor in the overall minor premiership race.

Matt Campbell is set to bring some experience back to Darwin’s lineup, looking to continue his great scoring form this season as he slots in at half-forward. He joins the likes of Brodie Foster and Ishmael Palmer in the front six, while Sturt recruit Mihail Lochowiak comes into the side up the other end. Meanwhile, star midfielder Jalen Clarke has been named on an extended bench. Braedon McLean is a very handy inclusion for Wanderers, set to feature at half-back alongside recent Rising Star nominee Brodie Newman. There is plenty of firepower up forward too, with leading goalkicker Brett Eddy combining well with Simon Bates, and Nichols Medallist Beau O’Connell of late.

Featured Image: Darwin players celebrate during their Round 6 win | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 6

ROUND 6 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League saw three sides continue to pull away atop the competition ladder, while Southern Districts was the only side outside the top three to secure a win, continuing its early-season turnaround. Darwin remains the frontrunner after a statement victory over St Mary’s, but the Buffs have fellow weekend winners Wanderers and Nightcliff hot on their heels. All that, and more in our Round 6 wrap.

TIWI BOMBERS | 3.3 | 6.5 | 8.10 | 13.10 (88)
WANDERERS | 5.1 | 7.4 | 10.6 | 19.6 (120)

GOALS:

Tiwi: A. Sambono 3, A. Christensen 3, N. Hooker 2, A. Tipungwuti 2, D. Munkara, J. Munkara, J. Neade
Wanderers: B. Eddy 5, B. O’Connell 4, S. Bates 2, S. Thorne 2, S. Tipiloura 2, J. Priest, R. Fejo, D. McFarlane, J. Cubillo

BEST:

Tiwi: F. Carroll, M. De Wit, J. Wilson, J. Neade, A. Tipungwuti
Wanderers: B. O’Connell, M. Motlop, D. McFarlane, B. Hodgson

A nine-goal final term ensured Wanderers would pull away from an improving Tiwi Bombers outfit, kicking out to a 32-point victory at Gardens Oval on Saturday. The Eagles booted seven of the last eight goals to seal the premiership points, with their fitness shining through after Tiwi made a promising start to proceedings and remained within touching distance throughout. It proved a bridge too far in the end, as Wanderers remain equal-top with the 19.6 (120) to 13.10 (88) result, while Tiwi is winless in bottom spot.

Brett Eddy moved to the top of the Premier League goalkicking charts with another big haul, this time sinking five majors in a terrific performance. But he was beaten out to best afield honours by reigning Nichols Medallist Beau O’Connell, who booted four goals in a sensational showing upon his return to the side. Dane McFarlane and Marlon Motlop were others to control the engine room, while Brodie Newman was again a rock in defence.

Tiwi’s star-studded list of recruits could not quite pull them over the line, but made an impact nonetheless. The recently retired Allen Christensen slotted three majors and looked lively, while Jake Neade also found the big sticks upon entering Tiwi’s side. He was among the best Bombers alongside fellow goalkicker Adam Tipungwuti, and Adam Sambono got back to some scoring form with three majors. Fletcher Carroll and Mason De Wit were others to stand up as Tiwi still searches for its maiden win in season 2020/21.

WARATAH | 1.1 | 2.2 | 5.5 | 8.7 (55)
NIGHTCLIFF | 3.4 | 4.6 | 7.7 | 11.9 (75)

GOALS:

Waratah: W. Collis 2, J. McGrath 2, T. Graham, N. Oakes, A. Kirby, R. Turnbull
Nightcliff: K. Emery 4, T. Melville 3, M. Rivett, D. Bowles, B. Filo, H. Drogemuller

BEST:

Waratah: R. Turnbull, Z. Westerberg, J. McGrath, B. Carroll, N. Stevens
Nightcliff: D. Brew, R. Mu, A. Jorgensen, J. Peris, B. Filo, M. Rivett

Nightcliff knocked off Waratah by 20 points in the game dubbed Battle of the Beaches, with the Tigers pushed all the way at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening. An atypically sloppy game was impacted by the heat, with just six goals kicked between the two sides by half time. Both sides surpassed that total alone in the second half, but Nightcliff’s handy two-goal buffer allowed for a relatively straightforward finish despite Waratah’s peskiness. The game opened up as tired legs prevailed, resulting in the 11.9 (75) to 8.7 (55) scoreline.

Boom Tigers recruit Dom Brew continued his outstanding start to the season with another best afield performance, gelling well with the likes of Brodie Filo as Ryan Mu was another to get busy at the fall of the ball. Up forward, Kyle Emery and Trent Melville combined for seven goals with stalwart Cam Ilett rested, proving the Tigers’ firepower. Waratah’s Will Collis and Jae McGrath each managed two majors, while newcomer Thomas Graham was another to provide a viable option and plenty of chances inside 50 for the Warriors. Robert Turnbull and Zach Westerberg were others to stand up in the losing effort.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES | 2.2 | 4.3 | 4.3 | 6.9 (45)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 3.3 | 3.5 | 4.5 | 10.10 (70)

GOALS:

Palmerston: T. Kunoth 2, E. Guthrie 2, J. Berry, K. Annand
S. Districts: J. Dahlhaus 3, N. Rokahr 3, D. Robertson, M. Bowden, K. Jones, J. Bell

BEST:

Palmerston: T. Lui, E. Guthrie, M. Dennis, R. Armstrong, J. Mentha, L. Flanagan
S. Districts: B. Rusca, N. Rokahr, J. Bell, D. Staunton, K. Jones, C. McAdam

Southern Districts stormed home with six goals in the final term to help defeat Palmerston by 25 points at Cazalys Arena on Saturday night. The Crocs overcame a narrow half time deficit to sneak back ahead at three quarter time, before more than doubling their combined goal tally for the match in the final term to kick away to the 10.10 (70) to 6.9 (45) victory. For three quarters, it was a scrappy goal-for-goal tussle which Palmerston were in to win, but like many other matches on the day, they were the team to fall away late. The win eases mounting pressure on the Crocs as they now move to 2-4.

Districts midfielders James Tsitas and Nikolaus Rokahr again had their say, with the latter also getting forward to boot three goals. Small forward Jay Dahlhaus matched the feat as his side notched another win to match the competitiveness it has shown thus far. For Palmerston, Matthew Dennis enjoyed a good ruck battle but was again dominant across the ground, while Eric Guthrie was a useful ball winner for the Magpies, who were unable to fully take advantage of any momentum they mustered. The performances of young guns Tyrrell Lui and Brandon Rusca were also noted by their respective sides, and both are eligible to be pre-listed by the Gold Coast Suns via the Darwin zone.

ST MARY’S | 1.2 | 2.3 | 3.3 | 8.3 (51)
DARWIN | 1.6 | 7.11 | 10.16 | 12.18 (90)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: J. Landt 3, J. Paine 2, B. Grenfell, C. Furphy, J. Goddard
Darwin: I. Palmer 3, J. Stokes 2, D. Matricardi 2, A. Hodor 2, B. Foster 2, J. Collinson

BEST:

St Mary’s: J. Landt, J. Long, D. Landt, K. Parnell, H. Williams, B. Ah Mat
Darwin: J. Stokes, L. McKenzie, J. Collinson C. Atkinson, K. Maroney

Darwin proved its genuine premiership credentials on Saturday night, defeating a lacking St Mary’s side by 39 points at TIO Stadium to remain top of the table. After sharing one goal apiece in the opening term, the Buffs piled on six goals to one in the next period and eventually set up a 55-point lead by the final break. While St Mary’s managed a handful of consolation goals, it proved far too little to save the 12.18 (90) to 8.3 (51) result. It was the Saints’ first loss since Round 2, having reclaimed some vintage form and confidence in the weeks since.

That counted for little as the likes of Jarrod Stokes and Nick Lowden took control of the midfield under Chris Atkinson, while Ishmael Palmer led the attack with three goals. Brodie Foster was one of four Buffs to boot two majors, but was held relatively well by Tylah Saunders. Jack Landt booted three final term goals for St Mary’s to somewhat cut into the final margin, while Dylan Landt was also among the Saints’ best players on what ended up a disappointing day for last season’s grand finalists.

Featured Image: Wanderers midfielder Beau O’Connell eyes up his next move | Credit: Justin Kennedy/NT News