Tag: kyle emery

Miracle escapees Nightcliff claim historic three-peat

IT took four regulation quarters and two halves of extra time, but Nightcliff secured a historic three-peat on Saturday night, defeating St Mary’s by seven points at TIO Stadium for the 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League flag. In what will go down as arguably the most dramatic league decider of all time, the Tigers rode a rollercoaster of momentum to sneak ahead at the ideal moment, triumphing 16.14 (110) to 16.7 (103) after extra time.

The minor premiers came in as hot favourites and looked to be well on their way to justifying that tag, having streamed as far as 39 points ahead in the second term. But St Mary’s, this season’s second-ranked side, clawed back to within striking distance and even set up what seemed like an unassailable 19-point buffer in the final stanza. The green machine could not withstand Nightcliff’s late charge though, forced to defend desperately before enigmatic forward, John Butcher tied the scores from close range with under 10 seconds left to play.

Officials were left in a scramble to confirm whether the competition would see its first ever extra time periods in a grand final, and that is exactly what fans were treated to. With the deadlock remaining for most of the first half, Nightcliff managed to shake off inevitable fatigue and carry its final flow into the next set of five minutes, with Trent Melville booting the deciding goal and sending his side into a celebratory spin.

Melville, last year’s Chaney Medal winner, finished with three majors alongside teammate Kyle Emery, though it was St Mary’s spearhead Jackson Calder who dominated the big sticks with six majors. Former St Kilda utility Raphael Clarke took out the best afield medal this time around for his heroic efforts in the Saints’ defence.

Nightcliff’s combination of grunt and class through the engine room proved crucial to the shifting tide, as the likes of Nichols Medalist Dom Brew, Brodie Filo, Phillip Wills, and Shaun Wilson all made an impact. NT legend Cam Ilett was also terrific, and sealed his eighth top flight premiership – three with Nightcliff and five at St Mary’s.

In a heartbreaking losing effort, St Mary’s were serviced well by the likes of Jack Landt and Lachlan Taylor alongside Clarke and Calder. Having put some disruptive off-field controversies behind them in recent weeks, the Saints fell just short of redeeming their 2019/20 loss to Nightcliff in the same fixture but can come away proud having pushed this remarkable Tigers side all the way.

FINAL SCORES (AET*):

NIGHTCLIFF 5.2 | 9.5 | 11.10 | 16.14 (110)
ST MARY’S 3.0 | 6.3 | 11.5 | 16.7 (103)
*AET = after extra time

GOALS:

Nightcliff: T. Melville 3, K. Emery 3, S. Wilson 2, B. Henderson 2, R. Mu, J. Butcher, P. Wills, L. Holt-Fitz, B. Filo, D. Butcher
St Mary’s: J. Calder 6, J. Long 2, H. Labastida 2, B. Grenfell, N. Paredes, J. Cheek, N. Yarran, J. Robinson, J. Landt

Chaney Medal: Raphael Clarke (St Mary’s)

Image Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Grand Final

AFTER 18 home-and-away rounds and an enthralling finals series, the 2020/21 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League premiership decider is upon us. A blockbuster grand final match-up is set to take place at TIO Stadium on Saturday night, as minor premier Nightcliff takes on St Mary’s in a clash between this season’s first and second ranked sides. We take you through the key numbers and players for both teams ahead of what should be a cracking day of NT football.

GRAND FINAL

Nightcliff vs. St Mary’s
Saturday March 20, 6:45pm
TIO Stadium

For the second season running, Nightcliff takes on St Mary’s in the NTFL Men’s Premier League grand final, this time looking to secure its third-straight premiership flag. The Tigers have once again set the benchmark and took out another minor premiership, with the opportunity to convert that honour awaiting them. But St Mary’s is no pushover and forms a formidable figure in the way of said feat, coming in as this season’s second-ranked side. Nightcliff holds a slight edge over its weekend rivals in 2020/21 with two wins in their three meetings, though the most recent bout was two months ago – back in Round 14. The Tigers’ scoring power has been fearsome once again, forming an irresistible force to match the immovable object that is their defence. St Mary’s will test those bookends though, with a strong midfield to match Nightcliff and the contested acumen which suits finals football. A thrilling encounter awaits.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nightcliff:

Dom Brew 

The recently crowned Nichols Medal winner has enjoyed a superb season for the Tigers, delivering on a heap of preseason promise in his maiden NTFL campaign. A tough and combative midfielder with state league experience, Brew’s strong tackling game and ability to extract contested ball will perfectly suit the finals style. Expect him to prove a key cog in the Nightcliff engine room, which features four Nichols Medallists, as he has done all season.

Kyle Emery 

Emery has enjoyed a stellar return to the Tigers’ den in 2020/21, slotting seamlessly into the forwardline and taking hold to as Nightcliff’s leading goalkicker. He is one of the many dynamic movers who can play a bunch of roles up forward or through midfield, but Emery’s irresistible scoring power will likely prove most important in this outing. Among his season tally of 58 goals, Emery has snared nine hauls of four goals or more, while being held goalless just thrice. He is difficult to stop at full flight and could be a game-winner.

Brodie Filo 

Another of the Nightcliff Nichols Medal winners, Filo is consistently as classy as anyone afield and has been a reliable figure in the Tigers’ midfield. His creative nous and ability to hit targets going inside 50 will likely be a key factor in Nightcliff’s fortunes forward of centre, as that kind of ability is ideal amid the expected early chaos of grand final football. Named at half-forward, Filo is also able to hit the scoreboard and compound his overall impact.

St Mary’s:

Jackson Calder

Calder seems to be peaking at just the right time for St Mary’s, spearheading the green machine’s attack with 13 goals in the last fortnight. Overall, he tops the Saint’s goal charts in 2020/21 with 43 in 19 games and has the potential to prove highly destructive inside 50 with his ability to kick bags and provide good aerial presence. He has proven he can do it in tricky conditions too, so expect St Mary’s to constantly look towards him for a spark alongside Jackson Paine.

Dylan Landt

Among the best recruits competition-wide, Landt has enjoyed a superb season for the Saints and will look to cap it off in style. Alongside brother Jack, Landt has consistently featured in the votes for St Mary’s and given the rate at which he finds the footy, that is no surprise. Whether it be driving from half-back, bossing the midfield, or popping up with a handy goal, Landt makes his mark all around the ground and has been a level above many this season.

Nate Paredes

Perhaps one of the competition’s best midfielders to constantly fly under the radar, Paredes has long been a fantastic and reliable servant to the St Mary’s midfield. His ability to extract at the coalface and get the green machine going forward will again be crucial on grand final day, and his work rate on the inside allows teammates to shine on the outer. He should have no trouble finding plenty of touches and will inevitably end as one of the Saint’s best on the day out of pure consistency.

KEY FIGURES

H&A records:
Nightcliff:
15-2-1, 187% (1st)
St Mary’s: 
14-4, 155% (2nd)

Grand Final records:
Nightcliff: 5-8
St Mary’s: 
32-18

Last week:
Nightcliff: bye
St Mary’s:
def. Wanderers by 27

Last 5:
Nightcliff: 5-0
St Mary’s: 
4-1

2020/21 meetings:
Round 1 – Nightcliff by 52
Round 4 – St Mary’s by 19
Round 14 – Nightcliff by 9

Most games:
Nightcliff: Dom Brew, Kyle Emery, Shaun Wilson (19)
St Mary’s: Jacob Long (21)

Most goals:
Nightcliff: Kyle Emery (58)
St Mary’s: 
Jackson Calder (43)

Most times in best:
Nightcliff: Dom Brew (12)
St Mary’s: 
Dylan Landt (14)

Image Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

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

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 14

THE Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League returned last weekend, with Round 14 set to showcase some tantalising contests. While a super Saturday is in the works with back-to-back-to-back matches at TIO Stadium, expect the final match of the round between ladder leaders Nightcliff and St Mary’s to be the real kicker as the two sides face off for top spot. All that, and more in our weekly preview.

Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-12) vs. Wanderers (3rd, 9-3-1)
Saturday January 16, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Expect a tough battle here from a rapidly improving Tiwi outfit, although against third placed Wanderers the side will need more than a couple of sparks to run down the rampaging Muk Muks. While Tiwi was afforded an extra week off due to a COVID-19 scare – with the postponed match against Waratah set to take place next Friday, January 22 – the Wanderers proved once more why they are amongst the ladder leaders and will look to continue their winning ways against the lowly Bombers.

There is no doubt that Brodie Newman, Brett Eddy and Dane McFarlane are the ones to watch for the Wanderers, with all three consistently providing the goods and relatively unstoppable once they get going. With 49 goals to his name across 12 matches, Eddy is rarely beaten and can find plenty of the footy, while Simon Bates is another key option inside forward 50. For Tiwi, expect a tough contest from the regular performers in an incomplete squad, with Fletcher CarrollMason De WitAdam Sambono and Allen Christensen all crucial last time these two sides met, though none of these players have been listed for this encounter.

Waratah (4th, 7-5) vs. Palmerston (7th, 2-11) 
Sunday January 16, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

After an extra week off, Waratah will be chomping at the bit when they take on the Palmerston Magpies in the second match of the TIO Stadium triple header. While the two sides are only separated by a few positions on the ladder, the Warriors arguably have the form coming into this encounter after beating the Magpies only two rounds ago, although the Magpies’ break has been shorter and really challenged St Mary’s last round, putting them in good stead to force the hand of Waratah this round.

Waratah’s Cameron Arnold (15 goals), Jake Sutton (14) and Jae McGrath (12) have been consistent up the ground, combining well up forward to apply scoreboard pressure, while Palmerston’s Toshie Kunoth (17 goals) leads the charge up forward for the Magpies. Kunoth has a trio of Daveys named out the front alongside him, able to switch on the speed and excitement, while Matthew Dennis and Eric Guthrie will be crucial if the side can steal away momentum.

Southern Districts (6th, 5-8) vs. Darwin Buffaloes (5th, 7-6)
Saturday January 16, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

While these two sides have not played since Round 2 back in October, expect an intriguing battle between Districts and Buffaloes given they sit close together on the ladder but have a few games buffer between them. With the top five within reasonable touching distance for the Crocs but a much lower percentage than many of the top sides, they will need to fire on all cylinders against the Buffs, who had a shocker last round and will be wanting to lift their form once more.

For the Districts, the efforts of Charles McAdam and Jesse Clark will be crucial with the duos consistency required in what is expected to be tight matchup. With plenty of options inside 50, Andrew Boseley (19 goals) and Luke Kiel (13) are currently leading the way. For the Buffs, Brodie Foster is a consistent threat out the front, booting 39 goals for the season while Matt Campbell is also a solid option, able to find the big sticks with ease but also assist further up the ground.

Nightcliff (1st, 10-2-1) vs. St Mary’s (2nd, 10-3)
Sunday January 17, 6:30pm
Darwin Madza Nightcliff Oval

A huge first versus second matchup closes out Round 14, as the ladder-leading Nightcliff host St Mary’s in an enticing battle. With their last encounter coming in the opening round back in early October – seeing Nightcliff run home with a solid 52-point victory – both sides have proved tough to beat since then as the Saints sit two points behind the Tigers and looking to shock the reigning premiers. While both sides arguably have the form coming into this match, Nightcliff blew Darwin out of the water last round while the Saints were tested in patches by Palmerston, so expect the top side to reign supreme here, too.

There is no doubt Nightcliff’s Kyle Emery and Cameron Ilett are the ones to watch, with the Saints needing to pile on the pressure early against the two key options around the ground. Add in the likes of Dominic Brew, and St Mary’s will realistically need to dominate possession early to come out on top. For the Saints, expect the ever reliable Dylan and Jack Landt to provide plenty of sparks, as will reliable goalkickers Beau Tedcastle and Jackson Calder.

Picture credit: Celina Whan – AFLNT Media

2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League weekly wrap – Round 13

THE Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League season returned over the weekend, and while the opening match of the round between Tiwi Bombers and Waratah was postponed due to a potential COVID-19 concern, the rest of the round was complete on a super Saturday of matches. The top three sides all came away with confident wins, with ladder-leading Nightcliff retaining top spot on the table after another excellent effort.

WANDERERS | 3.2 | 5.4 | 8.9 | 13.13 (91)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 2.2 | 4.3 | 6.3 | 7.4 (46)

GOALS:

Wanderers: D. McFarlane 3, J. Cubillo 2, S. Mannagh 2, D. Thompson, J. Cubillo, B. Hodgson, M. Totham, E. Simpson, L. Patrick.
Districts: T. Carroll 2, J. Ross 2, D. Robertson, M. Duffy, L. Kiel.

BEST:

Wanderers: D. Thompson, B. Hodgson, D. McFarlane, S. Mannagh, M. Totham, J. Cubillo
Districts: L. Kiel, L. McGregor, J. Tsitas, C. McAdam, D. Robertson, Z. Smith

Wanderers added another win to their tally to start off the tail end of their 2020 season, and while the side certainly bounced back from their disappointing loss to St Mary’s prior to the break, the Muk Muks were well and truly kept accountable by the Districts in this encounter. Only staying ahead at half-time by a couple more scoring opportunities, the Districts’ defence kept up well with the Wanderers’ firepower but ultimately could not withstand the pressure throughout the entire contest with the first and second halves telling of the final result. An eight goal to three second half told the true tale of the match, with a flurry of multiple goalkickers allowing the Wanderers to maintain control under pressure as the close affair finished with a solid 45-point margin and win number nine in the books. Dray Thompson and Brydan Hodgson were listed amongst the bests for the Muk Muks, both booting a goal apiece to assist the likes of Dane McFarlane (three goals), Joshua Cubillo and Shaun Mannagh (both two), while for the Districts it was the efforts of primary goalkickers, Travis Carroll and Jonathan Ross, aided by Luke Kiel and Liam McGregor that saw the side flourish under pressure in the second half.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES | 0.3 | 3.4 | 5.4 | 8.6 (54)
ST MARY’S | 5.1 | 6.4 | 9.7 | 11.12 (78)

GOALS:

Palmerston: T. Kunoth 2, T. Lui 2, A. Davey, S. Lampton, R. Davey.
St Mary’s: J. Calder 4, N. Paredes 2, B. Tedcastle, N. Yarran, B. Grenfell, R. Smith, J. Cheek.

BEST:

Palmerston: 
St Mary’s: J. Geary, N. Yarran, J. Calder, D. Landt, M. Wilkinson, A. Long

While Palmerston put in a tough effort against St Mary’s, it was not enough in this encounter with the Saints’ first quarter showing of five goals to nil seeing the side take control and not relinquish easy scoring opportunities from there. That being said, the Magpies certainly bit their way back into the contest consistently, never allowing the Saints to really pull away with a convincing lead and biting at the heels of the second-ranked side. Tight defence from the Magpies was not enough to control proceedings with little going the side’s way in the first term, unable to convert off opportunities inside 50 while the Saints seemed to have the ball on a string up forward, applying plenty of scoreboard pressure through Jackson Calder, who booted a goal per quarter to finish with four majors, and Nate Peredes out the front with two. A flurry of individual goalkickers also plied their trade for the Saints, while Jackson Geary and Nicholas Yarran were listed amongst the best alongside Calder. For the Saints, Toshie Kunoth and Tyrrell Lui booted two apiece to reduce the margin.

DARWIN BUFFALOES | 1.1 | 2.2 | 5.6 | 5.10 (40)
NIGHTCLIFF | 9.2 | 17.3 | 17.3 | 20.7 (127)

GOALS:

Darwin: B. Foster 3, N. Lowden, M. Campbell.
Nightcliff: K. Emery 5, T. Melville 3, B. Filo 2, J. Bowen, A. Jorgensen, A. Moniz Wakefield, P. Wills, H. Drogemuller, D. Butcher, C. Ilett, L. Holt-Fitz, J. Kickett, M. Rivett.

BEST:

Darwin: 
Nightcliff: C. Ilett, T. Boyd, J. Bowen, D. Brew, A. Moniz Wakefield, K. Emery

A first half blitz from Nightcliff well and truly set up the top side for a solid win against the fifth-ranked Buffaloes, and while the home side well and truly fronted up after the half-time buzzer, it just was not enough to contend with the powerful Nightcliff forwards who utilised every opportunity inside 50, and for the most part, efficiently and accurately. While the Buffaloes certainly redeemed themselves in the second half, booting 3.8 to Nightcliff’s 3.4, it was not enough against a hugely powerful side, which saw 13 individual goalkickers. For the Buffs, a three-goal haul from Brodie Foster helped immensely, while Nightcliff’s Kyle Emery (five goals), Trent Melville (three) and Cameron Ilett showcased plenty of intensity in the huge outing. Nightcliff’s winning streak continues on their way to back-to-back premierships with this encounter taking the side’s win count to three straight following their Round 10 bye with the Wanderers, while the Buffaloes remain seated just outside the top four and trailing the leading sides.

Photo by 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 11

BIG wins were the order of the day in Round 11 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, as three of the four games were decided by over 50 points. While Wanderers and Southern Districts beat up on the bottom two sides, Nightcliff was back to its brutal best against fellow top five contender, Darwin, while the closest game of the round saw St Mary’s edge Waratah by an even four goals. All that, and more in our weekend wrap.

WANDERERS | 6.2 | 14.3 | 19.5 | 23.6 (144)
TIWI BOMBERS | 2.2 | 5.5 | 9.10 | 13.13 (91)

GOALS:

Wanderers: B. Eddy 9, S. Bates 3, S. Tipiloura 3, J. Motlop 3, E. Simpson 2, J. Cubillo, D. Braun, M. Motlop
Tiwi: A. Sambono 3, N. Ebinger 2, T. Taurua, B. Kantilla, J. Munkara, R. Tungatalum, J. Tipiloura, P. Heenan, A. Tipungwuti, L. Gill-Renouf

BEST:

Wanderers: B. Newman, B. Eddy, D. McFarlane, S. Bates, B. O’Connell, J. Cubillo
Tiwi: J. Monigatti, F. Carroll, M. De Wit, A. Sambono, A. Tipungwuti

A clinical Wanderers side momentarily moved to top spot with its 53-point thrashing of Tiwi on Saturday afternoon, spearheaded by Brett Eddy‘s nine-goal haul. The Muk Muks were already almost nine goals clear by half time, a lead which was sustained come the final siren as their 23.6 (144) easily trumped Tiwi’s 13.13 (91), despite there only being a difference of three scoring shots between the sides. The likes of Beau O’Connell and Josh Cubillo worked to supply Wanderers’ eight individual scorers, which also included Simon Bates (three goals) and debutant Jesse Motlop, who also snared three majors and is a Fremantle NGA prospect for next year. Adam Sambono matched the feat for Tiwi as the Bombers’ main source of inspiration in the front half, while Mason De Wit was kept busy down back and Fletcher Carroll had plenty to do alongside Adam Tipungwuti in midfield.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS | 8.2 | 13.3 | 14.5 | 16.10 (106)
PALMERSTON MAGPIES | 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.2 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS:

Districts: J. Ross 4, A. Boseley 2, B. Vallance 2, J. Tsitas, M. Bowden, B. Rolfe, J. Dahlhaus, L. Kiel, J. Farrar, D. Staunton, M. McLinden
Palmerston: T. Kunoth 2, R. Armstrong, N. Lockyer Jnr, C. Williams

BEST:

Districts: D. Staunton, J. Bailey, J. Clark, D. Abbott, C. McAdam, J. Ross
Palmerston: E. Guthrie, M. Dennis, N. Lockyer Jnr, R. Warfe, C. Williams

An eight-goal to two first term set up Southern Districts’ 73-point trouncing of Palmerston on Saturday, quickly rectifying last week’s disappointing display. The Crocs booted 13 of their 16 goals in the first half, with just five goals managed between the two sides after the main break as the 10-goal margin took the sting out of the contest. In the end, the 16.10 (106) to 5.3 (33) result put Districts back in the finals hunt and distanced the bottom two from the leading pack. Jonathon Ross led the Crocs’ scoring effort with four majors, supported well by another 10 individual goalkickers. Senior heads Dean Staunton and Charlie McAdam were also integral to the victory, with the latter shifting back to defence with aplomb. Eric Guthrie and Matthew Dennis were among Palmerston’s best, with Nigel Lockyer Jnr lively up forward and Toshie Kunoth booting two goals.

ST MARY’S | 2.4 | 5.7 | 9.9 | 12.12 (84)
WARATAH | 2.2 | 5.4 | 7.7 | 8.12 (60)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: N. Paredes 3, J. Landt 3, R. Smith 2, J. Calder, J. Cheek, S. Edwards, B. Tedcastle
Waratah: L. Dunn 3, W. Collis, C. Searle, J. Sutton, J. Cattanach, R. Turnbull

BEST:

St Mary’s: A. Long, K. Parnell, D. Andrews , M. Wilkinson, J. Landt, R. Smith
Waratah: J. Stevens, L. Dunn, J. Cattanach, A. Kirby, M. O’Donnell, R. Turnbull

St Mary’s extended its winning streak to five with a 24-point victory over Waratah on Saturday evening, keeping the Saints within striking distance of the top two. Waratah kept within striking distance at TIO Stadium despite trailing at every break, even steaming ahead at the start of the third term. But St Mary’s ground level intent and confident use from the back half allowed for a quick turnaround in a game played with finals-like spirit, finishing 12.12 (84) to 8.12 (60) in the Saints’ favour. The likes of Nate Paredes and Jack Landt again found plenty of the ball for the victors and compounded their impact by also snaring three goals apiece. Lynden Dunn was Waratah’s big inclusion this week and had an early impact up forward with two majors, before he also finished with three. Callum Searle and Jack Cattanach came up with clutch goals for the Warriors, but it proved too little in the end.

NIGHTCLIFF | 6.3 | 13.5 | 17.9 | 19.15 (129)
DARWIN | 1.0 | 1.3 | 3.5 | 4.10 (34)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: T. Melville 3, C. Ilett 3, L. Holt-Fitz 2, A. Moniz-Wakefield 2, B. Filo 2, D. Brew 2, R. Mu 2, K. Emery, K. Riley, A. Jorgensen
Darwin: B. Foster 2, D. Kaipara, M. Coombes

BEST:

Nightcliff: B. Filo, J. Bowen, R. Mu, A. Moniz-Wakefield, T. Boyd, D. Brew
Darwin: B. Stokes, K. Maroney, M. Kennedy, L. McKenzie, R. Pendlebury

Nightcliff returned to its imposing best at an ideal time to thrash Darwin by 95 points on home turf, ensuring the reigning premiers hold onto top spot for at least another week. The 19.15 (129) to 4.10 (34) scoreline was indicative of Nightcliff’s dominance around the ball and Darwin’s impotence forward of centre, with the Tigers taking full toll to see their foes planted to fifth spot. Dynamic veteran Cam Ilett was again a force up forward and slotted three majors, a feat matched by Trent Melville and aided early by Kyle Emery. Best afield player Brodie Filo also hit the scoreboard as one of 10 Nightcliff goalkickers. Brodie Foster was Darwin’s most impactful player as he bagged a couple of majors, with Bradley Stokes also stepping up as Jarrod Stokes was sighted mostly up forward – contributing to a lack of momentum from the Buffs’ midfield.

Featured Image: Daly Andrews gets a kick away for St Mary’s | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 11

THE RACE for the final top five spot is set to heat up again in Round 11 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, as Waratah and Darwin look to take out premiership contenders and fend off a chasing Southern Districts. Meanwhile, Wanderers will look to boost its percentage against the winless Tiwi Bombers as it battles for top spot, opening a TIO Stadium double-header on Saturday. That, and more in our weekend preview.

Wanderers (2nd, 7-2-1) vs. Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-10)
Saturday December 12, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Wanderers and Tiwi open the Round 11 proceedings at league headquarters on Saturday afternoon, serving as the first fixture in a TIO Stadium double-header. The Muk Muks are fresh off a frustrating draw against fellow frontrunners Nightcliff, with only percentage separating them from the Tigers at this point. Against the 0-10 Tiwi Bombers, a chance to bridge that gap presents, though the bottom side is getting closer and closer to registering points in 2020/21. The Bombers look like going in without Allen Christensen and Ross Tungatalum though, two players who could have proven game-winners. Without them, Tiwi’s run-and-gun style will do well to breach a Wanderers defence consisting of young gun Brodie Newman, Braedon McLean, and Warwick Williams, while competition leading goalkicker Brett Eddy lurks up the other end. A midfield battle between Tiwi’s Fletcher Carroll and gun Eagle Dane McFarlane also looms, with both players among the best Premier League performers thus far.

Southern Districts (6th, 4-6) vs. Palmerston Magpies (7th, 2-8)
Saturday December 12, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Southern Districts will be out to keep in touch with the top five when it locks horns with Palmerston at Norbuilt Oval on Saturday. The Crocs went down in disappointing fashion last week, while their weekend opponents made it two from two against Tiwi and registered a rare win for season 2020/21. Sitting sixth and seventh respectively, time is running out for either side to make something of their current campaigns. Having unfortunately been overlooked at the AFL Draft, Brodie Lake has been named in Districts’ extended squad alongside young forward Tom Demamiel. Lake should provide some good versatility and depth to the lineup, while Demamiel might help steer the Crocs’ forwardline back to some scoring form after managing just four majors last week. Alwyn Davey features among Palmerston’s side, with Chris Williams another big name set to return for the Magpies through midfield.

St Mary’s (3rd, 7-3) vs. Waratah (4th, 6-4)
Saturday December 12, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

A clash with heavy finals ramifications is set to go down at TIO Stadium on Saturday evening as St Mary’s and Darwin lock horns in what looks likely to be game of the round. Both sides are riding win streaks which see them edging into the premiership race; with the Saints’ four-game run beginning with a win over Waratah in Round 7, while the Warriors have recently taken out Wanderers and Darwin en route to fourth spot. Raphael Clarke returns to the St Mary’s fold as fellow leader Shannon Rioli goes the other way, but the Saints lineup has looked well settled in recent weeks. Waratah’s balanced side was bolstered by new signing Darcy Lang last week, and backman Lynden Dunn is said to be another former-AFL inclusion this time around as Tahs look to prove their credentials as a serious contender at the top.

Nightcliff (1st, 7-2-1) vs. Darwin Buffaloes (5th, 6-4)
Saturday December 12, 6:30pm
Nightcliff Oval

Both Nightcliff and Darwin will be looking to make a swift return to the winners list when they do battle at Nightcliff Oval to see out Round 11 on Saturday night. The Tigers have gone 1-1-1 in their last three outings but remain top of the pile in their premiership defence. After a fast start, Darwin’s early streak was brought to a halt by Nightcliff in Round 5 and more recently, the Buffs have lost three of their last four matches. Dylan Gordon looms as a handy addition for Darwin with young guns Isaac Seden-Kurnoth and Antonio James also in the mix for a return. Tom Boyd has been named in Nightcliff’s squad as Danny Butcher again looks to break the grade, pointing towards great squad depth. Veteran Cam Ilett has been in good goalkicking form of late, not to mention Kyle Emery, who has booted 33 majors this season. He should have an entertaining shootout with Double Blues spearhead Brodie Foster, who lays claim to 27 majors thus far.

Featured Image: Wanderers’ Beau O’Connell in action against Tiwi | Credit: Justin Kennedy/NT News

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

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 10

THE TOP four Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League sides are set to square off in Round 10, making for a definitive weekend of action among the finals contenders. In a cool quirk, the fixture sees first take on second, third clash with fourth, fifth meeting sixth, and seventh locking horns with eighth as four separate venues play host to each game on Saturday. With that being the case, there looms a great chance for leading sides to gain some much-needed breathing space from their rivals. All that, and more in our weekly preview.

Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-9) vs. Palmerston Magpies (7th, 1-8)
Saturday December 5, 1:30pm
Wurrumiyanga Oval

A bottom of the table clash kicks off Round 10 as Palmerston makes the early trip to Wurrumiyanga Oval to take on Tiwi. If it were not for the Round 2 clash between these sides they would both remain winless, but Palmerston got on the board that day via a 73-point trouncing. This time, the Bombers are on home turf and will hope to build on the improvements which have seen them get within a goal of their opponents twice in the last three weeks. While the Bombers have lost more games by over 50 points (five), it is Palmerston which holds the greater average losing margin at 51.6 points, compared to Tiwi’s 44.8. Given the amount of punishment received by both sides thus far, they should be hungry as ever for a rare win.

The Bombers come in with a strong side on paper too, boasting competition stat leaders Fletcher Carroll (average disposals, clearances) and Mason De Wit (rebound 50s) along with the in-form Adam Sambono and dangerous forward pairing of Ross Tungatalum and Austin Wonaeamirri. Tiwi’s run and gun style has sucked in even the best of sides, so should again prove effective here. Tyrrell Lui is back in Palmerston’s defence, which may well come under fire should Matt Dennis and his centre bounce partners in Chris Williams and Eric Guthrie fail to get going. The versatility of Nigel Lockyer Jnr should also prove a handy wildcard for the Magpies, who will need a bit of dynamism to keep the Bombers guessing.

St Mary’s (3rd, 6-3) vs. Darwin Buffaloes (4th, 6-3)
Saturday December 5, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

The weekend’s first top four clash takes place as St Mary’s and Darwin do battle at league headquarters, looking to separate their equal 6-3 records. After a lacklustre opening fortnight, the Saints have gone on to win six of their last seven games, with their only hiccup coming at the hands of Darwin in Round 6. Their three-consecutive wins since then still read better than Darwin’s 1-2 effort, with the Buffs’ early season form tapering off a touch before another redemptive win over Palmerston last week. Just four per cent separates the two sides after nine rounds, with the Saints scoring a touch less overall but maintaining a tighter defence.

St Mary’s should fancy itself in the midfield battle, with Nate Paredes teaming up with Daly Andrews and Nick Yarran, while the likes of Dylan Landt and Shaun Edwards can also rotate through the engine room. The Saints will have to be wary of Darwin’s front six though, with Matt Campbell in fine scoring form and supported well by Ishmael Palmer, Brodie Foster, and Michael Hagan, among others. Shannon Rioli and young Beau Tedcastle loom as key forms of firepower in St Mary’s response under spearhead Jackson Calder, making for a lively kind of contest.

Nightcliff (1st, 7-2) vs. Wanderers (2nd, 7-2)
Saturday December 5, 6:30pm
Nightcliff Oval

Nightcliff and Wanderers are set to headline the Round 10 fixtures in a top-of-the-table clash under lights at Nightcliff Oval, with clear supremacy at the pointy end up for grabs. Both sides are locked at an even 7-2 record apiece, so needless to say this game looms as an important one in the minor premiership race. The Tigers got home by 10 points in the Round 3 meeting between these two teams and were the only side to have beaten Wanderers up until last week. It means that both clubs have dropped points in one of their last two outings and will be itching to return to top form for this clash.

Danny Butcher and Kaine Riley loom as fantastic additions for Nightcliff having been named in the extended squad, but like most weeks face stiff competition for spots. Among the standouts of late, veteran Cam Ilett has booted eight goals in his last two games, with Kyle Emery the other to notch a bag of five last week. Midfielders Dom Brew, Daniel Bowles, and Brodie Filo have also consistently featured among the Tigers’ best. Wanderers has looked just as settled in 2020/21, with competition leading goalkicker Brett Eddy in fearsome form, supported by Simon Bates while Dane McFarlane runs the midfield and Braedon McLean leads from defence alongside Warwick Williams and Brodie Newman. Victorian coup Shaun Mannagh should also be a handy inclusion for the Muk Muks in what promises to be a ripping contest.

Waratah (5th, 5-4) vs. Southern Districts (6th, 4-5)
Saturday December 5, 6:30pm
Gardens Oval

Southern Districts will be out to keep touch with the top five when it takes on Waratah at Gardens Oval, rounding out the weekend’s action. The Crocs had strung together a handy run of four wins in five matches after a 0-3 start, but had their run to the finals spots halted last week by St Mary’s. Meanwhile, Waratah looks every bit a premiership smoky after accounting for Nightcliff in a stunning upset last time out, making it two wins on the trot. With one game already separating these two sides, another loss for Districts would see its finals hopes narrow that little bit further.

Darcy Lang is a big name featured on Waratah’s team list, with the recently delisted Carlton midfielder/forward jumping straight into the Warriors’ lineup. He should provide some handy forward momentum alongside Abe Ankers and Robert Turnbull, with Michael Newton ready to return and spearhead Tahs’ attack. Stat leaders James Tsitas and Nikolaus Rokahr have been prolific for the Crocs and should contribute to a tight midfield battle, while Andrew Boseley heads the forwardline and Ed Barlow looks to string some form together having returned to the fold.

Featured Image: Action from the Round 3 clash between Nightcliff and Wanderers | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media