Tag: mark white

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 10 – Top of the table clash headlines bumper weekend

A TOP of the table clash headlines a big weekend of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action, with Southern Districts looking to close the gap on Nightcliff. St Mary’s and Darwin could benefit from the result of that game and jump into second with wins, while Tiwi will hope to continue its push for finals as Wanderers trail closely.

TIWI BOMBERS vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES
Saturday December 7, 1:30pm
Tiwi Oval

A fixture with implications on both sides’ finals hopes takes place as Tiwi Bombers host Darwin Buffaloes at Tiwi Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Bombers have thrown themselves into the mix and are in good form of late, going down by just six points to Nightcliff last time out but managing to hold on to fifth place. On the other hand, Darwin snatched a close win over Palmerston in Round 9 to put them up into third on the back of three consecutive victories. With Tiwi hoping to hang onto its top five spot and Darwin looking to break into the top two, there is plenty on the line either way.

The Bombers come in once again with a great lineup on paper, with the likes of Adam Tipungwuti, Brayden Rioli, and Ross Tungatalum resigned to the bench, but they look like being without ex-Cat Nathan Djerrkura for this clash in a blow to their midfield stocks, with Ashton Hams perhaps one to cover. The Buffs have bolstered their line-up with the signing of Ryan Pendlebury, the brother of Scott and an ex-VFL Team of the Year member. He should add value in the back half, adding to the experience of Cameron Stokes and Chris Williams further afield as Matt Campbell and Joe Anderson come out of the side.

While Darwin’s three wins on the trot and ladder position puts them in the category of favourite, Tiwi looks to be in slightly better form going off last week’s effort and should pose plenty of questions to the Buffs defence. It looms as a battle of the Bombers’ speed against some of the Buffs’ strength.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. ST MARY’S
Saturday December 7, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

St Mary’s will look to compound the misery of a bottom three side for the second straight week when it takes on Palmerston in the first game of a TIO Stadium double-header. The Saints have slipped to fourth, but could climb as high as second with results pending and will look to put their best foot forward with a top of the table clash following theirs. Given how St Mary’s handled Waratah last week, the winless Magpies could be in for another long day. But Palmerston’s form last week exceeded its current record, and a couple of close losses would have the Magpies eager to prove their worth.

Alwyn Davey Jnr joins his father in the Palmerston side, with Senior set to line up in midfield under Ezekiel Frank while Adam Diamond shifts to the forward half. They will have their work cut out for them, with the Saints naming David Armitage, Shaun Edwards, and Jackson Paine in midfield, while Jackson Calder is set to team up with the returning Jarrad Waite up forward. It all but guarantees plenty of goals, and plenty of excitement at the least.

On paper, it seems this clash could get ugly given the experience and firepower of the Saints, but do not discount the effort of Palmerston on its better days. Fans can look forward to seeing a heap of ex-AFL players either way, with a few favourite sons taking the field for both teams.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS vs. NIGHTCLIFF
Saturday December 7, 7:00pm
TIO Stadium

The game of the round earns a prime time slot on Saturday night as Southern Districts look to get one back on Nightcliff and tighten the minor premiership race. The Crocs started their season with a loss to last season’s grand final foes, but have since steadied the ship and sit six points adrift in second. Such has been Nightcliff’s dominance, the Southern Districts is only one of a couple of sides to have truly challenged the reigning premiers, and will look to go a step further this time around. And with both sides coming in off consecutive wins, it seems an ideal time to do battle.

A couple of very handy ex-AFL players come into the Crocs side, with Jeff Garlett and Jared Brennan named. Garlett should team up nicely with the likes of Will Farrer and Beau Schwarze up forward, while Brennan may slot in up the other end in a key position post. There are no ex-AFL inclusions for the Tigers, who will be without Willie Wheeler, but a forward 50 featuring his ex-Williamstown teammate Leigh Masters alongside Trent Melville and Liam Holt-Fitz has been working a treat. Add the impact of John Butcher, Kaine Riley, and Cam Ilett across the ground, and you have a settled lineup ready for any challenge.

The Tigers will need to be at their best to quell the Crocs, which are snapping at their heels, but should have great confidence having aced all but one test put to them this year. Southern Districts will be hungry for a win with dual-meaning, getting one back while keeping touch at the top.

WARATAH vs. WANDERERS
Sunday December 8, 4:00pm
Gardens Oval

Wanderers will hope to re-enter the finals fold when it clashes with fellow bottom three side, Waratah in Sunday’s lone fixture. Both sides come in off disappointing losses, with Waratah’s 123-point thumping at the hands of St Mary’s a clear lowlight for the season. Wanderers has strayed after a promising start, looking to rectify a run of three-straight losses. With both teams somewhat underperforming at this stage and the mid-season break coming up, expect them to throw everything at getting a result here.

Abe Ankers is a very welcome addition to the Warriors side which looks like heading in without Brodie Carroll, while Michael Newton is set to resume a dangerous forward trio with Kim Kantilla and Henry Kerinaiua at the fall of his aerial contests. Joel Jeffrey is a big out for Wanderers as he takes up training with the Gold Coast Suns, but the Muk Muks still boast dangerous youngsters in the form of Mark White, Beau O’Connell and Ronald Fejo, with all three able to play across every line.

There looks to be a good amount of talent spread across both sides, with plenty of excitement in either attacking 50. Expect some neat highlights and a competitive game between two teams looking to do better than their ladder position would suggest.

NTFL Men’s Premier League wrap: Round 9 – Tigers, Buffs get up in thrillers

WHILE St Mary’s won big in Round 9 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, Nightcliff and Darwin narrowly edged bottom four sides in an action-packed weekend of NT football. In the round’s other game, Southern Districts kicked away to return to the winners list after a tight three quarters.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 2.1 | 8.4 | 10.5 | 11.5 (71)
DARWIN BUFFALOES 2.4 | 3.5 | 5.9 | 10.15 (75)

GOALS:

Palmerston: E. Frank 3, K. Holt-Tubbs 2, D. Gaykamangu, A. Diamond, M. Perry, D. Cox, J. Rhodes.
Darwin: B. Foster 4, J. Clarke 2, C. Williams, M. Quinn, B. Hogan, D. Shillabeer.

BEST:

Palmerston: E. Frank, A. Diamond, C. Williams, J. Berry, W. Shadforth, S. Brock
Darwin: L. McKenzie, J. Stokes, B. Foster, C. Williams, D. Lines

It took a final quarter comeback for the ages for Darwin to sneak over the top of Palmerston on the road and hold onto third place. The heartbreaking loss sees Palmerston remain winless, unable to deny the Buffs despite their efficiency in the 11.5 (71) to 10.15 (75) result.

A tight opening term was followed by Palmerston’s best quarter of footy for a long time, seeing the Magpies break out to a 29-point half-time lead on the back of six goals to one. But the Buffs chipped away after the main break to remain within striking distance, pouncing in the final term with 5.6 to one straight goal to snatch victory from the jaws of what would have been a very disappointing defeat.

Brodie Foster proved a handy addition to the Buffs’ forward 50, booting a game-high four majors to lead the line from usual goalsneak Jalen Clarke (two goals). But it was Lachlan McKenzie who was named Darwin’s best, with consistent features Jarrod Stokes and Christopher Williams also influential. Ezekiel Frank and Keidan Holt-Tubbs led the way in an improved scoring effort for the Magpies, with the former named his side’s best player. Adam Diamond, Jack Berry, and Sandy Brock were also named in the best half-dozen for the third game running, with Palmerston starting to form a more settled unit.

The win sees Darwin holt onto third place among what is becoming tight battle for second, with a tough assignment against Tiwi next in its sights. Meanwhile, Palmerston’s search for a win carries on into another round as St Mary’s awaits.

NIGHTCLIFF 2.5 | 3.8 | 8.10 | 11.12 (78)
TIWI BOMBERS 2.0 | 7.2 | 9.4 | 11.6 (72)

GOALS:

Nightcliff: M. Hagan 3, C. Ilett 2, T. Melville 2, L. Holt-Fitz, D. Bowles, L. Masters, K. Winter-Irving.
Tiwi: A. Darcy 3, H. Puruntatameri 2, A. Wonaeamirri 2, A. Tipungwuti 2, C. Molyneux, D. Munkara.

BEST:

Nightcliff: K. Riley, D. Bowles, J. Kickett, M. Hagan, N. Brown, J. Peris
Tiwi: J. Puruntatameri, A. Tipungwuti, C. Molyneux, A. Darcy, R. Baird, H. Puruntatameri

Nightcliff narrowly accounted for a plucky and more efficient Tiwi side to maintain its gap at the top, scraping over the line by six points. The Tigers pulled away when it mattered in the 11.12 (78) to 11.6 (72) result, proving their status as the NTFL’s best.

In what was a game of momentum swings, Nightcliff was able to pull ahead at the ideal time with the two sides level going into the final term. Earlier, the Tigers found themselves three goals adrift at the main break despite managing two more scoring shots for the half, before hitting back with 5.2 to even the ledger. In a tense closer, the reigning premiers managed to hold on to their one-goal buffer after creating enough opportunities to kick away more comfortably.

Both sides managed an even goalkicking spread, with Michael Hagan and Alastair Darcy booting a game-high three goals for their respective teams. Hagan was the only Nightcliff goalkicker to also be named among the best, with Kaine Riley leading the way from Daniel Bowles and Jayden Kickett. It was a slightly different story for the Bombers as Harley Puruntatameri (two goals), Adam Tipungwuti (two) and Charlie Molyneux (one) each troubled the scorers and were impactful overall, while Rodney Baird was solid up the ground.

While four points have been coming in aplenty for the Tigers, the win keeps the chasing pack at bay – eight points adrift – with a top two clash up next. Tiwi’s spot in the top five is at risk next week as the Bombers do battle with another finals-bound side in Darwin, heating up the finals race.

ST MARY’S 6.5 | 12.8 | 19.9 | 25.14 (164)
WARATAH 2.1 | 4.3 | 4.5 | 6.5 (41)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: A. Wilson 6, J. Calder 6, M. Rioli Jnr 3, T. Saunders 2, S. Rioli 2, J. Long, B. Rioli, P. Macfarlane, R. Smith, N. Paredes, J. Cheek.
Waratah: H. Kerinaiua 2, A. Hodgson, T. Schmid, K. Kantilla, W. Gorman.

BEST:

St Mary’s: J. Geary, R. Smith, M. Rioli Jnr, B. Rioli, D. Armitage, J. Calder
Waratah: N/A

A comprehensive 123-point drubbing of Waratah was not quite enough to see St Mary’s jump back into third on percentage, but the Saints well and truly sounded a warning to their competition on Saturday. A stacked Saints lineup looked ominous heading into the clash, and lived up to the bill with a 25.14 (164) to 6.5 (41) result.

After a six goals to two opener, the game was all but put to bed at the main break as the Saints led by 53 points, kicking on with another 13 goals to two in the second half to more than double that margin – managing no less than six goals across each quarter in a consistently ruthless performance. With Abe Ankers missing, the Warriors simply struggled for answers throughout, void of midfield grunt while also being shut down well up forward.

Anthony Wilson and Jackson Calder were the stars inside 50 with six goals each, joined by Maurice Rioli Jnr (three goals) as multiple goalkickers to also feature in the best. Jackson Geary was also again among the Saints’ best, joined by ex-St Kilda midfielder David Armitage. Henry Kerinaiua stood up in a losing effort for Waratah with two majors, but his forward partners in Steven Stroobants and Kim Kantilla were unable to truly break the shackles.

While positions have not changed, the result has a big bearing on the top end of the ladder with St Mary’s gaining some much-needed percentage and keeping entrenched in the top four. Another bottom three opponent in Palmerston is up next for the Saints, while Waratah will next face Wanderers as both sides’ finals hopes start to get desperate.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 2.6 | 8.6 | 8.9 | 13.13 (91)
WANDERERS 1.1 | 2.3 | 7.4 | 9.5 (59)

GOALS:

Southern Districts: W. Farrer 3, B. Schwarze 3, E. Barlow 2, J. Farrer, D. Williams, D. Hall, R. Tambling, N. Horbury.
Wanderers: M. White 3, L. Jurrah 2, D. Thompson, K. Stephens, B. O’Connell, M. Derrick.

BEST:

Southern Districts: J. Farrer, E. Barlow, T. Holman, D. Williams, D. McLachlan, M. Pemberton
Wanderers: L. Dyer, N. Sedgwick, B. O’Connell, D. Thompson, J. Priest

A strong final term helped Southern Districts keep clear in second, outlasting a young Wanderers side to come away 32-point winners. The Crocs were made to withstand a strong Eagles fightback, putting a winning 13.13 (91) to 9.5 (59) score on the board.

A tense opening term saw the Crocs edge in front, but a six goals to one second stanza broke the game open and proved the defining period of play. But the Muk Muks fought back to show all the finals credentials they had in previous weeks, trailing by just 10 points heading into the final turn. That was where the momentum stopped however, as the Crocs stormed home with 4.4 to 2.1 to claim a fighting win.

Will Farrer and Beau Schwarze resumed their forward 50 partnership for the Crocs with three goals apiece, joined by ex-AFL midfielder Ed Barlow (two goals) as multiple goalkickers. Both Farrer and Barlow were also among the winners’ best alongside Thomas Holman and Damian Williams, while Luke Dyer was named Wanderers’ best ahead of Nicholas Sedgwick. Goalsneak Beau O’Connell was also dangerous in the losing effort, while fellow small forward Mark White booted three goals in his second game for the year.

The Eagles will have to turn a losing skid around if they are to climb back into a finals spot, with Waratah next on the agenda after its heavy defeat. Meanwhile, the Crocs are poised for a top of the table clash against Nightcliff next time out in what is set to be a belter.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 9 – Race for fifth hots up on super Saturday

ROUND 9 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League bounces down under Friday night lights, before a super Saturday poises top five teams Nightcliff and Tiwi against each other in what shapes as the game of the weekend.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES
Friday November 29, 7:00pm
Palmerston Oval

The Darwin Buffaloes will look to press on with their top two charge when they travel to take on the winless Palmerston Magpies under Friday night lights. A big win over Waratah last time out means Darwin comes into this clash with consecutive victories, eyeing off a top two berth as just eight points split second and sixth. With Palmerston languishing in last and without a win to this point, this is the kind of game the Buffs’ simply must win if they are to remain a premiership contender. Joe Anderson is one of the only movers in a settled Darwin line-up, named in defence as the likes of Darren Shillabeer, Brodie Foster, and Matt Campbell take up forward 50 spots. Speaking of, Alwyn Davey sneaks into Palmerston’s forward pocket, hoping to add class on the full forward line alongside Ezekiel Frank and Keidan Holt-Tubbs, while Nigel Lockyer Jnr has been named on the bench. The Magpies will be hoping to rectify some poor previous form in front of a home crowd, but the Buffs are always tough opposition and have found a rhythm once again.

NIGHTCLIFF vs. TIWI BOMBERS
Saturday November 30, 2:00pm
PSC BM Oval

Two of the NTFL’s form sides meet on Saturday afternoon as Nightcliff and Tiwi do battle at PSC BM Oval, with finals implications in play. The Tigers continue to set the competition benchmark despite slipping up a couple of weeks ago against St Mary’s, and inadvertently helped Tiwi jump into fifth place with a big win over Wanderers in Round 8. The Bombers claimed a handy win of their own in the same weekend, trumping the Saints for a second time this season to make for an interesting equation of football maths in this fixture. Something that needs no working out is that Nightcliff’s side is omnipotent, with former-Williamstown duo Willie Wheeler and Leigh Masters continuing their NTFL stint, adding to the goal threat posed by Cam Ilett, Trent Melville, and Liam Holt-Fitz. The Bombers will hope to outgun their opponents though, naming Adam Tipungwuti up forward alongside Austin Wonaeamirri and Ross Tungatalum, while still possessing plenty of drive up the field. It shapes as being the game of the round, and a win for Tiwi would keep the minor premiership race interesting.

ST MARY’S vs. WARATAH
Saturday November 30, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

The opportunity to bounce back from disappointing respective losses is up for grabs for both St Mary’s and Waratah as they meet at TIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Saints endured a second upset defeat at the hands of traditional rival, Tiwi last time out, but remain in the top two hunt on the back of a much-improved start to the season. Waratah’s year to date has been a touch more hit-and-miss, and the Warriors were outclassed by Darwin after a couple of strong showings helped them break through for consecutive wins – their only ones for the season. Maurice Rioli Jnr is the most exciting inclusion among a star-studded Saints line-up, named on the bench while David Armitage and Michael Manteit make up the ex-AFL numbers. Meanwhile, Steven Stroobants is a handy addition for the Warriors to add to the firepower Kim Kantilla brings, but they look like going in without Abe Ankers in a huge blow to their chances. St Mary’s has looked formidable on paper all season, and that is no different this week as they look to prey on a bottom three opponent.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS vs. WANDERERS
Saturday November 30, 7:00pm
TIO Stadium

Wanderers will hope to snap a two-game losing run when it closes out the round against Southern Districts on Saturday night at TIO Stadium. Both sides have endured wild momentum swings in their seasons thus far, but the Crocs have found a way to win more often and sit pretty in second spot. They would be even closer to the top had it not been for a draw in the first meeting between these two teams, with the result also a factor in Wanderers’ position just outside of the top five. With Tiwi on the up and the top four relatively settled, a win is crucial for the young Muk Muks line-up. They will have to perform without star swingman Joel Jeffrey this week, with NT Under-16 Mark White coming into the forward line to join Beau O’Connell and Davin Ferreira. The Crocs will back in their own forward firepower, with Ed Barlow named inside 50 alongside Beau Schwarze and Will Farrer, while Richard Tambling is also set to go around again. Those names make Southern Districts hard to pass up, but Wanderers can cause plenty of headaches.

2019/20 NTFL Men’s Premier League season preview

WITH the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League competition set to get underway on the weekend, we take a look at the eight teams competing for the ultimate prize over the summer.

DARWIN BUFFALOES

Last season: 5th
Win-loss: 8-10
Points: 32
Percentage: 94.6

The Buffs are coming in off an indifferent 2018/20 campaign that saw them scrape into finals after a promising start. They were eliminated in a crushing 73-point elimination final loss to Waratah after going down to the Warriors in Round 18 as well, finally folding after struggling to reclaim the early-season form that had them pegged for another top two finish. Having captain-coach Matt Campbell and star players Joe Anderson, Adam Sambono and Malcolm Rosas Jnr shuffle in and out of the side at times did not help the Buffaloes in their search for some consistency, but the talent base is certainly there. Ex-Blue Anderson and highly rated junior Sambono are poised to feature prominently again under Campbell’s tutelage, while Rosas Jnr’s availability hinges on his AFL Draft hopes. Those three are all capable of seeing a heap of the ball and having important touches, with the consistent figures of Shaun Ahmat and Kevin Maroney set to again add that stability to the lineup each week. With Rosas seemingly moving on to the elite system, the young gun in Darwin’s crop this year is Antonio James. James featured for two straight years for the NT Thunder’s Under-16 side and was part of the Under-18 NAB League squad without playing, making him a good chance to feature for them in the upcoming season. The Buffs will be keen to see how he goes at Premier League level, with his enthusiasm and pace from defence helping him to stand out to this point. After a disappointing finish to last season, the storied club will hope to reach the heights they did in 2017/18 and sneak back into that top two. They certainly have the top-end talent to challenge, and should provide some highlights along the way.

Players to watch:

Joe Anderson
Adam Sambono
Malcolm Rosas Jnr
Shaun Ahmat

Young gun:

Antonio James

NIGHTCLIFF

Last season: 1st
Win-loss: 15-3 (Premiers)
Points: 60
Percentage: 166.08

The reigning premiers took home their fourth premiership cup last season, and in doing so moved one clear of Palmerston and Southern Districts to outright fifth on the overall premiership table. It was a dominant year for the Tigers, only losing thrice on their way to an outright minor premiership and getting up by 22 points over then-reigning premiers Southern Districts in the grand final. Trent Melville was the side’s spearhead, booting 56 goals from his 20 games to finish as the league’s leading goal kicker, but Nightcliff had a wealth of scoring threats. Melville will suit up again alongside the likes of Liam Holt-Fitz and Matthew Bricknell up forward, with big-man and NT Thunder representative Hugo Drogemuller a chance to feature up either end. The Budarick brothers, Jess and Joel will also be important between the arcs for the Tigers, with Joel turning out for the NT’s Under 18 academy this year. Jess appeared for the Thunder in the NEAFL this season and should add to his games tally this time around, adding to Nightcliff’s list of promising youngsters. Andy Moniz-Wakefield, Jamie Jones and Ned Stevens are also on that list after playing a part in the NT’s Under 16 campaign this year, putting the reigning premiers in good stead to feature well again and into the future. Their depth is solid, and their firepower is almost unmatched.

Players to watch:

Jess Budarick
Trent Melville
Matthew Bricknell
Hugo Drogemuller
Liam Holt-Fitz

Young gun:

Joel Budarick

PALMERSTON

Last season: 6th
Win-loss: 7-11
Points: 28
Percentage: 70.57

The Palmy Army experienced much more joy in 2018/19 after claiming the wooden spoon in season 2017/18, with a vastly-improved sixth place finish – just one win outside of the finals spots. The Magpies had their depth tested with ex-AFL players like Aaron Davey, Alwyn Davey, and Ezekiel Frank missing chunks of games throughout the year, while Matthew Stokes only appeared in a two-game cameo. All four of those stars provided great value though and could do so again in this year’s competition to aid a bunch of regulars who stood out. Victorian ruck veteran Matthew Dennis featured among the best for all but one of his 18 games last year and could go around again, with VFL player Dylan Gordon set to make his NT return. He joins the likes of prolific goalsneak Kyle Emery, as well as the ever-improving Nigel Lockyer and consistent figures of Samuel Autio and Samuel Talbot. Add youngster Jason Baird to the mix and so much of the Magpies’ firepower comes in their forward movers, despite not being able to post the biggest scores last year. Up the other end, their defence was the leakiest in 2018/19 and will need some tightening if Palmerston is to continue its upward trend.

Players to watch:

Kyle Emery
Matthew Dennis
Dylan Gordon
Samuel Talbot
Nigel Lockyer

Young gun:

Jason Baird

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS

Last season: 2nd
Win-loss: 13-5 (Runners-up)
Points: 52
Percentage: 147.36

So close, yet so far, the Crocs battled hard throughout the season and looked at times like premiership favourites, particularly after a 20-goal smashing of Tiwi Bombers in the preliminary final. But as they found out, the Grand Final is a different ball game, going down to Nightcliff by 22 points. That does not take away from the dominance the Crocs have had over the competition during the last two seasons, with a ton of depth and some scary firepower. Ex-AFL players Leroy Jetta, Richard Tambling, Ed Barlow and Jared Brennan were all terrific over multiple games for the 2017/18 premiers, adding arguably the highest level of ex-professional class. Goals came aplenty through the likes of Jess Koopman and Michael Mummery, while Bradley Vallance, Dean Staunton, Charles McAdam, and Beau Schwarze were others to combine their scoreboard impact with ball winning. They should all be important figures again if Southern Districts is to have another flag tilt, providing a consistent base throughout the year with a raft of other stars coming in and out of the team. It is always hard to look past the Crocs on paper and given the ability they have to blow teams away, expect them to be right up there once again this season. With young gun Brodie Lake also one of the NT’s big hopes for next year’s draft, they have some future talent to nurture too.

Players to watch:

Jess Koopman
Michael Mummery
Dean Staunton
Ed Barlow
Brandon Rusca

Young gun:

Brodie Lake

ST MARY’S

Last season: 8th
Win-loss: 5-13
Points: 20
Percentage: 78.14

The NTFL powerhouse side was publicly in financial trouble over the off-season, but is back in the league to try and bounce back from its poor season last year. After missing the 2017/18 Grand Final for only the second time since 2002/03, the Saints went through a rebuilding phase last season dropping to the bottom of the table. With nine more premierships than its nearest rival, expect this successful club to move back up the ladder in season 2019/20. Former Gippsland Power prospect Nathaniel Paredes was the Saints’ shining light last season, featuring in the best 10 of 15 times and booting 20 goals in the process. A host of famous names and relations also fill out the side, with Ben Rioli and Jacob Long sure to join prodigious youngsters Maurice Rioli Jnr and Brayden Rioli – pending their availability. Nicholas Yarran and Raphael Clarke would be handy returns after solid 2017/18 seasons, along with the likes of Mathias Liddy. St Mary’s is renowned for producing top talent, and NT Under 16 representative Preyben Tipiloura is an exciting type to come through further this year alongside Rioli Jnr and Brayden Rioli, while Kieren Parnell is another rising star set to make his long-awaited injury return. Given the club’s strong history and the raw talent set to be displayed, expect St Mary’s to be a riser this year – the only was is up from last season after all – and a couple more former-AFL coups could help.

Players to watch:

Nathaniel Paredes
Maurice Rioli Jnr
Jacob Long
Ben Rioli
Kieren Parnell
Brayden Rioli

Young gun:

Preyben Tipiloura

TIWI BOMBERS

Last season: 3rd
Win-loss: 9-9
Points: 36
Percentage: 101.72

Tiwi very nearly became one of the better stories out of last season as their run in the back-end saw them earn an unlikely preliminary final berth. Although they were soundly beaten while searching for a grand final spot, the journey there was something to behold. It came long after a slow start to the season, with a raft of experienced and reliable players helping the famous Bombers click into gear. They were awesome in front of goal at times, and that is only set to be helped this year with the return of favourite son Cyril Rioli, who joins as a player-coach. The prospect of having him run around alongside fellow ex-AFL players Austin Wonaeamirri and Nathan Djerrkura, as well as Ross Tungatalum is scary and sure to bring plenty of excitement to the league. Add to that club stalwarts Jason Puruntatameri, Dion Munkara and prolific young guns Adam Tipungwuti and Jeffrey Simon, and you have a fun side destined for big things. The improvement they showed last year should only be built on this time around, and there is no reason why the Bombers cannot fly back to the top of the NTFL with a continuance of their form. Do not be surprised to see Tiwi go in as one of the flag favourites, and there will certainly be plenty of expectation given how dangerous they look on paper in the forward half.

Players to watch:

Cyril Rioli
Ross Tungatalum
Austin Wonaeamirri
Jason Puruntatameri
Dion Munkara
Nathan Djerrkura
Adam Tipungwuti

Young gun:

Jeffrey Simon

WANDERERS

Last season: 7th
Win-loss: 6-12
Points: 24
Percentage: 74.22

A somewhat down 2018/19 season saw Wanderers narrowly escape the bottom of the ladder with a final round victory over Palmerston, despite only winning half the amount of games they lost in the 18-game season. It looked a justified ladder position given they were second-to-last for both points scored and conceded, but there are some promising signs pointing to the future for the Muk Muks. They are set to field young stars aplenty, with NT Under-18 representative Beau O’Connell one who could team up with Davin Ferreira through midfield alongside the experience of Marlon Motlop. John Tipiloura is another lively youngster, as is Mark White, who starred up forward in the 2019 Under 16 Division 2 carnival. But arguably the best of the lot is 2020 AFL Draft hopeful Joel Jeffrey, who was a regular for Wanderers last year and played out on the MCG in the Under-17 grand final curtain raiser. If he is available before his top-age year, look out for his high marking up either end of the ground. While the immediate impact of their talent has not quite translated to results just yet, expect to see the Eagles sore in years to come.

Players to watch:

Beau O’Connell
Marlon Motlop
Joel Jeffrey
Davin Ferreira
John Tipiloura

Young gun:

Mark White

WARATAH

Last season: 4th
Win-loss: 9-9
Points: 36
Percentage: 100.44

Waratah is a team which surprised some last year, holding strong with its local talent to cap a consistent year off in fourth place with an even record – hardly ever looking like missing out on finals throughout the season. Anchoring the side in midfield was Abraham Ankers, who will be key again in this campaign alongside fellow NT Thunder squad member Brodie Carroll, who played 16 games last year. Zach Westerberg, Cameron Barrett, and Henry Kerinaiua were others to hold down spots, and another possible cameo from ex-Melbourne forward Michael Newton could spell some more goals. Newton’s two games aside, Waratah is one of the teams with the fewest ex-AFL experience, making their exploits even greater. Andrew Moore could change that factor slightly as he is poised to sign for the Warriors, and Matthew Green could have the effect of a new signing after only featuring a couple of times last season. Watch for Under 18 Allies representative Ben Jungfer if available, given he is Adelaide-based, with his clearance work outstanding. With a lot of other sides improving, it will be a battle for Waratah to maintain their form, but they have the stock to match it with the best once again.

Players to watch:

Abraham Ankers
Matthew Green
Brodie Carroll
Andrew Moore
Cameron Barrett

Young gun:

Ben Jungfer

Remember the Names: Top performers from the U16 National Championships

WITH the 2019 Under 16 National Championships run and done, we cast an eye over some of the names you may well see much more of over the next few seasons leading into their draft year in 2021. Our list includes the Most Valuable Player (MVP) from each side across Division 1 and 2, and is broken up into each squad.

South Australia:

Isaiah Dudley (Central District)
166cm | 66kg | 30/04/2003
Small Forward/Midfielder 

Is an absolute excitement machine with his pace and bottomless bag of tricks, often starting inside forward 50 and then getting involved further afield in general play. Having impressed in last year’s championships as an under-ager with his nous around goal, Dudley enjoyed some added midfield minutes and is a tackling machine. His standout game came in SA’s carnival opener against WA, where he collected 27 disposals and booted four goals with some truly special plays. Given his height, Dudley will probably continue on as a small forward as he heads to senior level, but is arguably as talented as anyone in the crop.

Jason Horne (South Adelaide)
184cm | 75kg | 21/06/2003
Balanced Midfielder

The fearless leader took out SA’s MVP award on the back of three very consistent performances, displaying a great balance of mettle and class on either side of the midfield contest. He proved to be one of the more effective extractors throughout, but also sparked a heap of his side’s attacks as he got on his bike away from congestion and lowered his eyes well to hit targets. Also showed he can cause headaches when resting forward, finding the goals in each game and using his strong hands to compete under high balls. 

Matthew Roberts (South Adelaide)
183cm | 77kg | 5/07/2003
Inside Midfielder

Was one of the most effective inside ball-winners, following on from his form in the 2018 Under 16 carnival where attended centre bounces and attracted the ball at will. Roberts will surely form a formidable midfield partnership with South Adelaide teammate Horne for years to come, with both uncompromising ball-winners who have that added class. One of the more pleasing parts of Roberts’ game is his ability to also accumulate inside forward 50, as shown in his final two games of the carnival. Had a blinder in SA’s loss to Vic Metro with 31 disposals, five marks, four clearances, seven inside 50s and a goal in the wet.

Vic Country:

Campbell Chesser (Sandringham Dragons)
185cm | 78kg | 27/04/2003
Outside Midfielder/Half-Back 

Started the championships with a classy performance on the wing against Vic Metro before later moving to defence to provide that rebounding quality from half-back. The Country co-captain is a damaging user by foot and likes to take the game on to gain significant meterage, weaving his way around the outside and delivering spearing balls forward. Is originally from Lavington but boards at Melbourne Grammar, meaning he will align with the strong Sandringham Dragons program in NAB League, so look out for his set-ups by foot and clean hands in the near future.

Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels)
181cm | 75kg | 16/09/2003
Inside Midfielder

Hobbs is an absolute bull through the midfield with unrivaled tenacity and aggression at the stoppages. He wins almost all of his ball himself and thrusts it forward with long kicks, but also grew into the carnival with accumulation around the ground and neat spearing kicks to find shorter targets. Was arguably Country’s second-best player behind Rachele, constantly having 25-plus disposals, double digits in tackles and booting a few goals along the way. 

Josh Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)
179cm | 73kg | 11/04/2003
Midfielder/Forward

Class with a capital ‘C’, the Country co-captain took out the Kevin Sheehan Medal (Division 1 MVP) and his side’s own MVP award with three sensational performances throughout the carnival. His talent can be summed up with one play in Country’s last game against SA, where he instinctively tapped the ball on over his shoulder to Ben Hobbs at full flight who finished the play off with a goal. Does some freakish things and constantly looks a threat around the ball with his agility and ability to break away from congestion, using both to good effect at forward stoppages. Has obvious leadership quality too and really lifted in trying to drag Country over the line in their loss to WA, having 32 disposals, six marks, four breaches of each arc and 0.3. A star in the making.

Vic Metro:

Braden Andrews (Oakleigh Chargers)
187cm | 76kg | 21/02/2003
Midfielder/Utility

Able to play through the midfield and just about anywhere else he is needed, Andrews’ best qualities are his clean hands and cool head. While he was quieter against SA, Andrews proved his class in his other two outings and in particular with his role against Vic Country – where he started forward and found the goals, went on to spark the engine room, and later provided some solidity in defence to help Metro hold on for victory. Is one who has potential to be further unlocked, but has some really nice traits already.

Alex Lukic (Oakleigh Chargers)
194cm | 80kg | 7/01/2003
Key Forward

Started with a bag of four goals against Country and came back from a quiet game in the wet against SA to claim five against WA and round out a promising carnival. Did a lot of his work close to goal and proved efficient when given chances, finishing well with set shots and snaps as he opened up the angles. Also chimed in with a bit of ruckwork, and it will be interesting to see whether Lukic can rip games apart with marking on the lead and in more contested situations as he develops. 

Josh Sinn (Sandringham Dragons)
186cm | 72kg | 28/01/03
Midfielder/Half-Back

Was originally employed off half-back in the first three quarters against Vic Country, but became a permanent midfielder after being thrust into the centre bounces and willing Metro over the line in that game. He skippered his side well over the carnival, adjusting his usually outside game to work in the engine room while still providing his trademark run and damage by foot. May see him ease into NAB League level in the back six, but has proven his midfield quality.

Tyler Sonsie (Eastern Ranges)
181cm | 71kg | 27/01/2003
Balanced Midfielder

The Metro MVP was terrific across all three games, claiming best afield honours in two of them and showing off his versatility in the last with 19 disposals, four clearances, four inside 50s and 4.3 against WA. Is a clean extractor from midfield and oozes class in the way he wheels away from traffic, with the added bonus of being clinical around goal from all angles. Will certainly form a damaging midfield trio for Eastern with Tyreece Leiu and Jake Soligo over the next couple of years.

Western Australia:

Max Chipper (Swan Districts)
180cm | 63kg | 9/09/2003
Wing/Outside Midfielder

Better known as ‘Chip’ out on the field, the Swan Districts product is clean and cool in possession, using the ball neatly on the outside to hit targets at will. Unlike a lot of wingmen, Chipper arguably has a better short-range game and joins in at stoppages once the centre bounces play out. Had a really good start to his carnival against SA and finds the ball in all areas.

Judd McVee (East Fremantle)
179cm | 64kg | 7/08/2003
Midfielder

Judd by name and Judd by nature, McVee has that classic burst from the stoppage and showed he is able to hit the scoreboard across three promising games. Was arguably best afield in the first half against Vic Metro before being clamped, standing up in the absence of Lochlan Paton to finish with 16 disposals, seven clearances, four inside 50s and two goals in a promising showing. Is still quite light-on but is not afraid to get stuck in, giving him that valuable balance in midfield.

Blake Morris (Subiaco)
187cm | 68kg | 11/09/2003
Medium-Tall Defender

The WA MVP was an absolute rock in defence for the Black Ducks, proving an intercept machine in the air and as desperate as anyone at ground level. While he often gives up significant size – as seen when matched up on Country’s 196cm/91kg Josh Rentsch – Morris makes up for it with superior reading of the play, a sizeable leap, and the ability to mop up at the fall of the ball. Will be interesting to see whether he continues to play in the key back role or is freed up on the flanks, with a good knack for rebounding also in his locker.

Northern Territory:

Jason Baird (Palmerston)
185cm | 70kg | 29/12/2003
Midfielder/Defender

Played a key role in the Thunder’s resurgence against NSW/ACT with his accumulation across the ground and ability to push forward. He did not quite have the same impact against Queensland as he was forced to double as a key defender at times given the Maroon’s strength in that area, but battled hard and has some handy versatility.

Brodie Lake (Peel Thunder/Southern Districts)
186cm | 63kg | 16/05/2002
Midfielder/Forward

Collected the NT MVP award for his standout carnival, spending time between midfield and the forward line. Lake played his role well in either position, finding both a good amount of ball and the big sticks – most notably in his game against Division 2 title-winner NSW/ACT where he had 26 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, eight clearances, four inside 50s and two goals. Is a tall and lean midfielder with good hands overhead, so should continue to rotate between roles.

Mark White (Wanderers)
175cm | 65kg | 29/01/2003
General Forward

The tricky forward is a big exponent of taking on the man on the mark, doing it on many an occasion across the carnival to cut distances and get a better look on goal. White is also aggressive around the ball, applying strong pressure albeit while pushing the boundaries. He conveyed a bit of showmanship as he shooshed the Queensland crowd in his final outing and certainly adds a bit of spark when involved in the play.

NSW/ACT:

Joshua Fahey (GWS Giants/Queanbeyan Tigers)
186cm | 77kg | 11/11/2003
General Defender/Midfielder

Fahey is another big character who backs it up with his skill on-field, possessing a cool head and booming left foot which he used to send NSW/ACT forward out of defensive 50 and from midfield. Fahey’s work rate to get on the end of balls and penetrate the attacking 50 was also valuable, and he showed as much with his 24 disposals, six inside 50s and 10 rebound 50s against Tasmania to round out a solid carnival.

Matthew McKenzie (Sydney Swans/St Ives)
182cm | 79kg | 10/10/2003
Midfielder/Forward

Has a deceptively quick first few steps which he used to good effect when running though the midfield, while also providing a strong body at the stoppages. McKenzie racked up a good amount of ball and stayed busy when rotating through the forward 50, showing he can find the goals too. Enjoyed two solid and well-rounded performances in Queensland as one of a few promising St Ives boys.

Sam Stening (GWS Giants/Wagga Swans)
190cm | 72kg | 17/02/2003
Medium-Tall Forward

Stening came to life in an incredible final quarter against NT, while also picking up from where he left off in his next game to fix up some issues in front of goal to slot three majors from 14 disposals and six marks. Is not quite key position height but plays like one, marking well above his head with sticky hands and looking strong at full stretch. Could be a dangerous proposition once he fills out and finds his spot up forward.

Kai Watts (GWS Giants/Inner West Magpies)
178cm | 80kg | 1/02/2003
Forward/Midfielder

The NSW/ACT MVP was a dangerous asset for the Rams, starting forward and moving into the midfield as each game wore on. Watts was not a massive disposal-getter, having between 13-16 in his final two games, but has important touches and makes them count with some good delivery by foot. He gets in good positions close to goal and finds them, as shown in his 16-disposal, two-goal effort against the NT.

Queensland:

Austin Harris (Gold Coast Suns/Palm Beach Currumbin Lions)
175cm | 65kg | 30/04/2003
Defender/Outside Midfielder

Harris’ run and carry was fantastic for Queensland, making him a key contributor on his way to claiming his state’s MVP award. Harris just always found a way to the ball, getting into good areas with a high work rate and pushing forward at every chance. He often finished his runs off with neat kicks and provided a touch of class when in possession.

Daniel Lanthois (Brisbane Lions/Maroochydore)
173cm | 64kg | 12/02/2003
Midfielder

The diminutive and tough ball-winner does just about everything in the engine room, zipping away from stoppages and tackling hard on the rare occasions he doesn’t get his hands on the ball. Lanthois makes up for his lack of size with heart and really digs in around the contest, with one of his better performances coming against Tasmania as he had 18 disposals, 11 tackles, seven clearances and four inside 50s.

Noah McFadyen (Brisbane Lions/Wilston Grange)
186cm | 89kg | 18/03/2003
Medium-Tall Forward

Kicked 14 goals in his three games as the leading tall forward in Division 2, with his sheer strength and positioning deep inside attacking 50 granting him most of his goals. McFadyen took full advantage of the much smaller match-ups he faced against NT to boot 8.2 in one of the performances of the carnival, and could well be the next McFadyen for Brisbane fans to keep an eye on after Connor was drafted in 2018. Will be interesting to keep tabs on his growth and whether he hits true key position size, with his set shot routine looking pretty efficient at this stage.

Tasmania:

Samuel Banks (Southern Academy/Clarence)
184cm | 70kg | 2/04/2003
Midfielder/Half-Back

The Alan McLean medallist (Division 2 MVP) has already impressed enough in Tasmanian circles to feature in the state’s Under 18 NAB League side, and showed his class throughout the carnival. Able to play through midfield or more offensively off half-back, Banks has a penetrating kick which he uses to hit targets others wouldn’t dare try to through the corridor. Is also an apt interceptor in the back half, and was terrific in that role against NSW/ACT as he collected 25 disposals, 10 marks, and five rebound 50s.

Baynen Lowe (North-West Academy/Devonport)
176cm | 65kg | 29/07/2003
Midfielder

Another of the raft of diminutive ball-winners, Lowe is a tireless worker who is mostly sighted quickly booting the ball forward from stoppages. The Devonport product wins most of his disposals himself, showing great speed through traffic while also finding his fair share around the ground. Was fantastic for Tasmania alongside Banks as Tasmania’s highest disposal getters.

George McLeod (Southern Academy/North Hobart)
175cm | 61kg | 11/01/2003
Midfielder/Forward

McLeod mixes his time between the midfield and forward half and works hard, pitching in with little bursts of run and important balls into the forward half. Was just behind Banks and Lowe in terms of output but made his own impact across each game, with one of his standout outings coming against NSW/ACT (23 disposals, 11 marks, seven inside 50s, 2.1)

Under 16 National Championships: Division 2 wrap

NEW South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) replicated Vic Metro’s Division 1 run, going through undefeated over three rounds to claim the Division 2 title. Queensland picked up two wins on home turf to slot into second place, with one of those coming over third-place Tasmania, while Northern Territory was the only side to go through without a win despite showing promise. We recap how each side fared and shed light on some of the better performers throughout the competition.

Northern Territory (0-3)

Results:
Rd 1 – Tasmania 16.13 (109) def. Northern Territory 8.8 (56)
Rd 2 – NSW/ACT 12.10 (82) def. Northern Territory 10.5 (65)
Rd 3 – Queensland 14.9 (93) def. Northern Territory 6.5 (41)

MVP: Brodie Lake (Peel Thunder/Southern Districts)
Most Goals: Mark White (Wanderers), 7

Despite not picking up a win over their three games, there were plenty of highlights and standouts for NT in this year’s carnival. A 53-point loss against Tasmania kicked off the Thunder’s campaign, with leading goal kicker Mark White enjoying his best game for the carnival to boot an equal game-high four goals. He was the Thunder’s only multiple goal kicker on the day, with Antonio James amongst the best in an under-siege defence and eventual MVP Brodie Lake enjoying a solid start. The NT responded in fine fashion against title-holders NSW/ACT in Round 2, pushing the Rams all the way but going down by 17 points. Two goalless terms told the tale of the see-sawing contest, and it was Lake again who impressed with his 26 disposals, seven marks, eight clearances and two goals. Tyrell Lui was also influential from midfield with 18 disposals, nine clearances and a goal, while undersized ruck Ned Stevens battled hard to have 12 disposals, 25 hitouts and a goal. It was a much improved performance from the Thunder, with a tough game against the hosts to come. It proved just that as they went down by 52 points in Aspley, struggling to match up on the Maroon’s array of tall forward options. At ground level, James again accumulated from defence and Ariki Lowe was busy in midfield with 15 disposals, six clearances and seven inside 50s. On the outside, Preyben Tipiloura showed some flash with his two goals, while Jason Baird stood up in a shift to defence with 12 disposals and five rebounds. It was a tough initiation onto the national stage for these NT youngsters, but there is certainly some talent to burn amongst the group.

NSW/ACT (3-0)

Results:
Rd 1 – NSW/ACT 10.10 (70) def. Queensland 9.5 (59)
Rd 2 – NSW/ACT 12.10 (82) def. Northern Territory 10.5 (65)
Rd 3 – Tasmania 4.10 (34) def. by NSW/ACT 11.9 (75)

MVP: Kai Watts (GWS Giants Academy/Inner West Magpies)
Most Goals: Euriah Hollard (Lavington/Geelong Grammar), 6

Division 2 title winners NSW/ACT responded beautifully to every question raised by their three opponents, holding firm in their first two games and enjoying a more comfortable win in the last. Round 1 saw them matched up against traditional rivals Queensland, overcoming deficits at quarter and three-quarter time to run over the top of the Maroons with a wind advantage. Austin Ball and Euriah Hollard each kicked two goals with Ball named best for the Rams, while the tall duo of Will Edwards and Patrick Voss also impressed. NT provided a good test for the Rams in Round 2, NSW/ACT’s ability to keep the Thunder goalless in two of the four quarters proved the difference. Voss booted four goals, while zippy ball winner Will Sexton was instrumental with 19 disposals, six marks, five tackles and a goal. His disposal effort was matched by rebounding defender Felix Rogers (eight rebounds) and tall forward Sam Stening (five marks, seven inside 50s, 1.5) as the Rams sailed home strongly. After being tested for three quarters against NT, the Rams stormed out of the blocks against Tasmania in Round 3 with an eight-goal to nil first half. The scoring slowed after the main break and Tasmania managed to put together 14 scoring shots, but the Rams were simply too efficient from forward 50 stoppages and resolute in defence. Joshua Fahey led the disposal count with 24 and 10 rebounds with Matthew McKenzie the only other to break the 20-mark (23 disposals, six marks, nine inside 50s). MVP Kai Watts started well up forward with 13 touches and 1.3, while Stening straightened up for 3.0 from 14 disposals and Toby Alker was again solid in midfield. The strength, versatility, and penetration of NSW/ACT’s midfield movers saw them home in each game, with a team balance also making them the clear-best in Division 2.

Queensland (2-1)

Results:
Rd 1 – NSW/ACT 10.10 (70) def. Queensland 9.5 (59)
Rd 2 – Queensland 9.3 (57) def. Tasmania 4.13 (37)
Rd 3 – Queensland 14.9 (93) def. Northern Territory 6.5 (41)

MVP: Austin Harris (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Palm Beach Currumbin)
Most Goals: Noah McFadyen (Brisbane Lions Academy/Wilston Grange), 14

Round 2 and 3 hosts Queensland went unbeaten at home to finish the carnival with a positive record and in second place. Their only loss came in Round 1 to champions NSW/ACT, going down by 11 points despite holding leads at two of the four intervals. Competition leading goal kicker Noah McFadyen was the only Maroon to find multiple majors with four, while ball-winners Bodhi Uwland, MVP Austin Harris and Finn Brown were also all influential. The Maroons bounced back in Round 2 in a game they hardly looked like losing against Tasmania at Metricon Stadium, getting up by 20 points in the end. Harris was again terrific with 19 disposals, seven marks and three clearances, while diminutive and tough midfielder Daniel Lanthois worked hard for 18 touches, 11 tackles and seven clearances. The tall trio of Will Bella (three goals) Jye Lockett (two), and McFadyen (two) all found multiples and caused headaches in the air, with that factor inevitably becoming a theme. The three went on to have a big say in Queensland’s closing win over the NT, with McFadyen’s strength close to goal overwhelming the NT defence as he helped himself to 8.2 from 14 disposals and seven marks. Lockett also parked inside attacking 50 to boot another two goals, while Lochlan Harrop also claimed two majors from 20 disposals. In a familiar tale, Harris and Lanthois again led the disposal count with 23 and 20 respectively to round out outstanding individual carnivals. A good combination of speed and ball winning ability further afield made the straightforward game-plan of feeding the talls up forward very effective, and it made them hard to stop in front of their vocal home fans.

Tasmania (1-2)

Results:
Rd 1 – Tasmania 16.13 (109) def. Northern Territory 8.8 (56)
Rd 2 – Queensland 9.3 (57) def. Tasmania 4.13 (37)
Rd 3 – Tasmania 4.10 (34) def. by NSW/ACT 11.9 (75)

MVP: Baynen Lowe (North-West Academy/Devonport)
Alan McLean Medal: Sam Banks (Southern Academy/Clarence)
Most Goals: Jonty McIvor (North-West Academy/Wynyard), 5

A big opening round win over Northern Territory ended up being Tasmania’s only victory for the carnival, unable to get that same scoring flow going in scores of 37 and 34 across the next two games. Their start unearthed plenty of promise though, with nine individual goal kickers contributing to the 53-point win. Jonty McIvor led the way with four, followed by Darcy Gardner‘s three and two each from Sam Banks and Zac Morris rounding out the multiple goal kickers. Zippy ball-winner and state MVP Baynen Lowe also made a good start, and was just as good in Tasmania’s Round 2 outing against Queensland. The Devils went down by 20 points in a slog, with Lowe’s 20 disposals, nine marks, eight clearances and one goal second only to Banks’ 21 touches and eight inside 50s. George McLeod also had a good game with 18 disposals and 1.2, with Dominic White (14 disposals, four marks) solid in the back half and Gardner (14 disposals, nine tackles, five clearances) also busy. A big first half from NSW/ACT saw Tasmania go goalless to the main break in Round 3, but it was not for a want of trying as the Devils were punished each time they failed to capitalise of gaining territory. They improved to finish with 4.10, as Lowe (27 disposals, seven tackles, seven clearances), McLeod (23 disposals, 11 marks, 2.1), and Jake Dixon (20 disposals, six marks) again worked tirelessly. But it was Alan McLean medallist Banks who was most influential, thriving in a move to half back to have 25 disposals, 10 marks and a combined nine breaches of each arc. With some undeniable class at the top and hard workers throughout, Tassie just fell short of putting together the pieces across the three matches. Banks is certainly one to watch, and has already broken into the Tasmanian NAB League squad like 2018 draftee, Tarryn Thomas.

Scouting Notes: U16 Division 2 – Round 3

NEW South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) and Queensland had strong wins to see out the Under 16 Division 2 National Championships, with plenty of eye-catching individual performances. We cast an eye over both game to provide opinion-based notes on the outstanding players across the final two fixtures.

NSW/ACT vs. Tasmania
By: Michael Alvaro

NSW/ACT:

#5 Euriah Hollard (Lavington/Geelong Grammar)

Is interestingly the only Rams player in the squad not tied to a Sydney-based academy, but Hollard showed he has plenty of talent. The Geelong Grammarian was busy from the get-go, earning a couple of free kicks inside 50 and dishing off to give teammates goal scoring opportunities. Made good from a very tough chance on goal of his own in the first term, gathering under heavy pressure in the pocket and snapping a miraculous goal, prompting a choice “you’re taking the…” comment from his teammate. He would go on to add another goal in a strong third term, marking from behind in a one-on-one duel and kicking truly. Hollard’s smarts and deceptive strength were key features, and he was one of NSW/ACT’s more dangerous small forwards.

#9 Ed Ogilvy (Sydney Swans Academy/St Ives)

While Ogilvy did not win a heap of the ball (10 disposals), he was impressive with each touch in the back half and provided a cool head on the last line when the ball hit the deck. He delivered a couple of really composed kicks out of defensive 50 and into the corridor during an influential second term, making good decisions on the ball and hardly putting a put wrong close to his own goal. A solid day, and one who is very neat by foot.

#14 Toby Alker (Sydney Swans Academy/Maroubra Saints)

Part of a pretty strong Rams midfield core, much of Alker’s work had to be watched closely as he impacted the contest at stoppages. He finished with 17 disposals, six tackles and three clearances, looking strong in tackles to get kicks away and flick out handballs from congestion. Alker also had a nice moment on the outside in the third term as he stopped, propped, and delivered a risky kick into the corridor to spark the chain for Euriah Hollands’ second goal.

#22 Joshua Fahey (GWS Giants Academy/Queanbeyan Tigers)

Was the Rams’ leading disposal getter with 24 from defence and through midfield, providing an enormous amount of run and meterage by foot. Was clearly the designated kicker out of defence given his booming left boot, taking the kick-ins and pumping it out long in general play for a massive 10 rebounds. He also managed to breach the attacking 50 too, running hard up the ground and getting in position to let fly on goal, but missing the two opportunities he set sail for. Fahey showed a good combination of remaining calm but also providing urgency, and was vocal throughout – most noticeably when he asked his opponent if he “had a left foot” before he snapped home a left footed goal. Is a character, but can play.

#23 Matthew McKenzie (Sydney Swans Academy/St Ives)

Was influential around the ground as one who rotated between midfield and the forward line, racking up 23 disposals (17 kicks), six marks, four clearances, and nine inside 50s. His clearance on the bounce in the first term led to an early Kai Watts goal, and McKenzie’s five-step burst from congestion proved damaging. He often finished his runs with a long kick when going through the midfield, but showed good ability to lower his eyes further afield. His errand set shot fell short in the final term to provide another goal assist, and McKenzie was busy in his added forward minutes over the second half, adding a goal to his stat line in the third term from a loose ball close to goal.

#24 Kai Watts (GWS Giants Academy/Inner West Magpies)

Named NSW/ACT’s MVP and put in another solid shift to return an impactful 13 disposals, three inside 50s and 1.3. Watts was another who rotated between the midfield and forward half, starting inside attacking 50 and often joining in on the stoppages during general play. He was the benefactor of a searing Matthew McKenzie clearance early on as he marked and goaled in the first term, going on to miss another shot shortly after and a snap in the second quarter. Is a little smaller than some of his midfield mates but is strong, and uses his frame to position best at the fall of the ball.

#25 Sam Stening (GWS Giants Academy/Wagga Swans)

Stening put to bed some of the issues he had in front of goal in NSW/ACT’s previous game, slotting 3.0 from 14 disposals and and equal team-high six marks. The lightly built forward rotated between being the deepest Rams player and positioning at centre half-forward, making good plays in both roles. When closer to home, Stening popped through two of his three goals in open play and stood up in contests from high balls in. When pushing further afield, the Wagga product got good separation from his direct opponent and showed off his sticky hands at full stretch to pull in some nice overhead marks. Is a raw kind of prospect but has a good base to build on and certainly impacts games.

#29 Will Edwards (Sydney Swans Academy/Manly Bombers)

The Rams tall played his role in the ruck well, but it was his follow-up work that was most impressive. Edwards managed to win the ball around the ground by providing a target in the air and collected 14 disposals to go with his 17 hitouts. Also kicked a nice goal on the run in the final term to cap off a decent game.

Tasmania:

#2 Baynen Lowe (Devonport)

Another busy performance from the Tasmanian trier, with his game-high 27 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, seven clearances and four inside 50s helping him earn his side’s MVP award. Lowe was a constant through midfield, gaining meterage for his side from stoppages as he zipped around them and threw the ball onto his boot in quick time. He worked as hard as anyone to will his way to the ball, providing grit and zip in the same package against slightly bigger NSW/ACT opponents. While he does sometimes have the tendency to blaze away, Lowe’s work rate was immense and he fully deserved the plaudits he received.

#3 Darcy Gardner (Clarence)

Similar to Baynen Lowe, Gardner was a slick mover around the contest and worked hard to break free from congestion to send Tasmania forward. He looked particularly dangerous in the forward half after the main break, starting with a strong overhead mark just beyond the arc and kicking well to find Noah Holmes further afield. He would also go inside 50 on two occasions in the same term and provided an option to link during Tasmanian attacks. Gardner finished with 14 disposals, five marks, six tackles and two inside 50s.

#5 George McLeod (North Hobart)

McLeod was one who had a good balance between inside and outside work, collecting 23 disposals, 11 marks, seven inside 50s and 2.1 in a tireless display. He is a strong accumulator, but also had some high-impact touches – setting up teammates twice for goal opportunities through the middle part of the game and snaring two of his own. The first was a clever snap after getting on the end of a handball in the third term, and the second came on the end of a neat passage of kicking play with a set shot conversion. Had a few errand kicks but was otherwise very solid all-round.

#9 Sam Sherriff (Launceston)

By no means had a massive game (13 disposals, four inside 50s) but was influential in the final term with some good work forward of centre. Sherriff got involved in possession and through his tackling around the arc, with one kick across the 50 as he wheeled around particularly good. He got amongst a couple more kicking chains and proved a key member of the forward set-up late on.

#10 Samuel Banks (Clarence)

The 2019 Alan McLean medallist (Division 2 MVP) again showed his class to cap off a high quality carnival, collecting 25 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s and five rebounds through midfield and later off half-back. His best attribute is undoubtedly his booming right foot, and Banks used it well when placed behind the ball to set up Tasmanian forward forays. He attempted and made a wealth of attacking kicks into the corridor to put his side into dangerous positions, finding both distance and a direct target. Banks did purely go for distance on perhaps too many occasions though coming out of defence, compensating for accuracy with one kick and letting out an “oh no”. Like some of the better half-backs in this year’s draft crop, Banks showed his ability to read the play and intercept aerially with a couple of nice marks floating in from the side. Has obvious class and should build on having already being selected to play in the U18 NAB League squad, something 2018 draftee Tarryn Thomas also did as a 15-year-old.

#16 Dominic White (North Hobart)

It was another solid game from White in the back half, going about his business unassumingly to have 19 disposals, six marks and a couple of clearances. It was a relatively no frills kind of performance, providing a cool head off half back with neat short kicks and competing in the air. Hardly put a foot wrong and also found a bit of ball up the ground to get involved in the contest further.

#29 Noah Holmes (Clarence)

Holmes was again the primary target for Tasmania inside 50 and had a good game without entirely ripping it apart. He started with a couple of strong plays in one-on-one contests and showed good combativeness to win a holding the ball free kick before missing a rushed shot on goal. Holmes continued in the same vain with his tackling in the second term, while providing a good lead up target with strong hands overhead. Missed another set shot in the third quarter after marking well, but finally got on the board in the following term after another nice mark – this time over his shoulder in the face of an oncoming opponent deep in the 50.

Queensland vs. Northern Territory
By: Peter Williams

Queensland:

#3 Daniel Lanthois

The pocket rocket caused some excitement throughout the game running through the midfield and able to hit targets by hand or foot. He booted a terrific goal from the pocket in the second term which was Queensland’s seventh goal for the game, and then the next term got cleaned up after kicking out of defence but bounced back bravely. He was prominent around the stoppages and able to move the ball quickly going forward in transition.

#5 Glen Saniong

An exciting talent who zipped around the field, Saniong was particularly prominent in the opening half with clean hands in the air or at ground level, and some exciting athletic traits that caught the eye. He took a huge mark on the wing early on, and then had a full speed pick-up off the ground and burst away, leaping up whenever he could. He was favouring his dominant right side, kicking on the outside of his boot when going forward to avoid using his non-preferred, but still made it effective by hitting up Noah McFadyen late in quarter two for his fifth goal. He was quieter in the second half but still had a number of exciting moments and looked dangerous whenever he went near it.

#6 Austin Harris

Harris was busy around the stoppages and always working hard, getting to the pill at both ends. Early in the game he saved a goal by punching the ball across the line under pressure in defence, then ran in and kicked a goal before being knocked over. He used it well off his left coming off half-back and was able to dish off cleanly to teammates.

#12 James Packer

Had a few settling moments in defence, taking a goal-saving mark on the last line early in the second germ, and winning a fair bit of the ball in the back half. He charges out of defence taking the game on, and was neat with his disposal, creating plays up the field.

#13 Lochlan Harrop

Aside from McFayden’s eight-goal haul, Harrop’s efforts across the ground were up there with the best moments. He kicked an early goal by soccering it home from the goalsquare, and then kicked a goal playing out of full-forward in the final term, leading out and marking 30m out and slotting the goal on a 45-degree angle. He had another couple of changes, but passed the ball when he should have backed himself to have the shot, then the next time he rushed the shot and missed when he should have gone back and slotted it. Overall though he showed some good defensive traits and was neat with his disposal.

#28 Jye Lockett

Was one of the damaging three strong trio in the Queensland forward line and booted a couple of goals either end of the game. His first came in the goalsquare where he positioned himself well, took the mark and turned around to kick the goal from a metre out. The hands looked to be in the back of his opponent, but his body positioning was good and he had a number of other chances after that. He took a strong pack mark out 30m on an angle not long after his first goal but it drifted to the left for a behind, and then pushed up the ground at times to win some touches at half-forward. At one stage he applied a fend-off in midfield and got clear to kick forward, before then going deeper later on to mark the ball going back with the flight and put it through the middle of the big sticks midway through the last term.

#32 Noah McFadyen

The goal-scoring machine finished with eight goals from 10 chances in what was a massive day out for him. He was simply too big and too strong for any opponent that came his way, particularly given most gave him up to 10cm and 10-15kg for the 186cm, 89kg forward. He had five goals in the first half and another three by the end of the game, with most coming from one-on-one isolated contests deep in the forward 50. Every one of his eight goals came from marks (or in one case a free kick from a marking contest), and his set shot accuracy was on point. He did miss one which was a rushed snap and then he eyed off a big tally after the fast start and tried to kick an impossible goal off the ground near the behind post when he probably should have handballed it back to a teammate. Overall though he provided a great target up forward and worked his opponent over both on the lead and in arm-wrestles which he was always going to win once he planted the feet and used his body to hold off his defender.

#37 Will Bella

Bella might not have kicked a goal on the day, but the big forward provided a presence and also worked up the ground to win some ball on the wing and at half-forward. Like Lockett and McFadyen he was too strong for his opponent and had a long kick that helped his teammates get on the end of a few. He kept presenting throughout and when in the ruck easily won clean taps to his midfielders nearby.

Northern Territory:

#5 Ariki Lowe

The talented midfielder showed some nice traits with a clean turn and spin out of the middle and able to use the ball by hand or foot going forward. He added a nice touch to the midfield and had some speed from which he used to try and break the lines. Did get caught once trying to take an opponent on, but had a few solid runs during the game.

#11 Mark White

Caused a bit of a ruckus in the final term when he bumped an opponent late and a mini melee ensued. He kicked a great goal after that, and across the four quarters was one of Northern Territory’s best. He constantly looked to take an opponent on, and more often than not when going for goal looked to run in, then sidestep one way, sell candy and go the other way. He won a free kick late in the game for a great technical tackle by locking the arms, but then when he tried to sidestep the man on the mark and go for goal with the outside of his boot it went out on the full. He used the ball well when in field and was solid across the game.

#15 Preyben Tipiloura

Northern Territory’s best on the day, Tipiloura has some serious talent and X-factor. Every time he went near the ball you knew something was going to happen, with electrifying pace and clean hands, he seems to have the skill to break games open if given time and space. He is raw, but talented and had a shot for goal in the second term that wobbled in but was marked by Tom King who kicked the goal. Tipiloura also went to tap the ball in front of himself and run around an opponent tight on the line but the ball bounced out, but got busy as the game went on kicking two great goals on the run in the second half. For his first he received the ball just inside 50, burst away and kicked the goal at full speed, then for the second he burst away with a bounce, headed inboard and moved onto his preferred side to put it straight through the middle.

#24 Jason Baird

Had a strong game particularly in the first half, where he had a quick snap off the boot to get it forward, and then used precise kicking skills in the defence to move the ball across the ground well. He provided some run and carry and was willing to be daring with his passing, and one of a number of players who stood up when the heat was on.

#28 Brodie Lake

Played at both ends and kicked a goal in the third term after marking 50m out, passing to a teammate deep in the pocket, then receiving it 20m closer to goal. He put it straight through the middle and was involved a fair bit after that, winning a number of touches in quick succession across the ground. He almost had a goal in the second term with a clean pick-up but his shot on goal 20m running in on an angle hit the post.

#48 Tom King

The forward presented well and laid a great tackle close to goal applying defensive pressure to the opposition defence. He booted Northern Territory’s first goal of the game, standing in the front position and marking a wobbly ball into goal, booting it from a few metres out. He had another shot early in the fourth term, but it fell short, and a third attempt was cut off when he tried to pass in-board. He continued to work hard throughout the four quarters.

Queensland goes unbeaten at home to round out U16 carnival

QUEENSLAND finished its Under 16 Division 2 campaign off on a winning note, beating the Northern Territory by 52 points in a heated contest to go undefeated in their two home legs. Brisbane Lions Academy prospect Noah McFadyen was the star of the day, proving too strong deep inside 50 and finishing clinically to boot eight goals.

The home side was dominant in the opening term, with the tall forward trio of McFadyen, Jye Lockett, and Will Bella causing headaches early on for the smaller NT defence. It was all Queensland after Mark White missed NT’s only chance for the quarter, with McFadyen making no mistake up the other end with a sliding mark and set shot conversion to first trouble the scorers. Lochlan Harrop soccered home from the goalsquare to make it two, with McFadyen adding his second shortly after via a free kick for holding. Lockett made it a four-goal to nil term by putting away one of two kicks earned deep inside 50 with marks over the back, and the signs were looking ominous.

In similar vain to the first term, the Thunder enjoyed early territory but could not quite take full advantage. White’s sharp baulk and shot was marked on the line by James Packer, but Tom King then marked a Preyben Tipiloura shot which fell short to slam home NT’s opening goal from close range. Another two forward forays followed, but Queensland held firm and rebounded well to see McFadyen add his third goal in reply with a mark deep in the 50. The trend continued in uncanny fashion as Brodie Lake hit the post for NT, and Queensland punished the errand shot with another McFadyen goal after marking strongly one-on-one. Again, the next scoring play was a missed snap from NT’s Tyrell Lui, but Daniel Lanthois had no such troubles for the Maroons as he extended the margin further. McFadyen then capped off a big first half with his fifth goal close to the bell, marking on the lead and putting through another elementary set shot goal. The Queenslanders simply looked like scoring with each attack and did exactly that, helping themselves to a 44-point lead at the main break.

The opening exchanges of the third term were even, with much of the play occurring between the arcs and the sides sharing a rushed behind each. That was before Austin Harris broke the deadlock with a goal on the run, and was smashed late after the kick for his troubles. Tipiloura provided the instant reply to back up NT’s physical spirit with his own goal on the fly, and Lake helped them get on top in the term after marking twice inside 50 and converting the second shot. After a long period of stalemate and a few Queensland players looking to get their names on the scoresheet, McFadyen booted his sixth goal with yet another one-on-one mark in the goalsquare and straightforward finish. The margin was 47 points heading into the final change, but NT were putting up a fight. 

Fight was somewhat of a key word as things got a little physical after White hit Lanthois late after he had disposed of the ball, with a tussle breaking out. Having received some chat from the crowd, White streamed in to boot a classy goal on the run and promptly shooshed them in celebration in a cheeky bit of showmanship. The scoring continued as Tipiloura added another in full motion, but Queensland hit back with three goals of their own as they looked to pretty up the scoreboard. One of those came from McFadyen for his seventh major as he read the wind well, going on to finish with eight with a goal just before the final siren.

Harris led all-comers for the Maroons with 23 disposals, nine marks, four breaches of each arc, a goal and plenty of meterage. Lanthois (20 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances, one goal) and Harrop (20 disposals, four marks, two goals) were others to find both the goals and plenty of possession, while Lockett joined McFadyen and Harrop as the only other multiple goal kicker from his 12 disposals and seven marks. For NT, Antonio James was solid down back accumulating 16 disposals, five marks and four rebounds, with Ariki Lowe zippy in the midfield for his 15 disposals, six clearances and seven inside 50s, and Tipiloura arguably catching the eye most with his 11 disposals, five inside 50s and two goals. White was another crafty mover forward and succeeded in a few baulks in his nine-disposal and one-goal game in a low-scoring Thunder effort.

QUEENSLAND 4.3 | 8.5 | 10.9 | 14.9 (93)
NT 0.1 | 1.3 | 3.4 | 6.5 (41)

GOALS:

QLD: N. McFadyen 8, L. Harrop 2, J. Lockett 2, D. Lanthois, A. Harris
NT: P. Tipiloura 2, T. King, B. Lake, M. White, F. Buitenhuis

ADC BEST:

QLD: N. McFadyen, L. Harrop, J. Lockett, D. Lanthois, G. Sanoing
NT: P. Tipiloura, M. White, B. Lake, T. King, A. Lowe   

Scouting Notes: U16 Division 2 – Round 2

NEW South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) and Queensland Under 16s both picked up wins under lights at Metricon Stadium on Tuesday, with plenty of stand-out performers from each side. Michael Alvaro cast an eye over the two games, taking opinion-based notes on the outstanding players from all four teams.

NSW/ACT vs. Northern Territory

NSW/ACT:

#1 Austin Ball (Sydney Swans Academy)

The diminutive forward caused headaches inside attacking 50, zipping around the arc and looking dangerous in spurts. Ball enjoyed a strong second term through midfield, coming into the game with a good clearing kick to find Louis Wilson and bursting out of the centre bounces at pace. He had the chance to hit the scoreboard after intercepting a kick-in but couldn’t finish, and missed another chance in the following term after a smart bit of crumbing inside 50. Has the traits to be influential, but couldn’t quite finish the job at all times, finishing with 12 disposals, three marks, two clearances, three inside 50s and 0.2.

#2 Byron Middleton (Sydney Swans Academy)

Busy in-close, Middleton did well to rack up 17 disposals (12 handballs), five tackles and five clearances in a solid outing for the Rams. He looked really clean below his knees, using his low centre on gravity to evade opponents once he had collected the ball and flicking it out to teammates on the run. One of his better moments was a neat kick inside 50 to Joshua Fahey in the second term after finding a bit of space, and he was productive all game.

#3 Will Sexton (GWS GIANTS Academy)

Another from NSW/ACT’s brigade of small and quick midfielders, Sexton was one of his side’s best and most consistent ball winners. He seemed to be everywhere at times, intercepting on defensive wing early on, gathering cleanly and brilliantly turning an opponent further a field shortly after, and winning plenty of ball around the stoppages. A pleasing part of Sexton’s game was his work rate, winning the ball up either end and tackling well to ease pressure on his defence. His bursting pace also came in handy when breaking forward, but Sexton sometimes lacked a touch of penetration by foot. Still a fantastic game with 19 disposals, six marks, five tackles, and a goal which came in the third term.

#4 Jordan Endemann (Sydney Swans Academy)

Endemann was a productive member of the Rams’ forward setup, looking dangerous with his 14 disposals, five marks and three inside 50s. Despite not hitting the scoreboard himself, Endemann was constantly looking to create with his forward movement, zipping around the forward 50 and delivering well short by foot. His sole behind for the game came after marking well out the back but missing the resultant set shot, with that finish product again dearly missed in the final term with another chance. Is quite raw, but had some really nice moments and was close to putting it all together.

#6 Felix Rogers (Sydney Swans Academy)

The rebounding small defender was a dangerous asset moving forward from the back half, possessing line-breaking speed and the willingness to take the game on. Rogers won an equal team-high 19 disposals, but it was his eight rebounds and three inside 50s that truly told the tale of his game – getting on the move with ball in hand and ending with a long kick. He also showed a handy knack for pin-pointing shorter options in the third term, finding Will Sexton well inside 50 to assist his set shot goal. Could also be a handy midfielder with his ability to crumb off hands, but is so valuable in that half-back slot as it is.

#22 Joshua Fahey (GWS GIANTS Academy)

While he ended up winning the ball at both ends, Fahey was initially sighted in defence – entrusted with a couple of early kick-ins and responsible for one of the more bizarre standings of the mark as he performed a crow-pleasing handstand. Fahey’s influence up the other end also came in the second term, with an errand set shot finding its way to Euriah Hollard to gift him a goal. It was a well-rounded display from Fahey between the arc, finishing with 17 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s.

#23 Matthew McKenzie (Sydney Swans Academy)

Not overly tall but was one of NSW/ACT’s bigger midfield bodies alongside Kai Watts, providing some good drive as he got on his bike and wheeled through the corridor. McKenzie’s clearing long kicks into space proved valuable, but he also showed good awareness in congestion to not always blaze away – instead handing out to better-placed teammates. The Swans Academy member also hit the scoreboard, converting a set shot in the second term and snapping home from the pocket in the fourth as he shifted into a forward role. He ended up being productive there, finding Sam Stening for a chance on goal and operating in space. He finished with an impactful 16 disposals (13 kicks), five tackles, three clearances, and two goals.

#24 Kai Watts (GWS GIANTS Academy)

Along with Matthew McKenzie, Watts was a terrific mover of the ball forward and also managed to hit the scoreboard. Watts was first sighted inside 50 when he marked deep from a short Jordan Endemann set shot and converted his opening goal, while later popping up to get on the end of another errand shot to crumb and snap truly in the third term. He won the first clearance of the final quarter on the move and another similar one shortly after, showing a quick first five steps and nice long kick. Watts ended with 16 disposals (14 kicks), six inside 50s and two goals in an important role through the midfield-forward rotation.

#25 Sam Stening (GWS GIANTS Academy)

The bookend quarters of Stening’s game were as good as anyones, proving an influential and flexible part of the NSW/ACT forward structure. Stening made a nice start with his beautiful kick to find Patrick Voss inside 50 and provide the resultant goal, while popping up again in the same term to show off his strong hands. His final quarter was the true standout though, again showing his sticky hands on the lead from centre half-forward and proving strong one-on-one. While he managed to boot his only goal of the game with a dribbler to seal the win late on, Stening could have finished with an incredible stat-line had he buried multiple other chances. He put a low shot on the run wide, hit the post with a later snap and missed from very close range with a snare off hands – finishing with 1.5 from his 19 disposals, five marks and seven inside 50s.

#26 Patrick Voss (GWS GIANTS Academy)

Voss started like a house on fire, booting all of his game-high four goals in the first half. Playing like a slender key forward at 190cm and 79kg, Voss positioned and led well inside attacking 50 to benefit fully from good delivery. He slotted a set shot for his first major in the opening term and played on quickly to snap his second shortly after. He made a good read to take a strong chest mark inside 50 in the following term and boot his third goal, later barrelling through traffic in the goalsquare to slam home a fourth in almost identical fashion to how his first two goals came. While Voss could not find the goals after that, he still had a couple of tough chances and looked a threat inside the dangerous Rams forward 50.

Northern Territory:

#5 Ariki Lowe (Federals)

The zippy midfielder matched up well on NSW/ACT’s smaller movers, but more importantly found a good amount of his own ball. He proved dangerous around the stoppages, keeping on the move and setting NT forward when he managed to claim possession. After missing a snap earlier in the second term, Lowe quickly made amends with a better finish in similar fashion, going on to impact around the ball. Finished with 13 disposals, four tackles, two clearances and 1.2.

#11 Mark White (Wanderers)

One who didn’t win mountains of possessions but made them count with his work forward of centre. White applied good pressure early but was a little shaky himself with tacklers oncoming, gaining confidence with a nice one-on-one mark inside 50 and set shot goal. The Wanderers product was dangerous from then, on, dinking a clever checkside to Jamie Jones to set up his goal to finish an influential first term. White went on to have fewer highlights as the game wore on, but popped up with a smart bit of play in the third quarter – knowing he could not make the distance after falling short with a couple of shots from around 45 metres, and taking on the man on the mark to finish well from closer in. Looks a crafty type forward of centre and had some nice moments.

#14 Riley Stone (Palmerston)

Was a good accumulator on the wing with his outside movement and ability to penetrate both arcs. Went about his business with little fuss but influenced the play between the 50s, finishing with 16 disposals, three marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s in an well-rounded outing.

#16 Antonio James (Darwin)

The nuggety defender was as solid as anyone down back, doing the defensive things well while also providing some valuable attack from the defensive 50. While he seemed to attract the ball, James also worked hard to make the play from defence – making a terrific spoil, laying hard tackles and kicking well down the line to clear the area. Laid another important tackle in the final term to prevent a Patrick Voss shot, and was importantly one of the NT’s best in their two scoreless quarters.

#17 Jaden Watts (Palmerston)

A dynamic yet light-on mover, Watts made a profound impact going forward. He started off working up the ground to provide a link into attacking 50, and added a bonus goal in the first term with a shrewd steal and finish on the move. While he was important on the attack, Watts also did well to follow up his work, and laid an impressive tackle in the second term after spilling the initial marking attempt. Went on to get reward for his tackling in the following quarter, and was rewarded for his overall effort with a goal later in the same term with a set shot goal after the siren. Has a good amount of spring and does some nice things going both ways, bringing some spark to the game.

#24 Jason Baird (Palmerston)

Baird made a fantastic start in the forward half, leading up well into the corridor to mark, sending a beautiful kick inside 50 to assist Jamie Jones’ goal and just falling short with his own set shot attempt in a solid opening term. His ability to find space was uncanny and he worked well in it, later moving into the midfield to impact the stoppages with his constant movement and create via a willingness to deliver inboard from wide areas. Gets in dangerous areas and influences the play, ending up with 16 disposals (14 kicks), five marks, two clearances and six inside 50s.

#28 Brody Lake (Peel Thunder/Southern Districts)

The Southern Districts midfielder was far and away NT’s best throughout the game, collecting a game-high 26 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, eight clearances, four inside 50s and two goals in an incredible outing. He built into the game beautifully, using his height to get up well in marking contests and holding firm in one-on-one contests, all the while accumulating possessions. Lake really came to life in the second half though, bursting from stoppages to earn clearances while also kicking two quality goals in the third term. The first came after shrugging off his opponent and snapping truly, with the next coming off the back of a strong pack mark against two opponents as NT mounted a come-back. He went on to continually have a say in the game with his possessions, and was a real standout.

#30 Tyrell Lui (Wanderers)

Lui started well in the midfield, breaking away with an early clearance and showing a good mix of strength and evasion in those situations. He went on to win a wealth of clearances (game-high nine), and had the same kind of impact around the ground despite sending a long-range set shot sprayed out on the full. Still, had 18 important disposals from midfield and produced seven inside 50s with his long balls out of congestion. Also managed to find the goals in the third term to cap off a solid game.

Tasmania vs. Queensland:

Tasmania:

#2 Baynen Lowe (Devonport)

Did all of the hard stuff through midfield in a very well rounded game, ending with 20 disposals, nine tackles, eight clearances, and four inside 50s. He looked lively in bursts with his speed from the contest, latching onto the ball quickly at stoppages to have an influence there. Lowe was one who had a few very good chances to put pressure on Queensland via the scoreboard, but only managed the one goal. He had an early checkside shot miss after marking a wayward Sam Sherriff shot inside 50, missed another set shot in the second term, but eventually made amends for both with a snap in the final quarter to cap off his game.

#3 Darcy Gardner (Clarence)

Another smaller player with good breaking speed, Gardner showed it off early with a nice passage through traffic which he ended with a kick. Did well to get back and win the ball around defensive wing to clear the danger and push forward with more long balls forward, and had the chance to hit the scoreboard late in the game with a fortunate in-the-back free kick which he couldn’t quite put away. Had a solid 14 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances.

#5 George McLeod (North Hobart)

Is quite light-on, so enjoyed some of the space he was afforded to receive on the outside of stoppages and send Tasmania into attack with six inside 50 entries. That outside recieving proved damaging as McLeod got on the end of a handball and slammed home a nice goal on the run. McLeod was also given another chance to find the goals on the back of a later 50-metre penalty, but could only boot the ball into the post. Much of his game consisted of getting the ball in space and kicking long, finishing with 18 disposals (14 kicks) and 1.2.

#9 Sam Sherriff (Launceston)

Sherriff popped up early with a strong mark deep inside 50 from a long ball in but sprayed the resultant shot, going on to get another opportunity in the same term as one who positioned well in attack in the opening stages. He made up for two earlier missed with a fantastic chase down tackle and goal in the following term, going on to find a good amount of possession around the ground to finish with 12 disposals, three marks and a goal.

#10 Samuel Banks (Clarence)

Caught the eye straight off the bat with a booming kick forward off the back of the first centre bounce, and continued on in similar fashion throughout the day to have a team-high 21 disposals (19 kicks) and eight inside 50s. He also hit the ground running straight after half time with a streaming clearance and long kick forward, which was a part of his game that featured most prominently. Put in a solid shift and possesses qualities which are easy on the eye.

#16 Dominic White (North Hobart)

Was a really calm and reliable figure down back, first coming into the game with a mark on the last line to show good positioning. With his helmet clipped on, White was solid in the air and efficient with his short kicking game out of defence, clearing danger with no frills fuss. Did not have massive numbers with 14 disposals and four marks, but hardly put a foot wrong with his touches.

#21 Zac Morris (East Launceston/Launceston)

Morris was one who warmed into the game slowly, but had a really influential fourth quarter and seemed to be everywhere. Earlier, he first appeared with a good couple of pressure acts and tackles in the second term, earning a free kick for one of them. He came back into the game late on with his leads up to half-forward and strong hands to mark on two occasions, getting on the end of some good service by presenting in the right areas. Had the chance to trouble the scorers after intercepting a kick-in but fell short with the shot, finishing with 14 disposals, four marks, six tackles, and three inside 50s in a hard-working display.

Queensland:

#3 Daniel Lanthois (Brisbane Lions Academy)

Was a strong inside ball winner throughout the match, digging in at the stoppages with some tough work going both ways. Lanthois well around the ground for 18 disposals, 11 tackles, seven clearances and four inside 50s. His clearance work and ability to prize the ball out despite his frame was effective, and he even showed a good bit of poise to lower his eyes early on and hit up a teammate laterally. Lanthois’ game was one of accumulation, and he proved to be as consistent as anyone across the ground while pitching in with solid tackling work.

#6 Austin Harris (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Led well with team-highs in disposals (19) and marks (seven), working hard around the ground to provide good run and produce lateral short kicks. His use from the corridor was particularly noticeable, but like Lanthois, Harris was one who just seemed to be everywhere with his accumulative possessions and put in a really hard-working shift for the Maroons.

#24 Ethan Kerr (Brisbane Lions Academy)

Kerr first popped up with a long rebounding kick from a kick-in, and it truly set the tone for his 18 disposal, five mark and six rebound 50 effort. The Lions Academy member proved to be a calm user of the ball, often opting for long kicks to clear his lines and potential danger. It was a relatively all-round performance from Kerr, and he should be a solid contributor coming into Round 3.

#25 Bodhi Uwland (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Another who ran well through the midfield, Uwland was a strong figure in the engine room as a point of difference to the wealth of fleet footed runners going around. He was a big ball winner around the contest, applying big tackles, standing up in them, and trying to pry his way through the congestion. His standout moment came in the final term with a courageous mark with opponents in his eyeline, which broke up an early Tasmanian push. Uwland finished with a serviceable 14 disposals, three marks, four tackles and six inside 50s.

#28 Jye Lockett (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Lockett was one of a few big bodies for Queensland in the forward half, but made plays of a smaller unit with some work in the first term. He kicked Queensland’s first goal of the game with a snap and missed another shortly after, with not much to do until he popped up again in the third term with his second goal to finish a nice passage of play from the Maroons. Finished as a danger up forward, and had 12 disposals, three marks and two goals across the day.

#32 Noah McFadyen (Brisbane Lions Academy)

Another McFadyen to come through the Lions Academy program, Noah has been a useful forward target for Queensland as a strong unit inside 50. First caught attention with his opening goal from a set shot in the second term, making it two in quick succession with a quick snap to give Queensland some breathing space. While he didn’t have a big game numbers-wise, but had some nice moments and read the play well with his leads up to half forward.

#37 Will Bella (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Would have to be one of the biggest 16-year-olds to have gone through the carnival at 194cm and 100kg, and while he used his frame well throughout, proved to be more than just a brute. Kicked his first of three goals with a long-range set shot in the second term, benefitted from a down-field free kick in the following term to convert from a tight angle, and booting his third after a holding free kick in the final term. Bella led up and marked well to add to his clinical conversion rate, having a bigger impact than his 10-disposal game would suggest.

Weekend wash-up: NTFL – Round 13

A TRIPLE header at TIO Stadium kicked off the weekend, with Tiwi Bombers showing no mercy against the cellar-dwelling Wanderers. Nightcliff took down a plucky St Marys side to claim top spot, as Darwin Buffaloes had a thrilling one-point win over top-of-the-table Southern Districts. In the final game, Palmerston Magpies kept their finals hopes alive with a win over Waratah.

 

WANDERERS 6.5 (41)
TIWI BOMBERS 22.11 (143)

GOALS:

Wanderers: J. Wilson 2, M. White 2, J. Adams, J. Cubillo.
Tiwi: R. Tungatalum 5, A. Wonaeamirri 4, A. Tipungwuti 2, J. Simon 2, S. Munkara 2, N. Djerrkura, M. Cooper, H. Puruntatameri, P. Heenan, J. Sagiba, C. Burgess, A. Tipungwuti.

BEST:

Wanderers: T. Motlop, S. Meyer, B. Motlop, J. Sattler, Q. Hartog
Tiwi: A. Hams, J. Puruntatameri, R. Tungatalum, A. Tipungwuti, A. Wonaeamirri, M. Dunn

Tiwi Bombers put the lowly Wanderers to the sword with an eye-catching 102-point victory. Twelve individual goal kickers helped the Bombers to the percentage-boosting win, which was all but decided by half-time as Tiwi piled on 10 goals to one by the main break. A more determined Wanderers side saw the losing team add three goals in the third term to the Bombers’ five, but the scoring power of the visiting side resulted in a seven goals to two final quarter to run away with the contest. Ross Tungatalum booted five goals and was named among the best for the Bombers, while 150th gamer, Austin Wonaeamirri managed four majors. Ashton Hams and Jason Puruntatameri were named as the Bombers’ best, while Thomas Motlop and Scott Meyer were the Eagles’ best. Josh Wilson and Mark White were the multiple goal kickers for the losers with two goals apiece.

 

ST MARYS 8.7 (55)
NIGHTCLIFF 12.3 (75)

GOALS:

St Marys: S. Edwards 3, B. Taylor, M. Jeffery, R. Clarke, B. Rioli, T. Davies.
Nightcliff: S. Deery 2, T. Melville 2, L. Holt-Fitz 2, P. Wills 2, C. Ilett 2, H. Drogemuller, M. Hagan.

BEST:

St Marys: N. Paredes, R. Clarke, J. Long, B. Rioli, T. Saunders, L. Ferreira
Nightcliff: P. Wills, H. Drogemuller, T. Kidney, K. Riley, S. Wilson, C. Ilett

Shaun Edwards inspired second term was not enough to get the job done for St Marys who played catch-up after a dismal opener. The Saints trailed by 33 points at quarter time, before a three-goal bust by Edwards in the second stanza saw the home team remarkably hit the front as they held the Tigers scoreless in the second term. Unfortunately for the underdogs, it was not to last, with Nightcliff booting five of the last six goals of the game to record a 20-point victory and snatch top spot. The Tigers had five multiple goal kickers as they shared the goals around in the win. Phillip Willsbooted two majors and was named the Tigers’ top player, while Hugo Drogemuller (one) and Tyson Kidney were also among the best. For the Saints, Edwards’ three goals was the highlight up forward, while Nathaniel Paredes and Raphael Clarke continued their great form this season, named among St Mary’s best.

 

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 15.9 (99)
DARWIN BUFFALOES 15.10 (100)

GOALS:

Southern Districts: J. Koopman 6, D. Staunton 3, D. McLachlan 2, R. Young 2, R. O’Brien, M. Mummery.
Darwin Buffaloes: A. Sambono 4, M. Campbell 4, D. Shillabeer 3, J. Stokes 2, M. Rosas, D. White.

BEST:

Southern Districts: R. Tambling, J. Koopman, B. Schwarze, D. McLachlan, L. Ogden, S. Martin
Darwin Buffaloes: S. Anderson, M. Rosas, K. Williams, M. Campbell, P. Boles, K. Maroney

The match of the round lived up to pre-game expectations, with third-placed Darwin Buffaloes taking home the four points after a thrilling one-point win over ladder leaders, Southern Districts. The Crocs led at the first change by four points, but it was the Buffaloes who piled on seven goals to four in the second term to head into half-time with an 18-point lead. Southern Districts threw themselves back into the contest after the main break with four goals to three to cut the deficit to just seven points, a margin that could have even been in their favour had it not been for six behinds. With the Nightcliff loss fresh in their minds from the previous week, Darwin held strong in the final term as the Crocs threw everything at the Buffaloes, but fell a point short as Darwin kept its slim top two hopes alive. Adam Sambono again had a day out up forward for the winners with four goals, while Matt Campbell (four) and Darren Shillabeer (three) were also productive. Steven Anderson was named the Buffaloes’ best, while teenage talent, Malcolm Rosas was also impressive, booting a goal and was electric across the ground. For the Crocs, you had to spare a thought for Jess Koopman who slotted six goals in a losing side, while former AFL player, Richard Tambling was the best on ground for the Crocs. Beau Schwarze and Dylan McLachlan were others who stood up in the defeat.

 

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 11.5 (71)
WARATAH 9.13 (67)

GOALS:

Palmerston: K. Emery 3, B. Church 2, A. Lonergan, M. Bunworth, M. Dennis, J. Wunungmurra, E. Frank, S. Talbot.
Waratah: S. Tatupu 2, S. Godden 2, J. Wray 2, H. Kerinaiua, B. Minkulk, A. Ankers.

BEST:

Palmerston: M. Dennis, N. Lockyer Jnr, M. Bunworth, E. Frank, L. McDonald, M. McMasters
Waratah: A. Ankers

In the standalone game away from TIO Stadium, Palmerston Magpies held onto fifth spot with a vital four-point victory over Waratah. The win meant the Magpies moved to within percentage of the fourth placed team, and also avoided Tiwi Bombers overtaking them given the Bombers had a huge triple-figure win earlier in the round. Waratah led by seven points at the first change but the Magpies booted four goals to two in the second term to head into half-time with a two-point advantage. They maintained their slim hold on the game with a four-point lead at the final break, with that margin being the final margin. The Magpies were the more accurate side with six less scoring shots, but four more points at the end of the game. Kyle Emery booted three goals for Palmerston as Broderick Church capped off some good work with two majors. Matthew DennisNigel Lockyer Jnr and Mitch Bunworth were the Magpies’ best in the win, while Abraham Ankers was Waratah’s best in the loss. Shem TatupuSam Godden and James Wray all booted two goals.