Tag: preyben tipiloura

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 6 – Sambono returns as top four square off

FOUR different venues host each game in Round 6 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, with fixtures between the top four sides headlining what is set to be a cracking weekend of football.

WARATAH (7th, 0-5, 55%) v. TIWI BOMBERS (6th, 2-3, 72%)
Saturday November 9, 2:30pm
Gardens Oval

A bottom three clash opens Round 6 as the winless Waratah hosts Tiwi at Gardens Oval on Saturday afternoon. Despite putting up competitive efforts in most games thus far, including a win which was later revoked, the Warriors are one of two sides languishing without any premiership points after a handful of efforts. Missing key talent and the former-AFL firepower of others, it has been a tough initiation to season 2019/20 for Waratah. But that could all change with a win over the Bombers, who are looking to build a win streak and break into the top five. Much-hyped coming into the season, Tiwi has been a touch lacklustre thus far but still provided two highlights for the year in each of its two wins – beating rivals St Mary’s in a high-scoring thriller and having Cyril Rioli Jnr make his long=awaited return last week.

The Bombers’ hopes of another headline win will be made difficult by Waratah’s likely inclusions, with key players Abe Ankers and Steve Stroobants joining Brodie Carroll and Henry Kerinaiua in the side to give the Warriors plenty of forward drive. The Bombers have not named Rioli after his to-plan debut, but Victorian Charlie Molyneux looks like being a handy replacement in midfield. There are still plenty of stars in the side in any case, with the likes of Adam Tipungwuti, Nathan Djerrkura, and Austin Wonaeamirri providing class on each line. Youngsters Jeffrey Simon and Preyben Tipiloura also keep their spots, giving the Bombers plenty of flair.

It is hard to look past the Bombers on paper, but their unpredictable nature against Waratah’s more consistent base makes this clash one which should be close.

NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 5-0, 185%) v. DARWIN BUFFALOES (4th, 3-2, 169%)
Saturday November 9, 4:00pm
PSC BM Oval

Ladder leader Nightcliff plays host to Darwin at PSC BM Oval on Saturday twilight in the first of two mouth-watering top four bouts. The Tigers’ premiership defence has been near-faultless thus far, notching an impressing 5-0 record having dispatched of each opponent to come their way. While you can only beat who is put in front of you, wins over the bottom two sides coming into this clash does not make for an ideal run-in to such a high stakes game, but more testing wins over finals hopefuls Wanderers and Southern Districts should put Nightcliff in good stead nonetheless. On the other hand, Darwin’s promising start has since hit a couple of road blocks, and the Buffs are lucky to still hold their positive record. Last week’s heartbreaking loss to Southern Districts will be fresh in the memory, with Darwin raring to go as some key players return.

Adam Sambono is the most notable inclusion for Darwin, named at full forward for his first game back after a 12-goal haul in Round 1. With Joe Anderson and Brayden Culhane named in the same forward 50, Darwin all of a sudden looks more like the attacking powerhouse it has been of late. Goalsneak Trent Melville will look to lead Nightcliff’s effort to outgun the Buffs after a four-goal effort last time out, especially with Brodie Filo left unnamed. Kaine Riley has been in good form further afield, with NT stalwart Cam Ilett and VFL-listed James Tsitas others who will be important to the cause.

The Tigers have undeniable class across the field and are the team to beat overall, but do not discount the Buffaloes in this clash given the boosts made to their forward half.

PALMERSTON (8th, 0-5, 51%) v. WANDERERS (5th, 2-2-1, 86%)
Saturday November 9, 5:00pm
Palmerston Oval

Wanderers will look to keep clear of the chasing pack with a win as it travels to face Palmerston on Saturday evening. The Muk Muks are yet to string consecutive wins together, but have shown plenty of promise with their young list and will look to notch a third win against their third bottom-three opponent in Palmerston. On the other hand, the winless Magpies had their hearts broken last week as they gave up a five-goal buffer to lose in a count-back to Tiwi last week. Their slimmest losing margin to that point was 30 points, with heavy losses coming in Rounds 3 and 4 and the gulf in class evident. But last week’s effort will leave the fire burning for Palmerston, and the opportunity to play spoiler awaits.

The Magpies’ spine is bookended by Nigel Lockyer Jnr and Ezekiel Frank, with the pair looking to prop up a side which is set to go in without the class of former-AFL jets Alwyn and Aaron Davey at ground level. The Eagles will have no such worries in that department as ex-Port player Brett Eddy comes into the lineup, surrounded by young excitement machines in Joel Jeffrey, Ronald Fejo, Tyrell Lui and Beau O’Connell in a side slightly short on pure talls.

Waratah’s young talent has gotten them through a couple of real tests thus far, and they will need to be switched on to come out on top in a clash they are expected to win. Palmerston should give it a proper crack though, especially with a bottom two clash just around the corner.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (3rd, 3-1-1, 139%) v. ST MARY’S (2nd, 4-1, 131%)
Sunday November 10, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Arguably the game of the round will be left until last as Southern Districts hosts St Mary’s at Norbuilt Oval in Sunday’s only fixture. The Crocs are rising after four undefeated rounds, scraping home by three points over fellow finals hopeful, Darwin in Round 5. Having only gone down to the 5-0 Nightcliff, this game will give neutrals an idea of whether Southern Districts will be the reigning premier’s nearest challenger. The Saints technically hold that mantle at this stage as they sit in second spot at 4-1, with a surprise loss to Tiwi splitting those wins. This will be St Mary’s third-straight bout against a top five opponent having won comfortably in the last two weeks against solid opposition.

The Crocs’ ability to kick big scores has started to come back into the fray of late, with South Australian Sam Barnett providing a focal point for the likes of Ed Barlow and Dylan McLachlan to hit up from further afield. Add the dangerous Beau Schwarze and Will Farrer to the mix and Southern Districts boasts a strong forward 50 once again this week. But if any side can claim having class on each line, it is St Mary’s, and the Saints have seldom been overwhelmed thus far. Possessing weapons of their own in the form of Raphael Clarke, Jake Long, Nick Yarran, and Nate Paredes, the visitors will bring so much valuable experience to Sunday’s clash.

The Saints have improved out of sight since last year and the Crocs are only just reaching that level again, so expect them to meet somewhere in the middle and provide an entertaining game of football.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 5 – Rioli to make long-awaited debut

TWO games with top five implications take place in Round 5 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, as the competition table starts to take shape. A clash between Tiwi and Palmerston also sees teams outside of the finals spots given a chance to begin their game of catch-up in the race for finals.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (4th, 2-1-1, 146%) vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES (2nd, 3-1, 194%)
Friday November 1, 7:00pm
TIO Stadium

Two sides in rising and falling form respectively meet as Southern Districts and Darwin Buffaloes open Round 5 under Friday night lights. While technically 3-1 on the offical NTFL standings, the Buffs have entered a sudden skid after making an ominous start to the season, going down in consecutive weeks. Still sitting pretty in second on the back of a forfeit win, Darwin’s spot could be relinquished with a loss given Southern Districts sits just half a game behind the 3-1 Buffs and St Mary’s. The Crocs look to have found their groove after a slow start which saw them drop points to reigning premier Nightcliff and an exciting Wanderers unit, catching up immediately with wins by a combined 135 points.

They will be as strong as in previous weeks, going in again with the pairing of Ed and Michael Barlow through midfield and with in-form key forward Sam Barnett providing the focal point inside 50. The likes of Brodie Lake, Charlie McAdam and Jayden Clarke all have class to offer on each line too, making the Crocs as formidable as any side. The Buffs will be lifted by the return of Joe Anderson, who slots in at centre half-forward on the team sheet, looking to provide inspiration alongside dangerous young goalkicker Brayden Culhane. Either side is enduring very different form coming into the clash, with Southern Districts the team looking to pounce on a potential top two berth.

TIWI BOMBERS (6th, 1-3, 67%) vs. PALMERSTON MAGPIES (8th, 0-4, 43%)
Saturday November 2, 1:30pm
Tiwi Oval

A chance to start catching the leading pack is up for grabs as Tiwi and Palmerston do battle in a stand-alone game at Tiwi Oval on Saturday. There was reasonable hype surrounding the Bombers coming into season 2019/20, but they have failed to delivery as consistently as they would have liked given the talent at their disposal each week. The draw has not done them any favours though, facing every top five side bar Southern Districts thus far and doing well – outgunning St Mary’s in an absolute shootout but going down handily otherwise. The Magpies’ formline is much more linear, albeit far less fruitful too, with a smallest losing margin of 30 points telling the tale of their season. The gap in firepower between the two sides here stands as being the most telling factor, with Tiwi looking to get the swoop on the Magpies with a big score.

Former Hawthorn star and Tiwi favourite son Cyril Rioli is set to make his long-awaited return to the islands, named on the wing in a stacked Bombers lineup. He adds to the ex-AFL experience of Nathan Djerrkura with Austin Wonaeamirri absent, and will look to set an example for Under-18 stars Jeffrey Simon and Preyben Tipiloura. The Magpies have a couple of handy additions of their own, naming Aaron Davey in defence, Nigel Lockyer Jnr up forward, and Matthew Dennis in the ruck after a rare week off. The high-scoring potential of Tiwi should give Palmerston a few headaches, but the Magpies need to lift fast if they are any chance to climb the ladder.

WANDERERS (5th, 2-1-1, 90%) vs. ST MARY’S (3rd, 3-1, 128%)
Saturday November 2, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

The second top five clash of the round sees Wanderers take on St Mary’s at TIO Stadium in what shapes as being the game of the weekend. A beefed up Saints squad has taken to the 2019/20 campaign with aplomb, only losing out to rivals Tiwi but getting back on the winners list last time out. Wanderers looks like being their biggest test yet though, with wins over bottom-two teams Palmerston and Waratah prettying up that 3-1 record. The Muk Muks have compiled a decent run of form of their own, only dropping points to 2018/19 grand finalists Nightcliff and Southern Districts to this point. Their youthful exuberance has put them in good stead, making for exciting contests and dare that is hard to come by in more experienced teams. That experience is something St Mary’s has in spades, coming of late from some former AFL guns.

Young talent is the Eagles’ theme once again, with Beau O’Connell boosting an exciting lineup which features the likes of Joel Jeffrey and Davin Ferreira. Former-Sun Liam Patrick is another welcome addition to the forward 50, possibly pushing Jeffrey up the ground. While the Saints will momentarily lose Jarrad Waite, they maintain a level of AFL experience with Will Hams named in midfield. Nick Yarran will look to move into the engine room with a trio of Longs named in defence, while young prospect Keiren Parnell is set to provide dash off the wing. These are two of the more enjoyable sides to watch and look evenly matched on paper, but expect St Mary’s raft of experience to play a key part in deciding this contest.

WARATAH (7th, 0-4, 55%) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 4-0, 185%)
Sunday November 3, 4:00pm
Gardens Oval

Waratah will hope its ‘0’ will finally go as it hosts reigning premier Nightcliff at Gardens Oval in Sunday’s only fixture. The Warriors’ breakthrough win over Darwin was revoked, meaning they join Palmerston as one of two winless sides after four rounds. The game of catch-up, if not hard enough at 0-4, will be made even more difficult in the face of Nightcliff’s form. The undefeated Tigers have given little to each of their opponents thus far while also booting over 119 points in three of their four outings. It means they are again the team to beat at this early stage, already overcoming two top five sides in relatively comfortable fashion.

Abe Ankers‘ continued absence will make the job even tougher for Waratah, with Brodie Carroll and Michael Graham looking to fill the void through midfield. The in-form Jae McGrath will have to carry an even heavier load too, as ex-VFL forward Steve Stroobants has not been named. While not at full strength, the Tigers still have no shortage of firepower to rotate forward from midfield as they look to keep their perfect premiership defence record in tact. It is hard to look past Nightcliff in any game, but the Warriors should put up a good fight here against the odds.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 4 – Saints and Buffs headline TIO triple-header

FINALS contenders St Mary’s and Darwin are set to provide the sole top five clash in Round 4 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League. The game headlines what will be a big day of action at TIO Stadium as a triple-header awaits.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS vs. WARATAH
Saturday October 26, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Waratah will again look to secure its first official win of the season, but it will prove a tough ask against a Southern Districts side finding its groove. While the Warriors soundly beat Darwin on-field last week, they were stripped of the four points and relegated back down to seventh mid-week after fielding a player not included on the team sheet. The now 0-3 start puts plenty of pressure on the 2018/19 preliminary finalists, with those kinds of deficits hard to overcome as other teams rise. Southern Districts has endured a similarly subdued start to the season, only really clicking into gear last week with a big win over the hapless Palmerston Magpies. Feasting on another winless side will be the goal once again, with some ex-AFL experience set to help out. Former Docker and Sun Michael Barlow joins Ed Barlow on the team sheet, likely to provide for South Australian big-man Sam Barnett up forward. Kicking a winning score should not be an issue for the Crocs, with Barnett’s fellow six-goal hero from last week, Jayden Clarke also named. For Waratah, the player in question last week – Brodie Carroll – slots into the starting 18 to remove all doubt, while Abe Ankers is at the heart of midfield and former Coburg VFL forward Steve Stroobants lines up in a dangerous forwardline. It is hard to look past the Crocs after a great showing last time out, but the Warriors were equally impressive and should make it a good contest.

ST MARY’S vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES
Saturday October 26, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

The sole top five clash of the round sees Darwin looking to maintain its perfect record against the revitalised St Mary’s side. Both sides should sit at 2-1 after both suffering defeats in Round 3, but Darwin’s unbeaten record was reinstated after Waratah was controversially made to forfeit its win due to an incorrect team sheet. Meanwhile, the Saints recovered from a nine-goal quarter time deficit to sneak ahead of Tiwi last week, but were ultimately outgunned in the thrilling rivalry clash. Both sides look like being contenders when their best 22 is on the park, and should provide plenty of highlights in this clash. The long-awaited return of promising Saints youngster Keiren Parnell headlines the inclusions, with recently delisted St Kilda midfielder David Armitage set to debut. He slots into a forwardline led by fellow former-AFL players Raphael Clarke and Jarrad Waite, who have plenty of goals in them. Goals are not usually hard to come by for Darwin but proved just that last week, and the Buffs may struggle for inspiration again with Joe Anderson and Adam Sambono still absent. A midfield anchored by Patrick Boles is still strong though, and Brayden Culhane is one who has already shown his goalkicking exploits with a bag of six. The Buffs may find it hard again here after a hot opening two rounds, especially against such a strong St Mary’s lineup this week.

WANDERERS vs. TIWI BOMBERS
Saturday October 26, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Fifth spot is up for grabs as current holder Wanderers faces sixth-place Tiwi to round out the TIO Stadium triple-header. The Eagles are unlucky not to have two wins on the board after a promising start to the year, instead settling for six points after drawing with Southern Districts. The Bombers find themselves just behind the Muk Muks after opening their account last week in a high-scoring win over traditional rival, St Mary’s. There are big names and excitement machines on each line for Tiwi, with speedy NT Under-16 representative Preyben Tipiloura set to make his highly-anticipated debut. Ex-Cat Nathan Djerrkura looks like slotting back into the side, giving the Bombers’ raft of goalkicking options even more to look forward to in terms of delivery from midfield. For Wanderers, the bookend pairing of Joel and Jordan Jeffrey has been named once again, with the young talents of Ronald Fejo and Tyrell Lui also set to light up TIO Stadium once again. While Wanderers has made inroads early compared to last season’s effort, the Bombers look to be finding that high-scoring rhythm and will be as dangerous as any side when at full strength – as they almost are here.

NIGHTCLIFF vs. PALMERSTON
Sunday October 27, 4:10pm
PSC BM Oval

The winningest does battle with the winless in Sunday’s sole fixture at PSC BM Oval as Nightcliff plays host to Palmerston to see off Round 4. The Tigers have been near-faultless in their premiership defence thus far, recording three relatively comfortable wins to sit pretty in second spot. Amid a complete opposite run of form, Palmerston sits bottom at 0-3, taking it to teams at times over each defeat but hardly looking like prizing a win. This task will be the toughest of the lot, and could spell trouble for the struggling Magpies. Arresting the skid will be made even more difficult with consistent ruckman Matthew Dennis left unnamed, replaced by Broderick Church. Alwyn Davey‘s likely inclusion should steady the lineup, which will be tested by a very strong Tigers outfit. A dynamic spine of Cam Ilett, Joel Budarick and Liam Holt-Fitz forms the base of a fearsome Nightcliff side which has had little trouble scoring of late. It looks like being a one-sided contest on paper, but do not count Palmerston out of making it competitive once again.

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

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   

2018 Flying Boomerangs and World Team squads announced

FIFTY talented footballers with Indigenous or multicultural heritages will represent the 2018 Flying Boomerangs and World Team squads in two exhibition matches at the 2018 National AFL Under 16 Championships on the Gold Coast in July.

Selected by AFL club recruiters following the 2018 AFL National Male Diversity Championships held in Blacktown, the respective squads of 25 young men has been chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills, and football ability.

The AFL Flying Boomerangs program is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men aged 14-16 years old, supported by Rio Tinto. Meanwhile the World Team is made up of the best upcoming AFL multicultural players from across the nation.

AFL General Manger Game Development, Andrew Dillon, said the Rio Tinto AFL Flying Boomerangs and World Team programs are a great opportunity for the best rising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural talent in the nation to develop on and off the field.

“The Boomerangs and World Team squads have been selected following their impressive performances at the 2018 AFL National Diversity Championships in Blacktown last week,” he said. “These are more than just programs, we are now preparing the next generation of young leaders and footballers with the skills, qualities, and experiences to become positive role models amongst their own families and within their broader communities. “Over the past few years we have seen the Diversity Championships grow into a genuine elite talent pathway and we look forward to witnessing the next stage of development for these players, coaches, and umpires.”

2018 Rio Tinto Flying Boomerangs

Kai Watts (NSW)
Hunter McAuliffe (NSW)
Gundjarra Mununggurr (NT)
Preyben Tipiloura (NT)
Antonio James (NT)
Jamie Baxter (NT)
Taj Buitenhaus (NT)
Isaiah Dudley (SA)
Zac Bishop (SA)
Blayne O’Loughlin (SA)
Jase Burgoyne (SA)
Liam Flanigan (TAS)
Jonty McIvor (TAS)
Mackenzie Cowley (VIC)
Jordan Haynes (VIC)
Dallas McAdam (WA)
Kendyll Blurton (WA)
Richard Farmer (WA)
Lawson Humphries (WA)
Cole Agnew (WA)
Branden Eades (WA)
Richard Bartlett (WA)
Jerrimiah Thorne (WA)
Jermaine Pickett (WA)
Toby Henry (WA) 

2018 World Team

Harry Wichman (NSW)
Oliver Kozak (NSW)
Tomas Sase (NSW)
Ariki Lowe (NT)
Andy Wakefield (NT)
Austin Harris (QLD)
Zyton Santillo (SA)
Ben Burbridge (SA)
Weston Rata (SA)
Tony Aganas (TAS)
Kai Suparta (VIC)
Emiliano Alexio (VIC)
Alecsander McComb (VIC)
Youseph Dip (VIC)
Malik Elfakahani (VIC)
Moala Polata (VIC)
Zachary Cilecken (VIC)
Bol Wol (VIC)
Bol Dengdit (VIC)
Douth Jock (VIC)
Moostafa Noori (WA)
Seth Connor (WA)
Menno Inverarity (WA)
Ethan Regan (WA)
Riley Colbourne (WA)

In the 2018 National Diversity Championships, Victoria was triumphant in the All Nations competition with a one-point thrilling victory over Tasmania in the final, while Western Australia took out the Kickstart title with a strong 12-point victory over South Australia.