NEAFL ROUND 21
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Aspley Hornets (5th) v NT Thunder (10th)
Voxson Oval, 1.30pm
Aspley will be out to recapture some form as NT Thunder aims to end the Hornets' hopes of a home final when these two traditional rivals go head-to-head at Voxson Oval in the last home-and-away round of the season.
The Hornets, who have lost three of their past four and battling several key injuries, need to win to lock in a home final next week.
For the visitors, this week marks the end of a disappointing season but they’ll be keen for one last battle to end on a high note, and what better way than to take on their old foes on the Hornets’ home turf.
Round 12, 2019: Aspley 15.10 (100) d NT Thunder 7.6 (48) at
TIO Traeger Park
Round 7, 2019: Aspley 19.9 (123) d NT Thunder 6.8 (44) at TIO Stadium
Round 17, 2018: Aspley 9.16 (70) d NT Thunder 6.7 (43) at TIO Stadium
1. Aspley is no doubt in a slump at the moment as the Hornets battle to find momentum heading into the finals series. After a tough month of results, which includes a heavy defeat to seventh-placed Canberra last week, Aspley has gone from top two contenders to a chance of missing out on a home final altogether in a matter of weeks. They desperately need to secure the four points this week and regain some confidence if they are to be a threat in the race to the premiership.
2. High-flying NT Thunder forward Will Farrer marks his 50th club game this week after playing his first way back in their premiership season of 2011. After a few years away from the club – and dominating at NTFL level – Farrer returned in 2019 but has battled injury to this point in a long road to 50 games. There is no doubting his ability, and we think he has a few more tricks up his sleeve just yet.
3. Reece Toye could make his return to the field after breaking his leg earlier in the season. Named as an emergency this week, the experienced midfielder would be a timely boost to the Hornets side, and in particular an understrength midfield which has just lost co-captain James Ives to a season-ending hand injury.
Aspley has chosen to blood Sandgate Hawks’ youngster Tahj Abberley for its last regular season match. Originally from Naranga Juniors, the 17-year-old played five matches for Brisbane in the NAB League earlier this year and has impressed for Sandgate in the QAFL. Watch for the teenager to inject some pace into the Hornets line-up this week in his NEAFL debut.
STATS THAT MATTER
Defence and pressure will be the goal for NT Thunder if they are to cause an upset this week. In the past two matches against Aspley in 2019, Thunder has conceded a combined 139 points from their own turnovers.
Aspley by 20 points.
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