NEAFL ROUND 16
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Canberra Demons (7th) vs NT Thunder (10th)
UNSW Canberra Oval, 12pm
It’s crunch time for Canberra as they host NT Thunder at home with victory required to keep their finals hopes alive.
Canberra and the NT Thunder will meet for the second time this year after a 28-point victory going the way of the Demons in the Top End back in Round 8, but this match carries heavier importance.
Canberra is coming off the back of a morale boosting and much needed victory over Redland last week and will be going into the match as favourites. The win saw them keep touch with the that last elusive finals spot, only percentage keeping them in seventh.
The Thunder have had a tough season to date, gathering a solitary win against Redland in the traditional ANZAC Round match in Round 4. The Thunder previously pushed Southport and Sydney all the way before a large loss to the GIANTS last week. Don’t be surprised if the boys from the Top End could spark a shock victory though against the Demons this weekend.
Round 8, 2019: Canberra 18. 12 (120) defeated NT Thunder
13.14 (92) at TIO Stadium.
Round 11, 2018: Canberra 17.12 (114) defeated NT Thunder 6.13 (49) at UNSW Canberra Oval.
Round 18, 2018: Canberra 16.12 (108) defeated NT Thunder 12.15 (87) at TIO Stadium.
1. The first major talking point that will come out of this game is Canberra Demons captain Aaron Bruce will break the NEAFL games record that was previously held by NT Thunder legend Darren Ewing. After notching up 150 NEAFL games back earlier this year, this accolade will add to an already decorated career for the Canberra veteran leading a young Canberra Demons side towards the end of the season.
2. NT’s forward line must be able to take advantage of the opportunities they get with the ball inside their forward 50. A simple facet of the game that can cost big time, the Thunder are ranked ninth in the competition for scoring accuracy at a lowly 53%, whereas the Demons are ranked first in the competition at a tidy 61%. The Demons put that on display against a wayward scoring Redland outfit last week.
3. This match comes as another elimination final-like game for the Demons, given their poor percentage due to some big losses over the course of the year. The Dees will need to win more games than Sydney University and the SUNS if they are to sneak into sixth by season’s end. In a match they are widely expected to win, they must simply win if they want to finals and play a pivotal role in a competitive 2019 NEAFL season.
Canberra young forward target Riley Corbett has forced his way into the side, playing the last three games for the Demons taking some important marks and four goals so far. Look for the 19-year old to keep building his performance as his confidence continues to grow at NEAFL level.
Canberra get back-to-back wins. Demons by 23 points.
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