NEAFL ROUND 14
Saturday, July 6, 2019
NT Thunder (10th) v Sydney Swans (3rd)
TIO Stadium, 6:30pm
Last year’s runner-up Sydney will look to put a shock loss behind them against NT Thunder side at TIO Stadium this Saturday evening, but it looms as a danger game for the Swans.
Coming off a 28-point loss to seventh-placed Gold Coast last week, as well as a near loss against the Demons the week before, the Swans cannot afford to be complacent against an NT Thunder side desperate to regain some pride on home turf.
Considering their position on the NEAFL ladder the Swans will be coming into this game as favourites, but with a close loss to reigning premiers Southport the Thunder are getting closer to their second win of the season.
Round 15, 2018: Sydney 19.14 (128) def. NT 7.12 (54) at TIO
Round 17, 2017: Sydney 25.24 (174) def. NT 4.4 (28) at SCG
Round 5, 2017: Sydney 16.12 (108) def. NT 13.6 (84) at TIO Stadium
1. Sydney hold third position on the ladder but they haven’t been blowing teams off the park, and have had mixed results over the last few weeks. The third place Swans lost their fourth match of the season against the SUNS last weekend, which was their third loss in the past four weeks. The Swans will be keen to produce a solid four-quarter effort this weekend to keep their dreams of a back-to-back Grand Final appearance alive.
2. The loss of NEAFL MVP contender James Rowbottom meant the Swans lacked firepower last week against Gold Coast. They’ll need their experienced players in Kieran Jack and Daniel Menzel to take the lead this weekend and fill the hole Rowbottom has left since regaining his place in the AFL. Ryan Clarke is a big inclusion for the Swans this week and will be a key playmaker in the midfield.
3. It's been an unrewarding season for NT Thunder, with only win under their belt and a long injury list stacking the odds against them. But there is something to like with the exciting youth and competitiveness of the side which has pushed the top teams without getting over the line at the end of the day. With the Swans coming off a tough few weeks, the Thunder could prove dangerous on home turf this week.
Swans Academy member Jackson Barling was named among Sydney’s best last week with a team-high three goals. Still only 17, the Willoughby junior and North Shore Bomber product represented the Swans in the NAB League and will be keen to follow on from his performance last week with a strng showing in the Top End.
STATS THAT MATTER
Robbie Fox knows how to make an impact at NEAFL level. The 26-year-old was a clear stand-out for the Swans last week with 27 disposals, eight tackles and a goal in a dominant midfield performance. In his five NEAFL games this year, Fox has averaged 30 disposals, five marks, five inside 50s, eight tackles, seven clearances and a goal per game.
Swans by 32 points
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