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NEAFL ROUND 21
Saturday, August 25, 2019
Southport (2nd) v Sydney Uni (4th)
Fankhauser Reserve, 12pm
Southport taking on the Students this Saturday shapes as a beauty of a closer for the 2019 home and away season.
Both sides have secured their finals place, and this contest will be a good litmus test to see how they respectively handle big game pressure.
The Sharks guaranteed themselves a home preliminary final with a big win over the Thunder, but a loss for Sydney Uni could see it lose the right to a home Elimination Final, and drop as low as sixth.
While Southport sit two and a half wins ahead of Uni, the Students haven’t lost since their two-point defeat at the hands of the GIANTS in Round 13. The Sharks have won half of their previous six matches, and by no means should they take the Students lightly.
Round 5, 2019: Southport 14.15 (99) defeated Sydney Uni 8.9
(57) at BISP
Round 16, 2018: Sydney Uni 11.13 (79) defeated Southport 9.11 (56) at Fankhauser Reserve
Round 10, 2018: Southport 18.15 (123) defeated Sydney Uni 1.7 (13) at Fankhauser Reserve
1. Last week saw both Southport and Uni led by veterans with Shark Ryan Davis (41 disposals, 3.4, 11 marks, 10 inside 50s) and Student Lewis Stevenson (38 disposals, 3.0, 11 inside 50s, six rebound 50s) with the footy on strings. The two 30-year-olds could well line-up on each other this weekend in a battle we can’t wait to see.
2. Also this Saturday, the Hornets line up against NT, and GWS visit the SUNS for an AFL curtain raiser. To solidify a home Elimination Final, the Students need to win. If they don’t, they’ll need a Graham Road upset to see a Thunder win, as well as the GIANTS to fall to the white-hot Gold Coast brigade.
3. Former Student and current Shark Jed Turner will play his 100th game this weekend. The 28-year-old ruckman is averaging 12 disposals and 29 hit-outs this season and has proven to be wildly influential throughout his career. He’ll have the Fankhauser crowd behind him, and a major challenge against Uni big man Sam Tagliabue.
Southport youngster and SUNS Academy member Kwaby Boakye was named in this segment ahead of the Sharks clash with the Lions in Round 18, but in what turned out to be a horror show for the Sharks, spectators struggled to get the full picture of Boakye’s potential. The 20-year-old running defender had 19 disposals and six rebound 50s against the Lions and will look to better that this week amongst a strengthened home side.
STATS THAT MATTER
Despite being second on the ladder, the Sharks remarkably sit 7th for total goals in 2019 with 199. Southport are renowned for their defence, and considering it’s scoring isn’t elite, their ability to repel opposition attack clearly is. The Students are fourth with 217 goals.
Southport can’t hold back the Students’ foray. Uni by 8.
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