NEAFL ROUND 15
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Sydney Swans (3rd) v Southport Sharks (2nd)
Blacktown International Sportspark, 10am
The most anticipated match of the year is finally upon us. This week’s Round 15 clash will be the repeat of last year’s NEAFL Grand Final with the Sydney Swans and the Southport Sharks coming head to head at Blacktown International Sportspark this Saturday.
With both teams yet to verse each other in this years campaign it will be an unpredictable decider. There is a lot to be expected from these sides with both teams sitting in second (Sharks) and third (Swans) place on the NEAFL ladder, and we can expect nothing less then a close and gruelling encounter.
So write this in your calendars and set your alarms because you do not want to miss out on watching one of the biggest battles of the year. Who will come out on top and keep their hopes of a home Preliminary Final alive?
Grand Final, 2018: Southport 14.6 (90) def. Sydney 5.5 (35) at
Round 7, 2018: Sydney 20.11 (131) def. Southport 6.7 (43) at the SCG
Round 2, 2017: Sydney 20.9 (129) def. Southport 3.9 (27) at Blacktown International Sportspark
1. The last time these two sides met was in the 2018 Grand Final, which resulted in the Sharks coming out on top by 55 points which was a major turn around from their 2018 Round 7 matchup where the Swans trumped the Sharks by a whopping 88 points. Both sides have only faced each other three times in the past three years, which opens up a whole new playing field this weekend. Both teams have had strong starts to this year’s campaign but have had been showing signs of vulnerability coming into the second half of the season, with both nearly losing to the last placed Thunder. Whichever team is mentally capable to play the full four quarters will take the win.
2. For the past two rounds Southport has had to endure wet and torrential conditions resulting in both a win against the last-placed Thunder and a loss against the fourth-placed Hornets. Thunder went down to the second placed Sharks by only 15 points, which raises concern about their ability to adapt to different conditions. With the forecast to be nice and sunny this Saturday It will give the Sharks the opportunity to finally play their brand of footy, which will be a challenge against the Swans style of play.
3. With both teams position and pride on the line there will be a lot at stake this weekend so we can expect a very physically and fast-paced game. Both sides are leading this year’s tackle count with Southport averaging around 69.9 tackles per game with Sydney not to far behind on an average of 68.6. Based on these statistics and the importance of the game you can expect a gruelling encounter between these sides and whatever team can muscle up to the contest will take the win.
Second-year Sydney draftee Ryley Stoddart produced one of his best NEAFL performances in Darwin last Saturday night. Rock solid in defence, the 19-year-old had 28 disposals at an outstanding 90% efficiency, plus eight marks and eight rebound 50s, totalling 151 Champion Data ranking points. If he isn't selected in the AFL this week, watch for Stoddart's trademark run and dash against the Sharks on Saturday.
STATS THAT MATTER
Sydney Swans midfielder Ryan Clarke is ranked No.1 in the NEAFL for average disposals per game, with an impressive 37.2 over his five matches. Last week against NT Thunder, Clarke was best-on-ground with 36 disposals, six marks, seven clearances and four inside 50s as the Swans won a tight one by 19 points.
Sydney 4 points.
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