Jake Spencer (left) battles Archie Smith in the ruck. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL.

By BEN HUNTER

 

NEAFL ROUND 3

Friday, April 19, 2019
Aspley Hornets (8th) v Brisbane Lions (1st)
Voxson Oval, 1.30pm.

SUMMARY

The Aspley Hornets face a challenge this week to turn around their 0-2 start to 2019, as they come up against the 2-0 Brisbane Lions, who will arrive at Voxson Oval full of confidence following 65-point and 95-point wins against the Thunder and GIANTS respectively.

Aspley will be eager to pull an upset this weekend, in hope to change the script of the past, that has seen the Hornets struggle early on in the season.

Ben Keays’ six goals in Round 2 was the highlight for the Lions, who resisted changing their AFL side this week. Mitch Hahn’s men will not only be hungry to continue an undefeated start to the season, but for the 18+ AFL-listed players expected to take to the field, they’ll be keen to impress to put their names forward for AFL selection.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Elimination Final, 2018: Aspley 14.18 (102) d Brisbane 7.12 (54) at Voxson Oval
Round 9, 2018: Aspley 9.11 (65) d Brisbane 6.10 (46) at Maroochydore
Round 15, 2017: Brisbane 25.16 (166) d Aspley 6.9 (45) at Voxson Oval

TALKING POINTS

1. Hornets co-captain Jackson Allen will play his 100th game on Friday. The strong defender started his 2019 in fine fashion, with 24 disposals, five tackles, four marks and 12 rebound 50s in Round 1 before he was unavailable last week. With the Lions sporting a potent forward line, featuring AFL seasoned targets such as Lewis Taylor, Tom Cutler and Ben Keays, a big game from the milestone man will be crucial for Aspley’s chances in this match.

2. The Lions visited Voxson Oval in a practice match this year, with the Hornets enduring a 43-point loss. However, neither side will read too far into this result, nor should they. Veteran Brisbane big man Stef Martin dominating the ruck contest in his comeback from injury, and Aspley playing without stars like Matt Payne and Jake Spencer.

3 Aspley faces an arduous task this week, with at least 18 AFL-listed players expected to take to the field for Brisbane. But they should take confidence from last year’s two wins over the Lions, where they fielded 16 AFL-listed players in both Round 9 and the Elimination Final at Voxson Oval. Whilst history will show the Lions should win – and win comfortably – the Hornets will relish the challenge.

ROOKIE WATCH

Lions Academy player Keidean Coleman is doing all the right things to make his AFL dreams a reality. In a career-best game against the GIANTS in Round 2, 19-year-old Coleman won 24 possessions, 12 marks, seven inside 50 and snagged himself a goal. Playing amongst 18 AFL-listed players, Coleman has become a regular starter in the back-pocket and is one to watch this weekend and beyond.

STATS THAT MATTER

Hornets rucking duo have been stand outs in their sides’ two losses. Jake Spencer and Will Wolbers have combined to win 110 hit-outs and concede only 48. The Lions ruck trio featuring Sam Skinner, Tom Fullarton and lead by Archie Smith has won 63, and conceded 84.

PREDICTION

Hornets to lift for the skipper’s 100th. Aspley by 2 points.

 

 

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