Henry Joyce celebrates a goal. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL.

By CAMERON SMITH

 

NEAFL ROUND 19

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Aspley Hornets (5th) v Southport Sharks (1st) at Graham Road, 1.30pm

*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl)
*Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App

SUMMARY

If their clash less than a month ago was anything to go by, this match is going to be a ripper. Southport should be favourites after they demolished Canberra last week, however Aspley did beat the Sharks in that nail-biter at Graham Road four weeks ago.

The Hornets, fresh after having a bye, are certainly a dark horse in the competition. Mastermind coach John Blair probably has his side exactly where he wants it – in the top six without much fuss being made about them. The Hornets have not lost since they played the GIANTS in Round 13, but with no side locked into playing finals this year, they have to continue to perform.

The Sharks are no different and although Southport may be on top of the Tribal Sport NEAFL Ladder, many teams have shown this year that it is easy to get on a run or have form slump in such an even competition.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Round 13, 2018: Aspley 11.11 (77) d Southport 9.18 (72) at Graham Road
Round 3, 2018: Southport 13.23 (101) d Aspley 7.7 (49) at Fankhauser Reserve
Round 20, 2017: Aspley 20.12 (132) d Southport 13.9 (87) at Graham Road

TALKING POINTS

1. The rewards from winning this match are high. If Aspley win it will certainly jump up to fourth, overtaking Sydney University and, depending on the Sydney v Canberra game, could jump up to as high as third. For the Sharks, a win will cement themselves in the top six and potentially open up a four-point gap at the top of the ladder.

2. Lee Dale’s hard tag on Matt Payne was intriguing in their Round 15 clash. Payne was still able to have an impact on the game with 22 disposals, five clearances and a goal, despite the immense pressure Dale put on him. It will be interesting if Dale gets the job on him again.

3. Aspley outplayed the Sharks in the first half in Round 15, with coach Stephen Daniel putting the poor performance down to mindset. So, it will be interesting what mind set they come with this weekend, especially after their huge win over Canberra.

ROOKIE WATCH

Jasper Craven is a talent. The 20-year old midfielder’s first match for the Hornets this season was against the Sharks in Round 15 where he collected 14 disposals and had two score assists. Craven has played every game since, kicking two goals against Redland, and will be hoping to continue to stay in the side as Aspley look to have a long finals campaign.

STATS THAT MATTER

Southport has not beaten Aspley at Graham Road in their last seven attempts, with their most recent win at ground being Round 6, 2012.

PREDICTION

Aspley by 5 points.

 

 

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