By DAN KELLY
NEAFL ROUND 7
Sunday, May 19, 2019
GIANTS (6th) v Southport Sharks (2nd)
GIANTS Stadium, 1pm
Round 7 of the NEAFL competition sees the unbeaten Southport Sharks facing the GIANTS in the lead up to the AFL clash between GWS and Carlton at GIANTS Stadium on Sunday.
The home side will be fresh coming off a bye last weekend, whilst Southport were made to work for the four competition points against the NT Thunder, closing out victory by two goals at Fankhauser Reserve.
Sharks veteran Haydn Kiel will play his first match for the club in over two years in an emotional comeback, as the defending premiers test themselves against a strong AFL side.
Round 5, 2018: Southport 19.19 (133) d GIANTS 7.5 (47) at Fankhauser Reserve
Round 15, 2017: Southport 18.10 (118) d GIANTS 7.6 (48) at Fankhauser Reserve
Round 15, 2016: GIANTS 14.21 (105) d Southport 9.9 (63) at GIANTS Stadium
1. Southport have been hit hard at the selection table with the lost of experienced trio Ryan Davis, Tom Fields and current NEAFL MVP leader Matt Shaw (all injured). It’s opened the door, however, for Haydn Kiel to make his inspirational return from two-year injury layoff. The former Hawthorn and Brisbane rookie hasn’t played for Southport since Round 3, 2017.
2. GIANTS AFL captain Phil Davis has said veteran Brett Deledio is up for selection this weekend. Will he go straight into the senior team or bypass via the NEAFL side? It would be a much welcome addition for the GIANTS as they search a big scalp in the undefeated Sharks.
3. Josh Williams? More like Bruce Doull. The Southport midfielder finished with 10 rebound 50s in his 31-disposal game last weekend, according for a quarter of his team’s total rebound 50s. Williams, known for his pace and elusiveness in the midfield, displayed poise and class across half back against the Thunder last weekend. If he is able to produce numbers like this week in, week out, plenty of AFL clubs will be interested come the mid-season replenishment draft.
Jackson Hately looks set to play NEAFL this week after being dropped from the GIANTS side last week. The rookie had back-to-back 20-disposal games in the AFL and will be looking to have an impressive game against Southport to press his claim for senior selection.
STATS THAT MATTER
The GIANTS, in their last match against the Demons, were topped in almost every major stat by the Demons but took away the four points in a low scoring clash. The key was the GIANTS’ impressive 61% inside 50 efficiency that saw them topple Canberra, who in comparison were going at 33% inside 50. The GIANTS pride themselves on a solid defence, conceding only 60 points on average when they win as opposed to 110 against when they lose. We will see how they fare against the might that is Southport on Sunday.
Southport to sneak home by two goals.
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