Matt Hammelmann in action for Redland. Photo: David Layden/NEAFL.

By JUSTIN LILLECRAPP

 

NEAFL ROUND 19

Saturday, August 11, 2018

NT Thunder (9th) v Redland Bombers (10th) at TIO Stadium, 6.30pm
*This match will be streamed live on ThunderVision (youtube.com/territorythunder

SUMMARY

NT Thunder and Redland are playing for pride as their 2018 finals aspirations are long gone. In two previous clashes this season, the spoils have been shared with Redland securing an historic ANZAC round win in Alice Springs and NT Thunder came away 12-point victors at Scottsdale Park.

NT Thunder will be hungry to give their home supporters a victory to celebrate after nearly pulling off an upset win against the high-flying Canberra Demons in Round 16. NT Thunder have some huge ins, with 2017 NEAFL MVP runner up Cameron Illet and experienced campaigner Matt Campbell returning to the side.

Redland hasn’t tasted the spoils of victory since Round 4 when they defeated NT Thunder in Alice Springs. They will be doing all they can to secure their second win of the season to knock NT Thunder off their perch at both Alice Springs and Darwin in the one season.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Round 14, 2018: NT Thunder 12.9 (81) d Redland 10.9 (69) at Scottsdale Park
Round 4, 2018: Redland 18.10 (118) NT Thunder 12.11 (83) at TIO Traeger Park
Round 21, 2017: NT Thunder 18.14 (122) d Redland 8.7 (55) at TIO Stadium

TALKING POINTS

1. The date for the AFL Draft has been set for November 22 and 23. There are several players plying their trade in the NEAFL which AFL clubs will look at to bolster their lists and provide AFL opportunities to. Two players who have shone bright this season have been NEAFL leading goalkicker Matt Hammelman and contested ball beast Abraham Ankers. Both will be keen to impress on Saturday night.

2. Jackson Paine has put together a stunning fortnight of football. The mobile forward sits equal fifth on the NEAFL goalkicking leaderboard yet has racked up 68 disposals, 36 contested possessions, 20 marks, 10 clearances and five goals over the past two matches. Paine has taken 100 marks for the season, 24 of those contested, which ranks third in the competition.

3. In 2017, the top two leading goalkickers were Darren Ewing and Matt Hammelman. In 2018, with three rounds to go, that is again the state of affairs. This time Hammelman is all but certain to snap Ewing’s stranglehold on the award. Ewing has kicked the most goals in each of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons. Hammelmann has kicked a whopping 15 goals without missing in the sides two encounters; 9.0 in Round 4 in Alice Springs and 6.0 in Round 14 at Scottsdale Park.

ROOKIE WATCH

Redland youngster Jack Rolls would arguably in the top three in the club’s Dowling Medal count come season’s end. Rolls started the season with a bang, gaining a Tribal Sport NEAFL Rising Star nomination in Round 2 for his 28-disposal, 11 tackle performance against Sydney University. Rolls has put together a consistent body of work throughout the season. Rolls ranks first at Redland for disposals (402), contested possessions (178), clearances (95) and tackles (80).

STATS THAT MATTER

Redland ruckman Craig Malone is one of the best in the competition and has had a strong season. Thanks in most part to Malone, Redland rank third for hit-outs to advantage averaging 13 per game, whilst NT Thunder rank last averaging eight per game.

PREDICTION

NT Thunder by 10 points.

 

 

 

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