Tom Highmore in action for Canberra. Photo: Highflyer Images.

By BEN HUNTER

 

NEAFL ROUND 2

Saturday, April 13, 2019
Redland Bombers (9th) v Canberra Demons (5th)
Scottsdale Park, 12pm

SUMMARY

Both the Bombers and the Demons have something to prove this weekend, with the Bombers desperate to rebound from a disappointing loss to Southport, and Canberra hoping to show that its gritty victory over the SUNS was no flash in the pan.

Redland will be keen to keep its hopes of an improved 2019 campaign alive, and to give home fans reason to be excited for the season’s remainder. A competitive showing is the benchmark for these Bombers.

Coming off the back of an 11-point win at Alan Ray Oval, the Canberra Demons would love to go 2-0 to start their season.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Round 15, 2018: Canberra 20.14 (134) d Redland 14.10 (94) at UNSW Canberra Oval
Round 9, 2018: Canberra 7.22 (64) d Redland 9.6 (60) at Scottsdale Park
Round 3, 2018: Canberra 22.15 (147) d Redland 9.10 (64) at Scottsdale Park

TALKING POINTS

1. Redland has won only three of their last 16 matches at Scottsdale Park, the most recent of those victories coming in Round 19 of 2017. In Phil Carse’s bid to revitalise the Bombers in 2019, Scottsdale Park needs to become a ground where Redland is able to hold their own.

2. The young Canberra stars showed no signs of slowing against the SUNS, with Angus Baker nominated for the Rising Star Award following 36 disposals, three inside 50s and five marks, as well as Mitch Maguire coming off the back of a breakout year who finished with 35 touches, three tackles, six clearances and a goal. The form of these two will dictate heavily the success of Canberra’s 2019 campaign, and this weekend will be no different.

3. Matt Hammelmann, leading goalkicker of 2018 across the competition, managed to slot three of his side’s seven majors, and Redland will need him to continue to stand up against the Demons. Don’t be surprised to see him push further up the ground to impact the contests on the flanks and wings.

ROOKIE WATCH

All eyes will likely be on rising star nominee Angus Baker of Canberra, with the former Swans Academy member enjoying a best-on-ground game in round 1. The Bombers saw glimpses of promise from former Gippsland Power defender Matt McGannon against Southport, who will be keen to make an impact in front of his new home fans.

STATS THAT MATTER

The Redland midfield need to stand up for the home side to have any chance against a strong Demons engine room. Against Southport, the Bombers lost the clearance count 21-39, lost inside 50s 33-61, and lost the disposal count 304-403. The ruckwork of Craig Malone however, with a massive 46-22 hit-out disparity in his favour, should have seen the Bombers win more footy than they did out of the middle.

PREDICTION

Redland to put up a good fight but will struggle to match it with the Demons. Canberra by 28.

 

 

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