Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL.

By DAN KELLY

 

NEAFL ROUND 6

Saturday, May, 2011
Southport Sharks (2nd) v NT Thunder (10th)
Fankhauser Reserve, 1.30pm

SUMMARY

Round 6 of the NEAFL competition sees the unbeaten Southport Sharks hosting the NT Thunder at Fankhauser Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The Thunder, when last visiting Queensland, left with the four competition points claiming their first win of the year against Redland, and will be looking to replicate the same storyline.

For Southport, it’ll be much of the same as they disposed of Sydney University quite classily, going to 4-0 for the season and jumping to second on the ladder.

NT Thunder will be looking to bounce back after a big loss at home last weekend to the SUNS, whilst the Sharks will want to keep their unbeaten run in tact.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Round 20, 2018: Southport 19.16 (130) d NT Thunder 7.8 (50) at TIO Stadium.
Round 13, 2018: Southport 14.17 (101) d NT Thunder 11.8 (74) at TIO Stadium.
Round 6, 2018: Southport 27.12 (174) d NT Thunder 16.15 (101) at Fankhauser Reserve.

TALKING POINTS

1. A big question mark was whether Southport could continue from their successful 2018 campaign and they have definitely delivered so far, starting the season undefeated and playing some solid football which is bound to make coach Stephen Daniel happy. Looking like one of, if not the team to beat, as we sit at the quarter mark of the season.

2. A lot was made of how the Thunder would react following their first win of the season a fortnight ago against Redland and facing the winless SUNS at home. However, the SUNS were able to dispose of the Thunder quite easily. Will the Thunder be a week by week proposition throughout this season or will we see some consistency in coming weeks?

3. The Thunder’s first quarter starts in their last three games have been costly, conceding 9.4, 5.3 and 6.6 against Gold Coast, Redland and Sydney University respectively. It’s an area coach Darren Reeves will no doubt be highlighting this week to his men.

ROOKIE WATCH

NT Thunder’s Jess Budarick is showing some promising signs in his debut NEAFL season. Recruited from NTFL club Nightcliff, the 20-year-old was named among Thunder’s best last week in their loss to Gold Coast. The clever small forward/midfielder has impressive speed and agility that makes him a danger around goals.

STATS THAT MATTER

The big factor in this game looms to be the variance in class of the two teams’ midfields. Southport’s midfield with the likes of Andrew Boston, Matt Shaw and Michael Manteit is one of the most feared in the competition. Ahuge task faces the NT Thunder midfield this week, as the club is ranked last in the competition for clearances.

PREDICTION

Southport will be too good at home. Sharks by 40 points.

 

 

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