Approaching the halfway point of the season, Sydney Uni produced another impressive performance, this time against the NT Thunder in Darwin. The Students came away with a comprehensive 110-42 victory over the fourth placed side, further cementing themselves as a top contender in the competition.
Travel was definitely not an issue for Sydney Uni as they got out to a great start, leading 26-1 before NT kicked their first major. The Students continued to apply scoreboard pressure throughout the first half while also upping their defensive intensity. The typically efficient Thunder offence was stifled as they struggled to counter the pressure applied by the Students across the park. Sydney Uni played a great first half of football and were rewarded for their efforts. They led 54-15 at half time.
Despite putting in a competitive effort in the third quarter, the Thunder looked to be chasing answers in the fourth. Sydney Uni ran away with the game on the back of a rampant 35 point final quarter.
Assistant Coach Lloyd Perris was pleased with the way his team bought into the methods and brand of football they have been focussing on throughout the season. “We were really happy with the performance on Saturday night. NT are a dangerous team, so to play a strong brand of team defence and stop their fast running game for long periods was really pleasing,” he said.
Sydney Uni’s experienced players such as Tom Young and Lewis Stevenson were consistent and set the tone for the contest early. The younger players followed suit and really matched their intensity. Xavier Richard was once again sharp, kicking 4 goals and Damien Bonney was able to add 2 of his own, in his 100th NEAFL game. “We had a really good spread of contributors across the board and apart from some wayward goalkicking, it was a successful trip up to Darwin.”
Heading into the game, NT forwards, Darren Ewing and Adam Sambono were sitting first and second respectively on the NEAFL goal kicking leaderboard. However, the Students did an outstanding job, containing these two players but also not allowing other players to step up. “Our back six worked really well together. Nathan Cooper and Ryan Hebron were able to play a real team first role and shut down some of the competitions best forwards in Ewing and Sambono,” Perris said.
As a result, Cooper was awarded the Round 10 NEAFL Rising Star nomination based on his efforts in the match.
“Cal McFadden continues to improve each week in the midfield and it was really good to see James Brain slot seamlessly into the midfield for his first game and perform well, particularly through his pressure acts and the way he hunts the ball,” Perris added.
Sydney Uni dominated all of the key statistics throughout the match and will look to continue to produce full four quarter efforts in the second half of the season.
The Students have a bye this weekend, however nine members of the team have been selected to play in the NEAFL representative side to take on Tasmania at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena at 2pm on Saturday, June 10.
Sydney Uni take on Redland in Round 12 on Saturday 17th June at 12pm. The game will be played at Tidbold Park, Queensland.
SYDNEY UNI: 4.5 7.12. 10.15 15.20 (110)
NT THUNDER: 1.2. 2.3. 5.6. 6.6 (42)
Sydney Uni: X. Richards 4, T. Barrett 3, N. Reinhard 2, D. Bonney 2, S. Tagliabue, M. Manteit, L. Kilpatrick, T. Ayton
NT Thunder: M. Hagan 3, N. Yarran 2, B. McLean
Sydney Uni: N. Cooper, R. Hebron, C. McFadden, L. Stevenson , W. Sierakowski
NT Thunder: N. Yarran, A. Ankers, R. Smith, M. Coombes, D. Weetra, N. Vea Vea