Match Preview: Aspley vs. Sydney University

By CAMERON SMITH (NEAFL Media)

 NEAFL ROUND 7

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Aspley Hornets (4th) v Sydney University (2nd) at Graham Road, 12pm
*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl)
*Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App

SUMMARY

The Aspley Hornets have won their last won three on the trot and have found themselves heading into their Round 7 clash against the undefeated Sydney University sitting in fourth place.

Although the Hornets did jump up from seventh on the ladder to fourth this week – thanks to their clinical win over Redland – they have no time celebrate. The Hornets did lose their first three games, and two of the teams they have be beaten by (Southport and NT Thunder) have both lost to the Students.

The Hornets are starting to click with a number of new recruits this season, and this week will be a good opportunity to see where they are at. The Students won’t be coming to Brisbane for a holiday either, as they look to keep their perfect record in tact.

Sydney University have shown in their first five games, that they are again going to be contenders in 2018, and last week was no different beating a plucky Canberra side for the second time this year.

*Full teams to be announced Friday morning.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Elimination Final, 2017: Sydney Uni 19.12 (126) d Aspley 11.10 (76) at Henson Park
Round 18, 2017: Sydney Uni 18.14 (122) d Aspley 9.5 (59) at Henson Park
Round 4, 2017: Sydney Uni 15.10 (100) d Aspley 11.10 (76) at Graham Rd

TALKING POINTS

1. Sydney University beat Aspley in all three times they met last year, including last year’s Elimination Final. When the Students won in Round 4, it was the first time they had won at Graham Road, which remains to be the only time in this head-to-head clash that the away side has won.

2. Sydney University is ranked No.1 in the competition for contested ball, hard ball gets and clearances. In the five matches the Students have played this season, Southport is the only team to beat them in these key performance indicators. Although Southport did not win the match, the Sharks did have more scoring shots than the Students.

3. Matthew Payne loves to bring up milestone games against Sydney University. Last year, Payne played his 100th NEAFL game in Round 4 against the Students. This year, the two-time winner of the NEAFL MVP and Grogan Medal will play his 100th club game for the Hornets. Payne who originally came from Victoria, played in the QAFL for Zillmere from 2005 to 2008, then had a stint in the SANFL with Sturt in 2009, before coming back to play in Queensland, with Southport in 2010 and 2011. Payne moved to the Hornets in 2012, and in his six seasons at the club has won the won the best-and-fairest four times, and was a part of the 2014 premiership side.

ROOKIE WATCH

Brad Dale impressed John Blair last week with the role he played in defence on NEAFL leading goalkicker, Matthew Hammelmann. It was Dale’s first game back in the NEAFL, playing the first three games of the year for Morningside in the QAFL, in which two of the three games he was named in the best players. Despite being only 21, the Caloundra Panther junior has showed in his 11 games in the NEAFL over the last three years he is a young player on the rise.

STATS THAT MATTER

Since Tom Morrison took over the reigns as Sydney University coach last year, the Students have played outside of Sydney eight times. Their last trip to Brisbane, which was the Preliminary Final against the Brisbane Lions, is the only away game they have lost.

PREDICTION

Sydney University by 15 points.