Match Preview: Growthbuilt SUANFC vs. Redland

By CHARLIE GOODSIR (NEAFL MEDIA)

 

NEAFL ROUND 2

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sydney University (3rd) v Redland Bombers (8th) at Henson park, 12pm
*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl)
*Live Champion Data statistics on the Official NEAFL App

SUMMARY

Sydney University will host the Redland Bombers in Round 2 at Henson Park this Saturday with both teams coming off disappointing performances in the opening round. Despite Sydney Uni defeating the Canberra Demons last week, it was a very unconvincing victory and a big improvement across the board will be required from the Students this week. The Bombers were competitive against the Southport Sharks but a poor second half, in which they only kicked three goals, ensured that they would start the 2018 NEAFL season with a loss.

Now playing their first home game, Sydney Uni will look to bounce back against a team they have beaten the last four times by an average of 39 points. This match promises to be a fiery encounter as both teams have a point to prove this week, with the Students looking to get back into form and the Bombers aiming for their first win of the season.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Round 21, 2017: Redland Bombers 10.6 (66) def by Sydney University 17.12 (114)
Round 12, 2017: Redland Bombers 13.5 (83) def by Sydney University 17.20 (122)
Round 3, 2017: Sydney University 19.9 (123) def Redland Bombers 10.6 (66)

TALKING POINTS

1. Sydney Uni Coach Tom Morrison put his squad on blast and labelled his team’s performance as “horrific” after they narrowly avoided an upset in their opening fixture against a spirited Canberra Demons side. Morrison said that “it was a really poor performance. That’s not going to be good enough…to get the four points.” Morrison also said that none of the students should be proud of last week’s victory, so it will be interesting to see how the Sydney Uni players respond this week as many players had performances well below their usual standards.

2. The Redland Bombers have a history of allowing Sydney Uni to score heavily over different periods in matches. In Round 21 last year, Sydney Uni scored 8.4 (52) in the first quarter which set up an easy victory. In Round 12 2017, Sydney Uni scored 5.7 (37) to just two goals in the second quarter and in Round 3 2017, Sydney Uni ran away with the game and kicked 7.2 (44) in the final quarter.

3. Despite winning last week, Sydney Uni’s score made for an ugly read as they kicked 11.25 (91). Last year, Sydney Uni had more behinds than goals eight times, and four of those games were in succession, which suggests that when Sydney Uni has a poor game in front of goal, they have multiple in a row. This Saturday, Sydney Uni will hope to buck this trend and kick plenty more goals from their entries.

ROOKIE WATCH

Luke O’Sullivan was instrumental across the half-back line for the Bombers last week and was among their best players. The 19-year-old was a member of the Brisbane Lions NEAFL premiership team last year and slotted into the Bombers back six nicely, with 17 disposals, three tackles, three inside 50’s and three rebound 50’s as well.

STATS THAT MATTER

Sydney Uni’s strength is how they are able to open teams up and rack up countless possessions. The Students primarily achieve this through their strong kicking game. Last week against Canberra, 60 per cent of Sydney Uni’s possessions were kicks. 20 of the 22 Sydney Uni players had more kicks than handballs or had an equal ratio. Last year, Sydney Uni average 224 kicks a game (second highest) to just 146 handballs a game (fifth highest). Sydney Uni recruit Shaun Edwards had a remarkable 30 kicks from his 34 disposals and Tom Young had 20 kicks from his 31 possessions.

PREDICTION

Sydney Uni by 20 points.