By Cameron Smith (NEAFL Media)
NEAFL ROUND 16
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Southport Sharks (2nd) v Sydney University (4th) at Fankhauser Reserve, 12pm
*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl)
*Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App
Southport embarrassed the Students by 110 points at Fankhauser Reserve only six weeks ago, and here we are for the anticipated rematch.
The Students return to Fankhauser Reserve, now in fourth place, losing five of their last six matches, this coming after they shot out of the blocks with seven straight victories. It is a form slump that Tom Morrison and his men will be desperate to snap out of, with only five rounds left before finals.
The Sharks will also be desperate after losing to the Hornets by five points in a thriller last week. Southport was disappointing in the first half and despite having a much better second half were not able to capitalise. After the match, Southport coach Stephen Daniel put his team’s poor performance down to mindset, something they cannot let happen again, as the home and away season comes to a close.
There are only 12 points between first and eighth on the Tribal Sport NEAFL Ladder as well, so with six rounds to go, neither team can afford to lose, especially against each other.
*Full teams to be announced Friday morning.
Round 10, 2018: Southport 18.15 (88) d Sydney Uni 1.7 (13) at Fankhauser Reserve
Round 4, 2018: Sydney Uni 13.10 (88) d Southport 6.19 (55) at Henson Park
Round 7, 2017: Sydney Uni 18.22 (130) d Southport 5.13 (43) at BISP
1. The scoring accuracy of Southport (50.9 per cent) and Sydney Uni (49.5 per cent) this season is a weakness, with both teams sitting in the bottom three of the competition in that area. Southport almost lost to the Brisbane Lions two weeks ago due to bad kicking, and it cost them against Aspley last week. So, kicking accuracy will be an area both teams will be looking to improve this week.
2. Lee Dale played a hard tag on Matt Payne last week, in what was a fascinating battle all day. Dale minimised Payne’s impact on the match, although the two-time MVP winner still had 22 disposals and kicked a goal. With Zac O’Brien coming back from suspension, we could see another fascinating dual, if Dale doesn’t go to Tom Young who he dominated last time these two sides met.
3. Despite losing the first clash, both times Sydney University has met Southport, the Sharks have won the hit-outs (+18, +30), scoring shots (+2, +15), contested ball (+3, +34), clearances (+12, +13) and inside 50s (+8, +30). Therefore, there are a lot of areas that Sydney University need to improve on from their last two performances against the Sharks if they are to win.
Shawn Watson played his first game in the NEAFL for the season last week after coming back from injury. The Cairns and SUNS Academy product showed his potential kicking two crucial goals early in the last quarter to bring Southport in striking distance of Aspley. Playing as the 23rd man, the 20-year old has the opportunity to make an impact as season heads into the business end.
STATS THAT MATTER
Southport has lost four matches in 2018. The week after every game they have lost so far this season, they have won the first quarter and by an average of 34 points.
Southport by 20 points.