NEAFL ROUND 21
By Charlie Goodsir (NEAFL Media)
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Sydney University (4th) v NT Thunder (9th) at BISP, 2pm
*This match will be streamed live on ThunderVision (youtube.com/territorythunder)
*Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App
After a long season filled with twists and turns, we have finally come to the final round and there is still a lot to be play for. Sydney University had a strong win last week against this season’s surprise packet in the Canberra Demons. The Students can possibly book a place in the top two and get a week off in the first week of finals. However, they will have to win and in a convincing fashion against an NT Thunder buoyed by emotion.
The NT Thunder have had a tough year, only recording five wins this season. The Thunder will absolutely come out firing and will not only want to finish the year strongly but also give NT Thunder and NEAFL legend Darren Ewing the perfect send off before he retires from NEAFL football.
Round 8, 2018. Sydney University 18.11 (119) def NT Thunder 9.7 (61) at BISP
Round 3, 2018. NT Thunder 12.11 (83) def by Sydney University 14.14 (98) at TIO Stadium
Round 19, 2017. Sydney University 25.17 (167) def NT Thunder 7.7 (49) at Henson Park
1. After a stellar career in the NEAFL, Darren Ewing will retire after playing 153 games in the NEAFL and kicking 619 goals; both NEAFL records. Ewing has been a part of the NT Thunder since its formation in 2009 and also kicked 115 goals in the inaugural NEAFL season in 2011 which remains a record. Ewing has also been the leading goal kicker in a season five times Remarkably, Ewing has also been in the NEAFL Team of the year every season from 2011-2017. Most importantly, Ewing retires as a dual NEAFL premiership champion with the NT Thunder. The NT Thunder will surely put in an incredible performance so that Ewing can leave as a victor.
2. After faltering midway through the season, Sydney Uni’s last month has given light to their premiership aspirations. In Round 16, Sydney Uni defeated Southport by 14 points in a gritty and season-defining win. A fortnight later and the Students dominated Redland and last week secured a strong 47-point victory of the Canberra Demons. The Students are beginning to hit their best form heading into the finals.
3. In the history of the NEAFL, only one team has ever won the competition from outside the coveted top-two position. The Aspley Hornets in 2014 came from fourth position to win the competition. Therefore, history suggests that Sydney Uni must win and win well this weekend if they are to secure a top-two spot and have the best possible chance of making the NEAFL Grand Final and possibly winning it.
After debuting in Round 15 this year, 18 year-old small forward Izaak Wyatt has played five games in a row and has been impressive in his early career. Wyatt collected 14 disposals last week against Southport and had four inside 50s, three inside 5os, a tackle and kicked his first NEAFL goal. Wyatt was selected for the National Allies aquad earlier this year after strong showings in the Under-18 Academy series which shows the immense talent he possesses.
STATS THAT MATTER
Sydney Uni currently leads the competition for clearances at 42.4 per game. Craig Bird broke the all-time NEAFL record for most clearances in a game with 20 during the Students’ 47-point win against Canberra. Conversely, the NT Thunder are ranked last in the NEAFL for clearances with an average of 36.6 per game.
Sydney Uni by 22 points.