By MADDY McCASKILL
Canberra Demons took home their fourth successive win after snagging a 65-point victory over a disappointing NT Thunder in freezing conditions at UNSW Canberra Oval on Saturday night.
As the temperature dropped to around four degrees on a wet and windy night, it was the Demons who triumphed 17.12 (114) to 6.13 (49) thanks largely to a dominant third quarter.
The cold conditions didn’t stop Canberra as they came out flying to start the match, attacking the ball and playing their brand of footy which kept Thunder goalless for the first quarter.
Thunder responded with a strong second term, dominating the midfield and contests, but were unfortunate to only kick 2.5 in closing the margin to 20 points.
The Demons fight grew stronger in the second half, determined to lock away the win and they were able to punish on the field and scoreboard.
They booted 7.6 to 0.3 in a match-winning third term, before the match closed out on even terms in the last.
Their pressure was consistently strong throughout the game as they were able to stop a lot of Thunder’s run and carry, tallying up 64 tackles to Thunder’s 53, which was a major contributor to why Canberra held possession most of the game.
Alex Paech, Isaac Taylor and Alex Smout were all strong players for the Demons while for Thunder, Joseph Anderson was among the best along with Abraham Ankers who racked up a massive 35 disposals and 14 clearances.
There’s a lot of excitement at the Demons at the moment after securing another win and playing-coach, Kade Klemke was thrilled to see the boys progress even further.
“It’s really, really pleasing. Winning four straight puts us a little deeper in finals, it’s still not confirmed but I’m just really happy with how the boys played today,” he told neafl.com.au
“NT Thunder came out really hard in the second quarter and our boys responded, and I think our second half was really impressive.
“Apart from the second quarter, we were great in the game. We were probably lucky they didn’t score more goals and get closer.”
NT Thunder coach, Andrew Hodges was frustrated with the effort from his side, which has now only tasted victory in one of their past eight games.
“It’s very disappointing. That’s not the type of effort we want to put up,” he told neafl.com.au
“There were two quarters of footy where we really let ourselves down and full credit to Canberra who played really well as a team today.
“We just didn’t have enough contributors, we had too many passengers and Canberra just played really good team footy, high pressure and took better opportunities.”
The Demons have no easy run home as they face a competitive Aspley in Brisbane next week, and Klemke said there will be things to work on if they want a chance to beat these stronger sides.
“I still think our midfield consistency needs work. We go through times where we have lapses and I’d love to see us be consistent through the four quarters,” he said.
“There were times when NT killed us out of the middle. I thought we won the battle at the end of the day, but we get caught in a quarter where we lapse, and when we’re coming up against Aspley – who has one of the best midfields in the competition – we can’t afford to do that.”
Canberra face Aspley at South Pine Sports Complex next week and NT Thunder have a week to recover with a bye.
Canberra Demons v NT Thunder at UNSW Canberra Oval
CANBERRA 4.2 6.2 13.8 17.12 (114) NT THUNDER 0.1 2.6 2.9 6.13 (49)
GOALS – Canberra: J Turner 4 L Meline 2 I Taylor 2 T Faul B Fulford M Hardie S Tonkes A Bruce J Powell N Richards J Osborne A Smout. NT Thunder: C Williams A Ankers R Tungatalum D Ewing M Mummery T Saunders.
BEST – Canberra: A Paech I Taylor T Highmore J Turner A Smout A Baker. NT Thunder: J Anderson K Riley T Davies B Rioli S Rioli A Ankers.