By MITCH TERPSTRA
NEAFL ROUND 6
Saturday, May 11, 2019 Canberra Demons (5th) vs Brisbane Lions (1st) Phillip Oval, 12pm
The Canberra Demons will be playing their second home game in a row against the hottest team in the NEAFL at the moment in the Brisbane Lions. The Brisbane Lions have taken five wins from their opening five matches with an average winning margin of over 74 points a game, after a big win over the Sydney Swans last week.
The Canberra Demons have started the season with a 2-3 record after another closely fought tight loss, this time to the GIANTS at Phillip Oval on Friday night. The Demons will need to learn how to win close games if they are wanting to progress through the year.
This game will show how close the Demons are from contending the competition with the showdown. We should see a Canberra side eager to play some good footy coming of last week’s game and with nothing to lose against the Lions.
2018, Round 10: Canberra 9.12 (66) defeated Brisbane 6.8 (44) at UNSW Canberra Oval. 2017, Round 18: Brisbane 23.15 (153) defeated Canberra 8.11 (59) at UNSW Canberra Oval. 2016, Round 10: Canberra 8.12 (60) defeated Brisbane 2.5 (17) at UNSW Canberra Oval.
1. In a new-found role for this year, Brisbane Lions small forward Ben Keays will be one to watch for this match-up, kicking 16 goals in his four appearances in the NEAFL this year. Keays has proven himself to be lethal around goal and the Canberra Demons will need to be wary of him.
2. Canberra Demons midfielder Alex Smout is heading into this game off the back of a brilliant performance against the GIANTS which saw him collect 40 disposals, seven marks, 12 clearances, six inside 50s and a goal. If the Demons want to be the first side to knock off the Brisbane Lions, Smout will need to produce a similar performance this week.
3. It’s been a tough welcome back to the NEAFL for Canberra Demons ruckman Josh Maynard, as Canberra has elected to play the one recognised ruckman through all of their matches in 2019 so far. Maynard has faced three of the top four ruckman of the competition based on hit-out averages. Maynard has average just over 26 hit-outs per game and will be looking to make a big statement against the Lions on Saturday.
This week’s clash will see two of the leading contenders for the NEAFL Rising Star Award go head-to-head. Canberra’s Angus Baker and Brisbane’s Keidean Coleman are ranked fourth and sixth respectively in total Champion Data ranking points at this stage of the season. Baker, who’s made a name for himself across half-back, is avergaing 28 disposals, 5.4 marks and 4.6 rebound 50s per game. Electrifying forward Coleman is averaging 20 disposals (at 81% efficiency), six marks and 1.5 goals per game.
STATS THAT MATTER
The Brisbane Lions lead the competition for the number of disposals, effective kicks and handballs. The Demons will need to restrict the amount of ball the Lions get as much as possible.