By MADDY McCASKILL
NEAFL ROUND 15
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Canberra Demons (3rd) v Redland Bombers (9th) at UNSW Canberra Oval, 12pm *Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App
This clash features two completely opposite teams. The Demons, who are pushing for their best season yet determined to make history in finals, compared to Redland who are struggling at the bottom of the ladder with a disappointing season.
Canberra was at its high-pressure and skilful best in their most recent win against Sydney Uni last week. This victory saw them fly to third on the ladder, instilling even more confidence in the young team as they make their way towards the end of the season. Another win against Redland will make their run home that much sweeter.
Redland are cruising along with only one win to their name, after disappointingly just missing out on a victory against NT Thunder last week. With finals hopes dwindling, Redland need to bring their high intensity to match Canberra this weekend.
Round 9, 2018: Redland 9.6 (60) def. by Canberra 7.22 (64) at Scottsdale Park. Round 3, 2018: Redland 9.10 (64) def. by Canberra 22.15 (147) at Scottsdale Park. Round 8, 2017: Redland 8.14 (62) def. by Canberra 10.13 (73) at Scottsdale Park.
1. Last time these teams faced off in Round 9, Canberra were dismal in front of goals barely scraping through with the win after kicking 7.22 to Redland’s 9.6. They rushed their opportunities and gave into Redland’s defensive pressure which saw for a scrappy contest. This week they will need to strive for accuracy if they wish to end the year successfully.
2. Alex Smout has been consistently good for the Demons averaging 31.4 disposals, 19.3 kicks and two tackles. He was outstanding last time these teams met amassing 34 disposals and 11 inside 50s. Smout is currently ranking sixth on the NEAFL MVP leaderboard with 43 votes, and will be hard to stop this weekend if this strong midfielder gets his hands on the football.
3. Redland is ranked second in the competition for hit-outs, averaging 50.8. This is thanks to their ruckman Craig Malone who has planted himself as one of the top ruckmen in the league. He’s currently ranked second in hit-outs (averaging 41.3) and is known for his skill and maneuverability on the field. Cameron Milne will have a huge task this weekend facing up to him.
STATS THAT MATTER
A strong team is one that is fierce across the ground and for hard ball gets, Canberra and Redland are on opposite ends of the scale. the Demons are rank first in the competition with an average of 58.7 hard ball gets compared to Redland who are last with 43.8. They will use this intensity and pressure on the weekend to try and take control of the ball, and Redland will need their best defensive effort to stop it.
James Barnes was among the best players for Redland in their last week’s loss to NT Thunder. This versatile 20-year-old is developing each week as he gains more experience against these stronger sides. His athletic build allows him to take on the contest and enables him to dominate all over the field. It’ll be a challenge this week against a fit Canberra side, but Barnes could be a huge contributor in this week’s match.
Canberra by 30 points.