By Mitch Terpstra/NEAFL Media
NEAFL ROUND 17
Saturday, July 27, 2019 Canberra Demons (6th) vs Southport Sharks (2nd) Phillip Oval, 12pm
Heading into the final few rounds of the home and away season, this match looks set to go down to the wire with a lot on the line for both clubs.
The Dees and Sharks have had two previous meetings this year with Southport taking all four points from both games with six-point and 66-point victories in Rounds 3 and 10.
After a club record-breaking victory against the NT Thunder last week, Canberra will be riding on a wave of confidence heading into the match. Up against the reigning premier, the Demons will be looking for their third straight win and to secure their finals spot.
Southport was able to escape a spirited Redland side with a three-point victory last week, in a match many expected them to win comfortably.
The Sharks have reached a mid-season lull, only winning two of their last five matches.
Coming up against the Demons will be a good test for Stephen Daniel’s side as they will want to try and lock in a top two finish.
Round 10, 2019: Southport 16.8 (104) defeated Canberra 6.8 (44) at Fankhauser Reserve. Round 3, 2019: Southport 13.10 (88) defeated Canberra 12.10 (82) at Phillip Oval. Round 18, 2018: Southport 26.14 (170) defeated Canberra 10.7 (67) at Fankhauser Reserve.
1. In their thumping of the NT Thunder last weekend, Canberra were able to play a more consistent brand of high level over the whole match. The Demons have fallen victim to lapses of concentration and performances during the season which has cost them badly. They will need to outlay a consistent effort against the reigning premiers. In the last match up between these sides, Canberra conceded 45 points to nothing in the third term.
2. It was a good week to be a tall forward last week as Southport’s Tom Fields and Josh Hall both kicked four goals each in their win over Redland. Meanwhile Canberra’s tall forward line of Andrew Swan, Tom Faul and Harry Carr combined for 11 goals between them. Could we see a battle of goals between each sides’ big forwards?
3. It will be a battle of the in-form midfielders this week when Southport’s Andrew Boston and Canberra’s Mitch Maguire go head-to-head. Both players were best-on-ground for their respective side’s last week and the midfield battle will be an important one to win on Saturday.
Canberra has been a goldmine for the NEAFL’s Rising Star nominations over the last two years. Kel Evans was the latest to receive the accolade after his best performance for the Demons last week, racking up 30 disposals, 12 marks, nine inside 50s and four goals. Look for another strong performance from the Queanbeyan product as his confidence grows.
STATS THAT MATTER
Look for two contrasting styles of play with the football in hand around the ground this weekend. As Canberra were the No.1 side for short kicks (under 40m) last weekend while Southport were ranked No.1 last week for taking longer kicks (over 40m).