MATCH PREVIEW: Canberra v Sydney University

By CAMERON SMITH


Canberra players in their huddle. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL.

NEAFL ROUND 14

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Canberra Demons (4th) v Sydney University (2nd) at UNSW Canberra Oval, 12pm *Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App


SUMMARY


It might be a case of third time lucky that gets Canberra Demons over the line this weekend against Sydney University on home turf.


The Demons got close to beating Sydney University in Rounds 1 and 6, but in the end just weren’t able to get the four points. Canberra head into this third clash in some excellent form, winning all five matches since they lost to the Students in Round 6. Their last win was probably their most significant, beating the Hornets by 33 points away from home, before having the week off.


The Students also had the week off and will head into July hoping to improve from their last month of football. Sydney University ended their three-game losing streak in their most recent match which was against the SUNS at Blacktown two weeks ago.


This contest will be closer than previous encounters as the Students, already hampered with injury, will be without Zac O’Brien, who was best on ground for the Students against the SUNS, due to suspension.


*Full teams will be announced Friday morning.


RECENT ENCOUNTERS


Round 6, 2018: Sydney University 12.10 (82) d Canberra Demons 9.8 (62) at BISP Round 1, 2018: Sydney University 11.25 (91) d Canberra Demons 13.5 (83) at Allinsure Park Round 20, 2017: Sydney University 15.17 (107) d Canberra Demons 6.12 (48) at UNSW Oval


TALKING POINTS


1. Alex Smout did not have a significant influence against Sydney University in Round 1 and didn’t play the Students in Round 6 due to suspension. Since coming back from that suspension, Smout has been in some scintillating form, averaging 35 disposals and has received 26 NEAFL MVP votes in his last four games. Could he be the deciding factor in the Demons creating an upset?


2. Canberra Demons’ wins and losses have directly correlated with possession – they’ve won every game when having more disposals than the opposition and lost every game when they don’t. In Rounds 1 and 6, the Demons had 42 per cent and 44 per cent possession against the Students, which is an area the Demons will need to improve if they are to win.


3. Before Sydney University lost to the Swans in Round 8, they were second in the competition for scores per inside 50 (51.5 per cent). However, in their three-game losing streak from Rounds 9 to 11, were scoring 30 per cent of the time the ball went inside 50. In their last match, the Students scoring per inside 50 percentage (52 per cent), was back at the level it was at in the first eight rounds.


ROOKIE WATCH


Jake Bartholomaues has been a reliable cog in the Sydney University backline this year, after playing a year in the Sydney Premier League. The 21-year-old has been named in the Studentss best players for the last three weeks, with his last game against the SUNS being his best. The Sydney Swans Academy product had career-high 25 disposals, as well as six clearances, five inside-50s and four tackles. Another top performance will have him pushing for a Tribal Sport NEAFL Rising Star nomination.


STATS THAT MATTER


Sydney University have never lost to the Canberra Demons. The last time they lost a match in Canberra was in 2014 against Eastlake.


PREDICTION


Canberra by 15 points.

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