NEAFL ROUND 10
Saturday, June 8, 2019 Southport Sharks (2nd) v Canberra Demons (5th) Fankhauser Reserve, 12pm
With both the Southport Sharks and the Canberra Demons searching for their third consecutive win, Saturday’s contest will be highly competitive as two of the league’s most exciting sides go head-to-head.
Second-placed Southport can solidify their spot in the top two this weekend with a win over the Demons. The reigning premiers have thrived on their home ground this year and will be keen to go into the second half of the year with wins under the belt.
This young and exciting Canberra lineup will look to spring an upset over the Sharks as they push deeper into the top six. Currently fifth, the Demons have plenty to play for as competition for finals spots heats up.
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 Round 2, 2018: Southport 17.13 (115) defeated Canberra 7.13 (53) at Phillip Oval
1. The Sharks have won their last seven games at Fankhauser Reserve. The reigning premiers have made their home ground a difficult one for opposition clubs to visit, and the Demons will be feeling the heat from Southport’s loyal fanbase.
2. Canberra’s star young trio Alex Smout, Angus Baker and Mitch Maguire currently sit 5th, 6th and 7th in the NEAFL MVP leaderboard respectively. The three averaged 32 disposals each when the Demons last met Southport earlier in the year and will all be key to Canberra’s hopes for a win.
3. Southport forward Trent Stubbs will enter Saturday’s match full of confidence after slotting five goals against Aspley last week. Similarly, Canberra’s Harrison Carr kicked four majors of his own in his side’s win over the Students. Can these two spearheads carry their form into round 10 and beyond? Only time will tell.
STATS THAT MATTER
Both clubs have utilised a rucking duo throughout this season, and to great effect. Demons pair Joshua Maynard and Alex Paech have averaged 36 hit-outs combined over 2019, while Southport’s Alex Aurrichio and Jed Turner combined for 59 hit-outs over the Aspley Hornets in Round 9. Clearances have proven to be a crucial element of the modern game with the introduction of the 6-6-6 starting formation rule, so the ruck battle is as important to win as ever.
With all the hyper around Canberra’s Angus Baker, Alex Smout and Mitch Maguire, 20-year-old midfielder Kel Evans has slipped under the radar. The Canberra native is averaging 21 disposals, three marks and four tackles per game in his debut NEAFL season, while also managing five goals across his seven matches. Evans is a running machine, winning the club’s pre-season 2km time trial and will be a major part of the Demons’ resurgence.