By MADDY McCASKILL
NEAFL ROUND 21
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Canberra Demons (5th) v Aspley Hornets (3rd) at Phillip Oval, 12pm
*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl) *Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App
With both teams having already secured a spot in the finals for this season, this match is all about making a last stance. Winning could be fundamental to either team being guaranteed a home ground advantage in finals so a huge performance is required by both Canberra and Aspley.
The Demons enter the match with three disappointing losses behind them, most recently going down by 47 points to Sydney Uni last week. They will be wishing to end the home-and-away season on a high as they make history for Canberra, entering finals for the first time ever.
Aspley won their fifth straight match last week against Redland which pushed them to third on the ladder with 11 wins total. A win this weekend could see the Hornets finish minor premiers, if both Southport and Sydney suffer losses.
*Full teams announced Friday morning.
Round 12, 2018: Canberra 13.21 (99) d Aspley 9.12 (66) at South Pine Sports Complex Round 4, 2018: Aspley 12.16 (88) d Canberra 10.13 (73) at UNSW Canberra Oval Round 10, 2017: Aspley 12.11 (83) d Canberra 10.16 (76) at UNSW Canberra Oval
1. This week’s midfield contest will see Canberra’s Mitch Maguire and Aspley’s Matthew Payne face off one last time in the home-and-away season. Arguably two of the best midfielders in the competition, Maguire led the NEAFL MVP leaderboard followed by Payne before it was closed off to the public at the end of Round 16.
2. Last time these teams faced each other in Round 12, it was the first time the Demons had ever beaten the Hornets. This win was due to the spread of contributors by the Demons with nine individual goal scorers. The Hornets will need to prevent Demons capitalising on the scoreboard early and have their contributors stand up.
3. This contest is crucial in many ways – to achieve momentum heading in to the finals series, to gain rights to host a home final, and even a mental edge over each other. Should Aspley beat Canberra, and Brisbane defeat the GIANTS, then the Hornets will host the Demons in an Elimination Final next week, playing off against each other two weeks in a row.
STATS THAT MATTER
The Demons last win against Aspley in Round 12 saw them win nearly every statistic. Aspley doubled the Demons hit-outs with 54 to 27 and whilst they won that particular contest, they lost on the scoreboard.
Rising Star nominee William Gowers has been an influential player for the Hornets all year playing every game in his debut season. Last week he was named in their best with 24 disposals, five clearances and a goal and will applying the pressure to Demons this week.