Waratah 5.7 8.10 9.11 12.13 (85)
Tiwi Bombers 3.1 5.3 8.5 10.6 (66)
Waratah: Shem Tatupu 4, Bailey Zobel, Sam Godden, Kim Kantilla, Samuel Weddell, Abraham Ankers, Cameron Barrett, Brendon Minkulk, Samuel Flanegan
Tiwi Bombers: Pio Puatjimi 3, Patrick Heenan 2, Jeffrey Simon, Travis Tambling, Ross Tungatalum, Austin Wonaeamirri, Harley Puruntatameri
The Bombers came close but couldn't overcome the Tahs early lead.
Waratah got the first clearance and the first two shots on goal through Shem Tatupu, who 20 metres out on both occasions could only manage to kick behinds. A couple of minutes later though and some good bodywork at centre half forward had him running towards goal and kicking a banana for the first goal of the game. The Tahs made it two (and a few points) with some clever play at the top of their 50, Bailey Zobel's big kick riding on the back of the wind. Up the other end of the ground, Aussie Wonaeamirri got the Bombers moving in the ninth minute with a soccer goal just before the line. That was quickly followed up by a Travis Tambling goal from the right boundary but the momentum was short-lived when Cameron Barrett kicked the Tahs' third. A newly shaven Jeffrey Simon kicked a beauty from about 50 metres out for the Bombers but that was the last opportunity they had for the quarter. Meanwhile, big Tatupu kicked two more goals for Waratah to take his tally to three and assert his team's dominance early in the game.
Big winds were carrying the ball high and unpredictably but nothing was stopping Abe Ankers from winning the contested footy and getting it out at the centre clearances. Kim Kantilla extended Waratah's lead to 24 points with a monster set shot from on the 50-metre arc and the Tahs could've buried the Bombers had their shots on goal been more accurate. Midway through the second quarter, their scoreline read seven goals, nine behinds and as Tiwi got better at holding the ball up and applying forward pressure Pio Puautjimi pounced, kicking two quick goals. Sam Flanegan was last to kick a major, just before the half time siren, allowing the Tahs to extend their lead by a further two points going into the half time break.
Waratah got the first goal for the third term before Tiwi responded with the following three. Young gun, Jeffrey Simon has been tackling hard for the Bombers while Abe Ankers and Zach Westerberg have been putting on the pressure around the ground for the Tahs.
The last quarter started with lots of to and fro for both teams in the first five minutes, but then some good linking play through the middle of the ground saw Simon Munkara pump the footy into the forward 50, with Pio Puautjimi kicking it through the goals to make it only a six-point game. From there the Bombers had the ascendancy and after kicking a behind it was in the seventh minute that the 'human highlights reel' Ross Tungatalum dodged and weaved around three opponents to snap and give Tiwi its first lead of the day. Not one to give in, Waratah had the next centre clearance and a set shot goal to Sam Godden helped to put its noses back in front. As the Bombers found pace and space the Tahs looked to slow the ball down and hold possession. In the 15th minute, Shem Tatupu used his big body to push some Tiwi defenders around and Brendan Minkulk was able to pounce, kicking a banana goal. Only three minutes later and Abe Ankers, who has been in blistering form once more, took advantage of a Tiwi defensive blunder to pick the ball up and snap from just inside the right boundary, sealing the win and fourth spot on the ladder for the Tah.
Wanderers 6.1 8.2 9.2 11.2 (68)
Darwin Buffaloes 1.2 2.6 4.9 7.13 (55)
Wanderers: Joel Jeffery 2, James Box 2, Gabriel Marika 2, Nook Mansell, Thomas Motlop, Mark White, Beau O’Connell, Alexander Weetra
Darwin Buffaloes: Jalen Clarke, Patrick Boles, Darren Shillabeer, Joe Anderson, Liam Philpott, Malcolm Rosas, David Paull
The Muk Muks came in as the expected underdogs but proved they have what it takes to overcome the Buffs.
Just as the ball was thrown up the heavens opened and despite the mostly blue skies, the rain came in sideways thick and fast. It didn't do anything to dampen Wanderers though, with the Muk Muks sprinting out of the blocks, kicking the first five goals of the game. Nook Mansell had the first with a left foot snap in a hurry. Not even 90 seconds later and Joel Jeffrey got his hands to the ball and almost marked it in the pouring rain but still managed to keep it in front and throw it on the boot for a second goal. Despite Jarrod Stokes evading three would-be tacklers to try and get the ball forward for the Buffs, Gabriel Marika made it three unanswered majors for Wanderers and Joel Jeffrey quickly made it four with a highlight snap. The rain started to ease but the momentum stayed with Wanderers. Jalen Clarke had the Buffs' first real chance just before the seventh minute but a finger touch thwarted his attempt. By the ninth minute James Box had the Muk Muks' fifth goal and it was a 30-1 scoreline. The rain started and stopped again, the sun came out and went back into hiding and in the 14th minute Patrick Boles had a slippery kick off the ground which tumbled through for Darwin's first goal. As the quarter went on, Wanderers continued to move the ball with ease and at speed, young Mark White taking advantage of a pack opportunity by standing front and centre to gather and kick the last goal of the term.
In the first five minutes of the second quarter, the Buffs certainly made it known they weren't going to give in, having greater possession and control than Wanderers. David Johnston in only his second Premier League game for Darwin had two early shots on goal in that time but was unable to capitalise. In the seventh-minute Mally Rosas laid a big tackle in the goal square, which led to the footy spilling out and Darren Shillabeer lost his opponent, Thomas Motlop, for the first time, and was able to soccer it through to cut the Muk Muks' lead back to 20 points. James Box nullified it with a goal of his own and though the Buffs were able to stop the scoreboard pressure there were moments of ill-discipline that gave Wanderers the upper hand. And when Thomas Motlop was able to snap from the right boundary in the 20th minute, the Eagles had outscored Darwin just in time for the half time siren.
The first six minutes of the third quarter was played without a score being added for either team but when Chris Williams marked for the Buffs 15 metres out but hard up against the right boundary he changed that, his checkside kick counter-balancing the wind perfectly to register a goal. A couple of minutes later Williams could've had two but the wind wasn't as kind and it only amounted in a point, meaning Wanderers still lead by 25. The quarter continued with plenty of stoppages, mostly in the centre of the ground or towards the Buffs' forward but they were unable to capitalise even though to this point in the game they had had more shots on goal than Wanderers. When Darren Shillabeer had a free kick from the right side of the 50 metre arc he knew better than to take on the wind, so he propped it up to the top of the square and with Wanderers unable to clear defence, Mally Rosas gathered, threw the ball on his boot and goaled. With the Buffs coming and Wanderers scoreless for the quarter so far it was going to take some heroics, and so Josh Wilson won the next ruck contest to get the ball into their 50. That's when Gabriel Marika intercepted a Buff's defensive pass with a double fist then followed the ball up and used the outside of his right foot for a banana kick through for a goal.
This one ended up being a bit of a nail biter! Wanderers got the first clearance and forward 50 entry in the fourth quarter but it wasn't until almost five minutes in when it got a reward for effort. It was young Aidan Singleton in the middle of the ground, who jumped up to stop the ball falling into the hands of his Buffs opponent, using his fingertips to knock the footy over the top and into the path of a running Beau O'Connell who overcame the slippery conditions to collect and kick a long-range goal on the run. In the 10th minute, Alex Weetra notched up the Muk Muks’ 11th goal and Wanderers looked home. Some poor discipline saw the Muk Muks turn the ball over and the Buffs pounced, kicking three goals in only two minutes. The first was a free kick and set shot to David Paull, the second was a long-range shot from Jalen Clarke which was ushered through by defender-turned-forward Joe Anderson and the third was Anderson himself, laying a big tackle in the goal square and quickly getting up to kick the goal. At the 20-minute mark, it was only a 14-point lead in favour of Wanderers and the tension built over the last three minutes but no further score was added for either side.
Nightcliff: 3.3 6.6 8.9 14.13 (97)
Palmerston: 1.0 2.2 2.5 3.5 (23)
Nightcliff: Trent Melville 3, Phillip Wills 2, Steven Miles, Nathan Brown, Jonathan Miles, Shaun Wilson, Danny Butcher, Roger Morris, Jake Thrum, Hugo Drogemuller, Liam Holt-Fitz
Palmerston: Kyle Emery 3
This was a one team show, with the Tigers dominating from the first to final siren.
The Tigers dominated play for the opening 10 minutes where Trent Melville and Hugo Drogemuller both kicked a majors. However the margin couldn've been a of greater but due to windy conditions it's proving challenging to be accurate. The first goal for Palmerston came at the 10 minute mark thanks to star forward Kyle Emery. Both teams have been using the corridors well throughout the opening term.
The ball was more evenly contested that term with it moving fluidly from end to end. The Tigers continued to dominate on the scoreboard though, pumping on three goals through Danny Butcher, Phillip Wills and Liam Holt-Fitz. Kyle Emery continued to be Palmerston's sole goal kicker that quarter, slotting his second for the night at the ninth minute mark. Ian has been taking some good marks in the Palmerston forward line and Mitch Bunworth has been working hard around the contests.
Palmerston really put on the pressure in that term. However it didn't reflect on the scoreboard, gaining no goals over the duration of the quarter. Liam Hot-Fitz has been using his speed and agility to the Tigers benefit and Nathan Brown has been taking a few sweet grabs in the defence. The versitile player, Brown, also managed to snag a goal for the Tigers in the first five minutes. While teammate, Trent Melville kicked his third for the game late in that quarter too. Palmerston's Jay Jay Abbott has been a trying member in their defence all game.
Nightcliff asserted its dominance from the start to finish of this game, gaining a lead of which the Magpies just couldn't catch. The Tigers shared the love around, with 10 different goal kickers throughout the evening. Kyle Emery kicked another goal for the Magpies in the final quarter to end the game as the sole contributor to their majors. He was supported by his teammates throughout the game with players like Liam McDonald and Jacon Lampton but it wasn't enough to get them over the line. Peppering the goals for Nightcliff that quarter were Shaun Willams, Daniel Bowels, Kokwam Niki , Phillip Wills, Johnathan Miles and Steven Miles.
Southern Districts: 3.2 7.6 10.10 13.13 (91)
St Mary's: 2.0 3.1 4.1 7.3 (45)
Southern Districts; Michael Mummery 3, J. Koopman3, D. Staunton 3, B. Vallance 2, L. Ogden, J. Brennan
St Mary's: J. Long 3, T. Saunders 2, S. Rioli, L. Stapleton
The reigning premiers were back to their usual best, out playing the Saints on home turf.
Jess Koopman got Crocs off to a quick start goaling within the first minutes of the game but young Saint Jacob Long was able to respond straight away. Koopman showed why he is Crocs leading goal kicker scoring his second goal which he dribbled through from 20 metres out. Ex-AFL player Ryan Griffen had a few touches in the forward line early but the Saints defence was strong andNick Yarran and Ben Rioli provided plenty of clearances and tackles. Jarred Brennan then provided an early match highlight bombing a goal from 70 metres out! Crocs had yet another forward entry and Jack Long showed that he could also kick 70 metres launching the ball out of defence for Saints to work the ball into the forward line where Kieren Delahunty handpassed over to Luke Stapleton who ran into goal. Star Saint Nate Paredes came off with an lower leg injury and is on the bench with ice on his ankle which could hurt Saints given the form he has been in this season.
Saints got off to the perfect start when Tylah Saunders marked 20 out to go back and take a set shot on goal but that was the only real highlight for them before Crocs kicked the next four goals. Dean Staunton started the spree goaling from 50 out, then Koopman kicked his third goal half way through the quarter followed by Dean Staunton with his second and Michael Mummery with his first for the match. Ed Barlow was outstanding all quarter providing a link up every time the ball went through the middle and was well supported by Tim Brook, Matt Rosier and Charlie McAdam working the ball out of the backline. Saints definitely feeling the pain of losing Paredes early.
Brad Vallance continued the Crocs good form early in the third quarter gosling much to the delight of the home crowd and added another goal to his tally later in the quarter. Nick Yarran has been outstanding for Saints and despite his smaller frame has been taking on the bigger bodies with bone crunching tackles. Former AFL star Ryan Griffen was on the end of one of his tackles and took a couple of minutes to get up holding his ribs. Lionel Ogden kicked a goal for Crocs but the story of the game so far has been the outstanding form of big man Ed Barlow who has racked up possession after possession. Jacob Long kicked Saints only goal while his brother Jack Long and teammate Tom Frawley have been good contributors for Saints.
Jacob Long started the fourth quarter like he finished the third kicking a goal to take his tally to three for the game in promising sign for Saints future. But his good work was equalled by Mummery who goaled up the other end for Crocs. Beau Schwarze combined well in the backline with Sean Martin many times to run the ball out for Crocs. Saints looked promising when Anthony Long kicked in to Shannon Rioli who then took a set shot from 20 out on a slight angle in front of the grandstand and didn’t miss. Dean Staunton kicked a ripper up the other end for his third for the day with a great snap from the boundary. The Saints were able to work the ball back into the forward line thanks to Braxton Ah Mat and Tylah Saunders received a free kick in front of goal for a high tackle and kicked his second as the Saints improved their scoreboard tally. Mummery kicked his third goal for the day with a set shot from 50 out. The Crocs showing why they are favourites to line up for back to back grand final appearances - Ed Barlow outstanding.