The Northern Territory news Tue 28 Feb 2017
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
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News Corp Australia
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 28 2017 SPORT 29 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA PINTs Toby Stoll puts on the speed trying to get past Banks defenders during Saturday's game at Marrara Picture: JUSTIN KENNEDY (Defender) Sam Smith was fantastic playing on (Darren) Shillabeer and (Ben) Archard. He had a big day out stopping two key players, Rusca said. Brad Vallance kicked (two) nice goals and Jake Roe-Duggan went to the middle of the ground and won some really hard ball, and made some really nice tackles. He also kicked (two) goals. The Crocs finals jitters from last season now seem to be behind them. Thats only ticked one box so far and we havent ticked many in the finals, so its good for the boys to get over that, Rusca said. The Buffaloes believe they can go further after making finals two years running. Were slowly starting to build, so maybe next year we can go even further, half-back flanker Micheal Hagan said. Crocs back in business MOST had written off his team going into last Saturdays NTFL elimination final against the Darwin Buffaloes, and there was even speculation over his coaching future at the club. Not to mention last seasons finals series when the Crocodiles bowed out with two big consecutive losses to Wanderers and St Marys after winning the minor premiership. The pressure was well and truly on Southern Districts coach Shannon Rusca. We knew we had to take a big step forward and to not fall out of another finals series in straight sets, he said. But Rusca showed plenty of maturity and calmness to prepare his troops, the Crocs going on to win by 27 points after a thrilling final quarter in which 15 goals were scored by both sides. You get nervous in any stage of footy you want to win footy games, and footy is an emotional game which can tie you up in different ways, he said. But we stuck strong together to make sure we didnt allow the outside world to penetrate us, and believe in what we had together. Across the park, the Crocs had plenty of contributors. JOSH SPASARO BANKS survived a last-quarter charge from Divison One rivals PINT in Saturdays qualifying final. The Bulldogs looked headed for a comfortable win when they surged to a 29-point lead at three-quarter time. But four PINT goals in the first seven minutes of the final term threw the weary Bulldogs into turmoil until they steadied and went on to win 12.4 (76) to 10.6 (66). We were left looking for answers, Banks coach Mark Tyrrell said. It may have been the effort we put in through the first three quarters, but they certainly came at us and had my players looking at each other in terms of who was going to put their hands up. Matt Leyson across half back and hard running follower Brad Taheny were the best for the Bulldogs, who meet old rivals Waratah in a semi-final. PINT meet St Marys in a rematch of their dramatic final round match of the premiership season when Saints had their score wiped in the final term after a head count. St Marys booted 15 of the last 19 goals of their elimination final against Nightcliff to romp home by 66 points. Zeb Broadbent in a roving commission and forwards Jack Musgrove and Liam McCarthy shone for Saints. Waratah got maximum value from Jack Fallon across half forward. Fallon booted six of Tahs 18 goals against an undermanned Southern Districts in their elimination final. Jabirus premiership campaign in Division Two ran into an angry pack of Bulldogs when they lost their first final to Banks. Jabiru lead at half-time, but an inspired Banks with Richie Hobbs leading from the front, booted five goals to two in the second half to win by 14 points. Nightcliff Spartans were too strong for Tracy Village and a seven-goal haul by Waratahs Adam Lyons set his side up for a 46-point win over Southern Districts. Fired-up PINT push Bulldogs to limit GREY MORRIS NTFL FINALS TIO Stadium - Saturday Mens Premier League First Semi-Final: Nightcliff v Southern Districts (4.30pm) Second Semi-Final: St Marys v Wanderers (7pm) Womens Premier League Semi-Finals: Waratah v Wanderers (12.30pm), Darwin Buffettes v Tracy Village (2.30pm) It didnt look too bad, Bombers coach John Worsfold said. Ao Im pretty confident hell be up and going soon. The Bombers headed into Sundays pre-season hit-out against the Suns without captain Dyson Heppell, vice-captain Zach Merrett, Cale Hooker, David Zaharakis, Mark Baguley, Orazio Fantasia, Patrick Ambrose, James Kelly, Matt Dea and David Myers. Despite the key absentees, Essendon still gave a good account of themselves in narrowly losing to the Suns by three points in Mackay. AFTER spending a large slice of his preseason with his left arm in a sling, Lance Franklin is finally ready to spread his wings in Friday nights JLT series match against the GWS Giants at Blacktown. The superstar forward is fully recovered from a shoulder reconstruction and will make his first appearance since Sydneys grand final loss to the Western Bulldogs. Buddy will play, Swans assistant coach Henry Playfair said. (Franklins preseason) has only been a little bit hampered but only in the contact sense. Hes done the majority of ses Worsfold positive despite trial losses ESSENDON could welcome back a slew of first-choice players for their final practice match against Geelong in Bendigo on March 12. But it could be without defender Michael Hurley, who it is believed rolled an ankle in his sides loss to Gold Coast at the weekend. Fit-again Franklin ready to rumble sions. Hes just had to be careful and so have the guys around him not to injure his shoulder but hes been back in contact for a couple of weeks and ready to go. Playfair will temporarily take over the senior coaching role from John Longmire for Friday nights match. 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