The Northern Territory news Fri 18 Nov 2016
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24 SPORT FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18 2016 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 NIGHTCLIFFS unbeaten start to the NTFL season gets another examination tomorrow night. The Tigers meet a rebounding Southern Districts at TIO Stadium in what their captain Nathan Brown rates his sides toughest game yet. You never know who Districts have got with their fly-ins and the like, they bring a bit of mystery and well have to watch them, Brown said. But we need to keep doing whats been working for us and thats playing consistent, team football over four quarters. Brown conceded his side could not get out of third gear against a hard running Waratah side last week, factors he put down to Tahs different approach to the football. We just couldnt get going, he said. When youre playing a different brand of footy opposed to sides like St Marys, Districts and Wanderers are moving the footy quickly and playing a similar running style of game there are adjustments that need to be made. Southern Districts suffered a big blow when century goalkicker Will Farrer was sidelined for one match on a rough conduct charge. It means the Crocodiles will have to reshuffle their forward line against a side that has only conceded an average 63 points a game. Where one door closes, were hoping another one opens in terms of another goalkicking option, coach Shannon Rusca said. Well have to make some adjustments with our structures, theres no doubt about that, but the reality is we need to play some quality, four-quarter footy against these blokes. Theyre obviously doing something right as can be seen by their 6-6 record and most of that has to do with their ball movement and belief in each other. On-baller Matt Rosier and defender Michael Bowden have been added to the side that lost a tight struggle against Wanderers last week. Rusca noted his side has the edge in head-to-head meetings with Nightcliff in the last five seasons. But that wont mean a lot this week, in fact well go in as underdogs which wont worry us a lot, he said. Southern Districts has always been known for its fighting qualities and nothing will change this time with our backs against the wall. Southern Districts player Matthew Rosier prepares to send the ball downfield before St Mary's player Karl Lohde can intercept. The Crocs will look to halt Nightcliffs winning start to the season this weekend Picture: IVAN RACHMAN WARATAH co-captain Justin Beugelaar has been outstanding down back so far this NTFL season, but admits he needs to win back the respect of his peers. The star NT Thunder representative returns against the Bombers at Tiwi Oval tomorrow after a two-game suspension for rough conduct back in round four. The match review panel classed Beugelaars last-quarter contact on Palmerstons Sean Lucas as careless, high impact and high contact, resulting in a three-match ban. It was reduced by one game after Beugelaar accepted a two-match penalty with his early guilty plea. I was a bit frustrated with myself over that incident and I know I have to earn back the respect of my teammates, Beugelaar told the NT News. It wasnt the right way to go about it, but it is what it is. I probably needed a break anyway because of my game restrictions being an NT Thunder player. The Warriors will welcome back Beugelaars toughness in defence against the last-placed Bombers who havent had trouble scoring points they are the fifth-best attacking team in the competition. But Tiwi has the worst defence, letting in 750 points over their six winless rounds. The Warriors winless last season have tightened up this season and they have the fourth-best defence in the league. With me coming back, hopefully I can bring some leadership to the team, Beugelaar said. Im a strong believer in building the core of your team around your back six, and our back six has been good so far this season. Beugelaar suffered hand and neck injuries playing for the Thunder earlier this year but bounced back to be among the Warriors best in the first four rounds when they had a 3-1 record. Tahs lost to St Marys and Nightcliff in his absence. JOSH SPASARO TIWI coach Wayne Worden admits hes hurting. The Bombers mentor has never lost six-straight games in his past coaching stints, this being an unforgiving first season as a head coach in the NTFL. His team now with a 0-6 record need to turn around their season, starting against Waratah at Tiwi Oval tomorrow. I hate losing and Ive never Worden craves victory Tiwi mentor out to finally break drought against Tahs lost this many games in a row, Worden said. After our last game I asked my players two questions how hard do you want to work for this team, and how much do you want to be here? The response I got this week was good most turned up to training. But the senior players know if they dont put in the hard work, Ill play our younger kids. Worden knows his troops are closer to getting that first elusive win than they might appear. The Bombers only real thrashing over the first six rounds was a 103-point defeat to St Marys. Were getting a bit better each week its just about putting that four-quarter effort together now, Worden said. Were under no illusions that we need to win, but I also realise Ive got a lot of young players Im trying to develop and Ive only been coach of this team for 10 weeks. The Bombers will be boosted by the return of big ruckman Michael IAnson for his second game this season, the Queensland Country representative booting a goal in the Bombers 23-point loss to Southern Districts in round 5. Waratah also have some key gains, with Tim Mosquito, Abe Ankers, Rowan Bonson, Owen Henry and Jackson Ferguson coming into their team. And co-captain Justin Beugelaar is a huge addition in defence, back from a two-game suspension. Tim, Justin, Abe and Zach Westerberg have been four of our best players this season, Waratah coach Michael McLean said. Tim is a gamebreaker hes been superb for us. McLean knows the Bombers will be desperate for their first win this season, adding its never easy facing them on Bathurst Island. Its always a tough road trip and theyll want to win theyll be very hard to beat, he said. But weve been training well. I cant believe Sam Godden is 20 and Abe Ankers is 21 theyre just babies but theyve been playing very well for us. JOSH SPASARO GREY MORRIS Unbeaten Tigers wary of Crocodiles Beugelaar back for Waratah
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