The Northern Territory news Sat 28 Nov 2020
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
60 SPORT SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28 2020 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Southern Districts star James Tsitas in action for the victorious Woodville West-Torrens Eagles against North Adelaide in the 2020 SANFL Grand Final. Picture: Sarah Reed JAMES Tsitas is very much aware of the roadblock in front of his Crocodiles at Norbuilt Oval today. Tsitas, the punters early favourite to win the leagues best-and-fairest award, the Nichols Medal, has been a driving force in successive wins over Tiwi Bombers, Palmerston and reigning premiers Nightcliff. But St Marys loom as a different challenge after disposing of a young Tiwi side, after coming from behind to beat an in-form Waratah the previous week. Actually, its a massive game for us, were looking forward to it, with St Marys being a quality outfit, Tsitas said. Were going all right. The Nightcliff win was very pleasing after narrowly beating the Tiwis and Palmerston, but we cant get ahead of ourselves. Pressure and playing four quarters of football helped us get over the line against Nightcliff and well have to do that against St Marys, who like to possess the ball. Districts swung some surprises at the selection table last night, adding retired utility Ed Barlow to an extended list of emergencies that includes the in-form Nik Rokahr. St Marys go into the 4pm game without Shaun Edwards and Anthony Wilson, but veteran defender Jack Long is back in the side. Nightcliff skipper Phillip Wills and experienced defender Nathan Brown are out of the side that travels to Bathurst Island for a 1.30pm clash with the Tiwi Bombers. The reigning premiers will be looking to rebound from last weeks loss to Districts against a winless Tiwi side still without key players Dion Munkara and Ashton Hams. Waratah has recalled ball magnet Abe Ankers for tonights big clash with Wanderers at Gardens Oval. But Tom Fields, Josh Carmichael and Sam Godden will miss the second night match at the ground as Tahs look to consolidate fifth place. High-flying Wanderers added Marlon Motlop and former skipper Jarred Erlandson to their playing list, but key defender Mitchell Taylor will miss the match. Darwin Buffaloes finally welcome back pacy forward Michael Hagan for their 7.30pm clash with Palmerston. Hagan is one of several additions to the side, joining Matt Campbell, Michael Coombes, Brodie Foster and Pioneer (CAFL) forward Shawn Foster as inclusions. Nigel Lockyer Jr, former Buffalo Daniel Stafford, Pioneer midfielder John Harvey and Jonty Patrick are back in black-and-white for the game at TIO Stadium. TSITAS RELISHES MASSIVE CHALLENGE GREY MORRIS The boys were all feeling pretty dejected after losing as we set ourselves up well in the Pirates must capitalise first half and started the second well defensively but didnt close out, Butcher told the NT News. We did pretty well but didnt capitalise on a number of our opportunities and were still trying some guys out in different positions as we look to settle on our best 15. But University has not had the best of luck against the Dragons in recent times, losing 27-21 in a highly competitive round three clash. Reigning premiers Darwin Dragons have their own loss to make up for, suffering a 28-24 defeat to a young Palmerston side last week. The Dragons will look to their experienced players such as Hirini Murfitt and Drew Tobin to help bolster and rally their strong unit. Pirates will welcome back forward and playing coach Matt Vitucci to the playing group following a long injury lay-off, which will add plenty of experience to their forwards. Butcher is also looking for a big game from his centre pairing of Jesse Thomson and Isaac Taulelei hoping they create opportunities for the back three. Its going to be a tough, physical contest against them as it always is with their big forward pack and tough guys in the backs, Butcher said. Both sides are coming off a couple of losses and will be looking to change that against each other with the Presidents Cup on the line. We just need to capitalise and make the most of our opportunities as they come which we failed to do last week. Meanwhile, Casuarina Cougars will face-off against a young Palmerston Crocs side fresh off a victory, while South Darwin has the bye. UNIVERSITY Pirates playercoach Robbie Butcher knows his side is in for a tough, physical contest when it takes on Darwin Dragons in round six of the Darwin A-grade Rugby Union competition. The Pirates will be looking to make up for their 27-23 loss to South Darwin last week where missed opportunities let the experienced side down. NATHANIEL CHAMBERS Uni coach keen to reverse fortunes but reigning premiers also hungry Unis Robbie Butcher. SOUTHERN Districts sixgame unbeaten run in the NTFL Womens Premier League will come under examination against an in-form St Marys side today. Districts go into the Round 9 match without No. 1 ruck Ebony Miller and utility Rhiannon Busch, after their draw with Nightcliff seven days ago. Coach Tarmon Elliott concedes he will take an understrength side into the lunchtime clash. We wont be at full strength in what is an important game for us, but getting Tayla Thorn cleared at the tribunal and the side starting to gel, well be OK, he said. St Marys has moved quietly into second position and get Michaela Long, Ashlea Melnikas and Jasmine Anderson back to tackle the Crocodiles. Waratah savaged a brave Tracy Village last week and will look for more of the same when it squares off against Wanderers in its 2.30pm game at Gardens Oval. Lauren OSheas inclusion gives the red-and-whites height and experience, while Wanderers bounced back to something like their best form against Palmerston last week. Darwin Buffettes get experienced midfielder Kylie Duggan back for their 3.30pm game against the Palmerston Magpies at TIO Stadium. Ladder-leader PINT will take a near full-strength side into its 2pm game against a winless Tracy Village at the Razorbacks home ground. First-choice PINT ruck Jasmyn Hewett will miss the match, handing over her role to teammate Ellen-Kristine Markussen. Unbeaten Crocs face stern test GREY MORRIS