After a tough NTFL season and an opening two rounds of the NEAFL, NT Thunder’s players get a well-earned rest this week with our first bye of the 2017 season. The players are all looking forward to spending some quality time with family and friends over Easter.
Round 2 brought with it a disappointing 26-point loss to a professional Brisbane Lions side containing 19 AFL listed players. It was an experience that will no doubt benefit our younger players in the squad going forward. Brisbane’s ability to control the tempo of the game and the footy was impressive, something we cannot allow opposition sides to do.
As disappointing as the loss was, we had some very positive signs to take out of the game. Another five goals from spearhead Darren Ewing, freakish footwork from captain Shannon Rioli and ruthless pressure from youngster Mikey Coombes kept us in striking distance of the Lions.
Despite going down in some key match statistics, we only went inside the forward 50 six fewer times, but we allowed the Lions to convert 54% of their forward entries to our 48%. This provides focus on an area to improve going into our next game. We must be more efficient when going inside the forward 50.
Brisbane’s ability to run hard when in attack was very impressive; we allowed them to collect uncontested possession at will. We pride ourselves on being a side that is uncomfortable to play against, utilising high pressure on the opposition to cause turnovers. On the weekend we were not true to this and will make some adjustments over the next week leading into our Round 4 match against Redland.
It’s important now we regroup physically and mentally, learn from the experience and improve.
NT Thunders players and staff would like to wish all a Happy Easter, enjoy the break and stay safe.