Experienced brother act, Ben and Shannon Rioli headline NT Thunder’s six ins for the big Round 6 NEAFL game against Southport this Saturday in Queensland.
Adding more magic to the line-up will be the Tiwi pair, Patty Heenan and Jack Munkara, while determined defender Shaun Wilson has been recalled to the side and big man Scott McLeod makes his first appearance for season 2018.
Unfortunately, the fancy footwork of Dion Munkara will miss for another week as the 26-year-old continues in his effort to overcome an ankle injury.
And joining him on the sidelines is Thunder’s top goal scorer in its last game, Ross Tungatalum who has succumbed to a sore back.
Alice Springs youngsters Zane Clarke-Edwards and Jamie Hampton have been omitted and will instead play in the TIO CAFL this weekend, while defenders Kaine Riley and Jack Long will miss due to family commitments and suspension, respectively.
After a disappointing loss in Round 4, Head Coach Andrew Hodges said the players had approached the last couple of weeks with the professionalism required and the desire to get back on the winners list.
“How we played a couple of weeks ago is not how we want to be known, so the bye round came at the right time for the group. It gave us the opportunity to get some rest after a gruelling NTFL season and the hunger to succeed has certainly returned to the training track,” he said.
Speaking of NT Thunder’s Round 6 changes, Hodges said while some were forced he was confident the players named could face the challenge ahead.
“Southport have been flying and are one of the in-form teams of the competition this year. It’s going to be a big task to knock them off at their home, but we’re up to the task and to have Shannon, as captain back as well as Ben means we add some stability and proficiency to our outfit.
“Shaun and Jack are those players who will give their all at a contest, while Patty has been doing everything right over on the Island and is a team player, so too is big Macca. They’re both positive talkers around the group, and help set the right attitude,” he said.
NEAFL Round 6
Southport Sharks vs NT Thunder
Saturday 12 May
Fankhauser Reserve, Southport
B: Ben Rioli, Tom Davies, Joe Anderson
HB: Cameron Ilett, Scott McLeod, Sam Smith
C: Braedon McLean, Abraham Ankers, Jack Munkara
HF: Shannon Rioli, Hugo Drogemuller, Matt Campbell
F: Adam Sambono, Darren Ewing, Patrick White
FOLL: Jack Monigatti*, Jarrod Stokes, Chris Williams
INT: Sam Talbot, Richard Tambling, Shaun Wilson, Patrick Heenan, Bradley Stokes
EMERGENCY: Sam Dyke
IN: Patrick Heenan, Scott McLeod, Jack Munkara, Ben Rioli, Shannon Rioli, Shaun Wilson
OUT: Zane Clarke-Edwards (omitted), Sam Dyke (omitted), Jamie Hampton (omitted), Jack Long (suspended), Kaine Riley (family commitments), Ross Tungatalaum (back)
* Indicates 23rd player
You can live stream this game on ThunderVision thanks to Tatts