NT Thunder has been forced to make four changes of its five ahead of its Round 19 NEAFL clash with Sydney University at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon.
Thunder will be looking to keep the good vibes going after a convincing win over the Southport Sharks last weekend but have their work cut out for them after Uni’s 68-point win when the two teams last met in Round 10.
Determined midfielder Michael Coombes will miss after sustaining a hamstring injury in the first half against the Sharks, while Adam Sambono has been ruled out with a virus and big man Neil Vea Vea is sidelined with a knee complaint.
Jarred Erlandson is unable to travel due to work commitments, and Kyle Emery will make way for the experience of Jonathan Peris, who has been cleared of a recent groin injury.
Thunder will also have some pace and flair injected into the side with Kayle Kossack lining up for his sixth game of the year, along with goal sneaks Michael Hagan and Davin Ferreira.
Scott McLeod is a straight swap for Vea Vea and will be the backup ruckman to face the Students with Tony Olango named in the forward line.
Head Coach Andrew Hodges said he had hoped to minimise the changes going into this round, but it was the reality of the situation.
“The past couple of weeks we’ve been forced to make some changes which have led to some questions about our consistency because our results have not been as steady as we’d like.
“It’s the reality of the situation though. Our players have careers, families and commitments outside of football that they need to prioritise, which means we’re not always naming the same side, but we believe that every player we name is capable of fulfilling his role for the team,” he said.
Hodges elaborated and said the commitment on the training track had once again been impressive.
“The boys, regardless of whether they’re playing or not, continue to put in the hard yards because they know it’s only going to get harder from here.
“Sydney Uni is a well-drilled team with plenty of depth, and they play with confidence, which last time forced skill errors on our part, so we’re going to have to be cleaner and take better advantage of our opportunities if we are to knock them over,” he said.
NEAFL Round 19
Sydney University vs NT Thunder
2:00pm AEST Saturday 5 August
Henson Park, Sydney
B: Sam Smith, Tom Davies, Michael Hagan
HB: Ben Rioli, Justin Beugelaar, Jonathan Peris
C: Braedon McLean, Matthew Rosier, Sam Talbot
HF: Tony Olango, Hugo Drogemuller, Nick Yarran
F: Shannon Rioli, Darren Ewing, Beau Schwarze*
FOLL: Ryan Smith, Cameron Ilett, Abraham Ankers
INT: Jack Shannahan, Davin Ferreira, Richard Tambling, Kayle Kossack, Scott McLeod
EMERGENCIES: Coen Hutt, Josh Cheek, Daniel Russell
IN: Davin Ferreira, Michael Hagan, Kayle Kossack, Scott McLeod, Jonathan Peris
OUT: Michael Coombes (injury – hamstring), Kyle Emery (omitted), Jarred Erlandson (unavailable – work), Adam Sambono (injury – virus), Neil Vea Vea (injury – knee)
* Indicates 23rd player
You can live stream this game thanks to Tatts on ThunderVision