After a winning start to the season, minimal changes but two debutants have been revealed in the NT Thunder team to face traditional rivals, Aspley Hornets in Brisbane for NEAFL Round 2 on Saturday.
The two Sams – Dyke and Smith, will come into the team to replace Matt Campbell (work commitments) and Rodney Baird (Academy representative commitments), while Ross Tungatalum has withdrawn due to soreness.
Unfortunate illness caused Smith to miss Round 1, while Dyke will make his NT Thunder debut after a stellar NTFL season in defence for the Tiwi Bombers.
Lining up beside him and also as a first-gamer, is fellow Tiwi Bombers magician, Jack Munkara. The younger brother of last week’s game-winner, Dion, Jack is quick and agile and is the ideal replacement for Tungatalaum.
Baird, who made his NT Thunder debut last week will take to the field for the NT Thunder Under 18s against the GWS Giants Academy in Sydney on Saturday, while Campbell will be travelling as the NT Program Manager for the National Diversity Championships, also being held in Sydney.
Head Coach Andrew Hodges said after an important first round win the team were eager to hit the road and face the challenge of traditional rivals, Aspley.
“Round 1 is done and dusted, and we now turn our attention to our first away game. Aspley made some list changes this season and brought in some quality players, and it’s always a big contest when we play them, so we’re expecting this weekend to be no different, especially playing down there.
“I’m excited we get to give an opportunity to Jack and Sam Dyke, they’ve both worked hard to earn their spot and have proven skills to match. While Sam Smith’s 2017 season was full of highlights, so we’re glad to have him back.
“We believe our brand of Territory footy is good enough to get us the four points and our players have full belief in each other to get the job done,” Hodges said.
NEAFL Round 2
NT Thunder vs Aspley Hornets
Saturday 14 April
Graham Road, Carseldine QLD
B: Ben Rioli, Tom Davies, Sam Dyke
HB: Cameron Ilett, Kaine Riley, Sam Smith
C: Braedon McLean, Abraham Ankers, Dion Munkara
HF: Jack Munkara, Hugo Drogemuller, Shannon Rioli
F: Adam Sambono, Darren Ewing, Patrick White
FOLL: Jack Monigatti, Jarrod Stokes, Jarred Erlandson
INT: Shaun Wilson, Chris Williams, Sam Talbot, Patrick Heenan, Jamie Hampton*
EMERGENCIES: Brad Stokes, Jack Long
IN: Sam Dyke, Jack Munkara, Sam Smith
OUT: Rodney Baird (Academy commitments), Matt Campbell (work commitments), Ross Tungatalum (soreness)
NEW (Debuts): Sam Dyke, Jack Munkara
* Indicates 23rd player
You can live stream this game on ThunderVision thanks to Tatts