2021/22 NTFL: First week of finals set to sizzle

IT IS that time of the week again, with the upcoming round of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League just around the corner. This weekend will see the first week of the finals series for the 2021/22 season, with a pair of exciting clashes set to take place, and one side set to see their season come to a conclusion with a loss on Saturday.

Wanderers vs Southern Districts

Saturday, Feburary 26 @4:30pm
TIO Stadium

The action kicks off on Saturday afternoon, with the elimination final between the Wanderers and the Southern Districts set to keep fans on the edge of their seats, as both sides fight to keep their season alive and advance to next week’s schedule.

The Wanderers were well and truly bested last weekend, falling to St Mary’s to the tune of 77 points in a disappointing display to say the least. While they were missing some key talent in this clash, the effort will need to be lifted if they are to turn things around and return to their winning ways. Interestingly, the side has won their last four elimination finals, so clearly they know how to get the job done when the pressure is on. Marlon Motlop has been a key figure for the side of late and will likely find plenty of the ball once again.

The Districts flexed their muscles a bit heading into the finals series last week, dominating a young Darwin Buffaloes side to claim an 86-point win in Round 18. This is a side that is clearly ready for the postseason, and will be heading into this clash with plenty of confidence, especially given the talent of their forward line. Jake McQueen was excellent ahead of the ball last week, racking up 30 touches and eight inside 50s, so the Districts will look to get the ball in his hands once again.

St Mary’s vs Waratah

Saturday, Feburary 26 @7pm
TIO Stadium

The second match in Saturday’s double-header will see St Mary’s lock horns with Waratah in their qualifying final at TIO Stadium on Saturday night, with the winner advancing to the clash with the Nightcliff Tigers next weekend.

St Mary’s delivered a statement win last round, smashing fellow their fellow finalists in the Wanderers with a dominant performance. The fact that they managed to put up a whopping 150 points against one of the better sides this season shows how much damage they can do in this upcoming finals series. If forward Jackson Calder can back up his performance from last week (he booted nine goals in this match by the way), then good luck stopping this side when they’re on a roll.

Waratah faced the toughest task in the competition last weekend, as they found themselves bested by the Nightcliff Tigers by a considerable margin. They will be keen to get their season back on track this weekend, but face another difficult matchup this time around, given the form their opponents have been in of late. Jayden Magro booted five of his team’s eight goals last round, so he will need to get involved once again this weekend.

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