NTFL competitions return for Round 12

TOMORROW marks the return for the NTFL Premier League’s with both the men’s and women’s competitions recommencing their 2023/24 seasons with Round 12. All eight matches take place on Saturday, with four at TIO Stadium, and two each at Marrara and Nightcliff.


After 11 rounds, the top of the Men’s Premier League ladder race has never been closer with four sides boasting a 7-3 record, and another two teams sitting within eight points of those sides. Aside from Palmerston Magpies (0-10), Wanderers (2-8) and Tiwi Bombers (3-6), the remaining six sides are still right in the hunt for a flag this season, in a competition where percentage will play a big part in the final standings.

Waratah is currently in pole position with a percentage of 194.81, shading St Mary’s (180.32), Southern Districts (157.52) and Nightcliff (144.71) all of whom are inside the top four with 7-3 records. Fifth placed PINT is sitting four points off those sides, but has a game in hand, having won six of nine this season, while Darwin Buffaloes are in sixth with a 5-5 record, but have an extra week’s break this weekend with the bye in Round 12.


The round is headlined by the Saturday night prime time top three clash between St Mary’s and Southern Districts at TIO Stadium. The Saints, who have the likes of skipper Dylan Landt, vice-captain Kieren Parnell, consistent midfielder Nathaniel Paredes, dangerous forwards Beau Tedcastle and Jackson Calder and former Port Adelaide listed player Joel Garner have a well-balanced side across the board.

The Crocs are not short on talent either with experience at the top level coming from Nakia Cockatoo, Jed Anderson, Beau Schwarze and Jarrod Brander who have all been named. Captain Dean Staunton and ruck Matthew Dennis are a couple of key players who have long being among the best NTFL talents going around.

Ladder leader Waratah also has a tough challenge up against PINT on Saturday night, as competition leading goalkicker Jayden Magro looks to extend both his individual tally, and the Tah’s streak at the top of the table. He has kicked 45 goals in 10 games, four clear of Calder and Brander.

Arnold Kirby and Scott Carlin are among the most consistent Waratah players this season, with Brodie Carroll and Dylan Collis showing just how deep the star-studded side bats. PINT has its own talent with the likes of Margarey Medal winner Luke Partington and ex-AFL goalsneak Steven Motlop in the side.

In the other games, Nightcliff hosts Wanderers on Saturday night, while in the first game of the round, bottom three sides Tiwi Bombers and the winless Palmerston Magpies go head-to-head just prior to the Saints-Crocs game.


Three NTFL Women’s teams have emerged as the frontrunners in this year’s flag, with a clear discrepancy between the best, middle road, and battling sides this season. PINT (9-0) is the team to beat, having cleaned up all the sides before it and the Green Ants boast a ridiculous percentage of 685.61.

Not far behind PINT is St Mary’s with a 9-1 record from 10 matches and an equally eye-opening percentage of 524.43. Incredibly despite percentages of 370.31 and 281.02 that would normally be far superior to the rest of the league, Waratah and Nightcliff respectively find themselves third and fourth with 8-2 and 6-4 records.

Just off the top sides is Darwin Buffaloes (4-6) and Palmerston Magpies (3-1-6) who have kept themselves in contention for a finals spot, giving themselves some breathing space ahead of the bottom three. Southern Districts (2-1-7) drew with the Magpies though and sit just four points adrift of them, albeit with 63 percentage points less.

Tiwi Bombers (2-7) and the winless Wanderers (0-10) round out the ladder with the latter yet to kick a goal this season, boasting a combined score of 0.9 and suffering 10 consecutive 100-point losses. Despite that, Wanderers have shown great character in never forfeiting a match and will be searching for that elusive first goal in the run home.


A top three clash between PINT and Waratah looms as the match of the round, with the Tah’s hoping to quell the unbeaten Green Ants. PINT does have plenty of talent on its list with Steph O’Brien coming off a Zielke Medal win and dominant performance in the QAFL Women’s season this year for Southport and will play her third game of the season this week. She looms as the most dangerous player on the ground and could have a field day.

PINT will look to quell her influence with AFLW premiership ruck Jasmyn Hewett and fellow experienced talent Reni Hicks out there for the Green Ants, and in particular competition leading goalkicker Steph Lawrence (41 goals in nine games) the ones to keep quiet from a Waratah perspective. Jenna Singh has kicked 21 goals in nine games herself for Waratah, while youngster Kierra Zerafa and the experienced Lisa Roberts others to watch from the third placed side.

In the St Mary’s and Southern Districts clash, AFLW Draft prospect Emma Stark returns in a bid to try and add to her 29 goals in five games – coming second overall in teh goalkicking stakes. She will have to share the limelight with current Adelaide Crows star Danielle Ponter and ex-Sun and Hawk Janet Baird. Norwood’s Charlotte Nenke plays her second game for the Crocs, with Rhania Hewitt another youngster to watch.

Palmerston Magpies have a stacked side that spells danger for Tiwi Bombers, with former Port Adelaide listed twins, Laquoiya and Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap back at NTFLW level, the latter playing her first game of the season. Co-captain Tatyana Perry is the Top End’s most prestigious talent for the 2024 AFLW Draft, with 2007-born Marika Carlton and over-ager and co-skipper T’Sharni Graham also among the best youngsters. Maria Rioli is a high-upside over-ager for the Bombers, while Rhiannon Busch will provide important experience.

In the other match, Nightcliff looks set to add another win against the winless Wanderers, with Cassie McWilliam having a great season in front of goal since returning from Western Australia. Sophie Hatzimalis, over-ager Sophie Berry and the experienced Mickayla Ward are other Tigers to keep an eye on.

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