NEAFL PREVIEW: Canberra vs. Sydney University

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Canberra Demons v Sydney University at Allinsure Park, 12pm

*Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App


After just missing out on the Grand Final in 2017, Sydney Uni are ready to take home the flag this year and will leave nothing undecided when they take on Canberra for Round 1. Coming off a disappointing loss at the season opener last week, the Demons will have to fight hard to prove they are more than just a young team full of hope.

While Demons are lacking in experience, they are a fit young team which isn’t lacking in effort. They will need to put up a stronger battle in the midfield this weekend to compete with the likes of Sydney Uni’s top guns, Lewis Stevenson and Tom Young.

*Full teams will be announced Friday morning.


Round 20, 2017: Sydney University 15.17 (107) d Canberra Demons 6.12 (48) at UNSW Oval
Round 15, 2017: Sydney University 18.25 (133) d Canberra Demons 4.8 (32) at BISP
Round 9, 2017: Sydney University 17.24 (126) d Canberra Demons 8.7 (55) at BISP


1. Canberra’s 62-point loss against Southport sent the side crashing back to earth, after going in to the match confident of an upset victory. But it was the way in which the Demons lost that was disappointing. At one stage in the first quarter, they trailed in clearances 10-0. Overall, the Demons lost the midfield battle comprehensively and the Sharks produced 12 individual goal scorers. Was it the jolt Canberra needed to kick themselves in to gear ahead of this week? Or are alarm bells ringing already?

2. Sydney University this week announced defender Tim Barton as captain for season 2018, replacing Lewis Stevenson who was left out of the leadership group altogether. Barton has been an inspirational member of the squad since he joined the club back in 2009. Look for Barton to play a key role for the Students this week.

3. In 2017, Sydney Uni comfortably beat the Demons in all three matches by an average of 77 points. It’s imperative they get off to a good start on their home turf if they are any chance of coming away with a victory on Saturday.


Callum McFadden is a key young player for Sydney Uni’s midfield. At only 21 years of age, McFadden was ranked fifth highest in average Champion Data ranking points for Uni in 2017. It’s important for McFadden to get off to a good start this season to cement his place in the star-studded midfield.


Canberra Demons struggle with their contested possessions last year, ranking third last with an average of 131.1 per game. On the other side, Sydney Uni was ranked second, averaging 146.8.


Sydney Uni by 35 points.