NEAFL R14 Round Up – Johnson’s return
Canberra Demons vs. Sydney Swans
The remarkable story of Alex Johnson stole the headlines at UNSW Canberra Oval on Saturday, as the Sydney Swans put the Canberra Demons to the sword.
The Premiership winning defender got through his first game since the 2012 Grand Final, kicking a goal in the process to mark his comeback from injury. His teammates were clearly boosted by his return, with 14 goals in the first half putting the contest beyond doubt before half time.
Johnson played 45 minutes of the game, picking up eight touches to go with his goal in a solid return. He will be looking forward to getting more game time under his belt in the weeks to come.
James Rose was outstanding for the Swans as he gathered 30 disposals and kicked three goals.
Likewise, experienced ruckman, Callum Sinclair had an impressive game. Not only did he dominate in the ruck, but he got forward to pick up three goals as well.
Another player who recently returned from injury, Dan Robinson was the highest disposal winner on the ground, picking up 35 disposals as he continues to impress at NEAFL level.
Despite putting in another disappointing effort at home, the Demons will be encouraged by some of their performers against an experienced Swans side.
Jordan Harper played a lone hand in the first half, kicking the Demons only goal and picking up 26 touches for the match.
The other positive was the Demons’ performance in the second half, limiting the potent attacking line-up of the Swans to just the six goals. Sam Martyn and Ben Halse were particularly impressive in the Canberra backline.
Off the back of this win, the Swans retain their four-point lead at the top of the ladder, adding to an already imposing percentage. The Canberra Demons however, sit two wins out of the finals positions, and it will take a big effort to turn their season around now.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Demons, as they take on Sydney University next round. The Swans will be tested against a promising Gold Coast Suns side in an SCG curtain-raiser on Saturday afternoon.
CANBERRA DEMONS – 1.1 1.2 3.3 7.5 (47)
SYDNEY SWANS – 4.6 14.13 18.15 20.18 (139)
CANBERRA GOALS – R Pollock (3); D Roberts A Bruce J Harper B Muir (1)
SYDNEY GOALS – J Rose C Sinclair (3); A Aliir B Ronke B Stewart S Edwards (2); A Johnson D Robinson J Foote T Leonardis S Fisher J Laidler (1)
CANBERRA BEST – S Martyn, B Halse, B Fulford, J Harper, R Pollock, A Smout
SYDNEY BEST – C O’Riordan, C Sinclair, J Rose, D Robinson, J Foote, H Marsh
Sydney University vs. Brisbane Lions
In a second versus third showdown, the travelling Brisbane Lions got the better of Sydney University. The Students fell to a 65-point loss, the first time they have suffered back-to-back losses this season.
The Lions started on the front foot, kicking four goals to none in the opening quarter to put the pressure on the Students immediately.
While University slowly managed to get back in the game, the Lions found a way to keep kicking goals and apply scoreboard pressure.
Jack Hiscox showed off his elite running background yet again. He provided a rare highlight for University, as he took four bounces down the wing to kick a goal in the second quarter.
The Students were not helped by injuries to some of their star midfielders. Tom Young and Lewis Stevenson were both forced off in the first half and did not return in the second.
In his return to the side, Zac O’Brien (27 disposals) got through a lot of work in a depleted Students midfield. Will Sierakowski (20 disposals) was also impressive off half-back.
A Brisbane side littered with AFL players proved too good on the day, as the Students were unable to shut down their multiple scoring options in the forward-fifty.
Sydney University returns to Blacktown to take on the struggling Demons next week. They will be hoping for a win to keep the pressure on the Lions and Swans at the top of the ladder.
SYDNEY UNIVERSITY – 0.1 3.3 7.7 10.7 (67)
BRISBANE LIONS – 4.0 10.3 14.4 21.6 (132)
UNIVERSITY GOALS – J Hiscox N Cooper (2); J Potter Z O’Brien J Derickx D Bonney C McFadden R Hebron
UNIVERSITY BEST – Z O’Brien, W Sierakowski, J Hiscox, M Rawlinson, N Cooper
GWS GIANTS vs. NT Thunder
The GWS GIANTS fell to a heart-breaking defeat at Spotless Stadium, as the NT Thunder kicked a goal after the siren to secure a four-point win.
In a season cruelled by injury, the GIANTS fell just short despite putting in their most determined display of the season.
The Thunder had the better of the opening half, kicking nine goals to seven and taking a nine-point lead into the main break.
The GIANTS took the lead by three-quarter time and it looked like a stunning upset was on the cards.
Harry Perryman kicked a behind with less than a minute left to give the GIANTS a two-point lead. The Thunder however, managed to transition forward where Francis Kinthari marked and kicked truly after the final whistle had gone.
To get so close was a remarkable effort from the GIANTS, who trailed by as much as 34-points during the game.
Isaac Cumming (26 disposals) was excellent for the GIANTS, with the rover dominating around the pack. Will Setterfield also impressed, kicking two goals to go with 31 disposals.
Youngster Brendan Myers was the highest disposal winner on the ground, picking up 32 disposals off the half-back line. The GIANTS Academy member moved into the midfield, managing pick up seven clearances in a promising performance.
The luckless GIANTS travel to the Gold Coast next week to take on Southport.
GWS GIANTS – 2.3 7.6 12.7 14.9 (93)
NT THUNDER – 5.0 9.3 12.4 15.7 (97)
GIANTS GOALS – J Lucas (3); H Perryman W Setterfield J Peatling D Addison (2); Z Proule K Merson M Flynn (1)
GIANTS BEST – I Cumming, W Setterfield, H Perryman, B Myers, M Flynn, T Mzungu