Northern Territory State Of Origin

With the Rugby League State of Origin Game Two played last night in Melbourne, there’s been plenty of talk amongst AFL circles about what each state could produce for an Australian Football State of Origin. So I decided to have a crack at my Best 22 for those players that originated in the Northern Territory.


B – Joe Anderson – John Anstess – Justin Beugelaar

HB – Curtly Hampton – Steven May – Nakia Cockatoo

C – Jared Brennan – Mathew Stokes – Steven Motlop

HF – Cyril Rioli – Liam Jurrah – Shaun Edwards

F – Jake Neade – Jed Anderson – Shannon Rioli

Foll – Ryan Smith – Tom Logan – Marlon Motlop

INT – Peter Rolfe – Cameron Ilett – Anthony Tipungwuti – Ross Tungatalum

EMG – Errin Wasley-Black – William Rioli – Richard Tambling

Coach – Xavier Clarke
Back Pocket – Joe Anderson

The 17-game Carlton player has played solid football for SANFL club North Adelaide after he was delisted from the AFL at the end of 2010. His size and athleticism allow him to match up well on a variety of opponents.

Full Back – John Anstess

The St Marys champion is one of the most respected NTFL footballers running around. He very rarely gets his colours lowered at full-back and has quelled the influence of many highly rated full forwards around the country.

Back Pocket – Justin Beugelaar

The Waratah star has improved his football in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years and is now regarded as one of the premier defenders in the NEAFL.


Half Back – Curtly Hampton

Despite being just 22 years of age, the Central Australian has had plenty of AFL experience with the Greater Western Sydney side. He is currently in good form in the NEAFL.

Centre Half Back – Steven May

On his day he is arguably one of the best defenders in the country and was a no-brainer for selection at centre half back. May has been a shining light for the Gold Coast over the past few years.

Half Back – Nakia Cockatoo

While probably not his preferred position, the Geelong draftee’s run and carry and ability to regularly hit a target would make him a valuable asset off half back in this Northern Territory team.


Wing – Jared Brennan

Brennan enjoyed a 173-game AFL career with Brisbane and the Gold Coast and has bucket loads of talent. He is currently playing good football for Southport Sharks in the NEAFL and his versatility allows him to pinch hit as a key forward and defender.

Centre – Mathew Stokes

The small midfielder/forward has been an unheralded member of star-studded Geelong sides over the years. A dual premiership player, Stokes has the ability to gather plenty of the football through the midfield while causing scoreboard damage up forward.

Wing – Steven Motlop

One of the most exciting players in the AFL, Motlop was an automatic selection for the Northern Territory State of Origin side.


Half Forward – Cyril Rioli

Another obvious selection for the NT team that needs no introduction. The triple-premiership player for Hawthorn is just about a household name in the football world these days.

Centre Half Forward – Liam Jurrah

Despite the fact that he no longer plays AFL, I have no doubt Liam Jurrah could still perform at a high level. He is one of the most talented players that have come from the Territory in a long while.

Half Forward – Shaun Edwards

The young Essendon player made an impressive debut for his second AFL club last weekend. This comes after a string of excellent performances at VFL level.


Forward Pocket – Jake Neade

With lightning quick speed and agility, Neade has become an important member of the Power line-up over the past two seasons and especially during the 2014 finals campaign.

Full Forward – Jed Anderson

Perhaps an odd selection for full-forward, however Jed Anderson has played as a deep forward on many occasions throughout his football career. His defensive pressure and ability to take a big grab allows him to play this role effectively.

Forward Pocket – Shannon Rioli

Rioli has been a gun NTFL and NT Thunder player for a long time now and at 24 years of age he is entering the prime of his career. He is in superb form in the NEAFL.


Ruck – Ryan Smith

The ruck has never been a strong position for Territory talent but Ryan Smith has played a terrific past 12 months of football. He was arguably the premier ruckman in the NTFL last season and has continued his form into the NEAFL season with NT Thunder.

Ruck-Rover – Tom Logan

The tenacious Port Adelaide midfielder has forged an admirable AFL career. A terrific team man and one of the more courageous players running around.

Rover – Marlon Motlop

The Wanderers premiership player is one of the most damaging players in the strong SANFL competition, which is certainly no easy feat.


Interchange – Peter Rolfe

He has played over 100 games and been a star for South Adelaide at SANFL level. He is perhaps best suited to a half forward position but can also run through the midfield.

Interchange – Cameron Ilett

This man has achieved it all in the NTFL and has been NT Thunder’s greatest ever player. It is surprising that the powerful midfielder never got an opportunity at AFL level.

Interchange – Anthony Tipungwuti

The Tiwi Islander has formed a reputation as a star in the VFL for Essendon over the past couple of years. He has attracted a cult-following at Windy Hill and the AFL dream would still be alive.

Interchange – Ross Tungatalum

The only player picked in this side that is not currently playing at a state-league level. His highlight clip is a testament to the exhilaration and excitement he delivers to football fans that have the pleasure of watching him play. Currently turning heads in the Ovens and Murray Football League.


Emergency – Errin Wasley-Black

Considered by many to be unlucky not to be on an AFL list, Wasley-Black is currently plying his trade for West Adelaide in the SANFL.

Emergency – William Rioli

In a similar vein to Ross Tungatalum, Rioli dazzles the ground with his skill and brilliance. He has produced good football with St Marys, Tiwi Bombers, South Fremantle, NT Thunder and is now having a crack at SANFL level with Glenelg.

Emergency – Richard Tambling

The former Richmond and Adelaide midfielder has plenty of AFL experience and his finding plenty of the football for NT Thunder this season.


About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

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