NTFL – Finals Week One: Wrap Up


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Wanderers have silenced the critics and moved on to a grand final qualifier after a comprehensive win over Nightcliff on Saturday at TIO Stadium.

The Eagles started well and always looked a step ahead and eventually won 20.7 (127) to 12.8 (80).

The first quarter was marred with controversy as big man Troy Kelm was sent from the field after being reported twice. Kelm was first cited for a late elbow on Nathan Djerrkura and will likely cop a suspension for that. Bizarrely, his second report was for making contact with an umpire.

Nonetheless, the Eagles better adapted to the finals intensity to lead by two goals at the first change. A dominant individual display from Thomas Motlop in the second quarter ensured his side stretched its lead at the main change. After struggling for form at times during the year, Motlop played easily his game for the year kicking four goals in the second term en route to six for the match.

It went from bad to worse for the Tigers with Seb Guilhaus tearing his hamstring early in the third quarter and forcing Julian Lockwood into the ruck. The injury capped off an interesting day for the big man, who did not take part in his side’s warm up due to being stuck at work.

A flurry of Wanderers goals made the margin insurmountable by the final change as both sides looked ahead to next week.

Marlon Motlop was one of the best on the ground with four goals from his 17 disposals. Nathan Djerrkura’s lightning pace allowed Wanderers to cut through the Nightcliff midfield while the undersized Liam Patrick battled hard in the ruck to break even in the tap outs.

Toby Stribling battled hard for the Tigers while Aaron Cornelius and Daniel Dzufer looked ominous at times. Youngster Koko Niki acquitted himself well in his first Premier League final but may be in trouble with the tribunal after a late strike on Chris Dunne in front of the grandstand in the last quarter.


In the second game, Waratah recorded an upset elimination final win over Southern Districts. The Warriors entered the match as underdogs but simply outworked Districts to record the 13.15 (93) to 5.9 (39) win.

There was some unsettlement in the Districts camp in the lead up to the match. The Damian Cupido saga that has plagued the club throughout the season reached its climax on the Friday night with the revelation that the playing group did not want him to play again. To compound issues, the classy Des Headland was a late withdrawal who reportedly opted to stay home to celebrate his son’s birthday.

After a competitive opening term, the scores were all tied up at quarter time. Ngukurr pair Jake Farrell and Davin Hall began to put on a show in the second quarter as the Warriors got out to a comfortable half time lead. The Crocs looked in with a chance at getting back into the contest but it just was not working out for them as the persistent Waratah side was able to keep them at bay.

Tempers flared in the second half as both sides engaged in a few little fights around the ground.

Travis Hayes, who is not a noted goal kicker in the NTFL, bobbed up for four goals while Abraham Ankers was exceptional when he had the footy in his hands. Paddy Heenan set up many forward opportunities with his bullet like passing from the defensive half of the ground.


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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