NTFL Christmas Break

Monday, 7 January | No Comment

It is the two-week Christmas break period for the NTFL competition and at the moment it is St Marys who are flying. The “green machine” is sitting on top of the ladder and is currently on a ten-game winning streak after losing the NTFL’s inaugural game against Central Australia in Alice Springs. The Saints’ defence is unmatched by the other sides with the club boasting by far the lowest points conceded. Like most sides, St Marys are likely to improve after the break with a number of inclusions set to come in, causing plenty of selection headaches for coach Jason Cotter.

Tiwi appear to be the main challenger at this point after controlling much of the round nine encounter against St Marys before running out of legs in the latter stages of the match. The reigning premiers have retained the majority of its fleet footed and exceptionally skilled players that saw them go all the way in the 2011/12 season.

Many pundits are predicting a two-horse race for the NTFL premiership due to the inconsistency of sides like Waratah, Southern Districts and Wanderers. Waratah has blooded plenty of young players so far this season and should strengthen after Christmas, as should Wanderers who have gone with a similar youth approach. Southern Districts are heavily reliant on superstar full-forward Damian Cupido who is a certainty to reach the rare 100-goal mark, a feat that has only been achieved a handful of times in this competition. He is one of a number of star players to have been introduced to the NTFL competition this year. More than 45 ex-AFL (including rookie-listed players) have pulled on an NTFL jumper so far this season.

Nightcliff has had a slow start to the season but are reportedly getting a number of handy additions to the side after the break. Palmerston are perhaps the most disappointing side of the season and are languishing in the bottom half of the ladder despite a number of exceptional ex-AFL recruits. Darwin Buffaloes will not threaten for the finals this season but have improved greatly since the appointment of Mark Motlop.

NTFLBy Jackson Clark

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