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Monday, February 19 2018 @ 08:32 am ACDT

Crocs On Top, Daylight Second

Australia
The Southern Districts Crocs have all but assured themselves the minor premiership this season, mainly on the back of their 82-point win on the weekend over thee Darwin Buffaloes, but also because the Buffaloes and Tigers dropped important games. As a result, the Crocs are now three games and a huge percentage clear of second placed Nightcliff. They will not lose top spot with just five rounds to go – barring something miraculous.

The Crocs handed the third-placed Buffaloes a football lesson after quarter time on the back on a nine goal to one second quarter. From there, the Crocs just sauntered to victory – again restricting the Buffaloes scoring opportunities and rebounding effectively. The Buffaloes are still in third place, but with the Saints and Bombers lurking and Waratah looking dangerous, the Buffaloes must again get winning momentum to remain a finals proposition.

The Tiwi Bombers’ resurgence took another positive step when they trounced the Palmerston Magpies by 80 points. On the back of a big win the previous week against St Mary’s, the Bombers again found scoring options aplenty. An eight goal opening quarter from the Bombers set the pattern for the day, and whilst the Magpies were more spirited throughout the rest of the match, they just couldn’t find the answers to stop the Bombers. Tiwi now sit just half a game outside the top five behind St Mary’s and have a chance to jump them if they can down Wanderers next weekend.

The Saints managed to find another win to keep the wolves from the door when they held out Wanderers by ten points. After leading by 32 points at the main break, the Green Machine had a battle on their hands in the second half as Wanderers came back hard. However, it wasn’t quite enough to bridge the gap and Saints still hold their place in the top five. Wanderers have now gone seven matches without a win – a draw against the Tiwi Bombers their only points since Round Six in a disappointing season to date – especially after winning four of their opening six games.

Waratah continued to throw the gauntlet down to all finals aspirants with a tough 13-point win against the Nightcliff Tigers. Little separated the teams all match until Waratah broke away with the final three goals of the match to snatch victory from the mouth of defeat. Whilst they still sit in fourth place, Waratah have now beaten Nightcliff twice and have defeated Crocs. They have the credentials to reach the grand final if they can hold form.

Next weekend will have ramifications across the ladder, but especially for finals. The top of the table clash will see Crocs and Tigers thrash it out whilst St Mary’s and Waratah will clash (fourth v fifth) in an important battle for both teams. The Tiwi Bombers will want to keep momentum going when they take on Wanderers, whilst the Darwin Buffaloes will need to beat the Palmerston Magpies to restore belief in their faltering finals chances.

Final Scores:
St Marys 13 5 83 d Wanderers 11 7 73
Tiwi Bombers 21 13 139 d Palmerston Magpies 9 5 59
Southern Districts Crocs 17 12 114 d Darwin Buffaloes 5 2 32
Waratah 12 6 78 d Nightcliff Tigers 10 5 65




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