Next Saturday the NTFL Premier League season will come to a close when the Southern Districts Crocs attempt to retain their title and win back to back flags. Their demolition of the Tiwi Bombers last night at TIO Stadium saw them back into another big dance with a chance to seek their fourth flag.
Just last weekend, the Tigers trounced the Bombers to advance to the grand final. They looked a shade better than the rest. But Southern Districts have sounded an ominous warning to the Tigers after a blistering second half against the Bombers – they have told the Tigers outright that to win the flag you have to beat us.
After a tight first term, the Crocs got a little break on the Bombers by half time – a five goal break and a big rescue mission for the Bombers if they wanted to get back in the game. The 31-point deficit for the Bombers was significant, but not insurmountable.
Back in the 2010/11 season, the Nightcliff Tigers claimed the wooden spoon. With just three wins for the season and some horrible score-lines, the Tigers as a club knew things had to change. And they did. Since then they have been a perennial finalist but their next premiership has eluded them – possibly until this year.
On Saturday the tigers mauled the Tiwi Bombers in their semi-final. Not only does that see the Tigers through to the 2018/19 grand-final, they have also earned outright favouritism after dismantling the Bombers by 90 points on the weekend and having hammered the Southern Districts Crocs, also by 90 points, in the final home and away round.
For either of those teams to win grand-final day, it would take a massive form turnaround, and it is hard to see the Nightcliff crew relinquishing their dominance.
AFLW matches in Blacktown, Fremantle and Werribee capped off Round 5 of the AFLW all with consequences for the finals and setting the scene for a big finish in the final two home and away rounds.
Melbourne look to have ended GWS’s chances of playing in the 2019 AFLW finals with a big win over the Giants at Blacktown.
An even first quarter with the Giants looking dangerous up forward and Bonner and Bernardi looking dangerous. But the Demons drew away in the second quarter and continued to outplay the Giants around the ground.
Jack Banister from The Guardian has written an amazing story which plumbs the depths of how important football is to the people of the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin. Built around the Tiwi Bombers club, playing in the NTFL, the story shows how sport can transcend into something far greater and noble than a mere contest. Sport has the capacity to change people and their lives in profound and far-reaching ways.
There is no word for suicide
The words are scrawled across the bottom of a whiteboard in the Tiwi Bombers’ changing rooms at Norbuilt Oval, 30km south of Darwin. The underdogs are preparing to play the second-placed Southern Crocs.
Overhead, rusty fans aren’t coping with the heavy January air. The benches creak, the showers leak. A small speaker pumps out upbeat saltwater R&B by a seven-piece outfit called B2M, which stands for Bathurst to Melville, the two main islands that make up the Tiwis.