It’s that time of year again when the AFL visits the Top End and two lucky teams get to thaw out their Winter bones. This year is the sixth time The Demons have played at Marrara (a.k.a. TIO Stadium) and only the first for The Eagles.
Previously it was a common haunt for The Bulldogs who played 9 home games there, winning 7 of those, while Port Power have played the most overall with 10 and all of those as the away team.
The Western Bulldogs are the kings of the north with their 7-2 record and the next best is unsurprisingly the Indigenous All-Stars team which has won 4 of its 5 (pre-season) games there, like when they thrashed Carlton in 2003 in front of a record crowd of 17500, a fair effort considering the capacity is only 14000. A young Adam Goodes was best on ground.
Port’s 10 games resulted in a 4-6 record and while Melbourne did win their first two games at TIO, they’ve lost their last three including an equal low venue score last year of 34 v Freo.
No-one has kicked more than five goals in an official AFL match at Marrara. One of those was Melbourne’s Brad Miller back in 2010. Will Jesse Hogan match him this week? Or can Josh Kennedy finally break that 5-goal barrier?
The biggest DT score is easily Ryan Griffen’s 166 for The Dogs in 2013 when he had 40 disposals and 9 tackles in a low scoring win. But someone who tends to rack up points in the Top End and is revisiting this weekend is…
Some like it hot and this bloke must love it, because when in NT he gets the DT points. Granted, it’s been a few years since he last played there but from 2006-2010 with The Dogs, he scored 96, 126, 129 and 141. Can he turn back time this week for The Dees?
Despite its minimal stature in the overall season fixture this should be a good game. And hey, worst case for the losers is a nice warm getaway… on Saturday if they can’t get a kick, on Sunday they can go catch a fish.