The NT Thunder’s inability to capitalise on scoring opportunities is costing it valuable ground in the 2010 QAFL premiership race, according to star midfielder Cameron Ilett.

The NT News reports that Ilett found the Thunder’s four-point loss to Mt Gravatt at Traeger Park on Saturday as frustrating as it was disappointing.

The loss saw the Thunder dropped to sixth place, a game out of the top five, with a tough game to come against unbeaten ladder leaders Southport in Darwin on Saturday night.

“We had opportunities to hurt them on the scoreboard but didn’t take them,” Ilett said of the loss to Mt Gravatt. “That was despite playing well below our best, which is even more disappointing.

“Some say the number of changes hurt us, but that’s only looking for excuses when we let ourselves down with poor goalkicking.

“Our accuracy in front of goals means our kicking for goal still needs improving, hopefully we can get that part of our game together very quickly.”

Ilett, the reigning NT club champion and clearly the Thunder’s best player against the Vultures, said the players only needed to watch full forward Darren Ewing in front of goals to know what was required.

“Darren is pretty amazing in that he does make the maximum use of every opportunity he gets, including kicking six or seven goals from as many kicks,” Ilett told The NT News’ Grey Morris.

“At the same time he is always presenting, tackling, directing and applying pressure to his opponent, it’s basic, effective football that we all have to learn from.

“If things aren’t going right the players only have to look at what Boof (Ewing) is doing to put things right.”

Ilett has called on Territory fans to provide a 24th man against the rampaging Southport on Saturday night.

Just over 4000 fans ventured to TIO Stadium for Southport’s last trip to Darwin, which was the 2009 season-opener and Thunder’s inaugural game.

“Having home fans behind us makes a massive difference,” he said.

“Knowing the support is there will be a big boost for us against what is a very good Southport side who beat us on the Gold Coast a month ago.”

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