The NT Thunder make more changes as they prepare for a clash with the Western Magpies in Alice Springs, having regained the whip hand in their quest for a finals berth.

Friday 16 July 2010

The Northern Territory are now in the box seat to claim a finals berth in just their second season in the QAFL following a euphoric win over heavyweights Morningside in Darwin last Saturday night.

The Thunder have been hampered by a huge turnover of players through the opening 13 rounds of 2010 resulting in some inconsistent results, but last week’s win proves their best is the equal of any off their rivals.

Unfortunately for the Thunder, they will make five or six changes again by the time they run onto Traeger Park for tomorrow’s clash with the lowly Western Magpies.

Gone are key big men Cam Roberts (calf) and Steve May (school in Melbourne), although the hugely talented Zephi Skinner may return.

The Thunder’s 23rd player this week is yet another Centralian, and will be the youngest Centralian to debut for Thunder at a senior level.

Louis Egger, 17, has recently returned from the nab national under 16 championships where he drew praise from Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy for his efforts against Tasmania.

Egger plays for Federals in the CAFL and won the Muldoon Medal in the under 17 competition last season. He was also runner-up in the Patrons Medal in the reserves.

Coach Murray Davis is not taking anything for granted with the finals still five weeks away and his side only one game clear of sixth in fourth place, but with an easier draw to September than their rivals, the Thunder should create a small slice of history.

“The good things is that our fate is back in our own hands,” was all Davis would commit to.

His charges have now beaten superpower Southport and Morningside in Darwin, where the Thunder have lost just once in almost two years.

A percentage booster in Alice Springs would give the Thunder an unassailable advantage over Mt Gravatt, who are currently level with them on points.

“We haven’t been great in Alice and we need to play some good football down there,” Davis said.

“The boys should take a lot out of the win against Morningside – the fight and character was up there with the wins over Southport and at Mt Gravatt.”

The Thunder are two games behind third-placed Morningside, who face a challenging fortnight against Southport and then Mt Gravatt.

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