BRISBANE Lions ruckman Archie Smith will be out to celebrate his 100th state league match with a victory as his team looks to get its stuttering season back on track against capital city rivals Aspley at Graham Rd on Saturday.
Smith, 25, has played 16 AFL games as the apprentice to ironman Stefan Martin and Oscar McInerney, but has racked up 95 NEAFL and now four VFL appearances, kicking 34 goals, since being taken by the Lions in the 2014 Rookie Draft from the Lions Academy and Mt Gravatt.
The 201cm, 108kg giant converted to football from basketball, where his father Andre Moore played 10 NBA games before moving to Australia and playing for Brisbane, Hobart and Cairns in the NBL, making the 1990 All NBL First Team and helping the Bullets into that season’s Championship series.
Smith’s decision has proved to be a successful one as he played in the Lions’ 2017 and 2019 premiership teams, and his hopes of celebrating his milestone with a victory has been boosted by the inclusions of Rhys Mathieson and James Madden from the Lions’ AFL team, although Cam Ellis-Yolmen is among the outs.
The Lions (2-3) need a win to stay in touch with the top eight and defend their NEAFL premiership, but the situation is even more urgent for Aspley (1-4), which has lost its past four games and is fast falling out of contention.
The Hornets have regained key defender Isaac Corvo in place of Matt Eagles, who was suspended for three weeks for striking against Sandringham two weeks ago, while midfielder Jacob Allison also returns.
Sydney (2-3) has made six changes to its team for its must-win clash with Southport at Tramway Oval, with some quality names among the inclusions.
Ben Ronke will play his first match for the season after recovering from a knee injury, with prolific midfielders Ryan Clarke and Dylan Stephens, forwards Nick Blakey and Hayden McLean and mid-season draftee Lachlan McAndrew all included, while full-forward Logan McDonald returns to the AFL and ruckman Sam Naismith is also out.
It is a case of two key ins and two key outs for the high-flying Sharks (5-1), with imposing forward Fraser Thurlow and midfielder Brad Lynch returning to the team, but co-captain Andrew Boston will miss with a corkie and Ryan Gilmore is ill.
SYDNEY v SOUTHPORT
Saturday, June 5, 10.05am @ Tramway Oval (Kayo Freebies)
B: 19. M. Ling, 2. K. Brand, 35. B. O'Connor
HB: 40. M. Carruthers, 17. W. Gould, 38. C. O'Riordan
C: 3. D. Stephens, 15. S. Gray, 28. L. Taylor
HF: 50. A. Gulden, 55. H. Morrison, 58. H. Maguire
F: 32. J. Bell, 41. H. McLean, 33. M. Sheather
R: 18. C. Sinclair, 4. R. Clarke, 22. N. Blakey
Inter: 53. J. Bartholomaeus, 64. W. Collis, 60. L. McAndrew, 25. B. Ronke
Emerg: 56. D. Cordell, 52. R. Hebron, 59. S. Thorne, 54. R. van Huisstede
In: Blakey, Clarke, McAndrew, McLean, Ronke, Stephens
Out: Cordell, M. Geddes, Hebron, L. McDonald (AFL), S. Naismith, Thorne
B: 12. R. Clark, 8. S. Tape, 32. M. Gahan
HB: 19. T. Fields, 28. J. Williams, 14. B. Murdoch
C: 34. B. Gowers, 29. K. Boakye, 25. J. Joyce
HF: 17. M. Johnson, 16. C. Nutting, 4. M. Manteit
F: 36. B. Lynch, 15. F. Thurlow, 26. L. Webb
R: 24. B. Crossley, 3. J. Dawson, 42. M. Selsby
Inter: 35. R. King, 20. T. Miller, 1. B. Scheer, 10. M. Willis
Emerg: 40. C. Lang
In: B. Lynch, F. Thurlow
Out: A. Boston (cork), R. Gilmore (ill)
Prediction: Sydney by 7
ASPLEY v BRISBANE LIONS
Saturday, June 5, 1.05pm @ Graham Rd (Kayo Freebies)
B: 18. J. Arnold, 31. B. Dale, 6. E. Wasley-Black
HB: 24. L. Dawson, 34. I. Corvo, 8. M. Payne
C: 21. J. Fitzpatrick, 9. J. Allison, 7. C. Lyons
HF: 27. T. Jeffrey, 17. J. Freeman, 10. C. Stackelberg
F: 2. J. Hayden, 11. M. Hammelmann, 30. J. Warren
R: 35. J. Ivers, 4. R. Bastinac, 3. J. Ives
Inter: 1. W. Gowers, 14. J. Rolls, 19. D. Smith, 22. T. Templeton
Emerg: 13. T. Baulch, 41. J. Craven, 16. J. Giles, 28. J. Lipscombe
In: J. Allison, I. Corvo, D. Smith
Out: J. Craven, M. Eagles (suspended), W. Peppin
B: 58. C. Bowes, 57. J. Briskey, 1. B. Smith
HB: 42. J. Madden, 38. C. Ballenden, 39. C. Michael
C: 50. S. Crozier, 36. R. Mathieson, 49. B. Reville
HF: 12. N. Cockatoo, 21. T. Fullarton, 34. B. Coleman
F: 26. C. McFadyen, 19. H. Smith, 52. T. Triffett
R: 44. A. Smith, 13. T. Berry, 32. T. Joyce
Inter: 48. T. Abberley, 54. W. Barry, 51. J. Langborne, 41. D. Uosis
Emerg: 55. S. Cashen-Harris, 53. W. O'Dwyer, 59. T. Wischnat
In: W. Barry, J. Madden, R. Mathieson, T. Triffett
Out: C. Ellis-Yolmen, W. O’Dwyer, W. Tasker (hamstring), T. Wischnat
Prediction: Brisbane Lions by 27
Brendan Rhodes’ winners: Last Round: 6. Season: 41.