Sunday Territorian

Big Ben’s ruck dominance gets Buffaloes home


A COMPOSED Darwin Buffaloes clinched a 15.10 (100) to 12.8 (80) victory over a fast-finishing and vastly less experience­d Tiwi Bombers at Gardens Oval.

The game opened in a frenzy with both teams keen to gain an ascendancy, but it was the islanders who settled best, and Paulinus Tipungwuti marked strongly at centre half forward and kicked truly to open the scoring. But Buffaloes half-forward Hassan Ahmat got his side on the board almost immediatel­y afterwards.

Double-blue ruckman Ben Archard was winning all the early aerial duels, but it was both half-back lines led by Bomber veterans Patrick Heenan and Michael Dunn, together with Buffaloes Bradley Stokes and Lachlan McKenzie, who were also solid. A piece of individual brilliance by Jarrod Stokes squared the goal side of the ledger close to the first break, but a 50m penalty to Anzac Lochowiak and a snap from Ahmat for his second of the term saw Buffs with a 16-point lead at quarter-time.

Archard continued to dominate the ruck duels and a beneficiar­y was experience­d small forward Matt Campbell, who goaled after five minutes into the second. Stokes followed with his second and when Ahmat nailed his fourth for the match, the double blues were motoring on high octane. The third term opened in a torrid manner with both defences on top and it took a full 10 minutes and a warranted 100m penalty before Buffs scored the first major of the term through Matt Campbell.

Tiwi staged a mighty fight back in the final term – the lively Anthony Munkara started proceeding­s with a goal inside and although a wonderful long range shot from Matthew Cassidy got Buffs back on track, it was the islanders who finished full of running, but they eventually ran out of gas.

 ?? ?? Buffs’ Jarrod Stokes.
Buffs’ Jarrod Stokes.

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