Round 5 TSL Preview with Alex FitzGerald

 

Saturday 29th April

Lauderdale vs Hobart City Demons  (Lauderdale Oval) 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Hobart City Demons 21.9.135 def Lauderdale 9.14.68 (Round 21, 2016, at North Hobart Oval)

IC: Kristi Mead

Lauderdale has proven they can match it with form sides over the past fortnight, with strong first halves against Clarence and Launceston respectively, but remain winless after three games as the Blues found some strength late in last week’s match to defeat the Bombers by a meagre 11 points.  Hobart City Demons burst out of the blocks against Burnie, but then relied on a couple of late goals to pinch the win from the coastal side after falling behind in a tense final term.  The southerners held their nerve, and were rewarded with their maiden win of season 2017.  Last time they met the Hobart City Demons were convincing winners, but this match will be a much more even contest.

While they remain winless, Lauderdale have played exceptional football in patches, and will be looking to build on last week’s narrow defeat and break through for their first win of the season. The Bombers’ midfield trio of Dylan Fyfe, Nat Franklin and Robbie McManus have led from the front in all three matches, and will need to continue their run and carry on Saturday.  Captain Bryce Walsh had a good game against Launceston after a quiet match the week before, breaking away late in the final quarter to kick a telling goal, and the long-kicking Alex Hevey has been dangerous across half forward.  The Bombers welcomed back Toutai Havea from suspension, and he played well across defence, as did Max Kleverkamp running forward.

The Hobart City Demons performed admirably last week, and were best served by Jayden Charlton and Heath Thompson.  Hindered by a leg injury, the courageous Will Campbell had another outstanding game, winning contested possessions and snapping a goal from a stoppage late in the final term to put his side ahead.  Callum Kilpatrick was solid across the middle of the ground, and playing coach Kane Richter provided drive from half back.  Jack Guesdon and Callan Dell were the main focal points up forward, booting two majors apiece.  The younger players will need to step up this week, with Bailey Walker and Nicholas Baker being the two leading the charge in matches previous.

This match has all the makings of a blockbuster, with two proud sides looking to progress from the bottom end of the ladder early in the season.  Both coaches have stressed the importance of winning this match, so expect a physical encounter with lots of hard running.  While Hobart City Demons were impressive last week, Lauderdale will head into the game favourites, but the result may likely depend on which team is able to play four quarters of consistent, attacking football on the day. As Vice-Captain Josh McGuinness said, the Bombers need to take care of their games at home.

 

Devonport vs North Launceston (Devonport Oval) 6:00pm

Last Time They Met: North Launceston 17.15.117 def Devonport 12.5.77 (Round 12, 2016, at Devonport Oval)

Devonport managed to hold Clarence to only six goals in the first half last week, but the Roos ran over the top of the young Magpies to defeat them by 65 points.  North Launceston come off the bye after convincingly winning their first three matches with strong second half performances.  Last time the two teams played the Bombers ran out winners by 40 points, but the gap between the two sides has widened since then, and Devonport will be looking to learn from one of the form sides of the TSL when they meet this week.

IC: Andrew Woodgate Jay Lockhart has been in imperious form.

It has been a different looking Devonport side taking to the field this season, with many first gamers blooded in their first year at the club.  Coach Mitch Thorp remarkably returned to the field last week after breaking his ribs against Launceston, and was influential early with three goals.  50 gamer Brayden Butler played arguably his best match for the club, and was well supported by midfield co-captains Beau Sharman and Dylan Riley.  Quade Byard and Toby Enniss also stood up, and with a host of other Magpies, they will need to play to their potential against the Bombers to be any show.

North Launceston will be fresh after a week off, but it’s unlikely that the fittest side in the TSL have been resting on their laurels under Coach Tom Couch’s watch. Couch has been fantastic in the role of goalkicking midfielder this season, as has Brad Cox-Goodyer.  Captain Taylor Whitford was impressive in his sole game for the season, while Zac Burt and Jay Lockhart have been nothing short of outstanding across the Bombers’ forward line and midfield. Jay Foon has been able to deliver the ball reliably from defence, when the opposition have managed to get it there, such is the dominance of the Bombers early season work.

This match will likely be dominated by North Launceston, as they look to build on an enviable start to season 2017.  Devonport know how to play at home and may surprise the Bombers with a fast start but it is unlikely they can sustain it up against the quality of one of the premiership favourites.  It will be a learning experience for the young coastal side, and one they will be all the better for, as they get senior experience into arguably the youngest squad in the competition.

Jay Blakcberry has been in fantastic form.

Sunday 30th April

Launceston vs Clarence (Windsor Park) 1:00pm

Last Time They Met: Clarence 24.10.154 def Launceston 11.9.75 (Round 18, 2016, at Blundstone Arena)

Launceston bounced back from a heavy defeat at the hands of North Launceston to win a high-scoring away encounter with Lauderdale, playing themselves into form in a physical final quarter.  Clarence have started the season in outstanding fashion, and continued their winning streak with a strong 65 point victory over Devonport last week.  This match should be closer than the last time they played each other, with both sides widely considered the third and fourth best teams in the TSL this season, respectively.

Launceston have started the season strongly, bar the big loss to Northern rivals North Launceston in Round 3.  While Sonny Whiting and Rulla Kelly-Mansell were overlooked for the initial state squad, they have been arguably the best forward combination in the competition, combining their differing skill sets to hit opposition teams hard on the scoreboard.  Hamish Leedham has been one of the form big men of the competition, and his battle with Sam Siggins will be one to watch, and no doubt physical. Jay Blackberry and Sam Lonergan have been strong through the midfield, while Brendan Taylor and Brodie Palfreyman were fantastic against Lauderdale.  Launceston has a number of Mariners defenders who are not available for selection, which could affect the backline’s ability to shut down the dangerous Clarence forward six, they will also miss suspended defender Jack Donellan.

Clarence boast a strong mix of youth and experience, and this has been displayed in each match played this season.  Young midfielder Tyson Hanslow was best afield last week, and three game defender James Holmes backed up his Round 3 performance with another strong match against Devonport.  Small forwards Ian Callinan and Trent Standen are in dangerous form, as is recruit Michael Fisher, who kicked a great running goal last week in one of the highlights of the round.  Goal kicking wingman Jake Cox has helped himself to bags of four and six goals so far this season, but suffered a niggle last week and may not be at 100%.  Big man Sam Siggins, Jason Bailey, and small forward Aiden Grace have been solid in every game so far, while Gabby Chambers has performed shut down roles well and is likely to get the job on one of Launceston’s key midfielders this week. Clarence have great top end talent and they have depth, depth that will be increased with the nearing returns of Jack Gleeson and Jordan Roberts.

If both sides play the brand of football they are capable of, this match could be the most watchable of the round.  Both are capable of kicking high scores, and possess elite skills and fast ball movement.  Hosting the match may give the Blues a slight edge, but whoever takes the four points will have to really earn it in what is likely to be a tough, physical encounter.

City Park Radio (103.7 FM) will be broadcasting the game from 1255 they can also be heard via their online stream at http://cityparkradio.com/online-stream/

WATCH THE LIVE STREAM OF THE MATCH OF THE ROUND!

 

Burnie vs Glenorchy (West Park) 2:30pm

Tyrone Morrison was fantastic last week.

Last Time They Met: Glenorchy 22.17.149 def Burnie 8.7.55 (Preliminary Final, 2016, at Blundstone Arena)

Burnie are coming off a disappointing away loss to Hobart City Demons, where they managed to hit the lead late in the match but ultimately went down in the dying moments.  Glenorchy took until half time to find their feet against the Tigers on Anzac Day, but hit their straps as soon as the ball was bounced in the third term and ran out convincing 70 point winners.  If Burnie were the third best team last year and still lost to Glenorchy in the preliminary final by nearly 100 points, it could be a tough day for the young Dockers, this week.

Burnie took a while to get going last week, which was understandable given the inexperience of their squad, with the four Mariners who dominated against Devonport in Round 3 unavailable.  Nick Walters was outstanding against Hobart City Demons, as he has been all season, and with brother Harry, has shown the ability to kick long goals from the midfield.  Big men Tyrone Morrison and Nick McKenna have been building on their form each week, and McKenna will be sorely missed after receiving a two week suspension for an errant elbow thrown against Hobart City Demons.  Rudy Barrett has found his feet, and was dangerous at both ends of the ground on the weekend, as was youngster Bailey Boag, who has slotted seamlessly into the Dockers’ lineup.  The Dockers are still without Blair Rubock, Tom Mundy, Ethan Jackson and Jamieson House due to Mariners duties.

Glenorchy have had almost every player stand out so far this season.  Ruckman Cameron Duffy has been consistently influential in making sure midfielders Mitch Rainbird, Brayden Webb and  Rhys Mott have had the best chance to clear the ball every game.  Rainbird stood out in an impressive performance against the Tigers, winning ten clearances and asserting himself at every contest.  James Webb and Anzac medallist Joel Millhouse were standouts on Tuesday, as were Matthew Joseph, who kicked three goals, and forward presence Mitch Hills, although his kicking was a worry.  Jaye Bowden put in another elite performance, booting five goals from a number of strong contested marks, while brother Tyler was unlucky not have kicked more than his two majors.

Glenorchy have shown that losing seven players from last season’s premiership side has done little to affect their resolve and output, and are likely to continue their winning ways against a youthful Burnie at West Park.  The Magpies like to win big, and if Burnie can restrict them to under 100 points it will have done well.  The key will be applying defensive pressure across four quarters and forcing the Magpies to take low percentage shots at goal at a ground exposed to the coastal wind. The wind always plays a big part at West Park and Burnie will need to take advantage of it when it is blowing their way if they are to go deep in this contest.

TSL TEAM OF THE WEEK – ROUND 4

 

Round 4 was a fantastic round of footy and it has resulted in much more even representation in the Team of the Week, as we saw a couple of really tight tussles, where both teams shone.

Clarence top representation with five in the side, while the all-conquering Glenorchy have four picked including Cameron Duffy and Jaye Bowden who make it three from three in this Team of the Week so far in 2017.

The Team by Team breakdown:

Clarence: 5

Glenorchy: 4

Launceston: 3

Lauderdale: 3

Burnie: 3

Hobart City Demons: 3

Devonport: 1

Tigers: 0

 

BACKS

James Holmes (Clarence)

Another top week for James Holmes. Webberley again singled out the youngster for his work in defence in just his third game. His competitiveness and appetite for the tough stuff was outstanding.

Jason Bailey (Clarence)

After a strong start to Mitch Thorp, Bailey played a proactive game and led Thorp to the ball to take a host of strong intercept grabs to ignite the Roos attacking run. A fantastic game.

Max Kleverkamp (Lauderdale)

Resolute in defence, particularly in the first half under the duress of repeated Launceston forward 50 entries. Kleverkamp teamed up well with his fellow defenders to provide plenty of drive out of the Bombers defence.

HALF BACKS

Brayden Webb (Glenorchy)

Webb found plenty of the ball through the middle and half back, was clean and hit targets by foot. Was extremely damaging and also hit the scoreboard with a major.

Kane Richter (Hobart City Demons)

Like a fine wine. Veteran Kane Richter was tremendous for the Demons in a their first win. Was the leader at the back, marshalling the backline and taking intercept marks. Late in the game he was thrown forward in a move that had a big say on the Demons winning the game. He gave them the link they needed and was a strong presence.

Rudy Barrett (Burnie)

In the third term when the Dockers got on top Barrett was finding the ball and having a major say. Took marks at both ends of the ground and provided real grunt for the Dockers.

 

CENTRES

Mitch Rainbird (Glenorchy)

Had the ball on a string and was the best man on the ground on Anzac Day. Found a heap of the pill and broke the game apart as the Magpies kicked away in the second half. Was dynamite in the middle with 10 clearances and was extremely explosive and damaging by foot.

Jayden Charlton (Hobart City Demons)

It was a contested game at Queenborough Oval and Jayden Charlton thrived in and under. Accumulated plenty of the footy, winning it well to prove a vital cog in a nail biting win.

Robbie McManus (Lauderdale)

McManus has been in a rich vein of form. Played off a wing and produced an outstanding game for the Bombers, one of the most dangerous Lauderdale players from the weekend with his capacity to hit the scoreboard and create chances for his teammates. You expected something to happen every time McManus touched the football.

 

HALF FORWARDS

Harry Walters (Burnie)

The Walters brothers were sensational for Burnie. Harry kicked the Dockers first goal with a fantastic running effort from just inside the arc. Was one of the players to step up in the third and get Burnie on top. It seemed for a while that it was Walters to Walters regularly as the purple reigned supreme. Harry didn’t waste the footy, applied good pressure and was extremely efficient from half forward and a wing.

Brayden Butler (Devonport)

An impressive game in a losing cause. Had over 30 touches and 10 marks and was the stand out Magpie, providing a tremendous link from midfield.

Brendan Taylor (Launceston)

Taylor played his best game of 2017 against the Bombers, kicking two goals and accumulating plenty of the ball around the ground. A performance like this is exactly what Sam Lonergan would want out of the dynamic Taylor while also being a performance that would have other sides on notice.

 

FORWARDS

Trent Standen (Clarence)

Standen was a lively forward target, kicking three goals in a big Roos win.  Finished off well and brought other members of the attacking pack into it with his field kicking.

Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy)

We are four rounds in and we are already running out of adjectives to describe Jaye Bowden. He is an out and out star. Was met with a strong and physical challenge by opponent Marcus Davies but rose through it to have a major say as the game went on. Kicked another five goals and terrorised yet another team on the way to a big Magpies win.

Brodie Palfreyman (Launceston)

Palfreyman provided plenty of run for the Blues in their crucial victory, and while his goals were influential in their victory, his ability to make contests and create opportunities for his fellow forwards was outstanding.

FOLLOWERS

Cameron Duffy (Glenorchy)

Gave the Magpies midfielders an armchair ride, with deft and direct tap work that saw Glenorchy smash the Tigers out of the middle. The Premiership ruckman is having quite the season with strong contribution across the ground and outstanding ruckwork.

Nick Walters (Burnie)

Walters has had a great start to the season and that only continued against Hobart City. He stood up and won the ball for the Dockers when the chips were down and got them back into the contest. His drive and long powerful leg saw the visitors fight into a lead. He kicked three goals and was prolific.

Tyson Hanslow (Clarence)

Hanslow was a constant danger at ground level as part of a strong Clarence unit.

 

INTERCHANGE

Will Campbell (Hobart City Demons)

After injuring himself in the warm up ‘Hot Soup’ Will Campbell went on to have perhaps a match winning influence on the game. He was severely hampered by injury but fought on valiantly to contribute. In fact, he did more than just contribute, he had bursts of influence where he was able to wrestle momentum the Dees way. He kicked a fantastic goal bursting away from the stoppage in the first but kicked a telling snap in the last that gave the Demons the winning lead. Found the footy and used it well when it looked like hope was lost.

Matt Ling (Clarence)

Contributed strongly to a Clarence victory through the middle, provided it well to the dangerous Roos forwards to kick a winning score.

Rulla Kelly-Mansell (Launceston)

There’s a feeling that Kelly-Mansell will generate excitement whenever he nears the ball, and his outing at Lauderdale on Saturday was no exception. With two stunning third quarter goals that put the Blues in a winning position, Kelly-Mansell continued his red hot 2017 form and further enhanced his reputation as one of the competition’s most exciting players.

Nat Franklin (Lauderdale)

one of the players that Lauderdale were most excited about in the preseason proved just why this was the case, particularly in the first half where he provided much needed run and grunt around the ground and in the contest. Coach Darren Winter conceded that Franklin faded a little after a dynamic first half, however, he was still one of the standout players on the ground and a player that looks to be on the verge of a huge season. His turns and movement in traffic was a real feature of a good individual game.

EMERGENCY

Banjo the Dog

Is seriously stiff to miss the 22. Banjo had the most eye catching performance of Round 4, streaking the Anzac Day game at KGV to half a set shot and amuse many at the venue. Security wasn’t required for this streaker, in fact a belly rub was enough to see him on his way. Banjo had a profound impact and has amused many.

 

Unlucky Omissions

As well as Banjo the Dog, a few other players were unlucky to miss selection on the team.

The Tigers had no players selected in the team but the most unlucky was Gardner, who played a good part in the team’s strong start. With some desperate defensive work.

Four pies made the team but many others can consider themselves unlucky. Millhouse played his role nicely and Zac Webster had patches where he had a big say on the game, with some electric foot use. The bear in the square Mitch Hills was a really good target for the Pies as well, although his kicking left a lot to be desired.

The Demons recorded a come from behind win over Burnie. Callum and Callan were good for them, with Kilpatrick showing plenty, moving well in possession and big Dell kicking a couple. Heath Thompson was also good in a entertaining battle with Tyrone Morrison, who was also at the top of his game.

Mitch Thorp returned for Devonport and booted three but was well held for large parts. Dylan Riley continues to find the footy and his co-captain Beau Sharman was fantastic and booted a nice long range running goal.

Dylan Fyfe was a ball magnet once again and Lauderdale skipper Bryce Walsh returned to form, while Sam Lonergan had his best game for the year and Sheppard had a good impact front of centre.

There were a lot of noteworthy performances this week which made it a tricky 22 to pick.

Match Review Panel Results – Round 4

Southern Cross Tasmanian State League & Mercury Cup

Round 4

Tasmanian State League

1. Christopher Nield (Tigers) reported for striking Brayden Webb (Glenorchy).

MRP assessed incident as: The contact between Nield and Webb does not warrant a report.

Sanction: Dismissed

2. Brayden Webb (Glenorchy) referred for attempting to strike Christopher Nield (Tigers).

MRP assessed incident as: The contact between Webb and Nield was deemed unnecessary in the circumstances. The conduct was seen as a low level offence of attempting to strike.

Sanction: Base sanction of ONE week reduced to low level reprimand

3. Matthew Joseph (Glenorchy) referred for rough conduct against Mitchell Carter (Tigers).

MRP assessed incident as: The contact between Joseph and Carter was incidental contact as part of the contest.

Sanction: Dismissed

4. Robbie McManus (Lauderdale) reported for misconduct against an umpire.

MRP assessed incident as: Abusive language, low level offence.

Sanction: Base sanction of ONE week reduced to low level reprimand

5. Keegan Wylie (Clarence) reported for striking Brodie Connelly (Devonport).

MRP assessed incident as: Contact between Wylie and Connelly was in the action of attempting to spoil.  The contact was high and a free kick was paid.  The action does not warrant a report.

Sanction: Dismissed

6. James Holmes (Clarence) referred for high contact against Dylan Riley (Devonport).

MRP assessed incident as: The contact between Holmes and Riley incidental contact as a part of the contest.

Sanction: Dismissed

7. Aiden Grace (Clarence) referred for high contact on Charlie Castles (Devonport).

MRP assessed incident as: The contact between Grace and Castles in the marking contest was high contact and a free kick was paid.  The conduct was deemed as incidental contact during a marking contest and did not warrant a sanction.

Sanction: Dismissed

8. Jason Bailey (Clarence) referred for rough conduct against Mitch Thorp (Devonport).

MRP assessed incident as: Contact from player Bailey to player Thorp’s thigh was deemed as incidental contact after the marking contest and did not warrant a sanction.

Sanction: Dismissed

9. Nick McKenna (Burnie) referred for rough conduct against Josh Williamson (Hobart City).

MRP assessed incident as: player McKenna made contact with a raised forearm to player Williamson’s head.  The panel assessed the incident as intentional, low impact, high contact.

Sanction: Base sanction THREE weeks reduced to TWO weeks with early guilty plea

 

Mercury Cup

10. Harrison Betts (Burnie) reported for striking Karlton Wadley (North Launceston).

MRP assessed incident as: intentional, medium impact, high contact.

Sanction: Base sanction THREE weeks reduced to TWO weeks with early guilty plea

11. Liam Rowbottom (Glenorchy) referred for striking Joshua Pride (Tigers)

To be heard by the independent tribunal on Wednesday 26th April

12. Clinton Brown (Lauderdale) referred for making high contact against Gareth Holt (Launceston)

MRP assessed incident as: Insufficient evidence.

Sanction: Dismissed

 

Demons pip Dockers in Queenborough nailbiter

Written by Richard Bannon

Despite another inaccurate performance in front of goal, the Hobart City Demons have kick-started their TSL campaign, with a nail biting nine-point win against the Burnie Dockers this afternoon.

In what was their first victory for the season, the Demons out-scrapped a physical Dockers outfit to come away 10.12-72 to 9.9-63 winners.

With top-flight footy returning to the traditional Queenborough Oval, the home venue of former State League club Sandy Bay, the Demons raced out of the blocks, registering 20 inside 50’s as they dominated general play throughout the first term. Despite their supremacy, Hobart City wasted a number of chances to put significant scoreboard pressure on the Dockers, with the Demons kicking a wayward 4.6-30 compared to the Dockers 1.1-7 by the first change. Hobart City’s Jack Guesdon was electric early, kicking the first two goals of the game, including a volley which would have made David Beckham smile.

Burnie wrestled back the momentum in the second quarter, but suffered from similar issues kicking for goal, as the Dockers piled on a wasteful 1.5 for the term, compared to the Demons two goals straight. Burnie’s fleet-footed brother duo of Nick and Harry Walters began to control the game, while the presence of man-mountain Nick McKenna around the ground swung the match the way of the Dockers. With Demons gun Will Campbell struggling with an ankle injury which he sustained throughout the warmup, Hobart City appeared to lack the drive forward which they possessed in the first stanza. This aside, the Demons still took a handy 24-point advantage into the long break, leading 6.6-42 to 2.6-18

Following the halftime break, it was up to one of the sides to really run with the match. Burnie did just this, as they kept the Demons goalless for the quarter, while they slammed on 4.1, Nick Walters was a key driver in the Docker dominance, kicking two for the term. In a stunning turnaround, Burnie trailed Hobart City by just two points at the three quarter time break, 6.9-45 to 6.7-43.

It was in the final term that someone had to stand up and take the game by the scruff of the neck. Enter Will Campbell. ‘Soup’ shook off the lingering ankle problem that was causing him grief throughout the first half, as he ran himself into the ground, getting to the feet of just about every contest, and applying constant pressure. With both sides finally hitting the scoreboard with conviction, Campbell was instrumental in his two-way running and his forward drive. To cap it off, the midfielder kicked a clutch goal late into the final term, a raking left foot snap which sent the healthy crowd at Queenborough into a frenzy. Soon after, young Demon Sam Caswell took a strong contested mark deep in his side’s attacking 50, and calmly slotted it to all but assure that Hobart City were going to claim their first points for 2017.

Hobart City assistant Richard Robinson lauded the character that the youthful Demons displayed when the going got tough.

“In the past, some of these guys could have just rolled over. But all 18 blokes on the field really stood up. It was tough footy today down here on a small ground, and our guys really stood up late. These types of wins are really character-building for the group.”

Burnie mentor Clint Proctor was left devastated following a tight loss, but also praised the spirit which his side showed.

“They never give up, which is evident. At quarter time, we were in a really difficult position. So to fight back from that, and then to come out in the third quarter was really pleasing. I’m just disappointed for them that they didn’t get the result.”

Next week the Dockers have the imperious Glenorchy and Hobart City face the winless Lauderdale, in a fascinating meeting.

Wrest Point TSL W delivers new top tier for Tassie female talent

AFL Tasmania and Wrest Point are delighted to launch the inaugural season of the Wrest Point Tasmanian State League Women’s (TSL W) competition.

The Wrest Point TSL W will kick off on April 29, 2017, with Tasmania’s top female footballers competing for five clubs across the state in an exciting 15 round season.

Women’s footy is a rising juggernaut and the establishment of the Wrest Point TSL W is a major step in its growth within Tasmania; giving ambitious female athletes a talent focused competition to play in.

“It is an exciting step to launch the Wrest Point TSL W, a competition that sits beside the Men’s as the premier competition for female footy in Tasmania,” TSL State Manager Carl Saunder said.

“It will see a rise in the professionalism and competition for local Women’s footy. It also provides a clear pathway for Tasmanian females who have been inspired to take up our great game.

“Tasmania has proven in the first year of AFL W that we produce some fantastic players but I believe the Wrest Point TSL W will only see more talented players develop and flourish to become stars,” Saunder added.

The five participating clubs are Launceston, Burnie Dockers, Clarence, Glenorchy and Tigers FC. Tasmanian star Emma Humphries recently played for Melbourne Demons in the hugely successful first installment of the AFL Women’s competition, she will now return to Tasmania to play for Burnie in the brand new Wrest Point TSL W competition.

“The Wrest Point TSL W is going to look a little different to previously, but in a good way,” Humphries said.

“Having a five team competition and also using the new 16 a side rule, is going to make games exciting, and also fast paced.

“It’s going to be an exciting season.”

AFL Tasmania CEO Rob Auld has made it clear AFL Tasmania is strong in its ambition to be involved in upcoming AFL W expansion. He believes the launch of the Wrest Point TSL W is important in establishing a base of talent to underpin any future team.

“This is a really big day for Tasmanian footy.

“Women’s footy is booming and this new competition will give girls of all ages in Tasmania, a strong competition to strive to compete in.

“I have no doubt the Wrest Point TSL W will become an important step on the way to many Tasmanians playing AFL W, in Tasmania.

“It is wonderful to have the support of a prestigious organisation and brand such as Wrest Point, I think it speaks volumes of the product and the trajectory of Women’s footy in our state.”

Wrest Point are the naming rights partner of the TSL W, showing outstanding support for Women’s football in Tasmania.

“Wrest Point is excited and proud to be the naming rights sponsor for the inaugural Tasmanian State League Women’s competition,” said Kath McCann, Sales & Marketing Manager at Wrest Point.

“But, the announcement of our naming rights sponsorship is not just about the excitement and passion we, at Wrest Point, have for the game.

“Ours is a long history of supporting football and now, with the terrific move to a national professional league for female players, we are thrilled to be showing our support for the next wave of AFL in the state. And in particular being here at the start of what I’m sure will be an exciting and rewarding journey.”

The competition is made up of five teams in 2017 but AFL Tasmania is open to expansion over the coming years.

First bounce of the new competition is on April 29 2017, with Burnie hosting Glenorchy and Launceston facing Clarence.

Roos bound home over Eastern Shore rivals

Written by Alex FitzGerald

Clarence have won their second game in a row after a strong second half saw them pull away from a competitive Lauderdale to run out 32 point winners at Blundstone Arena.

In sunny clear conditions that were perfect for football, only a goal separated the Tasmanian State League’s Eastern Shore sides at half time, before the Roos booted the first five goals of the final term to stamp out hopes of a Bombers comeback, defeating Lauderdale 19.7 (121) to 13.11 (89).

The first quarter lived up to the rivalry hype, with the physicality of both sides apparent as they battled to pull ahead.  It was the Bombers who started the strongest, and when Thor Boscott converted from a hanger in the goal square Lauderdale led by 13 points with Clarence struggling to adjust to the pace of the game.  They hit back with two goals from Jake Cox, before Alex Hevey’s torpedo set shot after the siren from beyond 60 metres sent the Bombers in ahead by 7 points; 4.4 (28) to 3.3 (21) at quarter time.

It was all Clarence early in the second term, with the Roos kicking four unanswered goals through Cox and Aiden Grace, before Ryan Wiggins steadied the ship for the Bombers with two majors of his own.  A quick running goal to Mitchell Anderton saw the Bombers head into the main break only one straight kick down, 7.6 (48) to 8.6 (54).

Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley lamented his side’s inconsistency in the first half, but was proud of how they worked on turning the game around.

“In the first quarter we were all hunting the ball and not covering (players) off the ball.  Once sorted, we were able to create pressure and turnovers.”

The fast-paced third quarter saw both sides take the game on and almost match each other goal for goal, with quick ball movement resulting in 10 majors being kicked during the quarter.  Clarence’s Ian Callinan slotted a great check side goal from the boundary to ignite the crowd, who roared even louder when Bomber Robbie McManus replied with an incredible soccer volley goal at the other end moments later.

Photos by Kristi

At the final break Clarence, who kicked six for the quarter, led Lauderdale 14.7 (91) to 11.8 (74).

The final term saw the Roos’ experienced players put the foot to the pedal, kicking the first five goals in a flurry that all but quashed any chances of a Lauderdale victory.  The Bombers managed to snag a couple of late goals under the shadows of the grandstand, but it was all too late as they went down 13.11 (89) to Clarence’s 19.7 (121).

The Clarence forward line were more potent all match.  Jake Cox was a target in the pocket all day for the victors, slotting six clever goals, and he was well supported by Aidan Grace and 150 gamer Trent Standen, who kicked three goals apiece.

Webberley was impressed with the efforts of his whole side against a fired up Bombers outfit, especially after Jackson O’Brien hobbled from the field with a quad injury midway through the first term.

“Lauderdale is a quality team, and they came out fighting.   We had a really even contribution from all 21 guys today.  Our middle-tier players are starting to go well; they have some games under their belts and we’re starting to see the fruits (of that experience).”

He was particularly happy with the efforts of second-gamer James Holmes, who took a number of crucial intercept marks in defence against much larger opponents, describing his game as sensational, and of Gabby Chambers, who blanketed Lauderdale captain Bryce Walsh for most of the match.  He also singled out the performance of former Bomber Sam Siggins, who was highly influential in the ruck.

“He has really matured as a player and is putting a consistent effort in.  The ruck suits him, he’s a great athlete and kicks the ball really well.  We’ll need him to be brilliant (all season) for us to make the finals and go deep, hopefully.”

Photos by Kristi

Lauderdale coach Darren Winter was left rueing lapses in concentration and skill in the second half by his charges after they matched the Roos early.

“We played some good football in stages throughout the game, but we weren’t able to sustain it.  They scored a lot of easy goals over the back, which was a bit disappointing.  There was a lot of pressure in the game, and they capitalised through turnovers.”

Winter was optimistic when looking ahead to next week, and believes his side can improve.

“We have a lot of new guys and young players in our group.  We’ll get stronger as the season goes on, and our goal is to sustain the pressure and skill level (across) whole games.”

The Bombers were well served by young midfielders Dylan Fyfe and Nat Franklin, who had 38 and 39 disposals respectively, and by returning player Ryan Wiggins, who kicked three goals from full forward after moving home from Victoria earlier in the week.

Robbie McManus fought hard all day, laying some big tackles and kicking two goals, while Alex Hevey also provided some highlights.

Clarence will head to the north of the state next week full of confidence in taking on a winless Devonport, while Lauderdale will be looking for their maiden win in a tough home game against Launceston, a team looking to rebound after a tough round three defeat.

CLARENCE v. LAUDERDALE
Round 3 – 15/04/2017

Clarence                                3.3,  8.6,  14.7,  19.7  (121)

Lauderdale                              4.4,  7.6,  11.8,  13.11  (89)

GOALS, Clarence :
J. Cox 6, A. Grace 3, T. Standen 3, I. Callinan 2, J. Harper 2, M. Blackburn 2,
M. Ling 1

Lauderdale :
R. Wiggins 3, T. Boscott 2, R. McManus 2, R. Hill 2, M. Anderton 1, D. Fyfe 1,
E. Whish-Wilson 1, A. Hevey 1

BEST, Clarence :
J. Cox, G. Chambers, J. Holmes, J. Bailey, S. Siggins, T. Standen

Lauderdale :
N. Franklin, D. Fyfe, P. Bellchambers, R. McManus, A. Hevey, H. Smith

Burnie break through to down Devonport

Burnie Dockers secured their first win for 2017, overcoming Devonport by 31 points to claim bragging rights in the coastal derby at West Park.

It was a battle between two young sides from the coast and it was Burnie who emerged with four points from a see-sawing contest. As is often the case, the wind played a big part at West Park with it influencing scoring with big runs of goals towards one end.

The Dockers shot out of the blocks making the most of a stiff breeze, kicking the last five goals of the opening quarter to open up a 27-point lead at the first change. Leaders Nick McKenna, Harry and Nick Walters and coach Clint Proctor were superb early, while Matt Elliott, the Baldock medalist in the NWFL, looked comfortable at the level as the hosts kicked away to a commanding lead.

Devonport hit back in the second, taking advantage of the breeze at the back in the second term to pile on 6.1 to 0.6 to take a narrow four point lead into the long break. Brayden Butler kicked two for the term, with Brad Chard and co-captain Dylan Riley also putting in strong showings in the second stanza.

In a heavily wind affected contest the pendulum swung back in Burnie’s favour in the premiership quarter. With the breeze at their back the Dockers used it well to open up a 23-point lead at the final change. Blair Rubock kicked three of Burnie’s six goals for the quarter, but not to be outmatched, Devonport co-captain Dylan Riley added two of his own from midfield to give his side a fighting chance approaching the final quarter.

Despite the wind not blowing in their direction Burnie held on to notch their first win of the year outscoring the Magpies four goals to two in the last. Devonport were let down all day by some sloppy ball use but particularly late with Burnie’s pressure often resulting in Devonport turnovers. They were also wasteful in front of goal, kicking 2.5, failing to make the most of their forward entries. Blair Rubock was outstanding with four second half goals to withstand several Devonport challenges, while leaders such as Nick Walters stood up when it was counted in the 17.17 (119) to 13.10 (88) win. James Dowling was also fantastic for Burnie collecting 25 touches and snaring three goals to play a strong hand in the victory.

Dylan Riley and Brayden Scott were among the Magpies who never stopped trying over four quarters in a losing effort.

Despite going down to their rivals, Devonport Coach Mitch Thorp was proud of his young side’s efforts but acknowledged they needed to clean up their disposal if they are to get on the winners list in future weeks.

“I thought the effort was actually quite good. We kicked the ball out on the full 15 times today so when you kick the ball that poorly it makes it hard to win games,” he said.

“Full credit to Burnie they put us under pressure and we turned the ball over by foot far too often to win any game of TSL footy.

“We got back in the game, all square at half time and we thought we were in closing distance at three quarter time but our inability to kick the footy really hurt us,” Thorp explained.

Devonport have seen a list overhaul approaching the 2017 season and Thorp says losses will not sway them from their path.

“Its clearly a learning process for us at the moment. We are a fair way off winning a premiership we are just getting games into the young guys that are going to be a part of that side down the track but we’ve got to kick the ball better under pressure.

“15 players have played less than 15 games. No matter who you are playing or what anyone says they are the facts for our group at the moment but we’ll hang in there and we’ll stick fat to the cause.”

An emotional Clint Proctor was ecstatic with the result, particularly the last quarter resistance to hold on against the wind.

“Terrific for football and a great one for our supporters and the community. I’m obviously really proud of our young boys and our statesman for standing up. It was terrific.

“It was an exciting game actually, we played some good football and we scored heavily which is great. Going forward scoreboard pressure is massive for us and if we had of converted a bit better early we could have had more of a lead at half time but it was a great fight back.

“At three quarter time Devonport was in the box seat with the conditions of the ground and the weather so to face that adversity and push through and have belief in our system and themselves was outstanding,” Proctor said.

Proctor was particularly excited by the efforts of Rubock, who showed his wares as a forward of great promise.

“He is a nice link for us, he is a great finisher and reads the game very well and he is a vital cog to the way we score.”

Next week the Dockers will look to make it two on the trot with a road trip to face the Demons and the Magpies host Clarence in another tough encounter for the coastal youngsters.

BURNIE DOCKERS v. DEVONPORT
Round 3 – 14/04/2017

Burnie Dockers                          7.3,  7.9,  13.16,  17.17  (119)

Devonport                               3.0,  8.3,  11.5,  13.10  (88)

GOALS, Burnie Dockers :
B. Rubock 4, H. Walters 3, J. Dowling 3, K. Bracken 2, M. Elliott 1, D. Crane 1, N. McKenna 1, C. Proctor 1, F. Poke 1

Devonport :
D. Riley 2, B. Scott 2, B. Symmons 2, B. Connelly 1, D. Schnoor 1, B. Hawkes 1, G. Millucci 1, L. Williams 1, B. Butler 1, L. Bissett 1

BEST, Burnie Dockers :
J. Dowling, B. Boag, N. Walters, B. Rubock, S. Kalbfell, H. Walters

Devonport :
D. Riley, B. Scott, L. Williams, B. Symmons, B. Butler, D. Schnoor

North Launceston crush cross town rivals

Written by Matt Hill

In a game that failed to live up to the hype of a fierce cross-town rivalry North Launceston blitzed their neighbours Launceston, leading from start to finish to run out convincing 85 point victors.

In a win that rings the warning bells out to the competition, North Launceston completely dominated their fierce rivals to continue an impressive unbeaten start.

North Launceston controlled the early stages of the first quarter with their dominant midfield group of 100th gamer Taylor Whitford, Bradley Cox-Goodyear and Jay Lockhart setting up the two stars up forward for the day in playing coach Tom Couch and Zac Burt, who kicked 11 goals between them for the day.

North pressed the Launceston defence up and then used their run and carry from the back half and midfield to run it forward and kick some easy goals. Launceston fought back in the later stages of the first term and Sonny Whiting was able to score the Blues only major ofthe quarter, North led by 23 points at the break.

Courtesy of Andrew Woodgate

In the second stanza it was much of the same as North continued to dictate the play and put immense pressure on the struggling Blues. Zac Burt was outstanding in the air and was near unstoppable, whilst partner in crime Tom Couch was at his dangerous best and for his efforts he snapped an miraculous banana set shot, earning him his second major for the game.

Jay Lockhart and Brad Cox-Goodyear dominated the midfield and set up much of North Launceston’s play and were too much for the Blues to handle. The Bomber dominance appeared to get to the Blues mentally with tensions flaring with some big hits which could see a couple of Blues players face the tribunal during the week. If not for someinaccurate kicking, the Bombers lead could have been greater than 46 points.

Going into the premiership quarter the Blues needed to find another gear but unfortunately the Bombers continued to surge forward with efficient and slick handball link ups a feature of a North day out. Cox-Goodyear provided a major highlight for the quarter with a long bomb that resulted in a monster 55 metre goal. In the later stages of the term, Launceston sparked into action with three goals in a minute, with Jay Blackberry in his 150th game slotting a goal, Sonny Whiting selling some candy around two North players and slotting a goal and then young gun Jake Hinds kicking a set shot which was the best passage of play for the Blues for the day.

Courtesy of Andrew Woodgate

A 58 point lead at three quarter time quickly blew out, as a relentless North put the foot to the floor. North booted seven goals straight in the last thanks to captain Whitford, who went forward and kicked two majors as well as goals from Cox-Goodyear, Couch, Burt and Hollmer to finish 85 point winners.

Brad Cox-Goodyear played a leading hand in midfield and was awarded the Adam Sanders medal as best on field. The big win makes it a perfect run into the bye for North, who sit at 3 and 0 with a strong percentage. For Launceston, they’ll look to bounce back when they hit the road to take on Lauderdale.

LAUNCESTON v. NORTH LAUNCESTON
Round 3 – 14/04/2017

North Launceston                        4.5,  9.9,  12.17,  19.17  (131)

Launceston                              1.0,  2.0,  5.1,  7.4  (46)

GOALS, North Launceston :
Z. Burt 6, T. Couch 5, B. Cox-Goodyer 3, T. Whitford 2, L. Hollmer 1, C. Pearton 1,
T. Bennett 1

Launceston :
S. Whiting 4, J. Harris 1, J. Blackberry 1, J. Hinds 1

BEST, North Launceston :
B. Cox-Goodyer, J. Lockhart, Z. Burt, M. Walsh, C. Young, A. Lee

Launceston :
J. Blackberry, J. Hinds, J. Harris, J. Smith, C. Sheppard, B. Taylor

 

“Ugly” Tigers roar in Good Friday thriller

Written by Anthony Osborn

Tigers have put their names back on the Southern Cross Tasmanian State League’s winners list, running out four point victors over the Hobart City Demons in a nail-biting Good Friday clash at the Twin Ovals.

In front of a packed crowd, the Tigers were the more efficient team on the day, making the most of fewer inside 50’s and goal scoring opportunities to run out 10.7 (67) to 8.15 (63) winners in a tough, bruising contest.

The windy conditions of the Twin Ovals ensured that this was a tight, contested match, with both sides finding it difficult to dispose of the ball effectively forward of centre.

The Demons, with the wind in the first term, failed to capitalise on the scoreboard, as they went into the first break trailing 1.5 (11) to the Tigers’ 3.0 (18).

This early inefficiency proved costly for the visitors and left Hobart City assistant coach Richard Robinson rueing missed opportunities.

“(Tigers) scored three goals in the first quarter against the wind, and at the end of the day that was probably why they had enough on the board to win. We just didn’t make enough of it in the first quarter.”

Tigers coach Aaron Vince was pleased with how his side were able to make the most of their early opportunities.

“Hobart City definitely controlled the early part of the game. We had some good passages that allowed us to score some goals. Our forward line was open and our backline was solid enough to move the ball back through.”

The second term was a frustrating affair for both sides as they struggled to create genuine chances inside the forward 50, with only two goals being scored.

The contest opened up in the third term, however, with the lead changing and goals to both sides making for a highly entertaining contest.

Hobart City jumped out of the blocks to jumpstart the second half, kicking two goals in the space of two minutes before Brendon Batchelor was able to steady the ship for the Tigers, kicking two crucial goals in the premiership quarter.

This more free-flowing nature was also translated into the final term, with both sides scoring three goals apiece to leave the entire crowd on the edge of their seats, and more than likely without any fingernails when the final siren went. The Demons fired early in the last and shot out to what looked likely to be a match-winning lead with Jesse Maple finishing off but the hosts responded with two goals in quick succession including a tremendous finish from the pocket from Chris Nield, who booted two for the game. The Tigers then held on despite Hobart City coming home with a wet sail in the dying embers of the match, with the Demons on the edge of the 50 when the siren sounded.

The defensive work of Mitch Carter and co. inside Tigers’ defensive 50 was an instrumental part of the victory, with the Demons side dominating inside 50’s and much of the general play.

Carter further solidified his reputation as a gun of the competition, marshalling the Tigers backline that was constantly being tested by the Demons.

“I have been really impressed by our back six. Carter showed his class and ability to read the ball and his use of the footy is really impressive,” Vince said.

After a bruising encounter in the mud against Clarence last Sunday, Vince was impressed by how his side were able to handle the five-day turnaround and bounce back from a disappointing loss to the ‘Roos, believing that this performance was indicative of just how much his young side has matured.

“It was probably an ugly way to win, but they’re the kinds of games we would lose in previous years. The boys were headed, but showed resilience. We asked a lot of some of the guys today and they were able to get on top.”

Lachie Watt was impressive in his performance on the in-form Will Campbell, and Brendon Batchelor’s two goals in the third term kept the Tigers in the match.

After successive matches against last year’s grand finalists, to open their 2017 campaign, the Demons now find themselves with a 0-3 win-loss record and will rue missing out on a victory today, particularly after having twelve more inside 50’s than the Tigers.

Despite being winless to start the year, the Demons have showed plenty of promise, with Robinson emphasising that the team is on the right track.

“We have a really young group and need to stick together and work hard at training. Hopefully next week we can get the results on the scoreboard.”

Young Nicholas Baker was impressive for the Demons, with Robinson believing he further proved why he should be in the mix for a Mariners call-up in the coming weeks.

“It’s evident he is a young guy with a heap of talent. I hope he gets picked for the Mariners next week.”

Ryan Mathews also impressed in the Demons’ loss, while Josh Williamson and Sean Willis kicked two goals apiece in promising displays.

The Tigers will have a difficult task next week, facing the reigning premiers Glenorchy for a blockbuster ANZAC Day match at KGV, while the Demons will look to get their season up and running as they play host to the Burnie Dockers at Queensborough.

TIGERS v. HOBART CITY DEMONS
Round 3 – 14/04/2017

Tigers                                  3.0,  4.5,  7.7,  10.7  (67)

Hobart City Demons                      1.5,  2.9,  5.13,  8.15  (63)

GOALS, Tigers :
C. Nield 2, B. Batchelor 2, B. Livingston 1, B. Rees 1, J. Pearce 1, T. Hughes 1,
M. Walker 1, J. Lister 1

Hobart City Demons :
J. Williamson 2, S. Willis 2, J. Maple 1, R. Cowie 1, C. Dell 1, C. Kilpatrick 1

BEST, Tigers :
M. Carter, L. Watt, J. Bilson, J. Lister, T. Carter, M. Davies

Hobart City Demons :
R. Matthews, N. Baker, K. Richter, R. Cowie, H. Thompson, C. White

Southern Cross TSL Preview with Alex FitzGerald – Round 3

Written by Alex FitzGerald

 

Friday 14th April – Good Friday

Burnie vs Devonport  (West Park) 1:00pm

Last Time They Met: Burnie 12.11.83 def Devonport 10.14.74 (Round 19, 2016, at West Park)

Burnie are coming off a 62 point Round 2 away loss to Launceston, and will be looking forward to their first home game at West Park.  Devonport are heading into the match following a demoralising 154 point defeat at the hands of last year’s Premiers Glenorchy, with the young side unable to score their second goal until the final quarter against the southern powerhouse.

Recent history has shown that ladder positions mean little when the two sides from the coast meet, with all three encounters last season decided by under four goals.  Last time they met, retiring Docker great Kade Munday was best afield in a close win for Burnie, with young Tom Mundy playing well also.  Devonport was well served by Beau Sharman and Dylan Riley, who are now the Magpies’ co-captains.  Given that both sides are yet to open their account in 2017 and that the Dockers are fielding a significantly younger side than last season, this game could shape up to be the contest of the round.

With coastal pride on the line, expect players from both sides to step up and play to their potential this week.  Mundy and Blair Rubock are the young Dockers in the middle leading the way so far in 2017, and veteran Clint Proctor has been more than able support across half back.  While yet to fire this season, the Burnie forward line has the ability to be potent, with Jamieson House kicking 4 goals last week, Nick McKenna booting 3 in the opening match, and both the Walters brothers, Nick and Harry, capable of long range goals from half forward.

For Devonport, the younger players who have turned heads early have been Mitchell Perry and Dylan Schnoor, with Ben Hawkes also impressing last week in the heavy defeat.  Co-captains Sharman and Riley have led by example, and must lift another level again at West Park on Saturday.  The Magpies have plenty of potential in their forward line, and will be hoping targets Brodie Connelly and Giacomo Milluci can kick a number of goals between them with Mitch Thorp expected to miss up to a month of football. Although in a curve ball the playing-coach has been named as an emergency but logic would say that is merely a mind game from Thorp.

Another close coastal derby seems likely, with Burnie slightly favoured due to the loss of Thorp and the home ground advantage, having only lost two matches at West Park last season.  The outcome may rely on which forward line delivers on their obvious talent, and which young side is prepared to contest the hardest in the latter stages of the game.

 

Tigers vs Hobart City Demons (Twin Ovals) 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Hobart City Demons 15.15.105 def Tigers 9.8.62 (Round 20, 2016, at Twin Ovals)

Tigers FC have started the season with a win over Burnie in windy conditions, and a close loss to an impressive Clarence in the mud.  While last week’s match wasn’t ideal for the fast-paced style the Tigers play, they were able to break free in patches, and will look to run Hobart City Demons off their feet this week.

The roster hasn’t done the Hobart City Demons any favours, meeting 2016 Grand Finalists Glenorchy and North Launceston in the first fortnight of the season, resulting in consecutive heavy defeats.  They can take solace in the fact that they led the Magpies at quarter time, and matched the Bombers until the final quarter last week, and will be looking to put four consistent quarters together as they hunt their first victory of 2017 this weekend.

Despite the tough loss last weekend and the five day turnaround, the Tigers have plenty of positives to take into this match.  Their strength in moving the ball quickly from one end of the ground to the other has stood out, and they’ll be relying on Mitchell Carter to continue his impressive rebounding from half back, and Ash Humprey to negate any forward targets.  The Tigers’ forward line is full of talent, with the strong-marking Brandon Batchelor and Mitch Walker with five goals apiece so far, and young Hugh Dixon coming off an eye-catching two goals display for the Tassie Mariners.  Lachie Clifford was also best afield for the Mariners with a crucial three goal high possession game from the midfield.

Hobart City Demons have had some impressive young players step up against tough opponents, with Will Campbell standing out, supported by Eddie Cole and Bailey Walker.  While a few injuries haven’t helped their start to the season, the Hobart City Demons will need key playmakers such as Ryan Matthews, Kane Richter, and Brodie Schade to stand up and lead from the front this week if they are to topple the rejuvenated Tigers.

The Tigers play to the conditions well at Twin Ovals, and will look to run and carry all afternoon to provide quick delivery to their tall forwards but the Demons are also exponents of quick ball movement when they are on song.  Negating the influence of Carter, as well as the Tiger forwards, will be the key to victory for the Hobart City Demons. They also need Josh Williamson to have an impact in the forward 50. The battle between the younger players will also decide who comes out on top, expect Tigers FC to just come out on top in the closest match of the season so far.

 

Launceston vs North Launceston (Windsor Park) 1:00pm

Last Time They Met: North Launceston 18.12.118 def Launceston 4.7.31 (Round 19, 2016, at Windsor Park)

North Launceston have been pushed in both of their matches in the first half so far, before putting on the jets in the third quarter and running away comfortable winners against Lauderdale and Hobart City Demons respectively.  Widely regarded as Premiership favourites, North Launceston have not got ahead of themselves, and would be happy going about their business while the hype builds around Glenorchy’s two sizeable victories.

Launceston have perhaps been the most impressive side of 2017 so far, outmuscling coastal sides Devonport and Burnie over the past fortnight.  Both matches featured strong performances by almost every Blues player, with a rebounding backline, deep midfield group and a forward line full of agile goal kickers.  To push the Bombers in this Northern derby would give Launceston great confidence heading into the rest of the season.

North Launceston have started relatively slowly in both of their matches so far, and will look to put goals on the board early this week.  The Bombers welcome back Tom Couch from an ankle injury he sustained during an impressive debut for the Bombers in Round 1, and will also be bolstered by the return of captain Taylor Whitford, who will play his 100th match for the club.  Tarryn Thomas also returns from AFL Academy representative duties, and will slot into a young forward line consisting of dangerous targets Mark Walsh and Thomas Bennett.

Launceston have the midfield to match the Bombers’, with Sam Lonergan likely to match up on Couch, and Jay Blackberry, playing his 150th match, in strong form.  The Blues’ backline has been superb, with Jack Donnellan, Jordan Harris and Corey Shepherd running the ball out of danger zones confidently over the past fortnight.  They will be joined by half back Jake Hinds, who racked up possessions for the Tassie Mariners last weekend, and impressive young ruckman Tim Auckland.  The forward line at Windsor Park is the most intimidating in the TSL, with Sonny Whiting coming off a 7 goal haul in Round 2 and Rulla Kelly-Mansell often ruling the aerial contests and dishing off some great goal assists.

This clash should be the most exciting northern derby in years, with both teams coming in with 2 wins apiece and in a rich vein of form.  Launceston most definitely have a sniff at victory here, especially if their forward line gets going.  The return of Couch and Whitford will help the smaller Bombers in their physical battle with the Blues, and fittingly it may be the key ins that help get North Launceston over the line at the final siren. With no other footy on in the north, one would expect a massive crowd at Windsor Park.

 

Saturday 15th April

Clarence vs Lauderdale (Blundstone Arena) 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Lauderdale 16.16.112 def Clarence 10.9.69 (Round 16, 2016, at Lauderdale Oval)

Clarence head into their second match of season having defeated the Tigers in a high scoring match in the mud last week.  An all-round team effort saw the Roos lead at every change, and with a 10 goal second half against an improved Tigers side, they looked far from the team that missed finals in 2016.

Lauderdale are coming off the bye, and were defeated in a physical clash by North Launceston at home in Round 1, which saw three players reported and defender Toutai Havea suspended for one match.  The Bombers kicked away to a shock lead early in that game, but were overrun by a fitter North Launceston side, and will be determined to redeem themselves this week after a long break.

Clarence recruited heavily going in this season, and it was no shock to fans when Jackson O’Brien, Sam Siggins and Michael Fisher turned it on against the Tigers.  Siggins was a man-mountain in the ruck last week, and twice threw his opponent off the ball to twice kick crucial goals.  Midfielders Jake Cox and Brady Jones picked up in Round 2 where they left off last season, and will look to give the forwards fast delivery from the stoppages.  Young Roos Zach Buechner and James Brenner were among the Mariners’ best against the GWS Academy side last week, and could have an influence if called upon, alongside youngster Tyson Hanslow. It will also be a significant game for Trent Standen, who will lineup for game 150 in the red and white.

Lauderdale have a strong young group with the potential to serve it up to Clarence, and will welcome former Brisbane-listed player Ben McGuinness in for his first game of the season.  Thor Boscott had a great start to his 100th game in Round 1, and will need to pair up well with captain Bryce Walsh to win the ball out of the middle against an experienced Clarence group.  Dylan Fyfe is in strong form, as is Nat Franklin, who had his 2016 season ruined by injury, and they both have the potential to break the game open if left unattended. Lauderdale have two massive ins with Josh McGuinness playing his first match for Lauderdale since leaving the Brisbane Lions and Ryan Wiggins returning from a brief stint in Victoria. These inclusions are massive for Lauderdale’s spine, McGuinness adds a significant presence to the Bombers backs, he reads it well and is a leader. Wiggins provides a vital forward target to kick to and he has game breaking ability.

Sam Siggins made headlines last year when he crossed over from Lauderdale to Clarence and one would expect some extra attention for Siggins, when the two fierce rivals go toe to toe on Saturday. His involvement adds an extra layer to an already juicy matchup between two teams that simply do not like each other.

The Bombers love to play a physical brand of football, but they’ll meet their match in Clarence, who manhandled the Tigers at times last week.  Lauderdale have speed on their side, and when they get going they have the ability to kick goals in quick succession.  The Roos tend to play the long game, and pace themselves across a whole match, and if both of these tendencies play out, the final quarter could be telling in what is sure to be a fiery clash at Blundstone Arena. Its a must watch match and you can watch it live wherever you are with our live stream!