North the best team in town

Written by Matt Hill

North Launceston flexed their muscle to trump arch rivals Launceston, claiming a 21 point win at UTAS Stadium.

With the win North Launceston has consolidated top spot, leaving Launceston to lick their wounds in third.

For what was a built up as a blockbuster match with first taking on third, this derby did not disappoint. It was a highly contested game of footy on Friday night with a healthy crowd in to watch the opening match of Stay ChatTY Round.

Early on North seemed to have the edge through good ball usage moving forward. Goals to a strong leading Zach Burt and the creative Jack Avent for North saw them escape to a double digit lead before Launceston got on top in the second half of the first quarter and used their disposals more efficiently. With young superstar Brodie Palfreyman once again playing a starring role for the Blues, using his acceleration and speed to bust open packs and win many clearances. Launceston climbed on top through dominance in the clearances, winning them eleven to six in the first and the Blues found Rulla Kelly-Mansell and Sam Rundle up front who got the Blues back into the contest at half time.

In the second stanza the game became on Launceston’s terms but wasteful usage moving forward saw North’s rebounding game accelerate to kick some much needed goals, just when the Blues were starting to potentially break the game wide open. Big man Bart McCulloch was a man on a mission up forward for North with the man mountain kicking two goals whilst also setting up coach Tom Couch for another major to cause all sorts of problems for the Blues defence.

At the other end however the Blues had their own answer to McCulloch with the exciting Sonny Whiting. Whiting booted two for the quarter and was becoming Launceston’s way back into the game. Whiting’s second goal was an incredible snap from the boundary which saw the Blues faithful get excited about their team’s chances. Along with that came late goals to Taylor and a lovely piece of work from Jack Donnellan, which saw him break Jay Foon’s tackle before running to fourty metres out and slotting another for the Blues. At the main break North only held a one point lead and the game was certainly up for the taking.

Coming out from the break North Launceston were highly determined and broke the game open through pilling on fourteen inside fifties compared to Launceston’s three of which saw the Bombers get out to a twenty two point lead at the last change. Two long bomb goals from powerhouse midfielder Brad Cox-Goodyear, along with goals to Couch and Burt made the task for the Blues an uphill battle.

The last term was fairly evenly balanced with both sides trading goals. McCulloch kicked his third and when Holmer ran into an open goal the game became out of reach for the Blues and North lead by close to six goals. However, two goals to Launceston coach Sam Lonergan saw the margin reduced but it was all too little too late for the Blues.

North coach Tom Couch was really happy with the second half performance. Couch praised the efforts of Brad Cox-Goodyear, Bart McCulloch and Alex Lee in getting his side over the line. Couch rating Lee as the best ruckman in the league with a best on ground performance.

“I thought Brad was outstanding and Bart playing off one leg just had to be a target up forward and he provided that, and Alex played one of his best games for the club and was important in setting up the win.

“Looking forward to getting some players back and really settling the side down.

“I’m very excited for the second half of the season and you know we sit at nine wins and two losses but still know we can play better which is out challenge moving forward.”

North have the bye next week before taking on Devonport at UTAS Stadium on Sunday the ninth of July.

For the Blues it was a major improvement on their Good Friday match against North which saw them hammered by eighty-five points.

Coach Sam Lonergan was really happy with the improved result for his side and thought they battled hard all game.

“It was a fantastic effort from the boys and was a great battle between the two northern sides and for the result to be within twenty-one points is really good for footy in the north.

“We are obviously disappointed with the result but are happy with the improvement and where we are heading moving forward.”

Next up the Blues take on Lauderdale at home in an important game for both sides. They last met in round four where the Blues took the four points with a narrow eleven point win.

“We think Lauderdale are a really good side and they haven’t lost since we last played them so we will have to be at our best next weekend,” Lonergan said.


North Launceston                        2.3,  6.6,  10.10,  12.13  (85)

Launceston                              2.1,  6.5,  7.5,  9.10  (64)

GOALS, North Launceston :
B. McCulloch 3, T. Couch 2, Z. Burt 2, B. Cox-Goodyer 2, L. Hollmer 1, J. Avent 1,
M. Walsh 1

Launceston :
S. Whiting 2, S. Rundle 2, S. Lonergan 2, R. Kelly-Mansell 1, B. Taylor 1, J. Donnellan 1

BEST, North Launceston :
B. Cox-Goodyer, A. Richter-Salter, T. Mansell, J. Ponting, J. Foon, J. White

Launceston :
J. Donnellan, J. Aganas, R. Tyrrell, B. Palfreyman, T. Sheppard, B. Taylor

SPEAK UP Stay ChatTY Round TSL Previews with Alex FitzGerald


Friday 23rd June

North Launceston vs Launceston (UTAS Stadium) 7:00pm


Last Time They Met: North Launceston 19.17.131 def Launceston 7.7.46 (Round 3, 2017, at Windsor Park)

After a couple of close losses in a row, North Launceston bounced back in convincing fashion with a strong win over Hobart City Demons last week.  Launceston put the young Burnie Dockers to the sword at West Park on Saturday, running out 119 point winners.  Last time the two Northern sides faced off, North Launceston handed the Blues a hiding, with Zac Burt and Tom Couch combining for 11 goalsbut it was Brad Cox Goodyer who was most dominant, collecting the Adam Sanders medal for best on ground.

North Launceston remain on top of the ladder and very much premiership favourites, albeit having played one more game than the second-placed Clarence.  Playing their favoured brand of high-scoring and free-flowing football last week pleased coach Tom Couch, who celebrated his birthday with a seven goal haul despite playing predominantly through the midfield.  Taylor Whitford and usual defender Jay Lockhart both had plenty of the ball in the middle, dominating against the Demons onballers.  Whiford booted three, as did dominant forwards Brad Cox-Goodyer and Bart McCulloch.  Ruckman Alex Lee was solid all day, as were Tyran Mansell and Zac Burt playing behind the ball.

Launceston enhanced their reputation as dark horses with a dominant win over Burnie, and now sit a game clear in third place.  Rulla Kelly-Mansell was a handful up forward all day for the hapless Docker defenders, booting seven goals from over a dozen shots on goal, as well as taking a mark of the year contender in the goalsquare.  Sam Lonergan and Jake Smith chimed in with three majors each, with Lonergan seemingly fully recovered from a calf complaint as he racked up the disposals through the midfield.  Jay Blackberry bounced back from a quiet state game to hurt Burnie with his damaging ball use, and Brodie Palfreyman was strong all day through the middle.  Hamish Leedham continued to impress in the ruck, and his contest against the improving Alex Lee on Friday night will be one to watch.

North Launceston will enter the clash under lights as favourites, but Launceston will be full of confidence following a strong run of form.  Both the Bombers and the Blues boast a scarily good midfield and forward line, with hard running defenders also a staple in both sides.  This game will be decided by a much lesser margin than when they met in Round 3, and don’t be surprised if a shootout takes place.  This game is not to be missed for any footy fan anywhere near Launceston on Friday night.

Saturday 24th June

Devonport vs Burnie (Devonport Oval) 1:00pm

Last Time They Met: Burnie 17.17.119 def Devonport 13.10.88 (Round 3, 2017, at West Park)

Devonport held Glenorchy to just 10 goals last week, going down by 37 points in an admirable performance.  Burnie, on the other hand, were severely outclassed by a relentless Launceston to the tune of 119 points at home.  Last time these two coastal sides met, the Dockers prevailed in windy conditions, with youngster Blair Rubock snaring four goals.

Devonport have been improving every week, and would fancy themselves heading into the clash at Devonport Oval.  Co-captain Beau Sharman has been in great form over the past month, finding the ball both inside and running hard to provide an option in space.  He’s been well supported by Dylan Riley and Brad Symmons, who have ensured that the Magpies won’t be easily pushed aside in the midfield.  Symmons will miss this week after a high bump saw him suspended this week, which will give another young player the chance to step up.  Mitch Thorp was a focal point up forward, kicking two goals, while Brayden Butler looks increasingly at home at senior level, with the 50-gamer now firmly entrenched in the Magpies’ on-field leaders.

In a disappointing day for Burnie last Saturday, there were a number of upsides.  Playing coach Clint Proctor played his best match of the season, with leadership group players Rudi Barrett, Tyrone Morrison and Harry Walters all solid contributors.  Walters kicked two goals, while James Dowling managed one major as the teenager led from the front in the midfield.  Samuel Kalbfell continues to improve, as does Bailey Boag, with a host of other first and second year players also showing glimpses of impressive play.

It has been a long first half of the season for both coastal sides as they continue to blood youth as they look towards the future.  Burnie took the chocolates in Round 3, but hosting the rematch provides Devonport with the perfect chance to claim their maiden victory of season 2017.  The Magpies are in better form, having displayed their ability to stay with sides across the majority of matches in recent weeks.  Expect a close and physical game, as bragging rights as well as the chance to avoid the wooden spoon are up for grabs at Devonport Oval.


Lauderdale vs Clarence (Lauderdale Oval) – Stay ChatTY Cup 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Clarence 19.7.121 def Lauderdale  13.11.89 (Round 3, 2017, at Blundstone Arena)

Lauderdale come into this week off the bye, having stunned North Launceston by defeating them by a point in Round 10.  Clarence outclassed the Tigers at Twin Ovals last Saturday, with a strong team effort keeping them within striking distance of top spot on the ladder.  Last time the two Eastern Shore rivals met, Jake Cox slotted six goals from the wing in Trent Standen’s 150th game as a scarily accurate Clarence overran a determined Lauderdale outfit at Blundstone Arena.

Lauderdale have proven to be the surprise packet of 2017 to date, with the Bombers having won their last six matches.  Their most impressive victory to date came over North Launceston in Round 10, with midfielders Nat Franklin and Bryce Walsh sensational as they racked up contested possessions against a strong onball brigade.  Thor Boscott was again fantastic rotating between the midfield and forward line, kicking two goals, but he was suspended for striking and will miss Saturday’s crucial clash.  Ryan Wiggins and the long-kicking Alex Hevey booted three goals apiece, with Walsh also running hard out of the middle for three of his own.  Phil Bellchambers and Josh McGuinness continued to build on their impressive seasons, as did the underrated Rhys Sutton.

Clarence were too good for a resilient Tigers outfit last Saturday, finishing strongly to overpower the Kingborough outfit in impressive fashion.  Veteran midfielders Brady Jones and Jeromey Webberley provided plenty of run and damaging disposal, with the latter unfortunately injuring his hamstring late in the match which will see him miss this week.  Michael Blackburn and Mariner Zac Buechner both kicked three goals, with Buechner growing in confidence with every senior match he plays.  Experienced forwards Trent Standen and Ian Callinan were both dangerous and finished with two goals apiece, while defenders Jason Bailey and James Holmes shut down the Tiger forwards with their intercept marking and penetrating kicks.  Early season standout Jake Cox is rumoured to be returning from a long term injury, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t pull on the boots just yet.

This game is huge for both clubs as they strive to stay in their respective positions on the ladder in a tight top five.  Both sides are missing key players in Boscott and Webberley, but the depth of each side is impressive.  Both proud clubs pride themselves on being the number one Eastern Shore side, so expect plenty of physicality and feeling across the four quarters.  This game could go either way, and the winning team will need their kicking boots on as all forward chances need to be capitalised on.  The winner of the match will be awarded the coveted Stay ChatTY Cup, named after the Tasmanian not-for-profit charity which raises awareness for suicide prevention.


Hobart City Demons vs Tigers (North Hobart Oval) 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Tigers 10.7.67 def Hobart City Demons 8.15.64 (Round 3, 2017, at Twin Ovals)

The Tigers were competitive against Clarence in two of the four quarters last week, but ultimately went down by 61 points at home.  Hobart City Demons were humbled by an impressive North Launceston at UTAS Stadium after leading at quarter time, eventually losing by 66 points.  Last time these two sides met, the Tigers led narrowly at every change to defeat an inaccurate Hobart City Demons by just the three points.

The Tigers fought hard in patches against a more-fancied Clarence outfit last week, but were unable to run with the Roos in the final term.  Mitchell Carter solidified his reputation as one of the best defenders in the competition, with another strong rebounding game.  Mariner duo Lachlan Gadomski and Toby Cowen put in inspired performances in the midfield in the absence of the hard-tackling Lachie Clifford, with Cowen’s clean disposal a highlight.  Marcus Davies relished the physical contest to influence the game around the ground, while Brandon Batchelor worked his way into the game in his first game back from a broken foot.  He finished with two hard-fought goals, as did high marking target Mitch Walker.

Hobart City Demons had a week they’d rather forget, but there were plenty of positives to be taken out of last week’s loss to North Launceston.  Callum Kilpatrick has a breakout game, kicking two first term goals to keep the Demons in the contest early and finishing with four for the match.  Ryan Matthews was a strong performer all afternoon, as was Liam Azzopardi in shutting down the dangerous Tom Bennett.  Josh Williamson was dangerous at times, kicking two goals, while hard-running midfielder Eddie Cole also managed two for the day.

This game is shaping up to be a great contest, with both sides having won four games apiece this season.  Both team look to have improved on last season, with a high number of young players now playing regular senior football.  The Tigers snatched the win last time, but at their best, Hobart City Demons have been impressive, and have taken more-valued scalps so far this year.  The game is likely to be decided by a margin of under four goals, with the result likely to define the winning side’s chance of snatching a finals position late in the season.


TSL TEAMS: Stay ChatTY Round




Round 12 – 23/06/2017



North Launceston
B: K. Baker, T. Mansell, C. Pearton
HB: J. Avent, A. Richter-Salter, J. Foon
C: L.  Hollmer, B.  Cox-Goodyer, J.  Lockhart
HF: J. Ponting, T. Bennett, K. Wadley
F: T. Couch, Z. Burt, B. McCulloch
R: A. Lee, M. Walsh, T. Whitford
Int: H. Goss, D. Headland, C. Harrison, J. White
Emg: T. Donnelly, D. Clayton, J. Pearce, B. Denman



B: C. Savage, J. Aganas, R. Tyrrell
HB: S. Williams, S. Vandervelde, J. Donnellan
C: J.  Smith, S.  Lonergan, T.  Sheppard
HF: C. Sheppard, J. Nunn, R. Kelly-Mansell
F: J. Boyce, N. O’Donoghue, S. Whiting
R: H. Leedham, B. Palfreyman, J. Blackberry
Int: S. Rundle, B. Taylor, M. Hutchinson, B. Killalea
Emg: C. Smith, Z. Griffiths, G. Holt, G. Holt

In: S. Williams
Out: J. Hinds


Round 12 – 24/06/2017

1:00PM – Devonport Oval


B: B. Hawkes, K. Byard, M. Perry
HB: B. Scott, L. Williams, L. Bissett
C: B.  Sharman, D.  Riley, G.  Millucci
HF: Q. Byard, B. Butler, H. Barker
F: E. Stephenson, M. Thorp, B. Connelly
R: P. Davis, C. Castles, S. Egger
Int: B. van Buuren, T. Enniss, C. Burnett, T. Donald
Emg: J. Forster, J. Whelan, T. Highet, B. Chard

In: B. van Buuren
Out: B. Symmons

Burnie Dockers

B: F. Poke, T. Charles, B. Boag
HB: B. Murray, N. McKenna, E. Jackson
C: E.  Smith, N.  Walters, S.  Kalbfell
HF: D. Crane, R. Barrett, B. Rubock
F: H. Walters, J. House, B. Keiselis
R: T. Morrison, J. Dowling, J. Cox
Int: C. Proctor, B. Brown, J. Murray, D. Brazendale
Emg: J. Doust, J. O’Donnell, B. Challis, B. Rubock

In: J. Murray, J. House

Out: J. O’Donnell, B. Challis


Round 12 – 24/06/2017

2:00PM – North Hobart Oval


Hobart City Demons
B: T. Millhouse, L. Azzopardi, M. Bidgood
HB: H. Williams, K. Richter, N. Hutchinson
C: J.  Charlton, W.  Campbell, B.  Norton
HF: B. Grant, J. Maple, S. Caswell
F: S. Willis, C. Dell, C. Kilpatrick
R: C. White, N. Baker, R. Matthews
Int: J. Williamson, E. Cole, R. Cowie, J. Guesdon
Emg: K. Wisniewski, J. Barwick, C. Ransom, B. Walker

In: M. Bidgood, J. Guesdon, K. Richter, R. Cowie
Out: H. Johnstone, W. Hay, J. Barwick, H.Williams


B: L. Gadomski, J. Bilson, B. Graham
HB: M. Carter, T. Carter, M. Davies
C: W.  Cleeland, L.  Clifford, J.  Keogh
HF: C. Nield, M. Walker, B. Rees
F: B. Batchelor, T. Peterson, E. Brock
R: M. Gardner, S. Rice, L. Watt
Int: T. Gogolin, A. Webster, T. Cowen, C. Sawdy
Emg: C. Bryant, C. Rawson, J. Huizing, M. Booth

In: J. Keogh, L. Clifford, T. Peterson
Out: L. Griggs, B. McCulloch, M. Booth



Round 12 – 24/06/2017

2:00PM – Lauderdale Oval


B: M. Anderton, A. Hill, S. Hill
HB: M. Kleverkamp, E. Whish-Wilson, J. McGuinness
C: R.  Sutton, P.  Bellchambers, R.  McManus
HF: B. Walsh, J. Roberts, A. Hevey
F: T. Havea, R. Wiggins, R. Hill
R: H. Smith, N. Franklin, D. Fyfe
Int: B. McGuinness, E. Stanley, J. Williams, L. Meagher
Emg: M. McGuinness, D. Johns, C. Laoumtzis, A. Brewster

In: B. McGuinness

Out: T. Boscott


B: J. Holmes, J. Bailey, T. Castle
HB: J. O’Brien, K. Wylie, Z. Mastrocola
C: K.  Howlett, J.  O’Brien, B.  Jones
HF: T. Hanslow, M. Blackburn, M. Fisher
F: T. Standen, J. Cox, Z. Buechner
R: S. Siggins, G. Chambers, I. Callinan
Int: W. Wall, A. Grace, J. Harper, K. Palmer-Hughes
Emg: L. Murfitt-Cowen, B. Dart, J. Brenner, J. Roberts

In: Z. Mastrocola, J. Cox
Out: J. Webberley, J. Brenner



Round 12 – 23/06/2017

4:30PM – UTAS Stadium


North Launceston

To be selected from:

B. Denman, T. Donnelly, L. Cronley, M. Cossins, L. Matson-Jones, D. Clayton,
C. Praciak, C. Lowe, W. Loone, J. Singline, J. Harris, B. Wells,
E. Perry, J. Pearce, J. Rowlands, D. Layh, B. Maynard , C. Anderson,
M. Donnelly, K. Curtis



To be selected from:

G. Ferguson, T. Miller, O. Cook, T. Cooper, Z. Griffiths, K. McCabe,
D. Sellers, N. McElwee, J. Dakin, M. Dikkenberg, C. Curtis, J. Rice,
C. Downie, G. Holt, G. Holt, Z. Oldenhof, J. Bott, B. Neil,
M. Blazely


Round 12 – 24/06/2017

11:30AM – North Hobart Oval


Hobart City Demons
To be selected from:

W. Cole, B. Williams, J. Denehey, N. Lee, W. Doyle, Z. Doran
J.  Doran, J.  McCulloch, C.  Ransom, T. Clark, M. Grace,
P. Fisher, S. Fros, H. Johnstone, J. Cleaver, A. Keeling, W. Peppin
T. Reeves, M. O’Neill, T. Willmott, J. Barwick, M. Paolini, R. Cowie,
A. Bidgood, J. Guesdon, B. Walker



To be selected from:

L. Griggs, S. Webb, R. Blakers, M. Cooke, B. McCulloch, R. Rinaldi,
H. Bradburn, J. Cummins, M. Coad, C. Bryant, J. Shaw, C. Woolley,
C. Rawson, J. Pearce, A. Huizing, J. Huizing, H. Crack, J. Wells,
M. Booth, B. Livingston, A. Humphrey, T. Hughes, L. Knowles, B. Gordon,
H. Graham


Round 12 – 24/06/2017

11:30AM – Lauderdale Oval


To be selected from:

B. Cripps, J. Wells, Z. Paget, S. Clayton, E. Steele, J. White,
D. Russell, T. Daff, R. Hooker, C. Hooker, J. Perkins, T. Steele,
J. Bunyan, S. Adams, D. Johns, J. Roberts , J. Williams, S. Perkins,
P. Hudson, W. Francis, C. Laoumtzis, A. Brewster, C. Best


To be selected from:

J. Young, J. Havea, C. Berry, A. Silver, D. Howlett, L. Murfitt-Cowen,
K. Bailey, S. Green, P. Howlett, J. Booth, B. Dart, T. Marshall,
T. Birchall, S. Williams, A. Gaul, H. Richmond, J. Fisher, C. Alcorso,
N. Raglione, J. Pulford, C. Leek, T. Hope, F. Turner, J. Brenner,
A. Morton, J. Roberts, B. McGuinness, J. Mazengarb





This week was a more predictable week of clashes with comfortable wins across the board. As a result selection is dominated by the few, North Launceston had a terrific win and have top representation with six picked, while Clarence and Launceston have five and Glenorchy three.

For the defeated teams,  Tigers, Hobart City Demons and Devonport feature, while Burnie had no one pickedin a triple figure loss.



James Holmes (Clarence)

The courageous youngster went about his business well and applied himself in a physical contest, with some strong intercept work and showing his bravery to back into contests.

Jason Bailey (Clarence)

The key back was judged best afield as the Roos beat the Tigers at Twin Ovals. Bailey continued his stellar season with proactive and defiant defence.

Arion Richter-Salter (North Launceston)

Richter-Salter did a stellar job in blanketing the dangerous Sean Willis. Richter-Salter lead a stingy defence to deny the fast Demons forwards.



Joe Boyce (Launceston)

The experienced Boyce was his usual cool, calm self for Launceston against Burnie, quite attacking after starting the game off half-back. He helped controlled proceedings in that part of the ground.

Mitch Carter (Tigers)

The highly regarded defender was solid all afternoon. Overhead intercept marking, finding space in tight situations and pinpoint delivery under pressure have been features of his game all season, and Saturday was no exception. His ability to break lines set up a number of Tiger goals, with a couple of kick outs after behinds traveling to or beyond the centre square.

Jay Lockhart (North Launceston)

Playing off half back to begin with Lockhart took some outstanding intercept grabs and orchestrated play. He then moved into the middle and was busy and was able to utilise his stellar shoe to hit targets in forward 50.



Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy)

Bowden has moved to equal top of the RACT Insurance Player of the Year with an outstanding position around the ball. The reigning Lynch medalist had it over 30 times, including 21 in the opening half. He had a number of score involvements and as he often does, manages to have an impact across the field.

Brady Jones (Clarence)

Jeromey Webberley said it was probably his best performance of the season and the Clarence skipper is starting to build into a nice patch of form. He was outstanding in winning it inside  and covered the ground well and was a threat inside 50 on the burst.

Brayden Webb (Glenorchy)

Pigeon Webb is a picture of consistency and he continued his form in the engine room of the reigning Premiers. Was clean and combative in seeing Glenorchy superior of the Magpies.



Callum Kilpatrick (Hobart City Demons)

‘Oysters’ was the standout Demon, making the most of limited supply to kick four outstanding goals. He showcased a range of goal craft with strong marking, set shots, snaps and finishes on the run in his four pack. A shining light in a tough day at the office.

Zac Buechner (Clarence)

The superstar Mariner was on-song in the Roos win at Twin Ovals. Kicked three goals including a beauty from the pocket and hit up well to set up others.

Taylor Whitford (North Launceston)

Whitford started forward and proved a goal threat with three goals for the game, he moved himself into the middle and had a game swinging influence in the second term to win the ball at the coal face with some strong inside work and some superb vision and foot use front of centre.



Trent Standen (Clarence)

Speedy Standen was at his dynamic best with an outstanding crumber’s game, finishing off well inside 50 and setting up others to play a strong hand in the victory.

Rulla Kelly Mansell (Launceston)

Well, what can you say? It was the Rulla Kelly-Mansell show. To think the dynamic half forward was in doubt leading into the game. He certainly showed no signs of being hindered by injury, kicking 7.7 on his way to a show stopping performance that included a hanger.

Bradley Cox-Goodyer (North Launceston)

Cox-Goodyer is a powerful player, the brute kicked three goals and made full use of his fend off and finishing ability, letting off a number of long bombs.



Cameron Duffy (Glenorchy)

Duffy carried on his strong form from the state game, dominating across the ground and giving his midfield first look. Duffy also proved a marking presence, catching it across the ground to be a vital link.

Tom Couch (North Launceston)

No one has played a better individual game this year. Seven goals while playing a leading hand in the middle. Couch was spectacular, the playing coach had a day out on his birthday. Tackling hard, exploding out of the middle and kicking a range of goals.

Brodie Palfreyman (Launceston)

Palfreyman continues to emerge as one of the stars of this Blues team. Dominated through the guts and saw Launceston climb on top with clearance dominance and keep the foot to the pedal.



Alex Lee (North Launceston)

Dominated the ruck duel at North Hobart Oval, palmed down to great effect and has a strong understanding with his midfield, able to position it to them.

Beau Sharman (Devonport)

Sharman was the standout from Devonport providing explosive dash out of the centre to swing momentum the north west ‘Pies way in patches.

Jay Blackberry (Launceston)

Blackberry has probably been the most consistent performer in the TSL this season. Once again his foot use in often trying conditions cut the opposition apart and made it easy for the Launi forwards to get distance on their opponent.

Brendan Taylor (Launceston)

One of the many Blues to enjoy themselves at West Park against the Dockers, Taylor was dangerous forward of the centre and was able to sneak forward and be one of 12 goal-kickers for the Blues.

Unlucky Omissions…

Jeromey Webberley kicked two prior to pinging his hammy and was fantastic inside the arcand across the ground. Michael ‘Sticks’ Blackburn continued his form as a goal kicker with three goals. Michael Fisher also gave some dash off half back.

For the Northern Bombers, Tyran Mansell was fantastic off half back and provided fantastic attack at the footy for the Bombers. Tall Bart McCulloch started slow but kicked three and caught the ball well inside 50. Zach Burt worked into the game well and sat behind the ball as a general in defence. Baker also was fantastic off half back and through the middle of the ground and Jack Avent’s pressure was a real feature.

In a losing effort, Liam Azzopardi did a fantastic job on Tom Bennett, limiting his influence to not hit the scoreboard.

Connor Salter did well for the southern Pies, while Harry Pearce and the returning Josh Watts provided targets.


Round 12 is Stay ChatTY round!


This weekend is Stay ChatTY round in the Southern Cross Tasmanian State League (TSL), with the state’s top football competition raising awareness and funds for suicide prevention.

SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY is a not for profit charity that works to help prevent suicide by spreading the message that nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it. SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY is a charity partner of the TSL, and Round 12 will showcase the charity and help to raise funds for it’s fantastic cause.

All eight playing clubs will wear special Stay ChatTY jumpers, while Lauderdale and Clarence will play off for the Stay ChatTY cup and the tin rattlers will be out in force, statewide.

TSL State Manager Carl Saunder can’t wait for Stay ChatTY round, a special week on the Tasmanian football calendar.

“We are really proud to be partnered with SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY, a fantastic cause with a great message that resonates strongly with our competition.

“This round is about more than footy, it is about reminding people in our football community to speak up and talk to others about their problems and support one another.

“It is fantastic to have unique Stay ChatTY guernseys for all eight teams and there will be donation collections at each venue so please give generously at the footy, this weekend.”

All players have donated the cost of the special Stay ChatTY guernsey out of their Round 12 match payments.

SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY founder Mitch McPherson said the partnership with the TSL was a good fit for the charity’s message and purpose.

“The partnership between Stay ChatTY and AFL Tasmania continues to grow. We are incredibly proud as an organisation to have the backing of such a reputable organisation.

“Guys who play in the State league spend so much of their time with their team mates and coaches. So our charity messages are really important to these clubs.

“They need to create environments where they welcome conversations about mental health, and most importantly they assure each other its ok to not be ok.”

It is an important round off the ground but it is set to be the round of the season so far on it.

“I am not sure we could have picked a better round for it – it is going to be must watch football,” Saunder said.

“It kicks off with a mouth watering first versus third Launceston derby under Friday night lights, then we have eastern shore rivals Lauderdale and Clarence, who are both in good form and will square off for the Stay ChatTY Cup.

“Then it is Hobart City Demons and Tigers both trying to keep their finals hopes alive, and Devonport chasing their first win up against their fierce rival, Burnie.”

Stay ChatTY round starts on Friday night at UTAS Stadium with North Launceston hosting Launceston from 7:00PM.

PLEASE NOTE – DEVONPORT v BURNIE is now Saturday 24 June 2017 at 1:00PM at Devonport Oval.

For more information on SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY –


Southern Cross Tasmanian State League & Mercury Cup

Round 11

1. Tyrone Morrison (Burnie) reported for head-butting Nathan O’Donoghue (Launceston)

The Match Review Panel found that there was insufficient force to sustain a charge. No further action will be taken.



2. Tigers & Clarence players were referred for engaging in a melee

The Match Review Panel found that the incident did not involve any reportable offences. No further action will be taken.


3. Devonport & Glenorchy players were referred for engaging in two melees

The Match Review Panel found that the two incidents did not involve any reportable offences. No further action will be taken.


4. Zac Webster (Glenorchy) reported for striking Toby Enniss (Devonport)

The Match Review Panel graded the incident as intentional, high contact with low impact.

Webster has been offered a two match suspension, but can downgrade the suspension to one match with the early guilty plea.

SANCTION: Webster has ACCEPTED a ONE match suspension.


5. Bradley Symmons (Devonport) reported for rough conduct against Brady Quinn (Glenorchy)

Symmons was involved in a front-on bump against Brady Quinn of Glenorchy.

The Match Review Panel graded the incident as intentional, high contact with low impact. Symmons has been offered a two match suspension, but can downgrade the suspension to one match with the early guilty plea.

SANCTION: Symmons has ACCEPTED a ONE match suspension.


Roos bound home over Tigers

Written by Alex FitzGerald

Clarence has continued its strong 2017 campaign with a classy 61 point win over a Tigers outfit that ran out of legs after a competitive start at Twin Ovals on Saturday afternoon.

The Eastern shore powerhouse led at every change in a physical and at times spiteful clash, and despite a low-scoring third quarter, booted six goals in the final term to finish comfortable 16.15 (111) to 7.8 (50) winners in the fading light.

The first quarter saw both sides move the ball quickly and confidently, with a high standard of football on display in sunny conditions.  Clarence drew first blood with an early Michael Blackburn goal, but the Tigers responded almost immediately when Mitch Walker marked strongly and converted from 45 out soon after.  The Roos had their second through playing coach Jeromey Webberley after some slick ball movement out of the middle, and from then on the intensity lifted, with some big tackles on the grandstand wing bringing the small but vocal crowd to life.  Crafty small forward Ethan Brock wrong-footed his opponent to kick the Tigers’ second goal, and when Brandon Batchelor converted a long set shot soon afterwards, it was very much game on.  The Roos kicked two quick majors however and went into the first break ahead 4.4 (28) to 3.2 (20).

Clarence came out full of run in the second stanza, with Ian Callinan and Webberley both lively as the home side struggled to contain the former AFL-listed duo.  They finished with a goal apiece for the term, as the inaccurate Roos booted four majors to one to head into the rooms 30 points up at half time, with the scoreboard reading 8.9 (57) to 4.3 (27).

The Tigers came out fighting in the third quarter, with some gutsy defensive efforts halting the Roos’ charge, albeit temporarily.  Michael Blackburn slotted his second goal early in the term to stretch the Clarence lead, but Jack Bilson returned fire from a free kick to give the Tigers hope.  The rest of the quarter was a battle for both sides, with spot fires breaking out all over the ground as tempers flared.  After 15 minutes the deadlock was finally broken when an undisciplined late hit on Aiden Grace saw a down-field free kick result in Blackburn’s third goal, and with one quarter to go, Clarence led 10.11 (71) to the Tigers’ 5.7 (37).

The final term well and truly belonged to Clarence, as they put on the jets to showcase the brand of football that has seen them firm as contenders this season.  The Roos hit leading targets at will, with every player in red and white seemingly finding the football.  Forwards Trent Standen and Zac Buechner were rewarded for their efforts, slotting two majors each for the term as the away side finished the match full of run, kicking six goals to two to finish up 61 point winners as the sun set over the hill.

Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was pleased with his side’s ability to finish with plenty of run, putting it down to the hard work done at training across the bye .

“I thought their pressure around the ball in the first quarter was fantastic; they were really able to challenge us early.

“Our endeavour and attack on the ball and want to defend for four quarters was pretty good.  We got some good fitness into the guys over the two week break where they obviously didn’t have the impact on their bodies; we got some pretty good running sessions in.

“We had a big pre-season and we’ve tried to keep that advantage over the bye.”

Webberley was particularly impressed with the performances of veterans Trent ‘Speedy’ Standen and Brady Jones.

“Speedy’s had an outstanding start to the year, and his effort and intensity have been first rate.  I reckon (Jones’) last five or six weeks have been outstanding; it was definitely the best game he’s played this year.”

Standen was electric for Clarence across half forward, finishing with two goals, while Mariner Zac Buechner and the hard-running Michael Blackburn kicked three majors apiece.  Aiden Grace and Ian Callinan had plenty of the ball in the forward half, while Jones and Webberley dominated through the middle of the ground.  Jason Bailey was unpassable at full back, holding Mitch Walker to a single goal, while James Holmes mopped up across half back with a number of intercept marks.

For the home side, Mariners trio Lachlan Gadomski, Toby Cowen and Lachy Watt all tried hard playing on more experienced opponents in the midfield, while Mitch Carter and Tyler Carter stood out with their defensive efforts.  Marcus Davies provided a contest every time he was near the ball, laying some crunching tackles in a bruising first half.

Tigers coach Aaron Vince was impressed with how his players stood up at times across the match, but conceded that Clarence were the better side on the day.

“I thought the boys put in an exceptional performance in the first quarter, and that our third quarter was pretty good as well.

“In the last quarter we got beaten on the outside a bit and they showed more run and polish with their skills going forward; they’re a very good side and they put a lot of pressure on the ball carrier.”

Vince was optimistic when asked about the Tiger’s future, and believes his side will have their time in the sun when key players return from injury and representative duties.

“We’ve blooded about eight or nine debutants this year; they’ll learn from each time they step onto the field, which is all we can ask;  We’d like to think that towards the end of this year we’ll start to show what we’ve got.”

In the Stay Chatty Cup, Clarence faces an impressive Lauderdale at Lauderdale Oval next week, with both sides in a rich vein of form.  They’ll have to take on the southern Bombers without Webberley, who limped from the ground late in the match with a hamstring injury, but the Roos’ coach believes his side has the form to take the four points.

“It’s a massive game, but we think we’ve got the team structure tp go down there and play well.”

The Tigers will head to North Hobart Oval to take on the Hobart City Demons in what shapes up as a battle to remain a mathematical finals chance, with the boys from Kingborough having defeated the inner-city side in a close match earlier in the year.

Round 11 – 17/06/2017

Clarence                                4.4,  8.9,  10.11,  16.15  (111)

Tigers                                  3.2,  4.3,  5.7,  7.8  (50)

GOALS, Clarence :
Z. Buechner 3, M. Blackburn 3, I. Callinan 2, J. Webberley 2, T. Standen 2, J. O’Brien 1,
K. Howlett 1, B. Jones 1, A. Grace 1

Tigers :
M. Walker 2, B. Batchelor 2, C. Sawdy 1, E. Brock 1, J. Bilson 1

BEST, Clarence :
J. Bailey, B. Jones, J. Holmes, T. Standen, M. Fisher, A. Grace

Tigers :
M. Carter, L. Gadomski, L. Watt, M. Davies, T. Cowen, T. Carter


Blues blow Burnie away as Glenorchy reign supreme in meeting of Magpies

Launceston excitement machine Rulla Kelly-Mansell dominated with seven majors as the Blues blew away the Dockers to the tune of 119 points at West Park.

The Blues jumped out to a 19-point lead early on in the opening term with goals to Corey Sheppard, Rulla Kelly-Mansell and Sam Lonergan, with the visitors dominant in all facets of the game. The Dockers worked themselves back into the contest, and were rewarded with a Blair Rubock major late in the term.

The second quarter was the Rulla Kelly-Mansell show, with the Launceston forward kicking three majors and taking a Jeremy Howe-esque grab near the goal-square as the Blues powered away from Burnie. The ball lived in the Blues’ half that term as they kicked 9.7 to 1.0 to seemingly end the game as the contest. Launceston coach Sam Lonergan showed no signs of his calf complaint and was outstanding with three first half goals to his name.

Burnie fought back in the third quarter with both sides scoring 4.2 (26) apiece. The margin got out to as much as 84 before the Dockers started to add some more respectability to the scoreboard, kicking four of the last five goals of the term. Rulla Kelly-Mansell continued his dominant day to have six majors for the visitors by the three quarter siren.

The Blues turned the pressure back up in the final term to ensure a gap of more than 100 points at the final siren with a performance similar to the second term where they dominated possession and territory and put the Dockers to the sword.

Rulla Kelly-Mansell, Sam Lonergan and ruckman Hamish Leedham were among three of the Blues to standout in a very strong team performance, while Harry Walters and Bailey Boag were good for the Dockers in a difficult day.

Lonergan was happy with his Blues ability to put the game away, lauding the efforts of Kelly-Mansell around goal.

“The second and fourth quarter the boys did a fantastic job and I couldn’t be happier with the way the boys went about it, moved the ball well.

“Rulla (Kelly-Mansell) has been super, the way he engages with our team has been fantastic.

“He is a very talented forward and to kick 7.7 is an exceptional result for him but he puts in the hard work and I expect more of those type of results in the remainder of the year.”

Both teams have massive games next week, playing their arch rivals in a massive Stay Chatty round.

At Devonport Oval, a strong opening quarter proved enough for Glenorchy as they proved the superior Magpies, winning by 37 points.

Usual suspects Jaye Bowden and Brayden Webb were strong for Glenorchy, while Cam Duffy dominated the ruck. Harry Pearce kicked two as did Josh Watts in a promising first game for season 2017.

Devonport were well served by their leaders with Brad Symmons, Beau Sharman, Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley all among the north west outfit’s best. Thorp was their only multiple goal kicker with two.

The Southern Magpies kicked five first quarter goals to skip away to a healthy lead at the first change.

The second term saw neither team register a major with Glenorchy innacurately registering seven behinds, as a physical arm wrestle ensued.

Devonport won the third quarter by a point in a spirited response but Glenorchy showed class late to finish off strong with three last quarter goals to ensure four points.

It was a much improved performance from Devonport who suffered a 154 point loss to Glenorchy in their last meeting.

“Very impressed with the boys, we lost to them by 150 points in round two and to be within five goals just shows how much this group is improving and how much they want to play as a team and play for each other,” Coach Mitch Thorp said.

Glenorchy Coach Aaron Cornelius was pleased to take the points and was happy with Josh Watts work as a focal point forward.

“It was a hard fought win, Devonport brought the pressure and physicality

“There was some patches there were we moved the ball well and some good signs from some boys but its one we just got away with.”

Next week, Devonport face Burnie in their best chance to notch win number one and Glenorchy have the bye.

Round 11 – 17/06/2017

Launceston                              3.2,  12.9,  16.11,  24.18  (162)

Burnie Dockers                          1.3,  2.3,  6.5,  6.7  (43)

GOALS, Launceston :
R. Kelly-Mansell 7, S. Lonergan 3, J. Smith 3, S. Rundle 2, J. Nunn 2, J. Boyce 1,
S. Whiting 1, R. Tyrrell 1, H. Leedham 1, C. Sheppard 1, J. Blackberry 1, B. Taylor 1

Burnie Dockers :
H. Walters 2, J. Cox 1, B. Rubock 1, J. Dowling 1, E. Smith 1

BEST, Launceston :
B. Palfreyman, R. Kelly-Mansell, B. Taylor, J. Blackberry, J. Boyce, J. Donnellan

Burnie Dockers :
J. Dowling, C. Proctor, T. Morrison, R. Barrett, H. Walters, S. Kalbfell


Round 11 – 17/06/2017

Glenorchy                               5.2,  5.9,  7.14,  10.15  (75)

Devonport                               1.2,  1.5,  4.5,  5.8  (38)

GOALS, Glenorchy :
H. Pearce 2, J. Watts 2, B. Kamaric 1, T. Bowden 1, H. Gunther 1, L. Smith 1,
C. Duffy 1, B. Webb 1

Devonport :
M. Thorp 2, B. Sharman 1, D. Riley 1, B. Butler 1

BEST, Glenorchy :
C. Salter, J. Bowden, B. Webb, C. Duffy, B. Quinn, T. Butterworth

Devonport :
B. Symmons, B. Sharman, M. Thorp, D. Riley, B. Butler, P. Davis

Couch sinks seven as North return to winning ways

Written by Andrew Johnston

North Launceston are back on the winners list, with a Tom Couch masterclass inspiring a 66 point win over Hobart City Demons, at North Hobart Oval yesterday.

The Demons started fast, taking a goal lead into the first break but from there the Bombers got in front and were not headed for the remainder of the day. Couch produced a game to remember on his birthday, kicking seven goals as the leader of a dangerous midfield group.

North Launceston could have had three goals inside two minutes with Bradley Cox-Goodyer slamming home a long range roost from the Bombers first forward entry. That opener was followed up by set shots from Taylor Whitford and another Cox-Goodyer effort with both offline.

Hobart City then claimed a foothold in the game and got on top with Callum Kilpatrick having a major say, kicking two first term goals to see the Dees surge ahead. Whitford threaded the needle from a difficult angle on the right forward pocket and Couch booted his first of the day to keep Hobart City in touch.

IC: Andrew Woodgate
Callum Kilpatrick had a break out game

The Demons started the second stanza strong with Josh Williamson putting away their fourth of the day to extend the lead but from there the Bombers took the game away from the hosts, kicking eight goals for the term. Couch was one of the stars for the Bombers, kicking three second quarter goals, whilst a move into the centre square for Jay Lockhart helped the Bombers take control.

Demons half forward Blake Grant and Sean Willis were well held and Zach Burt adapted well to a new role behind the ball, taking some strong marks and chopping off as a spare.

In a glum quarter for the home side, Kilpatrick’s third from just inside the arc was a sight for sore eyes. Despite the best efforts of Ryan Matthews and Eddie Cole in the clinches, Lee gave his midfielders first look and Couch, Cox-Goodyer, Lockhart and Whitford all took advantage, climbing on top, seeing the northerners bolt away to a 31 point half time lead.

Hobart City had a better third term, kicking three goals to North’s four. Kilpatrick kicked his fourth for the afternoon in a breakout game for the promising half forward, helping to hold the margin around the five goal mark. Couch flexed his muscle again with a breathtaking goal from inside the square from a centre clearance burst, taking the wind out of the Demons sails and ensuring the Bombers would head into the huddle in a strong position with a last quarter to play.

After two consecutive defeats, the Bombers were presented with an opportunity to add some grip on their top position, and did so by kicking a further six goals to finish with a 66 point win. Cox-Goodyer and Whitford both scored well taken majors, whilst Couch booted his seventh to round out an amazing performance from the playing-coach.

Hobart City Demons coach Kane Richter said North Launceston’s prime movers got too much of the ball and made his young side pay.

“Quality players, quality team. They played a good brand of footy today and their quality players got off the leash a touch.

“The positive is our boys would have learned a lot today, spread from the stoppage and you can’t allow quality players like Tom Couch space to stream through forward 50 and have shots at goal.”

After identifying problems with his side’s reliance on star players, Couch spoke of his pride in an even team performance.

“Maybe the first five weeks we won a bit too easily and we were on the back foot the last few weeks. The boys that played state last week got a good reminder that this is what it takes. No easy games.”

Couch had a day out with seven goals and plenty of the ball.

“It was good fun but I got a message as I was walking off that Col Garland kicked 10 on this ground 10 years ago so if there was any chance of me getting a big head it was gone.

“Its good fun and something I practice but good to see a number of the boys getting reward for effort.”

Hobart City take on Tigers in Round 12, with the Demons looking to avenge their loss from earlier in the season, whilst for North, a mouth-watering Launceston derby awaits with third placed Launceston on Friday night.

North Launceston                        3.2,  11.4,  15.10,  21.13  (139)

Hobart City Demons                      4.2,  6.3,  9.3,  11.7  (73)

GOALS, North Launceston :
T. Couch 7, T. Whitford 3, B. Cox-Goodyer 3, B. McCulloch 3, K. Baker 1, J. Lockhart 1,
J. Ponting 1, C. Harrison 1, L. Hollmer 1

Hobart City Demons :
C. Kilpatrick 4, J. Williamson 2, E. Cole 2, S. Willis 1, S. Caswell 1, L. Azzopardi 1

BEST, North Launceston :
T. Couch, T. Whitford, B. Cox-Goodyer, J. Lockhart, A. Lee, T. Mansell

Hobart City Demons :
C. Kilpatrick, H. Williams, J. Charlton, S. Caswell, L. Azzopardi

Southern Cross TSL Preview with Alex FitzGerald


Written by Alex FitzGerald

Saturday 17th June


Devonport vs Glenorchy (Devonport Oval) 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Glenorchy 28.18.186 def Devonport 4.8.32 (Round 2, 2017, at KGV)

Glenorchy arrested a four game losing streak by defeating Hobart City Demons in strong fashion the week before the bye, while Devonport made the most of their forward chances to go down fighting on the road against Launceston.  Last time these sides met, Glenorchy put the younger Magpies to the sword to the tune of 154 points, with Jaye Bowden kicking 11 majors under lights at KGV.

Devonport has been slowly improving, with coach Mitch Thorp’s upbeat nature at press conferences showing that he is pleased with how his young charges have been performing.  Thorp kicked three goals in the loss to Launceston, with co-captains Dylan Riley and Beau Sharman solid through the midfield alongside Brad Symmons.  Teenagers Mitchell Perry and Giacomo Millucci backed up their impressive game against the Tigers with four quarter efforts, with the investment in youth beginning to pay off already for the coastal side.  Sherrin Egger and Harry Barker are growing in confidence, as is ruckman Levi Creedon, who is expected to miss this week with a minor knee injury.

A lot of talk surrounded Glenorchy’s run of losses, but coach Aaron Cornelius put the form slump down to a lack of consistent effort and pressure, both of which the Pies displayed plenty of against Hobart City Demons last round.  Jaye Bowden worked hard up and down the ground to finish with four goals, and was well supported by late inclusion Aaron Brennan, who slotted three goals of his own.  Zac Webster tackled up a storm, but missed the state game with an injury complaint, and will be monitored this week.  TSL squad captain Brayden Webb was outstanding, as were Rhys Mott and defender Jordon Arnold.  Young players Joel Millhouse, Tom Morgan and Connor Salter have all stepped up of late, as has Harrison Gunther, who played a big game as an over ager for the Tasmanian Under 17’s side last weekend.

While Glenorchy is expected to take the chocolates here, don’t expect a repeat of the round 2 score line.  Devonport have steadily improved and with two months’ experience in the legs of most players, the coastal Magpies would fancy a closer context against the Southern powerhouse.  The key to Devonport remaining in touch is to start fast, as they have in patches across the last month, and to run out the whole game.  Containing Bowden is a must, as once on a roll the reigning Alastair Lynch medallist is hard to stop.

Tigers vs Clarence (Twin Ovals) 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Clarence 16.11.107 def Tigers 11.8.74 (Round 2, 2017, at Blundstone Arena)

Clarence will come into the match fresh after having a fortnight off, having defeated North Launceston in stunning style in their last outing in Round 9.  Tigers fought hard late in the match at West Park to defeat Burnie by two points in a high scoring game in Round 10.  Last time these sides played, the Roos strong-armed the Tigers to win by 34 points in their first roster match of the season, with Sam Siggins dominant on the day.

Tigers would have gained confidence after they defeated Burnie in a see-sawing game at West Park, with a late Toby Cowen goal giving the club their second straight win.  Mitch Walker booted five goals from full forward, capping off a strong fortnight for the strong marking target.  Marcus Davies led from the front in a classy midfield performance, with Mariners Lachie Clifford and Lachy Gadomski also putting in strong on-ball matches.  Marcus Gardiner was solid in defence, while Cowen lifted in the final term to drive his side forward.  Mitch Carter played well in the state side’s loss to the NEAFL last week, gathering 19 touches and six rebounds 50’s to lead a stingy defence.

Clarence announced themselves as genuine contenders with their surprise win over North Launceston in Round 9.  Jackson O’Brien was best afield in a big team effort, with Jarrod Harper not far behind, as the Roos’ veterans of O’Brien and Brady Jones combining for key clearances against a classy Bombers’ midfield.  Sam Siggins continued his strong season and kicked two goals, as did Michael Blackburn, Jeromey Webberley, Harper and in-form forward Aiden Grace.  Young James Holmes again impressed in only his eighth senior match, along with recruit Michael Fisher.

Clarence will head into the match as favourites, having only lost one match all season, but the outcome will depend on which Tigers outfit shows up.  At their best, the boys from Kingborough can move the ball quickly and confidently from defence to attack, but will need to put in a continuous effort to match the more experienced Roos, who are eyeing off top spot as the season approaches the halfway mark.  Expect a similar score line to their Round 2 encounter, and a physical afternoon at Twin Ovals.

Hobart City Demons vs North Launceston (North Hobart Oval) 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: North Launceston 11.16.82 def Hobart City Demons 6.9.45 (Round 2, 2017, at UTAS Stadium)

North Launceston fell short by a solitary point to Lauderdale in the match of the season to date in Round 10, with the final quarter producing a total of 13 goals.  Hobart City Demons were soundly beaten by Glenorchy, managing a season-low score of 3.4 (22) against a Magpies outfit on the rebound.  Last time these two sides met, North Launceston prevailed with a solid but not spectacular overall team effort at home.

Hobart City Demons struggled to back up their win over Launceston after their Round 9 bye, with assistant coach Richie Robinson lamenting his side’s lack of pressure.  Midfielders Ryan Matthews and Will Campbell both performed admirably, as did Mariner Nic Hutchinson.  The Hobart City Demons’ defensive unit has become a strong one, with both Hugh Williams, Bailey Walker and Liam Azzopardi leading the way across the past month.  Charlie White continues to develop, as does Josh Williamson up forward, who kicked two goals in the loss.  The Demons have some upset wins under their belts, but are still searching for the consistency that will enable them to challenge for a finals position.

While North Launceston’s defeat at the hands of Lauderdale mean that they have lost two matches in a row, coach Tom Couch has stated that such high-pressure games allow players to experience the feeling of finals football.  Couch himself has been in sensational form, playing a monster game against the NEAFL for the TSL representative side last week, where he amassed 23 disposals, six tackles and six inside 50’s.  Jay Lockhart was awarded the Lefroy Medal for the best Tasmanian player after his composed 20 disposal effort across half back, including 9 rebound 50’s.  Tom Bennett booted six goals from full forward against Lauderdale, while state representative Zac Burt slotted four majors as the pair formed a formidable one-two punch. They were missing Bart McCulloch as a third target in their last match and should regain him to stretch the Dees defence.

It’s hard to go past North Launceston in this match up, with the Bombers playing great football as a side, with up to a dozen regular individuals performing at an elite level.  They have been humbled two weeks in a row though, and they will be determined to stop the run there. Boasting the fittest side in the TSL, they won’t be losing three games in a row and should outrun the hosts.  Having said that, the Hobart City Demons have proven they have the ability to upset more-favoured sides this year, but to win this one would require a step up again.


Burnie vs Launceston (West Park) 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Launceston 17.14.116 def Burnie 8.6.54 (Round 2, 2017, at Windsor Park)

Burnie fell agonisingly short against the Tigers in Round 10, conceding the final two goals in a high scoring game to go down by two points.  Launceston led at every change to defeat Devonport a fortnight ago to remain percentage clear of Lauderdale in third place on the ladder.  Last time these sides squared off, Sonny Whiting was a dominant figure up forward booting seven goals in the Blues’ win, while young Docker Jamieson House announced himself with a four goal performance.

Burnie put in one of their strongest performance of the season against the Tigers, kicking over 100 points in a losing cause.  Captain Nick McKenna returned to form, playing up forward to kick five crucial goals in vain.  McKenna showcased his versatility in the TSL representative side against the NEAFL, playing his heart out in defence for The Map and restricting dangerous forward Jack Anthony to a solitary major.  Nick and Harry Walters have continued their consistent form and played well against the Tigers, as did leadership group member Rudy Barrett.  Youngsters Benjamin Keiselis and Sam Kalbfell have played themselves into form, and must step up alongside Blair Rubock and Ethan Jackson, with Mundy unavailable due to Under 18 Allies selection.

Launceston did enough in the win over Devonport, with a strong first half putting the match to bed relatively early.  The Blues left the match with some injury concerns, but playing coach Sam Lonergan should be back this week after a fortnight resting a calf niggle.  Jordan Harris is likely to miss with a hamstring complaint, but Mariner Jake Hinds should slot back into the 22 after lining up for the Allies side in the Under 18 Championships.  Jay Blackberry has been in sensational form, with his left foot delivery the best in the competition.  Ruckman Hamish Leedham has been in strong form, alongside defenders Stuart Vandevelde and Jake Smith.  Brodie Palfreyman looks to be in the midst of a breakout season, as the Blues continue to play the brand of football that could see them go deep into September.

Hosting at West Park will narrow the gap between the two sides, with Burnie having impressed there so far this season.  If Launceston are to be taken seriously, they must defeat the Dockers convincingly as they look to stay in touch with the top three.  The Blues certainly have the side capable of producing such a win, but the young Dockers have shown incredible fight across the past month, and won’t give up the four points easily.