Written by Matt Hill
Launceston made it two from two to start the season with a convincing 62 point win over Burnie, at Windsor Park.
Launceston’s first home game of the season was an emphatic performance in what saw their slick ball movement and overlapping run dominate the Dockers in slightly wet conditions. A goal to Sonny Whiting within the first minute of the game signalled things to come for Launceston and Whiting, who enjoyed a day out up forward.
The Blues dominated the early stages of the first term to kick away to a 19 point lead mainly due to the dominance of forwards in Sonny Whiting (who kicked three goals in the first term), and Rulla Kelly-Mansell. Burnie did well to fight back in the later stages of the quarter with Jamieson House providing a strong forward target to help the visitors snatch a lead by one point at quarter time.
From there on in the game it was all Launceston with their fantastic quick ball movement and well executed game plan seeing them storm home over the Dockers. A six goal second quarter in the second set up Launceston’s lead as Corey Sheppard, Kelly-Mansell, Whiting, Palfreyman and Rundle all goaled for the Blues. At the other end, Launceston’s defence was rarely troubled in the second as Burnie struggled to get the ball dangerously into their forward fifty and hence only registered one behind for the term.
After the main break Burnie showed glimpses of finding a way back into the game but some crucial disposal errors cost them dearly. As well as an undisciplined act that saw a one hundred metre penalty which gifted the Blues a goal. The Dockers were able to trade goals with Launceston at stages but some inaccurate goal kicking made the score line a lot closer than what it could have been with the Blues booting two goals and five behinds compared to Burnie’s three goals straight for the stanza.
Down by 36 points going into the final term Burnie needed to shut down Launceston’s outside run and ball movement but unfortunately were not up for the challenge, as Launceston put the pedal to the metal and booted five goals to one in the last quarter to run out 62 point winners.
Jack Donnellan’s run and ball movement out of the backline set up a lot of Launceston’s play, teaming up effectively with Jordan Harris and Corey Sheppard the Blues had constant pressure on the Burnie defence. Rulla Kelly-Mansell and Sonny Whiting were extremely dangerous up forward, Kelly-Mansell presented all day and ran the Burnie defence off their feet; he kicked only two goals for the game but could have easily kicked five. Whilst partner in crime Whiting booted a monstrous seven goals in a match winning display. What was even scarier for the Burnie defence was that if the rain had have stayed away and Whiting kicked straight he could have been looking at a haul of more than ten goals. For Burnie, House was a hard battler up front for the Dockers kicking four goals in what was a tough day for the north west side.
Launceston had plenty of positives to take out of the game and with a mouth watering Good Friday clash next week against neighbours North Launceston atUniversity Of Tasmania stadium, some added confidence will certainly put the Blues in a good mind set for next week’s cross town derby. A game not to be missed.
Burnie also take on rivals Devonport next week at West Park in a must win-game game for both sides. Both teams are coming off consecutive losses after the first two rounds and will desperately be searching for the four points in order to redirect their seasons.
LAUNCESTON v. BURNIE DOCKERS
Round 2 – 08/04/2017
Launceston 4.1, 10.4, 12.9, 17.14 (116)
Burnie Dockers 4.2, 4.3, 7.3, 8.6 (54)
GOALS, Launceston :
S. Whiting 7, R. Kelly-Mansell 2, C. Sheppard 2, J. Blackberry 1, Z. Griffiths 1, B. Palfreyman 1,
M. Spohn 1, S. Rundle 1, S. Lonergan 1
Burnie Dockers :
J. House 4, H. Walters 1, C. Proctor 1, F. Poke 1, J. Murray 1
BEST, Launceston :
J. Smith, J. Donnellan, S. Rundle, S. Whiting, C. Sheppard, R. Kelly-Mansell
Burnie Dockers :
J. House, C. Proctor, E. Jackson, R. Barrett, J. Cox