Northern Knights 11.12 (78) def Western Jets 10.4 (64)
Josh Poulter’s scouting notes:
#4 – Chas Roberts
Spent the majority of the game in the ruck for the Knights with a strong work-rate and second efforts being notable. Roberts looked like he easily outmuscled both Walters and McGregor at the ruck contest, and followed up well on the ground by getting on hands and knees finishing the game with 19 disposals and 28 hitouts. Took a few marks along the line to bail out the Knights as well on occasion. It is a shame we won’t see him in the finals to see if he can boost his draft stocks even more.
#6 – Patrick Naish
Naish was by far and away the best player on the ground in the first half of the game. The potential Richmond father-son was the go to player for the Knights in all areas of the ground. Ball use was good overall but at times it cost the Knights on the rebound, especially by foot. Faded out in the second half but did bob up at times, but mainly put his stamp on the game in the first two quarters.
#9 – Lachlan Murphy
At all clearance opportunities, Murphy was the go-to player for Knights, sharking from the ruck contests multiple times. Set the Knights up going out of the contest, showing he can win a great mix of inside and outside football and using his already developed frame collecting 30 disposals.
#12 – Patrick Lipinski
Going into the game, there was hope Lipinski would continue his rich vein of form in the midfield, but mainly played the key pillar up forward alongside Clancy Bland. Showed his athleticism and leap many times, and finished off the game with 3 goals. With every game his stock his rising and this one was no different.
#47 – Joel Naylor
Impressed in the first-half with his dash and ball-use out the backline, being able to run off-his opponent deep in defence and set of Knights into attack. He copped a heavy knock in the 3rd quarter which forced him off the ground, but came back on for the 4th quarter and was put up forward where he kicked 3 goals.
#5 – Luke Hitch
Consistent as ever in defence, continued on his great year by being the hard-nosed shut-down defender that he is. Was able to beat his direct opponent on many occasions and also then go to win the ball with his second efforts and clear the 50 for Jets. His tackling again was also his highlight with many strong tackles.
#7 – Nicholas Buykx
Was by far and away the best Jets midfielder for the day, leading by example in tight and also on the outside. Tackling was a highlight and his leadership around the ground was also evident as well. Ball use was average, but also showed dash at times along the wing.
#39 – Harrison Bult
Showed his versatility throughout the day, playing everywhere and even had a short stint in the ruck. His exquisite kicking skills were also a highlight, both from kicking out of full-back and in general play. Also went into the forward line in the last quarter and kicked a goal from nearly 50m out.
#44 – Oscar Junker
Easily the best player on the ground, and his performance was nearly a match-winning one for the Jets. Kicked 3 goals in the 2nd quarter and also pinch-hit in the midfield at times. Played both at Full-Forward and at Centre-Half Forward but didn’t look lost in either and was the target going inside 50 most of the time whilst being the X-Factor in the game.
#48 – Brock McGregor
Battled hard and had handled most of the ruck duties alongside Darren Walters. Much like opponent Chas Roberts, showed great work rate around the ground and was a strong target. Showed great hands on the ground and also great evasiveness able to get his hands free and get past a few tacklers. Though he at times did try to do much with the ball, he was generally very good. Won the Jets’ match ball for their best player on the ground on the day.
Gippsland Power 17.16 (118) def Bendigo Pioneers 12.5 (77)
Peter Williams’ scouting notes:
#1 – Joe Atley
Typical working class effort from Atley. Won a bit more outside ball than usual and kicked a great running goal bouncing off an opponent to steady and snap. Just a consistent performer who is a no-fuss footballer. Doesn’t have the X-factor of other players, but just goes everything right and is a good team player who never panics.
#2 – Kane Farrell
Was good early, but like many Pioneers went quiet after half-time. Kicked an impressive running goal in the first term and has a bit of pace about him. Small midfielder who can move forward and snag a couple.
#6 – Lochie O’Brien
Stood out with his clever ball use on his left foot and moving in transition from half-back to half-forward. Kicked a couple of goals early and helped the Pioneers get off to a great start.
#8 – Paddy Dow
Good overhead for his size and can roost it from 50 if required. Another good bottom-ager who is coming along nicely for the Pioneers. Is a player to watch next season.
#9 – Laine Fitzgerald
Has no problem finding the footy and getting out of tight situations. Can find a small gap and work with it to clear it from congestion. Undersized, but works hard in the midfield.
#13 – Jarrod Brander
Good contested mark and nice mover for a big bloke. Reads the play well and kicked a couple of goals. Still a bottom-ager and I imagine he will want to bulk up a bit, but a good athletic forward who can clunk marks.
#2 – Nick Hogan
Tenacious small forward who can play up the ground and is dangerous around goals. Really quick and evasive, kicked a couple of impressive goals, including one from long range. Doesn’t find a heap of it compared to others, but is a very reliable kick for goal.
#5 – Ben Ainsworth
A class above. While everyone else was missing targets both in play and for goal, Ainsworth was a dead-eye, never looking like missing, kicking both on the run and from set shots. Plenty of X-factor and strong in the contest, the forward cum-inside midfielder just wins the footy and fires out quick handballs. Isn’t afraid to demand the ball if he feels he can deliver for his team. Collected plenty of the ball in the final term when the game was done and dusted. Finished the match with 33 disposals and 10 marks.
#15 – Cody Henness
Really like his closing speed. Twice he caught a Pioneers defender cold with a brilliant run down tackle. He hit the post with his first set shot, but nailed his second opportunity. Strikes me as that defensive forward who kicks a couple of goals a game in the Tyson Goldsack style.
#20 – Nathan Voss
Played forward and his biggest highlight was goal of the year. Tight up against the pocket under pressure, he somehow snapped an inside out banana goal and could hardly believe it himself. Did his chances no harm with a few majors and provided pressure inside 50.
#22 – Josh Patullo
Big bodied ruck/forward who shared the ruck duties throughout the game. Took an impressive mark and really imposes himself on the contest. Not overly mobile like other rucks, Patullo still covers ground well, and can influence up forward. Really influenced at the forward stoppages with his hitouts to advantage.
#30 – Jai Rout
Don’t mind Rout as a prospect, he has a long kick and played that high half forward role. Was among the Power players who stood up in the third term, kicking a couple of goals and assisting in a few more. Didn’t find a heap of it and went in and out of the contest like others, but looked good in that purple patch.
#32 – Kade Renooy
Seems to find a lot of the ball without being noticed, but today he was instrumental in turning the game in the Power’s favour. When they needed a goal, he bobbed up with two in the third term, kicking two in a row to push the margin from three points to 15 and the Pioneers never came back from that.