IN this week’s Tasmanian State League (TSL) weekend preview, we take a look at a couple of head-to-heads across the weekend as the six sides go at it through the midway point of the season. The match of the round should be the battle between third placed North Hobart and fourth placed Clarence, two sides that clearly have ability, but being young they have not had the consistency thus far in season 2020.
They are among four sides sitting on two wins from five games, with the others being Lauderdale and Glenorchy who take on last placed Tigers and second placed North Launceston this weekend. The round also marks a fully completed half of the season with all seven teams having had a bye to-date as Launceston sits out this weekend. It is fair to the say the Blues will be happy with their season thus far despite dropping their first game last week in an odd 17-16 loss, but have enough percentage to ensure North Launceston do not catch them. The top two sides are sitting pretty at the top of the table, while at the other end, Tigers will be desperate to win their second game in three weeks and level up against at least three other sides.
FEATURED MATCH: NORTH HOBART VS. CLARENCE
The Demons will want to quickly put behind them their loss last week, which saw them kick their first goal in the third term. They fought hard at the end in trying conditions, but ultimately were too slow to start. Clarence has had an up and down year, dropping its first game, then smashing Glenorchy, and going down in a tough loss to the reigning premiers. The last two weeks got even stranger, belted in the first half against a winless Tigers side to lose by 15 points, then toppled the undefeated Launceston last week in a two goals to one victory.
H2H: Patrick Walker (North Hobart) vs. Sam Banks (Clarence)
These two will not necessarily line-up on one another, but both have played wing roles in the past few weeks throughout games, which means it could be an all AFL Academy head-to-head at North Hobart Oval. Walker is more of a half-back who can play up on the wing, whereas Banks can do his best work forward of the ball setting up nice plays.
Banks has the extra athleticism and skill that helped him earn All-Australian honours at the Under 16s National Carnival as well as taking home the prize as the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Walker was one of Tasmania Devils’ most impressive players in his bottom-age year, averaging 5.4 rebounds to go with 16.5 disposals and 3.8 marks.
Round 5 scouting notes:
#48 Patrick Walker
R5 stats: 16 disposals @ 50% (62.5% contested), 2 marks (1 contested), 1 tackle, 1 clearance, 1 rebounds
“While many of his teammates were missing targets early in the wet conditions, Walker was using the ball well and showing clean hands off the deck… Walker showed composure under pressure and while he made the odd mistake in the wet conditions after the opening term, was still able to show good recovery on the wing when knocked off the ball at first in the third term.” – Peter Williams
#23 Sam Banks
R5 stats: 14 disposals @ 85% (31.3% contested), 2 marks, 3 tackles, 1 clearance, 3 inside 50s
Just like last week Banks began as an outside midfielder, and came to life late in the first quarter grabbing a few possessions out of the contest. While this game he may not have provided anything special for the highlights reel, he showed good vision when he had the ball linking up to multiple scoring chances. He has a good eye for a mark, goes to the contest quickly and even gets the ground ball out in a fast manner.” – Fraser Stewart
In other matches, Jackson Callow‘s North Launceston will hope to draw level with top of the table Launceston which is achievable with a win over Glenorchy. The key forward had 13 disposals, three marks – one contested – two inside 50s and two rebounds last week, spending time at both ends of the field to showcase his versatility. He tackles a Glenorchy team that will be buoyant after a win in the wet over the Demons in Round 5, and while he might only be 15-years-old, Braidy Simpson showed he is not afraid to show what he has through the midfield with 12 touches, three marks and three inside 50s.
Meanwhile, Tigers can bounce back from last week’s loss with a win against the out-of-form Lauderdale. The Bombers have lost three on the trot since winning their opening two games of the season, albeit the losses came against the top three sides. Lachlan Gadomski continues to stake his case to be drafted as a 20-year-old, showing off his terrific athleticism in defence on his way to 13 touches, two marks and three rebounds, with a team-high eight one-percenters. He will look to stop the flow through to the Lauderdale forwards, with former Eastern Ranges’ talent Adrian Kalcovski booting four goals in five games, including a couple of rippers in a fortnight ago.
TSL ROUND 7 FIXTURES:
Tigers vs. Lauderdale
North Hobart vs. Clarence
Glenorchy vs. North Launceston
TOP FOUR CLASH TAKES PLACE AT KGV
IN the TSL Women’s competition, a top three clash headlines the weekend, with third placed Glenorchy up against fourth placed North Launceston. The Magpies knocked off the previously undefeated Launceston two weeks ago before a bye in Round 5, while the Bombers grabbed their first win of the season last round. Now there is plenty on the line with the Magpies able to go four points clear inside the top three, or the Bombers able to level with their opponents with an even keel of 2-2 from four matches.
Glenorchy will go into the game as heavy favourites given their percentage, and the Magpies will be confident they can continue their recent form. If as expected they get up, Glenorchy will be on a three-game winning streak. Sarah Skinner (seven goals), Elise Barwick (four) and Tiarna Ford (four) are all damaging players for the Magpies inside 50, with Skinner also named amongst Glenorchy’s best in every match. The Bombers will be pleased they scored a win last week against struggling Tigers, but now have a bigger challenge against the Magpies. Hayley Breward (two goals) and Maggie Cuthbertson (two) both stood out in the win last week, while Jodie Clifford, Zoe Bourne and Kayla Sheehan are others who have been good this year.
New Collingwood AFL Women’s ruck/forward Abbey Green stood up in her first game of the season for Launceston last week booting three goals in the top of the table clash against Clarence. She will prove a handful for a Tigers side yet to get on the board in what is anticipated to be a one-sided contest. Other AFL Women’s stars who make life difficult for the opposition included Daria Bannister and Mia King, while Camilla Taylor and Angela Dickson have been impressive this year. For the Tigers, youngster Priscilla Odwogo continues to impress, booting a goal last week to join Brooke Phillips and Lilly Ellis in the goalkicking books this season. Odwogo, Mikayla Absolom and Mimosa Middleton Miller have all been named among the best in a tough start to the season for the Kingborough side.
TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 6 FIXTURES:
Launceston vs. Tigers
Glenorchy vs. North Launceston
Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography