Tag: Brad Cox-Goodyer

State Leagues wrap: COVID chaos and big boilovers

WHILE Victoria has descended into COVID chaos once more, state leagues rolled on in South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia with a bunch of intriguing results produced. While it was largely business as usual in the SANFL, there was a major boilover in the TSL, while the WAFL top five is firming as three teams continue to battle for top spot. We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean moving forward in this week’s state leagues wrap.

South Australia (SANFL):

While Round 16 proceedings are currently under a COVID cloud, Round 15 went ahead without a hitch in the SANFL. There were two clashes between top five teams this past weekend, as ladder position counted for plenty with every higher-ranked side picking up full points across the five-game round.

At the top of the tree, Glenelg extended its perfect run to 14 games with an 18-point win over South Adelaide, who have now in lost three of their last four outings. A three-goal to nil opening term proved the difference, as the Bays put away another finals candidate. Matthew Snook (29 disposals, one goal), Luke Partington (26 and one), and Chris Curran (24 and one) were all prominent in yellow and black, while Bryce Gibbs managed 27 touches, 14 tackles and a goal in his 50th League match, fittingly against his old side.

Saturday’s other top five clash saw reigning premier Woodville-West Torrens power past Norwood, winning by 36 points on the back of a second half surge. The Eagles piled on nine of the last 10 goals after trailing at the main break, flexing their muscle forward of centre. James Tsitas and Mitch Grigg led the disposal count for either side with 29 touches apiece, while Tyson Stengle‘s two goals at the end of term three helped the Eagles push ahead.

Port Adelaide and Sturt remain in the hunt for finals after respective wins against the bottom two sides, though both came by a mere 13 points. The Magpies did enough to get past a plucky West Adelaide on Sunday, remaining one game out of the top five, while the Double Blues bettered Central District in a low-scoring slog to sit two games off the pace. North Adelaide was the weekend’s other winner, downing Adelaide by 54 points to strengthen its standing in third.

Tasmania (TSL):

Clarence has shaken up the TSL top four frame, defeating North Launceston by two points in a major boilover. The Roos led by a single point at half time and after extending the margin to eight come the final break, were made to reclaim the ascendancy via Colin Garland‘s boot at the death.

The result sees Clarence close to within a game of its weekend rival, as the Northern Bombers suffer rare consecutive losses in what was meant to be a celebration for player-coach Brad Cox-Goodyer‘s 200th game.

Brandon Leary booted four goals for the victors in a losing effort for the Northern Bombers, while Garland finished with three and James Holmes was named best afield.

Meanwhile, league leader Launceston escaped a similar scare against Tigers, snaring three goals to nil in the final term to sneak home by 13 points. The Blues trailed at every break after the hosts got the jump, but clawed their way back and pounced at the ideal time.

Fletcher Seymour and Cody Thorp (two goals) were among the victors’ best, while Luke Graham booted a game-high three majors for Tigers as Zach Adams claimed full votes.

In the weekend’s sole non-top four clash, Lauderdale powered past Glenorchy on the back of a 13-goal second half, saluting to the tune of 81 points. Leading a brigade of nine individual goalkickers for the Bombers was Edward Stanley (five), while Tyler Martin (four) and Allen Christensen (three) compounded their side’s scoreboard dominance.

Western Australia (WAFL):

East Perth inflicted the sole ladder change after Round 15 of the WAFL League season, jumping Perth in eight after its nine-point road win over the Demons. Former Carlton-listed pair Rohan Kerr (41 disposals, 10 marks) and Angus Schumacher (33 disposals, two goals) were prominent for the Royals, who held off Perth’s final term surge after leading by an even five goals at three quarter time.

A three-way tie for points from first to third remains after Claremont, Subiaco, and South Fremantle all claimed their ninth wins for the season. Subiaco still leads the way on percentage having defeated West Coast by 20 points, with 10 of the Lions 12 goals coming at one end of Leederville Oval.

Claremont isn’t far behind after downing Peel Thunder by nine points on Sunday, while South Fremantle’s 36-point win over Swan Districts proved a definitive result between finals contenders. Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect Jesse Motlop debut for the Bulldogs, booting two goals from 13 touches.

West Perth came away as the round’s other winner after scraping past East Fremantle by five points, overcoming a half time deficit and near-costly inaccuracy to remain clean in fourth. The Falcons were served typically well by Aaron Black (38 disposals, nine marks), as Tyler Keitel and Lachlan Bailey booted four goals for their respective sides.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

Victoria’s recently-extended five-day lockdown saw Round 14 of the VFL scrapped, with the competition currently running on a week-by-week scheduling basis. Victorian teams which travelled to Queensland also had their official fixtures cancelled, though Essendon and North Melbourne combined their reserves to face Brisbane in a scratch match on Saturday. Returning Roos tall Charlie Comben impressed with four goals in that hit-out.

The VFL Women’s finals series has also been impacted, but the VFL says it remains committed to awarding a premier with just the preliminary and grand finals left to play.

Image Credit: Cory Sutton via SANFL

State Leagues preview: QAFL’s first full round begins as other states go again for Round 2

IN a Draft Central first, we have streamlined a look across the nation with a number of state leagues coming back for Round 2 after a big opening round. Competitions in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland all take place over the weekend and we preview them all in one convenient preview.

QUEENSLAND:

The full bill of teams will be out in force for Round 2 of the QAFL after last year’s wooden spooners Wilston Grange got the one-point win over newcomers Noosa Tigers last weekend. The Gorillas matched their total wins from last season – albeit from a shorter nine-game season – from just one match, and will host Maroochydore this weekend. The Roos have teenager Ben Thomas on the wing, with key position tall Max McDonald named at half-back. For the Gorillas top-age draft prospect Bae Gallop has been named onball, alongside Kuot Thot (half-forward flank). Ky McKenzie (interchange) and Oscar Stewart (back pocket) are others who are young talents to watch for the home side.

Meanwhile grand finalists Broadbeach will host Labrador in the Cats’ first game of the year, while reigning premiers Morningside will travel to Palm Beach Currumbin for an away game first up. Naturally the Panthers were happy to wait until Round 3 to unfurl the flag against the team they conquered in the 2020 decider. The Cats will have a couple of Suns Academy members who have come through the program in Ryan Pickering and Finn Brown (emergency), while for Labrador, small forward Blair Rubock is back again in the yellow and black, with Bryce Retzlaff to provide a a tall target and crucially, ex-Gold Coast and Brisbane talent Pearce Hanley named onball.

Will Bella is the one to watch for the Lions as they try to take down the reigning premiers in Round 1, as the Gold Coast Suns’ tall has been named in the forward pocket. He will play alongside the likes of Ethan Hunt and Ashton Crossley who have both come through the Northern Academy programs in recent years. For Morningside, Ben McCarthy has been named at half-back and is one to watch from the Brisbane Academy, while Nathan Colenso and Tom Griffiths have come through the Northern Academies in recent years and remain youngsters to keep an eye on.

The 2019 QAFL premiers Surfers Paradise will be eyeing off a much better season in 2021 after just two wins last year, taking on another new team in Redland-Victoria Point. The Demons will hit the road against the Sharks in the clash, whilst the final match of the round will see Sherwood Districts hosting Mt Gravatt. Noosa Tigers will have a bye after the tight Round 1 loss.

Not named as a starter, but young Jaspa Fletcher will be one to watch for Sherwood this season, with Adrian’s son set to create plenty of headaches inside 50. Speaking of headaches inside 50, it is great to see Kobe Tozer returning from injury to be named at full-forward for the black and whites. Up the other end, Conner Bulley has been named in a forward pocket as another teenager in the side, whilst for the Vultures, Lochlan Harrop (half-forward) and Ethan Kerr (back pocket) are a couple of teenagers in the Round 2 team.

Surfers Paradise have players to keep an eye on as they keep developing such as Matthew Green and Myles Jewell returning to the side to take on the Sharks. Redland-Victoria Point is a new side entering the QAFL, though Redland has had its success in the NEWAFL, and ex-Collingwood talent Peter Yagmoor is one to watch on the list, as well as ex-Sherwood player Caleb Franks.

South Australia:

Former Tasmanian State League (TSL) and ex-West Coast Eagle Mitch O’Neill has been named for his South Adelaide debut, coming into the Panthers’ team alongside another former TSL and ex-AFL talent in Fraser Turner. They will beef up the Panthers’ starting team to take on North Adelaide in the SANFL League clash, who celebrate Jarred Allmond‘s 200th game. Top draft prospect will start on the interchange for the Panthers, whilst Dyson Hilder will be at full forward for the Roosters.

Another Tasmanian coming into the league is Hamish Allan, with the ex-North Hobart 20-year-old running out for Sturt this year. He will be amongst the side that features past South Australian representatives at Under 18s level, Tom Lewis, Josh Shute and Jed McEntee among others. Their opponents Norwood will celebrate Cameron Shenton‘s 100 games, but will be without Richard Douglas for the clash due to personal reasons, though a player who has garnered draft interest in recent years in Cole Gerloff returns to the Redlegs.

A trio of teenagers will potentially line-up for the League side with Brady Searle, Cooper Horsnell and Will Chandler all named in the side for their debuts, with ex-Demon Billy Stretch out with an ankle injury. Their opponents Woodville-West Torrens will unveil Canberra Demons’ recruit Mitchell Hardie who comes into the side along with the huge – physical and metaphorical – inclusion of ruck Jarrad Redden.

Teenage talent Bailey Chamberlain has been named for West Adelaide as one of three inclusions up against Adelaide’s reserves side. He joins new recruit Nick Steele as a potential inclusion, with no outs as of yet, and the likes of Josh Gore and Elliot Dunkin as ones who have caught AFL clubs attention in past years. The Crows will include ex-Glenelg onballer Luke Pedlar for the first time, with Daniel Jackson rested from the match.

Meanwhile Port Adelaide will be without Lachie Jones (debut) and Tom Rockliff (concussion) in a couple of massive outs, which gives Central District a big bonus at the selection table, welcoming in former Panther Brett Kennedy alongside ex-Tiger Ben Nason who returns into the team for the clash against the Magpies.

 

TASMANIA:

In Round 2 of the TSL, Glenorchy enter the competition after a Round 1 bye, set to take on a Clarence team coming off a hard-fought seven-point defeat. The Roos took a little too long to get going against an Allen Christensen-inspired Lauderdale outfit, and they will be keen to step it up against the Magpies.

Glenorchy will of course be without legend Jaye Bowden who retired last season, with Matthew Joseph set to be the focal point up forward, whilst youngster Callum Thompson is one to keep an eye on in the match. The Roos lose a shot of young guns due to Tasmania Devils returning to the NAB League with Oliver Davis, Baker Smith, Darcy Gardner and Noah Holmes all out, while ex-Demon Colin Garland has been named at full-forward.

In the Tigers-Lauderdale clash, much has been spoken about the huge impact that Sam Siggins and Nat Franklin had through the midfield with Christensen dominating up forward. The trio will look to have a similar impact when they travel to Kingborough to take on Tigers, who had a young gun stand out in Round 1 with Zach Adams impressing off a wing, whilst Lachlan Gadomski and Riley Ashlin are other young talents.

North Launceston will be without the Sanders brothers in Ollie and Ryley Sanders, as well as Nathan Pearce for the clash against North Hobart, as the Northern Bombers need to find a way to bounce back from a 55-point loss to reigning premiers Launceston. They still have experience in Brad Cox-Goodyer through the middle, but have a new-look side to its recent years. For the Demons. The Demons are coming off a loss themselves, going down to Tigers by 11 points, and will be massively depleted with a ridiculous amount of young talent out of the side including George McLeod and Jye Menzie. It will be up to the next ground of players coming in, with 12 inclusions – including four emergencies – to the Demons side.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

East Perth and Peel Thunder will be keen to quickly move on from Round 1 losses as they do battle in Round 2. The Royals will be without Nick Robertson, but still have Jackson Ramsay and Rohan Kerr among the midfielders as former AFL talents. Peel Thunder will bring in a quartet of Fremantle players with Griffin Logue and Liam Henry joining Mitch Crowden and Bailey Banfield in the side, with Sam Sturt‘s five-goal haul enough to earn a recall at the Dockers, as Connor Blakely and Taylin Duman also are out. A non Fremantle-listed talent to watch for is young gun Brodie Lake who is named in the back pocket.

Two teams that picked up wins in Round 1 were Claremont and South Fremantle, with ex-Dockers Jason Carter and Alex Pearce a couple of big inclusions for the Tigers. They have plenty to like about their lineup with Jye Bolton, Kane Mitchell and Jake Patmore among the talented experienced players in there, though Jacob Van Rooyen is the one to watch as a potential Top 10 pic, lining up on ex-Geelong Cat Blake Schlensog who is playing for South Fremantle. The Bulldogs will be without Cam McCarthy for this match, but still have Haiden Schloithe and Matthew Parker, and the exciting Ben Rioli.

A potential matchup between Chris Masten and Lewis Jetta on the team selection sheets is a mouth-watering clash for any West Coast Eagles fan, with the two ex-talents doing battle for Perth and Swan Districts respectively. Jetta might just have the leg speed in that head-to-head, with Sam Fisher, Jesse Palmer and Frank Anderson among the other Swans to keep an eye on. For Perth, ex-Murray and St Kilda talent Doulton Langlands joins ex-Docker Brady Gray and ex-Eagle Brant Colledge in the Perth midfield which will provide some resistance for the clash.

It is early days, but a top of the table clash between Round 1’s big winners in East Fremantle and Subiaco opens the second round with plenty to get excited about. Ex-Docker Hugh Dixon is joined by youngster Finn Gorringe who comes into the Sharks’ League side, while Jonathon Marsh and Dillon O’Reilly make a damaging forward duo. For the Lions, Ben Sokol is a goal-scoring machine, with Lachlan Delahunty starting his year off strong, set to go head-to-head with Josh Schoenfeld in a battle of the leather poisoning talents from the opening weekend.

At the time of publishing, the West Perth and West Coast teams were not out.

Picture credit: Bronia Henty-Smith Photography

State Leagues wrap: Easter Weekend opens seasons

STATE league men’s football returned across the weekend, with the SANFL, WAFL and TSL all back to full-strength competitions, whilst a standalone fixture in the QAFL went ahead despite some concerns, ahead of a blockbuster Round 2 next weekend.

QUEENSLAND:

Noosa Tigers had a promising return to the QAFL in the standalone Round 1 match despite going down in defeat, as Wilston Grange got up by one-point in a thriller. The league newcomers fought it out after being down by 14 points at the final break to boot 7.3 to 4.8 in the final term after a sluggish start, but it would not be enough in the 7.14 (56) to 8.7 (55) loss. Hugh Fidler and Max Hewett both booted two goals for the Gorillas, while Aaron Wilson starred with four majors for the Tigers. Corey Lobb (Noosa) ad Errin Wasley-Black (Wilston Grange) were their respective sides’ top players.

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

In the SANFL, all eyes were on Pick 1 contender Jason Horne, as he ran out for South Adelaide against the Crows’ reserves. The teenage talent racked up 19 disposals, six marks, four tackles and four clearances in the win, whilst it was ex-Crow Bryce Gibbs who stole the show with a match-winning 36 disposals, six marks and five clearances. Ex-Lion Sam Skinner had 17 disposals and booted two goals in the win, whilst Liam Fitt (four goals) was the busiest inside 50. Joel Cross (28 disposals, seven marks) and Hayden Sampson (25 disposals, 12 marks and one goal) were other to win plenty of the football in a massive 61-point smashing, while Crows’ reserves talent Hamish Latchford stepped up with 31 disposals, 12 marks and two clearances. Jackson Hately (25 disposals, 10 marks and two clearances) was the eye-catching one, as young talls Josh Worrell (20 disposals, five marks), Darcy Fogarty (14 disposals, three marks) and Fischer McAsey (14 disposals, six marks) also played.

It was not much better news for Port Adelaide’s reserves who also went down, losing to Norwood by 45 points. Father-son prospect Taj Schofield racked up 22 disposals, three marks and booted a goal, while Sam Mayes (28 disposals, seven clearances) and Jarrod Lienert (26 disposals, seven tackles) also worked hard. Matthew Nunn was unstoppable for the Redlegs with 39 disposals, five marks, 11 tackles and five clearances, whilst ex-Crow recruit Richard Douglas did as he pleased with 26 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, four clearances and a goal. Ex-Cat Jacob Kennerley also impressed with 24 disposals, five marks and six tackles, whilst ex-Hawk Paul Puopolo booted 2.3 from 19 disposals and three marks. Draft hopeful Jackson Callow booted 2.2 from 11 disposals and five marks on his SANFL debut, working well with Dom Barry (21 disposals, five marks and three goals) inside 50.

In the tightest game of the weekend, Central District toppled North Adelaide by nine points, in what saw 20 goals kicked in the first half. Whilst only nine more were kicked in the second half, the Bulldogs got up thanks to four goals from Justin Hoskin and Aiden Grace. Ethan East also slotted two goals, while ex-Oakleigh premiership player Thomas Graham kicked a goal from eight touches and two marks on his League debut. Ex-GWS GIANTS Academy member Harry Grant was also lively with 25 disposals, seven marks and six clearances, as Kyle Presbury (26 disposals, 13 marks), Brendan Dew (24 disposals, six marks) and Travis Schiller (24 disposals, six marks) were among eight players to reach 20-plus disposals. For North Adelaide, reigning Margarey Medallist Campbell Combe had 26 disposals, eight clearances and five tackles, while Jarred Allmond (31 disposals, six marks) and Aaron Young (15 disposals, four goals) were also impressive.

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles easily accounted for Sturt thanks to a massive seven goals to one final term to run away with the contest by 46 points in the end. The Menzel brothers booted seven goals between them, as Troy (four goals) and Daniel (three) had days out in their new colours. James Tsitas (29 disposals, three clearances and four tackles) and Riley Knight (26 disposals, seven clearances, six tackles and a goal) were both lively, as was ex-Bomber Kobe Mutch on debut with 21 disposals and nine marks. For Sturt, Tom Lewis was hard as usual around the stoppages on his way to 19 disposals and eight clearances, teaming up well with James Battersby (21 disposals, five clearances), while Casey Voss (20 disposals, six marks) and Josh Shute (17 disposals, 10 marks) were busy once again on the outside.

In the final game, Glenelg knocked off West Adelaide by 11 points, with Michael Virgin (32 disposals, 11 marks) and Luke Partington (31 disposals, five clearances) both racking up the ball. Matthew Allen (28 disposals, 11 marks and a goal) and Darcy Bailey (28 disposals, seven marks, six clearances, six tackles and two goals) were sensational, while Callum Park (26 disposals, six marks) and Matthew Snook (29 disposals, eight clearances) also found plenty of it. In the loss, Isaac Johnson slotted 3.3 from 23 touches and five marks, while Kieran Lovell‘s SANFL debut was a success with 22 disposals, five marks, four clearances and four tackles. Ex-Gold Coast Academy goalsneak Josh Gore kicked a goal from nine touches and impressively made 10 tackles in the loss, while Jonathon Beech was also good with two goals from 13 disposals and seven marks.

 

TASMANIA:

Reigning premiers Launceston kicked off its season with a big win over rivals North Launceston in a grand final rematch, defeating the Northern Bombers by 55 points at UTAS Stadium. Dylan Riley (three goals) and Jake Hinds (two) stepped up to the plate once again in the big win, as Michael Musicka and Cody Thorp slotted multiple goals as well. For the Bombers, Brad Cox-Goodyer was the standout, as Ollie Sanders kicked a goal and was amongst the best for the losers, one of a number of youngsters running through the team, while Thomas Bennett was also impressive.

Meanwhile the Tigers got off to the perfect start, holding their nerve against North Hobart in an 11-point victory. They led by 35 points at half-time, and whilst they still kicked the 13 scoring shots in the second half, only managed the 4.9, compared to the Demons’ 9.3. The Kingborough-based side had done enough though to win 10.18 (78) to 10.7 (67), with 19-year-old Zach Adams booting a goal and named best on ground. Max Collidge and Riley Ashlin were also impressive, whilst for the Demons, Jack Sandric was best-on with a goal, while Jye Menzie was among the young brigade who slotted a major.

In the other match of Round 1, Lauderdale also held on against a fast-finishing Clarence. Allen Christensen was the headline recruit, booting three first half goals to do all the damage as the Bombers led by 29 points at the final break. They only managed one behind in the last term as the Roos stormed home with 3.5 of their own, only to fall seven points short. Aside from Christensen, reigning league best and fairest Sam Siggins was named among the best with Nat Franklin. For the Roos, Ollie Davis continued his form from his draft year with a best on ground effort, as Ethan Jackson and Darcy Gardner were other youngsters to step up, while Josh Green slotted four goals in the loss.

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

The WAFL kicked off its season with some high-scoring thrillers, as every winner hit triple-digits, including a whopping 242 points combined between Claremont and Swan Districts. Every team scored at least 74 points, with the greatest margin being 32, during East Fremantle’s victory over Peel Thunder. In that match, Josh Schoenfeld brought his own football to Western Australia, with ex-Gold Coast Sun racking up 41 disposals, nine marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and four rebounds in a whopping effort on debut for the Sharks. Ex-Blue Blaine Boekhorst had 26 touches, two marks and kicked a goal in the win, whilst ex-Saint and Pie Jonothan Marsh had 21 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and 2.1. It was the effort of Dillon O’Reilly looking to force his way back to the elite level with three goals from 14 touches, five marks and two tackles. For Peel, it was Sam Sturt who demanded a recall to the AFL with five goals from 12 disposals and four marks, while Joel Western had 13 touches, four marks and kicked a goal.

In other matches, East Perth’s Nick Robertson made a promising debut with 30 disposals, four marks and a goal returning from Brisbane, while another ex-AFL talent in Jackson Ramsay had 29 touches, five marks, seven inside 50s and a goal in a huge day out. Lachlan Delahunty racked up 23 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and three tackles for the winning side, as captain Leigh Kitchell drove the team through a massive 29 touches, 11 inside 50s and five tackles. Ben Sokol, Michael Braut and Aaron Heal all slotted three goals. Perth got past West Coast reserves in a 13-point outing despite nine goals between Isiah Winder and Nathan Vardy. Winder had five snags from 18 touches and five marks, while Vardy had a whopping 35 hitouts, 15 disposals and three marks to go with 4.1. Ex-Eagle Chris Masten racked it up against his old side with 29 touches, five marks and seven inside 50s, whilst ex-Saint Doulton Langlands (20 touches, four marks, three inside 50s and two goals), ex-Docker Brady Gray (27 disposals, eight marks and six inside 50s) and ex-Pie Josh Smith (23 disposals, seven marks, six inside 50s and a goal) all had big performances.

Meanwhile South Fremantle accounted for West Perth with Haiden Schloithe and Matt Parker having days out. Schloithe racked up his usual 30 touches, and had seven tackles, six inside 50s and two goals, while Parker had 26 touches, two marks five tackles and 11 inside 50s. Brandon Donaldson booted two goals from 25 touches and three marks in the win, whilst four West Perth players racked up 30-plus disposals. Aaron Black (36 disposals), Trent Manzone (35), Shane Nelson (34) and Blake Wilhelm (30) had leather poisoning with their ball-winning efforts, but it would not be enough to drag their sides across the line. Tyler Keitel and Keegan Knott both slotted four goals, whilst Cody Ninyette and Mason Shaw combined for nine majors in the win. Finally Claremont won by 24 points over Swan Districts in a 38-goal extravaganza. Alexander Manuel and Isaac Barton booted four and three goals apiece for the Tigers in the win, but it was top-age draft talent Jacob Van Rooyen who caught the eye with 12 disposals, four marks and 2.2 at senior level. Thomas Edwards (four goals) and Jesse Palmer (three) were both lively inside 50 for the Swans, whilst Sam Fisher (33 disposals, seven tackles, five inside 50s and three rebound 50s) and Jesse Turner (34 disposals, 11 marks, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s) were the best in the loss. Jye Bolton suffered leather poisoning with a massive 39 touches, six marks, five tackles, six inside 50s and a goal, marginally ahead of teammates Bailey Rogers (36 disposals, one goal) and Ryan Lim (34 disposals, one goal).

 

Picture credit: David Mariuz / SANFL

State Leagues preview: Opening rounds kick-off across the country

IN a Draft Central first, we have streamlined a look across the nation with a number of state leagues returning to action over the Easter long weekend. Competitions in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland all kick-off over the weekend and we preview them all in one convenient preview. At the time of publishing, only the South Australian and Tasmanian teams were out, with our West Australian and Queensland previews to come.

South Australia:

The much anticipated South Australian National Football League (SANFL) competition kicks off starting tonight in a huge opening long weekend of action.

Tasmanian key forward Jackson Callow will be one to watch for Norwood tonight as they host Port Adelaide returning to the competition after a year off due to the COVID-19 restrictions regarding AFL non-selected players in state leagues. With ex-Geelong talent Jacob Kennerley and ex-Swans tall Michael Knoll returning to Coopers Stadium, the home team will be hard to beat. For Port fans, they will get a glimpse at recent draftees, father-son prospect Taj Schofield and key forward Ollie Lord, whilst the likes of Dylan Williams and Joel Garner are also named in there.

Speaking of ex-AFL talent, South Adelaide has bolstered its list with no bigger name than ex-Crow and Blue, Bryce Gibbs joining the Panthers. He joins ex-Cat Jake Tarca and ex-Lion Sam Skinner, whilst former State Under 18s player Damon Frietag has also joined the cause, Potential number one pick Jason Horne is the player many will turn in to watch, named on the bench to start 2021. Their opponents Adelaide is in the same boat to the Port Magpies, returning to the competition for 2021. Next-Generation Academy (NGA) member Tariek Newchurch is an exciting talent to watch named off half-back, with AFL-listed Crows Jackson Hately, Riley Thilthorpe and Fischer McAsey alongside another NGA draftee in James Borlase. Thilthorpe being named on a wing will be an interesting one to watch, showing off the 200cm key position player’s versatility.

Looking to the other Good Friday clash between Central District and North Adelaide, GWS GIANTS’ Academy member Harry Grant has crossed to the Dogs, with Tom Graham stepping up to League level after plying his trade with the Reserves following a 2019 premiership with Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB League. Tasmanian Aiden Grace arrives from Glenorchy, whilst the Bulldogs brother-duo of Travis and Jarrod Schiller will find plenty of the ball. Lachlan Grubb and Lewis Cowham are among the ones to watch in the Reserves side. For North Adelaide, reigning Margarey Medallist Campbell Combe will look to get his season off to a perfect start, with ex-Power and Suns talent Aaron Young joining the team, and former Under 18s state representative Dyson Hilder at full-forward.

In a mid-afternoon game at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, the Eagles will unveil ex-Crow Riley Knight, as well as former Central talents Daniel and Troy Menzel for their clash against Sturt. James Tsitas has remained in South Australia rather than head back to the VFL, while Kobe Mutch will complete a dominant midfield hoping to get back on an AFL list after his time at Essendon. Ex-Crow Patrick Wilson will don the Double Blues colours in 2021 and is straight into the midfield, with former Under 18s state representative Josh Shute also in the side for his League debut. Jordan Houlahan and Zane Kirkwood will once again be keen players for the visitors.

In the final game of the round, Glenelg hosts West Adelaide tomorrow evening. The Tigers have brought in two ex-AFL talents in former Swan Toby Pink, and North Melbourne tall Sam Durdin. Both will provide great versatility around the ground, and back-to-back leading goalkicker Liam McBean will start off another season back at full-forward. Margarey Medallist from a couple of seasons ago Luke Partington will return again for the Bays, as Cooper Horsnell could be among a number of junior players to step up to League level in Round 1. For West Adelaide, Kieren Lovell has joined the side after a stint with Tigers in the TSL last season, while Tom Murphy has been named in the side after his stint with North Melbourne. Josh Gore will be a very handy goalkicker inside 50, while over-age draft prospect Jye Sindeberry has been named at centre half-back for the match.

 

TASMANIA:

Looking down on the Apple Isle, the youth of the competition will be reduced when Tasmania Devils enter the NAB League competition after it was cancelled in 2020. Nonetheless, there are still some good young talents to keep an eye on, and established players who will stand up.

North Hobart kicks off its campaign against Tigers in what should be a fascinating contest. Youngsters Jye Menzie and George McLeod are among the ones to watch for the Demons, as they hope to topple a Tigers side that has lost key ball winner, Kieren Lovell to the SANFL. Lachlan Gadomski remains an important tall for the Tigers, with Sam Duigan a key inclusion for the Kingborough-based side.

In a massive 2020 Tasmanian State League Grand Final rematch, the two Launceston sides go head-to-head with North Launceston up against reigning premiers, Launceston. Young midfielder Ollie Sanders will play a crucial role on the inside, with plenty of chances over the off-season for the Northern Bombers, though Jay Foon and Brad Cox-Goodyer remain among the top players in the side, and Angus Jeffries another teenager to keep an eye on in 2021. Launceston will have its forward line combination of Jay Blackberry and Dylan Riley, as Jake Hinds will line-up again in midfield for the team.

The other match for the weekend is Lauderdale up against Clarence. The Bombers will welcome Allen Christensen to the side, with the ex-AFL livewire named in the middle, team up with Sam Siggins in there. Clarence have a ton of youth on display, led by last year’s Rising Star in Ollie Davis back again, alongside Ethan Jackson, Darcy Gardner and Noah Holmes among others looking for a good 2021 season in the red and white.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

Peel Thunder vs. East Fremantle
Subiaco vs. East Perth
Perth vs. West Coast
South Fremantle vs. West Perth
Swan Districts vs. Claremont

QUEENSLAND:

Noosa Tigers vs. Wilston Grange Gorillas

Just the one match this weekend in a standalone clash between new Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) newcomers Noosa Tigers, and Wilston Grange Gorillas. The match, set to be played at Rococo Oval in Noosa, will have a 2pm start if it goes ahead. With much uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, there is yet to be confirmation the match will go ahead. The teams are also yet to be named due to the uncertainty around the outbreak.

Picture credit: Solstice Digital

TSL Grand Final preview: Launceston vs. North Launceston

IT is a double-Launceston derby in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) with both Launceston and North Launceston facing off at UTAS Stadium in the seniors and Development League Grand Finals. The senior decider kicks off at 2.30pm following the Development and Women’s Grand Finals earlier in the day.

The reigning premiers North Launceston have a number of young prospects to watch out for across both grades, with Ollie Sanders in great form for the red and black. He has that touch of class and a beautiful left foot which can set up his more experienced teammates inside 50. While he missed out on getting a Draft Combine invite this year, he looms as one who will only get better over the next few years and could benefit as an over-ager next season.

Another North Launceston prospect named in the starting 22 is Baynen Lowe. The Devonport youngster with the fiery red hair is a tackling machine and one not to be messed with when the ball is in his zone. Possessing some nice speed and an ability to corral opponents, the bottom-ager still has another year to go before he is draft eligible. There is not much of the 174cm, 70kg small forward, but he certainly packs a punch.

For Launceston, the only player in the game with an AFL Draft Combine invite is Jared Dakin who has been a Mr Fix It all season. He can play on-ball, up forward or even in defence, where he has been named at half-back. Dakin has been tasked with a number of run-with roles this season and he has nullified key opponents. Interestingly enough, the last time these teams played, Dakin was sent to creative defender Jay Foon and did a good job early before being loosened and seeing Foon get off the chain.

Another top-age talent who has caught the eye as a potential late developer is Isaac Chugg. An elite athlete, he has enjoyed a role change from the wing to half-back where he has been able to show off his run and carry down the ground. Still building a more consistent game, he is one who will only get better with more experience.

One player who has been named as an emergency that is the biggest AFL Draft prospect in the game is Jackson Callow. Seemingly ruled out of contention weeks ago after badly hurting his ankles in an awkward landing, he has been named as an emergency the last couple of weeks. Whilst unlikely to be risked, it does allow the talented key position player to front up for the Development side if he is fit enough to play.

From a more senior perspective, both sides have a number of players in the TSL Team of the Year. North Launceston leads all-comers with a massive six players earning the honour. Ruck Alex Lee and full-back Corey Nankervis have key positions, whilst the left side of the field is all red and black thanks to playing coach Taylor Whitford, dynamic midfielder-forward Brad Cox-Goodyer, and the exciting Foon all named there. On the other wing, Josh Ponting‘s terrific season was rewarded with a starting spot.

For Launceston, competition leading goalkicker Dylan Riley made the forward pocket, with other dangerous forward, Jake Hinds inside 50. Up the other end is Jacob Boyd in a back pocket, whilst Jay Blackberry was named on the interchange. In a prestigious moment for the Blues, they also have the coach and captain of the team, with playing-coach Mitch Thorp leading the side, and Jobi Harper in the centre and named as hypothetical captain. It shows just how much talent is on display in the senior game.

Looking over the Development squads, North Launceston could have a few players to consider over the next couple of years. Top-ager Angus Jefferies impressed at school football this year and is a natural ball-winner. He only stands at a light 177cm and 70kg, but has elite endurance and will run all day. Bottom-age Bombers teammate Ryan Whitney is still building areas of his game, but he has some nice athletic traits to-boot.

Launceston also has a host of would-be Tasmanian Devils players who tested in the preseason for the squad coming into 2020 NAB League Boys season. Three top-agers – Kye Chilcott, Alex Davies and Jayden Hinds – have all been named in the side, whilst the likes of Zach Morris, Sam Foley and Denzel McLean are bottom-agers who will run out for the Blues. They are names to keep an eye on for next year, with Foley impressing in defence for St Patrick’s this year, whilst Morris is a classy forward who always looks lively.

North Launceston head in as favourites in the senior game, whilst Launceston has the depth at the Development level to be the nominal favourites there in what should be a couple of ripping contests.

Picture: Andrew Woodgate

TSL scouting notes: North Launceston vs. Clarence

IN the first of two Tasmanian State League (TSL) pieces wrapping up the first week of finals, we took a look at the first against fourth clash between North Launceston and Clarence and some of the top stars out on display.

NORTH LAUNCESTON vs. CLARENCE

By: Peter Williams

Twelve consecutive goals to North Launceston reminded spectators at UTAS Stadium just what the reigning premiers were capable of as the Bombers rampaged to a whopping 78-point win over Clarence. The Roos were plucky early kicking the first two goals of the game through bottom-agers Darcy Gardner and Noah Holmes and then leading by as much as 13 points at one stage after Josh Green kicked his side’s third major. Many expected a North Launceston response, but no one expected a 12 goals to zero domination over the next three quarters – including five in the final term – to run out 15.8 (98) to 3.2 (20) winners.

Daniel Withers was electric up forward and got better as the game wore on booting five goals for the Bombers, whilst Tom Bennett (three goals) and Taylor Whitford (two) both hit the scoreboard. Brad Cox-Goodyer was best on ground kicking a goal and always looked lively, whilst Jack Avent (one), Arion Richter-Salter and Thomas Donnelly were also standouts. For the Roos, Zac Buechner, Ollie Davis and Gardner all tried hard, with Davis breaking through a tag to be a force on the inside, whilst unfortunately for the Roos, they just faded as experience took over.

North Launceston:

#16 Ollie Sanders

Had a classy game for the Bombers, spreading well and getting better as the match wore on. His work rate and repeat efforts to get to multiple stoppages was admirable and in particular he looked lively in the front half of the ground. Sanders’ third term was the busiest for the talent, working hard in the back pocket to win the ball, then pushing into the midfield having plenty of touches. He spread regularly and then did well early in that term to speed out of a stoppage and use the ball well by hand and get it back not long after in space. Overall he was impressive for the Bombers, finishing with 18 disposals, six marks, five clearances and two tackles.

#64 Baynen Lowe

Lowe loves the contested side of things and lays some fierce tackles. He showed some quick hands under pressure, and was able to get it out whilst being tackled early in the second term. After a quiet first term, Lowe worked into the game and used his pace and defensive pressure to unsettle the opposition. In the third quarter, Lowe had a couple of score assists and was involved in a handball chain down the wing then hit up a target inside 50. He took a strong mark 40m out later in the quarter but his shot went to the top of the square and was cleared. Another good effort was late in the final term, spoiling one-on-one then handballing off which led forward to another goal for the reigning premiers. All up, Lowe had four score involvements to go with his 18 disposals, two marks, two clearances and five tackles.

 

Clarence:

#20 Oliver Davis

The TSL Rising Star really came of age when he found North Launceston’s Ben Simpson walk up to him from the first bounce. Davis was tightly guarded by Simpson and afforded no space around the clearances, but like he tends to do, he just wears down his opponents. Davis might not have had the greatest impact he has had in games – he was being tightly held – but he never gives in and just throws himself at the ball and ball carrier and his work rate is enormous. With clean hands in congestion and always giving it a crack even with the mammoth deficit mounting, Davis kept trying and finished with 18 disposals – 11 contested – six tackles and three clearances.

#23 Sam Banks

The most lively of the Clarence young guns, Banks played in defence and tried to use his run and skills to break the lines. He took a strong contested one-on-one mark on the wing, and whilst he was often under pressure in defence, made the best of it. Had one weird, uncharacteristic turnover in defence that triggered a series of mistakes by both teams, and then copped a hip and shoulder from the goal umpire in a couple of minutes he would rather forget. He readjusted and and was able to try his heart out driving the ball long, though the North Launceston defence was set up well. By the final siren, Banks had 18 disposals, one mark, one tackle, two clearances and three score involvements.

#34 Noah Holmes

It was a lonely day to be a full-forward for Clarence after quarter time, with Holmes winning the majority of his four touches in the first term when the Roos looked lively. Had one of the highlights of the day with a goal off a step 50m out and kicked it with ease like it was a 15m pass. He moved into the ruck to start the fourth term, but ultimately like most of his teammates had a quiet outing with four disposals, two tackles, two score involvements, one hitout and one goal.

#39 Darcy Gardner

Symbolic of many Clarence players, Gardner tried hard but was ultimately overwhelmed by the experienced North Launceston midfield. He ran hard in the opening term on the transition to lose his opponent and mark 30m out to slot home the opening goal of the match. His first term was huge with a great tackle on an opponent to stop a clearance, and then pumped a raking ball in deep that travelled 60-odd metres. He was quieter after quarter time, finishing with 11 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four score involvements.

#46 Baker Smith

Saw plenty of the ball in defence, but had a tough day on Blake McCulloch. When he had the ball, Smith looked composed and showed he could close down his opponent with well timed spoils. Often he was starting scoring chains from defence, but had his hands full with his opponent. McCulloch missed a couple of chances, but Smith still held him to the one goal from eight touches and three marks, far from disgraced against a distinguished opponent. Smith also hurt himself landing a little awkwardly in the last term, finishing with six disposals, one mark, two tackles and three score involvements for the match.

Picture: Andrew Woodgate

TSL weekly wrap: Round 10 – Good weekend for Bombers as Tigers keep finals dream alive

NORTH Launceston has gained top spot on the 2020 Tasmanian State League (TSL) ladder again after Launceston lost its third game of the season to slip to second on the table. With most of the AFL Draft hopefuls injured or playing school football this weekend, we focused on the game between Lauderdale and Launceston, and then wrapped up the other matches.

FEATURE GAME: Lauderdale 18.7 (115) defeated Launceston 7.10 (52)

By: Fraser Stewart

Lauderdale came from behind to defeat Launceston at Lauderdale Oval on Saturday afternoon, defeating the Blues 18.7 (115) to 7.10 (52). After Launceston kicked the first three goals of the match Lauderdale responded in emphatic fashion for the rest of the game as they claimed a 64 point win. 

Harry Richmond (14 disposals, seven marks, five goals), Samuel Siggins (12 disposals, three marks and three goals), Luke Nelson (18 disposals, six clearances and two goals), Toutai Havea (two goals), Hayden Smith, Josh McGuinness, Robbie McManus, Phillip Bellchambers and Tyler Martin all chipped in as they kicked a goal each in the home side’s emphatic win. For the away side, Jack Hinds booted three goals from 10 touches and four marks, and Jobi Harper (20 disposals, four marks, 11 clearances and two goals) were the standout performers in the losing side.

The younger players to watch included Nick Baker who was impressive with 18 touches, three marks, three clearances and seven rebounds in a strong performance, while Jared Dakin (15 disposals, three marks and five tackles) tried hard but could not have his usual output, and Isaac Chugg (12 disposals, three marks and three rebounds) also won enough of it out of defence, but like his teammates was unable to be as damaging as usual.–

OTHER RESULTS:

North Hobart 8.6 (54) defeated by Tigers 9.5 (59)
Clarence 9.5 (59) defeated by North Launceston 10.8 (68)
Glenorchy 8.2 (50) defeated by Tigers 8.12 (60)

By: Peter Williams

Tigers remarkably kept their finals hopes alive with back-to-back upset wins in Round 9 leaving North Hobart and Glenorchy in their wake. The Tigers won both games on the road by a combined 15 points, defeating the Demons in a mid-week fixture by five points, then toppling the Magpies on the weekend by 10 points.

Kieren Lovell had 21 disposals, seven clearances and five inside 50s against the Demons, but it was obvious he was just warming up for the weekend when he broke the season-record disposal count with 40 (18 contested), 13 clearances, six marks, six inside 50s, four rebounds and a goal in a remarkable effort. Fellow former AFL-listed talent Mackenzie Willis also impressed with 18 touches, four clearances and three inside 50s against the Demons, and 23 disposals, four clearances and three inside 50s against the Magpies. Tyler Carter booted 4.3 across the two matches to be the dominant goalkicker for the yellow and black.

Heading to school footy on the weekend, Sam Collins played on Wednesday night and helped himself to 17 disposals, six marks – two contested, three tackles and five one percenters, whilst fellow draft hopeful, Jye Menzie (12 disposals, six marks – two contested – and one goal) also player. Jayden Charlton stood out with 20 touches as at elite 90 per cent efficiency and 50 per cent contested rate, also having eight clearances, three marks and two inside 50s. Sam Caswell (14 disposals, two marks, seven clearances, two inside 50s and a goal) was the other Bomber to stand out in the loss.

For the Magpies, John Geard racked up 29 disposals, 10 clearances, six inside 50s, five marks and four tackles, one of a number of Glenorchy players to pick up big disposals numbers. Daniel Joseph (30 disposals, seven marks, three clearances, five inside 50s and five rebounds), Josh Arnold (28 disposals, six marks, four tackles and nine rebounds) and Callen Daly (23 disposals, six clearances, four tackles and three goals were also impressive. Jaye Bowden booted four goals from 13 disposals and five marks to do everything he could to drag his side across the line.

In the other match of the weekend, North Launceston went outright top on the TSL ladder with a nine-point win over Clarence. The Bombers had to come from a four-point half-time deficit to win in a tight one, led by Brad Cox-Goodyer (23 disposals, five clearances, seven inside 50s and a goal) and Jay Foon (23 disposals, seven marks and nine rebounds). Josh Ponting (19 disposals, six clearances, six inside 50s and eight tackles) was lively, whilst bottom-ager Baynen Lowe booted two goals from 14 disposals.

For the Roos, Chris Nield was unstoppable up forward, slotting five straight goals from eight disposals and five marks – two contested – while Keegan Wylie was a standout through the middle with 21 disposals, four marks, 10 rebounds and a goal. Jarrod Harper was next best with 15 disposals, three clearances and three inside 50s, while Keren Howlett tried hard for 10 disposals, four clearances, three tackles and three inside 50s.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

Scouting notes and weekly wrap: TSL – Round 6

LAUNCESTON suffered its first defeat of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) competition, going down in an odd low-scoring game to Clarence by a point, as North Launceston and Glenorchy both recorded important wins in challenging conditions.

GLENORCHY vs. NORTH HOBART

By: Peter Williams

Despite coming into the game as favourites given their recent record against the best sides, North Hobart found itself on the back foot, booting just four behinds in the first half as Glenorchy raced to a four-goal lead in wet conditions at KGV. The Demons hit back in the second half, but just as it looked like they might have a sniff, the Magpies steadied through the likes of Jaye Bowden and James Deegan who both stood tall, while Matthew Joseph also kicked a couple of goals. For the Demons, Hamish Allan stepped up in the ruck, while Jack Sandric was a clear best-on in the 7.8 (50) to 4.8 (32) defeat.

Glenorchy:

#34 Braidy Simpson

The 15-year-old showed some nice signs playing for the Magpies against the Demons. He rushed a little early in the game with a couple of turnovers or missed kicks, but was able to get into the game the more it went on, and when he had time and space, hit up Jaye Bowden on the forward side of the wing, and then did it again later leading to an Aaron Joseph goal. He won more of the ball as the game went on and did not look out of place in the side despite his young age.

#36 Callum Thompson

A promising game from the Southern Football League (SFL) best and fairest winner who just has the composure and footy smarts playing across half forward and at times, deep forward. He had a chance to extend his side’s lead at the first break after marking in space in the pocket, but his shot drifted to the right. He set up teammates after that, and while it was not always perfect, he won a free kick from a great tackle on the wing in the second term and earned a 50m penalty, and his kick went into the danger zone. While that kick was intercepted, he showed nice composure to look inside when at half-forward, opting to centre the ball to a free teammate in a better position which opened up the game in the 15-minute mark of the term. He did not win a heap of the footy, but had his moments.

#53 Riley Best

Had quite a number of neat touches through the middle and was not afraid to take the game on. In the second term he wheeled around and kicked inside 50 really deep to the danger zone, and then finished off some hard running to receive the ball from Bowden 45m out with a terrific set shot goal. Considering the conditions, Best was clean at ground level and was able to get it forward to Bowden’s advantage later in the term. Unlike many others in the game, Best used the ball fairly well and was influential around the clearances and getting the ball inside 50. 

#55 Nathan Blowfield

Tried hard all game for the Magpies and is composed when under pressure in defence, he did get out-marked late in the game against Patrick Walker at half-back, but as a whole, he was able to be composed with ball-in-hand and good at ground level one-on-one. One of the few to hardly miss a target all game and played a really sensible role for a defender in the conditions.

North Hobart:

#11 Jake Steele

One of a number of over-agers in the Demons side, Steele worked hard in challenging conditions for key forwards, and showed a high level of work rate to win a number of touches up the ground. He could have finished the game with a much bigger impact, kicking three behinds, but he was able to be clean at ground level and present a contest in the air. He applied defensive pressure and was strong in that regard, and while his timing when flying for marks could use some work – he flew twice but mistimed the jump – he did what you would expect of someone his size in the wet, which was compete for four quarters.

#15 Hamish Allan

While he had a quiet first term playing through the ruck, Allan got better as the game went on and really took advantage of Glenorchy’s second ruck in Brady Williams. Towering over his opponent, Allan might have been outsmarted in the opening term at times by the experienced James Deegan, but he dominated Williams in the hitouts, and by the time Deegan got back, Allan was matching, if not beating him later in the game. Not as mobile as Deegan at ground level, Allan was crucial because he got so many clear taps to get the ball into space for his midfielders to run onto, and while they did not always get to do it, he was winning more than his fair share of hitouts. He would get forward and provide a presence in the air, but as has been typical with 200cm-plus players, was better to handball rather than kick, particularly in the wet conditions.

#19 Will Peppin

Another over-ager who was one of the more prolific ball winners for the Demons, Peppin tried hard for four quarters. Like many of his teammates, Peppin turned the ball over going forward early in the game, but he was more efficient as the match wore on. In the second term he had a nice spin out of trouble at half-back to release the ball by hand to a teammate who kicked forward. He rushed a few kicks going inside 50 which were intercepted, but his work rate and intensity at the ball in the conditions was great, exemplified by his ability to nullify a one-against-two contest on the wing in the third term and buy his teammates time to assist.

#46 Jye Menzie

Might not have had the scoreboard impact the lively flyer can have, but he was one of the more impressive players early on in the conditions. He flew for marks and got down and dirty at ground level, and still looked dangerous when the ball was in his area. He pressured opposing players who had the ball or were about to collect, and realistically should have had a goal midway through the third term, but mis-kicked it a mile in the air. He was quieter in the fourth term, but laid a great tackle in defence to lock the ball in, and his first term in particularly was where he was working hard.

#48 Patrick Walker

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. He was kicking long out of the back 50 and trying to provide run for his team against the flow with some one-twos on the win. 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, and then pressured an opponent off the ball to make a mistake in the last quarter. His hands in the wet conditions remained strong with a deep kick to the pocket important as the Demons continued to attack late.

#49 Sam Collins

It was a mixed bag for the intercepting defender who did not have it all his own way throughout the game. He was good at switching play and trying to create something, but also made a number of turnovers in doing so. He was still valiant defensively with some good third-up efforts to spoil the ball, or provide pressure to opposing forwards, but like many of his teammates, had a few crucial mistakes. A handball turnover meant for Menzie in the middle went back the other way and resulted in a goal, and a long kick out of defence was intercepted on the wing. He played better wet weather football after the third term turnover goal, and still remained composed, without trying to overdo it. He had a terrific moment in the fourth term charging off half-back to win the ball in traffic and kick forward, then was thrown forward himself and showed good pressure in a losing side.

#51 George McLeod

The bottom-ager was impressive on debut, showing great courage going back with the flight early in the game, and while his subsequent kick was intercepted, he showed clean hands at ground level inside 50 to get it to Menzie for a scoring opportunity. McLeod just had a crack in a game where it was challenging to show off any athletic traits or clean hands, but he still managed to get the ball from a congested situation to teammates on a number of occasions and showed no-fear in doing so. His attack on the footy was impressive and while he is still light and was fended off easily in the third term at one stage, he has composure beyond his year. That came in the third term late when going inside 50 he had the composure to lower the eyes and not go to the predictable tall forwards leading out, instead spotting a free Thomas Reeves leading to space and went for the nice short kick out in front leading to a vital goal. Overall he moved well and showed some slick kicking skills in wet conditions and is one to watch for the future.

 

NORTH LAUNCESTON vs. TIGERS

By: Eli Duxson

After a relatively even first half, reigning premiers North Launceston pulled away from Tigers to record an impressive 56-point victory at UTAS Stadium. The Bombers only led by five points at quarter time and 12 points at half-time, but restricted Tigers to just five behinds in the second half, while piling on 7.7 and running away with a big win. Bart McCulloch starred with five majors and was one of the Bombers’ best, while Brad Cox-Goodyer (two) and Jack Avent were also impressive. For the Tigers, Kieran Lovell (two goals) put in a trying effort, as did Tyler Carter (two), while Lachlan Gadomski was named best-on for the losing side.

North Launceston:

#16 Oliver Sanders

Sanders played mostly between the wings and occasionally drifted up forward for the Bombers and was lively early in the game. A shower swept across the ground and kept the ball on the deck for a bit longer than usual, but this just prompted his straight-line attack on the footy and showed he has some contested ball ability. He had a good habit of timing his run and getting in the right position to receive handballs but was not able to connect on two kicks to send it inside 50. His hard work down the wings meant he led his opponent to the ball and won his own possession, using it well through hands. He had a set shot on goal from about 35 metres in the second quarter but missed narrowly.

Sanders’ third quarter was a little quiet, but he managed to get dangerous in final term when the Bombers were on top. He seemed to read the contest well with good positioning front and centre or roving the ball on the move. He showed his compact frame could lay strong tackles, winning a holding the ball free kick earlier in the game and bringing the Tigers’ ruckman to ground late in the game. He also showed that his frame was strong through the hips and core as he maintained his balance after being knocked in an aerial contest.

He has had a good mix of inside and outside play, but he is certainly able to find more ball and impact the scoreboard. In saying that, he also seems like the player who does not need a high possession game to make an impact with his tidy left boot.

#25 Jackson Callow

The 194cm and 95kg key position player showed he can be a utility for a team but seemed to be more effective in the defensive half. Callow played out of full forward for the first half and showed good athleticism and work rate with no reward. He copped a stinger to the shoulder early but made his way back out there to be an option. He managed to get his hands on a lot of long and high balls but was not making enough space for himself through engaging the body. Despite his lack of body work in marking contests, he showed he was adept to play ruck if needs be as he used his sturdy build to get first use of it in the air.

Like the previous week, he made the switch down back for the second half and was very good. His only blemish was spoiling a teammate going for the same mark which just showed he needed to switch from a forward to a defensive mindset little quicker. The rest of his work for the second half made up for it. He showed a good ball-reading ability in the air to mark and his speed on his opponent’s leads were electric. He was clean with his loose ball intercepts and used it well with both handballs and kicks.

Callow definitely looked a lot more comfortable in the defensive 50 than the forward. He is a good size to play key position and did all the right things as a defender. He can be a threat up forward if he uses his speed and strength to create separation from his opponent more consistently.

Tigers:

#19 Oliver Burrows-Cheng

A bit of a quiet game for the medium-sized forward although there was still a lot to like. He was hard at it and did not go off his line when he had to and showed good acceleration. He laid strong tackles and did not want to lose in congestion with repeat efforts to gather the ball and did so on a few occasions. He took a good overhead mark in the second quarter after holding a good position for the Tigers’ rebound. He hit a target on a solid switch kick but could have held to find a target up the ground in a more dangerous position – it still paid off, though.

He did seem to drift a bit around stoppages in his attacking half and was often caught between being at the next contest up forward or going to the stoppage. Either way, he looks capable in the air and when it hits the ground to rove but is also strong enough and fast enough to win his own ball in tight. A highlight of his came in the fourth quarter as he worried the Bombers player out of the contest with his ominous attack on the ball and won possession himself, sending it inside 50.

Although his numbers would not have indicated a big impact on the game, he has all the explosive traits of brilliance if he can get himself involved a bit more, whether that is with confidence or positioning, it will be exciting if he can bring it together.

#31 Lachlan Gadomski

A Devil from last season, Gadomski was named the Tigers’ best after doing his best impression of an anchor in his overwhelmed defensive post. At 186cm and 82kg, he is not your prototype key defender, although he showed at times that he could play both tall and small. In wet conditions early, he set the tone for what he is all about which is strong defence turning into offence. A strong one-on-one spoil was followed up, gathered, and cleared. He showed a willingness to win in his own ball under pressure both in the air with safe hands and on the floor. He was generally good with his disposal and stayed composed despite being swamped with attacking entries from the Bombers. He did concede a goal after being pinned holding the ball with a spinning gather, but his attack on the ball could not have been faulted.

As North Launceston dominated the play in the final quarter, it gave him Gadomski more work to do. His tackling ability was on display with a splendid chase down tackle after spoiling to earn a free kick. He continued to intercept mark and rebound, but also showed a calm temperament to not just run and gun with his clearances and try to find a target to slow the frenetic play down. He also showed good strength late in the game to stand up in a tackle and get a handball away.

He could play in the midfield for the Tigers but did not because it would probably leave them undersized down back. He played a bit like Dylan Grimes with his intercept play and stringent defence, holding his opponent to just one shot on goal for the game. A good game all round for Gadomski.

 

LAUNCESTON vs. CLARENCE

By: Fraser Stewart

On a slippery Windsor Park and in a relatively low scoring affair which saw one goal in the first term by Launceston, it was very much a battle of attrition, as there were plenty of stoppages, with not much free-flowing play happening. For much of the first half, Launceston put the pressure on Clarence’s defence, however, even with impressive performances by Blues ruckman Tim Auckland and Jared Dakin were not enough as they sprayed their chances in front of goal going down 1.10(16) to 2.5 (17). While Clarence were under the pump, Baker Smith showed what he could do and linked up with Sam Banks in the middle. Clarence, when going forward, looked dangerous when they used the wings and got their first goal in the third quarter. Two minutes before the full-time siren sounded Luke Swinton led for the ball and converted the set shot to give Clarence the win and the upset of the season so far.

Launceston  

#20 Jared Dakin

Was quiet for the first half and most of the second, but still found plenty of the ball and made good decisions. While it may not have been his best game and maybe it was due to the conditions, he still played well having not impacted the scoreboard as his position awareness was one of his biggest strengths which meant it allowed him to get the ball out of congestion and start a link up play. His second efforts when losing the ball is also to take note of. As soon as he lost possession, he quickly put the pressure on, often causing a turnover or a stoppage.

Clarence

#23 Sam Banks

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 was also calm when he got the ball and took a few seconds to kick it into space when he took a mark. He had a stint down back early in the game to help switch the play linking to an attacking play. He has a good eye for a mark, goes to the contest quickly and even gets the ground ball out in a fast manner. Like his counterpart it was his work off the ball that really mattered in their one-point win.

#46 Baker Smith

It was a busy day for him, as he did not have much breathing room as Launceston kept on putting the pressure on Clarence’s defence for most of the day. He showed good glimpses of what he can do which may come into effect in next years draft period, as he had a few good intercept marks stopping various Launceston attacks. Despite having a relatively quiet game after quarter time as he did not get much of the ball, it was his defensive smarts that was his best attribute. His skills on one-on-one defending were good as he threw a few spoils in multiple contests, and just playing and moving the ball into space was another important skill he showed.

Tasmanian weekly preview: Top of the table TSL clash highlights Round 5 action

A TOP of the table Tasmanian State League (TSL) clash between Launceston and North Hobart is the highlight of a big weekend of Tasmanian football action. Lauderdale and North Launceston lock horns in a third against fourth clash, as Clarence and Tigers will meet in both the TSL and TSL Women’s competitions. In the other TSL Women’s meeting, Glenorchy and Launceston lock horns in a much anticipated clash.

There is little doubt Launceston is the team to beat this season with the best offence and defence, as the only team above 250 points (276) and the only one conceding less than 130 (127) this season. They take on a much improved North Hobart team that has put its wooden spoon season behind it and picked up two wins in three games. The one loss was a gallant one against reigning premiers, North Launceston, but this is going to be an even greater challenge for the young Demons who have some terrific youth prospects.

Stringing back-to-back wins together, Jye Menzie and Nathan Harvey have each slotted five majors with Jake Steele (four) not far behind. Patrick Walker and Sam Collins are a couple of AFL Academy members to watch out for with plenty of talent. The key to stopping the Blues is limiting their damaging forward line, led by Dylan Riley (12 goals), with Jake Hinds (seven) and Mitch Thorp (five) not far behind. Jared Dakin and Collins might go head-to-head at some stage, whilst Tim Auckland is always a challenging player to beat around the ground. Yet to lose a game and sitting pretty eight points clear of their nearest rival – albeit with an extra game – they are the favourites in this clash.

North Launceston’s premiership defence has not started too bad this season, but dropping the Round 2 clash to Launceston would have hurt. They have since accounted for Clarence in a tough clash, and now face another challenger in Lauderdale that is looking to bounce back with a win after two consecutive losses. The Bombers prefer a lower scoring tight contest, and have done enough to keep the opposition under 70 points, but have not scored more than five goals in the past two weeks.

Lauderdale might look to leading goalkickers, Toutai Havea (seven goals) and Adrian Kalcovski (four) to kick a winning score, while their opponents have plenty of firepower up forward led by top-age talent Jackson Callow (five goals), and Brad Cox-Goodyer (four), while the likes of playing coach Taylor Whitford (three) and Corey Nankervis are always ones to watch.

In the final match of the round, Clarence will look to balance the ledger with a win against a winless Tigers side after going down in a tight contest to North Launceston last week. The Roos will be heavily fancied against a Tigers outfit that agonisingly came close to victory last week against Glenorchy but fell a point short. They have been competitive in two of their three losses, with a forgettable defeat at the hands of Launceston in Round 3.

Luke Graham (five goals) and Tyler Carter (four) have been shining lights in attack for Tigers, while Kieran Lovell is starting to get going for the league’s bottom side. Lachlan Gadomski and Oliver Burrows-Cheng are other talents who have been on the draft radar in year’s gone by and will be hoping to put their best foot forward. For the Roos, Noah Holmes booted four goals last week to race to equal second in his club’s goalkicking race with Oliver Preshaw, just behind Jeromey Webberley (five). Sam Banks is a name to watch out for next year while Oliver Davis should have plenty of time in the midfield throughout Clarence’s season as a top-age draft prospect.

TSL ROUND 4:

Clarence vs. Tigers
Lauderdale vs. North Launceston
North Hobart vs. Launceston

In the women’s match between Clarence and Tigers, the Roos are comfortably sitting in second with a massive percentage and will head into the clash with Tigers as heavy favourites. The damaging aspect about Clarence is that the Roos have an even spread of players across the ground. Jessie Williams booted seven goals in the Round 2 win, but only had the one last week as Jacinta Limbrick took centre stage with four. Amy Prokopiec, Netty Garlo and Tahlia Bortignon are among the young talents to watch on the Roos list.

Meanwhile Brooke Phillips broke through for Tigers’ first goal last week in the heavy defeat, whilst Kiira Johns and Mikayla Absolom have been named in the best on both occasions. Priscilla Odwogo was named best-on for the Tigers in the Round 3 loss, while Hailee Baldwin is another player who can stand up on her day.

The red hot Launceston is ready to make it three from three after having a rest in Round 3. They completely dominated Tigers by 81 points in Round 2, after holding North Launceston to the same score (one behind) but found the going a little tougher by only scoring the 26 points. Glenorchy is coming off a thumping of Tigers too, winning by 85 points, though the Magpies fell to Clarence the week before by 32.

Daria Bannister leads the goalkicking after her three goals against the Tigers, and what makes the Blues such a damaging unit is different players stand up on different days. Angela Dickson is the only player to have kicked a goal in both games, with eight individual goalkickers in the Round 2 rout, including one to top AFL Women’s talent, Mia King. Camilla Taylor is an over-age tall to keep an eye on, whilst Jennifer Guy is another named in the best for both games thus far. For Glenorchy, Sarah Skinner and Tiarna Ford have combined for nine majors, with Skinner and youngster Jemma Webster named in the best twice, leading an equally talented young list into battle.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 4:

Glenorchy vs. Launceston
Clarence vs. Tigers

Tasmanian weekly preview: Tigers and Bombers to host huge days

TWIN Ovals and UTAS Stadium will play host to both Tasmanian State League (TSL) and TSL Women’s action on Saturday. For those wanting to cram as much Tasmanian football into a day as possible, then the Tigers and Glenorchy, and North Launceston and Clarence matches stretch across both the major competitions. Launceston takes on Lauderdale in the third men’s match, whilst North Hobart (men’s) and Launceston (women’s) have their respective byes in Rounds 4 and 3.

TIGERS vs. GLENORCHY

One set of fans at least will go home happy from Twins Ovals, as Tigers and Glenorchy are the two sides across both competitions yet to get a win. With a combined seven losses between them, the sides will be looking to bounce back and give their fans something to cheer about. In the men’s competition, Tigers are the lowest scoring time, while Glenorchy have conceded many more points than any other side. In the women’s competition, Tigers only managed the one behind against Launceston last week, whilst Glenorchy fared a little better in a 32-point loss to Clarence.

Luke Graham has four goals to his named for the Tigers, with Cooper Sawdy and Tyler Carter (both two) the other key goalkickers. Kieran Lovell is one of the top players in the competition to watch out for, while the likes of Blake McCulloch and Oliver Burrows-Cheng are others who are capable of turning a match. For the Magpies, Aiden Grace has the three goals to lead all-comers as Adam Roberts and Matthew Joseph sit just behind with two apiece. With a number of changes already through the opening three rounds, the Magpies will look to the likes of Zac Webster and Josh Arnold who stood out last week in the heavy loss.

Neither of these sides troubled the scorers too much last week, but Sarah Skinner and Tiarna Ford booted the two goals for the Magpies. They have plenty of talent on the list, with the likes of Libby Haines, Jemma Webster and Brieanna Barwick all standing out in Round 2. For Tigers, the Round 2 loss to Launceston gave them a baptism of fire after a week off in Round 1, through Abby Burrows-Cheng, Lilly Ellis and Paige Flakemore were among the top players, and Hailee Baldwin and Priscilla Odwogo others to watch out for in the game.

Glenorchy will head in as favourites in both games if the Magpies can reduce the scores conceded in the men’s game, whilst the Magpies looked more settled in the women’s last week and will be keen to go one step further and take home the points in this encounter.

 

NORTH LAUNCESTON vs. CLARENCE

In the TSL, reigning premiers North Launceston held on against North Hobart in Round 1 before going down to Launceston for the first time in seven years last week. The bye came at the perfect time for the Bombers, who come up against a Clarence side that is fresh off a thumping over Glenorchy. Having been humbled by Lauderdale in Round 1, the Roos settled following the bye and really impressed in Round 3. In the women’s competition, the Bombers tried hard against the Blues in Round 1 but went down by 25 points, while the Roos triumphed by 32 points in their only game of the season against Glenorchy last week.

Jessie Williams was the star for the Roos at Richmond Oval, slamming home seven majors and was unstoppable in attack. Amy Edmand was the other Roo to hit the scoreboard, while the likes of Netty Garlo and Nicole Bresnehan were also impressive, and Amy Prokopiec is one to watch for next year’s AFL Women’s Draft. The Bombers only managed a behind in Round 1 against the reigning premiers, but considering what Launceston did in Round 2, North Launceston did well to contain them to a total score of 26. Jodie Clifford, Zoe Bourne and Ruby Slater were among the top Bombers in that game, while Sarah Radford and Kayla Sheehan also impressed.

Last week’s huge win over Glenorchy in the TSL certainly sent a message to the competition and sets up a classic encounter here with North Launceston. Jeromey Webberley and Oliver Preshaw have both slotted four majors for the Roos, while Dylan Howlett is the other multiple goalkicker. Former Brisbane and Essendon forward Josh Green returned to football last round and kicked a goal, whilst the likes of Oliver Davis and Sam Banks are among a host of young talent to keep an eye on in the red and white. Speaking of young talent, Jackson Callow leads the Bombers’ goalkicking after three majors in Round 2 took his season total to four. Brad Cox-Goodyer has three majors and playing coach Taylor Whitford has two. Thomas Donnelly and Corey Nankervis were also in the Bombers’ best in the Round 2 loss to Launceston.

Clarence is favoured to take out the women’s match, though it is difficult to assess given both sides have played the one match and their opponents are expected to be at opposite ends of the ladder. In the men’s competition, North Launceston has the ability to really take a stranglehold, but Clarence will be raring to go after the confidence-boosting win last round.

 

LAUNCESTON vs. LAUDERDALE

The third TSL clash is between top of the table Launceston, and third placed Lauderdale. The Blues have won all three matches thus far, ticking off every challenge thrown at them, including reigning premiers North Launceston. The Blues deserve to head in as favourites for the clash and realistically, premiership favourites. They hold a mammoth percentage of 245.98, though Lauderdale has still been impressive, winning back-to-back games before dropping their Round 3 encounter to North Hobart.

Dylan Riley is leading the Blues’ attack this season with eight goals in his three games, two ahead of Jake Hinds (six). Mitch Thorp returned to the side last round after missing the Blues’ drought-breaking win over North Launceston to slam home five goals in the victory over Tigers. Brodie Palfreyman and Jobi Harper have also impressed this season, while Jared Dakin continues to play his role through the middle for the Blues in his over-age year.

Lauderdale’s Toutai Havea has the six goals to his name, three ahead of Tyler Martin and among 13 individual goalkickers. The Bombers have enough talent on the list to suggest they will push the ladder leaders, but they will need to be at their best. Nick Baker is capable of playing up either end, whilst Will Poland and Josh McGuinness were Lauderdale’s best in the defeat to North Hobart. Launceston are favourites in this one, and the Bombers will need to make sure they do not fade away like they did in the third term against the Demons in Round 3.

TSL ROUND 4:

Tigers vs. Glenorchy
North Launceston vs. Clarence
Launceston vs. Lauderdale
Bye: North Hobart

TSL ROUND 3:

Tigers vs. Glenorchy
North Launceston vs. Clarence
Bye: Launceston