Tag: Jake Hinds

TSL Grand Final Match Preview

DESPITE many leagues falling victim to a COVID-interrupted season, the Tasmanian State League (TSL) has managed to avoid these hurdles, and have reached their final match of the season. The grand final will take place at the University of Tasmania Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with the Launceston Blues and the North Launceston Bombers set to lock horns and resume their rivalry in what should be a heated contest.

Launceston defeated North Launceston in last year’s grand final, and were the dominant team throughout the home-and-away season, so many expected them to cruise to a second consecutive flag. This all changed when the Bombers sent shockwaves across the league by upsetting the reigning premiers in the semi-finals, booking their ticket straight to the big dance, while causing some nerves amongst Blues fans. Launceston were forced to take the long route to the grand final, taking on Clarence in a preliminary final, a side who had proved too much at times during the season. The class of the Blues was able to shine through as they took the Roos apart, storming away with a 52-point win, setting up a rematch of last year’s grand final.

Given the cross-town rivalry between the two sides, there is sure to be plenty of fireworks at various stages of the match. Last year’s decider saw an all-in melee on the quarter time siren, and there is a strong possibility of similar scenes in this match.

North Launceston will be benefited by the services of 2021 Alistair Lynch medallist Brad Cox-Goodyer, who has proved time and time again, he can lead by example and drag his side to crucial victories. His ability to not only find the ball, but kick bags of goals is unparalleled across the league, and Launceston would be wise to put some time into curving his influence. Another dangerous weapon for this side is midfielder Jay Foon, who has had some impressive outings against the Blues, including 28 disposals, nine clearances and two goals in Round 8 of this season. One of the league’s premier extractors, Foon could play a big role in driving his side to a flag.

Launceston will welcome playing-coach Mitch Thorp back into the team, replacing suspended brother Cody, and the ex-Hawk will need to play a crucial role ahead of the ball as a leading target. Jay Blackberry can also wreak havoc across the half-forward line, and was voted the best player of the season by the media, so he should feature prominently for the Blues, while Jake Hinds has the ability to not only find plenty of the ball, but seriously hurt the opposition when he uses it. Hinds is one of the league’s star midfielders, so there’s a strong chance the Bombers will pay close attention to him.

For fans of the sport and the league, this is a mouth-watering clash. A rematch of last year’s decider between two traditional rivals and the league’s two best sides, this match could go either way and should prove necessary viewing on Sunday afternoon.

 

Picture credit: Craig George

State leagues wrap: Finals underway in Tassie, SANFL top five race goes down to the wire

FINALS action got underway in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) this past weekend, with one grand finalist already booked after a major upset. Meanwhile, the race for top five spots will go down to the wire in South Australia, and the best handful of West Australian sides are set to duke it out for ascendancy on postseason’s eve. We take you through all the results and big performances in this week’s state league wrap.

South Australia (SANFL):

The penultimate regular season round of SANFL action was completed on Friday and Saturday, with three games drawing the competition even closer to finals. Kicking off proceedings on Friday night, Glenelg moved one win away from completing an undefeated home-and-away campaign after downing West Adelaide by an even six goals. Leading from the get-go, the Bays got their handball game going and were strong around the ball.

Brett Turner lead all-comers for the Bays, notching 35 disposals and seven clearances to go with 12 tackles in a mammoth effort. Matthew Allen also ticked up to 30 touches, while Darcy Bailey notched a game-high three goals. Thomas Keough matched that feat for the Bloods, whose top ball winner was Kaine Stevens (23 disposals, seven marks).

A couple of close encounters on Saturday had big repercussions on the top five. Among them, Woodville-West Torrens dealt a blow to Sturt’s finals hopes by beating the Double Blues 11.6 (72) to 9.8 (62). In one fell swoop, the Eagles locked in second spot and kept Sturt a game outside the five.

James Tsitas racked up 12 more touches than any other player with 42 for the Eagles, whose eight individual goalkickers included Riley Knight, Tyson Stengle, and Daniel Menzel. For Sturt, James Battersby contributed seven marks and six clearances among his 30 touches, as Abe Davis (25 disposals, 3.2) again proved impactful.

Norwood rounded out the weekend’s action with an important win over North Adelaide, locking the Redlegs into finals at a 10-7 record – equal with the Roosters – with a round to play. Richard Douglas was at his reliable best with a game-high 29 disposals and nine marks, with the likes of Declan Hamilton and Nikolaus Rokahr following his ball winning lead. Meanwhile Campbell Combe (26 disposals, 10 tackles) brought his usual two-way presence for the Roosters, along with Harrison Wigg (25 and five).

Tasmania (TSL):

The 2021 TSL finals series got underway on the weekend, with a pair of semi-finals split over Saturday and Sunday. In the first-versus-second qualifier, North Launceston upset minor premier Launceston, while Clarence eliminated Tigers the following day. The Northern Bombers secured a grand final spot by besting Launceston to the tune of nine points, coming home strong after trailing at every break.

Captain Jay Foon and coach Brad Cox-Goodyer both hit the scoreboard to be among the best Bombers alongside Alexander Lee and Nathan Pearce (three goals). Meanwhile, Jake Hinds was outstanding for the Blues with a game-high four majors as his side prepares to bounce back against Clarence in next week’s preliminary final.

The Roos will be buoyed after downing Tigers on Sunday, winning their first final since 2013 in a physical affair. They also lead at every break, booting six of their eight goals at one end to come away 21-point victors.

Zac Buechner lead from the front for Clarence, while Noah Holmes fared well in an epic ruck duel and Colin Garland snared an equal game-high two goals. First year Tigers skipper Lachlan Clifford was terrific in his side’s final game for the season, along with Marcus Davies.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL returned to a full five-game allotment in Round 21, with the top five sides locked in ahead of the next week’s final regular season weekend. Subiaco remains in the box seat to secure a sixth minor premiership in seven years, among the weekend’s winners.

The Lions knocked off East Perth by 14 points, ensuring the Royals will finish this season in eighth spot. Lachlan Delahunty (28 disposals, seven marks, 21 hitouts) and Chad Harris (25 disposals, one goal) were prominent for the victors, as Ben Sokol snared 2.3. Angus Scott lead all comers with 34 touches for East Perth, while Aidan Lynch and Christian Ameduri both kicked two goals from just under 30 disposals each.

South Fremantle and Claremont remain in the hunt for top spot, but will rely on big a Subiaco loss and sizeable percentage boosts of their own to stand any chance. The Bulldogs held on to beat Swan Districts by five points, while the Tigers thumped West Coast by 96 points with plenty of dominant performances.

Elsewhere, East Fremantle capped off its season with a remarkably accurate 20.3 (123) effort in the face of West Perth’s 9.23 (77), with the Falcons’ fate in fourth effectively sealed as the Sharks miss finals. Hugh Dixon’s formidable form continued, as he booted five goals from 14 disposals and nine marks for the winners.

Peel Thunder jumped into seventh spot after defeating Perth by 43 points in a remarkable comeback effort. The Demons skipped six goals ahead at quarter time, but were kept goalless in the second and third terms as Peel skipped ahead. The Demons are still a chance to be relegated to wooden spoon position, depending on next week’s results.

Image Credit: Scott Starkey/SANFL

State leagues wrap: Minor premiers crowned as regular seasons wind down

LOCKDOWN saw yet another round of VFL football postponed, but there was still plenty of state league action for football fans to enjoy around the nation. Minor premiers were officially crowned in South Australia and Tasmania as regular season fixtures wind down, while an established top five still has some shaking up to do over in Western Australia. We recap all the results and big performances in this week’s state league wrap.

South Australia (SANFL):

Glenelg found its way out of another tight spot on Saturday, overturning a 17-point deficit at the final break to surge past Norwood and claim the SANFL League minor premiership. The Bays made better on their chances having trailed at the first three breaks, enacting a seven-goal final term blitz to secure the 10-point victory.

Matthew Snook was again instrumental for Glenelg in midfield, leading all comers with 28 disposals and 10 clearances, while spearhead Liam McBean snagged three goals. Draft prospect Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera made an impact in his second senior outing, with his first League goal proving the sealer. For Norwood, Richard Douglas did all he could with 23 disposals and two goals.

The race for fifth spot is heating up, with Sturt applying plenty of pressure to current placeholder, Norwood after a statement-making victory. The Doubles Blues kept West Adelaide goalless in a 76-point drubbing on the road, putting them just a game behind the Redlegs in sixth but with superior percentage. In Sturt’s win, James Battersby and Casey Voss topped the disposal charts with 32-apiece, while Steven Slimming led a trio of Blues who booted two goals each.

Port Adelaide was the side Sturt snuck ahead of in sixth, after the Magpies suffered a 13-point Showdown loss at the hands of Adelaide. Up-and-coming senior players Lachlan Gollant and Dylan Williams snared four goals for their respective sides in a game which was lead by the Crows from the first goal. Bigman Billy Frampton was an ominous figure with 30 disposals and 13 marks, as James Rowe returned to the grade and snared a pair of majors, while Sam Mayes (35 disposals) had 15 more touches than any other Port player.

Back in the top half of the table, North Adelaide secured an important three-goal win over the second placed Woodville-West Torrens, strengthening the Roosters’ hold on third spot with the remaining chance to jump into second. The victors booted six goals to two after half time, with Aaron Young (29 disposals, six clearances, one goal) and Campbell Combe (27 disposals, eight clearances, one goal) instrumental in the result, while Daniel and Troy Menzel each snared two goals for the Eagles.

Pick one contender Jason Horne starred in South Adelaide’s 52-point victory over Central District, which keeps the Panthers a game clear in fourth. With his side trailing at the first break, Horne turned it on in term two with three goals to help gain the ascendancy. South never looked back from there, cruising to its ninth win of the season with finals less than a month away.

Tasmania (TSL):

A pair of thrillers were offset by Launceston’s ruthless 146-point belting of Glenorchy in Round 19 of the TSL, a result which saw the Blues officially claim this year’s minor premiership. Usual Tasmania Devils defender Zach Morris dominated with a swing to the front half, booting nine goals in a brilliant best afield performance. Brendan Taylor (four goals), Jake Hinds (three), Jay Blackberry and Jobi Harper (both two) also claimed multiple majors among the Blues’ 13 individual goalkickers in the 28.13 (181) to 5.5 (35) romp.

While North Launceston had the bye, fellow top four sides Tigers and Clarence locked horns on Saturday to spice up the race for third. After trailing at every break, Tigers slotted three goals to one in the final quarter to take home a crucial five-point win and jump Clarence into third spot via superior percentage. Marcus Davies was the victors’ sole multiple goalkicker in a brigade of eight scorers, as Zach Adams was named their best. Josh Green snared three goals for the Roos, but it was Sam Green who took home the coaches votes in a tight loss.

The round’s other close contest saw Lauderdale work back from a 33-point half time deficit to defeat wooden spooner North Hobart by two points, securing the result with seven goals to two after the main break. Allen Christensen was typically terrific for the Bombers in their remarkable win, while a bunch of Tasmania Devils prospects fared well for North Hobart. Will Splann (two goals), Dom White and Jye Menzie all found the big sticks, while Tyler McGinniss was named among the Devils’ best players.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL League top five remains unchanged after Round 18’s results, with East Perth the only side to climb the ladder on a four-game weekend of West Australian football. The Royals extended Perth’s losing streak with a 25-point triumph, having lead at every break on home turf to jump into sixth over East Fremantle. Aidan Lynch (32 disposals, 10 marks, one goal) led all comers, while Royals teammate Thomas Edwards-Baldwin was the game’s lone multiple goalkicker with three.

Arguably the weekend’s best and most important game saw Subiaco strengthen its standing atop the table with a five-point comeback win over fellow finals contender, Claremont. The Lions were jumped in the first term but worked back to within striking distance at 17 points adrift come the final break, before pouncing with four goals to one in the fourth quarter. Greg Clark was the only player to tick up to 30 disposals, while Ben Sokol booted six goals and Lachlan Delahunty (23 disposals, 25 hitouts) also proved instrumental in the win.

With the Tigers going down, reigning premier South Fremantle went a game clear in second after defeating East Fremantle by 61 points. The Bulldogs broke the game open after half time, running out the game with 11 goals to three in a ruthless showing of their firepower. Brandon Donaldson (five goals) and Mason Shaw (four) lead a strong core of eight goal kickers in the win, as Tom Blechynden notched a game-high 25 touches.

Meanwhile, Swan Districts remains three games clear of the finals drop in fifth after a kicking away from Peel Thunder in a 52-point win. The Swans were served well by Aidan Clarke (32 disposals, two goals) and Frank Anderson (30 and two), with all of their top seven ball winners also hitting the scoreboard. Tyrone Thorne saw the most ball though, registering 33 touches and nine tackles for Peel in their fourth-straight loss. West Perth and West Coast each have a game in hand after sitting out this weekend.

Image Credit: @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

State leagues wrap: Victorian footy returns as TSL produced trio of beltings

WHILST South Australia took another week off from its state league action, most of the other major state leagues took place, with the Victorian Football League (VFL) joining the respective leagues in Tasmania and Western Australia. Though it was not without some controversy, with a snap lockdown in south east Queensland impacting the QAFL, and even calling off one VFL game based in the state at quarter time.

New South Wales/Queensland/Victoria (VFL):

It was a fitting return to action in the VFL for the 2021 season, with two games postponed and a third also called off after just one quarter of action. Gold Coast Suns were leading Southport Sharks 1.2 (8) to 1.0 (6) when the players were told to stop due to the state lockdown, while Aspley’s clash with Essendon, and Brisbane Lions’ match with Sydney Swans were also put on the back burner. It was ironically the complete opposite of the previous week when only Queensland games could be played and Victorian matches were postponed.

Of those games underway, it was hard to go past the thriller that was Coburg and Williamstown at Piranha Park on Sunday. In what was an entertaining contest, a six goals to one third term in favour of the Seagulls had the visitors up by 24 points at the final break, and seemingly home. Coburg had other ideas, as the Lions roared home to kick the next six goals and hit the front to lead by nine points with 10 minutes remaining. The Seagulls dug deep and kicked the last two goals of the game – after only kicking one behind in the first 18 minutes of the quarter – to steal the lead in a memorable last quarter. Mitch Hibberd continued his terrific form with another 35 disposals, nine more than any other player on the field. Nick Mellington (26 disposals and a goal) and Teia Miles (25 disposals and seven marks) were also lively, while ex-Bomber Noah Gown kicked 2.1 from 16 disposals and six marks in a promising display, one of four Seagulls to kick multiple goals. For the Lions, Charlie Thompson kicked 2.2 from 20 touches and three marks, as some former Northern Knights dominated the disposals. Marcus Lentini (25 disposals), Luke Bunker (24) and Tom McKenzie (23) all had some big days out.

Most of the other games were fairly big wins to the victors, with four of the remaining six games decided by 30 points or more. North Melbourne’s recent form continued with a 17-point win over last placed Port Melbourne, getting up 11.11 (77) to 8.12 (60). Harry Jones racked up 31 disposals and kicked a goal, as Charlie Lazzaro (26 disposals, five tackles and a goal) did his chances of a recall no harm. Chris Jansen (31 disposals, six marks and four tackles) and the ever-reliable Eli Templeton (30 disposals, four marks, seven tackles and 2.2) suffered leather poisoning as the Borough came close to a second win, but not quite close enough. Richmond also posted a 16-point victory over Frankston as the Dolphins form of late continues to slide after their fast start to the season. Patrick Naish had a game-high 32 disposals, as well as five marks, six tackles and a goal, with Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (29 disposals, five marks), Riley Collier-Dawkins (26 disposals, three tackles) and Will Martyn (26 disposals, nine marks and five tackles) all letting the Tigers’ selection committee know they are ready to step up. Nathan Freeman (31 disposals, nine marks) and Josh Newman (30 disposals, six marks and eight tackles) were again the best for the Bayside team.

In other results, the Western Bulldogs just somehow found a way to win, conceding six goals to zero in the opening quarter against Casey Demons, to kick 16 of the next 20 majors and storm to a 37-point win to remain undefeated in the 2021 season. Rhylee West (27 disposals, nine tackles and three goals) and Ben Cavarra (21 disposals, six tackles and three goals) both dominated, while Dees’ veteran Nathan Jones kicked 1.3 from 29 disposals, four marks and four tackles. In a similar comeback, Box Hill Hawks were held goalless in the opening term against a red-hot Collingwood outfit, and after hitting the front to lead by seven points at the final break, Box Hill piled on 9.2 to 0.0 to run away with an eye-opening 63-point win and remain in the top four. Fergus Greene, Emerson Jeka and Jackson Callow all combined for 11.6 and 19 marks, while Tom Wilson tried hard for the Magpies with 27 disposals, five marks, four tackles and a goal.

Meanwhile Carlton leapfrogged Sandringham with its fourth win of the season, defeating the Zebras by 39 points at Sandringham, as James Parsons and Sam Petrevski-Seton lit it up with 30 touches each, and Lachie Fogarty laid 12 tackles to go with 27 disposals and six marks, though three behinds, Jack Bytel (28 disposals, seven marks and 11 tackles) was the best for the Zebras. In the other match, Werribee took home the points on the road against Northern Bullants, with an 8.5 to 1.1 final term to reverse a 16-point deficit at the final break to turn it into a five-goal victory. Tom Gribble (36 disposals, six marks and nine tackles) and Matt Hanson (32 disposals, three marks, five tackles and a goal) were lively as Hudson Garoni booted 3.6 from 19 touches and 10 marks up forward for the winners. Will Mitchell had 31 touches and eight tackles for the Bullants, with eight more touches than any other teammate, while Paul Ahern slotted 4.1.

Tasmania (TSL):

There was nothing close about the Tasmania State League (TSL) action in Round 18, as the three winners completely dismantled their opposition. With the sides missing a number of their young up-and-comers due to the Tasmania Devils Under 19s and Under 17s exhibition clash on Sunday, it was up to the more experienced players to get it done. Third placed Clarence had the bye, but the other top four sides – Launceston, North Launceston and Tigers – showed no mercy in their victories, combining for a mind-boggling 275 points.

The “close” game of the weekend was the Battle of the Bombers, with North Launceston triumphing 18.7 (125) to 6.5 (41). In what was a fairly comprehensive first three quarters, the home side led by 31 points at the main break, having missed their chances in the third, before piling on a whopping 10.5 to 2.0 in the last quarter to run away with the 64-point victory. Brad Cox-Goodyer slammed home five majors, with Zach Burt and Jack Avent slotting three goals apiece, while Jay Foon and Judah Edmunds were also named among the best. Allen Christensen was the sole multiple goalkicker for Lauderdale, working hard all game, as Josh McGuinness and Luke Paton were also named among the best.

In a top-against-bottom clash with Launceston heading in 13-1 and North Hobart 1-13, it was never expected to be much of a contest, but few could have predicted the 121-point shellacking that the Blues handed out. Keeping the Demons to just one goal in the first three quarters – whilst booting 18 majors from 32 scoring shots – Launceston led by 114 points, though to North Hobart’s credit the Demons rallied in the last to only concede three more goals and kick two themselves for a 21.18 (144) to 3.5 (23) final scoreline. Jake Hinds kicked five goals in a best on ground performance, but what made the game so unique was the fact that the Blues only had four multiple goal kickers, and 14 individual goalkickers. Alex Wright, Cody Thorp and Fletcher Seymour were deemed the best in a strong performance. Jack McCulloch and Bailey Walker were the best for the Demons in a performance they would rather forget.

The game predicted to be the closest of the round turned into a fizzer, as fourth placed Tigers trounced sixth placed Glenorchy at Twin Ovals to the tune of 90 points. The Kingborough-based outfit piled on 12 goals to four in the first half, and then 11 goals to four in the second half, to fall short of bringing up the ton. Will Campbell and Max Collidge both slotted four goals apiece to be among the best on the ground, with Marcus Gardner (one goal) and ex-Carlton player Sam Duigan (three) also lively. Callen Daly (three goals) and Brayden Webb (two) were the multiple goalkickers for the Magpies, with Harrison Gunther (one) named best-on in the losing side.

Western Australia (WAFL):

In Western Australia, Subiaco took full advantage of a Claremont loss to go outright top on the WAFL ladder, as West Coast grabbed its fourth win of the season with victory in the bottom two clash against Perth, and East Perth leapfrogged Peel Thunder with the unlikely win over the Tigers in Round 17 of the League competition.

East Perth’s seven-point upset over Claremont was the biggest result of the round, as they nervously held on in the lat term after leading by 15 points at the final break, to record a 12.6 (78) to 10.11 (71) victory. Jackson Ramsay had 31 disposals, eight tackles and two goals, and the Royals player was only bettered by Claremont ball magnet Jye Bolton (41 disposals, five marks, eight inside 50s and three tackles). Former Carlton talents Rohan Kerr (22 disposals, eight marks and one goal) and Angus Schumacher (26 disposals, six marks and three inside 50s) were lively for the Royals, as Bailey Rogers (29 disposals, three marks, three tackles and two goals) and Ben Edwards (27 disposals, four tackles, seven inside 50s and one goal) were important for the Tigers.

West Perth put up a fight against ladder leaders Subiaco, but conceded six gaols to two in the opening half to trailed by 30 points at half-time. They tried to fight back in the second half, but ultimately could not get over the line, going down by 20 points, 10.12 (72) to 8.4 (52). Greg Clark had a team-high 29 disposals for the Lions, as Harrison Marsh (28 disposals, seven mars, five tackles, five inside 50s and a goal) was busy, as was Nick Martin (21 disposals, 10 marks, three inside 50s and two goals). Shane Nelson tried to haul his team across the line with a match-high 34 disposals, as well as four marks and seven tackles, as former Roo and Cat, Aaron Black had 26 touches, four marks and seven tackles.

Meanwhile other top three side South Fremantle showed no mercy in a dominant 116-point thrashing of Peel Thunder. The Bulldogs slammed home a ridiculous 13.2 to 1.2 in the first half to lead by 72 points at the main break. They still managed nine goals after half-time, getting up 22.9 (141) to 3.7 (25). Haiden Schloithe (42 disposals, seven marks, seven inside 50s, three tackles and two goals) unsurprisingly led the way for the Bulldogs, as Jacob Dragovich and Tom Blechynden both had 30 touches. Ex-AFL talents Mason Shaw and Blake Schlensog shared in five goals apiece, as well as 30 disposals and 17 marks. Tyrone Thorne was one of the shining lights for Peel Thunder, picking up 25 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and a goal.

In the remaining two games, East Fremantle won a low-scoring slot against Swan Districts to the tune of seven points, while West Coast dominated Perth by 56 points in a rare big victory for the AFL-aligned club. The Sharks kept their finals hopes alive with the win over the fifth placed Swans, moving to within 12 points of finals, but not able to make a mistake on the run home. Luke English (25 disposals, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal) and Luke Strnadica (19 disposals, seven marks, 39 hitouts and three inside 50s) were impressive for the Sharks. Sam Fisher (27 disposals, three marks, seven inside 50s and a goal) and Jesse Turner (26 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) topped the charts for the Swans. Alex Witherden (40 disposals, 11 marks and seven inside 50s) suffered leather poisoning in the Eagles big win, with Jarrod Brander (33 disposals, 13 marks, two tackles and thee inside 50s) also putting his hand up for a recall. Jack Avery (26 disposals, 11 marks and three tackles) was the top disposal winner for the Bombers.

Picture credit: AFL Photos

State Leagues wrap: Youngsters press claims for senior call-ups

A BUNCH of up-and-coming talents pressed their claims for senior selection across the state leagues this past weekend, with finals time drawing closer in the top tier. The West Australian Football League (WAFL) made its return after a week away due to lockdown, while it was business as usual around the nation with just over a month of home-and-away action left to play out. We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean moving forward in this week’s state leagues wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

The Battle of Bell Street headlined Round 13’s action in the VFL, with the Northern Bullants holding on to win by a single point against traditional local rival, Coburg. Players did justice to the resumption of this long-standing rivalry, though the Lions’ last ditch surge was not enough to snatch victory at Piranha Park. Bullants big man Daniel Hughes took home the inaugural Harold Martin Medal as best afield, having finished with 18 disposals and 35 hitouts.

While the Bullants picked up their third-consecutive win, Footscray avoided a major boilover to remain undefeated in 2021, defeating Sydney by seven points on the back of a six-goal final term. The Bulldogs twice trailed by as many as six goals throughout the contest, but did enough to power past the plucky Swans outfit. Patrick Lipinski‘s claims for a recall remain strong after 36 disposals and a goal, while tall Sydney pair Logan McDonald (14 marks, four goals) and Patrick McCartin (27 disposals, 11 marks) dominated the airways.

Collingwood and Geelong remain fixed in the top eight after earning their own closely contested victories, downing 2019 grand finalists Richmond and Williamstown respectively. The Cats lead at every break in their 12-point triumph, while senior-listed midfielder Charlie Constable (30 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) continuing his ominous form, while young forwards Jack Ginnivan (four goals) and Noah Cumberland (five) were sensational in the Magpies’ five-point salute on enemy territory.

While Port Melbourne was thumped by 95 points in Frankston on Friday, the Borough’s home deck was used on Saturday to field the clash between Greater Western Sydney (GWS) and Gold Coast. The Giants, who had a handy mix of AFL-listed players and academy products, ran out 40-point winners with Zach Sproule (five goals), Matt De Boer (35 disposals, three goals), and senior skipper Stephen Coniglio (36 disposals, eight tackles) proving a class above.

Casey and Sandringham were the other Victorian sides to register premiership points in Round 13, while Southport returned to the fray with a resounding 109-point romping of Brisbane. The result sees the Sharks sit a win clear in second, still an equal amount of points away from current frontrunner Footscray. The Round 14 fixture has also been announced, with both Sydney teams having the bye while Queensland travel is set to resume for a trio of Victorian clubs.

South Australia (SANFL):

Ladder position counted for plenty in Round 14 of the SANFL, as all of the top five sides registered wins against their bottom five counterparts. The handful of fixtures took part on a super Saturday of state league action, which did little to really shake up the order of things ranking-wise.

Reigning premier Woodville-West Torrens opened proceedings with a 19-point win over the bottom-placed West Adelaide, despite managing just nine goals from 30 scoring shots. Westies tidied up the margin with three final term consolation goals, but the Eagles’ scoring power was all too much in the end. Jack Hayes had a day to remember for the victors, clunking 20 marks (seven contested) and booting two goals, while prolific small forward Tyson Stengle managed 3.4 from eight touches.

Competition frontrunner Glenelg pushed its undefeated streak out to 13 games with a 30-point win over Sturt, kicking away in a five-goal to one third term. Bays spearhead Liam McBean booted six goals in a commanding display, as Lachie Wilsdon snared eight in North Adelaide’s 48-point salute over Central District. The likes of Harrison Wigg (42 disposals, nine clearances), Samuel McInerney (24 disposals, five goals), and Campbell Combe (29 disposals, two goals) were among the Roosters’ other outstanding individual performers.

North’s win opened up a gap to Port Adelaide in sixth, after the Magpies went down to Norwood by 36 points. The usual suspects were amongst it for the Redlegs, with Mitch Grigg (31 disposals, seven clearances, one goal), Richard Douglas (30 disposals, eight clearances), and Brad McKenzie (24 disposals, two goals) all in the thick of things. South Adelaide was the weekend’s other winner, with pick one contender Jason Horne (19 disposals, one goal) again catching plenty of eyes as his Panthers got the better of Adelaide.

Tasmania (TSL):

Launceston took out a crucial TSL top-of-the-table clash on Saturday, downing North Launceston by 53 points to strength its spot as the league leader. The Blues now boast a two-game gap to their closest rival, and consolidated their latest victory with five goals to nil in the final quarter. Brayden Pitcher booted six majors to spearhead the Blues’ win, Jake Hinds and competition stalwart Jay Blackberry took out votes as the best two players afield.

Fellow top four sides Tigers and Clarence also picked up wins against the bottom two teams, in North Hobart and Lauderdale respectively. The Tigers accelerated during a five-goal second term to end up 40-point victors on the road, while Colin Garland snared another bag of six goals as his Roos wrapped up a 49-point win on home turf. Both sides remain locked on 32 points, with Clarence ahead in third by 0.23 per cent.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL returned after last week’s lockdown with crowds enjoying five fixtures across a stacked Saturday of state league football. The home sides won out in four of those games, while Subiaco shot back to the top of the table as the race for minor premiership honours heats up.

Claremont’s one-point loss to South Fremantle opened the door for Subiaco to reclaim top spot on percentage, though all three teams now sit level on eight wins with a two-pronged chasing pack ready to pounce at just one game adrift. The top five looks relatively set, with a three-game gap now opened up between Swan Districts in fifth and Peel Thunder in sixth.

Swans scraped past the ever-improving West Coast by two points to remain in the hunt with West Perth, as the Falcons had a much easier time defeating East Perth by 30 points. Geelong champion Harry Taylor returned to East Fremantle and booted four goals as Corey Warner, the brother of Chad made his League debut, but their efforts were not enough to help overcome the Thunder in a 26-point loss.

Image Credit: Martin Keep/AFL Photos

State leagues wrap: Teams kicking big scores as season rolls on

WITH no SANFL or WAFL action over the weekend, the state league action was slightly quieter over the weekend. However, there was no shortage of entertainment as plenty of sides went head-to-head in thrilling contests.

VFL:

The VFL kicked off on Thursday night, with the Lions travelling to Metricon Stadium to deliver a 10-goal belting to the Gold Coast Suns. The Lions kicked 11 goals in the second half in a dominant display in the first Q-Clash to take place in Victoria. Big-bodied midfielder Cam Ellis-Yolman was outstanding in his first VFL game for the year, competing hard through the midfield to finish the match with 39 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles as he pushes for an AFL recall for the Lions. Teammate Will Tasker booted five goals from 21 disposals in a fantastic outing to continue his strong form. For the Suns, Brayden Fiorini continues to adjust to his new role off half-back, ending the contest with a team-high 32 disposals, eight marks and a goal, while Will Brodie had 27 touches through the midfield.

The closest match of the round was played out on Saturday afternoon, as the Casey Demons escaped with a one-point win over the Geelong Cats at Casey Fields. The Demons’ inaccuracy nearly cost them, finishing the game with 22 scoring shots to Geelong’s 16, but the footy gods rewarded those who wait, as they regained the lead 13 minutes into the final term and were able to hold on to remain undefeated. Demon Mitch Brown kicked four snags from seven scoring shots in an important performance which would likely impress the AFL selection panel, while Tom Sparrow continues to find the ball, ending the game with 32 touches and six tackles. Cat Charlie Constable was outstanding through the middle, finding the ball 32 times and booting a goal, while Josh Jenkins followed up his seven goals last round with a three-goal haul on Saturday.

Richmond put on a clinical performance on Saturday afternoon, as they dominated GWS by a whopping 97 points at Swinburne Centre. The Giants were held scoreless in the first term, and the Tigers continued to put them to the sword for the remaining three quarters. Richmond big man Callum Coleman-Jones stuffed the stat sheet with 19 disposals, seven marks, 17 hitouts and five goals in a powerful performance. Teammates Josh Caddy (32 disposals, eight tackles and two goals) and Will Martyn (32 disposals, seven tackles and seven marks) were strong through the midfield. Nick Shipley was the standout for the Giants, finishing with 28 touches in a day where the Giants struggled to get their hands on the footy.

Moving up to the SCG, the Swans defended their home deck to take down the Pies by 33 points on Saturday afternoon. The Swans struggled to capitalise on the scoreboard in the first quarter as they dominated play but booted only 1.5 in the first term. This would improve as the game went on as they would run out winners with a four goal to none final quarter. Swan Ryan Clarke delivered one of the best individual performances of the round, ending the contest with 41 disposals, 11 marks and three goals to be the clear best on ground. He was well assisted by teammate Dylan Stephens, who had 37 touches of his own. For the Pies, Finlay Macrae was promising through the midfield with 25 touches and five tackles.

Hawthorn were able to run rampant as they belted North Melbourne by 108 points at Box Hill City Oval on Sunday afternoon. The game was one-sided for all four quarters, but the second half was where the Hawks really got on a roll. Booting 16 goals in the final two quarters, the floodgates opened as North Melbourne were helpless as the Hawks constantly pumped the ball forward, and Kangaroos players simply waited for the final siren. Hawk Josh Morris booted five goals in a performance that would excite Hawthorn fans, while Daniel Howe responded to his AFL omission with 37 disposals, nine tackles and two goals from the midfield. The Kangaroos did have a positive in the form of Bailey Scott, who contributed 28 disposals in a promising outing.

Queensland:

There were plenty of big scores in round seven of the QAFL, starting at Subaru Oval, where Broadbeach hammered Mt Gravatt to the tune of 85 points on Saturday afternoon. It was a four-quarter performance from the home side, who were simply too strong for their opponents, and deserved the monstrous win. Broadbeach key forward Jordan Moncrieff somehow bested his Round 6 bag of nine goals by kicking a bag of 10 against Mt Gravatt. In a remarkable display, he booted five goals in a row in the final quarter alone, when the game was busted wide open. Seemingly a master of his craft, he will prove difficult to contain in upcoming weeks. For Mt Gravatt, wingman Daine Macdonald competed all day in trying circumstances.

A strong second half from Morningside denied Noosa a chance at their first win as they eventually fell by 28 points at Rococo Oval on Saturday afternoon. Noosa remained competitive for the first quarter and a half, before a purple patch for Morningside gave them a comfortable lead that was never surrendered. For the second week in a row, Noosa showed promising signs but could not string together four quarters, but their first victory does not seem too far away. For the victors, ruckman Bradley Hodge was fantastic, giving his midfielders first use, and even floating forward to boot two goals of his own. For Noosa, centre half-forward Sebastian Rogers competed well to boot two goals and challenge in the air.

Labrador stamped their premiership credentials for the 2021 season with a 70-point triumph over Palm Beach Currumbin at Salk Oval on Saturday afternoon. Despite trailing at quarter time, Labrador dominated for the next three quarters as they gain some serious momentum heading into the next round. Labrador forward Bryce Retzlaff was the star, kicking seven goals in a monstrous performance that he had threatening to deliver in the previous weeks. For Palm Beach Currumbin, ruckman Jonathan Croad put in a valiant performance despite the loss.

Heading over to Totally Workwear Park, Redland-Victoria Point walked away with a crucial win over Maroochydore to the tune of 16 points on Saturday afternoon. It was a battle of the half-forward flanks, as Redland-Victoria Point’s Jacob Murphy and Maroochydore’s Mitchell Scholard each booting five goals in an entertaining shootout. Ultimately it was Murphy who finished the game with the chocolates with his side claiming the victory. The win keeps Redland-Victoria Point in the hunt for top spot as they close the gap on those above them.

The final contest of the round saw Wilston Grange fall nine points short of Sherwood Districts on Saturday afternoon at Hickey Park. Sherwood Districts had strong first and third quarters, but Wilston Grange still found ways to close the gap and keep themselves well within reach of their second win of the season, but Sherwood Districts were too good. For the winners, midfielder William Fletcher booted two goals from the engine room and was outstanding all day, while Hugh Fidler was Wilston Grange’s best for the second week in a row.

Tasmania:

The TSL had some big scores throughout their seventh round of action, kicking off with North Launceston’s 85-point demolition of Glenorchy at KGV on Saturday afternoon. The win sees North Launceston continue their outstanding form, and if cross-town rivals Launceston lose a game, they will be eager to try and grab top spot on the ladder. North Launceston ruckman Alexander Lee was voted the strongest performer of the day as he consistently gave his midfielders first use. Glenorchy half-back Daniel Joseph fought all day despite being under constant duress.

Blundstone Arena nearly saw the upset of the round with North Hobart falling just one point short of Clarence in Saturday afternoon. North Hobart are sitting in last place with just the one win, while Clarence are notoriously strong on their home deck at Blundstone, so a boilover here would have sent shockwaves throughout the league. For Clarence, Tyler Penwright impressed across half-forward in the win, while North Hobart’s Jack Mcculloch was strong in the ruck throughout the day.

Launceston survived their biggest scare, but displayed their class on their way to a 48-point triumph over a brave Lauderdale side at Windsor Park on Saturday afternoon. Lauderdale faced the toughest task in the league, and performed admirably against the reigning premiers, but Launceston are simply on a roll, and its hard to see anyone putting a stop to this anytime soon. Launceston superstar Jake Hinds continued his exceptional season, claiming best afield honours once again to maintain his strong reputation. For Lauderdale, backman Tom Ratcliffe was a clear standout with his defensive work.

State league preview: Undefeated streaks at stake

With the weekend just around the corner, teams will begin their final preparation for a round of hard-fought football action across the states. Due to the interstate clash between South Australia and Western Australia on Saturday, the SANFL and WAFL will not hold any matches this weekend in their senior men’s division.

Victoria:

The VFL has plenty of enticing clashes to go ahead this weekend, starting with the Casey Demons hosting Geelong at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon. Both sides sit at 3-0 on the ladder to start the season and the winner of this match would place themselves right up there as a contender of the competition. Geelong will be riding the high from Round 4’s 45-point triumph over the Northern Bullants, where forward Josh Jenkins booted 7.5 from 23 disposals in an incredible performance. The Demons will be eager to lock him down and nullify the scoring of the Cats, which can be tricky to stop at times. The Demons will be refreshed after last week’s bye, and the fresh legs could prove the difference in this clash. Sam Weideman has been picked up for an AFL recall, having kicked four snags in his last outing, while Majak Daw will notch his 100th VFL match.

Richmond’s VFL side will host GWS at Swinburne Centre on Saturday afternoon, as both teams look to get their seasons back on track after a 1-2 start to the year. Both sides had the bye last week, with plenty to ponder after a poor start. The Tigers’ only win came in Round 1 over a struggling Sandringham side, and their two losses to follow have come by over 55 points. With plenty of injuries to Richmond’s AFL side, there is as much opportunity as ever for players in this team to earn a recall, and with Sydney Stack and Thomson Dow working their way into match fitness over recent weeks, expect a fair crack from both. GWS finally found their mojo and grabbed their first win in Round 3 as they caused an upset to hand Southport their first loss of the season, and will be looking to carry this momentum forward despite the week off. Jake Ricardi had an exceptional performance in that match with 41 disposals and 19 marks and will be one for opposition coaches to keep an eye on.

Saturday’s final game will take place up north, as Collingwood travel to the SCG to take on Sydney in a clash that means a bit for both sides. Sydney have started the season 1-2 and another loss here will make it much trickier to make finals at the end of the season, so they will be eager to stop this from happening. Their Round 1 win over the Giants was a promising start, and their next two losses came to the tune of only 14 points and four points, so they aren’t too far off the pace. Logan McDonald had his strongest performance of the year in Round 3 and will be looking to build on this as he gains confidence on a weekly basis. Collingwood’s start has been slightly brighter with a 3-1 record after four games seeing them sit in seventh place on the ladder. All three of their wins have come by under 10 points, so they will need to be at their best if they are to grab their fourth win. Midfield bull Brayden Sier has been performing well lately and should once again prove an important factor on Saturday.

Queensland:

Round 7 of the QAFL kicks off with Broadbeach looking to keep their undefeated streak alive as they host Mt Gravatt at Subaru Oval on Saturday afternoon. Broadbeach easily handled Wilston Grange last week, and remain the only undefeated team after seven rounds as they look to live up to their reputation as a powerhouse of the competition. Full-forward Jordan Moncrieff booted a whopping nine goals in the win, and will likely draw the attention of the opposition defence for all four quarters. Mt Gravatt have started the year in disappointing fashion, as they currently hold a 1-3 record to find themselves sitting in eighth place. They will enter the match as underdogs, but the beauty of sport is the upset. Fullback Gavin Grose will have the tough task of manning Moncrieff, but has been his side’s best three weeks in a row, so this should provide for an exciting contest within the contest.

Noosa’s next opportunity to find their first win of the season will come in the form of this weekend’s clash with Morningside at Rococo Oval on Saturday afternoon. Noosa have struggled in their first five games of the season, and are yet to register their first victory of the year, with their most recent loss coming at the hands of Surfers Paradise by 70 points. Something will have to change if they are to sing the song after Saturday’s final siren. Despite his team’s poor form, Aaron Wilson has booted eight goals in the last three games and will be one to keep an eye on for some scoring output. Morningside escaped with their third win of the season by the narrowest of margins last week, taking down Redland-Victoria Point by just one point, but will be confident heading into this matchup. Will Pendlebury has worked his way into some form over the last two weeks and should be strong again this week.

Moving to Salk Oval, Palm Beach Currumbin will play host to Labrador on Saturday afternoon in a match that will have ramifications for both sides. Palm Beach Currumbin currently hold a 2-2 record and are yet to win two games in a row, a fact they will be looking to change this weekend with an upset over their opponents after last week’s bye. John Anthony walked away with a seven-goal haul in the side’s last match and will likely be tough to stop once again. Labrador have had a nice start to the 2021 season, losing just one of their first five games, and another win would push them right up the ladder. Charlie Lang was best afield in their last match in his strongest performance of the year, so keep an eye on how he backs this up.

Maroochydore’s chase of top spot continues this week, as they take on Redland-Victoria Point on Saturday afternoon at Totally Workwear Park. Maroochydore currently sit in second place, with just the one loss for the season, but Broadbeach’s undefeated streak keeps them at bay for now. A win here would certainly keep them in the hunt to swoop when Broadbeach drop their first match and will enter this clash as favorites. Jacob Simpson has had a blistering start to the season, and his consistency will once again likely be on display in this clash. Redland-Victoria Point will be eager to erase the memory of last round’s heartbreaking loss with a win this weekend. A 3-2 start to the year is promising, and an upset here would stamp their credentials as contenders. Harrison Kerr has kicked 10 goals in the last three goals, so it should prove interesting as to whether he can continue this form.

The final clash of the round comes in the form of Wilston Grange taking on Sherwood Districts at Hickey Park on Saturday afternoon. Both sides sit with a 1-4 record on the season and are separated by just one ladder position following disappointing losses last week. Wilston Grange were convincingly beaten by a red-hot Broadbeach side in Round 6, but face an opponent that is out of form, and could break their losing streak with a crucial win. Hugh Fidler was Wilston Grange’s best in the loss and will be eager to drag his side to their second win. Sherwood Districts will be just as keen to grab their second win of the year, after last week’s belting at the hands of Maroochydore, so the motivation will be high.

Tasmania:

The seventh round of TSL action begins on Saturday afternoon, as North Launceston travel to KGV Oval to clash with Glenorchy in a matchup that means a lot for both teams. North Launceston have found their groove as the season has progressed, culminating in last week’s five goal win over the Tigers. It will be hard to catch ladder-leading Launceston, but a loss here would make it even harder. Last week’s inclusion of Bradley Cox-Goodyer proved remarkable as he claimed best on ground honours and should display his skillset once again. Glenorchy also walked away with a big win last week, dominating North Hobart by 77 points in a win that should kickstart some momentum for them, and a win this weekend would seriously get their season rolling. They had a plethora of goal kickers last week, and if they can produce something similar, it will go a long way to securing the win.

Blundstone Arena will once again see some potentially thrilling football action, as Clarence host North Hobart on Saturday afternoon. Clarence will enter this match heavy favourites, especially on their home deck, but are coming off a disappointing loss against Launceston by 72 points, which would have likely shaken their confidence, and if North Hobart can take advantage of this, who knows what could happen? Oliver Preshaw is an important player for Clarence and was kept uncharacteristically quiet last week, so expect a response this week.

Launceston simply look a class above this season and won’t be short of confidence heading into Saturday afternoon’s clash with Lauderdale at Windsor Park. Launceston looked to face their toughest opponent last week in Clarence, and a 70-point win pretty much told the rest of the competition ‘good luck’. They look near impossible to stop, and Lauderdale face the task of attempting this. Launceston star Jake Hinds returned from suspension to claim best on ground honours and still leads the league best and fairest leaderboard despite missing two matches, so keep an eye out for him on Saturday.

State Leagues Wrap: Thrillers across the grounds

STATE league football entertained audiences across the country on the weekend as sides played out some thrilling contests. There were plenty of finals ramifications across the weekend’s results, as the race up the ladder heats up.

Victoria:

The VFL action was limited this weekend with most AFL affiliated sides not competing due to a bye as they look towards the next round of action. The weekend was not completely void of action though, as the Western Bulldogs held off a brave final quarter fightback from Carlton to walk away with a three-goal win at VU Whitten Oval on Sunday afternoon. In an inaccurate day for both sides, the Dogs looked to have the game wrapped up as they headed into the final term with a five-goal lead, after the Blues kicked 2.10 over the first three quarters. The Blues booted 6.1 in the final quarter to give themselves a chance to steal an unlikely victory, but the Bulldogs were able to weather the storm to record their fourth win to shoot up to top spot on the ladder. 2020 number one draft pick and Bulldog Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, possibly the most watched player in the VFL, copped a brutal head knock in the first quarter, ruling him out for the rest of the game. Mitch Wallis continued his strong form of late with 29 disposals and a goal, while ex-Magpie Ben Crocker booted four goals for Carlton.

South Australia:

Round six of SANFL action kicked off with a thriller, as South Adelaide snuck past Woodville-West Torrens by eight points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval on Saturday afternoon. A three-goal burst from South Adelaide gave them a match-winning lead, as their opponents could not close the gap in time despite their best efforts with a late goal. For the winners, Bryce Gibbs was exceptional with two goals and 21 touches through the midfield as he continues his strong season, while Jake Tarca booted four crucial snags up forward. For the Eagles, James Tsitas and Jack Hayes worked hard through the engine room as you would expect, while Troy Menzel’s four goals kept his side in the hunt.

Central District’s struggles for the season continued as they fell to Norwood by 32 points at X Convenience Oval on Saturday afternoon. Norwood dominated all day, with forwards Cameron Shenton and Jackson Callow combining for seven goals up forward to torment Bulldog defenders all day. Through the middle, Matthew Nunn extracted five clearances, while for the Bulldogs, Travis Schiller and Darcy Pisani combined for 14 clearances as they battled hard to get their side back in the game.

The highly anticipated showdown did not disappoint as Port Adelaide held on to defeat an inaccurate Adelaide by 14 points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon. As a curtain raiser for the AFL Showdown, the two sides went to war, and the Power’s first half looked to set up a sizeable win, but a five-goal to one third quarter meant suddenly the game was back on. Adelaide will be rueing a lost opportunity having kicked more scoring shots than their opponents. For the Power, Riley Bonner stood out, booting two goals from 26 disposals in an eye-catching display, while skipper Cam Sutcliffe was typically impressive. For the Crows, Chayce Jones continues to thrive in his new role at half-back, racking up 27 touches.

A monster game from North Adelaide forward Lewis Hender saw the Roosters crush West Adelaide at Prospect Oval on Sunday afternoon in a Mother’s Day clash. Hender booted eight goals in a dominant display, even more impressive is that he only took three marks, kicking plenty of goals from ground level. His midfield teammate Billy Hartung had 33 touches and 10 marks of his own. For West Adelaide, Kaine Stevens fought hard all day to find the ball 28 times, while Thomas Keough kicked three goals.

Glenelg’s undefeated streak suffered the biggest of scares on Sunday afternoon, as they held off a determined Sturt side to take home a four-point triumph at ACH Group Stadium. Luke Reynolds’ third goal of the day came at the 26-minute mark of the final term to put his side in front for the final score of the day. Reynolds combined with teammate Lachie Hosie combined for six goals to provide crucial scoring output for the victors. Through the midfield, the league’s leading ball winner Luke Partington lived up to the title, putting in a best afield performance with his 29 touches. For Sturt, James Battersby led all comers with 35 disposals in a valiant effort.

Western Australia:

Subiaco were able to snatch top spot on the ladder with a 40-point victory over a previously undefeated Claremont side at Leederville Oval on Saturday afternoon. The match was strongly anticipated heading into round six, and Subiaco were able to cause a crucial upset as they outplayed their opponents all day. Nicholas Martin led the way for his side, booting four snags from 20 disposals in an impressive outing, while teammate Lachlan Delahunty racked up 29 touches and 12 hitouts. For Claremont, Lachlan Martinis had 26 touches and Alexander Manuel kicked three goals.

An eight goal first term set up Peel Thunder for a 15-point win over Perth at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,268 fans. The Thunder were clinical in the first term and despite a spirited effort from Perth to drag themselves back in the game, the margin proved too strong as the victors recorded their third win of the season. For the Thunder, Kristian Cary’s four goals were handy while Jacob Coniglio had 26 nice disposals. For Perth, Tyrone Thorne was exceptional with 29 disposals and two goals.

Fans at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday afternoon were treated to a miraculous comeback, as West Perth came from nowhere to steal a nine-point victory over Swan Districts. West Perth trailed by 15 points heading into the final term, before kicking four unanswered goals to walk away with an impressive win. Shane Nelson was instrumental for the victors, racking up 35 touches and eight tackles. For Swan Districts, ruckman Corey Gault dominated with 26 disposals and 36 hitouts for the day.

East Perth have found themselves still searching for their first win, after falling agonisingly short against South Fremantle, with only seven points separating the sides at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday afternoon. The final quarter saw a slight sniff of a comeback for East Perth, but South Fremantle weathered the storm to walk away with the crucial win. For the winners, Haiden Schloithe continued his outrageous form, finishing the day with 35 disposals and three goals, clearly the best player on the ground, while Aidan Lynch was strong for East Perth with 29 touches of his own.

East Fremantle players celebrated the weekend in ruthless fashion, crushing West Coast by 125 points at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday afternoon. The game looked one-sided from the very first bounce, as the victors were able to do as they pleased with little resistance from their opponents. Blaine Boekhorst amassed a whopping 41 touches through the midfield, while Jonathon Marsh booted seven goals in the win. West Coast’s Xavier O’Neil was a bright spot for his side with 34 touches.

Queensland:

Round six of the QAFL started with Surfers Paradise blowing out Noosa to the tune of 70 points at Sir Bruce Small Park on Saturday afternoon. An eight goal second term proved too much for the visitors, as they were convincingly beaten for all four quarters of the match. For Surfers Paradise, Sam Hilton-Joyce booted four goals in a best on ground display, while Noosa’s Riley O’Dwyer impressed in a tough loss.

Moving to Cooke-Murphy Oval, Labrador pulled off an impressive comeback, defeating Mt Gravatt by 25 points thanks to a strong final quarter on Saturday afternoon. Trailing by 22 points at quarter time and nine points at three quarter time, Labrador rallied to kick five unanswered goals in the final term to steal an unlikely win. For the victors, Charlie Lang delivered his best performance of the year and was crucial in bringing his side back into the contest. For Mt Gravatt, Gareth Hunt impressed, particularly in the first three quarters when his side was in control of the contest and can hold his head high.

Morningside snatched a late victory against Redland-Victoria Point by just one point at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday afternoon. Redland-Victoria Point’s Harrison Kerr kicked his third goal of the game with under three minutes to play and put his side only one point down. Morningside led by three goals before their opponents fought hard to take the lead midway through the final term, but ultimately suffered heartbreak. Morningside’s William Pendlebury was exceptional for all four quarters, while Redland-Victoria Point were well led by a strong Matthew Thomson performance.

Maroochydore stamped their authority on the rest of the competition with a dominant 66-point crushing of Sherwood Districts at Sherwood Oval on Saturday afternoon. Maroochydore took the lead early in the first term, and never surrendered it, cruising their way to a nice percentage booster. Benjamin Sloan was impressive in the win, while Mitchell Scholard and Benjamin Thomas combined for eight goals. Riley Greene tried all day for Sherwood Districts.

Broadbeach maintained their title as the competition benchmark with a 54-point triumph over Wilston Grange at Hickey Park on Saturday afternoon. Forward Jordan Moncrieff booted nine goals in a powerful performance to drive his side to victory, as Broadbeach remain undefeated after five games, and will take some beating. Hugh Fidler battled hard for Wilston Grange despite the one-way traffic.

Tasmania:

Launceston remain undefeated after defeating second-placed Clarence at Blundstone Arena on Saturday afternoon. There were questions around whether or not Launceston could hold off the surging Clarence side, but they dominated them all day, keeping them scoreless in the first quarter to take a 37-point lead into the first break. They never looked back and cruised their way to a strong triumph. Jack Tuthill was impressive in the backline, while Jake Hinds did not miss a beat in his return from suspension. Jarrod Harper was Clarence’s best in a tough day at the office.

An eight-goal opening term set up Glenorchy’s big win over North Hobart at North Hobart Oval on Saturday afternoon. Despite breaking their losing streak last week, North Hobart couldn’t convert in front of goal, kicking 3.13 for the day, ruling out any chance of a comeback. Glenorchy’s Daniel Joseph continued his strong run of form with a best on ground performance, while North Hobart’s Hugh Nj Williams fought hard all day despite the loss.

North Launceston a strong scalp for the season, taking down the Tigers at UTAS Stadium by 31 points in the final game of the round on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers started the season in blistering form, but the Bombers proved too strong, running away with a handy win. Bomber Bradley Cox-Goodyer returned to the side to deliver a best afield performance with two goals from the midfield, while Tyler Carter booted three goals for the Tigers.

Picture credit: Cory Sutton

State leagues preview: Pressure on undefeated sides

AS the weekend approaches, state leagues around the country prepare for another big round of footy. With high stakes across the board, don’t be surprised to see some thrilling contests.

Victoria:

The VFL will be holding less games this week, with eight teams set to have a bye this weekend as the competition breaks up the matches with the added interstate teams. However, this does not mean there will be a shortage of exciting matchups.

The Casey Demons were hoping to maintain their spot on top of the ladder with a win over the Sydney Swans at Casey Fields on Sunday morning, however that encounter has been delayed due to COVID-19 related issues. The Demons find themselves in first place after starting the season 3-0 with a handy percentage and their big win over North Melbourne last round will give them plenty of confidence despite not being able to head into a clash with the struggling Swans side. Sydney have started the season with just one win from their three games, with their heartbreak from last week’s three-point loss a driving factor for the Swans players.

Sunday afternoon will also see the Carlton Blue travelling to Whitten Oval to take on the undefeated Footscray Bulldogs in a tantalising matchup. Carlton have been no slumps this season, winning two out of their first three matches, and dominating Essendon by 49 points in round three. They will fancy themselves against the Dogs here, but it will be a tough task to slow down their opponents. Footscray soundly defeated the Northern Bullants to the tune of 43 points last week, marking their third win by over seven goals. Prized Bulldog Jamarra Ugle-Hagan continues to find his feet at this level, so expect him to have a big presence in the forward line. Carlton’s Will Setterfield will be looking to perform at the level that has seen him collect over 25 disposals in each of the last two games.

South Australia:

The SANFL season is flying as South Australia’s premier league heads into their sixth round of action. The most intriguing matchup of the round comes first as the Woodville-West Torrens host the South Adelaide Panthers in a clash that will prove vital for each of the two sides. The Panthers have lost just the one match from their first five games, good enough for second place on the ladder. Their chances will be bolstered by the return of Matthew Broadbent and Liam Fitt, while 17-year-old Matty Roberts will make his debut after a strong performance in the U18’s last round. The Eagles sit just behind their opponents in third place, having won one less game, but will be driven by last round’s loss to Port Adelaide. The inclusion of star forward Jack Hayes will give them a huge confidence boost heading into a crucial game on Saturday afternoon.

The Central District Bulldogs will be looking for their second win for the season as they prepare for this round’s match against Norwood at X Convenience Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs have had a less than ideal start to the season, finding themselves on the bottom of the ladder after six rounds, and have decided to change things up at selection. Key forward Connor McLean has been named in the forward pocket, in an attempt to stretch Norwood’s defence. Norwood could be recalling Mitch Grigg, who is named on the extended bench after his shocking relegation to the reserves in recent weeks. Grigg collected 20 touches in last week’s match, so don’t be surprised to see him line up for the senior side this week.

The SANFL showdown always delivers a buzz around Adelaide, with this year proving no exception, as the Port Adelaide Power and the Adelaide Crows prepare to go to war on Saturday afternoon at Adelaide Oval as a curtain raiser to the AFL match between the two sides. The Power find themselves just inside the top five based on percentage, but last week’s ten-goal win over the Eagles will see them enter this match with their tails up. Experienced defender Tyson Goldsack will debut for the side having overcome a knee injury, while potential draftee Jase Burgoyne will line up for the Power in his debut as a part of his work in the Power’s Next Generation academy. The Crows sit on the same amount of wins as their fifth-placed opponents, but find themselves down the pecking order in eighth place. They will unleash Tasmanian development player Oliver Davis on the wing, after being recruited from Clarence for the rest of the season.

Kicking off the Sunday football action, the North Adelaide Roosters will host the West Adelaide Bloods at Prospect Oval on Sunday afternoon, with both sides keen to take home a very important win. The Roosters have started the season with just the one win from five games, so a triumph in this match would be vital for reigniting their 2021 season. They will welcome back utility Sam McInerney, who will play his first match since 2019, following a series of back injuries, while former Hawk Billy Hartung has been named on a wing in his first game of the year. The West Adelaide Bloods will be hoping to ride the momentum of last week’s win over Central District into this week, as they look to enter the top five with a victory on Sunday. They will be welcoming mature-age recruit Nick Steele, who will be lining up at centre-half-forward for his first SANFL match.

Sturt face a tough task this round, as they face off against the top of the table Glenelg at ACH Group Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the round. Sturt have started the season with two wins and three losses from five games, with their round five triumph over the Crows coming by just one point. They have not confirmed their changes yet, with all inclusions named on the extended bench, and one of these inclusions is former Power player Riley Grundy, who could debut to boost his side’s backline. Glenelg have started the season like a house on fire, winning all five of their matches to date, and will be looking to keep their unbeaten streak rolling. As a result of their hot start, they will likely enter the clash unchanged.

Western Australia:

The sixth round of WAFL action kicks off with an absolute blockbuster, as Claremont travel to Leederville Oval to face off against a fired-up Subiaco side on Saturday afternoon. Claremont have not put a foot wrong in their start to the season, ending round five with a 4-0 record as the dominant team of the competition. Forward Jack Butler kicked five goals from nine scoring shots, so expect Subiaco to send their best defender to keep an eye on him all day. Subiaco started the season 3-0, but were handed their first loss of the season by South Fremantle in round five, so look for them to come out eager to make amends. Ruckman Lachlan Delahunty will play a crucial role in his side’s success, and if he can back up last week’s 21 disposal and 29 hitout effort, Subiaco’s midfield should gain ascendancy.

Perth will be hoping to move up the ladder with a second consecutive win as they prepare to take on a Peel Thunder side in a similar situation. Both sides sit at 2-2 on the season and a third win could see the victor move into the top four after this high-stake game. Perth broke a two-game losing streak with a five-goal win over East Fremantle last round in a promising display and would love to back it up this round. Brady Grey played his best game of the season last week, with 29 disposals, 11 marks and nine tackles, and was crucial in the win, and should prove important again this week. Peel Thunder dominated West Coast last week, crushing their opponents by 79 points, so they will be confident in their ability heading into this clash. Blair Bell is fresh off a six-goal haul against the Eagles, so keep an eye on his presence around goal.

Swan Districts will be looking to edge closer to top spot on the ladder with a win over a faulting West Perth team at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday afternoon. Swan Districts are on a three-game winning streak to see them currently sit with a 3-1 record in second place and will be heavy favourites this week. Midfielder Samuel Fisher is averaging 34.5 disposals on the season in a blistering start and should rack up plenty of the ball in this clash. West Perth have only managed the one win in the 2021 season, and look unlikely to snatch one here, but if they do, it could kickstart a promising campaign.

East Perth will have the opportunity to grab their first win of the season on Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Fremantle Community Bank Oval to take on South Fremantle. East Perth have started the season with a disappointing 0-4 record and sit second last on the ladder. Last week’s performance was promising as they pushed second placed Swan Districts right to the final siren, only falling two goals short of a massive upset. If they can bring a similar effort this week, they may finally sing the song. Edward Simpson booted five snags in the loss and should once again give defenders a headache. South Fremantle have won two games in a row to finally build some momentum as the season progresses. A win here could push them into the top three, so they will be eager to walk away victors. Haiden Schloithe has displayed his talents as a goalkicking midfielder all year so expect Saturday to prove no different.

The final match of round six will see East Fremantle host a West Coast side that is yet to compete all year, as the sides go head-to-head at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday afternoon. East Fremantle are making a strong push for the top four, but last round’s loss to Perth made that slightly harder. They will be looking to grab this game with both hands early on, with Cameron Eardley likely to prove influential through the midfield. West Coast have simply looked off the pace all year, yet to register their first win and have been soundly beaten by plenty of sides. A bright spot for the season has been Hamish Brayshaw, who will look to find plenty of the ball around the ground.

Queensland:

QAFL action begins at 1:00 on Saturday afternoon, as Surfers Paradise host Noosa at Sir Bruce Small Park, as both sides look to recover from shaky starts. Surfers Paradise have won just the one game so far this year, and a loss here could see them fall right down in the race for the flag. Luckily for them, they face an out of form side, and a win would likely pump some life into their season. Look for Alby Jones to back up last week’s strong outing. Noosa are yet to win a game after four games and will be desperate to change that with a win this round. They were competitive against Sherwood Districts, but missed an opportunity to defeat a side that was also searching for their first win. Ryley Buntain has delivered two fantastic performances in losing sides, so he will be eager to walk off a winner.

Labrador will be thrilled with the opportunity to jump up the ladder as they head into Saturday afternoon’s clash with Mt Gravatt at Cooke-Murphy Oval. Labrador sit fourth on the ladder with three wins and one loss from their matches this year, and a win could see them reach second depending on results around the league. Heading into the match as favourites, their motivation will be high to continue to set themselves up as the season progresses. Former AFL gun Pearce Hanley has been on fire in the last two weeks, so if he is once again allowed to roam free, Labrador will be hard to stop. Mt Gravatt have won only the solitary game this year but have had two byes in five weeks. Nevertheless, a second win is crucial, and Saturday provides a perfectly good opportunity. Gavin Grose’s start to the year has been eye catching and should continue in this match.

A fresh Morningside team will be hosting Redland-Victoria Point at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday afternoon in an exciting matchup. Fresh off the bye, Morningside will be ready for the challenge from a strong Redland-Victoria Point side, as both sides look to climb the ladder with an important win on Saturday. Redland-Victoria Point’s Harrison Kerr has booted 11 goals in his past three games and will need to be held accountable if Morningside are to slow down the scoring of their opponent.

Sherwood Districts will be looking to cause an upset as they prepare to host an impressive Maroochydore at Sherwood Oval on Saturday afternoon. Sherwood Districts have only won a single game this season, while their opponents have won three, so a boilover here looks unlikely, but stranger things have happened. Maroochydore sit second on the ladder, and if ladder leaders Broadbeach are beaten this round, a big win in this match could see them move to the top of the table. Keep an eye on Maroochydore’s Jacob Simpson, who has performed strongly all year. Sherwood Districts’ William Fletcher has been equally impressive and has also put his hand up as one to watch.

Wilston Grange face the tough task of slowing down the ladder leaders, as they host the undefeated Broadbeach at Hickey Park on Saturday afternoon. Wilston Grange have a 1-3 record after four games in an underwhelming start to the year, but a win here would truly send a message to the rest of the competition. They have the ability to kick a winning score, highlighted by Will McKenzie’s seven goals in his last two games. Broadbeach will be a tough beast to tame though. 4-0 on the season, they simply know how to get the job. With the top spot comes the pressure, and they will be eager to show they can more than handle it. Liam Nelson has been strong in the last three games and will be hoping to maintain this.

Tasmania:

The sixth round of TSL football kicks off with a bang as Clarence host competition powerhouse Launceston at Blundstone Arena on Saturday afternoon. Launceston have looked unstoppable but face arguably their toughest challenger this week on their home deck. Clarence have looked fantastic this year, especially since returning to Blundstone Arena, and will fancy themselves a strong chance to knock off the reigning premiers on Saturday. The inclusion of experienced forward Josh Green should make them more dangerous forward of the ball. Launceston will be regaining stand-in captain Jake Hinds after serving his suspension, while Dylan Riley will be eager to continue the run of form that has seen him boot 19 goals in the last two matches.

Another key clash this weekend comes in the form of North Hobart taking on Glenorchy at North Hobart Oval on Saturday afternoon. Both sides sit with a 1-3 record and changing that to 2-3 is crucial for the season moving forward. North Hobart will bring in ruckman Logan Elphinstone to establish some midfield dominance. Glenorchy will be regaining the services of experienced midfielder Sam Rundle who should prove a crucial inclusion to the side.

The Tigers and North Launceston will clash at UTAS Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the final match of the round. The Tigers have a 3-2 record and had their colours lowered by a firing Clarence side last weekend, so they will be desperate to get back on the winners list. Star Elijah Reardon was kept reasonably quiet last round so he should be keen to bounce back in this game. North Launceston sit at 2-2 having played one less game than their opponent, but will regain the services of Bradley Cox-Goodyer, setting up a thrilling clash.

Picture credit: The Examiner

State Leagues Preview: All competitions in full swing

STATE league Aussie rules football is in full swing as we approach round four for most competitions this weekend. With eye-catching matchups galore, expect a weekend chock full of exciting clashes.

VFL

The new-look Victorian Football League (VFL) kicked off its 2021 season last weekend, with a different looking fixture than previous years. Interstate AFL affiliated clubs Gold Coast, Sydney, Brisbane and GWS joined the competition and shook things up a bit. Round 1 delivered what many Victorian football fans had been waiting for and expect more of this in Round 2.

Brisbane and Carlton face off this weekend with plenty of players looking to stake a claim at an AFL spot. Blue Will Setterfield is one to watch this weekend, after tagging Jacob Dawson last weekend. The former top five draft pick has found himself on the outer at Carlton as the club looks to settle on a best 22, and Setterfield’s new role as a run-with player could see him enter calculations once again. As for who he will tag, that question remains up in the air. Lions Rhys Mathieson and Devan Robertson both had stand out performances last week, so if not recalled, expect one of them to receive a bit of attention.

Rivals Collingwood and Essendon will also clash this weekend in the traditional ANZAC round. With AFL sides for this round not announced until later this weekend, the sides are not yet confirmed. Both clubs’ AFL affiliate have been struck with injuries so expect very different lineups to last weekend. If not selected for a recall, American Pie Mason Cox will be relishing the opportunity to tear the game apart this week. Dropped from the AFL side in the last couple of weeks, Cox will be eager to earn a return, and there is no better time to prove his worth than this weekend. Following a disappointing 11-goal defeat last weekend, Essendon will be looking to bounce back in Round 2. Don Andrew Phillips impressed in the ruck last weekend and will hope to continue this form.

The Gold Coast Suns and the Sydney Swans will do battle in a Saturday morning clash at the Council Training Oval. Both interstate sides will be continuing to adjust to life in the VFL instead of their respective competitions in their home states. Looking to put his hand up for a recall, Swans ruckman Callum Sinclair will be desperate to standout at VFL level and he started this last weekend, with 34 hitouts and 17 disposals. The Suns shouldn’t lose too many players to their AFL side with no fresh injuries so expect a similar lineup to last week. Suns recruit Rory Atkins had 26 disposals in his first game for the reserves last week and should prove a class above given his AFL experience.

 

South Australia

A Friday night match kicks off proceedings for Round 4 in the SANFL this weekend with West Adelaide hosting Norwood at Hisense Stadium. Following a 50-point loss last weekend, West Adelaide have made plenty of changes in an attempt to conjure a response out of their side. Last week’s inclusion Sam May has succumbed to a hamstring injury, while Josh Koster and Mitch Maguire have been omitted. Five players have been added to the 25-man squad, including potential debutants Nick Steele and Lucas Meline. Norwood have also made a statement at selection, with gun wingman Dom Barry dropped following the side’s disappointing 92-point loss in Round 3. Both sides will be desperate to improve on last week’s performance, and there is no better opportunity.

Central Districts will take on Adelaide at X Convenience Oval on Saturday afternoon as both sides look to improve on their 1-2 record. Central Districts will lose utility Fraser Fort to injury, opening up a spot for another big man to come into the side, which will be trimmed by three prior to the opening bounce. The Crows side is yet to be determined, with AFL emergencies to be added in the near future. Two outs have already been confirmed with former Richmond midfielder Daniel Jackson rested after a 21-disposal outing, while crafty forward Ben Davis injured.

South Adelaide will be looking to maintain top spot on the ladder with a win over this week’s opponents in Sturt, as they play host at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday. South Adelaide young gun Jason Horne has been named to line up in an AFL academy match this weekend, so the Panthers will be without him this weekend. Talented youngster Fraser Turner has been named on the extended bench and could make his debut. Sturt will be without former Crow Pat Wilson after the midfielder hurt his shoulder in the second term last round, and his return date is yet to be confirmed. In better news for Sturt, key defender Sam Smith will debut after an ACL injury ruled him out for 2020. Tasmanian Jared Dakin could also make his debut, named on the extended bench.

Glenelg will be looking to start the season 4-0 with a victory over Port Adelaide on Saturday, who are searching for their second win of the season. With no forced changes, Glenelg have named three potential debutants on the bench in the form of Brady Searle, Brodie Newman and Will Chandler, who have all performed strongly at reserve level. Port’s side will be heavily influenced by its AFL side’s line up, with only two named on the bench so far and the AFL emergencies yet to be added.

In the final game of the round, Woodville-West Torrens will welcome North Adelaide to Maughan Thiem Kia Oval in search of their third win. Woodville-West Torrens will gain some handy inclusions in the form of Troy Menzel and Angus Poole, but will lose Dane McFarlane to a calf issue. North Adelaide will be hoping to carry forward the momentum they gained after last week’s thumping 92-point win over Norwood. Someone will have to replace Frank Szekely who was injured in the win. In the frame for a debut is midfielder Kaine Mercovich, who will be hopeful he can make his first appearance at league level.

Tasmania

It’s a battle of the Bombers to open the round four action, with Lauderdale hosting North Launceston in an important clash for both sides. With both teams sitting at a less than desirable 1-2 record, the opportunity to move up the ladder with a win will make an exciting contest. Lauderdale have omitted pair Benjamin Steinbauer and Jarrod Westell and welcomed Joshua Williams and Sam Tilley after a three goal loss to Glenorchy last week. North Launceston have made four changes after last week’s loss to Clarence. Utility Tom Donnelly returns to the side following a stint in North Melbourne’s VFL side last week, while Jack Avent, Brandon Leary and Ryley Sanders join him in returning to the side. Oscar Van Dam, Daniel Withers, Angus Jefferies and Matthew Cossins are the outs.

Following a disappointing loss to Launceston last week, the Tigers have the chance to put themselves back on the winners list with a game against Glenorchy on Saturday, who are fresh off a win. The Tigers were humbled by the reigning premiers in round three and have made changes to rectify this. Thomas Dwyer and Benjamin Donnelly were dropped for in favour pair Marcus Gardner and George O’Neill. Meanwhile, Glenorchy have included Bayley Bester and Braidy Simpson for Cameron Goodsell and Darrean Wyatt.

A North Hobart side looking for their first win will have to take on the tough task of slowing down Launceston at North Hobart Oval this weekend. Launceston delivered a statement performance last week against the Tigers, showing the competition that they will once again be tough to stop, while North Hobart will still be thinking about their disappointing loss against North Launceston in round two. Fresh off the bye, they will be eager to notch their first win, and their five changes this week show this. Riley Higgins, Logan Elphinstone, Keegan Ryan, Isaac Mathewson and Dominic White have entered the side in exchange for Josch Bingham, Jonty Barwick, Nathan Hardy, Joshua Hilder and Austin Keeling. Launceston stand-in skipper and star midfielder Jake Hinds will not play due to suspension, while Miller Hodge and Jacob Boyd will also miss. They are replaced by Hamish Leedham, Colby McKercher and Zach Morris.

Queensland

Redland-Victoria Point and Palm Beach Currumbin will open the ANZAC weekend round in the QAFL at Totally Workwear Park on Saturday. Redland-Point Victoria fell to Labrador by just over three goals last round, and a second win on the board would make a huge difference, with the ladder positioning incredibly tight after three rounds. Full-forward Harrison Kerr kicked four goals last week and should attract the best defender this week, opening opportunities for other forwards such as Matthew Warren to back up his strong performance from last week. Palm Beach Currumbin found their first win of the season last week with a 27-point triumph over Noosa. Mitchell Johnson’s four goal haul has surely caught the eye of opposition coaches, who will put some work into stopping him.

Sherwood District will be keen to bounce back from last week’s disappointing performance with a win over the in form Broadbeach this weekend. Sherwood District were embarrassed by Surfers Paradise, eventually defeated by 88 points. Jack Austin was a shining light on a dark day and his teammates will be hoping he can back up this showing. Broadbeach continue to do their thing, knocking off Morningside by 53 points last weekend. Bradley Lowe will once again be dangerous on the wing after a best on ground performance.

Its fourth place taking on sixth place as Surfers Paradise hosts Labrador at Sir Bruce Small Park on Saturday in an important clash. Both sides sit on 1-1 on the season, and a win here would prove vital in regards to ladder position. Both sides found their way to over 100 points last weekend and this should be a high scoring affair once again. Will Labrador’s Blair Rubock get off the chain again after four goals last week, or will Surfers Paradise’s balanced forward line get the better of their opponents again?

A refreshed Winston Grange side will be eager to move themselves up the ladder as they host a Morningside team that will be out to make up for last weekend’s disappointing showing. Winston Grange had the bye last week and currently sit in ninth place on percentage, but a win would shoot them up into the top half of the ladder in no time. Morningside’s recent loss will be fresh in their minds as they will once again look for Nathan Colenso in the forward line, who has started the year with six goals in two games.

Noosa’s quest to find their first win of the season will be made all the more difficult as they take on the top of the table Maroochydore at the Maroochydore Multisports Complex on Saturday afternoon. Noosa put up a brave fight against Palm Beach Currumbin, but ultimately couldn’t muster enough scoring opportunities to keep up with their opponents and fell by just under five goals. Scoring will be a focal point as they take on a red hot Maroochydore side who have started the season 2-0. Forward Jake Warren will play a key role, kicking five goals in the first two games and will surely be looking to add to that tally this weekend.

 

Western Australia

West Perth will be looking to follow up last week’s heartbreaking loss with a win over East Fremantle this weekend to kick off round four WAFL action. West Perth were defeated by Subiaco by a devastatingly small margin, with Subiaco walking away three-point winners. The players will be still hurting from this, eager to put the result in the past with a win on Saturday. Sam Rotham will not be lacing up the boots for West Perth, with Tyson Moulton his confirmed replacement. East Fremantle are yet to confirm any changes to the side that defeated East Perth last weekend.

Swan Districts will clash with South Fremantle in what should be an exciting match, with both sides sitting on the same win/loss record. Both sides are 2-1 after three rounds, and are sitting in similar positions, with both notching a win last week. Swan Districts backman William Collins will return to the lineup and the club is yet to confirm who will make way. South Fremantle ruckman Brock Higgins will return for his side along with backman Jason Maskos with the bench yet to be finalised.

Claremont’s undefeated streak continued last weekend, as they sit 3-0 in second place on the ladder. They take on Peel Thunder, who were outplayed by South Fremantle to make them 1-2 on the season. Claremont’s Harrison Mccracken is fresh off a four-goal haul last weekend and should have a say in the scoring of this match. The team lineups are yet to be confirmed at time of publication.

Two sides in the midst of very different seasons, West Coast will be hopeful of handing Subiaco their first loss of the season, while finding their first win. Subiaco scraped past West Perth by less than a goal, as they show they can consistently find a way to win. West Coast are having a very different year, starting the season 0-3 as their lineup consistently changes with AFL selections. They will also have their hands full containing Subiaco duo Ben Sokol and Jordan Faraone, who combined for eight goals in the round three win. The team lineups are yet to be confirmed at time of publication.

The final game of the round has plenty of implications for the ladder, with eighth place Perth taking on 10th (and last) placed East Perth. If East Perth can muster a win, it could kickstart their season, while a win for Perth could put them in the top five. With lots on the line for both sides, expect a close battle.