Tag: north launceston

Launceston claims TSL flag with impressive win in the wet

ONE of the better deciding games of football you are likely to see anywhere captivated fans all the way through the final quarter where Launceston kicked away to run out 13-point winners against their Northern rivals North Launceston. The Blues completed the perfect day winning flags in the development league and the women’s league, triumphing to win their first flag since 2011 and  stopped a fourth straight premiership to the Bombers in the process. It was the first time these familiar foes have met in a grand final since 1985 and they duly delivered the anticipated intense contest. Jobi Harper was awarded the Darrell Baldock medal as the best player on the ground for his grunt work through the midfield and his two goals.

Light drizzle started with the first siren as it came and went for much of the game, leaving a greasy surface for the four quarters as North Launceston kicked with a slight breeze advantage to start the game. After some scrappy repeat stoppages, the Bombers managed a clean breakaway and with their first inside 50 of the game they scored a goal from a Jack Rushton soccer off the ground. North managed the next centre clearance and squeezed the Blues for territory with manic defensive pressure highlighted by a Josh Ponting smother.

The rest of the first quarter was played mostly between the arcs as even though Launceston managed to find the corridor frequently, they were unable to capitalise on the scoreboard going scoreless to the Bombers’ 1.2. (8). With the wet surface affecting clean disposal, the contest was physical with plenty of niggle including a cut to the head for ruckman Alex Lee. It all blew up as players were going to their huddles as fiery spot fires popped up after a couple of altercations with every player involved. Passion and feeling in spades which would carry through the rest of the contest.

The rain started to fall heavier to begin the second quarter as Launceston needed to respond, and that they did. A defensive-50 transition required just two kicks to find Jay Blackberry who sidestepped his way into an open goal to kick his side’s first. As the Bombers did after their first goal, the Blues got the very next centre clearance but instead managed to goal on the back of some Fletcher Seymour dash.

A 15-minute stalemate was broken as Hudson medallist Dylan Riley scored from directly in front after a Blackberry intercept just past half forward. With the Bombers only managing minor scores, the Blues enjoyed a seven-point lead at the main break.

North Launceston’s third quarters have been the best in the league all season and they were on display again as Tom Bennett slotted a goal from a free kick less than a minute in. A huge Rushton chase down tackle stopped an almost certain Launceston goal as the momentum started to tip in their favour. Bradley Cox-Goodyer’s raking left boot drilled a 50-metre set shot which gave them a goal buffer 20 minutes into the term. Harper and the Blues were having none of that as he finessed a check side in from 25 metres out on the boundary to bring it back to a one-point margin after the siren.

With the barest of separations, Launceston kicking with the slight wind advantage, and everything to play for, it was game on. The game started to open up, but it was North Launceston who struck first with a Jackson Callow kick off the ground going through. Playing coach Taylor Whitford had an opportunity to put the Bombers up two goals before the shot fell short into the breeze. Up the other end, Riley bodied Corey Nankervis in the one-on-one contest and snapped it through to bring the game back. It was goal for goal as Bennett replied with his second, and some Riley brilliance led to a second Blackberry goal.

With very little separating the two sides, it was going to take something special to give either side a two-score lead, and that is what they got. Harper plucked the ball out of the ruck contest at the top of the goal square and banged it through, an exclamation point to what was already a good day for him. With a seven-point lead 18 minutes into the final quarter, one more goal would seal it. Youngster Jared Dakin delivered the icing goal from the goal square as Launceston would become the 2020 premiers winning 8.4 (52) to North’s 5.9 (39).

Blackberry, Riley, and Michael Musicka starred alongside Harper, as Jamieson House and Jacob Boyd were instrumental down back for the Blues. The Bombers’ midfield brigade of Cox-Goodyer, Whitford, Ponting, and Lee were among their side’s best, while 17-year-old Baynen Lowe provided important contests around the ground.

NORTH LAUNCESTON 1.2 | 1.6 | 3.8 | 5.9 (39)
LAUNCESTON 0.0 | 3.1 | 4.1 | 8.4 (52)

GOALS:

North: T. Bennett 2, J. Rushton, B. Cox-Goodyer, J. Callow.
Launceston: J. Harper 2, D. Riley 2, J. Blackberry 2, F. Seymour, J. Dakin.

BEST:

North: B. Cox-Goodyer, B. Lowe, T. Donnelly, T. Whitford, J. Ponting, A. Lee
Launceston: J. Harper, M. Musicka, T. Jones, D. Riley, F. Seymour, J. House

SCOUTING NOTES

North Launceston

#16 Ollie Sanders

Sanders could not manage to get into the game in the first half playing between half-forward and wing but provided some good pressure in the second half. He halved a crucial contest through relentless pressure and was more active around contests, roving and disposing of it cleanly on one occasion.

#25 Jackson Callow

Callow made his way into the final 22 after being named on the extended bench as he seemed unhindered by the ankle injury he sustained which had the potential to rule him out for the season. Like he did for most of the year, he played a half at either end of the ground, tasked with the Mitch Thorp matchup early. He was not afraid to push Thorp back and put his solid frame to good use in the contest. He kept him goalless, but a turnover from a poor kick in the back half resulted in a Launceston goal. Moving to the other end of the ground he was a physical presence more than anything. House ensured he worked for his touches and made Callow worry about him more than his own game, often only engaging body rather than leading at the ball carrier. Even though he struggled to find space, he kicked a goal at a crucial time in the final quarter.

#64 Baynen Lowe

The 17-year-old Devonport product played mostly through the middle of the ground, starting on the wing before rotating through the centre bounces in the second half. Lowe’s physicality and pressure stood out as he showed good speed and defensive qualities, highlighted by a smother and a chase down tackle. His poise with ball in hand was impressive and even despite the slippery conditions, he showed good cleanliness in tight. A nice snap to set up a shot on goal was indicative of his sound decision-making as he was named second best in his side for his efforts.

Launceston

#20 Jared Dakin

After playing on Whitford the last time these teams met there was feeling the same would happen again. Although he did not play a strict run with role, he played defensive at stoppages on Ponting much like his role last week. When play unravelled he managed to get to most contests and look for his own ball, earning a couple of clearances and showing strength to get a handball out. A quiet second half saw him kick the one goal, but it was the final one for his side as he capped off an impressive season.

#30 Isaac Chugg

Chugg assumed his natural half-back role and was serviceable in his side’s triumph. He was trusted with the kickout duties at times, but it was his run out of the back half which was is main mode of operation all game. Numerous times he ran past for the handball to rebound, but most impressively he did not just blaze away long. He found shorter and better targets. He did lose his direct opponent in traffic who goaled in the final quarter but nonetheless, a solid game.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Grand Final preview: Launceston vs. North Launceston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture: Andrew Woodgate

TSL weekend preview: Semi finals – Youngsters loom as Northern Bombers’ finals wildcard

FINALS time has hit the Tasmanian State League (TSL), with two Saturday semi finals set to decide this year’s grand finalists. Minor premier, North Launceston takes on fourth-placed Clarence at UTAS Stadium, while Launceston (2nd, 9-3) meets with Lauderdale (3rd, 7-5) at Windsor Park, with both games bounce down at 2pm. We take a look at where some of the best Tasmanian youth prospects will line up this weekend, as the final four is trimmed to two.

>> SCROLL for full fixtures and teams

North Launceston could have a finals wildcard or two up its sleeve, with a couple of young Tasmania Devils guns entering the fold at team selection. The Northern Bombers have slotted bottom-ager Baynen Lowe straight back into the starting lineup at half-forward, with the diminutive ball winner set to provide a spark inside attacking 50. Oliver Sanders, who found the goals last week comes in on the bench, while bigman Jackson Callow looms as a massive returnee having been named as an emergency.

After edging out North Hobart to secure a finals spot, Clarence boasts arguably the competition’s best group of Under 18s, all of whom will be keen to impact on the big stage. Oliver Davis, Samuel Lewis-Johnson, and Sam Banks were all named among the Roos’ best last time out, while Noah Holmes and Darcy Gardner hit the scoreboard. Davis remains a crucial cog at the heart of midfield alongside Gardner and Ethan Jackson, while Banks will again provide class off half-back. Jacques Barwick and Lachlan Borsboom have been squeezed out to the emergency spots.

Clarence has given the highly-fancied Bombers side a good run on two occasions this season, going down by a combined 24 points in their Round 4 and 10 meetings. While the minor premiers have proven dominant in 2020, they cannot take anything for granted given the ruthless nature of this year’s knockout finals format.

In the weekend’s other fixture, Launceston and Lauderdale also duke it out for a spot in the Grand Final, with their head-to-head ledger sitting even at one win apiece in 2020. The Blues come in fresh off a bye, while Lauderdale will hope for an improved performance after sneaking home by just three points against Tigers in Round 13.

After being named among the best in Launceston’s last outing, Jared Dakin again takes up his spot in the side across half-back, while fellow Tasmania Devils representative Isaac Chugg has been named on the bench. Dakin’s work rate and toughness should suit the rigours of finals football, while Chugg’s speed could prove handy in helping break the game open. Meanwhile, Samuel Foley comes out of the side after a sole senior outing. For Lauderdale, Sam Tilley again lines up inside forward 50, while Oscar Shaw takes up his spot in defence. Tilley was among the Bombers’ best last week, so should prove a dangerous outlet.

>> FULL TSL SEMI FINALS TEAMS

Fixtures:

Saturday, October 10:

North Launceston vs. Clarence | 2:00pm @ UTAS Stadium

Launceston vs. Lauderdale | 2:00pm @ Windsor Park

Featured Image: North Launceston’s Baynen Lowe | Credit: Simon Sturzaker/The Advocate

TSL Women’s weekend preview: Round 9 – Top three sides lock to officially secure spots

GLENORCHY and Clarence can officially rule out finishing outside the expected top three spots with Round 9 wins in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition. Whilst dropping outside the top three would nearly be impossible as is, victories to the Magpies and Roos just make it mathematically impossible, especially given the matches are against the bottom two sides in Tigers and North Launceston respectively.

First up, Glenorchy hosts Tigers at KGV with the Magpies’ confidence sky high off the back of a remarkable second win against ladder leaders Launceston. The Magpies are yet to beat the second place Roos, but easily too care of Tigers back in Round 3 with a thumping 85-point victory. Since then, they have only lost one match – to Clarence by 12 points, so have strung together four wins from five games ahead of a double-bye in Rounds 10 and 11. This match will be the last time the Magpies will play in almost a month, with the next clash against the Bombers on October 3.

Tigers are so far winless in season 2020, and their highest score came against North Launceston, which was 1.2 (8). After only scoring a behind in their first match against Launceston, they have kicked a goal in each of their past four games. The Tigers have also reduced the average points against, going from 86.5 conceded in the first two rounds, to a much lower 54.3 points per game. Coming in against Glenorchy, Tigers will hope to do better than their Round 3 defeat of 85 points. Having had their double-bye the last two weeks, Tigers have three consecutive games – against Glenorchy, Clarence and North Launceston – before finishing up with a final round bye.

Sarah Skinner has been so damaging up forward this season, booting 11 goals, including a haul of four against the Tigers in their last encounter. She has made it into the black and whites best on five occasions, while Molly Mitchell has converted eight goals this season. Tiarna Ford (six goals) and Elise Barwick (five) both had big days out against Tigers too, booting three goals in that 14-goal win. Whilst not notable goalkickers, Zoie Crawford (one), Jemma Webster and Libby Haines have all been named in the bests at least four times and are among Glenorchy’s top performers this season.

For Tigers, they have had the four individual goalkickers in Brooke Phillips, Lilly Ellis, Phoebe Parsons and Priscilla Odwogo. Hailee Baldwin, Mikayla Absolom, Mimosa Middleton Miller and Odwogo have also been named among the best for the Tigers on three occasions, having consistent years in the yellow and black. While Tigers have been improving and come off a long break, expect the Magpies to be far too strong in this contest.

In the second match, the 4-1 Roos host North Launceston as Clarence looks to keep in touch with top of the table Launceston. The Magpies did the Roos a favour by knocking off the Blues last week, not completely ruling Clarence off finishing on top, especially given they are only four points behind with two games in hand. The reigning premiers are a dangerous side, and whilst they did lose to the Blues a few weeks ago, were able to topple the Magpies in between two byes in the past three weeks. Having only played the five games, they still have three more to go, with North Launceston, Tigers and Launceston coming up, the latter of which is the Blues last remaining game – effectively deciding the minor premiership.

North Launceston has only had the one win – against last placed Tigers – but competed against Glenorchy a few weeks ago, and kept Launceston to just four goals in the opening round of the season. The top four make finals so expect the Bombers to be there at the pointy end of the season, but an upset of the Roos would be a huge scalp. They have another bye next week – coming off a Round 8 bye last week – and then finish the year with games against Tigers and Glenorchy prior to finals.

Jessie Williams had a massive day out against the Tigers this season to boot seven majors and lead the Roos with 12 majors this season. Amy Edmand (seven goals) also booted four in that game to put the last placed side to the sword, but it was Jacinta Limbrick (five) who snagged four majors at UTAS Stadium in the last encounter between these sides that did all the damage. Young gun Amy Prokopiec kicked a couple of goals in the last match the Roos played against Glenorchy for a season total of three majors, while Nicole Bresnehan and Bronte Scott are among the top Roos this year.

The Bombers have had three multiple goalkickers this season with Maggie Cuthbertson (three goals), Bonnie Farrell (two) and Hayley Breward (two), while Sophie Townsend (one) is the other goalkicker. Jodie Clifford and Kayla Sheehan have both been named amongst the best on four occasions, with Cuthbertson (three) the other standout this season. While the Bombers will give it a red hot crack, it is hard to see Glenorchy not getting up in this game given what is at stake for the Roos in the final few rounds.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 9 FIXTURES:

Glenorchy vs. Tigers
Clarence vs. North Launceston

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL scouting notes and wrap: Round 9 – Top two make statement

TASMANIAN State League (TSL) heavyweights, Launceston and North Launceston have enjoyed huge wins in Round 9 of the competition, having more than 30 scoring shots to all but lock up the top two spots with four rounds remaining. Clarence had a crucial 20-point win over Lauderdale in the other game to draw level in equal third, whilst the Demons and Tigers – who had the bye on the weekend – require more than just their own results in order to make finals.

In the Clarence-Lauderdale clash, the Roos’ fast start of three goals to one in the first term got them on the right path, and then led by the same 18-point margin at half-time. By the final break, Clarence was out to a 34-point lead, and whilst the Bombers kicked a few late goals to in the final term, still went down 11.14 (80) to 9.6 (60).

Josh Green snagged three goals in the win showing his AFL experience, while James Holmes (two goals from 10 touches and six marks) and Darcy Gardner (19 disposals, two goals) were also prolific. Gardner, Sam Banks, Oliver Davis and Noah Holmes all feature in our Clarence scouting notes. For the Bombers, Josh McGuinness notched up a match-high 30 disposals, as well as five clearances and nine inside 50s, while Sam Siggins had 29 touches and five clearances.

The reigning premiers put the young Demons to the sword in a 56-point victory down south, winning 11.20 (86) to 4.6 (30). It was a one-sided contest for the most part, with North Launceston’s inaccuracy the only thing keeping a Demons side missing the in-form Patrick Walker (calf, season) in the match. A five goals to one second half put an exclamation mark on the performance, with young talent Ollie Sanders named his side’s best, notching up 15 disposals at 80 per cent efficiency, and booting two goals.

Daniel Withers was also impressive with a couple of goals from 14 touches, as Sanders and Jackson Callow (seven disposals, three marks) feature in our scouting notes. For the Demons, Sam Collins had a breakout performance with 25 disposals, five marks and 11 rebounds, often opposed to Callow and doing well in the one-on-ones, as he was one young gun who stood out, while Hugh Williams (17 disposals, eight marks and six rebounds) was nominated as the Demons’ best.

In the final game of the round, Launceston remained on top of the table with a 97-point shellacking of Glenorchy. Jake Harper had one of the matches of the season, bringing his own ball to Windsor Park to rack up 38 disposals, 13 marks, 10 clearances, 12 inside 50s and 3.3 in a far and away best on ground performance for the Blues. Dylan Riley kicked 3.3 from 16 disposals and 10 marks, while Jared Dakin features in our scouting notes alongside Isaac Chugg and Isaac Hyatt. For the Magpies, it was a disappointing results, but Daniel Joseph (23 disposals, three inside 50s, four rebounds) and Josh Arnold (31 disposals, four marks and nine rebounds) tried hard all day.

TSL ROUND 9 RESULTS:

Clarence 11.14 (80) defeated Lauderdale 9.6 (60)
North Hobart 4.6 (30) defeated by North Launceston 11.20 (86)
Launceston 17.16 (118) defeated Glenorchy 3.3 (21)

SCOUTING NOTES:

Sam Banks (Clarence)

Tasmania’s top prospect for 2021 had one of his better games for the year, racking up some big numbers across the ground and working into the game more and more as it went on. He continually showed clean hands and has the nice balance of skill and athleticism that sees him hard to match up on. A couple of times he can get knocked off the ball a little easy – as he is quite light – but if he is in a foot race, expect him to win more often than not. His closing speed – such as in the second term on the wing – saw him spoil a ball, keep it in and then move forward with a nice handball, then second effort after not receiving the one-two, to present again, receive and kick long was admirable. In the final term, Banks pick-pocketed an opponent and settled the team down with a couple of handballs, and almost kicked a goal with a highlight-reel sidestep and long-range shot from 50m, but it was unfortunately marked on the line. He finished with 21 disposals – at 71 per cent efficiency – seven inside 50s and four rebounds.

Jackson Callow (North Launceston)

After a best on ground performance in defence last week, Callow found himself back in his usual forward 50 spot, as the Bombers tried to isolate him deep at times on the smaller-framed Collins. Callow did what you would expect of him, leading hard, clunking grabs and laying some fierce tackles. He had a few spoiled marks due to the high calibre of his opposition, but kicked his sole goal for the day when one-on-one in the square he literally tossed Collins aside and dove for a mark. His shot for the goalsquare went straight through the middle, and came after a couple of misses which is uncharacteristic for the usually reliable set shot talent. His great pickup five minutes into the game at ground level to give off a goal to Jay Foon was superb, but unfortunately his match ended a couple of minutes later when he landed awkwardly and had to be helped off.

Isaac Chugg (Launceston)

Having returned to the side in the last few weeks, Chugg is an interesting prospect. Boasting some elite athletic traits, he had some inconsistent performances playing as a winger, but has slotted into half-back like a dream. He is not a huge ball winner – in fact he only had nine touches on the weekend – but the majority were intercept or metres-gained possessions. In other words, you notice him nearly every time he gets it. He reads the play well in flight, has great closing speed and equally well-balanced offensive and defensive traits. On a number of occasions he would lay some strong tackles, or provide pressure to force a turnover, and he has lightning quick hands to keep the ball moving. One of his highlights was an intercept mark on the defensive side of the wing going back with the flight, showing his courage. He might have only had the nine touches, two marks, three tackles and two rebounds, but went at 88 per cent disposal efficiency which comes as no surprise.

Sam Collins (North Hobart)

Earned top billing as the best Tasmanian draft prospect this week and stepped up in the absence of fellow talented teenager, Patrick Walker. He was stationed in his usual defensive post, and often against another Devil in Callow, who he played well one-on-one. Knowing he would not win in a wrestle, Collins would often concede Callow front position on the lead and then use his closing speed and vertical leap to cleanly spoil. While Callow’s vice like grip can be difficult to spoil, Collins just had to make perfectly timed spoils, which he did. He racked up the ball with ease and played probably his best game of the year with greater composure than usual and less errors by foot. A number of times he was able to spoil Callow and then win the ground ball to clear out of defence. In the one time he was caught in a wrestle, he was thrown out of the contest given the size he gave up, but overall took the points, finishing with 25 disposals – at 72 per cent efficiency – as well as five marks and 11 rebounds.

Jared Dakin (Launceston)

Another prominent game by the over-age midfielder who plays a consistent brand of footy week-in, week-out. Buzzing around the ground, Dakin was able to use his quick hands out of the stoppage to keep the ball moving and he finds space with ease. He possesses a long kick when required, but is more effective by foot over short distances. What he did well in Launceston’s massive win, was setting up a couple of goals in the final term to Harper and Jake Hinds, and picking the right options going forward. He had a quick snap just six minutes into the game but missed to the right, and even though he went goalless for the game, the inside midfielder never stopped trying and brought teammates into the match brilliantly to finish with 18 touches.

Oliver Davis (Clarence)

If we are talking about consistency week-in, week-out, it is hard to look past the brutal consistency and matchplay that the Devils’ top-age bull Davis plays at for Clarence every weekend. He has no trouble finding the ball around the ground, gets to the right spots and attacks it hard. He reads the ruck taps exceptionally well and has quick hands to fire out to teammates on the outside. Occasionally he might get done for holding the ball because he has dived head first to win it at round level, but then on other occasions – such as late in the second term – charges through a pack and delivers lace out to Noah Holmes on the lead. In fact, Holmes was a recipient of a number of Davis’ passes and some of his game play reminded me of Luke Ball with his hardness at the contest and his ability to read the game faster than others and deliver with neat, short passes. His tackling pressure is not to be questioned either, with just his rushed kicks out of a stoppage or when under pressure the area he continues to develop. As a whole, his 17 disposals, six clearances and three inside 50s comes as no surprise and he had another impressive game for the red and whites.

Darcy Gardner (Clarence)

Not turning 17 until November, Gardner had a real breakout performance against Lauderdale and was named his side’s best in the win. What stands out about Gardner is his ability to have a crack throughout four quarters, bring teammates into the game, but then also make the most of his chances. Both his goals – one in the second term and one in the third term – came from long set shots which he had to go back and nail with composure. His goalkicking routine was great, and on a couple of occasions, he backed himself in and ran down the middle. In some ways, Gardner has a similar attack on the ball to Davis, and is able to shrug off opponents despite standing at just 175cm. He spent most of his time forward in the second half, but his first half was a crucial reason why Clarence got off to a flyer, and picked up most of his 19 disposals, three clearances, three tackles and six inside 50s in that time.

Noah Holmes (Clarence)

A contested marking beast who shows similar signs to that of Callow, Holmes is a little shorter at around 192cm, but hard to move with a big frame and elite hands. He took a whopping six contested marks – not a typo – from seven total, from just nine touches. That in itself shows what he offers to a side, as a leading target on the end of a neat pass going inside 50. He works hard up the ground at times, but it is his ability to cleanly grab marks – including three consecutive contested marks within six minutes in the final term – that makes him such a damaging prospect. He only kicked the 1.3, so could have capitalised a lot more, with the three he missed easier chances than the one he got. Two of his behinds came in the first half from regulation set shots, and another from a tight angle in the last term, but it was his third quarter goal 13 minutes in that had the crowd up and about. In front of his fan club, Holmes snapped a goal from an impossible angle that sailed home under pressure which showed what he is capable of at ground level.

Isaac Hyatt (Launceston)

Making his debut for the Blues, the 16-year-old showed some serious talent and considering the strength of the Launceston line-up, you have to have a fair bit of that to make the side. He showed some clean hands early in the match and worked into the game, playing in the forward half and at times was a little too unselfish, passing off to teammates. He worked well with Chugg at half-forward for a quick one-two and kick to a leading forward, then had a huge final term. Taking multiple shots at goal, he kept getting on the wrong side for his left boot, missing a couple of set shots from the pocket with his Under 18s teammates trying to will him on from the boundary. He had a legitimate chance for goal 15 minutes in on the run but dribbled it towards Dakin who gave it to Hinds to finish off. On the 18th minute mark, and after several deliberate tries from his teammates to get him a goal, Hyatt marked on the correct side for his left boot, and a much better angle. Coming in from 40m, Hyatt drilled the goal and they ran from everywhere to celebrate, especially given the result was well beyond doubt.

Jye Menzie (North Hobart)

Menzie’s form mirrors that of North Hobart’s, having started the season really strongly, but due to lack of supply in recent weeks and the return of big man, Julian Dobosz, Menzie has not been as prominent on the scoresheet. He tries hard all game, but lacked his usual flair with just the nine touches, one mark and a couple of inside 50s. His best work comes off the deck, showing a clean pair of hands, but had a couple of highlights including an intercept mark midway through the first term to set up a rare Demons goal to Williams, and then charging down the middle with a deep kick to a dangerous area in the fourth term.

Ollie Sanders (North Launceston)

A lively player who works within his abilities, Sanders was one of the Bombers better players on the day using his slick skills and high impact per possession up forward. Sanders does not need a lot of the ball to have an impact, but he still amassed 15 disposals, three marks, two inside 50s and kicked a couple of goals. In the 10th minute of the first term, Sanders nailed a set shot from a great mark inside 50 and never looked like missing. In the second quarter, the top-age talent finished off perfectly in play with a nice left foot goal 15 minutes into the term. He pushed up the ground and even found touches in defence, covering the ground well with a high work rate.

Callum Thompson (Glenorchy)

It was not a great day for the Magpies who lost four key players prior to the bounce, but the bottom-ager remains an eye-catching prospect over the next couple of years. He set up a goal to Ethan Conway early in the match with a quick kick off the left, and then hit up Tom Cleary whose set shot unfortunately missed early in the second term. His long driving boot inside 50 was a feature of the match, and he has the game smarts to tap the ball forward in the path of a teammate instead of taking possession. In his bright boots, Thompson showed a real hardness at the contest, with clean hands at ground level and and ability to win the ball between the arcs.

Picture: Andrew Woodgate

TSL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 7 – Clarence gains separation as Launceston records another big win

CLARENCE has gained some vital breathing space inside the top two with an important 12-point win over Glenorchy at KGV on the weekend. The Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s clash went down to the wire for the most part, but the Roos managed to get the job done and put away the Magpies for the second time this season.

Keeping Glenorchy scoreless in the opening term, Clarence headed into the first break with an eight-point lead. That soon evaporated in the second term as the Magpies booted two goals to one to hit the front by half-time. Clarence dug deep in the premiership quarter, booting three goals to one in what was ultimately the difference between the sides. Both teams kicked a goal in the last stanza, but it would ultimately be the 11-point final break lead – extended to 12 by the last siren – that proved to be enough in Clarence’s 6.4 (40) to 4.4 (28) victory.

Jessie Williams backed up her seven-goal haul earlier in the season with more multiple snags in the win, slotting three and being dangerous up forward. Usually reliable defender, Amy Prokopiec put her best foot forward in her best game this season, slotting two majors and named among the best for the Roos. Hannah Smith, Bronte Scott and Nicole Bresnehan were the others from the visiting side to make a statement on the day.

For Glenorchy, they shared the goals around with four individual goalkickers including regular scoreboard-hitters, Sarah Skinner and Molly Mitchell. Rebecca Clifton and Laura Negri were named the Magpies’ best in the loss, while Gennaveve Sullivan and Libby Haines were also strong.

Meanwhile in the other game, top of the table Launceston had a big win over its northern rivals, knocking off North Launceston by 62 points at Invermay Park. The Blues led in a narrow opening term by seven points, converting the only major of the quarter. They gained some separation after that, booting three goals in each of the final three terms. It helped the Blues lead by 26 and 47 points at the next two breaks, with the Bombers kicking a last quarter consolation goal, but the Blues getting the win 10.10 (70) to 1.2 (8).

Four players booted two majors with Daria Bannister, Molly Clark, Angela Dickson and Brooke Brown all converting a couple of snags. They featured heavily in the bests, with Kelsie Hill (one) and Meg Radford also impressive. For the Bombers, Bonnie Farrell kicked the team’s sole goal, while Kayla Sheehan, Maggie Cuthbertson and Jodie Clifford were all named amongst the losing side’s best.

Next week Launceston takes on Glenorchy as Clarence and North Launceston have byes, along with Tigers having a second consecutive week off.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 7 RESULTS:

Glenorchy 4.4 (28) defeated by Clarence 6.4 (40)
North Launceston 1.2 (8) defeated by Launceston 10.10 (70)

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Player focus: Jackson Callow (North Launceston)

NORTH Launceston’s Jackson Callow was a star for his side in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) competition on Wednesday night, but not in the way that many NAB League spectators who were unable to see the game might have expected. The key position forward is a contested marking beast – comfortably the best in the draft crop when it comes to his hands above his head – but what has been trialled in stints this season for the Bombers, became a full-time role for the 194cm, 96kg 18-year-old.

That role is a rebounding centre half-back that not only nullified his direct opponent – of which there were many on the night – but also provided some drive. Callow is not the most athletic of players as you might expect from a key forward, but what he showed under lights was his ability to read the ball in flight regardless of what end he was up. In the TSL season so far, Callow played predominantly forward in the first few games – including kicking three majors against the Blues in the team’s first encounter – whilst having stints further up the ground and even around the stoppage at times. In recent weeks, Callow has spent quarters here or there in defence, lining up at centre half-back and holding his own against some of the league’s top performers. On Wednesday night, that trial became a full-time job.

One of the knocks on Callow coming into the season compared to some key position players was the unknown versatility. As a key forward, he is too big and too strong, and he showed that against NAB League defenders last year on his way to 24 goals in 14 games – an average of 1.7 a match – often against multiple opponents. While it might be just the one full-time game – and several quarters here and there – Callow is proving that he has the versatility to play multiple roles at the elite level.

Here’s how we assessed his performance:

Q1:

Starting at centre half-back, Callow ironically won his first touch through a mark on the forward side of the wing and then managed to short kick and hit his target by foot. Back at half-back midway through the term, Callow spoiled the ball cleanly away from his opponent on the lead, but unfortunately it fell to a Launceston opponent who mopped up, kicked it forward and it led to a goal. In this case, there was no other logical option for Callow to take, and it was bad luck rather than poor decision making. He would push up on the wing and use quick hands to keep the ball moving whilst working hard defensively to provide a block for his teammate.

Q2:

Callow first featured with a free kick deep in defence, going up for a mark in a pack but was pushed out of it. He used the ball well by foot and then would again push up the ground and dispose of it by hand quickly. One aspect of Callow’s game was the fact that he played within his limitations, not going for massive runs, but doing enough to keep the ball moving quickly. His first of a number of highlights came in the 18th minute mark of the term where he charged out of deep defence to intercept a ball at full speed and open up the game on the counter attack. His pass which went long to the wing hitting a target caught Launceston at a disadvantage and led to a Tom Bennett mark inside 50 and set shot goal.

Q3:

There were plenty more of those highlights to come, with Callow’s contested marking ability unsurprisingly being a feature of his performance. He had a good effort early in the quarter but could not quite pull it down with so many players around him, but soon played the role of a smaller man by reading a tackled opponents handball off the deck, cutting it off and then kicking it long outside the defensive 50. He was too strong for his opponents in the air, taking a contested mark at half-back, and then had what was his best play of the game. Launceston had won the ball at half-back and with so many numbers camped in the Blues forward half, there was space galore down the field. Launceston launched off half-back to spot up a free player on the forward side of the centre, but then out of nowhere Callow had raced across, clunked the mark one-grab and then charged down the middle until he could steady and pump it back inside attacking 50.

Q4:

The fourth term also provided some highlights, but also some areas that the young key position player could work on. He was unluckily pinged for walking the ball out of bounds at half-back in the opening minute, but was fortunately not made to pay the price by the Blues. His marking spree continued through the final term with yet another intercept mark at half-back, reading the play perfectly and cutting off a forward’s marking avenue. He took a remarkable grab over a smaller opponent in a goalsquare pack, putting the arms up and clunking it one-grab with ease, and was able to hit a target in the back pocket. A couple of times he made mistakes by hand, such as at the 16-minute mark when being tackled he rushed a handball to no one in particular with Launceston having the outnumber and the Blues ran it down to kick a goal. His work at ground level as a whole was quite good though, opposed to Jared Dakin late in the term, he was able to keep the ball in front of him and not take possession until he had to, but again just coughed up the handball to an opponent facing him.

Summary:

If there was one aspect to take out of this game, it is the fact that Callow showed he can read the ball in flight at either end and comfortably play in the defensive 50. It is one thing to outmark your opponent in a one-on-one – no one would ever doubt Callow’s ability to do that – but another to make the choice to come off your opponent knowing he was not going to impact, and instead chop off a forward thrust. While he has set the bar high for himself with this performance, if Callow is able to continually provide that aerial presence and a bit of drive wherever he is on the ground, he may have found that point of difference as a swingman.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekend review: Round 6 – Blues and Magpies run away with strong wins

TOP three sides, Launceston and Glenorchy came away with victories in Round 6 of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s against the bottom two sides as the competition crossed the midway point of the season. The top of the table Launceston was too good for last placed Tigers, winning by 53 points, while third placed Glenorchy put more distance between itself and the fourth placed North Launceston, getting up by 32 points.

In the top against bottom clash, Launceston could not buy a goal in the opening term, kicking five behinds but kept its opponent scoreless to lead by that margin at the first break. They managed to find their range in the second term, booting two straight goals, while the visitors kicked a major to be within 12 points at the main break. It was the second half where the premiership favourites broke away, booting six goals to zero, and having 12 scoring shots to nil to run away and win 8.11 (59) to 1.0 (6).

Daria Bannister continued her impressive season back at state level, slotting three goals in the win as the sole multiple goalscorer. Alongside her, Camilla Taylor and Mia King both slotted goals and were named among Launceston’s best, while Dearne Taylor and Amy Halaby were also among the winning team’s best on the day. Phoebe Parsons booted Tigers’ only goal of the match in the second term, while it was Maci Polley, Hailee Baldwin and Sacha Rival-Quinn who all earned their name in the best for their efforts on the losing side.

In the other match, Glenorchy overcame a first quarter deficit to run out comfortable winners with a strong final three terms. North Launceston looked like causing a stir in the first quarter by kicking two goals to one and leading by seven points at the first break. A four goals to zip second term in favour of the Magpies saw them race off to a 17-point advantage at half-time. From there they held off the Bombers, restricting them to just three behinds in the second half, whilst booting the two goals in the half to make it the final six goals of the game.

Molly Mitchell kicked three goals for Glenorchy, with leading goalkicker Sarah Skinner and Tiarna Ford also kicking two majors apiece for all multiple goalkickers. Libby Haines was terrific in the win for the black and whites, while Skinner, Kira Maass and Jemma Webster were all named among the bests for the winners. Bonnie Farrell and Maggie Cuthbertson both kicked goals for the Bombers, while Sophie Farrow, Hayley Breward and Kayla Sheehan were all amongst the top players in the side.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 6 RESULTS:

Launceston 8.11 (59) defeated Tigers 1.0 (6)
Glenorchy 7.6 (48) defeated North Launceston 2.4 (16)

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

Tasmanian weekend preview: Devils galore at North Hobart

IN this week’s Tasmanian State League (TSL) weekend preview, we take a look at a couple of head-to-heads across the weekend as the six sides go at it through the midway point of the season. The match of the round should be the battle between third placed North Hobart and fourth placed Clarence, two sides that clearly have ability, but being young they have not had the consistency thus far in season 2020.

They are among four sides sitting on two wins from five games, with the others being Lauderdale and Glenorchy who take on last placed Tigers and second placed North Launceston this weekend. The round also marks a fully completed half of the season with all seven teams having had a bye to-date as Launceston sits out this weekend. It is fair to the say the Blues will be happy with their season thus far despite dropping their first game last week in an odd 17-16 loss, but have enough percentage to ensure North Launceston do not catch them. The top two sides are sitting pretty at the top of the table, while at the other end, Tigers will be desperate to win their second game in three weeks and level up against at least three other sides.

FEATURED MATCH: NORTH HOBART VS. CLARENCE

The Demons will want to quickly put behind them their loss last week, which saw them kick their first goal in the third term. They fought hard at the end in trying conditions, but ultimately were too slow to start. Clarence has had an up and down year, dropping its first game, then smashing Glenorchy, and going down in a tough loss to the reigning premiers. The last two weeks got even stranger, belted in the first half against a winless Tigers side to lose by 15 points, then toppled the undefeated Launceston last week in a two goals to one victory.

H2H: Patrick Walker (North Hobart) vs. Sam Banks (Clarence)

These two will not necessarily line-up on one another, but both have played wing roles in the past few weeks throughout games, which means it could be an all AFL Academy head-to-head at North Hobart Oval. Walker is more of a half-back who can play up on the wing, whereas Banks can do his best work forward of the ball setting up nice plays.

Banks has the extra athleticism and skill that helped him earn All-Australian honours at the Under 16s National Carnival as well as taking home the prize as the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Walker was one of Tasmania Devils’ most impressive players in his bottom-age year, averaging 5.4 rebounds to go with 16.5 disposals and 3.8 marks.

Round 5 scouting notes:

#48 Patrick Walker

R5 stats: 16 disposals @ 50% (62.5% contested), 2 marks (1 contested), 1 tackle, 1 clearance, 1 rebounds

“While many of his teammates were missing targets early in the wet conditions, Walker was using the ball well and showing clean hands off the deck… Walker showed composure under pressure and while he made the odd mistake in the wet conditions after the opening term, was still able to show good recovery on the wing when knocked off the ball at first in the third term.” – Peter Williams

#23 Sam Banks

R5 stats: 14 disposals @ 85% (31.3% contested), 2 marks, 3 tackles, 1 clearance, 3 inside 50s

Just like last week Banks began as an outside midfielder, and came to life late in the first quarter grabbing a few possessions out of the contest. While this game he may not have provided anything special for the highlights reel, he showed good vision when he had the ball linking up to multiple scoring chances. He has a good eye for a mark, goes to the contest quickly and even gets the ground ball out in a fast manner.” – Fraser Stewart

[ … FULL SCOUTING NOTES … ]

In other matches, Jackson Callow‘s North Launceston will hope to draw level with top of the table Launceston which is achievable with a win over Glenorchy. The key forward had 13 disposals, three marks – one contested – two inside 50s and two rebounds last week, spending time at both ends of the field to showcase his versatility. He tackles a Glenorchy team that will be buoyant after a win in the wet over the Demons in Round 5, and while he might only be 15-years-old, Braidy Simpson showed he is not afraid to show what he has through the midfield with 12 touches, three marks and three inside 50s.

Meanwhile, Tigers can bounce back from last week’s loss with a win against the out-of-form Lauderdale. The Bombers have lost three on the trot since winning their opening two games of the season, albeit the losses came against the top three sides. Lachlan Gadomski continues to stake his case to be drafted as a 20-year-old, showing off his terrific athleticism in defence on his way to 13 touches, two marks and three rebounds, with a team-high eight one-percenters. He will look to stop the flow through to the Lauderdale forwards, with former Eastern Ranges’ talent Adrian Kalcovski booting four goals in five games, including a couple of rippers in a fortnight ago.

TSL ROUND 7 FIXTURES:

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

TOP FOUR CLASH TAKES PLACE AT KGV

IN the TSL Women’s competition, a top three clash headlines the weekend, with third placed Glenorchy up against fourth placed North Launceston. The Magpies knocked off the previously undefeated Launceston two weeks ago before a bye in Round 5, while the Bombers grabbed their first win of the season last round. Now there is plenty on the line with the Magpies able to go four points clear inside the top three, or the Bombers able to level with their opponents with an even keel of 2-2 from four matches.

Glenorchy will go into the game as heavy favourites given their percentage, and the Magpies will be confident they can continue their recent form. If as expected they get up, Glenorchy will be on a three-game winning streak. Sarah Skinner (seven goals), Elise Barwick (four) and Tiarna Ford (four) are all damaging players for the Magpies inside 50, with Skinner also named amongst Glenorchy’s best in every match. The Bombers will be pleased they scored a win last week against struggling Tigers, but now have a bigger challenge against the Magpies. Hayley Breward (two goals) and Maggie Cuthbertson (two) both stood out in the win last week, while Jodie Clifford, Zoe Bourne and Kayla Sheehan are others who have been good this year.

New Collingwood AFL Women’s ruck/forward Abbey Green stood up in her first game of the season for Launceston last week booting three goals in the top of the table clash against Clarence. She will prove a handful for a Tigers side yet to get on the board in what is anticipated to be a one-sided contest. Other AFL Women’s stars who make life difficult for the opposition included Daria Bannister and Mia King, while Camilla Taylor and Angela Dickson have been impressive this year. For the Tigers, youngster Priscilla Odwogo continues to impress, booting a goal last week to join Brooke Phillips and Lilly Ellis in the goalkicking books this season. Odwogo, Mikayla Absolom and Mimosa Middleton Miller have all been named among the best in a tough start to the season for the Kingborough side.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 6 FIXTURES:

Launceston vs. Tigers
Glenorchy vs. North Launceston

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

Scouting notes and weekly wrap: TSL – Round 6

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

GLENORCHY vs. NORTH HOBART

By: Peter Williams

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

Glenorchy:

#34 Braidy Simpson

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

#36 Callum Thompson

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

#53 Riley Best

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

#55 Nathan Blowfield

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

North Hobart:

#11 Jake Steele

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

#15 Hamish Allan

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

#19 Will Peppin

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

#46 Jye Menzie

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

#48 Patrick Walker

While many of his teammates were missing targets early in the wet conditions, Walker was using the ball well and showing clean hands off the deck. He was kicking long out of the back 50 and trying to provide run for his team against the flow with some one-twos on the win. Walker showed composure under pressure and while he made the odd mistake in the wet conditions after the opening term, was still able to show good recovery on the wing when knocked off the ball at first in the third term, and then pressured an opponent off the ball to make a mistake in the last quarter. His hands in the wet conditions remained strong with a deep kick to the pocket important as the Demons continued to attack late.

#49 Sam Collins

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

#51 George McLeod

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

 

NORTH LAUNCESTON vs. TIGERS

By: Eli Duxson

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

North Launceston:

#16 Oliver Sanders

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

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

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

#25 Jackson Callow

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

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

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

Tigers:

#19 Oliver Burrows-Cheng

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

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

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

#31 Lachlan Gadomski

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

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

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

 

LAUNCESTON vs. CLARENCE

By: Fraser Stewart

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

Launceston  

#20 Jared Dakin

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

Clarence

#23 Sam Banks

Just like last week Banks began as an outside midfielder, and came to life late in the first quarter grabbing a few possessions out of the contest. While this game he may not have provided anything special for the highlights reel, he showed good vision when he had the ball linking up to multiple scoring chances. He was also calm when he got the ball and took a few seconds to kick it into space when he took a mark. He had a stint down back early in the game to help switch the play linking to an attacking play. He has a good eye for a mark, goes to the contest quickly and even gets the ground ball out in a fast manner. Like his counterpart it was his work off the ball that really mattered in their one-point win.

#46 Baker Smith

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