Tag: oliver davis

Scouting notes and weekly wrap: TSL – Round 5

IT was a big weekend of Tasmanian State League (TSL) action as a number of Tasmanian Devils prospects past and present ran around for respective clubs in the three matches over the weekend. We took notes on some of the young guns and recap how the matches went down.

CLARENCE vs. TIGERS

Tigers recorded their first win of the 2020 TSL season with an upset 15-point victory over Clarence. The win was on the back of a dominant first three quarters where Tigers piled on 12 goals to four in an impressive performance. Clarence roared to life in he final term as they booted 5.3 to 0.1, but still fell short of victory, going down 12.5 (77) to 9.8 (62). Luke Graham and Tyler Carter slotted three goals each for Tigers, as Kieran Lovell ran amok around the ground. Will Campbell and Zach Adams were other impressive players for the yellow and black. For the Roos, Oliver Davis was unbelievable and features in our notes, as does Sam Banks, while former Brisbane and Essendon goalsneak Josh Green slotted three majors in defeat.

By: Peter Williams

Clarence:

#20 Oliver Davis

Had a sensational outing and was clearly one of the Roos’ bet and four quarter performers. The AFL Academy member started onball and played there primarily other than the odd rest inside 50. His stoppage nous was terrific, and he was always burrowing in to either win the ball or lay a tackle on his opponent. Davis is able to find the exit at stoppages and read the taps well, and in the second term he got a quick snap off out of a stoppage to set up a goal for Josh Green. He has the smarts to reduce the impact of an opponent as well, by corralling them into a space – as he did in the third term at half-back – which forces them to retreat to safety and allow his teammates numbers to get back on the transition. Davis is definitely one of those pure inside ball winners and while sometimes he can be overzealous with his tackling, he is not afraid to crack in time and time again, showing off a high work rate. Reminded me a bit of Dylan Clarke at Under 18s level.

#23 Sam Banks

Played an outside role along and wing and drifting into either 50 when adding an extra number. Did not need to win a heap of the ball to do damage when he had his chance. His work under pressure is good, able to kick safely from half-back to the wing without putting it out on the full and gained vital metres. As a ball-winning midfielder, Banks did get caught out once by being sucked into the defensive 50 stoppage in the second term, and his opponent snuck out the back where an opposition player found him lurking at the top of 50. Banks’ offensive traits are superb though, and he showed in the third term what he can do with time and space, putting on the jets and burning off an opponent to kick long to the goalsquare where it almost created a goal-scoring opportunity.

Tigers:

#31 Lachlan Gadomski (Tigers)

The athletic 20-year-old remained in the interest of AFL recruiters last year, and he showed in little bursts what he is capable of. Having a clean run at it for a change this season, Gadomski was reliable in defence, with clean hands in the air and a strong aerial presence. He was hungry for the ball and laid some fierce tackles, but was also creative on the last line, often looked at as the option to switch play or, as on one occasion, go long down the middle. His pressure game was exemplified by winning a one-on-two contested in the back pocket where he was able to get the ball across the line, and in the fourth term, he did well not to give away a free backing back to a one-on-one and spoiling it to rush a behind.

 

LAUDERDALE vs. NORTH LAUNCESTON

North Launceston kicked into gear after a slow first half to pick up another win in its premiership defence season. The Bombers trailed by six points at quarter time against another top four side in Lauderdale, but after hitting the front by half-time (one point), ran away with it in the second half to boot six goals to two and secure a 10.7 (67) to 6.5 (41) victory. Nick Baker was terrific for Lauderdale and features in the notes, while Phillip Bellchambers, Josh McGuinness and Luke Nelson (three goals) were also impressive. For the winners though, Jackson Callow slotted two goals alongside Bart McCulloch, as youngster Sherrin Egger (one) and Alex Lee, were named amongst the best.

By: Fraser Stewart

Lauderdale:

#17 Nick Baker

Set up Lauderdale’s first goal of the game with impressive vision down on the wing. Impressive off half-back and was not afraid to show his attacking style of play often going forward to try and spark a Lauderdale attack, while at the same time showing great speed which was evident throughout the second half of the game. As well as showing a great instinct to attack, he was also calm in defence when the pressure was on him often defusing various North Launceston attacks through intercept marks and was even calm when he rushed a behind which shows he has the knowledge of match awareness in defence.

North Launceston:

#16 Ollie Sanders

Was quiet for much of the first half, came to life throughout the third term. However, he was always around the contest and it could be noted that much of his work went unnoticed as he was often the first person to get the ball out of a contest. It could be noted that his style more focussing on the one-percenters in which he contributed with a few spoils and pressure acts. Took a strong mark late in the third quarter to help slow the play showed good knowledge.

#21 Sherrin Egger

Set up North Launceston’s first goal of the game as he set up a Jackson Callow set shot off a clearance. He was impressive around the stoppages as he knows when to get the ball out often through a quick handball to set up a North Launceston attack. He also showed good composure when facing traffic often manoeuvring out of the way of Lauderdale’s oncoming players. He showed good vision too, and this was evident when he was on the wing as he knew where to kick it. Earned himself a 100-metre penalty early in the last quarter and kicked a goal, he goes hard at the contest too.

#25 Jackson Callow

It took 16 minutes for Callow to show what he is capable of as he kicked the first goal of the game with a great lead after a great chest mark. He was everywhere throughout the game plying his trade at half-forward where he kicked two goals and kicked it cleanly off the boot, in the ruck where he showed a great leap and even won a few hitouts. He also spent the majority of the last term in the backline defusing various Lauderdale attacks through intercept marks and spoils. On top of that, he can also be a handy midfield player too, as he was collecting possessions when he was near the ball. He has the potential to be a very useful player for any side as this game showed he can be a great utility that can play pretty much everywhere and has the footy smarts to go along with it. 

 

NORTH HOBART vs. LAUNCESTON

By: Eli Duxson

It was a captivating matchup in a top of the table clash which went right down to the wire despite a slow first half scoring wise. North Hobart looked like finally breaking Launceston’s undefeated streak after leading by two points at the main break, but then Launceston edged in front and held on to the lead to secure a memorable three-point win, 9.7 (61) to 9.4 (58) in one of the games of the season. While proven performers in Bailey Walker and Dylan Riley (four goals) stood out for either side, we will take a look at some of the young talent on display at North Hobart Oval in North Hobart’s Jake Steele, Hamish Allan, Will Peppin, Jye Menzie, Patrick Walker, and Sam Collins and Launceston’s Jared Dakin.

North Hobart

#11 Jake Steele

Steele has become the focal point of the Demons’ forward line having developed rapidly in the senior environment. The first forward entry of the game scrubbed its way into Steele who could not trap it which set the tone for much of his first quarter. He left the forward 50 on many occasions and provided a solid outlet target for North Hobart and despite not managing a mark until later in the quarter, he contested and brought it ground for his teammates to go to work. He made the most of some relaxed Launceston defence to mark uncontested 30 metres out and drilled it to give him his only goal for the day. Despite not impacting the scoreboard for the rest of the game, he showed his endurance with big efforts to create an outlet target in the back pocket. His field kicking looked scratchy but his willingness to push up the ground and help his defence is certainly a positive aspect of his game.

The second half saw him help Allan in the ruck and despite giving up some strength to Launceston ruckman Tim Auckland, he used his athleticism to not allow an easy clearance at stoppages for the Blues. When the game was at peak intensity in the final quarter, he managed to keep a cool head under pressure with a slick handball out of a pack to a runner on the wing which set up a deep forward entry, and taking an important intercept mark on his goal line.

Though he will look to continue working on his ball use around the ground, the Demons will be pleased with his improvement and ability to play as a key position player who can swing through the ruck. If he can turn his big spoils and marking contests into big contested marks, he will be a dangerous player moving forward.

#15 Hamish Allan

The matchup between he and Auckland from the outset was one to watch and he certainly did not back down an inch. The 205cm and 100kg brute of a 19-year-old showed an impressive amount of athleticism and endurance for much of the game, earning him a spot in his side’s best players. He thumped the ball from the very first ruck contest of the game and looked ominous from the outset. Later in the first quarter he even managed a clearance and a rebound 50 as he was willing to win, and use, his own ball. The second quarter provided one of the highlights of the game as he went for a big hanger in the middle of the ground. Even though he did not have to jump as high as the average player would have, it was still a good grab with a knee in the back of his opponent. Looking like he was unsure of what to do with it, he looked to go left, and then lumbered his way to his right and around the man on the mark to send it inside 50 where no North Hobart players were, unfortunately.

With Steele assisting him in the ruck for a lot of the second half, he managed to rest up forward and snagged a goal from a contested mark, slotting the goal from 25 metres out. He continued to show that he was not just a tall who slapped the ball out of the ruck, he even takes big pack marks leading up the wings much like Steele did when the Demons were moving forward. Further showing off his endurance, whenever he was in the ruck, he worked back defensively to plug the hole and did it effectively.

A very impressive game from the big man would have caught the eye of many as the prototype ruckman has started to turn into the hard-working athletic tall who can do it on both ends. Allan certainly has this ability and the only way is up for him.

#19 Will Peppin

The Devil from last season in the versatile Peppin found himself moving from the wing to the backline in what was a tough contest with the ladder leaders and despite his slight build, he looked to win his own ball on several occasions. He found his way to good spots and looked most comfortable floating down and getting the ball out the back. His ball use let him down for much of the first half, but he has done the hard yards to possess the ball which is what he would have been happy with. The first quarter saw a slick spin move and gather inside a defensive 50 pack, but an errant handball was the first of a few forgettable disposals for Peppin. Doing the grunt work with no result is far from a negative as clean and consistent ball use will come with confidence and experience at the level. His second quarter saw a drastic improve with an effortless side-step and switch kick deep in his defensive 50 hitting a target, and a well-weighted chip kick up the other end for a dropped mark from a teammate.

His second half showed off his pace as he assisted Allan for an easy goal, but it also showed off his inside work as he was willing to get in and under and scrap to win the hard balls. Even though he was muscled out of a contest early in the last quarter, he persisted on showing great poise in the defensive half of the ground in the manic moments as he started to become lively with their defensive exits. One of which included a big kick off the ground where he continued on to get on the end of a handball from his teammate who gathered his kick, as he found a target inside 50 for a shot on goal.

Even with a tough start in terms of disposal efficiency, he came into his own for most of the game and showed a level-head under defensive pressure. He will be looking to add some strength, but his inside and outside balance are a key feature of his game.

#46 Jye Menzie 

Menzie had a quiet game on his standards playing out of half-forward for the Demons but looked very threatening whenever he was around the ball. He led up strongly in the first quarter to mark at the centre of the ground and drilled a low ball to a target inside 50 who assisted a goal. Trying to get himself involved a bit more with Launceston doing most of the attacking in the second quarter, he found his way to the half back-flank to help with an exit. Menzie made a grubby kick from Steele look very good with an impressive ground ball gather at pace and under pressure, as he showed composure up against the boundary line and find a target with a handball. His pressure near the contest was also a highlight of his, a trait that many forwards require as they do not typically impact the game through high possessions.

His second half continued the same way his first half did with high impact on contests, but he would still like to find the footy a bit more. Menzie won a crucial one-on-one centre wing with a clean one-hand gather on the chaos ball before losing his footing. That did not affect him that much as he bounced back up to remain poised and recorded a goal assist with a kick to advantage inside 50. Being the link option between flanks for most of the game, Menzie found some space inside forward 50 following a quick Demons rebound, but unfortunately could not convert the 45-metre kick.

He may not have had as many possessions as he would have liked, but his defensive pressure, impact on contests and clean hands and disposal are what you want out of your forwards. Soon enough, his effort will turn into scoreboard results on a more consistent basis as it has in previous weeks.

#48 Patrick Walker

The AFL Academy member played predominantly on the wing as his run and carry and penetrating kick was on display. He injected himself into the game with a strong first quarter setting up well around stoppages to get clearances, while also finding himself free on transition plays to use his neat kicking to keep pushing it forward. Late in the opening quarter he drifted forward and took a mark in front of his opponent 45 metres out, but a 50-metre penalty put him on the goal line, and he put it straight through the middle. A quieter second quarter meant he almost got himself a second goal but fumbled at the wrong moment.

His second half also started a bit quieter than his blistering start to the game, but his play picked up with the intensity of the game in the final quarter as he halved a big contest in his defensive half before receiving help from teammates. His work did not stop there as he received a handball 60 metres away to pump it deep inside his forward 50. He continued to pop up in important spots as he had another shot on goal which just missed and covered good ground to create options on rebounds and entries.

Though he did have some quiet patches, he managed to maintain position and discipline as a wingman and more importantly, he played that linking role well with good ball use. He is a bit of a Lachie Whitfield type with a lean build, but good disposal and still an ability to find and win his own ball.

#49 Sam Collins

Normally playing as an attacking defender, he was given the responsibility of playing on the last line of defence against the Hudson Medal leader in Riley. The AFL Academy member showed he was up to it for much of the game, but a burst of brilliance from Riley may not reflect that if you only looked at the score sheet. He was caught behind on a few occasions due to quick ball movement off the turnover from Launceston but was not caught behind by much. He still scrapped at all contests but not had not conceded a goal for the first half. He kicked the ball well and found good options as his attacking mindset paid off when trying to escape tricky situations. He continued to find his own ball despite his tough assignment for the first half, but a missed spoil and loose body checking showed there are still things to work on if he wants to be a key defender moving forward.

Collins showed great closeout speed and ball reading all day, but there was not a lot he could have done to stop Launceston and Riley in the third quarter. Perfect kicks to space and strong hands meant Riley kicked his four goals for the day in the third quarter. To Collins’ credit, he did not give up. As you do as a defender, you force your opponent to kick goals from tough spots and work hard for it, and that is exactly what Collins did. He was on his tail for every lead and forced Riley toward the boundary.

His ball use was certainly a highlight of his game and all things considered, he defended well on a classy operator who enjoyed a quarter you do not have very often. He has all the attributes of a key defender as he reads the play well, has great closeout speed and with time, he will add some more strength to take on opponents like Riley moving forward.

Launceston:

#20 Jared Dakin

With no Isaac Chugg out there, he was the sole Devil representative for the Blues who did not enjoy the type of game that he has in recent weeks. He played in the forward half all day and did not impact the scoreboard, but he did pop up at good times to apply defensive pressure. He created a forward 50 boundary throw in due to a strong closeout and intercept spoil. Later in the quarter he hit up Riley inside 50 with a mark she should have taken. Besides kicking into the man on the mark, his first half was full of good pressure around the ball, he just could not get his hands on it.

Much like the other young talent on display, Dakin turned it on with the heat of the game in the final quarter, bringing that pressure and turning it into shots on goal. He hit the post after marking inside 50 and took a big contested mark further afield. He started to look dangerous when he laid a crunching tackle to create a forward 50 stoppage, before muscling out a handball while wrapped up.

He will certainly look to have more output in coming weeks, but his effort never wavered. He continued to apply defensive pressure and be physical around the stoppage.

ROUND 5 RESULTS:

Clarence 9.8 (62) defeated by Tigers 12.5 (77)
Lauderdale 6.5 (41) defeated by North Launceston 10.7 (67)
North Hobart 9.4 (58) defeated by Launceston 9.7 (61)

Guilford Young celebrate come-from-behind win over St Patricks in opening SATIS clash

GUILFORD Young College booted six of the last seven goals of the game to come from behind and run over the top of St Patrick’s in the opening game of the SATIS Division 1 season on Wednesday afternoon. A two-goal final term to Tasmania Devils’ Lachlan Borsboom sealed the win for the visiting side who would have headed back down the Midland Highway pleased with an eight-point victory, 7.4 (46) to 6.2 (38).

St Patrick’s had the upper hand early after the game was moved from UTAS to St Patrick’s after the former was inundated with snow from the previous night. It meant Guilford Young had to make the trek up from the southern location to their opponents’ home ground and were on the back foot, but the visitors settled down, kicking the opening goal through big man, David Monks. His long-range set shot was soon countered four and a half minutes later by Angus Jeffries who got St Patrick’s up and about in a low-scoring opening term. Both sides were a goal apiece in wet and windy conditions.

The home team got the jump in the second term and controlled play to boot the only three goals of the second term. After being held well in the opening term – partially due to the terrible conditions for key forwards – Jackson Callow began to get involved, setting up scoring opportunities and even kicking a behind or two himself. Fellow Tasmania Devils talent Oliver Sanders marked inside 50 and handed his team the advantage, which had broken a fair goal drought. Firmly in control, Declan Chugg added his name to the goalkickers list with a major 25m out, with a last minute goal following a turnover from Oliver Davis to Callow who quickly played on and hit up Ben Hyatt one-on-one in the goalsquare. In what would be the last kick of the half, Hyatt turned around and booted it home, for a 4.2 (26) to 1.0 (6) half-time lead.

Callow had worked into the game in that second term, with Sanders and Angus Jeffries looking strong, as was Oliver Chugg. The Guilford Young captain, Davis had been one of the more prominent players in the first half, with AFL Under 16s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Sam Banks, as well as Sanders, Sam Collins and Dom White also busy.

The second half opened with a lightning quick clearance out of the middle from Tony Aganas who was moved into the ruck, roved his own tap and then kicked off the ground forward. A free was paid to St Patrick’s, but the quick give off to Sanders had a fifth goal – and his second – for the home side in the opening minute. From then on though, Guilford Young owned the game. Coach Blair Brownless shuffled around the magnets and got the visiting team moving the ball more aggressively and it started to show on the scoreboard. As the lead had got out to 26 points at one stage, the losing side hit back with three goals, starting with key forward Noah Holmes‘ snap around his body. Darcy Gardiner made it two with a similar attempt midway through the term, and then a silly free kick against the home side for bowling over Banks in midfield gave Davis a 50m penalty and brought him to within range. He duly delivered for his side’s third consecutive goal, and while the home team had a real chance with a few minutes remaining going deep inside 50, Patrick Walker clunked a huge contested grab to save the day.

After a disappointing second half of the third term, St Patrick’s needed an early major in the last to steady the ship, and once again it was Aganas who got the ball moving out of the ruck straight to Zach Morris. He unloaded from 50m with the breeze and all of a sudden the home team was back in control with a 6.2 (38) to 4.1 (25) lead in wet and windy conditions. But, in what was also near-identical to the third term, Guilford Young through everything at St Patrick’s in what would be a memorable final term. Borsboom became the match winner with two final term goals, starting with a quick answer to Monks’ major a few minutes later. Out of nothing the Tasmania Devils’ talent snapped around his body for a goal, and then Ned Ward made it two not long after to level the scores.

With the teams neck-and-neck through the midpoint of the quarter, it looked as though Holmes would be the saviour with a mark not too far out from goal after a strong mark following an end-to-end play. A Banks tackle in the middle had set up the scoring opportunity for the Clarence big man, but he sprayed it to the right. His behind was enough to put his team in front though, and they never surrendered the lead. Marking straight from the kickout, Holmes had another chance, albeit from much further out. It was on target but rushed across the line, but crucially it handed the visitors a two-point lead. Then came the match-winner in Borsboom who won a free kick 15m out on a tight angle after a frustrated Callow gave away a free kick at the top of the defensive 50 for being double-teamed. Borsboom delivered for the second time in the term to hand his side the comfortably lead, and they held on from there.

The turnaround occurred because Guilford Young dared to dream and attacked relentlessly in the second half, as St Patrick’s had chances, but were slower with the ball movement and had tried to stem the momentum against Guilford Young such as throwing Callow behind the ball. Unsurprisingly, Borsboom was one of the winners’ best, with Davis and Banks playing key roles, and Homes providing a target inside 50. Callow worked hard throughout the game, while Sanders was terrific, as was Aganas and Hyatt, but to no avail.

The victory got Guilford Young off to the perfect start in the SATIS Division 1 season, with the second Round 1 game between Hutchins and Scotch Oakburn to take place on Saturday at 1.30pm. St Patricks then home to take full advantage of Scotch Oakburn’s four-day turnaround with a clash back at St Patrick’s next Wednesday, while Guilford Young has an extended break until Saturday, August 15 when it hosts the fifth side in the division – Grammar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TSL ROUND 4:

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

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

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

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

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

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 4:

Glenorchy vs. Launceston
Clarence vs. Tigers

Draft Central Power Rankings: August 2020

BUDDING AFL Draft prospects from around the nation have stamped their claims over the last month with football returning across multiple states, making for a top-end list boasting plenty of movers and sliders. In Draft Central‘s second Power Rankings edition for 2020, we again stick to a list of 20 with only a few adjustments made to our initial July rankings. A certain West Australian key forward has pushed into the top 10, while a couple of South Australian midfielders have bolted in from the clouds to also warrant a spot each. All that, and more in our August Power Rankings update.

Note, the list is ordered purely on our opinion and each players’ ability, not taking into account any AFL clubs’ lists or needs.

#1 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Country | Key Position Forward
4/04/2002 | 194cm | 84kg

Western Bulldogs fans may not entirely enjoy seeing Next Generation Academy (NGA) product, Ugle-Hagan perched atop the tree given the hefty price that comes with it, but should be buoyed by their club having first dibs on such a remarkable talent. The 194cm key position forward has been compared to champion goalkicker Lance Franklin for his athleticism and left-foot kick, but he plays a little differently. Ugle-Hagan’s pace off the lead and sticky hands overhead set him apart, while elite scores in each of the preseason testing events make him an irresistible prospect alone. He is the consensus number one choice at this point, having delivered on the hype as he moved to the Oakleigh region via a scholarship with Scotch College.

July Ranking: #1

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch
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#2 Elijah Hollands
Murray Bushrangers/Vic County | Forward/Midfielder
25/04/2002 | 188cm | 80kg

Hollands’ placing in these rankings will inevitably prove one of the hardest to call throughout the year, given he is set to sit out the entire 2020 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). At this point though, he has done more than enough to warrant top five status at the least, and finds a place in second spot once again. While his knack for producing game-defining periods has most significantly been achieved forward of centre, Hollands has the size and skill to warrant his goal of earning more midfield minutes. With clean hands, athleticism, and a booming boot which often finds the goals, Hollands is all you could ever want from a high-ceiling prospect. Not playing shouldn’t hurt his value too much, but it would have been nice to see him get an uninterrupted crack at NAB League level having finished his schooling at Caulfield Grammar.

July Ranking: #2

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and long-term knee injury.

>> Feature
>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#3 Will Phillips
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
22/05/2002 | 179cm | 78kg

We have all marvelled at how well Oakleigh graduates Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson have adapted to life in the AFL, and Phillips could be the next Charger in line to do just that having leant on the pair during his bottom-aged campaign. Like Rowell, Phillips is a sub-180cm prospect who consistently finds plenty of the ball and possesses great leadership qualities. He is a well-balanced midfielder too, having plied his trade at times on the outside for Oakleigh en route to premiership glory. Phillips seems to thrive on the inside though, with his hardness and ability to weave through traffic making him an invaluable stoppage asset. The Caulfield Grammar student will juggle APS football and NAB League duties in 2020, while standing as a clear leadership candidate for Vic Metro come national carnival time.

July Ranking: #3

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch

#4 Denver Grainger-Barras
Swan Districts/Western Australia | Key Position Defender
14/04/2002 | 195cm | 78kg

Another tall amongst the top five, and a versatile one at that. While he is definitely most comfortable and renowned as a key position defender, the Swan Districts hopeful’s versatility lies in the roles he play inside defensive 50. Credit to his athleticism and slender frame, he is able to keep up with medium types at ground level, while also showing form as a lockdown type on the opposition’s best big forward, or as an intercept marking outlet. Grainger-Barras is a cool head in possession too, boasting a sound kick for his size and composure beyond his years. That same level-headedness and footballing IQ makes him a sound reader of the play from the back, and the leading option of his position.

July Ranking: #5

Last Month: Grainger-Barras has picked up right from where he left off in 2019, slotting back into Swan Districts’ League side after making his senior debut last year. Across the first three rounds, he has averaged 9.3 disposals, 4.3 marks, and 2.3 tackles from half-back, with his most recent outing earning him best afield honours against Subiaco. The promising defender is so assured in the air and reads the game better than most, though can work on finding more of the ball to make even better use of his smarts and composure.

>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#5 Riley Thilthorpe
West Adelaide/South Australia | Ruck/Key Position Forward
7/07/2002 | 200cm | 99kg

In a welcome change from last year’s crop, key position prospects will be in abundance at the top end. Thilthorpe is one of them, an athletic ruck/forward who possesses enormous running capacity and can dominate the airways. In his ruck duties, the 200cm West Adelaide product plays more like a fourth midfielder, able to follow up at ground level and cover the ground like a small. He has been utilised in a more forward-oriented role for the Bloods at SANFL League level though, with his goalkicking attributes and diverse skillset already making him a handful for senior players with more mature bodies. Ask any of the South Australian Under 18s who they are most looking forward to playing alongside in 2020, and Thilthorpe is among them. Jot the name down, he should be among those you are most looking forward to watching, too.

July Ranking: #4

Last Month: Another key position player who is thriving at senior level, Thilthorpe has become a consistent figure up forward for West Adelaide’s League side. He has booted four goals across his six games thus far, finding the big sticks in half of his outings. The area Thilthorpe has impressed most in is his marking, having shown a terrific forward 50 presence and the ability to use his reach to take the ball at its highest point. He is difficult to stop when doing so, and doubles his threat with good ground level efforts. Yet to take a game by the scruff of its neck, though that may prove difficult as the Bloods sit at 1-4-1.

>> Feature
>> Draft Watch
>> Player Focus

#6 Braeden Campbell
Sydney Swans Academy/Allies | Balanced Midfielder/Forward
4/02/2002 | 181cm | 72kg

While he has again been squeezed out to number six, Campbell is a player likely to sit among the top five come season’s end. Uncertainty lingers over how much exposure NSW/ACT athletes will be able to gain in 2020 given the NEAFL’s scrapping and a shortened NAB League competition, but one must only watch last year’s Under 17 Futures All-Star showcase to be reminded of Campbell’s talent. He was best-afield in that game, with electrifying speed, hardness at the ball, and a booming left-foot kick catching the eye of all who bore witness. The Swans Academy product is also apt in the short range as well, and has the invaluable ability to impact games in multiple positions. Whether it be on the inside, outside, or forward of centre, Campbell is a match-winner and should cost the Swans a pretty penny in terms of draft points.

July Ranking: #6

Last Month: Like many of the Swans Academy prospects, Campbell has been plying his trade in the AFL Sydney Premier Division, running out for the Pennant Hill Demons over the last three weeks. He booted six goals in his first two appearances and was named in the best both times.

>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#7 Tanner Bruhn
Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder
27/05/2002 | 182cm | 73kg

Class with a capital ‘C’ is what Bruhn has been described as, despite his limited on-field opportunities of late. The Geelong Falcons midfielder burst onto the scene as Vic Country’s Under 16 MVP in 2018, but injuries have cruelled him since; having initially required knee surgery after a 2019 preseason incident, and undergone a follow-up procedure that would have had him in doubt to feature early this year. He still managed to add two NAB League outings to his resume towards the end of last season, showcasing his terrific stoppage craft with clean hands and wonderful movement around the ball. Should he enjoy an extended run and put his best form on display, Bruhn could well push to be the premier midfielder of this year’s bunch.

July Ranking: #7

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch

#8 Nikolas Cox
Northern Knights/Vic Metro | Key Position Defender/Utility
15/01/2002 | 199cm | 82kg

A 199cm player who can run, kick on both sides, and play just about anywhere? It sounds too good to be true, but that is exactly what Cox brings to the table as his region’s most outstanding draft candidate. Cox cut his teeth as a tall wingman and key position swingman in 2019, juggling his time between school football, 10 NAB League outings, and a berth in the Under 18 Vic Metro squad as a bottom-ager. In 2020, the Northern Knights co-captain is set to develop as a centre-half back, with his athleticism and versatility in the role lending to the fact he has an enormous ceiling. He is also set to be a prime candidate to lead Vic Metro should the national carnival swing around, lauded for his professionalism and the example he sets via training standards.

July Ranking: #8

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and AGSV Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#9 Logan McDonald
Perth/Western Australia | Key Position Forward
4/04/2002 | 196cm | 85kg

A dominant key position forward with terrific endurance is McDonald, who adds to the strong tall and West Australian representation on this list. The high-marking spearhead ran out for his state thrice during last year’s Under 18 National Championships, averaging a goal per game and impressing with his ability to clunk marks leading up the ground. He has terrific hands on the lead and usually has no trouble finding the big sticks, while his high-level endurance confirms his status as a true, modern-day centre half-forward. Having grown and filled out to a more conventional key position size, expect McDonald to better showcase his game-winning ability from forward of centre – something which earned him All-Australian honours as an Under 16s player.

July Ranking: #20

Last Month: McDonald is the big riser this month having put his name in lights at WAFL League level. The 196cm key position forward put on a show in his senior debut with 16 disposals, four marks, and three goals, before going one-better in Round 2 to boot four majors from 15 disposals and seven marks. His marking strength both on the lead and one-on-one has been exceptional, as has his finishing. After a bye in Round 3, expect McDonald to continue to rise.

>> Draft Watch
>> Player Focus

#10 Alex Davies
Gold Coast SUNS/Allies | Inside Midfielder
18/03/2002 | 191cm | 85kg

A second Northern Academy prospect and first Queenslander on the list, Davies is one of the more highly touted big-bodied midfielders of his cohort. Standing at 191cm and filling out to 85kg, the SUNS Academy hopeful boasts the ideal size to not only dominate his junior competitors, but more importantly make an immediate impact at the next level. He has been his state’s prime ball winner for some time and thrives on racking up high contested numbers, but has also displayed terrific poise in traffic and adds releasing handballs to his thumping kicks away from the stoppages. He ran out for four of Gold Coast’s NAB League outings as a bottom-ager, and should prove a key figure among the Allies squad in 2020.

July Ranking: #9

Last Month: Davies has managed to squeeze a QAFL game into his schedule, appearing for the Broadbeach Cats a fortnight ago and booting a goal in their 57-point win over Mt Gravatt.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#11 Reef McInnes
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder
12/12/2002 | 192cm | 84kg

Just slipping outside the top 10 due to McDonald’s rise is another inside midfielder and a second NGA product tied to both the Scotch College and Oakleigh Chargers systems. Attached to Collingwood, McInnes is set to be yet another in the production line of academy and father-son prospects made available to the Magpies, and looms as a first round candidate. While he was pushed out to the forward line in Oakleigh’s stacked premiership side, McInnes is a bull on the inside who can dominate at stoppages. He is hardly the typical slow, strength-dependant type either, able to lean on his agility and awareness to effectively extract from midfield. The versatility he was made to learn as a bottom-ager adds another string to his bow, with goals a valuable part of his game in 2019.

July Ranking: #10

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#12 Lachlan Jones
WWT Eagles/South Australia | General Defender
9/04/2002 | 185cm | 89kg

Yet another NGA prospect, Jones is tied to Port Adelaide and features quite highly on this list. His big frame has seen him adjust well to the rigours of SANFL League football, running out against mature bodies for both of the Eagles’ opening two fixtures in the grade. As a general defender, Jones possesses obvious hardness at the ball and can compete both aerially and at ground level, remaining relevant going both ways too. His skills are also a big asset, able to spear passes to high percentage options while also breaking games open with his long-range efforts. Jones may well be one to push further up the list as he progresses in 2020, with some solid traits which point to a quick transition into the next level.

July Ranking: #17

Last Month: Another SANFL League representative, Jones’ form has been enough to warrant a decent rise up our board. The solidly-built defender has cemented his spot at senior level, running out in all six of WWT’s fixtures thus far. While he has returned a few down games of under 10 disposals, Jones’ best is first round quality and indicative of a readymade player. Port fans and staff alike may want to downplay his value, but he looms as a prospect just outside of the top 10 range.

>> Draft Watch
>> Player Focus

#13 Nathan O’Driscoll 
Perth/Western Australia | Inside Midfielder/Defender
17/05/2002 | 187cm | 76kg

One of Western Australia’s leading prospect’s is O’Driscoll, a hard-at-it inside midfielder who can also double as a damaging half-back or wingman. The 187cm Perth Demons product was a standout at Colts level last year, while also breaking through for three outings in the Black Ducks’ Under 18 National Championships campaign as a bottom-ager. Having learnt off the likes of former Perth teammate and Brisbane draftee, Deven Robertson, O’Driscoll is primed to become a permanent midfield fixture haven already proven his ball winning capabilities. His penetrating boot and speed-endurance mix make him a prospect with many desirable traits, not to mention his older sister Emma, is already plying her trade at AFLW level for Fremantle.

July Ranking: #13

Last Month: O’Driscoll has been plying his trade at WAFL Colts level, featuring in Rounds 1 and 2 before a bye most recently. He has been named as the Demons’ starting centre half-forward, but after a steady opening performance, looks to have returned to his usual form through midfield with 25 disposals, six marks, and five tackles in Round 2. Enough to hold his spot.

>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#14 Kaine Baldwin
Glenelg/South Australia | Key Position Forward
30/05/2002 | 193cm | 92kg

The news of Baldwin’s second ACL tear in as many years – albeit partial this time – was shattering. It means the promising 193cm forward will miss out on yet another season of football after earning All Australian honours at Under 16s level in 2018, and a crack at the SANFL Reserves grade as a bottom-ager. In our eyes, he remains a first round prospect on talent alone, and looked poised to really crack on in 2020 after his initial recovery. He was a handy preseason testing performer, with good returns in the vertical jumps and yo-yo test conveying Baldwin’s ability to crash packs and clunk big contested marks, while also harnessing that aerial dominance in his work up the ground.

July Ranking: #11

Last Month: Inactive due to long-term knee injury.

>> Feature
>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#15 Zach Reid
Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Key Position Defender/Utility
2/03/2002 | 202cm | 82kg

A versatile tall who could push for top 10 status, Reid returned a consistent output during his bottom-age season as a key member of Gippsland’s spine. He was tried up either end and through the ruck across 15 NAB League outings, but looked most comfortable down back and should find a home there once again in 2020. At 202cm, Reid is filling out nicely and can utilise that added strength to compete better one-on-one against big key forwards. He is a terrific judge of the ball in flight and positions intelligently, not just relying on his height to compete aerially. Reid is also both a sound handler and user of the ball for his size, providing a cool head in rebounding transitions.

July Ranking: #12

Last Month: While the competition has now been suspended, Reid managed to fit in three outings for Leongatha in the Gippsland League. He was named among the best for his two goals in the Parrots’ Round 2 win over Moe, and looks to be shuffling around to a few different positions as he has done previously. Hardly a slide, others in more competitive interstate leagues have just gone ahead of him.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch

#16 Zane Trew
Swan Districts/Western Australia | Inside Midfielder
26/04/2002 | 186cm | 78kg

Trew is one of many top-end prospects who have had to battle injury throughout their bottom-age seasons, but he looks primed to bounce back well in 2020. Hailing from the talent-stacked Swan Districts program, Trew is a classy inside midfielder who can rack up plenty of ball in style, backed by his 40-disposal effort in last year’s WAFL Colts competition. While he was limited to just three outings and missed Under 18 selection for WA, the 186cm prospect should not be forgotten in first round discussions. Trew is a handball-happy extractor, able to flick out releasing touches to his runners, but he is just as effective by foot with clean skills at short range and penetration when required. Should be a lock for the WA engine room this season.

July Ranking: #16

Last Month: The Swan Districts midfielder has already matched his games tally from 2019, but had his most recent WAFL Colts outing cut short through injury. The bye comes at a good time for Trew as he works to wear off his concussion, but he has otherwise fared well in the junior competition. Across Rounds 1 and 2, Trew averaged 28 disposals, three marks, and five tackles in displays consistent enough to see him hold down the number 16 ranking.

>> Draft Diary 1 | 2
>> Marquee Matchup

#17 Oliver Henry
Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Medium Utility
29/07/2002 | 187cm | 77kg

Another brother-of who should feature at the top end of this year’s rankings is Henry, the younger sibling of Geelong Cats defender, Jack. The Geelong Falcons product has top 10 potential, able to play up either end of the ground and pull down big marks. While he looks most comfortable up forward as a high-flying third tall type, Henry is just as capable down back where his aerial prowess translates to intercept value. At 187cm, he plays above his size through sheer athleticism and reading of the play, with the potential to also move up onto a wing. Should he finally be allowed back onto the park in 2020, expect Henry to be one who could rise quite steeply given his enormous upside and versatility.

July Ranking: NR

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and school football.

>> Feature
>> Marquee Matchup

#18 Tom Powell
Sturt/South Australia | Midfielder
2/03/2002 | 180cm | 73kg

There are few more consistent ball winners than Powell, who has put an interrupted bottom-age season behind him to emerge as arguably Sturt’s most promising draft prospect. The Double Blues standout simply finds the ball at will, able to get his side going on the front foot from midfield with clever positioning, movement, and extraction. He may be a touch handball happy, but is an elite exponent of that tool and is beginning to mix in his kicking to have an even greater impact on games. At his best, Powell is nothing short of dominant, though goals and a greater run-and-carry game would make him a complete midfielder – think Lachie Neale‘s development.

July Ranking: NR

Last Month: As by far the most prolific Under 18s ball winner in South Australia, and potentially the entire country, Powell is proving impossible to ignore at this stage. He leads the competition for total disposals, clearances, and inside 50s after six rounds, averaging 37.2, 9.2, and 6.8 in those respective categories. Having also added goals to his arsenal most recently, Powell continues to add strings to his bow. Gaining much-deserved recognition after an injury-riddled 2019 campaign.

>> Feature
>> Draft Watch

#19 Archie Perkins
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Forward/Midfielder
26/03/2002 | 186cm | 77kg

Perhaps a slightly speculative choice of ranking at this stage, but Perkins has all the makings of a special talent. Having caught the eye as a forward and outside midfielder in 2019, the Sandringham Dragons standout is poised to spend more time on the inside as a top-ager, with just the right size and some incredible athletic attributes to aid his transition. Perkins boasts a monster vertical leap, covers 20 metres in less than three seconds, and is brilliantly agile, making for an ideal athletic base. His finishing touch is an area he can refine, but the 186cm prospect is no stranger to finding the goals and can be a real game changer when required. Damage or impact is a key trait which is often hard to measure, but Perkins ranks highly in that department.

July Ranking: #18

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#20 Finlay Macrae
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
13/03/2002 | 184cm | 75kg

You may recognise the name and yes, Finlay is the brother of Western Bulldogs midfielder, Jack. They are quite clearly cut from the same cloth, with the younger Macrae possessing a similar ball winning appetite and class on the ball to his established older sibling. The 184cm Charger also boasts a terrific balance in his traits, able to impact the play moving forward with sound decision making and precise execution via foot, on top of his obvious exploits in extraction. While he is not overly quick, Macrae’s evasiveness comes through agility and awareness, which should be on full show as he prepares to feature prominently for Oakleigh, Xavier College, and Vic Metro in 2020.

July Ranking: #14

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch

IN THE MIX:

Off the bat, Caleb Poulter and Heath Chapman are essentially number 21 and 22 on our list, making them the hardest to leave out of the top 20. Both have enjoyed impactful starts to their respective seasons; with Poulter a midfielder who packs presence in the SANFL Under 18s, and Chapman an intercept defender who has roamed further afield in the WAFL Colts. They are both terrific sizes, and have a range of weapons at their disposal.

Bailey Laurie and Brandon Walker are the two who slid out of the 20 from July’s rankings. It has been no real fault of their own, with the inactive Laurie a victim of others’ rises, while Walker has made a solid start to his WAFL Colts campaign but is ultimately just squeezed out.

Walker’s fellow Fremantle Next Generation Academy member, Joel Western has enjoyed a terrific start to the year to come into contention, but missed last weekend’s action through injury. Isiah Winder is another on the rise having earned his WAFL League debut for Peel Thunder, so keep an eye out for his name in future. Midfielder/half-back Jack Carroll is also in form, along with left-field ruck hopeful, Kalin Lane, but both are still just outside this kind of range.

The likes of Corey Durdin and Zac Dumesny linger around the top 30 for some given their SANFL League form, while Tariek Newchurch could be a first round smokey, but can work on becoming a more consistent threat. He and Jamison Murphy have been prominent for North Adelaide, while Bailey Chamberlain and Mani Liddy are hard to ignore at SANFL Under 18s level. Potential Adelaide father-son Luke Edwards also earned a SANFL Reserves call-up this month.

Down in Tasmania, Jackson Callow and Oliver Davis have made promising starts to their TSL campaigns. Of those who are around the mark, but cannot currently stake their claims due to a lack of top-level competition are Connor Downie, Eddie Ford, Jake Bowey, Sam Berry, and ruck bolter Max Heath. NT Thunder utility Joel Jeffrey has top 25 potential, as does Sydney Academy prospect Errol Gulden.

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Tasmanian weekly preview: Tigers and Bombers to host huge days

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

TIGERS vs. GLENORCHY

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

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

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

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

 

NORTH LAUNCESTON vs. CLARENCE

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

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

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

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

 

LAUNCESTON vs. LAUDERDALE

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

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

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

TSL ROUND 4:

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

TSL ROUND 3:

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

Classic Contests: Cassar, Honey star as Jets soar past the Devils

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back our series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 17 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Western Jets and Tasmania Devils. In this edition, we wind the clock back just one year to Round 5 of 2019, when the Jets soared to a comfortable win away from home.

2019 NAB League, Round 5
Sunday April 28, 11:45am
UTAS Stadium

TASMANIA DEVILS 1.4 | 1.6 | 2.7 | 3.8 (26)
WESTERN JETS 2.0 | 4.3 | 7.8 | 10.13 (73)

GOALS:

Tasmania: T. Penwright, L. Gadomski, I. Chugg.
Western:
A. Manton 3, J. Honey 2, E. Ford 2, A. Clarke, C. White, J. Horo.

BEST:

Tasmania: O. Burrows-Cheng, P. Walker, M. McGuinness, B. Gordon, L. Viney, O. Shaw
Western: 
D. Cassar, K. Borg, J. Kellett, J. Horo, W. Kennedy, L. Rocci

Draftees in action:

Tasmania: Matthew McGuinness
Western:
 Josh Honey

Two sides with a couple of wins already under their belts went head-to-head early in last year’s NAB League campaign, with Tasmania hosting the Western Jets at UTAS Stadium in Launceston. The Devils had made a positive start in their maiden full-time season, enjoying a bye in Round 1 and bouncing back from their Round 2 loss to take a 2-1 record heading into this clash. Western sat similarly poised at 2-2, having just secured a rebound victory over the Northern Territory a week earlier.

While the two regions would lay claim to a pair of draftees each come the end of the year, only one would take the field on either side; with North Melbourne rookie Matt McGuinness lining up for the home side, while Carlton recruit Josh Honey ran through midfield for Western. The Jets were missing Emerson Jeka, with Tasmania also down a tall target as Jackson Callow came out of the side. Fellow Academy-based bottom-agers Oliver Davis and Sam Collins were also absent alongside Mitch O’Neill in a blow to the Devils’ chances.

The losses seem to take toll early, as the Devils failed capitalise on their domination of the territory and possession. A 20-minute goalless patch ensued after debutant Isaac Chugg put through the game’s first goal, only for Western to hit back twice within the final five minutes of the opening term to hit the front. It seemed to sink the Devils a touch, as they went on to go goalless throughout the second stanza, while giving up another two goals and a 15-point deficit at half time – albeit in a low-scoring contest.

Lachlan Gadomski broke Tasmania’s hour-long goal drought with a major nine minutes into the third term, but it proved a feeble form of reply as Western continued to pile on the scoreboard pressure and extended the margin to 31 points at three quarter time. It was an unassailable gap, and the Jets only further ensured it would be a bridge too far as they kicked away to a nine-goal lead, only to settle for the final 47-point margin.

Darcy Cassar ran the show off half-back for Western, proving a key player in shifting the early momentum back into the Jets’ favour. He finished with 31 disposals, 13 marks, and eight rebound 50s, while Honey booted two goals from his 25 touches. Tasmanian pair Bailey Gordon and Patrick Walker matched that feat to be their sides’ leading ball winners. Archi Manton led the goalkicking stakes with three goals, followed by bottom-aged Eddie Ford and Honey on two. Oliver Burrows-Cheng and McGuinness were named among the Devils’ best.

Tasmania would go on to add just two wins to its record across the season, finishing in 12th spot at 4-11 and bowing out during Wildcard Round to Calder. The Jets earned a seventh-place finish, storming into finals where they upset Northern in the elimination stage, but had their run ended by Gippsland in the semi finals a week later.

Tasmanian weekly preview: Trio of TSL Women’s sides commence action in day of double-header action

THREE more Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s sides join the action for season 2020 this weekend, as Clarence and Glenorchy face off, and Tigers take on Round 1 losers, Launceston. Both clashes are intertwined with the men’s games tomorrow, whilst North Hobart and Lauderdale also play off in the TSL, as reigning premier North Launceston has the bye.

Launceston finally claimed a win over North Launceston last week, the first time in seven years and 18 tries that the Blues have been successful. The 19-point victory followed on from a 26-point triumph over Glenorchy the week before, as the Blues top the ladder after two rounds. Tigers had a bye in Round 1 and then were unlucky against the improved North Hobart, going down by 10 points in a neck-and-neck contest. They host the Blues this week in what is anticipated to be a tough game for the home side, so the Tigers need all the support they can get to try and cause and upset.

Dylan Riley and Jake Hinds have both slotted four goals in the first two games, identifying as a couple of dangerous players, while Jay Blackberry showed he can break a game open inside 50, booting a couple in quick succession to lead his team to victory against the Bombers. Young talent Jared Dakin was superb last week and named best on ground for his work on opposition playing coach, Taylor Whitford, and it will be interesting to see what role h has this weekend. The Tigers only have the one game to go off, but Luke Graham snagged three majors as Cooper Sawdy and Tyler Carter both kicked a couple. Kieran Lovell impressed and will be one to stop for the opposition.

Last week the Launceston TSL Women’s side had a low-scoring 25-point win over the Bombers with a three goals to nil second half. Brooke Brown booted two majors and Angela Dickson slotted one, while North Melbourne duo, Daria Bannister and Mia King were superb for the winners. While Tigers are yet to play this season, last year saw the likes of Cara Brooke, Maria Neal and Hailee Baldwin impress, named in the best nearly every game they played. Paige Flakemore led the goalkicking with 13, though Tigers finished fifth on the table, and the last match against the Blues, suffered an 81-point defeat.

Clarence and Glenorchy both side in the bottom two spots on the 2020 TSL ladder, although it is hard to read too much into it given the early stage of the season. The Roos went down to Lauderdale by 41 points in the opening round, as Jeromey Webberley was the only multiple goalkicker in that contest. They have a number of top young talents in the side, with the likes of AFL Draft top-ager, Oliver Davis and bottom-ager, Sam Banks joining over-ager, Ethan Jackson as part of the Roos young group. The Magpies also suffered a loss to Lauderdale last week, but were much closer, going down by 12 points following a 26-point defeat at the hands of Launceston in Round 1. Aiden Grace is leading the goalkicking with three, one ahead of the only other multiple goalkicker in Adam Roberts, while ex-AFL talent Zac Webster is always a dangerous prospect.

Last year’s upset reigning premiers Clarence will unfurl the flag at home in the opening game of the season against Glenorchy, one of the teams the Roos had to topple on their way to stunning the previously unbeaten Launceston on the biggest day of the year. Now both teams enter 2020 with new hope, but no doubt the Magpies will be keen for revenge after going out in straight sets last year. In the 28-point win to Clarence, Jessie Williams was best on ground booting a goal, while the likes of Natalie Pearce, Grace Mitchell and Melanie Wise all booted multiple goals. Young talents Amy Prokopiec and Netty Garlo also ran around for the Roos. The Magpies had Nietta Lynch and Natalie Daniels slot a couple of majors each, as Brieanna Barwick and Gennaveve Sullivan were impressive despite the defeat.

In the final TSL match, second placed Lauderdale face off against third placed North Hobart in what is anticipated to be the match of the round. North Hobart almost ran over the top of reigning premiers, North Launceston in the opening round, then travelled to Kingborough to knock off Tigers by 10 points. In their first home game of the year, they host the unbeaten Lauderdale side that has taken care of Clarence and Glenorchy in the opening two rounds. This might be a big test for the Bombers however, as those two sides sit in the bottom two currently. Toutai Havea has been on fire for the Bombers, leading the league’s goalkicking with six majors in two games. Tyler Martin is not too far behind him on three, whilst the likes of Adrian Kalcovski and Josh McGuinness are also multiple goalkickers. For the Demons, key position utility Jake Steele has proven valuable up forward with four goals, while Round 2 inclusion Nathan Hardy slotted three last week. Tasmanian AFL Draft hopefuls, Patrick Walker and Jye Menzie both have two goals to their name, while Sam Collins is another name to keep an eye on in the red and blue.

TSL ROUND 3:

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

TSLW ROUND 2:

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

Classic Contests: Devils take Falcons down to the wire

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back our series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 16 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Tasmania Devils and Geelong Falcons. In this edition, we wind the clock back almost a year to August 2019, when the two sides produced a thriller on the Apple Isle.

2019 NAB League, Round 16
Saturday August 3, 11:30am
North Hobart Oval

TASMANIA DEVILS 2.4 | 2.5 | 4.11 | 6.13 (49)
GEELONG FALCONS 3.1 | 5.4 | 5.6 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:

Tasmania: J. Lane 2, J. Rand, P. Walker, J. Callow, J. Menzie.
Geelong:
C. Sprague 3, M. Annandale 2, C. Seymour, J. Clark, J. Dahlhaus.

BEST:

Tasmania: O. Davis, J. Rand, S. Banks, O. Shaw, J. Lane
Geelong:
O. Henry, C. Sprague, C. Fleeton, J. Clark, N. Gribble, H. Whyte

Draftees in action:

Tasmania: Matt McGuinness 
Geelong: 
Nil

The NAB League’s bottom two full-time sides – Tasmania and Geelong – went to battle in Round 16 last year, looking to restore some pride before the regular season drew to a close. Both were on significant losing streaks, with the Devils slumping to 4-10 on the back of six-straight losses, only to be trumped in that department by the young Falcons, who had lost in eight consecutive outings to sit at 1-11-1 in the wooden spoon position.

While neither region produced, or fielded much in the way of eventual draftees in late-2019, the bottom-age talent was there for all to see. The likes of Oliver Henry and Cameron Fleeton headlined Geelong’s talented 2021-eligible fleet, while Tasmania’s academy guns included the likes of Oliver Davis and Jackson Callow, with recently crowned Under 16 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Sam Banks also slotting into the line-up at North Hobart Oval.

>>> MARQUEE MATCHUP: JACKSON CALLOW VS. CAMERON FLEETON

Keen to make their trip across Bass Strait a fruitful one, Geelong clawed its way back after conceding the first two goals of the game to earn a five-point quarter time lead. In impressive form, the Falcons extended the buffer to 17 points at the main break on the back of two unanswered goals, taking full advantage of the slightly advantageous scoring end.

It took a string of four behinds after half-time for the Devils to post their first major in over 45 minutes of play, with the home side threatening to break back at Geelong. But despite Jordan Lane slotting home a second major for the term, Tasmania could not quite take full toll on the scoreboard, still trailing by a solitary point heading into the final period, despite keeping Geelong goalless.

The Falcons had made a bad habit of letting winnable games slip late, and another fadeaway loomed when Jack Rand put the Devils ahead with six minutes on the clock. With the scores tied up for a third time in the fourth quarter via Max Annandale‘s boot, it was left to Chris Seymour to put through the decisive goal and ensure Geelong would head back to Victoria with the four points.

Having swung into defence, Henry led all-comers with 24 disposals and 11 marks, partnering well with Fleeton (21 disposals) as skipper Jesse Clark (21 disposals, one goal) made the move further afield. Up forward, Charlie Sprague sunk three majors to play a big role, while Jay Dahlhaus also found the big sticks in his return from a long-term injury. Davis was best afield for Tasmania with a team-high 23 touches, followed closely by future North Melbourne rookie, Matt McGuinness. Lane was the lone Devil to boot multiple goals (two).

Tasmania would go on to finish just two points clear of Geelong with a 4-11 record, before going down narrowly to Calder in Wildcard Round. Mitch O’Neill joined McGuinness as the two Tasmanian products to find a home at AFL level in 2019. Geelong added to its second win in the ultimate round to finish 3-11-1, but were thumped by Sandringham in Wildcard Round to end a disappointing season. Co-captain Cooper Stephens was the sole Falcon to be drafted.

NAB League Boys 2019 Throwback: Round 16 – Chargers close, but Ranges wrap up minor premiership

THE PENULTIMATE round of last year’s NAB League season saw Oakleigh and Eastern secure big wins en route to their respective top three finishes, with the Chargers going a game clear in third while the Ranges all but secured the minor premiership with a week left to play. In a shortened, four-game set of fixtures, Geelong made the trip down to Tasmania and Bendigo made its way over to Ballarat to complete a couple of close encounters, with only one game decided by more than seven points. Meanwhile, Calder, Gippsland, Murray, Northern, and Sandringham all enjoyed the bye.

The biggest margin of the round belonged to Oakleigh, as the Chargers coasted to a 22-point win over Western at Box Hill City Oval – the first of four unique venues used. After conceding a one-goal deficit to the main break, Oakleigh turned on the jets with six goals in the third term, while keeping Western scoreless. It made for a defining lead, as the Jets could only claw back to within four kicks after being as far as 39 points adrift.

Competition leading goalkicker Archi Manton solidified his standing atop the list with a five-goal haul for Western, accounting for almost half his side’s score. Nicholas Stathopoulos booted three majors for Oakleigh, leading a quartet of multiple goalkickers which included 16-year-old debutant, Alex Lukic. Bottom-age guns Lochlan Jenkins (35 disposals, one goal) and Reef McInnes (28 disposals) bossed the midfield, while Carlton rookie Josh Honey was Western’s leading ball winner with 24 touches in response.

Continuing the action on Saturday’s triple header, Geelong headed down to Tasmania to take on the Devils in a contest which went down to the wire. A Chris Seymour sealer with under three minutes left helped the Falcons edge home by seven points, after leading by as much as three goals in the second and third terms. The scores were levelled three times in an enthralling final quarter, with Tasmania twice taking the lead but unable to hold on. It was a decisive turnaround in form for Geelong, who had previously made a habit of falling away towards the end of games.

Charlie Sprague added another three-goal haul to his season tally, combining with Max Annandale (two goals) to make up over half of their side’s total of eight majors. The versatile defensive pairing of Oliver Henry (24 disposals, 11 marks) and Cam Fleeton (21 disposals) worked well for Geelong, with captain Jesse Clark (21 disposals, one goal) thriving through midfield. Fleeton’s worked doubled with a shutdown role on Jackson Callow, keeping the dangerous forward to one goal after a lively start. Oliver Davis was again Tasmania’s prime ball winner, accumulating 23 touches while North Melbourne rookie Matt McGuinness trailed closely with 20.

Saturday’s final fixture was another close one, with Eastern again finding a way to win, this time against a strong Dandenong lineup. The Stingrays weren’t quite able to snap their six-game losing run despite leading at two of the four breaks, with Eastern’s inaccurate tally of 5.16 (46) just enough to trump Dandenong’s 6.5 (41) at Shepley Oval. The win would put Eastern within touching distance of the minor premiership, with the four points proving crucial after a loss to Oakleigh in Round 15.

Ranges skipper James Ross swung up forward to good effect, booting two goals from 20 disposals, while Ned Cahill and Corey Ellison booted multiple goals for Dandenong. Stingrays gun Hayden Young was influential with 26 touches, behind teammate Jack Toner and Eastern’s Zak Pretty, who managed 27 each to lead all comers. The ever-reliable Mitch Mellis (24 disposals) was also lively for the winners, with 16-year-old jet Tyler Sonsie (20 disposals, five marks, six tackles) also enjoying a strong outing.

The sole Sunday fixture for the weekend saw Greater Western Victoria (GWV) take on the Bendigo Pioneers on home turf at Mars Stadium, with the home ground advantage enough for a four-point win in what was a high-scoring affair compared to the remainder of the round. The Rebels worked back from a five-goal deficit after half time, cutting it to three points with a quarter left to play, and eventually sneaking home via an Izaac Grant major at the death.

Bottom-ager Jack Ginnivan booted four goals in the losing effort as one of three Bendigo multiple goalkickers, while Grant and Collingwood draftee Jay Rantall made up half of the Rebels’ quartet to have claimed two snags each. Cooper Craig-Peters led all comers with 22 disposals for GWV, while Riley Wilson was the sole Pioneer to crack the 20-disposal mark.

TSL weekly wrap and notes: Round 1 – Reigning premiers win in good weekend for Bombers and Blues

REIGNING premiers North Launceston got off to a winning start in the Tasmanian Football League (TSL), whilst Lauderdale and Launceston also recorded impressive wins in Round 1 of the competition on the weekend.

North Launceston did not have as convincing of a win as some might have thought in the battle between last year’s top and bottom sides, but the Bombers did control the play for the majority of the contest. Booting five goals to two in the opening half and then holding North Hobart goalless in the third term, North Launceston led by as much as 33 points at the final break. To the Demons’ credit, they never stopped trying, coming hard in the final term to boot the final four goals of the game and restrict the Bombers to just one behind, but fell 10 points short, 6.3 (39) to 7.7 (49).

Taylor Whitford booted two goals in a best on ground performance for the Bombers, while Josh Ponting and Braden Van Buuren were also prolific for the reigning premiers. Young gun key forward Jackson Callow was one of six players to snag a major in the victory, while fellow Tasmania Devils talents in Jake Steele and Jye Menzie both kicked multiple goals for the Demons. Hugh Williams was superb for the Demons in defeat, while AFL Academy Allies’ hub member Patrick Walker was also named among the best.

The most impressive performer of week one was Lauderdale who completely dominated Clarence in the first half to set up a memorable 41-point win. The Bombers booted two goals to zero in the opening term, then piled on five straight goals to 1.1 and opened up a 38-point half-time lead. The Roos booted the only two goals of the third term to give their supporters some hope with a 31-point deficit, but a four goals to two final term in favour of Lauderdale snuffed out any hope of a comeback in the 11.10 (76) to 5.5 (35) victory.

Toutai Havea booted three majors to lead the goalkicking stakes after Round 1, but he was far from alone in the red and black, as Jake Dance, Alex Hevey and Tyler Martin all snagged multiple majors. Will Poland was named best-on in the win, while Josh McGuinness and Haydn Smith were also busy. For the Roos, Jarrod Harper stepped up to be best-on for his side, while AFL Academy hub member Oliver Davis was also strong in the inside along with bottom-age talent Sam Banks, and over-age talent Ethan Jackson. Jeromey Webberley was the sole multiple goal kicker for Clarence with two.

In the third game of the round, an inaccurate Launceston kicked away in the final term to secure a 26-point win over Glenorchy. The Blues and Magpies were neck and neck for the most part in the first half, with the Blues’ six extra behinds the difference at half-time. Kicking the only goal of the third term, Launceston kept the Magpies scoreless to extend the lead out to 15, then booted the only two goals of the last quarter to win, 7.13 (55) to 4.5 (29).

Brodie Palfreyman was the sole multiple goal kicker for the game, snagging two for the winners. Jake Smith and Jamieson House were named among the best for the Blues, while a number of young talents such as Jared Dakin ran out for Launceston. Glenorchy had four individual goalkickers including the two named in the best in Adam Roberts and Mitchell Rainbird while James Deegan and Brady Williams were also named among the Magpies’ best.

ROUND 1 RESULTS:

Glenorchy 4.5 (29) defeated by Launceston 7.13 (55)
Lauderdale 11.10 (76) defeated Clarence 5.5 (35)
North Launceston 7.7 (49) defeated North Hobart 6.3 (39)

Next week sees Tigers join the competition after a Round 1 bye to face off against North Hobart in what looms to be an interesting matchup. The match of the round should be the Battle of Launceston when the Blues face the Bombers, while in the other game Lauderdale hosts Glenorchy. Clarence has the the bye in Round 2 to try and work on a few things following the Round 1 defeat.

SCOUTING NOTES ON SOME OF THE YOUNG ACADEMY TALENTS:

Jackson Callow (North Launceston)

Another typical Callow performance where he marked everything in sight and when he is on the lead you can bank on him taking the mark with his hands sticking to the ball like glue. He was a great target all day, he kicked only the one goal but had more opportunities to have a bigger day on the scoreboard so was still dangerous. 

Sam Collins  (North Hobart)

Collins played like he does every week, and he relished the opportunity to play against experienced hardened bodies where his contested game and defensive efforts came to the fold. Collins looked great early showing good intent at the ball and the man with some strong tackles and spoils, he also showed great composure and played with more confidence than even some of the senior players.

Patrick Walker (North Hobart)

Walker looked classy on the wing winning plenty of the ball and using it well by foot often hitting long accurate passes and gave a good mix to his side. Walker mostly played down back last year but looks just as comfortable up the ground and it was an impressive senior debut. 

Oliver Davis (Clarence)

Davis was given reigns to play in the midfield despite being a younger and lighter player at senior level but more than held his own with his timing at stoppages and willingness to win the hard ball and get the ball moving forward. Not a massive game stats wise but will improve at the level with more time. 

Sam Banks (Clarence)

Banks is Tasmania’s leading prospect for the 2021 draft and already playing senior football for Clarence just goes to show why, Banks looks bigger this time around and certainly didn’t look out of his depth at the level. Banks played on the wing and positioned himself well around the ground, he managed to sneak forward and kick a nice set shot goal.