Tag: round 3

2021 NAB League Girls: 6 Memorable Moments – Round 3

THE NAB League Girls competition returned this weekend after momentary postponement, with the six games throwing up another mixed bag of results and plenty of memorable moments. In continuing our new weekly series, we take a look at the top moments from each match – whether they be game-defining feats, big marks, glorious goals, or otherwise. There was plenty of eye-catching action in Round 3, as the best Victorian girls clicked into gear once again with some impressive feats.

Calder Cannons vs. Oakleigh Chargers

James seals the deal

By: Michael Alvaro

There were many small individual highlights which could have made the cut from such a high quality game, but Eliza James‘ clutch goal to all-but seal Oakleigh’s win in the fourth term proved more memorable than any long-range effort, high mark, or bursting run on the day. Stationed deep forward after playing most of the game in midfield, James read the high ball best against her direct opponent in a pure one-on-one contest, before swooping on the loose ball as her marker fell and slamming the ball home into an open goal. Cue the celebrations as Oakleigh charged to victory against the wind.

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Geelong Falcons

Garth arrives at the double

By: Peter Williams

The Geelong Falcons looked like they were on a mission from the first bounce, and top-age forward Zoe Garth turned dominance with possession into scoreboard control. The talented forward slotted home a set shot for her first major midway though the term, then a minute later snapped around her body for something out of nothing from long range to sit up and bounce home. In the blink of an eye, the Falcons were three goals to zero up and already well on their way to victory on the road.

Eastern Ranges vs. Gippsland Power

Pisano bursts onto the scene

By: Michael Alvaro

There has been plenty of talk recently about how the next generation of female talent is taking over, and that is true as far down as the Under 19 competition. In just her second outing for Eastern, 15-year-old Alyssia Pisano burst onto the scene in a devastating performance; amassing 14 disposals (12 kicks), three marks, two tackles, five inside 50s, and four goals in the Ranges’ 114-point triumph. She booted the first goal of the game, but came to life in term three with two majors in the opening 90 seconds, before adding her fourth later in the same stanza. The context of the game may have helped, but the goals do not kick themselves. Remember the name.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Western Jets

Ham soars and slams the Jets inside 50

By: Declan Reeve

Dynamic Western Jets forward Montana Ham is prone to a highlight or two per game, and registered another big play on Saturday. The 16-year-old soared to take a contested grab over Abbey Jordan in the Jets’ defensive half of the ground in the third quarter, but was not done there. She then backed herself to outrun the trailing Dandenong players, slapping away the arms of two would-be tacklers and getting the ball deep inside forward 50. It is that kind of explosiveness that has Ham marked as one of next year’s best draft prospects.

GWV Rebels vs. Murray Bushrangers

By: Peter Williams

Rebels’ riotous first half

It was hard to pinpoint an exact moment in the match, but the GWV Rebels’ first half was something to behold. They took control early with some important goals, then raised the pressure up sky-high, forcing Murray to make mistakes out of the Bushrangers’ defensive 50. It created turnover goals, as the likes of Paige Scott (three) and Paige Kissel (two) benefitted. Tahlia Meier also created havoc inside 50 in the opening term with a couple of majors, and the whole team put together a memorable half before the Bushrangers could arrest some of the momentum and even out the game in the second half.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Northern Knights

Jordan shows poise beyond her years

By: Declan Reeve

In another fine example of the talent generation next holds, 15-year-old Northern prospect Ava Jordan was the latest to showcase top potential in what was only her second NAB League outing. In a tidy piece of play during the third term, she managed to get the ball just on the forward 50 arc and spotted Megan Girolami making a lead in the centre of the 50. After evading oncoming Dragon, Kiana Lynch, Jordan placed the ball right in front of Girolami so she could easily mark it on the chest. Again, jot the name down – she finished with 15 disposals and three inside 50s.

AFL Debut Watch – Round 3: Vic Country cohort in line for big-time berths

ROUND 3 of the AFL Premiership Season got underway last night, and while no players made their AFL debuts for either Richmond or Hawthorn, there could be up to six fresh faces running out at the elite level for the first time this weekend. 2019 Murray Bushrangers captain Lachlan Ash is a confirmed starter for GWS’ clash with the Western Bulldogs tonight, while former Gippsland pair Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders join the likes of Shane McAdam, Will Hamill, and Miles Bergman on extended benches.


Shane McAdam (Halls Creek/Sturt)

The Crows traded to get ahold of McAdam as a pre-draft access pick in 2018, such were the wraps on him as a mature-ager at state league level. Originally from Halls Creek in Western Australia, the exciting medium forward’s move south paid off as he booted 31 goals from 17 SANFL games with Sturt in 2017, before being picked up by the Crows.

After injury interrupted his first year in the tri-colours, McAdam may finally get to don the famous jersey as the club enters a rebuild and looks to test the depth of its list. Should he debut, expect to see some eye-catching high marking attempts, speed at ground level, and a fantastic goal sense.

Draft Central’s 2018 Player Profile Summary:

“A highly skilled and athletic medium/small forward, McAdam has ability to create goals for himself and those around him with a host of scoring assists all year and 31 goals from 17 League games this year. He averaged almost a scoring shot per game as well as almost two goals per game, making him have a high impact inside 50.

“He has that terrific ability to know how to use the ball, and then find the goals with ease. He is silky and packed with class inside 50 and his X-factor is clear for all to see. These natural footballing abilities go hand in hand with his sensational athletic traits. He has always had these abilities, but in 2018, McAdam has begun to show them on a regular basis.”

Will hamill (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)

Taken at pick 30 in the 2018 National Draft, the Crows obviously saw something great in the Dandenong youngster to jump the gun and snap up his services with their third overall pick. While he is able to adapt his skills and strong athletic base to multiple roles, Hamill will likely be utilised as a lockdown medium defender who uses speed to both apply pressure at ground level, and kick his side into gear going forward. He may finally crack the senior grade after playing 20 SANFL League games in 2019, missing just one outing for the year.

Draft Central’s 2018 Player Profile Summary:

“Hamill got to represent Vic Country, playing in his favoured role down back and despite not getting a lot of the ball still had some eye-catching moments. He was a player known to most draft watchers and recruiters going into the start of the year but his form early, especially with ball in hand was not as good as expected. Nonetheless, Hamill worked through the early jitters to start playing some good footy, especially late in the year where he arguably played his best games.

“His finals performances were impressive being named second and fourth best in the preliminary and grand final with his grand final performance holding the most weight especially for the hard edge he had shown early in the game. Hamill had an up and down year, but his mix of attributes and finals form has him firmly in draft calculations.”


Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)

Fremantle fans will undoubtedly warm to Serong very quickly; a player who bleeds for the jumper, is a terrific leader by example, and has all the skill to match his immeasurable qualities. While he may only stack up as a small, Serong has the tenacity to win his own ball and the work-rate to impact contest after contest, impressing with these traits throughout preseason. There are very few improvements to be made to his game, with Serong already showing remarkable consistency and the cleanliness to be able to keep up to speed at the elite level. As Vic Country’s MVP and best and fairest last year, the Gippsland graduate’s accolades speak for themselves and should he debut, he is sure to make a splash.

Draft Central’s 2019 Player Profile Summary:

“Touted as one of the top prospected behind the obvious Oakleigh Chargers’ duo, Caleb Serong is one of the more well-rounded players in the AFL Draft crop, with very few glaring areas of improvement. The biggest upside for the 178cm midfielder/forward is the areas he could improve on are more easily doable compared to other players. Among his list of strengths in his game is his clean hands, footy IQ, clearance ability and strength, while his consistency and competitiveness is up there with Matt Rowell despite heading into the AFL Draft somewhat underrated – if that is possible from a potential top three pick.

“The areas that Serong can improve are his kicking under pressure – which has developed over the course of the season – his on-field emotion – which while good at times can also be a hindrance – and his size – which while his height will not change too much, he can still improve his muscle tone. Overall though, Serong is one of the more complete packages in the AFL Draft this year.”


Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)

Serong’s partner-in-crime at the Power, Flanders blossomed into a bonafide midfield star come the end of his junior career, but may well revert back to his role as a medium forward upon entering Gold Coast’s lineup. The mercurial 182cm mover has plenty of upside, able to pull down big marks inside 50 on account of his vertical leap, while adapting that same clean hands trait to his midfield craft with strong stoppage work and outstanding power. The SUNS traded up to secure the Victorian with pick 11 in last year’s draft, and while it will be tough to crack Gold Coast’s winning side this week, Flanders will almost certainly get his chance in 2020 and create a few highlights.

Draft Central’s 2019 Player Profile Summary:

A player with plenty of upside and some readymade attributes is Sam Flanders, a Gippsland Power talent who can fulfil the role as a dangerous forward or a damaging inside midfielder. In his bottom-age year, Flanders spent the majority of his time as a goalkicking forward, booting 19.19 from 12 games, before moving into a midfield role this year, but resting forward in bursts, booting 13.5 from the same amount of games. His attributes lend themselves to moving into this role at AFL level, with the potential top 10 pick able to explode out of a stoppage, give off a clean handball, or get forward and beat his opponent one-on-one in the air or at ground level.

“He showed during the finals series – most notably against Oakleigh Chargers in the qualifying final – that he is capable to winning the game off his own boot, slamming home four goals in a quarter to help his side to the lead at the main break, but it also showed an area of improvement – his four-quarter consistency which does come in and out of games with him being dominant at his best, and ineffectual during quiet periods. Overall, Flanders is a player with serious X-factor and strength that he applies both inside and up forward.”


Lachlan Ash (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)

The only candidate on this list to have already been guaranteed a debut thus far, Ash is yet another product of last year’s Vic Country unit who possessed great leadership capabilities and a raft of traits which can be immediately transferred to the AFL level. Though he has been named on the bench, expect Ash to showcase his trademark dash and daring disposal off half-back or the wing, gaining invaluable meterage and causing headaches for opposition defenders with that lightning-quick transition. Taken with pick four in the 2019 draft, he could be just the man the GIANTS need to unleash the likes of Zac Williams and Lachie Whitfield further afield as he develops in defence, but has the ability to fare just as well in midfield himself.

Draft Central’s 2019 Player Profile Summary:

“The skilful rebounding defender was a consistent performer across the NAB League season for Murray, averaging more than 23 disposals per game. After being elected co-captain of the Bushrangers with teammate Cam Wilson, Ash would go on to co-captain the Vic Country squad throughout the AFL Under-18 National Championships, indicating that he is looked up to by his fellow teammates and admired by his coaching staff.

“Ash is the ideal footballer for an AFL team searching for a line-breaking defender who can consistently hit targets by foot with terrific vision and decision making. His test results at the NAB AFL Combine were also eye-catching, registering a 21.4 yo-yo test (finishing sixth overall) and a sub-three second 20-metre sprint. Similar to fellow half-back Hayden Young, an area of improvement for Ash is further midfield development, particularly with a focus on the contested ball aspect of the game.”


Miles Bergman (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)

Yet another Victorian in line for an elite-level berth, but this time from a Metro region. Bergman is the classic pick made on upside; a mercurial athlete and footballing talent who stands up in big moments, can simply pull off things that others cannot, and someone who has a high impact per possession.

The explosive medium forward has an incredible vertical leap and covers the ground quickly, with scope to eventually transition from more outside roles and into the midfield. The Power already boast an array of exciting youngsters who have made an early impact on the side, and Bergman may just be the next. His penetrating kick and light frame may see him utilised on a wing, but he can be just as damaging at half-forward.

Draft Central’s 2019 Player Profile Summary:

“Bolters are part and parcel of each year’s draft and Bergman finds himself fitting that bill in 2019. A confidence player, Bergman has grown into his top-age season to become a lock as one of Sandringham’s first three players to be taken off the board come draft time on the back of a serious highlight reel.

“Athleticism, power, high marking and goals from range are the things that have seen Bergman draw into the first round conversation, with his ability to take games over slowly becoming apparent. The wingman/half-forward also proved a match-winner this year, relieving late pressure in the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final with a sensational pack mark to help St Bede’s scrape home on his way to best afield honours. Bergman’s enormous upside is undeniable, with all of his best traits desirable to clubs across the board.”

Team of the Week: VFLW- Round 3

ROUND three of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s turned out to be a round of very one-sided matches.The Saints taking on the Demons turned out to be the best game of the round, with the Saints running out winners by eight points in a tough contest.

The winners are evident looking at this week’s best 22. Hawthorn, NT Thunder and Geelong are the best represented with four players each, while the Southern Saints and Collingwood have three players each.

Carlton and Williamstown are the worst represented teams of the round with no players making the cut, as both teams only managed two goals between them.

Thunder captain, Angela Foley was clearly the best performing player of the week. She gathered 28 disposals and kicked two goals in a huge performance, which played a big part in the big win over Essendon. She was a clear lock in the team this week. Richelle Cranston was also one of the best performers of the round, with 17 disposals.

NT Thunder’s Renee Forth was very unlucky to miss out on the Team of the Week with her one goal and 18 disposals against Essendon.

Player focus: VFLW – Round 3

THE NT Thunder has been one of the in-form teams of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition and we decided to focus on one of the hottest young talents in the competition. Nineteen year-old, Eloise Jones played her first season in the AFLW for Adelaide, and was nominated as a Rising Star during the season. Jones will line up for the NT Thunder in the VFLW season, and played mainly on the wing in the Thunder’s big win over Essendon at TIO Stadium. We analysed Jones’ game, including movements, stats and more*.

*Please note that statistics may be different to Champion Data due to definition and human error.  


#2 Eloise Jones- NT Thunder  


0.00: Started on the wing
2.42: Attempted smother on Danielle Ponter’s kick out of the pack
4.34: Ran from defensive 50 to centre square
5.40: Moved forward to receive a kick from the boundary line
5.59: Ran towards Chelsea Randall to assist her when she had the ball in hand
6.09: Ran and chased two Essendon players in the centre square
8.05: Ran to receive a handball but Machaelia Roberts missed her with the handball
9.01: Laid a high tackle on Natasha Hardy in defensive 50
10.45: Attempted to pick up the footy but just slipped through her hands in the centre square
12.24: Moved inside the centre circle to play as an onballer after Alex Quigley’s goal
13.35: Ran hard to take an intercept mark in the Thunder’s forward line off Kirby Hicks’ kick from full back, but the ball slipped through her hands
18.25: Collected the footy off the deck off Jordann Hickey’s kick and kicked it towards goal, but it goes out on the full


0.00: Started on a wing
1.37: Marked a free kick from Emma Swanson in the forward 50 on a tight angle from about 45 metres out
1.57: Kicks the ball to the top of the square instead of going for goal
3.55: Used fast closing speed to put pressure on Maddy Collier, who kicked back into the corridor inside NT’s forward 50
4.40: Jones takes a great contested mark off Jess Allan’s centering ball, and got the opportunity to have a shot at goal from 30 metres out directly in front
4.54: Jones misses the shot at goal
6.40: Takes an intercept mark of a Hayley Bullas kick from about 50 metres out from goal after running on from the interchange bench
6.43: Pinpoints the kick inside 50 to Tayla Thorn
9.54: Jones leaps for a fantastic uncontested overhead mark just outside the goal square, straight in front from Chelsea Randall’s kick to the square
10.02: Kicks her first goal of the day
17.57: Jones picks up a loose ball and kicks it along the ground inside 50


0.56: Tried to snatch the ball off an Essendon opponent while she was being tackled by Emma Swanson
2.02: Ran behind Renee Forth on the set shot to get a chance to run into goal from long range, but didn’t receive the handball
8.04: Laid a tackle on Valerie Moreau and the ball spilled out of bounds
8.32: Jones punches the ball towards Georgia Bevan from the throw-in stoppage
8.52: Dived on the ball while Hayley Bullas was being tackled by Michelle Ellis to create a stoppage
9.06: Jones picked up the ball off a deck from the ruck tap and is immediately tackled by Lisa Williams. Creates a stoppage
16.40: Tayla Thorn hacks it forward and Jones picks the ball off the deck and takes off from the back half
16.41: Handpasses over the top to Emma Swanson in space


0.00: Started on the wing
5.08: Jones picks up a kick that falls short inside 50 and handballs it off to captain, Angela Foley
6.47: Jones gets a loose ball, spins around her opponent and hacks it inside 50
10.18: Jones marks a long switch kick from Angela Foley
10.20: Kicks the ball straight to Samantha Barnett, but the ball slips out of her hands
17.59: Jones lays a tackle on Jessica Trend. Creates a stoppage
18.17: Jones gets the clearance from the stoppage, waves away her opponent and kicks the ball to Georgia Bevan just outside the centre square, who marks

Total stats: One goal, zero behinds, three tackles, five marks, one contested mark, four uncontested marks, nine kicks, two handballs, 11 disposals, one free against

Overall, Jones played really well on the wing, using her great hands to effect at multiple times. She opted to kick rather than handball, which paid off for her throughout the afternoon. The 19 year-old also floated up forward at times and generally made an impact when she did, kicking one goal for the afternoon. Jones was named third best in the Thunder’s 72-point win over the Bombers.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 3

AS the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition begins to take shape, we see a number of intriguing encounters in round three. The round kicks off with the battle of the unbeaten teams, as the Hawks take on the Blues in Box Hill and culminates with the classic Richmond and Collingwood rivalry down at Punt Road. The Darebin Falcons, Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Uni Football Club all enjoy byes this week. 

Hawthorn vs Carlton

Saturday May 19, 11:30AM
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

The Hawks look to continue their impressive start to the season when they take on the Blues in a Saturday morning clash at home. After a decisive victory over the Bombers in round one, the Hawks were able to grind out a tough seven-point win over Casey to improve to 2-0 for the season. Sarah Perkins has looked dangerous up forward to begin the season, booting three goals and creating a number of scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates. The Hawks welcome back Melissa Kuys in defence after she missed the game against Casey, however the side will be without fellow defender Pepa Randall. Carlton is also coming off two terrific performances in the first two rounds, with comprehensive wins over the Saints and the Bulldogs. The Blues hit the scoreboard with ease the past week led by Jess Hosking, Kimberley Cunico and Kate Shierlaw’s two goals each. Expect a tight contest as two of the early season contenders go head-to-head.  

Southern Saints vs Casey Demons

Saturday May 19, 3:30PM
SkyBus Stadium, Frankston

The Saints bounced back in a big way last week, recording a 30-point win over Williamstown, and will look to build off of that performance with another strong outing against the Casey Demons, who are winless from their only outing. Danielle Lawrence was a force to be reckoned with last week as she absolutely tore the Seagulls apart, kicking four goals, and was complemented by Alison Drennan who had another outstanding performance with 35 disposals and a goal. Casey produced a strong performance against Box Hill last week, before ultimately running out of legs in the last quarter as the Hawks ran over the top of them en route to victory. The Demons will look to put together a full four-quarter effort and notch up win number one of their VFLW season. Their defence was key in their contest last week, led by Katherine Smith, and they will need another strong performance from her and her fellow defenders in order to shut down the prolific Saints, who kicked nine goals in their victory last week.  

NT Thunder vs Essendon

Saturday May 19, 4:00PM
TIO Stadium, Darwin    

The Thunder come into their round three clash fresh off the bye, while the Bombers come off another disappointing encounter, having lost to Melbourne Uni. The Thunder absolutely destroyed the Darebin Falcons in the opening round to the tune of a 54 points and were dominant in all facets of the game. Led by AFLW stars Chelsea Randall and Emma Swanson who each got plenty of the footy with 23 disposals and 31 disposals respectively, as well as a dominant performance from Marijana Rajcic who kicked three goals and four behinds from her 25 possessions up forward. Essendon on the other hand are in desperate need of a win, having dropped its first two encounters. The Bombers were good in patches last week, holding a half-time lead over Melbourne Uni, and were in the game right until the end before succumbing to an eight-point defeat. Captain, Lisa Williams led from the front and will look to put in another strong game and lead the Bombers to their inaugural VFLW win.  

Williamstown vs Geelong

Sunday May 20, 2:00PM
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Cats were a part of history last week as they played out the first ever VFLW draw against the Pies, while Williamstown fell for the second straight week. Renee Garing led the way through the middle of the ground with 30 possessions, with new recruit Richelle Cranston also turning in an impressive performance. Their side faces a desperate Williamstown team who look to announce themselves in the competition by getting their first win on the board. Despite the loss last week, Jess Duffin was a standout with three goals from her 20 possessions to help keep the Seagulls within striking distance. Williamstown will be hoping that the changes made at the selection table will inspire a new sense of belief into the players, with several inclusions into the side.

Collingwood vs Richmond

Sunday May 20, 2:00PM
Swinburne Centre, Richmond

Two traditional rival clubs go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon down at Punt Road Oval. The Tigers were unbelievable in round one, holding the Western Bulldogs goalless in a 38-point victory. However, they were on the other side of a goalless affair last week with an almost identical scoreline, this time resulting in a 39-point loss which saw them held to only four behinds. They look to get back on the winners list against an impressive Collingwood side, who come in with a win and draw to their name. Despite being the better team for the majority of the game last Sunday, the Pies’ bad kicking ultimately did them in, resulting in the competition’s first draw. Jaimee Lambert was terrific last week, alongside Sarah D’Arcy, who really put their impact on the game early. Young gun, Sarah Dargan also continues to develop nicely as she turned in an impressive 21-possession game in a breakout performance.

Player of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 3

A DOMINANT first half by Gippsland Power bottom-ager Sam Flanders was enough to earn him the title of AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Player of the Week, for Round 3.

The powerful forward was everywhere in the first half, booting three goals – finishing with four for the game – and could have have plenty more had he made the most of more opportunities, booting a couple of behinds and three out on the full shots. Despite the misses, he had many looks on goal and was a tower of strength against the Bendigo Pioneers defence. He hauled in seven marks – four contested – and had 12 of his 20 disposals in the first half.

Still 18 months away from being eligible to be drafted, Flanders was a top performer at the National Under 16 Championships last year for Vic Country and will be one to watch as a bottom-ager in the upcoming National Under 18 Championships over the next few months.

Flanders day out ended with 20 disposals (13 contested), seven marks (four contested), three tackles, two inside 50s and of course, four goals. If his performance on the weekend is anything to go by, there is plenty to look forward to in the next 18 months.


AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Player of the Week:

Round One: Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons)

Round Two: Max King (Sandringham Dragons)

Round Three: Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power)

Player of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 3

THERE was at least one player from every match across the weekend who produced a fantastic performance. Narrowing our Player of the Week down to one individual was extremely difficult, especially after a weekend of big results. But based on her huge influence on the game when it was in the balance, Northern Knights’ Gabby Newton has been selected as the AFL Draft Central Round 3 Player of the Week.

#23 Gabby Newton (Northern Knights)

Gabby Newton continued her great performance in the ruck from last week, but her impact was felt more so around the ground. She is an agile player and was able to show how versatile she is, having good moments in the forward line, on the wing, and through the corridor. She was able to create plenty of run for her teammates, who capitalised on the space that Newton created through her long kick. She was able to do this even in a tight first half, when Sandringham pressed hard to get forward.

But it was her contested work that impressed the most, laying some fierce tackles throughout the afternoon. In the second half, Newton took one of the biggest contested marks in the TAC Cup Girls competition this year. She followed her teammates’ set shot on goal perfectly, judging the flight of the ball and clunking the ball on the goal line. The Montmorency recruit then slotted through the goal with a banana kick! Newton was not only unstoppable but she was also unmissable, donning the fluro boots for the afternoon.

TAC Cup preview: Round three

round 2 tac cup

Last week, the TAC Cup threw up a few surprises, a great contest and a one-sided result to leave the premiership contenders up in the air. Eastern’s forward thrusts were overpowered by Oakleigh’s defence, while Calder joined Oakleigh as the only undefeated metro teams. The first time we saw the country teams last week, it was Murray who made the biggest statement, annihilating Bendigo by over 100 points, while Gippsland showed they’re an improved side as they defeated Dandenong and Geelong and North Ballarat both indicated they will be around when the whips are cracking with a fantastic contest.

Gippsland Power vs Murray Bushrangers

Another home game for the Power and it’s hard not to be excited about this contest. They were impressive against what should be a strong Stingrays outfit and would have to go in favourites at home here. In saying that, it’s hard to see the Bushrangers not in with a shot after they wiped Bendigo off the face of the planet, led by key goal kicker Josh Schache.

Unfortunately Bendigo haven’t been the best measuring stick of a team’s abilities in recent years and Gippsland away should prove a much sterner test for the Murray boys. While Geelong and North Ballarat seem to be the top country sides, these two sides could very well be up there two in a great year for Vic Country.

In this game it’s really hard to pick a winner, but Gippsland Power are strong at home and should win in a nailbiter although this really is a 50/50 game.

Bendigo Pioneers vs North Ballarat Rebels

Two sides that are on opposite ends of the premiership clock. North Ballarat came off a narrow loss to the Geelong Falcons, but showed they could very well be a premiership contender in 2015. For Bendigo, they rarely ever looked in the contest, blown away by an impressive Murray Bushrangers in Benalla.

This game screams one-sided contest, but Bendigo at least have the home advantage, not that it’s helped too much in the past. North Ballarat would like their chances and both Darcy Tucker and Josh Hopper are a class above anyone else in this game. Bendigo have their fare share of AIS kids too with Tom Cole and Aidyn Johnson, but North Ballarat can run end-to-end in a flash with a great mix of inside and outside players.

It’s hard to see anything other than a North Ballarat win here, while as a neutral we hope to see a great contest, this could get ugly if Bendigo play like last week because simply, North Ballarat are one of the teams to beat this season.


Northern Knights vs Sandringham Dragons

This match is a battle of two teams who have unachieved so far in season 2015.

Both have the opportunity to notch up wins, but with one win between them from four games, neither is shaping up to be a massive threat in September.

This clash will be determined by who can get out of the blocks early because both have had notoriously bad starts, and despite a win against the Western Jets last week, the Dragons have not lived up to expectations.

Northern were much improved against Calder Cannons last week, a far sight better to watch that against Oakleigh Chargers the week before, but they will need to do that again.

Northern should go favourites on form, but either side would back themselves to win it.

Based purely on recent form, which is one can look at, Northern should be the winners in a close one for this contest.


Eastern Ranges vs Calder Cannons

Set to be a thrilling match of potentially high scoring, both sides have star studded lines with Calder (midfield) and Eastern (half forward) all set to feature in the Vic Metro sides.

Eastern will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss last week, while Calder will be aiming to maintain their unbeaten run.

With a midfield that contains Nick O’Kearney, Zac Wunhym and Tom Wallis, Calder will go in favourites on the back of two good wins, albeit against lesser teams.

This will be a good challenge for them, and Eastern could cause an upset, but again, based on form, Calder will win.


Western Jets vs Oakleigh Chargers

This appears to be the other one-sided contest of the round with the unbeaten Oakleigh Chargers facing off against the winless Western Jets.

Oakleigh have approached season 2015 with gusto and great defensive pressure, while Western have seemingly had a leaky defence, something that is hard to be solved overnight.

Many people will be hoping Western will bring their A-game, but Oakleigh’s immense pressure could turn this into a complete blowout.

Western’s best hope is to win the clearances because its best strength is forward of centre.

Lose the midfield battle and this could be a very long day for the Jets and Oakleigh will win it by plenty.


Dandenong Stingrays vs Geelong Falcons

The final match of Round 3 looks to be a beauty because the Stingrays unachieved in their first match, while the Falcons earned a hard-fought win against the Rebels. Both teams will be better for the run and both teams will be wanting to impress before Country Round.

Dandenong need to find more avenues to goal this weekend if they are to win, while Geelong need to maintain the intensity they showed in patches last week, for four quarters. Another aspect for Geelong was the fact that Rhys Mathieson was quiet and could turn it on this week, while Darcy Parish is a star.

For Dandenong, despite the loss the form of Jacob Weitering was something to admire and if he can get enough contribution from his teammates then the Stingrays would rate themselves as a strong chance in this game.

While this game may well only be a few goals in it, it’s very hard to look past the Falcons who have the better team on paper and the form as well.

Peter Williams tips: Gippsland, North Ballarat, Northern, Calder, Oakleigh, Geelong
Jourdan Canil tips: Gippsland, North Ballarat, Northern, Calder, Oakleigh, Geelong