Tag: sam siggins

State Leagues wrap: Easter Weekend opens seasons

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

QUEENSLAND:

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

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

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

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

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

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

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

 

TASMANIA:

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

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

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

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

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

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

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

 

Picture credit: David Mariuz / SANFL

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

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

South Australia:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

TASMANIA:

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

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

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

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

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

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

QUEENSLAND:

Noosa Tigers vs. Wilston Grange Gorillas

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

Picture credit: Solstice Digital

TSL scouting notes and wrap: Round 13 – Roos secure finals berth

ROUND 13 of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) saw some exciting players set the field alight and showcase their talents for their respective sides as Clarence won and Tiger lost for the former to secure a finals spot in the last round of the regular season.

Clarence 9.12 (66) defeated North Hobart 8.7 (55)

By: Peter Williams

Clarence locked up fourth spot and guaranteed the Roos finals thanks to a tight 11-point victory over North Hobart in a battle of the sides with an abundance of youth.

Clarence led at each change but it was by a kick of less at the breaks, holding a two-point, one-point and six-point lead at the first, second and third breaks. An inaccurate 1.5 in the final term extended the final margin out to 11, but they never entirely looked safe in the 9.12 (66) to 8.7 (55) victory.

Chris Nield was a standout coming back into the side kicking two goals, while Jason Bailey and Josh Green also kicked a couple each. Baker Smith was named his team’s best-on for his work in defence, with others youngsters Sam Banks and Oliver Davis also among the Roos’ best. For the Demons, Julian Dobosz, Angus Norton and Jye Menzie all kicked multiple goals, as Hugh Williams, Thomas Reeves and Jayden Charlton were named among the best.

Scouting notes:

By: Tom Cheesman

CLARENCE:

#20 Oliver Davis

Davis had a strong game through the midfield for Clarence. The slippery conditions made the match very congested, and this is a style of football that suits Davis well. He played predominantly on the inside where he gave some good handballs under pressure and laid some aggressive tackles. Davis won numerous contested possessions throughout the day and earned multiple free kicks by getting to the ball first and putting his head over it.

#23 Sam Banks

Banks showed that he has good skills and athleticism with some nice link-up play out of the defensive half on Saturday. His kicking was a highlight, as teammates continually looked to get the ball in his hands and he found short targets on a consistent basis. Banks has a fantastic work rate, as he always followed up his kicks and attempted to earn another possession in the same passage of play. A couple of times he did appear rushed under pressure, but this is understandable given that he is a young player. With more experience at League level, he should be able to find a bit more of the ball on the inside which will compliment his outside game beautifully.

#34 Noah Holmes

Holmes played a solid game as a key forward for the Roos. Early in the game, he linked up well down the wings and applied good body pressure with blocks and shepherds to create space for teammates. He took a strong one-on-one mark in the second quarter to earn a shot for goal, but unfortunately his kick was touched by the man on the mark. Holmes redeemed himself with a nice snap goal in the third term. He also showed some decent agility, particularly when he laid a chase down tackle to win a holding the ball decision in the third quarter.

#39 Darcy Gardner

Gardner was very impressive for Clarence in the midfield and as a half-forward. The under-ager displayed some brilliant work on the inside, highlighted by a burst through the middle of a stoppage to win a clearance in the second term. Gardner rarely fumbled, was clever with his hands and linked up very nicely with teammates through the middle of the ground. He often provided a lead-up option for teammates and initiated switches of play as well. Despite being smaller than most of his opponents, Gardner is a great competitor and is not afraid to compete against the bigger bodies, which was demonstrated when he laid a good tackle to win a holding the ball decision in second term. He also displayed some fantastic forward craft when he kicked a clever goal in the third term by side-stepping two opponents and then drilling the drop punt from about 35 metres out. Gardner played a pivotal role in his side’s 11-point victory.

#46 Baker Smith

Smith showed some fantastic signs on Saturday. Although he misread the flight of the ball a couple of times early, his performance from the second quarter onwards was outstanding. He took numerous intercept marks by dropping into holes and reading the leads of opposition forwards. Smith has great length, so he can cover lots of ground and is a reliable mark. Once he had the ball, the bottom-ager always looked for runners coming past to create some fast ball movement coming out of defence. Smith’s kicking was reliable too, particularly when he went short and switched the play.

NORTH HOBART:

#37 Sam Collins

Collins was one of North Hobart’s most reliable defenders on Saturday. He took numerous intercept marks in the defensive 50 by reading the play well, floating in front of leading forwards and using his strong hands. In the first quarter, Collins linked up with teammates across the wings to control possession and set up a goal with a nice long kick inside 50. Throughout the game he spread from defence well, rarely fumbled, hit most of his targets by foot and created a running option when his side was moving the ball forward. He had a great moment in third term where he pushed off his opponent, took an intercept mark, used pace to break away and then found a teammate with a beautifully weighted kick through the corridor. This led to an important goal and demonstrated how damaging Collins can be when he gets the ball in dangerous positions.

#46 Jye Menzie

Menzie kicked two goals on Saturday and showed some other good signs. He applied strong pressure on the opposition and regularly got into good positions to crumb marking contests. His ability to make something out of nothing was evident, particularly when he almost kicked an amazing goal with some soccer skills in second term. He pushed up the ground to collect touches and link-up with teammates whenever necessary, but he mostly played as a deep forward. Other highlights of his game were a brilliant run down tackle in second quarter that won a holding the ball decision and led to a goal, and an impressive overhead mark on the lead in third term.

 

North Launceston 17.11 (113) defeated Glenorchy 3.7 (25)

By: Fraser Stewart

An eight goals to none blitz in the first quarter set off a thumping win to the North Launceston Bombers as they finished on top of the ladder to claim the minor premiership as they look to continue their form into the final series.

It was a convincing performance from the Bombers with a wealth of players popping up and hitting the scoreboard in big way with multiple goals coming from Zachary Burt (four), Jack Rushton (three), Jack Avent (three), Bradley Cox-Goodyer (two), Taylor Whitford (two), William Edmunds (one goal), Sherrin Egger (one goal), and Ollie Sanders (one goal) all contributing to the 17.11(113) to 3.7(25) win.

Despite trailing by 12 goals at the last break Glenorchy did their best to make much of a contest in the fourth quarter but it was too little too as they only managed one goal in that term as they went down by 88 points.

NORTH LAUNCESTON

# 16 Ollie Sanders: 

Put in a terrific game right from the outset, although his first quarter was quiet he showed glimpses of what he was going to do all day when he linked up the play collecting a ground ball and lowering his eyes to hit a target inside 50. He was all over the ground often moving to the wing where he showed his calmness and agility when he collected a bouncing ball from an awkward bounce and weaved his way out of a tackle. He also made his way to defence to help the defenders out, showcasing he has a good football brain when he switched the play which led to an attacking play. But wherever he went he always seemed to get his hands on the pill often handballing it to create a link-up play or hitting targets lace out into space. He was often the starter of the attacking movements. 

GLENORCHY

#36 Charlie Thompson

He was a pretty quiet which was evident of North Launceston dominating all day on the park and on the scoreboard, but he did try to make things happen for Glenorchy, as he often went up for marks and went further upfield to help out in defence where he got most of his possessions. Despite not getting on the scoreboard, it should be noted that his second efforts were some of his biggest traits in the 88-point defeat. This was evident when dropped a mark (albeit a relatively hard one but got his hands on it nonetheless) but went to ground to try and reclaim the ball and created a contest out of it. He was lively in the last quarter when Glenorchy started to play with more fluency, he nearly had a goal to his name but was rushed by a North Launceston player, however, that alone should be encouraging for the full-forward as he found time and space (which he did not have for majority of the game) to get a shot away as he got the defenders off guard and finally got good service to him.

 

Lauderdale 8.13 (61) defeated Tigers 8.10 (58)

By: Peter Williams

In the battle between two more experienced sides, and Tigers needing a big win – and the Roos to lose – in order to make finals,- Lauderdale just got the job done and held firm to win by three points.

Tigers led at each break and looked likely to cause and upset throughout the contest, taking a four, seven and nine-point lead into each quarter, winning the first three terms. Unfortunately for the visitors, they could only score two behinds in the final quarter as Lauderdale booted 2.2 to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and win 8.13 (61) to 8.10 (58)

Harry Richmond slotted four goals for the Bombers – including the matchwinner midway through the final term, as he was named among the best with Luke Nelson (two goals) and Josh McGuinness (one). Sam Siggins and Nathan Oakes also stood out for Lauderdale, as Toutea Havea was the other solitary goalkicker in the match. For Tigers, Oliver Burrows-Cheng (two goals) was the only multiple goalkicker as he, Kieren Lovell (one), Luke Graham (one), Marcus Davies (one) and William Campbell were all steadfast in defeat.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL weekly wrap: Round 12 – Top three flex muscles as Demons jump off bottom

IT was a somewhat lop-sided start to Round 12 of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) competition, but finished with a thriller as the penultimate round of action was completed. In our feature game of the round we took a look at Clarence and Launceston who had a number of Devils players running around. In the other matches, Lauderdale and North Hobart both claimed wins. Meanwhile in the other match, North Launceston ended Tigers’ three-game winning streak with a comprehensive victory.

Lauderdale stormed to a dominant 10.13 (73) to 2.8 (20) win over Glenorchy, as the Bombers ran away with the game in the second half. Inaccuracy in the second term of 1.4 cost the Magpies who had one more scoring shot but trailed their opponents my nine points at the break. The visitors then piled on 6.9 to 0.1 in the second half to secure a huge 53-point win and secure third spot. Toutai Havea slotted four goals in the win, while Sam Tilley kicked two. Phillip Bellchambers and Sam Siggins were the Bombers’ best, while for the Magpies, Tom Cleary and Sam Rundle stood out with impressive performances.

Glenorchy’s second loss of the weekend was a lot closer, but they gave up a five goals to one opening term, kicking five more goals for the game as North Hobart booted nine in that time on their way to a 10.10 (70) to 10.7 (67) victory. Julian Dobosz snagged five goals for the winners in an impressive performance, while Matthew Joseph and Jaye Bowden kicked three apiece for the losers. Bowden was best-on for the Magpies in his penultimate match, while Thomas Reeves was the star for the winners alongside Hugh Williams.

North Launceston had no problems running out the game against Tigers, ending a three-game winning streak and maintaining their spot at the top of the table. They booted eight goals to two in the second half to put the Tigers to the sword after inaccuracy hurt the home team. In the end, it went the way of the reigning premiers 12.10 (82) to 3.8 (26). Taylor Whitford (two goals) was best on ground, while youngsters Baynen Lowe (two) and Sherrin Egger (two) impressed, as did Daniel Withers (three). For Tigers, Mackenzie Willis starred while William Campbell also impressed in defeat.

SCOUT NOTES MATCH: Clarence vs. Launceston

By: Fraser Stewart

Trailing at three quarter time due to their inaccurate kicking Lauderdale made amends from their mistakes as they opened the floodgates in the fourth term to defeat Clarence 6.14 (50) to 4.3 (27). Throughout the match it was a relatively low scoring affair however goals from Jared Dakin, Jake Hinds, Michael Musicka, Tim Jones, Alec Wright and Dylan Riley set up the 13 point win for the visitors. While goals from Luke Swinton, Josh Green, Oliver Davis and Colby Whitelaw did all they could to give Clarence every chance of winning however, the visitors were too strong in the last term. 


Clarence:

#20 Oliver Davis

He set the tone early on throughout the match as he showed great aggression from the get-go laying a few hard tackles to provide a stoppage. Provided good run when he was out in space when Clarence were on the counter attack. Wherever he was it seemed the football also followed him as he got plenty of ball throughout the clash especially claiming the hard ball gets and getting the ball around the stoppages. He also got reward for his hard style of play when he kicked his first goal of the afternoon when taking a set shot. He finished with a team-high 26 disposals (15 contested), 10 tackles and five clearances, whilst also taking four marks and kicking a goal.

#34 Noah Holmes

Despite being quiet for most of the match, he did provide a lot of good things for Clarence especially when they went forward. He had good running patterns as he tried to lead for marks and create space for himself as well as other forwards. Was pretty impressive when he was on the wing for a brief period of time taking two great marks, as he found plenty of the ball.

#39 Darcy Gardner

He had a very good second quarter where he was prolific getting the majority of the ball as his hard-nosed attitude paid dividends. Loved getting the ball through the contest as he was not afraid to get stuck in at the bottom of the contest. Wherever he was the ball seemed to follow him as throughout the match he saw plenty of the ball and provided good link up play. It was not just his centre knowledge that was impressive but also his defensive workrate was also spot on, as he defused various Launceston attacks through his intercept marking skills.

#46 Baker Smith

After a relatively quiet first quarter, he got better as the match wore on as he got plenty of the footy as the minutes ticked over. His intercept play was spot on during this fixture as he cut off various Launceston attacks, and even made a few booming plays to clear any Launceston threats. 

Launceston:

#20 Jared Dakin

Was instrumental throughout the whole game as he linked up well with his teammates as he got plenty of the ball without relatively doing anything special. Had a pretty quiet second and third terms despite being around the contest but couldn’t provide the spark Launceston needed as Clarence had momentum in the third quarter. However, he did come to life in the last term when he intercepted a Clarence a kick. In turn it gave him a set shot opportunity for Launceston to open the floodgates and he made no mistake as he nailed the kick.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TSL ROUND 9 RESULTS:

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

SCOUTING NOTES:

Sam Banks (Clarence)

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

Jackson Callow (North Launceston)

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

Isaac Chugg (Launceston)

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

Sam Collins (North Hobart)

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

Jared Dakin (Launceston)

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

Oliver Davis (Clarence)

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

Darcy Gardner (Clarence)

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

Noah Holmes (Clarence)

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

Isaac Hyatt (Launceston)

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

Jye Menzie (North Hobart)

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

Ollie Sanders (North Launceston)

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

Callum Thompson (Glenorchy)

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

Picture: Andrew Woodgate

Tasmania monthly wrap: Tassie’s finest mix it with the best

IT has been a busy month in Tasmanian football, with the very best Under 18 boys and girls competing against talent from across the Country. Locally, both Lauderdale and Glenorchy have made undefeated starts to their Tasmanian State League (TSL) seasons, while the TSL Women’s kicked off on ANZAC Day with a big win for the reigning premiers. All that, and more in this month’s Tasmania football wrap.


DEVILS BEGIN NAB LEAGUE LIFE

The Tasmania Devils Under 18 representative team has been introduced to the NAB League Boys and Girls competitions over the past month as part of the league’s nation-wide expansion, with the boys already picking up a win on home turf and the girls completing their two-game cameo. Below is a wrap of how both sides fared in each game.

NAB League Boys:

Round 2 

Sydney Swans Academy 7.14 (56) defeated Tasmania Devils 6.6 (42)

Goals: W. Harper 2, J. Menzie 2, J. Callow, N. Baker
Best: J. Chaplin, O. Davis, S. Collins, L. Gadomski, J. Steele, M. McGuinness

The Devils endured a tough introduction to their NAB League campaign, but fought to the end in a 14-point loss to the Swans Academy. The home side led all day in Blacktown, gradually pushing out the lead despite inaccuracy in front of goal to build a 26-point buffer heading into the final break. The Devils rallied late to push a potential comeback, but their three final-term goals were not enough to bridge the gap in what was a low-scoring affair. Will Harper and Jye Menzie each put two goals on the board, with hulking key forward Jackson Callow adding one to ensure bottom-agers contributed five of Tasmania’s six majors. Nicholas Baker was the other Devil to find the goals, while overlooked North Melbourne Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect Matthew McGuiness led the ball-winning stakes with 27 disposals. Ruckman Joseph Chaplin beat him out to best-afield honours with his 20-disposal and 25 hitout effort, while bottom-aged stars Sam Collins (22 disposals, nine rebound 50s) and Oliver Davis (19 disposals, six tackles) impressed at either end of the ground alongside midfield ace Mitch O’Neill (21 disposals, nine tackles, six inside 50s).

Round 3

Northern Territory 6.8 (44) defeated by Tasmania Devils 13.14 (92)

Goals: J. Callow 5, W. Peppin 2, M. McGuiness 2, J. Menzie, J. Hennessy, R. Mansell, J. Chaplin
Best: M. O’Neill, J. Callow, L. Viney, R. Mansell, J. Steele, O. Burrows-Cheng

Tasmania Devils claimed its first win as a full-time NAB League side at the second time of asking with a thumping 48-point win over the Northern Territory Thunder Academy. With the game played on neutral ground at the Holden Centre in Melbourne, the Devils were made to travel for a second-consecutive week, but the four points ensured this one was much more fruitful. It was all-Tasmania after the Devils conceded a quarter time defecit, booting four goals in each of the remaining three terms to romp to victory. Jackson Callow put his name in lights with a starring five-goal performance from 19 disposals and eight marks, adjudged to only be bettered by Mitch O’Neill‘s 35-disposal effort. Jake Steele was again amongst the best, with over-ager Rhyan Mansell (23 disposals, seven inside 50s, one goal) and hard-working midfielder Oliver Burrows-Cheng (17 disposals, seven tackles) also thereabouts. National Academy memeber Will Peppin and Tyler McGinniss joined Callow as multiple goal kickers with two apiece, while Matthew McGuiness (18 disposals, five rebound 50s) and Oliver Davis (22 disposals, six inside 50s) again found plenty of the ball at either end.

Round 4

Tasmania Devils 10.3 (63) defeated Calder Cannons 7.9 (51)

Goals: J. Callow 4, J. Hennessy 2, J. Menzie, R. Mansell, P. Walker, W. Peppin
Best: J. Callow, O. Shaw, J. Chaplin, R. Ashlin, L. Gadomski, J. Steele

The firsts continued in Round 4 for the Devils as they overcame a persistent Calder Cannons outfit by 12 points to register their first win on home turf. After a stalemate first term saw the sides only manage a behind each, Tasmania burst to life with five goals to one setting up a 21-point half time lead. Despite their best efforts, the depleted Cannons could not overcome the Devils as they hung on for a second-consecutive win in front of adoring home support in Penguin. Jackson Callow continued his hot form, with his 16 disposals, eight marks and four goals this time enough to claim best-on honours from defender Oscar Shaw (17 disposals, 12 marks). Jake Steele (24 hitouts) was named in the best for a third-straight week for his role as an undersized ruck alongside Joseph Chaplin (17 disposals, 23 hitouts), with the injury-hampered Lachlan Gadomski (20 disposals, six marks) returning his best game to date. Bottom-ager Patrick Walker and over-ager Nicholas Baker led all-comers for disposals with 24 each, as the former also managed to find the goals in a solid outing. 

Round 5

Tasmania Devils 3.8 (26) defeated by Western Jets 10.13 (73)

Goals: T. Penwright, I. Chugg, L. Gadomski
Best: O. Burrows-Cheng, P. Walker, M. McGuiness, B. Gordon, L. Viney, O. Shaw

Tasmania’s winning streak was snapped by the Western Jets after a week off from NAB League duties, with the Devils going down by 47 points in Launceston. The home ground advantage did not prove as telling for Tasmania this time out, though signs were promising early on. The Devils booted the first goal of the game through debutant Isaac Chugg and dominated general play in the first 10 minutes, but a lack of scoreboard pressure allowed Western to find their way to a quarter time lead. The Jets did not let up after that, scoring consistently in each quarter to eventually overpower the hosts and claim take the four points back to Melbourne. Oliver Burrows-Cheng was named best for the Devils on the back of his 22 disposals, six tackles and six inside 50s in a combative display, while Patrick Walker was this time recognised for leading the disposal count (25) with a slot in the best six players. Matt McGuiness (16 disposals) and Oscar Shaw (11) stood up alongside Walker in defence to also be named in the best, while Bailey Gordon matched his disposal count of 25 as another to play well. Lachlan Gadomski and Tyler Penwright joined Chugg as the Devils’ only goal scorers on a dirty day, with the absence of bottom-age Academy members and star man Mitch O’Neill proving telling in the defeat. 

NAB League Girls:

Round 7

Western Jets 5.8 (38) defeated Tasmania Devils 0.1 (1)

Goals: Nil
Best: E. Brickhill, E. Dixon, A. Prokopiec, H. Smith, M. King, A. Clark

Much like the boys, the Tasmania Devils girls encountered a tough introduction to the NAB League, going down to the tenth-paced Western Jets in a goalless Friday night outing. The home side goalled in every quarter to build the eventual 38-point winning margin, with best-afield Devil Ellen Brickhill (14 disposals) finally getting Tasmania on the board in the final term with a behind. 2018 Allies representative Mia King was Tasmania’s leading ball-winner with 16 disposals, named in the best alongside Brickhill, Amy Prokopiec (14, eight rebound 50s) and Angelica Clark (10 disposals). Skipper Hailee Baldwin also had a steady start, collecting nine disposals and laying two tackles. 

Eastern Ranges 3.3 (21) defeated Tasmania Devils 2.4 (16) 

Goals: H. Breward, B. Oates
Best: H. Smith, B. Oates, M. King, C. Lovell, P. King

The Devils followed up a disappointing opening game with a much-improved effort against the finals-bound Eastern Ranges, narrowly going down by five points. After leading the tight tussle at quarter, and three-quarter time, Tasmania looked on course for an unlikely upset victory – only for it to come unstuck via a late Serena Gibbs goal for Eastern. 19-year old Hayley Breward scored the Devils’ first ever NAB League goal, joined later on by Brianna Oates, who was named in the best for her 12 disposals. Mia King again led the disposal count as the only Devil to crack the 20-mark, with Killarney Morey the next best on 13. Hannah Smith was adjudged Tasmania’s best for her 12-disposal and four-mark effort, while Perri King had another 10 disposals in the midfield. Again not the result the travelling side was after, but plenty of development and the experience gained would have the Devils label the weekend an overall success. 

 

DEVILS SHINE ON NATIONAL STAGE

With state representative honours now a weekly theme for those in the Tasmania Devils squad, four Apple Isle products got the chance to go a step further and represent their nation this month.

After suiting up for Tasmania in three NAB League outings, midfield ace Mitch O’Neill had the honour taking part in the AFL Under-18 Academy showcase game against VFL side, Casey Demons at the MCG. The annual match, which this year feautured the best talent from across the country, allows the next crop of hopefuls to shine on the big stage against AFL and VFL-listed players. O’Neill contributed 11 disposals, six tackles, four clearances and a goal in a positive display, playing a key hand in the second half as the Academy side rolled over the top of Casey. The North Hobart product played in with typical Tasmanian spirit, putting his head over the ball on numerous occassions against bigger opponents and working hard throughout the game.

In the other annual national showcase, O’Neill’s bottom-age Devils teammates Jackson Callow (North Launceston), Sam Collins (North Hobart), and Oliver Davis (Clarence) took on New Zealand’s open-age side at Marvel Stadium on ANZAC Day weekend. The Under 17 Australians proved too strong for their cross-Tasman rivals in the Adelaide v. St Kilda curtain raiser, picking up a thumping 77-point win. All three played important roles in the win, and along with O’Neill will soon return to NAB League duties with Tasmania ahead of Allies squad selection. Callow had 10 disposals and four marks, as well as three tackles while running at 70 per cent efficiency. Collins stood up in defence with 10 touches at an elite 90 per cent efficiency as well as five marks and two tackles. Davis was a prominent player in the midfield, racking up 21 disposals at 71 per cent efficiency with less than three quarters on the filed, while taking six marks, three clearances and seven tackles in the win.

 

LAUDERDALE TOPS TSL

Lauderdale and Glenorchy boast perfect records after five rounds of TSL action, with the former topping the table having played an extra game. Reigning premiers North Launceston sit third with three wins after going down in a Round 4 grand final rematch, with Launceston a game behind them at 2-3, and Tigers (1-3) rounding out the top five as Clarence and North Hobart languish at the base of the ladder with no wins thus far. The Southern Bombers’ early-season form is merely a continuation of their late-season run in 2018 which cultimated in a grand final appearance from fifth, and they look the team to beat going into their first bye. North Launceston can spoil their nearest rivals’, Glenorchy’s, winning run when they clash at UTAS Stadium this weekend, while one of North Hobart or Clarence will claim its first win (barring a draw) as they meet to open Round 6. Glenorchy’s Aiden Grace tops the goal kicking and Player of the Year charts with 15 in four games, including a bag of five against North Hobart, with Blues player-coach Mitch Thorp the next best goal kicker with 13 on the back of his six-goal haul against the Demons. Northern Bomber Brad Cox-Goodyer is another who continues to find the goals, starting the season in good form, with ex-Hawk Kieran Lovell performing for Tigers. Lauderdale’s Sam Siggins joins Grace with six votes in the Player of the Year race, while Lovell, Jobi Harper (Launceston), Josh McGuinness and Haydn Smith (both Lauderdale) are all tied on five votes after excellent starts to the season.

 

NEW-LOOK TSLW KICKS OFF

An expanded TSL Women’s competition kicked off on ANZAC Day, with reigning premiers Glenorchy picking up where it left off with a 10.13 (73) to 1.0 (6) win over Tigers in Round 1’s only fixture. Magpie Nietta Lynch was instrumental in the vcictory with half of her side’s 10 goals, while Paige Flakemore booted Tigers’ only goal for the game. The season continues this week as all six sides are set to participate in a Gala Day at UTAS Stadium, with competition newcomers Lauderdale and North Launceston commencing proceedings at 11:00am in what should be a cracking showcase of Tasmanian female football.  

 

In AFL-related news, Tasmanian products Chayce Jones (Adelaide) and Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne) each made their debuts at the highest level, with both impressing in respective roles forward of centre. Closer to home, Launceston was treated to a cracking match of AFL football between Carlton and Hawthorn, with the Hawks staging a remarkable second-half comeback to topple the Blues by just five points.