Tag: Scott Carlin

Classic Contests: Rebels and Knights split points in low-scoring battle

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 4 clashes in the NAB League this year between Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Northern Knights. In this edition, we wind back the clock to 2017 when the teams played out a draw up at MARS Stadium with both teams understrength due to the AFL Under 18s National Championships taking place at the same time.

GWV REBELS 1.1 | 4.1 | 6.5 | 6.8 (44)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 3.3 | 4.5 | 5.6 | 6.8 (44)

Round 11 | Sunday, June 25, 2017
MARS Stadium, 11am

Two sides keen to get a win at the midpoint of the 2017 TAC Cup season were sixth placed Northern Knights and ninth placed GWV Rebels. The Knights sat a win outside the top four but a poor percentage of just 79.76, while the Rebels had a better percentage of 86.04, but had to win in order to knock Eastern Ranges out of the top eight. The Rebels had gone down to Gippsland Power by 27 points the week before, while the Knights had a match to forget, humbled by Oakleigh Chargers to the tune of 84 points at Preston City Oval.

Northern would pepper the goals early with a couple of behinds before Patrik Della Rocca finally got one on the board for his side in the 12th minute mark of the term. The Rebels, who had been held goalless until the 15th minute had a flurry of activity with a goal from Trent Reed and behind from Matty Lloyd to give them some hope, before Della Rocca finished the term with another another major to head into quarter time. The second term saw the Rebels hit back with goals to Lochie Dawson, Tom Clark and Keegan Gray, while a major to Jamison Shea midway through the term ensured the visitors did not cough up the lead by half-time.

Another burst of activity from the Rebels on the other side of half-time saw them kick a couple of majors through Jackson Taurau and Scott Carlin, but a host of misses – booting 2.3 to 0.0 in the first 21 minutes – did not give the Rebels the lead they deserved. A behind to future Eagle, Jack Petruccelle and then major to Harrison Grace on the edge of three quarter time cut the deficit to just five points heading into the final break. Both sides continued to pepper the goals trading behinds back and fourth for the first 22 minutes with three behinds to the visitors and two to the home side, before with two minutes and 10 seconds left, Sam Binion broke through to kick the only major of the last term and level the scores. Despite the best efforts of both teams, neither could get a winning score on the board and both had to settle for two points apiece after the hard-fought game.

There were some big numbers from the Knights midfielders on the day with Marcus Lentini leading all-comers thanks to 35 disposals, five marks, three tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and six rebounds. Providing an unmatched tackling presence, Alex Federico (27 disposals – 17 contested – five marks, 15 tackles and three rebounds) was strong, while future Roo, Tom McKenzie (23 disposals, four marks, three tackles and six inside 50s provided the dash off a wing. Petruccelle finished the game with 19 disposals, four marks, three clearances, seven inside 50s and three rebounds, while Shea had 21 touches, six marks, five tackles and five inside 50s.

For the Rebels, Reed had a massive game with 31 touches, three marks, nine tackles, 10 clearances, four inside 50s, six rebounds and a goal, teaming up well in midfield with Naish McRoberts (27 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and five rebounds) and Dawson (20 disposals, six tackles, eight clearances and a goal). Others who found plenty of the ball included Lloyd (21 touches, three tackles and four inside 50s), Carlin (20 disposals, three marks, four tackles and a goal) and Elliott Lamb (20 disposals, five marks, 10 tackles, three clearances and five inside 50s). Future Magpie, Flynn Appleby had 12 touches, two marks, seven tackles and two inside 50s, while ruck Tylar Watts had a game-high 24 hitouts to go with nine disposals, six tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s.

Northern would go on to make the finals, but be bundled out rather quickly by Oakleigh Chargers in a similar result to their Round 10 clash that season. The Rebels would end up finishing 11th, and ironically had this draw been a win, that finishing position would have been ninth.

2019 VFL season preview: Werribee ready to roar

IT is a new season and reigning premiers Box Hill Hawks are the team with a target on their back. We take a look at each of the 15 Victorian Football League (VFL) teams with plenty of new inclusions to excite fans ahead of the season, with Werribee and Port Melbourne tipped to be some of the top sides in the competition.

Box Hill Hawks

Last season: Premiers

The Hawks have brought in a number of big ball winners to their side with tall winger, Mason De Wit and strong mid/forward Jake Frawley heading to the brown and gold with outside runner, Boadie Motton from Gippsland Power. The Hawks have also picked up Nathan Mullenger-McHugh from the Western Bulldogs, and some experience out west in West Perth’s Luke Meadows. Add in Port Melbourne’s Damian Mascitti and the talented but relatively unknown Paddy Anderson from the Hampden League, and the Hawks have brought in some page and power up forward, as well as great midfield depth. Will Hams will be a loss with a number of other players out to play local footy, while former Sandringham Dragon, Georgie Nagle has headed to Port Melbourne. The reigning premiers have built on the list that took them to the cup last season and they are a team to watch in season 2019.

Casey Demons

Last season: Grand Finalists

The Demons have traded around Stingrays, with Riley D’Arcy, Goy Lok and Ali Zijai all heading to Frankston over the summer, but have brought in premiership Stingrays, Jai Taylor and Matthew Gahan for the 2019 season. Gahan offers good movement out of defence, while the lightning quick Taylor will no doubt make it easy for Casey’s social media team to regularly draw out highlights. Heath Briggs joins his brother at the Demons, while Nick Lowden has progressed from Gippsland among a couple of Port Melbourne recruits in Luke Tynan and Anthony Vella. With a few local league players also joining the side including a familiar name with Darcy Fritsch – brother of Melbourne’s Bailey – pulling on the red and blue. It was a heartbreaking loss in the Grand Final last season and the Demons will be keen to go one better this year with the additions.

Coburg Lions

Last season: 15th (Wooden spoon)

Change was afoot at Coburg over the summer with a match day team full of players coming in, and going out of the Lions’ doors. From a VFL perspective, Matthew Harman has crossed from the Northern Blues with Alex Federico to join former Northern Knights teammates, Braedyn Gillard and Mark Baker at the club, while fellow draft prospects last year, Mitch Podhajski – who returns on a full-time basis to the club – Jack Evans and Lucas Cavallaro all switch from Calder to Coburg. Evans and Cavallaro will provide good drive out of defence, while Podhajski will be a dominant force in multiple areas around the ground. Add in former Eastern Ranges outside midfielder Xavier Fry, a couple of Gold Coast NEAFL players in Brodie Foster and Harry Simington and Canberra Demons’ Jack Baker who was close to being drafted last season, and the Lions have really built some serious depth this year. Of the departures, Hisham Kerbatieh, Nick Mellington and Sean Gregory have crossed to the Seagulls, while Tom Condon will try his hand in the SANFL With Sturt.

Collingwood Magpies

Last season: 5th (Elimination final exit)

A relatively settled line-up, the Magpies will have a bitter taste in their mouth after coming close to a double chance, only to be knocked out in the elimination final by Essendon. Adam Oxley has hung around at the club after being delisted by Collingwood’s AFL side, while Dandenong Stingrays’ co-captain Campbell Hustwaite looms as a massive inclusion who could put his name up in lights with a big season, while Alex Spencer is the other addition coming from Port Melbourne. Marty Hore and Tom Jok were drafted by Melbourne and Essendon respectively, while Gus Borthwick also departs. The Magpies will hope for a better run of injuries this season with the VFL side stretched at times last year given the amount of AFL players required at AFL level.

Essendon Bombers

Last season: 8th (Preliminary final exit)

Essendon have strategically brought in a number of over-age prospects who did have draft interest over the past two years, with key defender Daniel Hanna and Oakleigh Chargers versatile tall, Matthew Day having plenty of draftable attributes but needing to iron out a few things. Jacob Atley will also share time between Essendon and Bendigo Pioneers in his bid to get drafted with Essendon considering him for an AFL list spot last year. Nick Hind was a whirlwind last season but he will now cross to Sandringham to play with St Kilda’s affiliate, while Alex Boyse also departed the club over the off-season after some draft interest. The Bombers have also picked up former Saint, Ray Connellan, as well as Werribee’s Kurt Aylett and Port Melbourne’s Josh Tynan who should all make important contributions to the club.

Footscray Bulldogs

Last season: 9th

Footscray has bolstered its side ahead of the 2019 season, only losing Jamison Shea to Southport, while Will Hayes got his chance for the Bulldogs’ senior side. Richmond’s Nathan Drummond and Geelong’s Ryan Gardner cross to the club after being delisted last season, while former Carlton AFL player, Dillon Viojo-Rainbow has made the move further west after a stint with Port Melbourne. Interestingly, the Bulldogs have raided St Kevin’s to top up their list, with Sam Barnett, Lachlan Farrugia, Gerard Gleeson and Billy Kanakis all signing onto the club this year. Footscray would hope that the inclusions will be enough to reach the finals after narrowly missing out last year.

Frankston Dolphins

Last season: 14th

The Dolphins had moments returning to the competition for the 2018 season, but ultimately just managed the two wins from 18 games in 2018. Unsuprisingly, Frankston has looked to Sandringham Dragons and Dandenong Stingrays for young talent coming through, while also picking up some former Dragons who were delisted by their respective AFL clubs. Nathan Freeman was a feel-good story last year for the Saints, but his AFL time came to an end, as did Sydney’s Angus Styles who was delisted after one year on the rookie list. Former Stingrays, Riley D’Arcy and Ali Zijai, and former Dragon, Goy Lok all return to Frankston, along with potential Brisbane father-son James Rendell, former Mentone Grammar captain, Harry Houlahan, and Stingrays duo, Aaron Darling – who has had two consecutive knee reconstructions – and Lachlan McDonnell who was unlucky to miss out on being drafted last season. The Dolphins will also help develop St Kilda ruck, Sam Alabakis who was allowed to play for Frankston given St Kilda’s ruck depth who will play at Sandringham.

Geelong Cats

Last season: 3rd (Semi-final exit)

Geelong has made minimal changes to its line-up for the 2019 season, with captain Tom Atkins pulling on the senior blue and white hoops so likely to roll through the VFL team this season, while former Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels midfielder Aiden Domic, has crossed to Werribee. His Rebels teammate, Charlie Wilson joins the club and will provide some firepower in attack. Gippsland Power key defender Kyle Reid comes into the Cats line-up and with a good season could be a chance to be drafted as a 19-year-old given the Cats’ tendency to draft their own state league players and ageing key defenders, while Aaron Black stays at the club after being delisted. The Cats have also headed to the Goulburn Valley to recruit Nik Rokahr and Luke Smith from the Shepparton Bears. The Cats had a terrific season last year, but fell short in finals, exiting in straight sets at the hands of eventual premiers, Box Hill Hawks.

Northern Blues

Last season: 12th

The Northern Blues have bolstered their line-up with some AFL experience, bringing in key defensive duo, Kieran Collins and Alex Johnson. Collins was close to getting a reprieve with the Blues in the AFL, but will bide his time for Carlton’s VFL affiliate, while Johnson was the feel-good story then the heartbreak story of 2018. After multiple knee reconstructions, the former Sydney defender has not given up hope of reaching the highest level again and it will be interesting to see how he fairs in the state league. Hawthorn’s Jonathan O’Rouke also joins the club with some unfulfilled potential, while South Croyden’s Frank Anderson was the name that had a few eyebrows raised when State Combine invites went out last year, but the talented former Eastern Football League star will now get the chance to step up at the higher level.

North Melbourne Kangaroos

Last season: 10th

Not a great deal of change out at North Melbourne, with Alex Morgan staying at the club despite being delisted by the AFL affiliate. Brendan Whitecross will provide invaluable experience after his time at Hawthorn, while former Sydney player, Daniel Robinson also joins the Roos for season 2019. Sam Parson crosses to the club from Box Hill Hawks, while key forward Michael Close, Liam Whelan and Steve Stroobants all depart. The Kangaroos were solid in their debut year last year, finishing 10th and pushing towards a finals birth at times. They did get smashed by the AFL Academy side early in the year, but once North Melbourne gelled, they showed what they were capable of in the competition.

Port Melbourne Borough

Last season: 7th (Elimination final exit)

The 2017 premiers bowed out in the first week of finals last year to eventual premiers, Box Hill Hawks. Like most standalone clubs, the Borough have made plenty of changes to their list, with Kieran Strachan the headline departure after being picked up by Adelaide Crows. Robin Nahas has retired and Dillon Viojo-Rainbow heads to Footscray, while Lucas Cook and Luke Tynan have also left. Into the side comes former Collingwood premiership player, Jarryd Blair, as well as a host of Oakleigh Chargers including Charlie Beasley, Jake Gasper and Xavier Fry. Gasper will replace Nahas as the danger inside 50, while Blair and experienced VFL campaigner, Ben Jolley will be the hard men in the middle with the latter the biggest transfer of the summer. Matthew Signorello has returned to Victoria after being delisted by Adelaide, while former Melbourne player, Dion Johnston has also joined the club. Patrick Veszpremi will try his luck at state level again, returning from Pascoe Vale, while Tom Goodwin (Coburg) and Geordie Nagle (Box Hill Hawks) are some of the VFL talent that have changed clubs to Port Melbourne.

Richmond Tigers

Last season: 1st (Semi-final exit)

It was not a good September for Richmond fans at any level considering two minor premiership led to a straight sets exit and a preliminary final exit. After finishing on top of the table in season 2019, the Tigers looked like going all the way, but as they found out, finals is a different ball game, even for the light technicians and despite some controversy over the finals losses – one they were left in the dark and the second was a brilliance passage of play from Nick Hind in the dying seconds being the difference – they will look to rebound in season 2019.

Sandringham Zebras

Last season: 13th

The Zebras had a disappointing season in 2018, recording a bottom four finish and have subsequently overhauled plenty of their list ahead of the 2019 season. They have made Kai Owens a more full-time member of the side, while Sam Sofronidis, Anthony Seaton, Ryan O’Meara and Nick Stamatis all go through the pathway from Dragons to Zebras. Nathan Wright provides some AFL experience, as does Sam Gilbert who has experienced the atmosphere of AFL Grand Final Day, while Port Melbourne’s Dylan Atkins is another with state league experience invaluable to the Zebras cause. A host of local players round out a long list of additions for season 2019.

Werribee Tigers

Last season: 11th

The Tigers might not have had the best season, finishing in eleventh last year, but they had two players head north to ply their trade with the Gold Coast SUNS. Both Sam Collins and Josh Corbett were pre-listed by the SUNS and will forge AFL careers, while Andrew Hooper and Kurt Aylett both head to the Bombers’ VFL side. While they have lost some experience, the Tigers are arguably the team to watch in season 2019, with AFL experience galore, as well as some seriously talented state league and former TAC Cup stars. Michael Barlow and Max Spencer (Gold Coast), Oscar Junker and Daniel Nielson (North Melbourne), Timm House (Geelong) and Jackson Edwards (Adelaide) return after stints on AFL lists, Barlow the most recognisable name of the lot. Jake Riccardi and Scott Carlin join the club on a full-time basis after playing as 19 year-olds last season, while Ryan Hebron and Josh Clayton are NEAFL players who were in the draft conversation. Key position players, Tom Boyd and Hudson Garoni will straighten the Tigers up, while Western Jets have provided four players to the club, with ball winners, Connor Thar and Jack Watkins, key position utility Hamish Murphy and Nick Stuhldreier all coming to the club. The biggest recruit might be off the field, with 2004 AFL Premiership coach, Mark Williams taking the reigns at Werribee.

Williamstown Seagulls

Last season: 4th (Preliminary final exit)

The narrowest of defeats in the Preliminary Final to eventual premiers Box Hill Hawks might have stung over the summer had the National AFL Draft not rolled around.By the end of November, Williamstown’s Ben Cavarra – a player with a well-documented pathways journey – finally found an AFL home at the Western Bulldogs, while Lachlan Schulz and Brett Bewley remained teammates over in the west with Fremantle. By the AFL season start, Michael Gibbons would become a Blue, making it a mammoth four players drafted by the one club over the off-season, then club legend Ben Jolley departed for rivals Port Melbourne. The Seagulls will undoubtedly drop back a bit with the serious talent that has left the club, but will be proud of the development pathway provided. In saying that, they have brought in North Melbourne’s Mitch Hibberd and Collingwood’s Sam McLarty for some AFL experience, while Joel Ottavi, Nick Mellington, Hisham Kerbatieh and Nick Sing cross from other VFL clubs. From the TAC Cup, Stefan Radovanovic will provide speed and power for the Seagulls, while former Collingwood small Ben Kennedy also joins the club, A team to watch with interest to see how they go given the amount of experience out the door, but always a team to keep an eye on.

Predictions:

Premiers: Werribee
Runner-Up: Port Melbourne
Michael Barlow (Werribee)

Stingrays pump Rebels to advance through to preliminary final

DANDENONG Stingrays have sent an ominous warning to their fellow finalists with a comprehensive performance against the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. The Stingrays put the Rebels to the sword early and never took the foot off, running out winners by 110 points to advance through to the preliminary finals.

Dandenong started off the game on fire, completely dominating the GWV Rebels in the opening term. They did not capitalise on all their chances, with the likes of Zac Foot and Bailey Williams missing their chances. Lachlan McDonnell made the most of his opportunity on the run, nailing the first goal of the game, with he soon joined by Ned Cahill with an opportunistic goal from the square. When Riley Bowman out-marked Jayden Wright on the lead and converted, it made it three goals to zero and the signs were ominous.

A second Cahill major with a fantastic snap on the run right before quarter time saw the Stingrays up by 28 at the first change. Behinds to Mitch Martin and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan were the only scorers for the Rebels, and limited inside 50s made it tough. They had a couple of promising passages, but ultimately it amounted to very little with the swift ball movement and hunting nature of the Stingrays.

It did not take long after the break for speedster Jai Taylor to find space inside 50 and launched on goal for the Stingrays first of the second term to extend their lead out to 34 points just a few minutes into the quarter. Not long after Sam Fletcher was left all on his own about 40m out and took an easy grab. The set shot attempt was not perfect, but had the desired outcome with a great goal. Then Cottrell made it three in the first 10 minutes. When captain, Campbell Hustwaite almost made it four but it just skewed it, the Stingrays were eyeing off a 50-point plus lead.

Fletcher must have smelled because he just found space again with some really poor checking, took the mark but did not make them pay. Speaking of poor checking, Cahill somehow conjured something out of nothing with a great kick off the ground in the goal square to push the margin to 55 points. Finlay Bayne then pushed it beyond 10 goals off a Rebels error to nail a goal from a running shot.

There was little to smile about for the Rebels in the first half, but the likes of Jed Hill and Isaac Wareham showed glimpses of class, but it was too few and far between. Dandenong kept piling on the pressure, and back-to-back goals to Hustwaite and Bailey Williams. It took a while, but on the edge of half-time, Scott Carlin found space inside 50 and kicked it lovely off the boot for the Rebels’ first of the game to avoid a goalless first half. Then remarkably, a free kick and 50-metre penalty to Darcy McEldrew on the siren resulted in a second consecutive goal to the Rebels, to trail by 63 points at the main break.

The game recommenced with the talented Sam Sturt looking forlorn on the bench after picking up an injury and the Stingrays not looking to risk him. It was soon one down from each side with Isaac Grant also on the bench with a calf complaint. Matty Lloyd was crunched and had to be helped from the field early in the third term, but luckily for the Rebels Lloyd returned to the field not long after. The Rebels had an early attack up forward, with Martin winning a free kick on goal but could not convert, missing to the right.

There was a noticeable lift in intensity by the Rebels, having multiple attacks inside 50 but just missing their opportunities to capitalise with majors. The Rebels effort was exemplified by Martin, who won another free kick for a great tackle and locking the arms. Unfortunately the effort amounted to very little as Dandenong had a great end-to-end play which resulted in a great running goal to Jake Frawley. A Cottrell shot on goal tugged to the left, but the Stingrays were coming. Toby Bedford was having a ripper of a game cutting up through the midfield. A towering mark from Zac Foot inside 50 lead to another Cottrell shot on goal but was touched on the line.

Bedford’s fantastic game saw him get reward for effort with a great running goal to evade an opponent and nail the goal straight on. Rebels defender, Wright had his own opportunity up the other end with a quick snap on goal but went out on the full. The Rebels were playing much better in the third term, but the Stingrays pace and sheer determination to win the football and dispose of it was overwhelming for the ninth placed side. Another late goal to McDonnell – his second of the game – put the margin out to 82 points.

The first inside 50 of the fourth term saw back-to-back shots for Dandenong, with Hustwaite missing a flying shot, then he intercepted a Lloyd kickout, passed off to Bedford who lined up from 15m out but toed it for a behind – his first blemish of the game. Then the goal of the game came through Stephen Cumming. Tucked against the boundary line after a terrific vertical jump mark, he bent around with an unbelievable snap which sailed through and pushed the Stingrays beyond 100 points.

Dandenong almost had another goal with a flying, bouncing attempt but Wareham was good enough to get back and rush it across the line. Up the other end, Charlie Wilson who had been rather subdued made the most of his opportunity with a standard set shot goal. It was not long before Bayne responded for the Stingrays, sneaking forward into space, marking off a clever centring pass from Cahill, and kicked truly from the set shot. Then Cahill had a second goal assist in as many minutes, handballing to McDonnell in the square who kicked truly.

Wareham had another perfect pin-point pass to Wilson once again, but the competition leading goal kicker could not finish off the work this time, missing to the right. While highlights were few and far between, Ugle-Hagan continued to be a highlight taking some fantastic contested marks in the final term. Wilson had a third shot on goal in the term, but missed again. The siren was imminent but not before Cahill made it four majors, marking alone inside 50 and converting perfectly with a straight set shot. If that was not enough, Luca Goonan put the extra cream on the cake with a perfect snap on goal to put it well beyond 100 and end the game.

Dandenong Stingrays 4.6 | 11.11 | 14.14 | 19.20 (134)
GWV Rebels 0.2 | 2.2 | 2.4 | 3.6 (24)

GOALS:

Dandenong: Ned Cahill 4, Lachlan McDonnell 3, Finlay Bayne 2, Riley Bowman, Sam Fletcher, Jai Taylor, Campbell Hustwaite, Bailey Williams, Matthew Cottrell, Jake Frawley, Toby Bedford, Stephen Cumming, Luca Goonan.
GWV: Scott Carlin, Darcy McEldrew, Charlie Wilson.

ADC BEST:

Dandenong: Toby Bedford, Will Hamill, Ned Cahill, Lachlan McDonnell, Finlay Bayne, Matthew Cottrell
GWV: Isaac Wareham, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Lochie Dawson, Jayden Wright, Mitch Martin, Jacob Lohmann

Weekend Previews: TAC Cup – Elimination finals

THE weekend is set for four huge games, with no turning back for the eight sides running out on Ikon Park in the elimination finals this weekend. Here is a quick look at how the four games shape up.

Dandenong Stingrays vs Greater Western Victoria Rebels

Saturday, September 8, 12pm
Ikon Park, Carlton North

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels face their most daunting challenge yet as they come up against the Dandenong Stingrays in the first round of finals at Ikon Park. GWV faced the Northern Knights the week prior and won comprehensively, but unfortunately the Stingrays are a much different beast. With 15 wins and a single loss, Dandenong sit three wins ahead of second place (Gippsland Power) and boasts 17 Combine invites compared to the Rebels’ four. Dandenong bolter Sam Sturt has been the talk of the town lately, with every club interested in the forward, while Zac Foot, Bailey Williams and Will Hamill are among some of the names who loom as big players in the finals series. The last time the pair faced in Round 10, the Rebels copped a 59-point loss at the hands of the significantly undermanned Stingrays as they had many players competing in the National Championships. While at neutral territory this time, the Rebels face a complete Stingrays side. If they win, it will be arguably the upset of the season, so it is important for GWV’s talent to embrace the challenge.

Jed Hill had a strong showing against the Knights last week, kicking two goals and again proving useful by foot. Riley Ranieri rebounded well and earned the contested ball, with Matt Schnerring getting plenty of the pill and Matty Lloyd caressing the ball well along the wing. Lloyd, along with Scott Carlin and Harrison Butler, all put two each on the board, while Patrick Glanford and Darcy McEldrew both did well in the ruck. Dandenong’s boys are well and truly rested as Riley Bowman returns to the side for Bailey Schmidt. The Stingrays look to add a perfect finals run to an amazing year of footy and take home their first premiership ever.

 

Gippsland Power vs Geelong Falcons

Saturday, September 8, 2.30pm
Ikon Park, Carlton North

The last time they faced, the Falcons were severely let down by their accuracy in front of goal, kicking three goals from 16 shots. Comparatively, the Power kicked 10 goals from their 15 shots, having seven goalkickers compared to two. It was not the Falcon’s finest game, but Saturday is a new day, and this time they have Connor Idun, Charlie Sprague, Oscar Brownless, Ned McHenry and possible number on pick, Sam Walsh. In the Wildcard Roound, the Falcons only just snared a victory from the Calder Cannons, coming back from an 11-point deficit at three quarter time to win by a point. While this game could go either way, the Power finished second on the table for a reason. If Cooper Stephens and Walsh can maintain their form from last week, the Power are bound to have some trouble.

The Power will be looking for Xavier Duursma to have a significant impact, racking up 29, 26 and 21 disposals in his three August games, and placing high in the Morrish Medal vote count. The Gippsland Power captain is one of many players looking to cement a future in the AFL and can do so by helping eliminate the Falcons from the finals race. McHenry and Brownless impressed with their two goals against the Cannons last week but could have some trouble going shot for shot with Noah Gown, who kicked four in his last game and placed fourth for the home and away season in goals. Sam Flanders also poses a threat up forward coming in at eleventh in the overall goal kicking tally.The Power will have their work cut out against this full-strength Falcons side, with no telling how it will go down. It is a game to watch.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs Western Jets

Sunday, September 9, 12pm
Ikon Park, Carlton North

Not much separates the Oakleigh Chargers and the Western Jets, sitting a single win apart at the end of the home and away season. In terms of form, the Chargers emerged as a genuine premiership contender in the final couple of rounds, while the Jets will need to be at their best here to challenge them. In the Wildcard round last week, the Jets had some issues dealing with the Eastern Ranges’ first half onslaught. While managing to lift in the second half to secure a 38-point win, the Jets will not be able to get away with those standards against the Chargers.

Pivotal in their success were Xavier O’Halloran and Connor Thar who combined well in the midfielder, with Thar earning best on ground honours. Emerson Jeka kicked three while Stefan Radovanovic remained a pillar in the backline. While the Jets took the win (19 points) the last time they faced the Chargers, the team they faced were not a complete Oakleigh side, playing without the likes of Will Golds, Will Kelly and James Rowbottom. The difference is evident since Round 15.  In Round 16, the Chargers defeated GWV Rebels by 90 points, giving them their largest winning margin all season. Oakleigh will be looking for a huge performance from Riley Collier-Dawkins if he aims to increase his stock come draft night. Similarly, O’Halloran will need to bring his best if the Jets are to get up. Potential first-rounder, Isaac Quaynor is also pegged to have a big game for the Chargers with a strong month leading into finals. Chargers are tipped to win, but the Jets are still a chance to surprise a few people.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs Murray Bushrangers

Sunday, September 9, 2.30pm
Ikon Park, Carlton North

Unlucky not to land a top four spot, the Murray Bushrangers made short work of the Bendigo Pioneers over the weekend to move on to the Elimination Finals and face the Sandringham Dragons. Both teams have not been in their best form these last few rounds, with the Bushrangers losing their last three during the home and away season, and the Dragons losing their final two. Unlike the Dragons though, the Bushrangers are coming into this game with a win, simply outclassing their opposition at Ikon Park.

Ely Smith’s clearance and contest work was at his usual standard, mopping up the footy off the hit outs and breaking lines with booming kicks. Mathew Walker’s pressure was well over standard as well, laying nine tackles. The test they face is whether they can minimise Liam Stocker’s impact for the Dragons. The Dragons’ Morrish Medal winner stands to make a big statement, playing to earn a finals appearance and a possible top 10 pick in the National Draft. His work on the inside has been his biggest highlight for the month, stepping up in Bailey Smith’s absence. Ben King, returning in Round 15, is also set to make waves and prove himself as a potential number one pick. The last time they faced, the Bushrangers claimed a 65-point win, with Hudson Garoni kicking eight. The Bushrangers forward was kept goalless last week so could be ready to prove himself come the weekend. The Dragons are still favourites to take the win and eliminate the Bushrangers from the race, but it will be a hotly contested match.

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup – Wildcard Round

WILDCARD Round is done and won, and four sides are out of the premiership race. While Geelong Falcons, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets advance to the finals, Calder Cannons, Northern Knights, Eastern Ranges and Bendigo Pioneers seasons are over.

 

Calder Cannons 8.7 (55) defeated by Geelong Falcons 8.8 (56)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

In one of the games of the year, and for a second week in a row, the Geelong Falcons snare a come from behind victory against the Calder Cannons to eliminate them from the finals race. Struggling to capitalise with their scoring shots in the third, the Falcons turned the tables in the final term, kicking three goals to one and winning from an 11-point deficit at the break. The Cannons’ big third quarter effort put them ahead and gave them the largest lead of the game. Neither team was ever out of the race, but in the end, it was a behind and the Falcons’ defensive pressure that snatched away the victory.

Cooper Stephens was instrumental with three rebounds, four inside 50s, five clearances, a game-high 27 disposals and a final quarter goal. Co-captain Sam Walsh finished similarly with four rebounds, three inside 50s, five clearances and 26 disposals racking up an impressive 16 contested possessions. Sam Conway dominated in the ruck with 27 hit outs, beating the Cannons’ total hit outs of 25 on his own. Jay Dahlhaus (16 disposals, five marks, five inside 50s and two goals), Oscar Brownless (18 disposals, four clearances and two goals) and Ned McHenry (20 disposals and two goals) impressed in front of goals, with Doyle Madigan (23 disposals, 15 contested, four clearances and two inside 50) also proving very dominating.

Will Jury had a strong performance with a game high 16 contested possessions (19 disposals), three marks (one contested), five clearances and six inside 50s. Lachlan Sholl (23 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and one clearance), Brodie Newman (13 disposals, six marks and four rebounds) and Daniel Hanna (16 disposals and seven marks) all presented strong overhead. Curtis Taylor (11 disposals and five marks) and Jake Riccardi (12 disposals, three marks, six hitouts, three clearances and four inside 50s) kicked two goals each, while Jacob Martin (17 disposals, four clearances and six inside 50s) and Rhylee West (12 disposals, six clearances, five inside 50s and one goal) were among the best for the Cannons. 

 

Northern Knights (3.4.22) defeated by Greater Western Victoria Rebels (14.7.91)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

Finals are now well and truly over for the Northern Knights after being handed a smashing by the GWV Rebels at MARS Stadium. Though only a point between them come the second quarter, the GWV lifted to produce a 37-point second quarter, with seven shots on goal to two. The third proved just as disappointing for the Knights with just the one point scored for the quarter, summing up a rather dismal performance with 21 scoring shots to seven.

Riely Ranieri’s work in the Rebels’ defensive half was extremely pivotal in their win, racking up 19 disposals (11 contested), four clearances, and seven rebounds. Matt Schnerring boasted a team-high 22 disposals, moving the ball well with three inside 50s and two rebounds, and contributed to their big second quarter with a late goal. Matty Lloyd capped off a solid game with 20 disposals and kicked two big goals, with Scott Carlin close behind on 19 disposals, five clearances and two goals of his own. Jed Hill and Harrison Butler also put two each on the board, while Patrick Glanford (11 disposals, 27 hit outs, four clearances and three inside 50s) performed well in the ruck alongside Darcy McEldrew (18 hitouts).

Despite their poor showing, the Northern Knights still had plenty of strong performers on the day. Sam Philp had a game-high 23 disposals and dominated out of the stoppages with 9 clearances. Philp moved the ball well to collect six inside 50s for the match. Similarly, Tom McKenzie delivered well with his seven inside 50s, showcased his strong hands (six marks) and got a bit of footy with 20 disposals. Adam Carafa (four clearances, two inside 50s, three rebounds), Josh D’Intinosante (three clearances, three inside 50s, two rebounds), Jackson Davies (four clearances, four inside 50s and three inside 50s) and Braedyn Gillard (10 contested possessions, three clearances and three inside 50s) also had considerable impacts.

 

Western Jets 12.12 (84) defeated Eastern Ranges 7.4 (46)

By: Michael Alvaro

Western Jets survived an early Eastern Ranges onslaught to claim a 38-point win and earn their spot in the TAC Cup final eight. The sixth-place Jets had every reason to be nervous coming into the game against second-last Eastern given both sides outside of the top eight beat their more fancied counterparts in the previous day’s play, and that fear would have been heightened as the Ranges stormed out to a first half lead. Three first half majors to bottom ager Ben Hickleton put Eastern in good stead, as they put on five straight goals to open the game and kept Western goalless in the second term to hold a 16-point buffer at the main break.

Their run came to a grinding halt once the ball went down to start the third term, as key Western ball-winners Xavier O’Halloran and Morrish Medal runner-up Connor Thar came into the game, with Stefan Radovanovic solid down back and Emerson Jeka providing a target forward of centre. Western jetted into the lead with four goals to none in the third term, and kept their form in the last as they piled on another five to Eastern’s one.

For the winners, O’Halloran (17 disposals, four tackles) stepped up when it counted, while Thar (32 disposals, six tackles, four marks nd one goal) was arguably their best. The Western forward line was dangerous as ever too, with Daniel Pantalleresco and Jeka claiming three majors each, while 23rd man Cassius White was also dangerous, booting two.

In one of Eastern’s better displays, Kye Quirk continued to rack up the possessions with 24 touches, 10 handball receives and six marks, while Joel Burleigh and Xavier Fry were their main ball-winners with 32 touches each. Bottom ager Hickleton also impressed with his three goals, finding himself in good areas inside 50.

The Jets now face an in-form Oakleigh side full of stars in the first week of finals, while Eastern’s season ends on the back of a fighting effort.

 

Murray Bushrangers 9.18 (72) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 6.9 (45)

By: Michael Alvaro

Murray Bushrangers rounded out the TAC Cup wildcard round with a comfortable, yet wasteful 27-point win over Bendigo Pioneers. Having been booted out of the top four in the last two rounds, the Bushies looked to have learned a lesson from the previous wildcard games as the favourites broke out to a 22-point lead to open the game, keeping the Pio’s goalless.

To Bendigo’s credit, they didn’t give in and hit back with three goals of their own in the second term to reduce the margin to 12 points at the main break. Neither side could really snatch a good run of momentum, as the buffer stayed at a steady three-four goals going into the final break – with Bendigo’s accuracy (6.4) keeping them within reach in quarters two and three as Murray complied a wasteful 5.8 in comparison.

But the class of Murray proved too much as they held on with a further 1.5 in the fourth quarter to shut out the trying contest and their nagging opposition. Ely Smith continued his good form in the midfield to be named Murray’s best with 29 disposals and six tackles, while Mathew Walker (21 disposals, nine tackles, six marks and three goals) was not far behind. Zane Barzen and Lachlan Ash were the Bushranger’s other multiple goal kickers with two each, with the latter also gathering 20 disposals in a more advanced role.

For Bendigo, Jacob Atley was the clear standout up forward as he collected 21 disposals and marked well while claiming half of his side’s six goals. Liam Marciano was also industrious with his 27 disposals, six tackles and five marks and one goal, while Bailey Henderson (22 disposals and six marks) was also solid. Jye Caldwell also showed some brilliant glimpses before unfortunately injuring his hamstring.

Murray will go on to face the Sandringham side which snatched their top-four spot in what looks like being a tantalising contest.

Weekend Previews: TAC Cup – Wild Card Round

FOR players of four TAC Cup sides, they will run out for the final time this weekend with the new concept of a Wild Card Round giving every team the chance of winning a premiership, regardless of finishing position during the season. The four games will be played across two days, with a Double Header at MARS Stadium on Saturday, before a Double Header takes place at Ikon Park on Sunday.

 

CALDER CANNONS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Wild Card Round – Saturday, September 1, 11:30am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

It will be a case of déjà vu for fans who make the trip to MARS Stadium tomorrow. The Calder Cannons take on the Geelong Falcons at 11.30am, an identical match, time and place of their Round 16 clash a week ago. In that game, the Falcons proved too good, coming from behind at quarter time to run away with the game before the Cannons kicked back to go down by just 15 points. Arguably the Falcons should have won by more, as despite having 29 scoring shots to 19, they ended the match with an inaccurate 11.18 for the match. Co-captain Sam Walsh was a clear best on ground. Brayden Ham, while inaccurate in front of goal with 1.4, was exciting in the forward half, as was Connor Idun. Cooper Stephens and Ned McHenry were tough on the inside, while Cooper Cartledge and Charlie Sprague played their roles up their respective ends. For the Cannons, Rhylee West was sensational drifting forward to boot three goals, while Daniel Mott and Mitch Podhajski were strong through the midfield, with Podhajski getting forward to finish with two goals. Harrison Jones enjoyed a great game in the ruck, while Lachlan Sholl and Brodie Newman continue to impress behind the ball. Daniel Hanna has been named in the Cannons’ extended team, and will be a crucial inclusion to take a tall in the Falcons forward line, allowing the smaller rebounders to create more run out of defence. Geelong rightfully hold favouritism after last week, and pushing the minor premiers the week before, but both these teams are sleepers in the premiership race, and it is somewhat disappointing one has to go.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Wild Card Round – Saturday, September 1, 2:00pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The second game marks the third time that the Northern Knights will travel to MARS Stadium for the season to tackle the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. The venue holds no fears for the Knights, who have been victorious twice, once with a come-from-behind victory in Round 9 by four points, and then again in Round 12 when they won by 22 points. In the first encounter, it took until the 21st minute of the final term for the Northern Knights to hit the front for just the second time that day, with a Patrik Della Rocca goal. That was also the breakout game for bottom-ager Izaac Grant, who booted seven of the Rebels’ nine goals for the day. Elliott Lamb, Scott Carlin and Lochie Dawson were named the Rebels best on the day with Grant, while for the Knights, James Lucente‘s five majors saw him named the best, along with Della Rocca and Stefan Uzelac. In the second encounter, Sunny Brazier and Charlie Wilson booted three goals for their respective sides, while Cooper Craig-Peters and Patrick Glanford were the Rebels’ best. Adam Carafa had a day out with 37 disposals, while speedster Lachlan Potter was also impressive. On form, the Knights will head in as favourites, but some crucial inclusions for the Rebels in Carlin, Grant and Craig-Peters should be equally as important as Lucente and Ryan Sturgess for Northern.

 

WESTERN JETS v. EASTERN RANGES

Wild Card Round – Sunday, September 2, 11:00am
Ikon Park, Carlton North

On Sunday, the Western Jets will take on the Eastern Ranges in a game that is one of two that should be fairly straight forward. As we have seen with finals or pre-finals however, anything can happen and regular season form means nothing now that we are at the knockout stage of the season. Eastern had just the two wins, but pushed Western all the way back in the only encounter between the sides this season. In blustery Williamstown, the Ranges led throughout the match and only trailed by a goal at the final break – mostly due to the Jets inaccuracy, booting 2.12. The home side found its kicking boots in the final term however, booting five goals to one and ran away with the 31-point win. Steven Kyriazis booted two goals that day, while Zak Butters earned best on ground honours (he will not be out there this weekend) and Connor Thar and Stefan Radovanovic were also impressive. Billy McCormack was the multiple goalkicker for Eastern, while Jarrod Gilbee, James Ross and Mitch Mellis were the top Ranges. Mellis will be the only one of the trio playing on Sunday, with Eastern hoping to cause an upset. The winner will face Oakleigh Chargers in the elimination final, so will want to hit the game with some great form.

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Wild Card Round – Sunday, September 2, 1:30pm
Ikon Park, Carlton North

Murray Bushrangers were the side unlucky to drop out of the top four race, but by being the top-seeded team in the Wild Card Round, they take on the bottom-placed Bendigo Pioneers. The Pioneers have just had the two wins so far this season, while the Bushrangers won both their previous encounters against Bendigo. Murray won by 57 points in Round 2 up in Shepparton, before claiming a 40-point win at Queen Elizabeth Oval in Round 9. In the first game, Laitham Vandermeer was named best on ground, with the injured speedster not able to be out there on the weekend, but his partner in crime that day, Lachlan Ash will be, as will Nick Murray who was impressive in defence. Noah Wheeler was unsurprisingly named best for the Pioneers with another top performance, while Jye Caldwell amassed 24 disposals and laid seven tackles in his only TAC Cup game until last weekend. He will be crucial for the Pioneers this weekend if they are to get the upset, however the Bushrangers look to be too strong on season form. In the second encounter, Ely Smith was best on ground with 28 disposals and nine tackles, while Jordon Butts slotted six goals in a terrific effort up forward. Oscar Perez and Zane Keighran booted two goals each, while ruck Daniel Keating was named the Pioneers’ top player. With no Wheeler, Keighran or Keating this weekend, it will be a big ask for the Pioneers to get up, but there is no coming back. 

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Wild Card Round

THE finals are all but upon us and with most sides fielding arguably their best line-ups for the year in this week’s inaugural Wildcard Round, we should be set for some absolute belters. 

CALDER CANNONS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Wild Card Round – Saturday, September 1, 11:30am

MARS Stadium, Ballarat

Calder take on the Falcons in the first match-up of the round, with recent additions to the Geelong line-up meaning they pose a serious threat to both the Cannons, and all finals contenders – despite finishing the regular season in a disappointing tenth.

Calder have bolstered a couple of areas with Jesse Taylor and Jacob Martin set to line up in the forward 50, while in-form versatile tall Daniel Hanna will slot straight back into the defensive six after outings with Essendon’s VFL team.

For Geelong, small bottom-age forward Jay Dahlhaus could be a handy inclusion, while Finlay Parish is back to provide some added depth to the midfield. Both are named on an extended bench alongside Chas Karpala, with talented 16-year-old Tanner Bruhn the 23rd man.

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 43. L. Cavallaro
HB: 48. S. Ramsay, 23. D. Hanna, 8. L. Sholl
C: 27. T.  Browning, 30. M.  Podhajski, 35. S.  Graham
HF: 57. J. Kemp, 36. P. Mahoney, 14. J. Taylor
F: 33. J. Evans, 5. C. Taylor, 25. J. Martin
R: 29. J. Riccardi, 20. R. West, 1. D. Mott
Int: 44. N. Gentile, 40. L. Johnson, 51. W. Jury, 10. H. Minton-Connell, 3. I. Moussa, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 52. B. Reddick
23P: 21. H. Jones

In: N. Gentile, D. Hanna, J. Taylor, J. Martin
Out: C. Brown

Geelong Falcons

B: 40. J. Clark, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 7. C. Harris
HB: 20. B. Ham, 31. C. Cartledge, 21. L. Smith
C: 8. E.  McHenry, 6. D.  Madigan, 22. S.  Walsh
HF: 9. B. Morton, 39. C. Idun, 13. H. Whyte
F: 36. C. Sprague, 48. B. Schlensog, 2. S. Torpy
R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 41. C. Stephens
Int: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 11. C. Karpala, 10. B. Mensch, 34. C. Page, 32. F. Parish, 3. K. Rayner, 42. H. Spiller
23P: 15. T. Bruhn

In: F. Parish, C. Karpala, J. Dahlhaus

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Wild Card Round – Saturday, September 1, 2:00pm

MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The Knights and Rebels were destined to face each other in this eighth vs ninth fixture no matter the results of Round 16. Northern are in good form having knocked off top-eight competition in the last two weeks, and will be looking to gain their third win over Greater Western Victoria (GWV) for the year.

They have some serious bottom-age talent to sure up each line, with Ryan Sturgess and Jackson Davies slotting in at half-back, Sam Philp coming into the midfield and forward James Lucente named on an extended bench alongside Charlie Simonsen. They lose the leadership of Mitch Wild and Harrison Grace though, with last round’s debutant Jack House also omitted.

Meanwhile, the Rebels have plenty of changes of their own, with the key one being Scott Carlin replacing Josh Chatfield in the midfield. Plenty of bottom-agers also make up their extended bench, while Cooper Craig-PetersRiley Polkinghorne and Izaac Grant fill spots in the forward and back halves. Also keep an eye on 16-year old key forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, who is an exciting mover.

Northern Knights

B: 25. J. Davies, 28. S. Uzelac, 15. O. White
HB: 5. L. Potter, 33. J. Randall, 11. R. Sturgess
C: 30. J.  McInerney, 13. S.  Philp, 4. T.  McKenzie
HF: 24. R. Bowkett, 12. J. Naylor, 17. J. D’Intinosante
F: 3. B. Gillard, 21. M. Baker, 36. K. Yodgee
R: 19. N. Howard, 18. S. Brazier, 8. A. Carafa
Int: 10. B. Bell, 37. K. Brandt, 1. R. Gardner, 27. J. Lucente, 32. I. Rossi, 9. C. Simonsen, 44. C. Wild
23P: 55. J. Boyd

In: R. Sturgess, C. Simonsen, S. Philp, M. Baker, J. Davies, R. Bowkett, J. Lucente
Out: M. Wild, B. Leonard,  H. Grace,  J. House

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 10. J. Lohmann, 18. B. Helyar, 44. R. Polkinghorne
HB: 48. J. Cleaver, 43. J. Wright, 5. H. Jennings
C: 24. M.  Lloyd, 3. S.  Carlin, 30. I.  Wareham
HF: 21. I. Grant, 20. T. Watts, 14. J. Hill
F: 1. C. Craig-Peters, 50. J. Ugle-Hagan, 6. C. Wilson
R: 29. P. Glanford, 7. M. Martin, 2. M. Schnerring
Int: 8. H. Butler, 9. L. Dawson, 41. B. Dodd, 38. I. Ewing, 27. E. Lamb, 47. T. Mahony, 45. D. McEldrew
23P: 26. R. Ranieri

In: H. Butler, C. Craig-Peters, B. Dodd, I. Grant, I. Ewing, R. Polkinghorne, S. Carlin
Out: L. Herbert, J. Chatfield, A. Gove, J. Henderson

 

WESTERN JETS v. EASTERN RANGES

Wild Card Round – Sunday, September 2, 11:00am

IKON Park, Carlton North

Eastern will be coming into this clash with a spring in their step, having pushed top-four side Gippsland hard in the previous round. They showed some good moments of footy and will hoping to bring that same intensity against the Jets. Still, Western have stars on every line in their side and will be hard to beat.

The Jets have brought over-ager Jack Papachatzakis into the starting line-up to replace Jaden Rice in defence, while bottom-ager Cassius White has been named as their 23rd man. The remaining ins make up an extended bench featuring Jack Watkins, with depth the key to their inclusions.

The Ranges look to have included some exciting bottom-age prospects, with Chayce Black and Lucas Vassis named on the bench, while Jayden Weichard slots into defence and bite-sized Kyle Crosby is in as their 23rd player.

Western Jets

B: 15. M. Hearne, 37. H. Murphy, 28. J. Papachatzakis
HB: 48. A. Britten, 38. B. Khamis, 6. L. Rocci
C: 17. D.  Andrews, 12. C.  Thar, 24. J.  Honey
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 31. E. Jeka, 2. T. Rudic
F: 10. S. Kyriazis, 45. A. Clarke, 49. D. Pantalleresco
R: 47. D. Walters, 39. S. Radovanovic, 33. X. O’Halloran
Int: 13. D. Bolkas, 18. B. Colley, 1. L. Failli, 25. S. Johnson, 22. O. Manton, 26. W. Smyth, 7. J. Watkins
23P: 16. C. White

In: D. Bolkas, B. Colley, J. Papachatzakis, C. White, W. Smyth
Out: N. Ellis, C. Raak, J. Rice

Eastern Ranges

B: 37. J. Weichard, 59. J. Nathan, 45. M. Zalac
HB: 23. X. Fry, 31. J. Blanck, 24. K. Quirk
C: 30. T.  Edwards, 7. L.  Stapleton, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 2. A. Kalcovski, 18. B. McCormack, 19. J. Kritopoulos
F: 40. D. Brereton, 65. B. Hickleton, 9. J. Duffy
R: 58. R. Smith, 57. C. Leon, 8. J. Burleigh
Int: 10. C. Black, 1. B. Bredin, 27. J. Jaworski, 64. Z. Pretty, 22. C. Quirk, 25. L. Vassis, 46. B. White
23P: 43. K. Crosby

In: L. Vassis, J. Weichard, J. Jaworski, K. Crosby, C. Black
Out: R. Clausen, W. Parker

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Wild Card Round – Sunday, September 2, 1:30pm

IKON Park, Carlton North

The final game of the round pits fifth placed Murray against bottom-placed Bendigo in an all-Country clash, with both sides coming off losses in the final round of the regular season.

The Bushrangers have brought in Floyd Bollinghaus to replace ruck giant Ben Kelly, while also solidifying their defence with Rory Quinn and Tom Boyd slotting into the 22. Star forward Zane Barzen also returns, and will look to continue his dangerous partnership with Hudson Garoni.

For Bendigo, Connor O’Shea comes in on the wing, with the likes of bottom-ager Logan Fitzgerald making up an extended bench alongside Alex Smith-Ralph and Will Allen. The Pioneers have also been dealt a couple of untimely blows, with Noah Wheeler out of the side, joined by Braydon Vaz. Many will be keen to see if star midfielder Jye Caldwell can impress and push for top-25 selection, having returned to competition in the last couple of weeks.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 11. E. Adams, 59. L. Fiore, 15. R. Quinn
HB: 12. L. Ash, 16. N. Murray, 34. T. Boyd
C: 55. R.  Paradzayi, 5. E.  Smith, 53. C.  Wilson
HF: 7. Z. Barzen, 2. J. Butts, 6. W. Chandler
F: 26. R. Bice, 18. H. Garoni, 13. B. Frauenfelder
R: 35. F. Bollinghaus, 9. M. Walker, 38. D. Clarke
Int: 19. J. Boyer, 20. J. Bradshaw, 1. W. Christie, 10. P. Warner
Emg: 50. K. Davies, 33. F. Ellis, 40. N. Irvine
23P: 58. E. Hollands

In: F. Bollinghaus, T. Boyd, J. Bradshaw, R. Quinn, Z. Barzen
Out: B. Kelly, H. Kaak, D. Harrington, L. Walker

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 21. D. Loveridge, 24. N. McHugh, 49. O. Perez
HB: 25. F. Perez, 18. B. Henderson, 58. J. Tillig
C: 26. C.  O’Shea, 8. B.  Kemp, 51. B.  Waasdorp
HF: 55. C. Fisher, 20. J. Schischka, 3. L. Marciano
F: 16. J. Atley, 54. M. Christensen, 1. M. Goodwin
R: 36. A. Gundry, 4. J. Caldwell, 43. H. Lawrence
Int: 53. W. Allen, 52. L. Bond, 15. L. Caccaviello, 60. L. Fitzgerald, 57. A. Smith-Ralph
23P: 50. N. Kay

In: A. Smith-Ralph, W. Allen, C. O’Shea, L. Fitzgerald, J. Tillig, L. Bond
Out: S. Conforti, N. Wheeler, J. Williams, J. McHale, B. Vaz

Weekend Previews: TAC Cup – Round 15

TAC Cup football is back and with two rounds left, the end of the season is near. For the penultimate round of action there are some big guns back, while others head out to play the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final on the MCG tomorrow.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 10am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the opening game of the round, two top four sides go head-to-head in a season-defining clash for both teams. Gippsland will lock away second spot with a victory, while Murray will need to win to put itself in the best position for a top four position as Oakleigh Chargers sit just two points adrift of the Bushrangers. The Power has only had the two losses this season, with two draws in season 2018 – against Calder Cannons and Northern Knights. It will be a good opportunity for the Power to grab the four points as the Bushrangers have a number of key outs. The side has lost Kyle Clarke and Jacob Koschitzke to injury, as well as Ely Smith to the VFL. The previous two head-to-head clashes between the teams have also gone the way of the Power, winning both by more than seven goals. Gippsland come into the game in good form coming off a victory against the Chargers. With Noah Gown and Fraser Phillips causing headaches up forward, Xavier Duursma in midfield and Kyle Reid in defence, they will be tough to beat. Their bottom-age brigade of Riley Baldi, Josh Smith and Brock Smith among others form a strong group, but Murray is a side that can topple anyone on its day. Hudson Garoni and Jye Chalcraft are always capable to creating scoring opportunities, while Jordon Butts is a very handy inclusion, patrolling the airways and finding plenty of the football. Jimmy Boyer, Willson Mack and Will Chandler are just a handful of talented bottom-agers for the Bushrangers who could have an impact against the Power. Gippsland head into the game as deserving favourites, but you can never write-off the Bushrangers.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 12.30pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The midfield battle between Geelong Falcons and Dandenong Stingrays is poised to be a battle within a battle. Sam Walsh, Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless will go head-to-head against the likes of Campbell Hustwaite, Sam Fletcher and Finlay Bayne, while Baxter Mensch and Cooper Stephens rotate through there, as will the likes of Zac Foot and Jamie Plumridge. Dandenong’s advantage has always been in the ruck, with Bailey Schmidt joining Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams between there and the key forward posts. The Falcons are in great form after a big win last round and will love the challenge of testing themselves against the benchmark in this game. For the Stingrays, they’re not in so much good form as they have never been in anything other than good form this season, dropping just the one game – by a kick no less. Now they travel up to MARS Stadium with top spot locked up, and will look to have a good win against the side that knocked the Stingrays out of the finals series last year. Expect this game to be a cracker and the likes of Dane Hollenkamp, Connor Idun and Blake Schlensog to have their work cut out against quality talls, while Brayden Ham continues to impress by hitting the scoreboard on a regular basis. Up the other end, Toby Bedford is sure to cause a few headaches with his tackling pressure and goal nous.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 3pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The final game up in Ballarat is a battle between the country rivals in Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Bendigo Pioneers. The teams have played twice, with the head-to-head split one each. The Pioneers won the round one game by a point coming home strongly in the final term, before the Rebels accounted for them in the next clash. With the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final on at the MCG, the GWV Rebels’ depth will be tested, making at least 10 changes to their line-up, losing the likes of Scott Carlin, Matty Lloyd, Lochie Dawson, Josh Chatfield and Izaac Grant among others, while Tom Berry is of course out for the season through injury. For the Pioneers, they have strengthened their line-up massively with the inclusions of bottom-age tall Brodie Kemp, brothers Flynn and Oscar Perez, and the ever-consistent Bailey Henderson. If there was a game the Pioneers would go in as favourites despite being bottom of the ladder, it would be this one. Spectators will get a great indication of the strength of the Rebels’ depth, while also seeing if the Pioneers can utilise their speed and bottom-age talent to get the job done. While Jye Caldwell is still not out on the park, the Pioneers go in with one of their strongest line-ups this season and will back their chances here. GWV Rebels’ forward Charlie Wilson has been named in the middle, with he and Jed Hill the keys to putting scores on the board with so many outs in the team. Mitch Martin showed some great signs in the Under 17 Futures game and has a big opportunity in the midfield here, while Harris Jennings and Ben Annett are others who have shown signs throughout the season this year.

 

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 10am
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

Moving to the Sunday games, two sides in the bottom half of the eight do battle with Western Jets hosting Northern Knights. Captain Xavier O’Halloran will swap Avalon Airport Oval for the MCG when he runs out for St Bernards in the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final. His leadership is a big loss on-field and with Zak Butters out for the year, the Jets will look to their strong inside midfield of Connor Thar, Jack Watkins and Jaden Rice to win the footy at the coal face and distribute to their runners on the outside in Stefan Radovanovic and Daly Andrews. Northern welcomes back its captain Braedyn Gillard after a long-term lay-off due to injury. He is one of a number of crucial inclusions along with Oscar White and Lachlan Potter in defence, and Josh D’Intinosante up forward. Tom Hallebone will be a loss in the ruck, especially against Darren Walters, but the Knights will back themselves in against the Jets’ midfielders with Adam Carafa in good form, and Justin McInerney and Ryan Gardner providing good run on the outside. This is expected to be a great contest and important in the scheme of finals. While the Knights cannot make top four and the Jets need all the luck in the world, positioning in the bottom half of the eight is still important because it determines their opponents in the Wildcard Round. Both sides are well coached, well drilled line-ups so expect a hard fought battle and no-one giving an inch across the four quarters.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 12.30pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the middle game, Eastern Ranges will be hoping to bring its A-game against a Calder Cannons team that keeps getting the job done each week. The Cannons lose a number of players to the St Bernards team in the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final, but welcome back top 30 draft prospect Rhylee West, forward Josh Kemp and Vic Metro representative Jack Evans among others. Eastern also has a number of inclusions, as Lachlan Stapleton and Caleb Quirk strengthen the side in their bid to upset the Cannons in this clash. Calder’s choice of overagers this year has been very clever with Mitch Podhajski patrolling the midfield, Daniel Hanna strengthening the defence and Jake Riccardi providing a reliable target up forward. Curtis Taylor provides the X-factor up forward and Lucas Cavallaro continues to rebound the ball at will, and are two players Eastern has to keep under wraps. For the Ranges, the midfield of Kye Quirk, Mitch Mellis, Adrian Kalcovski and Stapleton is a consistent core, they just need more out of the next tier. Key defender, James Blanck will have an important role in defence for the Ranges, while Billy McCormack will keep a Cannons defender accountable up the other end. In the earlier match between these two teams, Calder got the job done under lights at RAMS Arena in chilly conditions. With the weather hit and miss this weekend, the Cannons will be hoping for a similar result.

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 3pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

The last game of the round is arguably the best, with everyone looking forward to practically full-strength Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons outfits going head-to-head in a battle between two genuine premiership contenders. Earlier in the year prior to his knee injury, Max King had a day out with eight majors against the Chargers at RAMS Arena in the Dragons’ come-from-behind win. This time around, it could be twin brother Ben who will hope to repeat the feat, with Will Kelly playing in defence this time around and a likely opponent for King. The Dragons are still missing captain Bailey Smith to injury, but Liam Stocker, Ryan Byrnes and Darcey Chirgwin is a strong core on the inside, while Alastair Richards and Angus Hanrahan provide good run and skill up either end. Draft watchers will get a first look at Harry Reynolds who makes his debut in Dragons colours, similar to Nathan Murphy last season – rewarded for school football form with a TAC Cup debut. Will Kennedy has been named forward with James Rendell in the ruck which should keep the Chargers’ talls busy. Oakleigh has its own top-end talent and depth which will test the Dragons outfit. Isaac Quaynor, Joe Ayton-Delaney and Trent Bianco is a ridiculously good small defensive trio, while Riley Collier-Dawkins, James Rowbottom, Jack Ross, Will Golds and Matt Rowell in the middle is as strong as it has been all season. They do not have the key position forwards Sandringham do at the top-end, but with Will James coming in from APS football and Dylan Williams and Noah Anderson capable of kicking multiple goals, it is likely to result in an absolute classic.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 15

THE final countdown is on as the TAC Cup enters its penultimate round of the season in 2018. With school football over the likes of Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons can return to full strength, while Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Calder Cannons are affected by the Herald Sun Shield Senior Boys Grand Final at the MCG on Saturday.

GIPPSLAND POWER v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 10am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the first of the Country Triple Headers at MARS Stadium, second placed Gippsland Power takes on top-of-the-table Murray Bushrangers. The Power have brought in some crucial players for the clash, as over-ager Austin Hodge returns along with bottom-ager Jake Van Der Pligt. Ryan Henkel is one of three listed outs from the side which has named an extended bench. Murray has made some big changes at the selection table, with consistent inside midfielder Ely Smith out of the side to play for Collingwood’s VFL team, along with ruckman Mark Marriott and Ben Kelly. Key position swingman Jacob Koschitzke is also among the six confirmed outs for the Bushrangers. Among the ins are Jordon Butts – who returns from Victorian Football League (VFL) duties with Werribee – Patrick Warner, Floyd Bollinghaus and Will Christie.

Gippsland Power

B: 12. B. Smith, 14. T. Hourigan, 15. R. Sparkes
HB: 18. M. McGannon, 25. K. Reid, 7. B. Patterson
C: 8. B.  Beck, 6. R.  Baldi, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 36. M. Bentvelzen, 23. N. Gown, 19. F. Phillips
F: 9. I. Mosquito, 4. S. Flanders, 37. H. Pepper
R: 16. J. Smith, 11. A. Hodge, 5. X. Duursma
Int: 26. W. Broadbent, 10. L. Connolly, 34. J. Hume, 13. N. Lowden, 43. Z. Skinner, 35. J. van der Pligt, 32. L. Williams 23P: 41. W. Anderson

In: N. Lowden, A. Hodge, W. Anderson, Z. Skinner, J. van der Pligt, W. Broadbent
Out: R. Henkel,  H. Neocleous,  B. Thorson

Murray Bushrangers

B: 11. E. Adams, 59. L. Fiore, 55. R. Paradzayi
HB: 19. J. Boyer, 16. N. Murray, 10. P. Warner
C: 13. B.  Frauenfelder, 38. D.  Clarke, 53. C.  Wilson
HF: 7. Z. Barzen, 2. J. Butts, 6. W. Chandler
F: 26. R. Bice, 18. H. Garoni, 14. J. Chalcraft
R: 35. F. Bollinghaus, 9. M. Walker, 12. L. Ash Int: 17. N. Amery, 1. W. Christie, 33. F. Ellis, 42. J. Smart 23P: 31. W. Mack

In: W. Christie, F. Bollinghaus, F. Ellis, J. Butts, P. Warner, E. Adams
Out: T. Boyd, K. Clarke, B. Kelly, E. Smith, M. Marriott, J. Koschitzke

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 12.30pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the second game at Ballarat, Geelong has named at least three confirmed changes with Lachlan Smith, Hayden Spiller and Declan Fenton all out of the side. Potential top 30 pick Ned McHenry returns to the side following the end of school football, along with the likes of Nicholas Conway and Tanner Bruhn. For the Stingrays, Jake Frawley and Corey Ellison are out, with the latter named as an emergency, while Toby Bedford, Heath Briggs and Jarryd Barker are back into the side which hopes to continue its great form heading towards finals.

Geelong Falcons

B: 40. J. Clark, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 7. C. Harris
HB: 3. K. Rayner, 31. C. Cartledge, 22. S. Walsh
C: 10. B.  Mensch, 6. D.  Madigan, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 48. B. Schlensog, 20. B. Ham
F: 8. E. McHenry, 39. C. Idun, 13. H. Whyte
R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 41. C. Stephens
Int: 37. B. Campi, 51. N. Conway, 9. B. Morton, 34. C. Page, 32. F. Parish, 47. L. Peck, 16. B. Scott
23P: 15. T. Bruhn

In: C. Page, E. McHenry, T. Bruhn, B. Campi, H. Whyte, N. Conway
Out: D. Fenton,  L. Smith,  H. Spiller

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 56. M. Cumming, 58. W. Hamill
HB: 2. H. Young, 32. D. Frampton, 10. L. Young
C: 9. Z.  Foot, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 3. J.  Plumridge
HF: 27. L. McDonnell, 29. B. Williams, 7. J. Taylor
F: 15. T. Bedford, 36. S. Cumming, 59. S. Sturt
R: 28. B. Schmidt, 1. S. Fletcher, 17. F. Bayne
Int: 6. J. Barker, 13. R. Bowman, 31. H. Briggs, 19. J. Burton, 49. M. Cottrell, 45. L. Goonan, 50. L. Williams
23P: 44. C. Weightman

In: L. Goonan, T. Bedford, H. Briggs, J. Barker, C. Weightman
Out: J. Frawley, C. Ellison

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 3pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

While school football is back for most sides, the GWV Rebels are impacted by it for the first time this year, with Ballarat Grammar making the Grand Final of the Herald Sun Shield. In doing so, they have lost almost half their team that played in the previous round, with Matty Lloyd, Isaac Wareham, Josh Chatfield, Scott Carlin and Patrick Glanford among 10 confirmed outs from the Rebels side. Returning to the side are the likes of Tylar Watts, Ben Annett, Toby Mahony and Connor Hinkley in what will prove to be a challenge for team cohesion ahead of the wide-scale changes. For the Pioneers, they have confirmed five outs from their side last round, including Lewin Davis and Lucas Caccaviello, while crucial inclusions such as Brodie Kemp, Oscar and Flynn Perez, and overager, Bailey Henderson have been named in the squad.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 26. R. Ranieri, 18. B. Helyar, 25. T. Shannon
HB: 48. J. Cleaver, 43. J. Wright, 5. H. Jennings
C: 4. B.  Annett, 6. C.  Wilson, 47. T.  Mahony
HF: 12. A. Gove, 20. T. Watts, 35. C. Hinkley
F: 14. J. Hill, 8. H. Butler, 40. I. Thomas
R: 45. D. McEldrew, 7. M. Martin, 2. M. Schnerring
Int: 32. M. Burgess, 23. M. Clarke, 38. I. Ewing, 16. E. Harvey Emg: 42. E. Ajang, 28. C. Giddings, 19. J. Henderson
23P: 22. C. Heard

In: T. Watts, D. McEldrew, B. Annett, C. Hinkley, H. Butler, M. Burgess, I. Ewing, I. Thomas, T. Mahony, C. Heard
Out: E. Lamb,  R. Polkinghorne,  M. Lloyd,  L. Dawson,  I. Wareham,  C. Craig-Peters,  J. Chatfield,  J. Lohmann,  S. Carlin,  P. Glanford

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 3. L. Marciano, 24. N. McHugh, 5. N. Wheeler
HB: 16. J. Atley, 18. B. Henderson, 20. J. Schischka
C: 25. F.  Perez, 43. H.  Lawrence, 49. O.  Perez
HF: 8. B. Kemp, 41. B. Vaz, 51. B. Waasdorp
F: 55. C. Fisher, 44. S. O’Farrell, 2. J. Williams
R: 54. M. Christensen, 33. J. McHale, 17. R. Ironside
Int: 39. D. Clohesy, 1. M. Goodwin, 36. A. Gundry, 22. M. Johnson, 56. B. Lee, 26. C. O’Shea, 28. C. Vick
23P: 47. S. Conforti

In: M. Goodwin, C. Fisher, B. Kemp, F. Perez, A. Gundry, S. O’Farrell, B. Henderson, O. Perez
Out: L. Caccaviello, C. McCarty, W. Wallace, A. Mertz, L. Davis

 

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 10am
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

On Sunday, the six metro teams head to Werribee for another Triple Header. Western Jets lose captain, Xavier O’Halloran who will face the Rebels contingent on the MCG instead, while Jaden Rice will slot straight into his captain’s role on the inside as the Jets hope to overcome the Northern Knights in a crucial game. The Knights have welcomed back Braedyn Gillard who returns from injury, joined in the team by Oscar White, Patrik Della Rocca, Lachlan Potter and Josh D’Intinosante in beefing up the Knights’ team. They have however lost Mitch Wild, Harrison Grace and Tom Hallebone for the match.

Western Jets

B: 25. S. Johnson, 37. H. Murphy, 28. J. Papachatzakis
HB: 15. M. Hearne, 38. B. Khamis, 22. O. Manton
C: 17. D.  Andrews , 39. S.  Radovanovic, 24. J.  Honey
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 31. E. Jeka, 2. T. Rudic
F: 49. D. Pantalleresco, 45. A. Clarke, 6. L. Rocci
R: 47. D. Walters, 7. J. Watkins, 12. C. Thar
Int: 32. N. Ellis, 29. D. Fruscalzo, 8. J. Kellett, 10. S. Kyriazis, 36. J. Rice, 26. W. Smyth, 16. C. White
23P: 50. E. Ford

In: N. Ellis, E. Ford, D. Fruscalzo, C. White, J. Rice
Out: X. O’Halloran,  L. Rzanovski

Northern Knights

B: 9. C. Simonsen, 33. J. Randall, 11. R. Sturgess
HB: 5. L. Potter, 28. S. Uzelac, 15. O. White
C: 1. R.  Gardner, 25. J.  Davies, 30. J.  McInerney
HF: 3. B. Gillard, 21. M. Baker, 27. J. Lucente
F: 24. R. Bowkett, 12. J. Naylor, 17. J. D’Intinosante
R: 19. N. Howard, 8. A. Carafa, 13. S. Philp
Int: 37. K. Brandt, 18. S. Brazier, 20. P. Della Rocca, 52. J. Trudgeon, 44. C. Wild, 36. K. Yodgee, 59. J. Zapantis
23P: 55. J. Boyd

In: L. Potter, P. Della Rocca, B. Gillard, O. White, J. D’Intinosante, J. Boyd, J. Zapantis , M. Baker, N. Howard, J. Trudgeon, K. Brandt
Out: M. Wild, H. Grace, N. Barro, K. Agosta, E. Macpherson, T. Hallebone, B. Major, J. Collins

 

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 12.30pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the second game on Sunday, the Eastern Ranges take on Calder Cannons, the latter of which have been equally impacted by the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final. The Ranges have made at least four changes, with Mihaele Zalac and Jayden Weichard among four outs, while Caleb Quirk, Jordan Jaworski and Lachlan Stapleton have been named in the extended side. Calder has had to shuffle the magnets due to the Grand Final, with Lachlan Sholl and Brodie Newman out and among the 10 changes, while Jack Evans, Rhylee West, Josh Kemp and Sam Graham are some crucial inclusions into the team.

Eastern Ranges

B: 1. B. Bredin, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 59. J. Nathan
HB: 8. J. Burleigh, 31. J. Blanck, 23. X. Fry
C: 2. A.  Kalcovski, 7. L.  Stapleton, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 40. D. Brereton, 22. C. Quirk, 19. J. Kritopoulos
F: 9. J. Duffy, 18. B. McCormack, 27. J. Jaworski
R: 58. R. Smith, 24. K. Quirk, 57. C. Leon
Int: 10. C. Black, 3. H. Chinn, 4. R. Clausen, 53. J. Drake, 14. L. Gawel, 12. J. Gilbee, 54. J. Sullivan
23P: 56. W. Parker

In: C. Leon, R. Clausen, L. Stapleton, L. Gawel, W. Parker, J. Jaworski, C. Quirk
Out: M. Zalac,  B. Willis,  J. Weichard,  B. White

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 43. L. Cavallaro, 18. S. Shorten
HB: 35. S. Graham, 23. D. Hanna, 48. S. Ramsay
C: 27. T.  Browning, 30. M.  Podhajski, 3. I.  Moussa
HF: 10. H. Minton-Connell, 24. T. Cartwright, 5. C. Taylor
F: 57. J. Kemp, 29. J. Riccardi, 25. J. Martin
R: 21. H. Jones, 1. D. Mott, 20. R. West
Int: 33. J. Evans, 11. J. Firebrace, 52. B. Reddick, 19. B. Rigoni
23P: 56. C. Brown

In: J. Evans, H. Jones, H. Minton-Connell, T. Cartwright, C. Brown, J. Martin, J. Firebrace, R. West, J. Kemp, S. Graham
Out: P. Mahoney, W. Jury, M. Simpson, J. Taylor, O. Liberatore, J. Middleton, S. Skidmore, J. O’Sullivan, L. Sholl, B. Newman

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 3pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the final game of the round, the blockbuster rivalry between Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons will ensure all those in attendance hang around to check out the action. Oakleigh has brought back the likes of James Rowbottom, Will Kelly, James Ross and Joe Ayton-Delaney, as well as Will James after some good school football form, and a number of talented bottom-agers including Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell. Sandringham have also loaded up now school football is finished, with potential number one pick Ben King back at full-forward and potentially setting up a duel with Kelly again – the pair faced off in the APS competition. Along with King, Liam Stocker, Alastair Richards and Angus Hanrahan return to the team, while Harry Reynolds will make his debut after sensational form in the APS. Bottom-agers Hugo Ralphsmith and Fischer McAsey are also back into the side.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 3. J. Ayton-Delaney, 36. C. Beasley, 17. T. Bianco
HB: 23. I. Quaynor, 4. W. Kelly, 16. L. Westwood
C: 31. W.  Golds, 32. J.  Ross, 11. M.  Rowell
HF: 26. J. Gasper, 7. J. Robertson, 10. C. Whitehead
F: 8. N. Anderson, 22. D. Williams, 78. W. James
R: 30. B. Wraith, 1. R. Collier-Dawkins, 9. J. Rowbottom
Int: 12. N. Answerth , 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 14. K. Dunkley, 65. L. Harry, 38. Z. Hart, 64. J. Jordon, 5. X. O’Neill
23P: W. Phillips

In: J. Rowbottom, N. Anderson, K. Dunkley, B. Wraith, W. Golds, J. Robertson, W. Kelly, C. Whitehead, W. James, J. Ross, C. Beasley, M. Rowell, J. Jordon, Z. Hart, J. Ayton-Delaney
Out: L. Bugeja,  N. Dempsey,  M. Fewings,  D. Scala,  T. Hogan,  S. Harte,  M. Bowman,  H. Leonard,  J. May,  X. Fry,  K. Viccars,  F. Elliot,  L. Jenkins

Sandringham Dragons

B: 18. A. Seaton, 69. C. Watts, 48. J. Worrell
HB: 74. H. Reynolds, 52. C. Dean, 2. A. Richards
C: 19. S.  Forbes, 72. D.  Chirgwin, 53. H.  Ralphsmith
HF: 23. A. Hanrahan, 33. W. Kennedy, 11. N. Stamatis
F: 70. J. Bell, 29. B. King, 35. G. Grey
R: 28. J. Rendell, 66. R. Byrnes, 7. L. Stocker
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 64. L. Butler, 59. A. Courtney, 3. T. Fogarty, 26. F. Maginness, 61. F. McAsey, 25. O. McMaster
23P: 38. J. Le Grice

In: H. Ralphsmith, A. Seaton, F. Maginness, F. McAsey, L. Stocker, A. Richards, W. Kennedy, S. Forbes, J. Bell, J. Worrell, D. Chirgwin, L. Butler, B. King, H. Reynolds, A. Hanrahan, J. Le Grice
Out: T. Brimble, T. Long, J. Cowden, K. Owens, T. Deane-Johns, H. Ferdinand, J. Paul, R. O’Meara, C. Millar, S. Sofronidis, J. Brazionis, H. Houlahan, K. Yorke

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 14

IN the last school football affected round of TAC Cup action, some top sides managed to overcome challenges from their opponents to get the four points, while others combated the challenges of high winds.

Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66) defeated Eastern Ranges 8.8 (56)

By: Scott Dougan

On a cold, blustery day in Box Hill, the second-placed Dragons were first to strike against the Eastern Ranges, with Kyle Yorke converting successfully through the big sticks after taking a strong mark inside 50. Chayce Black responded for the Ranges 10 minutes later after the two teams found it hard to score. James Rendell and Ryan Byrnes impressed early, gathering plenty of possessions around the ground. The tight contest continued throughout the first quarter before Rendell was able to put the Dragons nine points clear at the first break.

The Dragons continued their dominance with the first two goals of the second quarter and increased their lead to 23 points only 15 minutes in. The Ranges weren’t going down without a fight, with Adrian Kalcovski steering through his team’s first of the quarter. Jack Kritopoulos was exciting inside the forward half for the Ranges, bagging two very important goals late in the term, cutting the margin to just three points at the main break. 

The third quarter turned out to be a slugfest, with both teams finding it incredibly difficult to score. Corey Watts was rock-solid down back for the Dragons, taking several intercept marks throughout the quarter. Bottom-ager Mitch Mellis continued to find plenty of the pill around the ground for the Ranges.

The Ranges started the final term in terrific fashion, hitting the front within the first five minutes with goals to James Blanck, Kritopoulos and Devlin Brereton. The Ranges were 13 points up before Oscar McMaster goaled and kept the Dragons within striking range. Nicholas Stamatis put the Dragons ahead in the twentieth minute after a blistering five-minute patch that included two goals. Rendell finished his spectacular day off with a brilliant goal that sealed the match for the Dragons in the final minutes of the game.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 8.19 (67) defeated Northern Knights 8.2 (50)

By: Michael Alvaro

A rioting third quarter effort helped ensure Dandenong Stingrays maintained its two-game buffer atop the TAC Cup ladder with a hard-earned win over a gallant Northern Knights outfit at Preston City Oval.

The home side shot out of the blocks kicking against the wind with three straight goals in the opening term, including one to 16 year old prospect Jaden Collins. But the Stingrays kept within reach with a wasteful, but much needed 1.5 to find themselves only seven points down at the first break. Northern managed to get the better of their opponents on the scoreboard once again in the second quarter, albeit against the run of play. Another two majors saw them hold five of the first half’s seven goals, as a late Corey Ellison six-pointer doubled Dandenong’s total of six behinds for the term.

The Stingrays have seldom found themselves behind this season, and the ladder leaders flexed their muscles to pile on six goals in the ever important ‘premiership quarter’, while keeping the Knights scoreless. Forwards Bailey Williams and Finlay Bayne each bagged two goals in the term as the ‘Rays pulled away to a 34-point lead at the final change. With the wind at their backs, Northern kept their opponents goalless and did their best to bridge the gap with two goals from overager Joel Naylor, but it was too little, too late as Dandenong held on for a 17 point victory.

Astonishingly, the Knights won three of the four quarters but were let down by a third term lapse. Bottom-agers Ryan Gardner and Sam Philp were major ball winners for the home side with 27 and 29 respectively, while key defenders Stefan Uzelac (17 disposals, eight marks) and Joel Randall (25 disposals, five marks) were rocks while under enormous pressure.

For the winners, Bayne was prolific forward of centre with 31 disposals, nine marks, eight tackles and 2.2, while Williams chimed in with two majors of his own from 14 disposals and four marks. Midfielders Campbell Hustwaite (26 disposals, 10 tackles) and Sam Fletcher (24 disposals, 14 tackles) were industrious in the clinches, while Lachlan Young was named best afield with his stirring 17 disposals and five contested marks.

 

Gippsland Power 9.6 (60) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 8.7 (55)

By: Peter Williams

Gippsland Power has locked up a top four spot in this year’s TAC Cup competition with two rounds remaining after defeating Oakleigh Chargers by five points in a thrilling contest at Warrawee Park. The Power jumped the Chargers in blustery conditions early on, booting 3.3 to 1.1 to lead by 14 points in weather that looked like goals would be at a premium. Over the next two quarters, Oakleigh reversed the momentum and seemed to have all the control, with nine scoring shots to one, resulting in five goals on the board for the home team. In fact, Gippsland’s Luke Williams booted the final goal of the third term in the twentieth minute – the first Power score since the opening quarter. The Power came out firing in the final term, booting five goals to two, with the final of those – a Noah Gown set shot from 15m out – handing Gippsland the lead. With the ball down Oakleigh’s end in the dying seconds, Noah Answerth thumped the ball onto the boot and it bounced through from almost 60m out. The only problem? The siren had gone before he had disposed of it, giving Gippsland a vital four points.

Captain Xavier Duursma lead from the front with 29 disposals, seven marks, two clearances, eight inside 50s and four rebounds, while Matthew McGannon collected 21 touches and four marks in a solid contested effort from the overager. Forwards, Noah Gown and Sam Flanders were busy once again, booting two goals each and providing a threat in the air with a combined three contested marks, and 11 all up. Fraser Phillips was one that caught the eye up forward, dominant early and booted a fantastic goal in the opening term, he also had five marks and four inside 50s.

For Oakleigh, bottom-ager Trent Bianco brought his own ball to the footy, racking up 40 disposals, eight marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and seven rebounds, while Matthew Fewings (26 disposals and five marks) and Lucas Westwood (22 disposals, five marks and seven rebounds) were also prominent. Up forward, Daniel Scala booted four goals, while Jake Gasper kicked his regulation two goals while pushing up to the wing throughout the match. Top picks, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Isaac Quaynor had some eye-catching moments, while Sam Harte was also busy.

 

Calder Cannons 14.8 (92) defeated Murray Bushrangers 10.12 (72)

Calder Cannons upset the Murray Bushrangers in Albury, storming home in the final term to record an impressive 20-point victory. In a see-sawing contest, Murray had early chances in the first term but booted six behinds to the Cannons’ one. Calder took control in the second term, piling on 5.5 to 3.1 to head into the main break with an 11-point lead. By the final quarter, the Bushrangers regained the ascendancy and a narrow lead at the break, heading into three quarter time with a three-point advantage. But Calder put the foot down in the final quarter to blitz the home side, with eight goals to four, including three majors to co-captain Mitch Podhajski changing the course of the game.

Podhajski was a clear best on ground with 35 disposals, 10 marks (three contested), seven inside 50s, two rebounds and four goals, leading the Cannons to one of their most impressive victories of the season. Lachlan Sholl (31 disposals, 11 marks and five rebounds) and Brodie Newman (25 disposals, eight marks and six rebounds) were crucial in defence, while Curtis Taylor bounced back from a quiet week last week to post 21 disposals, four marks, five clearances, three rebounds and a goal. Patrick Mahoney (three goals), Daniel Mott (24 disposals, five clearances and six inside 50s) and Ismail Moussa (24 disposals, eight marks, five clearances and four inside 50s) were others who stood out.

For the Bushrangers, midfield dynamo Ely Smith was again among the big ball winners, amassing 32 disposals (17 contested), five clearances and eight inside 50s, while Dylan Clarke had 23 disposals, six clearances and four inside 50s. Monster forward Hudson Garoni worked hard for 23 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s and two goals, while Jye Chalcraft was again impressive with 21 touches, three marks, six clearances and four inside 50s. Lachlan Ash (20 disposals, six marks and five rebounds) was good in transition, while Will Chandler was electrifying with 14 disposals (100 per cent efficiency), five marks, four inside 50s and four goals.

 

Geelong Falcons 13.16 (94) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 2.1 (13)

Geelong Falcons might not have had the season they were after, but their demolition of the competitive Bendigo Pioneers showed just what they are capable of at full strength. The Falcons put in one of their finest performances of the year, to boot four goals to zero in the first term, and by the main break, had eight majors on the board to Bendigo’s one. Geelong continued their advantage after half-time, booting three goals from eight scoring shots, then holding the Pioneers scoreless for the second quarter in the match, booting 2.3 themselves to win by 81 points.

Co-captains Sam Walsh and Oscar Brownless lead from the front, recording the most disposals in the match. Walsh was terrific with 33 disposals, six marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and four rebounds, missing two chances on goal. Brownless had 27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, five inside 50s and five rebounds, while up forward, Brayden Ham continues to put his hand up with another 20 disposals, 12 marks and five goals to be the dominant force up forward. Ben Morton was important around the clearances, racking up five, while Sam Torpy had five inside 50s and booted a goal.

For the Pioneers, Noah Wheeler was the top disposal winner with 20 touches, as well as six marks and six rebounds playing off half-back, while Jacob Atley was also impressive with three rebounds from 15 disposals and three marks. Daniel Clohesy had a team-high four clearances, while Liam Marciano was one of the more prominent Pioneers with 18 disposals, three marks, two clearances and two inside 50s.

 

Western Jets 11.14 (80) defeated Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels 3.6 (24)

By: Ed Pascoe

The Jets and Rebels were unfortunate to get horrid windy conditions for their game at Williamstown where it was not just the players, but the umpires that copped it too. The boundary umpires had the worst of it, often throwing the ball in to have it almost coming back to them which resulted in numerous back-to-back throw ins which frustrated just about everyone and made the contest a real slog for both teams. It all came down to execution going forward and it was the Jets who took the most of their opportunities. Handballs and kicks rarely hit the target throughout the game but some players still stood out with their intent despite the conditions.

The Rebels did not have many winners throughout the day. Goal sneak Charlie Wilson (11 disposals) was not helped with the conditions and tried his absolute best when it did come inside 50. Down back Scott Carlin (21), Jacob Lohmann (19) and James Cleaver (17) all provided good rebound and bottom age midfielders Cooper Craig-Peters (24) and Ethan Harvey (20) worked hard through the midfield.

The Jets captain Xavier O’Halloran (11 disposals) had a quieter game by his standards but he was helped through the midfield with the likes of Daly Andrews (27) running amuck on the wing and the grunt of Stefan Radovanovic (16), Connor Thar (23), Jack Watkins (23) and bottom ager Darcy Cassar (20). AFL Academy member and Under-18 All Australian Buku Khamis (16) was classy at half-back with his ball use while it was forward Daniel Pantalleresco who was all the rage with his 5 goals with most of them kicked extremely well considering the conditions, he did it all at ground level and in the air and he certainly would have gained the attention of recruiters.