Round one has been run and won with North Launceston, Tigers and Clarence getting off to winning starts.
We want to know who you think was the standout forward from across the opening round: returning Tiger Edward Burrows-Cheng or North Launceston star Zach Burt?
Edward Burrows-Cheng (Tigers)
Returning to his junior club after several seasons playing for Bond University in Queensland, the elder Burrows-Cheng brother’s first TSL game couldn’t have gone much better.
Burrows-Cheng kicked four majors in the Tigers’ Good Friday victory over North Hobart, while also dishing several others off to teammates, including his brother Oliver.
Burrows-Cheng has the ability to find space and can use his mobility to be a dangerous proposition for opposing defences both aerially and at ground level.
After kicking 50+ goals in Queensland last season, Burrows-Cheng looks likely to be a key forward target at the Twin Ovals in 2018.
Zach Burt (North Launceston)
North Launceston star Zach Burt has stamped his authority as one of the competition’s most dynamic forwards in recent seasons, and the start of his 2018 campaign has done nothing to suggest this will be changing any time soon.
Burt kicked six goals in North Launceston’s emphatic round one win over Launceston, moving himself into good positions to make the most of the side’s swift ball movement.
Burt rarely misses in front of the big sticks, making the most of his opportunities on Good Friday.
The Bombers have several avenues to goal, but with Burt in this sort of ominous touch so early in the season, there is every chance he will surpass his 2017 tally of 34 goals.
Jordon Roberts (Lauderdale) was referred for rough conduct (dangerous tackle) on Wade Wall (Clarence)
The Match Review Panel determined that the tackle was careless, with low impact to the body. The Match Review Panel also gave strong consideration for the potential to cause serious injury.
Player Roberts was offered a base sanction of two matches, reduced to one match with an early guilty plea. Player Roberts’ base sanction included a one-match loading due to a poor record.
Player Roberts rejected the offer and the matter was heard at the Tribunal on Wednesday 4th April 2018 at 6:00 pm.
At this evening’s TSL Tribunal Hearing, Lauderdale’s Jordan Roberts entered a not guilty plea to the charge.
The tribunal considered a number of factors presented by Roberts’ advocate which included:
· Player Wall’s evidence described the action as ‘lifted me up off the ground’
· Player Wall sustained no injury from the incident and played out the game
· Player Roberts argued that the tackle was not a dangerous tackle and was more of asling motion and the action was more of a roll than a lift motion.
· Player Roberts also raised the fact the incident occurred at speed and there was a difference in the height of the two players.
· Player Roberts argued there was no malice or intent to injure within the tackle
· Player Roberts’ did acknowledge the smarter option was probably to carrel him and not tackle player Wall.
· Player Roberts’ advocate was also granted permission by the TSL tribunal chairman to show vision of a similar incident from the 2017 round 18 AFL match between Isaac Heeney (Sydney Swans) and Jarryn Geary (St Kilda), where Heeney was not cited by the AFL match review panel.
In considering a verdict, the Tribunal took into account the inherent dangerous nature of the tackle and the potential to cause serious injury.
In providing a sanction, the Tribunal found that Player Wall had disposed the ball prior to impact and the action was considered a dangerous tackle in the circumstances – which included lifting Player Wall off the ground.
As per the Tribunal guidelines:
· the tackle is of an inherently dangerous kind, such as a spear tackle or a tackle where a Player is lifted off the ground;
· the Player being tackled is in a vulnerable position (for example their arms are pinned) with little opportunity to protect himself; or
· an opponent is slung, driven or rotated into the ground with excessive force.
The Tribunal took into account the similarities of the Heeney incident but felt there were two points of difference in the fact Player Wall had disposed of the ball, whereas Geary was in possession of the ball and Player Geary contributed to the action by jumping off the ground.
After considering all of the evidence including the points above, Player Roberts was found guilty and the incident assessed as careless, to the body and with low impact.
SANCTION: TWO MATCHES
Lauderdale FC has until 5 pm tomorrow (05/04/2018) to decide if they will appeal the decision to the TSL Appeals board.
Round one has been run and won with North Launceston, Tigers and Clarence getting off to winning starts.
Now we want your input as to who you think was the standout midfielder across the opening round of the season – North Launceston coach Taylor Whitford, or Clarence recruit Troy Cunliffe?
Taylor Whitford (North Launceston)
It may have been Taylor Whitford’s first game as senior coach, but it would appear the added responsibility is far from a distraction for the premiership captain.
Whitford was dominant in the midfield as the Northern Bombers started their premiership defence in style against Launceston.
Whitford was able to kick a goal while accumulating plenty of the football to finish as best on ground, and winning the Adam Sanders Medal as a result.
Troy Cunliffe (Clarence)
After several years as the best player in the Southern Football League, Cunliffe made the move from Lindisfarne to Clarence over the off-season and immediately made an impact.
Cunliffe, alongside Brady Jones and Jake Cox, played a crucial role in keeping Clarence in the game early before playing a big hand in the Roos’ massive seven-goal final term that propelled them to four valuable points.
Cunliffe kicked two goals and looked to already play a key role as a leader of the club.
Round one of a new football season always brings with it the emergence of new and exciting stars to watch, and Tigers forward Edward Burrows-Cheng has certainly emerged as one such player after a dynamic opening round.
Burrows-Cheng kicked four goals in his TSL debut for the Tigers, rejoining his junior club after several seasons playing for and being club president at Bond University in Queensland while studying a law degree.
His return to the Tigers looks to be a key one for a club eager to push into finals and premiership calculations in 2018.
Burrows-Cheng, 22, provides great versatility to the Tigers forward set-up, with the capacity to work up the ground, compete well in the air and at ground level, but insists the highlight for himself on Good Friday was playing alongside his younger brother, Oliver.
“It was a long-time dream of mine to play with Oliver. The six-year age gap between us meant it was quite hard and everything had to coincide at the right time, but it was a proud moment.
“He gave me my second goal and I gave him one back. It meant a lot to the family for us to play together,” he said.
Much like their AFL namesake, the Tigers have opted for a small forward set-up for 2018, something Burrows-Cheng sees as a key strength moving forward.
“I feel pretty comfortable up forward and the group are working well together. We have a lot of young bloke, so I am the oldest out of our forward group, but if we can keep developing as a group I reckon we will be really good.
“We are a small forward line and with that comes pace and pressure. The likes of Connor Bryant and Cooper Sawdy who have gone through the Mariners program will be massive assets for the club into the future.
“We can apply pressure and put that onto opposition defenders which will make us a difficult group to play against,” he said.
Burrows-Cheng, who is currently completing his legal practical, as well as being a member of the Tigers’ leadership group, and as a youth women’s coach, is loving his time back at the Twin Ovals, insisting the tough nature of Tassie footy is a welcome return.
“I have been pretty blessed when these games have been quite warm so the ball movement is pretty similar. The physicality I was used to before I left has come back a bit more.
“I had missed that part of Tassie footy, it’s a part of the game I love,” he said.
That physicality is set to go up another notch this weekend when the Tigers meet North Launcetson at UTAS Stadium.
“It will go up a couple of levels against North Launcetson. We are looking forward to testing ourselves against the premiers, we are ready for it and it is something we have been preparing for all preseason.
“They did a good job against Launceston so we will go up there and give it everything we’ve got.
“If we can play our brand of football by our values, I’m confident we can make a push for the finals,” Burrows-Cheng said.
Round one has been run and won with North Launceston, Tigers and Clarence getting off to winning starts.
We want to know who you think was the standout defender/backman across the opening round of the season – North Launceston recruit Michael Tang, or Tigers leader Marcus Davies?
Michael Tang (North Launceston)
Tang impressed in his first game as a Northern Bomber, finding plenty of the football across half back.
Launceston struggled to break through the Bombers’ defensive structure, and Tang’s ability to intercept the ball and cut off attacking forays from the Blues proved crucial in delivering the reigning premiers a big win to start their flag defence.
The former Calder Cannons and Port Melbourne player looks to be a valuable addition to this already impressive squad, further underlining North Launceston’s credentials as favourites to go back-to-back.
Marcus Davies (Tigers)
Davies is an on-field leader for the emerging Tigers of Kingborough, using his experience and big frame to patrol the back half of the ground.
The former Carlton AFL player combined well with Tigers recruit Jake Doran to restrict the North Hobart forwards to just four goals for the match, helping to give his Tigers an impressive round one win over the Demons at North Hobart Oval.
The North Launceston Bombers continued on their winning ways on Friday night and new recruit Michael Tang played a huge part in their opening round victory.
Coach Taylor Whitford deployed the former VFL and Calder Cannons listed product behind the ball for his Bombers debut against cross-town rivals Launceston, and he did not disappoint in the Bombers’ 17.8 (110) to 8.6 (54) win.
While star forward Zach Burt (6 goals) and captain Bradley Cox-Goodyer (3 goals) reaped the rewards on the scoreboard and Taylor Whitford won the Adam Sanders medal as the best player on the ground, it was Tang’s rebound out of the back half that was a feature of their damaging ball movement.
Tang, 22, was an integral player in a well-organised and systematic Bombers defence, providing the final link in the chain with his creative run and decision-making.
“Michael is obviously new to our program and we thought we would put him back to let him see the game unfold.
“At the moment, we think having him back settles our group, so he will probably play there for the first half of the year,” Coach Whitford said.
Whitford foreshadowed a raft of roles for Tang throughout the season, but he was pleased with his first up performance in defence.
“He will play on the ball at stages, on a wing and he might even be up forward, he’s that type of player,” he said.
North Launceston got off to a fast start against the Blues, kicking the first four goals of the match, while Launceston struggled to penetrate their watertight defense for the majority of the night, managing just eight goals across four quarters of football, including just three in the first half.
Rulla Kelly-Mansell (3 goals) had some fleeting moments of brilliance, including a spectacular mark in the first quarter, but the Blues forwards were often outpointed by a well organised and disciplined Bombers back six.
Whitford was also quick to praise to the work of his midfield charges, lauding their ability to stymie the Blues prime movers.
“The pressure we were able to put around the contest, especially Mark Walsh in the first quarter was really good, forcing them to kick longer than they really wanted to.” Whitford said.
While Launceston were able to win their fair share of the football, Lonergan lamented their lack of cleanliness at ground level and praised the Bombers ability to capitalize on their mistakes.
“When you fumble in today’s footy, the rebound on that can be crucial, because you just don’t have any time to set the defence.
“The group probably went away from the way we want to play football and whenever you play football the way the opposition want you to play, it never ends well.” Coach Lonergan said.
Despite their defeat, Longeran remained optimistic for the season ahead, but did expect changes for their round two clash with North Hobart at Windsor Park.
“Obviously you always want to walk away with a win, but for us it was a good opportunity to identify some weaknesses in round one.
“I think there will be changes, we potentially have three guys available next week and Millucci played well in the development league.” Lonergan said.
Jake Nunn will miss with a suspected dislocated shoulder, but Lonergan expects to play against the Demons himself after missing round one with a hamstring complaint.
North Launceston further underlined their status and reigning premiers and premiership favourites with a clinical 56-point win over their much-hyped Launceston rival. TSL Digital Reporter Mitchell Jones runs the rule over five of the big takeaways from the contest.
1. If North Launceston Football Club weren’t already this year’s Tasmanian state league premiership favorites, then they are now.
If last year’s 87-point demolition of Lauderdale in the TSL grand final didn’t convince you enough, their round 1 good Friday 56-point win over Launceston, a team touted to be their number one challenger in 2018 will have them firmly in the mind of all TSL clubs as the pace-setters.
2. Taylor Whitford’s extra workload after taking on the 2018 coaching position hasn’t hampered his on-field game.
After being a dominant player for the Northern Bombers over many years, including being an on-field leader and premiership captain, the now 26-year-old and 2015 TSL player of the year took to the field on Good Friday as North Launceston’s playing coach. Whitford took the extra pressure and workload in his stride as he lead from the front to be named best on ground.
3. North Launceston have covered their losses well, after several key departures from their 2018 premiership side.
An impressive display out of the backline by Michael Tang was a highlight of the Northern Bombers debutants, while experienced TSL player Beau Sharmen and young gun Sherrin Egger both proved that they could be key inclusions after making the move from Devonport. Jorden Cousens was named in the best players after crossing over from Rocherlea, while Dakota Bannister registered two last quarter goals in his return to the club.
4. Teamwork is virtue.
Launceston had several good individual players, but often looked disjointed and made mistakes while fumbling regularly. Meanwhile North Launceston showed teamwork on all lines, playing as one solid unit, they moved the ball from the backline to a scoring position with ease with each player taking control of their role and knowing where there teammates where.
5. Rulla Kelly-Mansell has plenty more to show.
It may not have been the Launceston Football Clubs day, but Kelly-Mansell still gave the crowd highlights. After taking a high-flying mark on the wing in prime viewing position of the UTAS Stadium attendees, Kelly-Mansell then followed this up a short time later with a soccer goal.
After limping off the ground with an injury immediately after his first goal, he returned 15 minutes later and went on to hit the score board two more times finishing with 3 goals for the day. If this match was anything to go by, football watchers will once again get a good show when watching the freakish talent of Rulla Kelly-Mansell in 2018.
It may not have been the most glamorous of audition tapes, but Clarence did their push for southern ascendancy no harm whatsoever with a tough 17-point win over arch rivals Lauderdale on Saturday.
The Roos, for the most part, did it ugly at Lauderdale Oval.
They made the most of their chances, rode their luck and played with tremendous drive to record a prized victory over the team that ended their finals run in 2017.
The match failed to reach any lofty heights of skills, but instead delivered an absorbing match full of pressure.
After a tight opening half, the Bombers dominated the third quarter with ten scoring shots, but struggled to fully capitalise, kicking 4.6 to leave the door ajar for Clarence, who were 13 points in arrears at the final change.
And while seven goals were scored by the Roos across the opening three terms, Clarence finished in impressive fashion to pile on seven goals to two and emerge with a valuable 17-point win.
Clarence entered the clash with a raft of new faces, and all of them made an impact at some stage throughout the contest, highlighted by Troy Cunliffe, who kicked two goals and found plenty of the football.
Fellow Lindisfarne recruit Ryan Edmondson also provided great stability to the Clarence back six, alleviating some of the pressure on key defender Jason Bailey.
Harry Richmond also showed plenty of fight up forward, while young Aiden Jackman looks a likely type in defence.
Some familiar names also stood tall yet again, with Jake Cox (three goals) and Brady Jones stamping their authority on the contest as the game progressed.
Jones, who had an exceptional 2017 season, picked up where he left off, finding plenty of the football and standing tall in the absence of fellow midfield gun Jackson O’Brien.
Despite being well held for much of the match, Jake Cox also stood tall when required, kicking two of his three goals in the final term as Clarence stormed home.
Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley was full of praise for Cox’s three-goal performance in the opening round.
“He is a class player and when he is on he is just about the best player in the competition,” he said.
Although Clarence’s win was far from a seasoned, polished performance, Webberley was relieved to get the four points against last year’s grand finalists.
“Sometimes you’ve got to win ugly and we did that today.
“To the boy’s credit they fought hard in that final quarter and showed some real character.
“We are only going to get better each week. It’s pleasing to get the four points after a hard-fought win,” Webberley said.
There could be silkier or smoother audition tapes, but Clarence’s efforts to grind out a tough win in the opening round of the season is just as effective in displaying the Roos’ credentials as a premiership hopeful once again.
Although on the wrong side of the result, Lauderdale would also take plenty of positives out of the game with the initial impacts of receuits Henry Kerinaiua, Kim Kantilla and Tim Mosquito thrilling the vocal home crowd.
Phil Bellchambers played an impressive game in the midfield, while ruckman Haydn Smith was also among the Bombers’ best.
Lauderdale will be looking forward to the return of Josh McGuinness and Robbie McManus, but will be forced to wait for captain Bryce Walsh, who went down with a leg injury in the second term that will keep him sidelined until late in the season.
Lauderdale’s next test will be Glenorchy at KGV on Saturday, while Clarence have the bye in round two prior to taking on the Demons at North Hobart Oval in round three.
A long summer has come and gone as we prepare for what promises to be a competitive 2018 Tasmanian State League season.
Round one offers up some mouthwatering prospects. A host of former Demons returning to North Hobart Oval in yellow and black, a battle of premiership fancies in Launceston and an intriguing round one Eastern Shore derby are on the menu, every match with plenty of sub stories and elements of intrigue.
North Hobart vs Tigers (North Hobart Oval) – 3:05pm
Last Time They Met: Hobart City Demons 14.12.96 def. Tigers 11.11.77 (Round 21, 2017 at North Hobart Oval)
Both North Hobart and the Tigers have undergone significant changes across the off season as they look to develop from being young sides of promise to genuine TSL heavyweights.
The Demons have regained their traditional strip and identity as North Hobart, while also elevating Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson to fill the senior coaching role left by Kane Richter.
Hugh Williams will once again captain the Dees, but the challenge will be for North Hobart to build off signs of promise last season with a drastically different playing group.
A lot of these changes are directly related to the Demons’ round one opponents with former assistant coach Trent Baumeler now the head coach of the Tigers.
A host of playing stars have also made the move including midfield stars Will Campbell and Ryan Matthews, crafty forward Blake Grant and key defender Jake Doran – all of whom are set to line up in round one.
The Tigers will enter 2018 without Brandon Batchelor (NEAFL) and Mitchell Walker (Glenorchy) but have the backing of many to become a genuine finals threat after several seasons of being labelled as ‘promising cubs’.
Tensions have been bubbling in the development of this modern rivalry in recent seasons and so much off-field movement and noise over the off season is likely to only ignite this further. Expect fireworks out of this intriguing clash.
North Launceston vs Launceston (UTAS Stadium) – 6:30pm
Last Time They Met: North Launceston 14.10.94 def. Launceston 9.4.58 (Round 21, 2017 at Windsor Park)
UTAS Stadium will host what promises to be one of the biggest matches of the season when cross-town rivals and pre-season fancies North Launceston and Launceston test their premiership credentials.
Launceston may not have beaten North Launceston since 2013, but after a savvy offseason of high profile signings and a stunning run throughout the 2017 finals series, the Blues look primed for an all-out assault on the flag that currently resides with their cross-town rivals.
The Blues stunned Glenorchy and Clarence throughout the finals of last season and the key signings of Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley since has only enhanced the excitement that surrounds the Blues leading into a new season. These big names, on top of the development of emerging stars like Brodie Palfreyman, makes Launceston a force to be reckoned with.
The Bombers enter the season full of confidence after an emphatic 2017 season which included the premiership, new captain Brad Cox-Goodyer being recognised as the Alastair Lynch Medallist and Baldock Medallist and the continued development of a host of new and emerging stars.
The Bombers were challenged at times last season but stood tall to secure their title as the state’s best and with Taylor Whitford stepping up to coach the team, the side will once again be striving for success.
Will Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley start their time at the Blues with a bang? Will the Bombers put the foot down and rubber-stamp their standing as premiership favourite? Are Launceston the real deal?
Some of the off season’s hottest questions look set to be answered as these two teams go head to head in a battle for northern supremacy. This will be essential viewing.
Saturday 31st March
Lauderdale vs Clarence (Lauderdale Oval) – 2:00pm
Last Time They Met: Lauderdale 20.6.126 def. Clarence 7.11.53 (Qualifying Final, 2017 at Blundstone Arena)
On Easter Saturday the sometimes spiteful but always thrilling Eastern Shore Derby resumes as Lauderdale play host to Clarence.
Lauderdale defeated Clarence by 47 points in the 2017 Qualifying Final after the Roos had the better of the southern Bombers throughout the home and away season.
Clarence will be hurting after being knocked out of the finals in straight sets while Lauderdale will have a point to prove after being outplayed by North Launceston in the Grand Final.
Both outfits have retained most of their stars; although Clarence will be without Sam Siggins (Geelong) and Lauderdale will no longer have the services of midfield star Dylan Fyfe (NEAFL).
Lauderdale and Clarence still boast two of the competition’s most impressive lists, however, with this match set to be won and lost in the star-heavy midfield battle that will include the likes of Walsh, Harper, Franklin and Jones.
With the competition set to be as close as ever, wins against teams of similar ability will be worth their weight in gold, further underlining the importance of this opening round encounter for both Clarence and Lauderdale.
The two teams look set to be contenders once again in 2018 and with the hype surrounding another edition of the Eastern Shore Derby, expect both the Bombers and the Roos to rise to the occasion.