Bupa TSL Round 8 Preview

Round eight of the Bupa Tasmanian State League will see three of the competition’s most fascinating rivalries recommence, including a top of the table clash in Launceston, the Eastern Shore Derby and a fixture between two sides in need of a boost. 


Saturday 19th May

Launceston v. North Launceston (Windsor Park) – 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: North Launceston 17.8 (110) def. Launceston 8.6 (54) – Round 1, 2018 at UTAS Stadium

Form Guide (most recent first): Launceston – W W W B W | North Launceston – W B W W L

The Launceston derby looms as a mouth-watering fixture this weekend with the two premiership fancies only separated by percentage in the top two ladder positions.

North Launceston is coming off a big win over Lauderdale in the Grand Final replay and will be eager to make it 2-0 over the Blues this season.

Launceston may have gone down to the Northern Bombers in round one, but they haven’t put a foot wrong since, winning all five games since to now sit as a genuine premiership contender.

Josh Ponting will be crucial in the middle of the ground. IC: Andrew Woodgate

Launceston welcome back a host of Mariners for the contest including key forward Jamieson House, who alongside Mitch Thorp and Jack Rushton, forms a potent attacking pack.

North Launceston also possess a damaging forward group, spearheaded by Tom Bennett, with the two defensive units set for difficult afternoons.

Hamish Leedham is a big inclusion for the Blues after serving a one-match suspension, with the ruck battle between himself and Alex Lee set to be decisive.

Brodie Palfreyman, Jake Hinds and Jay Blackberry have been instrumental in Launceston’s strong start to the season, but will need to all be firing to get the better of the likes of Taylor Whitford, Josh Ponting and Mark Walsh.

Both sides possess game breakers and superstars on every line, making this an incredibly difficult game to tip. Favouritism may just lean in favour of the hosts in this one, but this match looms as being a genuine cracker.

Players to watch:

Jack Rushton (Launceston): One of the finds of the season, Rushton is a competitive beast inside 50 with the capacity to create scoreboard pressure and hound opposition defenders into making mistakes.

Dakota Bannister (North Launceston): A versatile member of this outfit, Bannister is capable of rotating through the midfield and inside 50 to both impact the scoreboard and set up his teammates. Watch out for how he is deployed on the smaller ground of Windsor Park.


LIVE Stream of the match via Facebook and YouTube with commentary from City Park Radio

Live broadcast on City Park Radio 103.7 and 96.5 FM, also available via online stream. 

Score updates via the official TSL App for Android and  Apple.

Updates on the TSL Facebook page, TSL Twitter account

Photos and vision on the official TSL Instagram account

Lauderdale v. Clarence (Lauderdale Oval) – 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Lauderdale 10.15 (75) def. by Clarence 14.8 (92) – Round 1, 2018 at Lauderdale Oval

Form Guide (most recent first): Lauderdale – L W B W L | Clarence – W W L L W

If one thing can be predicted across round eight, it is that the Eastern Shore Derby will be full of spice.

Lauderdale and Clarence have a rich rivalry, escalated in recent seasons with the two sides competing for similar ladder positions.

This time around the match takes on extra significance with the return of Lauderdale coach Darren Winter for the first time since the infamous 2017 Grand Final.

The return of ‘Windy’ is likely to spark the Bombers, who will be itching to bounce back after being completely outplayed by the Northern Bombers last weekend.

A new-look Lauderdale did enough to record wins over the Tigers and North Hobart either side of the bye, but are yet to recapture the form that saw them rise into the 2017 decider.

Phil Bellchambers and Nat Franklin have been excellent in shouldering much of the midfield load, while Josh McGuinness has also been an instrumental leader. The return of Mariner Leo Harrison and star ruckman Haydn Smith will also provide the Bombers with a boost heading into the clash.

With Lauderdale coach Darren Winter set to return to the senior role this weekend, expect the Bombers to enter this Eastern Shore derby with plenty of vigour and intent.

Josh McGuinness will be crucial for the Bombers. IC: Solstice Digital & Photography

The ‘Roos on the other hand enter the match in red-hot form after accounting for Glenorchy and the Tigers in the past fortnight.

Clarence’s brand in 2018 appears to be tough and ready-made for the big stage, even with several stars missing through injury.

Established guns Jackson O’Brien, Jake Cox and Jeromey Webberley have been in strong form, while new faces Fletcher Seymour, Troy Cunliffe and Ryan Bailey have all established themselves as crucial members of the side.

Bailey has been particularly dominant across the last fortnight, making his match up with Smith all the more critical.

The ‘Roos look to be too strong for their arch rival at the moment, but don’t be surprised if the Bombers push the visitors to the brink at Lauderdale Oval.

Players to watch:

Josh McGuinness (Lauderdale): A shining light for the Bombers so far this season, Josh McGuinness has stepped up to hold a key leadership role, while also performing well across half back and in the midfield.

Jake Cox (Clarence): The classy Roo took the game away from the Bombers in round one while also impressing with his elite skills at a wet Twin Ovals on the weekend. If Cox is able to get off the chain, the ‘Roos will be hard to stop.


Score updates via the official TSL App for Android and  Apple.

Updates on the TSL Facebook page, TSL Twitter account

Photos and vision on the official TSL Instagram account

Tigers v. North Hobart (Twin Ovals) – 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: North Hobart 4.7 (31) def. by Tigers 12.12 (84) – Round 1, 2018 at North Hobart Oval

Form Guide (most recent first): North Hobart –  B L L L L | Tigers – L L L L B

The Tigers enter this match in need of a win after suffering heavy defeats to Launceston and Clarence in recent weeks.

At their best, the Tigers have what it takes to match it with some of the better sides in the competition, and Trent Baumeler’s men will be looking to rebuild some confidence and momentum against the Demons, the only side they have beaten in 2018.

The inclusion of experienced leader Marcus Davies, Mariners gun Ben Donnelly and promising forward Cooper Sawdy will all boost the Tigers, who currently sit a win outside the five.

Concerns have been raised as to how the Tigers are going to kick competitive totals throughout the season, but the return of Sawdy will be valuable for the likes of Edward Burrows-Cheng.

The Tigers will be looking to stay in touch with the five. IC: Solstice Digital & Photography

North Hobart come into this clash off the bye, with the week off coming at the perfect time after a tough start to the season.

The Demons will enter the match refreshed and full of optimism, with former Melbourne star Colin Garland named for his first game back at his former club.

Garland will be joined by skipper Hugh Williams, who is back for his first game after a nasty injury. The presence of these two supremely talented and well respected leaders will be massive for a young group of players, including exciting debutant Jake Steele.

The Tigers’ midfield group should be too strong, however, with Lachy Clifford and former Demons Ryan Matthews and Will Campbell all likely to have a big say on proceedings. Expect the Demons to be competitive, but for the Tigers to get back on the winners list.

Players to watch:

Mitch Carter (Tigers): The Tigers’ defensive general has backed up a dominant 2017 with a strong start to the season. Expect Carter to control the play out of the back half, especially against an inexperienced North Hobart forward set up.

Nathan McCulloch (North Hobart): With the Tigers boasting a strong midfield, McCulloch will once again have a big role to play as North Hobart’s midfield general if the visitors are to have any chance of causing an upset.


Score updates via the official TSL App for Android and  Apple.

Updates on the TSL Facebook page, TSL Twitter account

Photos and vision on the official TSL Instagram account