Turning around an 87-point loss in round two into a 33-point win in round nine has seen Lauderdale have two very different results against Glenorchy, but Bomber star Josh McGuinness insists his side can match it with the best in the competition moving forward.
The victory has led to a sense that Lauderdale might be ‘back’ after the 2017 grand finalists experienced an indifferent start to the season. McGuinness isn’t so sure as to whether that’s the case, but is pleased with how the side is tracking.
“Hopefully we can make that charge (up the ladder), but I’m not sure if we’re ‘back’ or if we ever ‘left’.
“We have had an up and down start to the year, but it was good to get that win at home against Glenorchy on the weekend – they are obviously a good side and traditionally we like to make it tough for sides to come to Lauderdale, so it was good to get that first win at home,” McGuinness said.
The Bombers had lost all three home games they had played to start 2018, going down to Clarence twice and Launceston once.
These losses to Clarence particularly stung, not only because they were to Lauderdale’s biggest rival, but also as they were matches the Bombers could well have won.
“We probably should have won round one against Clarence and last weekend against Clarence we were a bit inaccurate as well and we could have won that one.”
“It was a big win, we spoke before the game that we hadn’t won at home so far this year. It was important o get that win for the group and for our supporters. We always have a good supporter base at home, so to get that win meant a lot to the group,” he said.
The Bombers have had a key focus on effort in recent weeks, with the coalface of the contest a key area of focus.
“In our first six rounds we were up and down and we have really focused on our effort over the last few weeks.
“That effort is what has helped us be successful in recent seasons and if we can bring that to the inside of the contest, it will help us bring our outside runners into the game which is the way we play,” McGuinness said.
The game day presence of coach Darren Winter has also been a big factor according to McGuinness, with his on-field presence helping the side.
“It is probably more just his presence on game day. Guys know that if your effort isn’t up to standard, Windy is going to let you know.
“He is a great coach and has taken us from a beach-side community footy club to obviously playing off in the State League grand final last year. He does a really good job with our group and it has been great to have him back the last couple of weeks,” he said.
The Bombers will now face the daunting task of handling a rampant Launceston outfit that has only lost two games this season.
McGuinnes, however, feels his side will match up well against the competition heavyweight.
“I think Glenorchy are a top three side and we showed in that second half that when we dig in and play our contested brand we can match it with anyone. They went up and knocked off North Launceston and are obviously a good side. That gives us a lot of confidence that we can match it with the best sides in the league.
“I don’t think we match up too bad. They have a solid forward line with Mitch Thorp, Sonny Whiting, Rulla Kelly-Mansell and some kids who are playing well.
“They have some Mariners back as well so they will be a different side than the one we played earlier in the season but our midfielders can match it with theirs and our forward group is starting to jell a lot more now so I think they may cause their defenders a few more headaches.
“Our defenders (Oscar Shaw, Jeremiah Perkins etc.) are very young, but we are starting to become a lot more comfortable playing together,” he said.
Former Gold Coast Sun and Lauderdale junior Jacob Gillbee also looms as a key player moving forward for the Bombers, particularly with the likes of Bryce Walsh, Thor Boscott, Scott Hill and Ethan Whish-Wilson watching on from the sidelines.
“I was quite surprised when he said he (Gillbee) was thinking about coming back and playing,” McGuinness said.
“He is a quality player and still has lots of improvement to come. He is great with his leadership and has kicked around two goals and four behinds in every match he has played. If he can turn some of those behinds around, he will be another key target up forward alongside Wiggo (Ryan Wiggins) and Lex (Alex Hill).
“We are starting to find some different avenues to goal and we have introduced some new guys who are looking a lot more comfortable.”