It’s been a long season for an injury-riddled Clarence outfit, and despite a determined Tigers outfit running them close, a 22-point win locked in fourth position for the ‘Roos and a win on the eve of the TSL Finals, writes Josh Duggan.
Clarence entered Saturday’s match against Kingborough knowing that a win would secure at least fourth place on the ladder, and did enough on the day to win, even with a raft of first-team players on the sidelines through injury and suspension.
A first-quarter shootout with eleven goals saw the Tigers keep an even pace with the Roos, but in the second quarter, Clarence were able to slow the game and impose themselves on the contest.
This shift pleased Coach Jeromey Webberley, who was buoyed by his side’s ability to play their brand of footy despite the Tigers’ willingness to run and break it down.
“In slow play, we were able to control the play and move it down the ground, and also set up defensively behind the ball and create pressure off turnovers; that’s probably our game,” Webberley said after the contest
Like most of 2018, Clarence were forced to field a team that was below full strength and included several young players but got important contributions from the whole side in an even performance.
Webberley noted his side’s youth on the day, and the willingness of them to fit into the team’s setup “We had four of five teenagers in today – one first gamer and three of four with less than 10 games – for those guys to come in and know the system, and play the system was really good.”
Now, attention turns to a crucial clash with Lauderdale; for the second year in a row there will be an Eastern Shore Derby in week one of the TSL finals, however, the Roos will be hoping to progress this time around.
Clarence know how tough that match will be, with Webberley wary of the Bombers’ class.
“We rate them extremely highly, they’ve probably been the form team of the back half of the year, bar North Launceston; we go in probably as underdogs.”
With injury doubts still over a number of experienced Clarence players who missed this week, there’s every chance the side could be heading into that clash under-strength again.
Clarence 6.1, 10.6, 12.9, 15.13 (103)
Tigers 5.0, 6.2, 8.7, 12.9 (81)
Clarence : J. Webberley 3, C. Nield 2, K. Wylie, B. Jones, R. Bailey, T. Standen, J. Bailey, A. Silver, D. Reimers, T. Hope, J. Harper, J. Brenner
Tigers : M. Carter 3, T. Carter 2, L. Graham 2, W. Campbell 2, L. Watt, H. Johnston, C. Bryant
Clarence : B. Jones, R. Edmondson, J. Brenner, J. Harper, T. Castle, T. Standen
Tigers : M. Davies, H. Johnston, L. Gadomski, W. Campbell, E. Burrows-Cheng, B. Rees