Bupa TSL Week 1 Finals Preview

Finals footy is just about upon us and we are going to be treated to a cracking Blundstone Arena double-header to kick things off!


Qualifying Final

Glenorchy v Launceston – Blundstone Arena (3:00pm)

Head to Head in 2018: Glenorchy – 1, Launceston – 2

Last Time They Met: Launceston 13.6 (84) def. Glenorchy 11.9 (75) – Round 21 at Windsor Park 

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

The Blues and Magpies will lock horns for a second straight week when they meet in a Qualifying Final blockbuster at Blundstone Arena.

A year on from the Elimination Final clash between these clubs at the same venue, plenty will be riding on this clash, with the loser forced into a sudden death contest with either Clarence or Lauderdale.

Both sides have been dealt a blow ahead of the contest, with Launceston’s Jake Hinds and Glenorchy’s Rhys Mott ruled out through one-week suspensions.

Injury clouds hover over several Magpie stars ahead of the finals, with Zac Webster, Matthew Joseph and Mitch Rainbird all missing football in recent times. With Mitch Rainbird coming into the side for the suspended Mott, the Magpies’ midfield depth will be boosted.

These two sides have already played out two classics in season 2018, with the Blues pipping the travelling Magpies by nine points last weekend and by just one point back in round seven at Windsor Park.

These two outfits have finished the home and away season as two of the competition’s form sides, with Glenorchy’s tight defensive unit and Launceston’s potent forward line set for an almighty tussle.

Both teams possess stars that appear built for the big stage of finals footy, with Glenorchy’s Jaye Bowden, Daniel Joseph and Brayden Webb all established premiership heroes and the likes of Mitch Thorp, Dylan Riley and Jobi Harper with plenty of experience for the Blues.

If the Blues can be accountable and shut down the movement Daniel Joseph and Harrison Gunther provide out of defence, and minimise the impact of Jaye Bowden inside 50, they will go a long way to winning this contest.

Launceston, however, appear to have the deeper level of star power, with Rulla Kelly-Mansell across half back, Mitch Thorp inside 50 and Chayce Jones and Brodie Palfreyman in the middle set to make life increasingly difficult for the Magpies.


Players to Watch:

Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy) – Everyone knows the talent of Jaye Bowden and what he can bring to a game of football. Whether it’s up forward, in the middle or across half-back, Jaye is built for the big stage.

Mitch Thorp (Launceston) – The 2018 Peter Hudson Medallist has been tough to stop, kicking 62 goals for the season, 16 clear of the field. The big stage looms as a happy hunting ground for the Blues spearhead.


Key Match-Ups:

Ben Kamaric v Chayce Jones

Although these two might not exactly match-up on each other, the much-improved Ben Kamaric and the in-form prospect of Chayce Jones will both play integral roles through the middle of the ground for their respective sides.

Jones has been in red-hot form in recent times, polling 12 Player of the Year votes in five games and has the potential to take a game away from an opposition, while Kamaric has become a genuine accumulator throughout the season with the ability to use the ball well and create opportunities further afield.

Josh Arnold v Dylan Riley

Dylan Riley’s move into attacking 50 and has been a revelation for the Blues, with his status as one of the competition’s best players only becoming further enhanced.

Josh Arnold has been one of the competition’s most consistent defenders for a long time and has what it takes to curb the influence of a star like Riley.

Two superstars going head to head? This is going to be a cracking contest.


Tip: Blues to make it two wins in as many weeks over the ‘Pies. Launceston by 10 points



LIVE Stream of the match via YouTube with commentary from Damian Gill, Brent Costelloe and Cam Brown.

City Park Radio commentary also available online

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

Elimination Final

Clarence v Lauderdale – Blundstone Arena (6:00pm)

Head to Head in 2018: Clarence – 2, Lauderdale – 1

Last Time They Met: Clarence 10.9 (69) def. by Lauderdale 18.8 (116) – Round 15 at Blundstone Arena

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

Contests don’t get much bigger than an Eastern Shore derby do-or-die final at Blundstone Arena. 

These two sides have plenty of history and both play some of the competition’s most exciting football, making this contest a mouth-watering proposition.

Lauderdale are unquestionably one of the competition’s most potent outfits when on-song, capable of ripping a game apart within the space of a quarter through swift ball movement, strong pressure around the football and a raft of players capable of hitting the scoreboard.

Whether it is former Gold Coast Sun Jacob Gillbee, X-Factor Thor Boscott or livewire Tim Mosquito, Lauderdale have plenty of aces up their sleeve, as well as a number of versatile utilities in Ryan Wiggins and Alex Hill who look just as comfortable in offensive or defensive 50.

Such players will give Clarence plenty to think about, but they too have players with the potential to break a game apart.

Jake Cox is one of the best players in the competition, and after serving a one-match suspension last weekend, will be chomping at the bit for a shot at finals glory.

Ryan Bailey has emerged as one of the best ruckmen in the competition, while Troy Cunliffe, Brady Jones and Jeromey Webberley are as good as any midfield trio you will come across.

After a strong start to the season Clarence appear to be limping to the line, however, with the likes of Jackson O’Brien, Matt Ling, Fraser Turner, James Holmes and Gabby Chambers all under injury clouds heading into the finals.

Lauderdale has also been dealt a cruel blow on the eve of this clash, losing skipper Bryce Walsh for a second time this season.

These two sides met in the Qualifying Final last season, with the Bombers triumphing en route to the Grand Final and Clarence bowing out in straight sets.

The health of this Lauderdale list and the confidence they have been able to develop in recent times should see the Bombers fly up and knock their eastern shore neighbours out of the 2018 finals series.


Players to Watch:

Troy Cunliffe (Clarence) – The duel William Leitch Medallist has made a seamless transition to senior TSL football after a successful stint in the SFL with Lindisfarne. Proven as a consistent performer across the year, expect another strong outing from the classy on-baller.

Ryan Wiggins (Lauderdale) – You get the sense that the versatile Wiggins is building towards something big in recent times, with his ability to swing between attack and defence an integral component of this Bomber outfit. Set for a big finals series.


Key Match-Ups:

Ryan Bailey v Haydn Smith

Bailey and Smith are two of the most consistent ruckmen in the competition and will be vying to get on top in this contest to supply their respective midfields with first access.

Jake Cox v Josh McGuinness

The match-up of Josh McGuinness on Jake Cox during the most recent encounter between Lauderdale and Clarence was a fascinating one, with McGuinness and the Bombers taking a physical approach to the sublimely talented ‘Roo.

Cox typically has a field day playing against Lauderdale, so if McGuinness is able to get on top, Lauderdale will go a long way to winning.


Tip: Lauderdale to knock the ‘Roos out of finals in a physical affair. Bombers by 20 points



LIVE Stream of the match via YouTube with commentary from Damian Gill, Brent Costelloe and Cam Brown.

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