Bupa TSL Week 2 Finals Preview

A tantalising second weekend of finals footy is almost upon us, with UTAS Stadium primed to host a blockbuster double-header.


Second Semi Final

North Launceston v Glenorchy – UTAS Stadium (3:30pm)

Head to Head in 2018: North Launceston – 2 | Glenorchy – 1

Last Time They Met: Glenorchy 8.7 (55) def. by North Launceston 13.14 (92) – Round 17 at KGV Oval 

As one of only two sides to have defeated the reigning premiers in 2018, Glenorchy will enter Saturday’s Semi Final with confidence, hoping to book a spot in the Grand Final.

The confidence will be further bolstered following the Magpies’ stunning come-from-behind triumph in last weekend’s Qualifying Final, but the question remains just how well the visitors will cope without stalwart Jaye Bowden.

The likes of Brodie Rowbottom, Ryan Banks-Smith and Bayley Bester bobbed up to hit the scoreboard last weekend, and although they did a terrific job, this young brigade of Magpies will have their hands full competing against the competition’s pacesetter.

Bowden’s absence could be alleviated by the returns of Rhys Mott, Zac Webster, Clinton French, Josh Grant and Matthew Joseph, all of whom can take this side to the next level.

North Launceston, on the other hand, boast one of the competition’s most talent-laden squads and have earned a reputation as the hardest team to beat in the league in recent seasons.

Well led by Taylor Whitford and Brad Cox-Goodyer, this Bomber outfit has stars across every line with Tarryn Thomas, Tom Bennett, Bart McCulloch, Josh Ponting, Zach Burt and Mark Walsh just a handful of players who can be viewed as being part of the upper echelon of established and emerging talent in the state.

Glenorchy will have clear plans to negate certain parts of this North Launceston machine, but being able to shut down so many stars at the same time is an incredibly difficult task, meaning Taylor Whitford’s men will go into this clash as justifiable favourites, however, questions do surround how the team will respond to having played just one game since early August.

Players to Watch:

Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston) – One of the country’s best young talents, Thomas appears to be born for the big stage. Already a premiership star, the highly rated draft prospect will be a key figure in the red and black wherever he plays, with his versatility set to provide even greater headaches for the ‘Pies.

Mitch Rainbird (Glenorchy) – A player with the capacity to tear a game apart, Rainbird looms as a trump card for the Magpies heading into a clash with the competition’s frontrunners. Whether in the midfield or up forward, Rainbird is a competitive beast and a player the Northern Bombers will be keeping a close eye on.


Key Match-Ups:

Alex Lee v Cameron Duffy

As two of the competition’s premier ruckmen, this promises to be a titanic battle. Both Lee and Duffy are renowned for their tap work, while also possessing the capacity to stamp their influence around the ground. If either ruckman can get on top and supply their midfielders first use, their side will go a long way to booking a Grand Final ticket.

Josh Ponting v Brayden Webb

Two of the competition’s finest midfielders, Ponting and Webb going head to head will be a fascinating spectacle. Two of the competition’s toughest competitors, expect these two midfield bulls to lead from the front on the big stage.

Tip: The Magpies to be brave and scare the reigning premiers early, but North Launceston should muscle their way over the line. Northern Bombers by 20 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

First Semi Final

Launceston v Lauderdale – UTAS Stadium (6:30pm)

Head to Head in 2018: Launceston – 2 | Lauderdale – 1

Last Time They Met: Launceston 20.15 (135) def. Lauderdale 10.11 (71) – Round 17 at Windsor Park 

The Blues and southern Bombers enter this weekend’s do-or-die Semi Final off the back of contrasting opening weekends of finals footy.

Launceston appeared to be in control for much of last Saturday’s Qualifying Final against Glenorchy, before conceding six goals to none in the final term to fall 14 points short.

The Bombers, meanwhile, soared to a convincing 10 goal victory over Clarence, ending the finals dreams of their Eastern Shore neighbours.

The Blues will have fire in the belly heading into this weekend’s showdown, and while the Bombers will be confident, they will be wary of the rich talent this Launceston outfit possesses.

Both sides have X-Factors that can change a game in the space of minutes, with Thor Boscott, Alex Hill, Ryan Wiggins, Jamieson House, Rulla Kelly-Mansell and Dylan Riley all capable of tearing a match to shreds.

This game may just come down to which side’s stars are able to fire for longer, and with the Bombers brimming with confidence after last weekend’s win and the Blues having the record of knocking Lauderdale over last time the sides met, this promises to be one of the matches of the season.

Players to Watch:

Thor Boscott (Lauderdale) – Lauderdale has looked a far more dangerous side since the return of Boscott in round 15, and with his performances containing added midfield minutes every week, expect Boscott to be in tip-top condition for this clash. Whether in the middle or up forward, Boscott will need to be watched carefully.

Dylan Riley (Launceston) – The former Devonport superstar has revolutionised this Launceston outfit since moving inside 50, with his aerial capacity and cat-like reflexes at ground level making him one of the competition’s most difficult match-ups.


Key Match-Ups:

Mitch Thorp v Josh McGuinness

The 2018 Hudson Medallist could well have a number of different opponents on Saturday, but the prospect of former Brisbane Lion and Lauderdale gun Josh McGuinness doing the job is a fascinating one. McGuinness effectively shut Clarence star Jake Cox out of last weekend’s game, and although Thorp is a very different player, McGuinness has proven throughout the season that he can play a variety of roles. Thorp’s firepower is well known, so an on-song Thorp could prove critical in determining the result.

Chayce Jones v Leo Harrison

This battle of the Tassie Mariner stars will likely have a big say on the outcome of this contest.

Chayce Jones has hit the ground running as one of the competition’s best and most in-form talents, and with so much stake will be set to rise to the occasion. Conversely, Leo Harrison, although not a prolific ball winner like Jones, has emerged as one of the competition’s best taggers, having done jobs on the likes of Rhys Mott, Jeromey Webberley and others throughout the year. If Harrison can lock Jones down, the Bombers will be provided a major boost in the middle of the park.

Tip: Lauderdale’s stars to fire and the Bombers to knock the Blues out of finals for a second straight season. Bombers by 12 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