Despite kicking only three goals after quarter time, North Launceston were too strong for Clarence, running away 21 point winners in an arm wrestle at UTAS Stadium.
The Bombers set up their win in the opening term, with a dominant passage of play resulting in two goals each from coach Taylor Whitford and Ben Elmer.
Bupa TSL Digital Reporter Grant Jessup looks at the key takeaways from the contest.
1. Bomber recruits all class
After losing several key players in the off-season, many were questioning whether the North Launceston dynasty could continue.
However, the acquisition of several star players from the NTFA and the NWFL is paying massive dividends for the Northern Bombers.
Ben Elmer has become a key target inside 50 for the reigning premiers.
The 2018 NTFA leading goalkicker scored three majors, backing up his two goal haul in round one against Tigers FC.
Defender Braden Van Buuren was terrific in his second game for the Bombers alongside fellow NWFL recruit Liam Davies.
Jordan Tepper, the NTFA’s 2018 Best and Fairest, is showing a lot of potential.
Jack Rushton has also been a good pick up for the Bombers.
The former Launceston forward was placing tremendous pressure on the opposition throughout the game.
2. Young ‘Roos show promise
Despite the loss, there was a lot to like about Clarence, particularly their joeys.
Debutants Tyler Penwright and Oliver Preshaw both made strong starts to their TSL careers.
Penwright kicked two majors and Preshaw was busy, at one stage providing a great goal assist.
Fellow debutants Adrian Butterworth and Samuel Banks also made valuable contributions in their first TSL game.
Meanwhile, young gun Ethan Jackson is showing signs that he is set for a big 2019 after a strong performance against the Bombers.
3. Midfield guns have a quiet one
While North Launceston’s new recruits were impressive, some of their more well-known stars had a quiet day at the office.
Bombers skipper Bradley Cox-Goodyer was certainly quiet by his usual standards.
The premiership star did not have a significant impact on the contest, having to deal with a tag from Clarence midfielder Clint Riley for most of the game.
It was a successful return to the ‘Roos for Riley, who has previously won two TSL premierships in the red and white.
2018 Alastair Lynch Medallist Josh Ponting was influential in the centre at times but also had one of his quieter games.
In contrast, Taylor Whitford’s red-hot form continues with the Bombers playing-coach collecting three majors including a brilliant running goal from outside 50.
North Launceston ruckman Alex Lee was also excellent in the middle, dominating the hit outs.
4. ‘Roos may lack key forward
Throughout the contest, Clarence were struggling to hit or find a key target inside 50.
Midfielder Jake Cox was eventually pushed forward in the second half to provide another option for the ‘Roos.
The club’s leading goalkicker in 2018, Chris Nield, appears to transitioning into a new role in the backline.
However, youngsters Blair Rubock and Jacob Smith may need some assistance in the forward line as they continue to develop.
It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, Clarence make to their forward structure in Round Three.
5. Inaccuracy a feature of the day
In perfect conditions at UTAS Stadium both sides were somewhat rusty with their skills.
The first 10 minutes of the opening term were particularly scrappy.
North Launceston came out slow and were unable to hit the scoreboard until midway through the quarter.
Despite this, the Bombers were in control of the match by quarter time.
Clarence were unable to take advantage of their substantial inside 50 dominance in the first 10 minutes.
The ‘Roos only kicked two goals and one behind for the term.
However, the ‘Roos will benefit from the hit-out after having the bye in Round One.
The Bombers had a difficult time in front of goal during the third quarter, kicking 2.9.
Ben Elmer’s three goals could have easily been more after missing several shots on goal.
Nevertheless, the inaccurate goalkicking did not cost them the match.
North Launceston – 7.15 (57)
Clarence – 5.6 (36)
North Launceston – Elmer 3, Whitford 3, Egger.
Clarence – Penwright 2, Chambers, Jackson, Rubock.
North Launceston will have the bye before taking on cross-town rivals Launceston in Round Four.
Clarence will face traditional rivals Glenorchy at Blundstone Arena this weekend.