Following the ANZAC Day clash between Glenorchy and Tigers, Bupa TSL action continues on Saturday with a huge Grand Final rematch and an exciting contest between two young sides. TSL Digital Reporter Grant Jessup looks at the rest of Round five.
Lauderdale v North Launceston – Skybus Oval (Saturday: 2pm)
Last Time They Met: North Launceston 7.21 (63) def. Lauderdale 4.9 (33) 2018 TSL Grand Final at UTAS Stadium.
The Grand Final rematch between Lauderdale and North Launceston is set to be one of the games of the season with both sides looking to avoid their first defeat of the year.
Despite a substantial list turnover, the premiers have made a strong start to the season.
The Northern Bombers were dominant last week against their cross-town rivals Launceston, having 32 scoring shots for the game.
Playing-coach Taylor Whitford continues to perform strongly in the midfield alongside his Skipper Bradley Cox-Goodyer.
Dakota Bannister and Ben Elmer are presenting well in the forward line, converting their opportunities in front of goal.
Arion Richter-Salter will also be critical to the Northern Bombers’ backline after his best on ground performance last week.
Lauderdale appears to be one of the teams to beat in 2019 and is looking to avenge their Grand Final loss.
Captain Bryce Walsh continues to lead the way for the Southern Bombers with Sam Siggins, Josh McGuinness and Sam Burge also performing strongly last week in a hard-fought victory over Clarence.
Lauderdale will be without excitement machine Thor Boscott, who is suffering from a leg injury.
Coach Darren Winter says the star could be out for the rest of the year.
However, the Southern Bombers will welcome back ruckman Haydn Smith after a one-week suspension.
Both sides have been inaccurate in front of goal this year and will be hoping to straighten their kicking.
Tip: North Launceston by 7 points.
Players to watch –
Haydn Smith (Lauderdale): The Southern Bombers big man will be looking to make an impact after his suspension.
North Launceston ruckman Alex Lee is in terrific form, dominating the hitouts, meaning Smith will be looking to cut off this supply to the Northern Bombers’ midfield.
Jack Rushton (North Launceston): The crafty forward has made a solid start to the 2019 Bupa TSL season at his new home.
Rushton reminded Launceston of what they were missing last week, kicking two opportunistic goals in the final term and putting the game beyond reach for the Blues.
Clarence v Launceston – Blundstone Arena (Saturday 2pm)
Last Time They Met: Launceston 15.15 (105) def. Clarence 10.11 (71) Round 19, 2018 at Windsor Park.
Two young sides will face off at Blundstone Arena when Clarence takes on Launceston.
Clarence are still looking for their first victory of the season despite showing a lot of promise.
The ‘Roos were competitive in Round four against Lauderdale, holding a 13-point lead at quarter time and staying in the contest until the final siren.
Young guns Tyler Penwright, Adrian Butterworth, Oscar Papotny and Oliver Preshaw continue to impress for the ‘Roos.
Recruits Ethan Jackson, Clint Riley and Zac Buechner have become valuable additions to Clarence’s midfield rotations.
Launceston are looking for their second win of the season after losing to cross-town rivals North Launceston in a good performance on Good Friday.
The Blues never gave up and kept fighting all day against the Northern Bombers.
Jobi Harper is having a great season, collecting plenty of possessions and hitting the scoreboard.
Former ‘Roo Fletcher Seymour has also made a strong start to the year and will be looking to perform well against his old side.
Players to watch –
Mitch Thorp (Launceston): The Launceston playing-coach has made a great start to the season, kicking plenty of bags.
However, the key forward was kept relatively quiet last week, kicking only one major. The ‘Roos’ defence will have to be wary of Thorp, who is always threatening to tear a game apart.
Ethan Jackson (Clarence): The former Burnie Docker and Launceston Blue has made a strong start to life in the red and white, becoming a key cog in the ‘Roos engine room. With the capacity to play down back or move forward, Jackson will be eager to perform well against his former side.