Round seven of the Bupa Tasmanian State League is almost upon us, with players, coaches and umpires set to wear yellow armbands as part of Road Awareness Week.
TSL Digital Reporter Grant Jessup examines three intriguing contests which will bring shape to the competition’s pecking order.
North Launceston v North Hobart at UTAS Stadium (Saturday 2pm)
North Hobart will have nothing to lose on Saturday when they take on the reigning premiers North Launceston at UTAS Stadium.
The Northern Bombers will look to continue their good form after a terrific victory over Glenorchy while the Demons are fighting for their first win of season.
The premiers responded strongly after their first loss of the season, defeating an in-form Glenorchy by 48 points last week.
Brad Cox-Goodyer will be a big concern for North Hobart with the Bombers skipper in career-best form alongside the superstar midfield of Taylor Whitford, Josh Ponting and Alex Lee.
The Bombers’ forward trio of Dakota Bannister, Bart McCulloch and Ben Elmer will also be a massive challenge for the Demon’s backline.
Defenders Arion Richter-Salter, Brayden Van Buuren and Jay Foon have also been in fine form for the Bombers.
A team with this sort of star power will be hard for any side to compete against.
Player to watch – Brad Cox-Goodyer
It should surprise no one that TSL fans need to keep an eye on the superstar midfielder.
A six-goal performance last week, from the midfield, warrants attention.
The Bombers skipper will likely have a major impact on the final outcome.
After a disappointing performance against Clarence, North Hobart will be hoping to put in a competitive performance against one of the competition’s strongest teams.
Despite their tough start to the season, North Hobart’s leaders have stood up with captain Hugh Williams, Sam Darley and Nathan McCulloch leading the way for the young side.
Youngsters Callum Kilpatrick, Thomas Reeves and Mack Evans have also been working hard for the struggling Dees.
There is no doubt that the young Demons face their toughest challenge yet at UTAS Stadium and they will be hoping to rise to the occasion.
Player to watch – Callum Kilpatrick
The young gun has become a crucial cog of the Demon’s backline. Kilpatrick kept working hard last week despite Clarence putting tremendous forward pressure on the Demons.
However, Kilpatrick faces his toughest challenge yet, taking on the likes of Bannister and McCulloch.
Tip – North Launceston by 60 points.
This match will be broadcast live by the team at City Park Radio – 96.5 FM / 103.7 FM and online
Glenorchy v Lauderdale at KGV Oval (Saturday 2pm)
Two of the competition’s in-form teams will collide at KGV when the Magpies host the undefeated Southern Bombers.
Glenorchy are looking to bounce back after last week’s loss to North Launceston while Lauderdale are coming off a bye after conquering the reigning premiers.
The Magpies are licking their wounds after a difficult loss to North Launceston in Round six.
Skipper Brayden Webb and defensive leader Josh Arnold will have stints on the sideline due to injury.
Superstar Jaye Bowden is also in-doubt due to an ankle concern, adding to the mounting injury toll which already includes Daniel Joseph, Mitch Rainbird, Clinton French and Matthew Joseph.
Glenorchy will be hoping their younger players can step up to the challenge with debutant Isaac Manson impressing last week alongside young guns Ryan Banks-Smith and Adam Roberts.
Lauderdale looms as a massive challenge for Paul Kennedy’s wounded Magpie army.
Player to watch – Aiden Grace
The young gun is becoming Mr. Consistency for the Magpies with the forward booting another bag of goals last week.
The former ‘Roo has kicked a goal in every game this year and is a key contributor in Glenorchy’s forward line.
After a week off with the bye, the Southern Bombers will be looking to continue their undefeated season against one of the TSL’s in-form sides.
Lauderdale are one game clear on top of the ladder with their superstars on fire.
The midfield quartet of Sam Siggins, Bryce Walsh, Phil Bellchambers and Haydn Smith are in stunning form.
Star forward Henry Kerinaiua has been a handful for opposition sides, providing plenty of excitement for the Bombers faithful.
Jeremiah Perkins is also emerging as key defender for the Bombers.
Player to watch – Jeremiah Perkins
Since breaking into the senior side, Jeremiah Perkins has been a revelation for the Bombers.
Perkins earned the praise of Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown for his consistency following the Bombers’ victory over North Launceston in Round five.
Tip – Lauderdale by 23 points.
Tigers v Clarence at Twin Ovals (Saturday 6pm)
Saturday night footy returns to Twin Ovals with an intriguing contest between two young sides looking to establish a position in the top five.
Clarence are coming off their first win of the season while Tigers are looking to hit back after a disappointing result against Launceston at Windsor Park.
After a promising start last week against the Blues, the Tigers were blown away in the second quarter and never recovered.
The hosts will be looking to put in a four-quarter performance against the ‘Roos.
Kieran Lovell continues to impress in the midfield with a standout performance against Launceston.
Forward Michael Paul has also been presenting well, kicking three majors last week.
Veteran Marcus Davies and young guns like Blake McCulloch will play key roles in shutting down the ‘Roos forward line.
Player to watch – Elijah Reardon
The crafty forward held his own on a difficult day for the club.
Reardon will be hoping to cause a massive headache for the Clarence defence with his silky skills.
The young ‘Roos finally got their first win of season last week in a dominant performance against North Hobart.
Clarence’s leaders have been solid all season with captain Brady Jones, Ryan Bailey, Jake Cox and Clint Riley leading the way.
Young stars Ethan Jackson, Blair Rubock, Adrian Butterworth and Oscar Paprotny have also been valuable contributors.
Jarrod Harper and Zac Buechner have become important targets for the ‘Roos in their forward line, kicking three and two goals respectively last week.
Jack Preshaw is also having an outstanding season and was one of Clarence’s best players last week.
Player to watch – Wade Wall
Wade Wall has big shoes to fill this week, coming into the side for the absent Ryan Bailey. Bailey has emerged as one of the competition’s star rucks over the last 12 months, and against a mobile duo of Hugh Johnston and Marcus Gardner, Wall will need to have a big game to help provide the ‘Roos midfielders with first use.
Tip – Clarence by 8 points.