Round eight of the Bupa Tasmanian State League is set to be a ripper with two fascinating contests set to unfold in the north.
Traditional rivals will also collide down south in a Sunday afternoon blockbuster, TSL Digital Reporter Grant Jessup writes.
North Launceston v Tigers at UTAS Stadium (Saturday 6pm)
Last time they met:
Round one, 2019 – Tigers 8.6 (54) def. by North Launceston 16.11 (107) at Twin Ovals.
After nearly succumbing to North Hobart in round seven, the reigning premiers will have to be wary of a young Tigers outfit.
The top of the table Bombers have two wins in a row and will be trying to extend their streak on Saturday night.
Taylor Whitford’s men will be looking to respond after a young North Hobart side nearly pulled off a huge upset in their round seven clash.
However, the experience and class of North Launceston shone through during the dying minutes of their battle with the Demons.
Skipper Bradley Cox-Goodyer, Josh Ponting and ruckman Alex Lee loom as key barometers for this quality team.
Bomber big men Dakota Bannister and Bart McCulloch will be a substantial challenge for the Tiger backline.
Player to watch – Josh Ponting
The 2018 Alastair Lynch Medallist’s work in the engine room has been critical to the Bombers’ success this season.
Ponting may have to be shut down if the Tigers want to secure the four points.
After a massive victory over the ‘Roos last week, the Tigers are roaring and ready to take on the reigning premiers.
Midfield supply will likely be critical to the final outcome of this contest.
The midfield trio of Kieran Lovell, Lochie Griggs and Lachlan Clifford with face a major test against the likes of Cox-Goodyer, Whitford and Ponting.
Given their difficulties with curtailing Demon Colin Garland in Round seven, the Northern Bombers may struggle to contain the Tigers’ forward line.
Tyler Carter, Michael Paul and Jakob Lister were all on fire last week. However, the Tigers will lose key forward Luke Graham to a three-week suspension.
Player to watch – Tyler Carter
In one of his best games in yellow and black, Carter stood tall for the Tigers, booting four goals.
Carter’s strong marking ability and goalkicking skills will be useful against the reigning premiers.
Tip – North Launceston by 10 points.
Launceston v Lauderdale at Windsor Park (Saturday 2pm)
Last time they met:
Round two, 2019 – Lauderdale 15.14 (104) def. Launceston 10.11 (71) at Skybus Oval.
Launceston will be looking to cause a massive upset at home against Lauderdale with the Blues set to welcome back a favourite son.
Coming off a bye, the Blues could have a massive return this week with midfield gun Jay Blackberry set to line up for his first senior game of the season.
The Launceston co-captain would add further class to Launceston’s midfield, which already includes Jobi Harper, Fletcher Seymour, Brodie Palfreyman and Tim Bristow.
Brendan Taylor has also been a valuable contributor in the Blues midfield.
Hamish Leedham will have a massive challenge in the ruck against the in-form Haydn Smith.
Meanwhile, Launceston playing-coach Mitch Thorp will be looking for a bag of goals alongside forward lieutenants Alec Wright and Grant Holt.
Player to watch – Brendan Taylor
Taylor’s ball use in the middle has been exceptional throughout the season.
The key midfielder has also been hitting the scoreboard, booting three majors in round six.
The Southern Bombers will be looking to bounce back after their first loss of season last week against Glenorchy.
There were shining lights in a difficult loss to the Magpies with the ‘Flying Mullet’ Ben McGuinness kicking five goals.
Rhys Sutton also stood out in a tough day for Lauderdale’s midfield.
Shutting down some of the Blues’ quality ball users will be important along with thwarting the powerful Launceston forward line.
Player to watch – Edward Trupp
The Southern Bombers defensive leader has made a great to the season.
Trupp will need to continue his hard work on Saturday against a problematic Blues forward line.
Tip – Lauderdale by 12 points.
North Hobart v Glenorchy at North Hobart Oval (Sunday 2pm)
Last time they met:
Round two, 2019 – Glenorchy 11.11 (77) def. North Hobart 5.6 (36)
North Hobart and Glenorchy will do battle at the traditional home of Tassie footy with both sides impressing last round in their own unique ways.
The Demons should be raring to go after last week’s inspiring performance against North Launceston.
Colin Garland made a massive difference to the Demons forward line, booting seven goals in a best on ground performance.
Whilst the Dees did not get the four points against the Northern Bombers, Glenorchy cannot underestimate this seemingly rejuvenated young side.
If North Hobart needs further motivation, Hugh Williams and Ollie Di Venuto will both play their 150th senior game for the club this Sunday.
Player to watch – Colin Garland
The former Melbourne player made a devastating return to the Demons forward line last week.
After some tune-up games in a lower level competition, Garland looks fit and ready to tear the TSL apart.
The Magpies continue to prove that they are serious premiership contenders.
Led solidly by midfield star Ben Kamaric, Glenorchy came from behind to snatch the four points from Lauderdale.
However, the win could have come at a cost with John Geard and Tim Butterworth under injury clouds.
Despite a mounting injury toll, there are still plenty of fit superstars in this black and white army.
Kamaric, acting-captain Harrison Gunther, Jaye Bowden, Cal Daly and Aiden Grace are just some of the guns set to play on Sunday.
Player to watch – Ben Kamaric
The superstar midfielder has taken his game to another level in the absence of skipper Brayden Webb (Knee – season) and fellow onballer Rhys Mott (Hamstring).
The Demons could struggle to prevent ‘Disco’ Kamaric from lighting up the contest.
Tip – Glenorchy by 22 points.