Written by Ryan Rosendale.
Round eight action at North Hobart Oval saw Glenorchy register a 45-point win over North Hobart, with the Magpies claiming their sixth win of the season to sit second on the ladder. After a tight first-half, the inaccurate Magpies ran away with the game in the third-quarter and here are five things we learnt following the final siren.
1. GLENORCHY ARE A BETTER SIDE WHEN ZAC WEBSTER PLAYS
They may have been sitting at 5-1 before Sunday’s clash but it was evident within the first few minutes that Glenorchy are a much stronger side when Zac Webster is back playing his best football.
With star Daniel Joseph out for the season with an ACL injury, coach Paul Kennedy may look to the former Hawthorn-listed player to somewhat fill a hole in the Pies back-six.
Webster played a sweeping role throughout the day, collecting plenty of the football in the back-half of the ground to set up his teammates with his precision kicking; yet it was two instances in the third-term where Webster dropped back into to spoil two kicks intended for Dees star Colin Garland that showed the 23 year-old is 100 per-cent committed to the Pies’ tilt at a flag in their centennial year.
2. NORTH HOBART ARE CONTINUALLY IMPROVING DESPITE NOT GETTING A VICTORY
Turn the clock back to last year and it was a 144-point hiding given to the Dees by Glenorchy at KGV.
It was a horror game for the young Demons outfit, but after running North Launceston to their limit last week and matching it with the Pies for a half on Sunday, it showed that while their form may be similar to a see-saw, Bear Robinson’s men will only improve as the games, seasons and years go on.
3. CALLEN DALY IS A STAR
If anyone still had any questions about how good Glenorchy livewire Callen Daly was before Sunday’s game, they were well and truly answered come the final siren.
Daly was at his damaging best, kicking four goals and applying plenty of pressure across the forward half of the ground and the midfield.
If 2018 was his breakout year, then 2019 could be the year that Daly well and truly stamps his place as one of the competition’s best players.
4. SAM DARLEY SHAPES AS A KEY COG IN THE DEES REBUILD
While much of the attention has gone to star forward Colin Garland’s return to the Demons, Darley’s importance to the young North Hobart side cannot go unnoticed.
The former Giant and Bulldog played arguably his best game since returning to his junior side on Sunday, racking up plenty of the footy through the centre and bringing a number of his young midfield cohorts into the game. Darley, along with fellow experienced midfielders Jayden Charlton and Nathan McCulloch, will be important players in the years to come for the Demons.
5. HARRISON GUNTHER IS ONE OF THE COMPETITIONS BEST ONE-ON-ONE DEFENDERS
One week after booting seven-goals against North Launceston, many thought Colin Garland’s hot-form may continue against the Pies. Enter Harrison Gunther.
The key defender was sent to Garland from the outset and held him to just 1.3. It was an entertaining duel throughout the game with both men giving fans their money’s worth on the day.
Gunther has become a much-improved player under Paul Kennedy since his shift into defence last season and with the injured Daniel Joseph on the sidelines for the remainder of the season, Gunther will be Kennedy’s go-to man for shutting down the competitions best key forwards.