Round 12 of the Bupa Tasmanian State League season offers three big games in the south of the state, with each game set to make a big impact on the finals race.
Clarence v Tigers FC at Blundstone Arena (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Round 7 2019 – Tigers FC 16.15 (111) def. Clarence 10.10 (70) at Twin Ovals
This looms as one of the season’s most important games to date.
The Tigers, two games clear of Clarence in fifth spot, will go a long way to booking a maiden finals berth with a win over the ‘Roos, while the hosts will be desperate to rally and keep their September hopes alive.
The Tigers were impressive when the sides last met in round seven, kicking seven goals to two in the opening term and four goals to one in the last after a third quarter scare to run out convincing winners.
The ‘Roos, with just one win so far this season, are reliant on their more established players, with Chris Nield, Brady Jones and Jeromey Webberley all having good seasons. Such names will again have to fire if the hosts are to record an important win and remain in touch with the competition’s top five.
After a stuttering start to the season, there would be no better time for Clarence’s campaign to kick into gear than this clash at the halfway point of the year.
However, with Jake Cox remaining on the sidelines, and the Tigers welcoming back goalsneak Luke Graham, the Tigers’ firepower across the ground looks to be too much, and with good form and the chance to move to three games clear, the Tigers should take the spoils here.
Keep your eyes peeled for the midfield match-up between Kieran Lovell and Matt Ling. Ling did a solid job on Lovell back in round seven, and has performed similar shutdown roles well throughout the season. If Ling can curb Lovell’s influence, the ‘Roos will receive a big boost.
Players to watch:
Clarence – Chris Nield
The former Tiger has been one of the ‘Roos best performers this season. Despite some injury setbacks, Nield has impressed at both ends of the park. Spending time as a forward in recent weeks, Nield will again have a big role to play as one of Clarence’s more seasoned campaigners.
Tigers FC – Tyler Carter
The Tigers’ big man has 11 goals from seven games so far this season, including four against the ‘Roos in round seven and three in last weekend’s win over the Demons. Carter, alongside Mickey Paul, make for two big and dangerous targets forward of centre.
Tip: Tigers by 18 points
North Hobart v North Launceston at North Hobart Oval (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Round 7 2019 – North Launceston 12.10 (82) def. North Hobart 11.5 (71) at UTAS Stadium
On paper this game seems like a straightforward one to tip.
The reigning premiers have only one blemish on their record so far this season, and off the back of a strong win over the Blues look to be humming along nicely. The Demons, on the other hand, remain anchored to the bottom of the ladder after a winless start to their campaign.
The Demons’ 0-10 record doesn’t do justice to their competitiveness for much of the season, however, with the round seven meeting between these sides the perfect example of this.
North Hobart, boosted by the return of Colin Garland, were pipped by the Northern Bombers after leading late in the final term. In one of the year’s most entertaining contests, the Demons showed that they can compete with the competition’s big guns.
The Demons have been competitive throughout patches of games since, with last weekend’s heartbreaking five-point loss a game that could’ve gone either way. Sam Darley is in sparkling form, while Callum Kilpatrick and Josh Cleaver are examples of players taking their game to another level this season.
The Demons will be without Colin Garland and a host of Devils on this occasion, however, and with North Launceston’s star power continuing to impress, expect the likes of Brad Cox-Goodyer, Taylor Whitford, Jay Foon and Bart McCulloch to be far too strong – even on the tighter confines of North Hobart Oval.
Players to watch:
North Hobart – Sam Darley
The former GWS Giant, Western Bulldog and Richmond VFL captain has been in dynamic touch in recent weeks, polling RACT Insurance Player of the Year votes in his last four outings. A prolific ball winner and exceptional user, Darley will be key against a highly-skilled North Launceston outfit.
North Launceston – Sherrin Egger
The 2018 Matthew Richardson Medallist looks to be getting better with each and every week. Whether as a crafty forward or as a running defender, Egger has become an integral member of this side.
Tip: Northern Bombers by 48 points
Lauderdale v Glenorchy at Skybus Oval (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Round 7 2019 – Glenorchy 11.8 (74) def. Lauderdale 9.9 (63) at KGV Oval
This promises to be one heck of an encounter.
Two of the competition’s top outfits, the Bombers will be looking to extract revenge on the Magpies after being inflicted with their only loss of the season to date at KGV back in round seven.
The midfield battle will be fascinating, with both sides boasting an exciting mix of inside bulls and outside runners. The ruck duel will also be crucial, with Haydn Smith and Cam Duffy two of the competition’s very best.
Glenorchy’s defensive unit has been strong all season, conceding the second least points so far this season, but equally, Lauderdale has scored more points than any other side. With Ben McGuinness, Jacob Gillbee and Henry Kerinaiua firing, the Bombers look hard to stop.
Expect this to be a tough slog all afternoon, but for the hosts to emerge with the points in a close one.
Also look out for how the Magpies perform after a two-week break. Will there be rust, or will they come out firing on all cylinders? A win here would well and truly propel the Magpies into top two calculations.
Players to watch:
Lauderdale – Haydn Smith
The RACT Insurance Player of the Year leader is having an exceptional season. Controlling ruck duels and making his presence felt around the ground, Smith will have a key role to play up against the ever-dangerous Cameron Duffy.
Glenorchy – Aiden Grace
With 23 goals so far this season, the Lefroy Medallist has taken the TSL by storm. An elite mark and competitor at ground level, Grace will have a point to prove after being held goalless the last time these sides met.
Tip: Bombers by 12 points