By Ryan Rosendale
The Tigers and Clarence round 12 clash shaped as one the season’s most important contests in terms of the makeup of this year’s finals series; and it was the Tigers that stood tall, and in doing so, were able to get one step closer to their first ever Bupa TSL finals appearance. Here’s five things we learned:
- THE START WAS THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE
Six goals to zero and a 34-point quarter-time margin was the difference in the contest.
The momentum was all with the Tigers throughout the first quarter with the pressure and ball movement of the visitors key in helping them get off to one of their best starts of the season and allowing them the distance needed to be able to play the majority of Saturday’s game on their terms.
- THE TIGERS HALF-BACK LINE IS SHAPING AS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE COMPETITION
Tigers coach Trent Baumler has heaped high praise on recruit Jarryd Drew throughout the first-half of the season and in Saturday’s clash, Drew finally gave the competition a strong showing of what his coach knew the dashing half-back is capable of.
Drew, alongside Marcus Davies and skipper Sam Rice, were pivotal in the Tigers victory over the ‘Roos, with the trio giving strong evidence that they are quietly becoming one of the competition’s best half-back lines with every passing week they line-up together.
- BRADY JONES AND JEROMEY WEBBERLEY CONTINUE TO STAND TALL
Much has been made of the developing list at Blundstone Arena and while each week shows the young Roos are building into strong senior players, it’s captain Brady Jones and playing coach Jeromy Webberley that continue to lead from the front.
The two stalwarts were at the thick of the action again on Saturday, finishing as the ‘Roos two best players and reminding fans that this Clarence side will always be a chance when Jones and Webberley pull on the red and white.
- KIERAN LOVELL COULD SHAPE AS THE DIFFERENCE COME FINALS
There’s no doubting the talent of Kieran Lovell and so much has been spoken about his season thus far that repeating it here would be stating the obvious.
Therefore, all we will state he is that any side shaping up against the Tigers come September – should they qualify for their maiden finals’ series – will be very, very worried about the damage Kieran Lovell could do on the big stage.
- CHRIS NIELD SHAPES AS IMPORTANT PLAYER IN CLARENCE’S DEVELOPMENT
After a dismal goalless first-term from the Roos, it took the work rate of key forward Chris Nield to finally get his side going in the second.
The former Tiger was able to hit the scoreboard three times throughout the second-term but it was his leading work up the ground and ability to work-back into the forward 50 that was most impressive to those watching in the stands.
While it wasn’t a breakout game of any kind for Nield, he was able to give a small glimpse of his capabilities when fit and firing, and backed up a three-goal effort against Lauderdale the week before.
Clarence 0.3, 3.3, 4.5, 6.7 (43)
Tigers 6.1, 8.6, 11.6, 15.8 (98)
Clarence : C. Nield 3, W. Wall 1, K. Howlett 1, J. Harper 1
Tigers : K. Lovell 3, M. Gardner 2, E. Reardon 2, B. Gordon 2, T. Carter 2, L. Clifford 1, L. Graham 1, J. Lister 1, L. Gadomski 1
Tigers : J. Drew, L. Clifford, M. Gardner, J. Lister, B. Rees, M. Davies
Clarence : B. Jones, J. Webberley, Z. Buechner, K. Howlett, G. Chambers, C. Nield