“Launceston is always the team we worry about… They have a very deep midfield and to this point we think that they are the best side we have played against.”
These were the words of Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown on Thursday morning ahead of the Bombers’ meeting with the Blues at Windsor Park.
Launceston look to be one of the form sides of the competition ahead of this weekend’s meeting with the ladder leaders, and as evidenced by Brown’s comments, have certainly made other teams stop and notice.
Launceston pose many threats to opposition sides, with a midfield group boasting Jobi Harper, Fletcher Seymour, Brodie Palfreyman and Tim Bristow and the likes of Dylan Riley, Jay Blackberry and coach Mitch Thorp forward of centre.
With three wins on the trot and in third spot, the Blues look to have the makings of a genuine flag threat, with a but Thorp is hesitant to buy into the hype, insisting the focus remains on continued improvement – even if they manage to topple the ladder leaders this weekend.
“We just want to keep developing and progressing, I don’t really care what sort of a message a win over Lauderdale would send to the competition,” he said.
“We have a whole range of goals we want to achieve this year; some on the field and a lot off the field. We just want to keep getting better as the season goes on.”
The Blues enter this clash off the back of a dominant 89-point win over Glenorchy at KGV last weekend.
“It was a strong performance. It was our second time to Hobart in two weeks, so we wanted to start the game well. Glenorchy probably jumped us but we responded after half time and to win by 89 points was really pleasing.
“This win shows that we are developing and that we are getting better.
“The confidence and vibe around the group is really positive. We are getting more confidence each week as we still have a relatively new side. Wins away from home do wonders for training and then for leading into games like this.”
Launceston have been competitive in their two meetings against Lauderdale this year, but Thorp concedes the two sides will be different this time around.
“Lauderdale are obviously the yardstick of the competition. They’ve only lost one game for the season, but we have had two pretty good contests with them earlier in the year and our side has progressed a little bit since then.
“We were in front at the 11-minute mark of the last quarter in that last game and they kicked a couple of late goals to put an 18-point result on us. We have definitely improved from then and we have a lot of our personnel back. It’s hard to put a gauge as to how much we have improved, but we will soon see on the weekend.
“They get Nick Dodge back into the side, who is arguably one of the best small forwards in the competition, so we will have our hands full but we are looking forward to the contest.”