Round 17 of the Bupa TSL season offers up three big games in the south of the state as teams look to build some momentum across the season’s final stretch.
Clarence v Glenorchy at Blundstone Arena (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Glenorchy 22.8 (140) def. Clarence 11.4 (70) – Round 10, 2019 at KGV Oval
The ‘Roos and ‘Pies will resume hostilities at Blundstone Arena in another Bingley-Linton Cup clash.
The ‘Roos currently sit in sixth spot with just one win for the season, and after being dismantled by the Magpies when the sides last met in round 10, will be desperate to put in a more competitive effort.
Glenorchy looks to be regaining some of its mojo after a horrid run with injuries. Last weekend’s grinding win over the Demons should hold Paul Kennedy’s side in good stead for the back-half of the season.
Ben Kamaric, Ryan Banks-Smith and Rhys Mott are all in strong form and will be eager to stamp their authority through the midfield and on the wings against the developing ‘Roos.
Clarence’s defence will likely be stretched with Aiden Grace, Callen Daly and Sam Reeves all players deserving of close attention.
The ‘Roos have exciting young talent, from James Bealey in defence to Sam Lewis-Johnson in the middle, but it’s tough to see the young ‘Roos being able to overcome a Magpies side that needs a win to try and book a second chance come September.
Players to watch:
Clarence – Zac Buechner
Playing as a key defender, Buechner has been a shining light in a tough season for the ‘Roos. Strong overhead and a good reader of the play, the former Aspley Hornet will likely be tasked with handling one of the Magpies’ tall targets. Plays above his height.
Glenorchy – Ryan Banks-Smith
The talented ‘Pie looks to be playing a new role as a tagger in recent weeks, playing roles on the likes of Jobi Harper and Sam Darley. Despite being accountable for stars of the competition, Banks-Smith has also been able to win plenty of his own ball and impress with his pace. Will enjoy the wide expanses of Blundstone Arena and may go head-to-head with Brady Jones.
Tip: Magpies by 24 points
Lauderdale v Tigers FC at Skybus Oval (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Tigers FC 7.12 (54) def. by Lauderdale 14.12 (96) – Round 10, 2019 at Twin Ovals
This looms as a danger game for the ladder leaders, with the Tigers’ best football capable of troubling the best of the competition.
On the other hand though, the Tigers will need to be on high-alert, with Lauderdale likely to be hurting after last weekend’s loss to the Blues.
The Tigers set a serious challenge for Lauderdale when the two teams last met, trailing by just one goal at the final change before the Bombers flexed their muscle and piled on seven goals to one in the final term to record a comfortable win.
The Tigers will need to be on for the entire 120 minutes, with Lauderdale’s explosiveness and capacity to score quickly a reason behind their success this season.
The midfield duel looks evenly matched, with Lovell, Matthews and Clifford going head-to-head with Walsh, Bellchambers, Siggins and Franklin a tantalising prospect.
The Tigers’ tall timber of Tyler Carter and Mickey Paul (if fit) will look to follow in the steps of Mitch Thorp last week and exploit the Bombers’ defence.
When you stack up the teams, however, Lauderdale still look to have the star-power across the park to run away with this one; especially with their capacity to pull the trigger and score goals in a hurry.
Players to watch:
Lauderdale – Mitch Anderton
The young Bomber has been a model of consistency in recent seasons, emerging as one of Lauderdale’s more important assets. Usually at his best as a lockdown defender, Anderton has won plenty of his own ball this season, while also playing as a pinch-hitting forward. Likely to get the job on dangerous Tiger Luke Graham.
Tigers FC – Luke Graham
The 2018 TSL Team of the Year forward has had an interrupted 2019 campaign, missing three games earlier in the year through suspension. Has kicked a goal in each of his last six games but looks primed to breakout with a bag. Kicked six goals at Skybus Oval in one of the games of the 2018 season.
Tip: Bombers by 20 points
North Hobart v Launceston at North Hobart Oval (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Launceston 17.8 (110) def. North Hobart 10.6 (66) – Round 10, 2019 at Windsor Park
The Blues are the competition’s form team right now, having toppled Glenorchy and Lauderdale across the last fortnight.
With a deep, in-form midfield group and a multi-pronged forward line, the Blues’ list would give opposition coaches plenty to ponder.
North Hobart have what it takes to stay with the Blues, with Sam Darley and Nathan McCulloch in strong form.
An upset over a confident side with one eye towards a double chance in September, however, looks to be a step too far for the Demons at this stage.
The Demons will offer a stiff challenge, but the Blues should be too strong.
Players to watch:
North Hobart – Sam Darley
Put simply, Darley is having a sensational TSL season. The former GWS Giant, Western Bulldog and Richmond VFL captain has been a superb leader, while racking up consistently high numbers in the process. An out-and-out star of the competition, Darley will need to be firing against the Blues’ richly talented midfield contingent.
Launceston – Brendan Taylor
Described by coach Mitch Thorp as a ‘hugely underrated’ player, Taylor is quietly putting together a terrific season of senior football. A tackling machine, Taylor’s pressure at the contest and on the ball-carrier makes him a crucial component in the Blues’ recent form spike. Not delivering the highlight reels like some of his teammates, but just as important.
Tip: Blues by 36 points