We take a look at five of the major talking points to come out of Lauderdale’s 33-point round 17 win over the Tigers at Skybus Oval.
1. Bomber midfield had a point to prove
Lauderdale entered this clash with a point to prove after being handed a 44-point defeat by the Blues the week prior.
A key reason behind Lauderdale’s poor result was the midfield battle, where the Blues – led by Jobi Harper, Fletcher Seymour and Tim Bristow – got on top around stoppages.
The Tigers boast a similarly dangerous midfield group, with Kieran Lovell, Ryan Matthews and Lachie Clifford all having strong seasons.
This, usually an area of the strength for the Bombers, was a clear focus for the hosts against the Tigers, with Lauderdale’s familiar brand of contested footy back on full display, with Bryce Walsh, Phil Bellchambers and Nat Franklin leading from the front at the feet of a dominant Haydn Smith.
“We play a good brand of contested footy and last week our mids got smashed in that area,” assistant coach Clint Brown said post game.
“Our boys had a bit of a point to prove today… Bryce Walsh as our captain came out and had 35 possessions and 12 tackles. Phil Bellchambers was outstanding and Nat Franklin had 27-28 as well.
“It was good top see those boys fight back after a pretty intense review earlier in the week,” Brown said.
2. Scoreboard flattery
While the contest was particularly even and hard-fought in a scrappy opening term, Lauderdale had the better of most of the contest from thereon, aside from a spirited third-quarter fightback from the Tigers.
The dominance Lauderdale had over much of the contest wasn’t fully reflected by the 33-point margin at the final siren.
More appropriate to the contest is the scoring shots breakdown of 30-17 in favour of the hosts, with Lauderdale’s final term scoring of 3.6 the difference between a comfortable win and a big percentage booster.
Brown acknowledged that his side let an opportunity for a big win go begging.
“Kingborough are a side that has troubled us for a number of years… we haven’t been able to fully put them away.
“Today we controlled the game for most of it and had our chances to have a good win and we didn’t. It’s disappointing that we ambled our way through it and won by five or six goals when it could’ve been a lot more.”
3. Lauderdale have options
Ryan Wiggins, Ben McGuinness, Sam Siggins, Alex Hill, Ethan Whish-Wilson, Edward Trupp and now Josh McGuinness…
Lauderdale have a host of players that spend time at either end of the ground, making them a dangerous proposition for any side.
This flexibility provides the Bombers with the opportunity to catch opponents off-side, but Brown acknowledges that the Bombers’ best 22 is probably not quite known due to this.
“It’s a bit of a catch-22 with some of them,” Brown said.
“We have Ethan Whish-Wilson, Ryan Wiggins and Ben McGuinness (who can play at either end) and even Josh McGuinness spent time as a forward today.
“Itt’s just nice that we can swap guys from end to end when things aren’t going our way. It’s nice to be able to make moves from one end to the other and have guys respond to that.
Tigers coach Trent Baumeler concedes that preparing to play Lauderdale has its own unique set of headaches.
“They always have different combos at centre bounce, and a different guy usually flicks out to a wing.
“That’s the beauty of their team, guys like Josh and Ben McGuinness can play either end. You need to have plans A, B, C and D when you play Lauderdale, and we had that, but they have some really good weapons at their disposal.”
4. Siggins fires as a forward
Lauderdale recruit Sam Siggins has been one of the season’s best performers, starring as a big-bodied midfielder and back-up ruckman to Haydn Smith.
However, with Lauderdale looking to find a spark after last weekend’s loss, the former Clarence Roo, Adelaide Crow and Geelong Cat found himself playing as a forward for most of Saturday’s game.
The result? Five goals and arguably a best-on-ground performance.
Siggins was dangerous all afternoon, providing a mobile marking target inside 50 with good goal sense.
Brown conceded that the positional and strategic move was probably overdue.
“Siggo started the year on fire and we thought it would be a good opportunity to play him somewhere else. We have probably left him in the midfield a bit too much.
“We decided to throw him forward and initially he was probably wrestling with his opponent too much, but when he started hitting up, he was hard to stop,” Brown said.
“It shows that when he is being held in the midfield, we can throw him forward and he can be just as damaging. It’s a good thing to have heading into the finals.”
5. Mickey Paul’s return
The big Tiger made his return to senior TSL footy against Lauderdale and got through unscathed.
Paul started the game in strong touch, taking several strong marks and competing well aerially.
Launching two shots on goal from 50, Paul may not have hit the scoreboard, but looked more than comfortable back at the level after a long lay-off due to injury.
Although Paul had limited minutes, Tigers fans will be thrilled with his return to fitness.
“Mick was always going to blow up,” coach Trent Baumeler said post game.
“He got through three quarters against Glenorchy a little while ago, so he has played three quarters in eight or nine weeks.
“His first quarter was really promising but the main thing was to get him through a game.
“It’s going to take a few weeks to get him used to working alongside Tyler Carter, Lukey Graham and Elijah Reardon. They need to work on that synergy again, which is a problem I’d rather have than Mick not playing.”
Lauderdale 2.3, 6.8, 10.11, 13.17 (95)
Tigers 1.4, 2.4, 7.6, 9.8 (62)
Lauderdale : S. Siggins 5, R. Hill 3, J. McGuinness, N. Raglione, A. Hevey, R. McManus, H. Smith
Tigers : J. Lister 3, M. Gardner 2, E. Reardon 1, J. Drew 1, B. Adams 1, M. Paul 1
Lauderdale : H. Smith, B. Walsh, N. Raglione, N. Franklin, S. Siggins, N. Baker
Tigers : W. Poland, H. Johnston, J. Drew, B. Graham, M. Davies, K. Lovell
Lauderdale will play Clarence at Blundstone Arena in round 18, while the Tigers will host North Hobart at the Twin Ovals.