The Tigers have built a wave of momentum heading into the final stages of the season, recording a dominant 73-point win over North Hobart at the Twin Ovals, writes Hamish Spence.
After trailing by four points at quarter time, the Tigers were the better side and effectively won the game in the second term, leaving as 18.13 (121) to 7.6 (48) winners.
They dominated in the second and last quarter, kicking six goals and seven goals respectively, while North Hobart only kicked one goal and one behind across the same two quarters.
The Dees actually won the first and third quarters when kicking with the wind, but were outclassed outside of those two quarters.
The Tigers started the game strongly, with the first two goals of the game. Lachlan Watt got a free in the marking contest and Beau Adams had a good collect and composure in front of goal.
Colin Garland got the first for the Dees, after a big look-away kick from 55m bounced through. They then took the lead with a great running snap from Sam Caswell, and Jayden Charlton extended it with a nice finish after a chain of handballs.
Sam Duigan brought the margin back after receiving a free and 50m penalty, leaving the ‘Dees as four-point leaders at quarter time.
Michael Paul took a big juggling mark and then converted at the start of the second, to give the Tigers the lead back.
There was a short break in goals, before the Tigers took over the game in the back half of the term.
The Tigers’ tall timber started to impose themselves, Michael Paul kicked another goal and Tyler Carter kicked two for the term.
There was also a great balk and goal from Ryan Matthews, and Kieran Lovell finished the term with a big bender; extending the Tigers lead to 35 points at half-time.
Nathan McCulloch broke the Dees’ drought of goals, with a ripping goal from outside 50. Michael Paul responded with a massive contested mark for his fourth.
There was another break in goals, before Luke Graham got a free near the goal square and snapped his first.
North Hobart got the last two goals of the term, through a running snap from Mack Evans 45m out and a soccer kick in the goal square by Angus Norton, to reduce the margin to 31 points at the final break.
Alex Vincent started the final quarter with a good snap on goal for the Tigers. Nathan McCulloch got a head high free near the square and kicked his second.
The rest of the fourth quarter followed a similar pattern to the second, the Tigers dominated and their tall’s were potent.
Michael Paul finished with five goals, after kicking two more in the last. Ruckman Marcus Gardner was moved forward and had a big impact, kicking three goals for the term.
Luke Graham finished the game with his second, leaving the Tigers as 73-point winners.
Michael Paul played his best game for the Tigers, finishing with a handful of five goals. He read the ball beautifully and looked like clunking everything that came in his direction.
Kieran Lovell was prevalent in the middle once again, in a much-anticipated match-up with Sam Darley.
Jarryd Drew was great down back and really created the Tigers second quarter surge with his drive off half-back.
Young Mack Evans showed a lot for the ‘Dees and kicked a great running snap.
Captain Hugh Williams competed hard all day and provided some experience for the young ‘Dees.
Tigers coach Trent Baumeler said his team’s effort was good and high all day.
“I think it was a real mature and professional performance from our guys today and a real good step in the right direction.”
He was pleased with the way they finished in the last, showing their maturity and that they can be “a little bit ruthless.”
“It was pleasing that we were able to play the game out and put that on the scoreboard as well, you know, a little reward for effort for the way we played in the first three quarters.”
He said that they have a tough run home, but it would be good preparation for finals.
“We know we’re going to finish fifth, that’s were we’re going to finish. So, we know we’re going to play in a one game season in an elimination final, so we’ve got to build every week up to that challenge.”
North Hobart coach Richard “Bear” Robinson said his team was noncompetitive, while the Tigers were too good.
“We were really noncompetitive after halfway through the second quarter, but to the Tigers credit they really outplayed us and had wins all over the ground.”
He thought that there were only two positives from the group.
“I thought Hughie Williams job on Griggs was quite good and Mack Evans showed some really good signs going forward, but apart from that there aren’t too many positives we can take away from today.”
He said the performance was disappointing, given the teams recent progress.
“I think as a coaching group we spoke to players about how we went backwards in a learning sense. Things we’ve been really placing a huge emphasis on the last six weeks, which the boys have been slowly improving with.”
Tigers: 3.0, 9.4, 11.7, 18.13, (121)
North Hobart: 3.4, 3.5, 6.6, 7.6, (48)
Tigers: M. Paul (5), M. Gardner (3), T. Carter (2), L. Graham (2), A. Vincent, L. Watt, R. Matthews, K. Lovell, S. Duigan, B. Adams
North Hobart: N. McCulloch (2), C. Garland, J. Charlton, S. Caswell, A. Norton, M. Evans
Tigers: M. Gardner, S. Duigan, M. Paul, H. Johnston, J. Drew, R. Matthews
North Hobart: H. Williams, M. Yates, J. Charlton, M. Evans
The Tigers head to KGV Oval to face fellow top five side, Glenorchy, at 2:00pm next Saturday.
North Hobart have the bye and then make the tough trek up to UTAS Stadium to face North Launceston on Saturday the 17th of August at 2:00pm.