A titanic Bomber Battle will headline round 19 Bupa Tasmanian State League action.
Glenorchy v Tigers FC – KGV Oval (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Tigers FC 7.13 (55) def. by Glenorchy 10.8 (68) – Round 13, 2019 at Twin Ovals
The most season wins in the club’s history, a maiden finals berth secured, biggest winning margin, first win over North Launceston… The Tigers have broken plenty of new ground in 2019 and will be looking to do so again this weekend by beating Glenorchy for the first time.
The Tigers have been in strong form with two wins from the last three games and have been highly competitive in both meetings with Glenorchy so far this season.
Glenorchy’s luckless run with injury looks to be continuing, with confirmation that star defender Harrison Gunther has injured his knee. Gunther’s absence on top of Daniel Joseph and Josh Grant in defence looks to leave the ‘Pies in a vulnerable spot, especially with the Tigers’ tall timber of Mickey Paul, Tyler Carter and Marcus Gardner in strong form.
The ‘Pies will continue to back themselves around the contest, with Ben Kamaric and Kieran Lovell going head-to-head a fascinating proposition.
Glenorchy will be sweating on the fitness of Jaye Bowden among others, with last week’s bye looking to come at a good time for the ‘Pies.
With the ‘Pies still having plenty of question marks over fitness, the Tigers look more likely now than ever before to overcome their KGV hoodoo and claim another scalp.
This looms as an exciting finals-shaping encounter and perhaps a preview of what we might see come the first weekend of finals footy.
Players to watch:
Glenorchy – Zac Webster
The highly skilled Magpie has thrived in his role as a half-back, using his precise kicking to create attacking forays, while also defending like a man possessed. May need to play a lockdown role due to injuries to teammates but expect Webster to also try and exploit the Tigers with some creative flair off half back.
Tigers FC – Jarryd Drew
The Tigers’ half back line is proving to be one of Trent Baumeler’s trump cards this season, with the fitness and confidence of Jarryd Drew a crucial piece. Drew is a terrific one-on-one defender but is also equally important as a rebounding defender. Will thrive on the wider expanses of KGV.
Tip: Tigers by 10 points
Lauderdale v North Launceston – Skybus Oval (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: North Launceston 4.13 (37) def. by Lauderdale 10.14 (74) – Round 13, 2019 at UTAS Stadium
The Battle of the Bombers will headline the round’s action, with Skybus Oval playing host to the competition’s top two.
The Northern Bombers are breathing down Lauderdale’s neck as we approach the home and away season’s final turn, just one win behind with a game in hand and superior percentage.
As a result, this game essentially looms as a default play-off for top spot and the minor premiership.
Lauderdale have had the wood over North this season with two wins from as many encounters but may be stretched this weekend with injury concerns to Josh McGuinness and Bryce Walsh.
North Launceston enter this one in strong form with Cox-Goodyer, Ponting and the like firing in the midfield and a forward line boasting a range of different names – including the pinch-hitting Tom Donnelly in form.
Lauderdale are yet to be defeated at home this season, however, and with this looming as one of the season’s most important games, expect a lift and a narrow Lauderdale win.
Players to watch:
Lauderdale – Sam Siggins
The star Bomber has spent time as a forward in recent weeks, but against a star-studded North Launceston midfield, don’t be surprised if he returns to the engine room to provide a versatile, big body. Can genuinely play anywhere on the ground, making him a damaging proposition for opposing teams.
North Launceston – Dakota Bannister
The North Launceston bull is in strong form and will thrive within the tight confines of the ‘Tip’. A dangerous goalkicker with the capacity to make his presence felt through the midfield, Bannister is built for physical contests.
Tip: Southern Bombers by 12 points
Clarence v Launceston – Blundstone Arena (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Launceston 13.4 (82) def. Clarence 4.2 (26) – Round 13, 2019 at Windsor Park
It’s safe to say recent results have drastically altered the feel of this clash.
The Blues were the competition’s form side a fortnight ago, before losses to North Hobart and North Launceston took some of the air out of their top-three charge.
The ‘Roos on the other hand, had a competitive fortnight after the round 15 bye before causing a huge boilover with Saturday’s win over the Southern Bombers.
The Blues still boast one of the competition’s most talented lists, with the midfield contingent of Seymour, Harper, Bristow, Palfreyman and Blackberry likely to be too much for the ‘Roos.
Throw in the dangerous forward combination of Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley, and the inexperienced ‘Roos may find themselves stretched too thin.
Ryan Bailey will be full of confidence after getting the better of Haydn Smith last week; and if he can better Hamish Leedham this weekend, it will go a long way to the ‘Roos gaining ascendancy.
Clarence has shown that with intensity and effort they can trouble anyone. Expect Webberley’s side to do just that against the Blues, but for the visitors to be a touch too strong.
Players to watch:
Clarence – Ethan Jackson
The former Blue is putting together a strong debut season in the red and white amongst NAB League games for the Devils. Quick and with a knack for finding the football, Jackson will have a big role to play against the much-hyped Launceston midfield contingent.
Launceston – Fletcher Seymour
The former ‘Roo has had a superb season at Windsor Park, leading the RACT Insurance Player of the Year award and being dubbed the competition’s ‘best player’ by star Demon Sam Darley. Seymour may receive some attention from his former teammates, but keep an eye on his elite workrate and bullish nature around stoppages.
Tip: Blues by 24 points