The penultimate round of the 2019 Bupa Tasmanian State League season is here and there is plenty to look forward to as teams look to make their mark on the eve of finals football.
Glenorchy v Lauderdale – KGV Oval (Saturday 1:00pm)
Last time they met: Lauderdale 16.10 (106) def. Glenorchy 11.9 (75) – Round 12, 2019 at Skybus Oval
This game is set to tell us plenty as to where these two sides sit on the eve of finals, especially with both sides dealing with injury concerns in the lead-up.
Lauderdale were left to face the Northern Bombers without late withdrawals Bryce Walsh and Phil Bellchambers, on top of the absence of Josh McGuinness.
The Bombers will be sweating on the fitness of Walsh and Bellchambers, who would both provide a great boost against a talented Glenorchy midfield contingent. The pair have been named, as has livewire forward Henry Kerinaiua, providing a big boost.
The Magpies, in a similar boat, will likely go without Ben Kamaric on top of Brayden Webb, Harrison Gunther, Trad Duggan, Josh Grant and Daniel Joseph among others.
In their absence a number of stars have emerged. Ryan Banks-Smith has taken his game to another level, while John Geard and Rhys Mott are again delivering consistent seasons.
Jaye Bowden looks to be playing with more freedom and confidence in recent weeks, as is Zac Webster.
The ‘Pies seem to thrive when their backs are against the wall, so expect Paul Kennedy’s men to deliver a highly competitive performance.
Lauderdale may be able to expose Glenorchy with their attacking options, however, with Sam Siggins, Ben McGuinness, Alex Saunders and Kerinaiua just four of the names who could expose an undermanned Glenorchy defence.
Lauderdale still look to have the best list in the competition, and with that comes strong depth. This depth has been tested in recent times but expect Lauderdale to come out breathing fire and finish their 2019 home and away season with a win ahead of next weekend’s bye.
Players to watch:
Glenorchy – Callen Daly
The pocket rocket is putting together another sensational campaign, pulling off the impossible in front of goal at an alarming rate of frequency. Expect Daly to also roll through the midfield – particularly with the absence of line-breaking mid Ben Kamaric.
Lauderdale – Nic Baker
The Tasmania Devils skipper has found some of his best form again in recent weeks, competing well in the midfield for the Bombers. A versatile player, expect Baker to play a variety of roles against the Magpies.
Tip: Southern Bombers by 12 points
Tigers FC v Clarence – Twin Ovals (Saturday 2:00pm)
Last time they met: Clarence 6.6 (42) def. by Tigers FC 15.8 (98) – Round 12, 2019 at Blundstone Arena
Saturday’s clash between the Tigers and ‘Roos will take on even greater significance with the two teams set to contest the Gadomski-Riewoldt Trophy.
The Tigers will be hurting after last weekend’s disappointing loss to the Magpies – where the side was left to rue poor goalkicking.
Some key figures have been named to return for this weekend’s round 20 #BUPATSL action.
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Clarence will also be looking for a response after being comprehensively beaten by the Blues.
With a maiden finals berth on the horizon this clash looms as a great tune-up for the Tigers as they look to build towards their best form by finals.
Kieran Lovell, Ryan Matthews, Lachy Clifford and Sam Duigan should be too strong through the middle of the ground, while the tall towers of Michael Paul, Tyler Carter and Marcus Gardner with Luke Graham and Elijah Reardon at their feet are also likely to spread the ‘Roos too thin.
Goalkicking efficiency will be the Tigers’ key focus here after last weekend’s poor showing in front of the big sticks.
Expect Brady Jones, Jeromey Webberley and Ryan Bailey to lead a competitive Clarence effort, but for the Tigers to find another gear and record a comfortable win.
Players to watch:
Tigers FC – Lachie Gadomski
A big day for the Gadomski family, Lachie has been a strong performer for the Tasmania Devils this NAB League season. A classy player, expect Gadomski to ply his trade across half back and as a midfield rotation.
Clarence – James Holmes
The 2017 Richardson Medallist is putting together another strong campaign in defence. The Tigers boast a dangerous mix inside 50, with Holmes likely to go to a player like Luke Graham. Likely to be a crucial match-up.
Tip: Tigers by 30 points
North Launceston v North Hobart – Invermay Park (Saturday 1:00pm)
Last time they met: North Hobart 2.3 (15) def. by North Launceston 15.16 (106) – Round 12, 2019 at North Hobart Oval
Top plays bottom at the unfamiliar venue of Invermay Park this weekend, with North Launceston hosting North Hobart.
The Northern Bombers look to once again be the team to beat in 2019 after toppling Lauderdale at Skybus Oval last weekend.
The raft of North Launceston recruits at the start of the year – Jordan Tepper, Liam Davies and Braden van Buuren – are now crucial members of this team, while established stars Brad Cox-Goodyer, Taylor Whitford, Josh Ponting, Jay Foon and Alex Lee rarely dip in form.
Add the continued improvement of Tom Donnelly, Karlton Wadley, Fletcher Bennett and Sherrin Egger and you have a formidable line-up.
The Demons have been competitive right throughout the season, showing great improvement off the back of leadership from the likes of Sam Darley, Hugh Williams, Colin Garland and Nathan McCulloch.
Throw in Devils Patrick Walker, Will Peppin, Jake Steele and Jye Menzie, and the Demons enter this clash with one of their strongest teams of the season. Walker will provide class off half back, Peppin will provide dash up and down the wing, Steele will be able to play a variety of roles around the ground and Menzie is always lively inside 50.
The Demons will try and spread the Bombers thin with Garland forward of centre, but the presence of an in-form Bart McCulloch inside 50 and finals-bound and experienced players across the park should see the ladder leaders claim another comfortable win on the path to finals.
Players to watch:
North Launceston – Bart McCulloch
McCulloch is starting to move closer and closer to his best form, making him a dangerous proposition for opposing teams. A highly talented forward, McCulloch has used his frame and mobility to make a presence right around the ground in recent weeks. A player who could stretch an inexperienced Demon defence.
North Hobart – Jye Menzie
The young Tasmania Devils forward has been lively throughout the 2019 NAB League season with 10 goals from 15 games – including an after the siren match-winner against the Bendigo Pioneers back in May. Will provide an extra element to this forward group.
Tip: Northern Bombers by 40 points
This match will be broadcast live on City Park Radio from 1:55pm on 103.7 and 96.5 FM City Park Radio. The broadcast will also be available online.