Finals footy has arrived and fans have plenty to look forward to with a big Elimination Final at Windsor Park and Qualifying Final at Blundstone Arena.
Launceston v Tigers FC
Saturday 31 August, 1:00pm – Windsor Park
This match will be available to stream LIVE via the Tasmanian State League Facebook page and AFLTAS YouTube Channelwith commentary from Dave Mohr, Anthony Osborn, Jade Child and Chris Sayer. The radio broadcast will also be available on City Park Radio 103.7 and 96.5 FM and online here.
Head-to-head: Launceston – 11 | Tigers FC – 2
Round 6, 2019: Launceston 19.5 (119) def. Tigers FC 8.7 (55) – Windsor Park
Round 14, 2019: Tigers FC 9.10 (64) def. by Launceston 16.11 (107) – Twin Ovals
Round 21, 2019: Launceston 11.11 (77) def. Tigers FC 11.4 (70) – Windsor Park
Launceston: The Blues enter the finals in decent touch, having pipped the Tigers at the post in round 21 after the round 20 bye. The Blues were arguably the competition’s form side for the middle section of the season before losses to North Hobart and North Launceston in rounds 17 and 18 curbed some of their momentum.
Tigers FC: The Tigers will embark on their first finals series in 2019 after a six-win season. With a strong experienced core and some exciting young talent, the Tigers look set to be highly competitive despite coming into the finals off the back of three-straight losses. The Tigers were highly competitive against the Blues in the final round and missed opportunities across the other two. The outsider for this contest but not a team to be taken lightly.
Players to watch:
Tim Bristow (Launceston): Playing his 150th game this weekend, the former Lynch Medallist looks posed for a big finals campaign. A big-bodied midfielder, Bristow provides great experience and grunt to an already potent midfield group.
Fletcher Seymour (Launceston): Second in the RACT Insurance Player of the Year award, Seymour has taken his game to a new level in 2019. One of the competition’s strongest midfielders, Seymour has the strength, endurance and class to bully opposition sides.
Kieran Lovell (Tigers FC): One of the competition’s most prolific ball-winners, Lovell has been a standout all season. A player capable of carrying his teammates to greater heights, Lovell will have a key role to play at the source.
Michael Paul (Tigers FC): The big man has warmed into his first season at Tigerland, with 27 goals to his name. A five-goal haul against the Blues last weekend should see him enter this clash full of confidence.
The question mark:
Launceston: Will the Blues be able to keep the Tigers’ multi-pronged forward set-up quiet? Michael Paul got on top with five goals last weekend, while Tyler Carter also kicked four. With Paul, Carter, Marcus Gardner and a brigade of mid-sized goalkickers – led by Luke Graham and Elijah Reardon – the Blues may have some headaches.
Tigers FC: How will the first-time finalists cope on the big stage? Last weekend’s clash with the Blues was a good taster for how to play at Windsor Park, but finals footy offers up a unique set of challenges. This will be the Tigers first final since joining the competition. How will they deal with the heat of kitchen?
Tip: Blues by 18 points. Experience and home ground advantage to set the teams apart.
Lauderdale v Glenorchy
Saturday 31 August, 2:00pm – Windsor Park
Head-to-head: Lauderdale – 17 | Glenorchy – 17
Round 7, 2019: Glenorchy 11.8 (74) def. Lauderdale 9.9 (63) – KGV Oval
Round 12, 2019: Lauderdale 16.10 (106) def. Glenorchy 11.9 (75) – Skybus Oval
Round 20, 2019: Glenorchy 14.8 (92) def. Lauderdale 6.8 (44) – KGV Oval
Lauderdale: The Bombers enter this one in need of a response after a disappointing end to their home and away campaign. Injuries to the likes of Josh McGuinness and Bryce Walsh have hurt, but some positional changes may have also taken some time to be adjusted to.
Glenorchy: The Magpies enter the finals in strong form, having won four of their last five games. A penultimate round win over Lauderdale will also fill Paul Kennedy’s side with great confidence; while the ‘Pies will also be looking to get revenge after a Preliminary Final loss to the same opponent last year.
Players to watch:
Ben McGuinness (Lauderdale): A hugely talented, mercurial utility with the capacity to break a game open. The middle McGuinness brother will likely be the Bombers’ focal point inside 50 and with his knack for performing in the big moments, might just be set for a big performance.
Sam Siggins (Lauderdale): One of the competition’s most damaging midfielders, Siggins has been used as a pinch-hitting forward in recent times. Expect him to play a number of roles against the ‘Pies.
Cameron Duffy (Glenorchy): The talented ruckman will play his 100th game this weekend and will have a big job against the dominant Haydn Smith. Duffy will look to provide his mids with first use and make an impact around the ground.
Aiden Grace (Glenorchy): The Hudson Medalist has had an almighty season in the black and white. Kicking 48 goals for the year, Grace has emerged as one of the competition’s brightest stars. Likely to have a match-up with U25 state teammate Edward Trupp.
The question mark:
Lauderdale: A disappointing final month saw the Bombers drop from top spot to second and enter the finals in ordinary form. Losses to Launceston, Clarence, North Launceston and Glenorchy across the last five games has seem some doubts emerge over the side’s premiership credentials. Still one of the strongest teams on paper, the big question surrounds how Darren Winter’s side will respond after the final round bye.
Glenorchy: Now we are in the finals, how big of an impact will Glenorchy’s injuries have? The Magpies have managed to cover the losses of Daniel Joseph, Harrison Gunther, Josh Grant, Brayden Webb and Ben Kamaric well at varying times throughout the year, but after a long season, plenty will be asked of the team’s younger talent. It will be fascinating to see how this outfit performs against a mature, finals-experienced team.
Tip: Bombers by 10 points. The 2017 and 2018 Grand Finalists will be stinging after a poor end to the season. Expect a big response when needed the most, especially if Josh McGuinness and Bryce Walsh are both fully fit.