TSL Development League Grand Final Preview

The Tigers and Northern Bombers will fight for the 2019 TSL Development League Premiership this Saturday at Blundstone Arena, with this clash expected to be a tough, close affair. 

The Tigers have pipped the Bombers by just one point in two of their meetings this season – including an extra time Semi Final win a fortnight ago.

With exciting youngsters, both teams will have plenty of talent on display.


Previous meetings:

Round 1, 2019: Tigers 5.7 (37) def. by North Launceston 11.7 (73) at Twin Ovals

Round 8, 2019: North Launceston 9.4 (58) def. by Tigers 8.11 (59) at UTAS Stadium

Round 15, 2019: Tigers 14.9 (93) def. North Launceston 4.8 (32) at Twin Ovals

Semi Final, 2019: Tigers 7.8 (50) def. North Launceston 7.7 (49) at KGV Oval


The Tigers and Northern Bombers have been the Development League’s leading sides for the majority of season 2019, having played out some cracking contests.

The Tigers boast a strong group with TSL experience. The likes of Cooper Sawdy, Eddie Burrows-Cheng and Micah Reynolds all hold down vital roles in the side, while the likes of Tasmania Devils pair Zach Adams and Jordan Lane are also exciting players of promise.


This promises to be a cracker. IC: Solstice Digital


The Northern Bombers, with such a strong TSL side in recent years, has developed a winning culture throughout the club, and the Development League side is no exception; making a second straight Grand Final.

Matthew Cossins is a terrific leader, while players like Ben Elmer, Cody Lowe and Thomas Foon have all had strong seasons at Development League level when not in the senior side.

North Launceston’s real strength has been its defence in 2019, conceding just 839 points for the season – well over 150 less than the next best Tigers.

The Tigers are the Development League’s highest scoring team, with Sawdy (43 goals) and Jack Pearce (31) the competition’s two leading goalkickers.

With North Launceston being the competition’s best defensive side and the Tigers boasting the best attack; Kingborough’s forward 50 will likely be where this game is won or lost.


Players to watch:

Jordan Lane (Tigers FC): A dynamic player, Lane has the capacity to ruck well or hit the scoreboard when forward of centre. Has a knack for kicking multiple goals in a hurry and will require constant attention from a North Launceston opponent to ensure he doesn’t get off the chain.


Cooper Sawdy (Tigers FC): A dynamic forward, Cooper Sawdy has been the Development League’s dominant goalkicker all season. With 43 goals from 14 games this campaign, Sawdy has impressed with his athleticism, goal sense and strong marking. Will be a handful for the Northern Bomber defence.


Matthew Cossins (North Launceston): Captain of this team and a leader by example, Cossins has been a standout in defence throughout the season. Will be desperate to stand tall on the biggest day of the season and steer his side to a premiership after last year’s Grand Final defeat.


Oliver Sanders (North Launceston): Sanders has impressed in 2019 both with North Launceston and the Tasmania Devils in the NAB League. A prolific ball-winner with silky skills, Sanders can cut opposition sides to ribbons with his ball use by foot.


They say:

Tigers player Edward Burrows-Cheng: “We  back ourselves in to do what we have been doing every week, and we know that if we bring our A-Game, we will be good enough. But they if they bring their A-Game and we are below our best, we know they can do it to us. To get the club’s first premiership would be huge and the group of guys I’m playing with at the moment it would mean a lot for me personally to win with those guys.”


North Launceston captain Matthew Cossins: “We weren’t lucky enough to get the win on that day but it is good to be back and to have given ourselves the best chance at hopefully going one step further. Everyone has been getting around each other, so with one more week, hopefully we can get the result.”


The two teams have played out some thrillers in 2019. IC: Solstice Digital


Tip: Tigers by 10 points. If past encounters are anything to go by, this promises to be a humdinger. Two games between the sides have been decided by a solitary point, and with one of these clashes occurring just a fortnight ago, fans can expect a similarly tight contest in the big dance.


Entry at Blundstone Arena will be via the Western Gate, with tickets available to be purchased via cash or card – Adults – $15, Concession – $10, U16 – $2

This match will streamed LIVE on the AFL Tasmania YouTube channel and Tasmanian State League Facebook page with commentary from Damian Gill and Anthony Osborn.