Clarence secured the last finals spot, North Launceston made a statement on the eve of finals and Lauderdale pulled off a thrilling comeback.
Hamish Spence runs through each game and previews this week’s clashes.
Roos overcome Dees to lock in finals berth
Clarence ensured that they will return to the finals this year, after narrowly defeating North Hobart by 11 points at Richmond Oval on Saturday.
The Roos were made to work for it as the two teams went goal for goal for most of the day, ultimately prevailing as 9.12 (66) to 8.7 (55) winners.
Despite not getting the win, the Dees did outgoing coach Richard “Bear” Robinson proud in his final game.
Clarence opened up an early buffer with the first three goals of the game, with Chris Nield kicking two of them.
But North Hobart pegged them back in the latter half of the term with two goals from Will Peppin and Julian Dobosz.
The second quarter was an even contest in tough conditions, with just one goal kicked by either side in the heavy rain.
North Hobart took the lead midway through the term after Angus Norton took the advantage from Jye Menzie’s great tackle, but Noah Holmes snapped truly to ensure Clarence were up by just one point at half-time.
Despite the rain still hammering down after half-time, goals flowed freely with eight kicked for the term.
After North Hobart found the first, Clarence kicked four of the next five goals, with Darcy Gardner’s shake and bake between two Dees’ players the highlight
But North Hobart managed to kick two red-time goals, with Norton’s miraculous dribbler through the contest making it a just kick the difference at the final break.
The final term was another low-scoring even affair, with Jason Bailey’s second early in the quarter creating a bit of extra breathing room for Clarence.
They continued to attack the goals but only got minor scores in return.
Menzie’s goal in the dying stages gave the Dees a slight chance, but the game was too far gone.
Baker Smith was solid as a rock down back, Sam Banks was the Roos’ most prevalent midfielder and Nield kicked two goals while setting up others with his forward pressure.
Draft hopeful Sam Collins put in another impressive performance to finish off his year, Tom Reeves was strong further up the ground once again and Dobosz (2.5) could have had a day out if he’d kicked accurately.
Clarence: 3.1, 4.2, 8.7, 9.12 (66)
North Hobart: 2.5, 3.7, 7.7, 8.7 (55)
Goal Kickers: J. Bailey (2), J. Green (2), C. Nield (2), N. Holmes, D. Gardner, K. Howlett
Best Players: B. Smith, C. Nield, S. Lewis-Johnson, S. Banks, K. Howlett, O. Davis
Goal Kickers: J. Dobosz (2), A. Norton (2), J. Menzie (2), N. McCulloch, W. Peppin
Best Players: H. Williams, T. Reeves, J. Charlton, H. Ireland, T. McGinniss, J. Dobosz
Souring Northern Bombers demolish Pies
North Launceston fine-tuned their form heading into finals, after destroying Glenorchy by 88 points at UTAS Stadium on Saturday.
A shutout eight-goal first-quarter performance from the Northern Bombers set the tone early, as they rolled on to be 17.11 (113) to 3.7 (25) winners.
It was a disappointing finish to what has been a tough season for the Magpies, as Saturday’s loss sealed their fate as this year’s wooden spooners.
The game was put to bed in the first quarter after North Launceston’s unanswered eight-goal run, with Jack Rushton (two), Withers (two) and Bradley Cox Goodyer among those who cashed in.
North Launceston continued to press but failed to convert at the start of the second, before Cal Daly found a goal out of nothing to get Glenorchy’s first.
But it was a brief reprieve, as the Northern Bombers kicked three goals to round out the term and hold a 65-point lead at half-time.
The rest of the game played out similarly to the second quarter, with North Launceston kicking three goals to one in the third and fourth terms.
North Launceston was still the more dominant side with all the ascendency, but didn’t have the same fluid ball movement and connection going inside 50 that saw them blow the Pies off the park in the first.
Zach Burt, Taylor Whitford and Withers all added to their existing tallies, as the Northern Bombers cruised to a commanding victory.
Skipper Bradley Cox-Goodyer (31 disposals, six clearances and two goals) dominated on return, coach Taylor Whitford (25 disposals, two clearances, 10 marks and two goals) was also prevalent and Burt (16 disposals, nine marks/five contested and four goals) stood up as the main target up forward.
Daniel Joseph (21 disposals, nine marks and two clearances) was probably the Pies’ best, while Tom Cleary (12 disposals, five marks/three contested and three tackles) and Josh Arnold (20 disposals and five marks) were strong down back as well.
North Launceston: 8.4, 11.6, 14.8, 17.11 (113)
Glenorchy: 0.0, 1.1, 2.3, 3.7 (25)
Goal Kickers: Z. Burt (4), J. Avent (3), J. Rushton (3), T. Whitford (2), B. Cox-Goodyer (2), W. Edmunds, S. Egger, O. Sanders
Best Players: T. Whitford, B. van Buuren, J. Rushton, Z. Burt, B. Cox-Goodyer, M. Walsh
Goal Kickers: C. Daly, A. Roberts, M. Rainbird
Best Players: D. Joseph, T. Cleary, J. Arnold, S. Rundle, E. Conway, M. Rainbird
Southern Bombers pip Tigers at the death
Lauderdale secured some momentum heading into the finals, after coming back to beat the Tigers by just three points at SkyBus Oval.
The Southern Bombers trailed practically all game, but kicked the only two goals of the last quarter to leave as 8.13 (61) to 8.10 (58) winners.
Kingborough fought valiantly to keep their season alive, even though their finals chances were over before the final siren even sounded due to Clarence’s win.
The contest was lively early with a seven-goal opening term, the Tigers started the day strongly by kicking the first two goals of the game and finishing with four for the quarter.
Lauderdale kept pace though, with big Harry Richmond snagging two. They lost the chance to lead at quarter-time after missing some gettable shots.
Unfortunately, the heavens opened up after quarter-time, turning the game into a tight congested tussle.
The Tigers kicked two goals for the term, while Lauderdale’s costly inaccuracy left them with just one major, giving Kingborough a seven-point lead at half-time.
The two teams went goal for goal in the third quarter, with neither side giving an inch,
It was an exciting end to the term, with Max Collidge nailing a beautiful set-shot to seemingly give Kingborough the momentum heading into the final break, before Richmond swung it back Lauderdale’s way by kicking a goal after the siren.
After an eight-minute stand-off to start the final term, Josh McGuinness converted a routine set-shot to bring the margin under a kick.
Richmond struck again a few minutes later to give the Southern Bombers the lead, which they managed to hold onto in the dying stages.
Despite taking over for injured ruckman Haydn Smith, Sam Siggins (27 disposals, 20 hit outs and 13 clearances) still played like he was an onballer while winning the ruck battle.
McGuinness (25 disposals, six marks, three clearances and one goal) was prevalent as always, while Richmond (11 disposals, nine marks/six contested and four goals) dominated up forward.
Kieran Lovell (22 disposals, five marks, one clearance and one goal) and Will “Soup” Campbell (16 disposals, eight clearances and six tackles) continued their one-two punch in the midfield, while Oliver Burrows-Cheng (14 disposals, three marks and two goals) was Kingborough’s only multiple goalkicker.
Lauderdale: 3.3, 4.9, 6.11, 8.13 (61)
Tigers: 4.1, 6.4, 8.8, 8.10 (58)
Goal Kickers: H. Richmond (4), L. Nelson (2), J. McGuinness, T. Havea
Best Players: S. Siggins, N. Oakes, J. McGuinness, H. Richmond, L. Nelson, S. Tilley
Goal Kickers: O. Burrows-Cheng (2), K. Lovell, M. Davies, L. Graham, T. Carter, J. Bilson, M. Collidge
Best Players: K. Lovell, W. Campbell, L. Graham, M. Davies, E. Reardon, O. Burrows-Cheng
Up Next: Semi-Finals
Launceston vs Lauderdale, 2:00pm Saturday 10/10/2020, Windsor Park
Two perennial contenders of the last few years meet again, after they split the results during the regular season.
After looking like the competition’s premiership favourite, Launceston hit a few minor speed bumps on the run home. But they know that they are good enough to beat any team in the competition, arguably possessing the league’s two best players this season in skipper Jobi Harper and Hudson Medal leader Dylan Riley.
Lauderdale will have plenty of confidence after smashing the Blues last time they met, they now have to produce that same form on the road. Their forward line has started to fire in the second half of the season, their backline is strong enough to tackle Launceston’s potent attack and their midfield is ready for the Blues’ inside wrecking crew.
North Launceston vs Clarence, 2:00pm Saturday 10/10/2020, UTAS Stadium
It’s David vs Goliath, as Clarence look to cause a massive boilover on the reigning premiers’ home deck.
The Northern Bombers are in irresistible form with ten wins in a row, they head in as favourites to make their seventh consecutive Grand Final. They have the edge of finals experience and highly decorated players, plus the motivation of chasing a historic fourth consecutive Premiership.
But Clarence shouldn’t be taken lightly, their two losses to North Launceston this year have been by ten points or less. The Roos were missing key players due to injury and the SATIS Grand Final last time they met, many left that clash feeling Clarence could have won if they’d had their best tea, out there (which they will for this Saturday).