By Paige Thompson
Match details: Launceston v Clarence, Sunday 12th September, 11:30am, UTAS Stadium
It was only two weeks ago that these two grand final teams met in a cracking semi-final, with Launceston edging out Clarence by less than a goal. What will these two teams bring on Sunday?
Launceston and Clarence have met four times in 2021, and each game has produced a dramatically different result. The Roos defeated the Blues by 34 points in round 6, but seven rounds later, the Blues defeated Clarence by almost 10 goals. In their final home-and-away season match up in round 20, Launceston travelled to Blundstone Arena to record a 24-point win over Clarence. These two teams met again in the first week of finals in one of the most entertaining games of the season, with Launceston booking a spot in the Development League Grand Final with a last-gasp win five-point win.
Being 3-1 against Clarence this year, Launceston could be considered premiership favourites. However, if the first semi-final is anything to go by, this exciting match up could go either way.
Launceston finished on top of the ladder in the 2021 season with an unbelievable percentage of 410%. The Blues only recorded one loss this year, which was against the Roos and have won their last sixteen games. Heading into the Grand Final, you would expect Launceston to be full of confidence, however could their spectacular season lead to a sense of expectancy and extra pressure?
Clarence finished 2nd on the Development League ladder in 2021, also recording a huge percentage of 328%. The Roos only lost two games this year, both of which were against Launceston. Despite their dominancy across the season, Clarence would have had all their fans on the edge of their seats over the finals series. A five-point loss in their semi-final saw them take on North Launceston in the preliminary final last weekend, who they defeated by only the slimmest of margins (three points) to advance to the Grand Final.
Players to watch:
Cooper Warren dominated the goalkicking in the Development League this year, kicking 52 goals across the home-and-away season. Warren also kicked the matchwinner in the semi-final against Clarence, so Launceston will certainly be looking for Warren to produce some big moments on the big stage to help get them the premiership.
Launceston’s Tom McShane won the Rodney Eade Medal on Monday night in a three-way tie. Evidently, McShane had a spectacular season and Launceston will be counting on him to continue that form into the Grand Final.
Jack Tremayne was judged best afield in Clarence’s 34-point win over Launceston in round 6, while Tyler Penwright was also outstanding with 3 goals. The Roos will be hoping that Tremayne and Penwright can produce another special performance on Sunday to help get them over the line and lift the premiership cup.
This game could truly go either way and should be a fantastic match up.