Qualifying Final Preview

Launceston vs Kingborough

Qualifying Final – 2pm, Windsor Park

The top two sides of the year will meet in a Qualifying Final at Windsor Park, with Launceston and Kingborough battling it out to book a spot in the 2022 TSL Grand Final.

Being the standout sides for most of 2022, it has long been almost a certainty that the Blues and the Tigers would meet in week 1 of finals. The victors will also enjoy a week off before the big dance, while the side that comes off second best will have to go through the winner of Clarence vs Lauderdale to make it.


Previous Meetings

Rd 3: Launceston 16.10 (106) def. Kingborough 10.13 (73)

Rd 15: Launceston 19.19 (133) def. Kingborough 7.9 (51)

Rd 20: Launceston 16.18 (114) def. Kingborough 5.6 (36)

In their first 2022 meeting, Kingborough managed to challenge Launceston in some key areas. A highlight of their game style, the Tigers dominated the Blues in the contest. The Tigers were +22 for contested disposals and also won the clearances by 13. The Tigers also got on top of the Blues in the air, racking up 22 contested marks, 10 more than Launceston managed. Launceston, however, dominated with their midfield-forward connection, with clean ball use and an ability to separate from their opponent allowing them to notch up 72 uncontested marks and 19 inside 50s – 13 more than the Tigers.

There will be stars on both sides in this Qualifying Final, with both teams having multiple players named in the annual TSL Team of the Year. Firstly, it is impossible to ignore the dynamic Blues captain Jobi Harper who has been the heart of the Blues’ engine room for several years now. In 2022 he led by example, notching up an average of 26 disposals, eight clearances and 1.5 goals per game. Similarly, Brodie Palfreyman and Fletcher Seymour have continued to make the Launceston midfield the best in the state. Jake Hinds has been a dangerous prospect in front of goal with 58 during the home and away season.

Kingborough’s key impact players start in the middle, led by key ruck duo Marcus Gardner and Jack Tomkinson. Gardner featured in every game this year and averaged 24 hit outs, with new tall inclusion Jack Tomkinson, averaging two contested marks per game.

The tall timber have stepped up big time this year for the Tigers, with returning Tiger Jordan Lane averaging 2.4 goals per game. Lane has also shown his ability to seal big games kicking the winner after the siren against North Launceston in round 13. Kingborough’s two other TOTY inclusions are the dynamic midfield duo of Eddie Cole and Kieran Lovell. Cole is in the top echelon for pressure acts this year averaging nine contested disposals, eight tackles and five 1%ers.

There are some key matchups around the ground that make this one of the most anticipated games of the year. This game will not just be won or lost in the midfield but coming out on top in this area will play a big role in the outcome. The Tigers’ contested work is the best in the competition and they have managed to best the Blues in this area before. However, it is the very next passage of play which will dictate the outcome. The Tigers have to find a way to stifle the Blues’ forward 50 entry and lessen the impact of their damaging forwards.