Launceston were looking resplendent in their specially designed jumpers for Sir Douglas Nicholls Round but unfortunately it was Lauderdale who came out on top on the scoreboard, inflicting upon the Blues their first loss in the south of the state this season. The Southern Bombers dominated proceedings for the first two and a half quarters to blow the margin out to over ten goals, but Launceston were able to peg them back and win the last two quarters to bring the margin back to a more respectable 30 points by the end of the match.
Jared Dakin kicked multiple goals once again and is looking right at home at senior level after returning from an excellent bottom aged campaign with the Mariners, while two other Mariners in Jamieson House and Miller Hodge were also named in the best for the Blues. Jamieson House had 20 disposals, 10 tackles and a goal as he continues to build an impressive first season at Launceston. He’s averaging 19.5 disposals playing mainly as a forward and has also lead the team in tackles in three of his four games so far.
Dylan Riley was one player who fought hard all day, growing in influence once he moved forward after starting the game in defence. He lead the team with 24 disposals, 10 marks including a hanger for the highlight reel, and a goal. Jake Hinds and Jobi Harper were the next biggest ball winners with 23 each, while Brendan Taylor had 20 and Sam Rundle 18 disposals and a team high 8 clearances. Mitch Thorp was the other multiple goal kicker aside from Dakin with four, as he now pulls 16 clear in the Hudson Medal.
This week it’s back to home comforts for the Blues after a couple of weeks on the road as they take on Clarence at Windsor Park. The Roos dispatched cellar dwellers North Hobart by 62 points on the weekend and only percentage is currently keeping them behind the second placed Launceston. The last time these two sides met was in round 5 when the Blues came out on top by 30 points at Blundstone Arena.
Launceston goals: Thorp 4, Dakin 2, Harper, House, Palfreyman, Hinds, Millucci, Riley
Launceston best: Dakin, Leedham, Riley, House, Rundle, Hodge
Launceston welcomed back some players with senior experience this week but the list of injuries and absences through representative football is still lengthy, so to come away with an 85 point win away at Lauderdale Oval was a great achievement for the Mercury Cup ladder leaders. The Blues kicked five goals in each of the four quarters to cruise away from the Southern Bombers and maintain their unbeaten start to the season, which now stretches to nine games.
James Gillow showed that he’s ready to step straight back into the senior side with 21 disposals and six goals, while Ben Killalea provided a real spark up forward with 17 disposals and three goals. Young Indigenous forward Trey Clark moved up from the under 18s and really shined in Sir Douglas Nicholls round, collecting 19 disposals, 8 marks and two goals. The other multiple goal kicker was captain Jacob Boyd, who continues to put up great numbers every week and had a team high 25 disposals, 13 marks and three goals.
Adam Dickenson was the next biggest ball winner after Boyd with 24 disposals and 7 tackles, while Grant Holt was outstanding on his return to the side with 23 disposals, 8 marks, 5 tackles and a goal. Another player returning to the side in Matt Spohn had 19 disposals, while Bayley Neil also impressed with 18. Jack Tuthill showed his class once again with 18 disposals, 7 marks and a goal, with the youngster’s balance and one on one ability really shining through. Judah Edmunds (13 disposals, 19 hit outs and a goal) and Mack Blazely (12 disposals and a goal) lead the team in the tackling department with 8 each.
This week is one of the unbeaten Blues’ biggest tests yet, a top of the table clash against Clarence. The last game between Launceston and the Roos was in round 5 when the Blues came out on top by 28 points at Blundstone Arena, which remains Clarence’s only defeat of the season as the two grand finalists from last year prove to be ahead of the pack once again in 2018. The reigning premiers are coming off a comfortable 59 point win over bottom side North Hobart.
Launceston goals: Gillow 6, Killalea 3, J. Boyd 3, Clark 2, Edmunds, Neil, Tuthill, Blazely, Holt, O’Donnell
Launceston best: Tuthill, Gillow, Killalea, Holt, Clark, Spohn
By Josh Giblin