The Blues’ bad run unfortunately continued on the weekend, going down to Tigers by 15 points in a low scoring game in frigid conditions at the Twin Ovals. Launceston handing the Kingborough based side just their second win of the season while the Blues have now lost four of their last five games after a good start to the season. Launceston struggled to get going in attack once again, failing to reach 50 points for the second game in a row, while the defence battled admirably to allow only 9 goals.
Leading the defence was Simon Vandervelde, who had six tackles and an equal team high six marks as he stood up to repel opposition attacks. Co-captain Chris Savage was a solid contributor as always, collecting 15 disposals, while Jacob Boyd spent some time in an unfamiliar position for him down back and didn’t look out of place with 17 disposals, 5 marks and 5 tackles. Tom Mundy made his long awaited debut for Launceston after missing the entire season to date, collecting 13 disposals across half back.
The other Blue to make their debut on the weekend was Blair Rubock, who returned from Mariners and Allies duty. He looked dangerous up forward but unfortunately the radar was slightly off as he kicked two behinds. Coach Sam Lonergan led the way up forward on his return from injury, almost dragging his side over the line with 15 disposals and three goals. Jamieson House competed hard yet again as we’ve come to expect from the impressive young centre half forward, he had 13 disposals, 7 tackles and a goal.
Joe Boyce was another to crack in as he was named the Blues’ best for the second game in a row, playing the majority of the game through the midfield this week and collecting 19 disposals, 5 marks, 5 clearances and a team high 9 tackles. Jobi Harper was Launceston’s leading ball winner yet again with 27 disposals, 7 clearances and 5 tackles. Other major ball winners included Jake Hinds with 23 disposals, 6 marks, 6 clearances and 6 tackles, Jake Smith with 20 disposals, 4 marks, 4 clearances and 4 tackles and Brodie Palfreyman with 20 disposals, 4 marks and a goal.
It will be a tough test this week for the Blues as they try to shake themselves out of this rut, as they travel to KGV to take on Glenorchy who are coming off a commanding 53 point win over Clarence at that same venue. The last time these two sides met was an absolute thriller at Windsor Park, with Launceston winning by one point in a captivating see-sawing contest.
Launceston goals: Lonergan 3, Palfreyman, Thorp, House
Launceston best: Boyce, Vandervelde, House, Savage, Thorp
Mercury Cup Report
Launceston’s outstanding season in the Mercury Cup continues to roll on, with the Blues cruising to their 11th consecutive win on the weekend and in the process mathematically guaranteeing a finals place with 8 rounds still to play. Tigers held their own early and went in only 14 points down at quarter time but the Blues really kicked into gear from their, holding the hosts goalless for the rest of the match and running away 98 point winners.
The defensive effort was lead by another best on ground display from Alec Wright who collected 25 disposals, 6 marks and 7 tackles. Several players rotated through key positions at the back, with Matt Spohn excelling with 22 disposals, 10 marks and a goal, and Zac Oldenhof also impressing with 21 disposals and 6 marks. Tyson Miller was another player to provide plenty of rebound for the Blues with 21 disposals and 7 marks.
Anthony Liberatore continues to find plenty of the ball at Mercury Cup level, he was the leading ball winner for Launceston yet again with 26 disposals and two goals. Tom Sheppard will be pushing for an immediate recall to the seniors after collecting 24 disposals, 6 marks and two goals, while perennial emergencies Brendan Taylor and Jack Tuthill also staked their claims with 19 disposals, 5 tackles and a goal for Taylor and 20 disposals and 6 marks for Tuthill.
Other major ball winners for the Blues included Grant Holt with 18 disposals and 7 marks, Mack Blazely with 15 disposals, 6 marks, a team high 8 tackles and 2 goals, Adam Dickenson with 15 disposals and 7 tackles, Ben Killalea with 15 disposals and 6 tackles and Harvey Griffiths with 14 disposals. While Giacomo Millucci kicked his customary three goals to take his Mercury Cup tally for the season to 25.
Next up the Blues travel south again, this time to take on Glenorchy who are in third place but are coming off a 78 point drubbing against second placed Clarence. The last time the Blues took on the Magpies was in round 7 at Windsor Park, when Launceston held the visitors goalless for the first three quarters on their way to a comfortable 50 point win.
Launceston goals: Millucci 3, Sheppard 2, Blazely 2, Liberatore 2, Edmunds, Spohn, Griffiths, Killalea, O’Donnell, Taylor, Chaplin
Launceston best: Wright, Sheppard, Spohn, Taylor, Tuthill, Miller