It was a more competitive effort at times from the Blues this week with some better signs, but in the end Glenorchy were too strong at home and consigned Launceston to their fourth loss in a row, putting them in danger of losing touch with the top three. There was another debutant for the Blues this week, with Ethan Jackson returning from Allies duty to play his first club game of the season.
Sam Rundle returned to the side and seemed refreshed after the break, he was the leading ball winner for the side with 26 disposals, 8 clearances, 5 tackles and a goal. Jake Smith had 23 disposals, 5 clearances and 6 tackles, Brodie Palfreyman 23 disposals, 5 tackles and a goal, while Hamish Leedham competed well in the ruck. Joe Boyce was effective with his 13 disposals which included 6 clearances, while Jake Hinds collected 17 touches.
Brendan Taylor competed well and collected 19 disposals and a goal, while Dylan Riley spent time both forward and back, and had 19 disposals and a team high 9 tackles. Mitch Thorp was Launceston’s only multiple goal kicker with 2 to take his season tally to 42. Simon Vandervelde had an excellent game at the back, with his ability to halve or win contests against, at times multiple opponents, a real stand out of his game. While Jobi Harper found himself in a new role at centre half back where he had 18 disposals, 7 marks and 5 tackles.
Next up the Blues will play under lights at UTAS Stadium on Friday night against league leaders North Launceston who are coming off a 26 point win over their fellow Bombers Lauderdale. The previous meeting between the two Launceston sides was in round 8 when North won by 53 points at Windsor Park.
Launceston goals: Thorp 2, House, Rundle, Taylor, J. Boyd, Palfreyman
Launceston best: Leedham, Smith, Vandervelde, Palfreyman, Savage, Rundle
Mercury Cup Report
Launceston’s impressive Mercury Cup outfit continues to roll on, winning their twelfth consecutive game to remain two games clear at the top of the ladder. This time it was a 72 point triumph away to third placed Glenorchy. A competitive first quarter saw the sides kick one goal each, but the Blues poured on 12 goals to 1 over the next two terms to cruise away to a comfortable victory.
Rulla Kelly-Mansell made his return to football and was best on ground on the day with 31 disposals and 8 marks. Anthony Liberatore continues to put up big numbers and he had 27 disposals, 8 marks and an outstanding dribble kick goal from deep in the pocket. Jack Donnellan continues to build up his form on his return from injury and had 23 disposals, 8 tackles and two goals including one to rival Liberatore’s for goal of the day, while Grant Holt had 24 disposals and 6 marks, and Adam Dickenson had 21 disposals and 7 tackles.
Blair Rubock showed his class in his first Mercury Cup game of the season with 18 disposals, 8 marks, 6 of which were contested, and 5 goals. Giacomo Millucci kicked four goals to take his Mercury Cup season tally to 29, while Launceston’s other multiple goal kicker was Jack Rushton with two goals as well as 13 disposals and 8 tackles. Jordan Bott had a productive day with 19 disposals, while Jimmy Aganas found a bit of the ball playing as a key forward with 15 disposals.
Zac Oldenhof put more runs on the board in his impressive season as he racked up 24 disposals and 15 marks across half back, while Matt Spohn also continued his good form with 19 disposals and 9 marks including three contested. Other major ball winners for the Blues included Mack Blazely with 16 disposals, 5 tackles and a goal, and Alec Wright with 15 disposals.
Next up Launceston take on local rivals North Launceston on Friday afternoon at UTAS Stadium. The Northern Bombers are coming off a big 98 point win over Lauderdale which saw them leapfrog into fourth place. The last clash between North and the Blues was in round 8 when an inaccurate Launceston ‘only’ won by 49 points at Windsor Park, despite having 29 scoring shots to North’s 5.
Launceston goals: Rubock 5, Millucci 4, Rushton 2, Donnellan 2, Blazely, Curtis, Liberatore, Bott
Launceston best: Kelly-Mansell, Oldenhof, Spohn, Liberatore, Neil, Rubock
By Josh Giblin