Launceston made it two successful Hobart trips in a row with a 30 point win over Clarence at Blundstone Arena, a venue the Blues are making a habit of playing well at. After a tight opening to the match, the visitors blew the game open in the second and third quarters and despite a spirited last term from the Roos, they were unable to mount a comeback.
Sam Rundle found himself well suited to the highly contested nature of a game that was full of stoppages, collecting 21 disposals and 7 clearances. Brodie Palfreyman was next best in terms of clearances with 5 to go with 13 disposals and 6 tackles, while Hamish Leedham dominated the hit outs all day and provided one of the highlights of the day when he launched a torpedo from near the centre circle which bounced through for a goal. Jay Blackberry kick started the Blues with their opening two goals of the game and had a typically impressive stat line including 24 disposals, 10 tackles and two goals, while Jack Donnellan was another to relish the contested side of the game with 13 disposals, a team high 14 tackles and a goal.
James Gillow was straight back into the senior side after impressing in the Mercury Cup last week and his forward pressure and work around the forward stoppages was important with 10 disposals, 4 tackles, 4 clearances and two goals to his name. Jack Rushton continued his fine start to his TSL career with 12 disposals, 7 tackles and a goal in another tenacious display, while Jake Smith also had 12 disposals and a goal. Mitch Thorp remains at the top of the league’s goal kicking charts, booting four more despite some close attention from the Clarence defenders to take his tally to 16 for the year already.
The defence held up really well to concede just 8 goals away to Clarence. Casey Brown had 14 disposals and even drifted forward to kick a rare goal and Joe Boyce had some important intercepts early before moving to the forward line later in the game. Jake Hinds showed his versatility, playing off half back this week after spending the start of the season in the midfield but still proving to be a ball magnet wherever he goes as he collected 22 disposals to be second only to Jay Blackberry on the day.
Next up the Blues will finally play another home game, their first in a month, as they host Tigers at Windsor Park this Saturday. The Kingston based side currently have an inverse record to Launceston, sitting at 1 and 3 after going down to the unbeaten Glenorchy by 20 points. The last time these two sides met was in round 16 last year, when an inaccurate Launceston just fell over the line by five points.
Launceston goals: Thorp 4, Blackberry 2, Gillow 2, Donnellan, Brown, Smith, Leedham, Rushton
Launceston best: Rundle, Boyce, Brown, Gillow, Palfreyman, Smith
By Josh Giblin