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Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup – Wildcard Round

WILDCARD Round is done and won, and four sides are out of the premiership race. While Geelong Falcons, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets advance to the finals, Calder Cannons, Northern Knights, Eastern Ranges and Bendigo Pioneers seasons are over.

 

Calder Cannons 8.7 (55) defeated by Geelong Falcons 8.8 (56)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

In one of the games of the year, and for a second week in a row, the Geelong Falcons snare a come from behind victory against the Calder Cannons to eliminate them from the finals race. Struggling to capitalise with their scoring shots in the third, the Falcons turned the tables in the final term, kicking three goals to one and winning from an 11-point deficit at the break. The Cannons’ big third quarter effort put them ahead and gave them the largest lead of the game. Neither team was ever out of the race, but in the end, it was a behind and the Falcons’ defensive pressure that snatched away the victory.

Cooper Stephens was instrumental with three rebounds, four inside 50s, five clearances, a game-high 27 disposals and a final quarter goal. Co-captain Sam Walsh finished similarly with four rebounds, three inside 50s, five clearances and 26 disposals racking up an impressive 16 contested possessions. Sam Conway dominated in the ruck with 27 hit outs, beating the Cannons’ total hit outs of 25 on his own. Jay Dahlhaus (16 disposals, five marks, five inside 50s and two goals), Oscar Brownless (18 disposals, four clearances and two goals) and Ned McHenry (20 disposals and two goals) impressed in front of goals, with Doyle Madigan (23 disposals, 15 contested, four clearances and two inside 50) also proving very dominating.

Will Jury had a strong performance with a game high 16 contested possessions (19 disposals), three marks (one contested), five clearances and six inside 50s. Lachlan Sholl (23 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and one clearance), Brodie Newman (13 disposals, six marks and four rebounds) and Daniel Hanna (16 disposals and seven marks) all presented strong overhead. Curtis Taylor (11 disposals and five marks) and Jake Riccardi (12 disposals, three marks, six hitouts, three clearances and four inside 50s) kicked two goals each, while Jacob Martin (17 disposals, four clearances and six inside 50s) and Rhylee West (12 disposals, six clearances, five inside 50s and one goal) were among the best for the Cannons. 

 

Northern Knights (3.4.22) defeated by Greater Western Victoria Rebels (14.7.91)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

Finals are now well and truly over for the Northern Knights after being handed a smashing by the GWV Rebels at MARS Stadium. Though only a point between them come the second quarter, the GWV lifted to produce a 37-point second quarter, with seven shots on goal to two. The third proved just as disappointing for the Knights with just the one point scored for the quarter, summing up a rather dismal performance with 21 scoring shots to seven.

Riely Ranieri’s work in the Rebels’ defensive half was extremely pivotal in their win, racking up 19 disposals (11 contested), four clearances, and seven rebounds. Matt Schnerring boasted a team-high 22 disposals, moving the ball well with three inside 50s and two rebounds, and contributed to their big second quarter with a late goal. Matty Lloyd capped off a solid game with 20 disposals and kicked two big goals, with Scott Carlin close behind on 19 disposals, five clearances and two goals of his own. Jed Hill and Harrison Butler also put two each on the board, while Patrick Glanford (11 disposals, 27 hit outs, four clearances and three inside 50s) performed well in the ruck alongside Darcy McEldrew (18 hitouts).

Despite their poor showing, the Northern Knights still had plenty of strong performers on the day. Sam Philp had a game-high 23 disposals and dominated out of the stoppages with 9 clearances. Philp moved the ball well to collect six inside 50s for the match. Similarly, Tom McKenzie delivered well with his seven inside 50s, showcased his strong hands (six marks) and got a bit of footy with 20 disposals. Adam Carafa (four clearances, two inside 50s, three rebounds), Josh D’Intinosante (three clearances, three inside 50s, two rebounds), Jackson Davies (four clearances, four inside 50s and three inside 50s) and Braedyn Gillard (10 contested possessions, three clearances and three inside 50s) also had considerable impacts.

 

Western Jets 12.12 (84) defeated Eastern Ranges 7.4 (46)

By: Michael Alvaro

Western Jets survived an early Eastern Ranges onslaught to claim a 38-point win and earn their spot in the TAC Cup final eight. The sixth-place Jets had every reason to be nervous coming into the game against second-last Eastern given both sides outside of the top eight beat their more fancied counterparts in the previous day’s play, and that fear would have been heightened as the Ranges stormed out to a first half lead. Three first half majors to bottom ager Ben Hickleton put Eastern in good stead, as they put on five straight goals to open the game and kept Western goalless in the second term to hold a 16-point buffer at the main break.

Their run came to a grinding halt once the ball went down to start the third term, as key Western ball-winners Xavier O’Halloran and Morrish Medal runner-up Connor Thar came into the game, with Stefan Radovanovic solid down back and Emerson Jeka providing a target forward of centre. Western jetted into the lead with four goals to none in the third term, and kept their form in the last as they piled on another five to Eastern’s one.

For the winners, O’Halloran (17 disposals, four tackles) stepped up when it counted, while Thar (32 disposals, six tackles, four marks nd one goal) was arguably their best. The Western forward line was dangerous as ever too, with Daniel Pantalleresco and Jeka claiming three majors each, while 23rd man Cassius White was also dangerous, booting two.

In one of Eastern’s better displays, Kye Quirk continued to rack up the possessions with 24 touches, 10 handball receives and six marks, while Joel Burleigh and Xavier Fry were their main ball-winners with 32 touches each. Bottom ager Hickleton also impressed with his three goals, finding himself in good areas inside 50.

The Jets now face an in-form Oakleigh side full of stars in the first week of finals, while Eastern’s season ends on the back of a fighting effort.

 

Murray Bushrangers 9.18 (72) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 6.9 (45)

By: Michael Alvaro

Murray Bushrangers rounded out the TAC Cup wildcard round with a comfortable, yet wasteful 27-point win over Bendigo Pioneers. Having been booted out of the top four in the last two rounds, the Bushies looked to have learned a lesson from the previous wildcard games as the favourites broke out to a 22-point lead to open the game, keeping the Pio’s goalless.

To Bendigo’s credit, they didn’t give in and hit back with three goals of their own in the second term to reduce the margin to 12 points at the main break. Neither side could really snatch a good run of momentum, as the buffer stayed at a steady three-four goals going into the final break – with Bendigo’s accuracy (6.4) keeping them within reach in quarters two and three as Murray complied a wasteful 5.8 in comparison.

But the class of Murray proved too much as they held on with a further 1.5 in the fourth quarter to shut out the trying contest and their nagging opposition. Ely Smith continued his good form in the midfield to be named Murray’s best with 29 disposals and six tackles, while Mathew Walker (21 disposals, nine tackles, six marks and three goals) was not far behind. Zane Barzen and Lachlan Ash were the Bushranger’s other multiple goal kickers with two each, with the latter also gathering 20 disposals in a more advanced role.

For Bendigo, Jacob Atley was the clear standout up forward as he collected 21 disposals and marked well while claiming half of his side’s six goals. Liam Marciano was also industrious with his 27 disposals, six tackles and five marks and one goal, while Bailey Henderson (22 disposals and six marks) was also solid. Jye Caldwell also showed some brilliant glimpses before unfortunately injuring his hamstring.

Murray will go on to face the Sandringham side which snatched their top-four spot in what looks like being a tantalising contest.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 13

IN an action packed round of TAC Cup football, the top few sides had important wins to extend their lead on the competition, while others gained some much needed points.

Eastern Ranges 5.8 (38) def. by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels 13.13 (91)

GWV Rebels claimed their fourth win of the season, with a comprehensive four-quarter victory over Eastern Ranges at Box Hill. The Rebels took control early, although could not make the most of their opportunities in the first term, booting 3.6, and then heading into half-time with a score of 6.9 to 2.2. The third quarter was where the Rebels did all the damage, with Charlie Wilson heading into the final break with four majors after two goals in each of the second and third terms. The Ranges rallied in the final term and only conceded one more point than they scored, to go down by 53 points.

Wilson was the star for the Rebels, booting 5.3 from 19 disposals and 12 marks (two contested), as well as six inside 50s. Matty Lloyd racked up a massive 37 disposals, as he roamed the wings, working between the defensive and offensive arcs for six inside 50s, six rebounds and a third quarter goal. Lochie Dawson (28 disposals, six marks, four clearances, two inside 50s and four rebounds) and Matt Schnerring (27 disposals, five marks, two clearances, five inside 50s and an important intercept and goal in the first term) were others who found plenty of the footy.

Mitch Mellis was one of Eastern’s shining lights, racking up 33 disposals, moving between the inside and outside using quick hands on his way to seven clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds. Cooper Leon found space to boot a goal to go with his 28 touches, five marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and five rebounds. Joel Burleigh and Kye Quirk both had 20 disposals, while Burleigh booted a goal and Quirk had four rebounds. James Blanck was strong in defence before switching to attack with six marks from 18 disposals.

 

Murray Bushrangers 17.7 (109) def. Western Jets 9.8 (62)

It took all four quarters, but Murray Bushrangers finally shook off the Western Jets with an eight goals to two final term at Wangaratta on Saturday. The Jets led at quarter time by six points before the home side booted the only four goals of the second term to lead by 16 points at the main break. The Jets cut the deficit to 11 by the final break, before the Bushrangers stormed home in the final term to run away with the 47-point victory. Mathew Walker booted four goals in the final term to seal the deal.

Walker was the key player for the Bushrangers, nailing six goals from 14 disposals and eight marks (one contested). Along with Walker, Kyle Clarke booted two majors and had 21 disposals, two marks and six inside 50s, while Zane Barzen continued his good form with two majors from 14 disposals and six marks. Jye Chalcraft (17 disposals, four marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds) and Will Chandler (11 disposals, seven marks and three goals) were also among the Bushrangers’ best in the win.

For the Jets, Jack Watkins was the major ball winner with 27 disposals, eight marks, seven clearances and three inside 50s, while bottom-ager Darcy Cassar continues to rack up the football in transition through the midfield, winning half of his possessions in a contest, finishing with 25 disposals, eight marks (three contested), three clearances, five inside 50s and one goal. Connor Thar was the other busy ball winner with 25 disposals, five marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and a rebound, while Buku Khamis and Stefan Radovanovic had a combined 36 disposals, seven marks and seven rebounds.

 

Northern Knights 10. 8 (68) def. by Gippsland Power 13. 7 (85)

After playing out a draw in their early encounter at Morwell, the Northern Knights and Gippsland Power went to do battle once again, this time at Preston City Oval. While the Knights had the home ground advantage and started strongly with the breeze, they eventually fell to the second placed Power. Northern booted five goals to two in the opening term, before Gippsland responded with five goals to one in the second to hit the front at the main break. The Knights regained the lead with an inaccurate 3.6 to 1.1. in the third term to hold a 10-point advantage over the visitors. But the last quarter belonged to the Power, coming home with a wet sail, Gippsland booted 5.3 to 1.0 to run out 17-point winners.

Despite challenging weather at times, Bailey Beck was clean with the ball, picking up 18 disposals, eight marks and three inside 50s and was named Gippsland’s best, while captain Xavier Duursma again stood tall, racking up 20 disposals, three marks, three clearances and booting two goals, while also being awarded five free kicks for getting in and under. Matthew McGannon backed up his good form from last week with 25 disposals, 11 marks (one contested) and four rebounds, while Austin Hodge had 24 touches, four marks, seven clearances, eight inside 50s and a goal. Key forward Noah Gown made it back-to-back hauls with five majors once again.

For the Knights, bottom-ager Josh D’Intinosante was busy with 21 disposals, two marks, seven clearances and two goals, while Sam Philp found plenty of the pill with 26 disposals (16 contested), eight clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds. Tom McKenzie had 20 touches, three marks, three inside 50s, four rebounds and a goal, while Ryan Sturgess had five rebounds and two inside 50s to go with his 18 touches and three marks. Harrison Grace was prominent with 15 disposals, two marks and five inside 50s, as was Mitch Wild with 15 disposals, eight marks and five rebounds.

 

Calder Cannons 6.6 (42) def. by Dandenong Stingrays 12.10 (82)

The ladder-leading Dandenong Stingrays survived an almighty scare from Calder Cannons at RAMS Arena in blustery conditions to defeat the likely top eight side by 40 points. Leading by just two at the final break, the Stingrays put the foot down in the final term and did what they have done all year – found a way to win. They booted seven goals to one in the final term to run over the top of the plucky Cannons and maintain their place at the top of the table with an eight-point gap on second placed Gippsland Power.

Captain Campbell Hustwaite was a big performer once again, amassing 27 disposals, three marks, seven clearances and seven inside 50s, getting the job done inside and out. Finlay Bayne played one of his best games for the season upon his return to the side, picking up 25 disposals, five marks, four clearances, eight inside 50s and booted a goal. Teammate Sam Fletcher found plenty of the footy again with 23 touches, five marks, eight clearances, three inside 50s and a goal. Bailey Williams controlled the airways again with eight marks (four contested), 17 disposals, five inside 50s and two goals.

Co-captain Mitch Podhjaski played an equally inspirational game, racking up 33 touches, six marks, seven clearances, two inside 50s and booted a goal to be one of the Cannons’ best, while Lachlan Sholl was strong in defence with Brodie Newman (26 disposals and four rebounds), racking up 27 disposals, five marks and five rebounds. Lucas Cavallaro had a team-high eight rebounds to be a star in the back half, also amassing 25 disposals and seven marks, while Daniel Mott‘s second half of the season resurgence continued with seven inside 50s and five clearances to go with his 24 disposals.

 

Geelong Falcons 2.5 (17) def. by Oakleigh Chargers 7.9 (51)

Oakleigh Chargers won an old-fashioned scrap at Colac, holding Geelong Falcons to just one goal after quarter time while booting seven majors themselves in a 34-point win. The Falcons booted the only goal of the first term to start proceedings, before Oakleigh got back into the rhythm to pile on six consecutive goals to all but end the contest. Oakleigh kept its top four hopes alive with the low-scoring victory and will build confidence from the win.

Jake Gasper continued his great form with another three majors, picking up 18 disposals, one contested mark, four clearances and three inside 50s, while Josh May won plenty of the footy with 24 disposals, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds. Isaac Quaynor stood out and was named the winners’ best, racking up 21 disposals, one mark, two clearances, four inside 50s and one rebound playing up the ground. Fellow Collingwood Next Generation Academy member Atu Bosenavulagi was also strong, racking up 17 disposals (11 contested), two marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds.

For Geelong, it was the usual suspects standing out, with Sam Walsh having another 33 disposals, three marks, six tackles, six clearances and six inside 50s, while Brayden Ham‘s consistent form saw him rack up five rebounds from 20 disposals playing off half-back. Cooper Stephens was busy in the midfield with 17 disposals (13 contested) and five clearances, while Oscar Brownless (15 disposals) and Jay Dahlhaus (15 disposals and a massive 17 tackles) were prominent, as was Charlie Harris (19 disposals and 12 tackles).

 

Sandringham Dragons 6.12 (48) def. Bendigo Pioneers 6.4 (40)

It was not a pretty win, but they got the four points to take to the bank and the Dragons will find themselves still in the hunt for a top four spot. Led by Liam Stocker, the Dragons had to fight hard to overcome the dogged Bendigo Pioneers, booting the first three goals of the game before the Pioneers booted three of the next four, Holding a slender lead at the final break after Bendigo came hard at them in the third term, the Dragons managed to hold on in a quarter which saw just three behinds scored and the home side enjoying the eight-point victory.

Stocker was best on ground yet again for the Dragons, picking up 35 disposals, four marks, 12 inside 50s, nine clearances and booting a goal. Ryan Byrnes had his fair share of the footy racking up 26 disposals (17 contested), six clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds), while big man James Rendell had 18 disposals, seven marks (two contested), 20 hitouts and three clearances in a big effort around the ground. He and Andrew Courtney (33 hitouts) dominated against the smaller Bendigo rucks, while Sam Sofronidis had 26 touches, three marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds.

For Bendigo, Noah Wheeler was the top ball winner, amassing 23 disposals, two marks, two clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds, while Jacob Atley was clean out of defence, having four rebounds to go with his 19 disposals and six marks. Liam Marciano had 17 disposals, three marks, four clearances and five rebounds, while Flynn Perez was busy with 17 disposals, four marks, three clearances and two rounds. James Schischka returned to the team to play a key role with 16 touches, four marks and four inside 50s, while Jackson Williams had five rebounds from 16 disposals out of defence.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 13

TAC Cup action returns this weekend with all 12 teams back at it. While some are understrength due to school football, the ladder is taking shape as just four rounds remain in the competition ahead of the new addition of a wildcard round after Round 16.

EASTERN RANGES v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 13 – Saturday, July 28, 12pm
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

The opening game of the round pits two bottom four sides against each other, with the Rebels able to draw within four points of the eighth placed Northern Knights if they can win, while Eastern can draw level with Geelong Falcons and within two points of the Rebels if they can take home the four points. Eastern’s midfield has been relatively settled this year, with Joel Burleigh, Kye Quirk, Adrian Kalcovski and Mitch Mellis all busy through the middle, while Ben Cardamone and Xavier Fry have proved important in the back half. James Blanck‘s return to the side in the past week has settled the defence down, while in attack, the return of Thomas Lockman combining with Billy McCormack should provide some targets up front. For the Rebels, they have beefed up their attack, bringing in Tylar Watts and Josh Chatfield, making for an even more damaging forward line with the likes of Jed Hill, Charlie Wilson and Izaac Grant set to cause headaches for Eastern’s defence. While the half-back line of Scott Carlin and Matty Lloyd provides good rebound. It’s a 50/50 game with Eastern having the home ground advantage.

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 13 – Saturday, July 28, 1pm
Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

In arguably the match of the round, Murray Bushrangers hosts Western Jets up in Wangaratta where two of the top inside midfielders will go head-to-head in Ely Smith and Xavier O’Halloran. There are fantastic one-on-ones across the field with the likes of Jacob Koschitzke taking Emerson Jeka, Buku Khamis potentially lining up on Hudson Garoni, and Hamish Murphy going head-to-head with Zane Barzen. Both sides pride themselves on contested ball and speed from half-back, so it is likely to be an entertaining contest of end-to-end football. Jaden Rice is a crucial loss for the Jets on this road trip, but they have plenty of depth through the midfield, and potency up forward with Darcy Cassar, Aaron Clarke and Steven Kyriazis being sources of scoreboard pressure. Murray arguably have the best forward line in the league with Jordon Butts joining Barzen and Garoni, while Jye Chalcraft and Bailey Frauenfelder are always damaging. If the Bushrangers win they will retain third spot, while the Jets could leap frog both Sandringham Dragons and Oakleigh Chargers with favourable results in other games if they take home the points.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 13 – Saturday, July 28, 2pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

Another important top eight clash tomorrow is that between the Northern Knights and Gippsland Power. The Knights sit eighth with an eight-point buffer, but will be keen to have another win and upset the Power. The Power sit in second spot, but Murray Bushrangers are hot on their heels and with the finals approaching, a top four spot is at a premium. Last time these two sides played it was a draw at Morwell Recreation Reserve after Irving Mosquito kicked a goal in the dying seconds. Mosquito is in the team again to cause some serious headaches, while Tyrone Hayes also returns to provide some speed around the ground. Noah Gown is fresh off a five-goal haul and will be keen to impress once again at full-forward, while Sam Flanders and Austin Hodge know how to hit the scoreboard. For the Knights, they have Josh D’Intinosante and Sunny Brazier who consistently find goals, while Harrison Grace is an important inclusion at half-forward, with he and James Lucente capable of creating opportunities in the front half. Tom McKenzie and Lachlan Potter will provide plenty of run off half-back, while Matthew McGannon will look to continue his strong form from last week to carry over into this important game. Gippsland will head in as favourites, but the Knights have the speed and talent to cause an upset at home.

 

CALDER CANNONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 13 – Sunday, July 29, 11.30am
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

An early Sunday game at RAMS Arena is set to provide a treat with an almost full-strength Dandenong side taking on a Calder team with Curtis Taylor back in the side. Dandenong seem to be the clear benchmark this season and will go in as strong favourites, but Calder have matched it with most sides this year and have caused a number of upsets. Opposing captains Campbell Hustwaite and Mitch Podhajski could go head-to-head in the middle, both capable of running both ways and working hard to help their team gain momentum. The speed of the Stingrays might trouble the Cannons, with Zac Foot and Jai Taylor providing plenty of outside run, while Will Hamill and Sam Fletcher provide the inside hands. Bailey Williams is a monster in the air, and Riley Bowman and the returning Bailey Schmidt will push the Cannons for height. Daniel Hanna could be handed the job on Williams, while Lucas Cavallaro and Lachlan Sholl will look to be the ones rebounding from defence. Taylor is a hard match-up for any opposition up forward, and could go head-to-head with potential number one pick in 2019, Hayden Young. The Stingrays seem almost assured of the minor premiership this season, but the wind at RAMS Arena always throws up a few surprises, while the Cannons can go outright seventh with breathing space if the Power defeat the Knights.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 13 – Sunday, July 29, 1pm
Central Reserve, Colac

Out in the south west, Geelong Falcons will look to take advantage of mass changes for Oakleigh to snatch a win in the Falcons’ home away from home in Colac. While Ned McHenry is a big loss for the Falcons, the Chargers will have to overcome wholesale changes with players heading back to school football. Sam Walsh, Oscar Brownless and Cooper Stephens will still have a fascinating battle in midfield, with Riley Collier-Dawkins, Xavier O’Neill and Noah Answerth, while Oakleigh’s dominant forward line still has serious threats with bottom-agers Noah Anderson and Dylan Williams down there, as well as over-ager Matthew Day and top-ager Jake Gasper who have both booted bags of goals this season – Gasper last week. The strength in attack means Oakleigh will be a danger if they can control the midfield, while Geelong can control play if they win the contested ball. Connor Idun and Dane Hollenkamp will look to contain the forwards, while Brayden Ham is back at half-back where he will try and provide both offensive and defensive pressure on the opposition. Up forward, Blake Schlensog provides a target, while Baxter Mensch and Jay Dahlhaus are others who can find the ball and keep it moving forward. Despite the changes and the home ground advantage, Oakleigh would be rightfully favourites in this game, but Geelong pushed Sandringham Dragons all the way last round and will be hoping for a repeat effort this week.

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 13 – Sunday, July 29, 2.30pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

In the final game of the round, Sandringham Dragons will take on Bendigo Pioneers in what should be a close game on paper. The Dragons will rightfully head in as favourites, but any time a team makes 17 changes is always going to present challenges. The Pioneers have remained relatively stable and welcomed James Schischka back into the side. While the Dragons have plenty of depth and still some serious talent around the field, they will look to their next tier of players to step up in front of a home crowd. Liam Stocker will look to build on his great form of late since returning from injury, while James Rendell is back in the team to provide a tall target up front. Jai Florent and Tyson Milne are small forwards who create opportunities at ground level, while Corey Watts and Ryan Byrnes are others who have shown good signs throughout the season. For the Pioneers, Jacob Atley provides good speed and effort out of defence, and will combine well with Schischka back there. Noah Wheeler, Hunter Lawrence and Liam Marciano are always involved, while Oscar and Flynn Perez provide some excitement up forward and on the outside. A win to Sandringham could see them move past Murray into third spot, while a loss could see them drop back as far as sixth. The Pioneers can get off the bottom of the TAC Cup table with a win here.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 12b

WITH three games to cast an eye over this weekend, we look at some of the key players in each game and a number of crucial match-ups that could decide the contest.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 12 – Saturday, July 21, 1pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

In the first game of the round, top-of-the-table Dandenong Stingrays take on the last placed Bendigo Pioneers at home in what on face value appears to be a one-sided contest. Given the Stingrays’ big inclusions such as Bailey Williams, Zac Foot and Jake Frawley among others, it will be a tough ask for the smaller Pioneers, who have lost talented bottom-age tall Brodie Kemp to school football. However, Josh Grace will be a welcome inclusion against Williams and Stephen Cumming who are likely to cause the defence all sorts of headaches. In the midfield, both teams pride themselves on contested ball and Noah Wheeler and Hunter Lawrence will go head-to-head with the likes of Sam Fletcher and Campbell Hustwaite on the inside. Jacob Atley and Liam Marciano provide good run and carry out of the Pioneers defence, while Zac Foot and Jai Taylor provide the same for the Stingrays. Dandenong will deservedly head in as very strong favourites, but with nothing to lose, the Pioneers should throw everything at the ladder leaders and test themselves against the benchmark team.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 12 – Sunday, July 22, 1pm
Deakin Reserve, Shepparton

In the first of two Sunday games occurring at the same time, the fourth placed Murray Bushrangers take on the eleventh placed Eastern Ranges at Shepparton. Murray will also be strong favourites in this clash with Jacob Koschitzke returning to the defence after a huge last couple of months for the GWS GIANTS and Allies. But it is Murray’s attack which is unbelievably diverse given it contains competition leading goal kicker Hudson Garoni, the X-factor in Zane Barzen, as well as talented bottom-agers Lachlan Ash and Jye Chalcraft while Jordon Butts has shown he can kick a bag, and Bailey Frauenfelder often chips in with scoreboard pressure. The midfield duo of Ely Smith and Kyle Clarke will go head-to-head with Kye Quirk and Lachlan Stapleton, while Eastern will look to release Joel Burleigh and Mitch Mellis on the wings. James Blanck will be the man Eastern turns to in order to restrict Garoni, while Ben Cardamone and Adrian Kalcovski will look to continue their good form. Murray will be keen to take back third spot with victory here, while Eastern can gain some breathing space from Bendigo should they get up.

GIPPSLAND POWER v. WESTERN JETS

Round 12 – Sunday, July 22, 1pm
Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

Over at Morwell, the Gippsland Power and Western Jets do battle in what is expected to be the clear match of the weekend. The Power sits second and could pull away from its closest rivals with a win, while a victory to Western would see them regain a top four spot, and be one of three sides potentially on 32 points – with Oakleigh two points behind. A win to the Jets would also mean the Stingrays would be a massive 12 points clear on top if they defeat Bendigo. Both respective captains in Xavier Duursma and Xavier O’Halloran return to their sides, along with a host of talented inclusions such as Sam Flanders and Matthew McGannon (Gippsland) and Emerson Jeka and Buku Khamis (Western). Kyle Reid is another big inclusion for the Power and will settle the defence along with McGannon. The midfield battle will be intriguing with O’Halloran, Connor Thar and Jack Watkins taking on Duursma, Flanders and Harold Hood. Stefan Radovanovic and Daly Andrews will break open the game with their pace, while the Power will look to Tyrone Hayes and Irving Mosquito to do the same at either end. This game is hard to pick, with the home ground advantage going to Gippsland, but Western have been very good with their best side on the park. Expect it to be a thriller.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 11

WITH the National Under 18 Championships done, a number of Victorian players return to their TAC Cup clubs as teams enter the last two months of competition.

CALDER CANNONS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 10:45am
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the first game of the round, Calder Cannons host Western Jets at RAMS Arena. The Cannons welcome back co-captain Mitch Podhajski and skilful defender Lachlan Sholl among five inclusions, while the horribly unlucky John Roumeliotis is out after sustaining a fourth ACL injury in as many years – best wishes with recovery – as well as Cooper Lamb, Ben Rigoni and Sam Graham. For the Jets, they have two huge inclusions to add serious speed to their line-up with Stefan Radovanovic and Daly Andrews added to the side with an extended bench, as Jack Papachatzakis is the only confirmed out at this stage.

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 43. L. Cavallaro
HB: 48. S. Ramsay, 23. D. Hanna, 8. L. Sholl
C: 27. T.  Browning, 51. W.  Jury, 55. A.  Righele
HF: 40. L. Johnson, 29. J. Riccardi, 7. S. Skidmore
F: 57. J. Kemp, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 10. H. Minton-Connell
R: 21. H. Jones, 30. M. Podhajski, 1. D. Mott
Int: 53. M. Abou-Eid, 42. N. Croft, 44. N. Gentile, 36. P. Mahoney, 25. J. Martin, 3. I. Moussa
Emg: 4. K. Baker, 59. J. Middleton, 14. J. Taylor

In: P. Mahoney, N. Gentile, M. Podhajski, L. Sholl, N. Croft
Out: C. Lamb, B. Rigoni, J. Roumeliotis, S. Graham

Western Jets

B: 15. M. Hearne, 37. H. Murphy, 22. O. Manton
HB: 48. A. Britten, 36. J. Rice, 25. S. Johnson
C: 17. D.  Andrews , 39. S.  Radovanovic, 6. L.  Rocci
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 45. A. Clarke, 27. J. Klaromenos
F: 8. J. Kellett, 49. D. Pantalleresco, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 7. J. Watkins, 12. C. Thar
Int: 3. K. Bharathi, 13. D. Bolkas, 1. J. Hazik, 24. J. Honey, 4. J. Jenkins, 19. T. Kolyniuk, 30. L. Pettigrove, 46. A. Tanner, 16. C. White

In: J. Hazik, T. Kolyniuk, S. Radovanovic, D. Andrews
Out: J. Papachatzakis

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 11:30am
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

Both Sandringham and Northern have brought in a host of players to name extended benches ahead of their clash on Saturday morning. The only confirmed out for the Dragons is Finn Maginness, while Ryan Byrnes, Nicholas Burke and Joshua Le Grice are among five inclusions. The Knights have swung the axe with seven confirmed outs, including Cameron Wild, Nicholas Mayne and Brody Bell, but they welcome back some big ins. Ryan Gardner, James Lucente, Joel Naylor and Nicholas Barrow are among those who return to the Northern team.

Sandringham Dragons

B: 18. A. Seaton, 69. C. Watts, 46. L. Witts
HB: 11. N. Stamatis, 33. W. Kennedy, 45. J. Voss
C: 19. S.  Forbes, 6. H.  Houlahan, 53. H.  Ralphsmith
HF: 17. J. Denborough, 48. J. Worrell, 35. G. Grey
F: 13. T. Brimble, 70. J. Bell, 52. C. Dean
R: 59. A. Courtney, 7. L. Stocker, 2. A. Richards
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 51. N. Burke, 66. R. Byrnes, 72. D. Chirgwin, 39. J. Florent, 38. J. Le Grice , 61. F. McAsey, 21. D. McNeish, 14. R. O’Meara

In: R. Byrnes, N. Burke, J. Bell, M. Bergman, J. Le Grice
Out: F. Maginness

Northern Knights

B: 6. X. Naish, 33. J. Randall, 22. M. Wild
HB: 11. R. Sturgess, 28. S. Uzelac, 15. O. White
C: 1. R.  Gardner, 8. A.  Carafa, 30. J.  McInerney
HF: 24. R. Bowkett, 12. J. Naylor, 7. H. Grace
F: 17. J. D’Intinosante, 18. S. Brazier, 27. J. Lucente
R: 19. N. Howard, 36. K. Yodgee, 13. S. Philp
Int: 31. N. Barro, 37. K. Brandt, 42. A. Castagna, 51. J. Collins, 20. P. Della Rocca, 38. B. Nikolovski, 32. I. Rossi, 57. R. Seakins, 52. J. Trudgeon

In: K. Yodgee, N. Barro, R. Seakins, R. Gardner, J. Lucente, A. Castagna, J. Collins, J. Trudgeon, I. Rossi, J. Naylor
Out: C. Wild, C. Simonsen, N. Mayne, J. Watson, J. Davies, J. Boyd, B. Bell

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 2pm
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

In an afternoon game at Warrawee Park, the Oakleigh Chargers face the Eastern Ranges with a number of changes for both sides. Oakleigh have lost Matt Rowell who played for Vic Metro yesterday, as well as Zac Hart and Daniel Scala, but welcome back a host of important players including Dylan Williams, Lachlan Bugeja and Xavier O’Neill. Eastern has made at least five changes with Brent Bredin, Riley Clausen and Steven Kapahnke among the outs, while tackling machine Lachlan Stapleton, Callum Norris and Cooper Leon are among the inclusions.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 74. H. Mastras, 36. C. Beasley, 15. K. Schreiber
HB: 81. M. Emmett, 30. B. Wraith, 16. L. Westwood
C: 35. X.  Fry, 32. J.  Ross, 31. W.  Golds
HF: 26. J. Gasper, 33. M. Warren, 10. C. Whitehead
F: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 7. J. Robertson, 22. D. Williams
R: 49. N. Bryan, 2. L. Bugeja, 5. X. O’Neill
Int: 17. T. Bianco, 48. M. Bowman, 20. F. Elliot, 39. S. Fernandez, 62. T. Graham, 64. J. Jordon, 19. D. Romero, 28. O. Simpson, 50. V. Zagari

In: L. Bugeja, T. Graham, D. Williams, S. Fernandez, V. Zagari, M. Bowman, H. Mastras, X. Fry, X. O’Neill
Out: C. Oglethorpe,  W. James,  M. Rowell,  H. Shugg,  Z. Hart,  D. Scala

Eastern Ranges

B: 10. C. Black, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 16. T. Garner
HB: 23. X. Fry, 45. M. Zalac, 19. J. Kritopoulos
C: 57. C.  Leon, 20. B.  Cardamone, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 24. K. Quirk, 51. D. Reynolds, 46. B. White
F: 14. L. Gawel, 18. B. McCormack, 32. F. Smith
R: 58. R. Smith, 8. J. Burleigh, 7. L. Stapleton
Int: 15. T. Amarant, 30. T. Edwards, 5. R. Einsporn, 27. J. Jaworski, 2. A. Kalcovski, 28. L. Kruger, 42. T. Lockman, 26. C. Norris, 22. C. Quirk

In: M. Zalac, F. Smith, T. Amarant, C. Leon, L. Stapleton, T. Edwards, L. Gawel, C. Norris, B. White
Out: L. Vassis, S. Kapahnke, R. Clausen, K. Crosby, B. Bredin

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 2pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Down the highway, Dandenong Stingrays will look to increase their lead at the top-of-the-table against Geelong Falcons. Four massive inclusions outline an impressive looking Dandenong side. AFL Academy ruck Riley Bowman headlines the ins, with Toby Bedford and Will Hamill returning from Vic Country duty as well, while key defender Sam De Koning also returns. Bailey Schmidt is out of the side, as is Heath Briggs. For the Falcons, they have made some massive changes to the side that failed to kick a goal a fortnight ago. Brayden Ham, Zac Knights, Nicholas Conway and Charlie Harris are among seven confirmed outs, while some important inclusions are key defenders Dane Hollenkamp and Connor Idun, as well as Blake Schlensog who will straighten the Falcons up in attack.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 56. M. Cumming, 25. J. Triep
HB: 58. W. Hamill, 20. S. De Koning, 48. J. Stuart
C: 27. L.  McDonnell, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 7. J.  Taylor
HF: 6. J. Barker, 21. J. Johnson, 49. M. Cottrell
F: 11. E. Cahill, 36. S. Cumming, 8. J. Smith
R: 13. R. Bowman, 17. F. Bayne, 15. T. Bedford
Int: 46. L. Bellinvia, 19. J. Burton, 32. D. Frampton, 45. L. Goonan, 3. J. Plumridge, 35. F. Stellato, 39. J. Toner, 44. C. Weightman

In: T. Bedford, W. Hamill, R. Bowman, S. De Koning
Out: H. Briggs,  B. Schmidt

Geelong Falcons

B: 31. C. Cartledge, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 40. J. Clark
HB: 3. K. Rayner, 39. C. Idun, 21. L. Smith
C: 5. W.  Batson, 9. B.  Morton, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 48. B. Schlensog, 19. B. Ritchie
F: 17. S. Ham, 45. T. Richardson, 42. H. Spiller
R: 44. S. Conway, 10. B. Mensch, 6. D. Madigan
Int: 43. J. Jewell, 11. C. Karpala, 29. B. Miller, 23. T. Nyak, 32. F. Parish, 14. P. Smith

In: D. Hollenkamp, T. Richardson, C. Idun, C. Karpala, P. Smith, B. Schlensog, B. Miller, S. Conway
Out: C. Harris, J. Grigsby, Z. Knights, C. Tanis, B. Ham, J. Muhor, N. Conway

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 11 – Sunday, July 8, 12pm
Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

In the first Sunday game, Gippsland and Murray have made minimal changes, opting to keep their line-ups relatively settled. Caleb Serong is a huge inclusion for the home side, joining Harvey Neocleous and Mason McGarrity among the ins, while Harrison Pepper and Trent Baldi are the confirmed outs for the game. For the Bushrangers, Ben Kelly and Wilson Mack are the two confirmed outs, while Jake Bradshaw and Nick Murray are back into the Murray team to assist the defence.

Gippsland Power

B: 14. T. Hourigan, 23. N. Gown, 12. B. Smith
HB: 1. T. Hayes, 40. Z. Hurley, 7. B. Patterson
C: 8. B.  Beck, 2. C.  Serong, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 34. J. Hume, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 9. I. Mosquito, 16. J. Smith, 33. B. Thorson
R: 22. R. Henkel, 11. A. Hodge, 6. R. Baldi
Int: 28. H. Hood, 42. T. Howard, 21. M. McGarrity, 19. F. Phillips, 43. Z. Skinner, 15. R. Sparkes, 44. M. Toussaint, 35. J. van der Pligt, 45. A. Young

In: C. Serong, H. Hood, H. Neocleous, F. Phillips, M. McGarrity
Out: H. Pepper,  T. Baldi

Murray Bushrangers

B: 7. Z. Barzen, 16. N. Murray, 20. J. Bradshaw
HB: 19. J. Boyer, 34. T. Boyd, 28. K. Clarke
C: 52. J.  Sanford, 5. E.  Smith, 53. C.  Wilson
HF: 6. W. Chandler, 2. J. Butts, 13. B. Frauenfelder
F: 26. R. Bice, 18. H. Garoni, 14. J. Chalcraft
R: 23. M. Marriott, 38. D. Clarke, 12. L. Ash
Int: 30. L. Andrews, 35. F. Bollinghaus, 41. J. Crawford, 39. M. Holt, 10. P. Warner, 44. L. Whyte

In: F. Bollinghaus, J. Bradshaw, M. Holt, N. Murray, J. Crawford
Out: B. Kelly, W. Mack

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 11 – Sunday, July 8, 1pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

In the final game of the round, Bendigo Pioneers host the GWV Rebels in a clash of bottom four sides. The Grace brothers are back in with Daine and Josh Grace returning for the Pioneers on an extended bench, along with overager Bailey Henderson, Hunter Lawrence and Liam Marciano, while Daniel Keating is among three outs for the team. For the Rebels, Tom Berry and Scott Carlin are two huge inclusions, while Isaac Wareham and Josh Chatfield are among four outs for the visitors.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 21. D. Loveridge, 31. B. Worme, 2. J. Williams
HB: 59. B. Rowles, 32. W. Wallace, 20. J. Schischka
C: 25. F.  Perez, 5. N.  Wheeler, 26. O.  Perez
HF: 16. J. Atley, 41. B. Vaz, 17. R. Ironside
F: 14. T. Dow, 8. B. Kemp, 29. E. Roberts
R: 54. M. Christensen, 6. J. Rodi, 33. J. McHale
Int: 13. K. Brown, 34. R. Clarke, 60. L. Fitzgerald, 11. J. Grace, 10. D. Grace, 18. B. Henderson, 43. H. Lawrence, 3. L. Marciano, 58. J. Tillig, 28. C. Vick

In: D. Grace, R. Clarke, H. Lawrence, J. Grace, B. Henderson, M. Christensen, L. Marciano
Out: D. Keating,  Z. Shelton,  M. Johnson

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 1. C. Craig-Peters, 18. B. Helyar, 35. C. Hinkley
HB: 24. M. Lloyd, 8. H. Butler, 44. R. Polkinghorne
C: 41. B.  Dodd, 13. T.  Berry, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 21. I. Grant, 40. I. Thomas, 14. J. Hill
F: 7. M. Martin, 6. C. Wilson, 2. M. Schnerring
R: 29. P. Glanford, 3. S. Carlin, 27. E. Lamb
Int: 32. M. Burgess, 48. J. Cleaver, 9. L. Dawson, 28. C. Giddings, 16. E. Harvey, 10. J. Lohmann, 47. T. Mahony, 20. T. Watts

In: C. Giddings, R. Polkinghorne, E. Harvey, S. Carlin, J. Lohmann, T. Berry
Out: J. Mawson, I. Wareham, D. McEldrew, J. Chatfield

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 9

THREE clubs have dominated the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 9. Almost half of the best 22 from the round have come from the Murray Bushrangers (four), Geelong Falcons (three) and Northern Knights (three). Dandenong Stingrays, Sandringham Dragons and Western Jets all have two nominees in the team, while a record six clubs – Bendigo Pioneers, Calder Cannons, Eastern Ranges, Gippsland Power, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Oakleigh Chargers – all having the one nominee in the side.

The forward line firepower is unbelievable for Round 9, with 29 goals kicked between the six starting forwards. Clubhouse leader Izaac Grant booted seven in a losing side for the GWV Rebels, while Jordon Butts booted six in Murray’s big win over Bendigo Pioneers. Fellow Bushrangers tall, Tom Boyd, has made the team at centre half-back, while Ely Smith (rover) and Jye Chalcraft (interchange) have also squeezed into the team.

Northern Knights’ forwards James Lucente and Patrik Della Rocca booted seven majors between them and will work in tandem in our Team of the Week, while defender Stefan Uzelac continues his good form of late with a nomination in the back pocket. Geelong key defender and acting captain Cooper Cartledge has made the side, joined in the team by ball-winning midfielder Baxter Mensch and regular half-forward nominee, Brayden Ham.

Sandringham Dragons’ potential first rounder Liam Stocker made the team after a best on ground against Eastern Ranges on the weekend, he is joined in the side by the classy Alastair Richards. Eastern’s Mitch Mellis was the other player from the standalone game to make the 22, joining fellow sole nominee Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh Chargers) on the bench. Dandenong Stingrays also had two nominees, with Reid Nanscawen making his debut in the Team of the Week, along with captain Campbell Hustwaite.

To complete the forward set-up, Calder Cannons’ Jake Riccardi was the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week for Round 9 after his five goals, with Gippsland bottom-age defender Jake Van Der Pligt the only other player from the drawn game in Morwell. Overage Western Jets ruck Darren Walters makes his debut in Team of the Week, joined in the side by midfielder Connor Thar. Bendigo Pioneers’ Liam Marciano is the other member of the Team of the Week, named on the half-back flank. Teammate and ruckman Daniel Keating, as well as GWV Rebels’ midfielder Elliot Lamb and bottom-age mid/defender Brock Smith were the most unlucky to miss out.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 10

AFTER a five-game round last week, the full set is back for Round 10 with all 12 teams taking part in the first of two Futures Rounds. In Futures Rounds, squads are extended to 24, and at least 11 bottom-age players must be in the side. This gives recruiters a chance to get a glimpse of the bottom-age talent coming through the ranks and get an idea about where players sit for 2019.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

It would have been hard to believe a few rounds ago, but Eastern Ranges head into the home clash with Calder Cannons on a hot streak, having picked up two consecutive wins and looking strong. They play yet another game there and come up against a Calder Cannons side that took it right up to the Gippsland Power despite the Cannons missing the majority of their best 22. Calder’s two key forwards are in good form, with Jake Riccardi booting four goals in the final term last round to single-handedly ensure the Cannons snatched two points, while John Roumeliotis is building up some consistency after missing three years through knee injuries. Daniel Hanna is rock solid in defence, while Lucas Cavallaro had another consistent performance out of the back half last week and looks to be a danger man in this clash. For Eastern, the loss of Xavier Fry and James Blanck will hurt, but the midfield that got the job done against Bendigo Pioneers is still intact with Lachlan Stapleton, Joel Burleigh, Kye Quirk and Mitch Mellis forming a good quartet in the centre. Ben Cardamone has been consistent in defence. This is set to be a close contest.  

 

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Western Jets will be disappointed their winning streak was broken last week, with their depth tested against an impressive Geelong Falcons outfit. The Northern Knights on the other hand will be pleased they got over the line against GWV Rebels in tough conditions at MARS Stadium following a good final term. Oscar White and Justin McInerney both return to the visitors team in what will be a boost for the Knights in the clash, while a couple of potential father-son prospects are in for the Jets in Oskar Manton and Tyler Kolyniuk. Western’s strength is in its midfield, similar to Northern, and it will be a great contest to watch Connor Thar, Jack Watkins and Jaden Rice go head-to-head with McInerney, White and Ryan Sturgess among others in a deep midfield group. Aaron Clarke and Steven Kyriazis can cause headaches up forward for the Jets, while talented bottom-ager Josh D’Intinosante has been named at half-back after an impressive game on-ball last week. Patrik Della Rocca, Sunny Brazier and Harrison Grace provide three different elements to the Knights’ forward line, while Hamish Murphy and Darcy Cassar are others who have been important players for the home side this season.  

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

A mid-season clash between Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons does not always bring about too many top-age talents given the National Championships and school football commitments, but there is plenty to like about both sides when they go head-to-head at Warrawee Park tomorrow. The Dragons will look to address a form slump due to the amount of upheaval to their side, losing four of the past five games. Meanwhile the Chargers have also slipped, albeit defeating the Murray Bushrangers a couple of weeks ago. A win to Oakleigh could see the Chargers back in the top four, while it could also mean the Dragons drop outside the top eight. On the other side of the coin, the Dragons could move to sixth, and sit just four points behind the Chargers in fifth, with a victory. In line with Futures Round, Oakleigh has gone in with a young, but talented side, with Matt Rowell headlining the bottom-agers after returning from Vic Metro duties. He, Trent Bianco and Bailey Wraith will be important inclusions, in a side that looks to have plenty of grunt, speed and class. After a big day out last week, Matt Day will be a loss up forward, while Sam Harte and Lachlan Bugeja have been consistent, however Atu Bosenavulagi is finding some good form, and Jack Ross is a crucial inclusion as well. For the Dragons, their side might look even stronger on paper, with the return of many players from school football. Key position players Fischer McAsey and Will Kennedy return to the fold to provide some quality height, while Kai Owens, Liam Stocker and Harry Houlahan will provide a good core midfield that will challenge the Chargers.  

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 1pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong has been the benchmark in the competition this season, and can move eight points clear on top with a victory here and an unlikely loss to Gippsland. For the Rebels, they can leapfrog Geelong into ninth and be just percentage away from Calder in eighth with a win. GWV will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing final term against Northern Knights last weekend. Stephen Cumming is an important inclusion into the team, allowing Bailey Schmidt to go forward more often for the Stingrays, while Finlay Bayne returns to the team due to a bye in school football. Jai Taylor also slots back into the team after representing Vic Country last week, and a midfield of Campbell Hustwaite, Jamie Plumridge and Lachlan McDonnell is always going to be challenging, while Reid Nanscawen was another who stepped up for the Stingrays in Round 9. For the Rebels, they lose Scott Carlin who has been a slick ball user off half-back, but regain Matty Lloyd in the same position, while retaining what on paper could be the most underrated forward line. With Josh Chatfield, Jed Hill, Izaac Grant and Charlie Wilson all rotating through there, the speed and goal sense is high, it will just be putting it all together for four quarters. The Stingrays will head in as strong favourites for the clash, but the Rebels could trouble them with their speed up forward.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2pm
Windy Hill, Essendon

In an afternoon game, Gippsland Power hosts Bendigo Pioneers at Windy Hill in a venue about halfway between both locations. The Power will be disappointed they only took two points away from their clash against Calder Cannons at home, their second draw of the season at the venue. While the Pioneers notched up another defeat, this time to Eastern Ranges leaving them outright bottom of the table with nine straight losses. They will hope to turn it around with a good win here, but will have to do so without a series of important players. Zane Keighran, Liam Marciano, Josh Grace, Phill Moi Moi and Lucas Caccaviello have all been consistent players of late and will be sorely missed, but the return of AFL Academy member Brodie Kemp will be important for the Pioneers. Along with in-form ruck Daniel Keating and the Perez brothers – Oscar and Flynn – tearing it up on the wings, the Pioneers still have plenty of speed around the ground and capable of getting it inside 50. For the Power, they bring back live-wire Irving Mosquito who did not quite come up last week from a hamstring injury, but seems right to go now, and will be keen to play well in the hope of a Vic Country call-up in the final game against South Australia at GMHBA Stadium. The Power midfield is very strong with Brock Smith, Riley Baldi, Bailey Beck, Boadie Motton and Mosquito forming a really consistent base at the feet of Rylan Henkel. Austin Hodge can play forward or through the midfield, and Tyrone Hayes, Ryan Sparkes and Jake Van Der Pligt provide plenty of speed and rebound out of defence. Gippsland head in as very strong favourites, but they were last week, so they will be hoping to learn from the lessons and grab the four points here.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2.15pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the final game of the round, an understrength young Geelong Falcons side meets an almost full-strength Murray Bushrangers outfit in what will be a great challenge for the Falcons. Vic Country selection has not done the Falcons much favours, losing Dane Hollenkamp and Blake Schlensog in what will be exciting for Geelong to see them on the MCG, but more so for the opposition with key position forward and TAC Cup leading goal kicker Hudson Garoni, X-factor Zane Barzen, and talented bottom-ager Lachlan Ash, all returning to the Bushrangers side. Couple that with the fact a virtually untouched midfield of Ely Smith, Dylan Clarke and Kyle Clarke has been performing, and Geelong will need to be at its best to topple the Bushrangers. For Geelong, Brayden Ham continues to put his hand up to recruiters with another four goals last week, named at half-back this week. Baxter Mensch has not slowed down pulling in big numbers and clearances week-in, week-out, while acting captain Cooper Cartledge will be tasked with leading a young defence – while potentially given the job on the in-form Garoni. The match is likely to see what the bottom-agers can do for the Falcons, while the Bushrangers will be supremely confident they can take the four points in this clash.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 10

IN the first of two Futures rounds, TAC Cup sides are able to play 24 players and show off mostly bottom-age talent in what is a round for recruiters to look to 2019 and beyond. There is still plenty of good top-age talent on show despite the Victorian sides facing off at the MCG, with Murray Bushrangers having some massive inclusions to their side.

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

In one of three morning games, the Eastern Ranges will look to make it three consecutive wins when it hosts Calder Cannons at Box Hill on Saturday. The Ranges have lost Xavier Fry and James Blanck to Vic Metro duties, preferring to grace the hallowed turf at the MCG on Sunday. Eastern has named an extended bench with Todd Garner (brother of Port’s Joel), Cooper Leon and James Ross brought into the team. For the Cannons, Shane Skidmore returns to the side, joined in the squad of 24 with Jeremy O’Sullivan, Cooper Lamb and Anthony Righele.

Eastern Ranges

B: 1. B. Bredin, 21. J. Ross, 20. B. Cardamone
HB: 57. C. Leon, 18. B. McCormack, 25. L. Vassis
C: 4. R.  Clausen, 7. L.  Stapleton, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 3. H. Chinn, 14. L. Gawel, 28. L. Kruger
F: 5. R. Einsporn, 58. R. Smith, 27. J. Jaworski
R: 36. S. Kapahnke, 8. J. Burleigh, 24. K. Quirk
Int: 10. C. Black, 43. K. Crosby, 53. J. Drake, 16. T. Garner, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 2. A. Kalcovski, 52. L. Munro, 26. C. Norris, 22. C. Quirk

In: C. Leon, T. Garner, L. Munro, T. Hallett-Tauali’i, J. Ross, C. Black
Out: J. Blanck,  X. Fry

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 43. L. Cavallaro
HB: 35. S. Graham, 23. D. Hanna, 48. S. Ramsay
C: 27. T.  Browning, 53. M.  Abou-Eid, 7. S.  Skidmore
HF: 1. D. Mott, 29. J. Riccardi, 12. J. O’Sullivan
F: 40. L. Johnson, 41. J. Roumeliotis, 10. H. Minton-Connell
R: 54. C. Lamb, 25. J. Martin, 42. N. Croft
Int: 21. H. Jones, 51. W. Jury, 3. I. Moussa , 55. A. Righele, 19. B. Rigoni, 14. J. Taylor

In: S. Skidmore, J. O’Sullivan, J. Taylor, C. Lamb, A. Righele
Out: N. Walsh, J. Middleton, N. Doyle, B. Reddick

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

Down the western side of the bay, Western Jets will look to bounce back against a Northern Knights side that moved up to sixth with an important win over GWV Rebels last week. Both sides have named extended interchanges, with Carlton father-son prospect Oskar Manton and Western Bulldogs’ father-son prospect Tyler Kolyniuk among the nine possible inclusions for Futures Round. Tom Warner, Tristan Rudic and Jack Crawford are among the outs for the Jets. For the Knights, Oscar White and Justin McInerney are a couple of important inclusions to the side, joined by Adam Carafa and Richmond father-son prospect Xavier Naish in the side. Nicholas Kitchell is among five confirmed outs for the visitors.

Western Jets

B: 15. M. Hearne, 37. H. Murphy, 30. L. Pettigrove
HB: 48. A. Britten, 28. J. Papachatzakis, 25. S. Johnson
C: 20. D.  Cassar, 36. J.  Rice, 6. L.  Rocci
HF: 27. J. Klaromenos, 45. A. Clarke, 22. O. Manton
F: 8. J. Kellett, 49. D. Pantalleresco, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 12. C. Thar, 7. J. Watkins
Int: 3. K. Bharathi, 13. D. Bolkas, 29. D. Fruscalzo, 24. J. Honey, 4. J. Jenkins, 19. T. Kolyniuk, 26. W. Smyth, 46. A. Tanner, 16. C. White

In: D. Bolkas, K. Bharathi, D. Pantalleresco, J. Kellett, A. Tanner, T. Kolyniuk, O. Manton, C. White, W. Smyth
Out: T. Warner,  E. Bentley,  J. Crawford,  J. Dodemaide,  T. Rudic

Northern Knights

B: 25. J. Davies, 28. S. Uzelac, 6. X. Naish
HB: 17. J. D’Intinosante, 33. J. Randall, 22. M. Wild
C: 30. J.  McInerney, 8. A.  Carafa, 15. O.  White
HF: 7. H. Grace, 9. C. Simonsen, 27. J. Lucente
F: 18. S. Brazier, 20. P. Della Rocca, 38. B. Nikolovski
R: 19. N. Howard, 11. R. Sturgess, 13. S. Philp
Int: 31. N. Barro, 10. B. Bell, 24. R. Bowkett, 55. J. Boyd, 37. K. Brandt, 54. Z. Costello, 40. N. Mayne, 53. J. Watson, 44. C. Wild

In: J. Watson, A. Carafa, X. Naish, O. White, J. Boyd, C. Simonsen, N. Howard, J. McInerney, B. Nikolovski
Out: L. Waldron, J. Zapantis , N. Kitchell, M. Sindrivanis, E. Frawley

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons face off in a match that will see nearly the entire team change with at least 15 confirmed changes to the home side, and 13 confirmed changes for the visitors. With no school football on this week, the likes of Matt Rowell, Jack Ross, Oliver Simpson, Charlie Beasley and Bailey Wraith return to the Chargers outfit, while over-age prospects Bailey Griffiths and Matthew Day – the latter booting seven goals last week – as well as midfielders Sam Harte, Lachlan Bugeja and Xavier O’Neill are all out of the team. For the Dragons, Liam Stocker returns from injury, joined in the side along with Will Kennedy and Harry Houlahan, and bottom-agers Fischer McAsey, Jai Florent and Finn Maginness. Dawit McNeish, Nicholas Stamatis and St Kilda father-son prospect Tyson Milne are among the omissions from the team.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 36. C. Beasley, 30. B. Wraith, 37. C. Oglethorpe
HB: 64. J. Jordon, 81. M. Emmett, 15. K. Schreiber
C: 17. T.  Bianco, 16. L.  Westwood, 31. W.  Golds
HF: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 26. J. Gasper, 10. C. Whitehead
F: 11. M. Rowell, 7. J. Robertson, 21. H. Shugg
R: 49. N. Bryan, 32. J. Ross, 20. F. Elliot
Int: 48. M. Bowman, 35. X. Fry, 62. T. Graham, 38. Z. Hart, 78. W. James, 19. D. Romero, 25. D. Scala, 28. O. Simpson, 33. M. Warren

In: H. Shugg, D. Romero, W. Golds, T. Bianco, M. Warren, C. Whitehead, W. James, J. Ross, O. Simpson, N. Bryan, L. Westwood, C. Oglethorpe, B. Wraith, M. Bowman, J. Jordon, M. Rowell, K. Schreiber, C. Beasley, Z. Hart
Out: L. Bugeja,  N. Dempsey,  B. Griffiths,  P. Bohan,  M. Tighello,  M. Day,  J. Kreuzberger,  M. Fewings,  K. Jones,  T. Hogan,  S. Harte,  V. Zagari,  J. May,  X. O’Neill,  K. Viccars

Sandringham Dragons

B: 12. C. Jones, 69. C. Watts, 18. A. Seaton
HB: 45. J. Voss, 33. W. Kennedy, 48. J. Worrell
C: 19. S.  Forbes, 6. H.  Houlahan, 53. H.  Ralphsmith
HF: 13. T. Brimble, 20. H. Bede, 17. J. Denborough
F: 39. J. Florent, 52. C. Dean, 10. S. Sofronidis
R: 59. A. Courtney, 8. K. Owens, 7. L. Stocker
Int: 51. N. Burke, 64. L. Butler, 66. R. Byrnes, 72. D. Chirgwin, 41. J. Goddard, 43. C. Langford, 26. F. Maginness, 61. F. McAsey, 46. L. Witts

In: H. Ralphsmith, F. McAsey, L. Stocker, W. Kennedy, C. Jones, L. Witts, S. Sofronidis, A. Seaton, F. Maginness, J. Florent, J. Denborough, S. Forbes, N. Burke, J. Worrell, C. Dean, L. Butler, H. Houlahan
Out: J. Mifsud, N. Bufalo, T. Milne, J. Cowden, J. Griffiths, T. Deane-Johns, M. Butera, D. McNeish, N. Stamatis, X. Verdnik, R. O’Meara, J. Rendell, K. Yorke

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 1pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong are four points and percentage clear of second place on top of the table, and will look to maintain their advantage against the GWV Rebels at Shepley Oval on Saturday. The Rebels could almost be on a two-game winning streak had they not faded late against the Northern Knights in challenging conditions at MARS Stadium. The Stingrays have named an extended bench with Jai Taylor returning from Vic Country duty, while Stephen Cumming, Finlay Bayne and Daniel Frampton are among other important inclusions. Top bottom-ager Hayden Young will have a chance to run around on the MCG, as does Will Hamill, while Jack Harmes is another omission from the side. For the Rebels, Scott Carlin will pull on the Big V this Saturday, and his half-back spot will be taken by fellow Vic Country member Matty Lloyd. Angus Gove and Connor Giddings are the other outs, while Toby Mahony and Harrison Butler are among the five inclusions.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 56. M. Cumming, 25. J. Triep
HB: 35. F. Stellato, 32. D. Frampton, 7. J. Taylor
C: 27. L.  McDonnell, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 3. J.  Plumridge
HF: 6. J. Barker, 21. J. Johnson, 49. M. Cottrell
F: 17. F. Bayne, 28. B. Schmidt, 8. J. Smith
R: 36. S. Cumming, 11. E. Cahill, 31. H. Briggs
Int: 19. J. Burton, 20. S. De Koning, 45. L. Goonan, 57. R. Nanscawen, 24. B. Nyuon, 5. A. Paterson, 48. J. Stuart, 39. J. Toner, 44. C. Weightman

In: L. Goonan, J. Johnson, C. Weightman, J. Burton, F. Stellato, J. Stuart, J. Toner, H. Briggs, J. Triep, D. Frampton, J. Taylor, S. Cumming, F. Bayne
Out: L. Stenning,  H. Young,  J. Ocaa,  W. Hamill,  J. Harmes,  W. Geurts,  J. Carosella,  B. Angwin,  L. Williams

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 48. J. Cleaver, 18. B. Helyar, 1. C. Craig-Peters
HB: 5. H. Jennings, 8. H. Butler, 24. M. Lloyd
C: 32. M.  Burgess, 9. L.  Dawson, 30. I.  Wareham
HF: 14. J. Hill, 11. J. Chatfield, 40. I. Thomas
F: 21. I. Grant, 45. D. McEldrew, 2. M. Schnerring
R: 29. P. Glanford, 6. C. Wilson, 27. E. Lamb
Int: 41. B. Dodd, 35. C. Hinkley, 47. T. Mahony, 7. M. Martin, 39. J. Mawson, 20. T. Watts

In: H. Butler, D. McEldrew, B. Dodd, M. Lloyd, T. Mahony
Out: C. Giddings, A. Gove, S. Carlin

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2pm
Windy Hill, Essendon

Gippsland Power and Bendigo Pioneers will make the trip to Windy Hill on Saturday with the game broadcast via the TAC Cup website and TAC Cup Radio. Gippsland welcomes back Irving Mosquito from a hamstring injury after the live-wire just missed out on getting up for last week’s game. Brett Thorson and Zac Skinner are among five other inclusions for the Power, while Nick Lowden and Mason McGarrity are the two confirmed outs. For the Pioneers, they have made a raft of changes with Zane Keighran getting his chance to strut his stuff on the MCG – at the Pioneers loss – while they also lose Josh Grace, Phil Moi Moi, Liam Marciano and Lucas Caccaviello who are all out from the game. Coming in are Thomson Dow (brother of Carlton’s Paddy), Lewis Fitzgerald and AFL Academy member Brodie Kemp.

Gippsland Power

B: 15. R. Sparkes, 14. T. Hourigan, 35. J. van der Pligt
HB: 1. T. Hayes, 40. Z. Hurley, 7. B. Patterson
C: 8. B.  Beck, 9. I.  Mosquito, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 30. T. Baldi, 23. N. Gown, 34. J. Hume
F: 11. A. Hodge, 16. J. Smith, 37. H. Pepper
R: 22. R. Henkel, 12. B. Smith, 6. R. Baldi
Int: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 10. L. Connolly, 42. T. Howard, 31. B. Macfarlane, 19. F. Phillips, 43. Z. Skinner, 33. B. Thorson, 44. M. Toussaint, 45. A. Young

In: T. Howard, B. Thorson, M. Toussaint, Z. Skinner, J. Hume, I. Mosquito
Out: N. Lowden,  M. McGarrity

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 2. J. Williams, 31. B. Worme, 21. D.  Loveridge
HB: 59. B. Rowles, 32. W. Wallace, 20. J. Schischka
C: 25. F.  Perez, 5. N.  Wheeler, 49. O.  Perez
HF: 16. J. Atley, 41. B. Vaz, 17. R. Ironside
F: 14. T. Dow, 23. D. Keating, 8. B. Kemp
R: 22. M. Johnson, 43. H. Lawrence, 6. J. Rodi
Int: 13. K. Brown, 60. L. Fitzgerald, 29. E. Roberts, 42. Z. Shelton, 28. C. Vick, 58. Tillig

In: R. Ironside, B. Kemp, E. Roberts, T. Dow, L. Fitzgerald, Z. Shelton, J. Tillig, D. Loveridge
Out: L. Caccaviello, Z. Keighran, J. Grace, P. Moi Moi, J. McHale, N. McHugh, L. Marciano

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2.15pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the final game of the round, Geelong Falcons host Murray Bushrangers at Werribee, with Geelong losing Blake Schlensog to Vic Country duty and Dane Hollenkamp is also out, while Richmond father-son prospect Zac Knights, as well as Nicholas Conway and Jay Dahlhaus are among the inclusions. The young Falcons side will have a massive challenge on its hands facing the Murray Bushrangers who remarkably have three Vic Country inclusions. Key forward Hudson Garoni, the classy Zane Barzen and the bottom-age revelation Lachlan Ash are among the inclusions. Interestingly, Barzen has been named at half-back, with Ash named in a forward pocket. Jake Bradshaw, Noah Amery and Edward Adams are among the outs.

Geelong Falcons

B: 23. T. Nyak, 40. J. Clark, 3. K. Rayner
HB: 20. B. Ham, 31. C. Cartledge, 21. L. Smith
C: 7. C.  Harris, 9. B.  Morton, 35. C.  Tanis
HF: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 42. H. Spiller, 32. F. Parish
F: 17. S. Ham, 51. N. Conway, 2. S. Torpy
R: 50. J. Grigsby, 10. B. Mensch, 6. D. Madigan
Int: 5. W. Batson, 38. S. Bourke, 43. J. Jewell, 33. Z. Knights, 12. J. Muhor, 19. B. Ritchie

In: J. Jewell, W. Batson, Z. Knights, N. Conway, J. Dahlhaus, J. Muhor, S. Bourke
Out: C. O’Connor,  N. Young,  D. Hollenkamp,  Z. Mongelli,  B. Campi,  B. Schlensog

Murray Bushrangers

B: 30. L. Andrews, 59. L. Fiore, 55. R. Paradzayi
HB: 7. Z. Barzen, 34. T. Boyd, 19. J. Boyer
C: 26. R.  Bice, 5. E.  Smith, 53. C.  Wilson
HF: 6. W. Chandler, 2. J. Butts, 10. P. Warner
F: 12. L. Ash, 18. H. Garoni, 14. J. Chalcraft
R: 23. M. Marriott, 38. D. Clarke, 28. K. Clarke
Int: 13. B. Frauenfelder, 3. B. Kelly, 31. W. Mack, 52. J. Sanford, 44. L. Whyte, 46. K. Williamson

In: H. Garoni, L. Andrews, L. Ash, C. Wilson, Z. Barzen, W. Mack
Out: N. Amery, J. Bradshaw, R. Quinn, E. Adams

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 9

MURRAY Bushrangers have bounced back into the top four and now sit just two points behind second after favourable results. The Bushrangers defeated the Bendigo Pioneers, while losses to the Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets ensured the Bushrangers stay outside the top four was just a short one. Meanwhile Calder Cannons and Gippsland Power played out a draw, and the Northern Knights came from behind to defeat GWV Rebels away.

Western Jets vs. Geelong Falcons

By: Brandon Hutchinson

In poor conditions at Avalon Airport Oval, the Falcons and Jets were locked in a tight contest ending in a low a low scoring affair. By the end of the first, Falcons led by a goal, and by halftime that dropped to just a point. The game was scrappy and accuracy was less than subpar, but by the third the Falcons took control taking a 10-point lead and holding it until the end of the game.

Brayden Ham (18 disposals and six inside 50s) was pivotal in the Falcons win, having kicked four goals for the game. Cooper Cartledge stepped up to captain his side and dominated in the final quarter, taking plenty of intercept marks and finishing the game with 18 disposals, seven marks and five rebounds. Titit Nyak (15 disposals, three marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds) Baxter Mensch (34 disposals, seven marks, five clearances and seven inside 50s and one goal) Sheldon Ham (11 disposals and three inside 50s) also impressed with great composure and ball sense.

Hamish Murphy played strong out of the backline, keeping centred and in control of the ball. Darcy Cassar and Lucas Rocci fought hard through the Jets’ midfield to earn the contested ball and Steven Kyriazis played supreme overhead. The boys fought hard but were unfortunate in their fight back during the second half.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Oakleigh Chargers

By: Liam Connop

On a breezy day at Shepley Oval, top-side Dandenong were too strong for a gallant Oakleigh. The Stingrays were noticeably taller than their opposition over the ground, which would be influential as the game went on. Though the game was tight early, Dandenong broke the shackles in the second term, piling on five goals to one to lead by 42 points at half-time. Despite this, the Chargers fought hard until the final siren, eventually succumbing to a 55-point loss and losing a place in the top four.

Campbell Hustwaite (22 possessions, 11 tackles) was great in-and-under all day in the midfield for the Stingrays, while Reid Nanscawen (26 touches, six marks and five tackles) had an outstanding game in the midfield. Effective ball-use was provided off half-back by Will Hamill (16 possessions, three marks) and Hayden Young (12 possessions, three marks) to help set-up many attacking plays for the Stingrays.

For the Chargers, Jake Gasper (13 possessions, four tackles, two goals) presented to the midfielders all day while teammates Xavier O’Neill (22 possessions) and Fraser Elliott (21 possessions) were prominent in the midfield. Daniel Scala (13 possessions, seven tackles) also tried hard all day, competing well to win the footy.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Murray Bushrangers

By: Peter Williams

Murray Bushrangers have bounced back from a rare loss to Oakleigh Chargers last week, to record a 40-point win over Bendigo Pioneers at Queen Elizabeth Oval on Sunday. Murray booted the only two goals of the first quarter, and led by 20 points at the main break. Much like the first term, Murray came out firing in the third quarter, booting the only three goals of the term to stretch their lead to 39 points at the final break. A spirited Pioneers outfit only lost the final quarter by a point, but still suffered their eighth consecutive loss.

Jimmy Boyer and Ely Smith were busy for the Bushrangers, racking up 28 disposals each. Boyer took seven marks and laid five tackles, while Smith was instrumental on the inside with nine clearances and nine tackles. Kyle Clarke had a massive 24 kicks from his 25 disposals, also notching up five marks, six clearances, four rebounds and eight tackles. Up forward Jordon Butts was the main man in Hudson Garoni‘s absence, slotting six goals, while Bailey Frauenfelder had plenty of chances with five scoring shots from 19 disposals, but finished the game with 1.4. Bottom-ager Jye Chalcraft was one of the best on the ground, with his agility and forward prowess resulting in him collecting 24 disposals, four marks, four tackles and booting a goal.

Liam Marciano was once again impressive for the Pioneers, racking up 25 disposals, seven marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and seven rebounds. Jacob Atley was equally as busy with 25 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and two rebounds. The Perez brothers continued their good form from the week before with Oscar booting two goals from 21 disposals and six marks, while Flynn racked up 20 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four inside 50s. Zane Keighran got on the scoreboard with two majors, while Noah Wheeler had an equal team-high four clearances to go with his 18 disposals.

 

Gippsland Power vs. Calder Cannons

By: Peter Williams

Jake Riccardi-inspired Calder Cannons outfit has stunned an in-form Gippsland Power at Morwell on Sunday. The Power went into the game as strong favourites, having brought back a number of talented players into the line-up, although they were still missing some stars due to Vic Country. The Cannons were well and truly picked apart thanks to the high level of Vic Metro representation, meaning their next tier of players had to stand up, and they certainly did that. When Gippsland held a 16-point lead at half-time, things looked good for the home side, but the determined Cannons fired plenty of shots in the second half, to hit the front at the final break by a single kick. Gippsland refused to give in and threw everything at the Cannons, but it was the over-ager Riccardi who single-handedly dominated the scoreboard, booting four goals in the final term, including the last goal of the game, to tie the scores and split the points. It was Gippsland’s second draw of the season after splitting the points with Northern Knights earlier in the year at the same venue.

Riccardi was the star of the show, booting 5.2 for the game off 10 disposals (eight kicks) making the most of his opportunities, while also taking six marks and laying two tackles. Sam Graham topped the disposal count for Calder with 20 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and four rebounds, while also laying nine tackles. Ismail Moussa had 19 disposals and five rebounds, while Lucas Cavallaro was a rock in defence, notching up a game-high eight rebounds – three more than any other player. Sam Ramsay (19 disposals and four marks) and Daniel Hanna (18 disposals and six marks) were also among the high possession winners.

For Gippsland, Riley Baldi had a good day out with 29 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s, while overager Austin Hodge was consistent again with 24 disposals, five marks, four tackles and four inside 50s, while also nailing two goals. Bottom-ager Brock Smith had 19 disposals, six clearances and booted two goals in his return to the team from Vic Country, while Josh Smith booted three goals from 14 disposals, while sharing the ruck load with 10 hitouts. Jake Van Der Pligt had another promising game in defence with a team-high five rebounds from 19 disposals and seven marks. Bailey Beck (20 disposals, five inside 50s and three rebounds) and Rylan Henkel (26 hitouts) were others that impressed.

 

GWV Rebels vs. Northern Knights

By: Cameron Ross

Ugly conditions made it difficult, but the Northern Knights overpowered the GWV Rebels for a big win at MARS Stadium in Ballarat on Sunday. It was a game of inches with both teams having their opportunities to claim the four points and with the south-westerly breeze favouring the Midland Highway end, they needed to take their chances kicking to this end if they were to win. Both teams struggled in the first quarter but seemed to settle as the game progressed.

From early in the first quarter, Izaac Grant looked superb. The Rebels forward kicked his sides only two goals in the first term, the second being a delightful piece of play. The Knights kicked a very important goal against the run of play and into the wind in the last five minutes of the quarter, signalling their intent to win.

Both teams started to adjust to the conditions in the second quarter, and the Rebels began to clean up their disposal, and use their running players and when Grant kicked his third at the fourth minute mark, it looked as though it was going to be a good day for his side. However, this kicked the Knights into gear, and after Patrik Della Rocca responded moments later, the Knights all of a sudden were all over the Rebels. But the Knights struggled to capitalise on this momentum, kicking their set shots poorly, and not allowing for the wind anywhere near enough. The Knights missed three or four crucial goals, holding an eight-point lead at half-time.

The third term was the Grant show. He was outstanding kicking another three goals, bringing his overall tally to six up until three quarter time. The final quarter was tense and tight, but with the Rebels holding a slender lead for the majority. However, once again, the Rebels began to falter in the last 10 minutes of the final quarter, and you could see the Knights players running over the top of them. The Knights were first to the footy, and pressuring the Rebels players into uncharacteristic mistakes. However, the Rebels did have a chance to win it. In the final two minutes of the game, the Rebels owned the ball inside their forward 50. Despite it being chaotic, Charlie Wilson attempted a quick kick out of the pack which dribbled into the point post. This was as close as the Rebels got, as the resulting throw in was cleared as the Knights clung on for the victory.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, this game was like so many others for them this year. They have had so many opportunities to win games, and have not been able to get the job done. Instead of being 2-6-1, the Rebels could easily be 5-4, as the Bendigo, Oakleigh and now the Knights games were there to be won. The Knights deserved this win however. Della Rocca was impressive up forward, Josh D’Intosante was superb in the middle and the Knights engine room was outstanding and outworked the Rebels all day. Knights key defender Stefan Uzelac was their best player on the day. He stood up in big moments, and intercepted numerous inside 50 attempts. Grant was the best player for the Rebels, kicking seven goals in a losing side. Many of his goals came from 15-20 out, but this did not mean they weren’t deserved. He worked hard to get himself in the right positions and earned his big bag.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Peter Williams

Sandringham Dragons have made it two wins on the trot, defeating Eastern Ranges in a scrappy affair at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, claiming a 22-point win. The Dragons held their opponents scoreless in the opening term and a wasteful second quarter saw Eastern boot one goal from eight scoring shots as the home side lead by seven points at the main break. A four goals to zero third quarter blew the low-scoring game open to hand the Dragons a 31-point lead, before Eastern used the breeze to boot three majors in the final term and draw within 14, before a Dawit McNeish goal in the dying moments pushed it out to 22 by the final siren.

Liam Stocker was best on ground for the second consecutive week, notching up 30 disposals, five marks, four tackles, 10 clearances, six inside 50s and two rebounds, while Jackson Voss – son of Brett – had another promising effort between midfield and defence with 24 disposals, five marks, five clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds. Will Kennedy also backed up his form with 23 disposals, six marks and three rebounds playing in defence, while Harry Houlahan and Alastair Richards both had 20 touches and assisted through the midfield with a combined six clearances.

For Eastern, Kye Quirk racked up 30 disposals, two marks, five clearances, three inside 50s, three rebounds and laid eight tackles, while Joel Burleigh was also strong defensively with nine tackles from 29 disposals, three marks and five inside 50s. Mitch Mellis (26 disposals, three marks, five tackles and two clearances), Adrian Kalcovski (24 disposals, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s) and Xavier Fry (21 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds) were other prominent ball winners.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 9

THERE are five games this weekend in the TAC Cup, with Sandringham Dragons and Eastern Ranges having a weekend off ahead of their standalone clash on June 30 – during the school holidays. The five games throw up some interesting possibilities given ladder positions as we pass the halfway mark of the 2018 TAC Cup season.

GEELONG FALCONS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 9 – Saturday, June 16, 11am Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

Both sides head into this Round 9 clash relatively understrength with all of Western’s Vic Metro representatives out of the side, while Geelong just has the returning Dane Hollenkamp, and Blake Schlensog (who has been named as a Vic Country emergency) in the team. A win for the Jets is crucial given a loss could mean they drop outside the top four, while victory would potentially see them move to second on the TAC Cup table with a Gippsland loss. For Geelong, a big win could see them jag eighth spot off the Cannons, but a loss could see them slip one spot to eleventh on the table. Western has a relatively stable clearance midfield with Jaden Rice, Connor Thar and Jack Watkins all able to extract the ball from a stoppage. They will likely take advantage of a Geelong side without its first choice midfield, however Baxter Mensch has been a big ball winner and clearance player this season, while Charlie Harris on the wing and Brayden Ham at half-forward can also win the footy and impact up the ground. It is great to see Titit Nyak back in the team after a long absence through injury, with Geelong’s defence remaining relatively untouched given the 1-2 combination of Hollenkamp and Cooper Cartledge has been solid for the Falcons. Without Emerson Jeka, the Jets will look to Aaron Clarke and the 190cm Tom Warner to provide the tall timber. Steven Kyriazis and last week’s best on ground Darcy Cassar are set to do the ground level work. Given the outs it is hard to predict a winner in this one, with the Jets likely to prevail in the midfield battle, but Geelong has had a lot of continuity this season with its top-end talent at either school football or out for AFL Academy duties.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 9 – Saturday, June 16, 2.15pm Shepley Oval, Dandenong

If we are talking about top-end talent missing, then you need not go further than this game with the most representatives from both of the Victorian sides – Dandenong for Country and Oakleigh for Metro – having a big impact on the team selection. Both teams will be relying on their bottom-agers and non-school football players, in a game that resulted in Oakleigh getting up in Round 5. This time around the Chargers are digging deep into their list, and it will take a mighty challenge to up-end the in-form Stingrays, who welcome back potential number one pick next year Hayden Young, as well as Will Hamill and Bailey Schmidt – the latter having played for Vic Country last week. For Oakleigh, Bailey Griffiths will hope to take advantage in the ruck in what will be a fantastic battle with Schmidt, as the Chargers have Xavier O’Neill, Lachlan Bugeja and Sam Harte among others through the midfield who can win plenty of the football. They will go up against Dandenong skipper Campbell Hustwaite, Hamill, and Lachlan McDonnell who has been in good form. Angus Patterson will line-up at full-forward as Matthew Cumming and Sam De Koning hold down the key defensive posts. The likes of Matthew Gahan and Jamie Plumridge will look to create some run out of the back half. For the Chargers, they have a number of defensive forwards who can kick goals including Atu Bosenavulagi and Daniel Scala, while over-ager Tom Hogan has the unique opportunity to face his teammates from last year, crossing from the Stingrays in the off-season after missing out on being drafted last year.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 9 – Sunday, June 17, 12pm Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

The TAC Cup Radio team head up to Bendigo for the clash between the Pioneers and Murray Bushrangers. The Pioneers had a really competitive effort last week against the Western Jets, levelling with just a few minutes left on the clock, before going down by seven points. The Bushrangers had a disappointing loss to a strengthened Oakleigh side, feeling the brunt of missing many players for Vic Country and Allies duty. It does not get any easier for the Bushrangers, losing one of last week’s best in Mathew Walker to Allies duty, and a couple of consistent defenders in Nick Murray and Ajak Dang to injury. Mark Marriott was impressive in his first game back from injury and will look to press for Vic Country claims with a good performance here, taking on another in-form ruck in Daniel Keating. With Ben Kelly and Jordon Butts lining up in the forward line, the Bushrangers will look to stretch the Pioneers defence, especially given Bendigo has lost full-back Josh Grace for this match. The 191cm William Wallace will have his hands full with the 202cm Kelly and 197cm Butts, and given the strength in the Bushrangers midfield, Bendigo defence will need to be on its game. Arguably the most important players for the Pioneers are Noah Wheeler, Zane Keighran and Hunter Lawrence, who will rotate through that midfield and just simply have to win the clearances. The Perez brothers – Oscar, an overager and Flynn, a bottom-ager – were impressive last week and will hope to continue that form. James Schischka is a Vic Country player who will be keen to impress for a call-up, while Liam Marciano has been consistent out of defence. For the Bushrangers, Ely Smith continues to tick boxes week-in, week-out, Dylan and Kyle Clarke are always busy, and the forward line that contains Bailey Frauenfelder and Jye Chalcraft is always going to be dangerous. The Bushrangers will be looking to bounce back after a big loss last week, but at home in Bendigo, and after a really promising performance last week, you cannot rule out the Pioneers, either.

GIPPSLAND POWER v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 9 – Sunday, June 17, 1pm Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

Over in Morwell, the Gippsland Power take on the Calder Cannons. Gippsland were missing most of its top-end talent through resting for Vic Country representation last round, but it mattered little as they stormed past the Geelong Falcons, and now welcome back hard nosed defender/midfielder Brock Smith and livewire forward Irving Mosquito – the latter of whom has returned from injury. While the likes of Xavier Duursma, Sam Flanders, Caleb Serong, Matt McGannon and Kyle Reid will be in Adelaide for Vic Country’s clash with South Australia, the Power are in a very good position. They sit second and could well be top-of-the-table by round’s end if Oakleigh can upset first placed Dandenong on Saturday. For Calder, they are eighth, but have the GWV Rebels, Geelong Falcons and Eastern Ranges chomping at their heels. They also lose a truckload of top-end talent for this game, with AFL Academy members Jack Bytel and Curtis Taylor, co-captain Mitch Podhajski, and Vic Metro representatives Lachlan Sholl and Jack Evans all out. Consistent key position player Daniel Hanna returns, as do a number of solid bottom-agers, but there is no doubting Calder will be looking for something special from its next tier of players to come away with the win. John Roumeliotis made a successful return from injury, and he and Jake Riccardi might pose some problems for the Gippsland defence with their strength, while Tye Browning and Sam Graham are always players that can get their hands on the ball. For Gippsland though, they have a relatively stable team despite some of the big outs. They will be looking to capitalise with Rylan Henkel rucking to Smith along with Mosquito and Riley Baldi looking like an ominous prospect, as is the forward line with Noah Gown and Josh Smith who have been known to hit the scoreboard. Couple that with the fact Jake Van der Pligt and Ryan Sparkes have been in good form rebounding out of defence, and Gippsland look to be clear favourites in this one. The Cannons changes do bring an air of unpredictability about them however, with backs against the wall, anything can happen.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 9 – Sunday, June 17, 1pm MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the final game of the round, the GWV Rebels host the Northern Knights. The Rebels are coming off a great away win over Calder Cannons and will be keen to make it two on the trot and three for the season. The Knights on the other hand, will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing loss at home to the Eastern Ranges, and get a win in what is expected to be a typical Ballarat day – wild and windy. The Rebels lose Tom Berry and Matty Lloyd to Vic Country duties which will hurt given their influence on the contest. But Scott Carlin remains in the side despite being named as an emergency for Vic Country, and one would expect he might be an omission from the next round for the All-Victorian battle at the MCG. Carlin and Harris Jennings will look to provide run out of defence, while the returns of Josh Chatfield and Izaac Grant will give the home side another dimension. Given Charlie Wilson rotates forward, a forward combination with Chatfield, Grant, Wilson, Jed Hill and Tylar Watts suddenly looks a lot more dangerous and capable of kicking a winning score. It does not help with Northern losing its two in-form rebounding defenders, bottom-agers Ryan Gardner and Lachlan Potter for the match, however Stefan Uzelac was best on for the Knights last week, while Mitch and Cameron Wild will be keen to stand up in the absence of their teammates. Northern also have a damaging forward line, with Sunny Brazier continuing to kick goals, Josh D’Intinosante ever-dangerous and Harrison Grace the smooth mover from midfield through to half-forward. Ryan Sturgess and Kobe Brandt are others who have shown signs throughout the season what they are capable of, and will test themselves against Matt Schnerring, Ben Annett and the in-form Elliot Lamb. While both sides are more than capable of a win here, I am leaning towards the Rebels at home, with some key forward inclusions and some big losses for the Knights in defence. But it honestly is a fairly 50/50 contest.