Tag: Ryan Gardner

Dragons dominate Under 17 All Stars squads

AN eight-player contingent from Sandringham Dragons headlines the Under 17 All Stars match on AFL Grand Final day, which looks at the top young 2019-eligible draftees from across the country. The players are split into two sides – Team Riewoldt and Team Bartel – in an exhibition match on the MCG which will be broadcast from 10am on Grand Final day.

The Dragons have double the amount of players from any other side, with Oakleigh Chargers the next highest with four. Gippsland Power (three) is the most prominent country side, while Bendigo Pioneers, Dandenong Stingrays, Murray Bushrangers, Northern Knights and Western Jets all have two players each. Geelong Falcons had one player selected each, while Calder Cannons, Eastern Ranges and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels will not have a representative on the day.

For the other states, Western Australia has the most representatives with eight, while South Australia has six. Queensland and New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) have the most of the Division 2 states with three apiece, while Northern Territory and Tasmania have one representative respectively.

AFL Academy coach Luke Power will lead Team Riewoldt, while South Australian National Under 18 Championships title winning coach, Tony Bamford will call the shots for Team Bartel. Among the number one pick contenders are Victorians Noah Anderson and Hayden Young, South Australian Cameron Taheny and Western Australian Luke Jackson.

Under 17 Futures All-Stars match:

Victoria:

Bendigo Pioneers [2]: Brodie Kemp, Flynn Perez
Calder Cannons [0]: Nil.
Dandenong Stingrays [2]: Bigoa Nyuon, Hayden Young
Eastern Ranges [0]: Nil.
Geelong Falcons [1]: Cooper Stephens
Gippsland Power [3]: Sam Flanders, Caleb Serong, Brock Smith
GWV Rebels [0]: Nil.
Murray Bushrangers [2]: Will Chandler, Lachlan Ash
Oakleigh Chargers [4]: Noah Anderson, Trent Bianco, Matthew Rowell, Dylan Williams
Northern Knights [2]: Ryan Gardner, Lachlan Potter
Sandringham Dragons [8]: Jack Bell, Darcey Chirgwin, Andrew Courtney, Charlie Dean, Jack Mahony, Fischer McAsey, Hugo Ralphsmith, Joshua Worrell
Western Jets [2]: Darcy Cassar, Emerson Jeka

INTERSTATE:

Western Australia [8]: Jack Buller, Rhai Arn Cox, Mitchell Georgiades, Luke Jackson, Trent Rivers, Deven Robertson, Jeremy Sharp, Elijah Taylor
South Australia [6]: Karl Finlay, Will Gould, Jackson Mead, Kysaiah Pickett, Dylan Stephens, Cameron Taheny
Queensland [3]: Connor Budarick, Will Martin, Hewago Paul Oea
NSW/ACT [3]: Liam Delahunty, Tom Green, Josh Rayner
NT [1]: Malcolm Rosas
Tasmania [1]: Mitch O’Neill

Team Riewoldt:

#1 Kysaiah Pickett (Woodville West Torrens) 
#2 Rhai Arn Cox (East Perth) 
#3 Malcolm Rosas (Darwin) 
#4 Connor Budarick (Gold Coast Academy) 
#5 Jack Mahony (Sandringham Dragons) 
#6 Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers) 
#7 Dylan Stephens (Norwood) 
#8 Mitch O’Neill (North Hobart) 
#16 Jackson Mead (Woodville-West Torrens) 
#17 Deven Robertson (Perth) 
#18 Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power) 
#19 Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers) 
#20 Lachlan Ash (Murray Bushrangers) 
#21 Brock Smith (Gippsland Power) 
#22 Tom Green (Marist) 
#24 Noah Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers) 
#25 Darcy Chirgwin (Geelong Falcons) 
#26 Brodie Kemp (Bendigo Pioneers) 
#31 Liam Delahunty (Giants Academy) 
#32 Joshua Rayner (Swans Academy) 
#33 Joshua Worrell (Sandringham Dragons) 
#34 Charlie Dean (Sandringham Dragons) 
#35 Luke Jackson (East Fremantle) 
#36 Andrew Courtney (Sandringham Dragons)

Team Bartel:

#1 Hewago Paul Oea (Gold Coast Academy) 
#2 Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power) 
#3 Matt Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers) 
#4 Will Chandler (Murray Bushrangers) 
#5 Flynn Perez (Bendigo Pioneers) 
#6 Will Martyn (Brisbane Academy) 
#7 Ryan Gardner (Northern Knights) 
#8 Cameron Taheny (Norwood) 
#9 Darcy Cassar (Western Jets) 
#16 Lachlan Potter (Northern Knights) 
#17 Elijah Taylor (Perth) 
#18 Jeremy Sharp (East Fremantle) 
#19 Hugo Ralphsmith (Sandringham Dragons) 
#20 Hayden Young (Dandenong Stingrays) 
#21 Trent Rivers (East Fremantle) 
#22 Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons) 
#23 Mitchell Georgiades (Subiaco) 
#24 Karl Finlay (North Adelaide) 
#31 Will Gould (Glenelg) 
#32 Fischer McAsey (Sandringham Dragons) 
#33 Bigoa Nyuon (Dandenong Stingrays) 
#34 Jack Buller (Claremont) 
#35 Emerson Jeka (Western Jets) 
#36 Jack Bell (Sandringham Dragons)

Weekend Previews: TAC Cup – Round 15

TAC Cup football is back and with two rounds left, the end of the season is near. For the penultimate round of action there are some big guns back, while others head out to play the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final on the MCG tomorrow.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 10am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the opening game of the round, two top four sides go head-to-head in a season-defining clash for both teams. Gippsland will lock away second spot with a victory, while Murray will need to win to put itself in the best position for a top four position as Oakleigh Chargers sit just two points adrift of the Bushrangers. The Power has only had the two losses this season, with two draws in season 2018 – against Calder Cannons and Northern Knights. It will be a good opportunity for the Power to grab the four points as the Bushrangers have a number of key outs. The side has lost Kyle Clarke and Jacob Koschitzke to injury, as well as Ely Smith to the VFL. The previous two head-to-head clashes between the teams have also gone the way of the Power, winning both by more than seven goals. Gippsland come into the game in good form coming off a victory against the Chargers. With Noah Gown and Fraser Phillips causing headaches up forward, Xavier Duursma in midfield and Kyle Reid in defence, they will be tough to beat. Their bottom-age brigade of Riley Baldi, Josh Smith and Brock Smith among others form a strong group, but Murray is a side that can topple anyone on its day. Hudson Garoni and Jye Chalcraft are always capable to creating scoring opportunities, while Jordon Butts is a very handy inclusion, patrolling the airways and finding plenty of the football. Jimmy Boyer, Willson Mack and Will Chandler are just a handful of talented bottom-agers for the Bushrangers who could have an impact against the Power. Gippsland head into the game as deserving favourites, but you can never write-off the Bushrangers.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 12.30pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The midfield battle between Geelong Falcons and Dandenong Stingrays is poised to be a battle within a battle. Sam Walsh, Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless will go head-to-head against the likes of Campbell Hustwaite, Sam Fletcher and Finlay Bayne, while Baxter Mensch and Cooper Stephens rotate through there, as will the likes of Zac Foot and Jamie Plumridge. Dandenong’s advantage has always been in the ruck, with Bailey Schmidt joining Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams between there and the key forward posts. The Falcons are in great form after a big win last round and will love the challenge of testing themselves against the benchmark in this game. For the Stingrays, they’re not in so much good form as they have never been in anything other than good form this season, dropping just the one game – by a kick no less. Now they travel up to MARS Stadium with top spot locked up, and will look to have a good win against the side that knocked the Stingrays out of the finals series last year. Expect this game to be a cracker and the likes of Dane Hollenkamp, Connor Idun and Blake Schlensog to have their work cut out against quality talls, while Brayden Ham continues to impress by hitting the scoreboard on a regular basis. Up the other end, Toby Bedford is sure to cause a few headaches with his tackling pressure and goal nous.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 15 – Saturday, August 18, 3pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The final game up in Ballarat is a battle between the country rivals in Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Bendigo Pioneers. The teams have played twice, with the head-to-head split one each. The Pioneers won the round one game by a point coming home strongly in the final term, before the Rebels accounted for them in the next clash. With the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final on at the MCG, the GWV Rebels’ depth will be tested, making at least 10 changes to their line-up, losing the likes of Scott Carlin, Matty Lloyd, Lochie Dawson, Josh Chatfield and Izaac Grant among others, while Tom Berry is of course out for the season through injury. For the Pioneers, they have strengthened their line-up massively with the inclusions of bottom-age tall Brodie Kemp, brothers Flynn and Oscar Perez, and the ever-consistent Bailey Henderson. If there was a game the Pioneers would go in as favourites despite being bottom of the ladder, it would be this one. Spectators will get a great indication of the strength of the Rebels’ depth, while also seeing if the Pioneers can utilise their speed and bottom-age talent to get the job done. While Jye Caldwell is still not out on the park, the Pioneers go in with one of their strongest line-ups this season and will back their chances here. GWV Rebels’ forward Charlie Wilson has been named in the middle, with he and Jed Hill the keys to putting scores on the board with so many outs in the team. Mitch Martin showed some great signs in the Under 17 Futures game and has a big opportunity in the midfield here, while Harris Jennings and Ben Annett are others who have shown signs throughout the season this year.

 

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 10am
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

Moving to the Sunday games, two sides in the bottom half of the eight do battle with Western Jets hosting Northern Knights. Captain Xavier O’Halloran will swap Avalon Airport Oval for the MCG when he runs out for St Bernards in the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final. His leadership is a big loss on-field and with Zak Butters out for the year, the Jets will look to their strong inside midfield of Connor Thar, Jack Watkins and Jaden Rice to win the footy at the coal face and distribute to their runners on the outside in Stefan Radovanovic and Daly Andrews. Northern welcomes back its captain Braedyn Gillard after a long-term lay-off due to injury. He is one of a number of crucial inclusions along with Oscar White and Lachlan Potter in defence, and Josh D’Intinosante up forward. Tom Hallebone will be a loss in the ruck, especially against Darren Walters, but the Knights will back themselves in against the Jets’ midfielders with Adam Carafa in good form, and Justin McInerney and Ryan Gardner providing good run on the outside. This is expected to be a great contest and important in the scheme of finals. While the Knights cannot make top four and the Jets need all the luck in the world, positioning in the bottom half of the eight is still important because it determines their opponents in the Wildcard Round. Both sides are well coached, well drilled line-ups so expect a hard fought battle and no-one giving an inch across the four quarters.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 12.30pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the middle game, Eastern Ranges will be hoping to bring its A-game against a Calder Cannons team that keeps getting the job done each week. The Cannons lose a number of players to the St Bernards team in the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final, but welcome back top 30 draft prospect Rhylee West, forward Josh Kemp and Vic Metro representative Jack Evans among others. Eastern also has a number of inclusions, as Lachlan Stapleton and Caleb Quirk strengthen the side in their bid to upset the Cannons in this clash. Calder’s choice of overagers this year has been very clever with Mitch Podhajski patrolling the midfield, Daniel Hanna strengthening the defence and Jake Riccardi providing a reliable target up forward. Curtis Taylor provides the X-factor up forward and Lucas Cavallaro continues to rebound the ball at will, and are two players Eastern has to keep under wraps. For the Ranges, the midfield of Kye Quirk, Mitch Mellis, Adrian Kalcovski and Stapleton is a consistent core, they just need more out of the next tier. Key defender, James Blanck will have an important role in defence for the Ranges, while Billy McCormack will keep a Cannons defender accountable up the other end. In the earlier match between these two teams, Calder got the job done under lights at RAMS Arena in chilly conditions. With the weather hit and miss this weekend, the Cannons will be hoping for a similar result.

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 15 – Sunday, August 19, 3pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

The last game of the round is arguably the best, with everyone looking forward to practically full-strength Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons outfits going head-to-head in a battle between two genuine premiership contenders. Earlier in the year prior to his knee injury, Max King had a day out with eight majors against the Chargers at RAMS Arena in the Dragons’ come-from-behind win. This time around, it could be twin brother Ben who will hope to repeat the feat, with Will Kelly playing in defence this time around and a likely opponent for King. The Dragons are still missing captain Bailey Smith to injury, but Liam Stocker, Ryan Byrnes and Darcey Chirgwin is a strong core on the inside, while Alastair Richards and Angus Hanrahan provide good run and skill up either end. Draft watchers will get a first look at Harry Reynolds who makes his debut in Dragons colours, similar to Nathan Murphy last season – rewarded for school football form with a TAC Cup debut. Will Kennedy has been named forward with James Rendell in the ruck which should keep the Chargers’ talls busy. Oakleigh has its own top-end talent and depth which will test the Dragons outfit. Isaac Quaynor, Joe Ayton-Delaney and Trent Bianco is a ridiculously good small defensive trio, while Riley Collier-Dawkins, James Rowbottom, Jack Ross, Will Golds and Matt Rowell in the middle is as strong as it has been all season. They do not have the key position forwards Sandringham do at the top-end, but with Will James coming in from APS football and Dylan Williams and Noah Anderson capable of kicking multiple goals, it is likely to result in an absolute classic.

The run home: Northern Knights

NORTHERN Knights have been a really solid defensive side this season, ranking sixth overall, above their eighth placed position on the TAC Cup table. The Knights have generally enjoyed low-scoring tussles, always competitive against the top sides, including a draw against Gippsland Power in Morwell – one game they would be disappointed not to come away with the four points. They look likely to finish in the top eight and take on a bottom eight side in the Wildcard Round, looming as most likely GWV Rebels or Geelong Falcons.

Wins: 5
Losses: 8
Draws: 1
Position: 8th
Points For: 843 (9th)
Points Against: 973 (6th)
Percentage: 87
Points: 22

Fixtures:

R15: vs. Western Jets – Avalon Airport Oval
R16: vs. Murray Bushrangers – Norm Minns Oval

National Combine Invitations: [1] Tom McKenzie

State Combine Invitations: [1] Justin McInerney

The Knights unfortunately had the least combine invitations of any club, with a total of two players heading to testing at national or state combines. The fact that just the two being invited yet the Knights are mid-table shows the depth of the squad they have, and the ability to match it with most other sides due to their evenness. They also have a really talented core of bottom-agers which is set to light up the TAC Cup next season. Josh D’IntinosanteRyan GardnerLachlan PotterRyan Sturgess and Adam Carafa lead a host of 16-17 year-olds who will benefit from playing at TAC Cup level in their bottom-age years. Along with top-agers Tom McKenzie and Justin McInerney, the Knights have enough about them to cause headaches for the top sides in finals.

Top Fives:

Disposals:

1 – Josh D’Intinosante – 237 (28th overall)
2 – Sam Philp – 220
3 – Joel Randall – 202
4 – Ryan Gardner – 200
4 – Ryan Bowkett – 200

Marks:

1 – Joel Randall – 67 (10th overall)
2 – Stefan Uzelac – 61
3 – Sunny Brazier – 49
4 – Ryan Sturgess – 48
5 – Ryan Bowkett – 46

Contested Possessions:

1 – Sam Philp – 139 (9th overall)
2 – Josh D’Intinosante – 136 (10th overall)
3 – Sunny Brazier – 105
4 – Braedyn Gillard – 85
5 – Brody Bell – 81

Tackles:

1 – Josh D’Intinosante – 67 (eq. 14th overall)
2 – Sunny Brazier – 51
3 – Sam Philp – 46
4 – Brody Bell – 45
5 – Patrik Della Rocca – 39

Hitouts:

1 – Thomas Hallebone – 175 (9th overall)
2 – Nicholas Barro – 111
3 – Nathan Howard – 59
4 – Zachary Hudson – 42
5 – Patrik Della Rocca – 22

Clearances:

1 – Sam Philp – 47 (14th overall)
2 – Braedyn Gillard – 41
2 – Josh D’Intinosante – 40
4 – Brody Bell – 34
5 – Adam Carafa – 27

Inside 50s:

1 – Josh D’Intinosante – 38 (eq. 37th overall)
2 – Sam Philp – 29
3 – Sunny Brazier – 28
4 – Ryan Bowkett – 24
5 – Adam Carafa – 23
5 – Harrison Grace – 23

Rebounds:

1 – Ryan Gardner – 46 (4th overall)
2 – Ryan Sturgess – 41 (7th overall)
3 – Stefan Uzelac – 39 (eq. 10th overall)
4 – Mitch Wild – 36
5 – Joel Randall – 35

Goals:

1 – Sunny Brazier – 16 (eq. 13th overall)
2 – Josh D’Intinosante – 15
3 – Patrik Della Rocca – 12
3 – James Lucente – 12
5 – Ryan Bowkett – 11

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 14

IN the last school football affected round of TAC Cup action, some top sides managed to overcome challenges from their opponents to get the four points, while others combated the challenges of high winds.

Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66) defeated Eastern Ranges 8.8 (56)

By: Scott Dougan

On a cold, blustery day in Box Hill, the second-placed Dragons were first to strike against the Eastern Ranges, with Kyle Yorke converting successfully through the big sticks after taking a strong mark inside 50. Chayce Black responded for the Ranges 10 minutes later after the two teams found it hard to score. James Rendell and Ryan Byrnes impressed early, gathering plenty of possessions around the ground. The tight contest continued throughout the first quarter before Rendell was able to put the Dragons nine points clear at the first break.

The Dragons continued their dominance with the first two goals of the second quarter and increased their lead to 23 points only 15 minutes in. The Ranges weren’t going down without a fight, with Adrian Kalcovski steering through his team’s first of the quarter. Jack Kritopoulos was exciting inside the forward half for the Ranges, bagging two very important goals late in the term, cutting the margin to just three points at the main break. 

The third quarter turned out to be a slugfest, with both teams finding it incredibly difficult to score. Corey Watts was rock-solid down back for the Dragons, taking several intercept marks throughout the quarter. Bottom-ager Mitch Mellis continued to find plenty of the pill around the ground for the Ranges.

The Ranges started the final term in terrific fashion, hitting the front within the first five minutes with goals to James Blanck, Kritopoulos and Devlin Brereton. The Ranges were 13 points up before Oscar McMaster goaled and kept the Dragons within striking range. Nicholas Stamatis put the Dragons ahead in the twentieth minute after a blistering five-minute patch that included two goals. Rendell finished his spectacular day off with a brilliant goal that sealed the match for the Dragons in the final minutes of the game.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 8.19 (67) defeated Northern Knights 8.2 (50)

By: Michael Alvaro

A rioting third quarter effort helped ensure Dandenong Stingrays maintained its two-game buffer atop the TAC Cup ladder with a hard-earned win over a gallant Northern Knights outfit at Preston City Oval.

The home side shot out of the blocks kicking against the wind with three straight goals in the opening term, including one to 16 year old prospect Jaden Collins. But the Stingrays kept within reach with a wasteful, but much needed 1.5 to find themselves only seven points down at the first break. Northern managed to get the better of their opponents on the scoreboard once again in the second quarter, albeit against the run of play. Another two majors saw them hold five of the first half’s seven goals, as a late Corey Ellison six-pointer doubled Dandenong’s total of six behinds for the term.

The Stingrays have seldom found themselves behind this season, and the ladder leaders flexed their muscles to pile on six goals in the ever important ‘premiership quarter’, while keeping the Knights scoreless. Forwards Bailey Williams and Finlay Bayne each bagged two goals in the term as the ‘Rays pulled away to a 34-point lead at the final change. With the wind at their backs, Northern kept their opponents goalless and did their best to bridge the gap with two goals from overager Joel Naylor, but it was too little, too late as Dandenong held on for a 17 point victory.

Astonishingly, the Knights won three of the four quarters but were let down by a third term lapse. Bottom-agers Ryan Gardner and Sam Philp were major ball winners for the home side with 27 and 29 respectively, while key defenders Stefan Uzelac (17 disposals, eight marks) and Joel Randall (25 disposals, five marks) were rocks while under enormous pressure.

For the winners, Bayne was prolific forward of centre with 31 disposals, nine marks, eight tackles and 2.2, while Williams chimed in with two majors of his own from 14 disposals and four marks. Midfielders Campbell Hustwaite (26 disposals, 10 tackles) and Sam Fletcher (24 disposals, 14 tackles) were industrious in the clinches, while Lachlan Young was named best afield with his stirring 17 disposals and five contested marks.

 

Gippsland Power 9.6 (60) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 8.7 (55)

By: Peter Williams

Gippsland Power has locked up a top four spot in this year’s TAC Cup competition with two rounds remaining after defeating Oakleigh Chargers by five points in a thrilling contest at Warrawee Park. The Power jumped the Chargers in blustery conditions early on, booting 3.3 to 1.1 to lead by 14 points in weather that looked like goals would be at a premium. Over the next two quarters, Oakleigh reversed the momentum and seemed to have all the control, with nine scoring shots to one, resulting in five goals on the board for the home team. In fact, Gippsland’s Luke Williams booted the final goal of the third term in the twentieth minute – the first Power score since the opening quarter. The Power came out firing in the final term, booting five goals to two, with the final of those – a Noah Gown set shot from 15m out – handing Gippsland the lead. With the ball down Oakleigh’s end in the dying seconds, Noah Answerth thumped the ball onto the boot and it bounced through from almost 60m out. The only problem? The siren had gone before he had disposed of it, giving Gippsland a vital four points.

Captain Xavier Duursma lead from the front with 29 disposals, seven marks, two clearances, eight inside 50s and four rebounds, while Matthew McGannon collected 21 touches and four marks in a solid contested effort from the overager. Forwards, Noah Gown and Sam Flanders were busy once again, booting two goals each and providing a threat in the air with a combined three contested marks, and 11 all up. Fraser Phillips was one that caught the eye up forward, dominant early and booted a fantastic goal in the opening term, he also had five marks and four inside 50s.

For Oakleigh, bottom-ager Trent Bianco brought his own ball to the footy, racking up 40 disposals, eight marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and seven rebounds, while Matthew Fewings (26 disposals and five marks) and Lucas Westwood (22 disposals, five marks and seven rebounds) were also prominent. Up forward, Daniel Scala booted four goals, while Jake Gasper kicked his regulation two goals while pushing up to the wing throughout the match. Top picks, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Isaac Quaynor had some eye-catching moments, while Sam Harte was also busy.

 

Calder Cannons 14.8 (92) defeated Murray Bushrangers 10.12 (72)

Calder Cannons upset the Murray Bushrangers in Albury, storming home in the final term to record an impressive 20-point victory. In a see-sawing contest, Murray had early chances in the first term but booted six behinds to the Cannons’ one. Calder took control in the second term, piling on 5.5 to 3.1 to head into the main break with an 11-point lead. By the final quarter, the Bushrangers regained the ascendancy and a narrow lead at the break, heading into three quarter time with a three-point advantage. But Calder put the foot down in the final quarter to blitz the home side, with eight goals to four, including three majors to co-captain Mitch Podhajski changing the course of the game.

Podhajski was a clear best on ground with 35 disposals, 10 marks (three contested), seven inside 50s, two rebounds and four goals, leading the Cannons to one of their most impressive victories of the season. Lachlan Sholl (31 disposals, 11 marks and five rebounds) and Brodie Newman (25 disposals, eight marks and six rebounds) were crucial in defence, while Curtis Taylor bounced back from a quiet week last week to post 21 disposals, four marks, five clearances, three rebounds and a goal. Patrick Mahoney (three goals), Daniel Mott (24 disposals, five clearances and six inside 50s) and Ismail Moussa (24 disposals, eight marks, five clearances and four inside 50s) were others who stood out.

For the Bushrangers, midfield dynamo Ely Smith was again among the big ball winners, amassing 32 disposals (17 contested), five clearances and eight inside 50s, while Dylan Clarke had 23 disposals, six clearances and four inside 50s. Monster forward Hudson Garoni worked hard for 23 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s and two goals, while Jye Chalcraft was again impressive with 21 touches, three marks, six clearances and four inside 50s. Lachlan Ash (20 disposals, six marks and five rebounds) was good in transition, while Will Chandler was electrifying with 14 disposals (100 per cent efficiency), five marks, four inside 50s and four goals.

 

Geelong Falcons 13.16 (94) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 2.1 (13)

Geelong Falcons might not have had the season they were after, but their demolition of the competitive Bendigo Pioneers showed just what they are capable of at full strength. The Falcons put in one of their finest performances of the year, to boot four goals to zero in the first term, and by the main break, had eight majors on the board to Bendigo’s one. Geelong continued their advantage after half-time, booting three goals from eight scoring shots, then holding the Pioneers scoreless for the second quarter in the match, booting 2.3 themselves to win by 81 points.

Co-captains Sam Walsh and Oscar Brownless lead from the front, recording the most disposals in the match. Walsh was terrific with 33 disposals, six marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and four rebounds, missing two chances on goal. Brownless had 27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, five inside 50s and five rebounds, while up forward, Brayden Ham continues to put his hand up with another 20 disposals, 12 marks and five goals to be the dominant force up forward. Ben Morton was important around the clearances, racking up five, while Sam Torpy had five inside 50s and booted a goal.

For the Pioneers, Noah Wheeler was the top disposal winner with 20 touches, as well as six marks and six rebounds playing off half-back, while Jacob Atley was also impressive with three rebounds from 15 disposals and three marks. Daniel Clohesy had a team-high four clearances, while Liam Marciano was one of the more prominent Pioneers with 18 disposals, three marks, two clearances and two inside 50s.

 

Western Jets 11.14 (80) defeated Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels 3.6 (24)

By: Ed Pascoe

The Jets and Rebels were unfortunate to get horrid windy conditions for their game at Williamstown where it was not just the players, but the umpires that copped it too. The boundary umpires had the worst of it, often throwing the ball in to have it almost coming back to them which resulted in numerous back-to-back throw ins which frustrated just about everyone and made the contest a real slog for both teams. It all came down to execution going forward and it was the Jets who took the most of their opportunities. Handballs and kicks rarely hit the target throughout the game but some players still stood out with their intent despite the conditions.

The Rebels did not have many winners throughout the day. Goal sneak Charlie Wilson (11 disposals) was not helped with the conditions and tried his absolute best when it did come inside 50. Down back Scott Carlin (21), Jacob Lohmann (19) and James Cleaver (17) all provided good rebound and bottom age midfielders Cooper Craig-Peters (24) and Ethan Harvey (20) worked hard through the midfield.

The Jets captain Xavier O’Halloran (11 disposals) had a quieter game by his standards but he was helped through the midfield with the likes of Daly Andrews (27) running amuck on the wing and the grunt of Stefan Radovanovic (16), Connor Thar (23), Jack Watkins (23) and bottom ager Darcy Cassar (20). AFL Academy member and Under-18 All Australian Buku Khamis (16) was classy at half-back with his ball use while it was forward Daniel Pantalleresco who was all the rage with his 5 goals with most of them kicked extremely well considering the conditions, he did it all at ground level and in the air and he certainly would have gained the attention of recruiters.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 14

ROUND 14 was split across two days on the weekend, and we have included notes from four games we attended, while also looking at some of the draftable players from the remaining two games and how they performed.

Eastern Ranges vs. Sandringham Dragons

By Scott Dougan

Eastern:

#11 Mitch Mellis

The classy bottom-age midfielder started terrifically, finding plenty of the ball on the inside and outside of the contest. Mellis was involved in plenty of promising passages of play when moving the ball forward, especially in the first term when he set up the Ranges’ first goal of the day. He was able to use his speed and agility to escape congestion and his ball use was exceptional. Mellis was consistent throughout four quarters and was one of the best players on the ground, gathering 29 disposals and laying six tackles.

#23 Xavier Fry

Fry was among the leading ball winners on the ground, accumulating 28 disposals, five marks and five tackles. He played in multiple positions on the day but was at his most dominant on the wing and when rebounding out of the defensive 50. Fry’s speed is one of his best attributes and he was never afraid to take the game on. He won most of his possessions on the outside of the contest and due to his high work-rate and speed, he was able to create plenty of space around the ground to make himself an attractive option for his teammates.

#24 Kye Quirk

Quirk has been one of the Ranges most reliable players this season, and Saturday was no different. He played predominately around the contest in the middle of the ground but also drifted across the half-back line throughout the match. Quirk always seems to find himself unmanned around stoppages and is able to receive the ball from his inside midfielders constantly. Quirk can win both the contested and uncontested ball but seems to lack the impact and effectiveness with his disposal at times. Another solid performance from Quirk, amassing 31 disposals, seven marks, six rebounds and three tackles.

#31 James Blanck

The key defender was faced with a difficult task early on, lining up on the Dragons versatile forward and ruckman, James Rendell. Blanck was able to read the play well and his intercept marking caught the eye. His defensive efforts were evident and he was able to spoil the ball strongly when required. He lost an important one-on-one contest in the defensive 50 in the final seconds of the first term but was not punished, with Tom Long unable to capitalise. He drifted forward occasionally and was able to make up for his error in the first term, booting a crucial goal early on in the final quarter. Blanck is an exciting key position prospect and will be one to keep an eye on when he develops physically.

Sandringham:

#6 Harry Houlahan

Houlahan was at his best in contested situations, winning the ball on the inside and feeding it out by hand to the outside runners. Houlahan was clean at ground level, laid some solid tackles and accumulated some very impressive one-touch possessions early on in the second term. He seemed to have injured his lower leg shortly after his good start in the second and was forced to position himself in the Dragons forward line after half-time. He wasn’t able to have the same impact up forward, with the scrappy contest being battled out mainly in the middle of the ground. He had 13 disposals and two tackles.

 #28 James Rendell

Rendell had a massive impact in the first term playing predominately as a ruckman but was also dangerous when moved forward. He had several effective hit-outs across the ground that gave his midfielders first use and he was able to amass plenty of possessions himself. I had queries on his fitness, with the ruckman looking spent late in the first term but he continued to work hard and was able to kick an important goal in the dying minutes. Rendell read the play well and took some strong intercept marks throughout the match – two of his best attributes. He booted the sealer for the Dragons in the final three minutes of the match, capping off a brilliant day for the big man.

#69 Corey Watts

The bottom-age key defender stands at massive 195cm and showed plenty of promising signs down back throughout the match. He was extremely important for the Dragons, reading the play well and taking plenty of intercept marks. Visually, Watts still looks like he’d be more of lockdown defender due to his body frame and size but that’s not the case. He’s extremely athletic, covers plenty of ground and his ball use is regularly reliable. One to watch for in next year’s draft.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Gippsland Power

By: Craig Byrnes

Oakleigh:

#1 Riley Collier-Dawkins

The big bodied midfielder did not win huge numbers from the midfield, but it was impossible to miss the impact he had between the centre and forward arc. When he won a centre bounce clearance, he generally exploded from the contest with eye catching acceleration and bombed it deep to dangerous scoring positions. He spent time forward and almost kicked an outstanding long goal from the arc, which just went to the right. He has been having an impact since returning from the championships, but will be looking to finish the season with some higher possession games.

#5 Xavier O’Neill

After earning a draft combine invite last month, there were plenty of eyes on the Oakleigh midfielder and he produced a solid performance, if not prolific. He makes offensive movements happen at a stoppage and is slippery in a tackle, meaning he often finds himself with the ball goal-side of the contest where he can start scoring chains. He is always moving which makes him a good link up option and he runs to get in those positions. O’Neill has some improvement defensively, but could become a value midfield option come November.

#12 Noah Answerth

Running mainly through the midfield, Answerth played a fairly defensive role at the stoppages. He protected the goal-side of his opponents, which restricted Gippsland’s chances of a fast clearance from congestion. It resulted in Answerth absorbing plenty of body contact and he laid a game high 12 tackles because of it. When with the ball he was unflustered and made calm decisions to the benefit of his team. He is an unselfish player who you can truly trust with a specific role.

#13 Atu Bosenavualagi

The Collingwood Next Generation Academy prospect was in and out of the game, but always provided ground defensive pressure when the ball was in his area. He tackles with intent and wants to make his presence known without the footy. He has strong hands, but has some room for improvement with his kicking and decision making.

#17 Trent Bianco

If he wasn’t the best player on the ground, Bianco was certainly Oakleigh’s best. The ball constantly ended up in his hands from half back, where he was able to control the play and utilise his excellent skills. He began or was involved in countless scoring chains and got the ball moving with carry or just great decisions. He was able to get up the ground on occasions too, and have an influence using the ball forward of centre. There isn’t much of him at 178cm and 70 kg, but he counters that with his smarts and class. He finished the game with 40 disposals and had an enormous say on Oakleigh almost getting across the line.

#22 Dylan Williams

Started forward on Reid and took a strong overhead mark in the first term. Had a poor set shot later on, but spent time in the midfield and used the ball well going inside 50. Not a huge impact on the game, ending with 10 disposals and two behinds.

#23 Isaac Quaynor

The highly rated Collingwood NGA prospect has already made a name for himself in the back half and was given an opportunity to show his wares through the midfield on Saturday. He went to the first stoppage and struggled to get his hands on the ball through the first term, eventually giving away a poor free kick to Flanders. Although while in the midfield he was able to still produce one of his great back half strengths, brilliantly reading an opposition kick in the corridor to intercept and quickly move the ball in the opposite direction. He was returned to defence shortly after and immediately looked more comfortable, highlighted by a contested intercept mark in the third term.

#26 Jake Gasper

Gasper is a really interesting prospect after a prolific season on the scoreboard for Oakleigh. He is so dangerous inside 50 with his ability to get in the correct positions, as he showed in the third term with a clean crumb and quality snapped finish. He spent minutes in the midfield and proved to possess nous at the stoppages, winning a clearance and hitting a teammate lace out inside 50 during Oakleigh’s dominant patch. Is not blessed electrifying pace, but makes up for it with sharp touch and hands. He finished a productive day with 18 disposals, four clearances, five inside 50s and two goals.

Gippsland:

#4 Sam Flanders

Despite only winning 13 disposals for the day, Flanders had a big influence on the game through the midfield and especially forward in the final term as Gippsland fought back. He was prominent in contested situations at the stoppages both offensively and defensively, using his explosive athletic traits to charge forward or quickly wrap up an opponent. While his field kicking was occasionally scrappy, the ones he did hit were superb as displayed when finding Gown on the lead before quarter time. Two final quarter goals again proved his match winning ability, including a brilliant set shot drop punt from a tight angle.

#5 Xavier Duursma

The Power skipper was good again, this time in playing a more outside role where he found dangerous space throughout the contest. His kicking and decision making was first rate, especially when entering the forward arc and getting the ball inboard. In the third term he won a difficult ball ground ball on the boundary line before quickly turning to the corridor and finding a teammate lace out like it was second nature. It appeared he was involved in every dangerous scoring chain, ending the day with 29 disposals and eight inside 50s.

#9 Irving Mosquito

‘Mozzie’ is one of those types that doesn’t need a whole heap of the ball to have a huge influence and Saturday’s game was the perfect example. Every time he won the pill, something exciting happened and was generally to the advantage of Gippsland. In the first term he stole a ball from seemingly nowhere out of an opponent’s hands, swung onto his left foot and landed the on the chest of Gown 50 metres away inside 50. Later in the game he produced a brilliant blind turn at a stoppage to create space and superbly find Pepper inside 50 for a vital goal assist. He could have finished off a spectacularly eye catching outing with a long three bounce run goal but just missed to the left. No goals and just 10 disposals, but huge impact.

#16 Josh Smith

The big bodied, bottom aged key position player was offered some relief with the return of Rylan Henkel last week, starting the game in his natural forward role. In saying that, he spent plenty of time in the ruck, won the most hit outs for his side and competed with aggression as we’ve become accustomed to. Did not win much of the ball, but produced one of the game’s best highlights with a towering pack mark on the wing.

#18 Matt McGannon

After receiving a second consecutive draft combine invite, McGannon continued his extremely consistent ball winning form with another 21 touches. Starting generally on the wing, he ran up and down the ground and was used offensively by his teammates whenever the opportunity presented. Lost a ground ball in defensive 50 that turned into an Oakleigh goal in the third term, but made up for it with some determined defensive efforts without the ball, including an important tackle late in the game that earned a vital holding the ball.

#19 Fraser Phillips

The lightly-built bottom-ager is really starting to develop nicely and produced arguably his best game for Gippsland to date. Having produced a couple of impressive games for his local senior side Warragul in recent weeks, that experience against quality senior opposition looks to have yielded further improvement. He started the game on fire, firstly taking a strong mark on the lead before winning numerous possessions in the forward half and using his silky skills to advantage. He finished a brilliant first term with a classy running goal on his preferred left boot. While he had quiet periods for the rest of the game, he popped up again late with a beautifully weighted kick to Flanders deep inside 50.

#22 Rylan Henkel

In his second game back for Gippsland, Henkel is building his form again and was solid against Oakleigh. While he had a tough task aerially against the 102kg Lachlan Harry, he competed at every contest and was especially determined at ground level. His second efforts were noticeable, laying five tackles, winning three clearances and throwing himself at the ball. He took a leaping contested mark and is going to be a vital cog for the Power’s premiership push.

#23 Noah Gown

After kicking consecutive five goal bags, Gown was again prominent in the forward half and is clearly glowing with confidence. His leading patterns are improving with every outing and he has a presence that you can’t teach. He was strong on the lead overhead and can stick a contested mark even when out of position. He’s also developing a knack of being involved when the game is on the line, taking a huge contested pack mark that earned a 50 metre penalty. He missed the set shot that would have given Gippsland the lead, but didn’t miss his second chance. Taking a strong intercept mark on the forward flank, he was fortunate to get a second 50 metre penalty and kicked truly for the match winner. In a purple real patch!

#25 Kyle Reid

Starting the game against the smaller Dylan Williams deep in defensive 50, Reid was solid as always defensively and got to many aerial contests. While he would have liked to have stuck a few more attempted intercepts, he still managed to have a defensive impact and ran to space on the flanks to create another option when Gippsland had possession.

#29 Boadie Motton

The ultra-consistent Motton did not win as much of the ball as he usually does from the wing, but had a heavier contested workload and impact. He collected an equal game high four clearances and really fought hard in tight, but backed that defensively with a team high 10 tackles. While he could not create the space to utilise his elite releasing skills frequently, it was good to see him influence the contest in a slightly different manner.

 

Northern Knights vs. Dandenong Stingrays

By Michael Alvaro

Northern:

#1 Ryan Gardner

The bottom-ager regained some of his early-season form with good doses of dash from the back half. Assuming a starting position on the wing, Gardner worked hard to help out his defence and try to provide some run around the outside of the stoppages in the absence of speedster Lachlan Potter. He commanded the area in the second term under a heap of pressure, and still looked to take the game on despite being pinged for running too far. Perhaps the most impressive part of Gardner’s game was his lateral kicking, as he found a couple of clever options with nice showings of vision.

#16 Tom Hallebone

The raw and rangy tall had a hell of a task set for him, given he was to compete against three Dandenong phonemes is the ruck. While he has improved in the area since the start of the year, he struggled at times against the physicality of Bailey Schmidt and Riley Bowman, and against the athleticism of Bailey Williams. Still, he worked hard alongside Nicholas Barro to thwart their influence, and set up well behind the ball with long clearances coming out of the attacking or defensive 50s.

#30 Justin McInerney

While he has not had an enormous amount of exposure at TAC Cup level due to school footy commitments, McInerney has impressed in each outing with the Knights. This game was no exception, and despite not gathering  a massive amount of the ball, the Marcellin product stood out when he was near it. His speed from the wing is notable, and he showed a good knack for getting back and winning key aerial balls at half-back. With ball in hand, McInerney was calm and delivered some precise passes to keep Northern ticking when on the front foot.

#51 Jaden Collins

While he was not a key feature for Vic Metro at the Under 16 National Championships, Collins looked comfortable in his second TAC Cup outing for the Knights. Along with fellow 16 year-olds Ben Major and Ewan Macpherson, Collins took to the top level with good deal of confidence and calmly booted the second goal of the game with a sound set shot action.  As AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan watched on with interest, Collins produced a solid game playing key forward and showed enough signs to warrant remembering the name.

Dandenong:

#1 Sam Fletcher

It was by no means Fletcher’s best outing, but the Vic Country midfielder still showed glimpses of the form that warranted his call-up. Fletcher’s combination of burst and toughness in congestion allowed him to break clear and push the Stingrays forward. He was also good below his knees and snared a goal in the third term out of nothing with a sharp snap deep in the 50. The only area Fletcher seemed to struggle with at times was his awareness in more open spaces, as he was caught holding the ball and miss-hit a couple of kicks under pressure.

#2 Hayden Young

Young was one who caught the eye in patches with good bits of play throughout the game. The bottom-ager spent a lot of time in the back half where he most notably took a set of two strong overhead marks in the second term. He was another to show good form below his knees as the ball pinged around and was composed under pressure. The one blemish on Young’s game was a costly turnover in the final term with his kick-out nailing Northern’s Joel Naylor, who duly converted the opportunity.

#3 Jamie Plumridge

Probably stiff not to be mentioned among Dandenong’s best, Plumridge went about his business accumulating plenty of the ball in all areas of the ground. Plumridge’s work rate is impressive from the wing, and he was largely effective with ball in hand. While he seemed to be everywhere in the first half especially, ‘Plum’ lacked a damaging edge at times, failing to convert a long-range Jayden Short-esque hand off early on and acting more so as a link between the arcs. Plumridge’s composure and ability to keep his hands up in tackles was also good to see.

#7 Jai Taylor

The cool left-footer was another who played a more patchy game, but was effective when given the opportunity. Taylor’s repeat efforts were commendable, and he did well to flick out releasing handballs when under the pump. Taylor did well to run both ways, with some good pressure acts in the second half.

#9 Zac Foot

Foot’s speed was prevalent as per usual, and he was clean at top speed. The Vic Country stand-out found the ball both bursting from and into congestion, while delivering some smart passes inside 50 to really have an impact on proceedings. At full flight, Foot is hard to stop as he keeps running forward, and is one of the more damaging players in the draft pool

#17 Finlay Bayne 

Bayne was one of Dandenong’s two multiple goalkickers on the day, with both of his majors coming in the third term and helping the Stingrays to pull out to a game-winning lead. Sporting a headband, Bayne could have snared a couple more goals if it weren’t for inaccuracy from set shots in the first half, as he found the ball in dangerous areas. He broke through with an impressive effort from the boundary early in the third quarter, and converted from an impressive overhead mark soon after to cap off a solid day at half-forward.

#23 Campbell Hustwaite 

The co-captain was a key ball winner for the ‘Rays, working hard in-tight to set the tone for his side. Hustwaite’s competitiveness and work rate kept Dandenong in the contest, as he collected the ball well and was quick to his feet when burrowing down. He also managed to find a good amount of the ball forward of centre, marking inside 50 and finding targets of his own. It was an overall solid display, and his hard-earned holding the ball tackle on Northern’s Ryan Sturgess in the final term summed up his efforts.

#28 Bailey Schmidt 

Schmidt is an absolute man-mountain, and used his size well to dominate the ruck contests he attended. The hulking ruck also stood up in the packs and under high balls, while also showing good strength one-on-one when playing forward. He managed to clunk a couple of nice overhead marks, while also showing good form around the ground with clearances and a particularly hard tackle on Stefan Uzelac in the second term.

#29 Bailey Williams 

Williams was at his dynamic best up forward, and had a fair impact on the result with his two third-quarter goals. The mobile big-man roved well and showed good pace when chasing back towards goal, but it is always his marking that makes Williams stand out. His efforts at ground level were really impressive though, with gathers while spinning around opponents and a handy assist in the final term showing his exceptional talent.

 

Western Jets vs GWV Rebels

By: Ed Pascoe

Western:

#17 Daly Andrews

Andrews was the best midfielder on the day making the wing his own in the windy conditions. Andrews was one of the only players throughout the day who would try and move the ball along with speed and dare. A few times Andrews tried to bite off more than he could chew ducking and weaving around opponents, his agility is something to behold but I would like to see him not try and do too much and make quicker decisions. Andrews was a workhorse topping the possession count for the game with 27 disposals which included 10 inside 50s and four rebounds showing his ability to work both ways.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran

O’Halloran had his quietest performance of the year finishing with a lowly 11 disposals although he was not helped with the high amount of boundary throw ins which were near impossible to predict off the tap with the hellish wind. O’Halloran kicked two behinds which did not miss by much but would have certainly rounded out his game a bit better if they had gone through. O’Halloran when he did go for the ball attacked it hard and rarely fumbled.

#38 Buku Khamis

Khamis was impressive across half-back showing of his impressive leap and composure many times throughout the day. Khamis was a spoiling machine in the windy conditions often using his impressive leap to come over packs and kill the ball across the boundary. With ball in hand Khamis was cool, clean and composed with his vision and speed by hand a feature. It certainly was not a good game to showcase his impressive marking and intercept ability but I thought he played the conditions well defending first and foremost and then being creative once he did get the ball.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic

Stiff to not get a invite to the National AFL Draft Combine, Radovanovic reminded everyone of his impressive size and power often steaming through multiple opposition with brute power. Radovanovic showcased his running power with an impressive running goal in the third quarter and an explosive clearance also in the third quarter, when he is up and running he is a hard player to stop. He played mostly in defence before getting some more midfield time later in the game, he finished with 15 disposals for the game .

GWV:

#3 Scott Carlin

Carlin had a shaky start in the windy conditions with a few errant kicks, but bounced back well to be on of the Rebels most composed and skilled players with ball in hand in the windy conditions. Carlin was among the Rebels better ball winners with 21 disposals playing the half-back role, in the second half most players on the ground just blazed away trying to get boot to ball but Carlin took the time to stay composed and pick the right options.

 

Other game notes:

Murray Bushrangers vs. Calder Cannons

Murray:

#5 Ely Smith – The rugged inside midfielder continued his superb form this season with another 32-disposal game, which featured five clearances, eight inside 50s, five tackles and two rebounds.With the recent National Draft Combine invite, it is showing he is coming into serious draft calculations.

#7 Zane Barzen – The exciting forward again hit the scoreboard, booting 2.2 for the game off 15 disposals and seven marks and is building a nice block of form mid-season ahead of the TAC Cup finals series. Another who received a National Draft Combine invitation.

#18 Hudson Garoni – One of his biggest games in terms of possessions, raking in 23 touches to go with 10 marks, four inside 50s and two goals, two behinds. Often seen as more of a mark-kick-goal player, it would be great to see him add that extra string to his bow.

Calder:

#5 Curtis Taylor – After a quiet game the week before, Taylor had a bigger influence on the game against Murray, winning more of the football up the ground, taking in 21 disposals, four marks, five clearances and working hard defensively to record three rebounds to go with his one goal.

#8 Lachlan Sholl – A huge game in the back half, Sholl had the ball on a string, racking up 31 disposals, 11 marks and four clearances to go with his five rebounds and four tackles. Seems an underrated option at the Cannons after a good national carnival with Vic Metro.

#30 Mitch Podhajski – Surely has to be getting some interest now after another huge best-on-ground performance in the midfield. A massive 35 disposals, 10 marks, seven inside 50s and four goals, Podhajski does not do a lot wrong and is right up the top of the over-agers list playing in the TAC Cup.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Geelong Falcons

Bendigo:

#16 Jacob Atley – A typical performance from Atley who was clean in the back half. He finished with 14 disposals, three marks, three tackles in three rebounds in Bendigo’s heavy loss to Geelong.

Geelong:

#20 Brayden Ham – The over-ager put in another terrific performance, nailing five goals from 20 disposals and 12 marks. While he was winning the ball in space, he used his elite endurance to work over his opponents and have a strong game once again. One to keep watching over the next month.

#22 Sam Walsh – Another big game from Sam Walsh, racking up 33 disposals, six marks, four inside 50s, four rebounds and two tackles to be named best on ground. Just keeps doing the right things and is one of the key reasons you can never count Geelong out of the contest.

#30 Oscar Brownless – Won plenty of the ball in one of his higher accumulation games, picking up 27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, eight inside 50s and five rebounds.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 14

TAC Cup action returns for the final week before a bye, with some huge ladder-defining clashes. Just two rounds remain after this weekend, so teams will be keen to put in strong performances.

EASTERN RANGES v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 14 – Saturday, August 4, 10.45am
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

On paper this looks like a one-sided game based on ladder positions, but an understrength Sandringham travels to Box Hill to take on Eastern in a clash that is crucial to determine a top four place. With their top-end talent returning next round from school football, the Dragons – now minus Liam Stocker who has been best on ground two weeks in a row for Sandringham – could move six points clear of Oakleigh and have a week off during the wildcard round. Eastern will have other ideas here, with a strong midfield that could take it up to the Dragons, but just need to find a way to put scores on the board. They were overpowered by a versatile GWV Rebels outfit last week, and will want to improve a lot here to claim the four points. Both sides lose crucial players with Lachlan Stapleton and Stocker – a potential head-to-head on the inside – both out of the team. Xavier Fry moves into the midfield for Eastern, and is set to face the in-form Ryan Byrnes. Meanwhile the experienced Kai Owens returns after some VFL time and will look to influence the contest for Sandringham, as will James Rendell up forward who could match up against Vic Metro teammate James Blanck.

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 14 – Saturday, August 4, 2pm
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

In the match of the round, the fifth placed Oakleigh Chargers host the second placed Gippsland Power. A win to the visitors would see them lock up a top two spot, while Oakleigh need to win to remain in touch with the top four before teams return to full strength next round. The Chargers have plenty of good depth, while having good top-end talent with the likes of Isaac Quaynor and Riley Collier-Dawkins still in the team. Led by their bottom-agers in Dylan Williams and Trent Bianco – Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell return to school football – the Chargers will back themselves in here, but they know the Power are in ripping form. Gippsland have brought in a number of fresh faces, including Riley Baldi who is crucial in the middle and at half-forward, while captain Xavier Duursma and full-forward Noah Gown have been in terrific form themselves, as has full-back Kyle Reid. With strong bookends, and a deep midfield that has been at the top of its game all season, this is expected to be an exhilarating clash. Gippsland will head in favourites for this clash, but it is a genuine 50/50 contest with the challenges playing at Warrawee Park in the Chargers’ favour.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 14 – Saturday, August 4, 2pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

Northern host the benchmark team in the competition when the Knights welcome Dandenong to Preston City Oval on Saturday. The Knights sit eighth and are just four points clear of the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, a match-up that could well occur in the wildcard round. Dandenong need one win in its final three games to secure top spot, and look a class above at times, although they have been pushed within games. With just the one loss for the season – a narrow defeat to Oakleigh Chargers, the Stingrays head into the game as favourites and the Knights will need to be at their best to win. Northern loses Tom McKenzie, Josh D’Intinosante, James Lucente and Oscar White for the clash, but regain ruck Tom Hallebone, Adam Carafa and Justin McInerney. The combination of Hallebone and Nathan Howard will be vital against the talented Stingrays rucks in Riley Bowman, Bailey Schmidt and Bailey Williams. Both teams have speed and the Knights, through the likes of Lachlan Potter and Ryan Gardner will look to provide drive out of the back half. Dandenong likewise have Jai Taylor and Zac Foot, setting up a match that could see some dashing runs and end-to-end football. One would expect Dandenong to continue their run this season, but as the Knights showed against Gippsland at Morwell earlier in the year, they can push the top sides all the way.

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 14 – Sunday, August 5, 12pm
Albury Sports Ground, Albury

Murray is one of three teams battling it out for third and fourth spot on the table, and this week it is the plucky Calder Cannons that stand in the Bushrangers’ way. The Cannons keep being that pesky team that might not have consistency week-to-week, but they throw up some surprising results and knock off some quality teams. Despite being massively understrength they defeated Gippsland earlier in the season, and pushed Dandenong for three quarters last weekend. Jordon Butts will get his chance in the Victorian Football League (VFL) with Werribee, so he misses this week, while Ben Kelly and Floyd Bollinghaus swap places in the ruck. The Cannons have also welcomed back an important tall in Jake Riccardi who spent some time in the state league, and he has proven to be a handful at times standing at full-forward. At home, Murray look a tough opposition to beat. The Bushrangers are a consistent outfit who arguably only have a poor game once every couple of months, so if they don’t win, they will push their opponents to line. Expect them to be favourites in this clash, although the Cannons have enough about them to cause some problems, with a potential match-up of Lachlan Ash and Curtis Taylor, while Mitch Podhajski and Ely Smith might go head-to-head at times. Bushrangers in a close one.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 14 – Sunday, August 5, 1pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

On Sunday afternoon, the last placed Bendigo Pioneers have a chance to leapfrog Eastern into eleventh, which might not seem like much, but in the wildcard round, twelfth will likely play a full strength Oakleigh Chargers or Sandringham Dragons. The Pioneers effort has been strong, and while they are not getting the wins on the board, they are not getting blown away like they have at times in the past. They might succumb to a quarter or two, but for the most part, are genuinely in the contest and expect them to believe they win this clash against Geelong at Queen Elizabeth Oval. The Falcons have been up and down this season, and at full strength they have enough about them to challenge most teams, so they will head into the game as favourites. With Ned McHenry and Charlie Sprague still out, the likes of Sam Walsh, Oscar Brownless and Brayden Ham will be looked upon as important players in the side, while Cooper Cartledge and Dane Hollenkamp will hold down the key defensive posts. Connor Idun has been named forward with Blake Schlensog to try and provide a target, with Bendigo’s backline able to provide plenty of drive this season. Braydon Vaz returns to join Jacob Atley and Noah Wheeler who will try and run the Falcons down, while Bailey Henderson is an important inclusion to the side, able to fill in anywhere required. Geelong cannot move from their spot this weekend, but can edge closer to the GWV Rebels, and guarantee they will not finish bottom two, with a win here.

 

WESTERN JETS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 14 – Sunday, August 5, 2pm
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

In the final game of the round, the GWV Rebels, fresh off a big win over Eastern Ranges, travel to Williamstown to face the Western Jets. The Jets form has dipped a bit in the past month, but they will back themselves in here as they head into the home stretch. For a top four finish they need a lot of luck from here, but finishing as high as possible could be vital to progressing, because sixth place will see them face Bendigo or Eastern in the wildcard round, rather than Geelong who at full strength, could give any side headaches. The Jets midfield is one of the most underrated in the league, because clearance wise, Xavier O’Halloran, Connor Thar and Jack Watkins are a formidable trio, while Daly Andrews and Stefan Radovanovic provide the pace. They have plenty of options up forward both tall and small, and match up well against most sides in defence. The Rebels will likely go in with the two-ruck approach to tackle the Jets as Darren Walters is in good form, but Patrick Glanford‘s form this season has been building, and both Tylar Watts and Mathew Clarke have been named in the side. Jayden Wright returns to tackle one of Aaron Clarke or Emerson Jeka, while the Rebels’ forward line is likely to give the Jets the most trouble, with Charlie Wilson in remarkable form, and Jed Hill, Izaac Grant and Josh Chatfield, all capable of having days out in front of goal. Despite recent form lines, you would say the Jets are favourites with the depth they have, but if the Rebels continue their good form of late, they are a huge chance here.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 13

A FULL round of TAC Cup action and we were at four games on the weekend, casting an eye over proceedings at Box Hill, Preston, Craigieburn and Sandringham. We also noted down some top performers in Wangaratta and Colac.

Eastern Ranges vs. Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels

By: Peter Williams

Eastern:

#11 Mitch Mellis

The bottom-age midfielder won a lot of his possessions in close on the move with quick fire handballs to teammates and then ran on to receive the ball back. Early on in the contest he was one-on-one with an opponent, handballed to space to his advantage to give himself an extra second, then cleanly picked it up and handballed it off to a teammate. Finished off his hard running with a set shot goal in the final term.

#23 Xavier Fry

Created some great run and carry as well as metres gained coming out of defence. Had a few well-placed kicks, but made the odd error, which included a handball straight to Matt Schnerring just before quarter time and was made pay. He charged into the next contest and showed his intent to make up, and continued to provide drive out of defence.

#31 James Blanck

One of Eastern’s more composed users, the noticeable trait is his clean spoiling ability – he gets a fist to it well. He positions himself in the defensive hole and was okay by foot. He swung forward in the final term and presented well, giving off the hands to Chayce Black who goaled. He used some good bodywork up forward and his second efforts when down there were impressive. Showed he is capable of playing down forward if needed.

 

GWV:

#3 Scott Carlin

Had a big first term, not necessarily in terms of possessions, but each handball to space was effective. He made some good decisions by hand or foot and took a good intercept mark cleanly in the air. He delivered well inside 50 to hit-up a target as well. In the final term, he intercepted a handball from the running Adrian Kalcovski, then used his agility to sidestep him and then kick long to Charlie Wilson in the forward pocket.

#6 Charlie Wilson

The most consistent forward in the competition continued with another bag of five goals. He started a little shaky in the first term, rushing a kick inside 50 but then went forward and provided a vital target down there. His strength in the air and ability to clunk marks cleanly is something that makes him stand out compared to other forwards. Wilson was consistent across the final three quarters, booting two goals in the second term, two in the third term and one in the last quarter, mostly from set shots, with the last being an opportunistic snap in front of goal.

#14 Jed Hill

Started the game with an intercept mark at half-forward and delivered a well drilled pass inside 50 to Lochie Dawson. His transition work between midfield and forward was good; did not win a lot of the football, but continued to work hard. In the third term he was important in setting up a scoring chain, pinpointing Izaac Grant in the middle which lead to a Charlie Wilson goal down the track. He had a chance to goal in the third term, but was pushed as he kicked it, as his shot bounced through for a behind.

#20 Tylar Watts

Had a game where most of the work he did was off the ball rather than on the stats sheet. All you can ask of a big man is to contest and go for his grabs, which he did. Took a couple of big clunks, but still dropped a couple as well. His most important mark was a pack mark on the defensive goal line in the third term. He also worked hard back towards goal, spoiling a Mitch Mellis certain goal in the third term across the line. Covered the ground well.

#21 Izaac Grant

The bottom-age goal sneak has always been smart around goals and seems to find the right positions, but in this weekend’s game I was happy with his tackling pressure which is vital for a small forward. He is strong in the air, uses his body well and keeps his feet. Assisted in a scoring chain in the third term, kicking well to Harris Jennings at half-forward. Booted two goals himself as well.

#24 Matty Lloyd

Had the ball on a string for most of the day and played off half-back and along the wing. Had a lot of outside ball and could have made better decisions at times in terms of lowering the eyes, but spread well and covered a large amount of ground. Was used in transition between defence and attack quite a lot, rebounding and pumping the ball inside 50 on numerous occasions.

#30 Isaac Wareham

Another bottom-age talent who continues to have glimpses of brilliance. A perfectly weighted kick to Izaac Grant in the first term to pinpoint him in between two opponents was great. He showed cleanliness at ground level, and defensive pressure as well. Wareham ran down an opponent in the forward 50, earned a free kick and then kicked a goal on the half-time siren. Clean and strong performance.

 

Northern Knights vs Gippsland Power:

By Michael Alvaro

Northern Knights:

#1 Ryan Gardner

It was a quieter than usual day for Gardner, who built into the game slowly. The conditions set up a great opportunity for him to show off his run and carry ability, but the bottom-ager only managed to pop up in patches with his trademark dash. Opposing a red-hot Matthew McGannon on the wing for most of the contest, it proved a big test of Gardner’s two-way running, but he showed an aptitude for seeing out the game as he found more of the footy in the second half and began to carry it forward. It was good to see the Vic Metro representative continue to take the game on after being caught holding the ball in the third term, that’s what he’s best at.

#4 Tom McKenzie

Having taken on leadership responsibilities for the match, much was expected of McKenzie leading up to the first bounce. The Ivanhoe product started nicely with a goal out of nothing, booting the ball home from 50 after a scramble around the arc. It would prove to be one of his only highlights of the game though, despite accumulating a good amount of possessions and pushing his side forward from the back. McKenzie spent a heap of time through the midfield too, digging in to claim a few clearances. While his kicking out of defence was a highlight in the National Championships, the Metro star could not quite get the same form going and turned it over at times with rushed kicks out of congestion.

#7 Harrison Grace

This was one of Grace’s better performances in terms of what he was able to produce with ball in hand. The Fitzroy junior looked composed in traffic, weaving his way through danger and cooly picking out teammates with handballs. Assuming his regular position at half-forward and advancing to the wing, Grace would often be seen pushing high up the ground and working his way back towards goal, providing a good contested link between the arcs. While his time on the ball was key, Grace had other standout moments with an intercept mark in the first term leading to McKenzie’s only goal, and a strong fend off on McGannon allowing him to push the ball forward.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante

While the TAC Cup Radio team may have trouble with the pronunciation of his name at times, ‘JD’ proved once again to be largely no-fuss on the field. The bottom-ager’s attack on the ball was superb early on, as he beat two opponents to the punch with an impressive gather in the first term. He went on to produce a smart checkside goal in the same quarter, and narrowly missed an opportunistic dribbler later on. While he had a large amount of midfield minutes, D’Intinosante looked so dangerous forward of the ball and his smarts inside 50 helped him snare a second goal late in the piece to round out a solid performance.

 

Gippsland Power:

#4 Sam Flanders

Flanders continued his impressive form with another strong outing in multiple roles. Assuming his most natural half-forward position to start the game, the Vic Country goalkicker was hard at the contest early despite limited opportunity. His high flies for marks in the first half were a standout, and he brought that facet of his game with him in a move to half-back. Remaining a kick behind the ball, Flanders set up well and was able to quell a lot of the Knights’ attacks. With the game on the line and Gippsland needing goals, the bottom-ager was swung back forward with immediate impact, booting the first major of the final term to spark the Power’s onslaught. Flanders’ repeat efforts and ability to find a way to constantly win the ball was terrific, and was matched by his efficient use by foot.

#5 Xavier Duursma

The skipper led from the front right off the bat, and his first quarter goal stemmed the flow of a surging Knights outfit. Duursma was terrific in the midfield congestion, snatching his fair share of hard ball gets and showing a good five-meter burst to push his side forward from the midfield. While his explosiveness from stoppages was a highlight, his goal in the last term to seal the win after getting absolutely poleaxed by Northern’s Joel Randall summed up his game pretty nicely.

#9 Irving Mosquito

There’s always a bit of buzz about the Power when Mosquito is near the ball, and he once again provided some nice moments. The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy prospect played mostly deep forward under the presence of big-man Noah Gown, and made an ideal start with his long-range set shot goal in the opening term. While he drifted in and out of the game at times, he came right back into it with a courageous contested mark late on, as well as a good bit of foot-candy in the final quarter which led to one of Gown’s five goals.

#12 Brock Smith

While it was not one of his best games, Smith was still able to pitch in with some moments that remind us why he has stood out as a bottom-ager. He showed clean hands early when the game was being hotly contested, and stood up well under some immense pressure in defence. A solid outing.

#18 Matt McGannon

McGannon was once again prolific throughout the game, accumulating a wealth of possessions from the wing and half-back. Despite making a horror start with a turnover leading to Tom McKenzie’s goal, the over-ager provided solidarity to protect his defence and rebound accordingly. He had a couple of nice runs in the third term, helping himself to a bounce or two, and was damaging with both inside 50 entries and exits. At times during the second half he did turn the ball over with long balls forward, where he may have found a shorter target under less pressure, but overall it was another solid outing.

#22 Rylan Henkel

Henkel played his role well in the ruck, and used his sizeable leap to help the Gippsland midfield get on top. He did well to follow up with some tackles and took a couple of marks around the ground to help provide an exit out of the Power’s defence.

#23 Noah Gown

Gown was again in sensational form, matching last week’s haul of five goals in a solid forward display. While he was not in the game at all times, he managed to hit the scoreboard when given the opportunity and began to dominate in the last quarter with strong marks on the lead deep into the pocket. His goals undoubtedly came at crucial moments, with his fourth and fifth pushing Gippsland into the lead late on. Gown could well have ended up with six or seven majors, but sprayed almost identical opportunities with snaps that ended up out on the full. While his marking on the lead and presence inside 50 were a standout, Gown also found other avenues to goal with a sneaky one off the ground, and one where he worked his opponent under the ball nicely to head into an open goal.

#25 Kyle Reid

The red-headed full-back was as solid as ever, continuing the breakout form he showed in the National Under 18 Championships. He was fierce early, crashing contests and having a real go with some hard tackles. His ability to win one-on-ones and turn defence into rebound is sensational, and he was rarely beaten when long balls came his way as he reads the ball so well. The TAC Cup Radio team summed up his game nicely, describing him as being “cool in a crisis”, which was largely needed for Gippsland as they kept within touch going into the final term.

#29 Boadie Motton

While he was quiet for parts of the game, Motton showed glimpses of his best form and ran hard to push the pace when going forward. There’s not much of Motton, but he was good overhead and pulled down some crucial marks in positions where he needed to. His run and carry proved dangerous, and he was rewarded with a big long-range goal on the fly in the second term.

 

Calder Cannons vs. Dandenong Stingrays

By: Ed Pascoe

Calder:

#5 Curtis Taylor

With his first game since coming back from playing National Championships, Taylor had a very quiet game by his standards finishing the game with only 11 disposals and no goals. Taylor showed nice movement on the wing early in the game, getting out of trouble with ease. He dropped an easy mark late in the first quarter, with the windy conditions being considered as a factor but it was his lack of second effort really stood out in that contest recording no tackles for the game. Taylor however did start the second quarter well competing hard in the midfield almost winning a classy clearance with his good judgement and movement when receiving the ball from the tap out. In the third quarter he took some nice marks and his kicking was solid. Taylor like many of his teammates struggled in the last quarter.

#8 Lachlan Sholl

Sholl had a shaky start to the game with a few fumbles but he really lifted as the game went on often setting up the play with his run and good disposal. He took a quality contested mark in the second quarter and worked hard down the wing to hit up a target on his non-preferred kicking inside 50. Sholl did not fumble in the second term with his work by hand a standout feature. He continued this into the third quarter winning plenty of the ball at half back he finished the game with 27 disposals.

#30 Mitchell Podhajski

Podhajski was the standout midfielder over both teams winning 33 disposals in a well rounded game that included a set shot goal in the first quarter and half a dozen marks and tackles. Podhajski had a few poor kicks inside 50 as both sides tried to adjust to the windy conditions, but his kicking improved as the game went on with some nice penetrating kicks. He roved well at stoppages and his handballs and vision where a step above anyone else in the midfield for the day, his work rate was important as was his voice around the contest.

 

Dandenong:

#9 Zac Foot

Foot had a quiet game recording only 11 disposals and just the one behind which was a running shot at goal hitting the post in the last quarter. Foot took some nice marks in the first quarter when plenty of taller players struggled in this area, kicking wasn’t at his best in the first quarter but it got better as the game went on. Despite the low disposal count Foot still competed hard when the ball was there to be won which was promising from a smaller player, he will be hoping to bounce back and hit the scoreboard next week after having one of his better games last week.

#13 Riley Bowman

The conditions did not suit Bowman, who had one of his quieter games for the year recording only 10 disposals and no goals. Bowman did his best work in the ruck winning plenty of hit outs, with the amount of talls Dandenong had he spent a lot of time on the bench swapping with players such as Bailey Williams, Bailey Schmidt and Stephen Cumming. Apart from a kick into the man on the mark, his disposal was good throughout the day especially by hand, second efforts could have been there more often but when he did he laid a good tackle.

#29 Bailey Williams

Williams was the standout big man on the ground despite some wayward kicking at goal early on. His first nice mark in the opening quarter was followed by an absolute howler kick that went out on the full, he would however not make the same mistake with another strong mark later in the game leading to a goal.  The windy conditions made it tough for the talls but he still managed to take plenty of good marks and if he was not able to mark it, he at least flew at the contests showing his intent. Williams would repeat his goal kicking woes in the third quarter, but one of those missed shots came from a fantastic contested mark. Despite the wind playing a big part in the missed shots, he was still the standout key forward through the day, always looking like a threat. He finished the game with two goals, eight marks and 17 disposals.

#58 Will Hamill

Despite a slow start to the year Hamill earned selection for the National AFL Draft Combine. He started the game in the midfield and despite his light frame he was able to win some of his own ball with his clean hands and slick handballs really standing out in the first quarter. Hamill was a very composed player throughout the day, he was caught once for holding the ball which was no fault of his own. Though his speed has been questioned at times, it is his class and agility that often gives him ample time to use his lethal left boot. Hamill was moved to half-back after the first quarter taking a few nice intercept marks and hitting some lace out passes by foot. He finished the game with 14 disposals.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Bendigo Pioneers

By: Owen Leonard

Sandringham:

#7 Liam Stocker

Leading the Sandringham midfield, it was a typically authoritative performance from the Dragons onballer, with 21 kicks from 35 disposals, four marks, five tackles and a goal. While Stocker’s ability to rest forward and hit the scoreboard has been notable this season, he played purely through the midfield in the absence of usual stalwarts Bailey Smith, Alastair Richards, Harry Houlahan and Kai Owens. In windy conditions at Trevor Barker Oval, the first-round prospect kicked a freakish left-foot goal in the second term. After appearing to miss its intended target, the Sherrin — aided by the breeze — had a mind of its own, somehow evading the Pioneers’ defence before bouncing through for a miracle major. The Haileybury product was bumped crudely into the fence in the dying stages, but appeared unscathed as the final siren sounded, confirming an eight-point Dragons victory.

#28 James Rendell

The Brisbane Lions father-son prospect did his draft chances no harm with a solid display despite unfavourable weather for key-position players. Rendell managed a game-high seven marks, to go with 20 hitouts and 18 disposals. Applied impressive pressure for a big man, too, laying four tackles. Also managed a pair of behinds in blustery conditions.

#39 Jai Florent

The younger brother of Sydney Swans midfielder Ollie, Florent is starting to secure his position in the Dragons line-up with an impressive two-goal effort on Sunday. Playing as a small forward, the bottom-ager found enough of the football — while applying strong pressure around the goals with five tackles — to warrant further selection. Gaining vital experience at TAC Cup level this season, Florent could be one to watch in 2019.

 

Bendigo:

#16 Jacob Atley

Managing 19 disposals and six marks across the backline, the younger brother of North Melbourne regular Shaun and Port Adelaide midfielder Joe, Jacob Atley provided speed, skill and leadership out of defence, and was among the better players on the ground in a tight encounter on Sunday afternoon. Since winning a junior league best and fairest in 2014, the Bendigo skipper’s talent has been obvious. While his stats haven’t stood out throughout his 2018 TAC Cup campaign, Atley’s ability to break the lines is sure to have club recruiters taking notice.

#20 James Schischka

Another among the best in Sunday’s affair, Schischka’s intercept marking ability was prominent in a close loss. The impressive key-defender plays a game similar to that of West Coast’s Jeremy McGovern, and his capacity to read the play is exceptional, seemingly unfazed by the wind-affected, unpredictable direction of the Sherrin. Drifted forward at stages, but was unable to convert in the howling wind after a good grab inside-50 early in the final quarter. Finished the game with 16 disposals, four marks and six tackles.

#25 Flynn Perez

It was a more-than-respectable performance from the Bendigo midfielder, who contributed well with 17 disposals, four marks and five tackles. Since surviving an injury scare a month ago after a heavy landing from a contested mark playing school football, Perez has compiled a consistent string of games together, and has become one of the Pioneers’ most dependable performers.

###

Other games’ notes:

Murray Bushrangers vs. Western Jets

Murray:

#5 Ely Smith – The inside midfielder had 18 disposals, starting finishing strongly with 12 disposals in the second half. He was strong at the stoppages, racking up nine clearances, including four centre bounce clearances. Smith also finished with four inside 50s and two rebounds in a solid performance.

#7 Zane Barzen – After three goals last week, Barzen finished Round 13 with two majors from four scoring shots, to go with 14 disposals and six marks. He started with a bang in the first term, racking up six disposals before booting the opening goal in both the second and third terms.

#18 Hudson Garoni – The TAC Cup leading goal kicker was at his dominant best in the air. Not kicking a bag like he has in past weeks, Garoni was still too strong for his opponents, taking a game-high 10 marks, including three contested to go with his 15 disposals, three inside 50s, and impressively, two rebounds. The stats showed the amount of ground he covered during the game.

Western:

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – When Murray applied the pressure in the final term, O’Halloran was one to stand up, having six final quarter kicks – three more than any other Jet. He finished with 16 disposals, seven clearances, six inside 50s and booted a goal against the flow early in the final term.

#38 Buku Khamis – The rebounding defender certainly had his hands full with Murray’s efficiency inside 50. He had the three rebounds to go with 18 disposals – including 10 kicks at 100 per cent efficiency! Khamis took five marks, one of which was contested.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic – Named in Western’s bests, Radovanovic found the ball and used it well, kicking at 70 per cent by foot. He took a couple of marks and had four rebounds, getting back to the form he has showed throughout the season, using his dash to advantage.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Oakleigh Chargers

Geelong:

#20 Brayden Ham – Ham’s superb season continued on the weekend, playing off half-back and having five rebounds to go with his 20 disposals and showing his versatility to play at either end once again. He is not afraid to attack the contest, winning the majority of his possessions one-on-one and shows strength by extracting the ball and kicking forward.

#22 Sam Walsh – Not much to be said about Walsh that has not been said before. Another 33-disposal game to go with six inside 50s, six rebounds and six clearances. He covers the ground incredibly well, wins the ball with ease and hurts the opposition whenever he goes near it. Laid six tackles on the weekend too which was good to see highlighting his ability to impact the contest.

#41 Cooper Stephens – The bottom-age prospect racked up 17 disposals and laid a strong seven tackles on the weekend, as well as having five clearances.

Oakleigh:

#1 Riley Collier-Dawkins – Not usually a handball-dominant player, Collier-Dawkins found little space, having to work in close and deliver 14 handballs in his 15 disposals, winning the majority in tight. He had three clearances, two inside 50s and laid a team-high 10 tackles showcasing his intent to win the footy.

#23 Isaac Quaynor – The Collingwood Next Generation Academy member was Oakleigh’s best player at Colac, playing further up the ground than his usual half-back flank. He amassed 21 disposals, four tackles, four inside 50s and two clearances. He showed good composure and class around the contest to help move the ball out of dangerous areas.

#26 Jake Gasper – The exciting small forward was able to find the ball up the ground, while still having an impact on the scoreboard. Gasper booted 3.2 from 18 disposals, laying nine tackles and having four clearances and three inside 50s to go with it. He continues to press his claim with consistent performances throughout the season.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 13

ALL twelve teams return to TAC Cup action this round after a split round 12 saw teams divided up over two weekends.

EASTERN RANGES v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

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

In the first game of the round, the Eastern Ranges host Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels with both sides having named extended benches. Mihaele Zalac, Thomas Lockman, Xavier Fry and Harvey Chinn are among eight inclusions, while ruck Steven Kapahnke, Chayce Black and Lachlan Kruger are named among the five omissions. GWV have made just two confirmed changes with Connor Giddings and Ben Dodd out, while five players have come in, including forwards Tylar Watts and Josh Chatfield to provide height up front.

Eastern Ranges

B: 38. M. Briggs, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 20. B. Cardamone
HB: 23. X. Fry, 31. J. Blanck, 57. C. Leon
C: 8. J.  Burleigh, 7. L.  Stapleton, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 25. L. Vassis, 45. M. Zalac, 46. B. White
F: 59. J. Nathan, 18. B. McCormack, 32. F. Smith
R: 58. R. Smith, 24. K. Quirk, 26. C. Norris
Int: 3. H. Chinn, 30. T. Edwards, 5. R. Einsporn, 12. J. Gilbee, 2. A. Kalcovski, 42. T. Lockman, 22. C. Quirk
23P: 64. Z. Pretty

In: M. Zalac, J. Nathan, H. Chinn, F. Smith, C. Leon, T. Lockman, X. Fry, Z. Pretty
Out: C. Tilyard,  L. Munro,  S. Kapahnke,  L. Kruger,  C. Black

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 10. J. Lohmann, 48. J. Cleaver, 44. R. Polkinghorne
HB: 3. S. Carlin, 18. B. Helyar, 24. M. Lloyd
C: 5. H.  Jennings, 27. E.  Lamb, 30. I.  Wareham
HF: 21. I. Grant, 11. J. Chatfield, 6. C. Wilson
F: 14. J. Hill, 20. T. Watts, 2. M. Schnerring
R: 29. P. Glanford, 9. L. Dawson, 1. C. Craig-Peters
Int: 4. B. Annett, 12. A. Gove, 16. E. Harvey, 47. T. Mahony, 7. M. Martin, 26. R. Ranieri, 40. I. Thomas
23P: 42. E. Ajang

In: T. Watts, J. Chatfield, R. Ranieri, A. Gove, B. Annett
Out: C. Giddings, B. Dodd

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. WESTERN JETS

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

Up the highway, Murray Bushrangers take on Western Jets in the match of the day. The Bushrangers have brought in creative forward, Mathew Walker, as well as midfielder, Dylan Clarke, but Jake Bradshaw and James Butts are among four outs in the team. For the Jets, Jaden Rice and Malwal Maguang are the only two confirmed outs, while David Pantalleresco and Tristan Rudic are two of five ins to an extended bench.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 34. T. Boyd, 59. L. Fiore, 19. J. Boyer
HB: 12. L. Ash, 8. J. Koschitzke, 16. N. Murray
C: 26. R.  Bice, 5. E.  Smith, 13. B.  Frauenfelder
HF: 2. J. Butts, 18. H. Garoni, 10. P. Warner
F: 14. J. Chalcraft, 7. Z. Barzen, 9. M. Walker
R: 35. F. Bollinghaus, 28. K. Clarke, 38. D. Clarke
Int: 6. W. Chandler, 23. M. Marriott, 55. R. Paradzayi, 53. C. Wilson
23P: 51. T. Matthes

In: R. Paradzayi, T. Matthes, M. Walker, D. Clarke
Out: J. Butts,  J. Bradshaw,  L. Whyte,  J. Sanford

Western Jets

B: 48. A. Britten, 37. H. Murphy, 15. M. Hearne
HB: 25. S. Johnson, 38. B. Khamis, 39. S. Radovanovic
C: 17. D.  Andrews , 7. J.  Watkins, 24. J.  Honey
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 31. E. Jeka, 2. T. Rudic
F: 1. J. Hazik, 45. A. Clarke, 49. D. Pantalleresco
R: 47. D. Walters, 12. C. Thar, 33. X. O’Halloran
Int: 18. B. Colley, 8. J. Kellett, 10. S. Kyriazis, 22. O. Manton, 6. L. Rocci, 41. L. Rzanovski, 26. W. Smyth
23P: 44. N. Shaw

In: B. Colley, N. Shaw, D. Pantalleresco, T. Rudic, W. Smyth
Out: M. Maguang, J. Rice

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GIPPSLAND POWER

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

Both Northern Knights and Gippsland Power have welcomed back some important players for their clash at Preston City Oval. The Knights have lost a number of players to school football, with the outs made up of Vic Metro ruck Tom Hallebone, as well as Justin McInerney, Patrik Della Rocca, Adam Carafa and Kye Yodgee. Ryan Sturgess, Harrison Grace, Ryan Gardner and Joel Naylor are among eight inclusions on an extended bench. For the Power, ruck Ryan Henkel comes into the team, as does Tyrone Hayes, while Marcus Toussaint is the only confirmed out at this stage.

Northern Knights

B: 11. R. Sturgess, 33. J. Randall, 22. M. Wild
HB: 4. T. McKenzie, 28. S. Uzelac, 5. L. Potter
C: 25. J.  Davies, 10. B.  Bell, 1. R.  Gardner
HF: 7. H. Grace, 18. S. Brazier, 40. N. Mayne
F: 24. R. Bowkett, 9. C. Simonsen, 27. J. Lucente
R: 19. N. Howard, 13. S. Philp, 17. J. D’Intinosante
Int: 35. K. Agosta, 37. K. Brandt, 51. J. Collins, 12. J. Naylor, 32. I. Rossi, 15. O. White, 44. C. Wild
23P: 52. J. Trudgeon

In: R. Sturgess, H. Grace, R. Gardner, N. Mayne, K. Agosta, J. Collins, J. Naylor, K. Brandt
Out: K. Yodgee,  T. Hallebone,  P. Della Rocca,  J. McInerney,  A. Carafa

Gippsland Power

B: 7. B. Patterson, 25. K. Reid, 15. R. Sparkes
HB: 1. T. Hayes, 14. T. Hourigan, 12. B. Smith
C: 18. M.  McGannon, 28. H.  Hood, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 33. B. Thorson, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 8. B. Beck, 23. N. Gown, 9. I. Mosquito
R: 16. J. Smith, 11. A. Hodge, 5. X. Duursma
Int: 4. S. Flanders, 22. R. Henkel, 40. Z. Hurley, 19. F. Phillips, 35. J. van der Pligt, 32. L. Williams, 45. A. Young
23P: 34. J. Hume

In: R. Henkel, T. Hayes, F. Phillips, J. Hume
Out: M. Toussaint

 

CALDER CANNONS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

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

Moving onto the Sunday games, both Calder Cannons and Dandenong Stingrays have named extended benches for their clash. Calder has brought in AFL Academy member, Curtis Taylor and the likes of Ben Rigoni, Anthony Righele and Mohammed Abou-Eid among 12 inclusions. Fellow AFL Academy member Jack Bytel is out with injury, with forward Josh Kemp, Sam Graham and Harrison Minton-Connell among nine outs. For the ladder-leading Stingrays, Bailey Schmidt and Daniel Frampton replace Matthew Cumming and Corey Ellison up either end in the side, while Finlay Bayne and Hayden Young are big inclusions for the visitors.

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, 30. M.  Podhajski, 3. I.  Moussa
HF: 44. N. Gentile, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 19. B. Rigoni
F: 42. N. Croft, 5. C. Taylor, 32. M. Simpson
R: 59. J. Middleton, 1. D. Mott, 53. M. Abou-Eid
Int: 51. W. Jury, 52. B. Reddick, 29. J. Riccardi, 55. A. Righele, 39. L. Sultana, 37. D. Torcia, 13. N. Walsh
23P: 18. S. Shorten

In: M. Simpson, D. Torcia, J. Middleton, B. Reddick, S. Shorten, M. Abou-Eid, N. Walsh, N. Gentile, L. Sultana, C. Taylor, B. Rigoni, A. Righele
Out: P. Mahoney,  J. Taylor,  H. Jones,  H. Minton-Connell,  L. Johnson,  J. Bytel,  J. Martin,  J. Kemp,  S. Graham

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 32. D. Frampton, 41. L. Stenning
HB: 2. H. Young, 5. A. Paterson, 10. L. Young
C: 9. Z.  Foot, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 7. J.  Taylor
HF: 49. M. Cottrell, 29. B. Williams, 3. J. Plumridge
F: 17. F. Bayne, 28. B. Schmidt, 16. J. Frawley
R: 13. R. Bowman, 1. S. Fletcher, 58. W. Hamill
Int: 6. J. Barker, 36. S. Cumming, 45. L. Goonan, 27. L. McDonnell, 57. R. Nanscawen, 25. J. Triep
23P: 48. J. Stuart

In: L. Goonan, B. Schmidt, H. Young, D. Frampton, L. Young, J. Stuart, F. Bayne
Out: E. Cahill, B. Angwin, M. Cumming, L. Williams, C. Ellison

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

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

Geelong Falcons return to Colac this weekend and are hosting Oakleigh Chargers, with both sides taking a very different approach to team selection. AFL Academy member, Ed McHenry is the only out for the Falcons, while Jack Grigsby and Keidan Rayner are the two confirmed ins. Oakleigh have unsurprisingly been hit hard by the return of school football with Vic Metro players James Rowbottom, Will Kelly and Joe Ayton-Delaney among a whopping 11 confirmed outs. There is some good news for the Chargers, with AFL Academy defender, Isaac Quaynor returning to the team and has been named on a wing. The likes of Bailey Wraith and Daniel Scala are also among the 14 inclusions.

Geelong Falcons

B: 31. C. Cartledge, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 21. L. Smith
HB: 40. J. Clark, 39. C. Idun, 20. B. Ham
C: 7. C.  Harris, 6. D.  Madigan, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 10. B. Mensch, 42. H. Spiller, 22. S. Walsh
F: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 48. B. Schlensog, 13. H. Whyte
R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 41. C. Stephens
Int: 9. B. Morton, 32. F. Parish, 3. K. Rayner, 25. L. Taylor
23P: 29. B. Miller

In: J. Grigsby, K. Rayner
Out: E. McHenry

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 56. M. Fewings, 30. B. Wraith, 76. H. Leonard
HB: 35. X. Fry, 80. T. Graham, 27. J. May
C: 23. I.  Quaynor, 1. R.  Collier-Dawkins, 11. M.  Rowell
HF: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 7. J. Robertson, 26. J. Gasper
F: 8. N. Anderson, 22. D. Williams, 6 . M. Day
R: 65. L. Harry, 5. X. O’Neill, 12. N. Answerth
Int: 43. P. Bohan, 2. L. Bugeja, 66. N. Dempsey, 20. F. Elliot, 25. D. Scala, 28. O. Simpson, 42. K. Viccars
23P: 40. B. Jepson

In: T. Graham, N. Dempsey, L. Harry, I. Quaynor, P. Bohan, B. Wraith, M. Day, M. Fewings, D. Scala, B. Jepson, H. Leonard, J. May, K. Viccars, F. Elliot
Out: J. Rowbottom, N. Bryan, K. Dunkley, W. Golds, T. Bianco, W. Kelly, C. Whitehead, J. Ross, H. Mastras, C. Beasley, J. Ayton-Delaney

 

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 have just made the casual 17 changes for the Dragons’ clash with Bendigo Pioneers. A massive 20 players have been included in a side which is almost a completely different side to the one that fronted up against Geelong Falcons in Round 12. With school football returning, the likes of Alastair Richards, Angus Hanrahan, Will Kennedy, Joe Griffiths, Harry Houlahan and Anthony Seaton will be missing from the side. In their place, George Grey, Ryan O’Meara, Andrew Courtney, Jai Florent, Tyson Milne and Corey Watts are among the long list of inclusions. For the Pioneers, James Schischka headlines five inclusions, while Braydon Vaz and Jeremy Rodi are among four confirmed outs for the Pioneers.

Sandringham Dragons

B: 14. R. O’Meara, 56. J. Hannah, 16. J. Paul
HB: 55. J. Cowden, 22. C. Millar, 69. C. Watts
C: 50. T.  Deane-Johns, 10. S. Sofronidis, 25. O. McMaster
HF: 3. T. Fogarty, 58. K. Yorke, 11. N. Stamatis
F: 39. J. Florent, 28. J. Rendell, 1. T. Long
R: 59. A. Courtney, 7. L. Stocker, 13. T. Brimble
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 67. J. Brazionis, 66. R. Byrnes, 24. H. Ferdinand, 47. T. Milne, 42. T. Murray, 40. M. Scott
23P: 35. G. Grey

In: M. Scott, T. Long, J. Cowden, H. Ferdinand, G. Grey, J. Paul, R. O’Meara, C. Millar, J. Hannah, A. Courtney, J. Florent, T. Milne, T. Deane-Johns, O. McMaster, M. Bergman, T. Murray, J. Brazionis, K. Yorke, C. Watts, T. Fogarty
Out: H. Ralphsmith,  F. McAsey,  J. Griffiths,  J. Mahony,  W. Kennedy,  L. Witts,  J. Bell,  A. Seaton,  A. Richards,  J. Denborough,  S. Forbes,  N. Burke,  J. Worrell,  C. Dean,  H. Houlahan,  A. Hanrahan,  J. Le Grice 

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 26. C. O’Shea, 24. N. McHugh, 2. J. Williams
HB: 16. J. Atley, 32. W. Wallace, 20. J. Schischka
C: 3. L.  Marciano, 43. H.  Lawrence, 51. B.  Waasdorp
HF: 17. R. Ironside, 46. L. Tenace, 49. O. Perez
F: 15. L. Caccaviello, 34. R. Clarke, 27. M. Lias
R: 54. M. Christensen, 5. N. Wheeler, 25. F. Perez
Int: 53. W. Allen, 39. D. Clohesy, 37. C. McCarty, 33. J. McHale, 28. C. Vick
23P: 50. N. Kay

In: D. Clohesy, C. McCarty, N. Kay, W. Wallace, J. Schischka
Out: E. Roberts, K. Brown, J. Rodi, B. Vaz

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 12a

ROUND 12 of the TAC Cup is split over two weekends, with just the one Saturday and two Sunday games this weekend, but teams will be near full strength given the bye in school football and the end of the National Under 18 Championships.

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 12 – Saturday, July 14, 11am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

Oakleigh have some massive inclusions after the National Under 18 Championships, naming an extended bench in a team that sees Vic Metro representatives; James Rowbottom, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Noah Answerth, Will Kelly, Matt Rowell and Joe Ayton-Delaney all return to strengthen the team. Among those to miss the game against Calder are Lucas Westwood, Bailey Wraith and Daniel Romero. The Cannons have made just the two confirmed changes, with Shane Skidmore and Anthony Righele out of the side, while Jack Bytel and Rhylee West return from Vic Metro duty to line up through the middle.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 3. J. Ayton-Delaney, 36. C. Beasley, 17. T. Bianco
HB: 12. N. Answerth , 4. W. Kelly, 35. X. Fry
C: 31. W.  Golds, 9. J.  Rowbottom, 11. M.  Rowell
HF: 26. J. Gasper, 33. M. Warren, 10. C. Whitehead
F: 8. N. Anderson, 7. J. Robertson, 22. D. Williams
R: 49. N. Bryan, 32. J. Ross, 1. R. Collier-Dawkins
Int: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 2. L. Bugeja, 14. K. Dunkley, 65. L. Harry, 5. X. O’Neill, 15. K. Schreiber, 28. O. Simpson
23P: 74. H. Mastras

In: J. Rowbottom, N. Anderson, L. Harry, K. Dunkley, R. Collier-Dawkins, N. Answerth, W. Kelly, M. Rowell, J. Ayton-Delaney, A. Bosenavulagi
Out: L. Westwood,  B. Wraith,  D. Romero,  S. Fernandez,  M. Bowman,  J. May,  J. Jordon,  F. Elliot

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, 1. D.  Mott, 3. I.  Moussa
HF: 10. H. Minton-Connell, 36. P. Mahoney, 14. J. Taylor
F: 51. W. Jury, 29. J. Riccardi, 57. J. Kemp
R: 12. J. O’Sullivan, 30. M. Podhajski, 16. J. Bytel
Int: 53. M. Abou-Eid, 42. N. Croft, 44. N. Gentile, 40. L. Johnson, 25. J. Martin, 8. L. Sholl, 20. R. West
23P: 21. H. Jones

In: J. Taylor, J. Bytel, R. West, S. Graham
Out: S. Skidmore, A. Righele

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 12 – Sunday, July 15, 11:30am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The Rebels have made three confirmed changes following their win over Bendigo Pioneers last weekend and will hope to have a similar result against the Northern Knights at home on Sunday. Isaac Wareham, Connor Giddings and Joel O’Connell all return to the side among five inclusions, while Vic Country midfielder Tom Berry is out, along with ruck Tylar Watts and Connor Hinkley. For the Knights, they have talent going in and out of the side with Tom McKenzie, Lachlan Potter, Cam Wild and Tom Hallebone all returning, while Ryan Gardner, Ryan Sturgess and Joel Naylor are among the outs from the Knights team for the clash.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 1. C. Craig-Peters, 18. B. Helyar, 10. J. Lohmann
HB: 24. M. Lloyd, 48. J. Cleaver, 44. R. Polkinghorne
C: 41. B.  Dodd, 27. E.  Lamb, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 21. I. Grant, 40. I. Thomas, 14. J. Hill
F: 16. E. Harvey, 47. T. Mahony, 7. M. Martin
R: 29. P. Glanford, 6. C. Wilson, 3. S. Carlin
Int: 32. M. Burgess, 9. L. Dawson, 28. C. Giddings, 34. J. O’Connell, 31. C. Perks, 2. M. Schnerring, 30. I. Wareham
23P: 42. E. Ajang

In: C. Giddings, C. Perks, J. O’Connell, I. Wareham, E. Ajang
Out: T. Watts,  C. Hinkley,  T. Berry

Northern Knights

B: 25. J. Davies, 33. J. Randall, 22. M. Wild
HB: 4. T. McKenzie, 28. S. Uzelac, 5. L. Potter
C: 30. J.  McInerney, 10. B.  Bell, 15. O.  White
HF: 8. A. Carafa, 9. C. Simonsen, 40. N. Mayne
F: 18. S. Brazier, 16. T. Hallebone, 27. J. Lucente
R: 19. N. Howard, 36. K. Yodgee, 17. J. D’Intinosante
Int: 24. R. Bowkett, 55. J. Boyd, 20. P. Della Rocca, 7. H. Grace, 13. S. Philp, 32. I. Rossi, 44. C. Wild
23P: 52. J. Trudgeon

In: L. Potter, C. Wild, T. McKenzie, N. Mayne, J. Boyd, B. Bell, T. Hallebone, C. Simonsen, J. Davies
Out: R. Sturgess, N. Barro, R. Seakins, R. Gardner, X. Naish, J. Naylor, B. Nikolovski

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 12 – Sunday, July 15, 2pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the final game of the round, Geelong Falcons have loaded up with their Vic Country representatives as Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry return to the side, as does Oscar Brownless and Cooper Stephens, while Brayden Ham is set to return to defence. Tom Richardson, Titit Nyak and Will Batson are among those out of the team. For the Dragons, Kai Owens joins Metro representatives James Rendell, Jack Mahony and Angus Hanrahan back in the team, but have no included Bailey Smith and Ben King. Darcy Chirgwin, Corey Watts and Dawit McNeish are among six changes to leave the side.

Geelong Falcons

B: 31. C. Cartledge, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 21. L. Smith
HB: 40. J. Clark, 39. C. Idun, 20. B. Ham
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 10. B.  Mensch, 2. S. Torpy
HF: 8. E. McHenry, 42. H. Spiller, 22. S. Walsh
F: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 48. B. Schlensog, 13. H. Whyte
R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 41. C. Stephens
Int: 7. C. Harris, 9. B. Morton, 32. F. Parish, 25. L. Taylor
Emg: 51. N. Conway, 50. J. Grigsby, 17. S. Ham
23P: 29. B. Miller

In: B. Ham, L. Taylor, C. Stephens, S. Walsh, O. Brownless, N. Conway, C. Harris, J. Grigsby, E. McHenry, H. Whyte
Out: J. Jewell,  T. Richardson,  W. Batson,  T. Nyak,  C. Karpala,  P. Smith,  K. Rayner,  B. Ritchie

Sandringham Dragons

B: 18. A. Seaton, 33. W. Kennedy, 46. L. Witts
HB: 11. N. Stamatis, 8. K. Owens, 48. J. Worrell
C: 19. S.  Forbes, 2. A.  Richards, 10. S.  Sofronidis
HF: 17. J. Denborough, 28. J. Rendell, 23. A. Hanrahan
F: 52. C. Dean, 70. J. Bell, 27. J. Mahony
R: 32. J. Griffiths, 6. H. Houlahan, 7. L. Stocker
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 13. T. Brimble, 51. N. Burke, 64. L. Butler, 66. R. Byrnes, 61. F. McAsey, 53. H. Ralphsmith
23P: 38. J. Le Grice

In: K. Owens, J. Griffiths, J. Mahony, N. Burke, L. Butler, J. Rendell, S. Sofronidis, A. Hanrahan
Out: D. Chirgwin, J. Voss, C. Watts, G. Grey, A. Courtney, D. McNeish

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 12

THERE were some low-scoring contests in Round 12, as well as some big final scores for some teams in a weekend littered with heavy rain, and we took down notes at the four Saturday games. The Gippsland Power/Murray Bushrangers notes will come tomorrow.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Northern Knights

By Owen Leonard and Scott Dougan

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Alastair Richards 

In cold, windy conditions at the Trevor Barker Oval by Port Phillip Bay, Richards’ skills stood out early. The outside midfielder was always looking to take the game on and has serious speed. Used his pace to link up on numerous occasions, dishing off and receiving handballs. Richards did not stop running all day and applied strong pressure when the opposition were in possession. The type of player whose presence makes the opposition nervous.

#6 Harry Houlahan

With the Dragons’ Vic Metro representatives out of the side, Houlahan was able to play as a pure midfielder, a promotion from his usual defensive role – and he relished the opportunity. The Mentone Grammar school football captain had no issues finding the leather, while his gut-running was on display, gaining possession all over the ground. Put the icing on an impressive performance by kicking truly after a 50-metre penalty in the third quarter, which effectively brought the margin to an unassailable 25 points in horrible conditions. It was the type of game that could have Houlahan firmly placed into draft calculations.

#7 Liam Stocker

After missing the Vic Metro campaign at the Under 18 National Championships with a broken jaw, Stocker’s Dragons return was nothing short of sensational. The clearance king dominated around stoppages and displayed the scarce ability to not only win the ball on the inside, but find the Sherrin on the outside, too. A genuine midfield bull, Stocker’s road to the draft could be similar to that of Clayton Oliver’s, who also missed the national championships, but dominated the back end of the TAC Cup season to eventually be drafted with pick four. Stocker shrugged off tackles with ease and consistently sent the ball to the hotspot. Menacing when resting up forward, when the ball is in Stocker’s territory, something is going to happen. Plays similarly to Dustin Martin – one to watch closely as the season starts to enter its twilight.

#19 Sam Forbes

Playing a traditional winger role, Forbes was an important outside player in trying conditions. While the St Kevin’s College student isn’t a mass accumulator, he often made possessions count, and on a day where disposal efficiency was understandably down, Forbes’ above-average skills stood out. In addition, he was a consistent outside option, constantly hovering around stoppages.

#33 Will Kennedy

Coming off a strong game against Oakleigh, Kennedy played a centre half-back role against the Knights. An important piece of the Dragons defensive puzzle which were able to rebound any Northern Knights threat on multiple occasions and kept the opposition to a paltry five goals.

#61 Fischer McAsey

The bottom-age ruckman was a strong presence for the majority of the day. More than competitive in ruck contests, McAsey gave the Dragons midfielders regular opportunity. Notably, McAsey’s big frame was well-used to block the defensive 50 exits of the opposition, even despite not intercept marking, creating a strong contest where Dragons ‘crumbers were often beneficiaries.

Northern Knights:

#1 Ryan Gardner

Gardner won plenty of the ball early in the first quarter, on the inside and outside of the contest. He provided plenty of run for the Knights going forward and his ball use was clean, especially on an extremely windy day. Gardner was involved in a crunching tackle from an opposition player half-way through the first term and was unable to take any further part in the game.

#7 Harrison Grace

Grace was involved in the Knights first scoring play of the day, delivering the ball inside 50 to the leading Ryan Bowkett. During the second quarter, Grace spent plenty of time on the bench with what appeared to be a sore back. He was unable to return to the field, leaving the Knights two men short for the remainder of the game.

#15 Oscar White

In only his fifth match of the season, White impressed playing predominately on the wing. He was efficient around stoppages, demonstrating his clean hands in tight situations. During the first quarter, White took a diving mark in the middle of the ground and was able to kick the ball forward, resulting in an important goal for the Knights.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante

The classy forward was instrumental up forward, booting two goals. D’Intinosante has impressive goal sense and always finds a way to hit the scoreboard. His ball use was exceptionally clean in blustery conditions and his decision making was evident. He showcased his defensive pressure with some impressive chase down tackles, proving that he can influence the contest both offensively and defensively.

#30 Justin McInerney

McInerney was significant for the Knights, playing across half-back and on the wing. His speed on the outside was clear and he worked hard to present himself as a strong option for his teammates around the ground. His ball use was good for the majority of the day and he even took some of his teams’ defensive kick-outs.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs Eastern Ranges

By James Goller and Scott Dougan

Oakleigh Chargers:

#31 Will Golds
 
I’ve watched him play a couple of times by today he really stood out. Playing on the wing. Golds had 26 possessions for the day. Golds showed he has really good foot skills on both his left and right. He was the best kick out there. He showed also some speed breaking away from stoppages. What was impressive was the defensive part to his game. Laying four tackles. He was also running hard defensively. Not only that he works himself out of traffic fairly well. Definitely one to keep a eye on.
 
#5 Xavier O’ Neill
 
He had really good hands in close. He had a little bit of class about him took the game on at times that paid off. His kicking was solid.
 
#32 Jack Ross
 
Ross is a inside mid. He kicked the ball ok and I thought he was composed and made some good decisions with It. Kicked a great clearance goal from about 50 out. With a little bit of wind helping. The big thing for Ross is his defensive pressure. You know what your going to get. He laid seven tackles.
 
#17 Trent Bianco
 
The bottom-ager had a really strong game for the chargers collecting 25 possessions for the day. He is a good kick and used that asset of his game well. Bianco is real class and definitely one to keep a eye on for the 2019 draft. His defensive parts to his game were on show having six tackles.
 

Eastern Ranges:

#11 Mitch Mellis

Mellis started the match on the wing, having a positive effect around stoppages and as an outside runner. He won some early contested possessions and was able to put his speed to good use, bursting away from congestion in tight situations. He found plenty of space on the outside and worked hard to have an influence on the match, but due to the Chargers dominance on the day, his impact was limited.

#23 Xavier Fry

In difficult conditions, Fry’s skills were important for the Ranges when rebounding out of the defensive 50. He spent most of the game across the half-back line but also drifted through the midfield at times. Fry accumulated plenty of possessions and made smart decisions with the ball in hand, rarely turning the ball over. He spreads well from the contest and his work-rate gives him the ability to get involved in many passages of play. Fry was one of the Ranges most dominant players on the day.

#24 Kye Quirk

After amassing 30 disposals for the Ranges last week, Quirk found it difficult to have the same impact against the Chargers. He started the match across half-forward but saw little of the ball, with the Charges booting six goals to the zero in the first quarter. Quirk was at his best in tight, gathering the majority of his possessions in contested situations. He showcased his clean skills throughout the match, especially at ground level. He drifted forward in the fourth quarter and was able to hit the scoreboard, kicking an impressive goal from 40 metres out.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs Geelong Falcons

By Brandon Hutchinson

Dandenong Stingrays

#13 Riley Bowman

Bowman put a lot of space between his best efforts this Saturday, kicking one goal in the first term and an additional three in the fourth. It was evident in the final quarter that he knew how to work the forward line. Bowman created space leading up the guts and read the ball best in the marking contest, all while positioning himself for the best kick at goal. He was one of Dandenong’s best for the day with his final efforts reminding the competition why the Stingrays are placed at the top. Though in the future, we would prefer to see more consistency across the game. It seems Bowman punished a withering Falcons, sensing weakness in the game’s last moments.

#15 Toby Bedford

When Bedford grips the football, it is not likely a player will bring him to ground. His countless efforts on the contested ball had him take it with ease, showing great agility and control as he passed the ball off to the best option. Despite players hanging off him, he stood his ground and cleaned up the congestion. His ball work was clean, deliberate and effective, often centring the ball and assisting successful link ups through the passage. An instinctive footballer, Bedford showed no trouble beating his opponent on the loose ball and seemed oblivious to pressure. He brought quick hands to everything and remained agile and evasive when it meant feeding off the football. With repeat inside 50s, Bedford had a hand in most goals, directly assisting a couple as well. It’s obvious Dandenong’s midfield would be very different without him gaining the hard ball.

#17 Finlay Bayne

Consistent and effective, Bayne kept himself in form and involved for all four terms. He was great off hands, with line breaking passes and his involvement in a good deal of link ups. He worked his man well around the stoppages and picking up a handful of clearances. He lost the ball on the wing in the Dandenong’s forward half but with a tackle and follow up pressure, he managed to force a turn over. A composed footballer with great vision.

#20 Sam De Koning

De Koning’s regard for his own safety is quite minimal as evident on the pitch. Charging head on into the contest, De Koning will put his body over the everything. If he was late to the hard ball, he made his opponent earn that possession. He laid strong tackles to help switch momentum and promoted a counter attack which aided in their victory. The aggressive backman provided an offensive brand of defence to the Stingrays backline, keeping his opponents off balance and under pressure as they approach goals. Though wild off the football, De Koning shows great focus with it in hand, switching well and picking the right pass to clear the backline.

#58 William Hamill

Hamill’s efforts off the ball proved just as effective as his ability with it in hands. His defensive work was on display throughout the midfield, as he forced the turnovers and stopped ball carriers in their tracks. Possessions were made to be worked for when Hamill was close by, keeping his man under pressure until the ball released. He opened the game up with his smothering, tackling and general presence around a contest.  In the first quarter, he prevented a definite goal by bringing his opponent to ground. He showed good composure and focus when he set his sights downfield, picking up repeat inside 50s and a beautiful goal on the run from the pocket. It was his presence through midfield that helped trap the ball forward and crushed rising momentum as the Falcon’s propelled forward.

 

Geelong Falcons

#39 Connor Idun

Showed off his power around stoppages, and lengthy kicks when clearing danger. Idun knows how to use his body to dominate his opponents, powering through congestion and holding his form despite being tackled. He was strong overhead, gaining a few intercepts and winning the contested mark. Idun made no mistake in desperate times, bringing clean hands to the low ball and clearing kicks out from their defensive half. A built unit who offers a lot in the midfield and possibly one of the safest options to hit up in a link.

#44 Sam Conway

Conway dominated the ruck contest despite having his opponent switched on him quite regularly. He proved very adaptable in switching up his approach to different opponents, using a superior leap to get first hands to the ball. He was pivotal to the Falcon’s clearance work out of the midfield, but did not utilise himself well enough out of the ruck work. It would be good to see him collect a few disposals and make an impact in ways outside the bounce.

#48 Blake Schlensog

Though quiet for much of the game, Schlensog had a decent final quarter. The big man led up the ground well and ran hard at the loose ball. He showed no problems getting low to the ground, laying strong tackles and scooping up the football. He is clean off hands and quick for his size. He showed great strength in bringing down Matthew Cumming in front of goal, but was unlucky not to be awarded a free. It was unfortunate that we only saw glimpses of Schlensog’s greatness on Saturday, but the young man was pivotal nonetheless.

#49 Dane Hollenkamp

Hollenkamp marked more of Dandenong’s ball than their forwards, racking up a tonne of intercept marks for the day. Playing out of full back, Hollenkamp often found himself in one on one contests in the square, winning a lot more than he lost. His ability to read the ball and his strong hands overhead, made him near impossible to beat even with added pressure. He positioned himself well and lunged at the footy at the best moment. On the loose ball, he used his body better against his man, taking him out of the contest and rushing it to safety. He was unfortunate a couple times when outnumbered in crucial moments, so had a couple goals kicked on him. Though given that’s the life of a backman, a couple isn’t so bad. Hollenkamp played some elite level defence this weekend and despite being the smaller man, worked his opponent to perfection, rebounding the football countless times.

 

Calder Cannons vs Western Jets

By Michael Alvaro

Calder Cannons:

#8 Lachlan Sholl

In his first TAC Cup outing since returning from Vic Metro duties, Sholl looked a class above. Typically effective by foot, the clever half-back often played a kick behind the ball and intercepted a number of Western’s rushed forays forward with some strong overhead marks. When the ball hit the deck, Sholl showed both a clean pair of hands and heels to set Calder on the attack in a very direct manner. His trap gather at speed in the third quarter was a particular highlight, and had the TAC Cup Radio team fawning over him.

#27 Tye Browning

Browning was another Cannon who looked a step above, despite requiring some time to warm into the contest. His first of two goals came in the opening term with the Cannons only managing to snare five behinds to that stage – it was a tidy snap from about 35 out in blustery RAMS conditions. His hands were strong as we’ve come to expect, with some trademark one-hand gathers catching the eye. Mixing time between the wing and half-forward, Browning made most of his impact during the second half as he found more of the ball in forward positions and ended up with another goal and assist to round out his day.

#30 Mitch Podhajski

Fresh off a successful stint with Coburg in the VFL, Podhajski was near best-on in a hard-working display. Starting in the midfield, the overager worked Jets star Stefan Radovanovic over at the stoppages with some solid contested ball gets as he willed the pill forward. As if he were his side’s barometer, Podhajski came to life in the third quarter with a blistering run from centre half back to assist Will Jury’s goal, while also setting one up for Mohammed Abou-Eid later in the term. Having spent more time forward in the second half, Calder’s co-captain also managed to hit the scoreboard with what was one of two highlight reel moments. His goal came after a desperate run down tackle on Daly Andrews, running on to slot the six-pointer from 50 and displaying his enormous work rate. The second highlight was a contested mark floating in from the side of a pack, but he failed to convert the set shot.

 

Western Jets:

#17 Daly Andrews

Andrews took guard on the wing and did not stray far from it throughout the match. While the way the game was played didn’t exactly suit his brand of football, Andrews was still able to show off his agility and speed in short bursts. The wingman has a good tendency of keeping his hands free while being tackled, and it proved valuable as it allowed the Jets to keep the ball rolling. Andrews found himself on the outer at most of the stoppages, dipping in at the right moments and dishing out when he managed to snare the ball. He likes to take the game on and went on a big run through the middle of the ground in the third quarter to remind spectators of his presence.

#20 Darcy Cassar

The bottom-ager was hard to miss with his dreadlocks and long sleever, calmly going about his business throughout the day. While he started forward, Cassar pushed hard up the ground and made it to a wealth of contests, often accompanying Lachie Sholl at the stoppages early on. A clever user of the ball by hand, Cassar looked unfazed under pressure and is a natural footballer. He copped a heavy knock in the second half from a marking contest which looked to have taken him out of the game.

#37 Hamish Murphy

Murphy had the tough job of accompanying an in-form Jake Riccardi in the early stages of the game, and did relatively well to keep the mobile forward goaless despite his dominance. Riccardi almost caught him out with a fumbled mark, while also catching him holding the ball, but Murphy kept at it and was more composed leading into the main break. The key back looked at his best when the ball hit the deck where he gathered well, ran his measure and delivered the ball effectively. Unfortunately, there was not much he could do in the face of the Cannons second half onslaught.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic

Another star returning from Vic Metro duties, Radovanovic put in a solid shift for his side. Plying his trade further up the ground in the midfield, Radovanovic was a presence at the stoppages and tried hard to get his trademark run going. While he was caught holding the ball early, the Jet was confident enough to stand in tackles and take them on with good aggression. The highlight of his game was a lunging tackle on Tye Browning in the second quarter which prevented a near-certain major. He was solid defensively, but turned the ball over a few times with rushed kicks out of congestion as Western struggled to find their way forward in the second half.

 

Gippsland Power vs. Murray Bushrangers

By Craig Byrnes

Gippsland Power:

#2 Caleb Serong

Coming off an impressive Vic Country campaign across half forward, the talented bottom ager was given the opportunity to spend long minutes through the midfield and was arguably the most influential player on the ground. He started Gippsland’s dominance with an intercept and two class inside 50s before producing the highlight of the day, an instinctive torpedo from the arc that sailed through the goals with minimal effort. He was brilliantly clean in the slippery conditions and just as effectively defensively, laying eight tackles and doing so with physical intent. A second goal came in the third with a brilliant left foot snap, before eventually ending a quality outing with 23 disposals and five clearances.

#9 Irving Mosquito

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy prospect provided the spark for Gippsland’s fast start, kicking two vital first quarter goals that were worth much more in the horrendous conditions. The first came from a clever crumb, before finding space inside 50 and rolling onto his trusty left boot in characteristic fashion. He was in and out of the game from there on, but the damage was already done in a low scoring contest. He went to the midfield and won some vital clearances, finishing the day with nine disposals and four tackles.

#12 Brock Smith

The reliable bottom age defender didn’t have a whole lot to do as Gippsland dominated possession in the forward half, but did his job well when called upon. He reads the play well and is often found in the prime position against his opponent when the ball arrives. He is a fighter and would have been frustrated to have given away an unlucky free kick inside 50 to Barzen in the final term.

#16 Josh Smith

With Rylan Henkel a late withdrawal due to illness, Smith was forced to take on the ruck load with fellow 17 year-old Marcus Toussaint against Vic Country ruckman Mark Marriott. Giving seven centimetres to his opponent and having to attend many stoppages due to the heavy conditions, Smith exceeded expectations to be one of Gippsland’s best. He competed all day to win 16 hitouts, but made his physical presence known at ground level to lay seven tackles and even cleanly gain possession on occasions. Consecutive intercept marks on the far wing topped off an admirable performance.

#23 Noah Gown

The talented basketballer has been making plenty of noise up forward in recent weeks, but was required to start in defence on Hudson Garoni in the absence of Kyle Reid. While the ball hardly entered Murray’s forward arc, Gown’s close checking literally restricted his highly regarded opponent to zero impact. Garoni did not look himself and came off at half-time, which freed Gown up to go forward. He once again looked dangerous, creating anxiety for his opponent with smart leads and presence. A brilliant one-on-one strength win against Nick Murray in the third term saw him gather possession, turn and calmly kick a goal. Potential bolter.

#29 Boadie Motton

I have been a bit of Boadie Motton advocate for some time now and he continues to provide those AFL attributes that can be easily missed on first glance. He is such a clean and efficient, one touch footballer. After getting an awkwardly spinning wet ball to ground in the first term, he followed up brilliantly to gather and deliver inside 50 to Mosquito for a goal assist. His sharp releases often get teammates into offensive positions that are difficult to defend once executed. He is defensively relevant too, laying nine tackles including a vital holding the ball in the corridor early in the game. If there is one area of improvement, it is turning more of those 15-20 disposal games into 25-30 versions.

Murray Bushrangers:

#5 Ely Smith

Coming off a typically prolific Vic Country debut the week before, the big bodied Smith continued his outstanding form in weather made for his style of play. He is a true stoppage specialist, using his strength to protect his position and powerfully breakaway or push through congestion. His use of the ball was good considering the heavy ball and the contested nature of his possessions, even though an occasional handball missed the intended target. He finished brilliantly on the run with a banana goal in the fourth term to end a solid outing with 30 disposals, eight clearances and six tackles.

#7 Zane Barzen

The extremely talented Barzen started in defence and provided moments throughout the day, as he has done all year without reaching his full potential. He provided a couple of strong defensive one on one efforts deep in the back half, read the play well and rebounded attractively with ball in hand. He moved forward in the second half and looked dangerous on occasions despite the lack of supply, highlighted by a diving lead and nice set shot late. But he has so much more to give and hopefully the talented Shepparton product can get close to his high ceiling by the end of the season.

#12 Lachlan Ash

Another bottom-aged player who was a clear standout for their team, Ash singlehandedly ended numerous potentially dangerous Gippsland chains throughout the day. He was one of the few Bushrangers who found time under pressure, calmly moving through traffic with elite lateral movement on occasions and getting the ball forward. He read the play superbly and put his body on the line, courageously running back with the flight to intercept or acrobatically spoiling to advantage as he did in the second and third terms. A prolific third quarter in particular saved Murray more scoreboard misery and he would end the day with 26 disposals to rival Serong for best on ground honours.

#14 Jye Chalcraft

Playing mostly as a small forward option, Chalcraft made the most of the limited opportunities inside 50 to have an impact. He took a brilliantly clean mark on the lead in the second term which unfortunately wouldn’t be paid due to a free further up the ground, but it showcased his elite hands in the slop. He provided another clean moment later in the quarter to gather a ground ball and smartly draw the high free kick inside 50. He missed the set shot, but didn’t waste his next chance in the third term when finding space in the pocket and snapping the set shot to finally bring up the Bushrangers first goal.

#16 Nick Murray

The Bushranger’s number one key defender had plenty to do as Gippsland bombarded its forward arc with entrances throughout the day. He rotated through many opponents including Gown in the second half, throwing his fist at any aerial ball to ensure the contest was killed. He looked hell bent on breaking spoil records Harris Andrews style at times and was rarely, if at all beaten in the air. His only blemish was losing a battle of strength against Gown in the third term that resulted in a goal. You could not question his effort though.

#23 Mark Marriott

The 201cm ruckman was dominant at the stoppages in the absence of Henkel with 31 hitouts, but couldn’t replicate the impact of his opponents at ground level, especially defensively. He gave Ely Smith some silver service at times and possesses good peripheral vision, but it would have been nice to see some greater physical intent and to see him take control as the most experienced ruckman on the ground.

#28 Kyle Clarke

The small midfielder come forward was one of Murray’s better contributors for the day, fighting offensively and defensively to collect 21 disposals, four clearances and eight tackles. He arguably provided the greatest intent on a poor day for his side, highlighted by a multiple effort play defensively in the second term that set up a rare score. While his kicking was a bit messy overall, he hit a diving Chalcraft lace out with a bullet in the centre of the ground during the third term, after taking an impressive mark from the kick out.