ROUND 17 of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend, with the top eight sides breaking away from the rest. We had scouts watching three of the games, read their notes below.
Sandringham Dragons vs. Dandenong Stingrays (Matt Balmer)
#5 Seb Williams – Williams was able to find the ball in the attacking half of the ground, with multiple of inside 50s. While not all of his kicks were effective, he had a very good right foot pass inside 50 to hit a teammate at the south end of the ground. Has zip about him whenever he plays and is useful finding the ball through the midfield and get it moving forward.
#6 Charlie Constable – Went head-to-head with Luke Davies-Uniacke when they were matched up in the centre and had a good battle. Whilst he didn’t have the impact that he did in their loss against Oakleigh last week, he found the ball around the ground and was able to get forward and provide a target – with one very good mark low to the ground in the third quarter. Used his voice well around the ground to encourage his teammates.
#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Is a very good clearance player and probably hasn’t got the kudos he deserves since returning from his APS school commitments with Haileybury College. His work at the stoppages was very good and he is able to win the ball around the ground and push inside 50.
#73 Ed Newman – Started the game on fire, roving a tap from the ruckman – with a long centre clearance kick inside 50. Has a very nice left foot kick and played the game as a pure inside midfielder. Was good in the third quarter when he went head-to-head with Dandenong’s Hunter Clark. Has smarts at the stoppages.
#74 Nathan Murphy – The medium tall continued to show his versatility. Murphy played majority of the game in defence, but was swung forward at times and looked dangerous. He has long arms and plays much taller than his 188cm height suggests. He is clean at ground level and has a long right foot kick. Also made a few good spoils in defence.
#2 Hunter Clark – The clear best-on-ground for me. Won the ball in the contested situations playing as a full-time midfielder. He was able to win the ball and was dangerous propelling it long inside 50 on multiple occasions. Pushed forward and also booted two goals. Has been a different player since he started playing as a full-time midfielder post the Under 18 Championships.
#6 Aiden Bonar – Showed glimpses of what has been hoped after a long period without playing footy. Bonar played mostly as a tall up forward, but did push into the midfield and attend a few centre bounces. Early in the game he hit a nice handball to set up their first goal and clunked multiple overhead marks. He laid some strong tackles and despite appearing a bit sore in the final quarter, he pushes through and impressed all day.
#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – Nearly kicked a goal of the season contender in the second term where he showed his class marking the ball across half forward, playing on – taking a bounce and kicking from 45 metres out. Spent a lot of time on the inside going head-to-head with Charlie Constable and having a very good battle. Was able to show off a good bit of speed coming out of the contest with a good burst and he spreads well. He was also trialled up forward for periods of time especially after half-time. Has shown he can mark overhead inside 50.
#25 Oscar Clavarino – Had a couple of intercept marks throughout the game playing as a key post in defence. He looked to drop off whenever he could, and was helped when the Dragons often opted for a smaller forward line. Uncharacteristically dropped a few marks, but still played a solid role in the defensive half of the ground setting the Stingrays up going forward.
#46 Mason De Wit – Played one of his better games of the season, using the ball well off his left foot on the outside. The 19-year-old is a nice size and was able to get to the right positions.
Oakleigh Chargers vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Matt Balmer)
#6 Matthew Day – Started the game on fire with a few possessions in the opening minute. Worked well on the inside, winning the clearances and showed off his quick hands in the contest. Can burst away at the stoppages and did show he could push forward and take a contested mark. Is composed with ball in hand.
#7 Charlie Thompson – Won plenty of the ball and pushed forward to kick five goals. Often marked unopposed 30 metres out from goal and was able to convert his chances. Hardly broke a sweat and he continues to play good footy, winning the ball in the contested situations finishing with over 30 possessions.
#8 Toby Wooller – Finished the day with four goals up forward and marked at ease inside 50. Did go off the ground for a long period in the first half, but returned and showed no sign of injury. Took some nice pack marks and his first goal was an impressive snap.
#35 Jack Higgins – Played almost 100 per cent of the game up forward and finished with seven goals in a best-on-ground performance. Higgins showed his smarts and tricks inside 50 as a goalsneak, often getting out the back and slotting the goal. But he also showed he could take contested marks inside 50 and did it with ease. Could’ve ended with double figures in the goal column if shoulder soreness didn’t end his day early in the final term.
#79 Bailey Griffiths – The Marcellin College ruckman had to play a bigger role than the Chargers would’ve expected after No.1 ruckman Ned Reeves went down with injury. Griffiths’ showed he wasn’t a one trick pony, winning the ball around the ground with very good follow up. While he did lose some of the centre bounces to a small opponent, his strength around the ground saw him win most of his hitouts for the day. Is build well below the waist and does have strength that other rucks don’t who come from basketball.
#2 Kane Farrell – Was one of the Pioneers best in what was a poor day. Took a very good mark in the second term and was able to show that he can use the ball off either foot. Won the footy on the outside and was arguably a class above some of his other teammates.
#8 Lochie O’Brien – Took most of the kickouts for the Pioneers but was largely left across half back. Has good hands in tight and it would’ve been good to see him thrown around the ball a bit more. Had a great kick to Brander early in the contest inside 50. Has speed and rebounds it well.
#10 Brent Daniels – Really got into the game in the second half using his speed. Took a nice intercept mark in defense and was able to really work into the contest after that. Showed off his very good agility and laid a good tackle, which saw him rewarded with a free kick for holding the ball. Had a good centre clearance late in the contest and also booted a goal from a tight angle in the final quarter.
#13 Jarrod Brander – Played the whole game up forward taking a few marks especially in the opening quarter. It was surprising to see him not thrown back at stages as the ball didn’t venture into the Pioneers forward line too often. Moves well and reads the flight of the ball well to get to the front position. Had a nice kick to Byrne inside 50.
#59 Angus Byrne – Finished the game with four goals in the final quarter. The overager showed some signs in the Pioneers game down at Trevor Barker Oval against Sandringham and the left footer is a very good kick at goal. He marks well overhead.
Geelong Falcons vs. Eastern Ranges (Matt Dowling)
#4 Gryan Miers – Whilst a little quieter than in previous weeks, Miers was still able to find the ball and found himself pushing higher up the ground at times. He was strong around the contested situations, especially at ground level and has good vision and skills when sending the ball inside attacking 50. He once again influenced the scoreboard adding two more goals to his season tally.
#19 Matt Ling – Ling was less impactful than he has been at times this season however, after changing boots at half time, was able to find the ball in space and generate run into his game. He used the ball well when composed and showcased his quality kicking at times in the wet.
#38 James Worpel – Played a strong, contested game and worked hard around the ground running both ways. He worked hard at ground level and won the ball when it was in dispute and was able to kick start the Falcons ball movement going forward. Worpel displayed his tenacity with a strong tackling presence applying pressure to the Ranges. At times when in possession he rushed a few of his kicks banging them forward, however this was understandable in the very wet conditions and the need to get the ball moving forward.
#41 Tom McCartin – Was a successful game down forward. Competed well in the air and followed up at ground level. Fumbled a few marks that he might usually have taken but was able to compete hard to win the ball back at ground level. Plucked a strong one-on-one mark deep inside 50 in the last quarter.
#42 Cassidy Parish – Was the Falcons best player for the match highlighting his strong presence around the ground and his improvements in ball possession and disposal efficiency in congestion and at stoppages. He was able to shoot the ball out quickly at stoppages despite the slippery conditions and this allowed the Falcons to ball to move forward quickly in attack. Parish’s composure was also evident with some classy kicks inside 50 assisting in scoring opportunities.
#10 Dylan Moore – Moore displayed his natural speed and running capabilities with the ball in hand. On multiple occasions, he found the ball on the wing and was able to accelerate out of trouble to launch the ball inside 50. Whilst occasionally being ineffective at times going forward, Moore showed he has the potential to use the ball cleanly and effectively in contested situations. Also booted a goal as one of the Ranges’ best.
#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Started the game very well. He was a lively character out on the field and was able to gather the ball cleanly in the wettest parts of the game. He displayed good awareness in traffic and used the ball cleanly at stoppages. His two way running was also an asset that allowed to Ranges to get the ball moving in the way they wanted.
#18 Sam Hayes – Was a quiet game for the Vic Metro ruckman. Whilst competing strongly in the ruck contests and displaying good body positioning, at times he was matched by the Falcons ruck duo and it halted the impact of his hitouts to advantage. He also rolled forward to try to get some goals on the board, but was unsuccessful having his impact limited around the ground with the Ranges outplayed by the Falcons.
#21 Joel Garner – Played a strong game, leading from the front. Was the general in the backline and held up the defence when under pressure from the Falcons. He intercepted the ball well and was able to rebound the ball quickly in traffic.
#33 Tyler Brown – Was one of the Ranges better players. Pushed up and down the ground over the course of the match and was able to set up the Ranges going forward with clean skills and quick ball movement by hand. Brown had good vision and composure when in pressured situations and was a lively presence in the forward line.