Launceston keen to get back on track in TSL

PRESSURE: Launceston coach Sam Lonergan gets wrapped up in a tackle in last week's clash against North Launceston. Picture: Scott Gelston

PRESSURE: Launceston coach Sam Lonergan gets wrapped up in a tackle in last week's clash against North Launceston. Picture: Scott Gelston

Launceston will be out to make amends for their loss last week to North Launceston when they make a long road trip south to play Lauderdale on Saturday.

Blues coach Sam Lonergan said they had put that result behind them and were focused again on their goals and playing the way they did in their wins against Burnie and Devonport.

“Lauderdale has been a final’s contender for the last couple of years and a strong, physical side so I’m expecting them to bring that on their home turf,” Lonergan said.

“I’m sure it will be a tough game and hopefully we can fix the wrongs from last week.

“We just have to be the side we’ve been in the first two weeks.”

Lonergan hasn’t played at the Lauderdale ground since 2003 when playing in the SFL competition but said his assistant coaches were familiar with the local conditions which could impact on the game.

He said he was easing back into football after 12 months out but had been hindered by a calf strain.

“Being 30 years of age – to me it is more about adapting back into football.

“The first week was a big build-up and I was nervous that week which was a good feeling and I got through that game and pulled up a bit sore and now I’ve been trying to keep my head above water to get the body going in the right direction.

“I trained both Monday and Tuesday nights which was positive for me and I’m pretty sure I will have a crack this week depending on training on Thursday.”

The Blues should have Rulla Kelly-Mansell back after missing the second half last week due to illness with Joe Boyce also a chance to return.

“Boycey is definitely in the squad this week and Nathan O’Donoghue maybe this week but I’m probably leaning toward next,” Lonergan said.

“We missed his physical presence in the forward line last week – we’ve got everything around that –  speed, class and x factor in the forward line with players like Rulla (Kelly-Mansell), Jordie Harris and Sonny Whiting but we just missed that key presence and he will be a big addition in the next few weeks when we get him back.”

Jack Donnellan will miss due to suspension and Jake Hinds is unavailable with Zach Griffiths and James Gillow added to the squad.

Devonport named coach Mitch Thorp to return just three weeks after suffering broken ribs against Launceston in round one, for their clash with Clarence at Devonport Oval.

The Roos will be without key onballer Jackson O’Brien for their first road trip of the season.

Hobart City Demons regain skipper Hugh Williams for their meeting with Burnie at Queenborough.

North Launceston has the bye.

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