Tasmanian AFL players get in on the action

TWO Tasmanian key forwards awoke from their 2014 slumber as the Western Bulldogs broke Richmond hearts on Saturday.

The first was in the yellow and black: Clarence's Jack Riewoldt.

With Dale Morris keeping him on a tight leash, Riewoldt's first half was horrible, unable to get a touch until later on despite roaming away from the forward on several occasions.

But when positioned closer to goal in the second half, he came to life, helping inspire the Richmond fight back from 38 points adrift.

It wasn't until nearly 24 minutes into the third term that he got on the scoreboard, but he managed another three majors with his last goal putting Richmond ahead.

Riewoldt, with 13 disposals, nine marks (seven of them inside 50) and seven score involvements to go with his 4.0, had his most productive outing of the season, which had been plagued by criticism of being played too far away from goal and had yielded the two-time Coleman Medallist just 2.4 before Saturday.

At the other end of the ground, West Moonah's Liam Jones continued his liking for the Tigers with a strong showing to help the Dogs get the points.

With David Astbury for company, Jones kicked 3.0 (including a vital late major), from 14 touches and six marks and had six score involvements, on the back of a four-goal haul against the same opponent last year.

George Burbury played his first game since breaking his jaw in the NAB Challenge, and didn't take a backwards step in Geelong's win over Collingwood.

Playing mainly as a defensive- forward on the likes of Nick Maxwell and Alex Fasolo, Burbury, of Hobart, had 12 touches, five tackles and applied 12 pressure acts.

Devonport's Grant Birchall was at his sublime best as Hawthorn crushed Fremantle in the grand final rematch.

Often pushing further up the ground than his traditional half- back spot, Birchall had 29 disposals (23 uncontested) at the elite disposal efficiency rate of 93 per cent, with seven marks, four rebound 50s, four inside 50s, nine score involvements and kicked 1.1.

On the Gold Coast, Launceston's Kade Kolodjashnij continued a stellar start to his AFL life, oozing class while collecting 24 disposals, with his 24 touches coming at a disposal efficiency rate of 83 per cent, the equal most for the Suns.

Again having roles off half- back and further up the ground, Kolodjashnij took four marks, had six score involvements, five inside 50s, and kicked the first goal of his career.

Teammate Luke Russell, of Burnie, played his first game of the year, collecting nine disposals in a defensive role, while Hobart's Aaron Hall had 14 disposals, five score involvements and six tackles as a half-forward before being subbed off.

Clarence's Josh Green was goal-less with just seven touches for the Lions.

Dodges Ferry's Jeremy Howe had a new role deep in defence for Melbourne against Greater Western Sydney, and never stopped trying in atrocious conditions, with 23 touches, eight rebound 50s and three tackles.

Evandale's Nathan Grima had a strong game against Port Adelaide, containing Justin Westhoff and collecting 21 disposals, six marks and four rebound 50s.

Burnie's Eli Templeton kicked 1.1 from 13 touches and Clarence's Jimmy Webster had 14 disposals in St Kilda's loss to West Coast, while Lauderdale's Mitch Robinson had 22 disposals and laid five tackles in Carlton's loss to Essendon.


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