2017 Tasmanian State League | Round 11

SMOOTH: North Launceston midfielder Mark Walsh's start to the season has been solid for the ladder leaders.
SMOOTH: North Launceston midfielder Mark Walsh's start to the season has been solid for the ladder leaders.

LAUNCESTON’S two State League teams have made a combined nine changes for their round 11 fixtures.

The Blues, who are hunting three consecutive victories, welcome in coach Sam Lonergan, Jake Hinds, Sam Rundle, Jacob Boyd, Ben Killalea and Jimmy Aganas for their trip to face Burnie at West Park.

However, they lose Jordan Harris, Casey Brown, Brendan Taylor, Alec Wright, Stewart Williams and James Gillow, while the Dockers have three adjustments.

NORTH LAUNCESTON has replaced Tom Donnelly, Jake Pearce and Brighton Denman with Bart McCulloch, Jock White and Dylan Headland for their excursion to North Hobart Oval to challenge Hobart City.

Coach Tom Couch said he had pulled up stiff from Tasmania’s loss to NEAFL but that North’s nine representatives would be better for the experience in the long run.

“When you are playing and training with better players… you go up to that level and it makes you a better player but it also make the team better when you go back to the club,” Couch said.

“It’s probably a bit of a taste for finals too later in the year.”

The joint ladder-leaders have lost two on the trot but Couch said he is satisfied with his charges’ past month and that he has figured out his best 22 and their positions moving forward.

North defeated the sixth-placed City 11.16 (82) to 6.9 (45) in round 2 but they have since defeated contenders Clarence and Launceston – leaving Couch cautious.

“They play a really unique game compared to other sides, they like to get numbers around and use their hands,” he said.

“We’ve got to be physical at the contest because it they get it on their terms, they’re gonna cut you to pieces.

“There’s six fighting for the five and we need a couple of good weeks otherwise we fall back to the pack and there could be a few nervous months towards the end of the year.”

Demons assistant coach Trent Baumeler said his team is disappointed in its effort against Glenorchy before the bye but that they go in confident this week knowing both retrospective clashes last season were decided by under a kick.

”Until we beat them we’re definitely not a bogey team [for North] but the results show we can get close to them, our style of footy matches up well with them,” Baumeler said. “We will worry about ourselves first. We understand they are strong through the middle and up forward but we think we match up well with our forwards on their backs.”

City coach Kane Richer will miss.

In other matches, TIGERS have included Lochie Griggs in their side to tackle an unchanged Clarence and DEVONPORT and Glenorchy have made one change apiece.