Glenorchy coach Paul Kennedy is not deterred by North Launceston’s might and says his charges have what it takes to topple the reigning premiers at UTAS Stadium on Saturday.
The Magpies are up and about following a demolition job on Lauderdale last week, making for a tantalising fixture against Taylor Whitford’s undefeated North Bombers who have looked like a polished Ferrari just two rounds in.
Kennedy said his charges are full of confidence knowing the Pies only lost by four points at UTAS Stadium last season, despite the possible return of North captain Brad Cox-Goodyer.
“What North Launceston do is not complex, [it’s] very effective… they just do it well, they’re all on the same page and that’s what good football teams do,” Reynolds said.
“They put a lot of heat on the opposition, they really ask a lot of questions with the way they move the footy, the way they attack the footy and they’re very organised to defend counterattacks. They’ve asked a lot of questions, so far they haven’t had a lot of answers back but we’ve got some stuff in place.”
However, Reynolds was coy on what he has in mind.
Matt Joseph has been drafted back into the Pies line-up, which Whitford rates highly.
He said the visitors’ on-ball brigade led by skipper Brayden Webb and Rhys Mott was a dangerous force.
“Their forwards are quite dangerous with (Jaye) Bowden and Mitch Walker, and then you’ve got the young boys in (Cal) Daley and Jye Bearman also,” Whitford said.
“They are pretty potent coming out of the middle and we’ve either got to win or break even in there if we’ve got any chance.”
Whitford said with various personnel changes and a few game-style tweaks he has been impressed by his players and they way they have adapted to his philosophies.
LAUNCESTON coach Sam Lonergan said his charges are in good shape heading into their first Southern trip of the season to face winless Lauderdale.
It will be a re-match of the 2017 preliminary final which the Southern Bombers won by 24 points, however, the Blues are on cloud nine having defeated North Hobart by 22 goals last week.
“It’s exciting for the club, galvanises the group together and gives them that bond they need to move forward for the rest of the season,” Lonergan said.
“We will go down there and follow our process and make sure we try and replicate what we did on Saturday just gone. It’s not a nice feeling losing a prelim and it’s an opportunity now, the first time we’ve seen them since that time, and I’m sure both sides will want to go out there and win the match.”
Lauderdale is without skipper Bryce Walsh, Thor Boscott and Scott Hill to long-term injuries and Josh McGuinness said the Southern Bombers have been down on leadership in the past two weeks.
“It's definitely not panic stations. Last year we started 0-3 and we were having the exact same conversation, and we ended up playing off in a grand final,” he said.
“With the additions of Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley… they do look pretty scary across the board. We just have to bring that effort that we probably didn’t bring last week, and get back to the Lauderdale way of playing – that contested sort of brand.
“We were down 50 tackles on the weekend from Clarence and only had three tackles in the third quarter.”
AFL Tasmania state talent manager Jy Bond will depart after less than 12 months in the role. He has taken up an opportunity with the Western Jets, but will remain with Tasmania until the end of this season’s academy series.