Tasmania ended its faultless under-18 national Academy Series with a seven-goal victory over GWS Giants at Twin Ovals on Saturday.
The state’s best under-age footballers were unbeaten in five matches and named the team of the series – winning 14.10 (94) to 7.10 (52).
The Mariners kicked the opening two goals of the match but trailed by nine points at the first change.
However, the Tasmanian engine room began to work overtime with pressure around the ball and on the scoreboard.
North Launceston gun Tarryn Thomas booted three majors in as many minutes during the second stanza to swing the match’s momentum, while the Mariners kept the Giants to a solitary goal to lead 6.5 (41) to 4.5 (29) at half-time.
The margin was extended to 21 points with a term to play before a five-goal-to-two final term capped off the series clean sweep. Thomas finished with a five-goal haul and and was named the state’s and series’ MVP.
Blair Rubock kicked three while ruckman Tim Auckland, defender Mitchel Anderton, captain Chayce Jones and fellow Launceston teammates Ethan Jackson and Jared Dakin all had an impact. Coach Lance Spaulding said he was proud of the way his players performed.
“They were outstanding today against a GWS team that challenged us at times – it was a tough day,” he said.
“When we started to play the way we wanted, tough one-on-one Tasmanian football we were able to get on top. Tarryn was unbelievable again and it was great for the people that were there to see just how good he is.”