2018 Tasmanian State League | round 20

BACK: Launceston young gun Jared Dakin in action against North Launceston earlier this year. He has replaced Ethan Jackson in the Blues' line-up for this week's bout.
BACK: Launceston young gun Jared Dakin in action against North Launceston earlier this year. He has replaced Ethan Jackson in the Blues' line-up for this week's bout.

It was an unexpected loss to Tigers in round 13 that sent Launceston on a mid-season downward spiral.

After a promising start the Blues lost a well-documented five matches on the trot, however, coach Sam Lonergan knows his players have turned a corner and expects them to atone for past evils at Kingston’s Twin Ovals on Saturday.

The sixth-placed Tigers have nothing to lose, while a resurgent Launceston must clinch four round 20 points to stay in the top-three hunt.

Blues’ ‘Mr Reliable’ Joe Boyce will run out in his 150th match – earning club life membership – with Jared Dakin returning to the senior fold in lieu of Ethan Jackson.

Jackson had just four touches against Clarence last week, while Dakin has spent a couple of weeks in the development league working on a few areas of his game.

“Our guys are desperate this week to get done there and redeem what happened earlier in the year, and make sure they fix those past mistakes on the way to finals,” Lonergan said.

“Their intensity was great from the start last time and our guys chose not to pressure.

“Jared has done everything right back in the seconds and as another future draft prospect it’s good to give him opportunities when he deserves them.

“I expect Ethan to go back and get some confidence ready for finals as well.” 

Tigers have lost key players Lachlan Clifford,  Nick Hutchinson, Oliver Burrows-Cheng and Lachlan Gadomski but regain Will Poland, Mitchell Cooke, Jakob Lister, Matthew Coad.

In the game of the round, CLARENCE host Glenorchy at Bellerive Oval for the Bingley-Linton Cup with this season’s ledger evenly split.

The Magpies are just percentage ahead of the Roos in second spot with Jeromey Webberley’s men failing to return from Northern Tasmania with any points in the past fortnight.

Clarence star Fraser Turner (broken arm), Trent Standen and Alex Silver have made way for Daniel Reimers, Keren Howlett and Billy Sharman, while Matt Joseph (heel) is out for the Pies.

NORTH HOBART’s final match of the season is a difficult one against a Lauderdale hungry for a percentage-boosting victory.

The fifth-ranked Southern Bombers regain injury-plagued captain Bryce Walsh, who has played just one match in 2018, coming off the bye. The Demons have made five changes.

NORTH LAUNCESTON has the bye.

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