NEAFL Eastern vs. Tasmania Review
by Sarah Browne
NEAFL Eastern has gone down to a stronger Tasmanian side by 41 points in perfect conditions today at Skoda Stadium.
The representatives from the Tasmanian State League proved too good for our boys, running away with a 8-13-61 to 15-11-101 victory.
Tasmania came out firing, looking very dangerous as they booted the first two majors for the match.
Josh Bennett managed to give NEAFL Eastern their first goal midway through first, in what was a low scoring first quarter of footy.
John Van Meurs was a pillar of strength in defence, clearing the ball out of the forward fifty with elegance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t clear out everything as it kept coming back in from clumsy turnovers.
Our representatives of NSW /ACT couldn’t be too disappointed with their start, leading their opponents in clearances and trailing by just 12 points at the first break.
Unfortunately, that was the smallest margin of the match, as Tasmania managed to increase their lead in every quarter.
Minor mistakes by Eastern allowed Tasmania easy goals, including two goals in the third quarter coming from free kicks within minutes of each other, while Mitch Thorp was gifted a goal in the final quarter from another fifty metre penalty.
NEAFL Eastern shouldn’t be disappointed in their performance, with many positives coming out of the game.
Josh Bennett was a good target up forward and ended the day with four goals, including the first and last for his side.
Kaine Stevens was his usual dominant self, racking up an impressive 35 disposals and receiving best on ground honours.
Tasmania simply had too many talls up forward, and the Eastern’s defence wasn’t strong enough. Sonny Whiting and Mitchell Thorpe were both impressive young stars for Tasmania, and kicked three and six goals respectively.
However, best on ground for Tasmania was Bart McCulloch who kicked three majors while also managing 23 disposals from the Ruck.
Other players who performed well included Matt O’Dwyer and Aaron Vandenberg, both picking up a lot of the ball and providing good run through the midfield.
Goals: Josh Bennett 4, Andrew Dess 2, William Griggs 2
Best: Kaine Stevens, John Van Meurs, Matthew O’Dywer, Timothy Barton, Aaron Vandenberg, Williams Griggs
Goals: Mitchell Thorp 6, Bart McCulloch 3, Sonny Whiting 3, Jay Blackberry 2, Brady Jones 1
Best: Bart McCulloch, Mitchell Thorp, Nick McKenna, Samuel Carins, Jaye Bowden, Darren Banham