Gippsland held on against the Northern Knights. The Power were well represented around the ground, with Jacob Konstanty and Zane Duursma a real handful up forward, and Bailey Humphrey offering plenty of drive from the midfield – playing less time forward compared to recent weeks.

Northern had a few players make the Gippsland team nervous, with forward Anthony Caminiti a real threat, and ruck combo Will Green and Flynn Riley competing well against a strong Gippsland tall division. Father-son prospect Cooper Harvey found a bit of the ball but his kicking often let him down at times, while elusive wingman Darcy Edmends had a strong second half, using the ball well and showing his great composure on the outside.

Excerpt taken from article published by Rookie Me Central, which can be viewed in full here.

#5 Bailey Humphrey

The potential top 10 pick was busy throughout the match, and while he could not quite repeat his 4.5 haul against the Knights last time, still got his hands on the ball plenty rotating between midfield and forward. He kicked the one behind after a good grab inside 50, and his hands were again a menace for the opposition with several contested marks in dangerous spots. His kicking is still scratchy at times but did produce a nice pass inside 50 off his left, and was able to get it to Konstanty inside 50 at another point in the second term. He took the game on and even found himself helping defend in the last quarter, running off the half-back line to thump it as far as he could. In the end he had his fair share of not only disposals, but also inside 50 entries.

#7 Jacob Konstanty

Lively and exciting across the match, Konstanty had some big moments, but few were bigger than his third term goal. When his side needed someone to stand up, Konstanty delivered, taking a good mark 40 metres out on a 45-degree angle, and calmly slotting the goal. He missed a couple of chances earlier in the game when presented with them, but he always looked dangerous. His high-level footy IQ was on show inside 50, and his clean hands at ground level were crucial. Had he made more of his chances earlier in the game, Konstanty could have finished with a big haul, but he provided plenty of dash and brought his defensive pressure, laying a game-high seven tackles.

#9 Zane Duursma

Duursma started off the game like a house on fire, being involved in just about everything early. Like many of his teammates, Duursma rotated positions in the forward half and had his chances but missed a couple of chances including two behinds and one out on the full. Involved in the final kick of the game, Duursma took a strong mark inside 50 and converted the set shot after the final siren to put the icing on the cake for the Power. Despite definitely having bigger games, Duursma was always thereabouts and capable of breaking the game open.

#10 Jonti Schuback

Covering the ground well, Schuback was able to win the ball out of defence, but also hold a high line when required and roll through the midfield and even have a shot on goal after a tackle inside 50. That set shot missed to the right, but his evasion and highlights – which included an eye-catching speccy in the second term – were again on show. He finished with a handy 22 touches and five marks, working the ground well and just getting into the right spots. He did have a couple of forgettable turnovers by foot, but aside from those, was reliable with ball in hand.

#15 Coby Burgiel

Just plays his role each week, Burgiel provides that hardness through the middle and can rest forward like so many other Power players. Missing a set shot in the opening term after a good lead and mark 35 metres out, Burgiel was involved in play through the middle, often getting it forward and showing desperation. Though he did not hit the scoreboard with a major in the elimination final, Burgiel was able to win the ball with consistency, cleanly getting it at ground level and working hard defensively as well.

#20 Thomas Hamilton

One of the surprise packets from the match was Gippsland forward Hamilton who kicked a nice goal from a set shot 35 metres out in the second term, then did it again from a near-identical range in the third quarter. He almost completed a massive leap on the wing but could not quite pull it down, then won a free kick inside 50 on a tight angle within range but opted to pass rather than go for his third. He almost dribbled home a winner lat in the game from outside the goalsquare, but was tackled and it bounced across the face. Hamilton finished with 12 disposals, four marks and 2.1 playing just his second game in the past couple of months.

#27 Cooper Vickery

A workhorse with his ground coverage, Vickery was a consistent ball-winner in each third of the ground. He would springboard out of defence, often teaming up with Max Walton to provide run in transition, then thump it inside 50 on a few occasions. He knows how to get into dangerous positions and just mops up from the back half, and had the game sense to chew time off the clock in the final term as Gippsland looked to hold onto their lead. Another 20-disposal game from the top-ager.

#40 Max Knobel

A high-upside prospect, Knobel does a lot of things right, and once again he provided a target around the ground and through the ruck. Teaming up with Harvey Howe in the ruck, Knobel won his fair share of hitouts (14), but his around the ground capacity stood out, pulling down four marks from 11 disposals. He provides a contest each time when forward, and his ability to crash a pack in the second term allowed Vinnie Caia to snap a great goal. At times, Knobel would win the ball out of the ruck and slam it on the boot to escape the contest, with the 204cm talent a long-term prospect but one with draftable qualities.

Excerpt taken from article published by Rookie Me Central, which can be viewed in full here.


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