In a battle for a top four spot, Gippsland Power retained its second place on the table, and gained some breathing space with a victory over Western Jets. The Power burst out of the blocks with a five goals to two first term, before maintaining their advantage heading into the half with a 20-point lead despite inaccuracy on the scoreboard (3.8 in the second quarter). It was the third term which was the difference however, as Gippsland slammed home six goals to zero to blow the margin out to 57 points by the final break. Both teams booted 3.3 in the last quarter, but it was too little, too late for the Jets as Gippsland enjoyed its eighth win of the season.
Noah Gown was the star for Gippsland, booting five goals in a dominant performance up forward for the Power, as well as taking seven marks (two contested) and 18 disposals. Austin Hodge had 25 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and two goals, while captain Xavier Duursma also booted two goals from 26 disposals and four marks, having four clearances and five inside 50s as well. Matthew McGannon was superb off half-back, using the ball at 78 per cent with his 23 disposals, seven marks, and covered ground with seven inside 50s and five rebounds. Irving Mosquito (14 disposals, eight inside 50s and a goal) and Boadie Motton (22 disposals and seven marks) were others who impressed for the winners.Peter Williams
The exciting bottom ager started in the midfield and won some heavy clearances early in the uncharacteristically muddy Morwell centre square. He struggled to have his normal influence offensively on the game, but still fought hard without the ball to finish with eight tackles which included a physical holding the ball free kick on Xavier O’Halloran in the final term.
Coming off an impressive campaign for Vic Country, Duursma’s first game back for Gippsland saw him continue on that outstanding form. Starting at the stoppages he proved his all round ability, winning the ball in tight, spreading to space and putting his body on the line when required. He ran both directions, on occasions sitting in the hole to help his defenders while also drifting forward to hit the scoreboard with two goals. His 26 disposals were the most on the ground in an very well rounded outing.
After some injury interruptions, the dangerous small forward is starting to build some consistent and very relevant form. He only kicked the one goal, but his direct impact on Gippsland’s scoreboard was massive. He started off with a brilliant crumb and goal in the first term, and followed that shortly after with run and carry through the middle of the ground to hit Marcus Toussaint inside 50 for an eye catching goal assist. A smart little left foot snap to Duursma in the second quarter set up another goal, before he was pushed into the midfield where he excelled at the stoppages. In the third term he won a superbly clean stoppage, exploded into space with two bounces and drew an up the ground free due to pure opposition panic. It was one of his best four quarter efforts and with Hawthorn having first rights due to the Next Generation Academy, Mozzie could be a direct replacement for Cyril.
Not Smith’s best day offensively from the back half with a couple of poor turnovers going the other direction with speed. He was solid defensively and made life difficult on numerous opponents, despite Hamish Murphy taking a strong one on one mark against him late in the goal square. He has already proven to be a promising prospect for next year and is sure to provide further evidence to end 2018.
It was another admirable performance by Smith in the ruck against a larger and older opponent in Darren Walters. Giving up six centimetres, eight kilogramss and nearly 30 months in age, the bottom-ager fought and competed all day to help give his midfielders an even contest. He took some strong grabs around the ground and hit the packs with physicality. Moved forward later in the game, presented and stuck some nice marks in his more familiar position.
Returning from a subluxed shoulder injury suffered while representing Vic Country, McGannon was back behind the ball, a position he has made his own in the last 12 months. As we have come to expect, he used the ball superbly on either side of his body, whether rebounding from defence or penetrating the forward arc, as he did on seven occasions. He won 23 disposals and looks set to finish the season in style.
The Warragul local has to be one of the most improved players in the competition as he went on to kick five goals in a best on ground performance. He had a huge presence inside 50, visually demanded the ball and was rarely, if ever, beaten aerially. Two early goals saw Buku Khamis go to the talented basketballer and it was a fascinating contest for the rest of the day. Despite the quality opponent, Gown kept presenting and getting his hands to the ball in scoring positions. When the ball hit the ground, he had the agility to follow up cleanly and either score himself or handball to teammates in better positions. He finished with 18 disposals, seven marks, three goal assists and could have easily ended with seven goals with some non-scoring set shots. Growing with confidence!
Coming off a brilliant Championships for Vic Country where he earned All Australian honours, the inform key defender was solid as usual. Manning up mostly on the talent Emerson Jeka, Reid kept his opponent relatively under wraps despite the bottom aged forward taking some nice marks. Reid looks confident and is starting to get more involved by creating an option when the ball is moving offensively. He is rarely beaten one on one and took a smart contested intercept mark in that situation during the third term.
Playing only his second game, the indigenous 2019-eligible Hood has immediately looked right at home at this level and turned some heads in doing so. Starting mostly at the stoppages, the inside midfielder has genuine smarts and offensive tricks in traffic, but also goes hard at the contest. He brilliantly released a handball over his head from a clearance with class in the first term and side stepped around an opponent easily during a second quarter scoring chain. While resting forward in the second half, he spun out of trouble and calmly handballed to Bailey Beck who rewarded the good work with a goal. He finished with 21 disposals, four clearances, eight tackles and six inside 50s and at 185cm, is a prospect to keep an eye on.
It was just another clean, efficient and consistent performance on the wing from Motton, who continues to have an unheralded impact on games. His one touch gathers were particularly important in the first half as he released his teammates into space, resulting in many scoring involvements. His decisions were elite at times and he used the ball superbly, operating at 87 per cent throughout the day by hand and foot from his 22 disposals.Craig Byrnes
Match review taken from article written by Peter Williams reporting for AFL Draft Central. To view original article in full online visit https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/07/24/weekend-wash-up-tac-cup-round-12b/
Scouting notes taken from article written by Craig Byrnes reporting for AFL Draft Central. To view original article in full online visit https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/07/23/scouting-notes-tac-cup-round-12b/
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