Scouting Notes: Talent League Round 5 – Tasmania vs. Northern Territory
THERE was only one Coates Talent League fixture in Round 5 but Tasmania made the most of it, trouncing the Northern Territory Academy by 136 points at Highgate Recreation Reserve on Sunday. With at least six goals in every term, the Devils enacted an avalanche of goals to win 27.14 (176) to 6.4 (40). We noted some of the top performers from each side.
Northern Territory Academy
Fresh off his outing with the National Academy, Callinan dined out with seven goals against the NT. He’s usually a fast starter and lived up to that mantle on Sunday, booting the first three goals of the game within eight minutes, and four of Tasmania’s six in the opening term. He hit double digits for shots on goal but finished with seven-straight, looking most likely with snaps from the pocket or set shots within 35 metres. A thorn in the Thunder’s side, he got off the leash when leading and proved elusive with ball in hand, before also getting a run in midfield.
Payne was one of the many Devils who put up season-high numbers on Sunday, racking up 24 disposals, four rebound 50s and five inside 50s in a productive outing. The feature of Payne’s game was his overlap run, seeing the top-ager take hardly break stride when zipping past teammates from half-back, and even generating good drive from the kick-ins. He’s the type of player who enjoys carrying the ball and did so prolifically. Payne also got a run on the wing and snuck forward for a goal over the back in term three.
#5 Beau Nash
One of the Devils’ most prolific midfielders this season, Nash continued on his merry way in Round 5 with 28 disposals and eight inside 50s. With Tasmania quickly building up a head of steam, he wanted to get in on the action and drive his legs from stoppage, but looked far more effective when taking the first option and allowing others to do so. Having been caught in possession a few times, Nash adjusted well and began to play the basics. He nearly joined the scoring procession but missed his set shot opportunity in term two.
#8 James Leake
Leake is one who has perhaps gone under the radar as one of Tasmania’s better performed players, but got his chance to shine on Sunday. The defender started out with a terrific intercept mark from behind in defensive 50 and went on to distribute the ball nicely by foot. He was given a run through midfield after half time and got on the scoreboard with a nice finish on the run, before being shifted back to defence and bookending his game by leaping nicely at another intercept mark.
#19 Jack Dolliver
Now boasting seven goals in the last two games, Dolliver bagged four on Sunday with five scoring shots from eight disposals. While his scoreboard impact was impressive, the over-ager’s marking prowess was perhaps even more eye-catching. Clunking a series of strong grabs, the 184cm prospect was the beneficiary of two Callinan set shots which fell short, allowing him to soar and snap them up on the goalline. He was the embodiment of low-possession, high impact.
#27 Colby McKercher
McKercher ran riot with 32 disposals and 11 inside 50s on Sunday, proving a class above in his return game from National Academy duties. The top-age midfielder dominated at stoppage, using his speed to break away and proving just about untouchable in each burst. He probably didn’t show the opposition as much respect as he could have and looked to go alone on many instances, but could not be faulted for backing himself. Once on the outside, he used his kicking skills to hurt the NT, though couldn’t quite translate that into a goal which cruelly evaded him.
Northern Territory Academy:
After representing Australia with the National Academy last week, Turner proved a handy addition for the Northern Territory and finished as his side’s lone multiple goalkicker. Turner, who usually plies his trade with Norwood in the SANFL, was electric across half-forward and also enjoyed stints in midfield. Among his highlight reel was a goal from the centre square, which ran about 20 metres over the back and through the big sticks. That moment was indicative of the forward’s willingness to move the ball on quickly, and he seemed to thrive on every opportunity to get creative or take opponents on in the attacking half. A true bright spark.
#20 William Rowlands
Adding plenty of class and ball winning nous to the NT’s engine room, Rowlands also rested forward and snared a goal among his team-high 23 disposals. He won the first centre clearance of the match and pulled off the rare feat of catching McKercher holding-the-ball later on, before assisting Turner’s miraculous goal from the centre square. On a busy day for the top-ager, he took on a heap of responsibility around the ball and provided plenty of inspiration for his side when moving into attack.
RMC MEDAL VOTES:
5 – Colby McKercher (Tasmania Devils)
4 – Jack Callinan (Tasmania Devils)
3 – Geordie Payne (Tasmania Devils)
2 – Orlando Turner (Tasmania Devils)
1 – William Rowlands (Northern Territory)