PREVIEW | Country regions take centre stage in Round 12

ROUND 12 of the Coates Talent League is an all-Country affair, with each of the six regions taking centre stage. Two games will take place at Shepley Oval, the first of which sees home side Dandenong Stingrays take on Bendigo Pioneers. We preview the clash and take a look around the grounds.

>> Scouting Notes: CTL R12 – Sandringham vs. Oakleigh

  • Team
  • Dandenong Stingrays
  • Bendigo Pioneers

Saturday June 22, 2:10pm @ Shepley Oval


Bendigo Pioneers will look to snap a four-game losing streak when they travel to face Dandenong Stingrays, who have won two on the trot and drew last time out at Shepley Oval.


Dandenong Stingrays: 8th | 4-3-1 | 108.3% | LLWWLDWW
Bendigo Pioneers: 11th | 4-4 | 96.3% | WWWWLLLL


Dandenong Stingrays:

B: #7 C. Rowe, #5 R. Andrew, #46 J. Long
HB: #49 T. Sinnema, #37 C. Orchard, #63 Q. Harvey
C: #35 J. Barnes, #45 E. Pickett, #8 N. Hibbins-Hargreaves
HF: #40 N. Marchant, #39 S. Campbell-Farrell, #54 T. Hose
F: #14 H. Hayes, #65 T. Ah-Mu, #26 T. Sullivan
FOL: #22 J. Doherty, #10 B. Hopkins, #12 T. De La Rue

INT: #28 L. Roe, #34 L. Hodder, #48 S. Cleary, #50 T. Anic, #59 R. Hilliard, #13 K. Lovett

Bendigo Pioneers:

B: #11 C. Evans, #37 N. Jephson, #17 L. Hogan
HB: #42 J. Barrat, #44 Z. Lockwood, #36 X. Carter
C: #27 C. King, #32 A. Watt, #1 O. Morris
HF: #13 J. Daniels, #12 J. Shanahan, #16 L. Gronow
F: #2 A. Day-Wicks, #38 J. O’Shannessy, #33 D. Jones
FOL: #45 T. Bond, #4 T. Evans, #26 T. Rutledge

INT: #7 P. Blake, #9 H. Wright, #20 E. Curran, #46 S. Watson, #47 W. Bennett, #49 G. Hay


Both sides will be without their captains and arguably most valuable players respectively. Dandenong duo Harvey Langford and Cooper Hynes will take a rest along with Vic Country teammate and Bendigo utility Tobie Travaglia, but plenty of quality remains.

The APS break means Xavier College pair Tom Evans and Archie Watt become available to the Pioneers. Both have been named in midfield. Bottom-ager Liam Gronow is another handy inclusion up forward, set to feature in his first Coates Talent League game of the season.

In terms of star power, Jobe Shanahan and Archer Day-Wicks are set to star in the same forwardline. The former’s Allies teammate Lachlan Hogan is locked in down back along with swingman James Barrat, who will again audition in a new role amid his Vic Country duties.

Ben Hopkins is set for a midfield stint | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Without Langford and Hynes, Ben Hopkins looks poised to take on added responsibility in Dandenong’s midfield alongside Elwood Peckett. Over-agers Jordan Doherty (ruck) and Riak Andrew (defence) also have big roles to play as key position pillars of the side.

The Stingrays’ most significant APS addition is ruck-forward Tairon Ah-Mu. The imposing tall has booted 10 goals in four Coates Talent League games this season. Fellow bottom-ager Noah Hibbins-Hargreaves will also press his case for Vic Country selection on the wing.


Recent form points towards a comfortable Dandenong win here, with Bendigo entering a losing skid since starting the season 4-0. Though, the Stingrays’ outs will hurt and the Pioneers’ ins are arguably more impactful. Pioneers by 12.

GWV’s Harry Charleson gets a kick away | Image credit: Rookie Me Central


With Vic Metro turning out in the Under 18 National Championships, only Country regions will feature in the Coates Talent League this week. The inverse will occur in Round 13 as Vic Country travels to Perth to clash with Western Australia at Claremont Oval on Saturday June 29.

After Dandenong and Bendigo take to Shepley Oval this Saturday, Gippsland Power and Geelong Falcons are set to do the same on Sunday afternoon. Both sides are coming off strong wins last week and sit level on 6-2 records, with the Falcons boasting a superior percentage in third place.

Murray Bushrangers and GWV Rebels will take part in Sunday’s other fixture, at Windy Hill. The Bushies had a four-game win streak snapped last week, while the Rebels are beginning to regain some of their top talent and will look to quickly improve a disappointing 1-8 record.


Friday June 7
Sandringham Dragons 13.11 (89) def. Oakleigh Chargers 13.5 (83)
6:30pm @ RSEA Park

Saturday June 22
Dandenong Stingrays vs. Bendigo Pioneers
2:10pm @ Shepley Oval

Sunday June 23
Gippsland Power vs. Geelong Falcons
12:00pm @ Shepley Oval

Murray Bushrangers vs. GWV Rebels
1:10pm @ Windy Hill

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