The Dandenong Stingrays flexed their muscles against an underwhelming Bendigo Pioneers outfit on Saturday. The Stingrays had contributors all over the ground and were superbly led by Hunter Clark, who dominated proceedings from the start. The Pioneers relied on too few to get their hands dirty and failed to defend with any real urgency. Farrell, D Henderson and Rhys Mutch showed some good signs under pressure. Nevertheless, the Stingrays were extremely well organised and played the game on their terms from start to finish. They now find themselves consolidated in fifth position whilst the Pioneers have tumbled to the bottom of the ladder.
HUNTER CLARK | 186cm | 79KG | Midfielder
Clarke played one of the best individual TAC games I have seen this year. He dominated the game in the middle of the ground and pushed forward to kick two goals. Clarke also drifted back into defence to help his team rebound and his composure under pressure was excellent. Clarke has had a knock on his kicking but he generally used the ball well by foot. His willingness to push himself to contests and impact them was first class. Clarke could well be pushing himself into top ten calculations.
RILEY D’ARCY | 189 cm | 90KG | Forward
D’Arcy had a formidable presence in the Stingrays forward line on the weekend. He marked very strongly on several occasions and he worked very hard as a key forward to provide an avenue to goal for his team. D’Arcy kicked 4 goals himself and was named second best after Clarke. I believe that D’Arcy could be a very good key forward at the next level if he continues the form that he showed on Saturday.
FINLAY BAYNE | 176 cm | 68kg | Forward
Payne really caught my eye as a bottom age boy. He has pace and he is a very dangerous smaller forward, hitting the scoreboard three time. Bayne also linked well with his team mates and was involved in many scoring chains. Bayne could be a player that comes onto the radar in the 2018 season for AFL recruiters. A lively player that has great goal sense, Bayne will be a handful for opposition sides in the future.
KANE FARRELL | 180cm | 72KG | Back
Farrell was once again a very good player for the Pioneers after starting the year off slowly. Farrell rebounded well off half back and used his speed to take several runs down the ground. I think he can improve his game further with a mix of mid to long kicks as he always goes the long option. Nevertheless, Farrell is a classy mover with great skills and he will be a very good pick up for an AFL club looking for a rebounding defender.
RHYS MUTCH | 187cm | 71KG | Back
Rhys Mutch is the younger brother of last years Bendigo Pioneer draftee, Kobe. After a slow start to the year, Mutch has found plenty of the ball at half back. Like his brother, he has a great work ethic and is very good by foot and a very good decision maker. Despite only playing a handful of games this year, Mutch is a classy player who would benefit with another season of TAC football as a 19 year old. I believe he is a late developer and could possibly emerge further next season.
ANGUS SCHUMACHER | 189cm | 76kg | Midfielder
Schumacher was serviceable on the weekend for the Pioneers. He started the game well picking up five disposals in the first few minutes. He has a penetrating left foot kick and is often stacking up good disposal numbers. Nevertheless, he turned the ball over often by foot on the weekend and needs to make quicker decisions with ball in hand. By feeding off quicker by hand he will bring others into the game. An interesting last few weeks lie ahead for Schumacher. A strong finish will see his draft stocks rise, however, if he doesn’t use the ball well by foot he could slide down the draft boards. He has the potential to be a very good player at AFL level.