The Gippsland Power took another important step towards finals by defeating the Bendigo Pioneers by almost three goals in Ballarat on Sunday. The final margin was held for most of the day, although the Pioneers challenged at times. Despite the inclusions of Brent Daniels, Jarrod Brander, Jye Caldwell and Paddy Dow, the Power won the big moments to ensure the 4 points. For the Pioneers, the loss will see them claim the Wooden Spoon unless they can conjure a win against the top placed Oakleigh Chargers this weekend.
Nick Hogan | Mid | 175cm | 78kg
( 12 Kicks, 11 handballs, 1 goal)
Nick Hogan showed why he is starting to pop up on the radar of recruiters on the weekend. The son of local Gippsland star, and former Sydney Swan, Damian, Nick was dynamic on the weekend. He consistently burst from stoppages with pace and his run and carry into the forward half was damaging. A classy mover with great skills, Hogan accumulated 23 disposals, kicked a great goal, and was involved in four scoring assists. His clearance work was of high quality and he finished with six clearances for the day.
Callum Porter | Mid | 181cm | 73kg
( 13 Kicks, 9 Handballs)
Porter once again did his draft chances no harm. His last few months have been excellent and his performance on the weekend was classy. Porter finished the day with 22 disposals, but like Hogan, he took advantage of the Power’s ruck dominance to pump the ball six times to his forwards. A composed ball user, Porter has some very good qualities including winning his ‘own’ ball.
Jack Hudson | Fwd | 180cm | 80kg
( 10 Kicks, 3 Handballs, 3 Goals)
Hudson was the difference between the two teams in the end with his ability to kick an important goal when his team needed it. A busy forward, Hudson also placed great pressure on the opposition defence with his pace and tackling pressure. Hudson sealed the game for the Power when he intercepted a kick in from the Pioneers and converted to put the result beyond doubt. Hudson is a damaging forward if afford time and space and his ability to turn the ball over in the Power forward half was a highlight of the match.
Boadie Motton | Mid | 176cm | 68kg
( 9 Kicks, 10 handballs)
Motton was an important player for the Power on the weekend. He was very composed when under pressure and made some great decisions with ball in hand. He has a nice mix between contested ball and also getting on the outside. he is also prepared to get to the ‘Coal face ‘ and lay effective tackles. A very encouraging performance.
Caleb Serong | Fwd | 176cm | 69kg
( 8 Kicks,13 Handballs)
Serong was a consistent contributor for the Power on the weekend. He was terrific around the clearances, either winning them or putting physical pressure on his opponents. He has a nice balance between contested and uncontested possessions and he puts his body on the line when required. Serong is an excellent linking player and he uses his hands well to bring others into the game, especially in contested situations.He would benefit from working on his kicking effectiveness, although many of his kicks are under pressure around the contest.
Liam Carroll | Def | 182cm | 70kg
( 6 kicks, 1 handball)
Although Carroll did not accumulate big numbers on the weekend, he showed enough as a defender to be named in the Power’s best 6 on the day. He defended well and his impact on high balls coming in was significant. Carroll also rebounded out of the defensive 50 on four occasions. Carroll showed poise under pressure and wasn’t flustered when the Pioneers challenged.
Jye Caldwell | Mid | 181cm | 78kg
(6 Kicks, 15 handballs)
The well built bottom- ager, showed why he is an AIS member with a very good game against the Power. Caldwell brought his teammates into the game with his linking handball and pace from the contest. Caldwell excelled around the stoppages and finished with six clearances in a great all round game. There isn’t much to dislike about his game and he seems to go up another ‘gear’ when the heat is really on. He has a great temperament and plays a team game. Caldwell has all the attributes to be a future top 10 prospect in 2018.
Paddy Dow | Mid | 184cm | 78kg
( 15 kicks, 20 handballs)
Dow really took his game to another level against Gippsland in a consummate all round performance, that highlighted the possibility that he could be the number one choice at this year’s draft. In my opinion, he was the most damaging player on the ground, accumulating possessions at will and dominating the clearances, despite the Pioneers being out sized in the ruck. Dow also kicked two goals and his explosiveness from stoppages was a pleasure to watch. Dow has great agility, uses the ball well and is also very good above his head in marking contests. Many football followers would’ve walked away from Ballarat very impressed with his game.
Jarrod Brander | Def/Fwd | 195cm | 90kg
(11 Kicks ,10 handballs)
Is he a forward or a defender? That is the question that is being asked about Brander at the moment. Stationed at centre-half forward, Brander played a very good game. He manages to get separation on his opponents and his lead up marking was very hard to contain. Brander is another player that seems to like the game going up a notch and he attempted to put his stamp on the game when it was in the balance. Brander kicked two very nice goals and missed one that he would kick most weeks. The questions about him being a top 10 choice in the draft were definitely answered in his first TAC Cup game of the season.
Austin Mertz | Def | 189cm | 90kg
(9 kicks, 9 handballs)
Mertz has become a very important defender for the Bendigo Pioneers as the season has progressed. A tall defender with pace, he has the capacity to close time and space on opponents. Mertz, rebounded the ball well on the weekend with 5 defensive rebounds. He still has some rawness about his game and needs to get his kicking to an elite level to become an even better player. You cannot, however question his commitment to the team and contest.
Darby Henderson | Mid | 176cm | 72kg
(10 Kicks, 17 Handballs)
Averaging 29 disposals a game, Henderson was once again a very good contributor for the Pioneers. His work in and around the contest was very good and his ability to find team mates with his hands is excellent. Often found at the bottom of the packs , Henderson has the hardness and physical presence to allow others to come into the game. Having an exceptional year, Henderson is leading the stats in the competition and will be looking at a solid finish to a terrific season.
Brent Daniels | Fwd | 172cm | 70kg
( 8 kicks, 11 handballs)
Daniels was a solid contributor for the Pioneers against the Power. Despite not picking up huge numbers, he was still able to influence the contest with two goals, an area in which he excels. I would’ve liked to have seen him go through the midfield or even play off half back where he can be even more damaging. Daniels can cut sides to pieces with his explosive run and carry and can hit the scoreboard even if playing back.