The Dandenong Stingrays consolidated a place in the top eight with a convincing victory against the Bendigo Pioneers. The Stingrays dominated the game from the start and were too big and strong in all areas of the ground. A lack of discipline from the Pioneers didn’t help their cause with the Stingrays taking full advantage. Despite the best efforts of Fitzgerald, Schumacher, Henderson, Miliado and Farrell, the likes of Piper, D’Arcy and Clarke were too slick for the Pioneers.
Here are the players that impressed on the day:
HUNTER CLARK | DANDENONG | DEF/MID | 26/03/99 | 186CM | 79KG
Clarke impressed me from the get go on Sunday. I had reservations about him being a first round draft pick but he was superb against the Pioneers. His kicking has been questionable but he used the ball well and his strength in and around contests was first class. He appears to have grown and got stronger since I last saw him. Going on the weekend’s performance he is a player that should go in the 10-20 range in the draft.
REECE PIPER | DANDENONG | DEF/MID | 30-12-98 | 178CM | 79KG
The 19 year old showed why he was brought back to the TAC Cup as an overage player this season. He continually used his strength around the stoppages, linking with his team mates and dangerously kept putting the ball to good use into the Stingrays forward half. I particularly liked his ‘burst’ from stoppages and his composure with ball in hand. Piper is an imposing figure on the field and another to watch in the last half of the season.
RILEY D’ARCY| DANDENONG | FWD | 23-10-99 | 189CM | 90KG
D’Arcy was terribly unlucky to miss Vic Country selection and he showed why on Sunday. He dominated the forward half for the Stingrays in the air and he can be just as dangerous at ground level. D’arcy finished his day with three goals but it was his movement and ball use that was really impressive. In my opinion D’arcy is certainly in the draft frame.
KANE FARRELL| BENDIGO | MID | 17-03-99 | 180CM | 72KG
Farrell was a steady contributor for the Pioneers against the Stingrays. He has pace, is a smooth mover and can hurt the opposition when he has the ball. His kicking is regarded as elite however he uncharacteristically turned the ball over several times on the weekend. His running goal was a highlight and his next month with Vic Country will determine where he falls in the draft.
ANGUS SCHUMACHER| BENDIGO | DEF/MID | 16-03-99 | 189CM | 76KG
Another Vic Country member, Schumacher had a steady game on the weekend. Like Farrell, he is a nice left foot kick and can find the football. He could damage the opposition by feeding the ball off quicker at times, as he can hold onto it for too long. Schumacher has the size and skill set to develop really well in the back half of the season, especially if he can make quicker decisions.
LAINE FITZGERALD| BENDIGO | MID | 16-01-99 | 177CM | 75KG
Fitzgerald has had an arduous campaign in the first half of the season. He has represented the GWS Academy with aplomb and is now attempting to fit back into the Pioneers team as the ‘skipper’. Despite not having a huge impact on the weekend, he is an accumulator of the football and has a hard edge around the contest. A fiercely driven individual, Fitzgerald will be one to watch if he gets his opportunity for the Allies during the Nationals.
Other notable contributors:
Wade Donnan (Bendigo), Jose Miliada (Bendigo), Zane Keighran (Bendigo), Ali Zijai (Dandenong), Tom De Koning (Dandenong), Tom Murphy (Dandenong), Mitch Cotter (Dandenong).