TAC Cup – Round 1  Western Jets vs Northern Knights

Updated: March 28, 2017

This game was played with high intensity with both teams wanting to prove a point from the very start. A physical contest with both teams providing a hard contest and you could feel the tension building with many hard tackles and little scuffles showing that both these teams wanted to make a statement. Every goal was celebrated with real emotion, with the 3rd quarter one of the better quarters of footy I’ve seen at TAC level. In the end there were too many stars having an influence for the Knights with too much left to the likes of Lachlan Fogarty and Cameron Rayner for the Jets.

Northern Knights 14 12 96

Western Jets 12 8 80

Goal Scorers

Western Jets: Lachlan Fogarty 2, Cameron Rayner 2, Judan Dundon 2, Buku Khamis, Jake Hazik, Brock McGregor, Zak Butters, Tristan Xerri, Nicholas Stuhldrier

Northern Knights: Nicholas Coffield 4, Patrick Naish 2, Braedyn Gillard 2, Matthew Harman, Marcus Lentini, Vince Nativo, Jamison Shea, Sam Binion, Alex Federico

Best Players

Western Jets: Lachlan Fogarty, Cameron Rayner, Luke Hitch, Judah Dundon, Zak Butters, Jaden Rice

Northern Knights: Nicholas Coffield, Max Dreher, Patrick Naish, Alex Federico, Joel Grace, Tynan Smith

14. Lachlan Fogarty – 179cm – Midfield

Fogarty was incredible in the midfield, showing his impressive craft in the clearances and he hurt the Knights going forward on multiple occasions, kicking 2 impressive goals. Fogarty was clean and sharp with ball in hand, with incredible vision to win a hard clearance and dish of a kick or handball most players wouldn’t even see. Fogarty won clearance after clearance and even with a player on him he would still find a way to win the ball, a very impressive display first up.

19. Cameron Rayner – 187cm – Midfield/Forward

Rayner showed why he is considered in the top bracket of this years draft with his aerial dominance and ball wining ability on show. Rayner played mostly in the midfield where he won plenty of ball on the inside and outside, showing his composure and agility, he was able to avoid tacklers with ease and took the time to be clean by hand and foot with his skills a standout of his game. Rayner took some impressive marks and he turned the game on its head in the 3rd kicking some nice goals.

5. Luke Hitch – 176cm – Midfield

Hitch was a workhorse in the midfield, showing off his impressive skills and ability to with the hard ball despite his light frame. Hitch was clean in the contest with his work by hand first class, not missing a single target by hand. Hitch worked hard defensively, laying some great tackles to go along with his strength at ground level and in the marking contest, which will endear him to recruiters. I don’t think he lost a single contest in that regard and he certainly looks a likely prospect.

11. Zak Butters – 177cm – Forward

Butters is a 2018 prospect and certainly looks a player to watch this year. He showed impressive skill and was very clean with ball in hand. Butters played mostly half forward where he used his clean hands and good speed to get separation and take some nice marks, while also being clean at ground level. To go with his attack on the ground ball, he shows great stability and composure when delivery the ball by foot. He is one to watch in 2017, but it will be interesting to see if he is moved in to the midfield, and how he handles the extra pressure in 2018.

36. Jaden Rice – 186cm – Half Back

Rice was fantastic down back taking plenty of good intercept and contested marks, showing his strength in the contest, using his body well. Rice looked like a seasoned player with his strength overhead in the marking contest while keeping his composure and rarely flustered with ball in hand. If Rice can grow a few more cm’s he could become a decent option as a key defender or at least a 3rd tall, along the lines of Western Bulldogs Defender, Dale Morris. He has a good frame and skill level and one ill keep a good eye on as the year goes on.

8. Nick Coffield – 190cm – Utility

Coffield was the difference in the end kicking 4 late goals to seal the game for the Knights. The Knights captain did it at both ends after showing his class down back he was moved forward in the 2nd half and was super dangerous coming out of Full Forward. Coffield showed incredible balance and moved extremely well considering his 190cm frame. His balance helps his kicking stay straight which was certainly a feature coming out of defensive 50. His balance once again was on show when he went forward, in one instance pulling off a wonderful spinning move in the pocket and then running into goal. Coffield looks set to rise up the rankings.

4. Max Dreher – 183cm – Half Back/Midfield

Dreher was brilliant at half back showing composure and clean ball use. Dreher created some great rebound to go with his impressive intercept marking and dash. His ability to find a target by foot made him a constant threat and he set up many of Knights counterattack. He later went in the midfield where he looked just as impressive and he certainly had recruiters talking after the game

6. Patrick Naish (F/S)– 180cm – Forward/Midfield

Naish showed his class up forward kicking 2 great goals and setting up a lot of play switching into the midfield. Naish has a great mix of speed and skill which he showed in spades again on the weekend. Starting forward, Naish showed he can play all over the ground, proving to be solid in front of goal or in general play and someone the Knights looked to have the ball as often as possible. A criticism has been his work on the inside, but he laid some good tackles and certainly went in hard when it was his turn to do so. Regardless, he is much better utilized on the outside and an exciting prospect for the Tigers.

9. Alex Federico – 184cm – Midfield

Federico had the ball on a string, winning the ball on the inside and outside and taking plenty of marks around the ground. Federico has a knack of knowing where the ball is going to be and he went forward on plenty of occasions taking some nice marks and setting up a lot of goals. Federico may not be on many recruiters radars early, but if he puts in more games like this he will certainly be in the mix on draft night.

1. Joel Grace – 199cm – Ruckman

Grace was fantastic in the ruck winning plenty of tap outs and having an influence when the ball hit the ground. Grace used the ball extremely well with his work by hand and clean hands a feature all day. Grace took some great marks around the ground and just looked slick. He certainly had scouts watching closely, looking impressive every time he was around the ball. With his combination of quality ruck work and ball use, contests against the likes of Sam Hayes will be an interesting one to watch during the season.

Written by: Ed Pascoe (@charbox2)

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*The opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer and not Over The Line Sports or AFL Draft Hub

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