TASSIE Mariners coach Adam Sanders is looking for a more competitive effort and an obvious want to playfor Tasmania when the state’s injury-hit under-18s take on Eastern Ranges in Melbourne on Sunday.
OUT: Launceston’s Jack Donnellan will miss the Tassie Mariners season and match on Sunday against the Eastern Ranges with an ACL injury.
The Map will be withoutHarrison Pearce (broken leg),Jack Donnellan (ACL),Nat Franklin (knee), Tyson Haslow (shoulder) due to injuryfor their first TAC encounter.
Tigers’ forwardHugh Dixon and Launceston’sTimAuckland, from the state’s under-16s program, will get a gig as a result.
The Mariners suffereda 117-point defeat in their opening hitout against Victorian division 1 outfitVic Metro a fortnight ago.
Sanders said the boys were “taught a lesson on how to run to and from the contest but also their physicality was much better than ours”.
“That is something we have always prided ourselves on as far as being a Tasmanian team, so that has been a big focus for our next game on Sunday and going forward,” Sanders said.
“Some guys have got to bounce back from a pretty poor performance.”
Sanders said the Eastern Ranges are a strong side with a two win, one loss ratio so far this season.
He predicted the Victorian side would finishinside the top four.
“They have got some good key tall forwards and a couple of real good midfielders as well,” Sanders said.
“We are under no illusions what sort of challenge this Sunday will be, but we will focus on our effortand want to really compete.
“At times the boys think that they are going away to play under-18s and it won’t be a physical match, but it is.
“They really hunt the ball, hunt their opponent and there is certainly a lot larger running component to the game –the boys run and create.”
Sanders said the injury toll will allow the state to expose as many players as possible to nationalunder-18s level.
He said Tasmania was lacking in height for 2016 and therefore wanted the squad to play a running game.
“It is all built around how we attack the ball and the opponent and defend to win the ball back.
“We know from past experiences when we have had really strong Mariners sides that if we don’t defend and don’t compete hard at the contest, it doesn’t matter what we do.
“Last year Kieren Lovell was our best player and he would play on their best midfielder, which teaches him what is required as well.
“We are certainly not changing that focus and mindset but with our lack of height we need to be willing to take a few more risks with the ball when we get the opportunity.”
The Mariners fly out on Saturday ready for the match at Box Hill City Oval.
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