Jovan Petric kicked 1.3 as the Western Jets stunned the Geelong Falcons at Avalon Airport Oval on Friday night. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos

WESTERN JETS 11.5 (71)

WESTERN responded to the challenge of falling to the bottom of the NAB League ladder in fine style, climbing straight back off the canvas with a stunning two-point upset of Geelong at Avalon Airport Oval on Friday night.

The Falcons were bidding to return to the top three with just two rounds remaining in the season but were ambushed by the Jets, who kicked four goals to one in each of the first two quarters to lead by 36 points at half-time before withstanding a desperate late fightback.

Will Baker brought Geelong within a point at the 16-minute mark of the last quarter and the visitors looked likely to run over the top, but Jets leading goalkicker Logan Morris responded with his third goal in the 21st minute and it was enough to hold off the 24th-minute strike from Osca Riccardi in a heartstopping finish.

Jake Smith was outstanding under the packs for Western, finishing with 27 disposals – 10 more than his previous best – plus six marks and seven tackles, while defenders Darcy Weeks (22, five marks, six rebounds) and Cameron Kizan (19, 10 tackles, seven rebounds) also had the best games of their NAB League careers, fellow backman Tom Rowland (18, six marks, six rebounds) was similarly impressive and Max Pritchard had 23 hitouts in his second game.

Jhye Clark (27 disposals, seven entries, two goals) and Ted Clohesy (30, eight entries, six tackles) were the catalyst for the Falcons’ comeback, with Patrick Hughes (23, eight entries, five tackles), Jet Kneebone (19, five tackles) and Joe Pike (28 hitouts) all playing strong roles, but they remain half a game behind third-placed Dandenong with one less game to play.

Tasmanian Devil Lachlan Cowan celebrates a goal in his team's dominant win over Calder Cannons. Picture: AFL Photos

GWV REBELS 11.16 (82)

GWV took Eastern’s spot in the top eight in the race for a Wildcard Weekend home final with a crucial 33-point win at Mars Stadium on Saturday.

The Rebels jumped the Ranges in the first quarter, kicking 5.6 to 1.1 and never looked back, only costing themselves a bigger win when they blazed a woeful 1.9 in the third term before straightening up with 4.1 to 3.2 in the last against the wind.

Rebel spearhead Aaron Cadman was a nightmare for Eastern with 23 disposals, six marks and six tackles, but he was also biggest offender in front of goals with 2.5, with Jamieson Ballantyne (21, eight marks, five entries, one goal), Joel Friejah (career-best 19, seven marks, 1.3), Alex Molan (20, six tackles), Williamstown defender Charlie Molan (18, five rebounds) and James Clark (six rebounds) also putting in crucial performances.

Lewis Hayes starred in defence for Eastern, picking up 26 possessions and eight rebounds and even sneaking forward for a goal, while Kai Windsor returned from his VFL debut with Box Hill Hawks to grab 21 touches, five entries, five rebounds and a goal and Trent Marotta (24, five marks), Harry Flynn (20, five entries) and Hayden Smith (15, six marks, two goals) could also hold their heads high.

Cannon Dane Whitnall kicks clear of Sam Banks-Smith and Ethan Hubbard. Picture: AFL Photos


TASMANIA consolidated second spot on the ladder ahead of its final game of the home-and-away season this week by crushing Calder by 83 points at Kingston’s Twin Oval on Saturday.

The Devils, who have the bye in the last round, blew the Cannons off the park from the start, keeping them goalless in the first half while adding nine of their own, capitalising on the dominance of being +85 in disposals, +37 marks, +26 tackles and +31 inside-50s, getting out by 85 points at the final change before Calder edged the last quarter.

Colby McKercher was unstoppable for Tasmania with 28 possessions, five tackles, 10 inside-50s and two goals to be best-on-ground, with Lachie Cowan (27, seven marks, six tackles, seven rebounds) not far behind in the backline, Jack Callinan (22, five marks, three goals) being dangerous up forward alongside Will Splann (four goals) and Fletcher Hooker (21, five marks, one goal), Luke Nicholson (19, nine marks, five entries, two goals), Mitchell Nicholas (19, 10 marks) and Liam Jones (21) also proving too good for the visitors.

Declan Willmore turned in a personal best 22 disposals and six marks to be Calder’s main contributor, with Matthew Foley (19, eight rebounds) battling manfully in defence, Kade Mueller (19, four marks), Caleb Burquest (16, seven marks, six tackles) and Luca Alessio (eight marks) also got involved.

Devil Jack Callinan takes a mark despite the spoiling attempt of Cannon Rye Penny. Picture: Steve Bell/AFL Photos


GIPPSLAND bounced back from its shock loss last week to hammer Northern by 100 points at Morwell on Saturday to all-but wrap up the minor premiership.

The Power kicked four goals to one in the first and third terms and six to two in the second and last quarters in a consistent performance to overwhelm the Knights, gathering a massive 143 more disposals and a whopping 60-24 discrepancy with inside-50s, and now only need to win one of their last two games to guarantee top spot entering the finals.

Bailey Humphrey had a career day for Gippsland, racking up 31 disposals, taking 12 marks, laying five tackles and kicking 4.5, while Jonti Schuback also had his best NAB League game with 36 possessions, 11 marks, eight entries and a goal.

Coby Burgiel (29 touches, six marks, 3.2), Zane Duursma (29, nine marks, 2.4), Paddy Cross (26, six marks, six tackles, one goal), Joel Scholtes (21, seven marks), Cooper Vickery (19, five marks) and Archer Reid (six marks, three goals) also did as they pleased.

Aleksandr D’Arro did his best to hold Gippsland at bay for the Knights with 28 disposals and eight rebounds in defence, with Jason McCormick (23, nine marks) having his most prolific game at the level and Jarred Seiter (19, five marks, one goal), Jack Rossimel (17, eight marks, five tackles), Nathan Raphael (17, seven marks, five rebounds) and Dane Harvey (eight marks) all battling hard.

Calder Cannon Shane Clough takes a tumble in a marking contest with Tasmanian Devil Will Splann. Picture: Steve Bell/AFL Photos

BYE: Bendigo Pioneers; Dandenong Stingrays; Murray Bushrangers; Oakleigh Chargers; Sandringham Dragons.


Devil Fletcher Hooker handballs under pressure from Cannon Matthew Gook. Picture: AFL Photos


ROUND 15: Saturday, August 6: Eastern Ranges v Sandringham Dragons (Box Hill, 11am); Northern Knights v Tasmania Devils (Genis Steel Oval, Preston, 12pm); Murray Bushrangers v Calder Cannons (Deakin Reserve, Shepparton, 1pm); Western Jets v Oakleigh Chargers (Williamstown, 2.15pm). Sunday, August 7: Dandenong Stingrays v Bendigo Pioneers (Shepley Oval, 11.45am, Herald Sun); Gippsland Power v GWV Rebels (Shepley Oval, 2.15pm, Herald Sun). Bye: Geelong Falcons bye.

NEXT WEEK: August 13-14: General bye

THEN: ROUND 16: Friday, August 19: Dandenong Stingrays v Gippsland Power (Skybus Stadium, 7.30pm). Saturday, August 20: Northern Knights v Western Jets (Genis Steel Oval, 10am) ; Sandringham Dragons v Oakleigh Chargers (RSEA Park, 12.30pm); Eastern Ranges v Calder Cannons (RSEA Park, 3pm). Sunday, August 21: Bendigo Pioneers v Murray Bushrangers (Queen Elizabeth Oval, 11.30am); GWV Rebels v Geelong Falcons (Queen Elizabeth Oval, 2pm). Bye: Tasmania Devils.

(All games are streamed live on the NAB League app except for the Herald Sun games, which are on that website).

Cannon Charles Bolmat drives a long kick into attack as Devil Jack Callinan gives chase. Picture: Steve Bell/AFL Photos


Brandon Leary kicks a goal for the Allies during the national championships. The Tasmanian Devil is a joint leader in the NAB League goalkicking. Picture: Kelly Barnes/AFL Photos

27: Zane Duursma (Gippsland) 2
Brandon Leary (Tasmania) 1
Aaron Cadman (GWV) 2
24: Will Splann (Tasmania) 4
Brady Wright (GWV) 0
Logan Morris (Western) 3
Harry Sheezel (Sandringham) bye
Ingo Dammersmith (Oakleigh) bye
Euriah Hollard (Geelong) 0
Tom Gillet (Geelong) dnp
17: Brayden George (Murray) bye
Jovan Petric (Western) 1
Beau Tedcastle (GWV) 2
Seth Campbell (Tasmania) 1
15: Charlie Clarke (Sandringham) bye
Fletcher Hart (Murray) bye
15: Bailey Humphrey (Gippsland) 4
Jerome Lawrence (Oakleigh) bye
Toby Murray (Murray) bye
Nick Watson (Eastern) dnp
15: Riley Weatherill (Eastern) dnp
14: Joeve Cooper (Murray) bye

Twitter: @BRhodesVFL

Tasmania's Mitchell Nicholas kicks towards goal. Picture: Steve Bell/AFL Photos
Devil Will Splann kicks one of his four goals. Picture: Steve Bell/AFL Photos
Cannon Rye Penny stretches for a strong defensive mark against Devils Seth Campbell and Will Splann. Picture: AFL Photos