It was a day to forget at UTAS Stadium last Saturday, with a young Magpies team outplayed by the reigning premiers, the Northern Bombers soaring to an 87-point win.

That result sets up a mouth-watering clash at KGV today, with the third-placed Glenorchy (8-4) welcoming fourth-placed Launceston (7-5), with the winner to leave the ground with the provisional double chance with five games remaining in the season.

There were some positive signs even in last week's heavy loss, Cal Daly in particular continuing his outstanding season with 28 possessions and 16 pressure acts.

Ben Kamaric (31 possessions) and Rhys Mott (29) continued their tireless seasons, while down back stand-in captain Josh Arnold was a rock all day long.

New faces
At the other end of the experience scale, 17-year-old first-gamer Nathan Blowfield made a solid debut in defence, as did 25-year-old basketball convert James Deegan.

"One of the positives that come out of injuries is players getting opportunities," coach Paul Kennedy said.

"Blowy is a great story, having not been a part of junior rep teams or the state academy programs, so for him to work his backside off in our junior program and now graduate to senior footy at 17 is a huge credit to him, and he certainly didn't look out of place."

Up forward Aiden Grace tried hard all day and finished with two goals, and he will be excited to welcome back partner-in-crime Jaye Bowden for the big clash against the Blues, with the star forward cleared to resume after sitting out last week with an ankle complaint.

Stars return
Bowden is one of five inclusions, alongside James Webb, Zac Webster, Sam Reeves and Bayley Bester, bringing much-needed reinforcements after the Pies headed to Launceston last week with 22 players on the sidelines.

The returning star power is no guarantee of victory against the Blues, however, who possess as much top-end talent as any team in the competition.

The Launy midfield is driven by ruckman Hamish Leedham, his favourite target being bull midfielder Jobi Harper, who has formed a great tandem with Clarence recruit Fletcher Seymour around stoppages.

They are complemented by the likes of classy veteran Tim Bristow, Brodie Palfreyman and emerging star Casey Brown, and that midfield group will provide a strong test for Kamaric, Mott, Webb, Daly, Cam Duffy, John Geard and the ever-improving Ryan Banks-Smith.

Up forward, Mitch Thorp, Jay Blackberry and Dylan Riley need no introduction, and their battle with the likes of Harrison Gunther, Trad Duggan, Arnold and Webster will be a feature of the game.

Be at KGV for the 2pm bounce, with the Jack Rough Function Room open to the public with the best, and warmest, view of the game, while next door the Kids Zone has great views of the footy and plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained.



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