Big brother is watch­ing

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - ADAM SMITH

THEY have been fierce com­peti­tors as brothers over the years, but now it gets re­ally se­ri­ous. Rhyce (inset) and Heath Shaw (main pic­ture) come face to face at Blund­stone Arena on Sun­day — Rhyce as coach of North Mel­bourne and Heath as a GWS de­fender. It’s just the lat­est chap­ter in the Shaw sib­ling ri­valry.

LESS than 12 months af­ter kick­ing the SFL’s only goal in a 152-point hu­mil­i­a­tion at the hands of the NTFA, Eli­jah Rear­don was suit­ing up in an­other rep­re­sen­ta­tive match.

This time he was wear­ing the fa­mous “Map”, boot­ing two ma­jors as a Devils un­der-25 TSL out­fit de­feated Vic Metro at UTas Sta­dium on Sun­day. It has been a steep learn­ing curve for the 19-year-old from Cygnet, who fol­lowed in the foot­steps of Lachlan Clif­ford and Lochie Grigg to join the Tigers from the Port at State League level.

How­ever the ex­cit­ing for­ward is al­ready show­ing glimpses of the X-fac­tor he pos­sesses and the op­por­tu­nity to pull on the Tas­ma­nian jumper has only fu­elled his de­sire for more.

“It was a great op­por­tu­nity and I was lucky to be se­lected in the side, it was im­por­tant to play well and do well for Tassie,” Rear­don said.

“It [the stan­dard of the TSL] was hard to get into at first, but a cou­ple of games in I started pick­ing it up.

“Com­ing out of this game it will give me a bit of con­fi­dence to do bet­ter in my per­sonal game for Tigers.

“I will try and im­prove my skills and get bet­ter to hope­fully get a chance to go up and play in that [a po­ten­tial VFL side].”

Tigers coach Trent Baumeler, who al­ready had an in­sight into the skills Rear­don was armed with hav­ing coached him at state un­der-17 level, reached out to the teen at the end of last year about join­ing the club.

He said the tran­si­tion was dif­fi­cult early, but it hasn’t taken op­po­si­tion coaches long to en­sure they lock down on the ex­cit­ing tal­ent.

“We know he is go­ing to have ups and downs be­ing a young bloke and play­ing at State League level for the first time, but we re­ally like the way he has gone about it,” Baumeler said.

“We saw some of his po­ten­tial and some of the tricks he has got in the rep game.

“He has that rep­u­ta­tion, the thing at State League level is he is al­ways get­ting a good de­fender, there is time and ef­fort be­ing put into stop­ping what he can do.

“It is only go­ing to im­prove him, he will learn about workrate and play­ing against good de­fend­ers and be­com­ing more con­sis­tent as well.”

The Tigers face North Ho­bart this week­end on the re­sump­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion.

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