Mercury (Hobart)



CLARENCE was the proverbial kid who had his lunch money stolen and Launceston was the schoolyard bully that took it – that was the tale the TSL preliminar­y final at Windsor Park on Sunday.

Roos coach Jeromey Webberley said the brutal Blues were physically too strong to stop, as the home side took a 13.11 (89) to 5.7 (37) win to advance to the grand final against North Launceston next weekend.

Webberley, who has transforme­d the Roos from alsorans to a premiershi­p contender, said the next step was clear.

“We’re shattered,” Webberley said.

“We ran into a better team – they were bigger, stronger.

“I have never been able to question this group’s endeavour, but we just got beaten by a bigger, stronger, more mature team.

“Their stoppage wins and scores from stoppages were brutal. They kept hitting the scoreboard from it – but some of that could be put down to their pure size.”

Webberley said the Roos had taken “two really big steps” – the first was developing a competitiv­e group.

“We can beat these teams, we really can, but things have to go perfectly for us to win,” he said.

“Starting next week, we’ve got to get in the gym, and we’ve got to get bigger to take that next step.

“We don’t want to get back here next year [preliminar­y final] and get beaten up by a bigger, more mature team.

“We had 17 players under 22 and a large portion of those were under 18 years of age.

“So this is the second wave of Clarence coming through and there will be a bigger wave next year.

“This group is not going away, because it only needs to take a small step and it will get the result it deserves.

“I believe in this group and I know they will get there in the end.”

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