South Australia 4.4 7.8 9.13 13.15 (93)
Vic Metro 0.3 2.4 6.4 10.8 (68)
South Australia goals: Markov 5, Redman 3, Allen 2, Milera, Combe, Nunn.
Vic Metro goals: Houston 4, Matera 2, Silvagni, Crocker, Answerth, Leonardis.
South Australia best: Francis, Markov, Olekalns, Milera, Redman, Hewett
Vic Metro best: Gresham, Houston, Cameron, Smith, Morgan, O’Kearney
High flying at both ends helped South Australia secure a 25-point victory over Vic Metro at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.
From one end, key defender Aaron Francis racked up 12 marks, many contested and 11 of them intercepts, and from the other end Oleg Markov leapt his way to five goals.
Markov’s marking and high flying on the lead was a highlight as the overaged player, who cruelly broke his collarbone twice last year to miss out on selection, was robbed of best on honours only due to the dominance of Francis down back.
South Australia burst out of the blocks with goals to Nunn and Markov as well as two to intelligent forward Mason Redman allowing them to lead four goals to none at quarter time.
The procession continued in the second quarter, with the ball spending far more time in South Australia’s half. After half time, Vic Metro capitalised on South Australia switching off and attacked with far more aggression and Jade Gresham came into the game, finishing with 27 touches and six clearances.
Nick O’Kearney impressed with 28 touches and six clearances in a stellar performance marred by some skill errors, while Harley Balic also accumulated 26 touches, however had little effect on the game. Vic Metro players seemed to seek him out at all times in favour of taking the best option.
Dan Houston also kicked four second half goals to add some respect to the scoreline, which flattered Vic Metro after they were outrun and outhunted all game.
South Australia’s dynamic running was a highlight, with the pace of their spread exposing metro throughout the game. Luke Partington was reliable as ever with his decision making and composure occasionally negated by some poor execution. Maris Olekalns also looked a cut above with his ferocity and skill, while Wayne Milera’s cleanliness at ground level and class with ball in hand must have gained himself some attention from recruiters.