Tasmania goals: Lovell 3, Dodge 2, Webb 2, Franklin, Smith, Franks, McGuinness.
Northern Territory goals: Rioli 2, Turner 2, Frank 2, Parfitt, Lawrence.
Tasmania best: Lovell, Reynolds, Quinn, Franklin, Rainbird, Pearce
Northern Territory best: Parfitt, Tilmouth-Turner, Rioli, Taban, Barry, Maroney, Jeffrey
Tasmania won its second game of the tournament with a come from 13-point win against the Northern Territory. Kieran Lovell was the star of the match with 34 disposals, eight marks, seven inside 50s, four tackles and three goals, while he was ably assisted by talented medium forward Nick Dodge and Mitchell Hibberd who did well, spending some time on a wing as well as half-back.
Going into the match, Tasmania were the favourites with Northern Territory yet to register a win in the under 18 championships. The game started as planned with the Apple Isle side getting early control despite the first goal going to the Northern Territory. The favourites led by 10 points at the first change, but an inspired five goal to one second term changed the course of the game as the Thunder took control.
It was an odd match because the underdogs continued to mantain a comfortable margin until three-quarter time, despite Tasmania having at least 70 per cent of the play. The ball was played up Tasmania’s end for the majority of the game, but they were unable to capitalise on the good work of the midfielders. Dodge was one of the few forwards constantly looking dangerous and outsmarting or outpacing his multitude of opponents.
To the Territorian defenders’ credit, they held on well, only allowing one goal against them in the third term, while kicking two goals themselves. Patrick Taban was spoiling impressively in defence, while Ezekiel Frank and Daniel Rioli were creating magic up forward. Rioli provided a highlight his AFL namesake would be proud of, kicking an inside out banana goal off two steps from 35 metres out on a tight angle.
With Northern Territory leading by 19 points heading into the final break, many could not believe that an upset could be brewing. Enter Lovell. The key player had been everywhere in the game and brought his A-game to the final quarter, helping lift his side to a six goals to one final quarter to overrun the Northern Territory and record the memorable 11.7 (73) to 9.6 (60) win.
When Rioli kicked Northern Territory’s final goal with 10 minutes to go seemed to have put a full stop on the result, but a stunning five goal last 10 minutes to Tasmania helped the favourites to a strong victory. Other strong performances included Tasmania’s Logan Reynolds and Mitchell Rainbird and Northern Territory’s Brandan Parfitt who was the side’s best, as well as Michael Tilmouth-Turner and Dylan Barry.
Vic Metro 0.1 1.4 5.5 10.6 (66)
South Australia 3.6 4.9 6.10 8.13 (61)
Vic Metro goals: Crocker 3, Kerbatieh 3, Gresham, Batty, Gallucci, Moore
South Australia goals: Ladhams 2, Brind, Snelling, Olekalns, Redman, Tahana, Scharenberg
Vic Metro best: Gresham, Balic, Crocker, Kerbatieh, Gallucci
South Australia best: Partington, Milera, Tahana, Combe, Parella
The second game at Etihad Stadium last Wednesday saw Vic Metro narrowly get over the line against South Australia. The match came down right to the final kick, with Vic Metro forward Ben Crocker ensuring that they would pull off an upset win against South Australia. A long kick deep inside 50 from Tyrone Leonardis’ left boot allowed for Crocker to kick the goal right on the goal line after the ball sailed over the pack inside the goal square.
Jade Gresham worked tirelessly all day in the middle for Vic Metro collecting 22 disposals and was voted Vic Metro’s MVP. Gresham’s effort in the Vic Metro line up was noticeable standing out with five tackles as well as a classy goal in the third quarter where he was able to fall to ground, before returning to his feet to kick the goal from close range.
Hisham Kerbatieh continued his good form around goal, kicking three goals for Vic Metro which enabled them to get back into the contest after only kicking one goal for the first half.
Vic Metro’s second half was led by Harley Balic who was instrumental in bringing Vic Metro back into the contest, which saw them kick nine goals to four to snatch victory.
Luke Partington finished off a solid campaign for South Australia with a team high 20 disposals, as well as six clearances willing his side to come away with one final win for the championships. Ruckman Andre Parrella was South Australia’s only multiple goal kicker with two goals.
South Australian captain Will Snelling had another good game and came away with South Australia’s MVP for the championships. Small forward Jadyn Brind also was lively with his forward pressure kicking a goal and collecting 18 disposals.
Queensland 8.12 (60)
NSW/ACT 2.10 (22)
Queensland goals: Keays 2, Filewood 2, Edwards, Scheer, Budarick, Buzza
NSW/ACT goals: Hopper, Tiziani
Queensland best: Keays, Hipwood, Wagner, Chol, Reeves
NSW/ACT best: Hopper, Flynn, Hebron, Mutch, Baron-Hay
Queensland finished the carnival the way they started defeating the NSW/ACT team. The Queensland’s leaders in Hipwood and Keays took over the game with their impact and showed the recruiter why they were in the AFL Academy. Keays had 26 disposals and had two crucial goals when the game was in the balance and Hipwood stood out with 7 marks and 24 disposals. Keays also won the Harrison medal and the QLD MVP adding to his already stacked resume.
Queensland have already had wins against the Northern Territory and the underdog of the division Tasmania. Coming into the game Queensland were the favorites against a depleted NSW/ACT side. The hype for the game wasn’t lived up to and in the end the finishing was disappointing from both sides. The only players who can say they played their role NSW/ACT are Jacob Hopper and Kobe Mutch.
Jacob Hopper who was captain in the absence of Mills was great impacting the contest every time the ball was near him. He had 17 disposals and six clearances in a performance which he could hold his hat on. His performance is a reflection of his form in the TAC cup which is great. Kobe Mutch had a performance which would put him on the lips of recruiters in 18 months. He had 13 disposals and five marks from a wing and half-back flank.
The game also featured a battle which was critical to Queensland victory. Matthew Flynn and Nate Dennis both from a basketball background battled in the ruck all day. Dennis was dominating the tap work early and Flynn had trouble getting his hand on the ball. In the end Flynn had made some great impact around the ground and in the end won the ruck battle.
In the end Queensland had all the pieces together and dominated from the very start and continued for the entirety of the game. They had the perfect mixture of bottom age and top age talent with Brad Scheer, Jacob Allison, Ben Keays and Eric Hipwood. NSW/ACT were undermanned from the start of the championships lossing Mills and Kennedy to injury early. Hopper, Flynn and Hebron stood up today in a game they will be hoping to forget soon.
Vic Country 8.15 (63)
Western Australia 4.7 (31)
Western Australia goals: Waterman, Taylor, Ah chee, Schoenfeld
Vic Country goals: Ainsworth 5, Berry, Schache, Maishman
Western Australia best: Petrevski-Seton, Powell-Pepper, Glass-Mccasker, Rogers, Watson
Vic Country best: Parish, Ainsworth, Berry, Nyuon, Tucker
Vic Country were the best team coming in and they have come home with the chocolates. They were lead by classy midfielder Darcy Parish and two star bottom agers in Jarrod Berry and Ben Ainsworth. WA on the other hand were in this contest throughout the day which is to their credit. Sam Petrevski-Seton and Sam Powell-Pepper, who are both bottom agers, lead the WA with their ball winning skills keeping them in the game.
Vic Country who had already secured the u18’s title, came in as obvious favorites for the game against a weak WA side. Vic Country won the contested possessions and the clearances which lead them to the win the game. WA couldn’t get the footy in the forward line only getting 31 inside 50’s with only 10 scoring shots attempted. This is a credit to the Vic Country defence which held up all championships.
Western Australia had struggled all day with the only players really standing up being 17 year olds. Petrevski-Seton played his best game with 20 disposals, two tackles and six clearences which highlighted his talents. Powell-Pepper, who captained the u16’s, was a force to be reckoned with. His ability to attack the footy and and take on the game was superb. His 20 disposal and eight contested possession effort was a testament to it.
For Vic Country Parish, Berry, Ainsworth and Gach Nyuon were all outstanding. Parish continued his great form with 29 disposals, six clearances and four inside 50’s in a game which will put him up there with the best midfielders of the draft. Berry had a great game gathering 22 disposals, nine marks (two contested) and 16 uncontested possessions. Nyuon told the whole draft world why he is in the AFL Academy defeating inform WA ruckman Jeremy Goddard.
Ainsworth had a day out forward and he looked dangerous everytime he is near the footy. He kicked 5 goals. Ainsworth is one of the few bottom agers who will be in the box seat for the u18 All Australian position. Josh Schache didn’t do much, which was strange. This was mainly because of one athletic tall defender, Jesse Glass-Mccasker. who was named the WA MVP. He is the only player in the championships to keep Schache to less than two goals. Vic Country were just too talented compared to their Western Australian counterparts and in the end they were the deserving winners.