Upsets galore in Division One championships opening round

West Australian Sam Powell-Pepper representing the AFL academy. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media)
West Australian Sam Powell-Pepper representing the AFL academy. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media)

UPSETS & BLOWOUTS were the story of the opening round in the Under 18 Division One championship.

The two highly touted teams the Allies and Vic Country both suffered at the hands of their home opposition, both being comfortably defeated.

South Australia kicked the carnival off against the championships newest side the Allies on Saturday.

The home sides captain Jack Graham was the highest disposal winner for the match, with 29 disposals and eight clearances. Graham’s work on the inside was well supported by Jonty Scharenberg (22 disposals) and Jake Pitman (27 disposals).

The Allies found it hard after quarter time with SA kicking 13 goals to six to finish the game as 44-point winners.

202cm ruckman Peter Ladhams gave SA a big advantage in the ruck with 32 hit-outs whilst bottom ager Darcy Fogarty kicked four goals inside 50 in a strong showing.

The away team were missing the presence of tall midfielder Will Setterfield, who stayed in Victoria and played school football. His fellow NSW/ACT teammates Kobe Mutch (22 disposals, 11 tackles) and Harry Perryman (18 disposals, five tackles) were the Allies’ best.

Highly rated Queensland midfielder Jack Bowes was quiet on his Division Two output with just nine disposals.

Across in Western Australia on Sunday, the Sandgropers smashed Vic Country by 61-points.

AFL Academy member Sam Powell-Pepper was WA’s best, with 15 disposals and three goals.

Powell-Pepper used his power and aggression in the midfield in the absence of Sam Petrevski-Seton, who was missing through a hamstring injury.

Matt Guelfi (19 disposals, six clearances) and Zac Fisher (17 disposals, eight clearances) were also in the best for WA.

For Vic Country, tall forward Josh Battle booted four goals in the space of six minutes but was reasonably quiet other than that. Midfielder Hugh McCluggage (27 disposals, six marks) was one of the few Victorians that played well in the contest.

Hugh McCluggage representing the AFL Academy in April. Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media)
Hugh McCluggage representing the AFL Academy in April. Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media)

Possible number one pick Will Brodie’s output was limited with an early knee injury, finishing with 16 disposals while Joe Atley– the brother of current North Melbourne player Shaun, had 22 disposals and eight tackles in the centre.

West Australia ran away with the contest after half time, with 11 goals to three to see them sitting pretty on top of the ladder.

The two unbeaten sides clash this weekend at AAMI Stadium in Adelaide, whilst the two Victorian teams face off at Simonds Stadium on Queens Birthday. The Allies have the week off before another trip interstate to Western Australia.

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