The newly formatted Under 18 Academy Series continued over the weekend with two of the three games going ahead, after the Brisbane Lions vs. Tasmania game was cancelled after the poor weather in Queensland.
In the opening game of the weekend, Gold Coast academy pulled off a surprise 17-point victory against Greater Western Sydney academy at Blacktown on Saturday.
The Suns kicked five goals to one in the opening quarter and never looked back, with forward Damien Burke bagging five goals.
The 188cm forward combined for nine goals with 19-year-old Shawn Watson up forward, ensuring they would collect their first win of the carnival.
Giant key tall Jarrod Brander was quiet up forward, missing multiple chances on goal. The possible no.1 draft pick won’t be eligible to join the Giants, after they lost access to the talented teenager when the Albury/Murray region was removed from their zone.
Laine Fitzgerald showed his class and is one likely to catch the eye as the series continues, while Tom Highmore was strong across half-back.
Nick Shipley continues to work hard through the midfield, winning the ball at ease and marking well overhead. He may be another bolter as the season goes on.
Talented midfielder Charlie Spargo missed the contest with knee soreness.
GOLD COAST ACADEMY 5.0 7.1 10.2 12.3 (75)
GWS ACADEMY 1.3 3.11 3.14 7.16 (58)
Gold Coast academy: Burke 5, Watson 4, Arnold, Bowie, Simington
GWS academy: Fitzgerald 2, Gray 2, Stevens, Shipley, Edwards
Gold Coast academy: Foster, Burke, Graham, Crossley, Smith, Davidson
GWS academy: Highmore, Shipley, Fitzgerald, Brander, Gaynor, Budd
The Sydney Swans made it two wins on the trot defeating Northern Territory by 57-points at TIO Stadium.
Trailing at half-time, Swans forward Jack Hardman took it upon himself to lift his team booting four goals for the quarter, showing off his speed and agility inside 50.
Two famous names Mitchell Rogers and Nick Blakey also impressed for the Swans. Rogers is the son of former Essendon and Geelong player Andrew, whilst Blakey is the son of former Fitzroy and North Melbourne player John.
Rogers played well in defence, but is ineligible to qualify as a father-son selection due to Andrew not playing enough games for either team. On the other hand, Blakey qualifies for the Brisbane Lions and North Melbourne, as well as the Sydney Swans. Blakey bagged three goals for the game after backing up his impressive performance the previous weekend.
Rodney Baird was NT’s most impressive player taking strong marks in the defensive 50. Baird was on a scholarship with the Paramatta Eels in the NRL, but has now turned his attention to AFL.
Small forward Beau Schwarze booted five goals as his teams only multiple goal kicker.
NORTHERN TERRITORY 3.1 5.8 6.8 9.9 (63)
SYDNEY ACADEMY 2.3 2.5 12.8 18.12 (120)
Northern Territory: Schwarze 5, Derksen, Bricknell, Bailey, Prowse
Sydney Academy: Hardman 5, Skrivanic 3, Blakey 3, Maze 2, Rankin, Carr, Kilpatrick, Stern, Loone
Northern Territory: Bailey, Scrutton, Baird, Schwarze, Bricknell, Althouse-Cooper
Sydney Academy: Rogers, Stern, Bell, Maze, Robertson, Hardman