Exciting Rankine named best afield in 2017 NAB AFL Under 17 All Stars game

POSSIBLE 2018 top five pick Izak Rankine was the clear standout in Friday’s Under 17s NAB AFL All Stars game.

The talented South Australia was so good in fact – that he played for both sides in the contest at Simonds Stadium.

In the second year of the AFLs annual showcase, the contest pitted the best 50 2018 draft eligible prospects against each other, split into two sides named after former Geelong great Corey Enright (Team Enright) and North Melbourne champion Brent Harvey (Team Harvey).

The opening half saw Team Enright run out to a 45-point lead, with Rankine starring with two goals from his seven disposals.

But due to the lopsided scoreline and Team Harvey suffering injuries, the decision was made to switch Rankine to Team Harvey for the reminder of the contest – finishing with four goals for the day.

The 2018 draft crop has softly been touted as a ‘Super Draft’ with a number of prospects likely to feature in the top 10 already catching the eyes of recruiters in their bottom-age year.

Murray Bushranger forward Zane Barzen impressed in his most recent outing for the Bushies in the TAC Cup Elimination Final, with 11 disposals and two goals – booting a team-high three goals for Team Enright, and was mighty impressive.

Vic Metro possible no.1 pick Max King was also imposing on the contest, with 2.4 up forward – showing his overhead strength and agility up forward. King took eight marks in the game, spending time at both ends.

Isaac Quaynor has been an impressive figure in the TAC Cup this season and rebounded the ball well and was able to intercept well overhead – including a nice mark infront of highly touted South Australian tall Jack Lukosius.

South Australian midfielder Connor Rozee (20 disposals) got his hands dirty in the contest, while Oakleigh Charger Joseph Ayton-Delaney (22 disposals) rebounded the ball well on the outside.

For Team Harvey, Jack Bytel was the clear best with 25 disposals, six tackles and four clearances. Bytel has had a strong season for the Calder Cannons and also represented the Vic Metro Under 18 team as a bottom-ager at Punt Road Oval in their clash against Vic Country.

Vic Country ruckman Bailey Williams put his hand up for NAB AFL Academy selection, with 16 hitouts and two goals as Team Harvey’s best tall man for the day. Country teammate Jye Caldwell found 21 disposals in the midfield and booted an impressive goal off his left foot roving the pack inside 50.

North Melbourne next-generation academy member Tarryn Thomas was strong in the midfield, winning the ball at the centre bounces and pushing forward.

The Country’s best Under 18 players will face off at the MCG as a curtain-raiser to the 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final on Saturday, with the game set to be streamed live on AFL.com.au from 9.50am local time.

TEAM ENRIGHT     5.7   8.11  9.12  13.13 (91)
TEAM HARVEY       1.2   2.2    6.6    7.10 (52)

GOALS
TEAM ENRIGHT: Barzen 3, Rankine 2, Bowman 2, M.King 2, Hately, Mummery, Munn Smith
TEAM HARVEY: Williams 2, Rankine 2, Mosquito, Caldwell, Garoni

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