Tag: ben jarvis

2018 AFL Draft preview: Adelaide

AFTER missing out on the AFL Finals following a devastating Grand Final loss in 2017, Adelaide made a conscious effort to stockpile high picks – through the 2017 and 2018 trade periods, and head into the AFL National Draft armed with four first round picks and plenty of options.

List needs:

  • Inside midfielders
  • Outside midfielders
  • Key Position Forward
  • Medium forwards
  • Ruck

 

DRAFT SELECTIONS: 8, 13, 16, 21, 73

Adelaide head into the 2018 National Draft with an array of first round picks; currently holding four inside the top 21. It is one of the worst kept secrets that their final draft positioning is likely to change as they look to move up the draft order to secure one of the top three South Australian prospects. But as it stands, we will take a look at their current picks and who they might look to bring in.

At Pick 8, a dream scenario would be seeing Connor Rozee slide to the Crows so they can pick up the classy outside midfielder and versatile utility. While the Suns have one eye on him, Gold Coast could just as easily pick up Izak Rankine instead. To guarantee one of them, the Crows will have to trade up a few positions at least, one would think. If they end up sitting on their picks and both players are no longer on the board, South Australian, Jackson Hately would have to come into the Crows’ thinking. He suits a need with his ability to play inside or out, and has senior experience with Central District in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). The other consideration might be Oakleigh inside midfielder, Riley Collier-Dawkins, who might be there at #13, but could very easily be off the board in between.

If Ben King is there at Pick 8, the Crows might just have to pounce, but they could also spend a later pick – either 16 or 21 on Bailey Williams who could fill that ruck/forward void. The other pick of those could be a Sam Sturt or Zak Butters who would add forward and midfield class respectively. Chayce Jones or Ian Hill might come into thinking at Pick 13 or 16, with outside class and their ability to play forward no doubt attractive for clubs, and the Crows will be no different. If they managed to snare that outside talent at Pick 8, or Pick 13, then perhaps they look to Xavier O’Halloran as an inside option, or Xavier Duursma as someone who can play inside or out.

At Pick 73, it is a gamble which players will be available. If they opt for midfielders in the early stages, then local talls, Ben Jarvis or Riley Grundy might be a consideration, as might Hudson Garoni or West Australian, Jack Mayo. The pick is only likely to be used if a trade to reduce the number of picks is completed, with the Crows to bring in four selections.

Eighty invited to National AFL Draft Combine

VIC Metro has dominated the nominations for the National AFL Draft Combine with more than one third of the invitees coming from Metro, and more than half from Victoria. South Australia’s title-winning side has the next most with 13, including mature-ager Shane McAdam. Sturt’s McAdam is one of two mature agers to be invited to the combine, with Werribee’s Josh Corbett also gaining an invite. Western Australia has 11 invitees, while Tasmania and Queensland (four each) and NSW-ACT (three) round out the total nominees with no Northern Territory player invited.

There are six Northern Academy-tied players invited – Nick Blakey (Sydney), Kieren Briggs (GWS GIANTS), Keidean Coleman and Connor McFadyen (Brisbane), and Dirk Koenen and Bailey Scott (Gold Coast). Additionally there are a raft of father-sons, such as Oscar BrownlessRhylee WestWill KellyBen Silvagni and Joel Crocker, whilst Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne), Jarrod Cameron (West Coast), Irving Mosquito (Hawthorn) and Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood) are others tied to Next Generation Academies.

In terms of individual clubs, Oakleigh Chargers (eight), Sandringham Dragons (seven), Geelong Falcons and Dandenong Stingrays (both five), Murray Bushrangers, Western Jets, Calder Cannons and Gippsland Power (all four) lead the way, with the remaining four TAC Cup clubs having a nominee each. For interstate clubs, Sturt and Perth both have three players invited.

The 80 players will test in front of clubs from October 2-5.

National AFL Draft Combine invitees:

NSW-ACT [3]
Nick Blakey (Sydney Academy)
Kieren Briggs (GWS Academy)
Jacob Koschitzke (Murray Bushrangers)

Queensland [4]
Keidean Coleman (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Dirk Koenen (Gold Coast Academy)
Connor McFadyen (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Bailey Scott (Gold Coast Academy)

South Australia [13]
Jez McLennan (Central District)
Ben Jarvis (Norwood)
Izak Rankine (West Adelaide)
Tom Sparrow (South Adelaide)
Jackson Hately (Central District)
Jacob Kennerley (Norwood)
Connor Rozee (North Adelaide)
Luke Valente (Norwood)
Shane McAdam (Sturt)
Hayden Sampson (South Adelaide)
Riley Grundy (Sturt)
Jack Lukosius (Woodville West Torrens)
Hugo Munn (Sturt)

Tasmania [4]
Nicholas Baker (Lauderdale)
Chayce Jones (Launceston)
Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston)
Fraser Turner (Clarence)

VFL [1]
Josh Corbett (Werribee)

Vic Country [19]
Zane Barzen (Murray Bushrangers)
Toby Bedford (Dandenong Stingrays)
Thomas Berry (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Riley Bowman (Dandenong Stingrays)
Oscar Brownless (Geelong Falcons)
Jye Caldwell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power)
Zac Foot (Dandenong Stingrays)
Will Hamill (Dandenong Stingrays)
Connor Idun (Geelong Falcons)
Matt McGannon (Gippsland Power)
Ned McHenry (Geelong Falcons)
Irving Mosquito (Gippsland Power)
Kyle Reid (Gippsland Power)
Ely Smith (Murray Bushrangers)
Charlie Sprague (Geelong Falcons)
Laitham Vandermeer (Murray Bushrangers)
Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons)
Bailey Williams (Dandenong Stingrays)

Vic Metro [25]
Daly Andrews (Western Jets)
Noah Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers)
James Blanck (Eastern Ranges)
Zak Butters (Western Jets)
Jack Bytel (Calder Cannons)
Riley Collier-Dawkins (Oakleigh Chargers)
Joel Crocker (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Golds (Oakleigh Chargers)
Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Kelly (Oakleigh Chargers)
William Kennedy (Sandringham Dragons)
Buku Khamis (Western Jets)
Ben King (Sandringham Dragons)
Max King (Sandringham Dragons)
Tom McKenzie (Northern Knights)
Xavier O’Halloran (Western Jets)
Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh Chargers)
Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers)
James Rowbottom (Oakleigh Chargers)
Lachlan Sholl (Calder Cannons)
Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh Chargers)
Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons)
Liam Stocker (Sandringham Dragons)
Curtis Taylor (Calder Cannons)
Rhylee West (Calder Cannons)

Western Australia [11]
Jarrod Cameron (Swan Districts)
Jordan Clark (Claremont)
Luke English (Perth)
Damon Greaves (East Perth)
Luke Foley (Subiaco)
Ian Hill (Perth)
Tom Joyce (East Fremantle)
Dillon O’Reilly (East Fremantle)
Tyron Smallwood (Claremont)
Sydney Stack (Perth)
Durak Tucker (Peel Thunder)

South Australia weekly wrap: Under 16s bring home the double

COMING off the high of the South Australian (SA) Under 18 win and with all players returning to their local SANFL clubs, it was the SA Under 16 squad’s turn to take stage in their National Championships.

SA Under 16s:

Inspired by the victory of the SA Under 18 team, the Under 16 lads followed suit and secured a title victory in the National U16 Championships over Vic Metro.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA  3.6  9.7  12.10  13.12 (90)
VICTORIA METRO  2.3  3.6  6.9  11.12 (78)

BEST – Durdin, Jones, Nelligan, Thilthorpe, Horsnell, Kraemer.
LEADING DISPOSALS – Nelligan 21, Durdin 20, Edwards 19, Schwerdt, Dean 16, Baldwin 14, Dumesny, Thilthorpe, Higgins 13.
GOALS – Dudley, Horsnell 3, Dumesny 2, Dean, Baldwin, Durdin, Higgins, Pedlar.
KEVIN SHEEHAN MEDAL – Corey Durdin (Central District)
SA MVP OF THE CARNIVAL – Corey Durdin (Central Distict)
ALL-AUSTRALIANS – Corey Durdin, Riley Thilthorpe, Kaine Baldwin, Luke Edwards, Jye Sinderberry & Julian Farkas (Coach).

The SA side had some impressive talent over the tournament with Central District’s Corey Durdin the standout across all games and all sides. The SA vice-captain was electric across the midfield and looks an exciting prospect. It was an all-round performance from the SA side, and for new coach Julian Farkas an excellent championship for bringing the team together.   

SANFL Wrap:

League

All Under 18 talent returned to their local clubs, and slotted straight back into League footy. In Sturt’s loss to Norwood, Hugo Munn continued his strong form with 1.2 and a well balanced performance in a losing side. Norwood kicked a huge 13 goals in the last quarter to run over the Double Blues. For the Eagles, eyes were again on key forward Jack Lukosius who continued his form with eight marks, two goals and five tackle game that was impressive. The Eagles dominated the highly rated North Adelaide.

In the West Adelaide vs. Centrals match, the Bloods won easily, with star Izak Rankine proving inaccurate in front of goal finishing with 0.4 – it could have easily been better result for him. Centrals mid Jackson Hately found plenty of footy with 18 disposals and a goal in another consistent performance Glenelg secured a close victory over South, and 2017 SA U18 strong bodied mid Brad McCarthy was very good for the Tigers with one goal and 18 disposals. He was rewarded with a SA Powerade Breakthrough Player of the Week nomination. Young forward Lachlan Hosie continues to hit the scoreboard at League and Reserves level finishing with another three goals. For South, youngster Jaidan Kappler made his league debut for the Panthers.

In the Port Adelaide vs Adelaide Crows game held in Kadina, Adelaide young mid Jordan Boyle finished with 29 disposals. Crows listed players Patrick Wilson and Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Darcy Fogarty were also dominant. For Port Magpies, Jack Kluske continued his good form and earned a Breakthrough player nomination, while ex-Glenelg and Sacred Heart (SHC) youngster Harry Morgan made his league debut.  

Reserves:

Sturt’s Tom Lewis lead the way for the Double Blues despite a thumping from Norwood. His three goals and six tackles were one of the few standouts on the day. Backman Riley Grundy made his Reserves debut as well and didn’t look out of place. In Central’s loss to West Adelaide, SA U18 leader Jez McLennan showed his class for the Bulldogs as their best afield finishing with nine marks and 23 disposals. Every game he plays he improves and looks very well balanced at all times. North fell in against the Eagles and SA U18 lads Connor Rozee and Boyd Woodcock were dangerous around goal with four goals between them, looking very classy. Glenelg had a young team lose to South, and Tobin Cox best was best for the Tigers, along with 2019 prospects Will Gould and Brady Searle who found plenty of the ball. Tom Sparrow (South) was the player of the game with a huge 13 tackles in a tough display of midfield work.  

Under 18s:

The Eagles winning ways continued on, defeating North by 24 points. Tyson Francis finished with a five goal haul, while Connor McLeod and SA U18 Kai Pudney found plenty of ball with the latter using it more effectively this week. North’s Jak Gouldman-Glasson finished with six goals and Harrison Magor was also amongst their best. Jacob Kennerley stood out in Norwood’s win over Sturt. The dashing wingman played a complete game with 27 disposals, 12 contested, four clearances and two goals showed his all round class. He is one to watch for the remainder of the season. Fellow SA U18 member Ben Jarvis was good with nine marks, and over-ager Lachlan Pascoe made a solid return after a long lay off with injury. Sturt’s Jed McEntee’s run of form continued for the Double Blues in his fifth game in a row being Sturt’s best. His 27 disposals and 15 contested were indicative of his work rate, and leadership in the team. Will be interested to watch his remainder of the season.

It was a goal-fest for the South Adelaide boys with Daniel Sladojevic finishing with three goals and Hayden Sampson also had two. Glenelg mid Sam Liambis was good around stoppage finishing with nine clearances, and 11 of his 22 possessions being contested was a shining light in the 55 point loss. Standout performance of the week from the U18 comp was West Adelaide’s Ethan Moore who collected an impressive 41 disposals at 73 per cent efficiency. The SHC Student and ex-Mitcham Hawk tried to help drag his team over the line, but they lost by 12 points to Centrals. Moore’s performance earned him a U18 MVP nomination.  

SANFL Under 15 and Under 17 Competitions:

All SANFL clubs are currently participating in the week long U15 and U17 SANFL competition which gives some younger and other fringe players opportunities at the higher level and to aid in their development for U16 and U18 footy in future years. It is also a chance for local SANFL clubs to get a look at their Country zoned players who form part of these squads as well.  

College Footy:

All school football recommences in two weeks with the chase for both Messenger Shield and State Knockout titles to heat up in the back half of the year.

Scouting notes: National U18 Championships – Round 5

WE made the trip down to Etihad Stadium yesterday and saw the conclusion to the National Under 18 Championships. Here we take a look at every player in both games and see how they fared on the night. Lenny Fogliani, Cameron Ross, Scott Dougan, James Goller, Craig Byrnes, David Chapman, Jamie Morgan and Damon Mattiazzo all combined to provide the notes.

Allies vs. Western Australia:

Allies:

#1 Conor Budarick

Budarick was a strong tackler for the Allies having eight for the day – he was really fierce in the contest. He played like a smart footballer and made good decisions with the ball. His kicking was good all day and included three inside 50s. The 2019 draft prospect spent most of his time on the wing and through the forward line.

#3 Josh Stern

Stern had 10 possessions for the day. He showed courage going back with the flight in a marking contest – he didn’t flinch. He kicked the ball really well, especially in the last term. Stern also displayed good hands in the contest, playing mostly up forward pushing up the ground.

#6 Rhyan Mansell 

The hard nosed defender was impressive, laying seven strong tackles. He brought a bit of aggression out there and proved very hard to beat one on one, rarely losing a contest. He didn’t have a lot of the ball only collecting five possessions but used it well. Mansell showed a little bit of spread and speed off the back flank but needs to add more of that to his game so he can be a solid contributor both defensively and offensively, not just defensively.

#7 Jesse Quint

Quint had a okay day, gathering 10 possessions. A highlight was his hands in congestion. He kicked a nice goal to go with four inside 50s and kicked the ball well.

#10 Chayce Jones

The Tasmanian had a strong day at the office playing midfield and resting up forward. Jones is really hard at it in the contest and laid seven tackles for the game. When he doesn’t have the ball he was the willingness and desire to put as much defensive pressure on as he can. He kicked the ball well and made good decisions with ball in hand. He was both strong on inside and outside.

#11 Keidean Coleman

Coleman had seven possessions for the day playing down back, he was very strong defensively laying five tackles. He does have the ability to break the lines but he wasn’t able to do it enough having only two rebounds.

#12 Mitchell O’Neil

Definitely one to write down for the 2019 draft. He has really good hands in congestion. O’Neill also took a nice contested mark. He had 18 possessions and kicked the ball well, also booting a nice goal. He took the game on and was able to rebound well having three rebound 50’s for the game. O’ Neill made the All Australian team.

#15 Guy Richardson

The backman had 19 possessions for the day, I thought he played really well mopping up defensively. He was also good offensively rebounding four times and showcasing his really good foot skills. Richardson showed some good run and carry and the ability to break the lines. Defensively he was good one on one.

#17 Thomas Matthews

Another Allies defender who had a strong game, Matthews has really solid pressure in the contest. He only laid three tackles, but the work he does off the ball that doesn’t get any stats for was noticeable. He took five marks and a couple of those were intercepts. Matthews was great offensively as well having five rebounds. He kicks the ball well and showed some run and carry.

#19 Bailey Scott

The captain had a fantastic day for Allies. He played more in the midfield collecting 30 possessions. His clearance work was really good having six. He had really good hands in congestion and tackled really strongly showing some aggression with five tackles for the game. He kicked the ball well, especially late when he hit team mate Nick Blakey on the chest with a 40-meter kick. Scott was able to hit the scoreboard as well with a goal. He rebounded strongly with three rebounds and also had three inside 50s. The skipper also took a great mark.

#20 Fraser Turner

The wingman is a great runner and ran hard all day, slotting two great goals on the run at critical times. He had 24 possessions and showed strong hands in the contest. Turner rebounded really well having three for the game and his kicking was solid all day. Turner plays mostly on the wing is a outside damaging player.

#23 Michael Mummery

Mummery had a quiet day with only the four possessions, however, he was really good defensively laying five tackles. He also was good one on one in marking contests, taking a fantastic contested mark.

#28 Matthew Green

The tall midfielder put good pressure on the opposition and used his trademark long handballs into space to set up teammates running passed. Just the 11 disposals on the night, but he had a couple of crucial intercepts late, including one tackle which earned him a holding the ball free kick. Also had a couple of clearances and inside 50s on the night to end up with a solid performance.

#29 Joey Reinard

The forward showed some good glimpses in patches, kicking a goal early in the piece, working hard for leads and being creative through midfield. Not a high accumulator, he presents when required and plays that medium-tall role well.

#31 Connor McFadyen

The 190cm utility continues to impress with his super quick hands and strong contested marking ability. He took a great grab on the goal line in the second half to nail a vital goal, then handed one off to Mitch O’Neill who kicked truly from long range. He uses his body well one-on-one and has shown promising signs he can develop into an inside midfielder who drifts forward and has an impact.

#36 Matthew McGuiness

Playing in defence, McGuiness rebounded well from the back 50, working in tandem with Jacob Koschitzke and Nick Baker. Positions himself well and is able to put pressure on opposition forwards, while taking some strong marks.

#37 Jacob Koschitzke

One of the most improved players across the tournament, Koschitzke played another strong game out of full-back, taking some good contested marks and rebounding strongly. He showed good courage backing back with the flight on a couple of occasions and applying his penetrating kick to clear of the defensive zone.

#40 Kieren Briggs

The clear dominant ruck on the ground once again and deserving of the Allies’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the carnival. It was clear Briggs has a huge tank and covers the ground well, barely taking a break. His second efforts are a highlight and he continually does the defensive things right as well. I would be surprised if it was not just the GIANTS keeping an eye on the overager.

#41 Mathew Walker

The Murray Bushrangers forward started slowly but worked into the game in the second half. He kicked a good goal on the move, and missed a chance to add a second. Walker showed good hands in close, giving off lightning quick handballs to teammates and opening up space for them.

#44 Caleb Graham

The athletic big man was often found pushing up onto a wing and showing off his versatility. He laid a really big tackle early in the piece and took a great intercept mark and drove the ball long inside 50. Not a huge accumulator, but a long kick of the football and can play anywhere.

#46 Tarryn Thomas

The potential top 10 pick was relatively quiet again by his lofty standards, but he did pick up in the last quarter where he kicked a great set shot goal to get the Allies team up and about. He has the cleanest hands at ground level, and could pick up a soaking ball with velcro-like hands. Had a big clearance in the first term that resulted in a Nick Blakey goal. Thomas was terrific defensively laying a number of good tackles to stop opponents in their tracks.

#47 Nick Baker

Played up the ground through the midfield as well as at half-back and was strong one-on-one. He managed to get his hands on the football a bit and continued to remain involved in the contest. He was one of the Allies’ more prominent ball winners in the match.

#49 Nick Blakey

Just enormous. After being held early, Blakey came into the game with a bang once moving into the middle, winning two early clearances in the second half. He used his big body to impact the contest and then drifted forward to provide a contest. He had a brilliant dart of a pass to Mathew Walker in the third term and his disposal by foot was terrific. Just got better with every game he played and yesterday was huge when the game was on the line.

 

Western Australia:

#2 Jarrod Cameron

The lively small forward wasn’t as influential as compared to his dazzling performance against Vic Country, but still showed glimpses of his potential. His desire to run and chase opposition defenders is outstanding for someone his age, and his ability with ball in hand is unbelievably good.

#4 Graydon Wilson

The dynamic defender was outstanding for Western Australia, with his run and carry, skills and vision all on display. He also produced the match-saving spoil and tackle that secured WA the victory.

#6 Wil Hickmott

A late inclusion into the squad, Hickmott’s class was on full display. His vision, skills and reading of the play are at a fantastic level for someone his age. Carlton will be monitoring him closely as he is the son of former player Adrian Hickmott

#8 Luke Moore

The South Fremantle product finished with 13 possessions and two goals but the stat line doesn’t emphasise how good he was. In the first quarter, he stood up in a tackle and got the ball to Brad Oldfield who duly converted the opening goal of the game. Then late in the first quarter, he gathered the ball at full pace, sidestepped an opponent and snapped one through. The youngster has been likened to Alan Didak and shapes as a genuine match winner for any AFL club.

#9 Tyron Smallwood

Smallwood was extremely lively in the forward half for the Sandgropers, often setting up attacking forays. Not unlike Adelaide star Tom Lynch, Smallwood was the connector between the midfield and the forward line and he played the role to perfection.

#10 Rylie Morgan

The Claremont product was outstanding in the midfield. A beautifully balanced player with exceptional skills and sound decision-making, Morgan wielded an influence on the inside and the outside. He shapes as a potential bolter come draft night.

#11 Luke English

The acting captain of the day, English showed why he is such a highly rated prospect. He was tough, combative, skilful and smart against the Allies. He finished with 25 possessions and six tackles in what was a tremendous display.

#12 Jeremy Sharp

The bottom-ager did his stocks for the 2019 AFL Draft no harm whatsoever with an accomplished display against the Allies. His vision, speed, skills and smarts all make him an attractive player, and he would be thoroughly deserving of All-Australian selection.

#13 Jason Carter

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy player showed glimpses of why he is such a highly rated prospect. His dare to take the opposition on should excite the Fremantle recruiters and his speed was unmatched by any Allies player.

#14 Sydney Stack

The Northam product’s stocks continue to soar by the week. Against the Allies, Stack was aggressive, tough, skilful and dynamic. In the last quarter, he soared for a mark, roved his own crumbs and dribbled through a goal. He finished with 20 possessions and seven clearances.

#15 Jordan Clark

Arguably the best player on the ground, Clark deservedly took home the WA Most Valuable Player award. He finished with 29 possessions and 11 rebounds, and was often a catalyst for WA’s drive from the back half to the forward half. His skills, vision, composure and toughness will all make him an AFL star.

#16 Ethan Hansen

Hansen started the game in terrific fashion, taking an early intercept mark and gathering plenty of possessions. He showed the ability to kick on both sides of his body and his decision-making with the ball in hand was superb. Hansen was able to use his speed to escape the congestion and to provide run on the outside of the contest, which proved handy for Western Australia going forward. In the third quarter, Hansen read the play superbly and was able to take an intercept mark at full speed in the middle of the ground, resulting in a Western Australian goal. Hansen had 19 disposals and more than 300 metres gained.

#18 Deven Robertson

The bottom-age midfielder looks to be one to keep an eye on in next year’s draft. He didn’t have massive numbers by any means but what impressed me the most with Robertson, was his work-rate. He chased hard defensively and he was able to make plenty of contests in all areas of the ground, due to his gut-running.

#20 Luke Foley

Foley was pivotal in the midfield for Western Australia, setting the standard required for his teammates by making a strong impression early. He accumulated disposals in all areas of the ground, on the inside and outside of the contest. His clearance work was really good, but his tackling was even better. Foley never gave up and he tried his hardest to make an impact, both offensively and defensively.

#21 Tyson Powell

Powell started in defence and was solid. He tackled strongly and had some nice defensive spoils. In the second quarter, Powell coped a big knock and was unable to have the same influence. He bounced back in the second half and was responsible for the in-form Connor McFayden at times. Powell continued to spoil strongly and he started to find more of the ball as the game went on.

#23 Louis Miller

Miller was prominent down back and was one of Western Australia’s best on the day. His competitiveness and strength in the contest were noticeable throughout the match. Miller positioned himself well defensively and rebounded effectively. He amassed 22 disposals and used the ball well. The highlight of the day came in the second quarter when Miller took an eye-catching pack mark over four players on the wing.

#24 Regan Spooner

The classy defender spent a considerable amount of time on the in-form forward, Nick Blakey. Spooner kept Blakey to one goal in the first half and played his role fabulously. His ball use was top-notch and he was clean below his knees. His finest passage of play came in the second quarter when he kicked an absolute bullet inside 50 to the leading Tom Medhat.

#26 Jake Pasini

Pasini started the game in the defence and was solid. He did not have the same stats to most of his teammates, but he undeniably played a crucial role in limiting the Allies forwards impact during the game.

#27 Tom Medhat

The versatile forward was Western Australia’s most dangerous in the first half and he proved difficult for the Allies defenders to stop. He kicked his team’s second goal of the match with a running goal from 40m out, demonstrating his composure in pressure situations. Medhat found plenty of space in the second quarter and kicked his second goal only three minutes into the term. He pushed into the midfield at times and showed the ability to win the contested ball. Medhat kicked his third goal of the term in the dying minutes and was one of the main reasons behind Western Australia’s dominance in the first half. He didn’t have the same effect in the third and fourth quarters, but he continued to work hard at making himself an attractive option in the forward 50.

#29 Dillion O’Reilly

O’Reilly started in the forward half and shared ruck duties with Jack Buller throughout the game. He showed his athleticism early, winning some impressive jumping hit-outs to give his midfielders first use. O’Reilly kicked his first goal of the day in the second term, with a terrific snap around the body. He continued to hit the scoreboard for Western Australia, booting his second goal in the third term after leading successfully into a large amount of space inside 50.

#34 Brad Oldfield

Oldfield was outstanding in contested situations, winning the ball in tight and dishing the ball out by hand to his teammates. Oldfield found plenty of space in situations that you shouldn’t, which helped him make the correct decisions with ball in hand. In the first term, he was involved in an important passage of play where he kicked the ball inside 50 to a teammate and then sprinted extremely hard to make himself an appealing option to receive the ball back, resulting in the first goal of the game. His work rate and hard running was evident across four quarters.

#35 Mitchell Georgiades

The bottom-ager played on Nicholas Baker and arguably beat him in the first half. He booted two essential goals in the space of 10 minutes in the second term, instantly becoming one of the most dangerous forwards on the ground. Georgiades showcased his sticky hands and the ability to mark the ball at its highest possible point. His set-shot goal kicking was spot on and his technique was sublime. He was unable to have the same influence in the second half, but his 10-minute burst in the second quarter was enough to get me excited for his draft year in 2019.

#36 Jack Buller

Buller’s competitiveness and ground level work for a big man was on display from the get-go. He was beaten in the hit-out department to the bigger and stronger opposition ruckmen Kieran Briggs, but as soon as the ball hit the deck, Buller basically turned into a midfielder. His follow up work was magnificent, his pressure on the opposition was clear and he won plenty of contested possessions. After his dominant first half, Buller went into the main break with 11 disposals to his name. He was much quieter in the second half, but there’s no doubt he was one of Western Australia’s main contributors in the first two quarters.

 

Vic Metro vs. South Australia

Vic Metro:

#1 Jack Mahony

The bottom ager started a little shaky by foot early. He has really good hands in congestion and has the endeavour to put on pressure and really goes in the contest with pace. He showed courage when taking a mark back with the flight, knowing there would be contact. Mahony kicked a ripping snap goal at the start of the third term. With a goal and 17 possessions to his name, he played well.

#2 Joe Ayton-Delaney

Ayton-Delaney has the ability to really break the lines and hurt his opposition with it had five rebounds to his name which shows this. However, he did make some poor decisions with the football. He tends to use the ball fairly well, however his decision making leads him to turn over the footy and this happened a few times. Interested to see how he goes in the back-end of the year for Xavier College and Oakleigh Chargers.

#3 Zak Butters

Yesterday was set to be Butters’ last game for the season as he is going in for shoulder surgery next week. Sadly his season send-off ended early with a injury to the same shoulder. He showed a willingness to take the game on with his three possessions. Butters is quite small in stature, but is a slick and crafty player.

#4 Rhylee West

West did not have a big day against South Australia only having the 12 possessions. He has really solid hands in close, also making decent decisions with it. He kicked fairly well especially when he tried to open the play up. The Western Bulldogs father-son prospect is looking like at this stage a late first round, or early second round selection.

#5 Matt Rowell

Rowell had a fantastic day at the office, with the hard nosed midfielder collecting 20 possessions for the day. Rowell has break away speed from stoppages which caught the eye. On top of that he has really good hands in congestion. He is a fantastic tackler and managed seven for the day. He used the ball well on his left and right having four clearances and three inside 50s. Definitely one to watch for the 2019 draft.

#6 Curtis Taylor

Taylor is pure class inside the forward 50. He had eight possessions for the day, but really made each one of them effective in play – two of his forward tackles resulted in set shots. He also had two inside 50s and was dangerous up forward for Vic Metro, booting two goals.

#7 Angus Hanrahan

A quieter day for Hanrahan with 12 possessions. He is a real interesting type; starting forward he did not have much impact, but after moving to the wing he started to get his hands more on it. He has good hands in close and managed nine handballs. Only having three kicks for the day is slightly disappointing as his real strength is his kicking on his left and right. It’s hard to tell exactly where Hanrahan fits. I think he could fit around the mid second round to fourth round. Really depends on his second half of the year.

#8 James Rowbottom

Rowbottom is a real inside mid. He did not have a lot of the ball with just the 12 possessions compared to his other Championship games, but he was a strong tackler for Metro laying seven, with one of the tackles being a goal-saving one. He gave a little bit of spread from stoppages and his kicking was okay. Rowbottom’s draft stocks have risen from the championships

#12 Tom McKenzie

McKenzie played off the half-back flank and was one of Metro’s best in the first half. He provided run and carry out of the defensive 50 and his ball use was very good, on most occasions. He stayed composed under pressure, especially when South Australia were repeatedly entering their forward 50. He did most of his damage in uncontested situations but has proven in the past that he can win the ball on the inside when necessary.

#14 Isaac Quaynor

Along with the majority of his teammates, he started slowly but quickly found himself more involved as the game went on. He spent most of his minutes further up the ground, rather than deep, which is a position I do enjoy him in. His best passage of play came in the third quarter when he showcased his agility and speed with an exciting blind turn in the middle of the ground, effectively releasing the ball by hand to an outside runner.

#15 Bailey Smith

The hard-running, endurance beast was one of Metro’s only shining lights in the first half. Smith never gave in and tried hard all game, even when things were not going his way. His tackling was strong as always and he won the ball in contested and uncontested situations, which is why he’s so highly rated. His clearance work was impeccable and he was able to find plenty of the ball, finishing with 22 disposals. His positioning and effort in the defensive 50 were below par at times, but it is something that he will work on during his development.

#16 Noah Answerth

It was an up-and-down game for Answerth, who received a red card at the half-time break and missed the first 15 minutes of the third term. He showed that he can have a big impact on the contest with his ball-winning ability and link-up play, but was completely exposed in defensive situations. Answerth was responsible for the red-hot forward Izak Rankine, who was near-impossible to stop. There were a couple of moments that Answerth was caught ball watching, forgetting to give Rankine enough attention, which resulted in Rankine booting some very easy goals, with no defensive pressure applied. This is common with junior footballers and of no big concern. He will improve in this area as he progresses through his development.

#18 Xavier O’Halloran

The captain gradually worked into the match and was vital in stages throughout the second half. O’Halloran only had the 10 disposals but definitely made them count, which makes him such a damaging player. He did his best work in the forward half of the ground and was involved in one of cleanest passages of play in the game. In the third quarter, he was able to drill a 40-metre kick inside 50 to the leading Ben King, who marked and kicked truly, keeping Metro in the game. O’Halloran hit the scoreboard himself in the last minute of the third, after taking a strong contested mark 20 metres out.

#19 Jack Bytel

Bytel was at his best in tight, where he could gather possession and release the ball by hand to his teammates on the outside. His ball use by foot was inconsistent. He turned the ball over on multiple occasions but also displayed that he can hit targets in high-pressure situations, on both feet. Bytel spent some time down back in the second half but was unable to have any real influence on the match.

#23 Buku Khamis

Khamis spent some time on the highly-rated Connor Rozee, with the athletic rebounding defender doing his best in trying to limit his impact. Khamis read the play well, his ball use was good and his intercept marking was a standout. Khamis has progressed rapidly over the past year and did his draft chances no harm.

#24 Noah Anderson

The exciting bottom-ager from the Oakleigh Charges contributed to Metro’s midfield and looms as one of the top prospects for next year. He didn’t have the biggest effect on the game but his ball-winning ability, speed and clean ball use was a sign of things to come in 2019.

#26 Riley Collier-Dawkins – The big bodied Oakleigh midfielder was in and around the stoppages for long periods of the night, but struggled to have the impact of earlier matches. He often won first possession, but struggled to find the opportunity to release as the South Australians wrapped him up quickly. While he would only win eight disposals, Collier-Dawkins still produced moments that showcase why he is now regarded a first round prospect. He took a great overhead mark and played on with acceleration inside 50, but couldn’t finish off his work by foot. In the third term he raised his arms high at a stoppage to release a teammate brilliantly on the outside, before showing his defensive presence by producing a heavy tackle on Valente later in the quarter.

#27 Will Kelly – Starting on Lukosius, Kelly was one of the only Vic Metro defenders to keep his opponent accountable with offensive run during the early onslaught. He intercepted and rebounded with style, but also defended admirably by holding the most talked about player of the draft pool to one goal. He went forward in the final term and looked capable leading to space, while also setting up Bailey Smith in the corridor. The son of Craig and brother of Jake at Adelaide finished with 17 disposals to be one of Vic Metro’s better players. You suspect the Pies won’t let another Kelly father/son prospect slip on this occasion.

#28 Ben Silvagni – The second of the Silvagni boys came to Etihad Stadium with some expectation from the Carlton faithful and he started okay forward considering the lack of early opportunities. He took a nice overhead mark on the lead inside 50, before a brilliant piece of play on the wing where he shrugged a tackle, disposed the ball to a teammate and ran hard forward to receive the kick on the arc. A disappointing set shot after the half time siren could have given his side some life going into the break, but instead instigated a small melee. He was moved to defence in the second half and faded as the match wore on.

#29 James Blanck – After an excellent performance in defence against Vic Country at the MCG, Blanck was given a small reality check by a rampaging South Australian side. He was exposed physically against the bigger Hugo Munn in the first term, who out muscled him one on one on two occasions. He positioned himself better as the game went on, but couldn’t have the same impact offensively as his previous game. He finished the night spending time in the ruck.

#34 James Rendell – Rendell is another father/son prospect who has ties with Brisbane through his father Matt’s 164 games for Fitzroy. The 198cm forward/ruck has shown signs of promising AFL attributes throughout 2018 and again produced moments of interest against South Australia. After a quiet first half he came to life in the third term, kicking a banana out of congestion that bounced to Jack Mahony in the corridor to set up a goal. He then produced one of the highlights of the game to take a towering pack mark deep inside 50 and kicked truly to continue his side’s fight back at the time. A goal, 12 hit outs and 11 possessions was a solid outing when considering minimal Vic Metro contributors.

#35 Thomas Hallebone – The lanky 201cm Northern Knights ruckman had moments throughout the day to suggest that he can develop into a capable prospect with time. While only winning five disposals for the game, he took a strong intercept mark in the first term. In the ruck he has skills, highlighted by a soft touch that the midfielders can easily read. He is currently more effective at the centre bounces where he can jump at the ball, as the bigger bodied, albeit shorter James Siviour was able to easily push his 83kg frame out of position at around the ground stoppages.

#36 Ben King – King again proved his potential No.1 pick worth with a four goal haul on arguably the biggest pathway stage against a mighty South Australian outfit at Etihad Stadium. While he lacked opportunities in the first term with the ball seemingly forever at the other end, he took his chance in the second quarter with a series of strong marks and smart leads. He attacked the ball at its highest point, often leaving his opponent with no chance. That was highlighted perfectly in the third term as he brought down a contested mark on the move with Riley Grundy right on his hammer creating immense physical pressure. He made the most of his shots on goal too, kicking four goals straight from only seven disposals. The recruiters also got their wish of the dream King/Lukosius match up in the second half, but unfortunately it was a bit of a letdown as they rarely competed aerially.

South Australia:

#2 Hayden Sampson

Sampson as dangerous around the ball and put his head into the pack on numerous occasions. Probably would have liked to be a bit cleaner off the ground but his 15 disposals and three clearances were important

#4 Kade Chandler

Another SA player that goes in hard. Played his role as small defensive forward and crumbed a good goal from the pocket and set up a teammate’s goal with some great pressure.

#10 Martin Frederick

Really stepped up and provided a number of dashing drives from half-back. With 16 disposals he used the ball also really well, broke some tackles due to his pace, and nearly got a goal bursting inside 50. Has really improved his draft chances and is a Port Next Generation Academy.

#11 Finn Betterman

The midfielder had a quieter game but still managed to lock in four tackles, which is what you need to do when the ball is not coming your way. Can play the first receiver really well and his possessions normally matter.

#13 Connor Rozee

This was the return to form we were waiting for, Rozee had the 18 disposals and four clearances. Managed the miracle goal out of the back of the pack with a smart kick and was smooth when he had it. But it was his desperation that really showed off as he was diving for smothers, chasing at speed and on multiple occasions jumped up to intercept or bring to ground a Vic Metro kick, killing off their rebound.

#14 Izak Rankine

One word – Magic! Booted five goals and about four of them were goal of the game contenders. Just so special, and no doubt his highlights package will be something to marvel over. A class above on the night.

#16 Tom Lewis

Literally living at the bottom of a pack, this inside bull was outstanding. Had 18 disposals and eight tackles. Lewis continues to find the footy under enormous contested pressure and dish out to teammates. A memorable play was where he was on the ground in the pack, got the footy, stood up, bursted out of the congestion with 2-3 Vic Metro players on him and dished to a teammate. Scored a nice goal in the last quarter.

#18 Oscar Chapman

The third tall was outstanding and able to demonstrate all his flexibility. Opened up with a holding the ball tackle that hit Munn for the goal and was continuously harassing Metro defenders and providing blocks for his other forwards. In the last quarter he was taken off the leash and exploded kicking 2.2 including a fantastic pack mark 15m out. Finished with a game high seven marks and 14 disposals

#22 Jacob Kennerley

Was important key ball winner for SA and was dominant early on the wing linking play to the SA forwards. Always looked damaging with the ball and used it well and when Vic Metro came back in the third quarter he worked back well. Certainly one of SA’s best for the day finishing with 22 disposals.

#23 Aaron Nietschke

Was a quiet game for Nietschke possession wise, but he did show glimpses of what he can do. Worked hard in and under when the opportunity was there. He has had better games, but his body size and work rate made him a valuable member of the team

#25 Tom Sparrow

Another player who had an impact when it was his turn, and finished with 17 disposals and five inside 50s and did like some of his work down back when he won some key one on ones and fed the ball out. Another contributor who rarely lost a contested ball when in his area.

#27 Jez McLennan

Another solid and productive game for the defender. Managed to grab some intercept marks and always was poised with the football and efficient. Looked well balanced and calm when Vic Metro had a run in the third quarter. A key for the SA defence all tournament and absolute leader down back. His seven tackles were evident of his work rate and willingness to chase and compete. Great leadership shown.

#30 Ben Jarvis

The goal sneak is a real enigma as he always looks dangerous near the footy and around goal and was rewarded with another two goals. He roved a ball off the pack at speed and class which showed off his ability. He worked up the ground at times and was also good in at the contest. Drifted in and out of the game, but when he is near the footy, things happened that really benefit his team.

#31 Mihail Lochowiak

Was prominent early in the game with dash, but did try to do too much at times and turned the ball over. Once he adjusted to the pace of the game he made a solid contribution and when Vic Metro were coming made a nice lead and goal to stem the flow. A bit more poise and polish to his game will be key to his development as his pace, willingness to take the game on and size are all impressive

#32 Luke Valente

A quieter game for the captain, but as a true leader really worked into the game after a quiet first quarter. Still finished with 18 disposals for SA, but what stands out is his composure in traffic, and decision making is generally spot on. Seemed to have a bit more time than others which showed his class. Liked how he dug in during the third quarter to win some key football. His evasion and side step is excellent

#33 Tyler Martin

Had limited possessions but this game really saw his class when challenged. Would rarely be beaten for the footy and just a classic “played your role” game which was vital for the team. He reads the play well and is the third man up at times with timely spoils as well as finishing with five marks intercepting when required.

#34 Jackson Hately

Hately produced another fantastic performance when it mattered most in the title decider. Hately capped off a consistent carnival with 23 disposals in the final game a team high and also a game high of six inside 50’s. He had ten disposals in the first quarter as the Croweaters could no wrong, his brilliant quarter was shown in finding Rankine with a pin-point kick inside 50 to his advantage on the lead. Hately was deservedly named in the forward line of the U18 All Australian team.

#35 Jacob Collins

Norwood’s Jacob Collins was called up for his first game of the carnival and rewarded selectors with a solid game. Collins had plenty of touches early on as the South Australian defence exited Vic Metro’s forward line with ease. Collins ball use from defence early was terrific as South Australia punished Vic Metro’s poor forward entries. Had a knock in second quarter which curtailed his influence somewhat, but still managed to have 13 disposals and five inside 50s.

#37 Riley Grundy

Grundy had the easiest job on field in the first quarter as the service to Ben King was nothing sort of horrific. But once Vic Metro responded, delivery to King was maximised as the height difference between King (202cm) and Grundy (195cm) in the marking contests started to show. Grundy struggled at times to compete with King aerially, as King finished with four goals. Grundy has had a solid carnival down back with Will Gould and has done decent jobs on the each team’s key forward.

#42 Jack Lukosius

Lukosius took a back seat to the Izak Rankine show early on and was quiet in the first term. In the second quarter Lukosius kicked his first goal after a great passage of play by the SA onball brigade, as Munn tapped it down to Lukosius who converted on ground level. In the second half the recruiters got their carnival wish as Lukosius was sent back to stop King from continuing his dominance. Lukosius certainly assured the SA backline and took intercepting marks down back to prove that he is almost the prototype footballer that can play in almost any position. His brilliant carnival was capped off with the centre half-forward position in the U18 All Australian team and is likely to be taken at pick one in the AFL National Draft.

#43 Will Gould

Under-age defender Will Gould was a monster down back for his side as he also had a carnival high of 17 possessions for the match. Gould took it upon himself to be more adventurous out of defence once he was joined by Jack Lukosius down back proving his versatility. Gould was deservedly awarded with a spot in U18 the All-Australian team on the interchange, as massive achievement for the 2001-born player.

#44 James Siviour

Siviour produced his best performance for the title decider as he took care of ruckman Tom Hallebone, Joe Griffith’s replacement. Siviour contributed with 28 hitouts, 10 disposals and goal, his intercepting down back was a highlight as took six marks for the day, as Hallebone could only manage one.

#47 Hugo Munn

Munn was on fire in the first quarter as he dominated opponent James Blanck tacking a pack mark and converting truly and another contested mark against his opponent and fed a running Rankine who kicked it from the goal square. Munn has showed some brilliant signs and efforts throughout the carnival as finished as one of the top goal kickers with Lukosius, Rankine and King.

South Australia take out the U18 AFL National Championships title

A devastating first quarter from top-five draft prospect Izak Rankine saw South Australia storm towards the Under-18 AFL National Championship title. The Croweaters had to hold off a fast finishing Victoria Metro side whose deplorable start to the match severely wrecked their chances. But South Australia’s mesmerising first half start blew Vic Metro away with a nine goal to two half.

This start was the game changer as Rankine took the match away from Vic Metro contributing three goals and put on an incredible show for the patrons at Etihad Stadium. South Australia’s start of the match was potentially the best start of the championships as SA attacked at will from their early clearances, as Vic Metro’s onball brigade were given an armchair ride. Star forward/midfielder Rankine opened his account by kicking a wonderful volley goal in the middle of a forward 50m stoppage to give SA the first of the game.

SA’s attack was relentless after Oscar Chapman hunted down a Vic Metro defender attempting to rebound from his defensive 50 and quickly got it onto the boot to Hugo Munn who took a fantastic park mark. Munn converted his first and was given another terrific delivery into the forward line which saw him out mark Vic Metro defender James Blanck with ease and strength. With only Munn and Blanck in the goal square, Rankine stormed past to receive the handball and kick his second of game.

Vic Metro started to get some forward entries but butchered their kicks as the SA defenders were intercepting with ease. Rhylee West was starting to get some critical clearances for his side. But Vic Metro couldn’t stop the bleeding, Rankine then kicked a stunning snap goal from the boundary line to bring up his third goal of the day as Metro could not stop his influence. Rankine was single-handily taking control of the match as he then took a screamer up forward. Rankine had two more set-shots for the quarter but couldn’t convert both as he had the chance to end the quarter with five goals to his name, SA led by 26 points and kept Metro goalless.

The South Australia juggernaut had no signs of stopping any time soon, as Connor Rozee kicked a great soccer goal to start the second quarter. Vic Metro finally got on the board as a long kick from Ben Silvagni found Ben King who converted for his side’s first of the game. SA then made the most of the forward 50m entries, as Jack Lukosius kicked a great goal of ground level as Kade Chandler and Ben Jarvis continued the rout. Vic Metro tried their best to cut the margin but kept missing gettable chances Riley Collier-Dawkins took a great mark inside 50 but couldn’t convert, South Australia led by seven goals at the main break.

But South Australia’s comfortable 43-point margin at half-time was incredibly in danger as Vic Metro booted the next five goals of the match to close to within 11 points halfway through the third quarter. King led the charge up front, as Curtis Taylor and under-age forward Jack Mahony kicked crucial goals for Metro. Underage midfielder Matt Rowell started finding tons of space and his pin-point kicking was finding targets in the forward 50, James Rendell was sent forward and was causing the SA defence problems as he kicked a goal. South Australia needed a response as Vic Metro were looking unstoppable and had plenty of time to catch up and get the in front of the game.

Angus Hanrahan had the opportunity for Vic Metro to get within a goal after a brilliant rundown tackle on Mihail Lochowiak in the forward pocket but failed to score the goal. Lochowiak keen to make up for his error marked just inside 50 from Munn’s kick and intercept mark on the wing, Lochowiak kicked the long bomb and SA steadied the ship somewhat. Then it all started to fall apart for Metro as they breached the anti-density rule and SA captain Luke Valente kindly obliged from 25m directly in front to give South Australia that nerve settler.

South Australia coach Tony Bamford granted the wishes of the recruiters as he moved star forward Lukosius into defence to stop King’s dominance. Rankine quiet and barely seen in the third quarter nursing an ankle injury, came out firing in the final stanza as he kicked a great snap goal to get his fourth of the game. Rankine then followed up with his fifth as he burnt off the Metro defence to take his tally to five for the day.

Chapman started to dominate in the forward line with Lukosius down back as he kicked a nice snap goal and followed it up with a great mark and goal moments later to get his second for the quarter. The match sealer came from honest midfielder Tom Lewis who profited from a superb run down tackle from Chandler, as Lewis then shrugged an opponent to kick a wonderful snap goal.

South Australia ran out 55-point winners as the Croweaters produced their best performance for decider, the same couldn’t be said about Victoria Metro who were admirable across the championships but couldn’t match it with SA.

Rankine arguably only played two effective quarters and ended his day with best on ground honours with five goals from 17 disposals and a highlight reel for the ages. Midfielders Jackson Hately (24 disposals) and Jacob Kennerley (22 disposals) were effective across the day and were vital to South Australia’s ball movement and stoppage dominance, Kennerley impressive off the wing. Possible number one draft pick Lukosius was serviceable for his side in a relatively quiet outing for the star forward, as he shifted to play on King in latter stages of the match. South Australia MVP Valente (18 disposals) was at his solid best as on-ball partner Lewis (18 disposals) both carried most of the heavy grunt work across the midfield. Martin Frederick was superb off half-back with 16 disposals, as Frederick produced his best performance of the carnival in a time that mattered most.

For the disappointed Vic Metro, King’s performance was the main reason that it wasn’t an embarrassing score line for his side. King dominated in the contests against Riley Grundy as the way King flew for the ball made it almost impossible for the SA defenders to stop him, he kicked four goals for the day. Joseph Ayton-Delaney was a steady possession getter for his side when they were struggling to find it, as his 25 disposals for the day was a game high. Rowell was integral to Metro’s comeback in the third term and picked up 20 touches for the game. Bailey Smith was quiet in the opening stanza but slowly influenced as the game grew older he finished with 22 disposals and six tackles.

VIC METRO 0.1 2.3 8.5 9.7 (61)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 4.3 9.4 12.7 17.14 (116)

Goals
Vic Metro: King 4, Taylor 2, Mahony, Rendell, O’Hallora.
South Australia: Rankine 5, Jarvis 2, Chapman 2, Munn, Rozee, Lukosius, Chandler, Lochowiak, Siviour, Valente, Lewis.

Best
Vic Metro: King, Ayton-Delaney, Smith, Rowell, O’Halloran, Mahony
South Australia: Rankine, Kennerley, Hately, Lewis, Frederick, Chapman

South Australia set up title decider date with Vic Metro after strong win

SOUTH Australia will face fellow unbeaten side Vic Metro for the National AFL Under 18 Championships at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, after the Croweaters secured a 24-point victory against a gallant Allies side. Izak Rankine continued his dominant ways with his best performance for the carnival so far. He gave his top five draft chances no harm with a match-winning performance for South Australia. Rankine booted three goals which included a great kick from outside the 50m arc in the third quarter which gave the Croweaters the ascendency in the premiership quarter.

South Australia started the match better getting out of the blocks early, as Connor Rozee had no trouble kicking the first goal of the game. Star key forward Jack Lukosius was deployed on the wing in the first quarter and was racking up possessions and displaying his incredible field kicking across the ground. The Allies struggled to get on the board early, as underage defender Will Gould barricaded the Allies goal but Jesse Quint kicked their first from a sharp rebound out of defence. Oscar Chapman replied for his side with a beautiful set shot from a tight angle as Hugo Munn kicked a long bomb from outside 50m to give South Australia a promising lead. The Croweaters great quarter got better, with a U18 carnival first that saw Munn awarded a free kick in front of goal due to an Allies zone infringement. Munn’s kick hit the post as both teams then engaged in a scuffle heading into the quarter time break.

It was a completely different Allies side after the quarter-time break as they were fired up after not being able to match it to the Croweaters in the first stanza. Nick Blakey was back for his side and got his first goal of the day after Kieren Briggs marked on a tight angle and handed the ball to Blakey who snapped truly. The South Australian defenders were sleeping at that moment, as Blakey standing right next to Briggs, screamed for the ball and was given all the space in the world to snap a great goal and gave the Allies the fire starter they needed. That goal would be a sign of things to come for South Australia as Blakey kicked his second goal in a manner of minutes. Rankine kicked a superb goal to answer the Allies dominance, but that was SA’s only significant action for the quarter as the Allies dominated every area in the game. Gold Coast Suns Academy player Bailey Scott took the reins of the match as he kicked two crucial goals that saw his side lead by 13 points at the main break. Blakey, Scott and Brisbane Lions Academy player Connor McFayden were proving difficult to contain. South Australia knew they were lucky to only be down by two goals at half-time as the Allies had 10 more inside 50 entries than their opponents.

The Croweaters responded very well in the third quarter after a probable stern message from coach Tony Bamford. Boyd Woodcock playing his first game of the carnival, got SA’s comeback on track with a long bomb which bounced through from outside 50m. Rankine kicked his second and then followed with a third from a tight angle, as Martin Frederick completed a great running goal from the outer flank as he teased Allies players with his run and dash. Hayden Sampson was front and centre to kick an opportunist snap goal from a stoppage as the ball fell towards the forward. With South Australia kicking six goals straight for the quarter, Mitchell O’Neill’s goal received from a great Blakey mark was the only play of note for the Allies that saw themselves down by 20 points at the final break.

The game was far from over as South Australia were kicking towards the non-scoring end of the ground in the final quarter, as that end had strangely only seen two goals kicked for the day so far. SA proved that was not to be a worry with a superb team goal starting from Lukosius switching out of defence to a running Frederick who fed Tom Sparrow and hit up Ben Jarvis inside 50m as he kicked the goal. Underage Suns academy player Connor Budarick not only ensured that he would be the third Connor to kick a goal in the game, but also ensure he kept his side in with a sniff. That was wiped away with a brilliant set shot by Lukosius, his first of the game and a second Jarvis goal. South Australia kept up its admirable tackling pressure that saw them strangle the Allies out of the game, SA finished with 24 more tackles for the game.

Blakey continued to offer his side an avenue to goal, as Tasmanian Rhyan Mansell kicked a late consolation for his side. Best for South Australia was their on-ball brigade, as their consistent performances throughout the carnival have been a joy to behold. Luke Valente did no harm to his draft chances no problems with a game-high 28 disposals and six clearances, he was joined by on-ball partner Jackson Hately who had 21 disposals and eight tackles. Lukosius started and played the majority of the match on the wing as he moved across the ground accumulating 18 disposals and seven marks. Rankine produced his best game in the championships so far with 20 disposals, four clearances, five marks, and three goals. Jacob Kennerely (17 disposals and seven marks) and Finn Bettermann (16 disposals and 10 tackles) provided great assistance to Valente and Hately in the middle. Underage Glenelg defender Gould was huge for side across defence taking seven marks for the day, as Frederick was superb with his run and carry.

Sydney Swans Academy prospect Blakey was at his courageous best for the Allies in his return game in the championships. He was difficult to contain for the South Australian defence across the whole game, shown by quick back-to-back goals early in the second quarter to give the Allies the run. His remarkable courage in contests throughout the match was also admirable as was his ability to bring his teammates into play. Gold Coast Academy player Scott showed his promise with a team-high 22 disposals, as Geelong and North Melbourne will also be keeping a close eye on the father-son prospect as the draft approaches. Chayce Jones and McFayden were also heavily involved with 21 disposals each for the Allies, while O’Neill and Briggs also continued to impress in the championships. South Australia will now prepare itself to face the undefeated Vic Metro at Etihad Stadium to decide who will be crowned the 2018 National Under 18 Championship winners. The Allies finish their campaign against Western Australia in the curtain raiser to the decider on Wednesday, July 4.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 1.1 4.6 10.10 13.12 (90)
ALLIES 3.6 6.7 7.8 9.12 (66)

GOAL:
South Australia: Rankine 3, Jarvis 2, Rozee, Chapman, Munn, Woodcock, Betterman, Frederick, Sampson, Lukosius.
Allies: Blakey 2, Scott 2, Quint, McFayden, O’Neill, Budarick, Mansell.

BEST:
South Australia: Valente, Hately, Betterman, Rankine, Gould.
Allies: Blakey, McFayden, Scott, Jones, O’Neill, Briggs.

Scouting notes: Allies vs. South Australia

IN the first of our two-game scouting notes wrap up for the National Championships on the weekend, we took a look at the Allies and South Australia. Scott Dougan, James Goller and Callum Thomson split up to take a look at the Allies, while Damon Mattiazzo, David Chapman and Jamie Morgan noted down the South Australian side.

Allies:

#1 Connor Budarick

The bottom-ager aligned with the Gold Coast Suns played up forward and was able to hit the scoreboard in the last quarter with a beautiful dribble kick. Throughout stages of the game, he showed aggression in contested situations and composure on the outside. Budarick is not the tallest of players but his speed, agility and footy smarts make up for his height. A classy footballer who will be one to watch out for next year.

#3 Josh Stern

Stern was part of the Allies forward line and also drifted through the midfield when needed. He played on the outside of the contest and his ball use was good. But he was unable to have any sort of impact on the game, failing to lay a tackle and only amassing four disposals.

#6 Rhyan Mansell 

The Tasmanian had an impressive diving smother on the half-back flank in the first quarter, but unfortunately, the ball rebounded back inside South Australia’s forward 50. Mansell was at his best in contested situations, releasing the ball by hand to his teammates on the outside. He worked hard to get from contest to contest and was able to hit the scoreboard in the last quarter after crumbing a Nick Blakey marking contest superbly.

#7 Jesse Quint

Quint played forward and booted the Allies first goal after he crumbed a marking contest inside 50. He lacked intensity and grunt when he lost an important one-on-one contest in the second quarter to a more desperate South Australian player. Quint found it difficult to get involved during the game but popped up in the third quarter with a notable contested mark against Will Gould.

#10 Chayce Jones

The hard-running midfielder was one of the Allies best in their 24-point defeat. Jones had an important spoil in the first term which resulted in Jesse Quint kicking the first goal for the Allies. His aggression on the contest, work-rate, pressure and competitiveness were a highlight throughout the day. He won the ball in contested situations but also found it just as easy to find it on the outside. His defensive running was faultless and clear when he was able to keep up with speedy South Australian, Hayden Sampson after he sprinted 100 metres to make himself an option in the forward 50. Jones’ kicking has been criticised and does need some work, but in the fourth quarter, he was able to hit up the leading Nick Blakey on the chest with a blistering opposite foot bullet. A very solid four-quarter performance from the possible first-round draft pick.

#11 Keidean Coleman

Coleman was responsible for the Allies kick-ins and played as a rebounding defender. His ball use was clean and his composure under pressure was good. He did not find much of the ball but made the correct decisions when he had it. Coleman made a couple of defensive errors in the match, one in the third quarter when he went up for a marking contest with two other teammates and failed to keep his feet, resulting in a goal for South Australia. Another one came in the last quarter when he was walking around without an opponent, unaware of his surroundings, which lead to an opposition player leading to a massive area of space with ease, gifting him a shot at goal.

#12 Mitchell O’Neill

The bottom-age outside midfielder was one of the top contributors for the Allies. He showed poise and composure with ball in hand and his ball use was exceptional when delivering the ball inside 50. He was involved in both of Nick Blakey’s goals in the second quarter, which helped the Allies to regain the confidence and desire they were lacking in the first term. O’Neill played all over the ground and worked hard to get involved in as many passages of play as possible. One of his several high points of the day came in the third term when he positioned himself wonderfully in front of a one-on-one contest deep inside 50, reading the play well and booting an important goal.

#15 Guy Richardson

Richardson was solid in the back half, remaining calm when the Allies defence was under siege in periods throughout the game. His penetrating kick was handy when rebounding out of the defensive 50 and he always used the ball well. He was unable to lay a tackle but showed glimpses of competitiveness.

#17 Thomas Matthews

Matthews a tough backman, laid six strong tackles in his game against South Australia. One of these was a goal-saving tackle in the third quarter. This is where he showed great follow up pressure. He had two rebounds from the defensive fifty, where he lowered his eyes and was composed when making decisions. You really know what your going to get from Matthews , trying all day. He also took a strong intercept mark. Matthews is also hard to tackle and broke through a number of South Australian tackles.

#19 Bailey Scott

A interesting player, Scott, the father-son prospect for North Melbourne and Geelong but is also an Academy player for the Gold Coast Suns. Scott played throughout the midfield and forward line. He showed his forward craft by kicking two goals. He has the ability to generate a high number of possessions as Scott had the most disposals for the Allies with 22 possessions. He also showed his midfield craft gaining three clearances and four inside 50s. Scott at times was able to break away from stoppages by using his speed which was impressive. He showed that he can make solid decisions with the ball in hand. Not only that but Scott’s hands were good in congestion. With Scott’s kicking, he hit Tarryn Thomas on the chest with a 45-50 metre kick which caught the eye and did this again with hitting up teammate Nick Blakey.

#20 Fraser Turner

Turner played mostly on the wing and through the midfield for Allies. He set up a goal early with nice hands from a crumbling situation. He showed his ability to weave out of congestion very well. In congestion, Turner had quick hands and made solid decision making skills. He had 17 possessions for the day, but did not lay a tackle.

#26 Thomas Green

Green played in the midfield for the Allies . A highlight was his six tackles and he looked fairly strong in the contest. An in and under player, he also took a nice intercept mark running off his opponent and reading the ball well in the air. Green ended up collecting 13 possessions. He was another Allies player that showed in congestion good use with his handballing.

#28 Matthew Green

Green did not have a big day at the office however there were certain parts to his game that were solid. Green has break away speed which he used across the half-back line. He rebounded the ball a few times importantly out of defence. Green used his speed to break through the lines by really taking the game on.

#29 Joey Reinhard

Was barely sighted in the first half, but had a much better second half of the game. Playing across the half-back line and wing for the Allies. Reinhard showed solid work rate by when it comes to his running patterns. He showed some leg speed in the contest and managed three inside 50s in the second half.

#31 Connor McFadyen

McFadyen had a outstanding game for the Allies. He was one of the best on for them, collecting 21 possessions. Playing through the midfield and forward line he really put on fantastic pressure on his opponents laying seven tackles. He pinch-hit in the ruck to give Kieren Briggs a chop out. This is where McFadyen kicked a ripping goal on his left from the stoppage. The 190cm McFadyen was really strong in the contest, which allowed him to have six clearances and five inside 50s. The Brisbane Academy player played a great game and is one to keep a watch on especially Brisbane Lions fans.

#37 Jacob Koschitzke

The key back had a solid game against the South Australian team. After coming off a great match against Vic Metro. Koschitzke started well taking two really good marks. He really reads the ball well in flight, as a number of times he ran off his opponent to spoil contests. He showed courage in the game also with a back with a flight spoil which caught the eye.

#40 Kieren Briggs

The GWS Giants academy big man looked dangerous all day, alternating between the forward line and the ruck. When in the ruck, Briggs was able to impose himself around the ground and win the majority of the ruck contests. Up forward Briggs presented well whether as a stay at home forward or a linking target further up the ground. If he could not mark the ball in the contest, he was able to bring it down to ground level and provide the smaller forwards with opportunities. What sets Briggs apart from most other big men is his desire. He had a fantastic chase down in the third term and consistently provided defensive pressure and second efforts. Finishing with 22 hitouts, 12 disposals and seven tackles, Briggs was one of the Allies best.

#41 Mathew Walker

Walker played a solid game without doing anything special, finishing with 10 touches, two marks and two tackles. Spending most of his time as a half-forward, the GWS Academy product also rotated into the midfield but failed to make an impact. When Walker got the ball he was able to use it cleanly, while without the ball, he applied good defensive pressure.

#44 Caleb Graham

Graham played in a variety of positions today, showing off his versatility. The Gold Coast Academy prospect started the game up forward where he could not impact the game. Moving into the ruck, Graham was able to win his fair share of hit outs as well as get the better of his opponent around the ground. Graham looked most comfortable down back, where he was able to read the play well, talking a couple of nice intercept marks. Graham finished the game with 28 hitouts, eight disposals and four marks.

#46 Tarryn Thomas

Thomas was not up to his usual standards, but always looked dangerous when in and around the contest. Up forward, Thomas provided good pressure and was always a threat at ground level. In the midfield, Thomas used the ball well when he had the opportunity, especially by hand. Thomas played his best when he was in and under the contest, getting first use of the ball and using his clean hands to find an open teammate. The Tasmanian finished with 12 disposals and six tackles and continues to show glimpses of something special.

#47 Nicholas Baker

Baker was set the task of defending South Australia’s best forwards. He started on Connor Rozee and moved onto Jack Lukosious in the second quarter to curb his influence. Baker was able to read the play well, leaving his man to get to contests and spoil. One of the Allies best defenders, Baker finished with 11 disposals and five tackles.

#48 Dirk Koenen

Playing as a key pillar in defence, Koenen came off the ground after a contest halfway through second quarter for treatment on a high right hamstring, but came back on later in the quarter. Koenen was good in the aerial contests and used the ball well when in possession, finishing with 10 disposals and three marks.

#49 Nick Blakey

Blakey was quiet in the first quarter but took a strong mark early in the game. Blakey scored his first early in the second snapping it home from a Briggs hand off. Less than a minute later he kicked his second after a strong lead. Blakey looks most dangerous when he can run and jump at the ball. He doesn’t break stride on the lead and marks the ball at the highest point. Blakey was able to play deep or as a linking option. The Sydney academy member was one of the Allies best finishing with 11 possessions, six marks and two goals (three behinds).

South Australia:

#2 Hayden Sampson

The son of Adelaide Crows premiership player Clay Sampson had a solid contribution to South Australia’s with 12 disposals and three marks. He showed his opportunist forward instincts with a great roving goal in the third quarter after the ball raced away from a stoppage in SA’s forward line.

#3 Boyd Woodcock

Serial ball winner Woodcock played his first game of the carnival and provided an extra outlet through the midfield and half-forward. His tackling pressure was great throughout the game, and he also kicked a top goal from outside 50 to cap off a decent game.

#4 Kade Chandler

Unfortunately Chandler struggled to have a great impact on the game, against Vic Country in the previous game his tackling pressure was massive with 12, but only could muster four against the Allies.

#10 Martin Frederick

The Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy player played his best game for the carnival as he was a crucial element to South Australia’s run and carry from defence. His disposal is left to be desired at times but two inside 50s and three rebounds highlighted his influence. Frederick showed off his dashing run and “sold candy” as he kicked a superb goal on the run from a difficult angle.

#11 Finn Betterman

Betterman was one of the best for his side as his performance was significant to the great victory. Betterman found plenty of the ball in the early exchanges of the match and continued to be consistent throughout. His highlight for the game was definitely his pressure around the ball as he claimed 10 tackles for the day. His pressure was most evident when he smothered an Allies kick out of defence and followed on to kick a great snap goal.

#13 Connor Rozee

Rozee had his most influential game of the carnival and was firing from the start as he kicked the first goal of the game. His kicking was a joy to behold throughout the match, later on Rozee was hurt from a pack mark attempt but played out the game with no problems.

#14 Izak Rankine

Rankine kicked three goals as he lit up at the GMHBA Stadium with his daring dash and explosiveness. He started through the midfield and found plenty of the ball in the early stoppages and finished with 20 disposals a carnival high for Rankine. Kicked two outstanding goals to lift his side and provided plenty with score involvements across the game.

#16 Tom Lewis

An unsung leader of the team Lewis was highly influential for his side again across the stoppages. Lewis provided a game high 11 tackles and three clearances as he complimented clearance kings Valente and Hately fantastically.

#18 Oscar Chapman

The medium-tall forward was always presenting, but was not used that much, provided a lot of forward pressure and finished with a nice goal from the boundary.

#22 Jacob Kennerley

The winger was again important with his 17 disposals and the link between the arcs. With five inside 50s he helped set up many scoring opportunities.

#23 Aaron Nietschke

Playing mainly in the defensive half, Nietschke showed real poise on a number of occasions to stem the flow from the Allies with a crucial mark.

#25 Tom Sparrow

The inside bull was everywhere and works hard and fast. Sparrow had nine disposals, but also had nine tackles and continues to play well as a defensive mid.

#27 Jez McLennan

Playing across half-back, McLennan was at his best when taking the game on whilst rebounding. Did also take a nice defensive pack mark as well.

#29 Kai Pudney

The winger had 15 disposals and five marks and provided an outlet on a number of occasions, but probably would have liked to make a bit more of an impact on the game.

#30 Ben Jarvis

Smart play on a number of occasions saw Jarvis on the end of many attacks. The medium/tall forward kicked 2.3 and had five good marks.

#32 Luke Valente

A real leaders’ game and showed the way in the first quarter. Continued to lead all players with game high 28 disposals and worked hard inside the contest. Showed his class and work rate all game despite a quiet second quarter but his six clearances were important. Coming into his own during the National Championships, and his stocks would have risen after this game.

#33 Tyler Martin

Did not win much of the footy, but was still solid in defence all game. Competed well when the ball was in his area and certainly played his role. He is a good size and show some poise coming out of defence.

#34 Jackson Hately

Showed in this game what he can do. Down and dirty inside at the contest, and his decision making in traffic was very good and often released others from the contest with handball. Eight tackles and six clearances was reflective of his work rate, and his height and size looks ready-made for the contest. A very good all-round game

#37 Riley Grundy

The tall defender worked into the game after the first quarter. His intercept marks looked to give him confidence and his athleticism was at show for sure. Allies forward Nick Blakey was on top early, but Grundy dug in and certainly kept the Allies key forward quieter in the second half. Bit of polish to finish his work will come with more games

#42 Jack Lukosius

Came out blazing in the first quarter, and his work rate across the ground stood out along with his elite disposal. He played a higher role up the ground, worked into defence and really did it all at both ends. He was rewarded with a goal, and three inside 50s and rebound 50s was reflective of an all-round game. He drifted out of the game along with teammates in the second quarter, but his disposal continues to impress.

#43 Will Gould

Liked his game across half-back, and had the key match up early on Blakey. Gould was settled in defence and read the ball well with a number of intercepts finishing with 7 marks. Showed his ability to run and work rate up the ground at times as well and he held the SA defence together all game. Looks like he will be right amongst it in next years draft.

#44 James Siviour

Shared the ruck duties with Hugo Munn, and competed well. Did not find a lot of the footy, but broke even at most of the ruck contests.

#47 Hugo Munn

Settled in the first quarter, and looked really dangerous up forward, slotting one goal and could have had three by quarter time. A quiet second quarter, but then his ruck and around the ground work after half time was good. His decision making was excellent hitting up targets and willingness to compete on the ground stood out. Like his athleticism and ability to run out the game in Ruck and up forward.

Weekend previews: National U18 Championships – Round 4

IN what will be a big five days for the most talented Under 18s in the country, the National AFL Championships continue tomorrow in the first of two double headers in Victoria. Tomorrow, teams clash at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong before reconvening next Wednesday at Etihad Stadium. Vic Metro has the bye tomorrow, while Vic Country plays its final game of the series in Geelong.

ALLIES VS. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Friday, June 29, 2.10pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

The Allies come into this clash after a good performance against Vic Metro where they narrowly fell short in the dying minutes. Jacob Koschitzke was one of the most impressive, restricting potential number one pick Ben King to just one goal – unfortunately it was the match winner. His job does not get any easier this week, with a potential match-up on likely number on pick Jack Lukosius. He will look to work in tandem with Dirk Koenen – who also played well in the last match – likely to take fellow tall Hugo MunnFraser Turner was the Allies’ best in the last game and he could line-up on AFL Academy member and potential first round pick Connor Rozee, while on the inside, Connor McFadyen joins Tarryn Thomas and Chayce Jones against the A-grade midfield of Izak RankineLuke Valente and Tom Lewis, with Jackson Hately rotating between midfield and forward. Kieren Briggs and bottom-agers Thomas Green and Mitchell O’Neill are others who have impressed in the championships thus far.

In defence, Riley Grundy and Will Gould have been impressive and will likely be given the jobs on Caleb Graham and Nick Blakey, while Mathew Walker provides a medium-tall option in attack, with plenty of smalls creating havoc at ground level. Jez McLennan has looked good this carnival in defence, while Hayden Sampson has shown promising signs in attack and through the midfield. The attacking end for South Australia is unbelievable, with Lukosius and Munn joined by high-flying overager Oscar Chapman who returns to the team, while clearance machine Boyd Woodcock makes his debut for the Croweaters. Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy member Kai Pudney leads the strong depth on the bench with Ben Jarvis and Kade Chandler – others who have impressed at times this carnival.

South Australia head into the game as deserving favourites, but given the Allies were able to push Vic Metro all the way and South Australia was largely challenged by Vic Country, anything is possible in this game. A win to South Australia sets up a tantalising match with Vic Metro next week in what would decide the 2018 National Under 18 Championships title.

 

VIC COUNTRY VS. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Friday, June 29, 4.40pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

In the second game of the double header, the two sides without a win do battle to open their account in the National Under 18 Championships. Vic County has lost all three of its games thus far and will want to end the carnival on a high, while Western Australia can finish off with two wins if it can topple Country and then the Allies next Wednesday. After losing to South Australia by 89 points in the opening round, Western Australia were much improved at home against Vic Metro. In this game, the exciting Jason Carter returns to provide some speed on the wing, joining a talented Black Swans outfit that will be without Jarrod Fazioli who booted three goals against Country in last year’s National Championships. The midfield of Luke FoleyDeven Robertson and Luke English is a consistent base, while Ian Hill and Rylie Morgan are always dangerous up the forward end. In defence, Jake Pasini and Louis Miller come into the team, while Regan Spooner and Damon Greaves will be hoping to continue their form.

For Vic Country, Murray Bushrangers midfielder Ely Smith receives the call-up to replace the injured Mitch Riordan, and will be hoping to back-up his 37-disposal game in the TAC Cup last weekend. Smith is joined in an extended side by teammates Zane Barzen and Hudson Garoni, while Gippsland bottom-agers swap spots with Brock Smith coming in and Caleb Serong heading out. Connor Idun and Kyle Reid have been consistent in defence and will want to finish the carnival with a positive note taking on the likes of Dillion O’Reilly and Tyson PowellTom Berry will have a strong challenge against Hill, while Laitham Vandermeer and Hayden Young will look to create run out of defence. Ely Smith joins Sam Walsh and Sam Fletcher in the midfield, while the forward set-up of Oscar BrownlessNed McHenry and Xavier Duursma seemed to provide opportunities last week, with Brodie Kemp coming into the mix for his first game.

Weekend previews: National Under 18 Championships – Round 2

FOLLOWING the first round of matches, we have three sides undefeated, and a Vic Country side keen to bounce back. The Allies could put themselves in a good position with a win over Vic Metro, while South Australia will be keen to make it two from two in front of their home fans.

 

ALLIES V. VIC METRO

Saturday, June 16, 11am
Southport, Queensland

Both teams head into the clash undefeated after winning their first round encounters. Vic Metro saw off a much-improved Western Australia, and the Allies came from behind to run over the top of Vic Country courtesy of a three-goal final quarter from GIANTS big man Kieren Briggs. Chayce Jones was the Allies’ best with 28 touches, five marks, five clearances, five inside 50s, four rebounds, six tackles and two goals in a top all-round performance and pushed his top 30 credentials, while the Allies got the victory despite a more subdued performance from Tarryn Thomas – who still had 17 disposals and laid six tackles. Returning to the team is key position forward Nick Blakey who will cause headaches for Vic Metro, and could be one of the keys to victory, while Mitch O’Neill, Fraser Turner and Thomas Green loom as key cogs for the Allies from defence to attack. For Metro, Bailey Smith will look to have another strong game on the inside after his 28 disposals, three marks, 10 tackles, five clearances and four inside 50s last week, while Rhylee West (25 disposals, nine clearances) will spend more time in attack up at Southport. Captain Xavier O’Halloran and Tom McKenzie will aid Smith in the middle, presenting a fantastic set of match-ups with Thomas, Jones and Green. Jack Bytel and Mathew Walker are key inclusions for their respective sides with the AFL Academy members likely to play forward while rotating through the midfield. Key position forward Ben King will look to back up his form of five goals from the week before, joined in attack by Sandringham Dragons teammate, Joe Griffiths. Buku Khamis and Isaac Quaynor will look to provide plenty of rebound for the visitors, while Bailey Scott and Blair Rubock will look to lock the ball in the forward half. Vic Metro will head into the game as favourites, but the Allies have shown good cohesion despite coming from all parts of the country and will be keen to cause an upset here and make it two from two.

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA V. VIC COUNTRY

Sunday, June 17, 11am
Adelaide Oval, South Australia

In the second game of the weekend, the red-hot South Australian side host its second game of the year, this time at Adelaide Oval against a Vic Country side scathing that it missed out on victory against the Allies in round one. The teams have made a combined 11 changes to try and get the winning edge, with the likes of Oscar Chapman, Ben Jarvis, Aaron Nietschke and Mihail Lochowiak among the rotations out of the side. Into the team come plenty of fresh faces including Kai Pudney, James Siviour and Kade Chandler to mix up the on-field structure. With Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine up forward and Jackson Hateley and Luke Valente in the midfield, the Croweaters are still very strong across the full side. Vic Country’s defenders will have their work cut out for them with Connor Idun and Kyle Reid to rotate on Lukosius and Hugo Munn, while Country have opted for speed rather than height, omitting Dane Hollenkamp in favour of an extra small. Riley Bowman switches places with Stingrays’ teammate Bailey Schmidt and is likely to be the key player for Country along with Bailey Williams and cause some serious headaches for the South Australian ruck division. Up forward, bottom-agers Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders were impressive last week, while Zane Barzen will play deeper forward more so than a wing, and Oscar Brownless will be out to impress at half-forward. Jake Frawley and Jai Taylor will come in to try and nullify the loss of inside midfielders Jye Caldwell and Mitch Riordan to injury. South Australia will head into the clash as strong favourites and rightfully so. They have plenty of talent across the field, with potentially three top 10 picks in Lukosius, Rankine and Hately, while the classy Connor Rozee will go close too. Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry will lead the Country midfield, but it will be a big ask against one of the title contenders.

Scouting notes: South Australia vs. Western Australia

THE National Championships kicked off yesterday, with South Australia having an imposing 89-point win over Western Australia. Here are the scouting notes by Tom Wyman and David Chapman from that game.

South Australia:

#14 – Izak Rankine

As usual Rankine was creative and dangerous, and with his five inside 50s helping to setup his teammates. In the first quarter he showed some real class by “duking” two opposition players to get a shot on goal. But the highlight was a brilliant cross the body kick from the pocket to hit Lukosius 30m directly in front. He ended the game with one goal and two behinds along with a heap of possessions.

#15 – Robert Irra

The rebounding small defender was lively coming out of defensive 50 and assisted in repelling numerous WA forward thrusts. He had four rebound 50s and 13 of his 14 disposals were kicks to underline his metres gained impact.

#22 – Jacob Kennerley

The winger was everywhere in the first half and his nine marks and 22 disposals really allowed the rebound from the defensive 50 to link to the forward line. Kennerley was busy around the ground and worked hard to get into the space.

#25 – Tom Sparrow

Another midfield clearance machine. Sparrow had eight clearances and also six tackles and was aggressive around the contest, bullying the opposition on a number of occasions. His gut running at pace was also on show in another solid performance.

#30 – Ben Jarvis

In the team as an undersized backup ruckman and athletic tall forward, Jarvis countered his height deficiency in the ruck by getting plenty of followup ball around the contest. When up forward he was impressive in finding the space and kicked three goals and two behinds for the game.

#32 – Luke Valente

The inside midfielder started off well with the opening goal. Valente worked well, racking up seven clearances around the contest and his 26 disposals were highly effective. He also seemed suited to quarterbacking the play from the defensive 50 when he was needed.

#34 – Jackson Hately

The on-baller led the stats with 28 possessions but really starred amassing 10 clearances, especially given SA ruckmen were conceding a lot of height. Hately read the ball well off either ruckman’s hands and drove many a SA forward entry. He also ended up with a goal but it was his poise and composure through traffic that stood out.

#42 – Jack Lukosius

By kicking 4.2 Lukosius got off to his expected great Championship start. He also impressed with his strong hands taking 14 marks both inside and outside 50. After a good contest early with his opponent, he really dominated after quarter time showcasing his accuracy in front of goal.

#43 – Will Gould

Playing as the key defender, Gould was impassable. With three rebound 50s, Gould was rarely beaten in the air or on the ground and looked to run from the back. He had an imposing play in the second half where he ran with the ball, gave off a handball and the oncoming tackler was the one who bounced off Gould as he tried to jam him.

#47 – Hugo Munn

The key forward was deadly in front kicking four goals straight. Not needing much of it and like most of the SA forwards were given plenty of opportunities he clunked five marks – all in dangerous positions.

 

Western Australia:

#1 – Ian Hill

Regarded by many as Western Australia’s most talented player, Ian Hill showed flashes of his silky skills and lightning speed. “Bobby” started the game up forward and was isolated against over-ager Robert Irra in the goal square at various times early on. Moved onto the ball in the second half and took a classy one-handed mark right in-front of many club recruiters. Kicked a nice snap goal from close range but life was tough for the AFL Academy member who was given little opportunity. Still looked ominous when in the vicinity of the ball. Hill finished with eight kicks, five handballs, five marks and three tackles to go with the goal.

#8 – Luke Moore

Moore was the only multiple goalscorer for Western Australia. The strongly built small forward looked dangerous in-tight and continued his goal kicking form from the WAFL colts with South Fremantle, despite managing a team-low five disposals. Moore will look to get his hands on the ball more often in future games, as he looked a threat against SA, especially with the ball close to goal.

#10 – Rylie Morgan

Morgan battled hard on the ball despite his side getting severly beaten in the midfield. The Claremont junior spent time as an inside and outside midfielder, showcasing the balance he has in his game. Morgan finished with 15 disposals (nine kicks, six handballs) but seemed to always be around the ball. Sent it inside-50 seven times, but I would suggest Morgan would’ve had even more of an impact had the other WA mids been able to feed out the ball more often from stoppages.

#11 – Luke English

English, Caleb Daniel-like in his helmet, was Western Australia’s best performer across the midfield in a side that had few contributors. Spending the entire game on-ball in tandem with teammate Rylie Morgan, English’s courage and work rate was exceptional. He tackled strongly and burrowed in hard during congested situations, ripping the ball out of the stoppage and hacking forward a clearance on a couple of occasions. What was also impressive was the Perth products intent to receive a couple of handballs from his teammates out the back, showing he is prepared to back his foot skills in. He will still need to keep working on his kicking, particularly when exiting stoppages. Going head-to-head with Jackson Hately for parts of the day, English finished the game with 16 kicks, nine handballs, seven marks, six tackles, five clearances, seven inside 50s, five rebounds and a goal in what was a very well-rounded performance.

#13 – Jason Carter

Carter spent the day in defence, assigned to the dangerous Izak Rankine early on. He showed glimpses here and there of his talent, the highlight being a big intercept mark in the defensive 50. However he unfortunately butched the inboard kick straight to Ben Jarvis who goaled. The Fremantle next generation academy member was reasonably strong in one-on-one contests but was unable to provide much of his usual run and carry from half-back with the SA mids repeatedly bombarding it inside-50. Carter had 13 disposals and six marks.

#17 – James Sturrock

Playing as an inside midfielder, James Sturrock concluded the outing with 18 disposals but had little influence on the game with many of his touches ineffective. His work in close was solid and his defensive pressure stood out, laying six tackles. Sturrock also managed three clearances in a midfield unit that was simply outclassed from the get-go.

#22 – Damon Greaves

Greaves was very productive all game, finishing with 15 kicks, eight handballs, five marks and a tackle. After lining up across the half-back line for the first part of the game, where he managed three rebounds, Greaves then switched to an outside midfield role when the game was getting out of hand for the Black Swans. His run and carry was strong all game as one of few WA players who really stood out. Having racked up plenty of the ball on a consistent basis for East Perth in the WAFL tiers, Greaves will be one to keep an eye on for the remainder of the carnival.

#24 – Regan Spooner

Spooner took the kickouts for WA in the first half before he switched into a role on the ball. The South Fremantle 18-year-old had more of an impact in the middle, showing some class with his silky foot skills, cleanness and speed. Spooner was one of Western Australia’s best, finishing with 17 touches (nine kicks and eight handballs), three marks, four tackles and two rebounds. Given his nice size and skill set, the WA utility will look to rise up the rankings with a strong remainder of the carnival.

#29 – Dillon O’Reilly

In what was a very difficult day for WA’s lead-up forwards, Dillon O’Reilly showed some nice signs. He looked to have sticky hands, clunking numerous strong marks on the lead along the western side of Alberton Oval. O’Reilly showed persistence, continuing to make himself an option by repeatedly presenting himself up the ground, irrespective of the scoreboard. O’Reilly finished the day with eight kicks, one handball and six marks.

#30 – Luke Jackson

The ruckman tried hard and competed well all game in the ruck and around the ground, winning the head-to-head battle with James Braidwood. The East Fremantle product was not afraid to get involved in the hard stuff, attempting to use his strength and size to barge through tackles in tight on a few occasions. He took a nice contested mark in the second quarter over his opposite number and delivered a nice touch kick inside 50 to the leading Xavier Peacock. Jackson finished the day with three kicks, twelve handballs, two marks, two tackles and 29 hitouts.