Tag: Damon Greaves

2018 WAFL Colts Team of the Year announced

MINOR premiers, Subiaco has been rewarded for a fantastic season thus far, with four Lions named in the Western Australia Football League (WAFL) Colts Team of the Year last night. At the Jack Clarke Medal presentation night, the 23-man side announced saw every WAFL Colts team represented by at least two players, with Subiaco the sole side with four players. East Fremantle, South Fremantle and Peel Thunder all had three representatives in the side, while East Perth, Perth, Swan Districts, West Perth and Claremont all had two players in the team.

Competition leading goal scorer Jack Mayo was not surprisingly named at full-forward in the Team of the Year, joined by Subiaco teammates, potential Carlton father-son prospect and Jack Clarke Medallist Liam Hickmott, top 30 hopeful Luke Foley and the ever consistent Tristan Hobley.

While they lost in the preliminary final on the weekend, Peel Thunder still managed three representatives in the WAFL Colts Team of the Year, with key position forward, Jack Sears and fellow forward James Sturrock, as well as Lachlan Riley all making the team. East Fremantle had three players in the starting line-up with centre half-back Cameron Davidson, ruck Nicholas Watson and half-forward Corey Robinson making the team. Likewise, South Fremantle had back pocket Tom Blechynden, forward pocket Luke Moore, and Matthew Ward named on the interchange bench.

Potential top 20 pick, Claremont’s Jordan Clark earned his spot in the team at half-back after a scintillating back-end of the year, making the team with other draft hopeful, talented forward-mid, Tyron Smallwood. Other top talent, Perth’s Sydney Stack joined a strong midfield on the wing, along with teammate, Luke English who has been a consistent ball winner throughout the season.

Swan Districts’ Graydon Wilson (back pocket), and Mitchell Bain (interchange), West Perth’s Alec Johnson (full-back) and Nathan Murray (rover), and East Perth’s Damon Greaves (half-back) and Thomas Baulch (interchange) were also rewarded for their fine seasons with places in the best 23.

Peel Thunder coach, Brad Dodd was announced as the Coach of the Year for the WAFL Colts Team of the Year.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – Round 21 – Super Sunday

IN round 21 of the WAFL, the Colts had a “Super Round” held at Domain Stadium on Sunday August 26. Up first was East Fremantle v South Fremantle at 10am. Following that was Peel Thunder against East Perth, and Subiaco v Perth was the final game. On Saturday, Swan Districts hosted Claremont at Steel Blue Oval.

The concept was designed to give recruiters an enhanced opportunity to see all of their draft targets. Below were the best players in the three games held at Domain Stadium.

 

East Fremantle vs. South Fremantle

East Fremantle:

#1 MILAN MURDOCK

The East Fremantle Power junior was at his tenacious best for the Sharks through the middle of the ground. Murdock accumulated 28 possessions, laid a game-high 11 tackles, took three marks and recorded three inside 50s in a spirited display. Expect him to play a big role in September.

#9 COREY ROBINSON

The Aquinas College student showcased why he is one of the best midfielders in the competition with another brilliant display. Robinson finished with 30 possessions, five marks and five inside 50s as he tried to will his team to victory. Robinson’s clearance work was a real feature of his game, as were his clean hands, and sharp disposal.

#23 LUKE JACKSON

The AFL Academy member produced a performance that highlighted why he is a potential first-round draft prospect for next year. Impressive against the Bulldogs, he collected 11 possessions, won 25 hit-outs, took three marks, laid three tackles and kicked a goal.

#27 JAI JACKSON

The Chapman Valley junior was again solid in the midfield for the Sharks, with 23 possessions, five tackles, four marks, four inside 50s and two goals. His power to break through tackles is phenomenal for his age and it will not be a surprise to see him dominate in the seniors soon.

#28 NICK WATSON

The 2016 WA State Under 16s Academy player was arguably the best ruckman on the ground. He finished with 14 possessions, 28 hit-outs, six marks and a goal in a true captain’s performance. His ability to cover the ground as a ruckman is superb for someone his age, while his ruck craft is top notch.

 

South Fremantle:

#4 LUKE MOORE

Without doubt the most dynamic forward of the game, Moore was the catalyst for the Bulldogs’ win. Some of his plays throughout the day were breath-taking and were similar to how Alan Didak used to run rings around opposition defenders. In the first quarter, Moore gathered the ball at full pace, drew two defenders and handballed to Jack Musika who goalled. Early in the second quarter, Moore danced his way past a Sharks’ defender and snapped truly, but it was his third quarter which was breath-taking. Within the first five minutes of the quarter, he had kicked two goals and assisted Brodee Knight to score one as well. His finals stats were 10 possessions, five marks and four goals.

#9 KYLE HAMERSLEY

Although this was his first game since round five, Hamersley was arguably the best player on the ground, highlighting his capabilities as a midfielder. He gathered a team-high 23 possessions, laid six tackles, took five marks and kicked a goal as he showcased why he is a highly rated draft prospect.

#11 IRA JETTA

The cousin of Neville and Lewis, Ira Jetta showed why he is a highly rated prospect for the 2020 AFL Draft. Blessed with speed, agility, skill and vision, Jetta used all of his traits to torch the Sharks’ defenders. He finished with 18 possessions, four marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.

#16 TOM BLECHENDYN

The Brookton-Pingelly product continued his fine season with another accomplished display. Against the Sharks Blechendyn accumulated 19 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, took four marks and laid three tackles in a superb outing.

#26 ROBERT WOODS

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member was lively in the forward half for the Bulldogs. A real highlight of his game, was when he used his pace to burn off two East Fremantle defenders to drill through a goal from the flank. He also finished with 14 possessions, six marks and six inside 50s.

 

Peel Thunder vs. East Perth:

Peel:

#2 JAKE HOWES

The Peel Skipper was his usual tough self in the midfield, often burying himself into packs to rip the ball out for his team. He accumulated 16 possessions, laid eight tackles, took two marks, recorded two inside 50s and kicked two goals in a magnificent performance.

#9 MICHAEL RANDALL

The South Mandurah product used his big frame to crash and bash his way through congestion to feed the ball to his outside runners. He won an equal team-high 18 possessions, recorded a game-high eight inside 50s, laid three tackles and booted a goal to be a valuable contributor.

#11 JARVIS PINA

The State Combine invitee showcased why he is such a highly touted West Australian draft prospect. Against the Royals, Pina collected 10 possessions, laid six tackles and recorded five inside 50s. His drive off half-back set up a host of the Thunder’s attacking forays.

#28 TYRONE THORNE

The livewire small forward was dynamic for the Thunder, often having the Royals’ defenders extremely nervous. He finished the game with 18 possessions, six tackles, five marks, five inside 50s and three goals (although if he kicked straighter he could have had a bag of six goals). Without doubt the best player on the ground.

#34 BILLY CHAMBERS

The Pinjarra ruckman was his imposing self against the Royals with 11 possessions, 25 hitouts, four marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. He would often give his midfielders first use of the football, but would spread from the contest to make himself a target for his midfielders to kick to.

 

East Perth:

#7 LOUIS MILLER

The Dunsborough junior was yet again solid in defence for the Royals. He finished with 19 possessions and four tackles in an inspiring performance. As well as his exceptional defensive efforts, Miller’s rebounding has improved dramatically and it is little wonder why AFL clubs are rating him highly.

#9 RHAI-ARN COX

The AFL Academy member was dazzling in the forward half for East Perth. He finished with 14 possessions, eight marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal in a performance that highlighted his draft credentials for 2019. The Mount Hawthorn junior has a bright future ahead of him.

#10 TOM BAULCH

The Mackay product was arguably East Perth’s best player with 24 possessions, eight marks, four inside 50s, two tackles and a goal. His attack on the ball is ferocious and his class on the outside makes him a tantalising prospect.

#19 DAMON GREAVES

The Busselton junior showcased why he is one West Australia’s best draft prospects with another scintillating performance. Against the Thunder, he gathered 22 possessions, laid seven tackles and took three marks to be one of the best players on the ground. His dare to take the game on, along with his incredible composure makes him one of the best attacking half-back flankers in this year’s draft pool.

#29 LIAM MARTIN

The Mount Lawley-Inglewood junior went up against Billy Chambers and more than held his own. He finished the game with 17 possessions, 18 hitouts, five marks and a goal in a superb outing. His will to get his midfielders into the game was outstanding.

 

Subiaco vs. Perth

Subiaco:

#3 TRISTAN HOBLEY

The 2016 WA Under 16s State Academy player was phenomenal in the midfield for the Lions with 32 possessions, 10 marks, eight tackles, four inside 50s and a goal. His ability to be a link-up player as well as a metres-gained player is incredible for someone his age.

#10 JACK MAYO

The 2018 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker produced a sensational performance that improved his draft credentials. Originally stationed in defence, Mayo showed an elite ability to read the play and intercept the opposition’s attacking forays. After half-time, he was shifted forward and he starred with his forward craft on full display. He finished the game with 20 possessions, 10 marks, five inside 50s and two goals.

#15 WIL HICKMOTT

The son of former Carlton and Geelong player Adrian Hickmott, Wil showcased his classy and silky outside game against the Demons. He racked up 21 possessions, took eight marks, recorded three inside 50s and laid two tackles in a starring performance.

#16 TAJ SCHOFIELD

The Port Adelaide father-son prospect was phenomenal against the hapless Demons. Stationed on the half-forward flank, Schofield accumulated 23 possessions, recorded eight inside 50s, took seven marks, and laid three tackles.

#18 JACOB PELETIER

The Esperance product was yet again outstanding for the Lions. He collected 24 possessions, grabbed 11 marks, recorded four inside 50s and kicked a goal to be one of the most dangerous midfielders on the ground. The Ports junior has bright future ahead of him.

 

Perth:

#15 NYIKA JOHN

The West Coast Next Generation Academy member tried extremely hard on the half-back line for Perth. He finished with 15 possessions and four marks, as he tried to give his team some drive to score.

#45 NATHAN O’DRISCOLL

The Northam product was superb in the midfield for the Demons with 27 possessions, eight tackles and two marks. On a bleak day for Perth fans, O’Driscoll was a beacon of light with his ball-winning ability, composure, and skill execution all on display.

#50 DEVEN ROBERTSON

The nephew of West Coast great Darren Glass produced a timely performance that indicated he is a first round prospect next year. He accumulated a game-high 36 possessions, took six marks, recorded five inside 50s, laid three tackles and kicked a goal to easily be his team’s best player.

Western Australia weekly wrap: Final five locked in for September

ROUND 20 loomed as the most important weekend of the Colts season to date with a number of teams fighting for the opportunity to play in September, that special time of year when reputations are made.

Which teams coped best with the pressure?

Read ahead to find out.

Round 20 WAFL Colts wrap.

South Fremantle 11.10 (76) defeated Perth 5.6 (36)

South Fremantle have sealed their spot in the 2018 WAFL Colts finals courtesy of a emphatic 40 point win over Perth at Fremantle Oval on Saturday morning.

The Bulldogs controlled the early stages of the vital contest kicking goals through Nash Miller and Ira Jetta but Perth steadied through Ben Watson. The Bulldogs slightly increased their lead to 13 points at the long break courtesy of a three goal to two second quarter. The third term is widely regarded as the most pivotal of the game and so it proved again with the Bulldogs kicking the first two goals through Jetta and Luke Moore. Although the Demons were striving hard to find a path back into the contest, it was the rock solid defence of the Bulldogs who were repeatedly repelling the visitors. The home side turned for home with a 26 point lead which in all truth felt a lot more and the last quarter finally saw the Bulldogs emphasise their superiority as they kicked four goals to two and completed a 40 point win.

The victory was the third in the last four games for the Bulldogs and while some may say you do not deserve to play finals with a losing record, the Bulldogs can even their season ledger in the last round against old adversaries East Fremantle next Sunday. In truth, the kind of football that the Bulldogs have produced in the last fortnight is what wins games in September so they should not be a team to be taken lightly. The home side won all of the key indicators with a major advantage in disposals (350-267) leading to 18 more inside 50s (55-37) and ten more scoring shots (21-11).

The performance of 16 year-old Jaxon Bellchambers would have been heartwarming to many at the Bulldogs as he had a impact all over the ground with 22 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and topped off his fantastic display with three last quarter goals. At the other age of the age spectrum, Matthew Ward was a diligent four-quarter performer with 29 disposals and nine tackles while the forward pressure of Ira Jetta was first class with nine tackles to go along with 12 disposals and two goals. The second half of the season has been a greatly disappointing one for the Demons although they have certainly improved on their four win season in 2017. Perth are regularly seen as great developers of young talent and the National AFL Draft will likely show that with the names of Luke English, Ian Hill and Sydney Stack likely to be high up on the radar of recruiters. Nathan O’Driscoll is another Demon name to remember for the future with the 16 year-old amassing 28 disposals, eight tackles and a goal.

 

Claremont 9.7 (61) defeated Peel Thunder 6.5 (41)

With Perth’s defeat to Bulldogs, it meant the finals hopes of Claremont disappeared but that did not deter the Tigers as they arguably produced their best performance of the season to defeat high flying Peel Thunder by 20 points at Claremont Oval.

Claremont had been convincingly beaten by the Thunder in each of their meetings in 2018 (78 and 36 points) but the first quarter was a tight affair with Peel leading by five points. Well aware that they required a win to keep their season alive along with needing another result to go in their favour, Claremont arguably played their best quarter of an inconsistent campaign kicking 5.1 to 0.1 and opening up a imposing 25-point lead with Isaac Barton and Angus Longmire each kicking two for the term. The impressive Tigers continued their dominance early in the third with goals to Jacob Dorset-Sawyer and a third to Barton which pushed the lead out beyond six goals and plenty of danger signs for the second placed Thunder. A late goal by Jackson Knight narrowed the gap to 31 points to give them the slightest ray of hope but the game was seemingly well and truly in control of the Tigers.

Peel made a final concerted push to get back into the game in the early stages of the last quarter narrowing the gap to three goals through majors from Killian Rawson and Tyson Powell. The Tigers looked to have gone into their shell for the first time in the game as Peel were piling on the pressure, and Jack Willis kicked their third of the quarter narrowing the gap further to 13 points. From there the Tigers managed to stop the flow of attacks from the Thunder and sealed a meritorious victory when Benjamin Schuhkraft kicked truly just before the final siren.

The key stats showed how much Claremont controlled the nature of the contest with 70 more disposals (331-261) which led to 19 more inside 50s (49-30) and five more scoring shots (16-11). Isaac Barton set the tone of the contest in the first half for the Tigers and the top-ager compiled 18 disposals, six tackles and three goals and he was well supported by the tireless work of ruckman Longmire with 15 disposals, four marks, 38 hit-outs and two goals, while Max Grant finished with 27 disposals. Despite the loss, Peel will finish second on the ladder with their opponent still to be decided, and Lachlan Riley was a true four-quarter performer for the visitors with 28 disposals, six marks and four tackles.

 

Subiaco 9.13 (67) defeated East Fremantle 7.12 (54)

Subiaco kept up their on their winning ways as they claimed their tenth straight win holding off a surging Sharks outfit to win by 13 points at East Fremantle Oval.

Subiaco made a very strong start to the contest kicking three goals to nil to open up a 20 point lead at quarter time. That level of dominance continued in the second term as the league leaders kicked another four goals to one and holding a very healthy 40 point lead at the long break. Successful teams play a strong brand of team football where they do not depend on one player and Subiaco have successfully illustrated that fact throughout the season. To half time they had seven different goalkickers and eight players with double-figure disposals, led by Tristan Hobley with 18 and Taj Schofield and Liam Hickmott with 16 apiece.

While you do not want to have a defeatist mindset during the game, the Sharks brains trust would have been thinking of ways to limit the damage and save their percentage. While they would keep a one game advantage over the dormant Swan Districts, a heavy defeat could have seen percentage come into play in the final round if Swans were to be victorious in their last game against Claremont and if the Sharks slipped up against South Fremantle.

However, those hypotheticals were put on the back burner as the Sharks stemmed the bleeding and played some more composed football in the third term. They won the quarter courtesy of goals through Adam Meadowcroft and the highly promising bottom ager Luke Jackson – who had the tough choice to make between footy and basketball, but the talented and athletic sportsman chose the former. The Sharks had certainly found some impetus and continued their momentum kicking the first two goals of the last term with another major to Jackson and Zach Wilkinson. Nicolas Martin kicked a goal to ease any tension within the Subiaco ranks, but the highly impressive second half by the Sharks continued with further goals to Corey Robinson and Wright. Opportunities were coming thick and fast for the home team, however time ran out as Subiaco made it ten straight wins and with Peel’s loss, the Lions clinched the minor premiership and a bye in the first week of the finals.

While the Lions were outscored six goals to two in the second half, they did enough to show one of their closest challenges for the premiership that you need to play at a high level for the full four quarters if you want to beat them. Hickmott compiled 29 disposals and nine tackles and was well supported by Schofield (27 disposals, six marks and five tackles) andHobley (27 disposals) while Robinson was a solid contributor for the Sharks with 23 disposals.

East Perth 12.7 (79) defeated West Perth 6.9 (45)

East Perth played some of their best football of a very inconsistent 2018 campaign as they registered a 34-point victory against arch-rivals West Perth at a sun-drenched Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

This contest was all about pride with both teams eliminated from finals contention last week, it was the Royals who started the better opening up a two goal lead in the first term but really got going in the second quarter kicking four goals to one to open up a five goal margin at the long break with the duo of Rhai-arn Cox and Callum McVee looking lively with two goals each.

The Royals were in complete control of the contest in the third term kicking two goals to one and turning for home with a 37 point lead. A West Perth comeback did not look on the cards when you take into account that they had kicked three goals in as many quarter. However they produced a barnstorming first ten minutes of the final term where they had six scoring shots kicking 3.3 and narrowing the gap to 16 points, which suddenly gave them a deal of momentum.

Not wanting their good football in the first three quarters to go to waste, East Perth responded through a second goal to Kyle Robinson which was soon followed by majors to Ashley Willcocks and Kane Hughes as the Royals were able to seal a deserved 34 point win. With the Falcons having the bye in the final round, East Perth can still avoid the wooden spoon if they defeat Peel Thunder next Sunday.

Robinson was a standout all-around performer for the Royals with the bottom ager amassing 23 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and two goals while Damon Greaves continued his highly impressive season with the AFL draft combine invitee amassing 31 disposals and ten tackles. Bailey Chalmers was a tireless worker for the Falcòns with 29 disposals and four tackles while Tyron Hindmarsh was a very serviceable contributor once again with 21 disposals and seven tackles.

Western Australian weekly wrap: Lions tame the elements to make it eight straight

IT has been a wet old winter on the west coast and this week was no exception. It is always fascinating to see how individuals adapt in these conditions as it can be a key element of being a good all-round player.

Find out below who excelled in the gloomy conditions and whether South Fremantle took a major step in their quest to seal the final spot in the top five.

Round 18 WAFL Colts Wrap:

Subiaco 9.5 (59) defeated Swan Districts 3.3 (21)

Subiaco underlined their favouritism for the 2018 Colts competition with a very solid 38-point win over Swan Districts at a sodden Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

The Lions came into the contest on the back of seven straight wins to be sitting pretty with a one game lead over Peel heading into the final month of the season, while Swans had suffered a slight dip in form of late but registered a vital victory against their top four rivals East Fremantle last week.

The players were greeted with a waterlogged ground due to a week of steady rain, topped off by a overnight downpour meaning that it wasn’t necessarily going to be pretty to watch but effective and smart football was the order of the day to get the four points.

The start of the game saw both teams look to adjust to the ground conditions and it was Subiaco who made the stronger start through a mark and goal by ruckman Xavier Peacock. After Swans had a fair bit of play in their forward 50, a very smart piece of play occurred from Nathan French where he soccered the ball from 35 metres and it skidded through for their second goal of the game.

The outer wing was favoured in a attacking sense by both sides due to it being a lot drier than the members side of the ground. Swans were certainly getting their hands to the ball but the only thing missing was their finishing touch in front of goal. However, they remained well in the contest due to the difficulty of kicking a big score because of the conditions.

Scoring was at a premium in the second quarter with only one point registered in the opening 16 minutes. Zane Shellabear Healy broke the drought soon after when he snuck out the back from a stoppage to snap truly and that was soon followed by key forward Jack Mayo picking up a ground ball and kicking a goal from 40 metres.

Swans were being out worked and seemingly lacked any system heading into their forward 50. The Subiaco running fleet of Liam Hickmott, Tristan Hobley and Shellabear Healy were having a field day in the conditions racking up close to 60 possessions between them for the first half. Subiaco went into the long break leading by 23 points and looking on track to push their winning streak to eight games.

The Lions got off to the perfect start in the third term when Hobley continued his fine first half performance with a goal. The Swans finally kicked their first goal of the game five minutes in when Harry Edwards sharked the ball brilliantly to kick truly from 35 and finally gain a bit of momentum. However, Shellabear Healy was once again able to sneak out the back and make himself available to mark and goal from the goalsquare.

Swans were striving to move the ball quickly but the delivery was poor and they were breaking down across half forward where Subiaco were able to mop up and get the ball out of danger. The visitors’ day was summed up when a long bomb was delivered by Hobley deep into the goal square which was dropped on the line by the Swans defender and ever the opportunist, French was on the spot to soccer home his second of the contest. A fine chase down effort by Blake Pescud was one of Swans few highlights in the term but unfortunately his kick on goal did not match his effort. Subiaco turned for home with a very impressive 38-point lead and Swan Districts needed some kind of miracle to stand a chance in the final term.

Some good work to start the final term by Benjamin Taylor saw Max Bradley kick his first and his team’s second of the game. Strong forward line pressure soon set up another chance for the visitors and 16 year-old Ayden Cartwright duly delivered. For the first time in the game, Swans had put Subiaco under a sustained pressure by kicking consecutive goals, but with a commanding lead it was not a case of panic stations for the Lions. The visitors were controlling the possession of the ball and inside 50s but  needed a focal point to make the most of their hard work.

Any doubt over the result was sealed when Kye Barker attempted to switch from defence but his kick was intercepted by Mayo who converted from close range. Another mistake this time from Brenton Hilton soon after gave Mayo his third goal, a fine effort by the key forward given the conditions.

In the end it was a comprehensive win by the Lions as they won their thirteenth game for the 2018 season. The complete performance by the Lions was highlighted by the fact that they won three of the quarters and the fourth term was 2.2 apiece. A main factor behind the Lions victory was 75 more disposals (359-284) which led to 12 more inside 50s (40-28) and eight more scoring shots (14-6).

The Lions were led by Liam Hickmott who thrived in the heavy conditions with 35 disposals and six tackles while Tristan Hobley was a fine partner in crime with 30 disposals and a goal and Zane Shellabear Healy was excellent roaming between wing and half forward with 24 disposals, seven marks and two goals. In a tough day for Swans it was Kade Walldrot who never stopped trying with 24 disposals and seven marks and four tackles while Joseph Hinder provided some great dash from half back with 25 disposals and five marks.

 

Peel Thunder 10.12 (72) defeated East Perth 9.9 (63)

Peel Thunder kept up the pressure on Subiaco by remaining one game behind the Lions with a hard-fought nine point win over East Perth at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

After trailing by three goals at quarter time, Peel hit back to only trail by a point at the long break and then led their opponent by two goals with a quarter to play. The Royals narrowed that gap in the final term but couldn’t get any closer than eight points as Peel sealed their eleventh win for the season and importantly moved two games clear of Swan Districts and East Fremantle in third and fourth.

It was remarkable that East Perth stayed as close as they did as they had 24 less inside 50s for the game (50-26) but were extremely efficient as they generated 18 scoring shots from those entries. Like he has done for a great majority of the season, Lachlan Riley was a key figure for Peel with 25 disposals, four marks and four tackles while Killian Rawson was lively with three goals. Meanwhile, for East Perth, Jarrod Hamer-Mathew was important with three goals from his eleven disposals while Damon Greaves was solid with 20 disposals, four marks and four tackles.

 

West Perth 7.11 (53) defeated South Fremantle 3.7 (25)

West Perth have given themselves renewed hope of playing finals in 2018 after a convincing 28 point win over South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday evening.

The Falcons were never headed throughout the contest leading by 13 points at quarter time, 17 points at half time and 34 points at three-quarter time. The Bulldogs who had kicked just one goal over the first three quarters showed some heart in the final 25 minutes by winning the quarter two goals to one, but the damage was already done as West Perth drew level with the Bulldogs on points although they have played a game more.

You can throw a blanket across the teams sitting from fifth to ninth and there are certainly bound to be plenty of twists and turns in the final three rounds of the home and away season. Bottom ager Tyron Hindmarsh had 24 disposals and five tackles for the Falcons and he was well supported by Bailey Chalmers, whose work ethic was superb with 12 tackles to go along with 23 disposals while Jaxon Prior had 22 disposals and nine tackles.

Due to a superior percentage over their rivals, South Fremantle’s destiny remains in their own hands in terms of claiming the hotly contested fifth spot. However, they surely would view this as a major opportunity wasted especially as they have a difficult finish to the season playing top four sides Swan Districts and arch rivals East Fremantle. Mason Ward was a true leader for the home side with 31 disposals and ten tackles while Lachlan Johnson was a lone hand in front of goal with 2.2.

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)

National U18 Championships previews: Round 5

IN the final stanza of the National Under 18 Championships, all roads lead to Etihad Stadium where the Allies take on Western Australia, and Vic Metro hosts South Australia in an enticing double header. Vic Metro and South Australia become the headline act with the winner-takes-all mentality given the title is on the line for both sides.

ALLIES V. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, July 4, 2.10pm
Etihad Stadium

The opening game of the final round pits the Allies against Western Australia. The winner takes third spot on the final table of the National Under 18 Championships, with both teams having sole wins over Vic Country, and losses against South Australia and Vic Metro. The Allies come into the game with a strong squad, omitting bottom-ager Thomas Green who had been solid so far, and rotating Dirk Koenen for Matthew McGuiness. Overager Michael Mummery gets his chance to shine on Etihad, while the Western Australian side has three fresh faces to add to it’s victorious team over Vic Country. Ian Hill is a huge loss for the Black Swans, with the West Australian captain banned for a sling tackle on Laitham Vandermeer last Friday. With injuries to Damon Greaves and Thomas Baldwin, Western Australia flew over Wil Hickmott to join the squad, and he will run out tomorrow with Luke Moore and Ethan Hansen as the other changes.

The midfield battle will be intriguing with Hickmott joining Sydney StackLuke FoleyDeven Robertson and Luke English in the middle. Jack Buller will have his work cut out for him against man mountain Kieren Briggs who is in super form for the Allies. He has been giving his midfield of Tarryn ThomasConnor McFadyenChayce Jones and Fraser Turner first chance at the stoppages. Jacob Koschitzke is in fine form and could be the man for Dillon O’Reilly who has been showing promising signs as a key forward, while Jason Carter and Jordan Clark provide plenty of dash off half-back. Bailey Scott and Connor Budarick will look to keep them honest, while Nick Blakey looms as the danger man for the Allies and one that Western Australia – and perhaps Regan Spooner in particular – will look to contain. Overall, the Allies will head in as favourites, but the West Australians move the ball quick and cleanly to the forward line and it is hoped Jarrod Cameron can provide the spark again after he booted five goals in Geelong.

VIC METRO V. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, July 4, 4.40pm
Etihad Stadium

In the game that everyone will tune in for, the National Under 18 Championships title will be on the line for the undefeated Vic Metro and South Australian sides. In what ended up being a perfect fixture for the AFL, the two best sides are going head-to-head in the final match of the series with the winner to be handed the trophy and celebrate afterwards without any interruptions to other fixturing. South Australia has made its expected two changes, with Mihail Lochowiak and Jacob Collins replacing Kai Pudney and Boyd Woodcock in the team. Vic Metro has rotated rucks for the final game, with Tom Hallebone recalled to ruck against James Siviour after injury struck down Joe GriffithsJack Bytel has been named in the side despite suffering what looked to be an injury in the last round which would keep him out of the final match. Isaac Quaynor and Ben Silvagni return from injury and will strengthen both ends for Metro.

The match-up on everyone’s lips – Jack Lukosius pitted against Ben King – is unlikely to happen despite recruiters hopes, with both players named forward. As we saw in Geelong, Lukosius also played on the wing and down back, standing side-by-side with Tarryn Thomas and Nick Blakey at different times showing his versatility. If things start to head south for Vic Metro, King can also play in defence, while Will Kelly is a capable forward if required. It is predicted Kelly will get first chance on Lukosius, while James Blanck will line-up on Hugo Munn. The midfield battle of Izak RankineLuke ValenteTom Lewis and Jackson Hately up against Bailey SmithRiley Collier-DawkinsJames Rowbottom and Zak Butters is mouthwatering and likely to decide the contest. With both teams having plenty of firepower up front, the midfield is where the game will be won or lost. Curtis Taylor showed he is a danger up forward for Metro, while Xavier O’Halloran and Noah Anderson have already shown through the championships they can boot multiple goals. Will Gould and Riley Grundy are in great form – the latter is the man predicted to head to King. Jez McLennan and Martin Frederick provide great run out of defence and will be keen to break the lines, while Quaynor and Tom McKenzie will be keen to do the same up the other end. It is hard to pick a winner in this game, with both sides filled to the brim with quality.

Team Selection: National U18 Championships – Round 5

AFTER four rounds of National Championships, the 2018 title comes down to final game with Vic Metro taking on South Australia in a battle of the two undefeated sides. Earlier tomorrow, the Allies will face Western Australia for third spot on the table. The interstate sides have made two changes each, with Western Australia forced to make three and in the process, flew Wil Hickmott to Victoria for the game. Vic Metro has named an extended bench for it’s clash with the Croweaters.

ALLIES V. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, July 4, 2.10pm
Etihad Stadium

The Allies and Western Australia head into this match with a win over Vic Country each, and looking to cement third spot for the carnival. Overall, the Allies have been in better form, going down to Vic Metro by just two points, and leading South Australia at half-time before being overrun in the second half. Western Australia was smashed by South Australia and had a competitive effort against Vic Metro, but will go into the clash as underdogs, especially considering star player Ian Hill is out through suspension. Joining him as the outs are Damon Greaves and Thomas Baldwin – both of whom are injured. The two carry-over players in the 25-man squad, Luke Moore and Ethan Hansen come into the side, as well as Wil Hickmott who performed strongly in the WAFL on the weekend and has been flown in as Hill’s replacement. For the Allies, Thomas Green and Dirk Koenen have been named as the two emergencies with Mathew McGuiness replacing Koenen in a key defensive post, while overager Michael Mummery comes into the forward line.

Allies:

B: 6. Rhyan Mansell – 37. Jacob Koschitzke – 11. Keidean Coleman
HB: 47. Nicholas Baker – 36. Matthew McGuiness – 15. Guy Richardson
C: 20. Fraser Turner – 10. Chayce Jones – 12. Mitchell O’Neill
HF: 19. Bailey Scott – 49. Nick Blakey – 1. Connor Budarick
F: 23. Michael Mummery – 41. Mathew Walker – 7. Jesse Quint
R: 40. Kieren Briggs – 31. Connor McFadyen – 46. Tarryn Thomas
INT: 17. Thomas Matthews – 3. Joshua Stern . 28. Matthew Green – 29. Joey Reinhard – 44. Caleb Graham
EMG: 48. Dirk Koenen – 26. Thomas Green

IN: M. McGuiness, M. Mummery
OUT: D. Koenen, T. Green

Western Australia:

B: 4. Graydon Wilson – 26. Jake Pasini – 23. Louis Miller
HB: 13. Jason Carter – 24. Regan Spooner – 15. Jordan Clark
C: 6. Wil Hickmott – 11. Luke English – 12. Jeremy Sharp
HF: 35. Mitchell Georgiades – 29. Dillon O’Reilly – 10. Rylie Morgan
F: 2. Jarrod Cameron – 21. Tyson Powell – 8. Luke Moore
R: 36. Jack Buller – 20. Luke Foley – 18. Deven Robertson
INT: 16. Ethan Hansen – 9. Tyron Smallwood – 14. Sydney Stack – 34. Brad Oldfield – 27. Tom Medhat

IN: W. Hickmott, L. Moore, E. Hansen
OUT: I. Hill (susp), T. Baldwin (inj), D. Greaves (inj)

 

VIC METRO V. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, July 4, 4.40pm
Etihad Stadium

In the game everyone has been waiting a month for, Vic Metro hosts South Australia in the title decider. Both sides head into the clash relatively fresh, with Isaac Quaynor and Ben Silvagni both returning from injury, while Joe Griffiths is the only forced change. Xavier Fry and Alastair Richards both played on the weekend as a sign they were omissions from the Metro side, while bottom-ager Ryan Gardner is also out of the team. Despite sustaining an injury in the last match at the MCG, Jack Bytel has been named on an extended bench, with bottom-agers Noah AndersonJack Mahony and Matt Rowell all named in the team with two to be cut. For South Australia, Jacob Collins and Mihail Lochowiak come in for their taste of action after sitting out the game last Friday, with Boyd Woodcock and Kai Pudney making way and named as emergencies.

Vic Metro:

B: 16. Noah Answerth – 29. James Blanck – 14. Isaac Quaynor
HB: 23. Buku Khamis – 27. Will Kelly – 12. Tom McKenzie
C: 3. Zak Butters – 15. Bailey Smith – 24. Noah Anderson
HF: 6. Curtis Taylor – 36. Ben King – 7. Angus Hanrahan
F: 18. Xavier O’Halloran – 28. Ben Silvagni – 1. Jack Mahony
R: 35. Thomas Hallebone – 26. Riley Collier-Dawkins – 8. James Rowbottom
INT: 4. Rhylee West – 2. Joe Ayton-Delaney – 19. Jack Bytel – 34. James Rendell – 5. Matthew Rowell – 25. Stefan Radovanovic – 13. Lachlan Sholl

IN: I. Quaynor, N. Anderson, J. Mahony, B. Silvagni, T. Hallebone, M. Rowell
OUT: J. Griffiths (inj), X. Fry, A. Richards, R. Gardner

South Australia:

B: 27. Jez McLennan – 33. Tyler Martin – 10. Martin Frederick
HB: 31. Mihail Lochowiak – 37. Riley Grundy – 43. Will Gould
C: 22. Jacob Kennerley – 32. Luke Valente – 35. Jacob Collins
HF: 34. Jackson Hately – 47. Hugo Munn – 2. Hayden Sampson
F: 13. Connor Rozee – 42. Jack Lukosius – 18. Oscar Chapman
R: 44. James Siviour – 14. Izak Rankine – 16. Tom Lewis
INT: 11. Finn Betterman – 30. Ben Jarvis – 25. Tom Sparrow – 23. Aaron Nietschke – 4. Kade Chander
EMG: 9. Kai Pudney – 3. Boyd Woodcock

IN: J. Collins, M. Lochowiak
OUT: K. Pudney, B. Woodcock

Scouting notes: Vic Country vs. Western Australia

AFTER releasing our team notes on the Allies and South Australian match last night, we had a number of writers take a look at the Vic Country and Western Australia match. Scott DouganJames Goller and Callum Thomson watched the Vic Country side closely, while Peter Williams and Lenny Fogliani took notes on the West Australian team.

Vic Country vs. Western Australia

Vic Country:

#1 Will Hamill

Hamill spent the majority of the game in the back half but was given the opportunity to play through the middle in the last quarter. He laid some strong tackles and used his accurate left foot to hit up his teammates. Hamill’s best passage of play came in the second quarter when he went back with the flight and took an eye-catching contested intercept mark.

#2 Sam Walsh

Walsh was at his usual best, gathering plenty of disposals in all areas of the ground. He won a fair share of the ball on the outside of the contest but he demonstrated yet again that he can play inside when necessary. Walsh is a very consistent footballer who rarely plays a poor quarter of footy. His awareness, composure and decision making was a real highlight for Vic Country, especially when they needed someone to step up. The reason Walsh is able to accumulate so much of the ball is because of his extreme work rate. He is an elite runner and works tirelessly to make as many contests as possible. He was involved in many passages of play in the second quarter that all resulted in goals. Walsh also kicked an impressive snap from the boundary line that kept Vic Country within striking distance. Was one of Vic Country’s best.

#3 Toby Bedford

The Dandenong Stingray was given the opportunity to impress throughout Country’s midfield and that is exactly what he did. Bedford showed that he can win the ball on the inside and outside. He was aggressive around the contest and constantly put his head over the ball to win possession. His speed and agility were also evident and undoubtedly helped him escape congestion on numerous occasions. He was exceptionally clean at ground level and displayed composure with ball in hand. One of my favourite passages of play came in the last quarter when he turned the ball over by foot, but redeemed himself by sprinting 50 metres forward to win possession back. Impressive game.

#5 Xavier Duursma

Duursma was a little quieter compared to his past two performances. He found a bit of the ball but was unable to have a huge influence on the game. His match-time was shared between the midfield and backline, signifying just how versatile he can be. His competitiveness, ball use and ability to release his hands to handball was still on display throughout the match.

#6 Laitham Vandermeer

The over-ager from the Murray Bushrangers started the match well before he was involved in a crunching tackle by Ian Hill, only five minutes into the first quarter. He was concussed and had his collarbone broken in the contest. He played no further part.

#8 Ned McHenry

The number one pressure player in the National Championships was again fierce around the contest. His defensive pressure and tackling was brilliant but probably did not have as much impact on the game as he would like. He collected the majority of his disposals in the third quarter where he was involved in several passages of play. What impressed me the most with McHenry was his effort and high intensity when he didn’t have the ball. He is always trying to apply pressure and he never drops his head if things don’t go his way.

#10 Zac Foot

Foot played on the wing but also played inside at times. He was very clean at ground level and provided some much needed outside run. His work rate and elite endurance became clear in the third quarter when he sprinted hard defensively to spoil a marking contest.

#11 Zane Keighran

The Bendigo Pioneer was part of the midfield rotation for Country but played the majority of the match in back half. Keighran seemed to work hard but was unable to have much impact on the game, finishing with eight disposals and two clearances.

#13 Thomas Berry

Berry demonstrated his versatility yet again, playing predominately in the back half, but also provided some outside run when required. His competitiveness, attack on the ball and defensive spoiling was top notch but he was constantly let down by his ball use. He rebounded well when exiting the defensive 50 but missed targets multiple times. He had three turnovers in the space of two minutes, with one resulting in a goal for Western Australia. Berry moved forward in the last quarter to try and give Country some much-needed spark but could not have the same effect as he did down back.

#14 Sam Flanders

One to definitely look out for in the 2019 draft. Was really impressive. Playing mostly forward he had stints in the midfield . The Gippsland product, was very dangerous up forward kicking 1.1. He has kicked a goal in every one of his games this carnival, showing a consistent impact on the scoreboard. A real highlight for Flanders is the pressure he puts on his opponents. He laid five tackles, but it was not just his tackles that was impressive he was able to put on all sorts and types of pressure on his opponents.

#20 Cooper Stephens

Stephens had 14 disposals against Western Australia. He showed that he has good hands within congestion. He dropped a simple chest mark which was not great. However he showed some speed and was able to have three inside 50s and thre rebounds. He also took a nice mark and spoiled strongly in a few marking contests.

#21 Ely Smith

The Murray Bushranger is one to definitely keep a eye on. With fantastic TAC Cup form, Smith was selected to play his first game of the carnival and he did not disappoint. Smith had 30 possessions with 23 of them handballs. He really impressed on the inside with his contested work having nine clearances to his name. He also spread from stoppages well, with having three inside 50s and three rebounds. Definitely a draft prospect to pencil down. Really interested to see how his second half of the season goes after being Country’s best in the match.

#23 Mark Marriott

The Vic Country ruckman, had a solid game, collecting seven possessions. He had 32 hitouts, beating his opposing ruckman Jack Buller. A highlight of his game was his fierce tackling – finishing the match with five to his name. He showed some good ground work and had five kicks and two handballs, which was interesting because generally ruckman handball more then kick.

#24 Matty Lloyd

Lloyd had 18 disposals for the game and was fairly good by foot. The defender looked strong in the contest and was very good one on one. Through the game he seemed to read the play well and made some good decisions with ball in hand. He not only was good defensively but he was able to counter attack a number of times. With five marks and three rebounds to his name, he was solid for Vic Country.

#27 Zane Barzen

Barzen did not have a lot of the ball recording only eight possessions however, he had impact. Barzen was on the receiving end of a handball in the goal square, but also earned it after hard running. He took a fantastic contested mark, arguably mark of the carnival to date. He showed good hand skills when in congestion and made the right decisions.

29 Bailey Williams

Williams played in the forward line for the majority of the game. He took a number of strong marks and was able to find opportunities in front of goal. He showed great athleticism to put pressure on opponents and to create space when in possession of the ball. Williams finished with two goals and was Vic Country’s most dangerous threat up forward.

#30 Oscar Brownless

Brownless started on the wing in the first quarter and rotated between there and half forward for the rest of the game. He took a mark inside 50 in the second quarter off the back of some good running on a fast break and was composed lining up for goal, kicking his only goal for the game. Brownless displayed clean hands and when up forward provided good pressure. The Geelong father-son prospect finished with 17 disposals and was one of Vic Country’s best.

#31 Brock Smith

Smith played in the backline and at times had to match up on Cameron where he gave away a couple of free kicks. The Gippsland Power member did not get a lot of the pill but he was polished when in possession and always hard at the contest, making his presence known.

#32 Brodie Kemp

Kemp played mostly off the half-back line where he was able to intercept and find a bit of the ball. When in possession he was confident and looked composed. He was efficient with his disposal and displayed good footy smarts. Playing his first game of the championships, Kemp did not look out of place and was one of Country’s better players.

#34 Scott Carlin

Carlin who had a quiet outing, was able to make the most of his limited disposals. He displayed clean hands and was able to link up with his teammates to get out of trouble multiple times. He found himself playing on Cameron at times and struggled to match up against his pace and agility.

#35 Hudson Garoni

Garoni took a nice mark just inside 50 late in the first term but failed to convert the tough shot. He was well held all day and really struggled to get involved in the game, getting no help from the poor delivery by his teammates. The TAC Cup leading goal kicker provided a target for Vic Country and despite not getting much of the ball he was able to provide a contest and bring the ball to ground most of the time.

#36 Riley Bowman

Bowman played as Vic Country’s number one ruckman and battled hard all day. When resting up forward, Bowman had an opportunity at goal but badly hooked the kick. His disposal use was good at the contest and in congestion, especially his hands. He was the best ruckman on the ground and always provided second efforts.

#39 Connor Idun

Idun tried hard in defence and used the ball quickly by hand. Idun impressed with his ability to read the play and his footy smarts. He was able to effect the contest either by spoiling or taking the intercept mark. He often kicked the ball down the line instead of either switching the play or finding the short option, however.

Western Australia:

#1 Ian Hill

Played a solid game on the outside, predominantly running along the wing and causing some headaches for the opposition. His best game of the carnival, but one that should hold him in good stead for the final game on Wednesday given his obvious talent. A great vertical leap and strong tackler, his tackle unfortunately caused Laitham Vandermeer to come off on a stretcher in the first term, but such was his class, went over and checked on him before they took him off. It was clear his leadership is fantastic around the ground, getting to players and keeping them focused. With the ball, he is classy both through his disposal and ability to force teammates to move in certain ways. He has great vision and ahows clean hands under pressure.

#2 Jarrod Cameron

Most people outside of Western Australia would not have heard of the livewire forward who is a member of the West Coast Next Generation Academy, but by the end of the match, the brother of Brisbane’s Charlie, had everyone talking. He booted five goals and just caused a nuisance of himself down forward, showing a swagger with five majors, and could have had a couple more. He has a great vertical leap and great acceleration, burning off Zac Foot and Tom Berry – both of whom are lightning quick themselves.

#4 Graydon Wilson

Had a promising game in defence, using the ball well by foot, while also putting pressure on the ball carrier. He positions himself well when inside defensive 50 and showed good hands in the third term to give it to Sydney Stack on the wing who set up a goal with the next kick. He reads it well in traffic and puts it to his teammates advantage.

#9 Tyron Smallwood

Started the game like a house on fire, and while he tired out towards the end, he showed glimpses of what he was capable of. He laid some strong tackles early, and gathered it cleanly at ground level. He snapped a great goal in the first term. Went for a massive ride on the wing in the fourth term, but could not bring the ball down.

#10 Rylie Morgan

I was impressed with the Under 16s state captain and his work through the middle. He always went in hard and showed good hands to give-and-go with hard running. He laid a great run-down tackle on Tom Berry and Sam Walsh, and made good decisions in traffic. He reads the flight path of the ball so well, intercepting a handball in tight and then showed off his hard running by winning the ball on the wing, delivering a short pass forward then was on the receiving end inside 50 two possessions later. His set shot fell short, however.

#11 Luke English

Just finds the football and works really hard between the inside and outside midfield, laying strong tackles and burying himself under packs. Booted the one goal, had another chance when running inside 50 but just missed. Is more of the ball-winning work-hard-in-transition type more than anything, and he covers ground as well as anyone. Looks like he has a huge tank for the amount of running he does between the arcs.

#12 Jeremy Sharp

Another promising performance from a player who was clear in defence and used good speed to evade opponents. He showed a good turning circle to step around Oscar Brownless and laid a great run-down tackle on Toby Bedford, albeit Bedford got his handpass away (see pic). Hurt himself from going in hard to spoil a ball on the wing, but showed good courage in doing so.

#13 Jason Carter

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy member is an eye-catching type who shows lightning quick hands in traffic and tries to take the game on whenever he can. Did not win a heap of the football – just the 10 touches – but he does have the Jets to hurt opposition sides.

#14 Sydney Stack

One of the more impressive West Australians on the night, Stack continued to be involved throughout the four quarters. He provides great run-and-carry, and often draws opponents to him before firing off a handball to a running teammate. Stack showed good vision and skills on the night, and set up his forwards well with good kicks to their advantage. He produced a great kick to Jason Carter later in the night at top speed, and was strong to stand up in a tackle and tap the ball along the ground to his teammates advantage. Just needed to capitalise on the odd decision making error better, but overall a strong performance.

#15 Jordan Clark

A super impressive defender who certainly threw up his name given his willingness to take the game on and remain composed in the back half. He won plenty of it in the first half in particular, and just mops up from the half-back line. He had six rebounds and four inside 50s from 23 disposals, pushing up the ground and rarely wasting a touch. One to watch going forward.

#17 Thomas Baldwin

Had an okay match, doing his best work on the defensive end, laying six tackles to nullify contests on the inside. He is a long kick of the football and was able to hit up Mitchell Georgiades inside 50 in the opening term. Landed awkwardly after going up in a marking contest and was limping for a bit. Had a third quarter shot on goal but missed to the left.

#18 Deven Robertson

A midfield bull, Robertson is putting his name forward as an exciting prospect for the 2019 National Draft. His attack on the ball and man is frightening.

#20 Luke Foley

The Subiaco midfielder was explosive in the midfield, kicking the opening goal of the game (a set shot from 50 metres), and setting up other multiple attempts. His clearance work was sublime.

#21 Tyson Powell

Was originally meant to start forward for the Black Swans, but was shifted to defence after Greaves suffered an arm injury. In defence he was an intercept king and mopped up everything.

#22 Damon Greaves

The East Perth product went off early with what appeared to be an elbow injury in the first quarter.

#23 Louis Miller

The Busselton product was outstanding in defence for Western Australia. His second third defensive efforts were to be marvelled at, especially in the second quarter when he spoiled a ball and then smothered an attempted kick on goal.

#24 Regan Spooner

The 2015 All-Australian representative was outstanding in defence, racking up possessions and distributing with aplomb. What’s even more exciting about Spooner is his ability to also push into the midfield.

#26 Jake Pasini

Opposed to Sam Flanders (who only kicked one goal), the 17-year-old was outstanding. He was solid in the air and on ground level, and his positioning was outstanding for someone his age.

#27 Tom Medhat

In his first game of the Championships, Medhat displayed promise as a key forward prospect. His leading patterns and marking ability were solid and his skills were on full display.

#29 Dillon O’Reilly

The imposing key forward was instrumental, always providing a presence inside 50. He also pinch-hit in the ruck and at times played as a big-bodied midfielder. The sky is the limit for O’Reilly.

#34 Brad Oldfield

The nuggety midfield was his busy self in the middle, winning the hard ball before dishing it to his outside runners. His thirst for contact was evident and his awareness was brilliant, as he got others into the game.

#35 Mitch Georgiades

Despite only gathering nine possessions, Georgiades displayed promising signs as possible draftee next year. He also took five marks, and almost secured “Mark of the Championships” when he flew high above a pack in the first quarter.

#36 Jack Buller

With Luke Jackson out of the team, a heap of responsibility was placed onto Buller and he did not disappoint. The AFL Academy member always competed strongly in the ruck contest and was very mobile around the ground.

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.

West Australian weekly wrap: Peel Thunder draw closer to top

PEEL Thunder has kept pace with top-of-the-table Swan Districts after a solid victory on the weekend, while Subiaco is not going away either following a 40-point win over East Perth.

Claremont 7.9 (51) defeated West Perth 7.7 (49)

Claremont has survived a close encounter to knock off West Perth by two points on the weekend. Trailing by 11 points at quarter time, the Tigers booted the only three goals of the second term to regain the lead by the main break and take a seven-point advantage into half-time. Both sides managed a goal in the third term and then the Falcons pushed hard in the final quarter, booting three goals to two, falling just short of the Tigers in the end.

Returning from West Australian duty during the National Under 18 Championships bye for the state, Tigers’ Rylie Morgannotched up 26 disposals, three marks, six inside 50s and laid seven tackles. Max Grant also had 26 disposals, while laying four tackles, and Thomas Baldwin had 22 and seven. Nathan Pearce took seven marks to go with his 21 disposals, while Isaac Barton booted two goals from 16 disposals. Angus Longmire and Jordon Reid were influential in the ruck with a combined 47 hitouts.

Nathan Murray racked up 34 disposals, five marks, four tackles, five inside 50s and a goal for the Falcons, while Jaxon Prior also found a heap of the ball with 32 disposals, seven marks, five inside 50s and three tackles. Eamon Gilbert was a standout in the ruck and across the ground, having 26 hitouts to go with 17 disposals, four marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal. Henry Ryan laid a game-high 10 tackles, while Tom Medhat was solid with 23 disposals, four marks and five tackles.

 

Perth 10.5 (65) defeated by East Fremantle 14.9 (93)

A five goals to three final quarter has resulted in East Fremantle racing away from Perth to record a 28-point away win. The Sharks raced out of the blocks to boot five first quarter goals and lead by 20 points at the first change. By half-time they held a 15-point advantage, then put the foot down in the second half to run away with the game. Perth had more disposals than their opponents, but East Fremantle was dominant in the ruck, amassing 63 hitouts to their opposition’s 14.

Corey Robinson and Trent Rivers both had 18 disposals for the winners, while Edward Curley booted three goals up forward from 14 disposals and five marks. Max Murphy took six marks to go with his 17 disposals and two inside 50s, while Cody Smith booted a goal to go with his 16 disposals and six marks. The dominant ruckman on the ground by far was Nicholas Watson, who finished with a whopping 48 hitouts for the game.

Perth had its top-end talent return to the side after West Australian duties but could not get over the line despite some impressive individual performances. Luke English had his best game of the year with 40 disposals, 10 marks, four tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal, while Sydney Stack racked up 33 disposals, five tackles and five inside 50s. Ian Hillbooted three goals from 14 disposals, while Maverick Hamilton had 27 disposals, six marks, six inside 50s, three tackles and a goal. Ethan Hansen was the other major ball winner with 22 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and a goal.

 

East Perth 6.4 (40) defeated by Subiaco 11.21 (87)

Subiaco has heaped more pressure on cellar dwellers East Perth with a commanding 47-point victory away from home. The Lions restricted their opponents to just four behinds in the first half, before the Royals came out firing to boot five goals in the third term. It was a case of too little, too late, but there was some consolation for East Perth, forcing the Lions to boot 2.12 in the final term and restrict the final margin getting out any more.

In returning from West Australian duties, Luke Foley had 27 touches, three marks, 10 inside 50s and laid nine tackles, while Will Hickmott was also important with 24 disposals, two marks and five tackles. Tristan Hobley was the most prominent ball winner, racking up 32 disposals, five marks, five tackles and four inside 50s, while Zane Shellabear Healey and Jacob Peletier both had 23 disposals. Prominent goal kicker Jack Mayo was limited to 1.3, but instead Nicholas Martin stepped up, booting 3.2 from 16 disposals and four marks.

For the Royals, Louis Miller had 28 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and three tackles, while Damon Greaves was the other big ball winner with 27 disposals, six marks and five tackles. Rhai-Arn Cox was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors from nine disposals and four marks, while Eric Bashemule and Rory Sparks both recorded 18 disposals and six marks each.

 

South Fremantle 6.6 (42) defeated by Peel Thunder 11.10 (76)

Peel Thunder has moved to within percentage of ladder leaders Swan Districts, albeit with the Black Swans having a game in hand. The Thunder came from behind to power home in the last quarter against South Fremantle, booting six goals to zero and record a comfortable 34-point win. The Bulldogs looked good in the first three quarters, holding a two-point lead at the final break, but a 6.1 to 0.1 final quarter in favour of the visitors put to bed any chance of an upset.

Jackson Perry was the top disposal winner for the Thunder, notching up 23 disposals, four marks, three tackles and five inside 50s. Brad Oldfield was also prolific with 21 disposals, nine tackles and five inside 50s, while Michael Randallbooted a goal from 19 touches and six tackles. James Sturrock also managed 19 disposals and three marks, while Jarrod Fazioli kicked a goal from 15 disposals. Ben Middleton and Lachlan Cullen were the major goal kickers with three majors each. Billy Chambers had a day out in the ruck with 43 hitouts.

For the Bulldogs, Tom Blechynden had 23 touches, nine marks, four tackles and two inside 50s, while Matthew Wardlaid a game-high 10 tackles to go with 20 disposals and four marks. Toby McQuilkinEnrique Aiken-Featherstone and Neil Irani all had 16 touches, while Thomas Weston booted two goals to be the only multiple goal kicker for the home side. Regan Spooner laid six tackles to go with his 13 touches.