Picture credit: Sarah Woolford
WITH the South Australia vs. Western Australia National Under 18s Championships fixture the focus of the week, there were only a handful of other games played across the various leagues, with players outside of the state squad looking to impress.
SA Under 18 Recap: SA 19.10 (124) defeated WA 5.5 (35)
It was comprehensive from the South Australian (SA) lads, and the cream dominated this game with all the key SA names making their contribution – Jack Lukosius, Jackson Hately, Luke Valente and Izak Rankine all showed what they can do. This weekend the SA side continues their practice with a trial match vs Woodville West Torrens Reserves side. It will be intriguing to see what coach Tony Bamford does with the side, and whether he keeps the team the same for team continuity or chooses to look at some other players in the squad pressing for selection.
It is an important preparation with the next National Under 18 Championships hit-out against Vic Country at Adelaide Oval on June 17.
The SANFL League fixture poised only two games to be played on the weekend. Sturt defeated West Adelaide by 19 points in the first game. West Adelaide’s John Noble (son of David) has had a solid season for the Bloods and found his way into the best. Nineteen year-old former Sacred Heart College (SHC) student Elliot Dunkin made his league debut as well for the Bloods and showed his class at the higher level. South accounted for Port Magpies easily and once again Liam Fitt continued his form with another four goals. The strong 19 year old is showing how good he can be this year. Dom Barry was best for Port and will be pushing for a call-up to the Power lineup. Young players Lewin Davis and Dale Finnie were others to make their league debuts for the Magpies as well.
The Eagles easily beat Centrals by 68 points, with a host of Eagles hitting the scoreboard. Jake Comitogianni was best afield with 31 disposals, Connor McLeod (son of Andrew) slotted four goals and Jackson Mead (son of Darren) also kicked two goals, James Rowe again was prolific winning plenty of ball. West Adelaide won a close one by four points over Sturt, and youngster Angus Rana impressed in the Ruck with 20 hitouts. The rise of Casey Voss (son of Michael) continues with the prodigy making his Reserves debut and slotting straight into the best with a 12-possession and nine-tackle game – his season has been one that can’t be ignored and no doubt recruiters are watching with interest.
South were sluggish against an improved Port Magpies and ended up with a 42-point win. Job Colwell played his first Reserves game for South and slotted a goal, while Nicholas Steele in his first game slotted five goals for the Panthers. Port’s Mitchell Mead (son of Darren) slotted two goals while Kyle Crompton and Harry Morgan (three goals) were best for the Magpies.
There was only one Under 18s game played on the weekend with Eagles defeating Centrals. Both sides had some younger players taking the field. Ball magnet Kai Pudney clocked up 34 disposals for the Eagles, and Trent Burgoyne was solid all game. For Centrals, Corey Durdin was good again in another consistent game.
It is the half-way mark of the season for the Under 18 competition and although the player turnover and movement has been busy for all clubs, as well as getting access to their best talent, the ladder looks similar to our start of season prediction. It will be an interesting end to the season and all teams are still in the mix for finals.
College and School Footy:
College footy continued last weekend, and in a tight tussle SHC took it up to PAC and came from behind, but just couldn’t quite get over the line, going down by seven points. Immanuel College finally recorded a win vs St Michael’s with a narrow six point margin. In another close game of the Round, Rostrevor continued their winning ways with a four point win over St Peters. The relegation of teams and promotion will kick in next week, so there will be a close watch on how the remainder of the season pans out.
Future SA stars – Under 16 State Squad Finalised:
The squad of the next batch of SA talent was finalised this week, and familiar names Luke Edwards (son of Tyson) along with Ethan Schwerdt (son of Stephen), James Borlase (son of Daryl) and Xavier Robins (son of Haydn) making up squad members. The talent pool looks deep for this U16 squad with a number of squad members having played U18 footy at SANFL level already. The full list of players can be found here.