Tag: Hugo Munn

AFL Draft preview: Essendon

ESSENDON brought in Dylan Shiel during the off-season which forced their draft hand to be considerably weakened, leaving the Bombers with the second least points of any club –  behind only Hawthorn. They enter the draft at pick 34, and the next pick is 66, followed by 84 and 102 if they choose to use them. It is as much guesswork as anything else at the later point of the draft and will be a little bit of wait and see.
List needs:
  • Explosive inside midfielder
  • Ruck
  • Key position forward
  • Small forwards

Draft selections: 34, 66, 84, 102

It seems to be agreed upon talking to many Bombers supporters that an inside midfielder is the absolute necessity with the club’s first pick in the second round. Preferably if that inside midfielder has some speed out of the contest, all the better. They will arguably look to go tall at some point, with a drifting key position player or ruck, and then most likely best available in any late picks the club has in the draft.

At Pick 34, the Bombers will look and see who is left, with so many possibilities depending on how the clubs ahead of them value players. Essendon might decide to throw a spanner in the works and bid for Connor McFadyen at pick 34, forcing the Lions to match with the very next pick. Of non Academy tied players, Essendon will take a hard look at Calder Cannons co-captain, Jack Bytel, Oakleigh Chargers ball winner, James Rowbottom, or West Australian talent, Sydney Stack. If they are lucky, perhaps a sliding midfielder in Ely Smith or Xavier O’Halloran might be there, with the latter more unlikely than likely.

At the later picks, Essendon might opt for a tall and look at ruckman, Riley Bowman if he is still on the board – given the likelihood of rucks sliding on draft night. Hugo Munn or Hudson Garoni could be there, or perhaps they opt for a more athletic tall in Oscar Chapman or Zane Barzen. Perhaps Dillon O’Reilly – a hybrid of both positions – might come into Essendon’s thinking, or they might end up going with Jake Gasper or Jed Hill who could be late/rookie chances.

In terms of Essendon-tied players, Mason Fletcher has opted not to nominate for the AFL Draft and has instead chosen to play with TAC Cup side, Calder Cannons in 2019. Daniel Hanna attracted some interest with a Rookie Me Combine invitation and could be placed on the list through the rookie draft.

AFL Draft Central November 2018 Power Rankings: 46-60

WITH just two weeks until the 2018 AFL National Draft, AFL Draft Central is counting down by naming our top 60 players to watch out for in the draft with our final Power Rankings for the year. We have extended it from 35 to 60 just to throw out some names that might have flown under the radar and might be great value late. It is no surprise this was a hard exercise, with as many as 20 others players coming forward as legitimately deserving a place on the list, such is the evenness towards the back-end of the draft. While even for us the top 60 would change regularly based on more discussions and re-watching footage, we take a look at our top 60, starting with the 46-60 players today. Remember this is purely opinion-based and does not take into consideration any particular team selections.

#60 Mitch Podhajski (Calder Cannons/Coburg/Vic Metro)

The ‘Pod’ kicks off our list because after missing out last year, he has gone back and worked on various areas that he might have lacked in – which included question marks over his ability to play as a full-time midfielder. He spent most of his top-age year playing more key position or third-tall roles rather than in the midfield, and in 2018, he became that midfielder that everyone at the Cannons knew he could be. He spent time in the VFL and impressed, while not losing his versatility to play anywhere on the ground. A great leader, good overhead, just slots into any side and could instantly improve the culture with his own standards and a player that certainly deserves a call-up.

#59 Oscar Brownless (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)

Everyone talked about Geelong and Collingwood’s pick swap in the 50s as benefiting the Pies, but it also benefited the Cats, with the Geelong father-son selection of Brownless likely to occur sometime in the late 50s onwards. He lacks a yard of speed, but what he lacks in that area, he makes up for in almost unrivalled endurance. He can run all day long, and not only have an impact in the midfield, but up forward as well. Could end up more of a forward in his AFL career, as he has that unique goal sense and game smarts that gets him there.

#58 Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)

A bit of an underrated player, Hanrahan offers great value later in the draft. The exciting forward has an impressive ability to impact a match inside 50, and does not need many touches to influence the contest. While he can be hot and cold at times, the brother of Hawthorn’s Ollie, has shown he has some draftable qualities. Classy, composed and an ability to move into the midfield and run off a wing, against his consistency, is something that recruiters will consider when weighing up whether to select Hanrahan. He will add a point of difference to a forward line, and has high upside for fans to look forward to in the future.

#57 Tom Joyce (East Fremantle/Western Australia)

The tough, inside midfielder from East Fremantle did not get to show off his ability this year due to injury, but was rated as a solid third round choice – possibly higher with a good year – coming into 2018. While his size works against him for an inside midfielder at AFL level, he still represents great value, and is one of a number of players in this late bracket that could find a home despite having his most important footballing year ruined by injury. He has good speed, clean hands, great endurance and is one of the more professional players in the draft crop, so will be another who can slot straight in and do everything expected of him from day one.

#56 Tom Sparrow (South Adelaide/South Australia)

Sparrow is a player who we have seen divide opinions as to where he falls in the draft, with his athleticism up there with the best of them, and just needing to iron out his kicking and decision making at times. He played mostly school football before returning to the South Adelaide Under 18s where he was as consistent as any other player in the competition. Sparrow has some great upside, and there’s certainly a lot to work with going forward, and like so many others here, is a top leader who will never let you down with his determination and leading by example.

#55 Tom Berry (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

The lightning younger brother of Brisbane Lions’ Jarrod, offers really unbelievable value here. Over the past 18 months, Berry has struggled to get on the park for continuity, and therefore slipped down the order. His kicking and decision making at times is rushed, but in terms of athletic capabilities there are few better. His agility and acceleration is elite, and he can play down back or up forward, but he is best suited to the inside midfield role. He has that breakaway speed that would see him burst out of a stoppage and leave his opponents behind which is always something fans love to see.

#54 Tom McKenzie (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)

McKenzie has had a solid year playing TAC Cup and school football, and is that mid-range draft prospect who is still raw, but has some nice traits. He is likely to have found a nice role at half-back, using his kicking to advantage, along with his ability to set-up well and position himself for intercept marks. A very lightly built player, McKenzie can also play in the midfield, often on a wing with lightning pace that he does not often show in games – he clocked 2.9 seconds on the 20m sprint. Once he can really implement his athletic abilities to impact a contest, he will be all the more damaging.

#53 Brayden Ham (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)

A high impact per possession player, Ham over-age year was a massive improvement on past years, and is yet a third 19 year-old in this list that might get a second chance. Playing half-forward, half-back and on the wing, Ham is arguably the best athlete when taking into account speed, agility and endurance, with the Falcons utility in the top few across all the tests. He is still light so will need to bulk up a bit and iron out the kicking so it is a bit more consistent, but when he is up and about he is very damaging. He is a player that only needs a handful of touches to turn a match and he has the athletic capabilities to completely wear down an opponent and on that alone, he deserves a spot on this list.

#52 Riley Bowman (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)

It might be a bit strange to see the big man this far down after being so high initially, but as we see every year, rucks tend to drop towards November as the reality of whether or not talls are worth taking early continues to rage. As one of only a handful of genuine ruck talents, expect Bowman to land somewhere in the second half of the draft with some nice ruck work, but will be viewed as a long-term prospect. At times had a bit of an up-and-down year, but turned it on in the TAC Cup decider and was one of the best for the Stingrays, which gave clubs a huge indication of where he might fall.

#51 Josh Kemp (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

A medium forward who plays taller than his 184cm, even though it looks at times as if a gust of wind might knock him over. Very light, Kemp has a great vertical leap, impressive closing speed, and an insatiable attack on the football and ball carrier. He does all the defensive things right which is what you want from any player, but especially a forward who is capable of a nice highlights package as well. Received the call-up from school football after an impressive season, then was very good for the Cannons in the final month. Knows where the goals are, and when he is not kicking them, he is trying to win the ball back.

#50 Irving Mosquito (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)

Hawthorn fans have a beauty in ‘Mozzie’ with the exciting forward the kind of player that could walk away from a game with 10 touches and you go home thinking “gee how good was he?”. Mosquito’s clean ball use is about as good as you will see, with his ability to pick the ball off the deck in the wet like he has velcro hands is up there with the likes of Tarryn Thomas at the top of the charts. Like any small forward, Mosquito does need to work on his consistency, but he is a natural match winner who worries opponents whenever he gets near the football. Attacks both offensively and defensively with vigour and is not afraid to bring down much bigger opponents.

#49 Harry Reynolds (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)

In the back half of the season, school footballers who did not get the call-up or choose not to play TAC Cup early in the season often throw on the jumper for the final month, and Reynolds is one of those. Not too dissimilar to Nathan Murphy the year before, Reynolds is that medium-tall utility who can play anywhere on the ground. Hailing from Brighton Grammar – the same school as Murphy – Reynolds is a nice kick of the football, and just knows how to find it. He is one of those dark horses of the draft that could be plucked out early given his scope for improvement.

#48 Laitham Vandermeer (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)

Had it not been for an unfortunate sling tackle in the National Under 18 Championships, Vandermeer’s year could have been even better. To that point, the overager was looking as good as any other 1999-born player going around in the TAC Cup, and it earned him a place in Vic Country’s side. His run-and-carry, dare and dash really excited fans, and he is the type of player that just takes off and does not fear taking the game on. He wins a lot of the football and while he is predominantly an outside player, he uses his speed to also apply defensive pressure, and fiercely attacks the ball carrier. One who could go later or as a rookie, but the need for speed is great in modern football, and Vandermeer has that need in spades.

#47 James Rowbottom (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

Rowbottom is the well-publicised nephew of ‘BT’ (Brian Taylor) and is another one of many inside midfielders in the draft crop. He has good speed and never takes a backwards step, being one of the top clearance midfielders in the TAC Cup. He wins it on the inside, spreads to the outside and just keeps plugging away all day long. Rowbottom needs to improve his endurance, but he has the talent to keep improving, and the dedication to make sure it happens. Another one who could easily go earlier should a club like what he has to offer, but expect him to be a mid-draft option and a player who could slide into a senior side fairly early on, with Rowbottom just needing to sharpen up his kicking a bit.

#46 Tyron Smallwood (Claremont/Western Australia)

Not much has been said about the classy outside midfielder/small forward, but he earned a National Draft Combine invitation and is one of the players we rate as a mid-draft prospect. He just does a lot right and is a player who while undersized, is capable of being accountable for an opponent. He kicks goals and lays tackles, and can also move through the midfield with an ability to win the footy and drive it forward. He is not as quick as other small forwards, but he has fairly good evasion skills, and his ability to execute by hand or foot is impressive. Smallwood just seems like the type of player that clubs secretly want to drop and then call it a bargain later on, because he has some very draftable qualities.

 

Who were next in line?

South Australians, Hugo Munn and Tom Lewis, Gippsland Power over-ager Matthew McGannon, Dandenong inside midfielder, Sam Fletcher and Oakleigh Chargers’ ball-winner, Will Golds were all borderline on making the top 60.

South Australia weekly wrap: Big names shine in school champs

ALL eyes this week were on the huge Schools Championship clash with big draft names on show. Across the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) levels, young talent continued to make key contributions to their sides. As the minor rounds wind down for some clubs, the finals for others will be a great opportunity for elite talent to show what they can do under pressure and on a bigger stage. 

South Australian Schools Knockout Championship – Prince Alfred College vs. Henley High School

By: David Chapman

In a repeat of last year’s final, the two teams came together after similar pathways. Prince Alfred College (PAC) finished top of the College Footy competition and that gave them the path straight to the final. Henley defeated Rostrevor (second in College footy) in the preliminary final after winning the Public Schools number one ranking.

In a slight surprise, Henley started Jack Lukosius at centre-half back, and with PAC’s Will Gould in the backline as well, we missed out on the match up of two Under 18 All Australians. However it was Lukosius that had more of the impact, repelling PAC attacks at will and running off his player to create an extra into attack.  His highlight was probably the run off half-back along the wing in the second quarter and then a 50m bullet pass to Izak Rankine that would not have gotten three metres off the ground, such was its perfection. In a tough and entertaining match at half time Henley had scored three goals to PAC’s one. 

Rankine’s touches were effective and he was always dangerous, and while the PAC defenders did well to quell his usual magic, the class of his disposals was telling. Jackson Mead was also a real threat up forward and Henley captain Beau Nunan was again instrumental in and around the packs and in the second half in particular showed real on field leadership. Henley’s Will Schreiber was hard at the footy and contest all game and a valued contributor to the winners. Yet ultimately it was the depth of the Henley squad which outshone PAC and saw them with the 6.10 (46) to 2.9 (21) victory.

For PAC, it was the two Under 17s in Karl Findlay and Kozzie Pickett that were best. Finlay playing centre-half back took a number of contested intercepts marks, and his disposal by foot was excellent. He would have to be in consideration for higher honours next year.  Meanwhile Pickett was creative flying high at marks and duking opponents, almost impossible to tackle and when he was closed on, was able to stiff arm his opponent and then offload.  Also scary was his ability to hit the contest and the opponent and this was on show with a couple of his bumps that shook the grandstand. Captain Tom Sparrow tried hard all night to drag his team back into the contest, but needed a bit more assistance through the middle. Will Gould went forward in the second half but PAC couldn’t get the ball in often enough, and they didn’t grab their chances in front of the goals either missing many set shots on goal.

Last year we saw 2017 draftees Zac Bailey (Brisbane) and Jackson Edwards (Crows) play in this game.  There were a few more from the game that should see their named called out in November.

Jack Lukosius ended up with the Colin Steinert Medal for best on ground and Henley celebrated for the first time in 38 years

SANFL wrap

By: Jamie Morgan

League

A bit quieter week at League level, with only a handful of top-end talent taking the field. Connor Rozee again hit the scoreboard with one goal and 14 disposals for North in their narrow loss to League Leader, Norwood. Izak Rankine clocked up 16 disposals in the Bloods’ loss to Sturt, while big man Hugo Munn again booted a goal for the Double Blues playing key position, along with three contested marks.

The young Centrals trio of Jackson Hately, Jez McLennan and Aaron Nietschke were all solid contributors in their team’s win over Port Adelaide Magpies. Hately was very impressive finishing with two goals and helping steady his team in the last quarter.

At South in their one goal win over the Eagles, forward and overager Nathan Krueger’s season continued well with another three goals and five marks.

Reserves

Sturt showed real guts in their two point victory over West Adelaide, once again the form and improvement in Casey Voss (son of Michael) is something that has to attract interest. His best on ground performance for the Blues was done with 20 possessions at 85% efficiency, combing for seven clearances and 14 tackles along with Tom Lewis.

Panthers Hayden Sampson was again a contributor finishing with one goal and 17 disposals to be in the best.

Under 18

Sturt defeated West Adelaide and again key midfielder Jed McEntee was dominant for the Double Blues in a strong inside performance. West Adelaide pair William Gutsche and Jye Sinderberry continue to be key contributors for the Bloods and both have shown great improvement over the year.

South over ran Glenelg by 15 points in a tight game. Strong performances came from South and ex Sacred Heart Collegian Tate Lovering again leading the way, along with forwards Damon Freitag and Daniel Sladojevic. Glenelg leader Finn Betterman was hard in the contest showed with eight clearances and Henley High’s Tex Dowdell finished with a game high 26 disposals.

The Eagles overcame Centrals by 12 points, and it was a case of huge disposal numbers for Kai Pudney (42 disposals) and Jackson Mead (31 disposals) that helped their team over the line

Norwood rolled out their best team with a huge 76-point win over North. With a host of their top end talent back it was an easy victory for the Redlegs with Jacob Collins and Jacob Kennerly really damaging and key mid Kade Chandler best with three goals from 22 disposals.

The last round of U18 footy occurs this week with three teams all vying for finals spots, so it will be an interesting end to the season. All school football is now complete for most schools and SANFL clubs will get the majority of their College talent back for the finals series.

South Australia weekly wrap: School footy heats up with Under 18s bye

WITH a split round in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and no Under 18s, there were still some good performances from South Australia’s draftable talent across the grades. School footy takes the focus this week and next as the season culminates. 

League:

Centrals lost by 44 points at home to top side Norwood. However, Aaron Nietschke on debut for the Dogs was in the best with 23 possessions showing a lot of class to also slot one goal. Starting up forward, Jackson Hately was also in the bests with his 22 possessions, nine marks and two goals. Defender Jez McLennan had the nine disposals and four tackles and mature age ruckman Darcy Fort had 13 possessions, including 18 hitouts. For Norwood, Matt Nunn (mature ager invited to South Australian draft combine) had 31 possessions including 14 marks and one goal to be in the best for the winners.

Sturt defeated South by 13 points, with Hugo Munn kicking a crucial goal in the close game. Shane McAdam (mature ager invited to the National Combine) on return from injury had 10 possessions and also kicked a goal. For South, Nathan Kreuger had nine disposals and kicked two goals, while Hayden Sampson was quieter with the seven disposals.

Reserves:

North Adelaide demolished Port by over 100 points, with Oscar Chapman in the best with his 21 possessions, 12 marks and 3.4.

In Sturt’s loss to South, midfielder Tom Lewis was in the best with 18 disposals (14 contested), 12 tackles and also kicked 1.1. Casey Voss had 12 disposals including five tackles and defender Riley Grundy had five disposals and four tackles. For South, Robert Irra was in the best with his 19 disposals and run off half-back.

In Glenelg’s 38 point loss to Westies, Finn Betterman had 14 disposals. Oscar Lovelock was best for the losing Tigers who only managed one goal in appalling conditions, while the Blood’s Elliot Dunkin was best afield.

School and College Footy:

College and School football is now getting to the pointy end of the season with some key games and finals now approaching.

In College games this week, Prince Alfred College (PAC) won the Premier League Championship when they defeated Rostrevor 66-28 to go through undefeated. For PAC, captain Tom Sparrow was best on ground with his explosiveness from the packs and hardness at the football. Will Gould was also outstanding at half-back, with intercept marking and powerful spoiling. Kossie Pickett was dangerous as always up forward and on-baller Harry Schoneberg was also key with his run and drive through the middle. For Rostrevor, Cam Taheny was in the best along with Jacob Kennerley rebounding from the back half and wing. 

In other College games, Sacred Heart (SHC) accounted for Westminster easily by 16 goals and St Peters secured a win over Scotch College by 41 points.

With the first year of the new Premier League format completed, it has breathed some new life into the College competition. The familiar schools continue to dominate at the top of the table but opportunities for other Colleges to improve has been exciting.

 

State Knockout School/College Championships

During the week, Henley High (resting Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine) won the Open competition to go into the preliminary final versus Rostrevor with the winner set to play PAC for the State Championship.

In a match that sees the winner face off against PAC in the final, both teams had key players out – Lukosius for Henley and Jacob Kennerley for Rostrevor.

Henley started off well kicking three goals with the breeze at Woodville Oval. Threatening to take the game away after some early goals, Rostrevor steadied, led by captain Luke Valente, and slowed Henley’s attack and scored into the breeze to be only 2 goals down at quarter time.  For Henley, Izak Rankine was collecting the ball at will and almost in danger of overdoing it, tried to show off all his magical talent in the first quarter, but the Rostrevor team did well to keep the pressure on him.

The second quarter became the crucial period with both teams kicking two goals, and so by Rostrevor taking advantage of the breeze, meant Henley had the ascendency. And Henley’s poise and precision out of defence was a real highlight – especially the work of Luke Edwards and Zane Williams.

In the third quarter Henley took the game away with four goals to one, including a high flying mark from Jackson Mead. Hard running and quick ball movement opened up the Rossie defence, and a number of skill and discipline errors cost Rostrevor numerous opportunities to attack.  At three-quarter time Henley led by 29 points. 

In the last quarter Rostrevor needed their own magic and Cam Taheny positioned in his own 50m paddock scored within 30 seconds. Another goal from Taheny came shortly after and Rostrevor were up and about. In these 20 minute quarters there is no time to spare and chasing five goals was always going to be a challenge.  Taheny continued to present up forward, but Henley managed to get players back into the space to choke things up and slow down the ball. Rostrevor had a number of missed shots on goal and then slotted a third for the quarter. Keeping Henley goalless in the last quarter was a good effort, but Henley’s poise lead by captain Beau Nunan meant they were the victors by eight points – 9.4 58 to 7.8 50.

The final is to be played at 7:30pm on Tuesday 21 August at Norwood Oval, and will be a re-match of last year’s thrilling final in which PAC came from behind to claim victory.  The Henley team is packed full of talent with State representatives, and takes on a PAC team, with a number of changes from last year’s squad but itself has some elite talent.  Another classic awaits.

South Australia weekly wrap: Strong Under 15 Championships; Under 18s star across SANFL

THERE was plenty happening across all levels of footy across SA, with young talent on show in the U15 Championships, plus some League debuts for some U18 talent and a host of top end players returning to their school College football commitments .

National Under 15 Championships – Boys and Girls

Last week the U15 National Championships were held in Adelaide for Boys and Girls. The week long competition had some tough windy conditions and the Victorian teams were victorius in the Grand final for both Boys and Girls.

Boys:

Grand Final: Victoria  11.6 (72) defeated SA 6.3 (39)

VICTORIA

Goal Kickers: J. Ward 2, J. Sinn 2, N. Dear, I. Parish, R. Martin, B. Hobbs, C. Molan, M. Ktona, C. Macdonald
Best Players: B. Hobbs, J. Gibcus, J. Sinn, J. Ward, J. Davies

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Goal Kickers: I. Dudley 2, B. Calvett, H. Tunkin, J. Davis, A. D”Aloia
Best Players: M. Coorey, H. Tunkin, C. Murley, I. Dudley, M. Roberts, W. Verrall

It was a solid tournament with SA and Victoria the 2 standout sides which was reflected in the All Australian side with 14 players coming from the 2 states. SA players to make the All Australian side were Matthew Dnistriansky, Isaiah Dudley,Cooper Murley, Matthew Roberts, Brock Thomson, and Kane Viska.

Girls:

Victoria defeated New South Wales in the Girls Grand final by 9 points. South Australia managed to win third place in the tournament, defeating Western Australia for the bronze.

South Australian players to make the All Australian side were Gypsy Schirmer, Georgia SwanZoe Venning, Lauren Young, and Bethany Bell.

 

SANFL League

SANFL flag favourite Norwood easily accounted for Eagles. Forward Jack Lukosius was back in the goals finishing with one goal, 14 disposals and five marks.

In a high scoring game for Roosters over Adelaide Crows, youngster Boyd Woodcock was very good in his second League game finishing with three goals from 10 possessions up forward. Fellow North forward Connor Rozee earned himself a Breakthrough Player nomination after another solid game of 15 disposals and a goal.

South destroyed Port Magpies, and this game saw Hayden Sampson (son of Adelaide Crow Clay) make his League debut and he slotted into the pace well, finishing 17 disposals and two goal assists. Fellow young forward and 2017 Under 18 South Australian state representateive Nathan Krueger was impressive as well, with 11 marks and two goals, three behinds, which should have been five goals. Both young Panthers earned themselves Breakthrough Player nominations as well.

Izak Rankine finished with one goal in the Bloods loss to Glenelg. The West Adelaide forward has not quite hit the heights of the recent championships, but he always looks dangerous with the footy in hand or in his area.

Sturt big man Hugo Munn continues to keep scoring each week finishing with another 1 goal in the Double Blues victory over Centrals. Young players Jackson Hately for Centrals kept finding the footy while backman Jez McLennan was a bit quieter after his first game last week.

 

SANFL  Reserves

Norwood won a close one over the Eagles by 15 points. Eagle James Rowe was best afield in the loss finishing with four goals and 17 disposals. Under 18s player Martin Frederick was given another opportunity in the strong Eagles line up down back.

In South’s easy victory over Port Adelaide, Tate Coleman was in the best with an all-around 24-disposal one-goal game. Mitchell Mead (son of Ports Darren Mead) was best for the Magpies and battled all day.

Glenelg got over West in a close one by six points, led by youngsters Josh Koster (son of Adelaide’s Kym) as well as U18 SA player Finn Betterman who finished with a goal and 19 disposals, along with Seb Kerrish also hitting the board with a goal and 13 contested out of his 22 disposals.

Centrals won by four points over Sturt, and potential father son Casey Voss again is making his claim towards draft time. Another solid performance with 23-disposal and three-clearance game earned him best, and fellow Double Blue Tom Lewis was a bull again with 16 contested ball, while ball magnet Ed Allan clocked up a huge 44 disposals in a losing side. Midfielder from the Bulldogs and U18 South Australian player Aaron Nietschke showed his work rate clocking up 24 disposals and a goal.

 

SANFL Under 18:

Glenelg was victorious over West by five points in a high scoring game and 2020 father/son Luke Edwards (son of Tyson) was again best for the Bays finishing with five goals from 20 disposals. South Australian Under-16 talent from the Bloods, ruck Riley Thilthorpe and forward Jye Sinderberry continued their good form.

Eagles forward Tyson Francis added another four goals to his season tally while father/son Jackson Mead (son of Darren) shone with 11 marks, and 11 of his 28 possessions contested in their victory over Norwood. Norwood’s midfielders Jed Spence and Kade Chandler were best for the Redlegs and they combined for 13 clearances.

South Australia’s Under 16 Most Valuable Player (MVP) midfielder Corey Durdin had a best afield performance for Centrals earning him a Powerade Under-18 MVP nomination after 31 possessions and a goal dominance in a two-point victory over Sturt.

The big forward for South hit the scoreboard against North, as Daniel Sladojevic finished with six goals in their win over North. Luke Bogle’s consistent year continued as the midfielder clocked up 30 disposal and 14 clearances. Possession winner Bailey Coleman-Oakes again was good for North managing 11 clearances in a losing side.

 

College Footy

Prince Alfred College 7.17 (59) defeated Sacred Heart College 6.10 (46)

This match was played at Sacred Heart College (SHC) and to be fair Prince Alfred College’s (PAC) inaccuracy flattered the home team, as it always felt like the Reds were in control. For the Hearts, Darcy Le Cornu up forward presented well and was a real threat on the lead, and Angus Weir was dynamic around the ball and provided a lot of drive into attack.  For PAC, captain Tom Sparrow was dominant in the midfield and won a lot of the hard ball, and when that ball got outside the Reds exploded into attack. In defence Karl Finlay was outstanding with a number of intercept marks, many contested. Will Gould started on the ball for the Reds then after half-time reverted to a key role off half-back and was always dangerous. In terms of the Premier League Championship this result makes it very hard for Sacred Heart to win the lot and they will need to beat Rostrevor and then have Rostrevor beat PAC to have a chance.

Rostrevor accounted for St Peters easily, and the next round of games with SHC taking on Rostrevor in their annual Intercol match will be a huge one. Rostrevor have plenty of talent in 2018 and look hard to beat, but SHC will be determined to charge towards finals.

Scotch College won by 25 points over Westminster.

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: Raft of Under 18 guns make League debuts

SOUTH Australian Under 18 talent had another opportunity to impress for their local South Australian Football League (SANFL) clubs, with players spread across Under 18, Reserves and League teams, while some players will also head back to their respective Colleges for school football as it returns this weekend.

SANFL Wrap:

League

It was another busy week with a mix of Under 18 (U18) talent continuing at SANFL League level.

Norwood destroyed West Adelaide and the Redlegs ex-AFL talent dominated, with Mitch Grigg the standout. For the Bloods, Izak Rankine finished with a goal in a quiet match where he was starved of opportunity, and young ex-Goodwood Saint Keelan Laube made his league debut for the Bloods.

In the Sturt victory over the Eagles, both young forward guns Hugo Munn and Jack Lukosius were down on their recent form.

For Centrals, it was a great win over the Adelaide Crows, and young U18 leader Jez McLennan was rewarded with a League debut, playing his role at the level and finishing with 15 disposals. Fellow U18 leader Jackson Hately found plenty of the footy with 22 disposals, including four clearances. Adelaide Crow star Brodie Smith played his first game back from ACL and looked all class.

In the North vs South game, it was an impressive win for the Panthers winning by 41 points. North had three debutants in their team with U18 talent Boyd Woodcock and other youngsters Jake Wohling and Keanu Miller given a chance. Woodcock on debut worked hard around the ground  for his 16 disposals, six tackles and a goal. The standout was draft talent Connor Rozee finishing with four tackles and three goals, including a monster from inside the centre square, and a Powerade Breakthrough Player nomination.

 

Reserves:

Glenelg’s talented young team accounted for Port easily with Tobin Cox having a day out finishing with six goals. The Tigers gave opportunities to their young talent with Finn Betterman, Brad Potter and Declan Carmody, and 2019 talent Brady Searle and Will Gould all making a contribution. An undermanned Port’s best was big man Levi Proude.

Tom Lewis from Sturt will be pushing for a League debut after another best and 28 possessions, 12 tackles and 13 contested possessions helping his side to victory. Casey Voss again showed his consistency and Mihail Lochowiak was solid. Eagles potential draft talent Martin Frederick and Kai Pudney found plenty of footy despite the loss.

North accounted for South in an easy win, and South had some young players in the mix. U18 players Tate Coleman with 21 disposals rebounding off half-back, Hayden Sampson and Tom Sparrow were again dangerous and solid for the Panthers at this level, especially in the first half. For North forward/winger Oscar Chapman lead his team with 10 marks and a goal.

 

Under 18s:

Centrals were on the winners list after defeating Glenelg by 40 points. SA Under 16 captain Corey Durdin was a ball magnet with 26 disposals and 14 contested. Other young Under 16s talent Luke Edwards (son of Tyson) was best for the Tigers, and Sacred Heart College forward Darcy LeCornu continues his consistent season finishing with a goal and nine marks.

The Eagles have a stranglehold on the top of the ladder with another easy win this time over Sturt by 57 points.  Jarrod Miller again was best for Eagles with four goals as the leading possession winner, while potential father-son Jackson Mead led all players with 12 tackles. Sturt Dougal Grieve has found some form in recent weeks along with consistent performer Jed McEntee both strong at the contest all game.

Norwood look a different side with their top end talent back and they gave West Adelaide a 84 point loss. Luke Valente’s first game back was typical of his form with 30 possession, seven clearances and best on ground honours. Jacob Kennerley again found plenty of outside footy and Dylan Stephens finished with three goals in a classy performance. West Adelaide’s Ethan Moore backed up another solid game with 13 contested possessions and seven clearances in their loss, and underage Jye Sinderberry is building well after a solid U16 championships.

Despite a tough loss to the Roosters, South forward Jake Tarca was rewarded with an MVP nomination after his six-goal haul in a losing side. Roosters midfielder Bailey Coleman-Oakes continued to find the footy and Harrison Magor looked impressive in another quality game finishing with 17 contested possessions.

 

National Under 15 Championships – Boys and Girls

This week the National Championships are underway for the Under 15 talent from across the country in boys and girls football. SA look favourite in both competitions, currently undefeated in their matches to date. We will provide a full wrap on players to watch after conclusion of the tournament.

 

College Footy:

College Footy is back this weekend with some huge clashes in the back end of the season as side continue to build towards the title race. Sacred Heart (SHC) have a massive game against Prince Alfred (PAC) at SHC, which is a must win for the Hearts team. SHC have been playing some good footy before the break and plenty of their talent doing well at SANFL level. PAC’s top end talent is high class so it will be a great game to watch.

Rostrevor take on St Peters in another important game, and Rostrevor will start favourite, while newly promoted Scotch College take on Westminster.

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