Tag: Lucas Westwood

Comprehensive 2018 TAC Cup Grand Final Preview

IT is the equivalent of Christmas Day for the TAC Cup competition, with the two best teams for the year facing off in a decider. We have the clear benchmark all season, in the Dandenong Stingrays, taking on the red-hot Oakleigh Chargers, who have been in sensational form since all their school kids returned to the team. We take a look at the big game from multiple angles in our Ultimate Preview of the 2018 TAC Cup Grand Final.

 

2018 SEASON REVIEW

1. Dandenong Stingrays – 15 wins, 1 loss, 211%, 60 points
3. Oakleigh Chargers – 10 wins, 5 losses, 1 draw, 151%, 42 points

HEAD TO HEAD

R5: Oakleigh Chargers 11.6 (72) defeated Dandenong Stingrays 9.12 (66) at Warrawee Park
R9: Dandenong Stingrays 13.17 (95) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 6.4 (40) at Shepley Oval

CHANGES SINCE ROUND 5 THRILLER*

*Including extended benches

Dandenong:
IN: Sam Fletcher, Hayden Young, Toby Bedford, Finlay Bayne, Mitch Riordan, Daniel Frampton, Stephen Cumming, Luca Goonan, Matthew Cumming, Sam Sturt
OUT: Jake Carosella, James Hickey, Jarrod Smith, William Geurts, Sam De Koning, Bailey Angwin

Oakleigh:
IN: Will Kelly, Noah Anderson, James Rowbottom, Matthew Rowell, Kyle Dunkley, Lucas Westwood, Trent Bianco, Bailey Wraith, Will Golds, Jack Ross, Matt Warren, James Jordan
OUT: Sam Harte, Lachlan Bugeja, Xavier Fry, Matthew Fewings, Ben Silvagni, Kyle Viccars, Josh May, Daniel Scala, Lachlan Harry, Sam Elliot

 

WHO HAS COMBINE INVITES?

National:

Dandenong Stingrays [6]: Toby Bedford, Riley Bowman, Zac Foot, Will Hamill, Sam Sturt, Bailey Williams
Oakleigh Chargers [7]: Noah Answerth, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Will Golds, Will Kelly, Xavier O’Neill, Isaac Quaynor, James Rowbottom

State/Rookie Me:

Dandenong Stingrays [10]: Stephen Cumming, Sam Fletcher, Jake Frawley, Matthew Gahan, Lachlan McDonnell, Jamie Plumridge, Mitch Riordan, Bailey Schmidt, Jai Taylor, Lachlan Young
Oakleigh Chargers [6]: Joe Ayton Delaney, Atu Bosenavulagi, Kyle Dunkley, Jake Gasper, James Jordon, Jack Ross

Note: Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh) and Jai Nanscawen (Dandenong) have combine invitations but are unavailable due to injury.

PLAYERS

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS:

#1 Sam FLETCHER

Just keeps winning the football every week and puts in a consistent effort. He will join Hustwaite on the inside and look to fire out a number of handballs to teammates in space, and will often look to win that one-on-one duel when given the chance. Does not get to the outside as much as other midfielders, but does all the damage at the coal face, expect him to be prominent in there again.

#2 Hayden YOUNG

The potential number one pick next year looked sore throughout the preliminary final last week and got moved from the back pocket to the extended interchange, so it appeared to be a waiting game on whether he would play. Unbelievable talent with and a hardness at the ball, can play anywhere on the field, but he has been used off half-back with that smooth running and deadly foot skills a highlight.

#3 Jamie PLUMRIDGE

Tipped by TAC Cup Radio’s Matthew Cocks for the Best on Ground, Plumridge has been a consistent performer this year. Plumridge is an outside midfielder who often wins it on the wing and pumps it inside 50 to the tall targets.

#7 Jai TAYLOR

An electrifying speedster, Taylor is one of the fastest players in the competition, and with Toby Bedford, has the capability of breaking the lines and causing disruption amongst the opposition zone. While he does not always do it, he can tuck the ball under the arm and take the game on.

#9 Zac FOOT

Burst onto the scene early in the season to make Vic Country after never having made a previous Stingrays’ squad. He played throughout the National Under 18 Championships, and while he did not star, he still had some impressive moments. Adds a different element to the team because he can win it inside or out, play back, forward or through the midfield and has a high impact per possession when he is on.

#10 Lachlan YOUNG

A defender who loves to rebound and use the ball well, he does not find a lot of it – averaging just 12.5 disposals per game. But almost 25 per cent of his possessions are rebounds, with Young ensuring the ball can clear the defensive zone.

#11 Ned CAHILL

Named as the 23rd player, Cahill showed in last week’s preliminary final just how damaging he could be booting two goals and passed off another couple. Still a bottom-age player, Cahill has emerged as a genuine goal sneak at 177cm. Has to be respected because he just gets to the right positions.

#12 Matthew GAHAN

Has enjoyed a really solid season off half-back earning himself a State Combine invitation. Gahan is a strong ball user and a player who his teammates like getting the ball into the hands of. With Oakleigh’s strong forward line, Gahan will need to be used both offensively and defensively in order to still create drive while restricting one of the many dangerous Chargers’ defenders.

#13 Riley BOWMAN

Is suited to the number one ruck role, but can play forward which is where he is expected to play. Often the Stingrays rotate Bowman, Stephen Cumming and Bailey Williams through the ruck such is their luxury. Bowman’s pure ruckwork is arguably the best of the lot, because he gets his hands to most throw-ins or ball-ups and can palm down to his midfielders. Big men seem to be out of fashion lately, so a big game would be huge to determine where he slots in.

#15 Toby BEDFORD

One of the most in-form Stingrays of late, Bedford has a great mix of offensive and defensive skills, providing line-breaking ability as well as tackling pressure in the forward half. He can kick multiple goals in a game, and pinch-hit in the midfield to break up the game. He offers a different element to the Dandenong midfield, and the Melbourne Next Generation Academy player is one who Demons fans will enjoy watching over the years, with the assumption they match the bid that comes in.

#16 Jake FRAWLEY

A strong midfielder who can play out of full-forward such is his strength one-on-one or in the air. Booted six goals against against Bendigo Pioneers at Shepley Oval playing almost exclusively as a forward. He adds some depth to the midfield and his versatility is important when the big day rolls around.

#17 Finlay BAYNE

Another dangerous small forward who can play through the midfield. Due to the depth in the Stingrays onball brigade, Bayne has found a nice spot in the forward 50 and is good for a couple of goals a game. He is a good mover with good goal sense.

#18 Mitch RIORDAN

Highly rated at the start of the season, Riordan had injury concerns and missed the bulk of the National Under 18 Championships, and has only recently returned in the past month. He can use the ball well, and while he does not win much of it, he can often be found coming out of a stoppage and kicking forward. Athletically he is very good, testing well in the 20m sprint, agility test and yo-yo test, so it is just getting game time into him.

#23 Campbell HUSTWAITE

The Stingrays captain is another player who has been in fine form the past couple of months and seems made for the big stage. He has lead from the front in the TAC Cup finals series and does everything expected of him. Against a strong Oakleigh midfield, his desire and competitiveness will be called upon to match it with the likes of Jack Ross and James Rowbottom. Hustwaite could be a best on ground chance given you know exactly what you will get from him each week.

#27 Lachlan MCDONNELL

Played at half-forward for the start of the season and has progressed onto the wing. Of all the Dandenong midfielders, McDonnell is one of the Stingrays’ most damaging kicks in transition. He is predominantly outside compared to the others, but he finds space and pumps it long inside 50.

#28 Bailey SCHMIDT

The big man has been unlucky not to play more games because he is a damaging presence up forward with great athleticism. He has just landed at a club in a year with ridiculous amounts of talent in the ruck/forward position. Still earned a State Combine invite, and while he has been named on the extended bench, is still one who has been able to show his wares throughout the 2018 season.

#29 Bailey WILLIAMS

The big key forward/ruck looms as the player Oakleigh must stop if the Chargers are to win their fifth TAC Cup premiership. Williams is an athletic monster forward who has a massive vertical leap and can cause plenty of headaches for any opposition defender. His goal kicking has been an issue for two thirds of the season, so he will need to be on target in the game. Expect him to have a bearing on the game, and if he can get an early major and build confidence – watch out.

#32 Daniel FRAMPTON

Has held down centre half-back at times despite standing at just 188cm. Can intercept the ball and averages 3.5 marks per game. The smaller Oakleigh forward line will suit Frampton as it means he does not have to battle against a 200cm monster.

#36 Stephen CUMMING

Starting in the ruck and even though he came off a little sore early last week, Cumming still played out the game and looks set to start in the centre square tomorrow. The big man will rotate with Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams in the ruck and no doubt try and wear down the undersized Bailey Wraith.

#41 Lachlan STENNING

The defender is likely to take a defensive approach on a forward whether it be Dylan Williams, Jake Gasper or Atu Bosenavulagi and try and limit their influence on the game. He is a low-possession player but one who can play above his height of 178cm.

#45 Luca GOONAN

Still a bottom-ager, Goonan was added to the side for the Grand Final on an extended bench. It is hard to push out the strong top-age presence, but he has had some impressive signs this season. He is readymade at 83kg already, and one to keep an eye on for next year.

#49 Matthew COTTRELL

A genuine honest midfielder who you know what you are going to get. Suited to the inside, but has played outside, he just attacks the ball and tries to clear it forward. Has had some impressive games this season and will likely need to beat his opponent this weekend against a strong Chargers’ midfield.

#52 Corey ELLISON

At 191cm and 88kg, Ellison is that medium size who can play tall or small up forward, and actually averages 2.7 goals per game from seven matches. Has been in and out of the team at times because of the strength up forward, if given the chance he knows how to hit the scoreboard.

#56 Matthew CUMMING

Cumming has played predominantly key position defence this season and just tried to beat his opponent one-on-one. Like his brother, he moves well for a 198cm player, but not sure what match-up he has in this match. With Oakleigh adopting a smaller forward line, he will likely play on a player close to 10cm smaller than him, so he must prepare for that.

#57 Reid NANSCAWEN

Named as the sole emergency for the side, he looks to be the one to come in if injury strikes. He has played a bit of everywhere, and held up the midfield during the National Under 18 Championships when Dandenong had absences galore. Is the type that can come in and play his role and will no doubt be waiting in the wings if the opportunity arises.

#58 Will HAMILL

An underrated player in the Stingrays defensive half. Hamill can play through the midfield, but his class and composure off half-back has been a standout of his game. He glides around the field, and while he is not a huge accumulator, he can hurt opposition with nice delivery forward. Will be held accountable with one of many dangerous Chargers small forwards who just find the goals on a regular basis.

#59 Sam STURT

The late developer has burst onto the scene of late after some impressive performances for Peninsula Grammar. He was boosted from a State Combine invitation to a National Combine invitation, and has already showed why he is in hot demand since playing for the Stingrays. He has electric skills, great smarts and knows where the goals are – so damaging.

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS:

#1 Riley COLLIER-DAWKINS

A potential first round prospect, Collier-Dawkins has that blistering first few steps that can burn off an opponent out of a stoppage. He has been trialled up forward, but he is his most dominant on the inside, as he showed last week in the preliminary final. If he can use his strength, acceleration and penetrating kick to effect, then the Chargers will have plenty of hurt factor roaming through the midfield in transition.

#3 Joe AYTON-DELANEY

The running defender was unlucky not to get a National Draft Combine invitation after some impressive performances early in the season. He is one that will be in high demand with a good Grand Final and just finds the ball. Uses it well coming out of the backline and has shiny red boots that stand out. A player Oakleigh looks to get the ball in the hands of, along with Isaac Quaynor, in the backline.

#4 Will KELLY

He will have his work cut out for him, regardless if he takes Bailey Williams or Riley Bowman. He often enjoys running off an opponent and providing rebound, but he will need to be tight with the athletic talls. He can also go forward and provide a target if Oakleigh wants to throw a spanner in the works midway through the game. A Collingwood father-son prospect who will be watched closely by any Collingwood contingent that make the trip to Ikon Park.

#5 Xavier O’NEILL

Did not make the final Vic Metro squad, but showed enough throughout the 2018 TAC Cup season to suggest to recruiters he was in their top 50, earning a National Draft Combine invitation. He just does his job each week and is a really solid contributor. He covers the ground well and wins the ball in all thirds of the ground.

#6 Matthew DAY

The former basketballer was unlucky not be thrown a lifeline late last year, and has continued on as a really solid forward prospect as an overager for the Chargers this season. Keeps kicking goals and is strong overhead. A good size for development and one that the Stingrays cannot afford to let off the chain.

#7 Jay ROBERTSON

Did not make the cut at Eastern Ranges hailing from South Belgrave, came across and has been a valuable contributor up forward for Oakleigh. He is a medium tall who just keeps hitting the scoreboard and can fly under the radar with so much talent up that end.

#8 Noah ANDERSON

Another potential number one pick, Anderson is that prototype size for a midfielder, who due to the amazing depth of the Oakleigh midfield, has had the ability to almost play exclusively up forward. He pumps the ball long, can win it inside or out, and knows how to hit the scoreboard – as he did for Vic Metro against Western Australia.

#9 James ROWBOTTOM

The most pure of the inside midfielders, he gives his team a four quarter effort and wins a truckload of the ball on the inside. He is a clearance machine and just finds the ball anywhere on the ground. Dandenong are known for their hardness at the contest, and Rowbottom will be a key contributor for Oakleigh in trying to nullify some of the opposition midfielders.

#10 Charlie WHITEHEAD

A fierce small forward who loves to pressure opponents and just gets to the right positions. He has the capability of kicking multiple goals if given space and has a great goal sense. A pure small forward in every sense, he can push up the ground if the Chargers isolate another forward.

#11 Matthew ROWELL

Another Vic Metro representative in his bottom-age year, Rowell leads by example on the field. He has an uncompromising attack on the ball and is crucial around stoppages, but has had the luxury of playing on the outside, predominantly off a wing. He can play forward and kick goals, as he has the past two finals – kicking the first goal in both games.

#12 Noah ANSWERTH

The over-age captain does not do a lot wrong and can play anywhere on the field. His brother, Kade was best on ground in the TAC Cup Grand Final during Oakleigh Chargers’ last premiership over Eastern Ranges, and Answerth will be keen to put in an equally impressive performance. He made the Vic Metro squad and performed strongly and will leave no stone unturned in getting the most out of himself.

#13 Atu BOSENAVULAGI

Has bolted up into draft consideration after a quieter start to the season. His second half of the TAC Cup competition has been superb, and he is starting to regularly hit the scoreboard, while still applying the defensive pressure he was known for. Has made opposition clubs consider a National Draft bid, with Collingwood able to match if they like him.

#14 Kyle DUNKLEY

Has been on the fringe of getting into the team after spending time with Sydney Swans’ Reserves. With Oakleigh winning its past three games by an average of 101 points, it is a hard team to break into, but the forward will be ready if he gets his chance.

#16 Lucas WESTWOOD

A really reliable defender. With most of the other Oakleigh defenders being offensive players, Westwood adds that defensive hardness and ability to shut down a key opposition forward. He could well be given any number of smalls from the Stingrays who can kick multiple majors.

#17 Trent BIANCO

A skilful player who provides plenty of run and carry off half-back and through the midfield. Expect him to play more on-ball next season, but he has high-end talent and adds to what is a very strong bottom-age core at the Chargers.

#22 Dylan WILLIAMS

The bottom-age small forward is in ripping form, and just keeps kicking goals week-in, week-out. He shared them last week after six snags against Western Jets in the elimination final. He does very little wrong, and after spending time in defence early in the season, Williams’ strength overhead and great goal sense has him as a key player inside 50 for the Chargers. One Dandenong defender will have their work cut out for them.

#23 Isaac QUAYNOR

The running defender takes the game on and has some eye-catching moments. He might have to use his one-on-one ability more than he has had to in the past weeks, because Dandenong’s forward line will make sure he is made accountable. If he can get out and break the lines, using his speed and skill to create run-and-carry, then it will go a long way to Oakleigh winning the match. A Collingwood Next Generation Academy member to watch.

#26 Jake GASPER

The TAC Cup Leading Goalkicker and taking into account post-season goals he is the standalone leader, Gasper has been the most consistent forward in the competition. He has booted goals in every game he has played and his set shot routine is perfect. The Dandenong defence will focus on not letting him get too much air time because he is so smart in that forward 50.

#30 Bailey WRAITH

You have to applaud Wraith, who started as a key defender, but has stood up as an undersized ruck. He is measured at 191cm (though many believe he might be a few centimetres taller), and he has matched up against much taller opponents in the ruck. He will have to play his best game of the season against the Dandenong brigade however, with practically three 200cm rucks with big vertical leaps awaiting him.

#31 Will GOLDS

The most pure outside midfielder for the Chargers, Golds will be the one spreading to the outside and carrying the ball forward when given time and space. He could well match up against Lachlan McDonnell and the pair goes their separate ways, or they run alongside each other. Likes to set up plays forward of centre and has had a really solid finals series.

#32 Jack ROSS

The underrated midfielder from the Chargers has been building consistency very nicely over the past month since returning from school football. He loves the appetite of the contest, but can also spread to the outside and provide long kicks forward. He knows how to find a goal from a stoppage inside 50, and is one of many Oakleigh midfielders who looms as a key player on the weekend and one the Stingrays will put work into.

#33 Matt WARREN

Started the year as a key defender and can play up either end. Had the tough job of manning Max King in the top five pick’s only TAC Cup game and King booted eight goals in that game. At 189cm he has had to play on much taller opponents at times, but continues to battle above his height and weight range. A versatile option if a tall drops out of the Grand Final after being added to the interchange bench.

#36 Charlie BEASLEY

Rated really highly internally, Beasley will have to play taller than his 192cm against Bailey Williams or Riley Bowman. The coach, Leigh Clarke backs him in and he rarely lets him down. Regardless of opponent, Beasley is the type of defender who will stick to the task for four quarters.

#38 Zac HART

Oakleigh’s forward line is harder to break into than Fort Knox, so for the potential Adelaide father-son it has not been easy to find a spot. Hart has been added to the side on the extended interchange bench, and he is a smart forward with good goal sense, but with Oakleigh’s firepower on show the last month, it will probably take an injury for Hart to squeeze in.

#44 Will PHILLIPS

The Under 16s Vic Metro representative has managed to retain his place in the Oakleigh line-up despite it being as strong as it is, playing as the 23rd player. Great skills, good spread and does not seem phased against the bigger bodies, Phillips looks a player for the 2020 National Draft.

#64 James JORDON

Played a couple of games earlier in the season and returned after school football, Jordon has provided good run and carry on the outside. Like Golds, Jordon predominantly is used as a ball carrier with slick skills to take the game on and delivery well inside 50.

 

FATHER/SON AND ACADEMY PROSPECTS

Toby Bedford (Dandenong Stingrays) – Melbourne Next Generation Academy

Atu Bosenavulagi, Isaac Quaynor, Bailey Wraith (Oakleigh Chargers) – Collingwood Next Generation Academy

Will Kelly (Oakleigh Chargers) – Collingwood father/son

Kyle Dunkley* (Oakleigh Chargers) – Sydney father/son

Zac Hart* (Oakleigh Chargers) – Adelaide father/son

*Extended interchange

 

STATISTICS

Dandenong defence vs. Oakleigh attack

The key in this third of the ground, is whether or not Dandenong’s slick foot skills out of defence and springboard rebound can be used against the massive forward pressure of the Chargers. Atu Bosenavulagi (4.5 tackles), Jake Gasper (4.1) and Charlie Whitehead (3.2) provide the tackling heat, while Dylan Williams (62.8 per cent kicking efficiency), Jay Robertson (60.4 per cent) and Noah Anderson (56.6 per cent) provide the skills going inside 50. Gasper has been the dominant goal kicker this season, sharing the overall competition tally and post-finals has the most goals of any player in the league.

For Dandenong, they have some very nice ball users in the back half, lead by Will Hamill and Lachlan Stenning, while five of their six defenders average more than two marks a game. Lachlan Young (3.1 rebounds), Matthew Gahan (2.9) and Daniel Frampton (2.3) are that wall at half-back, while Matthew Cumming is the athletic key position defender who can share ruck duties. The big question mark will be match-ups as Oakleigh have a small forward line, while Cumming will no doubt be matched up on a smaller player.

Dandenong midfield vs. Oakleigh midfield

Two highly talented midfields will go head-to-head with so many crucial head-to-heads. Dandenong generally loves a contested brand of football, whereas Oakleigh love using their outside foot skills to advantage. In saying that, both sides can still play the other’s game. Stingrays captain, Campbell Hustwaite, Sam Fletcher and Mitch Riordan will provide the inside support, whereas Matthew Cottrell can play inside or out. Lachlan McDonnell is the most outside because he has the best skills of the five onballers, and has provided a crucial link between midfield and half-forward.

Will Golds provides just that for Oakleigh, whereas both Matthew Rowell and Jack Ross are equally as impressive inside as they are outside, and can get forward and kick goals as well. Noah Answerth can also play off half-back or half-forward and hit the scoreboard for the Chargers, while Bailey Wraith has been getting the job done in the ruck despite being undersized. If he can get forward and kick a goal, it adds an extra challenge for the Stingrays. He will have his work cut out for him against the best ruck division in the league.

Dandenong attack vs. Oakleigh defence

Dandenong’s attack is likely to cause a lot more headaches for Oakleigh’s defence than other sides have in past weeks. With Bailey Williams and Riley Bowman both athletic talls, it means Charlie Beasley and Will Kelly will have to be prepared to jump as both Dandenong keys are highly athletic – particularly Williams who is second to none with vertical leap. Jai Taylor and Toby Bedford are two of the quickest players going around, while Sam Sturt and Zac Foot consistently hit the scoreboard.

The great strength with Oakleigh’s defence is its ball use out of the back 50, with Isaac Quaynor, Joe Ayton-Delaney and Trent Bianco all wonderful kicks of the football. Often teams can have at least one liability back in their defence, but there is no player in the back 50 who the Chargers would not feel comfortable with kicking the ball out of the back 50. The challenge for the Chargers defence is they have to expect Dandenong to bring the heat. Forward pressure from the Stingrays is a must, and Oakleigh must be up for that challenge.

Extended interchange of both sides:

The depth on both these benches, particularly Oakleigh’s, is madness. Riley Collier Dawkins could be a first round pick but he sits on the pine, while James Jordon and Xavier O’Neill are crucial cogs in Oakleigh’s midfield. Matthew Day has been a really valuable forward for the Chargers this season, while Vic Metro Under 16s talent, Will Phillips has been very slick with his ball use on the outside and shapes as an impressive talent for the 2020 AFL National Draft. With father-son prospects and sneaky small forwards Kyle Dunkley and Zac Hart waiting in the wings, and the versatile Matt Warren also brought in to the extended team, Oakleigh has plenty of options to head into game day.

For Dandenong, Finlay Bayne and Ned Cahill both provide depth in the forward line and showed they can kick multiple goals, as they did against Sandringham Dragons last week. Corey Ellison has been unlucky this season given the strength of talls for the Stingrays, while Hayden Young could be pick one next season, but came off sore last week and whether he makes the final team is yet to be seen. Bailey Schmidt is another athletic tall who could come in to really stretch the Oakleigh defence, while Jake Frawley kicked a bag of six earlier in the season. Jamie Plumridge has been good on  the outside for Dandenong this season, while Luca Goonan is a prospect to watch for next year. Reid Nanscawen has been named as the only emergency in the team.

WHY WILL THEY WIN?

Dandenong Stingrays: They have been the best team all year and attack the footy with numbers. A fierce intent on the ball carrier, any opposition know that the heat will come and it will depend on how they deal with it. The Stingrays are not a high possession team, and opt for sharing the ball around, but still using the ball long and effective. They have the tall timber up forward to put in the air and allow them to mark it, because no-one is spoiling Bailey Williams if he gets a run at it.

Oakleigh Chargers: They are the most skilful team in the competition who are happy to use short possessions rather than take risks with long kicks, but know when to flick the switch. Often they will use a series of short kicks until a player breaks free and then they use run-and-carry to run down the wings and pick a target out inside 50. Without the height in there, the Oakleigh midfielder put low balls out in front of their teammates to run onto with their speed off the mark, key.

 

WHAT DO THEY NEED TO STOP?

Dandenong Stingrays: They absolutely must bring the heat on the weekend. Oakleigh dominate games when they are allowed to over-possess the ball and just wait until options free up. Dandenong need to ensure that firstly, Oakleigh cannot have free numbers wandering into open space, and secondly, that there is a defensive midfielder who is happy to drop back and fill the hole in front of the Oakleigh forwards. Unlike Dandenong where a 200cm athlete will crash into your back, Oakleigh’s passes inside 50 will be low darts, so the Stingrays need to restrict the free space inside 50 and force them wide.

Oakleigh Chargers: They have to be wary of positioning themselves well inside the defensive 50. They will be playing against much taller opponents who can fly high, and some of their usually offensively-minded defenders might have to do more one-on-one defending. Isaac Quaynor is arguably the best small defender in the league one-on-one and he might be the man to go to Sam Sturt, as Quaynor can play taller and is equally as smart. Bailey Wraith will also have his work cut out for him in the ruck, and while he has been fantastic, when you’re going up against high flying rucks that are towering over you, the goal is to nullify as much as possible.

 

GRAND FINAL HISTORY

The two teams have never met in a TAC Cup Grand Final before, but have been involved in 10 between them. Dandenong has heartbreakingly lost all five of their encounters, two of which exceeded 80 points. For Oakleigh, they have won four out of a possible five attempts, including a goal point to Jack Macrae in 2012 getting them over the line against Gippsland Power.

Dandenong Stingrays:

1997: lost to North Ballarat Rebels by 35 points
2005: lost to Gippsland Power by 15 points
2008: lost to Murray Bushrangers by 81 points
2009: lost to Calder Cannons by 14 points
2013: lost to Eastern Ranges by 112 points

Oakleigh Chargers:

2006: defeated Calder Cannons by 27 points
2011: lost to Sandringham Dragons by eight points
2012: defeated Gippsland Power by one point
2014: defeated Calder Cannons by 47 points
2015: defeated Eastern Ranges by 12 points

 

AFL Draft Central tips

 

Peter Williams

Dandenong Stingrays
BOG: Toby Bedford

Michael Alvaro

Oakleigh Chargers
BOG: Dylan Williams

Craig Byrnes

Oakleigh Chargers
BOG: Jack Ross

Scott Dougan

Oakleigh Chargers
BOG: Jake Gasper

Ed Pascoe

Oakleigh Chargers
BOG: Dylan Williams

Cameron Ross

Dandenong Stingrays
BOG: Toby Bedford

 

Total Tips:

Dandenong Stingrays 2
Oakleigh Chargers 4

Best on Ground:

Toby Bedford 2
Dylan Williams 2
Jack Ross 1
Jake Gasper 1

APS eyes off eight straight as AGSV looks to break drought

IT is a rivalry stretching into its nineteenth year, but everything will be on the line for the football match between the Associated Public Schools (APS) and Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria (AGSV) at Trinity College on Saturday. The game kicks off at 12.30pm in Bulleen, with plenty of TAC Cup talent on show. The APS are gunning for an eighth straight victory, and have the clear advantage over AGSV, having won 15 of the 18 meetings between the competitions.

For AGSV, they have a number of talented players who will be hoping to make the difference, including Oakleigh Chargers’ bottom-agers Trent Bianco and Lucas Westwood and top-age teammates Jake Sticca and Charlie Beasley, Calder Cannons’ quartlet Sam Graham, Harry Jones, Joshua Kemp and Shane Skidmore, Dandenong Stingray’s contingent Finlay Bayne, Samuel Sturt and Daniel Frampton, Northern Knights’ pair Kye Yodgee and Justin McInerney, and Eastern Ranges’ slick defender Xavier Fry. Of the schools, Trinity has five representatives in the best 22, with Marcellin, Peninsula, and Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School (PEGS) next with four. Yarra Valley (two), Assumption (one), Ivanhoe (one) and Camberwell (one) round out the team. There are 10 emergencies named for the clash including Northern Knights’ bottom-ager and Marcellin student Adam Carafa, and Eastern Ranges’ and Yarra Valley tall, Joel Nathan. Northern Knights’ Tom McKenzie and Sandringham Dragons’ Harry Houlahan were both unavailable for the clash.

AGSV:

#1 Alex Emery (Trinity)
#2 Lincoln Siebel (Assumption)
#9 Sam Graham (PEGS)
#11 Kye Yodgee (Marcellin)
#13 Finlay Bayne (Peninsula)
#14 Joshua Kemp (PEGS)
#17 Trent Bianco (Marcellin)
#18 Shane Skidmore (Assumption)
#19 Jake Sticca (Marcellin)
#24 Justin McInerney (Marcellin)
#25 Xavier Fry (Yarra Valley)
#26 Harry Jones (PEGS)
#27 Ryan Walsh (Camberwell)
#28 Kane Veliou (Ivanhoe)
#29 Riley Macdonald (PEGS)
#30 Samuel Sturt (Peninsula)
#31 Ben Curtain (Trinity)
#32 Charlie Beasley (Trinity)
#33 Max Mourney (Peninsula)
#34 Lucas Westwood (Yarra Valley)
#37 Daniel Frampton (Peninsula)
#39 Sam Mason (Trinity)

EMG: Logan Fitzgerald, Jesse Taylor (Assumption); Harry McLeod (Camberwell); Bailey Leonard (Ivanhoe); Adam Carafa (Marcellin); Braden Nelmes (Peninsula); Henry Burke, Oliver Scott (Trinity); and Joel Nathan (Yarra Valley).

As for the APS side, St Kevin’s College has the most players in the best 22, with five selected in the representative team. Premiers, Haileybury College and Caulfield Grammar have four players each, and Brighton Grammar and Carey Grammar both have three. Melbourne Grammar and Wesley College have one player each in the side, while the two remaining schools – Xavier College and Scotch College are represented through an emergency each. The top player in the side is Dandenong Stingrays’ Toby Bedford who shone at the National Under 18 Championships for Vic Country, joined in the side by Vic Metro representatives Alastair Richards and Fischer McAsey – the latter who did not play, but was named in the side as a bottom-ager. Oakleigh’s Jack Ross has been named as captain of the side, joined in the team by fellow Chargers Bailey Wraith, Kaden Schreiber, Cooper Leon and Oliver Simpson. Other TAC Cup listed players are Charlie Dean, Anthony Seaton and Josh Worrell (Sandringham Dragons), and Heath Briggs (Dandenong Stingrays). James Jordan (Caulfield – Oakleigh zone) and Harry Reynolds (Brighton – Sandringham zone) are school-based players who have done enough to earn State Combine invitations.

APS:

#2 Peter Gentile (Haileybury)
#3 Oliver Simpson (Carey)
#4 Toby Bedford (Melbourne)
#5 Matthew Presutto (St Kevin’s)
#6 Cooper Leon (Carey)
#7 Will Agius (Brighton)
#9 Charlie Dean (Wesley)
#10 William James (St Kevin’s)
#11 Fischer McAsey (Caulfield)
#12 Jack Bell (Haileybury)
#14 Harry Reynolds (Brighton)
#15 William Barron (St Kevin’s)
#16 Kaden Schreiber (Caulfield)
#17 Alastair Richards (St Kevin’s)
#18 Anthony Seaton (St Kevin’s)
#20 Jack Ross (Caulfield)
#22 Heath Briggs (Haileybury)
#23 Josh Worrell (Haileybury)
#24 Bailey Wraith (Carey)
#25 Liam Scott (Haileybury)
#26 James Jordan (Caulfield)
#27 Nick Phillips (Brighton)

EMG: Sammy Stynes (Xavier), Finn Maginness (Scotch)

Last year: APS 18.12 (120) defeated AGSV 12.10 (82)

History:

Head to Head: APS 15 – 3 AGSV

1999: APS
2000: APS
2001: AGSV
2002: AGSV
2003: APS
2004: APS
2005: APS
2006: APS
2007: APS
2008: AGSV
2009: APS
2010: AGSV
2011: APS
2012: APS
2013: APS
2014: APS
2015: APS
2016: APS
2017: APS
2018: ???

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 14

IN the last school football affected round of TAC Cup action, some top sides managed to overcome challenges from their opponents to get the four points, while others combated the challenges of high winds.

Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66) defeated Eastern Ranges 8.8 (56)

By: Scott Dougan

On a cold, blustery day in Box Hill, the second-placed Dragons were first to strike against the Eastern Ranges, with Kyle Yorke converting successfully through the big sticks after taking a strong mark inside 50. Chayce Black responded for the Ranges 10 minutes later after the two teams found it hard to score. James Rendell and Ryan Byrnes impressed early, gathering plenty of possessions around the ground. The tight contest continued throughout the first quarter before Rendell was able to put the Dragons nine points clear at the first break.

The Dragons continued their dominance with the first two goals of the second quarter and increased their lead to 23 points only 15 minutes in. The Ranges weren’t going down without a fight, with Adrian Kalcovski steering through his team’s first of the quarter. Jack Kritopoulos was exciting inside the forward half for the Ranges, bagging two very important goals late in the term, cutting the margin to just three points at the main break. 

The third quarter turned out to be a slugfest, with both teams finding it incredibly difficult to score. Corey Watts was rock-solid down back for the Dragons, taking several intercept marks throughout the quarter. Bottom-ager Mitch Mellis continued to find plenty of the pill around the ground for the Ranges.

The Ranges started the final term in terrific fashion, hitting the front within the first five minutes with goals to James Blanck, Kritopoulos and Devlin Brereton. The Ranges were 13 points up before Oscar McMaster goaled and kept the Dragons within striking range. Nicholas Stamatis put the Dragons ahead in the twentieth minute after a blistering five-minute patch that included two goals. Rendell finished his spectacular day off with a brilliant goal that sealed the match for the Dragons in the final minutes of the game.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 8.19 (67) defeated Northern Knights 8.2 (50)

By: Michael Alvaro

A rioting third quarter effort helped ensure Dandenong Stingrays maintained its two-game buffer atop the TAC Cup ladder with a hard-earned win over a gallant Northern Knights outfit at Preston City Oval.

The home side shot out of the blocks kicking against the wind with three straight goals in the opening term, including one to 16 year old prospect Jaden Collins. But the Stingrays kept within reach with a wasteful, but much needed 1.5 to find themselves only seven points down at the first break. Northern managed to get the better of their opponents on the scoreboard once again in the second quarter, albeit against the run of play. Another two majors saw them hold five of the first half’s seven goals, as a late Corey Ellison six-pointer doubled Dandenong’s total of six behinds for the term.

The Stingrays have seldom found themselves behind this season, and the ladder leaders flexed their muscles to pile on six goals in the ever important ‘premiership quarter’, while keeping the Knights scoreless. Forwards Bailey Williams and Finlay Bayne each bagged two goals in the term as the ‘Rays pulled away to a 34-point lead at the final change. With the wind at their backs, Northern kept their opponents goalless and did their best to bridge the gap with two goals from overager Joel Naylor, but it was too little, too late as Dandenong held on for a 17 point victory.

Astonishingly, the Knights won three of the four quarters but were let down by a third term lapse. Bottom-agers Ryan Gardner and Sam Philp were major ball winners for the home side with 27 and 29 respectively, while key defenders Stefan Uzelac (17 disposals, eight marks) and Joel Randall (25 disposals, five marks) were rocks while under enormous pressure.

For the winners, Bayne was prolific forward of centre with 31 disposals, nine marks, eight tackles and 2.2, while Williams chimed in with two majors of his own from 14 disposals and four marks. Midfielders Campbell Hustwaite (26 disposals, 10 tackles) and Sam Fletcher (24 disposals, 14 tackles) were industrious in the clinches, while Lachlan Young was named best afield with his stirring 17 disposals and five contested marks.

 

Gippsland Power 9.6 (60) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 8.7 (55)

By: Peter Williams

Gippsland Power has locked up a top four spot in this year’s TAC Cup competition with two rounds remaining after defeating Oakleigh Chargers by five points in a thrilling contest at Warrawee Park. The Power jumped the Chargers in blustery conditions early on, booting 3.3 to 1.1 to lead by 14 points in weather that looked like goals would be at a premium. Over the next two quarters, Oakleigh reversed the momentum and seemed to have all the control, with nine scoring shots to one, resulting in five goals on the board for the home team. In fact, Gippsland’s Luke Williams booted the final goal of the third term in the twentieth minute – the first Power score since the opening quarter. The Power came out firing in the final term, booting five goals to two, with the final of those – a Noah Gown set shot from 15m out – handing Gippsland the lead. With the ball down Oakleigh’s end in the dying seconds, Noah Answerth thumped the ball onto the boot and it bounced through from almost 60m out. The only problem? The siren had gone before he had disposed of it, giving Gippsland a vital four points.

Captain Xavier Duursma lead from the front with 29 disposals, seven marks, two clearances, eight inside 50s and four rebounds, while Matthew McGannon collected 21 touches and four marks in a solid contested effort from the overager. Forwards, Noah Gown and Sam Flanders were busy once again, booting two goals each and providing a threat in the air with a combined three contested marks, and 11 all up. Fraser Phillips was one that caught the eye up forward, dominant early and booted a fantastic goal in the opening term, he also had five marks and four inside 50s.

For Oakleigh, bottom-ager Trent Bianco brought his own ball to the footy, racking up 40 disposals, eight marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and seven rebounds, while Matthew Fewings (26 disposals and five marks) and Lucas Westwood (22 disposals, five marks and seven rebounds) were also prominent. Up forward, Daniel Scala booted four goals, while Jake Gasper kicked his regulation two goals while pushing up to the wing throughout the match. Top picks, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Isaac Quaynor had some eye-catching moments, while Sam Harte was also busy.

 

Calder Cannons 14.8 (92) defeated Murray Bushrangers 10.12 (72)

Calder Cannons upset the Murray Bushrangers in Albury, storming home in the final term to record an impressive 20-point victory. In a see-sawing contest, Murray had early chances in the first term but booted six behinds to the Cannons’ one. Calder took control in the second term, piling on 5.5 to 3.1 to head into the main break with an 11-point lead. By the final quarter, the Bushrangers regained the ascendancy and a narrow lead at the break, heading into three quarter time with a three-point advantage. But Calder put the foot down in the final quarter to blitz the home side, with eight goals to four, including three majors to co-captain Mitch Podhajski changing the course of the game.

Podhajski was a clear best on ground with 35 disposals, 10 marks (three contested), seven inside 50s, two rebounds and four goals, leading the Cannons to one of their most impressive victories of the season. Lachlan Sholl (31 disposals, 11 marks and five rebounds) and Brodie Newman (25 disposals, eight marks and six rebounds) were crucial in defence, while Curtis Taylor bounced back from a quiet week last week to post 21 disposals, four marks, five clearances, three rebounds and a goal. Patrick Mahoney (three goals), Daniel Mott (24 disposals, five clearances and six inside 50s) and Ismail Moussa (24 disposals, eight marks, five clearances and four inside 50s) were others who stood out.

For the Bushrangers, midfield dynamo Ely Smith was again among the big ball winners, amassing 32 disposals (17 contested), five clearances and eight inside 50s, while Dylan Clarke had 23 disposals, six clearances and four inside 50s. Monster forward Hudson Garoni worked hard for 23 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s and two goals, while Jye Chalcraft was again impressive with 21 touches, three marks, six clearances and four inside 50s. Lachlan Ash (20 disposals, six marks and five rebounds) was good in transition, while Will Chandler was electrifying with 14 disposals (100 per cent efficiency), five marks, four inside 50s and four goals.

 

Geelong Falcons 13.16 (94) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 2.1 (13)

Geelong Falcons might not have had the season they were after, but their demolition of the competitive Bendigo Pioneers showed just what they are capable of at full strength. The Falcons put in one of their finest performances of the year, to boot four goals to zero in the first term, and by the main break, had eight majors on the board to Bendigo’s one. Geelong continued their advantage after half-time, booting three goals from eight scoring shots, then holding the Pioneers scoreless for the second quarter in the match, booting 2.3 themselves to win by 81 points.

Co-captains Sam Walsh and Oscar Brownless lead from the front, recording the most disposals in the match. Walsh was terrific with 33 disposals, six marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and four rebounds, missing two chances on goal. Brownless had 27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, five inside 50s and five rebounds, while up forward, Brayden Ham continues to put his hand up with another 20 disposals, 12 marks and five goals to be the dominant force up forward. Ben Morton was important around the clearances, racking up five, while Sam Torpy had five inside 50s and booted a goal.

For the Pioneers, Noah Wheeler was the top disposal winner with 20 touches, as well as six marks and six rebounds playing off half-back, while Jacob Atley was also impressive with three rebounds from 15 disposals and three marks. Daniel Clohesy had a team-high four clearances, while Liam Marciano was one of the more prominent Pioneers with 18 disposals, three marks, two clearances and two inside 50s.

 

Western Jets 11.14 (80) defeated Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels 3.6 (24)

By: Ed Pascoe

The Jets and Rebels were unfortunate to get horrid windy conditions for their game at Williamstown where it was not just the players, but the umpires that copped it too. The boundary umpires had the worst of it, often throwing the ball in to have it almost coming back to them which resulted in numerous back-to-back throw ins which frustrated just about everyone and made the contest a real slog for both teams. It all came down to execution going forward and it was the Jets who took the most of their opportunities. Handballs and kicks rarely hit the target throughout the game but some players still stood out with their intent despite the conditions.

The Rebels did not have many winners throughout the day. Goal sneak Charlie Wilson (11 disposals) was not helped with the conditions and tried his absolute best when it did come inside 50. Down back Scott Carlin (21), Jacob Lohmann (19) and James Cleaver (17) all provided good rebound and bottom age midfielders Cooper Craig-Peters (24) and Ethan Harvey (20) worked hard through the midfield.

The Jets captain Xavier O’Halloran (11 disposals) had a quieter game by his standards but he was helped through the midfield with the likes of Daly Andrews (27) running amuck on the wing and the grunt of Stefan Radovanovic (16), Connor Thar (23), Jack Watkins (23) and bottom ager Darcy Cassar (20). AFL Academy member and Under-18 All Australian Buku Khamis (16) was classy at half-back with his ball use while it was forward Daniel Pantalleresco who was all the rage with his 5 goals with most of them kicked extremely well considering the conditions, he did it all at ground level and in the air and he certainly would have gained the attention of recruiters.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 12a

ROUND 12 of the TAC Cup is split over two weekends, with just the one Saturday and two Sunday games this weekend, but teams will be near full strength given the bye in school football and the end of the National Under 18 Championships.

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 12 – Saturday, July 14, 11am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

Oakleigh have some massive inclusions after the National Under 18 Championships, naming an extended bench in a team that sees Vic Metro representatives; James Rowbottom, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Noah Answerth, Will Kelly, Matt Rowell and Joe Ayton-Delaney all return to strengthen the team. Among those to miss the game against Calder are Lucas Westwood, Bailey Wraith and Daniel Romero. The Cannons have made just the two confirmed changes, with Shane Skidmore and Anthony Righele out of the side, while Jack Bytel and Rhylee West return from Vic Metro duty to line up through the middle.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 3. J. Ayton-Delaney, 36. C. Beasley, 17. T. Bianco
HB: 12. N. Answerth , 4. W. Kelly, 35. X. Fry
C: 31. W.  Golds, 9. J.  Rowbottom, 11. M.  Rowell
HF: 26. J. Gasper, 33. M. Warren, 10. C. Whitehead
F: 8. N. Anderson, 7. J. Robertson, 22. D. Williams
R: 49. N. Bryan, 32. J. Ross, 1. R. Collier-Dawkins
Int: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 2. L. Bugeja, 14. K. Dunkley, 65. L. Harry, 5. X. O’Neill, 15. K. Schreiber, 28. O. Simpson
23P: 74. H. Mastras

In: J. Rowbottom, N. Anderson, L. Harry, K. Dunkley, R. Collier-Dawkins, N. Answerth, W. Kelly, M. Rowell, J. Ayton-Delaney, A. Bosenavulagi
Out: L. Westwood,  B. Wraith,  D. Romero,  S. Fernandez,  M. Bowman,  J. May,  J. Jordon,  F. Elliot

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 43. L. Cavallaro
HB: 35. S. Graham, 23. D. Hanna, 48. S. Ramsay
C: 27. T.  Browning, 1. D.  Mott, 3. I.  Moussa
HF: 10. H. Minton-Connell, 36. P. Mahoney, 14. J. Taylor
F: 51. W. Jury, 29. J. Riccardi, 57. J. Kemp
R: 12. J. O’Sullivan, 30. M. Podhajski, 16. J. Bytel
Int: 53. M. Abou-Eid, 42. N. Croft, 44. N. Gentile, 40. L. Johnson, 25. J. Martin, 8. L. Sholl, 20. R. West
23P: 21. H. Jones

In: J. Taylor, J. Bytel, R. West, S. Graham
Out: S. Skidmore, A. Righele

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 12 – Sunday, July 15, 11:30am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The Rebels have made three confirmed changes following their win over Bendigo Pioneers last weekend and will hope to have a similar result against the Northern Knights at home on Sunday. Isaac Wareham, Connor Giddings and Joel O’Connell all return to the side among five inclusions, while Vic Country midfielder Tom Berry is out, along with ruck Tylar Watts and Connor Hinkley. For the Knights, they have talent going in and out of the side with Tom McKenzie, Lachlan Potter, Cam Wild and Tom Hallebone all returning, while Ryan Gardner, Ryan Sturgess and Joel Naylor are among the outs from the Knights team for the clash.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 1. C. Craig-Peters, 18. B. Helyar, 10. J. Lohmann
HB: 24. M. Lloyd, 48. J. Cleaver, 44. R. Polkinghorne
C: 41. B.  Dodd, 27. E.  Lamb, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 21. I. Grant, 40. I. Thomas, 14. J. Hill
F: 16. E. Harvey, 47. T. Mahony, 7. M. Martin
R: 29. P. Glanford, 6. C. Wilson, 3. S. Carlin
Int: 32. M. Burgess, 9. L. Dawson, 28. C. Giddings, 34. J. O’Connell, 31. C. Perks, 2. M. Schnerring, 30. I. Wareham
23P: 42. E. Ajang

In: C. Giddings, C. Perks, J. O’Connell, I. Wareham, E. Ajang
Out: T. Watts,  C. Hinkley,  T. Berry

Northern Knights

B: 25. J. Davies, 33. J. Randall, 22. M. Wild
HB: 4. T. McKenzie, 28. S. Uzelac, 5. L. Potter
C: 30. J.  McInerney, 10. B.  Bell, 15. O.  White
HF: 8. A. Carafa, 9. C. Simonsen, 40. N. Mayne
F: 18. S. Brazier, 16. T. Hallebone, 27. J. Lucente
R: 19. N. Howard, 36. K. Yodgee, 17. J. D’Intinosante
Int: 24. R. Bowkett, 55. J. Boyd, 20. P. Della Rocca, 7. H. Grace, 13. S. Philp, 32. I. Rossi, 44. C. Wild
23P: 52. J. Trudgeon

In: L. Potter, C. Wild, T. McKenzie, N. Mayne, J. Boyd, B. Bell, T. Hallebone, C. Simonsen, J. Davies
Out: R. Sturgess, N. Barro, R. Seakins, R. Gardner, X. Naish, J. Naylor, B. Nikolovski

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 12 – Sunday, July 15, 2pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the final game of the round, Geelong Falcons have loaded up with their Vic Country representatives as Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry return to the side, as does Oscar Brownless and Cooper Stephens, while Brayden Ham is set to return to defence. Tom Richardson, Titit Nyak and Will Batson are among those out of the team. For the Dragons, Kai Owens joins Metro representatives James Rendell, Jack Mahony and Angus Hanrahan back in the team, but have no included Bailey Smith and Ben King. Darcy Chirgwin, Corey Watts and Dawit McNeish are among six changes to leave the side.

Geelong Falcons

B: 31. C. Cartledge, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 21. L. Smith
HB: 40. J. Clark, 39. C. Idun, 20. B. Ham
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 10. B.  Mensch, 2. S. Torpy
HF: 8. E. McHenry, 42. H. Spiller, 22. S. Walsh
F: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 48. B. Schlensog, 13. H. Whyte
R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 41. C. Stephens
Int: 7. C. Harris, 9. B. Morton, 32. F. Parish, 25. L. Taylor
Emg: 51. N. Conway, 50. J. Grigsby, 17. S. Ham
23P: 29. B. Miller

In: B. Ham, L. Taylor, C. Stephens, S. Walsh, O. Brownless, N. Conway, C. Harris, J. Grigsby, E. McHenry, H. Whyte
Out: J. Jewell,  T. Richardson,  W. Batson,  T. Nyak,  C. Karpala,  P. Smith,  K. Rayner,  B. Ritchie

Sandringham Dragons

B: 18. A. Seaton, 33. W. Kennedy, 46. L. Witts
HB: 11. N. Stamatis, 8. K. Owens, 48. J. Worrell
C: 19. S.  Forbes, 2. A.  Richards, 10. S.  Sofronidis
HF: 17. J. Denborough, 28. J. Rendell, 23. A. Hanrahan
F: 52. C. Dean, 70. J. Bell, 27. J. Mahony
R: 32. J. Griffiths, 6. H. Houlahan, 7. L. Stocker
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 13. T. Brimble, 51. N. Burke, 64. L. Butler, 66. R. Byrnes, 61. F. McAsey, 53. H. Ralphsmith
23P: 38. J. Le Grice

In: K. Owens, J. Griffiths, J. Mahony, N. Burke, L. Butler, J. Rendell, S. Sofronidis, A. Hanrahan
Out: D. Chirgwin, J. Voss, C. Watts, G. Grey, A. Courtney, D. McNeish

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 8

IT was a weekend of upsets, with two of the bottom three sides claiming victory, and the other levelling the scores in the dying minutes only to lose the lead again with a match-winning goal. Oakleigh Chargers grabbed a top four spot with victory against Murray Bushrangers on Saturday in the standalone day.

Northern Knights 7.7 (49) defeated by Eastern Ranges 10.8 (68)

By: Michael Alvaro

In perfect conditions at Preston City Oval, the Knights and Ranges could only manage three first half goals between them in what was an end-to-end contest. The travelling side broke the game open in the third quarter with five goals to two, as well as the opening two goals of the final term to set up an unassailable lead. The Knights fought to trim the margin back late, with forward Sunny Brazier booting two of the last three goals to have the final deficit sit at 19 points. 

Eastern were on top in the midfield battle thanks largely to midfielder Kye Quirk, who collected 39 disposals, 11 clearances, nine tackles and three marks. He was aided well by Adrian Kalcovski (24 disposals, six tackles) and skipper Joel Burleigh (18 disposals, 14 tackles), while their forward line clicked with three multiple goal kickers.

Stefan Uzelac (17 disposals, five marks, three tackles) stood up under pressure in defence for the Knights, setting them up well with 88% disposal efficiency to be named their best. Patrik Della Rocca provided a big body in the midfield, collecting 20 disposals, five marks, four tackles and a goal alongside bottom ager Josh D’Intinosante, who also had it 20 times to go with six marks and eight tackles. Brazier (13 disposals, six tackles, four marks, three goals) was their only real bright spot up forward, popping up in the right place when given the opportunity. 

The Ranges now climb off equal-last on the ladder with their second win for the year, while the Knights hold on to seventh place for another round.

Calder Cannons 7.19 (61) defeated by GWV Rebels 10.11 (71)

By: Liam Connop

In perfect footy conditions at RAMS Arena, the Cannons’ inaccuracy in front of goal cost them a golden opportunity to win the their fourth game of the season. Kicking with the breeze in the opening term, Calder dominated proceedings but could not put it on the scoreboard, kicking 2.8 (20) to quarter-time. This would come back to haunt them, as the Rebels kicked five goals to one in the second quarter to take the ascendency at half-time. The second half was an arm wrestle, with a couple of late goals giving the Rebels a 10-point win and their second win of the season.

Thomas Berry (16 possessions, six marks) was the X-factor in the game, showing off his pace and taking a mark that Warwick Capper would have been proud of. Elliott Lamb (24 possessions, eight marks) had an excellent game in the midfield, rarely wasting a possession. In what was an even performance from the Rebels, Matty Lloyd (23 possessions, seven marks) had a strong game in the midfield and across half-back, while Charlie Wilson and Mitchell Martin (three goals each) did the damage up forward.

For the Cannons, ball-magnet Mitchell Podhajski (30 possessions, 12 tackles, two goals) continued his outstanding season, while Curtis Taylor (29 possessions, 10 marks) backed up his best-on-ground performance last week, despite being wasteful in front of goals, booting five behinds. Lachlan Sholl (32 possessions, 18 handball receives) was also very impressive rebounding off half-back.

Western Jets 9.11 (65) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 8.10 (58)

Western Jets played their get out of jail card in the dying moments of their narrow win against Bendigo Pioneers. It was a close game throughout, until the Jets looked like they had broken free in the third term with three consecutive goals to open up a healthy 22-point margin. Bendigo refused to give in, booting the last two goals of the quarter to draw within eight points at the final break. When Hamish Murphy ran into an open goal in the final term it looked beyond the Pioneers, before Phill Moi Moi and Zane Keighran slammed home goals to tie the game with less than three minutes remaining. The Jets managed to get it forward and Malwal Maguang received a free kick, converting from a tight angle which ended up being the winning goal.

For the Jets, Buku Khamis (22 disposals, nine marks and four rebounds) was superb off half-back, controlling the airways and rebounding anything that came his way. Darcy Cassar was busy through midfield, linking up to a high half-forward, with a game-high 25 disposals and six inside 50s. Connor Thar (24 disposals, four clearances), Jack Watkins (22 disposals, 11 tackles) and Jaden Rice (21 disposals, seven clearances) were also among the key on-ballers, while Zak Butters (21 disposals, six marks) and Stefan Radovanovic (20 disposals, seven marks, six rebounds, four inside 50s and a goal) were instrumental from defence through to attack.

For the Pioneers, Keighran had 19 disposals, four marks and kicked that crucial goal, while Noah Wheeler was enormous in the middle with eight clearances and nine inside 50s to go with his 24 disposals – a key reason the Pioneers turned the momentum in the third quarter. Hunter Lawrence was busy with 23 disposals and six inside 50s, while Liam Marciano (22 disposals, seven rebounds) and Daniel Keating (14 disposals, seven marks, 19 hitouts and three rebounds) were top players once again.

Dandenong Stingrays 15.15 (105) defeated Sandringham Dragons 4.4 (28)

By: Ed Pascoe

Despite missing nine players from the Vic Country squad, top of the ladder Dandenong easily defeated a young Sandringham Dragons team. Dandenong played a great team defence with their defenders setting up well behind the ball and their forwards putting on good pressure to cause many mistakes for the inexperienced Sandringham defenders. Sandringham did not lack in effort, they where just beaten by a red hot team looking to impress on their home turf.

Ruckman Riley Bowman was a standout with two goals (15 disposals, five marks), moving well around the ground and often following up his ruck work to providing a good target when forward. Matthew Gahan had a field day in defence with his intercept marking and drive (19 disposals, seven marks) and young leaders Campbell Hustwaite (24 disposals) and Jamie Plumridge (23 disposals) controlled the midfield, Hustwaite was busy at stoppages while Plumridge owned the Wing with both players looking both strong and composed around the ball.

It was not all doom and gloom for Sandringham with young key defender Corey Watts (15 disposals, nine marks) a standout in defence with some good contested and intercept marks, while his long kicking was also an asset. Darcy Chirgwin (21 disposals, six tackles) showed class on the wing and was willing to work hard deep in defence, even managing a goal. Jeremy Goddard (14 disposals, 11 tackles) competed hard in the midfield – despite his small frame, he wasn’t afraid to go in and have a crack against the bigger Dandenong bodies.

Gippsland Power 10.5 (65) defeated Geelong Falcons 3.13 (31)

By: Ed Pascoe

As they say, ‘bad kicking is bad football’ and that rang true for Geelong who struggled to turn opportunities into goals, scoring 11 behinds before Samuel Torpy kicked a classy goal from the boundary late in the 3rd quarter. With the scorecard reading 3.13 Geelong will be ruing what could have been. Credit has to go to Gippsland however since they took their opportunities and their entries inside 50 made the difference. Gippsland still looked the better team on the day and deserved the win.

Gippsland had an even spread of contributors – Bailey Beck was influential on the wing using the ball well, taking some fantastic marks under pressure (seven marks, two contested) he also finished with 20 disposals and a goal in a classy display. The backline was well controlled with the likes of Tye Hourigan (15 disposals), Ryan Sparkes (24 disposals) and Bailey Patterson (19 disposals) all providing run and drive from the backline with the ball coming out of the defensive 50 very quickly. The midfield had a good mix with the grunt coming from overager Austin Hodge (18 disposals) and the class coming from fellow overager Tyrone Hayes (18 disposals).

Vic Country representative Blake Schlensog was the standout tall player on the ground competing hard and following up his ruck work (21 disposals) while also helping out the defence staying strong taking some quality intercept marks to finish with eight overall. Geelong’s other Vic Country representative and bottom ager Cooper Stephens was the standout midfielder for the day winning the contested ball at stoppages and also working hard to get on the outside. He had the ball on a string in the first three minutes to finish with 20 disposals. Sam Torpy kicked Geelong’s first goal late in the third quarter and finished the game with two of his team’s three goals, working hard to also collect 17 disposals.

Murray Bushrangers 7.10 (52) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 17.10 (112)

A blistering first quarter set up Oakleigh’s huge 10-goal win over Murray Bushrangers in the standalone game on Saturday. The Chargers booted seven goals to two in a massive opening quarter, then maintained the rage with a 38-point lead at half-time courtesy of a four goals to three second term. After a low-scoring third quarter which saw the home side boot the only goal of the quarter, Oakleigh stormed home with six of the last seven goals to run away with the massive 60-point win and jump into the top four.

Matthew Day was a star with seven goals from 19 disposals and six marks, acting as the key forward in the absence of a number of players due to Vic Metro duties. Despite both sides missing a huge chunk of their top-end talent, a number of bottom-agers stood out. Trent Bianco racked up 19 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s, two rebounds and two clearances, while Dylan Williams had four inside 50s from nine disposals. Jack Ross was a standout in midfield with 19 disposals, five marks, six clearances, six inside 50s and four tackles, while Lucas Westwood had six rebounds from 17 disposals.

For the Bushrangers, Ely Smith was the highest disposal winner with 21 touches, three clearances, three inside 50s and six tackles, while Kyle Clarke had four clearances from his 18 disposals. Potential Brisbane father-son prospect Jake Bradshaw was busy with 18 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds. The classy Mathew Walker booted two important goals from his 15 touches, nine marks, seven tackles and five inside 50s to be a clear standout of the losing side. Mark Marriott and Ben Kelly were strong in the ruck, notching up 21 and 20 hitouts respectively.

Mid-Season review: AGSV

AFTER reviewing the Associated Public Schools (APS) football competition at the midway point of the season last week, we take a look at how the nine Associated Grammar Schools Victoria (AGSV) are faring.

Assumption College

R1: lost to Marcellin by 71 points
R2: defeated Yarra Valley by 37 points
R3: defeated Camberwell by 69 points
R4: lost to Trinity by 12 points
R5: defeated Mentone by 81 points
R6: Bye
R7: defeated PEGS by 20 points

Assumption has started the season as one of the three sides with four wins from six games. They were belted by Marcellin in the opening round, but have been impressive since, losing to the undefeated Trinity in round four, and have knocked off all other challengers, including the second placed PEGS. Big wins over Mentone and Camberwell showed they have some talent amongst the team, as well as a solid 37-point win over Yarra Valley. Bottom-age Northern Knights tall Owen Sloan, Bendigo Pioneers’ Logan Fitzgerald, and Calder Cannons quartet Shane Skidmore – who has been their best performer – Jesse Taylor, Patrick Mahoney and James Westphal are among the TAC Cup-listed players at the school.

Camberwell Grammar School

R1: lost to Trinity by 54 points
R2: defeated Mentone by 17 points
R3: lost to Assumption by 69 points
R4: lost to PEGS by 70 points
R5: lost to Peninsula by 146 points
R6: lost to Ivanhoe by 88 points
R7: lost to Camberwell by 99 points

The only AGV school without a TAC Cup-listed player on its books, Camberwell has struggled this year, winning just the one match – a 17-point victory over Mentone – a result that turned heads. Camberwell has suffered losses of more than nine goals in each of its other six games. The average losing margin over the past three weeks is 111 points.

Ivanhoe Grammar School

R1: lost to PEGS by 88 points
R2: lost to Peninsula by 41 points
R3: Bye
R4: defeated Marcellin by 20 points
R5: defeated Yarra Valley by 44 points
R6: defeated Camberwell by 88 points
R7: lost to Trinity by six points

Ivanhoe had a shaky start to the season with back-to-back losses including an opening round belting at the hands of PEGS. But since the bye, Ivanhoe have been sensational, notching up three consecutive wins and only dropping its first game in five rounds on the weekend to an undefeated Trinity. Northern Knights’ Tom McKenzie is the top prospect at Ivanhoe and often cops a tag at school football. He is joined at the school by Knights teammates Xavier Naish – brother of Richmond’s Patrick – Charlie Simonsen, Nathan Howard and Ben Nikolovski.

Marcellin College

R1: defeated Assumption 71 points
R2: lost to PEGS by eight points
R3: defeated Peninsula by 27 points
R4: lost to Ivanhoe by 20 points
R5: Bye
R6: defeated Yarra Valley by 37 points
R7: defeated Camberwell by 99 points

Marcellin is one of three sides with four wins from the first seven rounds, with thumping victories over Assumption (71 points) and Camberwell (99 points) in the first and most recent rounds. They narrowly lost to PEGS and went down to Ivanhoe, but have had a solid season overall. Northern Knights’ Lucas Perry, Adam Carafa, Justin McInerney, Kye Yodgee, Xavier Bateman and Aaron Castagna – brother of Richmond’s Jason – represent the school, as do Oakleigh Chargers Trent Bianco and Jake Sticca.

Mentone Grammar

R1: defeated Yarra Valley by 17 points
R2: lost to Camberwell by 17 points
R3: lost to Trinity by 75 points
R4: Bye
R5: lost to Assumption by 81 points
R6: lost to PEGS by 49 points
R7: lost to Peninsula by 74 points

Mentone started its season off on the right note with a 17-point win over Yarra Valley, but it has been tough going since, losing their last five games, including three by more than 12 goals. Sandringham Dragons’ Harry Houlahan captains the side and has played in multiple positions, while Jai Florent – brother of Sydney’s Ollie – Matthew Scott and Christopher Perkins are other Dragons on Mentone’s list.

Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School (PEGS)

R1: defeated Ivanhoe by 88 points
R2: defeated Marcellin by eight points
R3: defeated Yarra Valley by 44 points
R4: defeated Camberwell by 70 points
R5: lost to Trinity by 26 points
R6: defeated Mentone by 49 points
R7: lost to Assumption by 20 points

PEGS enjoyed the honour of having the number one pick attend the school last season with Cameron Rayner becoming a household name in the AGS competition whilst away from the TAC Cup. This season the most notable name is Esssendon father-son prospect Mason Fletcher who is currently out injured and will miss the remainder of the season. He is joined in the side by fellow Cannons’ Harrison Minton-Connell, and Sam Graham who have been the sides’ best, while other Cannons include Tom Cartwright, Jacob Martin and Christos Kosmas

Peninsula Grammar

R1: Bye
R2: defeated Ivanhoe by 41 points
R3: lost to Marcellin by 27 points
R4: defeated Yarra Valley by 62 points
R5: defeated Camberwell by 146 points
R6: lost to Trinity by 46 points
R7: defeated Mentone by 74 points

Peninsula have won four games out of their six to start the season. They had the bye in the opening round and enjoyed thumping wins over Camberwell (146 points), Mentone (74 points) and Yarra Valley (62 points), while dropping matches to Marcellin and Trinity in between those matches. Dandenong Stingrays’ trio Finlay Bayne, Jeremy Burton and Daniel Frampton are the three TAC Cup players listed on Peninsula’s team list.

Trinity Grammar School

R1: defeated Camberwell by 54 points
R2: Bye
R3: defeated Mentone by 75 points
R4: defeated Assumption by 12 points
R5: defeated PEGS by 26 points
R6: defeated Peninsula by 46 points
R7: defeated Ivanhoe by six points

Oakleigh Chargers Charlie Beasley – brother of former Brisbane Lions’ player Hugh – is the sole TAC Cup-listed player on Trinity’s list, but it has clearly not stopped them from being ultra impressive this season. They have had a couple of big wins over Camberwell and Mentone, and were forced to fight it out against both Assumption and Ivanhoe. With a 26-point victory over PEGS, Trinity assumed top spot and will face Yarra Valley and Marcellin in the final two rounds.

Yarra Valley Grammar

R1: lost to Mentone by 17 points
R2: lost to Assumption by 37 points
R3: lost to PEGS by 44 points
R4: lost to Peninsula by 62 points
R5: lost to Ivanhoe by 44 points
R6: lost to Marcellin by 37 points
R7: Bye

The winless Yarra Valley have not had a great season, but they can hold firm in the fact they have only suffered one loss above 45 points. They face Trinity and Camberwell in the final games of the season with the latter being considered a winnable match for the school. Yarra Valley have a number of TAC Cup-listed players, most notably Vic Metro representative Xavier Fry. The running defender is joined in the team by Eastern Ranges’ teammates Riley Clausen, Lachlan Gawel and Josh Matthews. Oakleigh Chargers duo Lucas Westwood and Charlie Oglethorpe are also on Yarra Valley’s books.