Tag: sam harte

Weekend Previews: TAC Cup – Preliminary finals

WE are down to the final four TAC Cup sides for season 2018, with Dandenong Stingrays taking on Sandringham Dragons, and Gippsland Power facing Oakleigh Chargers to determine the two, 2018 Grand Finalists.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Preliminary Finals  – Saturday, September 15, 11.30am
Ikon Park, Carlton North

Last week:

In the first of two preliminary finals, we take a look at the minor premiers, Dandenong Stingrays, taking on the fourth placed Sandringham Dragons. Last weekend, the Stingrays were on another level compared to the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, thumping them by 110 points, while the Dragons proved too good for the Murray Bushrangers in a 43-point win.

Last time:

Sandringham Dragons 6.10 (46) defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 14.9 (93)

In the final round of the TAC Cup season, Dandenong Stingrays ensured the Dragons had a nervous wait across the weekend, with a top four spot on the line. Sandringham luckily witnessed Northern Knights upsetting Murray Bushrangers to earn a weekend off. On the day, Sam Sturt and Finlay Bayne both booted three goals, while Matthew Cottrell claimed best on ground for the Stingrays. For the Dragons, Angus Hanrahan was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors, while James Rendell and Liam Stocker were impressive – Stocker picking up the three votes in the match despite the 47-point loss.

 

THE KEY – INSIDE MIDFIELD

The big key in the game is which side can win the ball at the coal face and get the ball down to their key forwards and crumbers. Both sides have good firepower inside 50, and the clearances will be an area to watch with the teams having strong contested ball winners. Looking at the starting midfields, there is not much to split them with clearances and contested possessions practically even. Dandenong’s starting three midfielders lay more tackles, with Toby Bedford also spending time up forward and adding pressure up there.

Sandringham:

Liam Stocker 12.5 contested possessions, 5.6 clearances, 4.5 tackles
Harry Reynolds 10.0 contested possessions, 3.3 clearances, 2.3 tackles
Kai Owens 8.7 contested possessions, 3.8 clearances, 6.2 tackles

= 31.2 contested possessions, 12.7 clearances, 13 tackles

vs.

Dandenong:

Sam Fletcher 13.4 contested possessions, 5.2 clearances, 7.7 tackles
Campbell Hustwaite 11.0 contested possessions, 5.0 clearances, 6.1 tackles
Toby Bedford 8.0 contested possessions, 2.3 clearances, 5.7 tackles

= 32.4 contested possessions, 12.5 clearances, 19.5 tackles

 

WHY THE TEAMS WILL WIN?

Dandenong: The best team all year, depth that is envious of any other side and equal to that of fellow challenger, Oakleigh. They seem to have winners across all thirds of the ground and just made the Rebels look silly last week. A last round win against the Dragons will have the Stingrays’ confidence high to repeat the effort again. The Stingrays love a scrap and will be keen to beat the Dragons at the contest and use their bigger bodies to extract the ball and pump it long.

Sandringham: Any side with Ben King inside 50 is a threat, and the Stingrays will not only look to nullify him, but just cut off the delivery to him, full stop. But if the Dragons midfielders can get on top on the inside, then the Stingrays defence could be under siege. They also possess the ball really well and will look to play the ball on their terms with slick, short ball use.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Preliminary Finals  – Saturday, September 15, 2pm
Ikon Park, Carlton North

Last week:

Gippsland Power managed to get over the highly dangerous Geelong Falcons with a 35-point victory at Ikon Park. They took four quarters to do it – leading by just eight points at the final break before a five-goal final term saw the second placed Power storm away with the game. The Chargers had a much easier game against Western Jets, shaking off an early challenge by the Jets to post a massive 120-point victory to earn a place in the preliminary final.

Last time:

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

Not much can be read into it given Oakleigh was missing the majority of its best 22, but Gippsland got the job done in a thriller at Warrawee Park with a Noah Gown goal in the dying seconds sealing a great comeback win. Noah Answerth bombed through a goal on the siren, but not release the ball until a second too late. The result left Oakleigh’s top four hopes in the lurch, but an impressive win over Sandringham Dragons and a 15-goal rout of the GWV Rebels put any threat of missing the week off to bed pretty soon. Daniel Scala booted four goals for the Chargers, while Trent Bianco and Sam Harte were named Oakleigh’s best in the loss. For Gippsland, Gown, Harrison Pepper and Sam Flanders all booted two goals, while Gown and Boadie Motton were named in the Power’s best.

 

THE KEY – FIREPOWER FORWARDS

Both Gippsland and Oakleigh head into the clash as sides that have dynamic forward lines. Gippsland has more structure to it, with two traditional talls in Gown and Josh Smith, while Oakleigh relies on a number of medium-talls and smalls rather than a key position monster. Last week, Dylan Williams booted six goals, while Atu Bosenavulagi, Jake Gasper, Charlie Whitehead and Jay Robertson all contributed multiple goals, while Gippsland had 10 individual goal kickers, with their club leading scorer Gown, contributing just the one.

As you will see from the below total, the top six goal kickers playing in the match provide plenty of options for midfielders to kick to, with some of the forwards spending time through the middle. Oakleigh’s six will largely form the six-man forward line against the Power, while Gippsland’s will see a number of their players begin in the midfield and rest forward.

Gippsland firepower:

Noah Gown – 30.18
Josh Smith – 20.7
Sam Flanders – 19.18
Austin Hodge – 14.13
Irving Mosquito – 14.4
Xavier Duursma – 13.5

Top 6: 110.65 (725)

Oakleigh firepower:

Jake Gasper – 38.15
Matthew Day – 20.10
Dylan Williams – 18.12
Jay Robertson – 15.8
Charlie Whitehead – 14.10
Atu Bosenavulagi – 13.9

Top 6: 118.64 (772)

 

WHY THE TEAMS WILL WIN?

Gippsland: The Power play an exciting brand of football that blends both speed and pressure which is really eye-catching, and will look to match Oakleigh at its own game of doing the same. The Power must simply bring the heat to the contest, because letting Oakleigh have too much time and space results in undesirable results for the team doing so.

Oakleigh: You cannot read into the season of the Chargers despite still finishing third. They are right up there with Dandenong in terms of premiership favourites and have stamped their authority with 90 and 120-point wins in their past two outings. They have ridiculous amounts of midfield depth and big bodies to control the inside while using their runners on the outside.

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.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 10

AFTER a five-game round last week, the full set is back for Round 10 with all 12 teams taking part in the first of two Futures Rounds. In Futures Rounds, squads are extended to 24, and at least 11 bottom-age players must be in the side. This gives recruiters a chance to get a glimpse of the bottom-age talent coming through the ranks and get an idea about where players sit for 2019.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

It would have been hard to believe a few rounds ago, but Eastern Ranges head into the home clash with Calder Cannons on a hot streak, having picked up two consecutive wins and looking strong. They play yet another game there and come up against a Calder Cannons side that took it right up to the Gippsland Power despite the Cannons missing the majority of their best 22. Calder’s two key forwards are in good form, with Jake Riccardi booting four goals in the final term last round to single-handedly ensure the Cannons snatched two points, while John Roumeliotis is building up some consistency after missing three years through knee injuries. Daniel Hanna is rock solid in defence, while Lucas Cavallaro had another consistent performance out of the back half last week and looks to be a danger man in this clash. For Eastern, the loss of Xavier Fry and James Blanck will hurt, but the midfield that got the job done against Bendigo Pioneers is still intact with Lachlan Stapleton, Joel Burleigh, Kye Quirk and Mitch Mellis forming a good quartet in the centre. Ben Cardamone has been consistent in defence. This is set to be a close contest.  

 

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Western Jets will be disappointed their winning streak was broken last week, with their depth tested against an impressive Geelong Falcons outfit. The Northern Knights on the other hand will be pleased they got over the line against GWV Rebels in tough conditions at MARS Stadium following a good final term. Oscar White and Justin McInerney both return to the visitors team in what will be a boost for the Knights in the clash, while a couple of potential father-son prospects are in for the Jets in Oskar Manton and Tyler Kolyniuk. Western’s strength is in its midfield, similar to Northern, and it will be a great contest to watch Connor Thar, Jack Watkins and Jaden Rice go head-to-head with McInerney, White and Ryan Sturgess among others in a deep midfield group. Aaron Clarke and Steven Kyriazis can cause headaches up forward for the Jets, while talented bottom-ager Josh D’Intinosante has been named at half-back after an impressive game on-ball last week. Patrik Della Rocca, Sunny Brazier and Harrison Grace provide three different elements to the Knights’ forward line, while Hamish Murphy and Darcy Cassar are others who have been important players for the home side this season.  

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

A mid-season clash between Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons does not always bring about too many top-age talents given the National Championships and school football commitments, but there is plenty to like about both sides when they go head-to-head at Warrawee Park tomorrow. The Dragons will look to address a form slump due to the amount of upheaval to their side, losing four of the past five games. Meanwhile the Chargers have also slipped, albeit defeating the Murray Bushrangers a couple of weeks ago. A win to Oakleigh could see the Chargers back in the top four, while it could also mean the Dragons drop outside the top eight. On the other side of the coin, the Dragons could move to sixth, and sit just four points behind the Chargers in fifth, with a victory. In line with Futures Round, Oakleigh has gone in with a young, but talented side, with Matt Rowell headlining the bottom-agers after returning from Vic Metro duties. He, Trent Bianco and Bailey Wraith will be important inclusions, in a side that looks to have plenty of grunt, speed and class. After a big day out last week, Matt Day will be a loss up forward, while Sam Harte and Lachlan Bugeja have been consistent, however Atu Bosenavulagi is finding some good form, and Jack Ross is a crucial inclusion as well. For the Dragons, their side might look even stronger on paper, with the return of many players from school football. Key position players Fischer McAsey and Will Kennedy return to the fold to provide some quality height, while Kai Owens, Liam Stocker and Harry Houlahan will provide a good core midfield that will challenge the Chargers.  

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 1pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong has been the benchmark in the competition this season, and can move eight points clear on top with a victory here and an unlikely loss to Gippsland. For the Rebels, they can leapfrog Geelong into ninth and be just percentage away from Calder in eighth with a win. GWV will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing final term against Northern Knights last weekend. Stephen Cumming is an important inclusion into the team, allowing Bailey Schmidt to go forward more often for the Stingrays, while Finlay Bayne returns to the team due to a bye in school football. Jai Taylor also slots back into the team after representing Vic Country last week, and a midfield of Campbell Hustwaite, Jamie Plumridge and Lachlan McDonnell is always going to be challenging, while Reid Nanscawen was another who stepped up for the Stingrays in Round 9. For the Rebels, they lose Scott Carlin who has been a slick ball user off half-back, but regain Matty Lloyd in the same position, while retaining what on paper could be the most underrated forward line. With Josh Chatfield, Jed Hill, Izaac Grant and Charlie Wilson all rotating through there, the speed and goal sense is high, it will just be putting it all together for four quarters. The Stingrays will head in as strong favourites for the clash, but the Rebels could trouble them with their speed up forward.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2pm
Windy Hill, Essendon

In an afternoon game, Gippsland Power hosts Bendigo Pioneers at Windy Hill in a venue about halfway between both locations. The Power will be disappointed they only took two points away from their clash against Calder Cannons at home, their second draw of the season at the venue. While the Pioneers notched up another defeat, this time to Eastern Ranges leaving them outright bottom of the table with nine straight losses. They will hope to turn it around with a good win here, but will have to do so without a series of important players. Zane Keighran, Liam Marciano, Josh Grace, Phill Moi Moi and Lucas Caccaviello have all been consistent players of late and will be sorely missed, but the return of AFL Academy member Brodie Kemp will be important for the Pioneers. Along with in-form ruck Daniel Keating and the Perez brothers – Oscar and Flynn – tearing it up on the wings, the Pioneers still have plenty of speed around the ground and capable of getting it inside 50. For the Power, they bring back live-wire Irving Mosquito who did not quite come up last week from a hamstring injury, but seems right to go now, and will be keen to play well in the hope of a Vic Country call-up in the final game against South Australia at GMHBA Stadium. The Power midfield is very strong with Brock Smith, Riley Baldi, Bailey Beck, Boadie Motton and Mosquito forming a really consistent base at the feet of Rylan Henkel. Austin Hodge can play forward or through the midfield, and Tyrone Hayes, Ryan Sparkes and Jake Van Der Pligt provide plenty of speed and rebound out of defence. Gippsland head in as very strong favourites, but they were last week, so they will be hoping to learn from the lessons and grab the four points here.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2.15pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the final game of the round, an understrength young Geelong Falcons side meets an almost full-strength Murray Bushrangers outfit in what will be a great challenge for the Falcons. Vic Country selection has not done the Falcons much favours, losing Dane Hollenkamp and Blake Schlensog in what will be exciting for Geelong to see them on the MCG, but more so for the opposition with key position forward and TAC Cup leading goal kicker Hudson Garoni, X-factor Zane Barzen, and talented bottom-ager Lachlan Ash, all returning to the Bushrangers side. Couple that with the fact a virtually untouched midfield of Ely Smith, Dylan Clarke and Kyle Clarke has been performing, and Geelong will need to be at its best to topple the Bushrangers. For Geelong, Brayden Ham continues to put his hand up to recruiters with another four goals last week, named at half-back this week. Baxter Mensch has not slowed down pulling in big numbers and clearances week-in, week-out, while acting captain Cooper Cartledge will be tasked with leading a young defence – while potentially given the job on the in-form Garoni. The match is likely to see what the bottom-agers can do for the Falcons, while the Bushrangers will be supremely confident they can take the four points in this clash.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 10

IN the first of two Futures rounds, TAC Cup sides are able to play 24 players and show off mostly bottom-age talent in what is a round for recruiters to look to 2019 and beyond. There is still plenty of good top-age talent on show despite the Victorian sides facing off at the MCG, with Murray Bushrangers having some massive inclusions to their side.

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

In one of three morning games, the Eastern Ranges will look to make it three consecutive wins when it hosts Calder Cannons at Box Hill on Saturday. The Ranges have lost Xavier Fry and James Blanck to Vic Metro duties, preferring to grace the hallowed turf at the MCG on Sunday. Eastern has named an extended bench with Todd Garner (brother of Port’s Joel), Cooper Leon and James Ross brought into the team. For the Cannons, Shane Skidmore returns to the side, joined in the squad of 24 with Jeremy O’Sullivan, Cooper Lamb and Anthony Righele.

Eastern Ranges

B: 1. B. Bredin, 21. J. Ross, 20. B. Cardamone
HB: 57. C. Leon, 18. B. McCormack, 25. L. Vassis
C: 4. R.  Clausen, 7. L.  Stapleton, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 3. H. Chinn, 14. L. Gawel, 28. L. Kruger
F: 5. R. Einsporn, 58. R. Smith, 27. J. Jaworski
R: 36. S. Kapahnke, 8. J. Burleigh, 24. K. Quirk
Int: 10. C. Black, 43. K. Crosby, 53. J. Drake, 16. T. Garner, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 2. A. Kalcovski, 52. L. Munro, 26. C. Norris, 22. C. Quirk

In: C. Leon, T. Garner, L. Munro, T. Hallett-Tauali’i, J. Ross, C. Black
Out: J. Blanck,  X. Fry

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, 53. M.  Abou-Eid, 7. S.  Skidmore
HF: 1. D. Mott, 29. J. Riccardi, 12. J. O’Sullivan
F: 40. L. Johnson, 41. J. Roumeliotis, 10. H. Minton-Connell
R: 54. C. Lamb, 25. J. Martin, 42. N. Croft
Int: 21. H. Jones, 51. W. Jury, 3. I. Moussa , 55. A. Righele, 19. B. Rigoni, 14. J. Taylor

In: S. Skidmore, J. O’Sullivan, J. Taylor, C. Lamb, A. Righele
Out: N. Walsh, J. Middleton, N. Doyle, B. Reddick

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

Down the western side of the bay, Western Jets will look to bounce back against a Northern Knights side that moved up to sixth with an important win over GWV Rebels last week. Both sides have named extended interchanges, with Carlton father-son prospect Oskar Manton and Western Bulldogs’ father-son prospect Tyler Kolyniuk among the nine possible inclusions for Futures Round. Tom Warner, Tristan Rudic and Jack Crawford are among the outs for the Jets. For the Knights, Oscar White and Justin McInerney are a couple of important inclusions to the side, joined by Adam Carafa and Richmond father-son prospect Xavier Naish in the side. Nicholas Kitchell is among five confirmed outs for the visitors.

Western Jets

B: 15. M. Hearne, 37. H. Murphy, 30. L. Pettigrove
HB: 48. A. Britten, 28. J. Papachatzakis, 25. S. Johnson
C: 20. D.  Cassar, 36. J.  Rice, 6. L.  Rocci
HF: 27. J. Klaromenos, 45. A. Clarke, 22. O. Manton
F: 8. J. Kellett, 49. D. Pantalleresco, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 12. C. Thar, 7. J. Watkins
Int: 3. K. Bharathi, 13. D. Bolkas, 29. D. Fruscalzo, 24. J. Honey, 4. J. Jenkins, 19. T. Kolyniuk, 26. W. Smyth, 46. A. Tanner, 16. C. White

In: D. Bolkas, K. Bharathi, D. Pantalleresco, J. Kellett, A. Tanner, T. Kolyniuk, O. Manton, C. White, W. Smyth
Out: T. Warner,  E. Bentley,  J. Crawford,  J. Dodemaide,  T. Rudic

Northern Knights

B: 25. J. Davies, 28. S. Uzelac, 6. X. Naish
HB: 17. J. D’Intinosante, 33. J. Randall, 22. M. Wild
C: 30. J.  McInerney, 8. A.  Carafa, 15. O.  White
HF: 7. H. Grace, 9. C. Simonsen, 27. J. Lucente
F: 18. S. Brazier, 20. P. Della Rocca, 38. B. Nikolovski
R: 19. N. Howard, 11. R. Sturgess, 13. S. Philp
Int: 31. N. Barro, 10. B. Bell, 24. R. Bowkett, 55. J. Boyd, 37. K. Brandt, 54. Z. Costello, 40. N. Mayne, 53. J. Watson, 44. C. Wild

In: J. Watson, A. Carafa, X. Naish, O. White, J. Boyd, C. Simonsen, N. Howard, J. McInerney, B. Nikolovski
Out: L. Waldron, J. Zapantis , N. Kitchell, M. Sindrivanis, E. Frawley

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons face off in a match that will see nearly the entire team change with at least 15 confirmed changes to the home side, and 13 confirmed changes for the visitors. With no school football on this week, the likes of Matt Rowell, Jack Ross, Oliver Simpson, Charlie Beasley and Bailey Wraith return to the Chargers outfit, while over-age prospects Bailey Griffiths and Matthew Day – the latter booting seven goals last week – as well as midfielders Sam Harte, Lachlan Bugeja and Xavier O’Neill are all out of the team. For the Dragons, Liam Stocker returns from injury, joined in the side along with Will Kennedy and Harry Houlahan, and bottom-agers Fischer McAsey, Jai Florent and Finn Maginness. Dawit McNeish, Nicholas Stamatis and St Kilda father-son prospect Tyson Milne are among the omissions from the team.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 36. C. Beasley, 30. B. Wraith, 37. C. Oglethorpe
HB: 64. J. Jordon, 81. M. Emmett, 15. K. Schreiber
C: 17. T.  Bianco, 16. L.  Westwood, 31. W.  Golds
HF: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 26. J. Gasper, 10. C. Whitehead
F: 11. M. Rowell, 7. J. Robertson, 21. H. Shugg
R: 49. N. Bryan, 32. J. Ross, 20. F. Elliot
Int: 48. M. Bowman, 35. X. Fry, 62. T. Graham, 38. Z. Hart, 78. W. James, 19. D. Romero, 25. D. Scala, 28. O. Simpson, 33. M. Warren

In: H. Shugg, D. Romero, W. Golds, T. Bianco, M. Warren, C. Whitehead, W. James, J. Ross, O. Simpson, N. Bryan, L. Westwood, C. Oglethorpe, B. Wraith, M. Bowman, J. Jordon, M. Rowell, K. Schreiber, C. Beasley, Z. Hart
Out: L. Bugeja,  N. Dempsey,  B. Griffiths,  P. Bohan,  M. Tighello,  M. Day,  J. Kreuzberger,  M. Fewings,  K. Jones,  T. Hogan,  S. Harte,  V. Zagari,  J. May,  X. O’Neill,  K. Viccars

Sandringham Dragons

B: 12. C. Jones, 69. C. Watts, 18. A. Seaton
HB: 45. J. Voss, 33. W. Kennedy, 48. J. Worrell
C: 19. S.  Forbes, 6. H.  Houlahan, 53. H.  Ralphsmith
HF: 13. T. Brimble, 20. H. Bede, 17. J. Denborough
F: 39. J. Florent, 52. C. Dean, 10. S. Sofronidis
R: 59. A. Courtney, 8. K. Owens, 7. L. Stocker
Int: 51. N. Burke, 64. L. Butler, 66. R. Byrnes, 72. D. Chirgwin, 41. J. Goddard, 43. C. Langford, 26. F. Maginness, 61. F. McAsey, 46. L. Witts

In: H. Ralphsmith, F. McAsey, L. Stocker, W. Kennedy, C. Jones, L. Witts, S. Sofronidis, A. Seaton, F. Maginness, J. Florent, J. Denborough, S. Forbes, N. Burke, J. Worrell, C. Dean, L. Butler, H. Houlahan
Out: J. Mifsud, N. Bufalo, T. Milne, J. Cowden, J. Griffiths, T. Deane-Johns, M. Butera, D. McNeish, N. Stamatis, X. Verdnik, R. O’Meara, J. Rendell, K. Yorke

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 1pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong are four points and percentage clear of second place on top of the table, and will look to maintain their advantage against the GWV Rebels at Shepley Oval on Saturday. The Rebels could almost be on a two-game winning streak had they not faded late against the Northern Knights in challenging conditions at MARS Stadium. The Stingrays have named an extended bench with Jai Taylor returning from Vic Country duty, while Stephen Cumming, Finlay Bayne and Daniel Frampton are among other important inclusions. Top bottom-ager Hayden Young will have a chance to run around on the MCG, as does Will Hamill, while Jack Harmes is another omission from the side. For the Rebels, Scott Carlin will pull on the Big V this Saturday, and his half-back spot will be taken by fellow Vic Country member Matty Lloyd. Angus Gove and Connor Giddings are the other outs, while Toby Mahony and Harrison Butler are among the five inclusions.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 56. M. Cumming, 25. J. Triep
HB: 35. F. Stellato, 32. D. Frampton, 7. J. Taylor
C: 27. L.  McDonnell, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 3. J.  Plumridge
HF: 6. J. Barker, 21. J. Johnson, 49. M. Cottrell
F: 17. F. Bayne, 28. B. Schmidt, 8. J. Smith
R: 36. S. Cumming, 11. E. Cahill, 31. H. Briggs
Int: 19. J. Burton, 20. S. De Koning, 45. L. Goonan, 57. R. Nanscawen, 24. B. Nyuon, 5. A. Paterson, 48. J. Stuart, 39. J. Toner, 44. C. Weightman

In: L. Goonan, J. Johnson, C. Weightman, J. Burton, F. Stellato, J. Stuart, J. Toner, H. Briggs, J. Triep, D. Frampton, J. Taylor, S. Cumming, F. Bayne
Out: L. Stenning,  H. Young,  J. Ocaa,  W. Hamill,  J. Harmes,  W. Geurts,  J. Carosella,  B. Angwin,  L. Williams

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 48. J. Cleaver, 18. B. Helyar, 1. C. Craig-Peters
HB: 5. H. Jennings, 8. H. Butler, 24. M. Lloyd
C: 32. M.  Burgess, 9. L.  Dawson, 30. I.  Wareham
HF: 14. J. Hill, 11. J. Chatfield, 40. I. Thomas
F: 21. I. Grant, 45. D. McEldrew, 2. M. Schnerring
R: 29. P. Glanford, 6. C. Wilson, 27. E. Lamb
Int: 41. B. Dodd, 35. C. Hinkley, 47. T. Mahony, 7. M. Martin, 39. J. Mawson, 20. T. Watts

In: H. Butler, D. McEldrew, B. Dodd, M. Lloyd, T. Mahony
Out: C. Giddings, A. Gove, S. Carlin

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2pm
Windy Hill, Essendon

Gippsland Power and Bendigo Pioneers will make the trip to Windy Hill on Saturday with the game broadcast via the TAC Cup website and TAC Cup Radio. Gippsland welcomes back Irving Mosquito from a hamstring injury after the live-wire just missed out on getting up for last week’s game. Brett Thorson and Zac Skinner are among five other inclusions for the Power, while Nick Lowden and Mason McGarrity are the two confirmed outs. For the Pioneers, they have made a raft of changes with Zane Keighran getting his chance to strut his stuff on the MCG – at the Pioneers loss – while they also lose Josh Grace, Phil Moi Moi, Liam Marciano and Lucas Caccaviello who are all out from the game. Coming in are Thomson Dow (brother of Carlton’s Paddy), Lewis Fitzgerald and AFL Academy member Brodie Kemp.

Gippsland Power

B: 15. R. Sparkes, 14. T. Hourigan, 35. J. van der Pligt
HB: 1. T. Hayes, 40. Z. Hurley, 7. B. Patterson
C: 8. B.  Beck, 9. I.  Mosquito, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 30. T. Baldi, 23. N. Gown, 34. J. Hume
F: 11. A. Hodge, 16. J. Smith, 37. H. Pepper
R: 22. R. Henkel, 12. B. Smith, 6. R. Baldi
Int: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 10. L. Connolly, 42. T. Howard, 31. B. Macfarlane, 19. F. Phillips, 43. Z. Skinner, 33. B. Thorson, 44. M. Toussaint, 45. A. Young

In: T. Howard, B. Thorson, M. Toussaint, Z. Skinner, J. Hume, I. Mosquito
Out: N. Lowden,  M. McGarrity

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 2. J. Williams, 31. B. Worme, 21. D.  Loveridge
HB: 59. B. Rowles, 32. W. Wallace, 20. J. Schischka
C: 25. F.  Perez, 5. N.  Wheeler, 49. O.  Perez
HF: 16. J. Atley, 41. B. Vaz, 17. R. Ironside
F: 14. T. Dow, 23. D. Keating, 8. B. Kemp
R: 22. M. Johnson, 43. H. Lawrence, 6. J. Rodi
Int: 13. K. Brown, 60. L. Fitzgerald, 29. E. Roberts, 42. Z. Shelton, 28. C. Vick, 58. Tillig

In: R. Ironside, B. Kemp, E. Roberts, T. Dow, L. Fitzgerald, Z. Shelton, J. Tillig, D. Loveridge
Out: L. Caccaviello, Z. Keighran, J. Grace, P. Moi Moi, J. McHale, N. McHugh, L. Marciano

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2.15pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the final game of the round, Geelong Falcons host Murray Bushrangers at Werribee, with Geelong losing Blake Schlensog to Vic Country duty and Dane Hollenkamp is also out, while Richmond father-son prospect Zac Knights, as well as Nicholas Conway and Jay Dahlhaus are among the inclusions. The young Falcons side will have a massive challenge on its hands facing the Murray Bushrangers who remarkably have three Vic Country inclusions. Key forward Hudson Garoni, the classy Zane Barzen and the bottom-age revelation Lachlan Ash are among the inclusions. Interestingly, Barzen has been named at half-back, with Ash named in a forward pocket. Jake Bradshaw, Noah Amery and Edward Adams are among the outs.

Geelong Falcons

B: 23. T. Nyak, 40. J. Clark, 3. K. Rayner
HB: 20. B. Ham, 31. C. Cartledge, 21. L. Smith
C: 7. C.  Harris, 9. B.  Morton, 35. C.  Tanis
HF: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 42. H. Spiller, 32. F. Parish
F: 17. S. Ham, 51. N. Conway, 2. S. Torpy
R: 50. J. Grigsby, 10. B. Mensch, 6. D. Madigan
Int: 5. W. Batson, 38. S. Bourke, 43. J. Jewell, 33. Z. Knights, 12. J. Muhor, 19. B. Ritchie

In: J. Jewell, W. Batson, Z. Knights, N. Conway, J. Dahlhaus, J. Muhor, S. Bourke
Out: C. O’Connor,  N. Young,  D. Hollenkamp,  Z. Mongelli,  B. Campi,  B. Schlensog

Murray Bushrangers

B: 30. L. Andrews, 59. L. Fiore, 55. R. Paradzayi
HB: 7. Z. Barzen, 34. T. Boyd, 19. J. Boyer
C: 26. R.  Bice, 5. E.  Smith, 53. C.  Wilson
HF: 6. W. Chandler, 2. J. Butts, 10. P. Warner
F: 12. L. Ash, 18. H. Garoni, 14. J. Chalcraft
R: 23. M. Marriott, 38. D. Clarke, 28. K. Clarke
Int: 13. B. Frauenfelder, 3. B. Kelly, 31. W. Mack, 52. J. Sanford, 44. L. Whyte, 46. K. Williamson

In: H. Garoni, L. Andrews, L. Ash, C. Wilson, Z. Barzen, W. Mack
Out: N. Amery, J. Bradshaw, R. Quinn, E. Adams

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 9

THERE are five games this weekend in the TAC Cup, with Sandringham Dragons and Eastern Ranges having a weekend off ahead of their standalone clash on June 30 – during the school holidays. The five games throw up some interesting possibilities given ladder positions as we pass the halfway mark of the 2018 TAC Cup season.

GEELONG FALCONS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 9 – Saturday, June 16, 11am Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

Both sides head into this Round 9 clash relatively understrength with all of Western’s Vic Metro representatives out of the side, while Geelong just has the returning Dane Hollenkamp, and Blake Schlensog (who has been named as a Vic Country emergency) in the team. A win for the Jets is crucial given a loss could mean they drop outside the top four, while victory would potentially see them move to second on the TAC Cup table with a Gippsland loss. For Geelong, a big win could see them jag eighth spot off the Cannons, but a loss could see them slip one spot to eleventh on the table. Western has a relatively stable clearance midfield with Jaden Rice, Connor Thar and Jack Watkins all able to extract the ball from a stoppage. They will likely take advantage of a Geelong side without its first choice midfield, however Baxter Mensch has been a big ball winner and clearance player this season, while Charlie Harris on the wing and Brayden Ham at half-forward can also win the footy and impact up the ground. It is great to see Titit Nyak back in the team after a long absence through injury, with Geelong’s defence remaining relatively untouched given the 1-2 combination of Hollenkamp and Cooper Cartledge has been solid for the Falcons. Without Emerson Jeka, the Jets will look to Aaron Clarke and the 190cm Tom Warner to provide the tall timber. Steven Kyriazis and last week’s best on ground Darcy Cassar are set to do the ground level work. Given the outs it is hard to predict a winner in this one, with the Jets likely to prevail in the midfield battle, but Geelong has had a lot of continuity this season with its top-end talent at either school football or out for AFL Academy duties.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 9 – Saturday, June 16, 2.15pm Shepley Oval, Dandenong

If we are talking about top-end talent missing, then you need not go further than this game with the most representatives from both of the Victorian sides – Dandenong for Country and Oakleigh for Metro – having a big impact on the team selection. Both teams will be relying on their bottom-agers and non-school football players, in a game that resulted in Oakleigh getting up in Round 5. This time around the Chargers are digging deep into their list, and it will take a mighty challenge to up-end the in-form Stingrays, who welcome back potential number one pick next year Hayden Young, as well as Will Hamill and Bailey Schmidt – the latter having played for Vic Country last week. For Oakleigh, Bailey Griffiths will hope to take advantage in the ruck in what will be a fantastic battle with Schmidt, as the Chargers have Xavier O’Neill, Lachlan Bugeja and Sam Harte among others through the midfield who can win plenty of the football. They will go up against Dandenong skipper Campbell Hustwaite, Hamill, and Lachlan McDonnell who has been in good form. Angus Patterson will line-up at full-forward as Matthew Cumming and Sam De Koning hold down the key defensive posts. The likes of Matthew Gahan and Jamie Plumridge will look to create some run out of the back half. For the Chargers, they have a number of defensive forwards who can kick goals including Atu Bosenavulagi and Daniel Scala, while over-ager Tom Hogan has the unique opportunity to face his teammates from last year, crossing from the Stingrays in the off-season after missing out on being drafted last year.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 9 – Sunday, June 17, 12pm Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

The TAC Cup Radio team head up to Bendigo for the clash between the Pioneers and Murray Bushrangers. The Pioneers had a really competitive effort last week against the Western Jets, levelling with just a few minutes left on the clock, before going down by seven points. The Bushrangers had a disappointing loss to a strengthened Oakleigh side, feeling the brunt of missing many players for Vic Country and Allies duty. It does not get any easier for the Bushrangers, losing one of last week’s best in Mathew Walker to Allies duty, and a couple of consistent defenders in Nick Murray and Ajak Dang to injury. Mark Marriott was impressive in his first game back from injury and will look to press for Vic Country claims with a good performance here, taking on another in-form ruck in Daniel Keating. With Ben Kelly and Jordon Butts lining up in the forward line, the Bushrangers will look to stretch the Pioneers defence, especially given Bendigo has lost full-back Josh Grace for this match. The 191cm William Wallace will have his hands full with the 202cm Kelly and 197cm Butts, and given the strength in the Bushrangers midfield, Bendigo defence will need to be on its game. Arguably the most important players for the Pioneers are Noah Wheeler, Zane Keighran and Hunter Lawrence, who will rotate through that midfield and just simply have to win the clearances. The Perez brothers – Oscar, an overager and Flynn, a bottom-ager – were impressive last week and will hope to continue that form. James Schischka is a Vic Country player who will be keen to impress for a call-up, while Liam Marciano has been consistent out of defence. For the Bushrangers, Ely Smith continues to tick boxes week-in, week-out, Dylan and Kyle Clarke are always busy, and the forward line that contains Bailey Frauenfelder and Jye Chalcraft is always going to be dangerous. The Bushrangers will be looking to bounce back after a big loss last week, but at home in Bendigo, and after a really promising performance last week, you cannot rule out the Pioneers, either.

GIPPSLAND POWER v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 9 – Sunday, June 17, 1pm Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

Over in Morwell, the Gippsland Power take on the Calder Cannons. Gippsland were missing most of its top-end talent through resting for Vic Country representation last round, but it mattered little as they stormed past the Geelong Falcons, and now welcome back hard nosed defender/midfielder Brock Smith and livewire forward Irving Mosquito – the latter of whom has returned from injury. While the likes of Xavier Duursma, Sam Flanders, Caleb Serong, Matt McGannon and Kyle Reid will be in Adelaide for Vic Country’s clash with South Australia, the Power are in a very good position. They sit second and could well be top-of-the-table by round’s end if Oakleigh can upset first placed Dandenong on Saturday. For Calder, they are eighth, but have the GWV Rebels, Geelong Falcons and Eastern Ranges chomping at their heels. They also lose a truckload of top-end talent for this game, with AFL Academy members Jack Bytel and Curtis Taylor, co-captain Mitch Podhajski, and Vic Metro representatives Lachlan Sholl and Jack Evans all out. Consistent key position player Daniel Hanna returns, as do a number of solid bottom-agers, but there is no doubting Calder will be looking for something special from its next tier of players to come away with the win. John Roumeliotis made a successful return from injury, and he and Jake Riccardi might pose some problems for the Gippsland defence with their strength, while Tye Browning and Sam Graham are always players that can get their hands on the ball. For Gippsland though, they have a relatively stable team despite some of the big outs. They will be looking to capitalise with Rylan Henkel rucking to Smith along with Mosquito and Riley Baldi looking like an ominous prospect, as is the forward line with Noah Gown and Josh Smith who have been known to hit the scoreboard. Couple that with the fact Jake Van der Pligt and Ryan Sparkes have been in good form rebounding out of defence, and Gippsland look to be clear favourites in this one. The Cannons changes do bring an air of unpredictability about them however, with backs against the wall, anything can happen.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 9 – Sunday, June 17, 1pm MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the final game of the round, the GWV Rebels host the Northern Knights. The Rebels are coming off a great away win over Calder Cannons and will be keen to make it two on the trot and three for the season. The Knights on the other hand, will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing loss at home to the Eastern Ranges, and get a win in what is expected to be a typical Ballarat day – wild and windy. The Rebels lose Tom Berry and Matty Lloyd to Vic Country duties which will hurt given their influence on the contest. But Scott Carlin remains in the side despite being named as an emergency for Vic Country, and one would expect he might be an omission from the next round for the All-Victorian battle at the MCG. Carlin and Harris Jennings will look to provide run out of defence, while the returns of Josh Chatfield and Izaac Grant will give the home side another dimension. Given Charlie Wilson rotates forward, a forward combination with Chatfield, Grant, Wilson, Jed Hill and Tylar Watts suddenly looks a lot more dangerous and capable of kicking a winning score. It does not help with Northern losing its two in-form rebounding defenders, bottom-agers Ryan Gardner and Lachlan Potter for the match, however Stefan Uzelac was best on for the Knights last week, while Mitch and Cameron Wild will be keen to stand up in the absence of their teammates. Northern also have a damaging forward line, with Sunny Brazier continuing to kick goals, Josh D’Intinosante ever-dangerous and Harrison Grace the smooth mover from midfield through to half-forward. Ryan Sturgess and Kobe Brandt are others who have shown signs throughout the season what they are capable of, and will test themselves against Matt Schnerring, Ben Annett and the in-form Elliot Lamb. While both sides are more than capable of a win here, I am leaning towards the Rebels at home, with some key forward inclusions and some big losses for the Knights in defence. But it honestly is a fairly 50/50 contest.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 4

MORE than 100 players have been named as inclusions across the twelve TAC Cup sides for round four as most sides are hit with forced omissions through the APS and AGVS competitions kicking off. The 101 players named as ‘ins’ include those named as emergencies, but there are still 83 players who were omitted from their respective sides from the round three clashes.

There are a number of big inclusions for those AFL Academy players who are not part of the school footballing system such as Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers), Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons), Hudson Garoni (Murray Bushrangers), Buku Khamis (Western Jets), Dandenong Stingrays pair Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams, and Calder Cannons trio Curtis Taylor, Rhylee West (who has the APS bye) and Jack Bytel. GWV Rebels star Thomas Berry and overager Tyrone Hayes (Gippsland Power) return, with the latter having not played TAC Cup since round one last season.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 

Round 4 – Friday, April 20, 7pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

The fourth round of TAC Cup action kicks off tomorrow night in Bendigo when the Pioneers host the Oakleigh Chargers under lights at Queen Elizabeth Oval. The Pioneers are searching for their second win of the season, while Oakleigh will be hoping to go three wins from four games. Brodie Kemp, Kobe Lloyd and Daniel Keating – the latter injured himself in the Pioneers’ last clash – are all outs, with overage pair Zac Denahy and Oscar Perez, and bottom-age ruck Matt Hird among the inclusions. Will Holt will look to go to outright leader on the goal kicking table early on Friday night, with the Pioneers full-forward currently sharing the lead with Sandringham’s Max King who is missing due to APS commitments. For Oakleigh, 13 changes have been made with Noah Anderson, Ben Silvagni, Kyle Dunkley, Will Kelly, Jack Ross, Matt Rowell, Joseph Ayton-Delaney and Matthew Warren among the outs. AFL Academy member Isaac Quaynor is a huge in for the Chargers, while Sam Harte, Lachlan Bugeja and Sam Elliott are among those called into the team.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 27. M. Lias, 11. J. Grace, 33. J. McHale
HB: 9. Z. Keighran, 24. N. McHugh, 43. H. Lawrence
C: 7. L.  Chisholm, 5. N.  Wheeler, 57. A.  Smith-Ralph
HF: 3. L. Marciano, 20. J. Schischka, 51. B. Waasdorp
F: 18. B. Henderson, 45. W. Holt, 17. R. Ironside
R: 12. M. Hird, 37. C. McCarty, 25. F. Perez
Int: 35. Z. Denahy, 1. M. Goodwin, 10. D. Grace, 2. J. Williams
23P: 38. K. Stevens

In: C. McCarty, M. Lias, D. Loveridge, K. Stevens, T. Walters, Z. Denahy, F. Perez, M. Hird
Out: K. Walker,  B. Kemp,  D. Keating,  T. Dow,  C. Vick,  K. Lloyd

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 39. S. Fernandez, 36. C. Beasley, 22. D. Williams
HB: 12. N. Answerth , 23. I. Quaynor, 35. X. Fry
C: 13. A.  Bosenavulagi, 1. R.  Collier-Dawkins, 24. S.  Harte
HF: 6. M. Day, 7. J. Robertson, 26. J. Gasper
F: 25. D. Scala, 63. S. Elliott, 42. K. Viccars
R: 71. T. Hogan, 5. X. O’Neill, 9. J. Rowbottom
Int: 2. L. Bugeja, 47. U. Chol, 64. C. Cormack, 56. M. Fewings, 65. L. Harry, 27. J. May, 50. V. Zagari
23P: 19. D. Romero

In: L. Bugeja, C. Cormack, J. Gasper, L. Harry, I. Quaynor, U. Chol, M. Fewings, D. Romero, S. Elliott, S. Fernandez, S. Harte, V. Zagari, J. May, C. Beasley, K. Viccars
Out: N. Anderson, B. Silvagni, K. Dunkley, B. Wraith, C. Leon, T. Bianco, M. Warren, W. Kelly, C. Whitehead, J. Ross, M. Rowell, Z. Hart, J. Ayton-Delaney

GEELONG FALCONS v. EASTERN RANGES 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.15am
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

In the early Saturday game, the two sides without a victory to their name will battle it out with Geelong Falcons hosting Eastern Ranges at Avalon Airport Oval in Werribee. Charlie Sprague and Cooper Stephens are a couple of omissions from the Falcons side that narrowly went down to Murray Bushrangers a fortnight ago, with school football returning. In their place comes a pretty handy player by the name of Sam Walsh, joining a couple of famous names in Finlay Parish and Sam Christensen in the 22. Eastern Ranges have also lost a couple of crucial players with Cody Hirst (injured) and Xavier Fry among the outs. Jordan Jaworski, Tyler Edwards and Ryan Einsporn will return to the team among at least six changes.

Geelong Falcons

B: 40. J. Clark, 31. C. Cartledge, 7. C. Harris
HB: 15. L. Handley, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 3. K. Rayner
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 25. L.  Taylor, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 20. B. Ham, 32. F. Parish, 22. S. Walsh
F: 39. C. Idun, 48. B. Schlensog, 26. F. Wilson
R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 10. B. Mensch
Int: 50. J. Grigsby, 9. B. Morton, 28. C. O’Connor, 16. B. Scott
23P: 17. S. Ham

In: L. Handley, F. Wilson, S. Christensen, S. Walsh, S. Ham, F. Parish, J. Grigsby, H. Spiller
Out: C. Sprague,  N. Young,  T. Richardson,  J. Muhor,  C. Stephens,  S. Bourke,  N. Conway

Eastern Ranges

B: 12. J. Gilbee, 53. J. Drake, 26. C. Norris
HB: 24. K. Quirk, 31. J. Blanck, 21. J. Ross
C: 4. R.  Clausen, 8. J.  Burleigh, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 10. C. Black, 42. T. Lockman, 45. M. Zalac
F: 9. J. Duffy, 18. B. McCormack, 5. R. Einsporn
R: 41. J. Corless, 7. L. Stapleton, 2. A. Kalcovski
Int: 38. M. Briggs, 20. B. Cardamone, 39. C. Daraio, 30. T. Edwards, 27. J. Jaworski, 32. F. Smith, 25. L. Vassis
23P: 37. J. Weichard

In: J. Drake, F. Smith, R. Einsporn, T. Edwards, J. Weichard, M. Briggs, J. Jaworski, C. Black
Out: T. Garner, S. Kapahnke, H. Chinn, J. Kritopoulos, C. Hirst, X. Fry

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.30am
Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

Also on Saturday morning is the clash between Murray Bushrangers and Sandringham Dragons. The Bushrangers have made at least four changes for the clash after their victory over the Geelong Falcons a fortnight ago, with Ben Kelly missing due to the Academy Series, and Finbar O’Dwyer who was named in Murray’s best in that win, also out of this weekend’s clash. Star key position player Hudson Garoni returns to the team and will line-up at centre-half forward, while Fraser Ellis has been named in a back pocket. Sandringham have had their annual APS cleanout with 16 players making way in wholesale changes. The changes do not include the King brothers and Bailey Smith who were also missing from the Dragons’ round three clash. As always, the Dragons depth will be tested, with the likes of Tom Long, Ronan Ladds and Tom Fogarty among a huge list of inclusions.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 28. K. Clarke, 16. N. Murray, 33. F. Ellis
HB: 12. L. Ash, 8. J. Koschitzke, 34. T. Boyd
C: 6. W.  Chandler, 17. N.  Amery, 4. L.  Vandermeer
HF: 26. R. Bice, 18. H. Garoni, 10. P. Warner
F: 14. J. Chalcraft, 2. J. Butts, 13. B. Frauenfelder
R: 23. M. Marriott, 20. J. Bradshaw, 5. E. Smith
Int: 19. J. Boyer, 38. D. Clarke, 22. A. Dang, 32. E. Dayman
23P: 40. N. Irvine

In: N. Irvine, H. Garoni, E. Dayman, F. Ellis, W. Christie, M. Oates
Out: B. Kelly,  C. Hill,  F. O’Dwyer,  B. St John

Sandringham Dragons

B: 3. T. Fogarty, 20. H. Bede, 16. J. Paul
HB: 19. S. Forbes, 69. C. Watts, 18. A. Seaton
C: 14. R.  O’Meara, 2. A.  Richards, 46. L.  Witts
HF: 12. C. Jones, 34. C. Birmingham, 1. T. Long
F: 23. A. Hanrahan, 28. J. Rendell, 11. N. Stamatis
R: 32. J. Griffiths, 7. L. Stocker, 8. K. Owens
Int: 37. N. Bufalo, 50. T. Deane-Johns, 24. H. Ferdinand, 56. J. Hannah, 15. R. Ladds, 25. O. McMaster, 22. C. Millar
23P: 42. T. Murray

In: N. Bufalo, R. Ladds, T. Long, J. Griffiths, H. Ferdinand, J. Paul, R. O’Meara, L. Witts, C. Millar, C. Birmingham, J. Hannah, O. McMaster, T. Deane-Johns, T. Murray, H. Bede, T. Fogarty
Out: H. Ralphsmith, F. Maginness, J. Goddard, J. Mahony, D. McNeish, W. Kennedy, J. Denborough, J. Worrell, D. Chirgwin, M. Bergman, S. Sofronidis, H. Houlahan, E. Casey, A. Courtney

GIPPSLAND POWER v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 12.45pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve, Morwell

Gippsland hosts a lunchtime clash against Northern on Saturday, with both sides losing key players to the school football system. Talented bottom-agers Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders are out, as is captain Xavier Duursma and over-ager Austin Hodge, all of whom have been in good form. Returning to the team sheet for the first time in more than 12 months is the excitement machine Tyrone Hayes who has been names on an extended bench, with Bailey Patterson and Zac Skinner also named in the team. Northern will miss Tom McKenzie‘s influence in the middle, with Oscar White and Justin McInerney also omissions from the team. In their place the likes of Sunny Brazier, Evan Tsitsis and Mitch Wild return to the fold.

Gippsland Power

B: 14. T. Hourigan, 23. N. Gown, 12. B. Smith
HB: 18. M. McGannon, 25. K. Reid, 15. R. Sparkes
C: 10. L.  Connolly, 13. N.  Lowden, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 9. I. Mosquito, 38. J. Wykes, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 3. M. McGannon, 16. J. Smith, 19. F. Phillips
R: 22. R. Henkel, 6. R. Baldi, 8. B. Beck
Int: 1. T. Hayes, 21. M. McGarrity, 7. B. Patterson, 43. Z. Skinner, 33. B. Thorson, 35. J. van der Pligt, 45. A. Young
23P: 36. M. Bentvelzen

In: T. Hayes, B. Patterson, A. Young, Z. Skinner, M. McGarrity, M. Bentvelzen
Out: C. Serong,  A. Hodge,  S. Flanders,  X. Duursma

Northern Knights

B: 5. L. Potter, 33. J. Randall, 11. R. Sturgess
HB: 25. J. Davies, 28. S. Uzelac, 14. E. Tsitsis
C: 1. R.  Gardner, 10. B.  Bell, 22. M.  Wild
HF: 24. R. Bowkett, 20. P. Della Rocca, 44. C. Wild
F: 17. J. D’Intinosante, 21. M. Baker, 40. N. Mayne
R: 16. T. Hallebone, 7. H. Grace, 3. B. Gillard
Int: 35. K. Agosta, 31. N. Barro, 18. S. Brazier, 34. Z. Hudson, 43. J. Murphy, 29. K. Nasser, 13. S. Philp
23P: 37. K. Brandt

In: E. Tsitsis, M. Wild, N. Barro, S. Brazier, K. Agosta, K. Nasser, Z. Hudson, J. Murphy, K. Brandt
Out: T. McKenzie, C. Simonsen, J. McInerney, A. Carafa, X. Naish, O. White, J. Naylor

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. WESTERN JETS 

Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 12.30pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

On Sunday, Dandenong Stingrays host the Western Jets at Shepley Oval, with plenty of talented talls switching places. The Stingrays lose a handful of top graders with twin talls Matthew and Stephen Cumming (Academy Series commitments with NT), midfield leader Mitch Riordan (School Football), pocket rocket Jai Nanscawen and rebounding defender Hayden Young all out. In their place the Stingrays welcome back twin towers Bailey Williams and Riley Bowman, while Sam De Koning will line-up at centre-half back. For Western, they have made just the two confirmed changes, losing star bottom-age tall Emerson Jeka, and Lucas Rocci, but have regained AFL Academy defender Buku Khamis, as well as Jaksyn Grant.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 32. D. Frampton, 43. W. Geurts, 16. J. Frawley
HB: 37. B. Angwin, 20. S. De Koning, 12. M. Gahan
C: 9. Z.  Foot, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 3. J.  Plumridge
HF: 27. L. McDonnell, 29. B. Williams, 7. J. Taylor
F: 17. F. Bayne, 28. B. Schmidt, 57. R. Nanscawen
R: 13. R. Bowman, 58. W. Hamill, 33. J. Carosella
Int: 49. M. Cottrell, 52. C. Ellison, 47. J. Hickey, 5. A. Paterson, 41. L. Stenning, 50. L. Williams, 10. L. Young
23P: 19. J. Burton

In: L. Stenning, L. Young, J. Burton, R. Bowman, S. De Koning, W. Geurts, B. Angwin, B. Williams, L. Williams
Out: T. Bedford,  H. Briggs,  M. Riordan,  S. Cumming,  J. Nanscawen,  H. Young,  M. Cumming

Western Jets

B: 25. S. Johnson, 37. H. Murphy, 28. J. Papachatzakis
HB: 30. L. Pettigrove, 38. B. Khamis, 39. S. Radovanovic
C: 17. D.  Andrews , 33. X.  O’Halloran, 20. D.  Cassar
HF: 11. Z. Butters, 2. T. Rudic, 4. J. Jenkins
F: 24. J. Honey, 45. A. Clarke, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 36. J. Rice, 12. C. Thar
Int: 40. J. Grant, 22. O. Manton, 35. T. Warner, 7. J. Watkins
23P: 9. J. Dodemaide

In: J. Grant, D. Fruscalzo, J. Dodemaide, B. Khamis
Out: L. Rocci, E. Jeka

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. CALDER CANNONS 

Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 1.30pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the final game of the round, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels host Calder Cannons at MARS Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Both sides are relatively unscathed from their top-end talent, although Calder will miss co-captain Mitch Podhajski and reliable defender Mason Fletcher who are among at least nine changes. However, the Cannons have loaded up in the midfield with Rhylee West returning (with St Kevin’s having the APS bye), joining fellow AFL Academy members Curtis Taylor and Jack Bytel back in the side. The Rebels also have a big name returning with Tom Berry coming back into the team for the first time since running into a post and suffering concussion in round one. He is joined by Ethan Harvey and Tom Clark in the side among five changes with Josh Bibby named as 23rd man. Tylar Watts is named back in the ruck, the third positional change in as many weeks after being centre-half forward in rounds one and two, centre-half back in round three and now back to his bottom-age year position of first ruck.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 10. J. Lohmann, 18. B. Helyar, 34. J. O’Connell
HB: 4. B. Annett, 8. H. Butler, 3. S. Carlin
C: 12. A.  Gove, 13. T.  Berry, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 14. J. Hill, 11. J. Chatfield, 7. M. Martin
F: 47. T. Mahony, 19. J. Henderson, 2. M. Schnerring
R: 20. T. Watts, 6. C. Wilson, 9. L. Dawson
Int: 17. T. Clark, 48. J. Cleaver, 29. P. Glanford, 16. E. Harvey, 27. E. Lamb, 33. J. Ross, 25. T. Shannon
23P: 37. J. Bibby

In: J. Ross, E. Lamb, T. Clark, J. Bibby, E. Harvey, J. Cleaver, T. Berry
Out: C. Perks,  K. Councillor,  J. Wright,  I. Grant,  M. Clarke

Calder Cannons

B: 4. K. Baker, 43. L. Cavallaro, 33. J. Evans
HB: 48. S. Ramsay, 38. B. Newman, 8. L. Sholl
C: 2. D.  Landt, 42. N.  Croft, 3. I.  Moussa
HF: 27. T. Browning, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 44. N. Gentile
F: 11. J. Firebrace, 29. J. Riccardi, 5. C. Taylor
R: 60. D. Pretty, 16. J. Bytel, 39. L. Sultana
Int: 17. N. Doyle, 54. C. Lamb, 1. D. Mott, 20. R. West
23P: 34. O. Sasalu

In: O. Sasalu, D. Pretty, L. Goater, C. Lamb, C. Taylor, J. Bytel, B. Rigoni, B. Newman, R. West
Out: S. Skidmore, P. Mahoney, L. Johnson, M. Podhajski, J. Westphal, H. Minton-Connell, S. Graham, M. Fletcher

TAC Cup preview: Oakleigh Chargers

OAKLEIGH Chargers will head into season 2018 optimistic about their chances this year. After a preliminary final exit at the hands of Sandringham Dragons last season, the Chargers could consider themselves unlucky not to go all the way. They earned the minor premiership and were the best side with Geelong throughout the home and away season, but became the walking wounded when two of their best players – Toby Wooller and Jack Higgins – missed a final each, with Wooller’s absence in that preliminary final, telling. Higgins was also on one leg in his return from injury, having a role to play up forward, but was clearly not at his dominant best.

Along with Wooller and Higgins, Ed Richards was also drafted into the AFL, selected by the Western Bulldogs and thus changing his family’s rich heritage of donning the black and white stripes. In 2018, the depth is spread out across the Oakleigh line-up with Isaac Quaynor, a member of Collingwood’s Next Generation Academy, leading the charge. The running defender is sure to be in the draft conversation, as might midfielders Xavier O’Neill and Charlie Whitehead.

The Chargers have a mosquito fleet of mid/forwards including Lachlan Bugeja, Sam Harte and Daniel Scala who all impacted last season with plenty of game time. Joseph Ayton-Delaney impressed down back last season averaging almost three marks, three tackles and more than two rebounds for the year. Riley Collier-Dawkins has reportedly grown to 194cm and is a genuine key position player size despite playing through the midfield.

Unsurprisingly, Oakleigh also has a raft of talented bottom-agers led by Matt Rowell and Dylan Williams, both of whom are tracking as potential top 10 picks in 2019. With more sure to rise up this season, the Chargers will be quietly confident that they can enjoy a few years of success in the development area, if not the on-field area as well.

2017 Stats:

2017 Summary:

After an opening round loss against Sandringham Dragons, Oakleigh Chargers had three straight wins over Eastern Ranges, Calder Cannons and Bendigo Pioneers. It would be the start of a fantastic season, dropping just one game between round two and round 15 – in round five to the Geelong Falcons – as they went on a nine-game winning streak.

Their streak was eventually broken by a desperate Western Jets outfit clinging onto a finals hope later in the season, but the result hardly fazed the Chargers. They bounced back the next week with a low-scoring eight-point victory over Sandringham, before thumping Bendigo and Eastern to end the season. A whopping 70-point hiding of Northern came at a cost with captain Toby Wooller injured and Jack Higgins still sore from the previous week. It resulted in a narrow 10-point loss to Sandringham in the preliminary final and the minor premiers missed out on making the grand final.

2018 Snapshot:

Oakleigh Chargers open their season against Eastern Ranges on Saturday as part of a football triple header with two TAC Cup games and a VFL game at the venue. The Chargers then meet rivals Sandringham Dragons, before a date with the Northern Knights in round three. The Chargers’ first country road trip occurs in round four when they take on the Bendigo Pioneers, before back-to-back home games at Warrawee Park. The Chargers play four more games at their home ground, all consecutive matches between rounds 10-13.

The Chargers will be keen to be up near the top when the whips are cracking and I expect they are set for another top four finish. It should be a very competitive year in 2018, but the Chargers have some fantastic depth and it would be a surprise not to see them there at the business end of the season. If they do, they will hope to go all the way this time after having no shortage of success in the past decade.

2018 Fixture:

Oakleigh Chargers 2018

DateEventTime/ResultsVenueArticle
Frankston Oval
Rams Arena
Preston City Oval
Queen Elizabeth Oval
Warrawee Park
MARS Stadium
Warrawee Park
Norm Minns Oval
Shepley Oval
Warrawee Park
Warrawee Park
Warrawee Park
Central Reserve (Colac)
Warrawee Park
Avalon Airport Oval
MARS Stadium
Ikon Park
Ikon Park
Ikon Park

Oakleigh Chargers 2017 review

With the off-season now officially here for TAC Cup clubs, AFL Draft Central will go back and review what 2017 was like for each of the 12 clubs. We kick off the series with Bendigo Pioneers and will end with the Western Jets.

Oakleigh Chargers

Finished: 3rd
Wins: 16
Losses: 4
Draws: 0
Percentage:
 164
Points: 64 (eliminated in preliminary final)

Players Drafted: (3)

  • Ed Richards (Western Bulldogs)
  • Jack Higgins (Richmond)
  • Toby Wooller (Brisbane)

2017 Review:

Oakleigh Chargers’ three top standouts throughout the season made their way onto AFL lists, with Ed Richards the first name to be called out. The grandson of Magpie legend Ron Richards headed to the Western Bulldogs, while teammate and Morrish Medal winner Jack Higgins headed to the Tigers a pick later. Oakleigh captain Toby Wooller headed north to join the Brisbane Lions, also changing allegiances ala Richards, after his grandfather Fred Wooller was a Geelong premiership player.

Among those players unlucky to miss out were state combine invitees Noah Answerth, Bailey Griffiths, Riley Jones, Matthew King, Ethan Phillips and Charlie Thompson, while the two with the most interest having received a National Draft Combine invitation – Matthew Day and Ned Reeves – were also incredibly unlucky to not be drafted by an AFL club.

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2018 Preview:

Oakleigh Chargers will have a talented mosquito-fleet next season with a number of draftable players below 180cm. Xavier O’Neill and Charlie Whitehead are among the taller prospects that have shone in their bottom-age year for the Chargers at 183cm, while running defender Isaac Quaynor is attached to Collingwood’s Next Generation Academy.

Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh Chargers) 183cm | 75kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (18) 17.7 disposals | 3.8 marks | 5.9 tackles | 2.3 clearances | 3.3 inside 50s | 60% KE | 69% DE | 36% CP

O’Neill is a well-balanced outside midfielder who spreads well and tackles hard. He had a promising bottom-age year showing off his composure and ability to get the ball moving forward, averaging 2.3 clearances and 3.3 inside 50s. With more midfield time expected in 2018, expect his disposal numbers to increase as well.

Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers) 180cm | 77kg | Small Defender
2017 TAC Cup: (17) 11.7 disposals | 3.1 marks | 2.6 tackles | 2.4 rebounds | 78% KE | 76% DE | 38% CP

Tied to Collingwood’s Next Generation Academy, Quaynor is quick and loves to tuck the ball under his arm. He plays taller than his 180cm suggests and has played as a lockdown defender in the back half. He could play further up the ground in 2018, but he has great skills and agility.

Charlie Whitehead (Oakleigh Chargers) 183cm | 75kg | Outside Midfielder/Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (11) 13.2 disposals | 3.9 marks | 2.9 tackles | 1.9 inside 50s | 1.3 goals | 48% KE | 59% DE | 39% CP

Whitehead is not a huge ball winner or have an overly impressive stat sheet, but he is already a solid size and can play through the midfield or up forward in 2017, he averaged 1.3 goals per game from his 11 matches and like many of the other Chargers who have shown signs for next year, is expected to spend more time in the middle in 2018.

Others to keep an eye on:

Joseph Ayton-Delaney (Oakleigh Chargers) 181cm | 67kg | Small Defender
2017 TAC Cup: (10) 16.9 disposals | 2.7 marks | 2.8 tackles | 2.1 rebounds | 59% KE | 67% DE | 34% CP

Lachlan Bugeja (Oakleigh Chargers) 174cm | 72kg | Balanced Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (17) 16.6 disposals | 2.6 marks | 6.1 tackles | 2.5 clearances | 61% KE | 70% DE | 44% CP

Sam Harte (Oakleigh Chargers) 172cm | 66kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (19) 19.6 disposals | 4.1 marks | 4.6 tackles | 1.3 clearances | 4.2 inside 50s | 61% KE | 69% DE | 30% CP

Daniel Scala (Oakleigh Chargers) 174cm | 69kg | Small Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (11) 8.5 disposals | 1.2 marks | 2.6 tackles | 1.2 clearances | 2 goals | 66% KE | 71% DE | 59% CP

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Summary:

Oakleigh Chargers are prone to success and while they might be disappointed they fell in the penultimate match of the season, they were a dominant force throughout 2017. They once again look to be strong and will be thereabouts at the business end of the season. While many of their emerging top players are on the small side, they typically have a few talls hidden away playing school football that appear as the season goes on. Expect them to be dangerous at ground level in the new year.

Player focus: Ed Richards

AFTER an injury led to him missing out on Vic Metro selection, the grandson of Collingwood great Ron Richards (whose brother was premiership skipper Lou), has impressed in the last month with his eye-catching runs and his impressive disposal – pushing his name into first round calculations. On the weekend, Peter Williams analysed the lightning red head and watched how he moved and what he did to get a better understanding of the type of player he was, when his side the Oakleigh Chargers went down to Sandringham Dragons on Sunday in the preliminary final.

First quarter:

Ed Richards started on Alfie Jarnestrom at half-back but with Oakleigh looking strong early, Richards was pushed up to the wing. With no much to report in the opening few minutes, Richards hung back from a stoppage in the Chargers’ forward 50 region. His opponent went into the contest and Richards cleverly stayed out, receiving the handball and then arching his back before piercing an effective kick inside 50 to Jack Higgins who marked and goaled.

It would be Richards’ only kick of the quarter, but his burst and effectiveness to hit a target on the run was really impressive. At the next piece of play, Richards was kicking out after a Chargers’ behind and he managed to find his target in Luke Stacker in the back pocket. Richards ran past but looked a bit surprised to receive the ball back and under pressure he had to handball to Riley Jones before the pressure from the Dragons forced the ball out for a throw-in.

The next moment Richards came into contact with the play was in the ninth minute where he pressured Aaron Trusler, forcing him to not take possession cleanly, before Richards was benched for the first time in the game at about the eleventh minute mark. He returned at the 15.30 minute mark and went to half-back to play on Josh Gorman. As he had at the start of the quarter, he pushed up but once he got to the half-forward flank, word came from the bench loud and clear “Ed, stay out” and he moved back in line with three other Chargers’ to zone across the middle of the ground.

At the 17-minute mark, Sandringham kicked inside 50 to Jarnestrom who set sail for home unbeknown that Richards was closing down and the speedster managed to get a hand to him and knock him off balance forcing Jarnestrom’s shot on goal to fall short. He continued to oppose Jarnestrom at half-back for the next few minutes, holding a strong line. At the 19.30 mark, he won a one-on-one contest with Jarnestrom deep in defence and manage to spoil it to a teammate who cleared the football.

At the 20-minute mark, Richards picked up Trusler again but Sandringham had spotted a hole in the Oakleigh defence with Will Walker slipping free. Richards realised at the last moment, darted back to cover Walker but the small midfielder/forward took the mark. Luckily for the Chargers’ defence, their loss in focus only cost them a behind as Walker’s shot hit the inside of the post.

Richards then assumed a role on Walker at the next play and managed to nullify a Dragons’ ball that went deep, and for his last piece of play for the quarter, Richards produced a long, bullet pass outside 50, perfectly hitting his target with rare precision.

Quarter 1 stats: 2 Disposals (1 Kick, 1 Handball), 1 Inside 50

Second Quarter:

Ed Richards again started the quarter at half-back assigned to Jarnestrom although within the first 90 seconds he had pushed up into the stoppage with his opponent. In the third minute, Richards received a handball on the wing, handballed back to Stacker before his teammate was dispossessed and Sandringham kicked the ball forward. A shot on goal from the Dragons resulted in a behind, with Richards taking the kick-out. He kicked long to about the 55m metre mark to hit-up big ruckman Ned Reeves, but he was well spoiled by Joel Amartey.

Sandringham mopped up and kicked long inside 50 where Walker led at the ball, but Richards was up to the task producing a strong spoil and the Chargers cleared the ball from danger. A few minutes later Ed Richards was opposed to Andrew Brayshaw, spoiling his attempted mark and following him into the middle. While on Brayshaw, Jarnestrom had snuck free of Richards close checking and enjoyed the freedom by taking an uncontested mark inside 50 and kicking the goal.

Richards returned to the defensive 50 after the goal to match up on Trusler, and it was not long before a long ball headed in their direction with Richards once again showing his closing speed and strength one-on-one, spoiling Trusler on the lead. As he pushed up to the wing with the press, Richards won the ball under pressure and tried to kick inside 50 but his kick was a scrubber and ineffective.

In the eighth minute, Jarnestrom won the first one-on-one contest anyone had against Richards that day, with very little the speedster could do. The ball was a pinpoint low pass for Jarnestrom to take on his chest and left Richards little chance to spoil. A minute later he took a good mark just outside defensive 50 with a good leap in front of Jarnestrom and produced an effective short kick into the corridor to Lachlan Bugeja.

With the ball up the other end for the next few minutes, Richards was not involved in the play until another one-on-one with Trusler, which Richards won, but he could not quite gather it cleanly and it was forced into a stoppage. He moved into the middle to face Lucas Barrett and moments later Sandringham kicked inside 50 and goaled. At the fifteenth minute mark, Richards was sent to the bench for the second time in the game.

He returned four minutes later to stand beside Andrew Brayshaw at half-back, and Brayshaw marked in front of the defender when Richards was zoning off. A couple of minutes later, Richards received a handball on the wing, then tucked the ball under his arm, took a bounce and kicked inside 50, but unfortunately it landed straight in the arms of Ben King. He returned to the defence where he picked up Walker inside 50 and then moved into the midfield in the last minute of the quarter, standing Geordie Nagle. Sandringham won the clearance with Trusler marking and subsequently goaling just on the siren.

Quarter 2 stats: 5 Disposals (4 Kicks, 1 Handball), 1 Mark, 1 Inside 50, 1 Rebound
Total stats: 7 Disposals (5 Kicks, 2 Handballs), 1 Mark, 2 Inside 50s, 1 Rebound

Third Quarter:

Ed Richards returned from the half-time break and started inside at the centre bounce. He opposed Jarnestrom there and won the first clearance of the second half, albeit a shorter one to the 60m mark. A minute later the most damning piece of play occured for Richards which might not have been noticed for anyone not directly watching him.

There was a throw-in on the wing and Richards was shoulder-to-shoulder with Walker (1:12:18 on the livestream). After Sandringham won possession, Walker darted forward at full speed while Richards jogged behind. The ball was bombed long to the square by Amartey where Walker had continued running and took an uncontested mark about 15m clear of Richards and did not break stride as he ran into an open goal. The piece of play indicated to me that Richards looked to have been caught ball-watching and Walker had taken the opportunity to run forward backing his teammates to win the football and kick it to the dangerous area.

After that, Richards stood in space about 60m out from his defensive 50, helping zone for the Chargers, before resuming his contest with Jarnestrom. He pushed up to help the press inside 50 and was lucky not to be pinged for holding the ball on the wing at the five minute mark when he dove on it and could not get it out. A minute and a half later, Richards pushed forward and took a good mark overhead. He chipped to Charlie Thompson but the pair was not on the same wave length, with the chip designed for Thompson to run onto, but instead Richards’ teammate had stopped running and the ball went past him and Sandringham cleared the defence.

In the eighth minute, Richards went in hard and received a free kick for his efforts, about 25m out on a 45 degree angle. His set shot was weighted to pop through and he registered a goal to his name (1:19:30 on the livestream). A minute later he punched the ball from a stoppage knowing he did not have time to take possession and instead got it clear to the running Sam Harte, before Richards was called to the bench for a break at the nine and a half minute mark.

He returned two and a half minutes later and went back to the half-back flank opposed to Josh Gorman. Immediately he had a clean, one-hand pickup but his kick was rushed. It proved effective however and started the chain of possessions that led to an Oakleigh goal as the Chargers hit the Dragons hard in the third term. Richards was only on the ground a few minutes before being benched again in the fifteenth minute as he had in the second quarter.

Richards returned to the field at the 17-minute mark and opposed Andrew Brayshaw inside defensive 50. He produced a couple of statless pressure acts there without winning a possession and spent another five minutes on the ground before another stint on the bench at the 22 and a half minute mark. His interchange time was about 90 seconds before heading to half-back where he won the football and effectively handballed to Isaac Quaynor. In the dying moments he was at half-forward on Gorman before filling a hole in defensive 50 before the final break. Richards’ third quarter was by far his most productive, making the most of his increased midfield minutes which was reflected in his stats.

Quarter 3 stats: 7 Disposals (5 Kicks, 2 Handballs), 1 Mark, 2 Clearances, 1 Inside 50, 1 Goal
Total stats: 12 Disposals (9 Kicks, 3 Handballs), 2 Marks, 2 Clearances, 3 Inside 50s, 1 Rebound, 1 Goal

Fourth Quarter:

The fourth quarter was a bit of a let-down for Richards, being mostly in the middle but not greatly impacting the contest. He started inside opposed to Andrew Brayshaw and drifted back to be loose on the defensive 50 line. At the two and a half minute mark, he produced a fantastic chase down tackles on Quintin Montanaro on the wing (1:50:27 on the livestream), indicating Richards’ closing speed. A minute later Richards was benched.

He had a long stint on the interchange, spending about five minutes resting before returning in the eighth minute. He burst onto the scene, winning the football and took advantage of a free kick with a quick handball and it lead to a kick inside 50. He returned to the inside against Brayshaw at the tenth minute and and stood his ground well in a marking contest against Brayshaw with his opponent slipping over. Richards took possession cleanly, handballed it off, received it back was tackled but managed to produce an effective handball nonetheless.

He returned to the centre square opposing Brayshaw, but was there for another minute before he was called to the bench once again, this time spending seven minutes on the pine which was a little surprising. Of the first 20 minutes in the last quarter, Richards spent about 12 minutes on the bench which probably points to endurance and the fact he has had little match practice this season due to injury.

Richards returned at the 20-minute mark and went forward for a few minutes but Sandringham was mostly controlling the play at that stage. A couple of minutes later he moved into the midfield to oppose Nagle again, and then Brayshaw at a half-forward throw-in, but without registering another disposal. The siren sounded and Richards had produced a few highlights, he had eventually tired in the final term and unfortunately his team had been eliminated as Sandringham celebrated a terrific win.

Quarter 4 stats: 4 Disposals (0 Kicks, 4 Handballs), 2 Tackles
Total stats: 16 Disposals (9 Kicks, 7 Handballs), 2 Marks, 2 Tackles, 2 Clearances, 3 Inside 50s, 1 Rebound, 1 Goal

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 9

ROUND Nine of the TAC Cup continued over the weekend and we had scouts watching five of the games. Read their scouting notes below:


Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Geordie Nagle – Arguably the Dragons’ best in the hard fought loss. Nagle played a good role in the back pocket and used the ball well. Is trusted with the kick outs and has been one of the Dragons’ best when they’ve been understrength with players at school football.

#22 Quintin Montanaro – Bounced back after a few disappointing games in a row carrying a toe injury. Clean ball user on either foot and can run hard all day. Handballing in close was better than previous weeks.

Eastern Ranges:

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Took a while to get into the game mixing between forward and playing through the midfield. Finished strongly and was one of the Ranges best booting a vital goal early into the last quarter.

#18 Sam Hayes – Was a class above in the ruck. Won multiple hit outs and looked dangerous throughout the day. Had stints up forward and booted what turned out to be the match-winning goal with not long remaining in the contest.


Geelong Falcons vs. Gippsland Power (Peter Williams)

Geelong Falcons:

#7 Harry Benson – I was most impressed with his performance. Each time I’ve seen him live he seems to get a little bit more damaging. He’s worked on his inside game further as well as his defensive pressure which will undoubtedly show in his tackle statistics and key performance indicators at club level. Benson got his hands dirty on the weekend and played more inside shovelling out handballs, while still providing the run on the outside. The next key for him is working on his kicking under pressure because when having time and space, he is a damaging kick, but under pressure he tends to rush his disposal more than he needs to. One of, if not the best in my eyes for the Falcons.

#12 Bayley Cockerill – Seemed to get better as the game wore on. Played mostly behind the ball, he showed courage going back with the flight, and provided a running option at half-back. Was not afraid to keep the ball moving and kick long to contests. After a quieter start, he provided a real highlight later in the game with a snap from the pocket under pressure. His work rate and ability to just keep pushing throughout four quarters was good.

#17 Cooper Stephens – Played on Irving Mosquito at half-back and had his work cut out for him defensively. But despite Mosquito providing a few highlights, Stephens provided good run and drive out of the back half. He was often used as the designated kick out of defence, or the link-up handball between the back 50 and the midfield. Often combined with Harry Benson or Bayley Cockerill to get the ball moving.

#22 Sam Walsh – A player who just does not panic. Walsh showed plenty of composure in another impressive performance returning to the the Falcons’ line-up from injury. At times he does have that ability to make time stop and assess his options, almost doing a 360 degree spin to work out what to do next. He was often the player that would mark in the middle of the ground and switch play to either wing. Used in a chain of handballs or to penetrate inside forward 50, he got a tick from me for his game. Walsh is still a bottom-ager so I look forward to seeing him over the next 18 months.

#41 Tom McCartin – Aside from his strong marking, the one thing that stood out for me was his ground level work. His clean hands and ability to pick up a ball off the deck, particularly at full speed like he was in one instance in the first quarter was impressive. Despite playing key forward and not kicking a goal, I thought McCartin was one of the Falcons’ best using his work rate and ability to provide a contest to help his side. I think his work at ground level and ability to pick the ball off the deck with clean hands adds a point of difference to other key forwards in the draft.

#46 Adam Garner – Simply too big and too strong for his opponents. Played on a few different Power players, but the result was the same, his contested marking is a treat, sticking up the big gloves and if he didn’t mark it, he always brought it to ground. A straight line forward, for me the next step is his ground level work and decision making as at times he seemed to be a tad slow with disposing of the ball in play. With six goals and a plethora of big marks, Garner could be pleased with his performance in almost hauling the Falcons over the line.

Gippsland Power:

#5 Xavier Duursma – The Power midfielder certainly caught the attention of opposition players with his booming kick and fierce tackling. Moved well across the ground and was one of Gippsland’s better players through the middle. Had a couple of shots on goal, kicking one and narrowly missing another. Has a forward presence with good marking ability and reading of the play. There was an instance in the first term where it looked like he might have panicked a little under pressure and rushed his disposal, but I did not see it again so it could have been a once-off. A solid overall game from Duursma.

#6 Aiden Quigley – The AFL Academy member has a presence around the ground with his tackling and repeat efforts. He showed good decision making throughout the four quarters, but his execution let him down at times. His tackling technique is one that many players could learn as he pins the arm away and forces the umpire to award him a free kick. Seemed to drift out of the game late, but he was far from alone as Geelong took control in the last quarter. Overall he showed good signs defensively, just needs to work on his kicking.

#7 Will Stephenson – This kid just lives for the big moments. Seemed to be quiet in the first half, but in the second half when Geelong was hitting back, he won a couple of cruical one-on-one contests, including one of the last centre clearances. Matched on Cassidy Parish who is arguably the best or one of the best TAC Cup clearance players in the game, Stephenson read the flight of the tap perfectly and kicked inside 50 to hit-up a target with the Falcons pushing hard. They were able to chew vital seconds off the clock and his influence late was a key reason why they held on. Stephenson has plenty of courage and is not afraid to match it with bigger players and go back with the flight.

#9 Irving Mosquito – Everyone has told me how exciting this kid is and after an indifferent start seeing him live at QEO earlier in the season, I was sold by his highlights against the Falcons. A huge vertical leap dangerous around goals, Mosquito kicked a fantastic goal off a step from a tight angle and almost had two with a dribble shot from the boundary just missing. Just oozes X-factor and has great decision making. My knock on him earlier in the season was his ability to rush his disposal at times not realising how much time and space he has, but he did not have that problem on the weekend. Was injured in the last quarter after a late knock following a kick, so hopefully his injury is not too serious.

#19 Callum Porter – A perfect game in terms of offensive and defensive impact from the tough, inside midfielder. Had four tackles within the first minute of play and would drift back to half-back and take the intercept mark, then somehow drift forward and kick four goals. He would have racked up 20 plus disposals, 10 plus tackles, eight to 10 marks and of course four goals, to really put a stap on the game. His ability to mark in a contest against bigger bodies was really telling and he just never took a backwards step. Stood up when Gippsland needed a hero and he provided the forward presence when the Power’s forwards were being well held. Clearly best on ground and a game he is unlikely to forget anytime soon.

#24 Sean Masterson – A quiet game, but stood up at crucial times similar to Stephenson. Nearly every involvement he had was important, whether it was a towering mark at centre half forward or a spoil and intercept at centre half back, Masterson really showed his versatility on the weekend. Played up both ends and while he might not have the strength of his opponents, he has a good leap and is a solid field kicker. He also took a huge mark late in the game and iced the clock, showing his maturity.


Oakleigh Chargers vs. Western Jets (Duncan Robertson)

Oakleigh Chargers:

#8 Toby Wooller – Far too strong and mobile for his Jets opponent. Played a solid game booting two goals in a game where he mostly played inside 50.

#24 Sam Harte – The bottom ager is a classy small midfielder who used his speed on multiple occasions to burst away from the stoppages.

#35 Jack Higgins – Was wasteful in front of goal and could’ve well kicked seven if he had’ve kicked straight. His quality is obvious and the Jets had no answer to his crafty ability through the midfield and up forward as a small forward. Finished with four goals.

Western Jets:

#19 Cameron Rayner – One of the standouts for the Jets, in a solid game by his high standards. Powerful, classy and quick. His ‘speccy’ was play of the day and he booted three goals. The Jets suffered wherever he was moved from, winning the contested ball when he played in the midfield and looking dangerous inside 50 with his contested marking when he went forward. Was unable to settle into one particular role as was switching between forward and midfield constantly throughout the day.

#35 Blake Graham – Worked hard as a lead up target inside 50, making multiple leads but didn’t get much supply.

#37 Hamish Murphy -Tried hard all day in defence with multiple inside 50s for Oakleigh. His intercept work was good and he possesses a very strong left foot which helps him rebound the ball effectively.

#38 Buku Khamis – Played an excellent game as a midsized forward. Was classy and elusive when he had ball in hand. Is a strong body at the contests and has good hands to dispose of the ball.


Calder Cannons vs. Northern Knights (Billy Friend)

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – An inspiring best on ground performance from the Calder captain today, as he willed his team to their first home victory this season. Bernacki collected 39 touches in the midfield whilst applying constant pressure around the ball. The tough inside midfielder found pockets of space around the ground but his most influential work was done at the clearances.

#2 Dylan Landt – Accumulated in the midfield with expertise and kicked the game sealing goal with a left foot snap. He displayed his endurance and work rate throughout the contest. His football smarts are very good and he was often able to get to the right place at the right time.

#4 Mohammed Moustafa – Didn’t collect a lot of the ball, but his strength in the contest really stood out. Moustafa shook off tackles and was clean when the ball was in dispute.

#8 Lachlan Sholl – Played an outside role to perfection as he pushed back to take marks in the hole and found space to accumulate possessions all around the ground. Was efficient by foot.

#11 Jake Firebrace – Made up for a number of first half errors and fumbles with a solid second half performance. His sidestep and ferocious pressure was important for Calder heading inside forward fifty

#12 Noah Balta – Appeared to be a level above his opponents for most of the day. His athletic leap was a standout as he took three spectacular overhead marks both in defence and in the forward line. He kicked two crucial goals in the last quarter to ice the game after playing the first half at centre half back and was second best to Bernacki on the day.

#26 Mason Fletcher – Was commanding in defence and held the Northern key forwards at bay. Took some strong intercept marks and made critical spoils. Disposed of the ball well coming out of defensive 50.

#29 Jake Riccardi – Played well as the focal point of the Cannons’ attack for most of the day and finished with three goals. His hands were strong as he took contested marks, but also lead hard to present an option for teammates.

#33 Jack Evans – Played an almost identical role to Mason Fletcher. Evans was commanding in defence and held the Northern key forwards at bay. Took some strong intercept marks and made critical spoils. Disposed of the ball well coming out of defensive 50.

#39 Jesse Firebrace – Excited in the first quarter as Calder’s live wire in the forward half, kicking two early goals. His small frame didn’t stop him from imposing himself around contests and his speed & agility was a real weapon for the Cannons.

Northern Knights:

#5 Marcus Lentini – Was the delivery man in the back half and his run & dash was important. He rebounded the ball well and took a couple of intercept marks.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – A fairly quiet performance by his lofty standards, but he did show glimpses where he went forward and took two strong contested marks and kicked a goal. His impact in the midfield was subdued.

#10 Brody Bell – Played well as a loose player behind the stoppage and was clean with his disposal. Didn’t have a huge impact but had his moments.

#11 Ethan Penrith – His speed and agility was lethal deep forward and he kicked an outstanding goal beating three opponents in the third quarter. He tried hard all day and was one of Northern’s best with his tackling pressure and pinpoint field kicking.

#15 Anthony Fable – Probably kicked the goal of the day as he showed off his lightning speed and long kick. His tackling pressure was a level above most of his teammates and his service into the forward line was lethal.

#32 Patrick Howe – Kicked two goals in the first quarter and continued to be dangerous as a third tall as the game went on.

#34 Matthew Harman – Fought hard in the ruck without much help and won most of the hitouts today. His hitout to advantage rate was not high as the Cannons midfield got on top especially in the second half.


Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Murray Bushrangers (Billy Friend)

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#1 Dale Cox – Showed agility across half back and pressurised the Murray forwards constantly. He needs to improve his kicking but showed impressive signs.

#4 Aiden Domic – His hard running was a highlight and he kicked a superb midfield goal where he impacted the contest on the wing and ended up with the ball in the forward line seconds later. Was one of the leading ball winners on the ground.

#6 Keegan Gray – Found plenty of space on the wing and probably gained the most metres of all his teammates. Showed impressive endurance to cover the ground and collect possessions at ease.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Displayed overhead marking prowess. He was swung forward and took strong marks, kicking two goals.

#16 Joe Dodd – Kicked a goal and did a lot of good work up the ground.

#19 Jackson Taurau – Was outmuscled by Johnston on several occasions but fought back with impressive spoils in the second half. At 188cm was undersized against the Murray key forwards.

#22 Naish McRoberts – Stood out in the Rebels midfield as his clean hands resulted in many clearances. He kicked a booming goal from fifty metres out and was a shining light.

#24 Matty Lloyd – His disposals were classy and impactful as Lloyd once again caught the eye. He was best on ground in the first half but his impact was limited as the Rebels were overwhelmed in the second half. Kicked a nice goal too.

#40 Tylar Watts – Busted his guts all day and presented as a strong option up forward. He kicked three goals and won most of his one-on-one duals with the Bushranger defenders. When asked to pinch hit in the ruck he made some nice contributions shovelling the ball out by hand to outside runners.

Murray Bushrangers: 

#1 Daniel Johnston – Was a man mountain at full forward and got the better of Taurau and co. He kicked three goals in the second quarter and was too big and too strong. Johnston also provided an imposing physical presence when he pinch hit in the ruck through laying tackles and even clearing the ball on a couple of occasions.

#3 Benjamin Kelly – Monstered his direct opponent in the ruck and easily won the share of the hitouts. He showed off quick hands to dish the ball off to his midfielders but mainly impressed with his physicality.

#7 Zane Barzen – Showed off his impressive vertical leap by taking mark of the day in the first half. Brazen kicked three goals in a minute, (yes, you read that correctly) and shined today as one of Murray’s most dangerous forwards.

#8 Jacob Koschitzke – Read the fight of the ball excellently in defence, saving the day on a few occasions by repelling the Rebels’ entries forward.

#18 Hudson Garoni – Did not find much of the ball but did show potential taking two strong overhead marks.

#19 Will Donaghey – Showed off his flexibility today rotating between defence and midfield, and he accumulated the ball with ease.

#21 Doulton Langlands – Showed poise coming off half back and was one of Murray’s best. He took a number of intercept marks in the defensive 50 and was a partner in crime with Samuel Beasley.

#27 Harrison Jones – Started off slow in the first half but was monumental in the third and fourth quarters to orchestrate the second half smashing. Jones showed a combination of toughness and class around stoppages, and appeared to be a real leader for Murray. Kicked a great goal from 40m out too.

#42 Samuel Beasley – Was terrific rebounding the ball out of defence. Demanded the ball and didn’t let anyone down as he showed his proficiency by foot. Beasley also showed a gritty determination with one percenters and spoils in the backline.