Tag: Xavier Fry

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup – Wildcard Round

WILDCARD Round is done and won, and four sides are out of the premiership race. While Geelong Falcons, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets advance to the finals, Calder Cannons, Northern Knights, Eastern Ranges and Bendigo Pioneers seasons are over.

 

Calder Cannons 8.7 (55) defeated by Geelong Falcons 8.8 (56)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

In one of the games of the year, and for a second week in a row, the Geelong Falcons snare a come from behind victory against the Calder Cannons to eliminate them from the finals race. Struggling to capitalise with their scoring shots in the third, the Falcons turned the tables in the final term, kicking three goals to one and winning from an 11-point deficit at the break. The Cannons’ big third quarter effort put them ahead and gave them the largest lead of the game. Neither team was ever out of the race, but in the end, it was a behind and the Falcons’ defensive pressure that snatched away the victory.

Cooper Stephens was instrumental with three rebounds, four inside 50s, five clearances, a game-high 27 disposals and a final quarter goal. Co-captain Sam Walsh finished similarly with four rebounds, three inside 50s, five clearances and 26 disposals racking up an impressive 16 contested possessions. Sam Conway dominated in the ruck with 27 hit outs, beating the Cannons’ total hit outs of 25 on his own. Jay Dahlhaus (16 disposals, five marks, five inside 50s and two goals), Oscar Brownless (18 disposals, four clearances and two goals) and Ned McHenry (20 disposals and two goals) impressed in front of goals, with Doyle Madigan (23 disposals, 15 contested, four clearances and two inside 50) also proving very dominating.

Will Jury had a strong performance with a game high 16 contested possessions (19 disposals), three marks (one contested), five clearances and six inside 50s. Lachlan Sholl (23 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and one clearance), Brodie Newman (13 disposals, six marks and four rebounds) and Daniel Hanna (16 disposals and seven marks) all presented strong overhead. Curtis Taylor (11 disposals and five marks) and Jake Riccardi (12 disposals, three marks, six hitouts, three clearances and four inside 50s) kicked two goals each, while Jacob Martin (17 disposals, four clearances and six inside 50s) and Rhylee West (12 disposals, six clearances, five inside 50s and one goal) were among the best for the Cannons. 

 

Northern Knights (3.4.22) defeated by Greater Western Victoria Rebels (14.7.91)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

Finals are now well and truly over for the Northern Knights after being handed a smashing by the GWV Rebels at MARS Stadium. Though only a point between them come the second quarter, the GWV lifted to produce a 37-point second quarter, with seven shots on goal to two. The third proved just as disappointing for the Knights with just the one point scored for the quarter, summing up a rather dismal performance with 21 scoring shots to seven.

Riely Ranieri’s work in the Rebels’ defensive half was extremely pivotal in their win, racking up 19 disposals (11 contested), four clearances, and seven rebounds. Matt Schnerring boasted a team-high 22 disposals, moving the ball well with three inside 50s and two rebounds, and contributed to their big second quarter with a late goal. Matty Lloyd capped off a solid game with 20 disposals and kicked two big goals, with Scott Carlin close behind on 19 disposals, five clearances and two goals of his own. Jed Hill and Harrison Butler also put two each on the board, while Patrick Glanford (11 disposals, 27 hit outs, four clearances and three inside 50s) performed well in the ruck alongside Darcy McEldrew (18 hitouts).

Despite their poor showing, the Northern Knights still had plenty of strong performers on the day. Sam Philp had a game-high 23 disposals and dominated out of the stoppages with 9 clearances. Philp moved the ball well to collect six inside 50s for the match. Similarly, Tom McKenzie delivered well with his seven inside 50s, showcased his strong hands (six marks) and got a bit of footy with 20 disposals. Adam Carafa (four clearances, two inside 50s, three rebounds), Josh D’Intinosante (three clearances, three inside 50s, two rebounds), Jackson Davies (four clearances, four inside 50s and three inside 50s) and Braedyn Gillard (10 contested possessions, three clearances and three inside 50s) also had considerable impacts.

 

Western Jets 12.12 (84) defeated Eastern Ranges 7.4 (46)

By: Michael Alvaro

Western Jets survived an early Eastern Ranges onslaught to claim a 38-point win and earn their spot in the TAC Cup final eight. The sixth-place Jets had every reason to be nervous coming into the game against second-last Eastern given both sides outside of the top eight beat their more fancied counterparts in the previous day’s play, and that fear would have been heightened as the Ranges stormed out to a first half lead. Three first half majors to bottom ager Ben Hickleton put Eastern in good stead, as they put on five straight goals to open the game and kept Western goalless in the second term to hold a 16-point buffer at the main break.

Their run came to a grinding halt once the ball went down to start the third term, as key Western ball-winners Xavier O’Halloran and Morrish Medal runner-up Connor Thar came into the game, with Stefan Radovanovic solid down back and Emerson Jeka providing a target forward of centre. Western jetted into the lead with four goals to none in the third term, and kept their form in the last as they piled on another five to Eastern’s one.

For the winners, O’Halloran (17 disposals, four tackles) stepped up when it counted, while Thar (32 disposals, six tackles, four marks nd one goal) was arguably their best. The Western forward line was dangerous as ever too, with Daniel Pantalleresco and Jeka claiming three majors each, while 23rd man Cassius White was also dangerous, booting two.

In one of Eastern’s better displays, Kye Quirk continued to rack up the possessions with 24 touches, 10 handball receives and six marks, while Joel Burleigh and Xavier Fry were their main ball-winners with 32 touches each. Bottom ager Hickleton also impressed with his three goals, finding himself in good areas inside 50.

The Jets now face an in-form Oakleigh side full of stars in the first week of finals, while Eastern’s season ends on the back of a fighting effort.

 

Murray Bushrangers 9.18 (72) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 6.9 (45)

By: Michael Alvaro

Murray Bushrangers rounded out the TAC Cup wildcard round with a comfortable, yet wasteful 27-point win over Bendigo Pioneers. Having been booted out of the top four in the last two rounds, the Bushies looked to have learned a lesson from the previous wildcard games as the favourites broke out to a 22-point lead to open the game, keeping the Pio’s goalless.

To Bendigo’s credit, they didn’t give in and hit back with three goals of their own in the second term to reduce the margin to 12 points at the main break. Neither side could really snatch a good run of momentum, as the buffer stayed at a steady three-four goals going into the final break – with Bendigo’s accuracy (6.4) keeping them within reach in quarters two and three as Murray complied a wasteful 5.8 in comparison.

But the class of Murray proved too much as they held on with a further 1.5 in the fourth quarter to shut out the trying contest and their nagging opposition. Ely Smith continued his good form in the midfield to be named Murray’s best with 29 disposals and six tackles, while Mathew Walker (21 disposals, nine tackles, six marks and three goals) was not far behind. Zane Barzen and Lachlan Ash were the Bushranger’s other multiple goal kickers with two each, with the latter also gathering 20 disposals in a more advanced role.

For Bendigo, Jacob Atley was the clear standout up forward as he collected 21 disposals and marked well while claiming half of his side’s six goals. Liam Marciano was also industrious with his 27 disposals, six tackles and five marks and one goal, while Bailey Henderson (22 disposals and six marks) was also solid. Jye Caldwell also showed some brilliant glimpses before unfortunately injuring his hamstring.

Murray will go on to face the Sandringham side which snatched their top-four spot in what looks like being a tantalising contest.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 16

IN the final round of the TAC Cup season it was incredibly hard to narrow down the best 22 to create the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 16. In the end, with impressive wins to Dandenong Stingrays, Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets each team had three players named in the side, while losers Eastern Ranges and Murray Bushrangers had two representatives with the other winners. Equally, Northern Knights had just the one representative indicating the team effort to get the job done against Murray, along with the remaining losers of Round 16.

Dandenong’s big win over Sandringham Dragons resulted in defender Matthew Gahan, forward Sam Sturt, and inside midfielder, Matthew Cottrell earn their places in the Team of the Week. Fellow top four side, Oakleigh had a huge win over Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, and also had three players make the best 22 for the week with Bailey Wraith‘s ruck performance, James Rowbottom‘s midfield work and Atu Bosenavulagi‘s forward craft among the deserving nominees. Oakleigh had plenty of others who could have made the side as well, including Charlie Whitehead and Noah Anderson.

Western Jets also had three players in the Team of the Week, with consistent midfielder, Connor Thar, and speedster Daly Andrews making the team, as did key forward Aaron Clarke. Captain Xavier O’Halloran came close to making the side yet again but just missed out. Geelong Falcons duo Sam Walsh and Brayden Ham have been regulars in the Team of the Week this year and Round 16 was no different, as Ham was named on the half-back flank having played at both ends. Their opponents, Calder Cannons had just the one nominee in Rhylee West who stood tall up forward, but Daniel Mott was considered unlucky and was the 23rd player in the team.

Gippsland Power and Eastern Ranges both had two players make the Team of the Week from their clash, as key forward, Noah Gown and captain, Xavier Duursma made the team once again backing up their impressive recent form. For Eastern, Xavier Fry and Kye Quirk slotted into the best 22. Murray Bushrangers also had two talls make the side despite the loss, with Nick Murray and Jordon Butts slotting into the key defensive posts. While Butts did not play the role on the weekend, he has the versatility to play anywhere and deserved to make it into the 22 after a strong performance.

Of the remaining players in the 22, those who made the Team of the Week as individual nominees were the hardworking Noah Wheeler (Bendigo Pioneers), GWV Rebels forward Jed Hill, Northern Knights midfielder Justin McInerney and Sandringham Dragons star Liam Stocker. Stocker’s teammate, James Rendell was unlucky not to make the team, as was McInerney’s bottom-age teammate, Adam Carafa who could both be hypothetical emergencies in the Team of the Week.

 

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 16

THE final round of the TAC Cup threw up some surprising results, and some standout individual performances. Here is how Round 16 went down.

 

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

Dandenong Stingrays capped off a near-perfect home and away season, defeating top four side, Sandringham Dragons by 49 points at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on the weekend. The Stingrays finished the season with a 15-1 record and that loss was a six-point defeat at the hands of Oakleigh Chargers. The Stingrays burst out of the blocks booting six goals to one in the opening half, and by the final break had 10 goals on the board to the Dragons’ two. The final term was a goal fest with eight of the 20 goals kicked, as both teams shared in the feast booting four goals apiece. 

Sam Fletcher won plenty of the ball once again with 30 disposals, three marks, two clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds, joined on the inside by captain Campbell Hustwaite (28 disposals, four clearances and a goal) who had a combined 34 contested possessions between them. Matthew Cottrell was voted the Stingrays best for his 28 disposals, four clearances, eight inside 50s, two rebounds and a goal, while Sam Sturt continued to impress at TAC Cup level, booting 3.2 from 18 disposals and five marks. Toby Bedford (18 disposals, three clearances and four inside 50s) and Matthew Gahan (16 disposals, four marks and five rebounds) were others who impressed for the winners.

For the Dragons, Liam Stocker had another day out, amassing 32 disposals, one mark, nine clearances, eight inside 50s and three rebounds, winning two thirds of his possessions at the coal face. Alastair Richards was equally effective on the outside, collecting 25 disposals, three marks, two clearances and four rebounds to give the Dragons some important run. James Rendell (14 disposals, two contested marks, 29 hitouts and a goal) and Corey Watts (20 disposals and eight marks) were others who stood tall for the losing side.

 

Geelong Falcons 11.12 (84) defeated Calder Cannons 10.9 (69)

Geelong Falcons gained a vital mental advantage over the Calder Cannons, claiming bragging rights  ahead of the pair’s duel in the Wild Card Round next weekend. The Falcons had to fight from eight points down at quarter time to put pressure on their opponents and had 11 scoring shots to two in the second quarter, heading in with a 16-point advantage. They built on that lead in the third term, before the Cannons finished stronger, but it was just too little, too late in the game, as the Falcons celebrated by 15 points.

Co-captain Sam Walsh was sensational with 37 disposals, 10 marks (one contested), five clearances, eight inside 50s, six rebounds and three behinds, while fellow co-captain Oscar Brownless got the Falcons moving early, finishing the game with 19 disposals, six marks, four inside 50s and a powerful long-range goal. Brayden Ham‘s consistent season continued with 20 disposals, nine marks and eight inside 50s, albeit with an inaccurate 1.4. Ned McHenry (27 disposals, seven marks, three clearances, seven inside 50s and a goal), Cooper Stephens (21 disposals, seven marks, six clearances and three inside 50s) and Connor Idun (16 disposals, seven marks and three inside 50s and a goal) were others who stood out for the winners.

Calder had a number of strong contributors with Daniel Mott having a team-high 29 disposals, three marks, nine clearances, six inside 50s and three rebounds. Rhylee West was strong up forward, booting three goals while resting up there to go with his 20 touches, four marks (two contested), six clearances and four inside 50s. Lachlan Sholl (20 disposals, 11 marks and five rebounds) and Mitch Podhajski (21 disposals, eight marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and two goals) were others who stood out for the Cannons.

 

GWV Rebels 5.3 (33) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 18.15 (123)

In a match that started positively for the Rebels, it ended in disaster as Oakleigh Chargers stormed home with a 90-point win at MARS Stadium. The Rebels, although down at the first break, had been matching the Chargers around the ground, and faced a 13-point deficit at the first break. A five goals to two second term put the Rebels to the sword, but it was the nine goals to one second half that saw Oakleigh waltz away with the huge win, peppering the goals in the second half, having a whopping 20 scoring shots to two, in a game which the deficit could have been even greater.

Jack Ross had the most disposals, with 26 touches, five marks, seven clearances, four inside 50s and a goal, ably assisted on the inside by James Rowbottom (24 disposals and eight clearances) and Riley Collier-Dawkins (16 disposals and seven clearances). Trent Bianco had another impressive game highlighted by a strong second half, picking up 15 disposals and having 24 overall, to go with his five marks and six rebounds, while Zac Hart buzzed around to collect 23 disposals, six marks, six inside 50s and three rebounds. Atu Bosenavulagi and Jake Gasper caused headaches up forward, while Noah Anderson and Jay Robertson also booted three goals.

For the Rebels, Matty Lloyd was the sole player with more than 20 disposals, having 24 touches, five marks and eight rebounds, while forward, Jed Hill was the clear standout player, having 12 disposals, three marks (one contested), two clearances and three goals – all in the first half. Jayden Wright played well in defence with five rebounds from 19 disposals and three marks, while Charlie Wilson had four clearances and four inside 50s from 14 disposals.

 

Gippsland Power 11.11 (77) defeated Eastern Ranges 10.8 (68)

Gippsland Power finished their season off with a hard-fought nine-point win over Eastern Ranges. The Power had to work for it against the bottom two side, booting the first four goals of the game, but being reeled in over the next two quarters to trail at the final break by three points. Luckily for Gippsland, they booted four goals to two in the final term and ensured their regular season ended on a high.

Captain Xavier Duursma was consistent once again with 21 touches, two marks, five clearances, three inside 50s and two goals, while bottom-age forward, Sam Flanders also had 21 disposals, two marks, eight inside 50s and booted an inaccurate 1.4. Noah Gown continued his strong form up forward with another four goals from 20 disposals and eight marks (two contested), while Leo Connolly (20 disposals, three marks, five inside 50s and a goal) and Riley Baldi (18 disposals, three marks, four clearances and three inside 50s) were other prominent ball winners.

For Eastern, Kye Quirk had a massive game-high 34 disposals, five marks, two clearances, eight inside 50s and two rebounds, while Xavier Fry was prominent in defence with seven rebounds from 24 disposals and five marks. Joel Burleigh had 23 disposals, four marks, four clearances, six inside 50s, four rebounds and two goals, while Lachlan Stapleton was busy at the stoppages, recording eight clearances and 21 disposals. Adrian Kalcovski booted three goals from 22 disposals and seven marks, while Mitch Mellis had 19 touches and three marks.

 

Murray Bushrangers 8.7 (55) defeated by Northern Knights 9.10 (64)

Northern Knights spoiled the party for Murray Bushrangers, who were looking to cement a top four spot with a win. The Knights could not move out of eighth spot, and the home side got on top early, booting six goals to three in the first half. Northern clawed back into the contest in the third quarter, to cut the deficit to nine points at the final change, but came over the top of the Bushrangers, booting four goals to one in the nine-point victory.

Justin McInerney was busy around the ground for the Knights, picking up 24 disposals, 12 marks (one contested), two inside 50s, three rebounds and a goal. Adam Carafa also found 24 touches and had five marks, four clearances, three rebounds and a goal. Cameron Wild was busy with 22 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and a goal, while Josh D’Intinosante had 18 touches, five marks, seven inside 50s and a goal. Teammate Oscar White also covered the ground well with six inside 50s and five rebounds from 17 disposals and five marks (one contested).

Jimmy Boyer was the top ball winner for the Bushrangers, racking up 25 touches, seven marks, seven clearances and three inside 50s, while Edward Adams had 22 disposals, seven marks (one contested) and four rebounds. Jordon Butts was productive through the midfield, sending the ball inside 50 on six occasions from 21 disposals and seven marks, while Nick Murray had five rebounds from 21 disposals and seven marks. Bottom-ager Lachlan Ash (17 disposals, five marks and five rebounds) and Ely Smith (18 disposals, two marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and a goal) were others who impressed for the losing side.

 

Bendigo Pioneers 8.9 (57) defeated by Western Jets 15.8 (98)

A six goals to two first term effectively ended the contest before it began, as the finals-bound Western Jets got the job done against the Bendigo Pioneers. After quarter time it was much closer as the Pioneers booted six goals to the Jets’ nine, but could not quite capitalise and the Jets enjoyed the 41-point lead heading into the Wild Card Round next weekend.

Connor Thar had a super game with 32 disposals, five marks, three contested, five inside 50s, two rebounds and two goals to be named the AFL Draft Central Player of the Week for Round 16, while Daly Andrews (26 disposals, nine marks, six inside 50s, four rebounds and one goal) was busy around the ground. Captain Xavier O’Halloran was deadly going inside 50, having 10 entries along with 25 touches, six marks, four clearances and a goal. Jack Watkins was also instrumental with 25 disposals, four marks, five clearances, eight inside 50s and a goal. Aaron Clarke was the key forward with four majors while Steven Kyriazis booted three.

For the Pioneers, Noah Wheeler was again the top performer for the home side, picking up 19 disposals, four marks, five inside 50s, six rebounds and a goal, while Bailey Henderson had six rebounds from 22 disposals and seven marks. Talented bottom-ager Brodie Kemp had 21 disposals, five marks, seven clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds, while Jye Caldwell had 19 disposals, four marks and four clearances in his first TAC Cup game since early in the year.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 16

IN the final round of the TAC Cup season, we glanced over three games live and took notes on some of the combine invitees, bottom-agers who represented Victoria at the National Under 18 Championships, or those who played in the Under 17 Futures game.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Dandenong Stingrays:

By: James Goller

Sandringham:

#2 Alistair Richards

Worked hard all day on the outside, taking the game on and breaking the lines. Built on his performance from the week before and looked like he has hit form at the right time of the year. Could be one to watch in the finals series, giving run to Sandringham’s quality inside brigade.

#17 Liam Stocker

Stocker tried all day in the midfield with another impressive performance. He was in and under the packs all day and was explosive around the stoppages. He is really hard to tackle and is one of those players that puts their body on the line for the team. He kicked the ball well throughout the game and showcased his accuracy in one passage of play on the wing, hitting Ben King on the chest.

#28 James Rendell

Rendell has played all over the ground this season showing his versatility up forward and down back. He also showed that he could handle playing ruck as well and was faced with a big task against Bailey Williams and Bailey Schmidt. He had some really good passages of play kicking a solid goal and took a great contested mark. He also showed some defensive attributes to his game laying a goal saving smother to cap off his solid performance.

#29 Ben King

Was kept fairly quiet by Matt Cumming only managing the one goal for the match. However it was really hard to be a forward for Sandringham with the ball stuck up the other end for the majority of the game. He showed great agility and was better in the second half, having more impact around the ground and taking a couple of good strong marks.

 

Dandenong:

#12 Matthew Gahan

Played down back and is a real honest player. He is really solid one-on-one and took a couple of strong marks throughout the game. He is a tough player and rebounded strongly using his run and carry to move the ball forward. He had a few turnovers but showed that he is definitely one to watch in the finals.

#15 Toby Bedford

Bedford was another strong contributor for the Stingrays and showcased his speed across the ground breaking away from stoppages and bursting forward. He imposed himself on the contest and put a solid amount of pressure on his opponents.

#28 Bailey Schmidt

Split the ruck load 60-40 between Bailey Williams. What was really good about his game was his attack in the contest. He laid a couple of strong tackles and as soon as the ball hit the ground he wanted to apply pressure and win the footy back for his side showing great desperation.

#29 Bailey Williams

Played really well and found himself at centre-half forward and in the ruck. He showed great agility when the ball hit the ground and was really strong in the contest. Williams took a couple of really strong marks and proved that he is hard to beat in a one-on-one up forward. He kicked two goals for the day and when he was in the ruck he was dominant.

#59 Sam Sturt

Sturt really impressed up forward, kicking three good goals. But it was his agility and explosive speed that was really eye catching helping to create play across the ground. He had really good hands in the contest and was able to find space when there was none. He also laid a couple of strong tackles. Looking forward to his finals series.

 

Geelong vs. Calder

By: Peter Williams

Geelong:

#8 Ned McHenry

Had a typical performance on the day, winning a truckload of the ball and laying tackle after tackle. He used his agility to sidestep opponents and his smarts to avoid tackles, while also laying his own defensive pressure on bigger bodies. He had a shot on goal in the second term from the pocket that just missed, then McHenry set up Ben Morton with an easy goal via a handball. He set up another goal with an elite penetrating kick to Baxter Mensch on the 50m line. McHenry had a shot on goal in the third term but was pulled down as he kicked it and went out on the full. A great run-down tackle in defence and then subsequent rebound, lead to an end-to-end goal.

#20 Brayden Ham

Played up both ends, and managed to impress in both roles. He pushed up the ground when coming off half-back and gave some great kicks inside 50, including to the leading Connor Idun early on. He has that real exhilarating first few steps that can burn off an opponent, and can do it all day long credit to his stamina. He had a couple of shots on the run that were a little rushed, but his set shots were consistent, nailing one goal and being that high impact player up forward. One of the Falcons’ best once again. Worked hard all game and showed some good game smarts and positioning in the marking contest.

#22 Sam Walsh

Just another ‘wow’ performance from the potential number one pick. He covered the ground everywhere, had the ball on a string and was the clear best on ground in my opinion. Some of his highlights include a perfect kick under pressure to run laterally away from an opponent and kick across his body to the leading Connor Idun; changing his kicking motion when going inside 50 to pull the kick and put it best to his teammates’ advantage; and providing a low dart inside 50 to a sliding teammate. Buzzed around all day, copped several knocks and kept getting back up. A 10/10 performance.

#30 Oscar Brownless

Really busy start, got involved in everything and had some really nice moments throughout the game. In the third term he lowered the eyes and put in a dart to the leading Brayden Ham to set him up with a goal. He then got on the scoreboard himself with a long bomb from the 50m line.

#36 Charlie Sprague

First game back from injury and the medium tall forward stood up with three goals. Sprague could have had as many as five had it not been for a couple of misses, but got on the board early with an important snap. His next set shot he hit the behind post, and had a quiet second term before booting two goals, one behind, from set shots in the third quarter.

#39 Connor Idun

Idun booted the one goal, but presented out on long leads, providing options for his midfielders. It was one of his better forward games, because even though he missed opportunities with set shots, he created opportunities and space to open up through his leading. Idun had a strong set of hands and in the first term was able to cleanly take a loose ball in the air and handball inboard to Cooper Stephens, and also had great vision to kick across the forward 50 to Ned McHenry in the second term, who set up Ben Morton for a goal with a handball. After a number of attempts, Idun got on the board with a major in the final term with a set shot goal.

#41 Cooper Stephens

Stephens is developing into a really nice prospect for next year, with clean footskills and super composure with ball-in hand. He is able to move smoothly in close and his vision and ability to turn on a dime, such as he did in the second term before giving off the handball to a teammate, was fantastic. He did have a chance to capitalise with a goal from outside 50, but his shot went wide to the left. One of the best Falcons on the day.

 

Calder:

#1 Daniel Mott

Played along the wing and showed some nice acceleration out of stoppages. He had a shot on goal in the final term, but it hit the post. The bottom-ager showed some nice highlights throughout. One of Calder’s best on the day, and combined well with West working hard on the outside.

#5 Curtis Taylor

A quieter game for Taylor, but he had a real purple patch in the final term, booting two last quarter goals and had a highlight-reel mark over Ned McHenry, intercepting a kick-in. Can float in and out at times, but has that natural talent that make people take notice.

#8 Lachlan Sholl

Contributed strongly across the four quarters, teaming up well with Rhylee West twice in the first quarter to hand him a goal and then unfortunately a behind, with pinpoint passes. He also delivered a nice pass in the second term to Josh Kemp running hard, but the shot on goal missed. Was composed coming out of defence.

#10 Harrison Minton-Connell

Kicked two goals on the day and had an impact as that half-forward player. Does not win a heap of the football, but made the most of his opportunities when they came around.

#20 Rhylee West

Calder’s best player for mine, was dominant up forward, booting two goals in the opening term and finishing with three majors. He has a really solid set shot technique, kicking through the ball. His second goal was very impressive, reading the stoppage well, his teammates blocked his opponent and he cleanly grabbed the ball and snapped truly. Worked hard on the inside winning plenty of it, but did his most damaging work up forward. Took a great grab in the final term to kick his third goal, going up for the mark then having to move in mid air to the left and clunk the grab.

#27 Tye Browning

Started opposed to Sam Walsh and won a couple of early touches, laying a terrific run-down tackle on Ned McHenry. He was not as busy after that big opening term, but still was involved, winning some quick handballs around the ground and kicked long when given the opportunity.

#30 Mitch Podhajski

A really consistent four-quarter effort. Did not dominate, but always buzzed around and covered the ground well. He has that huge penetrating kick that can clear zones and worry opposition defenders when kicking inside 50. He stands tall in marking contests, is composed under pressure and is smart up forward. He kicked a goal with a perfectly read ball drop from a marking contest to snap round his body. He also showed good vision and hands in traffic and is the master of that 20m handball to the outside running teammate. Podhajski kicked a second goal late in the final term.

#57 Josh Kemp

Presented throughout the game, but did not end up getting on the board for a goal. Had a few chances, most noticeably in the second term when he took a mark, and his set shot went to the right. Continually pushed up the ground and presented as an option, and can weigh his kicks well.

 

GWV Rebels vs. Oakleigh Chargers

By: Peter Williams

GWV:

#6 Charlie Wilson

Wilson was productive early, winning his fair share of contested ball and getting his hands on the pill at stoppages. He laid a great tackle on Matt Warren inside forward 50 to lock the ball in and did so again in the second term at half-back on another opponent. Did not end up kicking a goal, but was playing forward when the Rebels forwards were starved for opportunities in the second half.

#14 Jed Hill

Easily the Rebels best plyer on the day, he showed off his electrifying vertical leap, taking some great grabs and earning some attention from Oakleigh defenders. He booted the only two Rebels goals of the first term – one from a courageous mark and then set shot, and a second from a forward stoppage snap off the deck. Had a third chance not long after from a set shot after finding space, but missed that. He took a big mark early in the second term and nailed the set goal, then produced a fantastic run-down tackle at half-forward to force his opponent to kick out on the full. Played further up the ground in the second half, and did come off at one stage after copping a knock in a tackle, but went back onto the field, and even into the middle.

#24 Matty Lloyd

The highest possession winner for the Rebels again, Lloyd constantly spread to the outside looking to create some run from half-back. He would often roost long to the wing, or play on and try and get distance on his kick to break the Oakleigh zone. Had an ambitious shot in the final term from the boundary line near 50m out but could not convert the opportunity.

Oakleigh:

#1 Riley Collier-Dawkins

Did all his best work on the inside, working hard for his possessions and getting some quick fire handballs out to his running teammates. Showed strength when being tackled, getting his arms free and handballing to teammates. Finished with seven clearances, four of which were centre bounce clearances.

#4 Will Kelly

Played a multitude of roles on smalls and talls, back and forward. He took on Jed Hill and Josh Chatfield early, then moved onto the taller Tylar Watts. In the second half, he moved forward and found space to take an easy mark and convert, and then take a strong contested grab in the goal square and make it two from two. Was composed when at half-back and set them up well.

#8 Noah Anderson

Remarkable that Oakleigh can play Anderson as a pure forward – such is their midfield strength, but he just gets the job done each week, booting three goals and constantly looking damaging. He has great smarts around goal and up the field and is composed by hand or foot.

#9 James Rowbottom

One of Oakleigh’s best, Rowbottom played a typical inside game, working really hard and using his strength to outmuscle his smaller Rebels opponents. Along with Jack Ross and Riley Collier-Dawkins, the trio had their way in the middle, dominating the clearances and he was working well with Bailey Wraith, and kicking long out of stoppages.

#11 Matt Rowell

The bottom-age midfielder was one of the more impressive players across the four quarters, having a big third term and was one of the reasons Oakleigh kicked away in the premiership quarter. He had a standing shot on goal in the quarter but it hit the post. Rowell was strong standing up in a mark in the same term, was spoiled but held his balance to regain the ball and kick long. He has a perfect tackling technique, earning himself a free by locking the arm of an opponent.

#13 Atu Bosenavulagi

One of his best games for the season and was ever present up forward. He missed a couple of gettable chances, but nailed three goals and was good in the air, taking some clean grabs. He is really strong one-on-one and worked hard up the ground.

#17 Trent Bianco

Opposed to Jed Hill early at times, Bianco went more into the midfield in the second half and found the ball with ease, racking up 15 of his 24 touches in the second half. He has a nice penetrating kick and great vision, using the ball well and working in transition to get the ball up the ground.

#22 Dylan Williams

One of the key architects early in the game when it was hot. Set up a number of scoring opportunities, and booted a goal himself. Was quiet in the second half, but was best on in the first term and the reason why Oakleigh held an early lead.

#23 Isaac Quaynor

Got amongst it early in the game when the Chargers defence was under pressure at times, used his composure and smarts to take his chances and try and springboard off half-back. He peeled off his opponent and would become a spoiler in the back half, laying a number of good tackles. In the second half, in particular the last quarter, Quaynor did not see much of the action, camped in the defensive 50.

#26 Jake Gasper

A quiet first half with just a couple of shots on goal. The first fell short and Bailey Wraith capitalised, with the second also just missing. The second half, Gasper came alive as Oakleigh controlled the game, taking a number of marks inside 50, and was one of the more influential players. His usual dead-eye goal kicking was not on target on the day, pushing a couple of shots to the left, but set up a goal for Atu Bosenavulagi with an inboard kick and did finish with one major.

#32 Jack Ross

A workman-like performance from Ross who still found plenty of the ball, often looking for the quick handball to a running teammate. He was prominent at the stoppages and just played his role throughout the four quarters. In the second term he kicked a long-range goal from a set shot when he marked after drifting inside 50 all by himself.

#64 James Jordan

The winger showed good hands under pressure and a willingness to take the game on. It did not always work out perfectly, but more often than not he used the ball well, and would opt for the one-two play, or the handball receive and kick inside 50. He was the player that teammates looked for to pinpoint a pass inside 50.

 

Around the Grounds:

Gippsland Power vs. Eastern Ranges

Gippsland:

#4 Sam Flanders – Had 21 disposals, eight inside 50s, six tackles, but missed some opportunities with 1.4.

#5 Xavier Duursma – Had another consistent game with 21 disposals (71 per cent efficiency), five clearances, three inside 50s and two goals to wrap up a really solid top-age season.

#23 Noah Gown – In remarkable form and booted another four goals from 20 disposals and eight marks, just keeps on impressing in the second half of the season.

Eastern:

#7 Lachlan Stapleton – Recorded a team-high eight clearances from 21 disposals and an impressive eight tackles. The bottom-ager has been strong all year with his defensive pressure and that continued on the weekend.

#23 Xavier Fry – Knows how to break the lines and rebound out of the back half and that is what he did, finishing with seven rebounds to go with his 24 disposals and five marks.

#31 James Blanck – The Ranges big man provided the second most rebounds for his side, finishing with five, as well as 13 disposals and two marks.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Western Jets

Bendigo:

#4 Jye Caldwell – All eyes were on Caldwell as he made his return in Bendigo colours since early in the year, and he did not disappoint with 19 disposals (84 per cent efficiency), four marks and four clearances in a solid performance.

#8 Brodie Kemp – The bottom-age tall put in a promising performance with 21 disposals, five marks, seven clearances, three inside 50s and two rebounds.

Western:

#17 Daly Andrews – Continued his good form of late, named in Western’s best for his 26 disposals, nine marks, six inside 50s, four rebounds and a goal, covering the ground well.

#18 Buku Khamis – Solid as a rock in defence, having seven rebounds to go with his 18 disposals and six marks, one player who will be pivotal in determining how deep the Jets go in finals.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – After missing last week due to his school football commitments, the skipper hit back with a big performance, racking up 25 disposals, six marks, five tackles, four clearances, 10 inside 50s and a goal.

 

Murray Bushrangers vs. Northern Knights

Murray:

#2 Jordon Butts – The Rookie Me Combine invitee was one of the best on the ground, picking up 21 disposals (66 per cent efficiency), seven marks and six inside 50s, roaming around the ground showing off his athleticism and versatility.

#5 Ely Smith – The ever-consistent midfielder returned from the Victorian Football League (VFL) and had another strong performance, winning 18 disposals, four clearances and five inside 50s, while also capping off the game with a goal. Performs strongly at any level.

#12 Lachlan Ash – The bottom-age rebounder just continues to excite, having five rebounds from 17 disposals and five marks. While all of his possessions were uncontested, he finds space and takes the game on with some eye-catching runs. Kicked a goal too.

Northern:

#4 Tom McKenzie – A solid game for the National Combine invitee, picking up 15 disposals, four marks (two contested), two clearances, three inside 50s and three rebounds, covering the ground well.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante – The exciting forward has added the midfield string to his bow in the second half of the season and just knows how to hurt opposing teams when going inside 50. He had another seven inside-50 entries to go with 18 disposals, five marks and 1.1.

#30 Justin McInerney – Named the Knights’ best on the day, McInerney had arguably his best performance of the year, racking up 24 disposals (83 per cent efficiency), two inside 50s, three rebounds and a goal.

 

Scouting notes: Round 15 Metro

AFTER publishing the Country Triple Header notes yesterday, we headed down to Avalon Airport Oval in wet and wild conditions to watch the six Metro sides do battle, and take note of some of the performers that received a combine invitation, represented Vic Metro or played in the Under 17 Futures game last weekend.

Western Jets vs. Northern Knights

Western:

By: Peter Williams

#6 Lucas Rocci

The bottom-age forward showed good pressure inside 50 and earned a free kick in the second term for a push in the back. He converted the set shot from 20m out to get a goal to his name. In the third term he won another free, played on, drew a man in and handballed to Darcy Cassar in space. His best piece of play came late in that third term when in the midfield, he drilled a low bullet straight onto the chest of Emerson Jeka. Rocci had another good defensive effort in the final term when he smothered a Lachlan Potter kick from standing the mark, and forced a boundary throw-in.

#10 Steven Kyriazis

Did not win a heap of it, but had a few memorable moments throughout the game. In the second term he weaved his way through traffic and got a kick away to half-forward. He found the big sticks with an opportunistic goal inside forward 50 in the third term, answering the Knights who had all the momentum at the time, and had another chance in the fourth quarter when he gained separation from opponent Ryan Gardner at the stoppage and had a flying shot on goal which hit the post.

#17 Daly Andrews

Not a great day for running players, with the wet ground causing havoc with bouncing and kicking, but Andrews still did his best throughout the four quarters. He created run early and was amongst plenty of action, not always winning possession, but providing support around the stoppages. His kicking at times was hit and miss, but to be fair, so was most given the weather conditions. Laid some really good tackles.

#20 Darcy Cassar

The bottom-ager played his typical role along the wing, running in transition and showed on a couple of occasions he has some super quick first steps out of a stoppage. He used his acceleration to have a shot on goal in the third term, but was dragged down in doing so and the shot fell short. Overall, he showed good strength above his head to handball to teammates while being tackled, and did lower the eyes going inside 50, which was crucial in the conditions. One of, if not the Jets best on the day, because he hurt the opposition offensively and defensively, with some bone-crunching tackles.

#24 Josh Honey

He does not win a heap of the ball, but he has that touch of class about him that catches the eye. Kicked a superb goal in the second term from long range and kept presenting at half-forward and pushing up into the middle, showing desperation in his play, diving to take a mark in the muddy centre circle.

#31 Emerson Jeka

His athleticism is fantastic, he keeps presenting for his midfielders, just needs to finish off when given opportunities. His day got off to a good start in the second term when he won a free for a push in the back against Stefan Uzelac, and converted the set shot from 35m out. He showed shades of the more athletic big men in the competition in the third term, when he cleanly grabbed the ball off the bounce, handballed to a teammate and spun around to receive back and kick inside 50. His set shot in the same quarter sprayed out to the right and out on the full. The talent is there he just needs to finish off his hard work.

#38 Buku Khamis

Khamis just gets to contest after contest and provides a third man up spoil to help out teammates. In the fourth quarter he had a couple of highlights at crunch times credit to his ability to read the play. In one instance he accelerated off half-back, bursting through traffic and gave the handball off, which got his team going. One thing that could have been good to see was for him keep running, receive the handball back and pinpoint a target inside 50 with his fantastic kicking skills. In another instance, he showed his determination to make up for an error by foot, taking a good one-on-one mark, misfiring with the kick, but ran over and laid a strong tackle to win back possession. Overall he was one of the more composed users, and when he has the ball coming off half-back you know he is more often than not going to hit a target, and to keep backing himself to make an impact.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic

Not his best game, but still put his head over the football and never took a backwards step. Took a courageous mark 45m out in the first term, copping contact in the marking contest, but missed the subsequent set shot. In the second term he went in hard, took on the tackler but was brought down and pinged for holding the ball, so the improvement in that situation is just giving the hands off at the first opportunity with plenty of numbers around. His kicking was iffy on the day, but the weather was horrid, so like many others, it is hard to read too much into it.

Northern:

By: Scott Dougan

#3 Braedyn Gillard

In his first game back from injury, the midfielder was quick to have an impact, gathering some early possessions. He booted the first score for the Knights with a quick snap around the body that just missed. He continued to stay involved, setting up the first goal for the Knights moments later with a clever kick inside to Joel Naylor. Gillard topped off his huge first quarter by kicking the Knights third goal with an opposite foot snap. He proceeded to find plenty of the ball in all areas of the ground in the second term, but was unable to have the same impact in the second half. He finished with 16 disposals and a goal.

#8 Adam Carafa

Carafa was arguably the most dominant midfielder on the ground, gathering 33 possessions along with five tackles. He worked extremely hard all day, running tirelessly to have an impact offensively and defensively. Carafa was superb on the inside of the contest and constantly won his own ball. He was able to provide some run and carry on the outside at times and his ball use was reliable in windy conditions. One of his most eye-catching passages of play came in the third term when he set up Joel Naylor for his fourth goal, after taking his time to deliver the ball effectively inside 50.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante

The classy forward was as always, electric and classy. He started inside the forward 50 and worked hard to move the ball towards goal every time he could. His defensive pressure and tackling was a standout, laying a team-high seven for the match. ‘JD’ moved into the midfield in the second half and didn’t look out of place. His speed and agility around stoppages was handy, along with his clean hands in tight situations. He finished with 19 disposals and a goal.

#30 Justin McInerney

McInerney started the game quietly but redeemed himself with a positive second term. He laid some important tackles early on and his ball use by foot was good. His speed and agility was on display when providing some good run and carry out of the back half.

 

Eastern Ranges vs. Calder Cannons

Eastern:

By: Scott Dougan

#7 Lachlan Stapleton 

The hard-nosed midfielder continuously put his head over the ball to win first possession for his team. He was fantastic around stoppages, winning plenty of first possessions and clearances. One of his best passages of play came in the second term when he had a running shot on goal from 50 metres that hit the post. Stapleton ran hard all day and applied consistent defensive pressure, laying a team-high nine tackles.

#11 Mitch Mellis

On a difficult day for the Ranges, Mellis was one of their shining lights. He was able to provide some much-needed run on the outside of the contest and his ball use was clean. There’s not much to the 174cm midfielder, but his competitiveness and willingness to put his head over the ball make up for his lack of height and size. He took a strong mark against his opponent in the second term, demonstrating his footy smarts by using his body to win the contest.

#23 Xavier Fry

Fry did he best to create some run and carry out of the defensive 50, with the speedy half-back generating some speed and agility around the contest. He was beaten defensively in a one-on-one contest against Josh Kemp in the first term, which resulted in the Cannons forward having a shot on goal. Fry redeemed himself later on in the term, positioning himself in front of his opponent to allow himself to take a strong intercept mark. Fry’s footy smarts were evident in the second term when he was able to win another one-on-one marking contest against the bigger and stronger body of Mitchell Podhajski. For me, it is the little things about Fry that caught the eye. The rain had fallen at the oval, and when Fry had received a running handball from his teammate, he decided to place the ball on the ground to bounce rather than bouncing the ball normally, showing great football nous. Even though his team were well beaten on the day, he was involved in plenty of passages of play, putting his neat kicking skills to good use.

#31 James Blanck

The first quarter was a touch one for the key defender, often opposed to Cannons forward, Jake Riccardi who booted three goals. Blanck was always going to be faced with the difficult task of handling Riccardi, but was at his best when he was able to take multiple intercept marks after his ability to the read the ball off the opposition boot, showing how good he is in the air. Blanck is a natural defender but moved into the forward line later in the game, and did pretty well. He finished with 14 disposals, four marks and one behind.

Calder:

By: Ed Pascoe

#5 Curtis Taylor

Taylor showed his trademark class around the contest rotating forward and midfield he did his best work through the midfield winning 17 disposals and laying seven tackles showing his hard work. Taylor’s hands at the stoppage where clean with many quality handballs after spreading from the stoppage. Taylor’s best bit of play was an impressive mark in the third quarter and then quickly played on with a nice kick inboard. Taylor did not play in the last quarter, donning the tracksuit due to injury.

#20 Rhylee West 

West made his return to the Calder team in impressive fashion winning 22 disposals while also laying eight tackles. West was his usual self, winning the contested ball at stoppages and tackling hard.  West really impressed in the third quarter with some good pressure and an interesting tackle while he was falling over. West appeared tired in the last quarter but he had done the hard work in the first three quarters to get Calder into a winning position. 

#30 Mitch Podhajski

Mr Consistent Podhajski had another solid game for Calder with 21 disposals, five inside 50s, 10 tackles and a goal in a complete performance. Podhajski was busy around the stoppages in the first half winning plenty of the ball at the coalface and tackling hard. Podhajski had a huge third quarter kicking a fantastic snap goal early on, he copped a knock but came back on to be even more damaging with some bullet passes especially inside 50. Podhajski again staked his claim for the Morrish Medal with a complete performance.  

#57 Josh Kemp

Kemp in his return to the Calder team showed his impressive talent up forward. While only having nine disposals proved a handful up forward for Eastern with his impressive leap and forward craft causing them troubles all game. Kemp’s marking was a real feature taking a few good contested grabs despite his light size with his impressive leap and timing on show. Kemp finished with three goals with two snap goals coming from the first and third quarters. He impressed with his tackling putting on good pressure in what was a complete performance for the medium sized forward. 

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons

Oakleigh:

By: Scott Dougan and Ed Pascoe

#1 Riley Collier-Dawkins

It is hard to judge Collier-Dawkins game, with the possible first round selection spending plenty of time through the midfield and just as much time on the bench. He was able to have an immediate impact when he came onto the ground in the first term, collecting possessions in contested situations. Collier-Dawkins is not the quickest player going around but at 193cm, his quicks hands and acceleration from the contest is top notch. He had the chance to hit the scoreboard in the final term with a running shot at goal but just missed. Like any other player, there is plenty of things that he needs to work on, but there is definitely enough there for recruiters to get excited about.

#3 Joe Ayton-Delaney

Ayton-Delaney was at his best when he was providing run and carry out of the defensive 50. Similar to Rory Laird, his ball use is exceptional when he has the time and space to hit targets, but when pressure is heavily applied, his ball use and decision-making is rushed. This is one area of Ayton-Delaney’s game that he will be willing to improve on as he develops. In saying that, there were plenty of positive attributes about Ayton-Delaney to get excited about. He finished with 18 disposals (14 kicks).

#4 Will Kelly

The highly anticipated matchup between Ben King and Will Kelly proved to be a little underwhelming. Not because the matchup was one-sided, but because the pair saw a limited amount of the ball. The majority of the game was played in the half that Kelly and King were not featured, making it difficult to find a winner between the two. King was moved forward in the second half and this is when Kelly started to find some space. He was able to take some handy intercept marks as well as finding plenty of possessions across the half-back line. Kelly finished 12 disposals and six marks.

#5 Xavier O’Neill

The hard-running midfielder was able to get involved early on, finding plenty of the ball on the outside of the contest. His ball use was clean and he made smart decisions, especially by hand. He continuously applied defensive pressure on the opposition, laying four tackles. Unlike a lot of junior footballers, O’Neill does the small things well, such as shepherding for his teammates. He finished with 17 disposals and four tackles.

#9 James Rowbottom

Rowbottom showed his trademark attack on the ball through the midfield winning plenty of contested possessions and dishing out cleanly to his teammates on the outside, he finished with 26 disposals and six tackles. Rowbottom had a nice mark in the first quarter but would turn the ball over by foot, his kicking was not perfect early on but he had a very nice pass inside 50 in the third quarter to hit up teammate Will James. Rowbottom’s best passages of play were at the stoppages winning plenty of clearances and he will be wanting to work on his outside game as the year comes to a close.

#23 Isaac Quaynor

Quaynor played his usual game in defence doing all the defensive things well like spoiling and attacking the ball when it was there to be won. Quaynor’s best passage of play came in the first quarter where he attacked the ball hard at ground level with a terrific pickup on the run and would kick long inside 50. Quaynor was always willing to work hard to create rebound from defence showing he could play the perfect modern defenders role being able to beat his opponent while also running off with good run and ball use which showed with his three inside 50s from his 17 disposals.

#26 Jake Gasper

Gasper showed exactly why he is one of the better forwards in the TAC Cup with another solid display in front of goal. Gasper finished with two goals both classy set shot finishes coming in the first and last quarters. Gasper was classy with ball in hand throughout the day showing nice vision by hand and some quality kicks to teammates. Gasper got poleaxed in a contest but did well to recover to execute a good quick handball to set up a scoring opportunity, Gasper finished with 16 disposals and six tackles to go with his two goals.

#31 Will Golds

Golds was a constant contributor over the four quarters running hard on the wing and giving good drive inside 50 while also working hard into defence to help out the defenders, Golds topped his side for disposals with 27. Golds was damaging with ball in hand showing good vision with a few handballs and great movement under pressure, Golds also kicked well even hitting a nice opposite foot pass in the third quarter, another great kick inside 50 hit up teammate Jake Gasper in the last quarter which lead to a goal. He managed to hit the scoreboard with a creative kick off the deck sailing through the goals in the first quarter.

#32 Jack Ross

Ross was the standout midfielder throughout the day winning plenty of the ball at the coalface while also working hard around the ground he finished with 25 disposals, eight marks and five inside 50s in an impressive display through the midfield. Ross was busy in the first quarter doing everything including some long kicking inside 50 and even some intercept marks. Ross was rewarded late in the game with an impressive running goal that came purely by persistence in the contest, he did the one percenters well like some hard spoils and blocks around stoppages.

#64 James Jordan

Jordan had a great game in defence and grew as the game went on he managed to spoil well while also running off to hit up targets. Jordan showed good movement with ball in hand and was damaging by foot when he got into open space, one such kick in the third quarter was sensational under pressure and on the run. Jordan also took a nice mark in the second quarter and quickly played on showing good initiative, he finished with 15 disposals with 14 of them being kicks.

Sandringham:

By: Peter Williams

#2 Alastair Richards

Buzzed around the outside all day and kept receiving the handballs and giving off, trying to break up the congested play on a wet weather day. He moved through the middle as well and had a chance to goal in the third term, but tugged it left for a behind. Took a good mark on the wing in the fourth term and kicked to a contest down the ground. Ended up as one of the more prominent ball winners on the ground.

#7 Liam Stocker

A brave performance on the inside, with the key midfielder copping knock after knock but getting back up. Oakleigh has so many inside midfielders that crack in, while Stocker would have been missing Bailey Smith in that regard, with team highs of 13 contested possessions and seven clearances. He was the one feeding it out to his teammates and then working hard to get to space and kick long inside 50. He had a long shot on goal from 50m, but his kick just pulled to the left. He burst out of the stoppages on occasions and looked every bit of the well balanced midfielder he is, just looked tired by the end of the game in what would have been a heavy toll on the body given the weather and opposition.

#23 Angus Hanrahan

Found himself in the back half, working hard out of defence and collecting a number of rebounds to try and drive his team forward. He found space where very few could and repelled as best he could, but like many of his teammates, could not get his groove quite firing on the day.

#28 James Rendell

Worked tirelessly in the ruck, with pinch-hitting efforts from various teammates, but Rendell had a great battle with Bailey Wraith, and I would give the points to the Dragons big man. He ran hard to present from kick-ins and along the wing, and took a great intercept mark in the second term, dropping into defence to plug a hole, then provided an option in midfield, taking a strong mark and kicking to half-forward.

#29 Ben King

It was exciting to see him back at TAC Cup level and taking on a familiar foe in Will Kelly – the pair did battle in the APS competition where King booted seven goals. Yesterday, King booted an early major from a great mark leaping into the air and converted the set shot. It looked like it could be a good day for the big man, but with Sandringham choked by an unbelievable defensive midfield and half-back line, the potential top five pick barely saw much of the action. In the third term, he was swung into defence and found more of the football, taking some good marks and using the ball well by foot. Only managed the one goal and a late behind when he went forward in the final term, however he showcased his athleticism.

#74 Harry Reynolds

On debut for the Dragons coming out of school football and he certainly showed he was capable at the level. Took a good intercept mark at half-back in the opening term, kicked forward, ran on and received the handball and kicked long again, but this time it was intercepted. He applied good pressure throughout the game and tried to break the lines, but with Oakleigh’s setups behind the ball and the strength with which they controlled the contest for the four quarters, it was hard to conjure up too much. Very impressive game though, and imagine his metres gained would be good.

The run home: Eastern Ranges

EASTERN Ranges have had a low year after a big one last year, despite going out in the elimination final to Dandenong Stingrays. They have only managed the two wins this season – back-to-back – and sit eleventh overall on the TAC Cup table. They have a couple of tough matches coming up, and look likely to face either Oakleigh Chargers or Western Jets in the Wildcard Round. They have had a good core of contributors this season, and though the midfield has won its fair share of possessions and the defence have found its groove at times, it has been applying scoreboard pressure that has been the issue in 2018.

Wins: 2
Losses: 12
Draws: 0
Position: 11th
Points For: 667 (11th)
Points Against: 1066 (11th)
Percentage: 63
Points: 8

Fixtures:

R15: vs. Calder Cannons – Avalon Airport Oval
R16: vs. Gippsland Power – Morwell Recreation Reserve

National Combine Invitations: [1] James Blanck

State Combine Invitations: [1] Xavier Fry

Rookie Me Combine Invitations: [1] Cody Hirst

After a massive year in 2017 which saw plenty of top-end talent walk into AFL ranks, and Eastern Ranges play in a finals series, 2018 has been a lot about the bottom-age talent coming through. Just the three players received combine invitations this time around, with key defender James Blanck by far the best story – plucked out of local leagues and now looking on the verge of having an AFL career considering at least five AFL clubs have ranked him in their top 50. Xavier Fry‘s speed and Cody Hirst‘s tackling pressure have also caught the eye, albeit with Hirst injured for most of the year. Kye Quirk, Joel Burleigh, Adrian Kalcovski and bottom-ager Mitch Mellis are among the big contributors to Eastern this year, while fellow bottom-agers Lachlan Stapleton and Jamieson Rossiter have also impressed.

Top Fives:

Disposals:

1 – Kye Quirk – 344 (2nd overall)
2 – Mitch Mellis – 302 (5th overall)
3 – Joel Burleigh – 287 (9th overall)
4 – Adrian Kalcovski – 276
5 – Ben Cardamone – 194

Marks:

1 – Kye Quirk – 42 (eq. 70th overall)
2 – Mitch Mellis – 37
3 – Joel Burleigh – 33
4 – Adrian Kalcovski – 32
5 – Ben Cardamone – 28

Contested Possessions:

1 – Kye Quirk – 152 (4th overall)
2 – Mitch Mellis – 131
2 – Joel Burleigh – 131
4 – Adrian Kalcovski – 110
5 – Billy McCormack – 84

Tackles:

1 – Joel Burleigh – 105 (2nd overall)
2 – Lachlan Stapleton – 87 (4th overall)
3 – Ben Cardamone – 67
4 – Kye Quirk – 59
5 – Mitch Mellis – 51

Hitouts:

1 – Riley Smith – 211 (3rd overall)
2 – Billy McCormack – 81
3 – Thomas Lockman – 59
4 – Steven Kapahnke – 58
5 – Jas Corless – 46

Clearances:

1 – Kye Quirk – 53 (eq. 10th overall)
1 – Joel Burleigh – 53 (eq 10th overall)
3 – Adrian Kalcovski – 43
4 – Mitch Mellis – 39
5 – Lachlan Stapleton – 34

Inside 50s:

1 – Joel Burleigh – 49 (10th overall)
2 – Mitch Mellis – 40
3 – Kye Quirk – 38
4 – Adrian Kalcovski – 37
5 – Lachlan Stapleton – 28

Rebounds:

1 – Kye Quirk – 48 (3rd overall)
2 – Ben Cardamone – 40 (eq. 8th overall)
3 – Xavier Fry – 39 (eq. 10th overall)
4 – Joel Burleigh – 30
4 – James Blanck – 30
4 – Jarrod Gilbee – 30

Goals:

1 – Jamieson Rossiter – 8 (eq. 45th overall)
2 – Joel Burleigh – 7
3 – Adrian Kalcovski – 6
4 – Bailey White – 5
4 – Kyle Crosby – 5

Scouting notes: APS vs. AGSV

ON the weekend, Associated Public Schools (APS) defeated Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria (AGSV) for the ninth consecutive time in their annual clash between the prominent school football competitions. In what was a close encounter, James Goller was there at the ground to note down some of the prominent performers.

APS:

#10 Will James

The medium forward had a good day kicking four goals. James did not get a lot of the ball but with every possession he did get, he made real impact with. He’s really hard to beat one on one, and also leads strongly at the ball. James kicked 37 goals at St. Kevins this season and has played one TAC Cup game for Oakleigh Chargers. If he regains a spot in that team and plays strong football, he could come into late contention come November.

#12 Jack Bell

The Haileybury bottom-ager was very impressive. The ruckman moves around the ground well for a big man, and one of his key strengths is his kicking. Not only that, he took some really strong pack marks. Definitely one to track in 2019.

#14 Harry Reynolds

Reynolds is in a similar position as Jordan. Tied to the Sandringham Dragons, he worked hard all day and used the ball okay. He and James Jordan are two to keep a eye on if they line up for Oakleigh or Sandringham respectively.

#17 Alistair Richards

Richards played across half-back. Did not have much impact in the first half, but in the second half had more run and carry which is his real strength. He hit up a couple of forwards well.

#22 Heath Briggs

Playing through the midfield, Briggs was in and under the packs for most of the day while showing some line-breaking capabilities.

#20 Jack Ross

Ross showed he is a inside mid, gaining a number of strong clearances and working hard all day. The impressive thing with Ross is his hardness in the contest – he is one of those players that will bleed for the team. Ross also showed some speed when exiting stoppages.

#23 Josh Worrell

Was really impressive early, playing mostly in the backline. Worrell was the mop-up man for APS. He showed real composure when making decisions in defence.

#26 James Jordan

An interesting prospect who made the State Combine off school football performances for Caulfield Grammar. Jordan has real penetration in his kicking. He was solid all day working hard, and took a couple of nice intercept marks and using the ball in a solid fashion all day.

 

AGSV:

#9 Sam Graham

Graham played across half-back and was a clear standout for the AGS team. He used the ball exceptionally well, only having one turnover for the day. What also was impressive was his run and carry – he was the real play maker off half-back that set up play for AGS and made good decisions with the footy.

#17 Trent Bianco

Plain and simple, Trent Bianco was a star in the APS/AGS game. The Oakleigh bottom-ager was clearly best on ground. Bianco is all class and has really fantastic agility. Not only that, but his kicking is elite and made even better by his decisions with ball in hand. Another positive was that Bianco stood up when the game was on the line in the last quarter.

#19 Jake Sticca

Playing up forward, Sticca was really prominent early. Sticca has some skill and his kicking was really good all day. He also has some pace in his game. Sticca made solid decisions with ball in hand and was dangerous in the last quarter.

#24 Justin Mclnerney

He took some nice intercept marks throughout the day. Another player that broke the lines, really opening up the game with his run and carry especially in the last quarter. McInerney also used the ball well throughout the day.

#25 Xavier Fry

Did not have a big day, but when the game was on the line in the last quarter he really stood up. He was fairly composed when making his decisions. Not only that, but he took the game on.

#39 Sam Mason

Big man Sam Mason played as a key forward. Laid a strong tackle which resulted in him kicking a goal. He’s a good mark and leads at the footy with pace.

APS eyes off eight straight as AGSV looks to break drought

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

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

AGSV:

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

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

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

APS:

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

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

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

History:

Head to Head: APS 15 – 3 AGSV

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

Draft dream not over for 2018 state combine nominees

MORE than one hundred draft hopefuls will test themselves under the watchful eye of AFL club recruiters at the various State Combine’s around the country. After the list of National Combine invitations was released last week – indicating those players with the most draft interest – last night the full list of State Combine, and Rookie Me Combine lists were released.

EIGHTY INVITED TO NATIONAL DRAFT COMBINE

A total of 126 players were nominated for the combines, with Vic Country having 26 players nominated, ahead of South Australia with 24, and Western Australia and Vic Metro with 21 each. It has also proved a bumper year for the Victorian Football League (VFL) with 13 players nominated to test, behind the four Division One states. New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) has eight players nominated, the highest of the Division Two states, while Queensland has seven, and Northern Territory three and Tasmania three.

In terms of individual clubs, Dandenong Stingrays trumps all others, having 12 nominees, making it 17 players heading to testing in 2018. Murray Bushrangers is next with seven, followed by Calder Cannons and Oakleigh Chargers (six), as well as South Australian club Norwood. Fellow South Australian club South Adelaide, West Australian clubs Peel Thunder and Swan Districts, and Sandringham Dragons, all have four nominees. Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, Glenelg, North Adelaide, Sturt, South Fremantle and Claremont have three apiece. In terms of Academies, the GWS Academy had six players nominated, Gold Coast and Brisbane Lions Academies both had three, and Sydney Swans Academy had one.

 

Full list of State Combine nominations:

NSW/ACT: [6]

Riley Bice (Murray Bushrangers/GWS Academy)
Jeromy Lucas (GWS Giants Academy)
Nick Murray (Murray Bushrangers/GWS Academy)
James Peatling (GWS Giants Academy)
Guy Richardson (GWS Giants Academy)
Mathew Walker (Murray Bushrangers/GWS Academy)

Northern Territory: [2]

Michael Mummery (NT Thunder)
Izaak Wyatt (Southern Districts)

Queensland: [4]

Caleb Graham (GC Suns Academy) 
Darcy Marsh (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Tom Matthews (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Lachlan McDonald (GC Suns Academy)

South Australia: [24]

Finn Betterman (Glenelg)
Connor Bristow (Norwood)
Chris Burgess (West Adelaide)
Declan Carmody (Glenelg)
Kade Chandler (Norwood)
Oscar Chapman (North Adelaide)
Tate Coleman (South Adelaide)
Jacob Collins (Norwood)
Job Colwell (South Adelaide)
Tobin Cox (Glenelg)
Darcy Fort (Central District)
Martin Frederick (Woodville-West Torrens)
Nathan Kreuger (South Adelaide)
Tom Lewis (Sturt)
Mihail Lochowiak (Sturt)
Tyler Martin (Norwood)
Aaron Nietschke (Central District)
Matthew Nunn (Norwood)
Kai Pudney (Woodville West Torrens)
Isaac Saywell (Norwood)
Jake Tarca (South Adelaide)
Casey Voss (Sturt)
Callum Wilkie (North Adelaide)
Boyd Woodcock (North Adelaide)

Tasmania: [1]

Rhyan Mansell (North Launceston)

VFL: [8]

Jake Aarts (Richmond VFL)
Brett Bewley (Williamstown)
Sam Collins (Werribee)
Will Hayes (Footscray VFL)
Nick Hind (Essendon VFL)
Marty Hore (Collingwood VFL)
Ethan Phillips (Port Melbourne)
Corey Rich (Frankston)

Vic Country: [21]

Jacob Atley (Bendigo Pioneers)
Stephen Cumming (Dandenong Stingrays)
Sam Fletcher (Dandenong Stingrays)
Matthew Gahan (Dandenong Stingrays)
Hudson Garoni (Murray Bushrangers)
Noah Gown (Gippsland Power)
Brayden Ham (Geelong Falcons)
Jed Hill (GWV Rebels)
Austin Hodge (Gippsland Power)
Zane Keighran (Bendigo Pioneers)
Matty Lloyd (GWV Rebels)
Lachlan McDonnell (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jai Nanscawen (Dandenong Stingrays)
Finbar O’Dwyer (Murray Bushrangers)
Jamie Plumridge (Dandenong Stingrays)
Mitch Riordan (Dandenong Stingrays)
Bailey Schmidt (Dandenong Stingrays)
Sam Sturt (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jai Taylor (Dandenong Stingrays)
Charlie Wilson (GWV Rebels)
Lachlan Young (Dandenong Stingrays)

Vic Metro: [18]

Frank Anderson (South Croydon)
Joseph Ayton-Delaney (Oakleigh Chargers)
Atu Bosenavulagi (Oakleigh Chargers)
Kyle Dunkley (Oakleigh Chargers)
Mason Fletcher (Calder Cannons)
Xavier Fry (Eastern Ranges)
Jake Gaspar (Oakleigh Chargers)
Sam Graham (Calder Cannons)
Harry Houlahan (Sandringham Dragons)
James Jordan (Oakleigh Chargers)
Josh Kemp (Calder Cannons)
Justin McInerney (Northern Knights)
Mitchell Podhajski (Calder Cannons)
Stefan Radovanovic (Western Jets)
James Rendell (Sandringham Dragons)
Harry Reynolds (Sandringham Dragons)
Alistair Richards (Sandringham Dragons)
Jack Ross (Oakleigh Chargers)

Western Australia: [21]

Jason Carter (Peel Thunder)
Dylan Curley (East Fremantle)
Oliver Eastland (Claremont)
Kody Eaton (East Fremantle) 
Harry Edwards (Swan Districts) 
Patrick Farrant (Swan Districts) 
Ethan Hansen (Perth) 
Wil Hickmott (Subiaco) 
Corey Hitchcock (Claremont)
Jack Mayo (Subiaco) 
Tom Medhat (West Perth)
Louis Miller (East Perth) 
Luke Moore (South Fremantle) 
Rylie Morgan (Claremont)
Matthew Parker (South Fremantle) 
Jarvis Pina (Peel Thunder)
Tyson Powell (Peel Thunder)
Regan Spooner (South Fremantle)
James Sturrock (Peel Thunder)
Tobe Watson (Swan Districts)
Graydon Wilson (Swan Districts)

Rookie Me Combine: [21]

Ryan Hebron (Sydney University)
Joey Reinhard (Sydney Swans Academy)
Adam Tipungwuti (Western Magpies)
Matthew Green (NT Thunder)
Ryan Gilmore (GC Suns Academy)
Jack Tomkinson (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Lachlan Gadomski (Kingborough Tigers) 
Matthew McGuinness (Lauderdale)
Ben Cavarra (Williamstown) 
Jay Lockhart (Casey Scorpions) 
Hayden McLean (Sandringham VFL) 
Kieran Strachan (Port Melbourne) 
Charlie Thompson (Richmond VFL)
Jordon Butts (Murray Bushrangers)
Kyle Clarke (Murray Bushrangers)
Sam Conway (Geelong Falcons)
Jake Frawley (Dandenong Stingrays)
Matt Neagle (Wodonga Raiders)
Tye Browning (Calder Cannons)
Daniel Hanna (Calder Cannons)
Cody Hirst (Eastern Ranges)

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 14

ROUND 14 was split across two days on the weekend, and we have included notes from four games we attended, while also looking at some of the draftable players from the remaining two games and how they performed.

Eastern Ranges vs. Sandringham Dragons

By Scott Dougan

Eastern:

#11 Mitch Mellis

The classy bottom-age midfielder started terrifically, finding plenty of the ball on the inside and outside of the contest. Mellis was involved in plenty of promising passages of play when moving the ball forward, especially in the first term when he set up the Ranges’ first goal of the day. He was able to use his speed and agility to escape congestion and his ball use was exceptional. Mellis was consistent throughout four quarters and was one of the best players on the ground, gathering 29 disposals and laying six tackles.

#23 Xavier Fry

Fry was among the leading ball winners on the ground, accumulating 28 disposals, five marks and five tackles. He played in multiple positions on the day but was at his most dominant on the wing and when rebounding out of the defensive 50. Fry’s speed is one of his best attributes and he was never afraid to take the game on. He won most of his possessions on the outside of the contest and due to his high work-rate and speed, he was able to create plenty of space around the ground to make himself an attractive option for his teammates.

#24 Kye Quirk

Quirk has been one of the Ranges most reliable players this season, and Saturday was no different. He played predominately around the contest in the middle of the ground but also drifted across the half-back line throughout the match. Quirk always seems to find himself unmanned around stoppages and is able to receive the ball from his inside midfielders constantly. Quirk can win both the contested and uncontested ball but seems to lack the impact and effectiveness with his disposal at times. Another solid performance from Quirk, amassing 31 disposals, seven marks, six rebounds and three tackles.

#31 James Blanck

The key defender was faced with a difficult task early on, lining up on the Dragons versatile forward and ruckman, James Rendell. Blanck was able to read the play well and his intercept marking caught the eye. His defensive efforts were evident and he was able to spoil the ball strongly when required. He lost an important one-on-one contest in the defensive 50 in the final seconds of the first term but was not punished, with Tom Long unable to capitalise. He drifted forward occasionally and was able to make up for his error in the first term, booting a crucial goal early on in the final quarter. Blanck is an exciting key position prospect and will be one to keep an eye on when he develops physically.

Sandringham:

#6 Harry Houlahan

Houlahan was at his best in contested situations, winning the ball on the inside and feeding it out by hand to the outside runners. Houlahan was clean at ground level, laid some solid tackles and accumulated some very impressive one-touch possessions early on in the second term. He seemed to have injured his lower leg shortly after his good start in the second and was forced to position himself in the Dragons forward line after half-time. He wasn’t able to have the same impact up forward, with the scrappy contest being battled out mainly in the middle of the ground. He had 13 disposals and two tackles.

 #28 James Rendell

Rendell had a massive impact in the first term playing predominately as a ruckman but was also dangerous when moved forward. He had several effective hit-outs across the ground that gave his midfielders first use and he was able to amass plenty of possessions himself. I had queries on his fitness, with the ruckman looking spent late in the first term but he continued to work hard and was able to kick an important goal in the dying minutes. Rendell read the play well and took some strong intercept marks throughout the match – two of his best attributes. He booted the sealer for the Dragons in the final three minutes of the match, capping off a brilliant day for the big man.

#69 Corey Watts

The bottom-age key defender stands at massive 195cm and showed plenty of promising signs down back throughout the match. He was extremely important for the Dragons, reading the play well and taking plenty of intercept marks. Visually, Watts still looks like he’d be more of lockdown defender due to his body frame and size but that’s not the case. He’s extremely athletic, covers plenty of ground and his ball use is regularly reliable. One to watch for in next year’s draft.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Gippsland Power

By: Craig Byrnes

Oakleigh:

#1 Riley Collier-Dawkins

The big bodied midfielder did not win huge numbers from the midfield, but it was impossible to miss the impact he had between the centre and forward arc. When he won a centre bounce clearance, he generally exploded from the contest with eye catching acceleration and bombed it deep to dangerous scoring positions. He spent time forward and almost kicked an outstanding long goal from the arc, which just went to the right. He has been having an impact since returning from the championships, but will be looking to finish the season with some higher possession games.

#5 Xavier O’Neill

After earning a draft combine invite last month, there were plenty of eyes on the Oakleigh midfielder and he produced a solid performance, if not prolific. He makes offensive movements happen at a stoppage and is slippery in a tackle, meaning he often finds himself with the ball goal-side of the contest where he can start scoring chains. He is always moving which makes him a good link up option and he runs to get in those positions. O’Neill has some improvement defensively, but could become a value midfield option come November.

#12 Noah Answerth

Running mainly through the midfield, Answerth played a fairly defensive role at the stoppages. He protected the goal-side of his opponents, which restricted Gippsland’s chances of a fast clearance from congestion. It resulted in Answerth absorbing plenty of body contact and he laid a game high 12 tackles because of it. When with the ball he was unflustered and made calm decisions to the benefit of his team. He is an unselfish player who you can truly trust with a specific role.

#13 Atu Bosenavualagi

The Collingwood Next Generation Academy prospect was in and out of the game, but always provided ground defensive pressure when the ball was in his area. He tackles with intent and wants to make his presence known without the footy. He has strong hands, but has some room for improvement with his kicking and decision making.

#17 Trent Bianco

If he wasn’t the best player on the ground, Bianco was certainly Oakleigh’s best. The ball constantly ended up in his hands from half back, where he was able to control the play and utilise his excellent skills. He began or was involved in countless scoring chains and got the ball moving with carry or just great decisions. He was able to get up the ground on occasions too, and have an influence using the ball forward of centre. There isn’t much of him at 178cm and 70 kg, but he counters that with his smarts and class. He finished the game with 40 disposals and had an enormous say on Oakleigh almost getting across the line.

#22 Dylan Williams

Started forward on Reid and took a strong overhead mark in the first term. Had a poor set shot later on, but spent time in the midfield and used the ball well going inside 50. Not a huge impact on the game, ending with 10 disposals and two behinds.

#23 Isaac Quaynor

The highly rated Collingwood NGA prospect has already made a name for himself in the back half and was given an opportunity to show his wares through the midfield on Saturday. He went to the first stoppage and struggled to get his hands on the ball through the first term, eventually giving away a poor free kick to Flanders. Although while in the midfield he was able to still produce one of his great back half strengths, brilliantly reading an opposition kick in the corridor to intercept and quickly move the ball in the opposite direction. He was returned to defence shortly after and immediately looked more comfortable, highlighted by a contested intercept mark in the third term.

#26 Jake Gasper

Gasper is a really interesting prospect after a prolific season on the scoreboard for Oakleigh. He is so dangerous inside 50 with his ability to get in the correct positions, as he showed in the third term with a clean crumb and quality snapped finish. He spent minutes in the midfield and proved to possess nous at the stoppages, winning a clearance and hitting a teammate lace out inside 50 during Oakleigh’s dominant patch. Is not blessed electrifying pace, but makes up for it with sharp touch and hands. He finished a productive day with 18 disposals, four clearances, five inside 50s and two goals.

Gippsland:

#4 Sam Flanders

Despite only winning 13 disposals for the day, Flanders had a big influence on the game through the midfield and especially forward in the final term as Gippsland fought back. He was prominent in contested situations at the stoppages both offensively and defensively, using his explosive athletic traits to charge forward or quickly wrap up an opponent. While his field kicking was occasionally scrappy, the ones he did hit were superb as displayed when finding Gown on the lead before quarter time. Two final quarter goals again proved his match winning ability, including a brilliant set shot drop punt from a tight angle.

#5 Xavier Duursma

The Power skipper was good again, this time in playing a more outside role where he found dangerous space throughout the contest. His kicking and decision making was first rate, especially when entering the forward arc and getting the ball inboard. In the third term he won a difficult ball ground ball on the boundary line before quickly turning to the corridor and finding a teammate lace out like it was second nature. It appeared he was involved in every dangerous scoring chain, ending the day with 29 disposals and eight inside 50s.

#9 Irving Mosquito

‘Mozzie’ is one of those types that doesn’t need a whole heap of the ball to have a huge influence and Saturday’s game was the perfect example. Every time he won the pill, something exciting happened and was generally to the advantage of Gippsland. In the first term he stole a ball from seemingly nowhere out of an opponent’s hands, swung onto his left foot and landed the on the chest of Gown 50 metres away inside 50. Later in the game he produced a brilliant blind turn at a stoppage to create space and superbly find Pepper inside 50 for a vital goal assist. He could have finished off a spectacularly eye catching outing with a long three bounce run goal but just missed to the left. No goals and just 10 disposals, but huge impact.

#16 Josh Smith

The big bodied, bottom aged key position player was offered some relief with the return of Rylan Henkel last week, starting the game in his natural forward role. In saying that, he spent plenty of time in the ruck, won the most hit outs for his side and competed with aggression as we’ve become accustomed to. Did not win much of the ball, but produced one of the game’s best highlights with a towering pack mark on the wing.

#18 Matt McGannon

After receiving a second consecutive draft combine invite, McGannon continued his extremely consistent ball winning form with another 21 touches. Starting generally on the wing, he ran up and down the ground and was used offensively by his teammates whenever the opportunity presented. Lost a ground ball in defensive 50 that turned into an Oakleigh goal in the third term, but made up for it with some determined defensive efforts without the ball, including an important tackle late in the game that earned a vital holding the ball.

#19 Fraser Phillips

The lightly-built bottom-ager is really starting to develop nicely and produced arguably his best game for Gippsland to date. Having produced a couple of impressive games for his local senior side Warragul in recent weeks, that experience against quality senior opposition looks to have yielded further improvement. He started the game on fire, firstly taking a strong mark on the lead before winning numerous possessions in the forward half and using his silky skills to advantage. He finished a brilliant first term with a classy running goal on his preferred left boot. While he had quiet periods for the rest of the game, he popped up again late with a beautifully weighted kick to Flanders deep inside 50.

#22 Rylan Henkel

In his second game back for Gippsland, Henkel is building his form again and was solid against Oakleigh. While he had a tough task aerially against the 102kg Lachlan Harry, he competed at every contest and was especially determined at ground level. His second efforts were noticeable, laying five tackles, winning three clearances and throwing himself at the ball. He took a leaping contested mark and is going to be a vital cog for the Power’s premiership push.

#23 Noah Gown

After kicking consecutive five goal bags, Gown was again prominent in the forward half and is clearly glowing with confidence. His leading patterns are improving with every outing and he has a presence that you can’t teach. He was strong on the lead overhead and can stick a contested mark even when out of position. He’s also developing a knack of being involved when the game is on the line, taking a huge contested pack mark that earned a 50 metre penalty. He missed the set shot that would have given Gippsland the lead, but didn’t miss his second chance. Taking a strong intercept mark on the forward flank, he was fortunate to get a second 50 metre penalty and kicked truly for the match winner. In a purple real patch!

#25 Kyle Reid

Starting the game against the smaller Dylan Williams deep in defensive 50, Reid was solid as always defensively and got to many aerial contests. While he would have liked to have stuck a few more attempted intercepts, he still managed to have a defensive impact and ran to space on the flanks to create another option when Gippsland had possession.

#29 Boadie Motton

The ultra-consistent Motton did not win as much of the ball as he usually does from the wing, but had a heavier contested workload and impact. He collected an equal game high four clearances and really fought hard in tight, but backed that defensively with a team high 10 tackles. While he could not create the space to utilise his elite releasing skills frequently, it was good to see him influence the contest in a slightly different manner.

 

Northern Knights vs. Dandenong Stingrays

By Michael Alvaro

Northern:

#1 Ryan Gardner

The bottom-ager regained some of his early-season form with good doses of dash from the back half. Assuming a starting position on the wing, Gardner worked hard to help out his defence and try to provide some run around the outside of the stoppages in the absence of speedster Lachlan Potter. He commanded the area in the second term under a heap of pressure, and still looked to take the game on despite being pinged for running too far. Perhaps the most impressive part of Gardner’s game was his lateral kicking, as he found a couple of clever options with nice showings of vision.

#16 Tom Hallebone

The raw and rangy tall had a hell of a task set for him, given he was to compete against three Dandenong phonemes is the ruck. While he has improved in the area since the start of the year, he struggled at times against the physicality of Bailey Schmidt and Riley Bowman, and against the athleticism of Bailey Williams. Still, he worked hard alongside Nicholas Barro to thwart their influence, and set up well behind the ball with long clearances coming out of the attacking or defensive 50s.

#30 Justin McInerney

While he has not had an enormous amount of exposure at TAC Cup level due to school footy commitments, McInerney has impressed in each outing with the Knights. This game was no exception, and despite not gathering  a massive amount of the ball, the Marcellin product stood out when he was near it. His speed from the wing is notable, and he showed a good knack for getting back and winning key aerial balls at half-back. With ball in hand, McInerney was calm and delivered some precise passes to keep Northern ticking when on the front foot.

#51 Jaden Collins

While he was not a key feature for Vic Metro at the Under 16 National Championships, Collins looked comfortable in his second TAC Cup outing for the Knights. Along with fellow 16 year-olds Ben Major and Ewan Macpherson, Collins took to the top level with good deal of confidence and calmly booted the second goal of the game with a sound set shot action.  As AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan watched on with interest, Collins produced a solid game playing key forward and showed enough signs to warrant remembering the name.

Dandenong:

#1 Sam Fletcher

It was by no means Fletcher’s best outing, but the Vic Country midfielder still showed glimpses of the form that warranted his call-up. Fletcher’s combination of burst and toughness in congestion allowed him to break clear and push the Stingrays forward. He was also good below his knees and snared a goal in the third term out of nothing with a sharp snap deep in the 50. The only area Fletcher seemed to struggle with at times was his awareness in more open spaces, as he was caught holding the ball and miss-hit a couple of kicks under pressure.

#2 Hayden Young

Young was one who caught the eye in patches with good bits of play throughout the game. The bottom-ager spent a lot of time in the back half where he most notably took a set of two strong overhead marks in the second term. He was another to show good form below his knees as the ball pinged around and was composed under pressure. The one blemish on Young’s game was a costly turnover in the final term with his kick-out nailing Northern’s Joel Naylor, who duly converted the opportunity.

#3 Jamie Plumridge

Probably stiff not to be mentioned among Dandenong’s best, Plumridge went about his business accumulating plenty of the ball in all areas of the ground. Plumridge’s work rate is impressive from the wing, and he was largely effective with ball in hand. While he seemed to be everywhere in the first half especially, ‘Plum’ lacked a damaging edge at times, failing to convert a long-range Jayden Short-esque hand off early on and acting more so as a link between the arcs. Plumridge’s composure and ability to keep his hands up in tackles was also good to see.

#7 Jai Taylor

The cool left-footer was another who played a more patchy game, but was effective when given the opportunity. Taylor’s repeat efforts were commendable, and he did well to flick out releasing handballs when under the pump. Taylor did well to run both ways, with some good pressure acts in the second half.

#9 Zac Foot

Foot’s speed was prevalent as per usual, and he was clean at top speed. The Vic Country stand-out found the ball both bursting from and into congestion, while delivering some smart passes inside 50 to really have an impact on proceedings. At full flight, Foot is hard to stop as he keeps running forward, and is one of the more damaging players in the draft pool

#17 Finlay Bayne 

Bayne was one of Dandenong’s two multiple goalkickers on the day, with both of his majors coming in the third term and helping the Stingrays to pull out to a game-winning lead. Sporting a headband, Bayne could have snared a couple more goals if it weren’t for inaccuracy from set shots in the first half, as he found the ball in dangerous areas. He broke through with an impressive effort from the boundary early in the third quarter, and converted from an impressive overhead mark soon after to cap off a solid day at half-forward.

#23 Campbell Hustwaite 

The co-captain was a key ball winner for the ‘Rays, working hard in-tight to set the tone for his side. Hustwaite’s competitiveness and work rate kept Dandenong in the contest, as he collected the ball well and was quick to his feet when burrowing down. He also managed to find a good amount of the ball forward of centre, marking inside 50 and finding targets of his own. It was an overall solid display, and his hard-earned holding the ball tackle on Northern’s Ryan Sturgess in the final term summed up his efforts.

#28 Bailey Schmidt 

Schmidt is an absolute man-mountain, and used his size well to dominate the ruck contests he attended. The hulking ruck also stood up in the packs and under high balls, while also showing good strength one-on-one when playing forward. He managed to clunk a couple of nice overhead marks, while also showing good form around the ground with clearances and a particularly hard tackle on Stefan Uzelac in the second term.

#29 Bailey Williams 

Williams was at his dynamic best up forward, and had a fair impact on the result with his two third-quarter goals. The mobile big-man roved well and showed good pace when chasing back towards goal, but it is always his marking that makes Williams stand out. His efforts at ground level were really impressive though, with gathers while spinning around opponents and a handy assist in the final term showing his exceptional talent.

 

Western Jets vs GWV Rebels

By: Ed Pascoe

Western:

#17 Daly Andrews

Andrews was the best midfielder on the day making the wing his own in the windy conditions. Andrews was one of the only players throughout the day who would try and move the ball along with speed and dare. A few times Andrews tried to bite off more than he could chew ducking and weaving around opponents, his agility is something to behold but I would like to see him not try and do too much and make quicker decisions. Andrews was a workhorse topping the possession count for the game with 27 disposals which included 10 inside 50s and four rebounds showing his ability to work both ways.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran

O’Halloran had his quietest performance of the year finishing with a lowly 11 disposals although he was not helped with the high amount of boundary throw ins which were near impossible to predict off the tap with the hellish wind. O’Halloran kicked two behinds which did not miss by much but would have certainly rounded out his game a bit better if they had gone through. O’Halloran when he did go for the ball attacked it hard and rarely fumbled.

#38 Buku Khamis

Khamis was impressive across half-back showing of his impressive leap and composure many times throughout the day. Khamis was a spoiling machine in the windy conditions often using his impressive leap to come over packs and kill the ball across the boundary. With ball in hand Khamis was cool, clean and composed with his vision and speed by hand a feature. It certainly was not a good game to showcase his impressive marking and intercept ability but I thought he played the conditions well defending first and foremost and then being creative once he did get the ball.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic

Stiff to not get a invite to the National AFL Draft Combine, Radovanovic reminded everyone of his impressive size and power often steaming through multiple opposition with brute power. Radovanovic showcased his running power with an impressive running goal in the third quarter and an explosive clearance also in the third quarter, when he is up and running he is a hard player to stop. He played mostly in defence before getting some more midfield time later in the game, he finished with 15 disposals for the game .

GWV:

#3 Scott Carlin

Carlin had a shaky start in the windy conditions with a few errant kicks, but bounced back well to be on of the Rebels most composed and skilled players with ball in hand in the windy conditions. Carlin was among the Rebels better ball winners with 21 disposals playing the half-back role, in the second half most players on the ground just blazed away trying to get boot to ball but Carlin took the time to stay composed and pick the right options.

 

Other game notes:

Murray Bushrangers vs. Calder Cannons

Murray:

#5 Ely Smith – The rugged inside midfielder continued his superb form this season with another 32-disposal game, which featured five clearances, eight inside 50s, five tackles and two rebounds.With the recent National Draft Combine invite, it is showing he is coming into serious draft calculations.

#7 Zane Barzen – The exciting forward again hit the scoreboard, booting 2.2 for the game off 15 disposals and seven marks and is building a nice block of form mid-season ahead of the TAC Cup finals series. Another who received a National Draft Combine invitation.

#18 Hudson Garoni – One of his biggest games in terms of possessions, raking in 23 touches to go with 10 marks, four inside 50s and two goals, two behinds. Often seen as more of a mark-kick-goal player, it would be great to see him add that extra string to his bow.

Calder:

#5 Curtis Taylor – After a quiet game the week before, Taylor had a bigger influence on the game against Murray, winning more of the football up the ground, taking in 21 disposals, four marks, five clearances and working hard defensively to record three rebounds to go with his one goal.

#8 Lachlan Sholl – A huge game in the back half, Sholl had the ball on a string, racking up 31 disposals, 11 marks and four clearances to go with his five rebounds and four tackles. Seems an underrated option at the Cannons after a good national carnival with Vic Metro.

#30 Mitch Podhajski – Surely has to be getting some interest now after another huge best-on-ground performance in the midfield. A massive 35 disposals, 10 marks, seven inside 50s and four goals, Podhajski does not do a lot wrong and is right up the top of the over-agers list playing in the TAC Cup.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Geelong Falcons

Bendigo:

#16 Jacob Atley – A typical performance from Atley who was clean in the back half. He finished with 14 disposals, three marks, three tackles in three rebounds in Bendigo’s heavy loss to Geelong.

Geelong:

#20 Brayden Ham – The over-ager put in another terrific performance, nailing five goals from 20 disposals and 12 marks. While he was winning the ball in space, he used his elite endurance to work over his opponents and have a strong game once again. One to keep watching over the next month.

#22 Sam Walsh – Another big game from Sam Walsh, racking up 33 disposals, six marks, four inside 50s, four rebounds and two tackles to be named best on ground. Just keeps doing the right things and is one of the key reasons you can never count Geelong out of the contest.

#30 Oscar Brownless – Won plenty of the ball in one of his higher accumulation games, picking up 27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, eight inside 50s and five rebounds.