MITCH Crowden has powered South Australia to a 46-point win over Vic Country in their NAB AFL Under 18 Championships clash at Simonds Stadium on Wednesday.
South Australia dominated from the opening bounce and Crowden was instrumental in their dominance; with 20 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and four tackles in the opening half.
Crowden distributed the ball well off his left foot and his strong frame allowed him to win the ball in the contest, finishing with 28 disposals and four clearances as their best player.
Possible Adelaide father-son selection Jackson Edwards racked up a game-high 30 disposals, distributing the ball well off his left foot and looms as the Crows second father-son selection in as many years.
On the wing, 195cm Charlie Ballard had some impressive moments finishing with 24 disposals, nine marks and seven inside 50s, and will be a player to keep an eye out in the SANFL for the remainder of the season.
Bottom-ager Izak Rankine continued to impress with 20 disposals and five inside 50s, booting a smart goal from tight in the pocket in the last quarter.
Rankine was one of the multiple bottom-agers to standout in the Under 18 Championships, with the belief that the 2018 draft is more talented than the 2017 draft clearly seen throughout the 10 games of the carnival.
Tall defender Harrison Petty was the deserving MVP for South Australia, capping off his impressive carnival with 12 disposals, four tackles and three marks against Vic Country.
Darcy Fogarty (16 disposals, six rebound 50s and five marks) played in defence for the Croweaters.
Vic Country were simply outworked throughout the contest, recording 75 less disposals than the South Australian’s.
Bottom-ager Sam Walsh has been one of Country’s best players in the Under 18 Championships, finishing with a game high 24 disposals in a strong showing through the midfield.
Again it was the Geelong Falcons tag-team James Worpel and Cassidy Parish who won the football on the inside for Country. Worpel’s strong carnival saw him judged as the Vic Country MVP.
Worpel finished the carnival off with his best game, collecting 22 disposals, eight inside 50s, six tackles and five clearances – while Parish finished with 22 disposals and six clearances.
Possible no.1 pick Luke Davies-Uniacke had an ok showing with 16 disposals and five marks.
VIC COUNTRY 1.3 3.5 7.7 9.11 (65)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 3.3 9.7 11.13 16.15 (111)
VIC COUNTRY: Daniels 2, Clark 2, Dow, Davies-Uniacke, Worpel, Jiath, Williams
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Rozee 3, Smithson 3, Giro 3, Coleman-Jones, Crowden, Rowe, Davis, Ballard, Houlahan, Rankine
VIC COUNTRY: Walsh, Worpel, Parish, Paton, Daniels, Quigley
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Crowden, Ballard, Rankine, Edwards, Giro, Rozee