IT was an entertaining first round of the Under 18 Academy Series, with the GWS GIANTS, Sydney Swans and Tasmania getting victories. We were at Blacktown to witness the triple header at Blacktown, with Tasmania defeating Gold Coast, the GIANTS defeating Northern Territory by 48 points, and the Swans getting up in a 49-point victory over Brisbane.
TASMANIA 1.1 9.3 10.6 15.9 (99)
GOLD COAST 2.1 3.2 5.5 8.6 (54)
TASMANIA: Jones 4, Rubock 3, Mundy 3, Dakin 2, Banks-Smith 2, O’Neill
GOLD COAST: Smith 2, Burke, Conroy, Graham, Greenwool, Lowah, Scott
TASMANIA: Auckland, Turner, Jones, House, McGuinness, Gadomski
GOLD COAST: Koenen, Smith, McDonald, Scott, Graham
#6 Chayce Jones – Was a standout performer for the AFL Academy the previous work and continued his fine form with a strong performance. He played mostly in the attacking half of the ground where he was lively, booting four goals Jones covers the ground well and gets to the right spots to win the ball.
#12 Fraser Turner – Provided plenty of run on the outside, collecting 34 disposals. He was also damaging going forward, as he was able to have multiple kicks inside 50 that were able to find targets. Impressively, he spreads well from a contest and worked hard around the ground, getting on the end of possessions to mark the ball.
#13 Tarryn Thomas – A decent showing for Thomas gathering 23 disposals. On the outside, he can really prove damaging, using the ball well by foot – and on the inside, his quick, clean hands are very effective. Looked to handball more than kick out of stoppage.
#10 Bailey Scott – Used his burst of speed through the midfield to effectiveness, but it was tough going as the Suns lost the midfield battle – especially after quarter-time. He found 23 disposals and had five clearances. Expect him to challenge for the Suns’ MVP.
#27 Caleb Graham – Tall Defender who intercepted well during the match and was able to rebound the footy. He took some good marks and was in the handful of best players.
#29 Dirk Koenan – Like Graham, played as a tall defender. He was very good in the air, taking multiple marks whenever the ball came in long from the Tasmanian midfielders. Took eight marks for the match and was the Suns’ best.
GWS GIANTS 2.3 6.4 9.4 13.5 (83)
NORTHERN TERRITORY 2.1 2.4 4.5 5.5 (35)
GWS GIANTS: Chandler 3, Corbett 2, Edwards 2, Budd, Driscoll, Peatling, Powell, Rowston, Walker
NORTHERN TERRITORY: Schwarze 2, Brown, Rosas, Scrutton
GWS GIANTS: Green, Koschitzke, Murray, Beaumont, Kelly, Briggs
NORTHERN TERRITORY: S Cumming, Rosas, Grant, Baird, Green, Holt-Fitz
#23 Matthew Walker – Walker played centre-half forward and had a good battle with Rodney Baird. He led up the ground well taking some strong marks and also played through the midfield with great effect, showing off his versatility which has been on display in the TAC Cup and for the AFL Academy.
#31 Riley Corbett – Corbett provided a strong focal point up forward, using his height to advantage. Unselfishly centred the ball to Jack Rowston to lock in another GWS goal during the match.
#32 Jacob Koschitzke – A strong game at full-back by the Murray Bushrangers switch-man. Koschitzke provided great run and carry out of defence, linking up well with the midfield. He copped a big hit in the centre of the ground, bounced straight back up and finished the game as one of the GIANTS’ best.
#50 Ben Kelly – Kelly dominated the ruck all day as the Murray Bushrangers tall seemed to be everywhere on the day. He took some great contested marks around the ground and always presented as an option.
#3 Liam Holt-Fitz – The excitement machine broke the game open by showing good speed on the outside, and was equally dangerous and creative up forward. He laid some great tackles, and in my opinion was Northern Territory’s best player.
#12 Mitchell Pemberton – Pemberton was one of the better players for Northern Territory through the midfield. He was hard working and used the ball well by foot throughout the match.
#23 Michael Mummery – After a long lay-off, Mummery showed glimpses of his ability to read the game. He had two shots on goal which both pushed wide in the strong wind. Keep an eye on him as builds his match fitness throughout the series.
#30 Rodney Baird – Took some strong marks at centre-half back and used the ball well by hand and foot. Baird always provided a strong option when coming out of defence. He gave plenty of second and third efforts to keep Northern Territory in the contest.
SYDNEY SWANS 3.2 8.2 13.5 16.6 (102)
BRISBANE LIONS 1.2 3.2 5.4 8.5 (53)
SYDNEY: Blakey 5, Kilpatrick 3, McKellar, Reinhard, Barkley, Barling, Stern, Carroll, Wicks, Parker
BRISBANE: Marsh 2, Reville, Franks, McFadyen, Stackelberg, Jeffrey, Ansell
SYDNEY: Cameron, Blakey, McKeller, Kilpatrick, Reinhard, Rayner, Parker
BRISBANE: Marango, Marsh, Griffiths, Franks, Stackelberg
#3 Nick Blakey – Played through the midfield and forward and was dominant when in the attacking zone. Blakey used his height to advantage taking some great pack marks against the Sydney defence and used the ball well. He dropped back into defence late in the game after booting a bag of five goals in attack, clearly one of the better Swans in the 49-point win.
#23 Cooper Kilpatrick – Kilpatrick played as a small forward and rotated through the midfield and across the wing. One of his best attributes was his high amount of pressure acts, finishing with six tackles. He also used the ball well when in possession. Kilpatrick kicked three goals, which included a great goal from the boundary.
#36 Joey Reinhard – Contested well at centre-half forward, taking a few strong marks and bringing the ball to ground at other times. He was rewarded for his efforts by kicking a good first quarter goal. In the second half he played through the midfield and ruck, and got the Swans moving forward.
#40 Josh Rayner – He played the first half in defence taking some strong intercept marks, while also using the ball well by hand and foot. In the second half he moved through the midfield and drifted forward taking some good contested marks at centre-half forward.
#12 Jesse Quint – Another tireless worker in the midfield, Quint worked hard around stoppages, and kicked Brisbane’s first goal. A noticeable trait for Quint was his high work rate all across the ground.
#15 Caleb Franks – Franks worked hard in the centre and on the inside of the contest. He was good around the stoppages, creating forward pressure when inside 50 and kicked a great snap goal.
#17 Darcy Marsh – Marsh had a great game kicking two goals and gave Brisbane a lot of run through the midfield. A notable highlight for the midfielder was his good hands in traffic. His two goals were the most of any Brisbane player and was a standout on the day.
#33 Cody Stackelberg – He played as a small forward and through the midfield in the game. Stackelberg worked hard inside 50 giving the Lions a lot of scoring opportunities, including kicking a goal himself to be the Lions most productive forward.