The run home: Oakleigh Chargers

OAKLEIGH Chargers have been a premiership contender since the start of the season, and remain well in contention for a top four position. They face Sandringham Dragons this weekend, and a win would see them at least move within two points of both Sandringham and Murray Bushrangers on the TAC Cup table – the latter of which they are within the two points already. With Murray facing Gippsland Power, there is every chance Oakleigh can snatch fourth spot, however a loss, and it makes things tough. They must win against GWV Rebels in the final round, but have to record the two wins or otherwise hope that Murray loses both.

Wins: 8
Losses: 5
Draws: 1
Position: 5th
Points For: 1019 (4th)
Points Against: 809 (3rd)
Percentage: 126
Points: 34

Fixtures:

R15: vs. Sandringham Dragons – Avalon Airport Oval
R16: vs. GWV Rebels – MARS Stadium

National Combine Invitations: [8] Noah Answerth, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Will Golds, Will Kelly, Xavier O’Neill, Isaac Quaynor, James Rowbottom, Ben Silvagni

State Combine Invitations: [6] Joseph Ayton-Delaney, Atu Bosenavulagi, Kyle Dunkley, Jake Gasper, James Jordan, Jack Ross

Oakleigh showed off its huge draft crop potential with 14 players invited to test at National and State combines. The Chargers were second only to Dandenong Stingrays (17) in terms of total players invited, and they loom as a danger side come finals. With so much emphasis on forward pressure, it is no surprise to see Atu Bosenavulagi and Jake Gaspertop two for tackles at the club – forwards who lock the ball inside the 50. With Oakleigh always decimated due to school football, the likes of Will KellyJames RowbottomBen SilvagniWill Golds and Jack Ross returning to help out Riley Collier-DawkinsXavier O’Neill and Isaac Quaynor in the starting side will be crucial in the run to the Grand Final. The bottom-age brigade of Trent BiancoNoah AndersonDylan Williams and Matt Rowell among others are up there with Gippsland Power as the top contenders for next season.

Top Fives:

Disposals:

1 – Xavier O’Neill – 260 (16th overall)
2 – Trent Bianco – 204
3 – Noah Answerth – 189
4 – Atu Bosenavulagi – 184
5 – Riley Collier-Dawkins – 180

Marks:

1 – Xavier O’Neill – 52 (eq. 24th overall)
2 – Trent Bianco – 44
3 – Dylan Williams – 40
4 – Noah Answerth – 35
4 – Jay Robertson – 35

Contested Possessions:

1 – Atu Bosenavulagi – 109 (eq. 22nd overall)
2 – Xavier O’Neill – 100
3 – Riley Collier-Dawkins – 84
4 – Trent Bianco – 79
5 – Noah Answerth – 75

Tackles:

1 – Atu Bosenavulagi – 62 (eq. 19th overall)
2 – Jake Gasper – 48
3 – Xavier O’Neill – 47
4 – Xavier Fry – 45
5 – Kyle Viccars – 43

Hitouts:

1 – Lachlan Harry – 111 (eq. 16th overall)
2 – Jay Robertson – 87
3 – Nick Bryan – 81
4 – Bailey Griffiths – 73
5 – Tom Hogan – 41

Clearances:

1 – Riley Collier-Dawkins – 33 (eq. 33rd overall)
1 – Xavier O’Neill – 33 (eq. 33rd overall)
1 – James Rowbottom – 33 (eq. 33rd overall)
4 – Jack Ross – 31
5 – Atu Bosenavulagi – 22

Inside 50s:

1 – Xavier O’Neill – 45 (eq. 14th overall)
2 – Jake Gasper – 35
3 – Atu Bosenavulagi – 31
4 – James Rowbottom – 27
5 – Jay Robertson – 25

Rebounds:

1 – Trent Bianco – 35 (eq. 19th overall)
1 – Isaac Quaynor – 35 (eq. 19th overall)
3 – Xavier O’Neill – 27
4 – Noah Answerth – 21
5 – Dylan Williams – 20

Goals:

1 – Jake Gasper – 32 (3rd overall)
2 – Matthew Day – 17 (eq. 9th overall)
3 – Daniel Scala – 15
4 – Jay Robertson – 9
5 – Charlie Whitehead – 8

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