IT was another fascinating week of results in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Under 16s competition, with some one-sided results, and 21 points being the closest margin of the weekend.
West Adelaide 5.6 (36) DEFEATED BY North Adelaide 9.4 (58)
The Roosters made it two wins in as many weeks by defeating the Bloods at Hisense Stadium on Saturday morning. North Adelaide kicked the first four goals of the contest and controlled proceedings for much of the day, led by the prolific midfield duo of Angus Tully and Kane McAuliffe. The pair looked a class above from start to finish, dominating at the stoppages and working hard around the ground to provide an option away from the coalface. Although West Adelaide were able to more-or-less hold their own for the final three quarters of the match, the Roosters never truly looked like losing the contest and will be thrilled to have pieced together back-to-back wins after starting the season with two defeats.
Tully finished the game with 41 disposals to go with three marks, 12 tackles, nine clearances, four inside-50s and six rebounds, with the Bloods on-ballers unable to restrict his impact. McAuliffe ended with a similarly brilliant stat-line of 33 touches, 11 marks, ten tackles, six clearances, six inside-50s and four rebounds. Jed Dignan and Jack Dundon each kicked three goals-straight for the red and whites with big-man DJ Smith also contributing a couple. North’s Darcy Kelly got the better of the ruck contest, winning 23 hit-outs. Toby Turner’s rebound from defence was another highlight in what was a well-rounded showing from North Adelaide.
Despite the loss, Lukas Zvaigzne pieced together another strong performance for West Adelaide. One of the standout performers so far this season, Zvaigzne collected 29 disposals, six marks, four clearances and six rebounds. Oscar Talbot‘s aerial work was also admirable, with Will Patton once again featuring amongst his sides best performers.
South Adelaide 14.9 (93) DEFEATED GLENELG 5.8 (38)
South Adelaide showed why they are among the competition’s best sides by easily beating Glenelg at Flinders University Stadium. The Panthers took a slim five-point lead into the main break but dominated proceedings in the second half, kicking nine goals to Glenelg’s one.
Up forward, South Adelaide’s Jack Delean looked threatening all day, with his competitiveness in the air particularly noteworthy. Delean took four contested marks (seven in total) and booted four goals to take his season tally to seven. Tom Wheaton was arguably best afield, gathering 34 disposals, eight marks (three contested), seven tackles, ten clearances and ten inside-50s in his on-ball role. He benefitted greatly from the excellent tap-work of Tom Schirmer (26 hit-outs), who laid four tackles and managed six clearances of his own. Blake Rodrigues (25 disposals, four marks and five rebound-50s) and Sid Draper (19 disposals, one goal, five marks and seven tackles) also found plenty of the ball, with Jake Agnew, Benny Barrett and Phoenix Hargrave all booting two goals.
Glenelg’s midfield were unable to stop South Adelaide when they got on a roll after half-time. The Tigers lost the clearances (-15), hit-outs (-12) and inside-50s (-16) and couldn’t find a multiple goal kicker in attack. However, the efforts of hard-nosed Benjamin Ridgway will have impressed the Bays coaching staff, finishing with 21 disposals, eight marks (three contested) and five inside-50s. Kaiden Adkin (22 disposals, four marks and eight rebounds) was strong in defence and son-of-a-gun Lucas Camporeale (22 disposals and four marks) also found the ball at ease.
NORWOOD 11.5 (71) DEFEATED Woodville-West Torrens 5.8 (38)
The Redlegs handed Woodville-West Torrens their second consecutive loss of the season on the back of a terrific second half performance. Not dissimilar to the Panthers and Tigers clash, the Eagles and ‘legs were evenly poised heading into the half-time break. However a four goal to one third term propelled Norwood across the line at home.
Consistent performer Kade Madigan once again led his team in disposals, finishing the game with 22 touches, along with nine marks, three clearances, five rebounds and a goal. His work rate around the ground was particularly evident as the game wore on. Jaidyn Mead and William Rowland each booted three goals for the Redlegs. The ruck combination of Caleb Barton (10 disposals and 18 hit-outs) and Brayden Rachwal (8 disposals and 14 hit-outs) was a major reason behind Norwood gaining a midfield edge. The Redlegs won the hit-outs (+20), clearances (+13), inside-50s (+8) and used the ball more efficiently than their cross-town counterparts.
Brody Mair can certainly hold his head up high in spite of his sides 33-point loss. His strength and competitiveness in the air complemented his ability to find plenty of the ball around the ground. He gathered a team-high 24 disposals, 11 marks (four contested) and nine rebound-50s. Harry Dodd (23 disposals and four marks), William McKay (20 disposals and seven marks) and Jett Hasting (16 disposals and seven marks). Tall Oscar Pearce was the only multiple goal kicker for the Eagles, booting three majors to go with his 11 hitouts and four inside-50s.
CENTRAL DISTRICTS 8.8 (56) DEFEATED BY STURT 12.8 (80)
Central Districts suffered a heartbreaking last quarter fadeout for the second match in a row, slumping to their fourth-straight defeat of the 2021 season. Sturt, who hadn’t led since early in the first term, trailed by 13-points at three quarter time, but piled on six unanswered goals in the final term to move into second place on the ladder. The Bulldogs won many of the key statistical areas, but Sturt’s superior ball-use came to the forefront as the game wore on.
The Double Blues benefited from an even spread of contributors, led by Kobe McEntee. Although he missed a couple of attempts on goal, McEntee produced another strong showing, featuring 19 disposals, eight marks, three tackles, three clearances and six inside-50s. Finn Wakelin capitalised on his shots, nailing three majors while George Pope and Ben Spehr both contributed two. Pope was also strong in the contest, laying eight tackles and four clearances.
Although the Bulldogs lost their fourth straight matchup, it wasn’t the fault of ruckman Jayden Matz or gun midfielder Trent Tattoli as the pair produced scintillating performances in the red, white and blue. Matz has announced himself as the competition’s premier ruckman this season, averaging 31 hitouts in the opening month of action. Matz has the sort of workrate AFL clubs are crying out for in their big men. His ability to accumulate the football around the ground, compete ferociously at ground level and throw his weight around at stoppages has been ultra impressive, and was again evident against Sturt. He finished the contest with 16 disposals, nine tackles, 33 hit-outs, six clearances and four inside-50s. Tattoli clearly benefited from Matz’s dominance, winning five clearances of his own, to go with 39 disposals, 11 marks, five tackles, four inside-50s and four rebounds. Brody Arias (three goals), Liam Fawcett (14 disposals and two goals), Seb Wauer (26 disposals and eight marks) and William O’Brien (24 disposals and seven inside-50s) were also among the ‘Dogs best.
Picture credit: SANFL / Cory Sutton