THE Final Siren podcast team came together for a special pocket podcast edition this week, recapping all the action and fallout from Saturday’s AFL Under 19 National Championships clash between Western Australia and South Australia. Host Peter Williams and analyst Michael Alvaro dissected some of the key topics out of the one-off showcase, detailed in the agenda below.
Podcast Link: Click here!
KEY PODCAST POINTS:
– Themes of the game – where it was won + standout players
While much was made of South Australia’s top-end, consisting of first round candidates Jason Horne-Francis, Matthew Roberts, and Arlo Draper rolling through midfield, Western Australia’s arguably less-heralded mix of Matthew Johnson, Kade Dittmar, Josh Browne, James Tunstill, and Angus Sheldrick proved dominant at times – even without vice-captain Neil Erasmus.
Combine the engine room ascendancy with the aerial feats of their talls at either end, and the Black Ducks’ spine worked wonders. Up forward, Jye Amiss put his hand up for top 15 status as he waxed with Jack Williams, while Rhett Bazzo showed his intercept-marking class in defence alongside newfound swingman Jacob van Rooyen, and Jack Avery.
WA’s strength and depth across the ground was noticeable, and they clearly benefitted from experiencing multiple trial games together. SA had a few showcase their outside class, with wingman Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera a particular standout, while Jase Burgoyne, Cooper Beecken, Lewis Rayson, and Max Litster all worked hard to drive the ball forward.
– Potential Power Ranking risers
There were a few clear standouts from a draft sense in this game, five of which were highlighted in our earlier Rising Stocks piece. From a South Australian sense, Wanganeen-Milera was one who truly consolidated his status in the first round having shown plenty of class on the ball. He has a few athletic tricks which buy time and uses the ball wonderfully well, carving up the opposition by foot.
Joining him in the top 15 discussion was Amiss, who has been an undeniable talent this year. Having amassed an incredible goalkicking record of 49.12 in the WAFL Colts, the East Perth forward spearheaded WA’s attack with a number of leading forays and most importantly, two goals.
Amiss’ feats and form saw van Rooyen thrown into defence after snaring 11.5 in his last two Colts outings, and the move worked wonders. The physical Claremont prospect was dominant in the air and with his bodywork, waxing beautifully with fellow swingman Bazzo to serve a reminder of their second round credentials.
– Which team would win the championships?
Saturday’s national carnival taster certainly quenched a thirst for the format, but still leaves the lingering question of which region would have taken out this year’s championships if we were treated to a full competition.
Having shown ominous form on Saturday, Western Australia have to be considered in the top bracket – above South Australia despite either state boasting 18 Draft Combine invitees each. Vic Metro is the other team to be considered a contender, as they thumped Vic Country by 59 points in July’s challenge match.
The midfield battle between WA and Vic Metro is a mouthwatering proposition, with some of Saturday’s dominant Black Ducks poised against the likes of Nick Daicos, Finn Callaghan, and Josh Ward. South Australia and Vic Country would also prove an even battle, while the Allies are somewhat of an unknown quantity having not yet played together in 2021, but laying claim to some class.