Category: News

SANFL weekly wrap Round 3: Roosters crow with triumph over Tigers

SOUTH Australian football continued on the weekend with North Adelaide now the new premiership favourites following an impressive win over reigning premiers Glenelg in the League competition, while three sides remain unbeaten in the Reserves, and two others in the Under 18s. Six of the eight clubs are unbeaten in at least one of the three grades, giving fans something to smile about over the weekend and season thus far in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).

Central District vs. South Adelaide

South Adelaide has enjoyed a comfortable 44-point win over Central District in the league game, blowing away their opponents in the last term. The Panthers led by 15 points at the final break having inaccurately kicked 5.11, before piling on 6.1 to 1.2 in the last quarter to run away with the contest. South Adelaide arguably should have won by more with a whopping 54 inside 50s to 20, though the Bulldogs’ defence did well with 43 rebounds to 15. Central also led the tackle count with 72-51, while the Panthers had 24 more marks for the game.

Joseph Haines led the way in disposals for the Panthers, picking up 30 touches, 11 marks – two contested – and two inside 50s, while former Port Adelaide midfielder Matthew Broadbent racked up a game-high nine clearances to go with 26 touches, eight marks and five inside 50s. Joel Cross (25 disposals, six marks – two contested – five clearances and four inside 50s) and Ben Heaslip (24 disposals, eight marks – one contested – three clearances and five inside 50s) were impressive, while Zach Dumesny stood tall with a goal from 19 touches, 10 marks and three inside 50s.

James Boyd brought his own ball to the game for Central, racking up a mind-boggling 39 disposals, 11 marks, six tackles, five clearances and seven rebounds. He worked well in midfield with Troy Menzel (27 touches, 11 marks – two contested – three tackles, three clearances and a goal) and Darcy Pisani (22 disposals, two marks, four tackles, six clearances and two rebounds). Luke Habel and David Haydon combined for 38 disposals, 14 marks and eight rebounds working hard in the back half, while Corey Durdin had another 11 touches, as well as four marks and three inside 50s.

In the Reserves it was Central District that handed out a heavy beating, slamming home a whopping 12 goals to one in the second half to run away with the contest in a one-sided affair. The win meant Central sits atop the Reserves ladder while the Panthers hold up the competition at the other end of the table.

It was another big win to South Adelaide in the Under 18s, with the Panthers recording a comprehensive 76-point victory over Central District. The Panthers were on from the first bounce, booting six goals to zero in the opening term, and then kept Central scoreless in the final term while piling on five goals to win 16.12 (108) to 4.8 (32). The Panthers had an extra 113 disposals, 45 marks and 20 inside 50s showing just how dominant they were.

Bottom-age Panthers, Matthew Roberts and Jason Horne both had some big days out, as Roberts racked up 27 touches and 11 marks, while Horne finished with three goals from 26 disposals, six tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s. Max Clifton was strong in midfield with five clearances and seven inside 50s to go with 26 touches and seven tackles, teaming up well with Cooper Rogers and Jaiden Magor who combined for 41 disposals, 16 tackles, 11 clearances and 10 inside 50s, while Magor slotted 2.3. Liam Hamilton was the most prominent forward for the Panthers snagging five goals from eight scoring shots, while Liam Nye kicked the three majors.

Lewis Cowham was again one of Central’s best despite the loss, picking up a team-high 21 disposals and nine clearances, as well as five tackles, three marks and two inside 50s. Shaye Linke (16 disposals, two marks, 12 tackles, six clearances, four inside 50s and a goal) was prominent, as was Jacob Fiebiger (15 disposals, three marks and eight rebounds) of of defence. Similarly, Darcy McDonald and Aidan Ponton had 14 touches and five rebounds each.


Glenelg vs. North Adelaide

Booting the last three goals of the game would not be enough for Glenelg as the reigning premiers undefeated streak came to an end at the hands of North Adelaide on Saturday. In a seesawing contest, the Tigers led by five points at quarter time, before the Roosters took control to lead at each of the other breaks, including by as much as 19 points at three quarter time. North Adelaide got out to a 20-point lead in the last term, before Luke Reynolds booted two goals, and then Carl Nicholson snagged one, but it would not be enough to get the Tigers over the line, going down by three points, 11.5 (71) to 10.14 (74).

Campbell Combe had 27 disposals, two marks, 13 tackles, nine clearances and three inside 50s in a big game, while a number of his teammates racked up 25 touches. Jared Allmond (25 disposals, four marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and a goal), Mitchell Clisby (25 disposals, two marks, three tackles, three clearances, four inside 50s and four rebounds) and Thomas Schwarz (25 disposals, five marks, eight tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s) were all prolific. In front of goal, Kym Lebois was the sole multiple goalkicker with three majors, while Mitch Harvey had 35 hitouts from 15 disposals, six marks – two contested – and four clearances.

Liam McBean and Reynolds both snagged three goals for the Bays, while Darcy Bailey booted two majors in the narrow defeat. Matthew Snook picked up 27 disposals, three marks, 13 tackles, six clearances and seven inside 50s, with Bradley Agnew and Jack Hannath huge around the stoppages. Agnew finished with 23 disposals, three marks, six tackles, eight clearances and six inside 50s, as Hannah racked up 31 hitouts for 21 touches, six marks, nine clearances and five inside 50s. Luke Partington also had 20 touches, six marks, five tackles and five inside 50s in a solid display.

In the Reserves, Glenelg bounced back from a goalless first term to run over the top of North Adelaide thanks to a stronger second half. The Bays trailed by 14 points at quarter time and eight at half-time, but booted eight goals to five in the second half, with a five goals to one third term in particular the difference between the sides. In the end, Glenelg took home the chocolates, 10.9 (69) to 8.5 (53).

In a very one-sided contest that ended in Glenelg triumphing by a whopping 75 points, it was inaccuracy that ultimately hurt North Adelaide, booting just 2.15 for the game as the Roosters’ opponents piled on 16.6. Most of that damage was done in the opening half as the Bays booted 10.5 to 2.7, and then held North Adelaide goalless in the second half with eight behinds to the Roosters’ name, while Glenelg piled on 6.1 in that time for a 16.6 (102) to 2.15 (27) victory.

Lewis Rayson had a big game in the win, picking up 35 disposals, 11 marks – one contested – four tackles, three inside 50s and five rebounds. Also busy for the Tigers were Hagan Wright (27 disposals, seven arks, two tackles, three inside 50s and seven rebounds) and Henry McAuliffe (25 disposals, two marks, six tackles, three clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds). Potential Adelaide father-son selection Luke Edwards had plenty of the ball with 24 touches, eight marks, four tackles and 10 inside 50s, while Lucas Schulz (five goals), Luke Pedlar (three), Riley Davis (three) and Hugh Stagg (two) were all multiple goalkickers.

Blayne O’Loughlin topped the disposal winners for the Roosters with 28 touches, eight marks and eight rebounds, while AFL Academy member Jamison Murphy had the 26 disposals, four marks, eight tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds. Also prominent in the middle was Kallis Freer (23 disposals, four marks, five tackles, nine clearances and four inside 50s), while Tariek Newchurch had seven inside 50s to go with 14 touches.

Sturt vs. West Adelaide

Sturt’s League side has bounced back from a forgettable Round 2 defeat to post a tight win over West Adelaide. The Double Blues have moved three points clear in fifth spot on the SANFL table after winning 11.6 (72) to 9.10 (64). It was Sturt’s fast start of four goals to one that got the Double Blues going in the opening term, and while the Bloods pegged them back by the main break, Sturt did not give in. A more accurate 11 majors from 17 scoring shots to West Adelaide’s nine from 19 told a tale, as the Double Blues dominated possession (56 per cent and plus 58 disposals) and marks (plus 55), but the Westies were better in other ways with 20 more tackles and 10 more inside 50s.

Sam Colquhoun again led the way for the Double Blues with 26 touches, six marks, three tackles, three inside 50s, two clearances, four rebounds and a goal, while James Battersby (25 touches, three marks, seven tackles and 12 clearances) was instrumental through the middle. Sam Wundke had 25 disposals, 11 marks – one contested – and 10 rebounds in a phenomenal effort in defence, while Abe Davis pushed up the ground to influence in the middle after being a scoring threat in the early rounds to finish with 20 touches and six clearances. Others who impressed included Daniel Fahey-Sparks (15 touches, eight marks – three contested – 36 hitouts and five inside 50s) and Ash Johnson if he had been able to find his kicking boots, slotting 1.5 from 13 touches and six marks – two contested – in the game.

The Westies had lower overall disposal winners but it did not stop Brett Turner battling hard with Battersby at the stoppages, notching up 11 clearances and five inside 50s from 21 disposals and five tackles. Kaine Stevens (20 disposals, four marks, eight tackles and four clearances) was also busy there, while potential number one AFL Draft pick Riley Thilthorpe continues to stand up at League level with his best game of the season collecting 13 disposals, six marks – three contested – 11 hitouts and two goals in a prominent day out. Isaac Johnson was the most damaging forward with 3.2 from 13 disposals, three marks, nine tackles and seven inside 50s.

Sturt had a much easier time in the Reserves, as the Double Blues notched up their first win with a 52-point victory over West Adelaide to move into the top four. The Blues slammed home six goals to zero in the second term to open up a 45-point lead at the main break, and while the Westies clawed to within 36 points at three quarter time, Sturt came again and booted 4.4 to 2.0 in the last term to run out 13.13 (91) to 5.9 (39) winners.

Sturt’s Under 18s also tasted success in a good weekend for the Double Blues, getting up by 49 points. Sturt and West Adelaide were neck-and-neck on Saturday at Hisense Stadium in the opening half, with the double Blues leading by a point and then a goal at the quarter and half-time breaks. While inaccuracy might have plagued them in the first half, the Double Blues found their range after that, extending the lead out to 19 points by the final change, then running away with a six goals to one final term in the 16.11 (107) to 9.4 (58) victory.

Tom Powell suffered leather poisoning during the game, racking up a ridiculous 39 disposals, 14 clearances, eight inside 50s, three marks, four tackles and two rebounds, also kicking two behinds. The next highest ball winners were Bradley Jefferies (24 disposals, five tackles, three clearances and a goal) and Mani Liddy (22 disposals, eight clearances, four tackles and three marks). Will Spain was also productive onball with Liddy, amassing six clearances to go with 21 touches, six tackles and four inside 50s while Malachy Carruthers had 20 disposals six marks, four tackles and three rebounds. However the most eye-catching performance might have been Zabien Parker-Boers up forward who slotted seven goals – only two less than the entire West Adelaide team – after taking six marks from 17 touches.

Bailey Chamberlain tried hard in the middle for the Westies, notching up 20 disposals, four marks, six tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds, aided by Cade Kennedy (17 disposals, nine tackles, three clearances and two marks) and Lachlan De Cesare (13 disposals, five clearances and eight tackles). Harvey Bock also worked well out of defence with 13 disposals and five rebounds, while Hamish Dunkin (15 disposals, seven marks and three rebounds) was solid Thomas Rundle and Tyrell Sgroi booted three majors each up forward for the Bloods.


WWT Eagles vs. Norwood

After two tight losses against premiership contenders, Norwood was sent crashing back to earth by an impressive Woodville-West Torrens Eagles outfit. The Redlegs’ social media summarised it perfectly yesterday with the words “Nowhere near good enough”, as the Eagles held the visitors to one goal or less in three of the four quarters and booted 14 goals from 26 scoring shots themselves. Despite a three-goal third term giving Norwood some hope, the Bloods still trailed by 35 points at the last chance, but instead it was the Eagles who piled on 5.2 to 0.2 and ran away with the contest, 14.12 (96) to 4.7 (31).

Jimmy Toumpas racked up some big numbers for the Eagles yet again courtesy of 27 touches, five marks, four tackles, three clearances and two rebounds, while Jordan Foote had a feast through the midfield with a team-high seven clearances to accompany 24 touches, five tackles, five inside 50s and three rebounds. Matthew Goldsworthy was good on the outside with 21 touches, six marks, three tackles, eight inside 50s and two goals, while James Rowe, Jack Hayes and Jesse Lonergan combined for eight goals off 52 touches and 13 inside 50s. AFL Academy hub member and Port Adelaide Next-Generation Academy member Lachlan Jones also impressed with 16 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and two rebounds.

Former Adelaide midfielder Richard Douglas had his biggest game of the year so far for the Redlegs, racking up 31 touches, five marks, five tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s, five rebounds and a goal in a strong all-around effort. Ruck, Sam Baulderstone was equally damaging with 30 hitouts, nine clearances and 21 disposals, while Brad McKenzie (21 disposals, eight rebounds and eight marks), Nik Rokahr (21 disposals, seven marks) and Mitch Wilkins (20 disposals, eight marks) had plenty of the ball. Matthew Panos and Peter Bampton shared in 12 clearances from 35 disposals onball, while Cody Szust worked hard with seven rebounds from 15 touches out of defence, but it was a forgettable day for the Redlegs.

It was much the same result in the Reserves with the unbeaten Eagles continuing to pile on the pain against a winless Redlegs side to win by 63 points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. The Eagles booted four goals to zero in the second term to race away to a 36-point half-time lead, and while the Redlegs tried to stay in touch in the third term, a four goals to one final quarter once again saw Woodville-West Torrens pull away in a 15.13 (103) to 6.4 (40) victory.

Norwood turned the tables of Woodville-West Torrens in the Under 18s competition, running away with an impressive 39-point win to sit fourth after three rounds and hand the Eagles their third straight loss. The teams were tight throughout the contest, as Norwood led by four points at quarter time and one point at half-time. They pulled away a little in the third courtesy of a five goals to three term, but still only held a 14-point advantage at the final chance. It was the five goals to one last quarter that did all the damage as Norwood ran away with the 16.13 (109) to 10.10 (70) victory.

Bottom-age Redlegs star, Cooper Murley had a day out thanks to 29 touches, two marks, six tackles, seven clearances, five inside 50s and two goals, while Jack Saunders picked up 25 touches, two marks, seven clearances, nine tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds. The other player to notch up more than 20 touches for Norwood was Michael Cavallaro (21 disposals, seven marks, four inside 50s, two marks and two rebounds), while Nathan Hearing had 26 hitouts and eight clearances from 19 touches out of the ruck. Up forward, Finn Heard had plenty of chances with a five-goal haul that could have been even more, booting four behinds as well, while Marcus Roberts, Xavier Tranfa and James Higgins all snagged multiple goals. In defence, Matthew Dnistriansky had six rebounds from 16 touches, teaming well with Ben Ianniello (12 disposals, seven rebounds).

For the Eagles, Caleb Poulter‘s sensational season continued, booting two goals from 29 touches and eight marks – two contested – as well as five tackles, five inside 50s and three rebounds. Potential Port Adelaide father-son prospect, Jase Burgoyne had a handy day with 27 disposals, five marks – one contested – three tackles, three clearances and seven rebounds, while Harrison Dawkins booted a goal from 25 touches, five clearances and four inside 50s. Max Lister (20 disposals, three marks, four tackles, six clearances and five rebounds) impressed, while another Port Adelaide father-son prospect, Taj Schofield had an impressive game with 17 disposals, five clearances and a goal.

SANFL Player Focus: Lachlan Jones (WWT Eagles)

IN a return to our Player Focus piece, we take a look at a South Australian National Football League (SANFL) talent who has really stood out on the League stage. In Round 3 of the competition, our eyes were on Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) defender Lachlan Jones, who took part in the Eagles’ big win over Norwood.


Lachlan Jones
WWT Eagles/South Australia

DOB: April 9, 2002
Height: 185cm
Weight: 89kg

Position: General Defender


16 disposals
9 kicks
7 handballs
6 marks
1 tackle
2 inside 50s
2 rebound 50s


It has been no surprise to see Jones fit in so seamlessly at SANFL League level, and he enjoyed arguably his best outing to date this past weekend against Norwood. While you wouldn’t blame the defender for not getting too much involved as the Eagles kept their opponents to just four goals in the 65-point thumping, Jones still managed to stamp his mark on the contest with some strong passages of play.

The Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospect initially lined up down back directly opposed to fellow State Under 18 squad member, Henry Nelligan, who was making his League debut. It took a couple of goes at the ball for Jones to find his feet, fumbling at ground level early, but finding his touch with a couple of contributions forward of centre.

Shortly after booting a long ball into the forward pocket, Jones would be seen aggressively hitting up at a ground ball just inside the arc, picking it up cleanly on the half-volley at pace and bustling his way through traffic. His disposal by hand lacked on two attempts, but the intent was there. Jones’ remaining touches for the opening term came in more conventional defensive positions; punting a long rebound 50 to find a teammate, and later showing that trademark power through the contest in covering his lines across defensive 50.

Jones’ ability to attack from defensive positions began to form an asset for the Eagles as they went on to dominate proceedings, with the youngster positioning well at half-back to intercept – almost presenting like a Norwood forward should have been to cut off attacking forays with confidence. He also doubled as a defensive outlet as the play slowed, finding space to possess the ball uncontested in a chip-around game across the back 50. His short kicks across goal may have been either a touch short or overcooked at times, but it didn’t cost his side.

It was a case of more of the same for Jones after the main break, as he continued to fight fire with fire from his usual half-back post. His speed off the mark to incite a fast break was pleasing on the eye, getting the Eagles moving forward with positive running from a throw-in on defensive wing. Jones was not afraid to throw his 89kg frame around either, but it almost cost his side a goal as he remonstrated with a Redlegs opponent who had put Rhyan Mansell down after his kick, seeing the downfield penalty overturned.

That would not deter Jones by any stretch, as he continued to hit up at the ball hard. He did overrun one ground ball, but managed to lock the ball up to prevent a turnover in the back half. Another well read intercept mark on forward wing, followed by a deep inside 50 entry would be two of Jones’ final highlights on the ball, with his lone tackle for the day a crunching one inside defensive 50 to cap off his impressive performance.

Jones’ versatility in defence and ability to stand up against mature bodies at senior level have both been outstanding to this point, placing him firmly in first round contention at this early stage. He is an impressive athlete, and utilises his vertical leap, speed, and strength on-field to make for an impressive, readymade package. Having become a staple of the WWT League side, Jones will undoubtedly be a star for SA come national carnival time.

2020 WAFL Club Preview: Subiaco

SUBIACO Football Club will aim to continue its dominance over the West Australian Football League (WAFL) modern era, aiming for its ninth WAFL League premiership, seventh Reserves premiership and second Colts premiership since 2000.

The League side will be aiming for its second three-peat of premierships, and with stars such as reigning Sandover Medallist Lachlan Delahunty, four time Best and Fairest winner Kyal Horsley, Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Sokol, as well as the inspirational captain Leigh Kitchin still playing, the Lions are poised for another finals campaign.

The likes of Hayden Kennedy, Angus Litherland, Jordan Lockyer, Harrison Marsh and Ben Newton are also key players for the Lions’ premiership hopes. Young guns Ryan Borchet and Greg Clark also look set to truly announce themselves as rising stars of the WAFL competition.

There are also a number of talented young players on Subiaco’s list that look destined to have an impact for the senior team in 2020. These young players include Jack Beverley, Michael Braut, Aaron Breman, Liam Hickmott, McKenzie Lawrence, Jacob Miller, Ben Reid, and Kyle Stainsby.

While the League team is full of star players, there are a number of quality youngsters coming through the Reserves that could prove to be good WAFL League players. As such, it can be expected that the Reserves will make a serious push for finals in 2020.

The Colts will be aiming to make finals again after missing out in 2019. The 2018 premiers boast a number of promising players including Matthew Johnson, Blake Morris, Jaxon Bilchuris, Sam Broughton, Mark Corbett, Ezekiel Bolton, Campbell Franceschi, and Bryce McDonald.

2020 League Coach: Beau Wardman

2020 League Captain: Leigh Kitchin

2020 Reserves Coach: Paul Vines

2020 Colts Coach: Chayce Creedy

2020 Colts Captain: Connor Patterson

2020 Colts Leadership Group: Connor Patterson (C), Lachlan Vanirsen, Lachlan Henderson, Sandon Page

Ins: Jordan Adams (Peel / Warnbro Swans), Daniel Farmer (Karratha Kats), Jonathan Garlett (East Fremantle), Oskar Matthews (Swan Districts), Joshua Robbins (Claremont), Luke Shepherd (Peel / Warnbro Swans), Francis Shoveller (Kelmscott / Bidyadanga), Jake Stergiou (Claremont), Lewis Upton (Dampier Sharks).

Outs: Josh Chapman (West Perth), Travis Clegget, Josh Deluca, Tristan Hobley (NEAFL), Craig Hoskins (Retired), Justin Joyce, Daniel Leach (GNFL), Jack Mayo (St Kilda), Simon Moore, Tim Sutherland (Kalgoorlie), Ryan Vermeersch, Clancy Wheeler.

2020 NAB AFL State-Based Academy Players: Matthew Johnson, Blake Morris

Classic Contests: Mozzie’s last minute magic guarantees draw

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 14 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Gippsland Power and Northern Knights. In this edition, we wind the clock back to 2018, when Gippsland Power hosted Northern Knights in Morwell, and by the end of four quarters, neither side could be split.

2018 TAC Cup, Round 4
Saturday April 21, 1:00pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve

GIPPSLAND POWER 1.8 | 2.3 | 6.5 | 10.6 (66)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2.1 | 5.4 | 7.4 | 10.6 (66)


Gippsland: I. Mosquito 4, J. Smith 2, R. Baldi, M. McGannon, A. Young, T. Hayes.
S. Brazier 4, K. Agosta 2, J. D’Intinosante, B. Gillard, R. Sturgess, R. Bowkett.


Gippsland: I. Mosquito, K. Reid, R. Sparkes, J. van der Pligt, B. Smith, M. McGannon
B. Gillard, R. Sturgess, L. Potter, S. Brazier, T. Hallebone, R. Gardner

Draftees in action:

Gippsland: Irving Mosquito, Brock Smith, Fraser Phillips, Leo Connolly, Noah Gown
Sam Philp

An early season clash out at Morwell saw Gippsland Power take on Northern Knights in Round 4 of the 2018 TAC Cup season. The Power had a host of talented bottom-agers who were already starring for the side, and had started the season with a 2-1 record to sit third on the table. They went in as strong favourites at home against a hardened Knights outfit that was one win from three games, sitting eighth on the table.

The early going belonged to Northern Knights as skipper, Braedyn Gillard booted the opener just two minutes into the game, and then Kye Agosta added another six minutes later to put his side up by 10. The lively Irving Mosquito would kick the first of four goals in the game late in the term, giving his team some confidence going into the second quarter.

Once again though, Northern had the upper hand in the next term, booting three of the four goals and racing out to a 19-point advantage by half-time. Josh D’Intinosante and Ryan Sturgess were both having big games, while Josh Smith was looking strong in attack for the Power. Trailing at half-time, Gippsland burst out of the blocks in the second half with Riley Baldi, Matt McGannon and Mosquito booting consecutive goals. The latter of the trio levelled the scorers momentarily until back-to-back goals from Sunny Brazier handed the visitors a 12-point buffer with five minutes remaining.

With only a couple of minutes left in the term, Mosquito found the goals yet again, and not for the last time in the game, would have a say deep in red time. At the final break, the home team’s deficit was a measly five points. The first goal in the final quarter would be crucial and up stepped Brazier to match Mosquito’s trio of goals, giving his team an 11-point advantage. That would not last long however, with Tyrone Hayes scoring, then Smith putting his team in front and Alex Young adding some extra incentive. After a few misses from Northern, the goal hurt as the Power led by five.

Agosta came to the rescue midway through the term with a goal, and soon Brazier popped up for his fourth, and the Knights trailed by seven points with 11 and a half minutes remaining. The last 10 minutes were tension-filled as both sides tried to get the upper hand, but the Power kept attacking and when they scored a crucial behind, the deficit was just six points and everyone knew what could be on the cards.

It looked for ages like the Knights would hold on and score a terrific away victory, but in the dying moments with just 22 seconds left on the clock, that man Mosquito popped up and found a way with a terrific effort in the pocket to drill it home and create something out of nothing for his time. The scores were level, and with no time on, the siren sounded not long after to signal a draw and the teams would split the points.

Mosquito was named best-on for the Power thanks to his crucial four-goal outing which accompanied 15 disposals, five marks, nine inside 50s and five tackles, while Kyle Reid was instrumental down back clunking nine marks and seven rebounds from 20 disposals. Ryan Sparkes (28 disposals, six marks and three tackles), Jake Van Der Plight (27 disposals, seven marks and 11 tackles), Brock Smith (14 disposals, three marks and nine tackles) and McGannon (18 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles and a goal) were the other bests for Gippsland. Of future draftees, bottom-agers Fraser Phillips (15 disposals, one mark and three behinds) and Leo Connolly (14 disposals, five marks) both impressed, while top-age key forward Noah Gown worked hard for 14 disposals, four marks and four tackles.

Gillard led the way for the Knights, picking up 25 disposals, five marks, eight clearances, four inside 50s and a goal. Sturgess had a massive day out racking up 29 disposals, 10 marks and four rebounds, as well as capitalising with a goal. Harrison Grace (21 disposals) and future Blue, Sam Philp (21) both had big days out, whilst Brazier booted four goals from 18 touches and seven marks. Stefan Uzelac had seven rebounds with 19 touches and eight marks.

Gippsland Power would finish the season in second, reaching a preliminary final before bowing out at the hands of Oakleigh Chargers to the tune of 93 points, while Northern Knights finished eighth but lost to Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels in a Wildcard Round clash.

Port Adelaide Magpies Player of the AFL Draft Era: Vote for yours on our Instagram channel

PORT ADELAIDE MAGPIES are up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The Perth Demons All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Lance Franklin announced as the winner and captain of the Demon’s All-Star side.

Port Adelaide Magpies have a star littered side that was hard to pick seeds because of the top-end quality involved in the players. In the end, Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley earned the top seed, but was one of three Brownlow Medallists hailing from the Magpies, including 300-gamers Andrew McLeod and Gavin Wanganeen.

The voting will run over the next four days starting today, with the winner to be decided by Wednesday night (unless extra time and the full 24 hours is needed in the final vote). The next club involved in the voting process is Sandringham Dragons starting on Thursday. All eligible players were selected thanks to the Draft Guru site.

2020 WAFL Club Preview: South Fremantle

THE SECOND best side of the last five years, and last year’s runner-up, South Fremantle will be looking to finally emerge from Subiaco’s shadow in 2020. Despite consistently finishing in the top two or three spots on the West Australian Football League (WAFL) ladder, Souths are looking to take the next step after a maiden Grand Final appearance since their 2009 premiership, last season. The Bulldogs look to have added further talent to their already strong list and look poised to present the biggest threat to Subi’s dominance yet again.

South Fremantle have added some big names this off-season, and there is perhaps none bigger in the game than Rioli. Ben Rioli will be the latest to come down and join the Red-V to play WAFL football following brothers Shannon and Dean, father Sebastian and uncle Maurice. If he can have anywhere near that impact he’ll be a huge weapon off half back. They’ll also benefit from the return of former number four AFL Draft pick Jarrod Pickett after his stints at GWS and Carlton.

Locally the Bulldogs have snagged Perth goalkicker Cody Ninyette, however the livewire forward could be subject to availability issues this season due to work commitments. The return of defender Steve Edwards from Albany, who had a very successful stint at the club between 2017 and 2019, is also sure to delight Souths fans. The Southerners will be disappointed to lose Sean Bewick, Adam McIntosh and Adam Verrier this season, with all three deciding to retire from League football.

The above recruits will be key in determining whether the club can make up the 96-point difference between them and the reigning premiers demonstrated on Grand Final day. They’ll join established stars such as perennial Sandover Medal contender Haiden Schloithe and star forward Mason Shaw in shaping the Bulldogs’ fortunes this season. Other key players at coach Todd Curley’s disposal include former Docker Nick Suban, captain Dylan Main, and Kade Stewart.

The Bulldogs had a disappointing season in the two’s last year, with an eighth-place finish the result of just five wins. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of talent in the Reserves side to draw upon with talented young players such as Kyle Hamersley, Matthew Ward, and Zane Sumich all plying their trade in the seconds last season. Curley will be hoping players of their like will be able to make the step up and apply real pressure for League positions.

The young Bulldogs also didn’t hit the heights of their senior counterparts last season with a last-placed finish last year. Even still players such as Manfred Kelly, Jack Musika and Toby McQuilkin put up solid numbers and have been added to the senior squad this year. No Southerners were part of the WA under 18s team last season but in AFL Academy members Mitchell Brown, Ira Jetta and Shannon Neale, they’ll be hoping that changes. A two-point scratch match win against reigning premiers Claremont shows promising signs for the coming season.

South Fremantle still look the most likely to end Subiaco’s stranglehold at the top of the ladder this season and will be hoping that the class in their squad filters down throughout the grades. Better seasons this year in both the Colts and Reserves would be a strong indicator that League success is not far around the corner. A first round derby against East Fremantle will be a good indication if this classy squad is ready for the pressure of a condensed season and the intensity of finals.

Draft Central All-Star Team: Perth Demons

PERTH Demons’ All-Star team has some serious quality key position players, as well as some electric smalls around the ground. One of the greatest ever key forwards in Lance Franklin earned the nod as the team’s captain thanks to your voting via our Instagram page.


The team itself is solid without being outstanding, though there are quite a few underrated players in the side. The top-end elite talent is very strong, particularly in the key position areas, whilst a number of players can slot into multiple positions. The depth drops off towards the end, but there are some up-and-coming players who might have a say in the next few years to squeeze into the team.


The back six is highlighted by a couple of All-Australian talls in Darren Glass and Michael Johnson. Playing for opposite West Australian sides, Glass was one of the best full-backs of the modern era with four All-Australian nods and three best and fairests. He is paired up with Johnson who earned one All-Australian selection in his 244 games for the Dockers. A couple of talls who could also play against bigger opponents are Western Bulldogs’ Ryan Hargrave, and utility Scott Stevens who fill out the back pockets.

At half-back, a couple of midfielder-defenders slot in, with Tiger-turned-Docker Reece Conca and recently retired Pie-turned-Eagle Sharrod Wellingham rounding out the defensive end. Both provide plenty of speed and have some serious talent through there. Off the bench, Robbert Haddrill and Tendai Mzungu could play roles if required there.


The middle has some serious future talent in its onball group with Zac Fisher and Jaeger O’Meara likely to end their careers in the top five of Perth’s All-Time players at AFL level. Fisher has only played the 55 games but looks a natural at the level, while O’Meara has won a Rising Star and now he has overcome early injuries, is set to play his 100th game this year and be a star in Hawthorn’s midfield. They are joined by honest Fremantle midfielder Troy Cook, who won a best and fairest for the Dockers and played just shy of 200 games.

On the wings, a couple of tough players in their hey day, Richmond’s Mark Coughlan and Hawthorn’s Chance Bateman provide some extra depth across the ground. The midfield is quite deep, and the likes of David Myers and Steven Armstrong off the bench, and then Chris Mayne from half-forward gives it some flexibility when looking at the magnets. Sydney Stack might only have one season worth of experience, but he is another who could slot in through the forward half of the ground. Daniel Bandy might be a little undersized to play as the number one ruck, but he can also go forward and provide another target.


The front six is the most dangerous led by Franklin at centre half-forward. His career includes a whopping eight All-Australians, four Coleman Medals, one best and fairest, two premierships and a further three All-Australian 40-player squad nominations. A player who retired long before Franklin graced the field takes the other key position spot, with 200-game forward Earl Spalding booting 169 snags in 211 games.

The excitement machines in Collingwood utility, Leon Davis – a two-time All-Australian playing off half-back but was best known for his miraculous goals – is in a pocket along with high-flyer Winston Abraham best known for his mark at Manuka in 1999. Andrew McDougall is a third tall option in the other pocket, booting 50 goals in a short 43-game stint, while Mayne is at half-forward but could float into the midfield. Damon White is another key option who can influence off the bench.


The only 50-gamer to miss out on the side was Dion Woods (59 games), while Cruise Garlett (32), Brennan Stack (21) and Brad Fox (21) were the others to reach at least 20 games. Of the current players, Quinton Narkle (12 games prior to the season) and Ian Hill (eight) are among those talented ones expected to make the jump in the coming years.

Classic Contests: Big first half sets up Rebels for away win

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 14 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Eastern Ranges and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. In this edition, we wind the clock back to 2016, when some star studded sides faced off – and the Rebels were known as North Ballarat – in what turned into a thriller at Box Hill.

2016 TAC Cup, Round 6
Saturday May 28, 1:00pm
Box Hill City Oval

EASTERN RANGES 2.2 | 7.2 | 11.6 | 14.7 (91)
NORTH BALLARAT REBELS 5.1 | 11.3 | 12.6 | 15.9 (99)


Eastern: C. Wakefield 5, T. North 2, J. Hannon 2, J. Haynes 2, J. Stephenson 2, J. Lynch.
North Ballarat:
J. Wheelahan 3, I. Johnson 2, N. Hausler 2, S. Beks 2, K. Gray, J. Johnston, L. Meek, C. Wellings, R. Taylor, W. Drew.


Eastern: J. Begley, J. Haynes, T. North, H. Nolan, C. Wakefield, Z. Elms
North Ballarat:
N. McRoberts, W. Drew, T. Williamson, T. Lawrence, J. Wheelahan, L. Huppatz

Draftees in action:

Eastern: Tom North, Josh Begley, Jaidyn Stephenson, Sam Hayes, Jackson Ross
North Ballarat:
Willem Drew, Tom Williamson, Lloyd Meek, Jamaine Jones

Two sides that were battling it out in the mid-table logjam early in the season were North Ballarat Rebels and Eastern Ranges. Coming into the clash between the sides at Box Hill, they were sitting fifth and sixth respectively, and had some serious top-end talent on their lists. Whilst a combined nine players from the match would go onto be drafted, there were a lot more who joined the AFL ranks from the respective lists that did not run out onto the field for the Round 6 match.

The winner of the match would at least be secure in the top five by four points, as both teams were locked on 16 points – four wins from seven matches – with Oakleigh Chargers the third side with the same win-loss ratio. All three sides were eight points clear of three other teams, as well as Queensland who had played a couple of invitational games in the TAC Cup that year.

The match started with the Rebels having all the momentum, booting five goals to two in the opening term and stunning the home side to lead by 17 points at the first break. They stormed to an even bigger lead by half-time as fans witnessed an 11-goal second quarter. The Rebels kicked six goals to five as both teams showed off their impressive forward lines. Trailing by 25 points at the main break, the Ranges fought back to cut the final quarter deficit to a solitary kick. In a see-sawing second half and final term, neither side would give an inch up until the final siren with the Rebels eventually getting up by eight points.

Future Port Adelaide midfielder, Willem Drew had a big day out, named among the Rebels’ best with 21 disposals, two marks, eight tackles and a goal, while the outside run of Tom Williamson (19 disposals, nine marks, seven tackles and two behinds) was important. Named his side’s best in the win, Naish McRoberts picked up 16 disposals and seven marks, while Todd Lawrence had 20 hitouts and six tackles. The enigmatic forward in Jacob Wheelahan booted three goals from 20 touches, 10 marks and four tackles, whilst three other players kicked multiple goals. Lloyd Meek (11 disposals, four marks, six tackles, nine hitouts and one goal) and Jamaine Jones (16 disposals, six marks and five tackles) also performed strongly.

For the Ranges, Josh Begley was his team’s best roaming up the field for 19 disposals, three marks and two tackles, while future Docker, Tom North booted two snags from 18 disposals and two marks, while Jordan Haynes also kicked two goals from 20 touches, seven marks and six tackles. Future top 10 draft pick and AFL Rising Star, Jaidyn Stephenson kicked a couple of majors from 16 disposals and six marks – two contested – while Jackson Ross (15 disposals, three marks) and Sam Hayes (eight disposals, 17 hitouts) also played for the Ranges in the narrow loss.

By season’s end, North Ballarat Rebels would finish third on the table, but eventually would drop out in straight sets, losing to Geelong Falcons in the qualifying final at the same venue – Box Hill – where Max Augerinos tagged Hugh McCluggage out of the game. The Rebels would then go on to bow out at the hands of Oakleigh Chargers by a kick the next week missing a host of players. Eastern Ranges would scrape into the finals series but fall agonisingly short, losing to Sandringham Dragons by two points in one of the best finals games in recent times.

NAB League Boys 2019 Throwback: Round 15 – Murray the lone home victor

MURRAY Bushrangers ended Round 15 of last year’s NAB League season as the only side to pick up a win on home turf, with four travelling teams making their away trips memorable ones across a shortened, five-game round. Five unique venues were also used over the eventful weekend, and Sandringham took a major leap towards the top three as Oakleigh and Eastern were among the three regions to enjoy a bye.

The Dragons’ move into third spot came on the back of a 65-point thumping of Tasmania on the Apple Isle, with the Devils unable to thwart their opponents’ scoring power. It didn’t take long for Sandringham to click into gear, setting up a handy 31-point margin at the main break, and doubling it over the course of the second half to win comfortably in a consistent effort.

Over-ager Angus Hanrahan was once again the Dragons’ leading ball winner, booting three goals from 33 touches in a massive outing, while Saints draftee Ryan Byrnes notched 28 and Port Adelaide first rounder Miles Bergman (19 disposals, one goal) looked lively. North Melbourne rookie Matt McGuinness led the way for Tasmania, picking up a team-high 26 disposals, with bottom-age guns Sam Collins (21 disposals) and Oliver Davis (19) also standing up in the losing effort.

Gippsland kept the ball rolling for away sides as it travelled to Dandenong’s Shepley Oval to take on the Stingrays. Akin to Sandringham, the Power got ahead early and never looked back, coasting home comfortably to a 34-point victory. After conceding a 33-point deficit to half time, the Stingrays had more than enough opportunities to get back into the contest, but could only manage 1.9 in the third term while keeping Gippsland goalless. It proved costly, as the Power got off the ropes to recover in the final quarter.

Future Fremantle young gun Hayden Young led all comers with 26 disposals and a goal, with Ned Cahill the next best on 22. Clayton Gay was a culprit of Stingrays’ the inaccuracy with four behinds, but got in the right areas, while Lachlan Williams and Will Bravo booted multiple goals for the Stingrays. Speaking of, Harvey Neocleous notched a game-high three majors for Gippsland, while skipper Brock Smith 22 disposals) and Sam Flanders (21) were among their side’s better ball winners. Ryan Sparkes led the way though with 23 touches.

In another Country-based fixture, Murray got the better of Western, credit to a resounding performance in the forward half. The Bushrangers booted 18.13 (121) to blow the Jets away by 72 points, booting at least four goals in each of the first three terms to set up the big victory. The Jets won some ground back in the final period of play after managing a goal per the previous quarters, and booted four majors to Murray’s two.

A 16-year-old star in Josh Rachele did plenty of damage with three goals from 21 disposals, alongside Jimmy Boyer‘s effort of 26 disposals and three goals. Remarkably, Western’s Josh Honey matched their feat in front of goal, contributing a third of Western’s total scoring shots. Cam Wild led all comers with 29 disposals, while Lachlan Ash (26 disposals, one goal) was in the thick of things, and Jets bottom-ager Cody Raak (24 disposals, 11 rebound 50s) was kept busy down back.

Bendigo’s road trip to Preston proved a fruitful one, as the Pioneers notched a brilliant upset win over Northern. After a tight first half which saw Bendigo claim the slight edge, a three-goal to one third quarter put the Pioneers 24 points ahead heading into the last turn. The Knights would do their best to sneak back into the game, but the away side had all the answers and ran away with the 37-point triumph.

One positive on the day for Northern was the emergence of Nikolas Cox in a true key position role, as he booted four goals to be the game’s most dangerous forward. Bendigo’s Jack Evans was the only other multiple goalkicker (two), as Knights pair Justin Davies and Sunny Brazier led the ball winning stakes with 24 touches each. Carlton draftee Sam Philp collected 22 disposals, while Swans recruit Brady Rowles looked threatening in his 11-disposal effort.

The final game of the round produced a thriller, as Calder snuck over the line against the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels at Mars Stadium. The game was only ever edged in the Rebels’ favour by a margin of one to two goals, but they seemed the superior side on the day and could have been even further ahead if not for some inaccuracy. The Cannons took full toll, booting three goals to one in the final term to snatch a four-point win.

Former Essendon father-son prospect Mason Fletcher came up clutch with three goals, matched by teammate Ned Gentile. Three Rebels booted multiples, while Collingwood draftee Jay Rantall dominated with a game-high 35 disposals. The cream had clearly risen to the top as Sam Ramsay followed with 33 touches, as the pair displayed all of the traits which saw them bolt into AFL Draft calculations.

2020 WAFL Club Preview: Perth

THE PERTH Demons will be aiming to end their long finals drought in 2020, after adding some exciting players to the already talented line-up.

Despite losing the likes of Clint Jones (retired), Cody Leggett (East Fremantle) and Cody Ninyette (South Fremantle), the Demons secured some big names in Chris Masten (West Coast), Fraser McInnes (West Coast), Brady Grey (West Coast) and Kieran Delahunty (NT Thunder) in its bid to play finals for the first time since 1997.

It is worth noting that the Demons only just missed out on finals in 2019, with their percentage (91.8%) inferior to that of West Coast’s Reserves (99.8%), and West Perth (97.5%).

Inspirational skipper Corey Yeo is set to lead the Demons again, while he will be supported by the likes of Lachlan Dennis, Christian Eyres, Brant Colledge, Michael Sinclair and Mitch Henderson. Other players to watch out for include Richard Bourne Jnr, Jacob Coniglio, Guy Langdon and young stars Regan Clarke, and Ethan Hansen.

The Demons’ Reserves team will be aiming to be back playing in finals for the first time since 2017. The Colts team, headed by notable players Logan McDonald and Nathan O’Driscoll, will be out to play in finals for the first time since 2016, when they won the minor premiership. While McDonald and O’Driscoll are clearly the leading players in the Colts line-up, other notable youngsters include Bailey Kane, Conor McPartland, and Jayden Narrier among others.

2020 League Coach: Earl Spalding

2020 League Captain: Corey Yeo

2020 Colts Coach: Michael Pratt

League Gains for 2020: Jack Amos (EP), Kieren Delahunty (NT), Liam Dellamarta (EP), Sam East (EP), Andrew Fisher (WCE), Brady Grey (WCE), Chris Masten (WCE), Fraser McInnes (WCE), Ryan Murphy (Claremont), Jacob Peletier (Subiaco), Jayden Quill (EF), Jack Richardson (CL) Sam Stubbs (Mt Gravatt), Kade Tombides (CL), Dylan Williams (Amateurs).

League Losses after 2019: Clint Jones (Retired), Cody Leggett (East Fremantle), Cody Ninyette (SF).

2020 NAB AFL State-Based Academy Players: Logan McDonald, Nathan O’Driscoll