Category: State Leagues

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Thunder dispose of Swan Districts to continue fine form

THERE’S two rounds to go in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts and while the minor premiership has been sown up, there is plenty of jostling within the top five. A win or loss in the next fortnight can be all-important in securing a double chance or facing a do or die encounter in the first week of the finals.

WAFL Colts wrap-Round 19

Peel Thunder 13.8 (86) def. Swan Districts 7.5 (47)

Peel Thunder inflicted a psychological blow on one of their premiership rivals as they defeated Swan Districts by 39 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning.

This game was the only one in the penultimate round that saw two teams in the top five go head-to-head. Swans and Peel had a almighty tussle at the head of the table for the first half of the season. However since Round 10, the teams have gone in opposite directions. Swans have won just one of seven games, while the minor premiers have reversed that with six wins from seven. So this game was a real test for Swans and whether they could find some of their early season form. Jake Pasini and Jax Watson were missing for the home side after earning call-ups to the senior side while Tyrone Thorne was given the same honour for Peel.

The players ran onto to a damp surface after some extremely heavy overnight rain so that added another element to the contest. Peel kicked the first goal of the game through Jackson Knight and that advantage was soon doubled by bottom ager Tyler Nesbitt. Despite some sustained forward line pressure Swans could not put the ball in between the big two sticks and Peel took the ball down and kicked their third through Bradley Oldfield. Swans had two more forward 50 entries for the first quarter but found themselves 17 points behind.

The home team eventually opened their account early in the second quarter through Ashley Brockbernd. However, Peel had all the answers with Jaxon Egan kicking his first on the run from 40 metres. A bad turnover by Swan Districts in defence was penalised in the harshest fashion when 16 year old Zac Trigwell kicked his first. To their credit, Swans managed to keep in touch through a second to Brockbernd. It was level pegging that quarter as Peel kept their 17-point margin for the term. Killian Rawson was the leading disposal gatherer for Peel with 14 to go with five marks, while Brockbernd was Swans’ best with 14 along with five inside 50s.

The question heading into the third term was whether Swans could kick consecutive goals and put Peel under scoreboard pressure. But it was Peel who started the stronger with bottom age talent Connor Heuer winning a free kick for holding the ball and converting from close range. Big man Bailey Kane converted at the other end to keep Swans within touching distance yet again. They then managed to kick consecutive goals with a quick kick from Seb Bright bouncing though an unmanned square. The pressure of the home side was now clearly noticeable as they looked to narrow the gap further. But Peel are top of the ladder for a reason and they responded through the steady figure of Oldfield for his second of the game. They continued to regain control courtesy of a major to Jaxon Pitts and when Oldfield kicked his third they had pushed the lead out to a game high 30 points with one quarter remaining.

Jack Sears then removed any doubt over the final outcome by kicking his first early in the last term and pushing the lead to six goals. Oldfield then put cream of the cake of his best on ground performance by kicking his fourth of the contest. Kade Walldrot put some respectability back on the scoreboard for Swans, however Sears responded in kind for the visitors. The two teams traded goals towards the tail end of the contest and it was the minor premiers who prevailed by a comfortable 39 point margin. Peel edged the overall disposal count (321-319) and had a narrow advantage in inside 50s (45-39). But at the end of the day it was the scoring shots which was the difference with the visitors holding an advantage (21-12).

Star of the day

There were some impressive performers but in terms of pure difference makers it was Bradley Oldfield. One of the more experienced players on the ground, Oldfield often does not often rack up massive numbers, but what he does with his disposals is what counts the most. The 18 year-old showed his poise by amassing 23 disposals, seven marks, six inside 50s and four telling goals. His importance come September is undeniable and other teams will certainly have to shut the midfielder down if they are going to stop Peel walking away with the premiership.

Other notables

The defensive pillars for Peel were also key to the outcome with Killian Rawson (23 disposals and eight marks) and James Ewing (20 disposals and six marks) keeping their opponents at bay. The foot skills of Rawson running off half back were a particular highlight. Jack Sears was also a lively figure in and around the forward 50 with 16 disposals, six inside 50s and two goals. For the home side, Ashley Brockbernd had 25 disposals, six inside 50s, five marks and two goals while Brenton Hilton worked exceptionally hard down back with 24 disposals and 11 marks.

In other games

Perth 13.11.(89) def. East Fremantle 12.8(80)

The fairytale run of East Fremantle was halted by a resilient Perth outfit as the Demons ended their long losing streak by claiming a nine-point victory at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday morning.

In contrast to their opponents who had defeated four finals bound opponents in succession, Perth had won only one of their last eight games. The Demons started on the front foot in this encounter with one of their best quarters of the season kicking six goals to two with Hamish McFarlane scoring two majors. The Sharks responded in the second term with four goals to one and narrowing the gap to seven points at the long break.

The ebbs and flows of the contest was now in full swing as the home side kicked the first three goals of the third to push the lead out to game-high 26 points. However the in-form Sharks responded with relish kicking four goals in a row and cutting the margin to a solitary point with one quarter to go.

The Sharks grabbed their first lead of the game early in the term throughOwen Dunn and regained ascendancy through Trent Rivers. But the Demons had the final say in this excellent clash between two bottom four sides when bottom ager Hamish Dickins and then McFarlane kicked the goals which got them the hard earned four points.

Simon Hayward was his usual workhorse self with 22 disposals, seven tackles, seven inside 50s and two goals while Elijah Taylor was silky with 16 disposals and two goals. Rivers was a ball magnet for the Sharks with 30 disposals, seven marks, six inside 50s and two goals.

Subiaco 8.8(56) def. West Perth 7.9(51)

Subiaco played spoiler this week knocking off finals bound West Perth by five points at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

The reigning premiers who have had a disappointing campaign, led for just over ten minutes of the game. Bottom ager Lachlan Henderson was the hero kicking the major which decided the game with only two minutes remaining.

The loss could prove very costly for the Falcons as a victory would have seen them move up to third spot ahead of the dormant East Perth and in box seat for a double chance. But not for the first time, they wasted a opportunity and now need to defeat South Fremantle and depend on their conquerors from this week to do them a favour by knocking off the Royals.

Abraham Clinch led the Lions with 30 disposals, four marks, four tackles and five inside 50s and he was supported by Ben Golding with 22 disposals and 10 tackles. Meanwhile for the Falcons, Callum Johnson and Tyron Hindmarsh each had 31 disposals while ruckman Zak Patterson was colossal with 21 disposals to go with 36 hit-outs and four inside-50s.

Claremont 18.12(120) def. South Fremantle 6.6(42)

Claremont clinched a double chance for the finals after a emphatic 78-point thrashing of wooden spooners South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval on Saturday Morning.

The Tigers set up their big win in the first half kicking six goals to two in the first quarter and extending their advantage to 49 points at the long break. The second half was just an exercise respect for the Bulldogs, while for the Tigers they looked to build their percentage.

The visitors kicked seven goals to two and 12 individual goalkickers for the game told a story about their team-first approach. Claremont only took the in their forward 50 arc 44 times, but their efficiency was first class conjuring up 30 scoring shots. In comparison, the Bulldogs took the ball in 36 times but only had 12 scoring shots.

Jack Cooley was a tireless worker for Claremont with 28 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s while Fremantle next generation academy member Joel Western was classy picking up 26 disposals, four inside 50s and a goal. Charlie Malone was a towering presence with four goals to go along with five marks and 17 disposals. Meanwhile for the Bulldogs, Eric Botha tried his heart out with 18 disposals, seven tackles, six marks and four inside 50s while Nathan Spooner did likewise with 18 hit-outs to go with 19 disposals and nine marks.

With the top two locked in the main points of business to be sorted out in round 20 are the third position which will earn a double chance, and who will be in a elimination final. A win by East Perth next Sunday against Subiaco will give them third spot, but any slip-up and West Perth or Swan Districts can make them pay.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – East Fremantle vs. East Perth

IN Round 18 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, East Fremantle defeated East Perth by 28 points at New Choice Homes Park.

Despite talented prospects Rhai-Arn Cox (East Perth), Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle), and Jeremy Sharp (East Fremantle) missing, a host of other players were prominent.

Below were the best players in the game.

EAST FREMANTLE:

#10 Trent Rivers

The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, using his big frame to win the contested possession for his team. He also showed his class on the outside, using his damaging skills to penetrate East Perth’s defensive zone. He finished with 25 possessions, six inside 50s, four marks and a goal in another powerful display.

#11 Lachlan Taylor

The Melville Junior was excellent for the Sharks, providing them with plenty of run on the wing. Playing as the team’s link-up player, Johnston accumulated 19 possessions, recorded four inside 50s, and took four marks to be named in the best for the Sharks.

#14 Finn Gorringe

The 17-year-old was exceptional in the midfield for the Sharks, never shirking a contest despite being one of the smaller midfielders on the ground. He finished with 25 possessions, five inside 50s, four tackles, two marks and a goal in a dazzling performance. He is shaping up to be an interesting prospect from East Fremantle in next year’s competition.

#16 Chad Warner

The Willetton Junior was arguably best afield, controlling the stoppages and using his strong frame to crash-and-bash his way through congestion to win clearances. He accumulated a team-high 30 possessions, laid a game-high six tackles, grabbed six marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal in a wonderful performance. Like West Coast’s Jack Redden, Warner is a midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game and is an excellent two-way player.

#23 Luke Jackson

The former Australian basketballer continues to demonstrate why he is the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool. He finished with 24 possessions, 27 hit-outs, three inside 50s and a goal in a complete performance. In the ruck, he gave his midfielders first use, always followed up and positioned himself well around the ground. He also spent time as a forward, where his leading patterns and overhead marking were features of his game.

#25 Jai Jackson

The Chapman Valley product was again excellent for the Sharks rotating between the forward line and the midfield. He finished with 23 possessions, six inside 50s, five marks and a goal in a dazzling display. Jackson shares similar traits to Richmond premiership player Josh Caddy – both hit the ball at pace, use the ball effectively, never shirk a contest and can be extremely damaging forward of centre.

EAST PERTH:

#2 Adam Boules

The Mount Hawthorn Junior continued his excellent campaign with another polished performance. Against East Fremantle, Boules accumulated a game-high 31 possessions, laid a game-high six tackles and grabbed six marks to arguably be East Perth’s best player. He is shaping up to be a leading prospect from Western Australia in next year’s AFL Draft pool.

#3 Harley Sparks

The Deanmill product produced a performance that showed why he scored an invitation to this year’s AFL State Combine. Against the Sharks, Sparks finished with 22 possessions, eight marks and four tackles in a classy performance. He provided a heap of energy and zip around the contest and his decision-making was sound.

#15 Luke Lombardi

The Morley Junior continued to show why he is a lively prospect with another solid performance. Against East Fremantle, Lombardi accumulated 17 possessions, took three marks, and laid two tackles, while stationed on the half-back flank.

#19 Josh Hubbard

Playing on the wing, the 17-year-old showed a dare to always take the game on whether it be through his sheer speed or his penetrating skills. Despite East Perth being outplayed for most of the match, Hubbard never stopped competing for the Royals. The highlight of his game came in the second quarter when he nailed a goal from outside 50. He finished with 16 possessions, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.

#21 Jamie Marinoni

Playing in defence, the Kojonup product tried his best to repel many of East Fremantle’s attacking forays. He accumulated 14 possessions, laid six tackles and won three free kicks to be one of the Royals’ best and consistent players across the entire match.

#24 Liam Dellamarta

An overager, the Joondalup-Kinross Junior showed he has a big future for East Perth with another outstanding display. The highlight of his game came in the fourth quarter when he gathered the ball on the wing, before going for a run, taking multiple bounces and then composed himself to convert a great running goal. Against East Fremantle, the Trinity College student finished with 21 possessions, six marks, five inside 50s, two marks and a goal as a wingman.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy representative never stopped competing for the Royals, trying his absolute best to give his midfielders first use of the ball from the ruck contest. He accumulated 13 possessions, won nine hit-outs, grabbed seven marks, laid four tackles and won two inside 50s to be one of East Perth’s best players.

Travel just the beginning for Bella Smith

TWELVE hours in the car to get to and from training and games is not the first choice for any budding footballer, but for Bella Smith, it was an easy choice when the Eyre Peninsula local opted to play women’s football in Adelaide. Whilst she did end up moving to Adelaide in the recent years, Smith still remembers the long car journeys to begin her career in the sport she loved.

“I’m originally from Eyre Peninsula so I started playing with the boys up until I was 14 until I was told I wasn’t able to play anymore with the boys,” Smith said. “So I gave it up for a bit because I wasn’t allowed in. “I ended up moving to Adelaide when I was 16 and brought it back up. Had my first season with the girls last year and went from there. “(I) went from under 17s with Norwood, and got into the Under 18s team last year and the Allies last year. (I) came back again this year with the Norwood SANFL team.”

The success of Norwood in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s has helped Smith develop and learn from some of the most talented footballers in the country. It was such a successful program that Head Coach Steve Symonds earned the chance at coaching the elite competition at Collingwood in the AFL Women’s for the 2020 season. Smith said the group was close and wanted to achieve success together, and while they missed out on the elusive premiership this year, they still loved the season.

“It was awesome to be in such a successful team,” she said. “We had such a great minor rounds series and we were just a really tight knit group. “We all wanted to get better, we were all training as a squad and it was really good to be in that sort of environment just learning off other players such as Sally Riley when she’d come back from the Crows. “It was just so good to learn from people who had been so successful.”

Over the years, Smith has noticed a marked improvement in the talent across the board in women’s football, with both the competition and training standards held in much higher regards.

“The talent is just growing more and more,” Smith said. “It’s just getting more competitive and the elite standards. “The standards have just grown so much – just over the past year and it’s just going to continue to grow so much.”

For all the travel as she paved the way to her eventual state representation at the 2019 AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, Smith said there was always the passion burning inside her. Smith thanked her parents for their support and credited them for inspiring her to believe in herself and her career.

“I have my parents have to thank for that, they had to give up so much for me to keep travelling and ended up moving me over,” she said. “Just having that support behind me has been awesome.”

As for on-field, an AFL Women’s premiership captain has been one who Smith has looked up to and tried to model her game on and off the field.

“If I’m talking about role models, I’d probably say Chelsea Randall,” Smith said. “I just think she’s such a fierce competitor. Just the way she plays, I just love watching her play, it’s just so awesome. Watching her train and her work ethic, it’s just so admirable.”

While her top-age year has crept up, The 182cm Smith has been working hard to continually improve her game and hope to take it to another level going forward.

“I think working on would be probably my athleticism, just getting more endurance into me,” Smith said. “As well as using my body a bit more, probably my strengths are my hands and my kicking. I’m able to take a few good marks here and there and can kick a fair distance which is good and efficient.”

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Peel clinches minor premiership in style

THERE was a taste of Spring in the air as the teams made their way out onto the playing arenas for Round 18 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts. While the top five had been decided, there was no shortage of tricky tests, with a team who will not be playing in September claiming another big scalp.

WAFL Colts Round 18

Peel Thunder 14.10 (94) def. South Fremantle 3.5 (23)

Peel Thunder will finish the home and away season as minor premiers after ruthlessly dispatching of South Fremantle to the tune of 71 points at Fremantle Oval on Saturday.

South Fremantle had been the master of this fixture in recent seasons, but Peel were more interested in the present as they looked to seal top position and move the Bulldogs one step closer to collecting the unwanted wooden spoon.

The opening half was a illustration of dominance as the visitors kicked eight goals to two behinds to take a 52-point lead into the half time break. Peel had six individual goalkickers for half with Tyrone Thorne and bottom ager Jaxon Pitts leading the way with two goals each.

Peel once again managed to keep their opponents goalless while adding another two goals to their tally in the third term. The final quarter was by far the best quarter of the game with both sides going goal for goal. While Peel ended up winning the term, it was good to see the Bulldogs show some fight despite being outclassed throughout the contest. The general stats were pretty close when you consider what the final margin was. The deciding factor was that Peel were able to hit the scoreboard on a frequent basis and amassed 24 scoring shots to just eight by South Fremantle.

Peel are well worth the honour of premiership favourites heading into September having been the best team in the competition in the second half of the season. Once again it was a even spread of contributors for Peel led by Thorne who amassed 25 disposals, seven tackles four inside 50s and five goals. Jack Sears was a major winner with 28 along with five inside 50s while Zachary Rankin was a hard worker all game with 21 disposals, eight tackles and six inside 50s. Meanwhile as it has been for most of the campaign, it was left to far too few for the Bulldogs. The trio of Ira Jetta (27 disposals, eight inside 50s and one goal), Jack Musika (25 disposals, six inside 50s and five tackles) and Manfred Kelly(21 disposals, eight tackles and five inside 50s) were very dependable yet again.

East Fremantle 9.12 (66) def. East Perth 5.8 (38)

The recent giant-killing ways of East Fremantle continued on Saturday as they knocked off yet another finals bound side their fourth in succession – this time it was East Perth to the tune of 28 points at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday morning.

The resurgent Sharks carried their recent fine form into the first half of this contest, building a 25-point lead at the long break. The load was shared with five individual goalkickers and the home teams defence was also more than filling their end of the bargain by restricting the Royals to just four scoring shots for the first 50 minutes of action. East Fremantle increased their lead in the third term, kicking two goals to nil leaving the visitors marooned on just one goal for the first three terms.

The visitors who had a lot riding on this encounter having come into it in second place needed to respond to regain a sense of confidence. To their credit, East Perth won the fourth quarter by four goals to two, but the damage had well and truly been done before then. In a quirky statistic, there was no multiple goalkickers on the day with 14 players each kicking one major. The Royals slipped to third and would be hoping for a Subiaco win later in the day against Swan Districts to hold onto that position.

Luke Jackson gave another showing of his all-round talents with 24 disposals, 27 hit-\outs and a goal. Chad Warner was terrific throughout the four quarters with 30 disposals and six tackles, while Trent Rivers picked up 25 disposals, six inside 50s and four marks. For the Royals, Adam Boules continued his terrific season with 31 disposals, six marks and six tackles while Harley Sparks found life tougher on the back of his 47 disposal showing, this week collecting 22 touches and eight marks.

Claremont 11.8 (74) def. West Perth 8.9 (57)

Claremont reclaimed second position on the ladder after a composed 17-point win against West Perth at Claremont Oval on Saturday morning.

After a entertaining first quarter of action with seven goals scored between the two Premiership contenders, Claremont opened up a handy break in the second term kicking three goals to nil and led by 22 points at the long break. Benjamin Elliott kicked his third goal early in the second half to give the home team a five goal margin. While the Falcons were getting the ball into their forward 50, the conversion was certainly lacking.

The difference was that the Tigers were more clinical and managed to increase their lead to 33 points at three quarter time. The Falcons certainly upped their intensity in the early stages of the fourth term with four of the opening five goals of and cutting the margin to 10 points. However, as what so often happens when a team makes a big run, they end up running out of steam and the Tigers were able to steady and clinch a very important victory.

Kade Lines was a key figure in the end result for the Tigers with four goals to go along with 13 disposals and five inside 50s. Jack Cooley had 24 disposals and five tackles and four inside 50s while Joel Western had 23 and three marks. The loss was the third in succession for the Falcons and while at one point seemed a likely prospect to seal a double chance, the Falcons seem likely to face a do or die clash in the first week of the finals. The prolific duo of Tyron Hindmarsh and Koopah Todd each collected 28 disposals and laid five tackles each for the Falcons.

Subiaco 12.8 (80) vs Swan Districts 8.8 (56)

Subiaco were the second team to put a dent in the double chance hopes of a finals bound team when the Lions defeated Swan Districts by 24 points at Kalgoorlie on Saturday evening. After a tight opening half, the Lions booted seven goals to five to gain some separation on their opponents and guarantee a big win with the season winding down.

Gregory aims to run with her strengths

WITH a neat left foot and plenty of speed to burn, Queensland’s Chloe Gregory has always been told to back herself when deciding whether to take the game on. The utility has played between midfield and forward, and crossed over from netball because of her ability to do just that.

“I started out playing netball,” Gregory said. “I’ve played netball for my whole life and got into football through my dad (Scott Gregory) because he’s head of AFL Academy at Narangba Valley and he got me into that and then tried out for the Sunny Coast team up on the Sunny Coast, made that and then made Queensland in the same year so just been going from there. “It’s been really good so far.”

Gregory’s decision to continue her football journey was two-fold – one because of her dad’s influence, but also because of her natural attributes when it came to her impact in open space.

“I find football to be a lot more open and I can show off my skill a bit more rather than in netball it’s such a small game. I love the running and being able to be so free in the game of footy. “He’s (Gregory’s father) been trying to get me to play footy for a while now and he’s just over the moon that I’m playing it and he’s been one of the biggest coaches in my life and he’s really proud of what I’ve achieved so far.”

Gregory said her father provided her with plenty of advice throughout the journey, but his number one message was keeping it simple.

“He definitely shares a lot of his advice with me, but basically just tells me to take the opportunity where I can. Use my run and carry as much as I can,” Gregory said. “All my coaches in my life – I’m a left foot – say make sure you just get on your left foot, get it forward and run and carry. “(It’s) definitely one of my strengths to win a contested ball, get it out run and carry and kick it on my left boot because it’s a bit unpredictable which side I’m going to kick on.”

While Gregory has made it to the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships representing her state, she is not content to rest on her laurels, focusing on improvements in her game to make her a more complete player.

“(I) definitely need to work on my work rate,” Gregory said. “So I’ve been playing forward a lot this year and as a high-forward, I push in as another onballer so I’ve been trying to work with the midfield as well as push down to the forwards to get to the tall forwards feet. “So work rate is definitely something to work on.”

The pacy utility said she was constantly asking for feedback on her game from coaches to try and build on areas of improvement and “hopefully implement them as much as I can into my game”. Having already tasted senior football with Brisbane Lions in the Winter Series competition, Gregory said she was keen to “get a good look” at AFL Women’s and make the step up to the highest grade if selected. She said the competition against stronger bodies was definitely noticeable compared to her peers at Under 18s level.

“It’s definitely a big step up, bigger bodies, it’s really hard to get into the game there,” Gregory said. “I remember I played wing in the first game and that was a really different opportunity for me and I really took that with the run and carry and now coming back to nationals and playing forward it’s a completely different game. “I just hope I get to play at that AFLW level.”

During her time at the Lions, Gregory has leant off another left footer who has an eye for goals who she sees as her biggest idol on the field, and has helped her build her burning desire to achieve her dream of playing at the highest level.

“Definitely (Jess) Wuetschner from the Lions,” Gregory said. “She’s been a big influence on me through the Winter Series comp and just the advice she gives is awesome and I take it on board every time we have a chat. “Now she’s playing down back after she was more of a forward last year and gets her cheeky goals and everything so, and the left foot like me so I look up to her a lot.”

South Australian weekly wrap: Finalists all but set ahead of big finish

THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) finalists were all but confirmed following the weekend’s results, as Norwood booked in a spot with victory to move two wins and percentage clear of sixth entering the final two rounds of the season.

SANFL LEAGUE:

West Adelaide 5.10 (40) defeated by Adelaide 15.15 (105)

Adelaide edged closer to top spot again with a massive 65-point victory over cellar dwellers West Adelaide. After a tight first half, the Crows booted 10 goals to one to run away with the contest thanks to 30 scoring shots to 15 in what could have even been a greater margin with better accuracy. AFL-listed Crows, Myles Poholke (28 disposals, 10 marks, three clearances, two tackles and two goals), Paul Seedsman (25 disposals, eight marks, five clearances and five tackles) and Jordon Butts (26 disposals, nine marks and two tackles) all performed strongly, while Elliott Himmelberg booted three majors from 15 disposals and seven marks in the win. For the Bloods, Kaine Stevens was the standout player with 34 disposals, two marks, two clearances and four tackles, while Chris Schmidt (26 disposals, five clearances and nine tackles) and Nathan Batley (28 disposals, three marks, three clearances and four tackles) were also strong.

Port Adelaide 18.14 (122) defeated Woodville-West Torrens 8.11 (59)

Steven Motlop‘s five goals helped Port Adelaide Magpies to a comprehensive 63-point win over Woodville-West Torrens. The Magpies dominated throughout and never looked like losing with plenty of AFL-listed stars standing up. Motlop had 15 touches, six marks and four tackles to go with his five goals, while Jack Trengove (33 disposals, six marks, five clearances and 14 tackles) and Willem Drew (38 disposals, four marks, five clearances, six tackles and a goal) both pressed claims for a recall, as did ruckman Scott Lycett, who was simply a class above, having 33 hitouts and seven clearances, to go with his 30 disposals, eight marks and six tackles. For the Eagles, Jordan Foote had 19 dispoals, three marks, two clearances, nine tackles and a goal, while Nicholas Hayes helped himself to 21 disposals, six marks, four tackles, two clearances and two goals. First round father-son hopeful Jackson Mead had the 12 touches, six marks and four tackles in the loss.

Sturt 6.14 (50) defeated by Norwood 17.7 (109)

Norwood all but locked up the 2019 SANFL finalists with a 59-point win over Sturt, joining the Double Blues on 10 wins from 16 outings. Lewis Johnston was massive with 30 touches, five marks, four clearances, four tackles and a goal in the win, while Matthew Nunn (27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, six tackles and a goal) and Cole Gerloff (22 disposals, three marks, seven clearances, seven tackles ad a goal) were productive. First round draft hopeful Dylan Stephens again showed no signs of slowing down with 24 disposals, four marks, six clearances and four tackles. For Sturt, Sam Colquhoun‘s remarkable season continued, racking up 33 disposals, four marks, 11 clearances, five tackles and a goal in an all-round performance, while Zane Kirkwood (24 disposals, six marks, three tackles and three clearances) and James Battersby (26 disposals, three marks, 15 clearances and three tackles) also assisted in massive midfield roles.

RESERVES:

West Adelaide 6.10 (46) defeated by Woodville-West Torrens 14.8 (92)

Woodville-West Torrens grabbed third spot and left West Adelaide’s finals hopes hanging by a string in its 46-point victory over the Bloods. The Eagles jumped past Central District on percentage and now West Adelaide is just percentage clear of Glenelg inside the top five. Lachlan McNeil had a day out with 21 disposals, five marks, five clearances and 12 tackles, wile Jimmy Toumpas (21 disposals, seven clearances, eight tackles and a goal) and Jake Comitogianni (23 disposals, eight marks, four clearances and three tackles) were also strong. For West Adelaide, Angus Rana had 32 hitouts working hard through the ruck to go with his 14 disposals, six marks, six tackles and one goal, while Scott Bentley (25 disposals, five marks and four clearances) had the most touches of anyone on the field.

Sturt 8.11 (59) defeated Norwood 8.6 (54)

Sturt fought from three goals down at the final break to run over the top of Norwood and keep in contention for top spot leading into finals. The Double Blues got the better of the Redlegs in the top-of-the-table clash with eight individual goalkickers from 19 scoring shots. Potential Brisbane father-son Casey Voss was prolific again with 26 disposals, seven marks, seven clearances, four tackles and a goal, while South Australian state winger, Josh Shute had 22 touches, eight marks, four clearances and three tackles. Edward Allan (26 disposals, five marks, three clearances and six tackles) and Oliver Grivell (21 disposals, six marks and two tackles) were others who found plenty of the ball. For Norwood, it was Sam Buckham (24 disposals, three marks, six clearances, 12 tackles and three goals) who was the clear standout, while Cody Szust (22 disposals, five marks, six tackles and three clearances) and Jed Spence (20 disposals, four clearances, 13 tackles and a goal) who were also busy.

UNDER 18S:

Norwood 8.9 (57) defeated by Sturt 12.7 (79)

Sturt edged one win closer to Norwood with a 22-point victory over the Redlegs in a battle of those sides unable to make finals. The Double Blues jumped out to a five goals to one lead in the first term, and despite Norwood coming back in the final term with three goals to one, the game was done and dusted by the final break. William Crane was enormous through the middle with 25 disposals, 11 clearances, 16 tackles and a goal, assisted well by Heath Wingard (25 disposals, eight marks, four clearances, three tackles and three goals) and Keynan Harradine (21 disposals, four marks, nine clearances, eight tackles and one goal. For Norwood, 16-year-old Cooper Murley stood out with 2.3 from 27 disposals, five marks, eight clearances and seven tackles, joined in the bests by Marcus Roberts (24 disposals, five marks, eight clearances, one tackle and a goal) and Mitchell Carroll (23 disposals, three marks, five tackles and a goal).

Woodville-West Torrens 13.9 (87) defeated West Adelaide 3.7 (25)

The top-of-the-table Eagles had no problems dismissing second placed West Adelaide, piling on the last six goals of the game to record a comfortable 62-point win in a statement win to the competition. Zane Williams was huge for the Eagles, racking up 34 touches, seven marks, five clearances, seven tackles and booting 3.3, while Luke Barnett (31 disposals, four marks, 10 clearances, 10 tackles and a goal) and Lachlan Jones (31 disposals, eight marks) both had big numbers. Caleb Poulter (25 disposals, five marks, five clearances, seven tackles and two goals) and Lachlan Hoile (26 disposals, three marks, three clearances and six tackles) were also strong in the win. For the Bloods, Joel Groom (22 disposals, four marks, six clearances, nine tackles and a goal) and Jason Westley (27 disposals, nine marks, six clearances and two tackles) were best in defeat.

Vic Country U17s lift in second half to power past NSW/ACT

VIC COUNTRY U17’s class shone through in a seven goal to three second half as they overcame NSW/ACT 11.9 (75) to 7.8 (50) at Ikon Park on Sunday.

Despite the frosty conditions, both sides warmed to the contest well early on in an opening term which ebbed and flowed. The Rams made the better start as Kale Gabila booted the first two goals of the game in style to see his side break to an early lead. The momentum took a 180-degree turn though as goals to Dominic Bedendo and Sam Berry saw Country level proceedings, before Josh Green replied in good time to give NSW/ACT a slim lead at the first break. A repeat of the first term looked on the cards as Swans Academy gun Pierce Roseby put the Rams back in front to start the second stanza, but Country began to get on top on the back of some unrelenting attack to snatch a three-point half time buffer with goals to Will Bravo and Deakyn Smith.

Gabila’s third major was the only glimmer of resistance in a rampant five goals to one third term for the Victorians, who began to get on top in the midfield battle and put the clamps on to lock the ball in their attacking half. It was then a case of the damage already being done as Country hardly looked phased in a more anticlimactic final term which featured two classy Braeden Campbell goals, Max Annandale‘s second, and one to Ryan Angwin. Country also seemed to get the better of a few magnet shuffles, with Oliver Henry faring better up forward and Josh Treacy getting more involved at the centre bounces. The level-pegged term saw the hosts run away with 25-point final margin of victory, with the Rams just unable to take a couple of gilt edge chances to truly get back into the contest.

Gippsland pocket rocket Berry was clearly best afield, racking up 23 disposals, four marks, six clearances and a goal in a complete performance from midfield. His engine room partners Charlie Lazzaro (21 disposals, five tackles) and Zavier Maher (20 disposals, seven marks, five clearances, seven inside 50s) supported him well, while the likes of Smith (14 disposals, eight marks, two goals), Angwin (16 disposals, four marks, one goal) and Seamus Mitchell (11 disposals, one goal) proved handfuls forward of centre. The Rams’ top-end talent led the way despite the loss, with Swans academy trio Errol Gulden (19 disposals, five marks, four clearances), Campbell (18 disposals, seven tackles, seven inside 50s, two goals) and Roseby (17 disposals, seven clearances, one goal) all influential around the ball. Marco Rossmann was threatening up forward alongside major goal kicker Gabila, while Marc Sheather (14 disposals, four rebound 50s) provided a cool head down back in the first half.

VIC COUNTRY 11.9 (75)
NSW/ACT 7.8 (50)

GOALS
Vic Country: D. Smith 2, M. Annandale 2, S. Berry, J. Tillig, R. Angwin, W. Bravo, S. Mitchell, D. Bendendo, O. Henry.
NSW/ACT: K. Gabila 3, B. Campbell 2, P. Roseby, J. Green.

ADC BEST:
Vic Country: S. Berry, D. Smith, Z. Maher, J. Tillig, N. Gadsby, R. Angwin
NSW/ACT: B. Campbell, K. Gabila, E. Gulden, P. Roseby, M. Rossmann, M. Sheather

Passionate Lion eyes AFLW future

BRISBANE is a long way from Frankston in the south eastern suburbs of Victoria, but the Sunshine State, and more accurately, the Brisbane Lions is where exciting mid-forward Belle Dawes‘ heart lies. She moved from Victoria up north and brought her love for Australian Rules football with her, and credits much of her recent development – which saw her make the 2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian side – to then-coach Craig Starcevich.

“I’ve lived in Frankston Victoria and I just started playing, me and my brother signed up for Frankston Rovers Under 9s,” Dawes said. “I played there at that club until Under 12s, and then just played with boys and I moved to Queensland. “That’s when I thought I’ll come play footy up here, come play with the boys and then the girls team started. “Played in the school comp, got seen and then got selected for regionals and started from there.”

Starcevich has been a huge inspiration for Dawes who she said “opened up her whole game” with some crucial advice.

“He’s supportive, a real cool coach, I’ve learnt a lot from him,” Dawes said. “Swivel the head was a big thing, and that opened up my whole game, kicking left and right and swivelling my head to switch it. “Because he’s been my coach over a few years I’ve got to know what he teaches and just developing that each year.”

Dawes admits the change from an Australian Rules dominant state to one that is predominantly rugby was different, but refreshing because it helped her feel more at home in the pathway system.

“Coming from Victoria it’s all like AFL, it’s really different up here, it’s very rugby like,” she said. “Even at schools there’s no fields, no one really follows it, so it was different, it’s quieter, but I kind of like it because when we did all the regional stuff I knew all the girls, it was all the same. “We all got to know each other and we became more of a family so it was cool.”

It has helped Dawes that her family has been so supportive in helping her chase her dream.

“My mum is really supportive, she loves it, she is my number one fan,” Dawes said. “My brother plays too. “He’s 16, but he plays and he loves it too, and my sister just kind of follows whatever we do.”

Dawes said her strengths include accumulation and being able to read the play and the ball from ruck taps and around the ground, indicating a high football IQ. While her fitness “always can” improve, she is just as focused on working on her skills to make the right decisions by hand or foot and reduce rushed disposal.

As for her ultimate goal and club of choice, Dawes summed it up in just two words – “Draft” and “Brisbane”. Should Dawes be granted her wish, she will get the opportunity to continue with her mentor in Starcevich and help the Lions continue their already impressive AFL Women’s history.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round 17 – Perth vs. Subiaco

IN Round 17 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, Subiaco defeated Perth by 58 points at Mineral Resources Park.

Highly rated prospects Mitchell Georgiades (Subiaco), Tristan Hobley (Subiaco), Nick Martin (Subiaco), Logan McDonald (Perth), Deven Robertson (Perth) and Elijah Taylor (Perth) did not play in the game, but there was still plenty of talent on show.

Below were the most notable players in the game.

Perth:

#3 Regan Clarke

On a tough morning for the Demons, Clarke was a shining light for them. Against the Lions, Clarke accumulated 26 possessions, recorded eight inside 50s, laid six tackles and grabbed four marks in a performance that should see his draft stocks rise. His power and strength in the contest to win clearances was excellent.

#13 Mitchell Mcllheney

The 2016 WA U15s State Schoolboys representative tried hard in defence for the Demons, often trying to thwart the Lions’ attacking forays. He finished with 14 possessions, seven hitouts, six marks, and three tackles in a solid performance.

#16 Nathan O’Driscoll

The 2018 AFL Under 16s All-Australian defender showed off his versatility by playing as a midfielder for the Demons. Against Subiaco, O’Driscoll collected a team-high 29 possessions, laid an equal-game high 10 tackles, grabbed five marks and recorded three inside 50s to be Perth’s best on a tough morning.

#31 Hamish MacFarlane

The York product showed encouraging signs as a hybrid forward. He finished with five possessions, two marks and three goals from limited supply. The highlight of his game came late in the second quarter when he was able to side-step an opponent before drilling through a goal.

#32 Zak Meloncelli

The 16-year-old tried hard for the Demons playing across the half-back line. The Redcliffe junior racked up 22 possessions, grabbed three marks and took two marks as he tried valiantly to thwart Subiaco’s frequent forward entries, while also trying to provide serviceable rebound.

#38 Jaylen Garlett

Stationed in the back pocket, Garlett tried hard all day for the Demons, often trying to halt Subiaco’s attacking momentum. He finished with 13 possessions and four marks on a difficult morning for the Perth defenders.

Subiaco:

#1 Jacob Peletier

The Subiaco captain led his side exceptionally well, often throwing his body on the line to inspire his team to victory. He finished with 17 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two goals, playing across the half-forward line.

#2 Jed Kemp

The Kalgoorlie product was lively for the Lions across the half-forward line. Against the Demons, he accumulated 15 possessions, recorded five inside 50s and laid three tackles, playing an excellent link-up role.

#3 Devin Pullybank

In just his third game of WAFL Colts, Pullybank showed promising signs as a dangerous and crafty small forward. Against the Demons, the Claremont junior accumulated 12 possessions, grabbed four marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked two goals.

#5 Blake Morris

The 2019 AFL U16s All-Australian defender showed why he is considered to be a leading West Australian prospect for the 2021 AFL Draft. Playing as a third-tall defender, Morris racked up 11 possessions and grabbed seven marks, often intercepting Perth’s attacking forays.

#8 Ben Golding

The North Beach junior continued his excellent 2019 campaign with another sensational performance. He collected 28 possessions, laid 10 tackles, grabbed five marks and recorded three inside 50s to be one of the best players on the ground. He has firmly cemented himself as one of the best midfielders in the competition.

#19 Lachlan Henderson

Stationed at centre half-forward, Henderson always carried a presence for the Lions. He finished with 10 possessions, 11 hit-outs, three marks and two goals in a powerful performance. The highlight of his game came in the third quarter when he was able to take a contested mark inside attacking 50, before coolly slotting a goal.

#21 Connor Patterson

In arguably the best game of his short six-game WAFL Colts career thus far, Patterson was excellent in the midfield for the Lions. The 17-year-old collected 14 possessions, laid 10 tackles, grabbed three marks, and recorded two inside 50s in a solid performance.

#25 Kane Foley

Playing as the third tall forward, Foley showed plenty of positive signs. His final stats were eight possessions, four marks, three inside 50s, two tackles and three goals. His desire to throw himself into every contest would have pleased the coaching staff, and his goal nous is excellent for someone his age.

#28 Levi Duyckers

Having been forced to play as an undersized ruckman, Duyckers showed plenty of promise despite only standing at 190 centimetres. He always competed in every hit-out contest, covered the ground well and he made competent decisions with ball in hand. He finished with 14 possessions, 26 hit-outs, five tackles and four inside 50s.

#37 Abraham Clinch

Arguably the best player on the ground, Clinch showed why he is one of the most consistent and prolific midfielders in the WAFL Colts competition this year. He finished with 32 possessions, seven tackles, six inside 50s, four marks and two goals (and three behinds). The highlight of his game came in the last quarter when he was able to burst from a stoppage and drill through a goal.

Kick-to-kick sets path for All-Australian future

AN All-Australian jumper is a far cry from kicking the ball in the backyard with her father more than a decade ago, but for Madison Newman, the passion for Australian Rules football has never wavered. The rebounding defender was awarded a spot on the interchange bench for her successful national carnival where she averaged 15.3 disposals and 4.0 rebounds – the equal second most rebounds across the week. But her journey to All-Australian started like many others.

“Ever since I was young and I could pick up a footy I was always kicking it with dad out the back of the house because he didn’t have any boys; I was the only girl who wanted to play footy or do any sort of balls sports,” Newman said. “I started footy through Auskick and went into primary school and played Year 2/3 and 4/5s with the boys and then I couldn’t play anymore. “I quit for a few years and did cricket, I did that for about four years in the state team. “When I was about 16, I went into West Adelaide and then started SANFL from there, and it’s sort of just taken off.”

Her experience in the SANFL Women’s competition gave her the boost she needed, becoming an integral part of the West Adelaide line-up, averaging 18.7 disposals, 2.6 marks, 2.1 tackles, 2.7 inside 50s and 5.9 rebounds. She was named Breakthrough Player of the Round in the opening round of the 2019 season and continued that form throughout, named in the back pocket of the 2019 SANFL Women’s Team of the Year. Newman credited the support from senior players at West Adelaide for her development over this year.

“It’s been really good to get feedback from them (AFLW listed players) after the games,” Newman said. “Sarah Perkins was one that stuck with me at the start of the year, shook my hand and said ‘you’ve just got to keep working at it’ and ‘you’ve got a bright future’ so that was really cool to hear from her.”

Her biggest inspiration on her football journey stems back to the one-on-one coaching from the moment she could kick a ball all those years ago.

“My dad (is my biggest inspiration),” Newman said. “He’s taught pretty much everything I know. “He taught me how to kick and catch.”

While her successful carnival and All-Australian jumper was enough to earn her a AFL Women’s Draft Combine invite, Newman said she was trying not too focus too much on what could be the biggest moment of her football journey later in the year. Newman admitted this year’s lead-up to the championships had extra emphasis than the year before.

“Last year wasn’t as stressful as it wasn’t my draft year,” she said. “I’ve just tried to work really hard in the months leading up to this competition and trying to get my body right as best as I can to perform well.”

As for on the field, Newman said she hoped to improve her contested ball-winning ability as well as tackling pressure to give herself a more all-round game with a goal of working more into the midfield in the coming year. In terms of her strengths, Newman backs herself with her run and carry, with a long kick to boot. While the championships are done and dusted, now Newman looks ahead to the AFL Women’s Draft Combine as one of four South Australians nominated. If she does end up landing on an AFL Women’s list, she will not be forgetting all those kicks in the backyard that kick-started her journey.