Tag: antonio james

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 3 – Wanderers face Nightcliff in lone top five clash

ONLY one game in Round 3 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League will be played between teams in finals spots, with Wanderers facing reigning premier Nightcliff on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, both Southern Districts and Palmerston have the chance to grab their first win of the season, and St Mary’s will look to stay undefeated.

TIWI BOMBERS (8th, 0-2) vs. ST MARY’S (2nd, 2-0)
Saturday October 19, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Teams with polar opposite formlines meet to kick off Round 3 as Tiwi plays host to St Mary’s at TIO Stadium. The topped-up Saints have been excellent so far in toppling Waratah and Palmerston, but will face a tricky task in upholding their form against an underperforming Bombers unit. Both teams had a good amount of build-up coming into the season, but Tiwi’s production has been levels off that of its weekend opponent. To be fair to the Bombers, fixtures against Darwin and reigning premier Nightcliff to start the year arguably poised them with the toughest early draw, but their best started to come to the fore in the second and third terms against Nightcliff after the Tigers got the jump on them. Slow starts seem to be a theme for the bottom-placed side, which had to dig itself out of a similar rut in the opening stages of last season. St Mary’s ended up being the side to claim the dreaded wooden spoon, but all signs point toward a more positive outcome this time around.

The talent on either side is undeniable, stacked with famous NT names throughout. Saints leader Raphael Clarke has made a starring start to the year alongside smaller types in Nicholas Yarran, Nathaniel Paredes, and the returning Jackson Geary. Ex-AFL midfielder Will Hams has also been a welcome addition to what is a re-energised Saints line-up looking to crack back into its rightful top-end spot. Former-Saint Michael Dunn has bagged multiple goals in both of his games thus far and will provide good opposition alongside Adam Tipungwuti and Jason Puruntatameri. They will look to new recruit Michael Mummery, Round 2 rising star nominee Jeffrey Simon, and Harley Puruntatameri to provide some added spark, with the Bombers’ x-factor something that sets them apart. That unpredictability against some of St Mary’s proven quantities will be key to this contest, and we could well get a belter.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (5th, 0-1-1) vs. PALMERSTON MAGPIES (7th, 0-2)
Saturday October 19, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

One team’s zero is set to go, as the winless Southern Districts and Palmerston do battle at Norbuilt Oval in the weekend’s only game away from TIO Stadium. Given the 0-2 Magpies sit without any points altogether, the Crocs would be smelling blood in the water at the opportunity continue their trend of going one-better in each passing game. A draw against Wanderers last time out was less than ideal though, with the Crocs unable to truly click into gear for four quarters despite showing some promising signs in their Round 1 grand final rematch. Another less-than-ideal situation is that they will be without William Farrer for at least this fixture after he became the first NTFL player to be charged under the Auditory Offences matrix for umpire abuse. It serves as another blow to the Crocs’ firepower, which is already missing ex-AFL star Leroy Jetta and now-Bomber Michael Mummery from last year’s campaign. They will have to turn to Josiah Farrer, Beau Schwarze and Brodie Lake, as well as the experience of 100-gamer Charlie McAdam for inspiration in this clash, with Palmerston boasting a few tricky customers.

The Magpies were competitive despite falling short of Darwin by almost four goals in Round 2, slowly building on a disappointing opening round showing. State combine invitee Nigel Lockyer Jnr has been the standout with three goals in both games so far, while Bundoora stalwart Matthew Dennis has transferred last year’s form to this season. All three Davey boys were absent last time out for the Magpies in what was a blow to their creativity forward of centre, so a combination of them back in the side would do a world of good. Kyle Emery and Misha Perry Jnr will look to up their output to match the Crocs too, with the inability to kick a winning score one of the things holding Palmerston back from the better teams as it stands. If Southern Districts can find its groove and get on top early, watch out, otherwise expect to see the Magpies compete again for four quarters.

DARWIN BUFFALOES (1st, 2-0) vs. WARATAH (6th, 0-2)
Saturday October 19, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Another clash of opposing form is set to go down in Saturday’s evening game between Darwin and Waratah, with the former looking to remain atop the NTFL ladder. The Buffs have made an inspired start to the season for a second campaign running, sparked by big bags of goals from Adam Sambono (12 goals) and Brayden Culhane (six) in either game. While Sambono was absent in Round 2, his return would spell serious trouble for the struggling Warriors as it would free the likes of Joe Anderson and Patrick Boles to wreak havoc further afield. Lee Mununggurr and Antonio James are others who can excite, making Darwin a real handful for any side in the competition with their star-power across the board.

On the other hand, Waratah has struggled to exit second gear after an outstanding 2018/19 campaign and had its depth tested far more with the absence of Abe Ankers last week. He remains the key man for them with his scoreboard impact from midfield, despite some of the scoring load eased by VFL-listed small forward Steve Stroobants. Scoreboard assistance is sure to come in the form of Henry Kerinaiua and Kim Kantilla, with Cam Barrett, Sam Godden and ex-Bendigo Pioneer Laine Fitzgerald looking to make an impact further afield. The Warriors have been unlucky to come up against three in-form teams to start the season, but will be sure to give it a red-hot crack if their consistency last season is anything to go by. The memory of their 2018/19 thrashings of Darwin late in the season would also be fresh and serve as apt motivation, with the Buffs looking like a true premiership contender at this point. Expect their class to shine through, but to be tested depending on who is available.

WANDERERS (4th 1-0-1) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (3rd, 2-0)
Saturday October 19, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

The game of the round will be the last for the weekend, as Wanderers and Nightcliff battle it out to remain undefeated. It serves as the only fixture this week between two teams in finals spots, with the Tigers one of three 2-0 sides while Wanderers suffered the first blemish to its record with a draw to Southern Districts last time out. If football math ever worked, this would be a time to use it given both sides have already faced the Crocs, with the Tigers managing to get the better of them in Round 1’s grand final rematch. But that kind of analysis is hardly useful this early in the piece, and does not take into account the x-factor that Wanderers can bring. Under-17 star utility Joel Jeffrey leads the way in that department, followed closely by Round 1 Rising Star nominee Ronald Fejo Jnr. Both have been impactful thus far, particularly up forward, with consistency of Shane Thorne and spark of Davin Ferreira set to come into play too in the absence of experienced star Marlon Motlop from last campaign. There is still a raft of players of the same name making a difference this time around, and the Muk Muks will need all of their talent to continue Wanderers’ promising start.

Nightcliff remains the biggest test in the competition though, starting with a perfect record against good opposition despite not yet clinching that top spot. The Tigers’ scoring power is scary and comes from a raft of players, including the likes of NT legend Cam Ilett, with others like Trent Melville, Matthew Bricknell and Wade Derksen still due to claim a big bag. Ex-Port forward John Butcher is another who can come back into the side and slot through multiple goals, making Nightcliff’s forward threats every bit as deep as any other side. It could be a case of the ultra-consistent and high-scoring Tigers bringing Wanderers back down to earth, but do not be surprised to see the Eagles give the reigning premier a good run on the back of some confidence gained over the first two rounds.

NTFL Men’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 1 – Grand Final replay highlights TIO round

A GRAND final replay between reigning premiers Nightcliff and runners-up Southern Districts headlines the opening round of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League. All four games are played at TIO Stadium with two on Saturday and two on Sunday.

DARWIN BUFFALOES vs. TIWI BOMBERS
Saturday, October 5, 2.30pm
TIO Stadium

It has been a long seven months for Tiwi Bombers, having to stew on a disastrous 20-goal loss in the preliminary final to Southern Districts last season. After a shaky start to the 2018/19 season, the Bombers picked up in the second half to storm home with all the momentum and justify their third placed finish on the table. Unfortunately they could get nowhere near the Crocs on the day and will want to make the best possible start this year with a Round 1 victory over Darwin Buffaloes. The Buffs finished fifth last season and are usually strong starters so could get an early win on the board given the youth that is coming through the Darwin program. Cyril Rioli is by far the biggest name in the NTFL and the Bombers will unleash him at some stage this season, but it will depend on when he wants to run out, however his knowledge as an assistant coach will be invaluable. Outside of the Cyril magic, the Bombers have been steadily improving with experienced former AFL talents in Nathan Djerrkura and Austin Wonaeamirri, as well as Ross Tungatalum, Dion Munkara, Adam Tipungwuti and Jason Puruntatameri, it would be hard to write them off as a premiership contender this season. For Darwin, experienced leader Adam Sambono has been named in the side alongside Antonio James. Joe Anderson has also returned to play in the game with both sides evenly match in terms of talent.

NIGHTCLIFF vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, October 5, 7.00pm
TIO Stadium

The match of the round will likely be the grand final replay between the Tigers and Crocs as the Tigers raise their flag from last season in front of their opponents from that day. It should fire the Southern District players up in the prime time night game that will have all spectators on the edge of their seat. Nightcliff was the clear standout team last season, finishing two wins and plenty of percentage ahead of the Crocs, and should look to start the season how they finished off. The Districts received a massive boost with Keegan Dingo re-registered back in the NTFL, but the huge inclusion for the Tigers was Bendigo Football League goalkicking machine Lachlan Sharp named for Round 1, having booted 133 goals from 19 games this year in Victoria. With the likes of former Port Adelaide forward John Butcher and the talented Trent Melville, the reigning premiers will be hard to contain up forward. On the other side, Damian Williams has also been named for Southern Districts having crossed from Darwin and is expected to provide some forward line power for the Crocs to counter that of the Tigers. In what could add some spice to the Grand Final replay, former Tigers, Faron James and Devin Lines are among those in line to switch to the Crocs. Nightcliff go in as favourites given the firepower, but the match is won and lost in the midfield.

WARATAH vs. WANDERERS
Sunday, October 6, 2.30pm
TIO Stadium

Waratah and bottom two side Wanderers go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon with the Warriors seeing this game as a must-win to start off their season. They tended to drop games they should not have last season, while claiming wins against top teams in an inconsistent year. If they can lift their performance when they are not at the top of their game, they will likely challenge any team on their day and give the Wanderers something to worry about in this clash. For the Wanderers, last season was one that was ultimately disappointing with just the six wins, and with three losses against the Warriors, the Wanderers will be very keen to break that winning drought against their opposition. After a surprise year in 2018/19, the Warriors will head into this game as favourites with Abe Ankers and Brodie Carroll leading the charge into the new season, while Liam Patrick and Brett Eddy have been named in the Wanderers’ forward line for the opening game, meaning Waratah cannot take the side too lightly. A tough one to pick the winner.

ST MARY’S vs. PALMERSTON
Sunday, October 6, 5pm
TIO Stadium

In the final game of the round, 2018/19 NTFL wooden spooners take on sixth placed Palmerston who unfortunately missed out on finals narrowly last season. The Magpies lost four of their last five games to tumble out of fifth spot, and split their head-to-head with St Mary’s as both teams recorded a win apiece – the Magpies’ victory coming in Round 17 and one of only two this calendar year. The Saints had just the five wins last season, and fell away in the second half of the season, defeating Darwin Buffaloes by 37 points in Round 15 as their only triumph since December 8. Palmerston recently picked up Frankston Dolphins’ talent Dylan Gordon after he crossed from Darwin, with the fly-in player available for limited games. The Magpies will welcome back Kyle Emery inside 50 with the dominant goalkicker joined by Rodney Baird and Nigel Lockyer as players who continued to cause heachaches for the opposition. Throw in fly-in talent Matt Dennis, as well as Alwyn Davey and Ezekiel Frank and the Magpies could swoop into a finals spot this year and get an early win here. Davey will also have the rare honour of running out alongside his twin sons, Alwyn Jnr and Jayden.

2019/20 NTFL Men’s Premier League season preview

WITH the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League competition set to get underway on the weekend, we take a look at the eight teams competing for the ultimate prize over the summer.

DARWIN BUFFALOES

Last season: 5th
Win-loss: 8-10
Points: 32
Percentage: 94.6

The Buffs are coming in off an indifferent 2018/20 campaign that saw them scrape into finals after a promising start. They were eliminated in a crushing 73-point elimination final loss to Waratah after going down to the Warriors in Round 18 as well, finally folding after struggling to reclaim the early-season form that had them pegged for another top two finish. Having captain-coach Matt Campbell and star players Joe Anderson, Adam Sambono and Malcolm Rosas Jnr shuffle in and out of the side at times did not help the Buffaloes in their search for some consistency, but the talent base is certainly there. Ex-Blue Anderson and highly rated junior Sambono are poised to feature prominently again under Campbell’s tutelage, while Rosas Jnr’s availability hinges on his AFL Draft hopes. Those three are all capable of seeing a heap of the ball and having important touches, with the consistent figures of Shaun Ahmat and Kevin Maroney set to again add that stability to the lineup each week. With Rosas seemingly moving on to the elite system, the young gun in Darwin’s crop this year is Antonio James. James featured for two straight years for the NT Thunder’s Under-16 side and was part of the Under-18 NAB League squad without playing, making him a good chance to feature for them in the upcoming season. The Buffs will be keen to see how he goes at Premier League level, with his enthusiasm and pace from defence helping him to stand out to this point. After a disappointing finish to last season, the storied club will hope to reach the heights they did in 2017/18 and sneak back into that top two. They certainly have the top-end talent to challenge, and should provide some highlights along the way.

Players to watch:

Joe Anderson
Adam Sambono
Malcolm Rosas Jnr
Shaun Ahmat

Young gun:

Antonio James

NIGHTCLIFF

Last season: 1st
Win-loss: 15-3 (Premiers)
Points: 60
Percentage: 166.08

The reigning premiers took home their fourth premiership cup last season, and in doing so moved one clear of Palmerston and Southern Districts to outright fifth on the overall premiership table. It was a dominant year for the Tigers, only losing thrice on their way to an outright minor premiership and getting up by 22 points over then-reigning premiers Southern Districts in the grand final. Trent Melville was the side’s spearhead, booting 56 goals from his 20 games to finish as the league’s leading goal kicker, but Nightcliff had a wealth of scoring threats. Melville will suit up again alongside the likes of Liam Holt-Fitz and Matthew Bricknell up forward, with big-man and NT Thunder representative Hugo Drogemuller a chance to feature up either end. The Budarick brothers, Jess and Joel will also be important between the arcs for the Tigers, with Joel turning out for the NT’s Under 18 academy this year. Jess appeared for the Thunder in the NEAFL this season and should add to his games tally this time around, adding to Nightcliff’s list of promising youngsters. Andy Moniz-Wakefield, Jamie Jones and Ned Stevens are also on that list after playing a part in the NT’s Under 16 campaign this year, putting the reigning premiers in good stead to feature well again and into the future. Their depth is solid, and their firepower is almost unmatched.

Players to watch:

Jess Budarick
Trent Melville
Matthew Bricknell
Hugo Drogemuller
Liam Holt-Fitz

Young gun:

Joel Budarick

PALMERSTON

Last season: 6th
Win-loss: 7-11
Points: 28
Percentage: 70.57

The Palmy Army experienced much more joy in 2018/19 after claiming the wooden spoon in season 2017/18, with a vastly-improved sixth place finish – just one win outside of the finals spots. The Magpies had their depth tested with ex-AFL players like Aaron Davey, Alwyn Davey, and Ezekiel Frank missing chunks of games throughout the year, while Matthew Stokes only appeared in a two-game cameo. All four of those stars provided great value though and could do so again in this year’s competition to aid a bunch of regulars who stood out. Victorian ruck veteran Matthew Dennis featured among the best for all but one of his 18 games last year and could go around again, with VFL player Dylan Gordon set to make his NT return. He joins the likes of prolific goalsneak Kyle Emery, as well as the ever-improving Nigel Lockyer and consistent figures of Samuel Autio and Samuel Talbot. Add youngster Jason Baird to the mix and so much of the Magpies’ firepower comes in their forward movers, despite not being able to post the biggest scores last year. Up the other end, their defence was the leakiest in 2018/19 and will need some tightening if Palmerston is to continue its upward trend.

Players to watch:

Kyle Emery
Matthew Dennis
Dylan Gordon
Samuel Talbot
Nigel Lockyer

Young gun:

Jason Baird

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS

Last season: 2nd
Win-loss: 13-5 (Runners-up)
Points: 52
Percentage: 147.36

So close, yet so far, the Crocs battled hard throughout the season and looked at times like premiership favourites, particularly after a 20-goal smashing of Tiwi Bombers in the preliminary final. But as they found out, the Grand Final is a different ball game, going down to Nightcliff by 22 points. That does not take away from the dominance the Crocs have had over the competition during the last two seasons, with a ton of depth and some scary firepower. Ex-AFL players Leroy Jetta, Richard Tambling, Ed Barlow and Jared Brennan were all terrific over multiple games for the 2017/18 premiers, adding arguably the highest level of ex-professional class. Goals came aplenty through the likes of Jess Koopman and Michael Mummery, while Bradley Vallance, Dean Staunton, Charles McAdam, and Beau Schwarze were others to combine their scoreboard impact with ball winning. They should all be important figures again if Southern Districts is to have another flag tilt, providing a consistent base throughout the year with a raft of other stars coming in and out of the team. It is always hard to look past the Crocs on paper and given the ability they have to blow teams away, expect them to be right up there once again this season. With young gun Brodie Lake also one of the NT’s big hopes for next year’s draft, they have some future talent to nurture too.

Players to watch:

Jess Koopman
Michael Mummery
Dean Staunton
Ed Barlow
Brandon Rusca

Young gun:

Brodie Lake

ST MARY’S

Last season: 8th
Win-loss: 5-13
Points: 20
Percentage: 78.14

The NTFL powerhouse side was publicly in financial trouble over the off-season, but is back in the league to try and bounce back from its poor season last year. After missing the 2017/18 Grand Final for only the second time since 2002/03, the Saints went through a rebuilding phase last season dropping to the bottom of the table. With nine more premierships than its nearest rival, expect this successful club to move back up the ladder in season 2019/20. Former Gippsland Power prospect Nathaniel Paredes was the Saints’ shining light last season, featuring in the best 10 of 15 times and booting 20 goals in the process. A host of famous names and relations also fill out the side, with Ben Rioli and Jacob Long sure to join prodigious youngsters Maurice Rioli Jnr and Brayden Rioli – pending their availability. Nicholas Yarran and Raphael Clarke would be handy returns after solid 2017/18 seasons, along with the likes of Mathias Liddy. St Mary’s is renowned for producing top talent, and NT Under 16 representative Preyben Tipiloura is an exciting type to come through further this year alongside Rioli Jnr and Brayden Rioli, while Kieren Parnell is another rising star set to make his long-awaited injury return. Given the club’s strong history and the raw talent set to be displayed, expect St Mary’s to be a riser this year – the only was is up from last season after all – and a couple more former-AFL coups could help.

Players to watch:

Nathaniel Paredes
Maurice Rioli Jnr
Jacob Long
Ben Rioli
Kieren Parnell
Brayden Rioli

Young gun:

Preyben Tipiloura

TIWI BOMBERS

Last season: 3rd
Win-loss: 9-9
Points: 36
Percentage: 101.72

Tiwi very nearly became one of the better stories out of last season as their run in the back-end saw them earn an unlikely preliminary final berth. Although they were soundly beaten while searching for a grand final spot, the journey there was something to behold. It came long after a slow start to the season, with a raft of experienced and reliable players helping the famous Bombers click into gear. They were awesome in front of goal at times, and that is only set to be helped this year with the return of favourite son Cyril Rioli, who joins as a player-coach. The prospect of having him run around alongside fellow ex-AFL players Austin Wonaeamirri and Nathan Djerrkura, as well as Ross Tungatalum is scary and sure to bring plenty of excitement to the league. Add to that club stalwarts Jason Puruntatameri, Dion Munkara and prolific young guns Adam Tipungwuti and Jeffrey Simon, and you have a fun side destined for big things. The improvement they showed last year should only be built on this time around, and there is no reason why the Bombers cannot fly back to the top of the NTFL with a continuance of their form. Do not be surprised to see Tiwi go in as one of the flag favourites, and there will certainly be plenty of expectation given how dangerous they look on paper in the forward half.

Players to watch:

Cyril Rioli
Ross Tungatalum
Austin Wonaeamirri
Jason Puruntatameri
Dion Munkara
Nathan Djerrkura
Adam Tipungwuti

Young gun:

Jeffrey Simon

WANDERERS

Last season: 7th
Win-loss: 6-12
Points: 24
Percentage: 74.22

A somewhat down 2018/19 season saw Wanderers narrowly escape the bottom of the ladder with a final round victory over Palmerston, despite only winning half the amount of games they lost in the 18-game season. It looked a justified ladder position given they were second-to-last for both points scored and conceded, but there are some promising signs pointing to the future for the Muk Muks. They are set to field young stars aplenty, with NT Under-18 representative Beau O’Connell one who could team up with Davin Ferreira through midfield alongside the experience of Marlon Motlop. John Tipiloura is another lively youngster, as is Mark White, who starred up forward in the 2019 Under 16 Division 2 carnival. But arguably the best of the lot is 2020 AFL Draft hopeful Joel Jeffrey, who was a regular for Wanderers last year and played out on the MCG in the Under-17 grand final curtain raiser. If he is available before his top-age year, look out for his high marking up either end of the ground. While the immediate impact of their talent has not quite translated to results just yet, expect to see the Eagles sore in years to come.

Players to watch:

Beau O’Connell
Marlon Motlop
Joel Jeffrey
Davin Ferreira
John Tipiloura

Young gun:

Mark White

WARATAH

Last season: 4th
Win-loss: 9-9
Points: 36
Percentage: 100.44

Waratah is a team which surprised some last year, holding strong with its local talent to cap a consistent year off in fourth place with an even record – hardly ever looking like missing out on finals throughout the season. Anchoring the side in midfield was Abraham Ankers, who will be key again in this campaign alongside fellow NT Thunder squad member Brodie Carroll, who played 16 games last year. Zach Westerberg, Cameron Barrett, and Henry Kerinaiua were others to hold down spots, and another possible cameo from ex-Melbourne forward Michael Newton could spell some more goals. Newton’s two games aside, Waratah is one of the teams with the fewest ex-AFL experience, making their exploits even greater. Andrew Moore could change that factor slightly as he is poised to sign for the Warriors, and Matthew Green could have the effect of a new signing after only featuring a couple of times last season. Watch for Under 18 Allies representative Ben Jungfer if available, given he is Adelaide-based, with his clearance work outstanding. With a lot of other sides improving, it will be a battle for Waratah to maintain their form, but they have the stock to match it with the best once again.

Players to watch:

Abraham Ankers
Matthew Green
Brodie Carroll
Andrew Moore
Cameron Barrett

Young gun:

Ben Jungfer

Under 16 National Championships: Division 2 wrap

NEW South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) replicated Vic Metro’s Division 1 run, going through undefeated over three rounds to claim the Division 2 title. Queensland picked up two wins on home turf to slot into second place, with one of those coming over third-place Tasmania, while Northern Territory was the only side to go through without a win despite showing promise. We recap how each side fared and shed light on some of the better performers throughout the competition.

Northern Territory (0-3)

Results:
Rd 1 – Tasmania 16.13 (109) def. Northern Territory 8.8 (56)
Rd 2 – NSW/ACT 12.10 (82) def. Northern Territory 10.5 (65)
Rd 3 – Queensland 14.9 (93) def. Northern Territory 6.5 (41)

MVP: Brodie Lake (Peel Thunder/Southern Districts)
Most Goals: Mark White (Wanderers), 7

Despite not picking up a win over their three games, there were plenty of highlights and standouts for NT in this year’s carnival. A 53-point loss against Tasmania kicked off the Thunder’s campaign, with leading goal kicker Mark White enjoying his best game for the carnival to boot an equal game-high four goals. He was the Thunder’s only multiple goal kicker on the day, with Antonio James amongst the best in an under-siege defence and eventual MVP Brodie Lake enjoying a solid start. The NT responded in fine fashion against title-holders NSW/ACT in Round 2, pushing the Rams all the way but going down by 17 points. Two goalless terms told the tale of the see-sawing contest, and it was Lake again who impressed with his 26 disposals, seven marks, eight clearances and two goals. Tyrell Lui was also influential from midfield with 18 disposals, nine clearances and a goal, while undersized ruck Ned Stevens battled hard to have 12 disposals, 25 hitouts and a goal. It was a much improved performance from the Thunder, with a tough game against the hosts to come. It proved just that as they went down by 52 points in Aspley, struggling to match up on the Maroon’s array of tall forward options. At ground level, James again accumulated from defence and Ariki Lowe was busy in midfield with 15 disposals, six clearances and seven inside 50s. On the outside, Preyben Tipiloura showed some flash with his two goals, while Jason Baird stood up in a shift to defence with 12 disposals and five rebounds. It was a tough initiation onto the national stage for these NT youngsters, but there is certainly some talent to burn amongst the group.

NSW/ACT (3-0)

Results:
Rd 1 – NSW/ACT 10.10 (70) def. Queensland 9.5 (59)
Rd 2 – NSW/ACT 12.10 (82) def. Northern Territory 10.5 (65)
Rd 3 – Tasmania 4.10 (34) def. by NSW/ACT 11.9 (75)

MVP: Kai Watts (GWS Giants Academy/Inner West Magpies)
Most Goals: Euriah Hollard (Lavington/Geelong Grammar), 6

Division 2 title winners NSW/ACT responded beautifully to every question raised by their three opponents, holding firm in their first two games and enjoying a more comfortable win in the last. Round 1 saw them matched up against traditional rivals Queensland, overcoming deficits at quarter and three-quarter time to run over the top of the Maroons with a wind advantage. Austin Ball and Euriah Hollard each kicked two goals with Ball named best for the Rams, while the tall duo of Will Edwards and Patrick Voss also impressed. NT provided a good test for the Rams in Round 2, NSW/ACT’s ability to keep the Thunder goalless in two of the four quarters proved the difference. Voss booted four goals, while zippy ball winner Will Sexton was instrumental with 19 disposals, six marks, five tackles and a goal. His disposal effort was matched by rebounding defender Felix Rogers (eight rebounds) and tall forward Sam Stening (five marks, seven inside 50s, 1.5) as the Rams sailed home strongly. After being tested for three quarters against NT, the Rams stormed out of the blocks against Tasmania in Round 3 with an eight-goal to nil first half. The scoring slowed after the main break and Tasmania managed to put together 14 scoring shots, but the Rams were simply too efficient from forward 50 stoppages and resolute in defence. Joshua Fahey led the disposal count with 24 and 10 rebounds with Matthew McKenzie the only other to break the 20-mark (23 disposals, six marks, nine inside 50s). MVP Kai Watts started well up forward with 13 touches and 1.3, while Stening straightened up for 3.0 from 14 disposals and Toby Alker was again solid in midfield. The strength, versatility, and penetration of NSW/ACT’s midfield movers saw them home in each game, with a team balance also making them the clear-best in Division 2.

Queensland (2-1)

Results:
Rd 1 – NSW/ACT 10.10 (70) def. Queensland 9.5 (59)
Rd 2 – Queensland 9.3 (57) def. Tasmania 4.13 (37)
Rd 3 – Queensland 14.9 (93) def. Northern Territory 6.5 (41)

MVP: Austin Harris (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Palm Beach Currumbin)
Most Goals: Noah McFadyen (Brisbane Lions Academy/Wilston Grange), 14

Round 2 and 3 hosts Queensland went unbeaten at home to finish the carnival with a positive record and in second place. Their only loss came in Round 1 to champions NSW/ACT, going down by 11 points despite holding leads at two of the four intervals. Competition leading goal kicker Noah McFadyen was the only Maroon to find multiple majors with four, while ball-winners Bodhi Uwland, MVP Austin Harris and Finn Brown were also all influential. The Maroons bounced back in Round 2 in a game they hardly looked like losing against Tasmania at Metricon Stadium, getting up by 20 points in the end. Harris was again terrific with 19 disposals, seven marks and three clearances, while diminutive and tough midfielder Daniel Lanthois worked hard for 18 touches, 11 tackles and seven clearances. The tall trio of Will Bella (three goals) Jye Lockett (two), and McFadyen (two) all found multiples and caused headaches in the air, with that factor inevitably becoming a theme. The three went on to have a big say in Queensland’s closing win over the NT, with McFadyen’s strength close to goal overwhelming the NT defence as he helped himself to 8.2 from 14 disposals and seven marks. Lockett also parked inside attacking 50 to boot another two goals, while Lochlan Harrop also claimed two majors from 20 disposals. In a familiar tale, Harris and Lanthois again led the disposal count with 23 and 20 respectively to round out outstanding individual carnivals. A good combination of speed and ball winning ability further afield made the straightforward game-plan of feeding the talls up forward very effective, and it made them hard to stop in front of their vocal home fans.

Tasmania (1-2)

Results:
Rd 1 – Tasmania 16.13 (109) def. Northern Territory 8.8 (56)
Rd 2 – Queensland 9.3 (57) def. Tasmania 4.13 (37)
Rd 3 – Tasmania 4.10 (34) def. by NSW/ACT 11.9 (75)

MVP: Baynen Lowe (North-West Academy/Devonport)
Alan McLean Medal: Sam Banks (Southern Academy/Clarence)
Most Goals: Jonty McIvor (North-West Academy/Wynyard), 5

A big opening round win over Northern Territory ended up being Tasmania’s only victory for the carnival, unable to get that same scoring flow going in scores of 37 and 34 across the next two games. Their start unearthed plenty of promise though, with nine individual goal kickers contributing to the 53-point win. Jonty McIvor led the way with four, followed by Darcy Gardner‘s three and two each from Sam Banks and Zac Morris rounding out the multiple goal kickers. Zippy ball-winner and state MVP Baynen Lowe also made a good start, and was just as good in Tasmania’s Round 2 outing against Queensland. The Devils went down by 20 points in a slog, with Lowe’s 20 disposals, nine marks, eight clearances and one goal second only to Banks’ 21 touches and eight inside 50s. George McLeod also had a good game with 18 disposals and 1.2, with Dominic White (14 disposals, four marks) solid in the back half and Gardner (14 disposals, nine tackles, five clearances) also busy. A big first half from NSW/ACT saw Tasmania go goalless to the main break in Round 3, but it was not for a want of trying as the Devils were punished each time they failed to capitalise of gaining territory. They improved to finish with 4.10, as Lowe (27 disposals, seven tackles, seven clearances), McLeod (23 disposals, 11 marks, 2.1), and Jake Dixon (20 disposals, six marks) again worked tirelessly. But it was Alan McLean medallist Banks who was most influential, thriving in a move to half back to have 25 disposals, 10 marks and a combined nine breaches of each arc. With some undeniable class at the top and hard workers throughout, Tassie just fell short of putting together the pieces across the three matches. Banks is certainly one to watch, and has already broken into the Tasmanian NAB League squad like 2018 draftee, Tarryn Thomas.

Queensland goes unbeaten at home to round out U16 carnival

QUEENSLAND finished its Under 16 Division 2 campaign off on a winning note, beating the Northern Territory by 52 points in a heated contest to go undefeated in their two home legs. Brisbane Lions Academy prospect Noah McFadyen was the star of the day, proving too strong deep inside 50 and finishing clinically to boot eight goals.

The home side was dominant in the opening term, with the tall forward trio of McFadyen, Jye Lockett, and Will Bella causing headaches early on for the smaller NT defence. It was all Queensland after Mark White missed NT’s only chance for the quarter, with McFadyen making no mistake up the other end with a sliding mark and set shot conversion to first trouble the scorers. Lochlan Harrop soccered home from the goalsquare to make it two, with McFadyen adding his second shortly after via a free kick for holding. Lockett made it a four-goal to nil term by putting away one of two kicks earned deep inside 50 with marks over the back, and the signs were looking ominous.

In similar vain to the first term, the Thunder enjoyed early territory but could not quite take full advantage. White’s sharp baulk and shot was marked on the line by James Packer, but Tom King then marked a Preyben Tipiloura shot which fell short to slam home NT’s opening goal from close range. Another two forward forays followed, but Queensland held firm and rebounded well to see McFadyen add his third goal in reply with a mark deep in the 50. The trend continued in uncanny fashion as Brodie Lake hit the post for NT, and Queensland punished the errand shot with another McFadyen goal after marking strongly one-on-one. Again, the next scoring play was a missed snap from NT’s Tyrell Lui, but Daniel Lanthois had no such troubles for the Maroons as he extended the margin further. McFadyen then capped off a big first half with his fifth goal close to the bell, marking on the lead and putting through another elementary set shot goal. The Queenslanders simply looked like scoring with each attack and did exactly that, helping themselves to a 44-point lead at the main break.

The opening exchanges of the third term were even, with much of the play occurring between the arcs and the sides sharing a rushed behind each. That was before Austin Harris broke the deadlock with a goal on the run, and was smashed late after the kick for his troubles. Tipiloura provided the instant reply to back up NT’s physical spirit with his own goal on the fly, and Lake helped them get on top in the term after marking twice inside 50 and converting the second shot. After a long period of stalemate and a few Queensland players looking to get their names on the scoresheet, McFadyen booted his sixth goal with yet another one-on-one mark in the goalsquare and straightforward finish. The margin was 47 points heading into the final change, but NT were putting up a fight. 

Fight was somewhat of a key word as things got a little physical after White hit Lanthois late after he had disposed of the ball, with a tussle breaking out. Having received some chat from the crowd, White streamed in to boot a classy goal on the run and promptly shooshed them in celebration in a cheeky bit of showmanship. The scoring continued as Tipiloura added another in full motion, but Queensland hit back with three goals of their own as they looked to pretty up the scoreboard. One of those came from McFadyen for his seventh major as he read the wind well, going on to finish with eight with a goal just before the final siren.

Harris led all-comers for the Maroons with 23 disposals, nine marks, four breaches of each arc, a goal and plenty of meterage. Lanthois (20 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances, one goal) and Harrop (20 disposals, four marks, two goals) were others to find both the goals and plenty of possession, while Lockett joined McFadyen and Harrop as the only other multiple goal kicker from his 12 disposals and seven marks. For NT, Antonio James was solid down back accumulating 16 disposals, five marks and four rebounds, with Ariki Lowe zippy in the midfield for his 15 disposals, six clearances and seven inside 50s, and Tipiloura arguably catching the eye most with his 11 disposals, five inside 50s and two goals. White was another crafty mover forward and succeeded in a few baulks in his nine-disposal and one-goal game in a low-scoring Thunder effort.

QUEENSLAND 4.3 | 8.5 | 10.9 | 14.9 (93)
NT 0.1 | 1.3 | 3.4 | 6.5 (41)

GOALS:

QLD: N. McFadyen 8, L. Harrop 2, J. Lockett 2, D. Lanthois, A. Harris
NT: P. Tipiloura 2, T. King, B. Lake, M. White, F. Buitenhuis

ADC BEST:

QLD: N. McFadyen, L. Harrop, J. Lockett, D. Lanthois, G. Sanoing
NT: P. Tipiloura, M. White, B. Lake, T. King, A. Lowe   

Scouting Notes: U16 Division 2 – Round 2

NEW South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) and Queensland Under 16s both picked up wins under lights at Metricon Stadium on Tuesday, with plenty of stand-out performers from each side. Michael Alvaro cast an eye over the two games, taking opinion-based notes on the outstanding players from all four teams.

NSW/ACT vs. Northern Territory

NSW/ACT:

#1 Austin Ball (Sydney Swans Academy)

The diminutive forward caused headaches inside attacking 50, zipping around the arc and looking dangerous in spurts. Ball enjoyed a strong second term through midfield, coming into the game with a good clearing kick to find Louis Wilson and bursting out of the centre bounces at pace. He had the chance to hit the scoreboard after intercepting a kick-in but couldn’t finish, and missed another chance in the following term after a smart bit of crumbing inside 50. Has the traits to be influential, but couldn’t quite finish the job at all times, finishing with 12 disposals, three marks, two clearances, three inside 50s and 0.2.

#2 Byron Middleton (Sydney Swans Academy)

Busy in-close, Middleton did well to rack up 17 disposals (12 handballs), five tackles and five clearances in a solid outing for the Rams. He looked really clean below his knees, using his low centre on gravity to evade opponents once he had collected the ball and flicking it out to teammates on the run. One of his better moments was a neat kick inside 50 to Joshua Fahey in the second term after finding a bit of space, and he was productive all game.

#3 Will Sexton (GWS GIANTS Academy)

Another from NSW/ACT’s brigade of small and quick midfielders, Sexton was one of his side’s best and most consistent ball winners. He seemed to be everywhere at times, intercepting on defensive wing early on, gathering cleanly and brilliantly turning an opponent further a field shortly after, and winning plenty of ball around the stoppages. A pleasing part of Sexton’s game was his work rate, winning the ball up either end and tackling well to ease pressure on his defence. His bursting pace also came in handy when breaking forward, but Sexton sometimes lacked a touch of penetration by foot. Still a fantastic game with 19 disposals, six marks, five tackles, and a goal which came in the third term.

#4 Jordan Endemann (Sydney Swans Academy)

Endemann was a productive member of the Rams’ forward setup, looking dangerous with his 14 disposals, five marks and three inside 50s. Despite not hitting the scoreboard himself, Endemann was constantly looking to create with his forward movement, zipping around the forward 50 and delivering well short by foot. His sole behind for the game came after marking well out the back but missing the resultant set shot, with that finish product again dearly missed in the final term with another chance. Is quite raw, but had some really nice moments and was close to putting it all together.

#6 Felix Rogers (Sydney Swans Academy)

The rebounding small defender was a dangerous asset moving forward from the back half, possessing line-breaking speed and the willingness to take the game on. Rogers won an equal team-high 19 disposals, but it was his eight rebounds and three inside 50s that truly told the tale of his game – getting on the move with ball in hand and ending with a long kick. He also showed a handy knack for pin-pointing shorter options in the third term, finding Will Sexton well inside 50 to assist his set shot goal. Could also be a handy midfielder with his ability to crumb off hands, but is so valuable in that half-back slot as it is.

#22 Joshua Fahey (GWS GIANTS Academy)

While he ended up winning the ball at both ends, Fahey was initially sighted in defence – entrusted with a couple of early kick-ins and responsible for one of the more bizarre standings of the mark as he performed a crow-pleasing handstand. Fahey’s influence up the other end also came in the second term, with an errand set shot finding its way to Euriah Hollard to gift him a goal. It was a well-rounded display from Fahey between the arc, finishing with 17 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s.

#23 Matthew McKenzie (Sydney Swans Academy)

Not overly tall but was one of NSW/ACT’s bigger midfield bodies alongside Kai Watts, providing some good drive as he got on his bike and wheeled through the corridor. McKenzie’s clearing long kicks into space proved valuable, but he also showed good awareness in congestion to not always blaze away – instead handing out to better-placed teammates. The Swans Academy member also hit the scoreboard, converting a set shot in the second term and snapping home from the pocket in the fourth as he shifted into a forward role. He ended up being productive there, finding Sam Stening for a chance on goal and operating in space. He finished with an impactful 16 disposals (13 kicks), five tackles, three clearances, and two goals.

#24 Kai Watts (GWS GIANTS Academy)

Along with Matthew McKenzie, Watts was a terrific mover of the ball forward and also managed to hit the scoreboard. Watts was first sighted inside 50 when he marked deep from a short Jordan Endemann set shot and converted his opening goal, while later popping up to get on the end of another errand shot to crumb and snap truly in the third term. He won the first clearance of the final quarter on the move and another similar one shortly after, showing a quick first five steps and nice long kick. Watts ended with 16 disposals (14 kicks), six inside 50s and two goals in an important role through the midfield-forward rotation.

#25 Sam Stening (GWS GIANTS Academy)

The bookend quarters of Stening’s game were as good as anyones, proving an influential and flexible part of the NSW/ACT forward structure. Stening made a nice start with his beautiful kick to find Patrick Voss inside 50 and provide the resultant goal, while popping up again in the same term to show off his strong hands. His final quarter was the true standout though, again showing his sticky hands on the lead from centre half-forward and proving strong one-on-one. While he managed to boot his only goal of the game with a dribbler to seal the win late on, Stening could have finished with an incredible stat-line had he buried multiple other chances. He put a low shot on the run wide, hit the post with a later snap and missed from very close range with a snare off hands – finishing with 1.5 from his 19 disposals, five marks and seven inside 50s.

#26 Patrick Voss (GWS GIANTS Academy)

Voss started like a house on fire, booting all of his game-high four goals in the first half. Playing like a slender key forward at 190cm and 79kg, Voss positioned and led well inside attacking 50 to benefit fully from good delivery. He slotted a set shot for his first major in the opening term and played on quickly to snap his second shortly after. He made a good read to take a strong chest mark inside 50 in the following term and boot his third goal, later barrelling through traffic in the goalsquare to slam home a fourth in almost identical fashion to how his first two goals came. While Voss could not find the goals after that, he still had a couple of tough chances and looked a threat inside the dangerous Rams forward 50.

Northern Territory:

#5 Ariki Lowe (Federals)

The zippy midfielder matched up well on NSW/ACT’s smaller movers, but more importantly found a good amount of his own ball. He proved dangerous around the stoppages, keeping on the move and setting NT forward when he managed to claim possession. After missing a snap earlier in the second term, Lowe quickly made amends with a better finish in similar fashion, going on to impact around the ball. Finished with 13 disposals, four tackles, two clearances and 1.2.

#11 Mark White (Wanderers)

One who didn’t win mountains of possessions but made them count with his work forward of centre. White applied good pressure early but was a little shaky himself with tacklers oncoming, gaining confidence with a nice one-on-one mark inside 50 and set shot goal. The Wanderers product was dangerous from then, on, dinking a clever checkside to Jamie Jones to set up his goal to finish an influential first term. White went on to have fewer highlights as the game wore on, but popped up with a smart bit of play in the third quarter – knowing he could not make the distance after falling short with a couple of shots from around 45 metres, and taking on the man on the mark to finish well from closer in. Looks a crafty type forward of centre and had some nice moments.

#14 Riley Stone (Palmerston)

Was a good accumulator on the wing with his outside movement and ability to penetrate both arcs. Went about his business with little fuss but influenced the play between the 50s, finishing with 16 disposals, three marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s in an well-rounded outing.

#16 Antonio James (Darwin)

The nuggety defender was as solid as anyone down back, doing the defensive things well while also providing some valuable attack from the defensive 50. While he seemed to attract the ball, James also worked hard to make the play from defence – making a terrific spoil, laying hard tackles and kicking well down the line to clear the area. Laid another important tackle in the final term to prevent a Patrick Voss shot, and was importantly one of the NT’s best in their two scoreless quarters.

#17 Jaden Watts (Palmerston)

A dynamic yet light-on mover, Watts made a profound impact going forward. He started off working up the ground to provide a link into attacking 50, and added a bonus goal in the first term with a shrewd steal and finish on the move. While he was important on the attack, Watts also did well to follow up his work, and laid an impressive tackle in the second term after spilling the initial marking attempt. Went on to get reward for his tackling in the following quarter, and was rewarded for his overall effort with a goal later in the same term with a set shot goal after the siren. Has a good amount of spring and does some nice things going both ways, bringing some spark to the game.

#24 Jason Baird (Palmerston)

Baird made a fantastic start in the forward half, leading up well into the corridor to mark, sending a beautiful kick inside 50 to assist Jamie Jones’ goal and just falling short with his own set shot attempt in a solid opening term. His ability to find space was uncanny and he worked well in it, later moving into the midfield to impact the stoppages with his constant movement and create via a willingness to deliver inboard from wide areas. Gets in dangerous areas and influences the play, ending up with 16 disposals (14 kicks), five marks, two clearances and six inside 50s.

#28 Brody Lake (Peel Thunder/Southern Districts)

The Southern Districts midfielder was far and away NT’s best throughout the game, collecting a game-high 26 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, eight clearances, four inside 50s and two goals in an incredible outing. He built into the game beautifully, using his height to get up well in marking contests and holding firm in one-on-one contests, all the while accumulating possessions. Lake really came to life in the second half though, bursting from stoppages to earn clearances while also kicking two quality goals in the third term. The first came after shrugging off his opponent and snapping truly, with the next coming off the back of a strong pack mark against two opponents as NT mounted a come-back. He went on to continually have a say in the game with his possessions, and was a real standout.

#30 Tyrell Lui (Wanderers)

Lui started well in the midfield, breaking away with an early clearance and showing a good mix of strength and evasion in those situations. He went on to win a wealth of clearances (game-high nine), and had the same kind of impact around the ground despite sending a long-range set shot sprayed out on the full. Still, had 18 important disposals from midfield and produced seven inside 50s with his long balls out of congestion. Also managed to find the goals in the third term to cap off a solid game.

Tasmania vs. Queensland:

Tasmania:

#2 Baynen Lowe (Devonport)

Did all of the hard stuff through midfield in a very well rounded game, ending with 20 disposals, nine tackles, eight clearances, and four inside 50s. He looked lively in bursts with his speed from the contest, latching onto the ball quickly at stoppages to have an influence there. Lowe was one who had a few very good chances to put pressure on Queensland via the scoreboard, but only managed the one goal. He had an early checkside shot miss after marking a wayward Sam Sherriff shot inside 50, missed another set shot in the second term, but eventually made amends for both with a snap in the final quarter to cap off his game.

#3 Darcy Gardner (Clarence)

Another smaller player with good breaking speed, Gardner showed it off early with a nice passage through traffic which he ended with a kick. Did well to get back and win the ball around defensive wing to clear the danger and push forward with more long balls forward, and had the chance to hit the scoreboard late in the game with a fortunate in-the-back free kick which he couldn’t quite put away. Had a solid 14 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances.

#5 George McLeod (North Hobart)

Is quite light-on, so enjoyed some of the space he was afforded to receive on the outside of stoppages and send Tasmania into attack with six inside 50 entries. That outside recieving proved damaging as McLeod got on the end of a handball and slammed home a nice goal on the run. McLeod was also given another chance to find the goals on the back of a later 50-metre penalty, but could only boot the ball into the post. Much of his game consisted of getting the ball in space and kicking long, finishing with 18 disposals (14 kicks) and 1.2.

#9 Sam Sherriff (Launceston)

Sherriff popped up early with a strong mark deep inside 50 from a long ball in but sprayed the resultant shot, going on to get another opportunity in the same term as one who positioned well in attack in the opening stages. He made up for two earlier missed with a fantastic chase down tackle and goal in the following term, going on to find a good amount of possession around the ground to finish with 12 disposals, three marks and a goal.

#10 Samuel Banks (Clarence)

Caught the eye straight off the bat with a booming kick forward off the back of the first centre bounce, and continued on in similar fashion throughout the day to have a team-high 21 disposals (19 kicks) and eight inside 50s. He also hit the ground running straight after half time with a streaming clearance and long kick forward, which was a part of his game that featured most prominently. Put in a solid shift and possesses qualities which are easy on the eye.

#16 Dominic White (North Hobart)

Was a really calm and reliable figure down back, first coming into the game with a mark on the last line to show good positioning. With his helmet clipped on, White was solid in the air and efficient with his short kicking game out of defence, clearing danger with no frills fuss. Did not have massive numbers with 14 disposals and four marks, but hardly put a foot wrong with his touches.

#21 Zac Morris (East Launceston/Launceston)

Morris was one who warmed into the game slowly, but had a really influential fourth quarter and seemed to be everywhere. Earlier, he first appeared with a good couple of pressure acts and tackles in the second term, earning a free kick for one of them. He came back into the game late on with his leads up to half-forward and strong hands to mark on two occasions, getting on the end of some good service by presenting in the right areas. Had the chance to trouble the scorers after intercepting a kick-in but fell short with the shot, finishing with 14 disposals, four marks, six tackles, and three inside 50s in a hard-working display.

Queensland:

#3 Daniel Lanthois (Brisbane Lions Academy)

Was a strong inside ball winner throughout the match, digging in at the stoppages with some tough work going both ways. Lanthois well around the ground for 18 disposals, 11 tackles, seven clearances and four inside 50s. His clearance work and ability to prize the ball out despite his frame was effective, and he even showed a good bit of poise to lower his eyes early on and hit up a teammate laterally. Lanthois’ game was one of accumulation, and he proved to be as consistent as anyone across the ground while pitching in with solid tackling work.

#6 Austin Harris (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Led well with team-highs in disposals (19) and marks (seven), working hard around the ground to provide good run and produce lateral short kicks. His use from the corridor was particularly noticeable, but like Lanthois, Harris was one who just seemed to be everywhere with his accumulative possessions and put in a really hard-working shift for the Maroons.

#24 Ethan Kerr (Brisbane Lions Academy)

Kerr first popped up with a long rebounding kick from a kick-in, and it truly set the tone for his 18 disposal, five mark and six rebound 50 effort. The Lions Academy member proved to be a calm user of the ball, often opting for long kicks to clear his lines and potential danger. It was a relatively all-round performance from Kerr, and he should be a solid contributor coming into Round 3.

#25 Bodhi Uwland (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Another who ran well through the midfield, Uwland was a strong figure in the engine room as a point of difference to the wealth of fleet footed runners going around. He was a big ball winner around the contest, applying big tackles, standing up in them, and trying to pry his way through the congestion. His standout moment came in the final term with a courageous mark with opponents in his eyeline, which broke up an early Tasmanian push. Uwland finished with a serviceable 14 disposals, three marks, four tackles and six inside 50s.

#28 Jye Lockett (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Lockett was one of a few big bodies for Queensland in the forward half, but made plays of a smaller unit with some work in the first term. He kicked Queensland’s first goal of the game with a snap and missed another shortly after, with not much to do until he popped up again in the third term with his second goal to finish a nice passage of play from the Maroons. Finished as a danger up forward, and had 12 disposals, three marks and two goals across the day.

#32 Noah McFadyen (Brisbane Lions Academy)

Another McFadyen to come through the Lions Academy program, Noah has been a useful forward target for Queensland as a strong unit inside 50. First caught attention with his opening goal from a set shot in the second term, making it two in quick succession with a quick snap to give Queensland some breathing space. While he didn’t have a big game numbers-wise, but had some nice moments and read the play well with his leads up to half forward.

#37 Will Bella (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Would have to be one of the biggest 16-year-olds to have gone through the carnival at 194cm and 100kg, and while he used his frame well throughout, proved to be more than just a brute. Kicked his first of three goals with a long-range set shot in the second term, benefitted from a down-field free kick in the following term to convert from a tight angle, and booting his third after a holding free kick in the final term. Bella led up and marked well to add to his clinical conversion rate, having a bigger impact than his 10-disposal game would suggest.

2018 Flying Boomerangs and World Team squads announced

FIFTY talented footballers with Indigenous or multicultural heritages will represent the 2018 Flying Boomerangs and World Team squads in two exhibition matches at the 2018 National AFL Under 16 Championships on the Gold Coast in July.

Selected by AFL club recruiters following the 2018 AFL National Male Diversity Championships held in Blacktown, the respective squads of 25 young men has been chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills, and football ability.

The AFL Flying Boomerangs program is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men aged 14-16 years old, supported by Rio Tinto. Meanwhile the World Team is made up of the best upcoming AFL multicultural players from across the nation.

AFL General Manger Game Development, Andrew Dillon, said the Rio Tinto AFL Flying Boomerangs and World Team programs are a great opportunity for the best rising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural talent in the nation to develop on and off the field.

“The Boomerangs and World Team squads have been selected following their impressive performances at the 2018 AFL National Diversity Championships in Blacktown last week,” he said. “These are more than just programs, we are now preparing the next generation of young leaders and footballers with the skills, qualities, and experiences to become positive role models amongst their own families and within their broader communities. “Over the past few years we have seen the Diversity Championships grow into a genuine elite talent pathway and we look forward to witnessing the next stage of development for these players, coaches, and umpires.”

2018 Rio Tinto Flying Boomerangs

Kai Watts (NSW)
Hunter McAuliffe (NSW)
Gundjarra Mununggurr (NT)
Preyben Tipiloura (NT)
Antonio James (NT)
Jamie Baxter (NT)
Taj Buitenhaus (NT)
Isaiah Dudley (SA)
Zac Bishop (SA)
Blayne O’Loughlin (SA)
Jase Burgoyne (SA)
Liam Flanigan (TAS)
Jonty McIvor (TAS)
Mackenzie Cowley (VIC)
Jordan Haynes (VIC)
Dallas McAdam (WA)
Kendyll Blurton (WA)
Richard Farmer (WA)
Lawson Humphries (WA)
Cole Agnew (WA)
Branden Eades (WA)
Richard Bartlett (WA)
Jerrimiah Thorne (WA)
Jermaine Pickett (WA)
Toby Henry (WA) 

2018 World Team

Harry Wichman (NSW)
Oliver Kozak (NSW)
Tomas Sase (NSW)
Ariki Lowe (NT)
Andy Wakefield (NT)
Austin Harris (QLD)
Zyton Santillo (SA)
Ben Burbridge (SA)
Weston Rata (SA)
Tony Aganas (TAS)
Kai Suparta (VIC)
Emiliano Alexio (VIC)
Alecsander McComb (VIC)
Youseph Dip (VIC)
Malik Elfakahani (VIC)
Moala Polata (VIC)
Zachary Cilecken (VIC)
Bol Wol (VIC)
Bol Dengdit (VIC)
Douth Jock (VIC)
Moostafa Noori (WA)
Seth Connor (WA)
Menno Inverarity (WA)
Ethan Regan (WA)
Riley Colbourne (WA)

In the 2018 National Diversity Championships, Victoria was triumphant in the All Nations competition with a one-point thrilling victory over Tasmania in the final, while Western Australia took out the Kickstart title with a strong 12-point victory over South Australia.