THERE was plenty of football over the weekend in the South Australia National Football League (SANFL) with plenty of big games and close contests throughout the round. The Academy game also took place allowing the youngsters to compete against Western Australia. Our South Australian writers Jamie Morgan, David Chapman Damon Mattiazzo and Tom Wyman all contributed to the article.
SANFL U18 Academy
Last week saw a host of SANFLs best Under 18 players put through a SANFL Academy camp consisting of a variety of off-field training sessions as well as positional and game instructions. The camp culminated in two games with the squad split into two against a similar squad from WA.
Some U17 talent was also absent from the camp as they had been selected for Australian U17 duties in Melbourne.
The first game was played on Friday afternoon at West Adelaide Football Club. In a tough first quarter it took a while for both teams to gel and the scorers were not troubled early. By half-time it had been a defensive battle and Western Australia led 23 – 20. After half time SA hit the lead with the first goal, but from then on WA ran away with the game. Leading 48-27 at three quarter time and slamming on six goals in the last quarter to comfortably win 86 – 35. For WA it was their running brigade which really tore the SA midfield apart, winning the inside ball and then breaking out of the packs in numbers and using quick hands to move the ball with elite speed. Western Australia were led by midfield general Michael Wright with numerous contested possessions and his relentless chat and encouragement for his teammates. Other on ballers also who impressed included Cameron Anderson, Jye Clark, and Tristan Hobley. 200cm ruckman Callum Jamieson was impressive around the ground as well and also hit the scoreboard making his presence felt on the ground. Jeremy Sharp provided real poise and class, especially rebounding the ball and driving into attack. And 197cm Michael Mallard was also dangerous up forward. For SA the better players included the tall defenders Karl Finlay, Dyson Hilder and Jordan Moore. Midfielder Harry Schoenberg also had plenty of it, and Will Gould was again impressive starting down back and then having a run through the midfield and finishing up forward. Brady Searle was also one to link the play well and small forward Cooper Horsnell capitalised with a couple of goals. In the second game, South Australia won with a kick just seconds before the final siren, with Kysaiah Pickett and Cameron Taheny among those who played for the South Australians. The game was littered with injuries and illness, but gave both sides a good chance to warm up ahead of the National Under 18 Championships.
Adelaide 14.6 (90) defeated Centrals 8.7 (55)
Adelaide left X Convenience Oval with the four points, defeating Central Districts by 35-points. Recent first-round draftee Ned McHenry played his best game for the club, amassing 28 disposals, seven marks, 11 tackles, four clearances and a goal to press his case for an AFL debut. Prolific on-baller Patrick Wilson notched up another 30 disposals and seven clearances, whilst Andy Otten was strong in defence, taking 12 marks. Josh Jenkins booted three majors, albeit from relatively easy shots, and key-position draftee Jordon Butts continued to look settled at the level, taking nine marks. Ben Davis and Lachlan Sholl were again impressive for Adelaide, as was skipper Matthew Wright who contributed two majors to the clubs winning margin. For the Bulldogs, Jarrod Schiller was terrific around the stoppages, racking up 34 disposals and 12 clearances to go with a pair of goals. His brother Travis was also amongst it regularly, collecting 35 possessions, as was fifth-gamer Jydon Neagle (27 disposals). Yet, despite winning enough of the ball in the middle, the Bulldogs had just one multiple-goal kicker and were simply outclassed by a youthful Crows outfit.
Port v Eagles
A strong second half was the catalyst for Port Adelaide to get back on the winners list defeating Woodville-West Torrens by 37 points at the Maughan Thiem KIA Oval. Former Demon Jack Trengove was again superb in the middle of the ground gathering 31 disposals, eight marks, eight tackles and kicked two goals to lead his side to victory and potentially extending his lead at the top of Magarey Medal. Ruckman turned forward Billy Frampton made up for lost time, returning from a two game suspension to kick goals while also proving to be an aerial threat with eight marks all inside 50m. Emerging ruckman Peter Ladhams continues his dominant season so far with his ability at ground level with 27 disposals, nine marks, four tackles and 22 hit outs in what is turning out to be a breakout year so far. Sam Mayes and Karl Amon continued their impressive form and push for AFL selection, while Steven Motlop had a quiet game disposal wise with only 17, but kicked two great goals to seal the victory. For the Eagles, Jack Hayes continued to give his side a sniff throughout the day but his efforts of two goals and three behinds with 11 disposals were to no avail. James Rowe was one positive for the Eagles kicking four goals for his side and has become the surprise leader of the Ken Farmer Medal after five rounds of the competition. Former Port and Swans players Jimmy Toumpas and Jordan Foote had 22 and 21 touches respectively in an all-round tough day out for the Eagles. The Eagles find themselves with a 1-4 record as they try to adjust to the new era under coach Sam Lonergan.
Eagles vs Centrals
Reserves: Centrals 15.7 (97) defeated Eagles 14.4 (88)
Under 18s: Eagles 10.18-78 defeated Centrals 2.7 (19)
The Reserves game was a tight tussle all day, with Centrals getting a break in the third term, but Eagles fought back in the last quarter to almost run over the Bulldogs. Flynn Pisani from the Bulldogs was best and is having a very good season to date. Steve Burton also had a standout performance clocking up a game high 38 disposals in a strong display for his side. Connor McLean was very good up forward and finished with three goals. For the Eagles, Jake Weidemann was a presence up forward finishing with four goals, while Jake Camitogianni and Cooper Gaffney were good around the contest for the Eagles.
The U18 Eagles won easily and the shining light was a six goal haul from Michael Frederick for the winning side. He could have ended up with nine if he was able to convert his three behinds but he clearly posed a dangerous figure in the forward line attacking the ball hard. Henry McCabe (son of Luke) again was solid for the Bulldogs finishing with 24 disposals and best for the losing side
Glenelg vs West
League: Glenelg 10.14 (74) defeated West 8.10 (58)
Reserves: West 11.13 (79) defeated Glenelg 7.3 (45)
Under 18s: West 17.6 (108) defeated Glenelg 4.12 (36)
Glenelg gained its third win of the season with a 16-point victory over West Adelaide under ANZAC Day eve lights at City Mazda Oval. The Bloods led at every change but were unable to stop a Tigers side which came charging home in the last quarter. Lachlan Hosie finished with a bag of three, bringing his season tally to 14 to sit equal-top of the Ken Farmer Medal alongside Eagle, James Rowe. Luke Reynolds also contributed two goals, with Darcy Bailey and Marlon Motlop also booting majors. Motlop was integral in the win, collecting 25 disposals, seven marks and four tackles. He was supported by Chris Curran (24 disposals and eight marks) and Carl Nicholson (18 disposals, nine marks and four tackles). Young duo Jonty Scharenberg (17 disposals, seven marks and three tackles) and Luke Partington (17 disposals and three tackles) continued to build momentum in the engine room. For West Adelaide, Will Snelling dominated around the stoppages in a best-on-ground performance, tallying 27 disposals, five marks, 17 tackles and seven clearances. Veteran Chris Schmidt had 22 possessions, whilst Jono Beech, Mason Middleton and Gibson Turner each kicked two.
West Reserves side had another good win, with Nathan Batley and Kenny Karpany leading the way for the Bloods once again. Sam May is having a consistent season clocking up another 26 disposal and one goal game. Glenelg’s Alex Martini played a solid game in the loss, and Seb Kerrish continues to push for league selection with a 24 disposal game for the Tigers.
Westies Under 18s had a day out with talented Beau Nunan kicking nine goals in a classy performance. For the Bloods, Bailey Chamberlain found plenty of ball finishing with 32 disposals and three clearances, along with Zac Wooldridge collecting 31 disposals and 11 marks. Will Schreiber was best for the struggling Bays.
North vs Norwood
League: Norwood 15.11 (101) defeated North 12.15 (87)
Reserves: North 12.14 (86) defeated Norwood 7.12 (54)
Under 18s: Norwood 14.8 (92) defeated North 10.9 (69)
Norwood fought off a fast finishing North in the rematch of the 2018 Grand final, but had control of the game for most of the day. Norwood’s class was evident and prime mover Matt Panos again was best for the Redlegs with 27 disposals and three goals to make him a deserved Anzac Medal winner. North showed signs and recently promoted small forwards Liam Verity and Strato Agostoras both hit the scoreboard with two and three goals respectively.
In the reserves, the result went the other way for North. For the Roosters small forward Frankie Szkeley was best with two goals, eight tackles and 17 possessions to provide real dash and spark around the packs. Midfielder Dakota Nixon returned from injury and also provided some poise for the Roosters with 24 disposals and seven clearances. Medium forward Cameron Tiggeman also had a day out kicking five goals, from both set shots and snaps. For Norwood, in a close to best on ground performance running defender Jacob Collins was impressive, with 28 possessions including nine marks as he repeatedly rebounded the ball or drove it forward from defence with a booming kick. Onballer Cody Szust was also strong with two goals and 22 possessions while Josh Richards also impressed with 24 disposals and six clearances for the game.
Under 18s victory went to Norwood as well, Mitchell Carroll was best for the Redlegs in a 26 disposal, 7 clearance game along with Xavier Tranfa who finished with 23 possessions and 6 tackles. For North Jackson Antrobus (son of Tony) had probably his best game for the Roosters, along with midfielder Lachlan Borg who ended up with 22 disposals and 6 clearances.
South vs Sturt
League: Sturt 14.8 (92) defeated South 11.4 (70)
Reserves: South 11.11 (77) defeated Sturt 10.9 (69)
Under 18s: Sturt 15.13 (103) defeated South 7.3 (45)
Sturt enjoyed a 22-point win over South Adelaide in the League match with Sam Colquhoun having a day out. Colquhoun collected 40 disposals, 10 marks, six clearances, six inside 50s and three rebounds in a massive performance, while James Battersby (27 touches, 13 marks, four clearances and two inside 50s) was solid. Zane Kirkwood and Aidan Riley hit the scoreboard for the Double Blues with two majors apiece. For the Panthers, Matthew Rose had 30 touches, nine marks and eight rebounds out of defence, while Nick Liddle racked up 24 disposals, six clearances and six tackles. Ben Heaslip starred in the Reserves with 31 touches, 10 clearances and six tackles for the winning Panthers, while Joel Thiele was his nemesis at the stoppages, racking up 11 clearances himself as well as 27 disposals and six tackles. In the Under 18 demolition by Sturt, it was hard to go past the performance of the week by Sturt’s Charlie Allan. A huge game of 42 disposals, one goal, eight tackles and nine clearances was highly impressive. For the losing side, Max Clifton had a team-high 22 disposals as well as five marks, eight clearances, six inside 50s and four rebounds.