Tag: brandon walker

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – Round 2 – East Fremantle vs Subiaco

EAST Fremantle flexed their muscles as a powerhouse of the 2019 West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts season, with a 57-point victory over reigning premiers, Subiaco at East Fremantle Oval.

Below were the best players in the game.

EAST FREMANTLE

#2 Michael Wright
The Chapman Valley junior is in outstanding form, and already earning a reputation as one of the premium midfielders in this year’s WAFL Colts Competition. Against the Lions Wright accumulated 24 possessions, laid six tackles, grabbed five marks and kicked two goals. A highlight of his game was in the third quarter when he performed a one-two with Luke Jackson, before snapping through his second goal.

#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, with an equal game-high 29 possessions, six tackles, five inside 50s, and five marks. His leadership off the half-back is similar to the way Luke Hodge controls his team. Rivers is looming to be one of the key players in this year’s AFL Draft.

#16 Chad Warner
The Willetton junior was his usual tough self for the Sharks, often burying himself in stoppages to win the ball for his team. He finished with 23 possessions, a game-high nine tackles and five inside 50s. Like Wright, Warner is proving to be one of the premium midfield players in the competition.

#20 Brandon Walker
The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy prospect was sizzling off the half-back line for East Fremantle. He finished with 15 possessions and five marks, showcasing the traits that made him an All-Australian last year. He used his speed to burn off opponents, was smart with his decision-making and elite with his foot skills.

#23 Luke Jackson
The highly-touted Jackson put forward a display as to why AFL Draft experts believe he could potentially be a top-five pick. Against the Lions, he was arguably best afield with 17 possessions, 24 hit-outs, six marks, two tackles and two goals.

#24 Trey Ruscoe
The Aquinas College student was phenomenal against the Lions with 23 possessions, six inside 50s, three marks, three tackles and two goals. Playing more as a big-bodied inside midfielder, Ruscoe often crashed his body through stoppages to get the ball to the outside runners. He could be a draft bolter with his current form.

SUBIACO

#8 Ben Golding
The North Beach junior was outstanding for Subiaco on a tough day out, with 25 possessions, eight tackles, four inside 50s and three marks. The energy he provides around the contest is exceptional, so it was a shame it only rubbed off on some of his teammates.

#9 Tristan Hobley
The 2018 Mel Whinnen Medallist worked hard all day for the Lions, racking up an equal game-high 29 possessions, laying an equal team-high eight tackles, recording four inside 50s and taking two marks in a solid individual outing.

#10 Nicholas Martin
Originally known as a medium-sized forward, Martin was pushed into the midfield against East Fremantle. He adapted to the new role with aplomb, finishing with 24 possessions, four inside 50s, three tackles and two marks.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round 1 – Claremont vs. East Fremantle

IN what was a cracking first game of the Simply Energy WAFL Colts Competition of 2019, East Fremantle defeated Claremont by two points at Claremont Oval. The final quarter proved to be a see-sawing contest between both teams, but ultimately the Sharks prevailed by that narrow margin of two points.

Below were the best players from each team.

CLAREMONT

#4 Marc Boyatzis
Stationed in the back pocket Boyatzis held his own, especially when East Fremantle started to dominate stages of the game. He finished the game with 12 possessions, three marks, two tackles and two inside 50s to arguably be the Tigers’ best defender. His intercept ability combined with his smart decision-making makes him a damaging rebounder, and his excellent lock-down mindset marks him as a tough opponent.

#5 Ronin O’Connor
The Marist junior was a bull in the midfield for the Tigers, often throwing himself into stoppages to win the ball for his team. He collected 20 possessions and laid an equal game-high nine tackles as he tried to give Claremont the ascendancy around the stoppages.

#8 Jack Buller
Playing centre half-forward, Buller always presents well for his midfielders to kick it to him. His leading patterns, strong hands, decision-making and skill execution were all on display for recruiters to see. The Cottesloe junior collected 12 possessions, grabbed four marks, laid three tackles and booted a goal in a solid first hit-out.

#11 Thomas Baldwin
The 2018 WA Under 18s representative showcased why Claremont’s coaching staff rate him highly. Playing as a small forward, Baldwin booted two goals from 19 possessions, as well as laying six tackles and taking three marks. His energy and class around the forward half stoppages were pivotal in keeping the Tigers in the contest.

#12 Joel Western
The Subiaco junior was electrifying on the half-forward flank for the Tigers, finishing the game with 19 possessions, four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. Available to Fremantle as an Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect in 2020, Western used his speed, evasiveness and skills to carve his way through East Fremantle’s defensive zones. He is already shaping up as a high draft prospect for next year.

#15 Liam Henry
The Derby product demonstrated why he is so highly touted in this year’s draft pool, especially by Fremantle who can select him under their Next-Generation Academy. Henry displayed his offensive flair and defensive soundness in a very well-rounded performance. He gathered 16 possessions, laid eight tackles, grabbed seven marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a magnificent goal in the second quarter, when he roved a pack inside 50 and snapped it through.

#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye Clark displayed similar traits to his brother – he was highly skilful, made sound decisions with ball in hand, and was always taking on the game. He collected 19 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded two inside 50s as he rotated between the half-back line and the wing.

EAST FREMANTLE

#2 Michael Wright
The Chapman Valley junior was sensational for the Sharks and was a key player in their victory. He gathered 23 possessions, laid an equal game-high nine tackles, took five marks, and recorded four inside 50s to be one of the best players for East Fremantle. His fierce attack on both the ball and man was superb.

#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks. He amassed a game-high 26 possessions, took five marks, laid five tackles and recorded three inside 50s, playing between half-back and the midfield. He used his big frame to win crucial possessions, and his elite decision-making, vision and skill execution helped his team get the ball forward. He is already cementing himself as one of WA’s best draft prospects for 2019.

#16 Chad Warner
The Willetton junior was prolific in the midfield for East Fremantle with 24 possessions, seven tackles, three marks, three inside 50s and a goal. Warner plays in a similar way to Adelaide star Brad Crouch, as a player who is tough, skilful and prolific. His desire to win the contested ball before dishing it to the outside runners was pivotal for the Sharks’ victory.

#18 Chris Walker
The Fremantle NGA prospect convincingly proved why he is one of the best half-back flankers in this year’s Simply Energy WAFL Colts Competition. Against the Tigers, Walker held his opponents to minimal impact, while he provided damage on the offence. His desire to take the game on with his skill and speed was fantastic to see.

#20 Brandon Walker
The 2018 WA U16s All-Australian was excellent for the Sharks, showing why he is so highly rated for the 2020 AFL Draft. He used his crisp disposal and electrifying speed from the half-back line to torch the Tigers. He finished with 11 possessions, five marks and three tackles.

#23 Luke Jackson
The former Australian Junior National basketballer put together a performance that indicated why many draft experts see him as a potential first round draft pick. He gathered 11 possessions, won a game-high 36 hit-outs and laid three tackles to be the most imposing ruckman on the ground.

#24 Trey Ruscoe
The Booragoon junior was arguably the most important player for the Sharks, especially in the last quarter when he booted two goals to give the Sharks the lead. In the 19th minute of the final quarter he managed to tap the ball to himself, burst away from his direct opponent and then drill the goal that reduced the margin to just four points. Two minutes later, he did an excellent lead pattern and found himself in space to take a pivotal mark inside 50. He then kicked the goal to give the Sharks to lead. His final statistics were 20 possessions, six inside 50s, five marks, four tackles and two goals.

#25 Jai Jackson
The Geraldton product was his combative self in the midfield. He gathered 17 possessions, laid seven tackles, recorded four inside 50s and took two marks to be one of the Sharks’ better midfielders. His ability to win the contested ball within congestion and feed it out to his outside runners was elite.

West Australian draft prospects set to light up Colts competition

IN 2018, twelve West Australians were selected in the AFL National and Rookie Drafts, with five players taken across the first two rounds. Peter Sumich, Michael Ablett, Glen Jakovich, Ash McGrath, Craig Otto, and Mark Seaby, in different capacities respectively, played significant roles in player development across 2018 and are set to have an even greater impact in 2019.

These are the players in the Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition to keep an eye on for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER
(CLAREMONT/COTTESLOE JFC)

Despite being slightly undersized as a ruckman (196cm), Buller is competitive and aggressive in ruck contests and is exceptional at ground level. In 2018, he was a part of the WA U18s State Academy as a bottom-ager and showed plenty of promise averaging 14 possessions, eight hit-outs, four marks and three tackles with his best performance coming against Vic Country (17 possessions, 18 hit-outs, eight tackles and five marks). He also showed promise playing as a key forward for Claremont’s Colts team with eight goals from five games and averages of 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.

LUKE JACKSON
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

The former Australian junior basketballer is one of the most exciting prospects for next year’s draft, even being mentioned as a possible top five selection. In just four games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he kicked four goals and averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs, four tackles and three inside 50s with dominant outings against Subiaco (14 possessions, 11 hit-outs, and two goals) and South Fremantle (17 possessions, 25 hit-outs and a goal). He was also exceptional for the WA U18s State Academy with two exceptional performances against South Australia (25 possessions, seven marks, and a goal and Vic Metro (seven possessions and 25 hit-outs). His athleticism, skills, and ruck craft are elite for someone his age.

TRENT RIVERS
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

A big-bodied midfielder who thrives at the stoppages, Rivers is an accumulator who gets the ball going forward for his team. He finished equal-second in East Fremantle Colts’ Best and Fairest after averaging 19 possessions, six marks, and two tackles across 15 games. He also polled 10 votes in the Jack Clarke Medal with sensational performances against Perth (20 possessions and six marks), and Claremont (21 possessions and seven marks). He also produced dominant outings in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (19 possessions and four marks) and in the Semi-Final against Peel (19 possessions and two goals) – highlighting his big-game performing ability.

JEREMY SHARP
(EAST FREMANTLE/ATTADALE JFC)

The 2018 U18s All-Australian is a silky-skilled and smooth-moving midfielder much like former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. In four games for Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s, with his best performance coming against Vic Metro (26 possessions, four marks, three inside 50s and a goal). In seven games for East Fremantle, he was named in the best on three occasions including a magnificent performance in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (24 possessions, nine marks and eight inside 50s). At his best, Sharp is a line-breaker who uses his speed, skills and smarts to carve up the opposition. Is shaping up to be a first round selection in 2019 and potentially a top 10 pick.

RHAI-ARN COX
(EAST PERTH/MT HAWTHORN JFC)

Cox made a name for himself in 2017’s AFL U16 Championships when he booted a goal after the siren to win the game against Vic Metro. The 2017 WA U16s Vice-Captain is a crafty small forward with explosive athleticism, dazzling skills, an incredible toughness and a great understanding of the play. In 11 games for East Perth in 2018 he booted 15 goals (winning his Club’s Leading Goalkicker Award) and averaged 13 possessions, four marks and two tackles with some sizzling performances against Claremont (17 possessions and three goals), East Fremantle (10 possessions and three goals), Swan Districts (17 possessions and two goals) and West Perth (13 possessions and two goals). He also starred in the AFL U17s Futures game with 12 possessions and three goals for Team Riewoldt.

DEVEN ROBERTSON
(PERTH/MANNING JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Captain and MVP winner is a bullocking inside midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game. In four games for WA’s U18s he averaged 14 possessions, seven tackles, two marks and two inside 50s with his best performances coming against the Allies (17 possessions, four tackles, and three inside 50s) and Vic Country (17 possessions and nine tackles). In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, Robertson averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and four inside 50s, with best afield performances against East Fremantle (33 possessions, six marks, five tackles and five inside 50s) and Peel Thunder (34 possessions, five tackles and five inside 50s), and a near best-afield performance against Subiaco (36 possessions and a goal). The nephew of former West Coast champion Darren Glass has a very bright future.

ELIJAH TAYLOR
(PERTH/THORNLIE JFC)

The Thornlie junior is an exciting medium half-forward who has plenty of tricks to make opposing defenders extremely nervous. In 17 games for the Perth Demons’ Colts, Taylor averaged 13 possessions, three inside 50s, two marks and kicked nine goals with his best games coming against East Fremantle (14 possessions and a goal, East Perth (16 possessions and two goals) and Swan Districts (16 possessions, seven marks, three inside 50s and a goal). At his best, Taylor is a very hard match-up due to his size, explosive athleticism, damaging skills and elite decision-making – factors that will help him with his development into senior football. He is a raw prospect who has plenty of growth and an x-factor.

MITCHELL GEORGIADES
(SUBIACO/WEMBLEY DOWNS JFC)

The son of former Subiaco and Western Bulldogs sharpshooter John Georgiades, Mitchell is one of the most exciting forwards in WA’s State-Based AFL Academy. Blessed with a great set of hands, excellent skills and an elite reading of the play, Georgiades is a young forward with tremendous upside. In just six games for Subiaco’s Colts’ team, he averaged 13 possessions, six marks, two inside 50s, two tackles and booted eight goals with his best performance coming against South Fremantle (12 possessions, seven marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two goals). He was also instrumental for Western Australia’s U18s team, where he averaged 10 possessions, four marks, two tackles and kicked three goals across four games, with his most notable against the Allies (13 possessions and two goals). He is already shaping up to be one of the most explosive forward options in next year’s draft pool.

RILEY GARCIA
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Leadership group midfielder is a small midfield dynamo who has excellent speed, agility, skills and reading of the play. He made his WAFL Colts debut as a 15-year-old in 2016 and since then has gone on to become one of the premier midfielders for the 2019 AFL Draft. In 24 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Garcia has kicked 14 goals and averaged 20 possessions, three tackles and three marks. In 2018 he finished ninth in the Jack Clarke Medal and sixth in Swan Districts’ Colts’ Best and Fairest after some exceptional performances including best afield performance against Perth (32 possessions and a goal) and Claremont (31 possessions). However his performances in the 2018 finals series should have recruiters monitoring him closely after he averaged 22 possessions, three marks, two tackles and kicked four goals across four games.

JAKE PASINI
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

A no-nonsense defender, Pasini has an excellent aerial ability and a powerful kick on him, making him an attractive defensive prospect. In 16 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Pasini averaged 11 possessions, three marks and three tackles while more often than not, he held the opposition’s key forward to minimal impact. This was especially evident in the Semi-Final against Subiaco where he held the 2018 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Jack Mayo goalless while he recorded nine possessions and took five marks. He was also excellent for Western Australia with excellent defensive efforts on Sam Flanders (Vic Country) and Matthew Walker (Allies) in his two games. The club that picks up Pasini will have a defender who goes about his business quietly and with no fuss.

OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
Liam Henry (Claremont/Cottesloe JFC)
Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle/Booragoon JFC)
Jack Sears (Peel Thunder/South Mandurah)
Tristan Hobley (Subiaco/Kingsway JFC)
Jaxon Prior (West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC)

TESTING DAY STANDOUTS:

Jonathon Garlett was one of the best performers at the inaugural WA talent testing and education day, held at Aquinas College. The Geraltdon Towns product was electric in the 20m sprint (2.84 seconds) and agility test (8.17 seconds), while also showcasing the explosiveness that helped him to a national high jump medal – posting 91cm in the running vertical jump and 85cm in the standing. Swan Districts duo Ben Taylor and Kade Wallrodt also caught the eye, with Taylor showing a good mix of speed and enduarance with a 2.98-second 20 metre sprint and 21.1 yoyo test score. Wallrodt also had a sub-three second 20 metre sprint time, as well as a solid agilty score of 8.40 seconds. Of the WA-based AFL Academy members, Perth’s Deven Robertson proved his hard work in the off-season would pay off, with good scores across the board and particular improvement in the 2km time trial. Fremantle Next Generation Academy prospects Liam Henry and Brandon Walker were also impressive, as was 2018 Under 16 standout Logan McDonald – putting in early claims as ones to watch for the 2020 draft.   

Western Australia’s future stars named in state-based AFL Academy

WESTERN Australia looks set to have an excellent pool of possible draftees in 2019 and 2020, after the 28-man Western Australia AFL Academy squad was announced. Swan Districts have the most representatives with six, while East Fremantle and Perth have five apiece. The side will be coached by former West Coast spearhead Peter Sumich, and their first camp will be from December 10 – December 15. Below are the five notable players from Western Australia for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER – CLAREMONT

A competitive and aggressive ruckman who is excellent at ground level, Buller was WA’s main ruckman in 2018 and he handled the responsibility with aplomb. Despite only being 196cm, Buller competed hard in the ruck contests and once the ball hit the ground, he transformed into a big-bodied midfielder. In four games for WA, he averaged 14 possessions eight hitouts, four marks, and three tackles, while in five games for Claremont, he booted eight goals and averaged 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks and two tackles.

RHAI-ARN COX – EAST PERTH

A dynamic small forward with plenty of tricks, Cox made a name for himself with a goal after the siren to secure victory for WA over Vic Country in last year’s AFL National Under 16 Championships. He had a decent year with East Perth in 2018, averaging 13 possessions, four marks, three tackles and booted 15 goals from 11 games.

LUKE JACKSON – EAST FREMANTLE

The former Australian junior basketball sensation is an athletic ruckman with excellent follow-up work and has already drawn comparisons to West Coast star Nic Naitanui. In two games for WA, Jackson averaged 16 possessions, 13 hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three clearances and three rebounding 50s. In four games for East Fremantle, he averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs and four tackles.

DEVEN ROBERTSON – PERTH

The nephew of former West Coast captain Darren Glass, Robertson has made a name for himself as a bullocking inside midfielder. In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, the 2017 WA U16s MVP winner averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and three marks to finish sixth in the Best & Fairest. He was also excellent for WA, averaging 14 possessions and seven tackles.

JEREMY SHARP – EAST FREMANTLE

The 2018 AFL Under 18s All-Australian is a composed and skilled outside midfielder, not too dissimilar to former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. For Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s across four games, while in seven games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he averaged 19 possessions and five marks.

WA’S STATE-BASED AFL ACADEMY SQUAD:

Jack Buller – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Anthony Davis – Claremont/Hale School/Borden FC
Liam Henry – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Joel Western – Claremont/Western Tigers/Subiaco JFC
Luke Jackson – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trent Rivers – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trey Ruscoe – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Booragoon JFC
Jeremy Sharp – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Attadale JFC
Brandon Walker – East Fremantle/Kardinya Kats JFC
Rhai-Arn Cox – East Perth/Mt Hawthorn JFC
Jack Sears – Peel Thunder/South Mandurah FC
Tyrone Thorne – Peel Thunder/Rockingham JFC
Deven Robertson – Perth/Aquinas College/Manning JFC
Elijah Taylor – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Bailey Smith – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Mitchell Georgiades- Subiaco/Hale School/Wembley Downs JFC
Nicholas Martin – Subiaco/Trinity College/Noranda JFC
Jermal Daly – Swan Districts/South Hedland
Riley Garcia – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Denver Grainger-Barras – Swan Districts/Kalamunda JFC
Jake Pasini – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Ty Sears – Swan Districts/South Bunbury FC
Zane Trew – Swan Districts/Hills Rangers FC
Ryan Hudson – West Perth/Scotch College/Kalannie FC
Michael Mallard – West Perth/Wanneroo JFC
Jaxon Prior – West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC
Logan McDonald – Perth/Aquinas College
Nathan O’Driscoll – Perth/Northam Saints

2018 Under 16 All-Australian team announced

WESTERN Australia and South Australia have dominated the 2018 AFL Under-16 All Australian side, with almost half of the representatives from those states. The two states accounted for both the Victorian teams at the recent National Under 16 Championships, and played out a thriller last month which saw South Australia win by just three points.

Western Australia has the most with six players, including defensive duo Brandon Walker and Denver Granger-Barras, while forwards Logan McDonald and Taj Schofield have made the team. Zane Trew will control the midfield, while Nathan O’Driscoll has been named on the five-man interchange. South Australia has the five members in the team, including midfielders, potential father-son prospect Luke Edwards, and Kevin Sheehan Medallist and South Australian Most Valuable Player (MVP) award winner Corey Durdin. Jye Sinderberry has been named at half-back, while Kaine Baldwin (centre half-forward) and Riley Thilthorpe (ruck) hold up key positions.

Vic Country has three players in the team with centre half-back Ethan Baxter, half-forward Elijah Hollands, and MVP winning midfielder Tanner Bruhn named in the final 23. Their Victorian Metro counterparts have just two players in the team – MVP winner Will Phillips, and Campbell Edwardes. Remarkably, Tasmania has recorded more members than Vic Metro in the final 22, as Sam Collins, Jackson Callow and Oliver Davis have been named in the side.

The final four spots belong to other Division Two states, with NSW/ACT pair Braedyn Campbell (half-back) and Errol Gulden (half-forward) representing the Rams. Queensland’s Alex Davies and Northern Territory’s Malcolm Rosas were named on the interchange.

Division One title-winning coach Julian Farkas from South Australia was named as head coach of the side, with Tasmania’s triumphant Division Two title-winning coach Nathan Warren named as assistant coach.

South Australia claims double with Under 16s triumph

SOUTH Australia has done the double at the 2018 National Championships, claiming the Under 16s title to go with their Under 18s victory a week earlier. The Croweaters defeated Vic Metro by 12 points to remain undefeated and claim the title on the final day of the championships last Friday. South Australia came from behind in the opening round to post a narrow three-point victory over Western Australia, before easily accounting for Vic Country last Monday, and defeating Metro four days later.

South Australian vice-captain Corey Durdin was awarded the Kevin Sheehan Medal for the top player across Division One, while also being named South Australia’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). Second placed Western Australia – who came within a kick of the overall title – defeated both Vic Metro and Vic Country comfortably in Queensland last week and announced David Yaccob as their MVP. Oakleigh Chargers’ Will Phillips‘ was named Vic Metro’s top player across the carnival with the Metro side having just the one win over Vic Country. For Country, Geelong Falcons’ Tanner Bruhn was the standout performer across the three games and named as MVP.

Among the top performers outside the MVPs were South Australia’s Kaine Baldwin – who booted four goals against Western Australia in a best on ground effort, and another goal in each of the other two games. Other Croweaters who impressed across the carnival were Riley Thilthorpe and Henry Nelligan, named in the best multiple times. For the Black Swans, Brandon WalkerTaj Schofield and Logan McDonald were among the best, with McDonald being the dominant goal kicker up forward across the carnival, with nine majors.

For the Victorian sides, Calder Cannons’ Campbell Edwardes, Northern Knights’ Ben Major and Western Jets’ Cody Raak were the top performers for Vic Metro, while Bendigo Pioneers’ and Country captain Sam Conforti and exciting GWV Rebels’ forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan were named among Vic Country’s top players as the latter booted four goals across the matches.

Results:

Round 1:
Vic Metro 12.9 (81) defeated Vic Country 11.7 (73)

GOALS
Vic Metro: Failli 3, Bowey 2, Jenkins 2, Varagiannis, Laurie, Phillips, Raak, Hart.
Vic Country: Ugle-Hagan 3, Fitzpatrick 3, Conforti 2, Hollands 2, Stevens.

BEST
Vic Metro: Major, Failli, Phillips, Hipwell, Bowey, Downie
Vic Country: Stevens, Hollands, Ugle-Hagen, Baxter, Lazzaro, Bruhn

South Australia 11.3 (69) defeated Western Australia 9.12 (66)

GOALS
South Australia: 
Baldwin 4, Dudley 2, Schwerdt 2, Dumesny, Horsnell, Wright.
Western Australia: 
McDonald 3, Allen 2, Bellchambers, Curley, Evans-Thomson, Western.

BEST
South Australia: Baldwin, Durdin, Kraemer, Nelligan, Thilthorpe, Horne
Western Australia: 
Walker, Yaccob, Allen, Schofield, McDonald

Round 2:
South Australia 9.13 (67) defeated Vic Country 3.7 (25)

GOALS
South Australia: 
Dudley 3, Higgins, Dean, Dumesny, Baldwin, Thilthorpe.
Vic Country: 
Gadsby, Braver, Reid.

BEST
South Australia: 
Thilthorpe, Durdin, Pedlar, Horne, Baldwin, Nelligan
Vic Country: 
Conforti, Bruhn, Maher, Braver, Reid, Gadsby

Western Australia 14.13 (97) defeated Vic Metro 2.13 (25)

GOALS
Western Australia: 
McDonald, George, Allen, Cartwright, Daly, Jetta, Trew, Walker.
Vic Metro: Raak, Tucker.

BEST
Western Australia: 
Yaccob, McDonald, Grainger-Barras, Walker, Johnson, Trew
Vic Metro: Edwardes, Downie, Major, MacPherson, Phillips, Raak

Round 3:
Vic Country 5.7 (37) defeated by Western Australia 13.13 (91)

GOALS
Western Australia: Dann 4, Avery 2, Cartwright 2, Western 2, Walker, Allen, Daly.
Vic Country: Neal 2, Ugle-Hagan, Gay, Hollands.

BEST
Western Australia: O’Driscoll, Schofield, Bellchambers, Avery, Dann
Vic Country: Bruhn, Conforti, Walsh, Brauer, Maher, Reid

Vic Metro 11.12 (78) defeated by South Australia 13.12 (90)

GOALS
South Australia: Dudley 3, Horsnell 3, Dumesny 2, Durdin, Dean, Higgins, Pedlar, Baldwin.
Vic Metro: Phillips 2, Edwardes 2, Tucker 2, Failli, Bowey, Jenkins, Teal, Feagaimalii.

BEST
South Australia: Durdin, Jones, Nelligan, Thilthorpe, Horsnell, Kramer
Vic Metro: Phillips, Edwardes, Raak, Hipwell, Laurie, Ford

South Australia, Vic Metro claim first round U16 victories

A GOAL in the dying seconds to Cooper Horsnell has helped South Australia to an opening round win in the National Under 16 Championships. With the final two rounds to be played on the Gold Coast on July 9 and July 13, South Australia claimed a vital win over a very competitive Western Australia side by just three points.

The Black Swans led by four points at quarter time, but a four goals to two second term saw the Croweaters hit the front by seven as they headed into the main break. Both teams capitalised on their opportunities in the third term, booting three goals apiece, before a final quarter thriller saw the home side just scrape home. Western Australia hit the front with a Lewis Evans-Thomson goal in what was a thrilling opening eight minutes which saw the Black Swans boot two majors and South Australia boot one. The Black Swans will rue missed opportunities in the final stanza, kicking a number of behinds before Horsnell split the middle and gave South Australia a crucial two-point lead. From there, the Croweaters held on for the 11.3 (69) to 9.12 (66) victory, despite having seven less scoring shots.

South Australian captain Kaine Baldwin was dominant up front, booting four majors, while Isiah Dudley and Ethan Schwerdt were dangerous at his feet, booting two majors. Corey Durdin was the standout player on the ground, amassing a game-high 23 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, four clearances and eight rebounds for the home side, while Riley Thilthorpe showed great ground coverage, playing through the ruck to record 30 hitouts, but have a Brodie Grundy-like game with 17 touches, eight marks and four tackles to go with it. Henry Nelligan assisted Durdin through the middle with 19 disposals, three marks and seven clearances to be a threat on the inside.

For Western Australia, tall forward Logan McDonald booted three goals, while fellow key position player Jack Allen finished the game with two majors. Ira Jetta was among Western Australia’s best with 19 disposals, two marks, four clearances, four inside 50s and eight tackles, while David Yaccob was deemed the Black Swans’ best with 15 disposals, three marks, four inside 50s and two rebounds. Full-back Denver Grainger-Barras had almost one-third of his team’s rebounds, racking up seven from his 13 disposals and three marks. Brandon Walker (17 disposals, two marks and three rebounds) was used effectively off half-back, while Zane Trew (16 disposals and five clearances) and Taj Schofield (14 disposals and 10 tackles) were other top players for the visitors.

South Australia go on to face the other winner in Vic Metro, while Western Australia will look to bounce back with a victory against Vic Country. Both games will be played at Southport on July 9. The final round of action will see South Australia take on Vic Country and Vic Metro face Western Australia, which is played at the GABBA on July 13.

For more specific information on South Australia’s victory, head to the game wrap by Zac Milbank on the SANFL website.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA  2.0  6.1  9.2  11.3 (69)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA  2.4  4.6  7.8  9.12 (66)

GOALS:
South Australia: Baldwin 4, Schwerdt, Dudley 2, Wright, Dumesny, Horsnell.
Western Australia: McDonald 3, Allen 2, Western, Curley, Bellchambers, Evans-Thomson.

BEST:
South Australia: Durdin, Nelligan, Baldwin, Thilthorpe, Roberts, Schwerdt.
Western Australia: Yaccob, Grainger-Barras, Walker, Trew, Schofield, Jetta.

Meanwhile at Ikon Park, Vic Metro came from behind to record a memorable eight-point win on Saturday. Vic Country booted five goals to three in the first term, then extended its advantage to 27 points at the main break. Metro made serious inroads in the third quarter, piling on four goals to one to cut the deficit to six points by the final break, then finished the game off strong with another four-goal quarter, while restricting its opponents to two goals, in order to win 12.9 (81) to 11.7 (73).

Western Jets’ Lucas Failli was the key up forward with three majors for the winning side and was a clear standout up the attacking end. Oakleigh Chargers’ Lochlan Jenkins and Sandringham Dragons’ Jake Bowey were also able to hit the scoreboard with multiple goals, the latter of which was also named among the best.

Northern Knights’ Ben Major was deemed the top Metro player on the day, named among the best with Oakleigh Chargers’ Will Phillips (one goal), Sandringham Dragons’ Darby Hipwell and Eastern Ranges’ Connor Downie. The Metro victory was a crucial one, ahead of its clash with South Australia at Southport on July 9.

For Vic Country, talented forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan was a live-wire up the attacking end, booting three goals and looking creative and dangerous. Gippsland Power’s Thomas Fitzpatrick also booted three majors, while Bendigo Pioneers’ Sam Conforti and Murray Bushrangers’ forward Elijah Hollands booted two in a strong offensive effort by the Country side.

GWV Rebels’ Nick Stevens was named as Country’s best, booting a goal and combining well between midfield and half-forward. Hollands, Ugle-Hagan and Murray Bushrangers’ full-back Ethan Baxter were also impressive, as were Geelong Falcons’ pair midfielder Charlie Lazzaro and half-back Tanner Bruhn.

VIC METRO          3.0      4.3       8.6        12.9 (81)
VIC COUNTRY    5.2      8.6        9.6        11.7 (73)

GOALS
Vic Metro: Failli 3, Bowey 2, Jenkins 2, Varagiannis, Laurie, Phillips, Raak, Hart
Vic Country: Ugle-Hagen 3, Fitzpatrick 3, Conforti 2, Hollands 2, Stevens

BEST
Vic Metro: Major, Failli, Phillips, Hipwell, Bowey, Downie
Vic Country: Stevens, Hollands, Ugle-Hagen, Baxter, Lazzaro, Bruhn