Tag: bryce gibbs

State Leagues Wrap: Teams rising after three rounds of action

THE 2021 season resumed around the national leagues on the weekend with plenty of blowouts and close contests. With three rounds of football in the bank, the contenders are starting to separate themselves from the pretenders.

South Australia

In the SANFL, North Adelaide claimed the biggest winning margin of the round as they defeated Norwood 16.15 (111) to 2.7 (19). North Adelaide forward Lewis Hender led the way for his side with six majors from 14 disposals and seven marks, constantly getting the better of his opponents, and tripling the number of goals scored by the opposition side. Teammate Mitchell Harvey chimed in with three goals of his own, while Lee Minervini added a couple of goals to the tally as well. Nick Pedro and Declan Hamilton fought hard for Norwood despite the disappointing deficit.

An inaccurate Sturt side was able to secure its first win of the year, taking down West Adelaide 12.21 (93) to 6.7 (43) on Saturday afternoon. With 20 more scoring shots than their opponents, the margin could have been a lot bigger had Sturt converted more of its shots on goal. Casey Voss (32 disposals, 11 marks and a goal) and James Battersby (33 disposals and eight clearances) found plenty of the ball for the winners while Joshua Patullo kicked a game-high three goals. Tom Lewis could have had a day out, but much like his side, his inaccuracy prevented this. He finished with 20 touches, 10 tackles and 0.5 on the scoreboard. For West Adelaide, Kaine Stevens fought his way to 25 disposals while Isaac Johnson kicked a couple of goals.

Glenelg did not let wayward goalkicking hinder its performance too much, defeating Central District 10.16 (76) to 5.12 (42). Forward Lachie Hosie kicked 3.3 in a typically dangerous performance while ruckman Jack Hannath performed strongly on his way to 16 disposals, six marks and 31 hitouts. For Central District, Ethan East and Justin Hoskin kicked two goals apiece while Harry Grant (25 touches and seven marks) performed admirably through the midfield.

South Adelaide’s strong final quarter helped them get over the line to remain undefeated after three rounds. The 12.9 (81) to 10.12 (72) win over Port Adelaide keeps them at the top of the ladder while Port slip to 1-2 for the season. Former AFL duo Bryce Gibbs (25 disposals and a goal) and Matthew Broadbent (28 disposals) led by example, hurting the opposition with their ability to consistently find the footy, while Liam Fitt and Sam Skinner both kicked three goals for the winning side. Port Adelaide skipper Cam Sutcliffe was as inspirational as ever with 29 disposals and three goals, while Tom Rockliff had 41 touches.

Woodville-West Torrens bounced back from last week’s loss in perfect fashion as they belted Adelaide 24.11 (155) to 11.6 (72). It was a clinical performance from a side that had no passengers. Tyson Stengle and Zane Williams each booted four goals, while ruckman Jack Hayes (33 disposals, ten marks and three goals) and Riley Knight (34 disposals, two goals and 10 clearances) were strong through the midfield. Adelaide ruckman Kieran Strachan had 51 hitouts and was a standout in a disappointing side.

Tasmania

In the TSL, Glenorchy broke away from a brave Lauderdale side in the second half, as they ran away with the win 10.7 (67) to 5.11 (41) at KGV Oval. Glenorchy forward Callen Daly kicked four crucial goals for the victors while midfielder John Geard delivered a best on ground performance in the win. For Lauderdale, full-back Oscar Shaw was influential, keeping his opponent to one goal, while Billy Rolfe kicked two goals from the midfield.

Blundstone Arena hosted its first match since 2019, as home side Clarence held off a comeback from North Launceston to walk away winners 12.1 (73) to 9.8 (62). Clarence kicked remarkably straight as they thrived being back on their home deck for the first time in nearly two years. Oliver Preshaw backed up last week’s three goals with four this week in an impressive display. Baxter Norton and Jack Preshaw were influential through the midfield for all four quarters. For North Launceston, Jack Rushton was excellent in a losing side while Bradley Cox-Goodyer had another three-goal performance.

In the final game of the round, reigning premiers Launceston put the Tigers to the sword in a convincing win of 17.9 (111) to 5.12 (42). Jake Hinds had a best on ground performance through the midfield, kicking three goals while winning plenty of clearances, while Jay Blackberry also kicked three goal while finding a lot of the ball. Up forward Dylan Riley kicked four goals, while Alec Wright was excellent down back. For the Tigers, Micah Reynolds impressed in the backline while Tom Wright kicked two goals.

Queensland

Up in the north of the country, the grounds saw plenty of football action. Palm Beach Currumbin got the job done against Noosa, winning 14.11 (95) to 10.8 (68). Palm Beach defender Matthew Gahan was his side’s best on the day, while Mitchell Johnson kicked four goals for the winners. At the time of publication, Noosa’s stats had not been released.

In a high scoring affair, Labrador did enough to get the win against Redland-Victoria Point, defeating their opponents 16.12 (108) to 12.15 (87). Kicking 6.6 in the first quarter, Labrador set up their win early and never gave the opposition a sniff. Matthew Warren backed up last week’s strong performance with a best on ground effort this week for Labrador. For the visitors, Blair Rubock kicked four goals while ruckman Andy Hollis was his team’s best again this week.

An impressive final quarter from Maroochydore saw them take down Mt Gravatt at home 11.19 (85) to 9.10 (64) as they remain on top of the ladder after the third round of action. Just a four-point game at three quarter time, the home side kicked the final two goals of the game to seal the win. Daniel Fleming and Benjamin Sloan were strong for the victors while Jake Warren was influential up forward, kicking two goals. For Mt Gravatt, Jonah Licht’s four goal haul kept his side in the game and backman Gavin Grose marshalled the troops in defence all day.

Broadbeach were simply too good for Morningside as they turned a two-goal deficit at quarter time into a 13.8 (86) to 4.9 (33) win. The next three quarters saw Broadbeach kick 13 goals to two in what ended up being a one sided affair. Broadbeach wingman Bradley Lowe kicked four goals in a best afield performance while Liam Nelson had another strong performance. For Morningside, ruckman Bradley Hodge battled hard all game.

A clinical performance from Surfers Paradise resulted in a nice percentage boost as they defeated Sherwood Districts 19.14 (128) to 5.10 (40). On top from the opening quarter, Surfers Paradise were unable to be stopped as they kicked their way to the top four. For the winners, Nicholas Hay was once again one of his side’s best performers from centre half back, while up forward Daniel Van De Werken was strong with four goals. For Sherwood Districts, Jack Austin put his all into bringing his side back into the contest.

Western Australia

Over in the west, round three of the 2021 season saw plenty of great football action around the state, starting at New Choice Homes Park, where East Fremantle got the handy win over East Perth 13.10 (88) to 9.9 (63). East Fremantle kicked eight goals in the third term to essentially put the game to bed, and a late East Perth fightback couldn’t get them over the line. Hugh Dixon kicked two for the winning side and was named his team’s best performer. He had plenty of help in teammate Milan Murdock who had 27 disposals and eight marks. Matthew Young fought admirably in a losing side.

Moving to Revo Fitness Stadium, Claremont hosted Perth, and used the home ground to their advantage as they snagged the 16.14 (110) to 12.6 (78) win. Six goals to two in the third term separated the two sides as Claremont’s victory ended up more comfortable than first thought. Jye Bolton’s 33 disposals and eight marks were impressive for the victors, while teammate Harrison Mccracken kicked four goals up forward. For Perth, Brady Grey (31 disposals and seven tackles) can hold his head high despite the result on the scoreboard.

Peel Thunder fell short of a miraculous comeback, defeated by an impressive South Fremantle 11.11 (77) to 14.11 (95). A six goal to two final quarter gave Peel Thunder some hope, but time ultimately beat them. South Fremantle’s Haiden Schloithe was a clear best on ground, kicking three goals to go with his 33 disposals in a dominant display. Playing for Peel Thunder, Connor Blakely will be close to an AFL recall for Fremantle after a 25-disposal performance on Saturday.

Swan Districts proved too good for West Coast, who simply couldn’t get their hands on the ball with 74 less disposals. The Districts dominated play and ran out winners 13.16 (94) to 8.7 (55). Swan Districts’ Matt Riggio was a force with 32 disposals, 15 marks, nine inside 50’s and a goal to clearly find himself best on. Jesse Palmer kicked 4.4 and was looking dangerously close to a day out. For West Coast, AFL listed Brayden Ainsworth’s 32 disposals should keep him in contention for selection at the next level.

The final game of the round delivered an absolute thriller, with Subiaco dragging themselves over the line against West Perth to win 14.10 (94) to 14.7 (91). In the closest game this weekend, West Perth kicked five final quarter goals, but just couldn’t make the last step to snatch the win. Subiaco’s Gregory Clark was immense with 37 disposals, eight tackles and a goal to lead his side to the narrowest of victories. Ben Sokol and Jordan Faraone each walked away with a bag of four. For West Perth, Tyler Keitel’s four goals nearly proved to be the match winner.

State Leagues wrap: Contenders appear after two rounds

STATE League football continued across the country on the weekend, with plenty of teams recording back-to-back wins, while others look for improvement across the board following a disappointing first week. We take a look at the action in the QAFL, SANFL, TSL and WAFL across Round 2.

QUEENSLAND:

By: Peter Williams

A couple of massive wins to sides – including a triple-figure thumping – saw plenty of goals kicked in what was effectively a very one-side round in the QAFL. Aside from one 14-point differential, the other four games were between 32 and 100 points. The largest of them all was Maroochydore’s 25.18 (168) to 10.8 (68) shellacking of Wilston Grange. The Gorillas were coming off a first round one-point win over newcomers Noosa Tigers, but ran into an unstoppable force in the Roos.

Maroochydore piled on a whopping 12.12 to 3.1 by half-time, and booted six goals in each of the first three quarters, and seven in the final term for 43 scoring shots to 18. After narrowly missing out on the leading goalkicker award last year, Maroochydore’s Mitchell Scholard wasted no time getting some runs on the board with 11 majors, kicking more goals than the entire opposition side. Lochie Laing booted four snags, while Lachlan Robinson and Josh Govan were also impressive for the winners. Hugh Fidler managed three majors for Wilston Grange, while Harry Wilson and Mitchell Crawley were steadfast in defeat.

League newcomers Redland-Victoria Park also wasted no time asserting themselves on the competition with a high-scoring 58-point win over 2019 QAFL premiers Surfers Paradise. In the combined highest scoring match of Round 2, the Sharks won 24.10 (154) to 15.6 (96). Twenty two players hit the scoreboard in the match, with Josh Brown and Harrison Kerr snagging four goals apiece for the winners, while Thompson Smith‘s three majors were the most of any player on the losing side. Matthew Walters (Redland-Victoria Point) and Jack Prestegar (Surfers Paradise) were named the top players for their respective sides.

Reigning premiers Morningside also kicked off their season in style with a 43-point triumph over Palm Beach Currumbin. Rising star talent Nathan Colenso slotted five majors in the win, with Sam Godfrey (one) and Liam Dwyer (two) also among the best for the Panthers. Nick Crowley and Frazer Eaton both kicked a couple of goals for the Lions, as Corey Joyce was named best-on for the home side.

The result sets up a tantalising grand final rematch next week after Connor Nutting (five goals) and Jordan Moncrieff (four) put Labrador to the sword during Broadbeach’s 15.7 (97) to 9.11 (65) win. Trailing by 10 points at quarter time, the Cats piled on 13 goals to six in the final three quarters to get the win, with Tyrone Armitage and Ryan Gilmore both impressive. Shaydan Close and Blair Rubock both kicked three goals for the Tigers, while Andy Hollis was named the best in a losing side.

In the tightest game of the round, Mt Gravatt held on to run out the stronger side against Sherwood Districts, defeating the Magpies, 12.12 (84) to 9.16 (70). Trailing by a goal at half-time, and then leading by only four points at the final break, the Vultures booted 4.3 to 2.5 in the final term to secure the win. Jonah Licht nailed half a dozen goals in the victory, while Craig Malone and Gavin Grose were among the Vultures’ best. For Sherwood, Kobe Tozer made a successful return from injury the last couple of years to slot three goals for the Magpies, as Luca Winton and Riley Easton were also among the losing team’s top players.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

By: Liam Badkin

At Alberton Oval, Port Adelaide pulled off a miraculous comeback against the Bulldogs, kicking 4.6 to 0.0 in the last quarter to run out 17-point victors. Boyd Woodcock led his side with 23 disposals and a goal, while Jarrod Lienert had 23 touches of his own but missed both of his opportunities to put his name in the goalkickers column. Luke Surman kicked 3.2 and led the come from behind victory. Kyle Presbury was the best for the Bulldogs, racking up 36 disposals and nine marks, while Ethan East was dangerous around goal, kicking three.

At Prospect Oval, the North Adelaide Roosters fell to a second quarter surge courtesy of the South Adelaide Panthers, who kicked seven goals to one in the second term, to put the game out of reach. The Roosters battled hard in the second half, but the comeback couldn’t be completed as they were defeated by 11 points. South Adelaide’s Joseph Haines found plenty of the ball, accumulating 28 disposals, while midfielders Joel Cross and Bryce Gibbs combined for 11 clearances. Liam Fitt, Damon Frietag and Eamon Wilkinson kicked two goals each. For the Roosters, Harrison Wigg had 29 disposals, while Jarred Allmond impressed with 27 touches and a goal. William Combe kicked two goals while an inaccurate Aaron Young kicked 1.4 for the day.

Moving to Unley Oval, the Redlegs backed up last week’s win with another, beating Sturt by 21 points in a solid outing. Sturt trailed all game, and while the margin was only four points at half time, the Redlegs did enough to keep their opponents at bay and leave the ground 2-0 after two games. Matthew Nunn and Nikolaus Rokahr finished with 24 disposals each, while Michael Knoll was the main extractor from stoppages, finishing with nine clearances. Dom Barry and Tom Wagner slotted two goals apiece. For Sturt, James Battersby won a game high 25 disposals and was able to hit the scoreboard with a goal in a solid performance, while Ashley Johnson kicked two goals to try and bring his side back into the contest.

Across at ACH Group Stadium, the Glenelg Tigers proved too good for the Woodville West Torrens Eagles, winning by a comfortable 29 points. Inaccurate to start the game, the Eagles punished their opponents, who were left ruing their missed opportunities. A second half told a different tale as the Tigers kicked 11 goals to three and would be pleased with their turnaround. Tigers midfielder Matthew Snook was unstoppable in the midfield, finishing with 24 disposals, 12 tackles, 10 clearances and a goal, setting the tone for his teammates. Luke Partington (32 disposals) and Brett Turner (26 disposals and 10 clearances) both found themselves with the ball plenty of times, while Luke Reynolds and Lachie Hosie chimed in three goals each. For the Eagles, Daniel Menzel (three goals) and Dane McFarlane (25 disposals) fought hard.

Hisense Stadium was home to a classic on Saturday afternoon, as the Adelaide Crows scraped past the North Adelaide Bloods by six points in a thriller. With the game tied at three quarter time, both sides were inaccurate, kicking three behinds each, but a James Matthews goal in time on proved to be the match winner. For the Crows, skipper Matthew Wright found plenty of the ball, disposing of it 27 times and combined well with ruckman Kieran Strachan who displayed dominance in the air. Luke Pedlar kicked three goals, all of which proved to be handy. For the Bloods, former Hawthorn player Kieran Lovell dominated through the midfield with 39 disposals and six clearances, while Logan Hill continued to find the ball with 27 touches.

TASMANIA:

By: Liam Badkin

Saturday’s Tasmanian football action saw some big wins across the grounds. Clarence bounced back from last week’s loss to Lauderdale by defeating Glenorchy by 32 points at KGV oval. Coming off the bye last week, Glenorchy found themselves trailing by four goals at the main break. A third quarter fightback saw scores level heading into the final term, but Clarence kicked five goals to none in the last quarter to walk away with their first win of the year. There were a plethora of goal kickers for the victors. Former Brisbane Lions and Essendon player Josh Green and Oliver Preshaw kicked three goals each, while Jacques Barwick chimed in with two. Onballer Baxter Norton was judged best afield for his work through the midfield, while playing coach and former Richmond Tiger Jeromey Webberley was also amongst the best. For Glenorchy, Ben Karamic booted a game high five goals to be his side’s best performer and start his season off in style.

Moving to Kingston’s Twin Ovals, the Tigers took down Lauderdale by 29 points in a convincing win. The Tigers started the game in style, kicking 5.0 to Lauderdale’s 3.1, and the lead only continued to grow. Lauderdale struggled to contain the Tigers, particularly in the second term, and it didn’t help that the Tigers didn’t miss a shot on goal until the third term. For the Tigers, Tyler Carter kicked three goals, while Sam Duigan, Elijah Reardon, Marcus Gardner and Max Collidge all kicked two each, and midfielder Lachlan Clifford was judged best afield. For Lauderdale, Josh Mcguinness kicked four goals and was his side’s best, while Will Poland also impressed in his first game of the year.

In the north of the state, North Launceston bounced back from last week’s disappointing defeat to crush North Hobart by 113 points at UTAS Stadium. Last year’s runners up dominated all day, not allowing their opponents from the south any room to score, while piling on the goals themselves. For the winners, there were 10 individual goal kickers, led by Thomas Bennett’s four goals and Brad Cox-Goodyer’s three. Daniel Withers kicked two of his own and was his side’s best performer. For the Demons, Jack Mcculloch was the lone goal scorer for his side, while Callum Kilpatrick tried all day.

Launceston had the bye.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

By: Peter Williams

Subiaco has set the bar high in the early stages of the WAFL season, with an impressive 33-point win over fellow Round 1 winners, East Fremantle. The teams were evenly matched to three quarter time with the Lions leading by just two points, before running away with it in the final term thanks to 5.8 to 1.1 in order to post a 12.14 (86) to 8.5 (53) victory over the Sharks. Leigh Kitchin had a day out with a match-high 28 touches, as well as 10 tackles and six inside 50s, working hard alongside Gregory Clark (21 disposals, five marks, 11 tackles, one goal). Ryan Borchet (three goals) and Harrison Marsh (two) were both prominent in the win. For the Sharks, ball magnet Josh Schoenfeld racked up 27 touches and 10 tackles to go with his 40-plus disposals from last week, while Luke Strnadica dominated the ruck with 48 hitouts and a goal to accompany 23 disposals, five marks and four tackles.

Claremont is hot on Subiaco’s tail after Round 2, accounting for another Round 1 winner in South Fremantle on Saturday. The Tigers won 17.6 (108) to 13.14 (92) in the game of the round. Lachlan Martinis and Jye Bolton combined for 63 disposals and nine tackles, while Jake Patmore (26 disposals, four marks) and Kane Mitchell (25 disposals, eight marks and three goals) were also prominent. Top draft-eligible tall Jacob Van Rooyen had a quieter day out compared to Round 1, managing the seven touches and three marks. Dylan Main (26 disposals, four marks and three tackles) and Haiden Schloithe (24 disposals, five tackles, five inside 50s and a goal) were the most prominent players for the Bulldogs.

After suffering a Round 1 defeat, Peel Thunder completely dismantled East Perth with a 15 goals to three second half, to run away with the 24.10 (154) to 7.7 (49) victory. The Thunder were far too strong in posting the 105-point shellacking, as a combination of past and present AFL talents took control. Fremantle duo, Taylin Duman (30 disposals nine marks and three inside 50s) and Connor Blakely (26 disposals, seven marks and two inside 50s) were both impressive, while ex-Eagle Will Schofield (26 disposals, seven marks, 16 hitouts and a goal) and ex-Bomber Jackson Merrett (25 disposals, seven marks) all stood out. For the Royals, Angus Scott had a day out with 34 touches, four marks, three tackles and six inside 50s, while Jackson Ramsay did all he could in the loss with 28 disposals, 10 tackles and six inside 50s.

West Perth bounced back from a Round 1 loss to easily account for a disappointing West Coast side, piling on nine and 10 goals in the respective first and second halves, as the Eagles only managed the three apiece in those halves. The Falcons dominated possession with four players picking up 30-plus disposals, and only one player having single-digit disposals on their way to a team total of 457 disposals. Aaron Black had a lazy 43 disposals, nine marks and six inside 50s in his 200th WAFL game, joined in the 40-plus club by Trent Manzone (40 disposals, seven marks). Shane Nelson (31 disposals, five marks) and Connor West (30 disposals, six marks) were also massive ball winners, whilst up forward, Tyler Keitel was unstoppable thanks to six goals from 17 touches and nine marks, while Mitchell Antonio snagged four goals from 25 touches and a whopping 15 marks. The Eagles had a couple of players pushing for a recall with Brayden Ainsworth (36 disposals, 10 marks and three inside 50s) the clear best, while Alex Witherden managed the 26 touches, six marks, four tackles and two inside 50s.

In the only game of the round where a Round 1 loser defeated a Round 1 winner, Swan Districts got on the board with a 50-point victory over Perth. While the Bombers kicked 3.6 in the final term to reduce the deficit, the damage was already done in the first three quarters, when the Swans booted 11 goals to three. Ball magnet Sam Fisher had a lazy 41 touches with seven marks, six tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal, teaming up well with fellow ex-Carlton VFL midfielder Frank Anderson (31 disposals, five marks, six tackles and five inside 50s). Nelson Waite (29 disposals, five marks and four tackles) and Aidan Clarke (28 disposals, 14 marks and four inside 50s) were also strong, as Matt Riggio (20 disposals, six tackles, five inside 50s and four goals) was a dominant goalkicker alongside Jesse Palmer (11 disposals, three marks and four goals). For Perth, Chris Masten had the 29 disposals and six marks, while Brady Grey (28 disposals, six marks, seven tackles and eight inside 50s) and Brent Edmonds (25 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s and a goal) were also consistent despite the loss.

Picture credit: WAFL

State Leagues wrap: Easter Weekend opens seasons

STATE league men’s football returned across the weekend, with the SANFL, WAFL and TSL all back to full-strength competitions, whilst a standalone fixture in the QAFL went ahead despite some concerns, ahead of a blockbuster Round 2 next weekend.

QUEENSLAND:

Noosa Tigers had a promising return to the QAFL in the standalone Round 1 match despite going down in defeat, as Wilston Grange got up by one-point in a thriller. The league newcomers fought it out after being down by 14 points at the final break to boot 7.3 to 4.8 in the final term after a sluggish start, but it would not be enough in the 7.14 (56) to 8.7 (55) loss. Hugh Fidler and Max Hewett both booted two goals for the Gorillas, while Aaron Wilson starred with four majors for the Tigers. Corey Lobb (Noosa) ad Errin Wasley-Black (Wilston Grange) were their respective sides’ top players.

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

In the SANFL, all eyes were on Pick 1 contender Jason Horne, as he ran out for South Adelaide against the Crows’ reserves. The teenage talent racked up 19 disposals, six marks, four tackles and four clearances in the win, whilst it was ex-Crow Bryce Gibbs who stole the show with a match-winning 36 disposals, six marks and five clearances. Ex-Lion Sam Skinner had 17 disposals and booted two goals in the win, whilst Liam Fitt (four goals) was the busiest inside 50. Joel Cross (28 disposals, seven marks) and Hayden Sampson (25 disposals, 12 marks and one goal) were other to win plenty of the football in a massive 61-point smashing, while Crows’ reserves talent Hamish Latchford stepped up with 31 disposals, 12 marks and two clearances. Jackson Hately (25 disposals, 10 marks and two clearances) was the eye-catching one, as young talls Josh Worrell (20 disposals, five marks), Darcy Fogarty (14 disposals, three marks) and Fischer McAsey (14 disposals, six marks) also played.

It was not much better news for Port Adelaide’s reserves who also went down, losing to Norwood by 45 points. Father-son prospect Taj Schofield racked up 22 disposals, three marks and booted a goal, while Sam Mayes (28 disposals, seven clearances) and Jarrod Lienert (26 disposals, seven tackles) also worked hard. Matthew Nunn was unstoppable for the Redlegs with 39 disposals, five marks, 11 tackles and five clearances, whilst ex-Crow recruit Richard Douglas did as he pleased with 26 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, four clearances and a goal. Ex-Cat Jacob Kennerley also impressed with 24 disposals, five marks and six tackles, whilst ex-Hawk Paul Puopolo booted 2.3 from 19 disposals and three marks. Draft hopeful Jackson Callow booted 2.2 from 11 disposals and five marks on his SANFL debut, working well with Dom Barry (21 disposals, five marks and three goals) inside 50.

In the tightest game of the weekend, Central District toppled North Adelaide by nine points, in what saw 20 goals kicked in the first half. Whilst only nine more were kicked in the second half, the Bulldogs got up thanks to four goals from Justin Hoskin and Aiden Grace. Ethan East also slotted two goals, while ex-Oakleigh premiership player Thomas Graham kicked a goal from eight touches and two marks on his League debut. Ex-GWS GIANTS Academy member Harry Grant was also lively with 25 disposals, seven marks and six clearances, as Kyle Presbury (26 disposals, 13 marks), Brendan Dew (24 disposals, six marks) and Travis Schiller (24 disposals, six marks) were among eight players to reach 20-plus disposals. For North Adelaide, reigning Margarey Medallist Campbell Combe had 26 disposals, eight clearances and five tackles, while Jarred Allmond (31 disposals, six marks) and Aaron Young (15 disposals, four goals) were also impressive.

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles easily accounted for Sturt thanks to a massive seven goals to one final term to run away with the contest by 46 points in the end. The Menzel brothers booted seven goals between them, as Troy (four goals) and Daniel (three) had days out in their new colours. James Tsitas (29 disposals, three clearances and four tackles) and Riley Knight (26 disposals, seven clearances, six tackles and a goal) were both lively, as was ex-Bomber Kobe Mutch on debut with 21 disposals and nine marks. For Sturt, Tom Lewis was hard as usual around the stoppages on his way to 19 disposals and eight clearances, teaming up well with James Battersby (21 disposals, five clearances), while Casey Voss (20 disposals, six marks) and Josh Shute (17 disposals, 10 marks) were busy once again on the outside.

In the final game, Glenelg knocked off West Adelaide by 11 points, with Michael Virgin (32 disposals, 11 marks) and Luke Partington (31 disposals, five clearances) both racking up the ball. Matthew Allen (28 disposals, 11 marks and a goal) and Darcy Bailey (28 disposals, seven marks, six clearances, six tackles and two goals) were sensational, while Callum Park (26 disposals, six marks) and Matthew Snook (29 disposals, eight clearances) also found plenty of it. In the loss, Isaac Johnson slotted 3.3 from 23 touches and five marks, while Kieran Lovell‘s SANFL debut was a success with 22 disposals, five marks, four clearances and four tackles. Ex-Gold Coast Academy goalsneak Josh Gore kicked a goal from nine touches and impressively made 10 tackles in the loss, while Jonathon Beech was also good with two goals from 13 disposals and seven marks.

 

TASMANIA:

Reigning premiers Launceston kicked off its season with a big win over rivals North Launceston in a grand final rematch, defeating the Northern Bombers by 55 points at UTAS Stadium. Dylan Riley (three goals) and Jake Hinds (two) stepped up to the plate once again in the big win, as Michael Musicka and Cody Thorp slotted multiple goals as well. For the Bombers, Brad Cox-Goodyer was the standout, as Ollie Sanders kicked a goal and was amongst the best for the losers, one of a number of youngsters running through the team, while Thomas Bennett was also impressive.

Meanwhile the Tigers got off to the perfect start, holding their nerve against North Hobart in an 11-point victory. They led by 35 points at half-time, and whilst they still kicked the 13 scoring shots in the second half, only managed the 4.9, compared to the Demons’ 9.3. The Kingborough-based side had done enough though to win 10.18 (78) to 10.7 (67), with 19-year-old Zach Adams booting a goal and named best on ground. Max Collidge and Riley Ashlin were also impressive, whilst for the Demons, Jack Sandric was best-on with a goal, while Jye Menzie was among the young brigade who slotted a major.

In the other match of Round 1, Lauderdale also held on against a fast-finishing Clarence. Allen Christensen was the headline recruit, booting three first half goals to do all the damage as the Bombers led by 29 points at the final break. They only managed one behind in the last term as the Roos stormed home with 3.5 of their own, only to fall seven points short. Aside from Christensen, reigning league best and fairest Sam Siggins was named among the best with Nat Franklin. For the Roos, Ollie Davis continued his form from his draft year with a best on ground effort, as Ethan Jackson and Darcy Gardner were other youngsters to step up, while Josh Green slotted four goals in the loss.

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

The WAFL kicked off its season with some high-scoring thrillers, as every winner hit triple-digits, including a whopping 242 points combined between Claremont and Swan Districts. Every team scored at least 74 points, with the greatest margin being 32, during East Fremantle’s victory over Peel Thunder. In that match, Josh Schoenfeld brought his own football to Western Australia, with ex-Gold Coast Sun racking up 41 disposals, nine marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and four rebounds in a whopping effort on debut for the Sharks. Ex-Blue Blaine Boekhorst had 26 touches, two marks and kicked a goal in the win, whilst ex-Saint and Pie Jonothan Marsh had 21 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and 2.1. It was the effort of Dillon O’Reilly looking to force his way back to the elite level with three goals from 14 touches, five marks and two tackles. For Peel, it was Sam Sturt who demanded a recall to the AFL with five goals from 12 disposals and four marks, while Joel Western had 13 touches, four marks and kicked a goal.

In other matches, East Perth’s Nick Robertson made a promising debut with 30 disposals, four marks and a goal returning from Brisbane, while another ex-AFL talent in Jackson Ramsay had 29 touches, five marks, seven inside 50s and a goal in a huge day out. Lachlan Delahunty racked up 23 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and three tackles for the winning side, as captain Leigh Kitchell drove the team through a massive 29 touches, 11 inside 50s and five tackles. Ben Sokol, Michael Braut and Aaron Heal all slotted three goals. Perth got past West Coast reserves in a 13-point outing despite nine goals between Isiah Winder and Nathan Vardy. Winder had five snags from 18 touches and five marks, while Vardy had a whopping 35 hitouts, 15 disposals and three marks to go with 4.1. Ex-Eagle Chris Masten racked it up against his old side with 29 touches, five marks and seven inside 50s, whilst ex-Saint Doulton Langlands (20 touches, four marks, three inside 50s and two goals), ex-Docker Brady Gray (27 disposals, eight marks and six inside 50s) and ex-Pie Josh Smith (23 disposals, seven marks, six inside 50s and a goal) all had big performances.

Meanwhile South Fremantle accounted for West Perth with Haiden Schloithe and Matt Parker having days out. Schloithe racked up his usual 30 touches, and had seven tackles, six inside 50s and two goals, while Parker had 26 touches, two marks five tackles and 11 inside 50s. Brandon Donaldson booted two goals from 25 touches and three marks in the win, whilst four West Perth players racked up 30-plus disposals. Aaron Black (36 disposals), Trent Manzone (35), Shane Nelson (34) and Blake Wilhelm (30) had leather poisoning with their ball-winning efforts, but it would not be enough to drag their sides across the line. Tyler Keitel and Keegan Knott both slotted four goals, whilst Cody Ninyette and Mason Shaw combined for nine majors in the win. Finally Claremont won by 24 points over Swan Districts in a 38-goal extravaganza. Alexander Manuel and Isaac Barton booted four and three goals apiece for the Tigers in the win, but it was top-age draft talent Jacob Van Rooyen who caught the eye with 12 disposals, four marks and 2.2 at senior level. Thomas Edwards (four goals) and Jesse Palmer (three) were both lively inside 50 for the Swans, whilst Sam Fisher (33 disposals, seven tackles, five inside 50s and three rebound 50s) and Jesse Turner (34 disposals, 11 marks, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s) were the best in the loss. Jye Bolton suffered leather poisoning with a massive 39 touches, six marks, five tackles, six inside 50s and a goal, marginally ahead of teammates Bailey Rogers (36 disposals, one goal) and Ryan Lim (34 disposals, one goal).

 

Picture credit: David Mariuz / SANFL

State Leagues preview: Opening rounds kick-off across the country

IN a Draft Central first, we have streamlined a look across the nation with a number of state leagues returning to action over the Easter long weekend. Competitions in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland all kick-off over the weekend and we preview them all in one convenient preview. At the time of publishing, only the South Australian and Tasmanian teams were out, with our West Australian and Queensland previews to come.

South Australia:

The much anticipated South Australian National Football League (SANFL) competition kicks off starting tonight in a huge opening long weekend of action.

Tasmanian key forward Jackson Callow will be one to watch for Norwood tonight as they host Port Adelaide returning to the competition after a year off due to the COVID-19 restrictions regarding AFL non-selected players in state leagues. With ex-Geelong talent Jacob Kennerley and ex-Swans tall Michael Knoll returning to Coopers Stadium, the home team will be hard to beat. For Port fans, they will get a glimpse at recent draftees, father-son prospect Taj Schofield and key forward Ollie Lord, whilst the likes of Dylan Williams and Joel Garner are also named in there.

Speaking of ex-AFL talent, South Adelaide has bolstered its list with no bigger name than ex-Crow and Blue, Bryce Gibbs joining the Panthers. He joins ex-Cat Jake Tarca and ex-Lion Sam Skinner, whilst former State Under 18s player Damon Frietag has also joined the cause, Potential number one pick Jason Horne is the player many will turn in to watch, named on the bench to start 2021. Their opponents Adelaide is in the same boat to the Port Magpies, returning to the competition for 2021. Next-Generation Academy (NGA) member Tariek Newchurch is an exciting talent to watch named off half-back, with AFL-listed Crows Jackson Hately, Riley Thilthorpe and Fischer McAsey alongside another NGA draftee in James Borlase. Thilthorpe being named on a wing will be an interesting one to watch, showing off the 200cm key position player’s versatility.

Looking to the other Good Friday clash between Central District and North Adelaide, GWS GIANTS’ Academy member Harry Grant has crossed to the Dogs, with Tom Graham stepping up to League level after plying his trade with the Reserves following a 2019 premiership with Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB League. Tasmanian Aiden Grace arrives from Glenorchy, whilst the Bulldogs brother-duo of Travis and Jarrod Schiller will find plenty of the ball. Lachlan Grubb and Lewis Cowham are among the ones to watch in the Reserves side. For North Adelaide, reigning Margarey Medallist Campbell Combe will look to get his season off to a perfect start, with ex-Power and Suns talent Aaron Young joining the team, and former Under 18s state representative Dyson Hilder at full-forward.

In a mid-afternoon game at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, the Eagles will unveil ex-Crow Riley Knight, as well as former Central talents Daniel and Troy Menzel for their clash against Sturt. James Tsitas has remained in South Australia rather than head back to the VFL, while Kobe Mutch will complete a dominant midfield hoping to get back on an AFL list after his time at Essendon. Ex-Crow Patrick Wilson will don the Double Blues colours in 2021 and is straight into the midfield, with former Under 18s state representative Josh Shute also in the side for his League debut. Jordan Houlahan and Zane Kirkwood will once again be keen players for the visitors.

In the final game of the round, Glenelg hosts West Adelaide tomorrow evening. The Tigers have brought in two ex-AFL talents in former Swan Toby Pink, and North Melbourne tall Sam Durdin. Both will provide great versatility around the ground, and back-to-back leading goalkicker Liam McBean will start off another season back at full-forward. Margarey Medallist from a couple of seasons ago Luke Partington will return again for the Bays, as Cooper Horsnell could be among a number of junior players to step up to League level in Round 1. For West Adelaide, Kieren Lovell has joined the side after a stint with Tigers in the TSL last season, while Tom Murphy has been named in the side after his stint with North Melbourne. Josh Gore will be a very handy goalkicker inside 50, while over-age draft prospect Jye Sindeberry has been named at centre half-back for the match.

 

TASMANIA:

Looking down on the Apple Isle, the youth of the competition will be reduced when Tasmania Devils enter the NAB League competition after it was cancelled in 2020. Nonetheless, there are still some good young talents to keep an eye on, and established players who will stand up.

North Hobart kicks off its campaign against Tigers in what should be a fascinating contest. Youngsters Jye Menzie and George McLeod are among the ones to watch for the Demons, as they hope to topple a Tigers side that has lost key ball winner, Kieren Lovell to the SANFL. Lachlan Gadomski remains an important tall for the Tigers, with Sam Duigan a key inclusion for the Kingborough-based side.

In a massive 2020 Tasmanian State League Grand Final rematch, the two Launceston sides go head-to-head with North Launceston up against reigning premiers, Launceston. Young midfielder Ollie Sanders will play a crucial role on the inside, with plenty of chances over the off-season for the Northern Bombers, though Jay Foon and Brad Cox-Goodyer remain among the top players in the side, and Angus Jeffries another teenager to keep an eye on in 2021. Launceston will have its forward line combination of Jay Blackberry and Dylan Riley, as Jake Hinds will line-up again in midfield for the team.

The other match for the weekend is Lauderdale up against Clarence. The Bombers will welcome Allen Christensen to the side, with the ex-AFL livewire named in the middle, team up with Sam Siggins in there. Clarence have a ton of youth on display, led by last year’s Rising Star in Ollie Davis back again, alongside Ethan Jackson, Darcy Gardner and Noah Holmes among others looking for a good 2021 season in the red and white.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

Peel Thunder vs. East Fremantle
Subiaco vs. East Perth
Perth vs. West Coast
South Fremantle vs. West Perth
Swan Districts vs. Claremont

QUEENSLAND:

Noosa Tigers vs. Wilston Grange Gorillas

Just the one match this weekend in a standalone clash between new Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) newcomers Noosa Tigers, and Wilston Grange Gorillas. The match, set to be played at Rococo Oval in Noosa, will have a 2pm start if it goes ahead. With much uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, there is yet to be confirmation the match will go ahead. The teams are also yet to be named due to the uncertainty around the outbreak.

Picture credit: Solstice Digital

Q&A: Jason Horne (South Adelaide/South Australia)

SOUTH Adelaide prospect Jason Horne is the current consensus for top pick out of the 2021 draft crop, credit to an outstanding season last year which saw him crack the Panther’s League lineup. Now part of the AFL and South Australia Under 19 academies, Horne is looking to cement such status with another big season. The combative midfielder has very few weaknesses and can also hit the scoreboard, making him a threatening option in the engine room. Fittingly, he is a Fremantle supporter who moulds his game on Nat Fyfe.

Draft Central correspondent Tom Cheesman chatted to Horne at the recent South Australia preseason testing event for a question and answer (Q&A) special.

Q&A:

Q: How did you go at testing?

A: “Not too bad. The yo-yo was a bit disappointing, I think I got pulled out a bit early but I’m alright with that, I thought the day went pretty well.”

 

Can you tell us a bit about your footballing journey?

“I started playing footy in Under 7s for Salisbury North, I played there for a season then moved down here and played for (Christies Beach) since Under 8s I think. Then I played my whole junior career through there and came to South to play 13s, 14s, 15s and now 16s, 18s and seniors. So a pretty easy journey straight through all the development squads, it’s been good.”

 

How’d you find the experience of being promoted to League level in 2020?

“I thought it was a challenging step up but I really enjoyed it, took it onboard and thought it was a really good experience coming into this year.”

 

Did you enjoy competing against the bigger bodies?

“It was a bit difficult but I enjoyed the challenge and found ways to work around it I guess.”

 

What would you say your biggest strengths on the field are?

“I think my competitiveness and my contested footy, that’s the one big one that I think stands out a lot. My kicking and marking are two of my big (strengths) as well.”

 

What are you looking to improve on?

“I think I really need to improve on my leadership. Also, me and Boofa (Jarrad Wright) the League coach talked about my field kicking going inside 50, I just think that could improve a bit from last year. Then also my goalkicking, from my point of view I think it needs a bit of improvement.”

 

Do you anticipate some more midfield minutes this year having spent plenty of time up forward in 2020?

“Yeah, me and Boofa had a talk not long ago and we said we’ll have a bit more flexibility this year with our League team, getting ‘Gibba’ (Bryce Gibbs) and a couple of young fellas from the AFL clubs, so we think hopefully this year I’ll have a bit more midfield time as well as a bit up forward.”

 

Have any senior players in particular taken you under their wing at South Adelaide?

“I think Gibba’s the main one. He’s working with us young fellas and the 18s just to work on our development so he’s been a good mentor for us young boys and especially me, I’ve been spending a bit of time with him.”

 

How would you describe yourself off-field?

“I just think I’m a nice, respectful bloke. Good to have a laugh with and chat with.”

 

How do you go with balancing footy with other commitments?

“I’m working now five days a week so it’s a challenge but it’s helped me improve my time management.”

 

Is there anyone you mould you game on?

“Nat Fyfe. I like Nat Fyfe and I’ve been watching him for a long time so he’s the big one I model myself on.”

Image Credit: Deb Curtis/SANFL

2020 AFL Draft recap: Adelaide Crows

ADELAIDE went into the 2020 AFL Draft holding all the power with pick one and knowing it would need to absolutely nail each pick or movement as its rebuild continues. Armed with the greatest draft points total of any side coming in, the Crows were able to bolster their midfield stocks, fulfil the pressing need for a genuine small forward, and obtain one of the best tall prospects available to form their list regeneration around. With all bar one of Adelaide’s picks originally hailing from South Australia, there was a real local feel to this draft haul.

ADELAIDE

National Draft:
#2 Riley Thilthorpe (West Adelaide/South Australia)
#11 Luke Pedlar (Glenelg/South Australia)
#25 Brayden Cook (South Adelaide/South Australia)
#28 Sam Berry (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
#38 James Rowe (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)

Pre-Season Draft: Jackson Hately (Greater Western Sydney)

Rookies: Bryce Gibbs (Adelaide), James Borlase (NGA), Tariek Newchurch (NGA)

Adelaide had no problem relinquishing its pick one status in using it to place a bid on Western Bulldogs Next Generation Academy (NGA) member Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, which was inevitably matched. Having subsequently slid back to the second selection, the Crows were delighted to snare local bigman Riley Thilthorpe, a genuine key forward who can also rotate through the ruck. National recruiting manager Hamish Ogilvie shared the view that Thilthorpe had long been the best player for his age group in the State, helping confirm the feel-good local choice. Out of West Adelaide, the 201cm talent should prove a pillar of Adelaide’s rebuild and with senior experience under his belt, will likely be given early opportunities if fit.

The Crows then pulled one of the shocks of the first round by pouncing on Luke Pedlar with pick 11, an explosive inside midfielder who may begin his career up forward. The Glenelg product was also captain of this year’s Prince Alfred College side and while injury cut his season short, Pedlar showed enormous quality at each opportunity. The Crows obviously rated him highly and were happy to act at such a high cost with the likes of GWS and Fremantle lurking within the next few picks. The lone Victorian of the group, Sam Berry is another hard-working midfielder who will add to Adelaide’s ball winning stocks, likely to provide great value at pick 28. Speed is his main knock, but his effort and endurance are high-level.

From one bolter in Pedlar to another in Brayden Cook, the Crows obviously did their homework on the vast array of SANFL products this year. The South Adelaide wingman/forward came from seemingly nowhere to enter draft contention this year with 26 goals in 13 Under 18 games. He has grown nicely and shown an equally steep rate of development; with overhead marking, goal sense, and creative nous his main weapons. Mature-age small forward James Rowe rounded out the Crows’ National Draft intake at pick 38, right after Carlton nabbed Corey Durdin. The Woodville-West Torrens goalsneak booted 38 majors this year to top the SANFL charts, showcasing impressing natural smarts and ability inside 50 to suggest he could slot into the Crows’ starting side immediately.

Adelaide also got their man in Jackson Hately, who returns home after quitting GWS at the end of this season. The tall midfielder fits the Crows’ need for midfield depth and is an absolute steal at effectively no cost in the preseason draft. A sense of deja vu came over fans as Bryce Gibbs was called out with pick one, only this time in the Rookie Draft and purely for administrative reasons. He will be moved onto the inactive list and remain retired in 2021. The Crows also managed to land their two NGA products in James Borlase and Tariek Newchurch through Category B listings, a terrific result given their levels of talent and potential to develop.

Featured Image: Riley Thilthorpe dons Adelaide’s tricolours | Credit: Getty Images

Draft Central All-Star Team matchup: Sandringham Dragons vs. Glenelg Tigers

OUR next All-Star Team battle is between a Victorian region in the Sandringham Dragons, and a South Australian club in the Glenelg Tigers. The two captains voted in by the public as the All-Star Players of the AFL Draft era were Chris Judd (Sandringham) and Stephen Kernahan (Glenelg).

TEAMS:

These clubs are seeded eighth (Sandringham) and ninth (Glenelg) respectively, forming another Round of 16 clash in our draw. It is our closest matchup yet, with just one place separating the two sides. The winner will qualify for the quarter finals, set to face top seed East Fremantle.

STRENGTHS:

Needless to say as we enter the top 10 realm, both of these sides boast a bunch of high-end AFL talent across each line. Sandringham lays claim to one of the best midfields of the lot, led by Judd who is supported by the likes of Josh Kennedy and Luke Ball, while Jobe Watson is pushed out to a wing alongside Zac Merrett. That’s not to mention Andrew McGrath at half-back and Josh Kelly at half-forward, with Tim Taranto and Angus Brayshaw also waiting in the wings. Scary depth.

Glenelg’s defence is arguably its best line, with the versatile Rod Jameson lining up at full back and Chad Cornes in front of him, while former Carlton greats Andrew McKay and Bryce Gibbs line up at half-back. Ironically, McKay’s daughter Abbie, and son Charlie have both recently come through the Sandringham program. Andrew Mackie is also a key part of the back six, which is rounded out by Tom Logan.

WEAKNESSES:

Both teams are a touch undersized at full back, though both players would arguably fare no worse as super competitors. Jason Blake (189cm) takes up the role for Sandringham, while Jameson (185cm) is Glenelg’s man. Apart from that factor, finding weaknesses is like splitting hairs.

SUMMARY:

It is a tight one, but Sandringham is hard to look past here. There is some serious firepower on both sides, but with such a deep midfield a forwardline to match the Bays, and greater bench depth, it is the Dragons who we feel come out on top.

Which All-Star Team would you pick?
Sandringham Dragons
Glenelg Tigers

Draft Central All-Star Team matchup: Glenelg vs. Subiaco

OUR next All-Star Team battle is one between a South Australian club and West Australian club, in Glenelg and Subiaco. The two captains voted in by the public as the All-Star Players of the AFL Draft era were Stephen Kernahan (Glenelg) and Matt Priddis (Subiaco).

TEAMS:

These clubs are seeded ninth (Glenelg) and 24th (Subiaco) respectively, and make up the ultimate clash in the second half of our draw. The winner will qualify for the Round of 16 stage, set to face the winner of our East Perth vs. Sandringham Dragons tie.

STRENGTHS:

The spine of Glenelg’s proposed side is as solid as any other region, boasting solidity down back and some serious firepower up forward. Chris McDermott is at the heart of the lineup, forming the crux of a brilliant midfield which runs deep with the likes of current Lions star Lachie Neale on-ball, while Port Adelaide 300-gamer Kane Cornes slots in on a wing, and Brad Ottens takes the ruck duties. There’s plenty of class in defence too, with prodigal South Australian son Bryce Gibbs covering a half-back base alongside fellow Carlton champion Andrew McKay, supported by three-time Geelong premiership player Andrew Mackie in the back pocket.

Subiaco’s most obvious strength lies in its midfield, boasting a trio of premiership Eagles from differing eras in Dean Kemp, Chad Fletcher, and Dom Sheed across the centreline. Throw in Brownlow medalist Matthew Priddis and Tyson Stenglein – two more former West Coast players – and you have a very strong core to the side. The half-back and half-forward lines also stand out, with Drew Banfield and Daniel Rich down back, while Des Headland and Jarrad Schofield line up in attack.

WEAKNESSES:

Depth is the only glaring weakness for both sides, though both benches are filled with solid players. Barring the Bays’ key position firepower up forward, their front six does not fill out as strongly as other regions, while Subiaco is arguably a star key position player short up both ends, despite some terrific players taking those spots.

SUMMARY:

We are backing Glenelg to get up in this one, boasting a midfield which can compete with the strongest line of Subiaco’s side, and a greater weight of depth throughout.

Which All-Star Team would you pick?
Glenelg
Subiaco
Created with Quiz Maker

Draft Central All-Star Team: Glenelg

GLENELG TIGERS have a talented All-Star team with some elite players to help straighten up the side and make it ultra-competitive. The Tigers have some strong key position players and those with a heap of premiership success which means they already know what it takes to be the best side.

THE TEAM:

The team has a strength in defence, with some stars littered through midfield and up forward, including Blues legend Stephen Kernahan who was named captain of the Tigers after winning out All-Star voting. Whilst the depth is not as high as some other sides, they still have viable options coming off the bench who were able to hold up positions in best 22s at VFL/AFL level for some time.

DEFENCE:

Holding down the key back positions were Chad Cornes and Rod Jameson providing some serious strength there, whilst a number of medium-smalls provide some elite depth. Jameson was named at full-back in Adelaide’s team of the decade, but also kicked 113 goals across nine seasons as he spent some time up forward. Cornes played 239 games with the Power, including the 2004 premiership side. A dual All-Australian, Cornes moved to New South Wales, where he played 16 games for GWS during the club’s infant years. He is also a member of the SANFL Hall of Fame and amassed 50 Brownlow votes across his 15-year career.

Geelong legend Andrew Mackie in the back pocket with three premierships to his name and an All-Australian honour, whilst no-frills utility, Tom Logan assumes a role in the other back pocket. At half-back, Carlton great Andrew McKay played out 244 games and won a club best and fairest in his final season at AFL/VFL level for the Blues. Sliding back to half-back is Bryce Gibbs, the only current player in the back six. He could also play on a wing, but in this scenario has moved back to half-back where he could show class as he did where he won a best and fairest and All-Australian honour. Looking to the bench, Essendon premiership player David Grenvold could come on and provide some support,

MIDFIELD:

The midfield is huge, with Port Adelaide midfielder and tagger Kane Cornes joining his brother in the side. He played 300 games with the Power and was able to accumulate four best and fairests and two All-Australians in his 15 seasons with the club. On the other wing is West Coast’s and former Brisbane midfield Jack Redden who also provides some more recent talent in the side, with 227-game Crow Chris McDermott in the centre. McDermott was the inaugural captain of the Crows, and also named captain of the 1992 All-Australian team as well as a best and fairest and numerous other awards.

Onball, former Richmond and Geelong star Brad Ottens will take the ruck duties and could also switch forward, booting 261 goals and also earning All-Australian honours and three premierships with Geelong. Two players a couple of decades apart combine in the midfield, as Lachie Neale and Tony McGuinness team up. Neale has catapulted into the top players in the competition of late, with 89 Brownlow votes in 159 games, as well as two best and fairest and three Ross Glendinning Medals as a Docker, before adding an All-Australian honour as a Lion. McGuinness played more than 200 games for both Western Bulldogs and Adelaide, earning three All-Australian honours two best and fairest awards and captained Adelaide for two seasons.

Among the players on the bench who could come on and provide further depth to the Tigers midfield are Jordan McMahon (148 games, 46 goals), Jordan Murdoch (122 games, 74 goals), Simon Cox (93 games, 41 goals) and Alex Neal-Bullen (73 games, 57 goals)

FORWARD:

A strong mix of talls and smalls, there is no bigger legend than Kernahan at centre half-forward. He racked up three best and fariests and five All-Australian awards, finishing his career with 738 games from 251 games. His legend lives on as a Glenelg, SANFL and Carlton Hall of Fame member, as well as the Blues’ all-time leading goalkicker. His full-forward teammate is a lot less known, but had bang for his buck. John Fidge was recruited to four VFL/AFL clubs but only played at Melbourne and Brisbane where he combined for 59 games and 92 goals, including regular hauls of four and five majors.

Across the half-forward line is Brisbane premiership talent Craig McRae who played 195 games and booted 232 games on his way to three premierships. On the other flank is Bays legend Tony Hall who played 114 games with Hawthorn and then Adelaide, booting 174 goals and was named All-Australian in 1988, the same year he won the first of two flags – one with each club. In the pockets are Matthew Liptak and Matthew Bode who both predominantly played for the Crows, while Bode also represented Port Adelaide initially. Liptak booted 128 goals in 116 games, also playing as an inside midfielder, while bode booted 96 goals in 108 games with the two clubs. Key position Hawk, Tim O’Brien is a player on the bench who could provide height up forward.

DEPTH:

Small forward Lincoln McCarthy (53 games and 45 goals) and half-back Daniel Bell (66 games and 1 goal) are among a handful of Tigers who could consider themselves unlucky not to gain selection. Adelaide young gun Darcy Fogarty would be expected to qualify for the team if he continues to show promising signs up forward for the Crows, while Will Gould captained the Croweaters at Under 18s level and is someone who could have a bright future after coming through the Glenelg program.

South Australia weekly wrap: Glenelg clear on top as Double Blues edge closer

GLENELG has moved a step closer to securing the minor premiership after downing Adelaide in a thrilling top-of-the-table contest, while Sturt moved to within a point of the top two with victory over the Eagles. We recap all the results across the three levels of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).

SANFL LEAGUE:

West Adelaide 10.2 (62) defeated by Central District 11.11 (77)

Central District moved further ahead of the bottom two sides with a 15-point win over West Adelaide. Jarrod and Travis Schiller were dominant for Central District, combining for 57 disposals, 10 marks, 18 clearances, 11 tackles and two goals, while Troy Menzel booted four goals from 18 disposals, six marks, three clearances and three tackles. For West Adelaide, Christopher Schmidt had 34 disposals, 10 clearances, four tackles and three marks in the win, while Kaine Stevens (31 disposals, five marks, five clearances, four tackles and a goal) and Murray Waite (28 disposals, three clearances and six tackles) also produced big numbers. Bottom-age talent Riley Thilthorpe picked up 15 disposals and had eight marks and two goals in the Bloods’ loss.

Glenelg 15.6 (96) defeated Adelaide 14.10 (94)

Glenelg has all but sealed the minor premiership after downing Adelaide by two points in a thriller at ACH Group Stadium. The Crows had some pretty impressive names in the line-up and hit back in the final term booting the only three goals of the game, but a seven goals to three third term was the difference for the Tigers. Luke Partington‘s continued good form saw him rack up 31 disposals, seven marks, three clearances, seven tackles and a goal, while Luke Reynolds and Liam McBean both booted four goals. South Australian Under-18 state captain Will Gould had 12 disposals and five rebounds in the narrow win. For Adelaide, Bryce Gibbs had the ball on a string with 40 disposals, eight marks, 11 clearances and 10 tackles, while Richard Douglas booted three goals from 34 disposals and 11 marks. Sam Jacobs (13 disposals, 28 hitouts, four marks and two goals had a good battle with former Sydney and Collingwood forward/ruck Jesse White (14 disposals, five marks, 32 hitouts and a goal). Up forward, Eddie Betts put his best foot forward with four goals from 14 touches, two goals and three tackles.

Norwood 22.11 (143) defeated North Adelaide 10.12 (72)

Norwood dominated North Adelaide in a thumping 71-point win which included 15 second-half goals to storm to a massive victory. Sam Baulderstone picked up 28 disposals, 11 marks and six clearances in the win, while Matthew Panos (22 disposals, 10 marks and five clearances) and Anthony Wilson (11 disposals, two marks) both booted five majors in a big day out up forward. Top AFL Draft hopefuls Dylan Stephens (26 disposals, four marks, eight tackles, three clearances and a goal) and Cameron Taheny (10 disposals, one mark and five tackles) continue to feature for the League side. For North Adelaide, Thomas Schwarz had 30 disposals, four marks, six tackles, eight clearances and a goal, while Jarred Allmond (23 disposals, nine marks) and Campbell Combe (30 disposals, four marks, eight clearances and three tackles) were busy.

South Adelaide 10.11 (71) defeated by Port Adelaide 15.9 (99)

Port Adelaide have held firm on a top four spot, downing South Adelaide by 28 points at Flinders University Stadium. AFL-listed players Jack Trengove (25 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and two goals), Peter Ladhams (22 disposals, four marks, 21 hitouts, seven clearances, three tackles and three goals), Sam Hayes (20 disposals, 10 marks, 19 hitouts and a goal) and Willem Drew (26 disposals, seven marks, six clearances and four tackles) all pressed for a call-up to the senior side. The Panthers’ Matthew Rose (30 disposals, seven marks, nine tackles and two clearances), Joel Cross (24 disposals, seven marks, four clearances and a goal) and Abe Davis (19 disposals, five marks and three goals) all tried hard.

Woodville-West Torrens 8.13 (61) defeated by Sturt 13.8 (86)

Sturt drew to within a point of the top two after a strong 25-point win over Woodville-West Torrens at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. Sam Colquhoun continued his ripping form this season with 31 disposals, nine marks, five clearances and nine tackles, while Zane Kirkwood finished with 29 disposals, six marks and seven clearances, and Steven Slimming had 23 disposals, five marks, five clearances and four tackles. James Battersby was a key at the stoppages, picking up 12 clearances – five more than anyone else on the field – as well as 27 disposals, three marks and three tackles. For the home side, Nicholas Hayes had 24 disposals, seven marks, four tackles and a goal, while Jordan Foote helped himself to 28 disposals, nine marks, four clearances and four tackles.

RESERVES:

Glenelg 8.4 (52) defeated by South Adelaide 12.15 (87)

A six goals to one final quarter has seen cellar dwellers South Adelaide cause a remarkable 35-point upset win over Glenelg. The Panthers had booted an inaccurate 6.14 to 7.3 at the final break, leading by just five points despite double the scoring shots. They settled in the final term to find their kicking boots and slot 6.1 to Glenelg’s 1.1. Luke Bogle (21 disposals, five marks, four clearances, seven tackles and three goals), Hayden Sampson (34 disposals, four marks, three clearances and two tackles), Tate Coleman (20 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and a goal) and Jesse McKinnon (18 disposals, three marks, 11 clearances and five tackles) were all among the strong performers for South Adelaide. For Glenelg, Ben Sawford owned the stoppages with 16 clearances to accompany his 32 disposals and eight tackles, while Sam Davies had 24 touches and nine marks, and draft hopeful Callum Park finished with 18 disposals, seven marks and three tackles.

West Adelaide 8.6 (54) defeated by Central District 11.12 (78)

Central District has kept in touch with the top two by defeating West Adelaide in a four-goal win. Isaya McKenzie was the star for the Bulldogs, booting three goals whilst having an impact around the ground with 26 disposals, nine marks, six clearances and two tackles, while Oliver Shaw (21 disposals, nine marks) and Corey Durdin (18 disposals, eight marks) were among South Australian representatives who found their fair share of the footy. Patrick Fairlie was the clear best on ground despite being on the losing side, racking up a massive 35 disposals, 10 clearances, 12 tackles and seven marks for the Westies, while Scott Bentley (25 disposals, eight clearances, nine tackles and four marks) and Ethan Moore (32 disposals, six marks, three clearances and a goal) were other key contributors.

Norwood 12.9 (81) defeated North Adelaide 7.12 (54)

Norwood continued their dominant season with another win, this time over bottom two side North Adelaide by 27 points at Coopers Stadium. Jack Heard had a team-high 25 disposals, four marks and three tackles, while Mac Bower and Sam Buckham (nine clearances) both had 23 disposals in the victory. For the Roosters, James Schwarz had 27 disposals, five marks, seven clearances and seven tackles, while Brayden Kirk had 23 disposals, 10 marks, two clearances and three tackles.

Woodville-West Torrens 11.5 (71) defeated by Sturt 11.7 (73)

Second placed Sturt has stolen the points from the jaws of defeat in the final 10 minutes, winning by just two points against a brave Eagles’ outfit. The Eagles led by 16 points at the 15-minute mark of the final term, before three consecutive goals to the visitors – the last one at the 21-minute mark put them in front by two to steal the win. It was the first time since the first term that Sturt had lead in the game. Mihail Lochowiak was the difference for the Double Blues, booting an accurate five-straight goals from 12 disposals and three marks, while Edward Allen racked up an equal game-high 29 touches to go with three marks, seven clearances, six tackles and a goal. Father-son prospect Casey Voss had 26 disposals, four marks, eight clearances and three tackles, whilst South Australian Under-18 representative Josh Shute picked up 25 disposals and eight marks in the win. For the Eagles. Jake Comitogianni had 29 disposals, six marks, four clearances and three tackles, while Lachlan McNeil was strong on the inside with seven clearances from 17 disposals.

UNDER 18S:

Norwood 13.8 (86) defeated North Adelaide 11.7 (73)

Norwood won a crucial game over North Adelaide after trailing at quarter time and sitting level at the final break. The Redlegs booted six goals to four in the final term, extending the margin to as much as 26 points early in the quarter before the Roosters hit back to get within seven in the last few minutes before the home team settled. Cooper Murley enjoyed a big day out with 31 disposals, six marks, eight clearances, three tackles and three goals, while Sam Morris laid 11 tackles to go with his 18 touches, seven marks and five clearances. Tristan Binder was also strong in front of goal for the winners, booting three majors, whilst Elliott McNamara (18 disposals, four marks, four clearances, four tackles and three goals) was the main source of goals for the Roosters. Harrison Magor was North Adelaide’s best with a massive 34 disposals, five marks, seven clearances and a goal, while Josh Hart had an eye-opening 55 hitouts to accompany his 17 disposals, three marks, six clearances and three tackles working hard through the ruck.

West Adelaide 14.7 (91) defeated Central District 5.8 (38)

West Adelaide has stormed away from Central District to post a large 53-point victory at City Mazda Stadium, booting 11 goals to three after quarter time. Jason Westley (33 disposals, eight marks, 14 clearances, two tackles and two goals) was a clear best on ground for the Bloods, well assisted by Aryan Sareen (33 disposals, nine marks) and Bailey Boughen (22 disposals, nine marks, six clearances and two tackles). For the Bulldogs, Jakob Thomson had 28 touches and 12 marks, while Tyrone Milera looked classy with 21 disposals, three marks, five clearances and seven tackles.

Woodville-West Torrens 17.12 (114) defeated Sturt 1.6 (12)

The top-of-the-table Eagles showed no mercy in a 102-point belting of lowly Sturt. The Eagles booted the last 12 goals of the game in the massive 29 scoring shots to seven win, restricting the Double Blues to just the one major – in the first term – and two behinds in the second half. Lachlan Hoile picked up a game-high 35 disposals as well as five marks, three clearances and three tackles, while Lachlan Jones was not far behind with 31 disposals, six marks, six clearances and four tackles. Bottom-age father-son prospect, Taj Schofield was also productive for the Eagles, racking up eight clearances to go with his 29 touches, while Zane Williams piled on four goals to go with his 24 disposals, four marks, four clearances and six tackles in the win. For Sturt, William Britten-Jones had 29 disposals, 11 marks, seven clearances and two tackles, while Heath Wingard helped himself to 28 disposals and 11 marks.

South Adelaide 18.15 (123) defeated Glenelg 9.6 (60)

A massive six-goal game from South Australian Under-18 state squad key forward Daniel Sladojevic has helped South Adelaide run away with a 63-point victory over Glenelg to snatch fourth spot from the Tigers. Sladojevic racked up 15 disposals, eight marks and 6.2 as well as six tackles in the big win. Jason Horne (28 disposals, seven clearances and two goals) and Damon Freitag (16 disposals, four marks and two goals) also hit the scoreboard multiple times for the Panthers. Tex Dowdell did his best with 23 disposals, eight marks, 10 tackles and two clearances in the loss, while talented bottom-ager Luke Edwards was strong with 21 touches, six marks, three clearances and four tackles, and Austin Kitschke booted four goals from 11 disposals and seven marks.