Tag: Jai Nanscawen

NAB League Boys Round 8 wash-up: Mixed bag sees three games decided by under a goal

ROUND 8 of the NAB League Boys season threw up three close results, as well as three not so close ones. Calder broke the early trend of tight finishes with a huge victory to keep Murray languishing near the bottom, while Tasmania brought it to league-leaders Dandenong in another surprise scoreline. All that, and more in this week’s wash-up.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 1.2 | 2.4 | 4.6 | 5.10 (40)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 1.2 | 2.6 | 3.8 | 6.10 (46)

GOALS:
Northern:
S. Brazier, R. Gardner, S. Philp, J. Zapantis , J. Trudgeon
Oakleigh: T. Graham 2, D. Williams 2, T. Lovell, R. Sklavenitis

BEST:
Northern:
S. Philp, R. Sturgess, R. Gardner, L. Potter, K. Brandt, J. Davies
Oakleigh: L. Jenkins, D. Williams, J. Woodfull, J. May, S. Seach, M. Steiner

By: Michael Alvaro

Oakleigh Chargers scraped home in a dour low-scoring affair, overcoming a three-quarter time deficit to beat the Northern Knights by six points. The match served as a curtain-raiser to the NAB League Girls finals at Shepley Oval, but both sides came out slowly on the big stage to play out a deadlocked 1.2 apiece first term. It proved much of the same in the following quarter, but Oakleigh managed to hold on to a two-point lead at half time after kicking the first goal of the term through Spiros Sklavenitis. The Knights hit back following the main break after Oakleigh’s Thomas ‘Love Machine’ Lovell again ensured the Chargers had the first goal of the quarter, with majors to Ryan Gardner and Joel Trudgeon putting them in a winning position heading into the last turn. It wasn’t to be though, with Dylan Williams‘ inspired move forward proving the difference as the Oakleigh co-captain booted two last quarter goals and assisted another to help his side sneak ahead and hold on. Bottom-aged Chargers Lochlan Jenkins (23 disposals, eight clearances) and Fraser Elliot (28 disposals, six clearances) were terrific in midfield, with the wing pairing of Josh May (24 disposals, six inside 50s) and Jeromy Lucas (23 disposals) also finding plenty of the ball. Thomas Graham joined Williams as the only other Oakleigh multiple goal-kicker, with no Knight achieving the same feat. Sam Philp (28 disposals, nine clearances) and Gardner (15 disposals, seven inside 50s) were named amongst Northern’s best and also found the goals, with Ryan Sturgess (19 disposals, 10 rebound 50s) resolute in defence and Lachie Potter (17 disposals) providing plenty of run. A second-consecutive narrow win sees Oakleigh sneak into the top eight, with Northern just outside on three wins as the competition heads into a development weekend.

BENDIGO PIONEERS 4.0 | 6.0 | 10.1 | 12.2 (74)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 3.3 | 4.10 | 6.12 | 10.18 (78)

GOALS:
Bendigo:
J. Dick-O’Flaherty 3, J. Treacy 3, R. Clarke 2, J. Evans, K. Attwell, J. Schischka, Z. Murley
Sandringham: J. Florent 2, E. Soylemez 2, R. Bowman 2, R. Byrnes, T. Spencer, J. Bell, M. Bergman

BEST:
Bendigo:
W. Wallace, J. Treacy, J. Evans, J. Ginnivan, W. Shaw, R. Wilson
Sandringham: C. Watts, M. Bergman, A. Hanrahan, R. Byrnes, J. Voss, J. Bell

By: Joe Lee

A wasteful Sandringham escaped with a four-point victory at Victoria Park, Echuca, with Bendigo pushing the Dragons right until the final siren. Whilst Bendigo made the most of their entries, Sandringham was the antithesis, recording 18 behinds. Miles Bergman was outstanding but was the main culprit, kicking five behinds and only one goal. In what was a consistently tight contest, Bendigo managed to hold a 19-point lead early in the fourth, but Sandringham fought back to run out eventual victors. It was the Pioneers’ efficiency inside 50 that kept them in the game, registering 14 shots from 24 inside 50s compared to the 54 inside 50s for Sandy. Ryan Byrnes and Bergman continued their sensational form for the Dragons whilst Riley Wilson worked hard for the Pioneers. The win cements Sandringham as one of the teams to beat whilst Bendigo are left languishing down the lower echelon of the ladder.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 3.3 | 8.4 | 10.5 | 10.7 (67)
CALDER CANNONS 6.2 | 11.4 | 15.7 | 18.9 (117)

GOALS:
Murray:
C. Wilson 3, B. Kelly 2, H. Kaak 2, C. Wild, L. Fiore, Z. Barzen
Calder: F. Evans 3, J. O’Sullivan 3, S. Ramsay 2, B. Bozinovski 2, N. Gentile 2, J. Kemp 2, A. Righele, S. Graham, D. Mott, T. Browning

BEST:
Murray:
B. Kelly, C. Wilson, C. Wild, L. Fiore, S. Durham, D. Bedendo
Calder: N. Gentile, B. Newman, J. O’Sullivan, A. Righele, D. Mott, T. Browning

By: Michael Alvaro

The Calder Cannons continued their recent upward trend, with a 50-point victory over Murray Bushrangers on Saturday making it three wins from their last four outings. After having their previous win streak broken by the highly-fancied Gippsland Power last week, the Cannons came out firing with 11 goals in a high-scoring opening half. While Murray managed to stay with them throughout the first two stanzas, Calder thwarted the home side’s scoring after the main break while piling on a further eight majors to come out comprehensive winners. Draft Central player of the week nominee Ned Gentile was named best afield for his 24 disposals, eight clearances and two goals, while Daniel Mott was the leading possession-getter on the ground with 29 and Brodie Newman (24 disposals, seven rebound 50s) again impressed. Calder had an impressive 10 individual goal kickers with Francis Evans and Jeremy O’Sullivan booting three, while Sam Ramsay was one of four others to find multiple goals. Murray also three players kick multiple goals as Cameron Wilson booted three, and Ben Kelly and Hudson Kaak each had two with Kelly named their best as he pushes for mid-season draft selection. Cam Wild (27 disposals, six clearances, one goal) clearly led the Bushrangers’ possession count, with Wilson and Jimmy Boyer the next best on 16. The Bushies’ biggest loss of the season sees them stuck much closer to the bottom than expected with two wins, while Calder has shot up to ninth – equal on points with four top-eight sides.

GEELONG FALCONS 1.2 | 1.3 | 1.5 | 2.10 (22)
WESTERN JETS 1.4 | 5.6 | 7.6 | 7.8 (50)

GOALS:
Geelong:
C. Brauer, L. Smith
Western: A. Clarke 2, A. Manton 2, J. Honey, B. Ryan, S. Clifford

BEST:
Geelong:
K. Rayner, S. Bourke, L. Smith, H. Stubbings, J. Clark, W. Kilpatrick
Western: L. Rocci, W. Kennedy, D. Andrews , K. Crimmins, D. Cassar, J. Horo

By: Taylah Melki

The Western Jets put on a strong defensive effort to limit the Falcons to a mere two goals for the game while applying plenty of attacking pressure themselves. The Falcons had plenty of opportunities however, inaccuracy killed them unable to capitalise on scoring chances registering 10 points. It was a tight tussle to start with as the both sides only managed a goal in the first quarter but the Jets pushed away as the game went on, piling on four goals to none in the second term to ultimately set up the game for them. In the last term, the Falcons had all the play winning the ball out of the middle and peppering the goals but they could not convert slotting 1.5 to the Jets 0.2. Western were led by Darcy Cassar who was prolific amassing a game high 41 disposals while Daly Andrews was also important for the Jets winning the ball at the coalface and delivering it to teammates on the lead. Aaron Clarke and Archi Manton made their presence felt on the scoreboard nailing two goals apiece while Josh Honey was equally important with his 11 touches and one goal. For the Falcons William Kilpatrick and Harry Stubbings were impressive winning their fair share of the ball and using it well. Stubbings was the leading disposals winner for Geelong with 27 to go with his seven clearances showcasing his hard work across the ground. Charlie Sprague was also impressive applying strong pressure to win the ball and offering good leads to be a constant option for the Falcons racking up four inside 50s. Another key player for the Falcons was Keidan Rayner who contested hard to win the ball and created plenty of attacking forays with five inside 50s and six clearances.

TASMANIA DEVILS 1.4 | 4.5 | 4.7 | 8.8 (56)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 3.1 | 5.1 | 6.3 | 9.6 (60)

GOALS:
Tasmania:
H. Allan 2, M. O’Neill 2, M. McGuinness, C. Stephenson, B. Gordon, W. Peppin
Dandenong: C. Gay 3, M. Riordan, W. Bravo, D. Popa, J. Nanscawen, D. Gould, L. Goonan

BEST:
Tasmania:
O. Davis, B. Gordon, E. Jackson, M. McGuinness, J. Callow, O. Shaw
Dandenong: B. Schmidt, N. Heath, H. Berenger, J. Nanscawen, C. Gay, D. Popa

By: Michael Alvaro

The Tasmania Devils were this time on the wrong end of a third-consecutive game decided by less than a goal, going down to ladder-leaders Dandenong by four points on home turf. In what was a thrilling final term where Tasmania snatched the lead for just the second time on the back of four unanswered goals, Dandenong’s Declan Gould came up clutch to break Tasmanian hearts with a goal in the final five minutes. Returning Devils star Mitch O’Neill almost proved a match-winner with his two majors both coming in the final quarter after a steady opening three, but bottom-ager Oliver Davis was the clear standout, collecting a game-high 33 disposals and nine inside 50s. Ethan Jackson (24 disposals, eight tackles), Bailey Gordon (23 disposals, eight clearances), and Matt McGuiness (21 disposals, one goal) were the other Devils to impress with solid amounts of ball throughout. The Stingrays also had a number of contributors, with over-agers Bailey Schmidt (14 disposals, 42 hitouts) and Mitch Riordan (23 disposals, five clearances) leading the way. Bottom-ager Clayton Gay was the only Dandenong player to boot multiple goals, finishing with three from his 15 disposals, while Jai Nanscawen made a steady return with 18 disposals and a goal. The win serves as Dandenong’s fourth-straight, helping them to consolidate top spot in an undefeated premiership defence to date. Meanwhile, the Devils will be happy with the level of competitiveness they have shown, sitting a win outside the top eight with three already on the board.

GIPPSLAND POWER 5.3 | 9.5 | 12.6 | 15.8 (98)
GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 1.1 | 2.3 | 4.7 | 6.9 (45)

GOALS:
Gippsland: J. Smith 3, M. McGarrity 2, S. Flanders 2, F. Phillips 2, J. McGrath, H. Neocleous, M. McGannon, L. Connolly, R. Baldi, T. Baldi
GWV: F. Macdonald 3, L. Herbert, J. Rantall, P. Rea

BEST:
Gippsland: F. Phillips, R. Baldi, J. Smith, S. Flanders, J. van der Pligt, B. Smith
GWV: J. Rantall, J. Cleaver, H. Sharp, J. Tillig, J. Dwyer, F. Macdonald

By: Peter Williams

Gippsland powered to a big win over Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels at Windy Hill in the standalone game on Sunday afternoon. In a game that the Power controlled from the first bounce, Gippsland piled on five goals to one in the first quarter, and by half-time had nine majors on the board to the Rebels’ two. GWV tightened up in the second half and hit the scoreboard themselves, booting four goals to the Power’s six in a much more even half, but the game was done and dusted by that stage. Fraser Phillips was impressive in the forward half with 24 disposals, five marks, four tackles, six inside 50s and two goals from five scoring shots, while Riley Baldi was the top ball winner with 29 touches, five marks, eight tackles, seven clearances, four inside 50s and a goal. Also impressive for the Power up front was Josh Smith who rotated through the ruck and had 16 hiouts, 11 clearances, 22 disposals, four marks and three goals in one of his best games for the season. On the inside Sam Flanders (25 disposals, five clearances, four inside 50s and two goals) was good, while Jake Van Der Plight and Brock Smith were also impressive. For the Rebels, Jay Rantall racked up 30 disposals, six clearances, three inside 50s, three rebounds and a goal to be the standout Rebel once again, while James Cleaver (16 disposals, three marks, three clearances, four inside 50s and three rebounds) and Harry Sharp (16 disposals, five marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds) were also named among the best, while Fergus Macdonald hit the scoreboard with three majors.

NAB League Boys Round 8 preview: Super Saturday to shape NAB League ladder

NAB LEAGUE teams are preparing for a huge day of action, with five of Round 8’s six games set to be played on Saturday. Despite only one top eight clash taking place, the remaining fixtures pose as a chance for the top sides to stamp their authority.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS vs. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
Saturday May 18, 10:00am
Shepley Oval

A fourth consecutive win is on the line for the Northern Knights when they host Oakleigh Chargers on neutral territory. While the Knights are on a hot run after losing their first four games, the depleted Chargers scraped over the line against Tasmania in Round 6 on the back of three-straight losses, but will be refreshed after a bye round. That sees the visitors come in relatively unchanged despite star duo Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson having the week free of school football commitments with Carey Grammar, while Northern has made at least six changes. The tall Knights trio of Ben Major, Nathan Howard, and Nikolas Cox comes out of the side, with bottom-agers Rhys Seakins and Joel Trudgeon, and over-ager Bailey Leonard amongst the inclusions on an extended bench. While the ninth against tenth match-up may not set the world alight on paper, the almost opposite form of both teams and closeness of the match-ups should make this a tight one.

BENDIGO PIONEERS vs. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS
Saturday May 18, 1:00pm
Victoria Park (Echuca)

A chance to separate from the remaining top eight pack and consolidate a top four spot looms for Sandringham Dragons when they travel to face Bendigo Pioneers in Echuca. The Dragons suffered a rare loss against fellow top four hopefuls, Eastern last time out, but have otherwise been dominant in their four wins to hold a league-best percentage of 174.30. After winning their first two games, the Pioneers have gone on a four-game slide since – despite finding themselves in winning positions in recent two and five point losses to Tasmania and Northern respectively. The hosts have made four changes to last week’s side with the likes of Brady Rowles and Ethan Roberts coming out, with Sandringham making the same amount of rotations. Jai Florent, brother of Sydney’s Oliver, is one of three Dragons to come straight back into the starting 22, with their tall ruck-forward trio of Riley Bowman, Jack Bell, and Andrew Courtney all named and primed to prove a handful. Both sides will be keen to bounce back off tough losses, so onlookers should be in for a hot start.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS vs. CALDER CANNONS
Saturday May 18, 2:00pm
Norm Minns Oval

Murray Bushrangers will be hoping to start an ascent up the NAB League ladder with what would be a second-straight win when they do battle with Calder Cannons on home turf. Both sides have won one of their last two games, with Murray very unlucky not to have come away with more victories to this point. Calder has shown improvement after a poor start to put three wins on the board, but holds the lowest percentage of all established sides with 67.5. Last week’s 51-point loss to Gippsland was not a great indicator of their otherwise promising form, with a solid string of over-agers and in-form top-agers leading their cause. The Cannons have made two changes to last week’s side, while Murray has brought in three fresh faces on an extended bench, with Tom Bracher named as 23rd man. The Bushrangers’ own over-agers in the form of Ben Kelly and Zane Barzen are hitting their straps, and give great value to the side led again by top prospect, Lachlan Ash. They will all make it tough for Calder to get up here on its travels, but do not expect them give it up easily.

GEELONG FALCONS vs. WESTERN JETS
Saturday May 18, 2:45pm
Avalon Airport Oval

Both the Geelong Falcons and Western Jets will be looking to return to the winners list when they do battle at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday afternoon. A host of red time goals cost the Falcons a second win last week as they were accounted for by Murray, but they have been competitive in most of their four losses and of course, their draw with Dandenong. Western sit just inside the top eight as one of five sides with three wins, but fell well short in Round 7 against a strong Dandenong side on the back of a bye week. The Jets have made six changes on the back of the loss, with the likes of Josh Kellett and Cassius White amongst the outs. Much in the same vein, Geelong has five outs but replenishes its tall stocks with the likes of Harry Stubbings, Sam Christensen, and Charlie Sprague all named as Henry Walsh and Lochie Hocking come out. Western have double the ladder points, but will be tested well by this persistent Geelong side, so expect a tight tussle and for the Falcons to come out strong.

TASMANIA DEVILS vs. DANDENONG STINGRAYS
Saturday May 18, 3:30pm
Blundstone Arena

The sole top eight fixture for the round hits Tasmania as the seventh-placed Devils host ladder-leaders, Dandenong in Saturday’s final game. The Stingrays have had three-consecutive wins between 63 and 71 points after their Round 3 draw with Geelong, seeing them boast the only undefeated record in the competition after seven rounds. The 3-3 Devils have done well to hold an even record, with their most recent set of four points coming last week in a match decided after the siren. They will be boosted massively by the returns of top prospect Mitch O’Neill and over-ager Matt McGuiness, with Will Harper named as 23rd man in a talented team. Dandenong has also shuffled the starting lineup, with the in-form Ned Cahill a key out, while over-ager Jai Nanscawen has been named at half-back after a week off. Tasmania will have their work cut out for them against a Dandenong side building a strong premiership defence, but the Devils are not a team to go down easily – especially on home turf.

GIPPSLAND POWER vs. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS
Sunday May 19, 1:00pm
Windy Hill

Country sides are set to play off at a Metro venue in Sunday’s lone fixture, with Gippsland Power and the Greater Western Victoria Rebels poised to meet at Windy Hill to see out the round. The Power have surged into the top four on the back of four-consecutive wins, with their only loss coming to the undefeated Dandenong Stingrays in what has been a strong start to the season. Meanwhile, the Rebels have managed two wins in an indifferent start, but had only lost by a combined total of 21 points before last week’s 32-point loss to Northern. The performance of Jay Rantall was a massive plus to come out of that game, and he will be key to the Rebels’ chances against a stacked Power midfield. Both sides are set to make at least three changes with extended benches named, but should come in reasonably steady. GWV will be keen to prove themselves once again against top opposition having tested Dandenong in Round 1, while Gippsland will see the game as a chance to continue its solid run of form.

Team selection: NAB League Boys – Round 8

AFTER a week off due to having a NAB League Boys bye, Oakleigh Chargers return to the competition and have resisted the urge to add potential top five picks, Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson to their side against Northern Knights, with Carey Grammar having a bye in the APS competition. The Knights on the other hand have made at least six changes to their side which has found its grove of late, Bendigo Pioneers welcome back Riley Wilson who was in form before missing last week, as they face the Dragons who have made at least four changes, with Jai Florent into the team among seven inclusions on an extended bench. Geelong Falcons and Western Jets have made 11 changes between them with Henry Walsh and Josh Kellett among those missing the Round 8 clash for their respective sides. Charlie Sprague and Cody Raak return for those sides to hopefully add some extra firepower after both suffered losses on the weekend. Arguably the biggest inclusion of the weekend is Tasmania’s Mitch O’Neill who returns from injury and will hope to get Tasmania across the line against the undefeated Dandenong Stingrays who have lost Ned Cahill, but have regained Jai Nanscawen.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 8 – 18/05/2019
10:00am
Shepley Oval – Dandenong

NORTHERN KNIGHTS

B: 4. J. Davies, 51. R. Uwandu, 27. E. Macpherson
HB: 1. L. Potter, 11. R. Sturgess, 19. J. Trudgeon
C: 37. K. Brandt, 7. R. Gardner, 41. N. Kitchell
HF: 10. J. Lucente, 40. L. Mcmahon, 16. O. Simpson
F: 5. J. D’Intinosante, 34. Z. Costello, 28. K. Davies
R: 30. B. Leonard, 43. T. McMahon, 13. S. Philp
Int: 12. C. Barbera, 17. J. Bowne, 18. S. Brazier, 21. J. Janev, 52. J. Mazzarella, 31. H. Ramshaw, 45. A. Taylor
23P: 36. R. Seakins

In: R. Seakins, J. Janev, R. Uwandu, B. Leonard, N. Kitchell, J. Trudgeon, J. Mazzarella, K. Brandt, J. Bowne
Out: C. Simonsen, B. Major, J. Watson, N. Howard, N. Cox, B. Nikolovski

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

B: 57. S. Seach, 36. R. Valentine, 34. V. Zagari
HB: 24. B. Jepson, 71. M. Steiner, 23. D. Williams
C: 21. K. Jones, 12. L. Jenkins, 27. J. May
HF: 10. Z. Hart, 22. T. Graham, 50. L. Stelling
F: 75. A. Tassell, 65. T. Lovell, 1. L. Westwood
R: 63. J. Woodfull, 5. T. Bianco, 6. J. Lucas
Int: 47. N. Balderanos, 18. F. Elliot, 45. O. Lunny, 53. F. Maguire
Emg: 56. L. Kelvie, 46. R. Sklavenitis
23P: 16. L. Godden

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 8 – 18/05/2019
1:00pm
Victoria Park – Echuca

BENDIGO PIONEERS

B: 48. J. Guiney, 34. W. Wallace, 26. N. Walsh
HB: 17. L. Fitzgerald, 44. S. O’Farrell, 10. B. Vaz
C: 31. R. Ironside, 21. R. Wilson, 19. B. Worme
HF: 30. J. Dick-O’Flaherty, 32. K. Attwell, 29. J. Ginnivan
F: 59. R. Clarke, 22. J. Treacy, 28. Z. Murley
R: 11. A. Gundry, 20. J. Schischka, 1. S. Conforti
Int: 2. J. Hickman, 47. L. Latch, 5. B. Lee, 39. S. McGlone, 60. J. Merrin, 25. W. Shaw, 27. C. Smith
23P: 40. J. Evans

In: S. McGlone, N. Walsh, J. Merrin, K. Attwell, L. Latch, C. Smith, R. Wilson
Out: C. Fisher, E. Roberts, B. Rowles, K. Lloyd

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

B: 74. H. Loughnan, 33. C. Watts, 41. M. Tsiros
HB: 17. T. Milne, 18. J. Lloyd, 7. J. Voss
C: 43. J. Bowey, 5. R. Byrnes, 15. A. Hanrahan
HF: 23. J. Florent, 14. K. Yorke, 38. B. Krongold
F: 27. N. Bufalo, 32. J. Bell, 35. L. Lamble
R: 30. A. Courtney, 6. M. Bergman, 8. T. Deane-Johns
Int: 28. R. Bowman, 25. J. Brazionis, 22. J. Cowden, 50. T. Grant, 47. N. Grech, 68. W. Skinner, 40. R. Virtue
23P: 63. T. Spencer

In: N. Bufalo, J. Florent, W. Skinner, N. Grech, T. Grant, T. Spencer, M. Tsiros
Out: T. Murray, F. Rosman, G. Grey, B. O’Leary

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 8 – 18/05/2019
2:00pm
Norm Minns Oval – Wangaratta

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

B: 2. C. Byrne, 35. T. Matthes, 28. J. O’Dwyer
HB: 12. L. Ash, 25. L. Fiore, 10. W. Quirk
C: 26. S. Durham, 5. C. Wild, 4. A. Shepherd
HF: 6. W. Chandler, 7. Z. Barzen, 44. J. Hillary
F: 14. K. Chalcraft, 13. H. Kaak, 53. C. Wilson
R: 3. B. Kelly, 38. D. Clarke, 9. J. Chalcraft
Int: 22. E. Baxter, 32. W. Bowden, 19. J. Boyer, 27. A. Martin
Emg: 30. L. Andrews, 54. D. Bedendo, 48. M. Hallows
23P: 52. T. Bracher

In: M. Hallows, D. Bedendo, T. Bracher

CALDER CANNONS

B: 4. K. Baker, 59. D. Tully, 42. F. O’Neill
HB: 39. B. Overman, 38. B. Newman, 32. M. Simpson
C: 33. T. Browning, 1. D. Mott, 35. S. Graham
HF: 5. C. Brown, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 55. A. Righele
F: 3. J. Cardillo, 49. M. Allison, 57. F. Evans
R: 41. J. Hotchkin, 25. J. Martin, 27. N. Gentile
Int: 53. M. Abou-Eid, 30. J. Kemp, 17. J. Langborne, 36. P. Luckins, 40. Z. Molloy, 19. B. Rigoni, 31. G. Thomas
23P: 37. B. Bozinovski

In: P. Luckins, F. Evans, B. Rigoni, J. Langborne, G. Thomas
Out: O. Sasalu, J. Sutton

GEELONG FALCONS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 8 – 18/05/2019
2:45pm
Avalon Airport Oval – Werribee

GEELONG FALCONS

B: 43. J. Paatsch, 52. S. Christensen, 47. L. Peck
HB: 40. J. Clark, 38. S. Bourke, 21. L. Smith
C: 5. W. Batson, 11. C. Karpala, 7. C. Harris
HF: 17. S. Ham, 27. C. Brauer, 36. C. Sprague
F: 37. O. Henry, 45. T. Richardson, 56. L. Lloyd
R: 58. R. Bell, 30. H. Stubbings, 3. K. Rayner
Int: 49. M. Annandale, 35. O. Barrow, 31. S. Fonseca-Hateley, 12. N. Gribble, 20. W. Kilpatrick, 24. C. Seymour, 13. H. Whyte
23P: 53. C. Fleeton

In: S. Fonseca-Hateley, H. Stubbings, C. Sprague, S. Christensen, O. Barrow, C. Fleeton, J. Paatsch, L. Lloyd
Out: H. Walsh, O. Lewis, J. Makuey, L. Hocking, C. Ham

WESTERN JETS

B: 13. D. Bolkas, 28. K. Crimmins, 41. L. Rzanovski
HB: 20. D. Cassar, 12. O. King, 27. D. Grmusa
C: 17. N. Reynolds, 29. B. Ryan, 4. L. Rocci
HF: 5. K. Borg, 26. C. Raak, 22. D. Edwards
F: 3. E. Ford, 44. A. Manton, 24. J. Honey
R: 47. W. Kennedy, 19. J. Horo, 7. D. Andrews
Int: 42. E. Acevski, 23. B. Chehade, 45. A. Clarke, 31. S. Clifford, 9. J. Dodemaide, 21. P. Nesci, 39. L. Phillips
23P: 14. M. Cousins

In: O. King, M. Cousins, D. Edwards, L. Phillips, B. Ryan, C. Raak, J. Dodemaide, S. Clifford, B. Chehade
Out: Z. Christofi, S. Johnson, E. Bentley, C. White, L. Conway, J. Kellett

TASMANIA DEVILS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 8 – 18/05/2019
3:30pm
Blundstone Arena – Hobart

TASMANIA DEVILS

B: 38. O. Shaw, 7. M. McGuinness, 35. L. Viney
HB: 13. S. Collins, 17. P. Walker, 19. S. Lewis-Johnson
C: 21. L. Gadomski, 18. E. Jackson, 14. B. Simpson
HF: 12. I. Chugg, 25. J. Callow, 31. J. Menzie
F: 27. R. Mansell, 10. H. Allan, 41. C. Stephenson
R: 8. J. Steele, 3. O. Davis, 1. M. O’Neill
Int: 36. M. Anderton, 24. L. Blakemore, 2. O. Burrows-Cheng, 30. B. Gordon, 23. H. Ireland, 4. W. Peppin, 50. C. Riethoff
23P: 20. W. Harper

In: M. McGuinness, H. Allan, L. Blakemore, M. O’Neill
Out: S. Banks

DANDENONG STINGRAYS

B: 38. M. Gregory, 32. B. Kuipers, 46. D. Popa
HB: 42. J. Nanscawen, 24. B. Nyuon, 2. H. Young
C: 13. N. Heath, 18. M. Riordan, 50. L. Williams
HF: 47. W. Bravo, 23. J. Neal, 10. C. Gay
F: 15. D. Gould, 20. S. De Koning, 41. T. Westworth
R: 28. B. Schmidt, 45. L. Goonan, 34. R. Orchard
Int: 1. H. Berenger, 12. M. Haywood, 29. F. Hynes, 37. B. Welsh
Emg: 8. B. Cliffe, 9. W. Howe, 36. J. Roysmith
23P: 51. A. Williamson

In: D. Gould, F. Hynes, J. Nanscawen, W. Howe, A. Williamson, B. Cliffe, J. Roysmith, T. Westworth
Out: J. Mounter, E. Cahill, K. George, C. Ellison, J. Toner

GIPPSLAND POWER v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 8 – 19/05/2019
1:00pm
Windy Hill – Essendon

GIPPSLAND POWER

B: 10. L. Connolly, 22. Z. Reid, 8. B. McAuliffe
HB: 24. B. Maslen, 14. T. Hourigan, 12. B. Smith
C: 34. J. Hume, 6. R. Baldi, 15. R. Sparkes
HF: 21. M. McGarrity, 37. H. Pepper, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 3. M. McGannon, 16. J. Smith, 19. F. Phillips
R: 17. C. Comben, 4. S. Flanders, 35. J. van der Pligt
Int: 1. R. Angwin, 30. T. Baldi, 31. B. MacFarlane, 25. J. McGrath, 42. M. Nicholas, 5. F. Shields, 23. Z. Soutar
23P: 40. T. Mann

In: M. Nicholas, R. Angwin, J. McGrath, Z. Soutar, B. MacFarlane, F. Shields
Out: W. Papley, T. Rees, T. Fitzpatrick

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

B: 17. E. Ajang, 28. I. Ewing, 26. N. Nash
HB: 22. M. Burgess, 18. J. Wright, 8. J. Cleaver
C: 11. J. Dwyer, 13. J. Rantall, 32. H. Sharp
HF: 2. I. Grant, 30. I. Thomas, 4. J. Hill
F: 1. C. Craig-Peters, 19. N. Caris, 12. R. Polkinghorne
R: 23. D. McEldrew, 10. M. Lloyd, 7. M. Martin
Int: 14. L. Herbert, 3. T. Mahony, 41. F. Marris, 6. J. Tillig
Emg: 35. C. Hinkley, 25. P. Rea, 36. H. Waters
23P: 40. F. Macdonald

In: L. Herbert, I. Ewing, H. Sharp, P. Rea, H. Waters, C. Hinkley
Out: L. O’Brien, R. Ranieri, M. Herbert

NAB League Boys Round 6 preview: Academies set for final hit-out

THE Northern Academies will each go around for the final time in the NAB League ahead of National Championship commitments next month, while Sandringham and Western can enjoy byes in Round 6. Gippsland v Eastern firms as the game of the round as the Power eyes off a top four spot, with the Swans Academy looking to complete an undefeated stint.

TASMANIA DEVILS v OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
Saturday May 4, 11:30am
North Hobart Oval

Tenth and eleventh face off in Tasmania as the Devils host Oakleigh Chargers at North Hobart Oval with both sides looking for a third win. Oakleigh has suffered three-straight defeats on the back of having much of its side’s core stripped, with both wins coming in the opening two rounds. Co-captains Trent Bianco and Dylan Williams have remained amidst school football outs over the last two weeks, but over-ager Joe Ayton-Delaney is a key omission this week on the back of being selected to play in the annual Young Guns fixture. Tasmania’s inclusions will also put a dent in the Chargers’ hopes of bouncing back, with Australian Under 17 representatives Jackson Callow, Sam Collins, and Oliver Davis all coming back into the side for this clash. While the Devils went down heavily last week after consecutive wins previously, they will stand a huge chance of causing an upset here with home ground advantage and a weakened Oakleigh side searching for form.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v GWS GIANTS ACADEMY
Saturday May 4, 12:00pm
Albury Sports Ground

With tenth and eleventh opening the round, thirteenth placed Murray Bushrangers hosts the fourteenth placed GWS Giants Academy as both sides search for a second win. The Giants were unlucky not to add to their sole victory as they went down by nine points to Gippsland last time out, but will be keen to finish up their NAB League commitments on a good note. Beating Murray in Albury will be no mean feat despite the Bushrangers’ 1-3 record, as the home side could well have been sporting an opposite record coming into the game after going down twice by under a goal. The return of Lachlan Ash will be a big boost for Murray, but they will be without talented over-agers Ben Kelly and Zane Barzen from last week’s side. The Giants will be without talent of their own as James Peatling exits the side, but will be buoyed by the inclusion of midfield bull, Tom Green. With the Division 2 prize out of the question for GWS, the result looms of greater important to Murray as it looks to mount a charge up the ladder through the mid-season period.

CALDER CANNONS v BENDIGO PIONEERS
Saturday May 4, 2:15pm
RAMS Arena

Calder and Bendigo are on the hunt for their third wins of the season, and both have the chance to do so as they face off at RAMS Arena on Saturday. While Bendigo are the second-best place team on eight points after a lightning start to the season, Calder is the worst-placed of the five teams with two wins, and sit twelfth. The Cannons will come into the clash with a better bout of confidence too, having won last week against Geelong – on the other hand, Bendigo has lost its last two games. While the Pioneers will again be without key men Thomson Dow and Brodie Kemp, as well as Jacob Atley to the Young Guns game, there are no massive changes from the side that lost to Northern last week. Calder are much the same despite over-agers Sam Graham and Josh Kemp being unavailable, with its over-age depth proving handy. The Cannons’ win last week would have them feeling good, but the quest for a second-straight will prove difficult against a Bendigo team looking to make up for a result missed in their previous effort.

GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY v GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS
Sunday May 5, 10:15am
South Pine Sports Complex

Greater Western Victoria search for a second-straight win heads to the Sunshine State, as the Rebels take on Gold Coast Suns Academy to open Sunday’s Queensland double-header. The Rebels’ big win last week over Northern Territory saw them add to their Round 2 victory over Geelong, while the Suns suffered their first loss in a hefty defeat at the hands of Eastern. Despite the polar opposite form lines, this clash should prove to be a close one between the two top-eight sides, especially since the Rebels have competed in three games decided by under seven points. That competitiveness will have to well and truly be present though, with over-agers James Cleaver, Matt Lloyd, and Jed Hill all set to miss and test the Rebels’ midfield depth. While Dirk Koenan and Ryan Gilmore are out for the Suns, they have benefitted from being able to consistently field near-full strength sides throughout their four games, and this will be no different. With a chance to claim Division 2 honours still up for grabs on Gold Coast’s end, expect them to have a red hot crack to end their NAB League campaign.

GEELONG FALCONS v SYDNEY SWANS ACADEMY
Sunday May 5, 12:00pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval

Geelong will hope to spoil Sydney Academy’s Division 2 title hopes and collect its first win when the two do battle on neutral ground in Sandringham. The Falcons have points on the board after their Round 3 draw with Dandenong, and have been competitive in one and seven point losses to suggest they can be competitive. Meanwhile, the Swans Academy has had no such trouble in its four games, winning all of them to sit third in the overall NAB League standings. A win would see the Swans clinch the Division 2 title as the best placed academy, with the added notch of going undefeated. With the likes of Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell back in after Australian representative action, the Swans stack up as formidable opponents. On the other hand, Geelong will be left with holes to fill at either end as Charlie Sprague and Sam Christensen report for Young Gun duties alongside Harry Stubbings, but the likes of Henry Walsh and Oliver Henry replenish the line-up. The Falcons will be breathing fire after letting one slip, and could throw a spanner in the works against much-fancied opponents.

BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY v DANDENONG STINGRAYS
Sunday May 5, 12:45pm
South Pine Sports Complex

A second win is on offer upon the Brisbane Lions Academy’s exit from the NAB League on Sunday when they welcome Dandenong Stingrays to the South Pine Sports Complex. The 1-4 Lions have suffered three-consecutive losses after beating GWS in Round 2, including a 97-point loss to Sandringham last week. The margin of defeat could have been far worse in that game though, and Brisbane will take the promise they showed in a four-goal to six second half into this bout. Dandenong had no such worries against its Metro opponent in Round 5, trouncing Oakleigh by 70 points to hold an undefeated 3-0-1 record and fourth place. While the Lions have made five changes, their lineup has seldom been disrupted and it showed in their two competitive outings against Eastern and Gold Coast. 2018 Academy skipper Cody Stackelberg returns after a stint in the NEAFL, but the Stingrays have made the most significant ins with Hayden Young and Cody Weightman included. Young could get a good run in the midfield with Mitch Riordan out and Jai Nanscawen following, setting up an exciting midfield battle against Brisbane’s ball winners. The Lions will want to finish well in front of a home crowd, and travel could well be a defining factor for the Stingrays.

GIPPSLAND POWER v EASTERN RANGES
Sunday May 5, 1:00pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve

In what looms as the game of the round, second-placed Eastern (4-1) travels to face a surging Gippsland Power side in Morwell. The Ranges have shown their solidity and evenness across the board in four-consecutive wins, toppling two metro sides and two academies. Gippsland has only put one foot wrong, losing narrowly to Dandenong in Round 2, but are otherwise building nicely to sit seventh as one of three 3-1 sides. Hopes of a third-consecutive win will be boosted by the inclusion of Sam Flanders, but in-form over-ager Kyle Dunkley comes out of the side as he readies for the Young Guns game. Cody Hirst, Joel Nathan, and Riley Smith are set to play in the same game alongside James Blanck, with the Ranges naming an extended bench to cover their losses. Eastern has been a somewhat of a surprise packet thus far, but Gippsland have a wealth of top-end talent that they will trust to stand up in what should be a tight tussle.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v NORTHERN TERRITORY
Sunday May 5, 2:00pm
Ikon Park

Northern Territory faces its last chance to come away with a NAB League win as it readies for battle against the Northern Knights at Ikon Park. The Knights finally got on the board last week with a come-from-behind win over Bendigo on Friday night, leaving their weekend opponents and Geelong as the only sides without a set of four points. While they have shown promise, NT’s narrowest losing margin was 44 points against the Gold Coast Suns academy in Round 2, with this the final time they can show their true worth on the NAB League stage. The Thunder forward line looks dangerous with leading prospect Malcolm Rosas Jr named alongside the likes of Beau O’Connell and big-man Matthew Cumming, with Ben Rioli also added to the mix this week. Ollie Simpson and Sunny Brazier come out of the winning Knights side from last week to fulfil Young Guns duties, with Ryan Gardner an important in – named in the midfield. Northern could see this fixture as an opportunity to get on a winning run after last week’s result, but Northern Territory should give it a good crack as some of their stars vie for a spot in the Allies squad.

Scouting notes: NAB League Boys – Round 5

NAB League returned with a bang this weekend, and despite a few stars missing through school football and rotation, had plenty of others show their worth over three days and nine games. Here are our opinion-based scouting notes from each game on players highlighted by club talent managers or who those who made the Vic Metro/Vic Country extended squad.

Bendigo Pioneers 7.7 (49) defeated by Northern Knights 8.6 (54)

By: Peter Williams

Bendigo:

#1 Sam Conforti

The nuggety bottom-age midfielder showed off his strength in a number of ways during the narrow loss. He was able to stand his ground in mark contests and also get the ball free while being tackled. In the opening term he won the ball uncontested on the wing and kicked long inside 50 which set up a goal to Kobe Brown. He kept finding space and working hard into it, winning plenty of the ball and trying to get it forward whenever he could. He has great special awareness and does not panic with ball-in-hand, able to shift his centre of gravity before disposing of the ball. Had a great run-down tackle in the third term as the Knights were attacking.

#11 Aaron Gundry

Spent most of his time through the ruck when on and showed off his good vertical leap. He competed at the stoppages and had clean hitouts, and also won a free kick deep in defence and was able to clear the ball long. Ball use by hand or foot was hit and miss but his athleticism was good.

#19 Ben Worme

Some nice highlights from Worme, providing some run and carry both through the midfield and off half-back. He had a great passage of play in the opening term, lowering his eyes after bursting away from the wing and hit up a teammate. He showed good vision under pressure to give out a handball to a teammate in space. Made a few mistakes by foot at times, but stood up when required.

#20 James Schischka

Hardly puts a foot wrong and was really strong in defence. He used the ball fairly well apart from the odd occasion, and was often the general in defence just keeping the opposition at bay and mopping up back there. He draws opponents to him when carrying the ball and then releases the disposal at the right time to a teammate. One of the Pioneers’ best on the night.

#21 Riley Wilson

Impressive game from the inside midfielder, playing well through the stoppages and being the prominent clearance midfielder on the night. He has a great technique when it comes to tackling, and he reads the taps well from the ruckmen. When in time and space he can use the ball well, the next step is just settling down his kicking when under pressure as a few times he chucked it on the boot. In the second term he fended off an opponent and then when a second opponent tackled him, stood tall and handballed clear to a teammate. Wilson had a number of good moments bursting out of a stoppage, and never stopped trying. Certainly one of Bendigo’s four quarter performers.

#38 Brady Rowles

Not a huge ball winner, but he had memorable moments, with a juggling intercept mark in defence, and a great spoil at half-back when out of position. He had a chance to kick a goal in the second term but it drifted to the left and fell short, then had a terrific run off half-back, bursting from defensive 50 straight past opponents and set up a goal with a long kick inside 50. In the third term he produced a terrific run-down tackle midway through the term when an opponent was streaming down the middle and his actions forced a turnover.

Northern:

#1 Lachlan Potter

Had one of his better games in terms of ball winning capabilities, just needs to tidy up his ball use a little by foot. He suffered leather poisoning in the first quarter, winning absolutely everything off half-back and pushing up to the wing, even winning an intercept mark at half-forward. When using the ball by hand he seemed to do it effectively as he drew opponents given his well renowned speed. When he has space no-one can catch him easily, and he uses that to his advantage. When he goes to take the game on, Potter looks very damaging, it is just trying to lower the eyes at times or put it to a teammates’ advantage. In terms of his run-and-carry and metres gained, it was a huge tick, and he took a number of intercept marks as well.

#5 Josh D’Intinosante

The best Knights player for mine, just continues to have an impact throughout the four quarters. He is not the quickest player out there, but he plays to his strengths and they are his physical strength and low centre of gravity, football nous and competitiveness. Time and time again D’Intinosante will crack in hard and win the clearances or lay a smother or crunch an opponent in a tackle. What he does well is have a good balance between offence and defence – tackling and using the ball forward of centre. He wins a lot of his possessions at the coal face, and is standing up well as an inside midfielder. At times his kicking can be hit and miss, but he hits the scoreboard, and while the stats will say he kicked one major, there were three other opportunities where if he had a bit more kicking penetration, he could have headed home with four. A really promising performance and strong game from D’Intinosante and is enjoying a great season so far.

#11 Ryan Sturgess

Just a reliable player in defence, able to use the ball well and just control things from the back half. He took quite a few intercept marks in defence and was able to switch the ball across the back 50 or down the wing well. He was tasked with the kick-out duties and cleared the defensive 50 strongly, and looked comfortable in the air, taking a contested mark in the second term with an opponent coming front on.

Sydney Swans Academy 13.10 (88) defeated Murray Bushrangers 9.10 (64)

By: Scott Dougan

Sydney:

#2 Hamish Ellem

Ellem lined up on Bushranger Ben Kelly and was able to hit the scoreboard within the first 10-minutes of the game. He continued his goal-kicking form into the second and third quarters, booting two more goals – one of them from the boundary line on his left foot. A good game.

#3 Luke Parks

Parks played across half-back and was competitive all game. He took some very good contested marks throughout the match, putting his height, good leap and strong hands to good use.

#9 Sam Thorne

Thorne’s first quarter was brilliant, with the tough midfielder a major contributor to his team’s quick start. He tackled with intent and was damaging with all of his possessions. Thorne was strong in contested situations, where he won a lot of his disposals. He also showed that he can play on the outside of the contest too, with his acceleration coming in handy. Thorne had a game-high 10 tackles.

#10 Jackson Barling

Barling was prominent around stoppages, where he continually released the ball by hand to his teammates on the outside. His inside grunt work caught the eye, along with his defensive pressure. He also spent some time forward and booted his one and only goal of the match in the third term after reading the flight of an incoming ball better than his opponent.

Murray:

#1 Will Christie

Christie showcased his strong leap and athletic attributes throughout the game, especially during the second half. He started in the ruck in the third term and immediately won the first hit-out that he guided down his team-mates throat. He stayed involved around the ground and continued his good tap-work in the ruck. Christie had 30 hitouts and 11 disposals in an encouraging performance.

#3 Ben Kelly

Kelly played as a key defender on Swans forward Hamish Ellem. Ellem booted three goals on him but I thought his defensive positioning and spoiling was pretty good. Even though he’s over 200cm, he also played as a rebounding defender, putting his speed and ball use to good use when exiting the defensive 50.

#5 Cameron Wild

Wild was one of his team’s best midfielders and players on the day. His inside work was noticeable, winning a lot of contested ball. His ball use by foot and hand was clean and his work-rate remained high all game. He was able to hit the scoreboard after collecting a loose ground-ball get deep inside the forward 50. Moments later, he demonstrated his composure and vision, with an intelligent kick to his teammate Cameron Wilson, resulting in a set-shot on goal. Wild finished with 26 disposals, 7 marks, and 1 goal.

#7 Zane Barzen

The 19-year-old played mainly across half-forward, where he used his clean skills to deliver the ball to his teammates in the forward half. He took a while to get into the game, but his second half was promising. Barzen took some nice marks on the day, finishing with a team-high 8.

#10 Will Quirk

Quirk played in the defensive half for his team and was able to provide some run and carry out of the back half. He took some nice marks in the second term and was able to show off his athletic attributes on the day. Quirk had a good second half, finishing the match with 21 disposals and five rebound 50s.

#14 Jye Chalcraft

Chalcraft was exceptionally clean at ground level and his ball use by foot and hand was superb. He was able to use his speed and agility to escape and break his opponents’ tackles. He kicked a beautiful opposite foot snap goal in the third term, which kept his team within striking distance of the Swans. He is very hard at the contest for his size and I thought he was one of his team’s best players.

#19 Jimmy Boyer

Boyer remained involved in the contest and always found a way to find the ball. His ball use by foot was as usual, noticeable. He played as a link-up player across half-back and through the midfield, where he provided some run and carry for his team moving forward.

Dandenong Stingrays 19.10 (124) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 8.6 (54)

By: Peter Williams

Dandenong:

#11 Ned Cahill

One of Dandenong’s most outstanding performers across three quarters. Cahill has that touch of class about him and most importantly he gets forward and hits the scoreboard as well. He kicked three goals and handed off a fourth in the win, but also had some good defensive moments too. He spoiled a ball across the line on the wing coming across third up, and put pressure on opponents when they tried to kick forward. He had a great one-on-one in the second term for a goal to work his opponent under the footy then run onto the loose ball at the back.

#18 Mitch Riordan

A high work rate and competitive effort is what you get with Riordan each and every week and this week was no different. He is a clearance expert and just racks up the ball from a stoppage going in hard. He also has some good footy IQ to be able to tap to a teammate in space rather than take possession when under pressure. Not a huge ball winner, but plays such an important role on the inside.

#20 Sam De Koning

Spent the day in defence and had a nice balance between offence and defence. He stood tall on his opponent and provided some offensive rebound at the same time. De Koning pulled down a terrific intercept mark in defence flying high, and showed great vision to handball clear to a teammate while being slung around in a tackle.

#24 Bigoa Nyuon

Stepped up rotating between ruck and forward and you just never know what you are going to get. He can create the unbelievable and then do the unthinkable, which is what makes him quite an entertaining prospect. He was able to hit the scoreboard after picking up a loose ball in attack following good pressure on an opponent, then was able to set up teammates inside 50 for goals as well. He did try and do too much at times like backing himself in from the pocket – which is good to see but he was out of position – rather than handballing into Ned Cahill who was 10 metres closer to goal in space, and then there was a 30m kick straight up in the air when up the other end. However his athleticism and ability to leap above others is without question and there is some serious talent there, it is just piecing it together.

#42 Jai Nanscawen

Known for his goal kicking but Nanscawen played a higher role at times on the weekend, being a playmaker at half-forward or through the midfield, then drifting deeper and providing a target. His defensive work was what stood out, laying a smother on Dylan Williams, then scooping it up with one hand and kicking it forward. He did it again by intercepting a handball in the air and took possession showing high football IQ. He capped off his day with a great mark and set shot goal with a snap in the final term.

#50 Lachlan Williams

Played on a wing but pushed forward and helped himself to three goals and enjoyed every one of them. Williams just finds space and is a damaging prospect from anywhere within 50m, launching his first goal in the second term off a step from outside the arc and it went straight through the middle. Not long after he launched another shot on the run from 45m with just six seconds left in the half and it never looked like missing. IN the final term he showed his smarts by standing on the mark and anticipating his opponent would handball laterally and Williams stuck out his hand, picked it up and snapped around his body for his third. A clean user by foot and while not a huge possession winner, made his touches count.

Oakleigh:

#5 Trent Bianco

The co-captain played as many would have expected him to – with a touch of class and high work rate. Bianco played off half-back and pushed up to the midfield at times, using the ball well and settling the at-times under-siege defence. He impacted a contest on the last line in the second term to clear the ball out of trouble and then used his composure at half-back to provide an option for him to be able to propel the ball forward.

#23 Dylan Williams

Played a little bit everywhere, between forward, back and midfield with the Chargers’ co-captain having some great moments and other patches where he was not as involved. His clearance work to burst out of the middle was really good and he applied some defensive pressure with some fierce tackles, but he was not having the best time with delivery, often the ball sent to his feet when leading out, or being double-teamed with defenders blocking his run. He gave away a free kick for head-high contact and the frustration was clear. He settled and had an impact later in the game, setting up a goal in the third term and then had a number of solid inside 50s despite being held at stoppages.

#27 Josh May

The defender played both a key position and smaller role, doing well one-on-one and creating some run off half-back. May was able to use the ball by foot relatively well despite having more of an awkward short kicking action, but it seemed to be effective. He showed good defensive pressure and second efforts to lay strong tackles on his opponents and just played his role throughout the match.

Sandringham Dragons 19.18 (132) defeated Brisbane Lions Academy 5.5 (35)

By: Michael Alvaro

Sandringham:

#5 Ryan Byrnes

A complete game from Byrnes in the absence of his usual midfield partners, with the hard-working Dragon continuing his consistent season to date. Byrnes was instrumental in Sandringham’s first-half onslaught, driving his side forward well with a wealth of centre-bounce clearances and inside 50 entries. Despite a couple of neat finds going forward and looking comfortable on both sides, Byrnes looks to still be improving his kicking game and overcooked a couple of balls at speed. His reading of taps, forward running and damage in this game were as effective as I’ve seen from him though, so Byrnes looks to be building nicely.

#6 Miles Bergman

The dynamic Bergman has enormous potential, but can work on consistently putting the pieces of his game together. Employed off half-forward and up to the wing, Bergman showed as clean a set of hands as anyone out there – both overhead and at ground level. A slight downside of Bergman’s game at times was his kicking, with a couple a turnovers in the defensive half and others falling short despite finding targets. Still, has plenty to work with and is so smooth on the ball.

#7 Jackson Voss

The potential Saints father-son had one of his better games, catching the eye with a couple of highlight-reel moments. Took an absolute screamer early on while following up with another later, and definitely has that side of his game down pat with seven of his 12 disposals coming from marks. Topped his game off with a goal and showed nice signs.

#13 Louis Butler

A damaging rebounder, Butler has made the half-back flank his own of late. The leading ball-winner on the ground was effective on the outside and shot Sandringham forward as a key link between the arcs. A couple of handy intercept marks on defensive wing were impressive, with Butler proving to be as clean by hand as he was by foot. Missed a set shot attempt which would have capped off his game nicely, but was otherwise highly impressive with his run and carry.

#15 Angus Hanrahan

The over-ager was a beneficiary of Sandringham’s strong start, claiming two first-quarter goals via set shot conversions. Led up well for one of them and is clever when finding space forward of centre, but was not as effective when positioned one-out. Wins a lot of outside ball and worked up the ground on occasion to do just that.

#28 Riley Bowman

Tried in just about every position possible, Bowman took to each role well across the day. Starting in the ruck, Bowman led the hitout count and out-bodied his opponents well around the ground. Manufactured a nice find inside 50, while also taking a strong intercept mark up the other end against Samson Ryan. Did not hit the scoreboard while employed forward, but assisted one of Jack Bell’s third-quarter goals and perhaps looked most impressive when thrown down back to finish off the game.

#36 Oscar Lewis

Lewis was a solid feature in the Sandringham defence all day, winning the loose balls well and rebounding via foot. Is a good size and proved competitive, making himself a likely type who can play effectively on both the inside and outside.

Brisbane:

#11 Will Martyn

Led the way once again for the Lions, burrowing in at stoppages and finding the ball at both ends of the ground to end with a game-high 33 disposals. Played almost a lone hand in the first half, winning his fair share of ball in the midfield and sending the Lions forward, only for the ball to be sent straight back into his area. The same went in the third quarter as Martyn tried to help push the ball out of Brisbane’s defensive half, where to took a lot of his 10 marks. Missed a chance to cap off his game with a goal on the back of Brisbane’s best passage of play, but did most things right across the day with strong tackling and overhead marking a highlight.

#12 Saxon Crozier

Was not Crozier’s most prolific or impactful outing, but a solid one nonetheless. Started well with a nice intercept possession to break up one of Sandringham’s many transitions and found space well around the arcs. While he is normally a high accumulator of marks and good user on the back of them, some of Crozier’s kicks under pressure were a little off. Still, continued to take the game on late and laid a crunching tackle on Jackson Voss in the final term.

#15 Tahj Abberley

The bottom-ager looked most lively inside 50 during the second half, and was instrumental in Brisbane’s best few minutes of the game. Started up the field on a wing and took a nice overhead mark in the second quarter, backing it up with a courageous effort after half time. Laid a fantastic tackle on the much bigger Corey Watts which went unrewarded, but managed to snare a goal with a calm dribbled finish out the back.

#21 Noah Cumberland

The combative forward tried hard for the Lions and while he did not find a heap of the ball or the goals, showed good character. Was forced to search for the ball up-field early, but looked more comfortable amongst the stoppages inside Brisbane’s forward half where he stood up in tackles and muscled his way out. He also tackled hard, but showed good finesse with an assist to Tom Wischnat and spearing ball inside 50 to Saxon Crozier.

Greater Western Sydney Giants Academy 9.7 (61) defeated by Gippsland Power 10.10 (70)

By: Ed Pascoe

GWS:

#17 Jeromy Lucas

Lucas has had a strong start to the year for the Giants and his form continued with a strong performance through the midfield winning the contested ball and looking composed with ball in hand. Lucas had a nice bit of play in the first quarter attacking the ball hard on the wing and then kicking nicely inboard to a teammate, in the 2nd quarter he took a mark and hit a nice long pass to teammate James Peatling. Lucas showed he could impact outside the contest flying up for a huge grab on the wing in the last quarter although he didn’t stick the mark it was a courageous attempt showing his athleticism, Lucas finished the game with 24 disposal and 3 tackles and he rarely wasted a handball which he had 18 off.

#26 Liam Delahunty

Delahunty was a good target for the giants with good attack on the ball and crashing packs to give his smaller players a chance to crumb. Delahunty kicked 2 goals with his first coming from a nice snap dribble goal on his opposite foot in the 2nd quarter with his last goal coming off a Gippsland turnover close to goal in the 3rd quarter quickly gathering a loose ball and kicking the goal. Delahunty looked most dangerous in the 3rd quarter taking two very nice contested marks but would let himself down kicking a behind and then one out on the full from 50 metres. Delahunty finished the game with 8 disposals, 2 marks and 2 goals.

Gippsland:

#6 Riley Baldi

Baldi was the most dangerous player early on from Gippsland, in his first game of the year he was unstoppable in the first quarter through the midfield and up forward. Baldi despite his size took a good contested mark 15 metres out from goal and would kick the set shot and later in the first quarter would spin around and snap a nice goal, in the second quarter he was also hard to stop taking a nice intercept mark and quickly play on with a good handball and he would have another shot at goal on the run on the boundary but would just miss. Baldi was smart with his ball use with a nice kick to the hot spot in the second quarter followed by a nice opposite foot kick to teammate Kyle Dunkley. Baldi was hard to stop both in the air and at ground level where he would attack the ball hard and would always look to move the play on, Baldi finished with 22 disposals, 8 inside 50s and 2 goals.

#11 Kyle Dunkley

Dunkley was a tough customer through the midfield attacking he ball hard and tackled like a man possessed. His only goal would come from a mark and set shot in the 2nd quarter but his hard work set up plenty of others, he showed good vision under pressure to hit a nice switch kick in the 3rd quarter and later that quarter would lay a bone crunching tackle. Dunkley would finish the game with 18 disposals, 6 marks, 11 tackles and 1 goal.

#12 Brock Smith

Smith was the main playmaker for Gippsland down back setting up the play and setting the standard for attack on the ball and body contact on the man, his first quarter had some good and bad moments with the good coming from a lovely long kick inside 50 to teammate Riley Baldi and showing good composure with link up play from defence, the bad was a Clanger kick on a kickout. Smith loved the push and shove and was happy to let the Giants forward know he was there and it was hard not to notice him both defending his man and also linking up with good composure in defence showing why he is the captain. Smith finished the game with 24 disposals and 7 rebound 50s.

#19 Fraser Phillips

Phillips had another game with nice flashes but the consistency over 4 quarters to impact the game is still not at a level he would like. Phillips would take till the second quarter to hit the scoreboard with a nice quick snap and goal, he was more involved in the 3rd quarter taking a nice mark on the wing and quickly playing on inboard with a nice kick and he showed he could also do the team things with a good hard tackle to lock the ball in. Phillips has a fantastic left foot kick and it was on show with a laser pass to teammate Riley Baldi in the last quarter, Phillips finished the game with 5 disposals, 3 tackles and 1 goal.

#37 Harrison Pepper

Pepper was one of Gippsland’s busiest players throw out the day and was particularly noticeable in the 2nd half where he stood up when the Giants where making their comeback. In the 2nd quarter he would take a nice contested mark deep in the pocket and showed his team thinking with a pass inboard to a teammate in better position, in the 3rd quarter he would show his quick thinking with a quick play on and nice low kick which was a feature of his game opening up the play with his kicking. His last quarter was sensational taking a good intercept mark and playing smart football in the last quarter running down the clock and finally having a sealer mark and goal on the siren running towards goal which was a nice mark on its own. Pepper finished the game with 26 disposals, 7 marks, 4 inside 50s and 1 goal.

Eastern Ranges 11.11 (77) defeated Gold Coast Suns Academy 2.6 (18)

By: Michael Alvaro

Eastern:

#4 Joshua Clarke

Was one of Eastern’s best, providing exciting dash and forward penetration off half-back. Showcased a clean set of hands with overhead intercepts and gathers at ground level early on, while also rebounding well with long kicks. Was entrusted with kick-outs at times, and his use proved effective forward of centre too with a nice assist to Bailey White in the third term. Laid a goal-saving tackle in the same quarter, and followed up a fumbled ball with another to show his defensive capabilities on top of his attacking traits. One of the more promising bottom-agers.

#7 Lachlan Stapleton

Provided good forward run with four inside 50s on top of six clearances from his 27 disposals. Started well by hitting up Ben Hickleton inside 50 at speed and was largely effective by foot early, but finished with a couple of clangers. Won a heap of contested ball, which proved vital to the Ranges.

#11 Mitch Mellis

Another of Eastern’s small midfield brigade to win a high amount of ball, Mellis was electric early with 10 first-quarter disposals. Positioned mostly on the outside, Mellis worked hard to find possessions in a range of areas, while also winning six clearances – a lot of which came at speed. Mellis has a great first five steps and agility, which helped him to break away from congestion well. Had a quiet second half but showed plenty earlier on.

#13 Jamieson Rossiter

By no means dominated, but managed to consistently produce goal scoring opportunities and took half of his chances with 3.3. Rossiter’s hands were strong throughout, with a contested pack mark from the side his undoubted highlight for the day. Managed another nice clunk one-out to convert his second of three set shot goals earlier in the piece, and could have had a finished with four or five goals had he converted better in blustery conditions.

#17 Cody Hirst

The athletic small buzzed around the ground well, finding most of his ball between the arcs despite moving forward later on. Showed a good leap and laid a fantastic holding the ball tackle after a solid hit on Connor Budarick. While his pressure game is hard to fault, Hirst’s kicking left a little to be desired at times and he was ineffective with eight of his 11 attempts. Still, found Josh Tilly well inside 50 and kicked a nice goal on the run in the third term.

#21 James Ross

The skipper did not have too much to do as the second-deepest defender, but did his part when the ball came his way. Ross started with a handy intercept mark overhead, and keeps his hands up well in traffic to dish the ball off and keep the play alive. Showed a good willingness to provide rebound with a nice handball chain and was largely calm on the ball despite a couple of missed targets.

#23 Zak Pretty

Far and away the highest ball-winner on the ground with 37 disposals, which was enough to earn him a Draft Central Player of the Week nomination. Was as influential as anyone going forward with eight clearances and seven inside 50s across the day, as well as a goal in the third term. Showed a willingness to work as well with five tackles to add to his attacking drive, and was simply in everything through the middle. A top game from a player who seems to be rising well.

Gold Coast:

#1 Hewago Paul Oea

It was a hard slog for ‘Ace’, who struggled to find his way into the game with just one handball apiece in the first and third quarters. While possessions were hard to come by, Oea was unlucky as he continued to run to good areas to no avail in a low-scoring Suns effort. Came into the game in the second quarter with a nice intercept mark and holding the ball tackle, with a move into the midfield to finish the game allowing him to show off his clean hands and zip around traffic.

#5 Connor Budarick

Tried all day for the Suns with a team-high 27 disposals and 16 tackles ensuring he stood out on a down day for his side. Followed up an early turnover with a crunching tackle, and trusted his speed well to escape the grasps of opponents. Was busy all day but particularly effective in the first half with clearances finding their way inside 50. Missed a shot on the run which would have been handy, and found more of the ball in the back half with Gold Coast under pressure in the second half.

#15 Corey Joyce

The diminutive defender was a key runner out of the back 50 all day with five rebound 50s from 22 disposals. Acted as a sweeper at ground level and looked most effective when disposing by hand, while finding most of his kicks short to settle the Suns defence. Under pressure for most of the day, Joyce stood up as one who competed well amidst the onslaught.

#28 Ashton Crossley

Was another Sun who started relatively strongly but faded late, with 16 of his 22 disposals coming in the first half. A contested beast, Crossley was down on his clearance output but resorted to his handball game well to clear congestion. Can still work on his kicking as he often blazed away quickly under pressure or from congestion, and had a turnover in the corridor early. Took an impressive contested chest mark underneath a high ball in the first term, and was a solid contributor.

Calder Cannons 8.11 (59) defeated Geelong Falcons 8.4 (52)

By: Shyam Bali

Calder:

#1 Daniel Mott

Mott started the game well with a big clearance and a long kick out of the centre to kick off Calder’s first attack, which set the tone for his day. He had lots of ball around the centre and half forward flank and could be found on the bottom of packs most of the afternoon either dishing out to team mates or laying big tackles. His highlight for the day was a good solo effort in the forward pocket where he showed some magic soccering the ball up to himself perfectly before finding a team mate in space. He finished the day on a high running out the last quarter well and being involved in a 1-2 that helped set up Browning’s score which gave the Cannons the lead late in the fourth. Mott finished with a very productive 29 touches and 8 tackles.

#8 Sam Ramsay

Ramsay was busy all day and showed great zip and energy whenever he had the ball. In the second quarter he was a big reason Calder got back into the game, backing himself to take on players with his run and drive the ball long into the attacking 50. He showed some of his tricks also launching for a big grab in the 3rd quarter, which he dropped unfortunately, but showed great competitive spirit diving back to make a tackle and force a ball up. Ramsay was good all day and worked well all around the ground. He ended up with slightly inflated numbers after getting a few possessions chipping around the backline in the last five minutes, but ended up with 27 disposals, seven marks, three tackles.

#38 Brodie Newman

Newman was an absolute star repelling attacks and setting up his team off the half back flank in a best on ground performance. He took several big marks in the defensive 50 and showed both courage when running back into a pack to take a big mark in the third and leadership when he took three intercept marks in a passage of about five minutes to stop Geelong taking the lead in the third quarter. His leadership was also on display several times as he instructed team mates in defence, and often directed traffic through the backline. Newman’s display for a KPD was one of the most dominant displays of the year and he finished with a whopping 36 disposals including 29 kicks, 17 marks (many of which were intercept) and three tackles.

Geelong:

#36 Charlie Sprague

Sprague started the day in everything running hard between the arcs and providing a lead up option to his team mates. He had 9 disposals in the first quarter and provided an option when ever his team was looking to move the ball out of defense or into the attacking half. He quietened down after that but did offer more closer to goal kicking a great goal from 50m out in the third and getting the Falcons back to within a point when he goaled in the last quarter. Although he finished with quite a serviceable game with 18 touches and 2 goals, as an overeager he went missing for too long when his team were in trouble and I felt like he could’ve done a bit more to help them especially in the second quarter.

#40 Jesse Clark

Clark played his customary half-back role, repelling attacks and rebounding with speed. He intercepted the ball three times in the first quarter and seemed to be able to read play and the windy conditions better than his Calder opponents in the first quarter. In the second quarter he rebounded well and showed some class with a long kick off HB which hit a team mate on the 50 lace out. Clark also wasn’t scared getting his hands dirty laying four strong tackles throughout the day. He finished with 22 disposals, 6 marks and tried hard to help the Falcons get over the line.

Tasmania Devils 3.8 (26) defeated by Western Jets 10.13 (73)

By: Michael Alvaro

Tasmania:

#2 Oliver Burrows-Cheng

The zippy ball-winner showed good agility around the stoppages early to evade traffic and drive Tasmania forward with long kicks. Burrowing in, half of Burrows-Cheng’s 22 disposals were handballs, and he was influential in the Devils’ combative start. He laid a goal-saving tackle in the first term, but missed a shot on goal running inside 50 which would have finished his game off well.

#4 Will Peppin

The National Academy member was composed on the ball and often delivered by hand to outside runners. While he did not look particularly quick, Peppin stayed out of trouble though traffic, which was helped by his clean hands. An intercept chest mark in the first term was a highlight, and it was a solid outing overall.

#7 Matthew McGuiness

Over-ager McGuiness was a feature down back for the Devils, often positioned in a sort of quarterback role. When Tasmania gained position past defensive wing, they would often go back or across to McGuiness, who would set up his side’s forward movement with long kicks. His best efforts came with balls into the centre square, but they became less prominent as Western tightened the clamps. He managed a nice intercept mark deep in defence, and had a couple of forward forays to deliver inside 50.

#12 Isaac Chugg

The debutant was impressive early, and looks like having some nice traits to work on as a bottom ager. Coming from an athletics background, Chugg was electric in the first term with high marking forward of centre and good pace in his defensive efforts. Kicked the first goal of the game from long range, and almost snared another in a similar fashion.

Western:

#3 Eddie Ford

Ford seldom fails to catch the eye with his strong overhead marking, stylish use of the ball, and explosiveness. While he was quiet early on, Ford came into the game well after half time and had a purple patch in the third term where he kicked two goals. The first was a set shot conversion from 45 metres on the back of a strong one-on-one mark, and the second was a clever snap from the boundary, while he missed another chance in the final quarter on the run.

#7 Daly Andrews

The over-ager looked good throughout the day, and was most effective when kicking long down the line to give the Jets forward penetration. He found the ball early around defensive 50 when Tasmania was pouring on the pressure, and used his speed to find space well. Andrews was also nifty in traffic and would end the day with 23 disposals.

#20 Darcy Cassar

Looked Western’s best at times throughout the game, employed as a sort of defensive sweeper. Cassar would collect ground balls and intercept at will, while directing the play once he had disposed of the ball. He showed good burst when taking the game on with shrugs of his opponents and a bit of dash to drive the Jets forward. A designated kicker down back, Cassar was a little more erratic when on the ball forward of centre and lacked his usual finish product both around goal and going inside 50. He continues to rack up disposals though, with 31 touches and 13 marks a fine effort.

#24 Josh Honey

Honey bounced back into some good form in this game, finding plenty of the ball and hitting the scoreboard as he so often does. He pushed up the ground well to find the footy around defensive wing, and spread well to claim uncontested marks around the ground all day. Honey was fantastic when moving through traffic, and make a couple of opponents look silly as he got on his bike and zipped around them with ease. His first goal came from a neat collect of the loose ball going forward to allow him to finish from just inside the arc, while the second was a smart snap around the corner to cap off a good outing.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels 17.10 (112) defeated Northern Territory Thunder 8.9 (57)

By: Peter Williams

GWV Rebels:

#3 Toby Mahony

The midfielder just has a touch of class about him. Not a huge accumulator, but he seemed to have control of the ball despite the conditions, and had a great moment when he evaded a tackler diving for him and then kicked lace out to Riley Polkinghorne in the first term. He then added a goal of his own with a lovely kick off the left from a few steps, able to straighten up, steady and kick it up the other end. Had a piercing kick from half-back to the wing, a low bullet that he used off a few steps after marking at half-back. Next contest he stood up in a tackle and got his hands free to be able to give the ball off to a teammate. Earned a free kick for a push in the back, then got back-to-back 50m penalties to kick the goal from the goalsquare.

#7 Mitch Martin

Applied some good defensive pressure and able to get the ball out to teammates, just has not had as much space as he has in previous games, playing more time inside. Won a free kick midway through the third term and roosted it long but was plucked off by Joel Jeffrey. Great vision to handball to a teammate on the wing and open up space. Had a huge highlight in the final term, being able to win the ball then pause and seemingly stop time as an opponent went for him and he kicked neatly down the field. Laid a good tackle on Stephen Cumming in the middle to win a free. Capped off his day with a goal after running hard into space to mark and then complete the set shot.

#9 Isaac Wareham

Taking the game on which was eye-catching. Backed himself in and would move the ball quickly along the wing, winning a crucial one-on-one against Malcolm Rosas Jnr in the first term and earned a free kick for a trip. He arched his back and was able to evade tacklers, although did get caught once in the second term, but was able to get his hands free and handball before he hit the ground.

#13 Jay Rantall

One of the Rebels standout players once again and seems to be getting better. His skills are still a little shaky, but his goal sense and ability to hit the scoreboard is terrific. Kicked two first half goals, one from a set shot straight in front and one from the boundary with a snap. Both were free kicks with opponents clumsy around him. He won his fair share of ball in the contest, firing out quick handballs to teammates. Erred on the side of caution to his detriment in the first term, kicking to a teammate leading out when he had a set shot straight in front, but will learn from it. He seems to break the game open with quick handballs to teammates running by, able to extract it out of the contest and handball long to a teammate on the outside.

NT:

#8 Malcolm Rosas Jnr

Just so silky and a terrific leader as well. He is a clean player who is able to dish off the handballs to teammate in space. He has a quick burst that creates separation between himself and his opponent and would work hard up the ground to win the ball. Not a huge ball winner, but has some eye-catching traits. Blindsided his opponent in the third term with a great run-down tackle at half-back but turned the ball over. Laid a big tackle in the final term but was penalised for a sling tackle – rather unluckily.

#19 Ben Jungfer

A strong inside midfielder who has a crack. Jungfer laid some fierce tackles and kept diving in for the contested ball. To start the third term Jungfer had a quick few steps to burrow in, win the contested ball and handball out to a teammate in space. Shows good hands in close and is strong to shrug off would-be tacklers. Kept fighting throughout the four quarters and won some important clearances late to help the Thunder kick some consolation goals.

#24 Joel Jeffery

Definitely an eye-catching player at half-back. His kicking was hit or miss at times, with his vision and decision making good, his execution just a bit iffy. His vertical leap one-on-one was outstanding and he is a terrific intercept mark. He does not panic when under pressure and seems to shrug off opponents with ease. A long kick of the football and someone who found plenty of it coming out of defence. Jeffrey reads the ball in flight well and has a nice marking action. Took a huge intercept mark in the third term rising above all others to cleanly grab it in the third term, and then saved a goal with a great running mark back with the flight. Overall a super game in a defence that was under siege for the most part.

#27 Beau O’Connell

A clever mid/forward who looks ever-dangerous in the forward half. He zipped around contests and seemed to win the ball a lot in the early stages, earning some free kicks and having a few shots on goal. He did rush a kick or two at times when he did not realise he had more time such as in the second term when a shot went out on the full, but when on the wing with space in front of him, he was able to size up his options well. To start the third term, O’Connell took a good mark under pressure then kicked it to a dangerous position to set up Tyson Woods for the goal on the line, then went inside and won the next clearance. O’Connell found plenty of it in all thirds of the ground and was one the Thunder’s standout players. Had a great dribble goal midway through the third term as the Thunder piled on the pressure. Kicked a second goal midway through the final term.

Top Victorians to battle it out at Ikon Park in trial games

THE teams are in for tomorrow’s two Victorian trial games at Ikon Park which pits the best available from Vic Country against their Metro counterparts. Released today, there is plenty of talent across the four sides as players try to stake their claim for a spot at the National Under 18 Championships. Among the sides are a number of overagers including Eastern Ranges’ Cody Hirst and Riley Smith, Murray Bushrangers’ Will Christie, Gippsland Power’s Kyle Dunkley, Geelong Falcons’ Charlie Sprague and Sam Christensen, and Dandenong Stingrays premiership co-captain Mitch Riordan. In terms of team-by-team breakdown, Sandringham Dragons have the most with 14 available players named for tomorrow’s clashes, one more than Gippsland Power. Oakleigh Chargers and Eastern Ranges both have 10 players each, while Dandenong Stingrays and Murray Bushrangers have eight apiece, one more than Bendigo Pioneers (who have three players unavailable) and Northern Knights. Geelong Falcons have six that will take to the field tomorrow with two unavailable, while Calder Cannons and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels have five with one unavailable player each. Western Jets have just the four players.

Team-by-Team breakdown:

Bendigo Pioneers = 7 (+3 unavailable)
Calder Cannons = 5 (+1 unavailable)
Dandenong Stingrays = 8
Eastern Ranges = 10
Geelong Falcons = 6 (+2 unavailable)
Gippsland Power = 13 (+1 unavailable)
GWV Rebels = 5 (+1 unavailable)
Murray Bushrangers = 8
Northern Knights = 7 (+1 unavailable)
Oakleigh Chargers = 10
Sandringham Dragons = 14 (+1 unavailable)
Western Jets = 4

 

TRIAL MATCH 1, 10.30am

VIC COUNTRY (white jumpers)

NO. NAME   DOB HT WT NAB LEAGUE CLUB
1 Sam Conforti 15-Mar-02 173 65 Bendigo Pioneers
2 Ethan Roberts 10-Jul-01 180 78 Bendigo Pioneers
3 Toby Mahony 18-Aug-01 192 77 GWV Rebels
4 Sam Flanders 24-Jul-01 182 81 Gippsland Power
6 Liam Herbert 01-Mar-01 182 73 GWV Rebels
7 Sam Berry 12-Feb-02 180 82 Gippsland Power
8 Brady Rowles 10-Jul-01 188 72 Bendigo Pioneers
9 Isaac Wareham 24-Dec-01 187 80 GWV Rebels
10 Will Quirk 05-Mar-01 191 89 Murray Bushrangers
11 Ned Cahill 11-Jan-01 178 77 Dandenong Stingrays
12 Lachlan Ash 21-Jun-01 186 80 Murray Bushrangers
13 Jay Rantall 10-Jun-01 184 82 GWV Rebels
14 Brock Smith 13-Mar-01 188 81 Gippsland Power
15 Ryan Sparkes 13-Apr-01 184 78 Gippsland Power
16 Sam Christensen 04-Feb-00 192 80 Geelong Falcons
17 Charlie Sprague 08-May-00 188 83 Geelong Falcons
18 Mitchell Riordan 25-Jan-00 187 83 Dandenong Stingrays
19 James Boyer 31-Jan-01 181 74 Murray Bushrangers
20 Elijah Hollands 25-Apr-02 188 80 Murray Bushrangers
21 Zac Skinner 26-Mar-01 200 97 Gippsland Power
22 Zach Reid 02-Mar-02 200 77 Gippsland Power
23 Charlie Comben 20-Jul-01 199 82 Gippsland Power
24 Henry Walsh 27-Jun-02 201 84 Geelong Falcons
25 Josh Smith 20-May-01 194 100 Gippsland Power

 

VIC METRO (navy jumpers)

NO. NAME   DOB HT WT NAB LEAGUE CLUB
1 Mitch Mellis 05-Sep-01 173 72 Eastern Ranges
2 Lachlan Stapleton 14-Apr-01 177 72 Eastern Ranges
4 Finlay Macrae 13-Mar-02 181 64 Oakleigh Chargers
5 Trent Bianco 20-Jan-01 178 70 Oakleigh Chargers
6 Miles Bergman 18-Oct-01 186 75 Sandringham Dragons
7 Ryan Gardner 22-Mar-01 184 72 Northern Knights
8 Adam Carafa 22-Feb-01 181 76 Northern Knights
9 Curtis Brown 03-Feb-01 181 76 Calder Cannons
10 Lachlan Potter 26-Jan-01 184 70 Northern Knights
11 Hugo Ralphsmith 09-Nov-01 186 70 Sandringham Dragons
12 Ryan Byrnes 03-May-01 181 80 Sandringham Dragons
13 Zakery Pretty 27-Jul-01 183 80 Eastern Ranges
14 Eddie Ford 21-Jun-02 184 73 Western Jets
15 Noah Anderson 17-Feb-01 188 86 Oakleigh Chargers
16 Jamieson Rossiter 17-Nov-01 190 77 Eastern Ranges
18 Emerson Jeka 18-Sep-01 197 87 Western Jets
21 Harrison Jones 25-Feb-01 194 75 Calder Cannons
22 Corey Watts 02-Feb-01 194 94 Sandringham Dragons
23 Dylan Williams 01-Jul-01 185 79 Oakleigh Chargers
24 Joshua Worrell 11-Apr-01 195 74 Sandringham Dragons
25 Nikolas Cox 15-Jan-02 197 80 Northern Knights
26 Jack Bell 26-Jan-01 200 73 Sandringham Dragons
27 Josh May 29-Jun-01 195 86 Oakleigh Chargers
28 Samuel Tucker 07-Jan-02 196 84 Oakleigh Chargers
30 Andrew Courtney 06-Jun-01 199 81 Sandringham Dragons

 

 

TRIAL MATCH 2, 12.30pm

VIC COUNTRY (red jumpers)

NO. NAME   DOB HT WT NAB LEAGUE CLUB
1 Jye Chalcraft 02-May-01 176 78 Murray Bushrangers
2 Caleb Serong 09-Feb-01 178 83 Gippsland Power
3 Harrison Pepper 09-Aug-01 180 83 Gippsland Power
4 Cody Weightman 15-Jan-01 177 73 Dandenong Stingrays
5 Cameron Wild 28-Nov-01 184 80 Murray Bushrangers
6 Oliver Henry 29-Jul-02 186 72 Geelong Falcons
7 Mitch Martin 26-Mar-01 183 78 GWV Rebels
8 Jai Nanscawen 31-Mar-00 184 78 Dandenong Stingrays
9 Fraser Phillips 15-May-01 186 71 Gippsland Power
10 Leo Connolly 07-Aug-01 180 72 Gippsland Power
11 Kyle Dunkley 20-Jun-00 185 84 Gippsland Power
12 Lachlan Williams 12-Sep-01 182 76 Dandenong Stingrays
13 Noah Gadsby 12-Mar-02 185 72 Geelong Falcons
14 Riley Wilson 08-Jan-01 184 76 Bendigo Pioneers
15 Ethan Baxter 31-Jan-02 192 79 Murray Bushrangers
16 Jesse Clark 23-Feb-01 188 79 Geelong Falcons
17 Hayden Young 11-Apr-01 188 82 Dandenong Stingrays
19 Ben Worme 18-Jun-01 189 72 Bendigo Pioneers
20 James Schischka 24-Feb-01 190 79 Bendigo Pioneers
21 Aaron Gundry 17-Feb-01 200 82 Bendigo Pioneers
22 Will Christie 14-Jul-00 200 85 Murray Bushrangers
23 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan 04-Apr-02 195 79 Oakleigh Chargers
24 Sam De Koning 26-Feb-01 200 85 Dandenong Stingrays
25 Bigoa Nyuon 18-May-01 196 86 Dandenong Stingrays

 

VIC METRO (navy jumpers)

NO. NAME   DOB HT WT NAB LEAGUE CLUB
2 Jake Bowey 12-Sep-02 175 60 Sandringham Dragons
3 Jack Mahony 12-Nov-01 176 70 Sandringham Dragons
4 Joshua D’Intinosante 07-Jul-01 177 76 Northern Knights
5 Cody Hirst 19-Jan-00 178 67 Eastern Ranges
6 Daniel Mott 01-May-01 182 73 Calder Cannons
7 Darcy Cassar 31-Jul-01 183 75 Western Jets
8 Connor Downie 31-May-02 183 81 Eastern Ranges
10 Will Phillips 22-May-02 181 76 Oakleigh Chargers
11 Matthew Rowell 01-Jul-01 178 74 Oakleigh Chargers
12 Josh Honey 17-Oct-01 184 79 Western Jets
13 Louis Butler 26-Aug-01 183 74 Sandringham Dragons
14 Lachlan Gawel 13-Aug-01 186 76 Eastern Ranges
15 Jackson Davies 19-Mar-01 188 78 Northern Knights
16 Oscar Lewis 13-Aug-01 189 77 Sandringham Dragons
20 Campbell Edwardes 07-Oct-02 193 77 Calder Cannons
21 James Ross 11-Dec-01 187 83 Eastern Ranges
22 Ryan Sturgess 16-Nov-01 187 78 Northern Knights
23 Brodie Newman 14-Jan-01 191 88 Calder Cannons
24 Finn Maginness 23-Feb-01 187 80 Sandringham Dragons
25 Charlie Dean 19-Jun-01 194 86 Sandringham Dragons
26 Billy McCormack 15-Jan-01 197 84 Eastern Ranges
28 Nick Bryan 22-Oct-01 202 87 Oakleigh Chargers
29 Fischer McAsey 08-Mar-01 195 86 Sandringham Dragons
30 Riley Smith 31-Jul-00 199 101 Eastern Ranges

 

 

UNAVAILABLE PLAYERS

NAME   DOB HT WT NAB LEAGUE CLUB REASON
Brodie Kemp 01-May-01 192 82 Bendigo Pioneers Managed
Thomson Dow 16-Oct-01 182 72 Bendigo Pioneers Corked thigh (managed)
Riley Baldi 20-Feb-01 178 74 Gippsland Power Groin (1 week)
Flynn Perez 25-Aug-01 187 82 Bendigo Pioneers Knee (season)
Tanner Bruhn 27-May-02 182 73 Geelong Falcons Knee (TBC)
Cooper Stephens 17-Jan-01 188 83 Geelong Falcons Fractured fibula (8 weeks)
Nick Stevens 23-Mar-02 191 86 GWV Rebels Hip flexor (2-3 weeks)
Darcy Chirgwin 25-Jul-01 191 80 Sandringham Dragons Broken fibula (TBC)
Sam Ramsay 21-Mar-01 180 68 Calder Cannons Concussion
Ben Major 11-Oct-02 192 87 Northern Knights Shoulder

Weekend preview: NAB League Boys – Round 2

AN HISTORIC weekend of NAB League football will see Northern Academies thrown in the mixer for the first of five rounds, while the Tasmania Devils get their first crack in the competition after an opening round bye. With a massive nine games across two days, we are set for a true feast of football.

SYDNEY SWANS ACADEMY v. TASMANIA DEVILS

Round 2 – 30/03/2019
9:30AM
Blacktown Olympic Park

One of the more anticipated aspects of the exciting new NAB League era is the inclusion of Tasmania and interstate academies, giving the competition a truely national feel. On Saturday, onlookers will get their first look at both an academy side and the Apple Isle talent as Sydney Swans Academy and Tasmania open Round 2 proceedings in Blacktown. The Swans are set to showcase the wealth of talent available to them over the next two draft years, led by dynamic forward Josh Rayner. Named at full forward, Rayner is also capable of using his big frame in the midfield. Skipper Sam Thorne is named at the heart of an exciting midfield alongside Jackson Barling, with bottom-aged stars Braedon Campbell and Errol Gulden set to start on either wing. The likes of Mitch O’Neill, Ollie Davis and Nic Baker will put their hands up to match the Swans’ midfield class, with Sam Collins also one to watch across half back. The neat Tassie ball users will all be looking to hit up imposing spearhead, Jackson Callow, although he could well be sent down back to cover the dangerous Rayner. An exciting match should provide a fitting opening to the new phase of Under 18 football, with both sides looking to make a memorable entrance.

GWS GIANTS ACADEMY v. BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY

Round 2 – 30/03/2019
11:55am
Blacktown International Sports Park

The second game of the round features the first all-academy NAB League clash, as the GWS Giants and Brisbane Lions academies do battle as part of the Blacktown triple-header. Liam Delahunty headlines the Giants’ talent, with the versatile tall set to provide some highlights from centre-half-forward. Tom Green is also one to keep a keen eye on, set to anchor the midfield alongside Matt McGrory. The Lions have some promising types, too, with an impressive centre line jumping off the page. Bottom ager Saxon Crozier holds down a wing, with Bruce Reville on the other and Will Martyn holding post in the middle. Smalls Tahj Abberley and Tom Wischnat will also provide good run and goal sense respectively, with the Lions side full of impressive forward movers. With games against fellow state academies to come in Round 3, this game will be a good opportunity to blow out the cobwebs and polish up before the all-important state derbies.

GIPPSLAND POWER v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 2 – 30/03/2019
1:00pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve

Gippsland hosts the first hit-out between established NAB League teams for Round 2, with an all-country clash against Murray set to hit Morwell. Both sides are coming off wins by under a goal in the opening round, but it is a strong Gippsland outfit that will come into the bout as favourite. The Power will be further strengthened by the inclusion of Caleb Serong, named in the forward line but sure to join the dynamic Sam Flanders through midfield. With Brock Smith and Josh Smith holding down key positions at either end of the ground, expect a complete team display from the hosts. The reigning premiers have some serious talent of their own, with potential No. 1 pick Hayden Young looking to build on a steady Round 1 performance. Versatile talls Sam De Koning and Bigoa Nyuon should hold down either end, with Nyuon looking to solidify a promising forward partnership with goalsneak, Ned Cahill. The over-age trio of Jai Nanscawen, Bailey Schmidt and Mitch Riordan will also provide some much-needed experience and grunt. While the Power’s top-end talent runs a little deeper, count the Stingrays out at your own peril.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 2 – 30/03/2019
2:00pm
Deakin Reserve – Shepparton

Bendigo travels to Shepparton in Saturday’s second all-country clash, set to do battle with narrow Round 1 losers, Murray. The Pioneers hit the ground running last week, storming out of the blocks against Geelong with a six goal to nil opening term setting up a memorable win. Murray had a tighter tussle at home to Gippsland, being edged out early in the final term to go down by three points. Despite the result, there is plenty of promise coming into this round for Murray, with Lachlan Ash leading a talented bunch. With Jye Chalcraft named in the midfield and bottom-ager Elijah Hollands at half-forward, the Bushrangers look a dynamic unit with a good deal of versatility. While they are a good chance to bounce back this week, their opponents, Bendigo are up and about. The midfield duo of Thomson Dow and Brodie Kemp will be key again in providing drive from midfield. The mopping up of James Schischka and James Conforti in defence will also be important if Bendigo are to back up their impressive performance.

GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY v. NORTHERN TERRITORY

Round 2 – 30/03/2019
2:20pm
Blacktown International Sports Park

The final interstate feature game in Blacktown sees the Gold Coast Suns Academy face off against Northern Territory in a clash that should produce some fireworks. The SUNS are set to unleash all five of their AFL Academy members, with Connor Budarick the clear standout of the group. Fellow member Ashton Crossley will join him in midfield, with Hewago Paul-Oea another to watch across half-forward opposite Josh Gore. The Thunder has its own formidable forward threat, with Wanderers gun Joel Jeffrey named at the heart of their attack, and 2020 Richmond father-son hopeful Maurice Rioli Jr set to light up the field. They will be without arguably their best player in Malcolm Rosas Jr, but boast the returning tall timber of Matthew and Stephen Cumming. With excitement machines on either forward line and a couple of classy mids to boot, expect this one to be easy on the eye as the game opens up. With a tough draw to come for both sides, this may well prove to be their greatest opportunity to snatch a win.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 2 – 31/03/2019
10:00am
Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval – Sandringham

Sandringham will be looking to make it two wins on the trot as it faces a Northern side still looking four its first set of four points. The Dragons were formidable last week, trouncing Calder in an awesome display from the midfield and forward. Northern will hope to contain Sandringham’s tall attacking trio of Riley Bowman, Charlie Dean, and Jack Bell – which combined for 10 goals in the 109-point Round 1 win. A combination of bottom-age defenders Regan Uwandu, Jaden Collins, and Nicholas Cox look set to cover two of the three, while Ryan Sturgess‘ intercept game will surely be tested as well. The Knights’ fleet of runners, including Lachlan Potter and Ryan Gardner, will be key in getting the visitors out of trouble quickly, while ball-winners Sam Philp and Adam Carafa will battle hard against the in-form trio of Ryan Byrnes, Jack Mahony, and Finn Maginness. The first game in a Trevor Barker Beach Oval double-header, this one will feature a host of draftable talent and will be important for the Dragons as they remain at full strength during the early season.

WESTERN JETS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 2 – 31/03/2019
12:30pm
Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval – Sandringham

A second consecutive win to open the season is up for grabs for the Western Jets as they play Eastern Ranges on neutral ground to close out a Sunday double-header. While the Jets soared home to an impressive comeback win over the Knights last round, the Ranges went down to a stacked Oakleigh side – but it was not without a fight. With the Jets surely looking to not leave their charge so late, Eastern will have to start strongly once again and maintain the standard they set in Round 1 if they are to be competitive once again. Cody Hirst and Lachlan Stapleton will prop up the midfield as usual, with Jets stars Darcy Cassar and Josh Honey the ‘hosts’ key ball-winners. Western’s tall forward duo of Emerson Jeka and Aaron Clarke could well prove to be the difference, with the former looking dangerous last week and the latter booting three crucial goals. East vs. West – it promises to be a good one.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 2 – 31/03/2019
1:00pm
Mars Stadium – Ballarat

An opportunity to get on the board for season 2019 looms for both the Greater Western Victoria Rebels and Geelong Falcons when they clash in Ballarat. The Rebels looked the better of the two sides last week, going down by just six points to the reigning premiers despite a spirited final term. On the other hand, the Falcons looked unlikely of pulling back the six-goal opening term deficit they conceded against Bendigo, and had their score doubled in the upset loss at home. Travelling this time around, Geelong will hope the form of co-captains Cooper Stephens and Jesse Clark remains good, with 19-year old Charlie Sprague another who stood up and will be important. Another over-ager, Matty Lloyd, was crucial to the Rebels’ effort last week, and will hope to again excel with delivery from Cooper Craig-Peters and Mitch Martin. With goalsneak Izaac Grant in the side and Jed Hill also able to play forward, GWV will look to have Geelong’s defence overwhelmed for the second week running. With players set to leave for school football commitments during the middle of the year, this is a crucial chance for Geelong to claim an early win, but GWV never give it up easily.

CALDER CANNONS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 2 – 31/03/2019
3:40pm
Rams Arena – Craigieburn

Calder Cannons faces a tough task in bettering the Round 1 thumping it suffered, with a talented Oakleigh Chargers side posing as its next challenger. The Cannons went down by 109 points to Sandringham, a side equally fancied to Oakleigh, in their season opener. Despite the heavy loss, the likes of Daniel Mott and over-ager Tye Browning stood up in the drubbing and the home side is set to be boosted by the inclusions of Mason Fletcher down back and Campbell Edwardes into the midfield. There is not much that needs to be said about the Chargers’ talent, with Noah Anderson looking to back up his Draft Central player of the week heroics – without the aid of Trent Bianco, who will miss with concussion. While it looks a stiff ask on paper, Calder will be breathing fire after a poor display and will hope to really bring it to Oakleigh on home turf.

Team of the Week: NAB League Boys – Round 1

IN a stunning opening round, it was near impossible to pick a Draft Central NAB League Boys Team of the Week. More than 30 players made it onto the shortlist, but we had to cut it down to 24, with Bendigo Pioneers, Murray Bushrangers and Sandringham Dragons having three players each in the Team of the Week. A further six teams had two players each, while Calder Cannons, Eastern Ranges and Geelong Falcons had the one player each after suffering losses.

Sandringham Dragons’ belting of Calder Cannons saw key forward duo, Charlie Dean and Riley Bowman make the side after slotting a combined eight goals in the 109-point win. Captain Ryan Byrnes was superb in midfield and made the team, while Finn Maginness was the most unlucky player to miss out this week. Bendigo Pioneers put in a super performance to topple Geelong Falcons, as defender James Schischka was named in the back pocket, Thomson Dow on the wing and Riley Wilson on the bench. The other team that recorded three players in the Team of the Week was Murray Bushrangers, who despite losing in a narrow defeat, had a few standout performers with co-captains Lachlan Ash and Cam Wilson named up either end for their contributions, while Ben Kelly was strong rotating between defence and ruck.

Also in defence is Dandenong Stingrays’ Luke Williams who had a round-high 11 rebounds against Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, joined in the team by ruck, Bigoa Nyuon who set the game alight early. Josh Kellett was impressive for the Western Jets and earned a place on the half-back flank, while Archi Manton was creative inside 50. Speaking of being creative inside 50, Oakleigh Chargers’ Noah Anderson booted four goals including a ripping goal after a couple of efforts, collecting Player of the Week and named at half-forward, while Joe Ayton-Delaney had a round-high 32 disposals and was named on the wing.

Ryan Sturgess fills out the rest of the forward line after standing up in the Northern Knights’ loss named at half-forward, while Sam Philp also made the side. Moving onto the midfield, Cooper Craig-Peters was strong in midfield for the GWV Rebels, named at ruck rover, while Mitch Martin was productive around the ground and made the side as well. Gippsland Power’s Kyle Dunkley booted three goals and was the Power’s best player on the weekend, named in the side with defender Ryan Sparkes.

The other players to make the team as their side’s sole representative were Calder Cannons’ captain, Brodie Newman, Geelong Falcons’ Jesse Clark and Eastern Ranges’ Cody Hirst. Among those who just missed out include Dandenong’s Jai Nanscawen, Geelong’s Charlie Lazzaro, Oakleigh’s Will Phillips and Trent Bianco, and Gippsland’s Sam Berry.

Weekend Wash-up: NAB League Boys – Round 1

THE first round of the NAB League Boys saw a number of impressive performances both individual and team across the weekend, with Sandringham Dragons storming to a triple-figure win, while Bendigo Pioneers got off to a great start with a win over Geelong Falcons. Other winners included reigning grand finalists, Dandenong Stingrays and Oakleigh Chargers, Western Jets and Gippsland Power.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 1.4 | 2.8 | 6.9 | 11.14 (80)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 5.2 | 7.6 | 10.8 | 13.8 (86)

By: Cameron Ross

GOALS:

GWV: M. Lloyd 3, J. Wright 2, M. Jorgensen 2, I. Thomas, M. Martin, T. Mahony, C. Craig-Peters
Dandenong: E. Cahill 2, B. Nyuon 2, C. Gay 2, H. Sullivan, L. Goonan, J. Toner, K. George, H. Berenger, C. Weightman, J. Nanscawen

BEST:

GWV: C. Craig-Peters, M. Martin, L. Herbert, J. Hill, M. Lloyd, R. Polkinghorne
Dandenong: L. Williams, J. Toner, C. Gay, J. Nanscawen, D. Popa, B. Schmidt

The Dandenong Stingrays held off a spirited GWV Rebels comeback to hold on by six points at MARS Stadium on Saturday. The Rebels could not handle the immense pressure from the Stingrays in the first quarter. Every time a Rebel got a metre of space they were closed down and hit hard by a Stingray. This gave the Dandenong boys a huge lift, and they shot out of the blocks. Jai Nanscawen and Bigoa Nyoun had huge starts to the game kicking early goals. Mitch Martin, playing unusually as a midfielder, and Cooper Craig-Peters were good for the Rebels but were unable to stop the Stingrays taking a four-goal lead into the first break. In the second quarter, the Rebels had plenty of opportunities to get themselves back into the game but simply could not convert. Dandenong kicked clear, and looked to be extremely comfortable and good for their lead at half time. However, in the third quarter, Matty Lloyd sparked the Rebels’ revival. He had an outstanding second half, winning a lot of the ball and converting opportunities. The second half saw Jed Hill also come into the game after a move into the midfield. The Stingray’s steadied the ship with a few late third quarter goals, but you got the sense that this was a different GWV Rebels. In 2018, the Rebels were notorious for their poor second halves. It was obvious in the final term, that this was ancient history. The Rebels continued to claw their way back into the game, and before you knew it, they were only a goal down. Hill had a huge opportunity to bring the Rebels back within a point with under a minute remaining, but the talented forward/midfielder pushed his kick and the Stingrays clung on for a six-point victory. Nanscawen was the best player on the field, he racked up 15 possessions and 1.3. Nyuon and Ned Cahill also played well for the Stingrays. Craig-Peters was terrific onball for the Rebels, and had a complete four-quarter game. Lloyd, as stated earlier, was also terrific in the second half and played an important role in his side’s comeback. The Rebels are at home again this week, taking on the Falcons at Mars, while the Stingrays play the Gippsland Power in Morwell.

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 5.4 | 8.7 | 13.10 | 19.13 (127)
CALDER CANNONS 0.1 | 0.4 | 1.8 | 1.12 (18)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Sandringham: C. Dean 5, R. Bowman 3, J. Mifsud 2, J. Bell 2, R. Byrnes, A. Hanrahan, F. Maginness, J. Mahony, N. Burke, A. Courtney, B. O’Leary.
Calder: S. Ramsay.

BEST:

Sandringham: R. Byrnes, R. Bowman, C. Dean, O. Lewis, F. Maginness, C. Watts
Calder: B. Newman, C. Brown, T. Browning, S. Callander, N. Gentile, S. Ramsay

In the first commentary streamed game of the new NAB League Boys competition, Sandringham Dragons stormed past Calder Cannons at RSEA Park. The Dragons never looked like losing in the 19.13 (127) to 1.12 (18) victory, booting five goals to zero in the first term, and by half-time had 55 points on the board. It only got worse after half-time for the Cannons, and while Sam Ramsay managed to kick a classy goal from the boundary line, Sandringham piled on another 11 goals to run away with the match by 109 points and stamp their authority on the competition. The Dragons had 32 scoring shots to 13, with the Cannons managing just one major for the contest. Charlie Dean booted five majors, while former Stingray, Riley Bowman added three goals. Jacquin Mifsud and Jack Bell booted two goals apiece, with Bowman and Dean named among the best with Dragons captain, Ryan Byrnes. For the Cannons, Calder captain Brodie Newman tried his best to stem the flow across half-back, while Curtis Brown and Tye Browning were also among the best in the heavy defeat.

 

EASTERN RANGES 3.0 | 4.1 | 5.3 | 7.5 (47)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.3 | 6.9 | 10.13 | 12.16 (88)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Eastern: L. Gawel 2, J. Tilly, J. Rossiter, T. Garner, L. Stapleton, B. McCormack.
Oakleigh: N. Anderson 4, T. Graham, J. May, C. Oglethorpe, H. Mundy, N. Dempsey, D. Williams, M. Rowell, S. Tucker

BEST:

Eastern: L. Stapleton, C. Hirst, Z. Pretty, C. Downie, J. Gilbee, M. Zalac
Oakleigh: N. Anderson, N. Guiney, W. Phillips, N. Bryan, T. Bianco, K. Schreiber

In the second game of the double header at RAMS Arena, Eastern Ranges put up a fight before eventually going down to one of the premiership favourites in Oakleigh Chargers. The Ranges booted three goals in the opening term to lead by three points at the first break, before the Chargers hit back in the second term with four goals to one, albeit with inaccuracy plaguing them. They booted 6.9 in the first half, and then 6.7 in the second half, finishing the game strongly and holding the Ranges to just three goals in the last half. Noah Anderson was the clear best on ground with four goals from 26 disposals, while Lachlan Gawel booted two goals for the Ranges. Nick Guiney, Will Phillips and Nick Bryan were named among the best for the Chargers, while Lachlan Stapleton and Cody Hirst were impressive for the Ranges. While the loss would be disappointing, the fact Eastern was able to match it with one of the top teams will give them plenty of confidence going forward.

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 2.4 | 6.6 | 9.9 | 9.12 (66)
GIPPSLAND POWER 2.1 | 6.3 | 9.4 | 10.9 (69)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Murray: C. Wilson 3, W. Christie 2, K. Chalcraft, C. Byrne, J. Hillary, E. Hollands.
Gippsland: K. Dunkley 3, H. Pepper 2, J. Smith 2, M. McGannon, F. Phillips, S. Berry.

BEST:

Murray: C. Wilson, B. Kelly, D. Clarke, L. Ash, S. Durham, E. Hollands
Gippsland: K. Dunkley, S. Berry, R. Sparkes, B. Maslen, S. Flanders, T. Hourigan

Gippsland Power survived a scare from a plucky Murray Bushrangers in a thrilling contest at RAMS Arena on Sunday. The Bushrangers led at every break but never looked entirely comfortable, with the largest margin at the break standing at just five points. Digging deep in the final term with a blustery gale behind them, the Power found a way through to boot the winning goal amidst five behinds, while the Bushrangers could only manage three behinds for the term. The game was an exciting first round game, as Bushrangers’ co-captain Cam Wilson and former Oakleigh Charger and Sydney Swans father-son prospect, Kyle Dunkley both booting three goals for their respective sides. Wilson was named the best for the Bushrangers, while Ben Kelly and Lachlan Ash‘s work in defence was superb. For the Power, Sam Berry stood up throughout the contest, while Ryan Sparkes was crucial in the back half, as was Sam Flanders in the front half. Josh Smith and Harrison Pepper benefited with two goals each inside 50, while Will Christie managed two up the other end. Both sides had plenty to take out of the contest ahead of Round 2 clashes this weekend.

 

GEELONG FALCONS 0.1 | 4.2 | 6.4 | 6.7 (43)
BENDIGO PIONEERS 6.1 | 9.5 | 11.5 | 13.8 (86)

By: Michael Alvaro

GOALS:

Geelong: H. Stubbings 2, C. Sprague, M. Annandale, C. Page, N. Gribble
Bendigo: C. Vick 2, M. Johnson 2, T. Dow 2, W. Shaw, J. Dick-O”Flaherty, R. Ironside, R. Wilson, J. Rodi, C. Fisher, E. Roberts

BEST:

Geelong: J. Clark, C. Lazzaro, J. Dahlhaus, S. Christensen, S. Bourke
Bendigo: R. Wilson, J. Schischka, W. Wallace, T. Dow, J. Rodi, B. Kemp

Bendigo Pioneers made a perfect start to its NAB League season, toppling the Geelong Falcons by 43 points in Colac on Sunday. Signs were ominous early as the travelling side were nothing short of clinical in front of goal, piling on six majors while keeping a shell-shocked Falcons goalless. The home side duly responded after the first break with four goals to bridge the gap, but it was almost all undone as Bendigo again clicked into gear with three of their own. As the third term marked a deadlock with two goals apiece, the Pioneers finished off the job with two goals to nil in the final stanza to double their opponent’s total. Thomson Dow was outstanding for the winners with 28 disposals and two goals, forming a formidable midfield duo with Brodie Kemp (22 disposals, five clearances). Cooper Vick and Max Johnson each joined Dow as multiple goal kickers, while Harry Stubbings was Geelong’s only player to do so. Co-captains Cooper Stephens (22 disposals, four clearances) and Jesse Clark (24 disposals, seven marks) were the best Falcons, with 19-year-old Charlie Sprague also showing signs of his talent with 20 touches and a goal. Both sided face another all-country clash next round, with Bendigo travelling to face Murray, and Geelong heading to Ballarat to face Greater Western Victoria.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 1.2 | 5.3 | 9.5 | 11.7 (73)
WESTERN JETS 3.3 | 5.3 | 6.5 | 12.8 (80)

By: Taylah Melki

GOALS:

Northern: R. Sturgess 2, J. D’Intinosante 2, L. Mcmahon 2, S. Brazier, S. Philp, Z. Costello, B. Nikolovski, A. Carafa
Western: A. Manton 3, A. Clarke 2, L. Failli 2, E. Jeka, K. Borg, J. Honey, S. El-Hawli, E. Ford

BEST:

Northern: R. Sturgess, N. Cox, B. Nikolovski, J. Davies, S. Philp, R. Gardner
Western: J. Kellett, A. Manton, E. Acevski, B. Ryan, J. Honey, K. Borg

In what was a close encounter it was the Western Jets that came away with a seven-point victory against the Northern Knights. The Jets skipped out to a handy lead in the first half of the game but the Knights fought back to take control in the second but were unable to finish it off, falling narrowly in the dying minutes of the game. Ryan Sturgess led the way for the Knights with his two goals and impact in and around the stoppages, while his Western Jets counterpart Josh Kellett accumulated plenty of touches. Archie Manton made his presence felt on the scoreboard with his three majors for the Jets, leading up at the footy and clunking some big marks. Josh D’Intinsonate played his part for the Knights chipping in with his two goals, while Adam Carafa was handy around the contest and slotted a major to keep the Knights in the game.

Scouting notes: NAB League Boys – Round 1

IN the opening round of the NAB League Boys competition, we took a look at all six games with our writers giving their opinion on how some of the players raised by respective Talent Managers as ones to watch, performed in the first round. All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels 11.14 (80) defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 13.8 (86)

By Cameron Ross

GVW: 

#4 Jed Hill

Quiet first half for his standards. Really struggled to get into the game early but once he was moved into the midfield and got his hands on the footy, he had a great second half. This is important for Hill, as he proved last year he can play forward, but didn’t get many opportunities in the midfield. Although the conditions were not conducive to accurate goal kicking, Hill would be disappointed with his 0.3 return. Still, his 17 touches, most of which would have come in the second half, were enough to get him in the Rebels’ best.


#7 Mitch Martin

The Rebels seem to be trying new things with some players, and one of those looks to be Mitch Martin’s move to midfield. My scouting notes for Rebels games last year pumped up Martin’s natural forward ability, but like Hill, Martin needs to prove that he is not a “one trick pony”. He spent the majority of the game on ball, but was floating back to help the defence often, and starting possession chains from the back. Martin was somewhat sloppy with his possession throughout the game, but showed some glimpses of his versatility. He kicked an important goal in the third quarter when the Rebels started their surge, and was one of the Rebel’s best on the day.

#10 Matty Lloyd

Best player for the Rebels on the day. Lloyd has a tendency to float in and out of games, but when the Rebels needed him, he stood up. His second half was the best half of footy that I have seen from him. A turning point for him came after a questionable decision to banana a goal from five metres out that missed horribly. Instead of dropping his head, he got himself into a good position, and made up for it kicking a goal that breathed life into the Rebels comeback. He was the best player on the ground in the final quarter. Kicked two late back to back goals to bring the Rebels within a goal, but simply ran out of time. Put simply, he proved his worth.

 

Dandenong:

#11 Ned Cahill

Smart player. Impressive piece of play in the first quarter led Nick Caris who was watching the man, under the ball, kick went over the top and he ran on to kick an easy goal. Cahill was dangerous all day, but his first half was sensational. Will kick a lot of goals this year as a permanent forward.

#24 Bigoa Nyuon

There are big wraps on Nyuon, and this round would have given his draft chances a massive boost. His stats don’t tell the full story. He was super impressive throughout the whole game. Kicked a terrific goal from the pocket at the Wendouree end, and another goal that was just as good out of the centre square. Nyoun won the tap, got the ball back and strolled out of the centre kicking it from 50 out and celebrating with his teammates. Nyoun also showed a willingness to put his head over the ball and win the contested possession. Might need a bit of work on his set shot, but he really looks to be a player in the making.


#42 Jai Nanscawen

In my opinion, Nanscawen was the best four-quarter player on the ground on Saturday. He is really classy, and seems to be natural as both a forward and a midfielder. He seems to have a good work rate also. There were a couple of times where he worked from the wing, got the ball, hit the target and worked to get the ball back in the forward line. His set shot really let him down though. He kicked 1.3 but some of these were really gettable chances. Three goals and 15 touches next to his name would have looked incredible, yet I’m sure he will make up for this and more.

 

 

Sandringham Dragons 19.13 (127) defeated Calder Cannons 1.12 (18)

By Ed Pascoe 

Sandringham:

#1 Jack Mahony  

Mahony had a quiet game for his standards finishing with 12 disposals and a goal, although he was busy through the midfield early in the game. His crumbing work of packs was a standout with one really nice crumb in the second quarter although his kick would let him down going inside 50. Mahony’s goal came from a great bit of play using his body well to take a contested mark against a taller opponent and then nailing the set shot. Mahony was a hard worker off the ball with six tackles to his name. 

#4 Finn Maginness 

Maginness was one of Sandringham’s standouts through the midfield, he finished with 19 disposals and one goal which came from a classy left foot snap in the first quarter. Maginness played with intent through the middle he attacked the ball hard and tackled hard leading his side in tackles with six. Maginness was clean at stoppages often winning first possession and giving off a clean handball and he would often follow up his work to be involved again, the only slight concern was his kicking at times but overall aa very polished game through the midfield.

#5 Ryan Byrnes 

The Sandringham captain lead from the front with a well balanced game through the midfield, his first quarter was strong attacking the ball hard at stoppages and using his clean hands in close to release the ball to his teammate. Byrnes was also able to hit the scoreboard in the 3rd quarter with a classy running goal showing a turn of foot to slot the goal, his speed was also on show that quarter at stoppages where he met the ball at pace to give himself time to dispose either by hand or foot, he had a complete game with 5 marks, four tackles and five inside 50s. 

 #11 Hugo Ralphsmith 

Ralphsmith didn’t have a huge game by his standards but his class was on show whenever he was in possession rarely wasting a possession by hand and foot, he showed good vision kicking inside 50 with a kick to the fat side of the ground in the second quarter. He did not hit the scoreboard as hoped he had an unlucky miss with a running shot at goal in the third quarter and his best work came from setting up others with his clean ball use. 

#12 Charlie Dean 

Dean was the dominant big man on the ground kicking five goals, his first came from a nice mark and snap goal in the pocket, not many of his goals came from contested marks with his best contested mark unfortunately resulting in a missed opportunity. Dean’s 3rd goal was a good diving mark and equally a good lead and he would slot the set shot and he would get away from his opponent tin the last quarter kicking two simple goals from getting into space and slotting this set shots. Dean’s clean hands at ground level and over his head where his standout features. 

#28 Riley Bowman 

The first goal of the game came from Bowman laying a great tackle winning a free kick and slotting the goal. Later that quarter he would take a lead up mark but miss the set shot but he didn’t make the same mistake in the second quarter slotting his 2nd goal. His third goal came in the last quarter with a quality snap showing he could kick goals from many situations. 

#29 Fischer McAsey 

McAsey was everywhere in the first quarter intercepting at will, he showed good composure under pressure with a nice kick and even won a ground ball against a smaller and quicker opponent. McAsey was a standout in defence with his intercept work, disposal by hand and foot and ability to get in the right spot and set up his teams attack from defence. 

#30 Andrew Courtney 

Courtney had a solid game in the ruck, he managed to hit the scoreboard in the first quarter taking a fantastic contested intercept mark before earning a 50m penalty and slotting the set shot goal. He finished the game with 12 disposals which was impressive for a ruckman considering the low possession counts for the game. His tap work was really good especially in the third quarter where he gave to teammates Byrnes and Maginness on a platter. 

#31 Josh Worrell  

Worrell did not get much of the ball, with 11 disposals but his presences felt like he was more involved especially with his tackling where he tackled with real intent and would be equal leader for tackles for his side with six. Worrell played a new role on the wing showed some nice run and carry and his kicking was also solid. 

#32 Jack Bell 

Bell had a quiet game but still managed to kick two goals both coming in the second half, his best came in the last quarter where he would take a fantastic contested mark. He only had the four disposals but provided good ruck relief for Courtney finishing its 20 hitouts and also three tackles showing his work after rucking. 

 

Calder:

#1 Daniel Mott 

Mott was one of Calder most efficient players in the first half, he was hardly flustered through the midfield often staying composed and hitting his targets by hand and foot, he had. A terrific pass inside 50 in the second quarter but his entires in the second half where poor going straight to the opposition who had set up well down back. Mott’s standout feature was his composure with the ball and agility to make the right decisions when his teammates would fumble and panic, his follow up work lead to him being one if his sides top ball winners with 18.

#8 Sam Ramsay 

It took until the third quarter for Calder to kick their first goal and it came through Ramsay with a classy running goal in the pocket. He was solid down back and on the wing in the first half but he really started to shine in the second half given more of a role in the centre, he lead his side for disposals with 19 where he often hit the target with is sharp left boot, despite the big margin he never dropped his head and kept running till the very end. 

#38 Brodie Newman 

Newman was one of the key pillars for Calder and without their captain the margin could have been even worse, he took some great intercept marks and his ball use was also very good. He finished the game with 21 disposals and eight marks, he has five rebounds and it was his rebound work that really caught the eye often being in the right place at the right time and making a good decision coming out of defence. 

 

Eastern Ranges 7.5 (47) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 12.16 (88)

By Ed Pascoe

Eastern:

#7 Lachlan Stapleton

Stapleton toiled hard all day through the midfield often on the bottom of packs looking to win the contested ball, he also tackled hard and played with intent finishing with 16 disposals and a game-high eight tackles. He would also hit the scoreboard, following up his own hard work to get the ball back tuck it under his arm and then straighten up to kick a lovely running goal. In a bad day for Eastern he was a player that could hold his head high purely on his effort throughout the day.

#13 Jamieson Rossiter

Rossiter had a quiet game up forward where he finished with only the one goal which came in the first quarter, taking a nice mark and slotting the set shot. Rossiter struggled to have much impact after that finishing with only six disposals, two marks and one tackle. The talented youngster will no doubt improve his output against the Western Jets.

#17 Cody Hirst

Hirst, despite his size and light frame, was the most fearless and courageous player – often going in hard at the contest and putting on pressure. Hirst lead his team for disposals with 20, and he worked hard to get the ball forward with three inside 50s. Hirst was one of his teams cleanest players not only in picking up the ball but also disposing by hand or foot, he did not kick any goals but his hard work set up many opportunities.

 

Oakleigh:

#3 Joe Ayton-Delaney

Ayton-Delaney is back again as a 19-year-old for Oakleigh and he finds himself playing through the midfield after playing mostly in defence last year. Ayton-Delaney was busy in the first half winning plenty of the ball and using it well by hand and foot, he was not afraid to lay a tackle and won a nice free kick in the second quarter with a tenacious effort. He continued to impress in the second half working well in transition, his last quarter was solid with a fantastic rove at a stoppage and was unlucky to miss a running shot at goal in that play. He finished the game as the top disposal winner with 32 while also showing his ground coverage with four inside 50s and five rebounds.

#4 Nick Bryan

Bryan worked well in the ruck and gave his teammates first use, he was not a liability around the ground either with some nice decisions made by hand. He finished the game with 10 disposals and 18 hitouts which were mostly effective, his work in general play I thought was most impressive where he showed clean hands and good decision making.

#5 Trent Bianco

Bianco was mopping everything up down back using his superior reading of the play and skill to cause havoc for Easter. Bianco’s skill was on show with some lovely opposite foot kicks and even a nice opposite hand handball which you don’t see often from young players. Bianco would finish the game with 22 disposals despite copping a nasty knock in a tackle which sent him off the ground to take no further part early in the last quarter, he had just moved into the midfield where he was impressive showing clean hands and trademark skills.

#8 Noah Anderson

Anderson was a force through the midfield in the first quarter and he kicked one of the better goals you will see at Under 18 level where he won a great clearance on the forward flank and would then follow up and win the ball on the opposite flank before taking a run, taking on a player and kicking a freakish running goal. He would later rest forward and kick a goal over the back in the 2nd quarter. Anderson spent more time forward in the 2nd half adding another two goals, one as a nice dribble goal and the other a long goal off one step. His midfield work would continue to be all class with his positioning, talk and creative kicking really standing out. He finished the game with an impressive 26 disposals, six inside 50s and four goals.

#11 Matthew Rowell

Rowell was the link up man for the first half using his turn of pace and quick decision making to move the ball up and follow his work, he had a few iffy kicks but a really nice pass in the second quarter lead to his team kicking a goal. Rowell went into the guts in the 3rd quarter and he had the ball on a string, his ability to stand up in a tackle and give the ball off at the right time was elite and his run and follow up work was agin on show. He had a well rounded game with 21 disposals, five tackles and a nice running goal which he kicked in the last quarter.

#23 Dylan Williams

Williams struggled to get into the game in the first half, his first disposal was a kick on the full in the first quarter although he would redeem himself with a much better kick inside 50 in the second quarter. Williams was put into the guts in the third quarter and instantly made an impact, getting multiple possessions and winning plenty of clearances to show off his speed and power. He would later have a nice run in the pocket before he did an unselfish pass to the hotspot which he would have usually had a shot himself, but later be rewarded taking a nice lead up mark and slotting a nice long set shot goal. He had another nice bit of play with a clearance in the last quarter where he faked his opponent before passing off to a teammate inside 50. He managed 17 disposals in the second half and finished the game with six inside 50s.

#27 Josh May

May was smooth on the wing often clean at ground level despite his 195cm frame, he made good decisions and positioned himself well around the ball. This would be a common theme for his game looking good and composed with the ball and his work below his knees again solid but he dropped an easy mark in the third quarter and had little impact in the last quarter, although he did have a bandage on his head. He finished with 10 disposals and a goal which came from a nice set shot.

 

Murray Bushrangers 9.12 (66) defeated by Gippsland Power 10.9 (69)

By Peter Williams

Murray Bushrangers:

#12 Lachlan Ash

The classy co-captain was terrific throughout the game and one of Murray’s top performers across the four quarters. Ash was Murray’s top ball winner, and he also laid some fierce tackles. There were a number of impressive highlights for the game, including running forward at full speed and having the ability to kick laterally to a teammate in the second term. His composure in defence and coming off half-back was noticeable in a game that had plenty of pressure around the ball carrier. In the third term Ash gave away a 50m penalty for late contact and his frustration saw a second 50m awarded. For a small patch his opponents could sense the frustation and tried to rile him up, but he got back to business taking some important intercept marks and setting the game up.

#14 Jye Chalcraft

Started strongly and had a big second term rotating between half-forward and midfield. His ability to move around at stoppages is terrific and he has quick hands, combining with brother Kade at one stage moving down the middle, taking a bounce before quickly giving off the handball slightly before copping a bump. A quieter second half, but a solid return having his first game for points since injury ended his year late last year.

#19 Jimmy Boyer

Worked hard in the midfield throughout the game and had the first clearance of hte game by sidestepping an opponent and kicking long. He has good defensive running, winning the ball at half-back or on the wing and often kicking long. He had a chance in the first term on goal but just missed and eventually finished the game with three behinds. Much like a number of players, was quieter in the second half after a bigger first half, but was important in between the arcs. Boyer won a fair share of contested possessions and sent the ball long inside 50 and in windy conditions his ability to extract from a stoppage was important.

#20 Elijah Hollands

The bottom-age talent showed his class early inside 50, winning a number of posessions on the outside and using his long kicking ability and was one of the top ball winnersin the first half. He missed a few opportunities to capitalise from set shots, finishing the game with 1.3, but he timed his leads well, protecting the drop zone with his timing. He was quieter in the second half, but his first half showed the potential he has not only as a forward, but further up the ground as well.

 

Gippsland Power:

#4 Sam Flanders

Last year Flanders was predominantly a forward who pinched in the midfield, and in Round 1 the roles were reversed with Flanders mostly getting his hands dirty at centre bounces. He rested at full-forward on some occasions, but constantly won the ball in the middle of the ground or on the wing and bombed long inside 50. He set up Gippsland’s first goal of the day with a nicely weighted kick to Josh Smith on the lead. One of the Power’s more influential players on the day, Flanders also laid a number of tackles and put defensive pressure on the ball carrier. A strong performance from the AFL Academy member.

#11 Kyle Dunkley

The overager from Oakleigh crossed to the Power this season with the Sale local having a big influence on proceedings. His first half was impressive as any, kicking three goals and rotating between midfield and forward. The potential Sydney father-son spent more time in the middle in the second half and finished the game with 21 touches and 3.1. What was impressive about a couple of his goals were they came from long range off a couple of steps and showed when given time and space he can be damaging. He has been able to add some more muscle to his frame this season which allowed him to play more inside, something he was not afforded at Oakleigh due to the strength at the club last year. Despite starting at most centre bounces, Dunkley was able to get to the outside and distribute long, something which helped get his team on top. Dunkley was deservedly named best for the Power in a promising performance.

#12 Brock Smith

After a quieter start in the match, the Power captained put in a huge last quarter to help haul his side over the line when Murray was attacking fiercely. Along with Ryan Sparkes, Smith was able to show composure in tricky weather conditions and showed good hands in defence under pressure. While he might not have been as prominent early, he got into good positions and applied pressure when required before really stepping up late in the game.

#16 Josh Smith

Rotated between full-forward and ruck, kicking the first goal of the game through a good lead, mark and easy set shot. He kicked his second in the next quarter before missing a chance at his third from a relatively straight forward shot on goal. His presenting and strength overhead was very impressive and proved to be a handful when he had a run at it. In the ruck, he gave a chop out and is more dominant as that full-forward leading out. Did his job with a couple of goals and probably should have been three, proving he will be a key target inside 50 this year for the Power.

 

Geelong Falcons 6.7 (43) defeated by Bendigo Pioneers 13.8 (86)

By Michael Alvaro

Geelong:

#1 Jay Dahlhaus

Dahlhaus put in a typical shift, using his pace to zip around the forward half and lay a bunch of tackles. With five inside 50s for the game, the diminutive forward found space around the arc and created scoring opportunities at a good rate. His creativity and damage going forward by foot made up for not hitting the scoreboard himself, but he should look to build on his haul of 12 disposals.

#8 Charlie Lazzaro

The bottom-ager was quiet early on, but built well into the game as the Falcons midfield began to break even after quarter time. Attending a wealth of centre bounces, the sub-180cm midfielder already has a sound clearance game and reads the taps well. Lazzaro also showed glimpses of decent vision to find targets long by foot, and had a good passage of play in the third term streaming through the corridor with a one-two play.

#36 Charlie Sprague

Marking his Falcons return with midfield minutes as promised, Sprague looked comfortable at the centre bounces and won a few nice clearances in the first half. But as was the case throughout last year, he did his best work while employed in the forward half – despite only finishing with the one major. Sprague used his body well to take some strong one-on-one marks and shrug his opponents when taking the game on. He could well have finished with multiple goals but could not quite find an end product to his work. A memorable highlight was his contested mark coming from behind a pack in the third quarter, which we should see more of this season.

#40 Jesse Clark

While the co-captain was his side’s leading ball winner with 24 disposals, a lot of his influence came on the back of the Falcons defence being under the pump for large chunks of the game. Clark rebounded typically well though and was effective by foot, providing a cool head in the back half. Plenty to build on for the Falcons leader.

#41 Cooper Stephens

The coaches looked to have provided onlookers with a mouth-watering match-up as Stephens lined up on Brodie Kemp in the first few centre bounces, but he received plenty of attention from other Bendigo mids during the contest. The co-captain picked up from where he left off last year, covering the ground well to impact the stoppages, balls inside 50, and defensive rebounds. With exactly half of his 22 disposals being handballs, Stephens’ typically brilliant use by hand stood out early on and became a feature. He showed good intent in-close, and while is not the quickest off the mark, tried his best to burst from the contest to add to his inside game.

#46 Henry Walsh

The bottom-aged ruckman took on Aaron Gundry and more than held his own over four quarters with a game-high 19 hitouts. A surprising part of Walsh’s game was his ground work, following up for five clearances among his 11 disposals. While he makes some typical ruckman-like mistakes, there is plenty of promise for the brother of Carlton gun, Sam.

 

Bendigo:

#1 Sam Conforti

Conforti was good in bursts, and contributed well to Bendigo’s early onslaught. The bottom-ager took the game on and while he was caught holding the ball in the opening quarter, was not deterred. The 173cm Pioneer also took an impressive mark sitting under the ball in defensive 50, but showed the most when zipping through traffic with twists and turns.

#4 Thomson Dow

Dow was arguably Bendigo’s best, offering a huge amount of drive going forward and creating a number of scoring opportunities in an awesome first half. A well weighted looping handball in the first term yielded a goal, and Dow’s best work was done coming into the forward 50. With a game-high 28 disposals, Dow won the ball at will and was strong in the stoppages, adding goals to his game as well with two – the last of which came after a strong contested mark on the siren, and his teammates got around him.

#8 Brodie Kemp

In combination with Dow, Kemp was terrific at stoppages and broke the lines well to damage the Falcons going forward. Kemp’s steps through traffic and ability to dispose effectively with opponents near made him crucial to Bendigo’s form, with the second term his clear best. His contested marking was also handy, looking strong under duress and pulling in two for the day. There’s not much to say that won’t be said throughout the year, hopefully Kemp continues to show his silk on the ball.

#20 James Schischka

The smooth-moving rebounder was an asset across half-back for the Pio’s, moving past opponents and kicking well to set his side up. Schischka was trusty by foot and played the typical quarterback role, accumulating with ease through the course of the game and linking up through the corridor dangerously at times.

 

Northern Knights 11.7 (73) defeated by Western Jets 12.8 (80)

By Taylah Melki

Northern Knights:

#1 Lachlan Potter

Potter showcased his electric speed throughout the game and was a real key player down back, credit to his ability to read the play. He rebounded out of defence and used his speed to run through the middle of the ground to open up the field of play up and then buttered up with a good outlet kick to a leading player. He contested hard to win the ball and impressed with his follow up work across the ground. Potter was solid throughout the game and showcased his good sidestep and evasive skills to manoeuvre around his opponent. He applied a really strong tackle in the second quarter to win himself a holding the ball call and worked tirelessly to stop the attacking flow of his opponents.

#5 Josh D’Intinosante

He had a few good passages of play in the second quarter, pressing hard inside forward 50 to create scoring opportunities. D’Intinosante roved the packs well and contributed with a few handy tips and handballs off to passing teammates. He took a big contested mark in the third quarter just outside the goal square, quickly played on and dribbled a goal through to push the lead out for the Knights. He read the flight of the ball well and got into strong positioning to apply attacking pressure and used his long kick to move the ball forward and try and trap the footy inside.

#7 Ryan Gardner

Gardner was involved early in the contest, getting hands to ball and working well at the stoppages. He made his presence felt around the contest and was clean out of the centre bounce helping to propel the ball forward for the Knights. He showcased his footy smarts breaking free and going for a shot at goal but was unable to capitalise only registering a behind.

#8 Adam Carafa

Roved the packs well and got into a good position to steady and snap at goal to keep the Knights in the game in the second quarter. Carafa was constantly involved in the contest flicking out quick handballs at the stoppages and using his footy smarts to hit up leading targets. He contributed to the scoreboard as well, nailing a good goal in the second quarter.

#11 Ryan Sturgess

Sturgess impressed for the Knights throughout the game with his hard work at the contest, running ability and clever use of the footy. He was clean and effective with ball in hand and showcased his good vision and footy smarts to know when to go across the face of the field and open the ground up. His clever kicks into space allowed teammates to run onto it and create more options. He displayed his strong hands and took a heap of impressive contested marks throughout the game. He ran hard and attacked the footy at the stoppages, releasing teammates with good handballs. Sturgess kicked a goal from directly in front about 30 meters out credit to his good lead up at the footy and showcased his strong hands to take a nice contested mark in the forward 50. He slotted his second goal of the game in the fourth quarter striking the ball nicely.  

#13 Sam Philp

Showed good composure and footy smarts to gather the ball, break away from the pack, steady and then kick for goal. Philp impressed with his quick hands around the contest and ability to find a target throughout the game. He worked tirelessly across the field and applied plenty of pressure on his opponents to try and win the ball back for his side.

 

Western Jets: 

#7 Daly Andrews

He is strong around the hips showcasing his ability to shrug off tackles and kept the arms free on multiple occasions to dish off a handball to a teammate. Andrews displayed his clean hands in and around the contest and showed good vision to look beyond the congestion and find a teammate. He laid plenty of strong tackles in the defensive end and was never from the contest working hard to win the footy. Had a really impressive passage of play in the fourth quarter, taking the ball out of the centre and then running to the 50 nailing a piercing kick to a teammate in front of goal. Bombed the ball forward from a stoppage on the wing and helped to propel the Jets forward in the last term.

#18 Emerson Jeka

Read the flight of the ball well and showed his ability to track the footy on the ground inside forward 50 to trap it in. Jeka nailed his only goal in the second quarter after shrugging off a tackle and recovering to slot a major from about five meters out. He worked hard to win the footy and stay in the contest whenever the ball came into the forward 50 for the Jets.

#20 Darcy Cassar

Laid a strong tackle in the first quarter to win a free kick for his side and pushed hard to create a lead and link up play across the field. He impressed with his clean hands and good vision to hit up teammates and applied plenty of both defensive and attacking pressure on the opposition. Cassar was constantly involved in the contest working hard around the stoppages to move the ball into space.

#24 Josh Honey

Showed real class in the fourth quarter to gather the ball, go for a run along the boundary line and then slot an impressive goal on a tricky angle. Honey impressed with his clean hands, ability to hit up teammates and vision to kick into space. He proved to be a real ball magnet and was an important link up player across the field.