Tag: jye menzie

Team of the Week: NAB League Boys – Round 7

IN the most evenly spread Draft Central Team of the Week thus far, every match provided four players from the NAB League Boys Round 7 competition. With Gippsland powering to a big win over Calder, the Power had three players to the Cannons’ one, however every other game the teams were split evenly with two apiece. There were plenty of goals kicked by medium sized players, while a number of defenders had big numbers and some strong performances from inside midfielders also saw them make the cut.

Gippsland’s trio that made the side were captain Brock Smith off half-back, Sam Flanders in midfield and Riley Baldi on the bench who was also influential around the stoppages. Calder’s Jacob Martin also found plenty of the ball despite the defeat and slotted into the midfield. Bendigo Pioneers’ Sam Conforti won our Draft Central Player of the Week for Round 7 and is named in the centre alongside fellow nominee for the award, Jay Rantall from the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. Their teammates in the side are defender William Wallace (Bendigo) and mid-forward Toby Mahony (GWV).

On the other wing is Eastern Ranges overager Cody Hirst, joined in the side by Zakery Pretty who is enjoying a big year in midfield. Their opposition was Sandringham Dragons, as Miles Bergman and Ryan Byrnes made the 24-player squad as well. Tasmania also provided two players with match winner Jye Menzie and teammate Sam Collins represented in the team up either end. Holding down the other key defensive post is Geelong Falcons’ Jesse Clark, in the side with bottom-age forward Oliver Henry. Their opponents on the weekend were Murray Bushrangers, which provided full-forward Hudson Kaak (five goals) and Cam Wild who was impressive through the midfield.

In the other games, Dandenong Stingrays’ regular Hayden Young made the side again, as did Ned Cahill up forward, while their opponents Western Jets had ruck Will Kennedy and forward Eddie Ford in the team. The remaining players in the side come from the Northern Knights who were victorious over GWV Rebels, as Lachlan Potter‘s form continued, in the team with Team of the Week regular, Josh D’Intinosante.

Scouting notes: NAB League Boys – Round 7

WITH NAB League proceedings back to the norm, performances were even across the board, but a few players managed stand out in a mixed bag of results. Our scouts cast eyes across all six games in Round 7, and here are their opinion-based notes on players included in the initial Victoria Country and Metro squads, as well as those pointed out by respective talent managers.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Murray Bushrangers
By: Peter Williams

Geelong:

#12 Noah Gribble

The bottom-ager had a solid game playing along the wing and winning the ball on the outside. At half-back he had a clean turn and spin, grabbing it off one touch and despite finding himself under pressure, spun out and gave off the clean hands to a teammate running forward. He affected a Will Chandler kick inside 50 with good pressure forcing him to rush, while mostly ran hard on the outside and used the ball well while doing the defensive things right.

#37 Oliver Henry

A great finisher around goal who works really hard up the ground. He goes on long searching leads and often can win the ball in midfield or even at half-back, before running hard forward doubling back on his opponent to create an outnumber forward of centre. He is strong overhead and is good on the lead, and had a great moment in the opening term, faking a step on the right to kick on the left in board to Tom Richardson leading out. He was a little ambitious at one stage in the third term, crashing through multiple players before getting caught, but finished the term with a soccer off the ground after pushing hard then doubling back once the ball went over his head. Took a great mark late in the game and kicked an easy consolation goal, finishing the match with three majors and strapping across his face from a blood nose.

#40 Jesse Clark

Not as prolific as his usual self, Clark was playing defensive roles on his opponents, spending time on players such as Zane Barzen in defence. He swallowed up anything that came his way, but the Bushrangers made a conscious effort to avoid him where possible given his prolific rebounding skills. He still managed to provide rebound out of defence and was strong overhead, just did not get it on a silver platter as much with the Bushrangers smarter kicking inside 50.

#46 Henry Walsh

Did not win much of the footy, but still competed in the ruck. Was beaten by the more experienced Ben Kelly, but applied good defensive pressure at ground level. Laid some strong tackles following up from his hitouts to nullify the ball at stoppages and had an impressive clearing punch at one stage in the third term at half-back.

 

Murray:

#3 Ben Kelly

His form this season is arguably the best of any 19 year-old tall and that continued on the weekend against inexperienced rucks. He not only gets the hitouts, but follows up with clearances and tackles, and most importantly is able to take the game on without being a liability. He has a quick few steps and can sidestep opponents but does not overdo it, and uses hands to draw an opponent and handball clear to a teammate. Along with his above average athletic traits, Kelly was able to manhandle his opponent in the third term, throwing him out of the way, grabbing the loose ball and getting his hands free to pass to a teammate. His second efforts were exemplified in the final term when he dropped an intercept mark he should have taken, but quickly followed up cleaning it up and handballing quickly to a teammate.

#5 Cam Wild

Just a workhorse. Wild finds the ball with ease on the inside or outside and he wins a lot of his touches from outrunning his opponents. His pressure at ground level is very good and he finds space to receive the ball on the flanks. In one instance in the second term, Wild won the ball at half-back, got it to the wing, ran past multiple teammates looking for the handball, was ignored, kept running, crumbed a forward stoppage and kicked a running goal. His opponent from the original play just could not go with him and because he ran so far, disrupted the opposition set-ups. He gets separation on his opponents and is a solid user of the ball.

#6 Will Chandler

Played the role of leading forward and did it well. Set up a goal to Hudson Kaak early in the game, and kicked one of his own. Kept working up the ground and winning the ball then sending it inside 50. Almost kicked a second goal earlier in the game but snapped and missed because he was being dragged down.

#7 Zane Barzen

The overager played one of his best games for the year, leading out at the footy and creating some headaches for the opposition defence. Kicked a goal in the second term with a snap around his body, then kicked a second major from a free kick set shot 35m straight in front in the third term. Had a couple more shots in the fourth quarter but one went to the left and just missed and the other went out to the right and fell short. Was strong overhead though which was a promising sign.

#12 Lachlan Ash

The potential top five pick stood out in this game with his class and ball use by hand or foot. He took the game on when in defence, and in the second half spent time up forward and through the midfield. He has an ability to produce the unbelievable by foot, kicking across his body between opponents to hit up a teammate inboard and open up the corridor. Got a free kick for being infringed in a marking contest at one stage such was his impact in the air. Kicked a goal off the ground just before three quarter time, and narrowly missed a set shot which drifted to the right in the fourth term. Not as big statistical numbers as in the past, but played multiple roles rather than just his dominant half-back rebounding role.

#14 Jye Chalcraft

Got better as the game went on and finished as one of the most prolific ball winners on the ground. You do not always notice his impact unless you are watching carefully because he fires out quick handballs to teammates while under pressure, able to work out time and space with good vision. Worked hard on the inside of the contest and then runs into space to provide an option. Did not have a heap of forward chances because of the inside work, which deserved a tick today.

 

Western Jets vs. Dandenong Stingrays
By: Michael Alvaro

Western:

#3 Eddie Ford

The explosive bottom-ager has a good knack of getting involved up the ground from half-forward, and this game was no different as Ford worked hard to win 10 marks around the ground among his 20 disposals. He constantly looked to move the ball on, but Ford was often held up on the mark which saw him resort to handing off to runners or kicking short. While he called for the ball in odd areas at times in the defensive half, it only showed Ford’s want for the ball and his good work rate. Took a strong mark on the line against two Stingrays opponents to turn a certain behind into his first goal, while adding another in the final term to cap off a solid day. Is so clean overhead and below his knees, definitely one to watch going into 2020.

#7 Daly Andrews

Andrews was named the Jets’ best, and showed a greater contested output with almost 60 per cent of his 17 disposals won in the contest. Attending most of the centre bounces and stoppages across the day, Andrews won a handful of clearances and pushed Western forward as he usually does, pitching in with a classy goal after side-stepping Dandenong gun, Hayden Young. Andrews’ kicking was clearly impacted by his high contested ball rate, but he was much more productive by hand and flicked it out well to teammates in the clinches. Would be pushing for mid-season draft selection, but still has areas to improve on.

#20 Darcy Cassar

Cassar assumed his usual role across half back, acting as a designated kicker on the rebound and accumulating the ball well across defensive 50. He affected the drop of the centre bounces when running in hard off the back flank, and often positioned himself a kick off the ball when it was further afield. Cassar looked a little unsure of whether to stick with his opponent or guard territory in those situations, but is clearly building into the new role. Was caught holding the ball in the first term, but that did not stop him from breaking the lines going forward and taking the game on as the Jets looked to stay in the game. Cassar is a natural player and also looks comfortable forward, but can sharpen his defensive acts – highlighted by his marking attempt from behind inside defensive 50, and his low tackle count. A solid outing, and finished with a game-high 29 disposals.

#24 Josh Honey

Honey was down on his usual output in this game, but came into it with a couple of neat touches. While he struggled to generate his usual running game, Honey’s presence came in the form of five clearances and some good defensive pressure throughout, which led to a Dandenong turnover early on. Honey also moved forward in the second half and while he showed promise with a nice mark inside 50, could not quite find the goals in his time there.

#47 Will Kennedy

The over-ager has shown good promise in the ruck after moving from Sandringham, and continues to improve in his work around the ground. As a slightly more mature body, Kennedy competes well in the ruck and won 22 hitouts, but impressed more with his work at the drop to find a good amount of the ball and lay some hard tackles. A particular highlight came in the first quarter where Kennedy followed up a dropped mark to effect a smother inside 50 and keep the ball in dispute.

 

Dandenong:

#2 Hayden Young

Young was his usual self across half-back, racking up a team-high 27 disposals as well as an equal game-high seven rebound 50s and five inside 50s. Ever the damaging player, Young kicked 77 per cent of the time at 76 per cent efficiency, but fell short with a few lower-distance passes by foot. Young mopped up well in the defensive half, using his clean hands to gather at ground level and quickly dispose of the ball to good effect. Young was also given the freedom to push forward well in a high Dandenong press, and had to opportunity to hit the scoreboard with a set shot early on. A contribution we have come to expect, but still always impressive.

#10 Clayton Gay

The exciting bottom-ager mixed his time between a deep forward position and up on the wing, but looked most dangerous inside 50. Kept Cassar accountable in the forward half early on and even caught him holding the ball with a terrific tackle, while later contributing a major on the back of a contested mark in the goalsquare. Looked to take it on when playing up the field, and while he is not a high accumulator, always garners attention when on the ball. One to watch for next year.

#11 Ned Cahill

One who continues to rise in my eyes, Cahill returned another eye-catching display in this game. Positioned mostly inside 50, Cahill was isolated against his Western opponent and out-worked him to find space around goals – kicking two majors in dispute during the first quarter and another couple from set shots in the last. It proved good reward for effort given Cahill’s ability to find space, and he could well have finished with a couple more goals to make it a true day out. The way Cahill plays taller than his height would suggest makes him a versatile threat inside 50, and he is certainly one who will look to prove himself further in the National Championships.

#18 Mitch Riordan

Over-ager Riordan has built a good case to be picked up in the mid-season draft after an interrupted top-age year, and was damaging from stoppages around the ground in this outing. Riordan’s run from congestion was great to watch, with an explosive first five steps allowing him to break forward quickly and dispose of the ball effectively in more space, while also flicking out handballs well. Repeat efforts in-close helped him tally his 25 disposals, including five clearances, but Riordan also contributed well in handball chains – using his pace to good effect.

#20 Sam De Koning

De Koning switched roles in this game with fellow tall, Nyuon, trading his time between the forward line and ruck to prove his versatility and get a different look. He started one-out in the goalsquare, but caught the eye more with his leap in the ruck early on. Took a couple of handy marks leading up to the ball, but missed early chances on goal which he later rectified with a sole major. Looks to still be learning and refining all areas of his game, and has a good athletic base.

#24 Bigoa Nyuon

Nyuon was thrown back, where he played a lot of football for the Stingrays last season. Opposed to man-mountain Aaron Clarke at times, the St Kilda NGA prospect was competitive in overhead contests and followed up well at ground level to provide calm use out of defensive 50. Made a nice run forward after a clean sweep of the ball on his defensive arc, getting it back at the opposite 50 to deliver inside. Can dominate games if he can continue to snap up big marks, but is still improving at both ends.

#50 Lachlan Williams

Was by no means a high accumulator, but Williams looked lively whenever he got on the ball. Moves forward so well from the wing and is an aggressive runner, which was encapsulated well by his second-quarter goal on the fly after a running bounce. Also took a nice overhead mark early on which caught the eye, and could have added another goal in the last term.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Tasmania Devils
By: Michael Alvaro

Bendigo:

#1 Sam Conforti

The bottom-ager was best-afield in a busy outing on the wing, earning him the Draft Central Player of the Week nod. While he was most influential in the first and last quarters, Conforti worked hard all day on the outside to provide a releasing option along the outer of Queen Elizabeth Oval, finding a heap of space time after time. Prepare for the inevitable Caleb Daniel comparisons, as the diminutive left footer oozes class with neat kicks and is hard at it in the contest with a low centre of gravity. He looks a much better kick on the run, using his vision and smarts to find targets others cannot – much like in the second term where he hit up James Schischka for a goal with a clever 90-degree kick. Impressed with a couple of overhead intercept marks in the final term, and finished off his day with a nice goal after sidestepping his opponent.

#19 Ben Worme

Worme started a little shakily but found his feet as the game wore on. He accumulated well, usually on the opposite wing to Conforti, and was smart in his positioning when the ball was set to come out of his side’s forward 50 – intercepting from two occasions, with one resulting in a missed shot on goal. Was let down somewhat by a combination of his decision making and execution, but had the right idea as he often looked to go inside with his kicks in particular. A solid outing.

#20 James Schischka

Schischka was a solid contributor, and looked a decent marking threat when played inside forward 50. On top of converting two set shot goals in his time forward, Schischka’s best moments came in traffic where he would often shrug off opponents and keep his head in crises with handballs out to receivers. Moved into the midfield late on, but found his second major after an impressive overhead mark in the goalsquare from a set shot which fell short, putting the Pioneers in front.

 

Tasmania:

#3 Oliver Davis

It was an indifferent display from Davis, who was a constant at the stoppages. While he tackled ferociously and was solid in the clinches, many of his kicks were hacked forward and he looked rushed in possession at times. One of his better kicks found Cohen Stephenson inside 50 to give him a set shot chance, and Davis even hit the scoreboard with a clutch free kick conversion to snatch back the lead in the final term. Can polish up areas of his game, but has a good physical base and finds the ball.

#13 Sam Collins

Played the role of sweeper in the back half well, mopping up cleanly and providing efficient rebound when given time. While many of his short kicks were effective, Collins was another who missed a couple on the back of acts under pressure – with one cross-goal ball almost leading to a turnover goal. Looked much better in space with handball receives, and certainly has potential.

#25 Jackson Callow

Arguably Tasmania’s leading bottom-age prospect, Callow mixed his time up forward and through the ruck, competing well in both areas. Almost made an ideal start when he won a contested ball at ground level deep inside 50, but dribbled to an opponent in the goalsquare. Callow’s lead up marking to the 50 and clunks overhead were a feature, with the big-man often wheeling around quickly to deliver forward. While he did not quite find the goals himself, a spearing ball to Jye Menzie gifted his side one, and Callow played an important overall role for the Devils.

#31 Jye Menzie

Menzie ended up being the hero of the day, converting a set shot after the siren to give Tasmania a miraculous win. While he was quiet early on, Menzie came into the game in the second term when he won a free kick one-out, putting through the resultant set shot. Booted another in the third quarter and crucially contributed two more in the final term, with a shimmy giving him his third and the game-winner his fourth. Finds space inside 50 well and looks most dangerous there, proving to be a clinical finisher when given the opportunity.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Northern Knights
By: Cameron Ross

Northern:

#1 Lachie Potter

Really like him. He is lightning quick and damaging off half back. Question marks over his kicking, but he is dangerous enough with the handball to be effective. Rebels clued onto how damaging he was when receiving handballs, and marked him tightly, but still was a positive influence on the game, and one of the best Knights on the day.

#5 Josh D’Intinosante

Copped a whack in the face in the second quarter, but it didn’t stop him. Very clean, and was really damaging across the half forward line where he was consistently hitting up leading forwards for scoring opportunities. Really smart player, who was rarely beaten at ground level and was crucial in the Knights’ second half dominance.

#11 Ryan Sturgess

The young defender was another who was very reliable all game, and even snuck forward for a long goal on the run in the final term. Seems to be a very nice size, and has enough pace that he could play on the smalls as well. I’m not sure if he had a direct opponent or not all game, as he seemed to easily find a lot of the ball.

 

GWV:

#3 Toby Mahony

Kicked three nice goals, and was a presence in the air and around the all game. Took a really nice mark up forward, after floating in from the side and crashing the pack, and topping it off with a goal.

#8 James Cleaver

Very reliable down back, and I’m not sure he was beaten one on one all game. Took a couple of nice intercept marks, and limited McMahon to only the one major.

#10 Matty Lloyd

Had a couple of very flashy moments. Made a defender look foolish with clever side step, and drilled a shot at goal that just missed. Quiet through patches but others were quieter. Left the game late with a calf injury, hopefully cramp?

#13 Jay Rantall

Best player on the ground. Key in the Rebels moving the ball effectively out of the backline and midfield and one of the few players who wanted to take the game on and make the play instead of just kicking to a pack. His link up run and intelligent handballing were extremely impressive, and broke the game open. Good overhead, good below his knees, and hit most of his targets on the day. 10/10 game.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges
By: Joe Lee

Sandringham:

#5 Ryan Byrnes

The zippy midfielder continued his strong form, finishing with a team-high 28 disposals and five inside 50s. Byrnes trademark explosive burst out of the stoppage was on show all day, easily manoeuvring his way past his Eastern opponents and driving the ball long inside 50. Used the ball well when others let themselves down in this department and never stopped trying. Byrnes looks a well-rounded prospect, who covers the ground well and is adept at winning the ball from the inside of the contest and utilising his speed to run and carry the ball. Overall was outstanding for the Dragons and was just about their best player.

#6 Miles Bergman

The big-bodied midfielder was solid for the Dragons, using his strength and frame to win the ball in the clinches. Had a quiet first half with only six touches but worked well into the game, finishing with 18 disposals, five marks, and a goal. Used the ball well and his first reaction to hit a target inside the corridor on show all day, with a number of his kicks hitting up a teammate in space. Worked hard all day and improved as the game got tighter.

#15 Angus Hanrahan

Starting on the wing, the top—ager showcased his signature class and polish but also his two-way running in another strong performance. Finishing with 27 disposals and nine marks, perhaps the most telling stats for Hanrahan was his four rebounds and six inside 50s, highlighting a willingness to work both ways for the Dragons. Kicked a show-stopping goal on his opposite foot from the boundary and would’ve had a day out had he taken two opportunities running into the goals in the second and last quarters. Was a class above in the first half and was the leading disposal winner at the main break but drifted out early in the 4th when the game was in the balance. Sound performance from the wingman and is building a strong case to be selected in the mid-season/end of season draft.

#28 Riley Bowman

The athletic ruck-forward was solid for the dragons, amassing 18 hitouts to go with 15 disposals and three inside 50s. Had a quiet first quarter but lifted from then on, which included a chase down tackle in the Dragons forward 50 that resulted in a shot on goal. Moves well around the ground and hits the contest hard, both in the air and on the ground. Was sometimes out-muscled by the bigger Riley Smith in the ruck but overall probably had more influence on the game around the ground than his Eastern opponent.

#30 Andrew Courtney

Courtney had a solid day down back for the Dragons with a multitude of spoils and one—percenters that often halved or won 50-50 contests. Only had 8 disposals and was used around the ground with 11 hitouts in the ruck and a stint up forward, Courtney was thrown around the ground which may have hurt his impact. The 200cm prospect needs to improve his disposal numbers and could have more influence in the air if he got both hands to the ball rather than opting for the safety of a spoil. positions himself well in defence and engages his opponent early, using his strong frame to move them under the ball then bringing it to ground.

#32 Jack Bell

The ruck-forward was workmanlike for the Dragons, generating a goal from 13 disposals, eight hitouts, and seven marks. Had a strong first half before dropping away with only three disposals in the second half but the skinny prospect did some nice things, taking some strong contested marks. Often let himself down by playing on and being tackled and needs to work on being quicker with ball in hand, often taking too long to give off a handball or a kick. Was a good performance from the agile prospect.

#33 Corey Watts

The close-checking key defender was serviceable again for Sandringham, having more effect as the game wore on. Shows desperation in defense, often coming off his direct opponent to influence the contest but needs to do more, not having a touch in the first half. Finished with 11 disposals and four rebounds and showed he has the capabilities to become an aerial threat, taking two big pack marks late in the fourth quarter and driving the ball long out of the Dragons defense. if he can do this more consistently then Watts will become a stronger asset to the Dragons defense.

#43 Jake Bowey

The red-haired midfielder was productive for the Dragons, showcasing his elite speed and evasiveness across the whole game. Failed to hit the scoreboard but played predominantly on the wing, finishing with 23 disposals. Was often tackled and thrown around due to his small stature but did some eye-catching things, including leaping for a huge mark and following up to earn a free kick. Produces fantastic repeat efforts and has a large pressure factor. Is smart with ball in hand and uses it effectively on his left boot, the bottom-ager is one to watch out for.

 

Eastern:

#7 Lachlan Stapleton

Stapleton was huge for the Ranges, winning 23 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal. Had the ball on a string for the second half and led the Rangers to victory, kicking a clutch goal in the third term from about 45 metres out on a tough angle and on the wrong side for a left footer. Works tirelessly on the inside and spreads hard on the outside. Didn’t put a foot wrong all day and was a huge reason for the Ranges win.

#13 Jamieson Rossiter

The power forward was strong target all day for Eastern, clunking eight marks to go along with 15 disposals. Did not hit the scoreboard (one behind) and did cough up a few kicks inside 50 but tried hard and set up a Connor Downie goal that ended up being the match winner.

#17 Cody Hirst

The smart wingman ran hard all day, with most of his 31 disposals being won in the Eastern back half (six rebounds). The impressive midfielder possesses clean hands and skills, always finding a target by foot even when there seemingly is no option. On a day where most players opted to kick it long down the line or bomb it inside 50, Hirst’s clever ball use stood out. Covers the ground with ease and loves to take a bounce. Hirst had a huge last quarter and willed his team over the line.

#18 Billy McCormack

The mobile tall forward started the game strongly, kicking a goal off the ground after halving an aerial contest, bringing the ball to ground and beating two Dragons defenders. Has an accurate field kick and was a good lead up target out of defence and in attack. On a day where key forwards struggled McCormack was solid, rounding out his day with 1.2 from 12 disposals.

#20 Connor Downie

The smart bottom ager had his best game for the year, with his match-winning goal capping off a 25-disposal, seven-inside-50 and six-mark effort. Was consistently strong all day, combining with Hirst on the wing to provide rebound off the half back line and efficient use inside 50. Very clean under pressure and rarely fumbles, Downie ran hard all day and was a headache later in the piece for the Dragons, who struggled to contain Eastern’s outside midfielders.

#21 James Ross

The general in defence, Ross was prolific for the Rangers, intercepting multiple Dragons inside 50’s with his strong hands, and providing damaging rebound. Capped off a sound performance with 24 disposals, nine marks, and nine rebounds to be the best defender on the ground. Set up the Rangers defensive structures and was consistent throughout, often playing as the loose man. In the Rangers top few players.

#49 Riley Smith

The 199cm ruckman had a tough day. With the Dragons rotating Bell, Courtney, and Bowman in the middle, Smith shouldered the majority of the ruck duty for Eastern, capping off a strong performance with 10 disposals and 23 hitouts. Used his bigger and more developed frame to outmuscle opponents and the Eastern midfielders lifted in the second half thanks to Smith’s solid tap-work.

 

Gippsland Power vs. Calder Cannons
By: Peter Williams

Gippsland:

#4 Sam Flanders

Flanders was one of Gippsland’s best on the day, playing in the forward half and having a crucial role in extracting the ball from stoppages and pumping it inside 50. He took a great one-on-one mark in front of goal in the first term and booted a goal from the set shot. Flanders took a number of marks when leading outside of the forward 50, missing a shot later in the game, but was a consistent four quarter performance.

#6 Riley Baldi

Baldi continued his strong form this season since returning from injury with some hard running throughout the match. He often teamed up with Fraser Phillips when kicking inside 50, giving him a number of score assists, including a late goal. One trait that was noticeable with Baldi was his lightning quick hands, able to scoop the ball off the deck with one-touch and handball to a teammate running past without his teammate breaking stride. Had a couple of shots on goal but finished with two behinds.

#10 Leo Connolly

Had a few nice passages of play along the wing, creating run out of defence, often picking up the loose ball and kicking down the line. His kicking was neat and smart throughout the game, and he spread into space taking plenty of marks while being the outside mover to complement Gippsland’s array of inside bulls.

#12 Brock Smith

Another super performance from the defender who patrolled the backline and gobbled up everything that came his way in the first term as despite Calder having double the inside 50s. Smith’s remarkable first team saw him have 14 disposals and five marks, more than half of his total touches by the end of the game. While the Cannons used the ball better after quarter time, Smith still remained involved in the contest, showing good closing speed opposed to Josh Kemp, laying a great tackle to nullify the contest. Also loved the argy bargy with a few things to say to Kemp on the wing after being tackled. Another highlight came late in the third term with a long-range goal which got the team up and about.

#15 Ryan Sparkes

Played his usual game through the middle, roaming between the arcs and getting free to win plenty of the ball in space. He also went in when he had to winning his fair share of his own ball, while getting the ball forward to advantage. He spread well and broke up play using sharp, short kicks.

#16 Josh Smith

Had a big start to the day, booting two goals in the opening term despite copping a knock to the face. Shared the ruck load with Charlie Comben and while he was quieter after quarter time, still had a number of inside 50s to put pressure on the opposition defence.

#17 Charlie Comben

The big man had a consistent four quarter effort playing through the ruck, leading up at the football when in attack, getting back and assisting his defence when in the back half, and winning his fair share of hitouts through the middle. He had a set shot in the second term but his shot fell short in the goalsquare. Comben showed good defensive pressure for a tall, laying some fierce tackles on opponents. Promising signs.

#19 Fraser Phillips

Kicked four goals for the game, including two in the final term – one coming after the siren. He had another chance from a snap tight on the boundary but missed, and then gave one off to a teammate instead of having a shot. Played almost exclusively inside 50 in the match and provided the Power with a target throughout the game. Has that excitement factor about him.

 

Calder:

#1 Daniel Mott

Mott was his industrious self on the weekend, playing an inside role at stoppages and along with Jacob Martin, was one of only two players to reach double-figure contested possessions. He was not able to get the time and space he normally would and thus resulted in some rushed kicks. Nonetheless he was one of Calder’s best, extracting from the stoppages and pumping the ball long, then dropping back in defence and getting it clear from the danger.

#5 Curtis Brown

Kicked Calder’s first goal in the second term after winning a free and launching a set shot from outside 50, easily making the distance. Had some nice touches at half-forward, using the ball neatly and trying to get the ball moving in the Cannons’ favour.

#30 Josh Kemp

Had a few good moments in the first half including an intercept mark at half-forward and showed clean hands leading up at the football and was clean with his disposal off the bounce. Received a 50m penalty in the third term and kicked the Cannons’ only goal of the quarter, but otherwise was quiet in the second half.

#38 Brodie Newman

A quieter game compared to his recent form, but Newman still won his fair share of touches in the back half. His work rate and on-field leadership were noticeable, running well off half-back and intercepting a number of early Gippsland forward thrusts. Tried to keep his side alive and the ball moving. Had a team-high seven rebounds and was the key general back there.

NAB League Boys wash-up: Round 7 – Ranges prove their top four credentials

A BUMPER weekend of NAB League action saw the Eastern Ranges stamp their authority in a top-four clash, while Dandenong continues to lead all-comers and Gippsland powered into third. With thrillers and blow-outs making up a mixed bag of results, here is the Round 7 wash-up.

GEELONG FALCONS 3.3 | 5.7 | 8.7 | 10.11 (71)
MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 3.1 | 6.3 | 11.4 | 14.8 (92)

GOALS:
Geelong: O. Henry 3, C. Karpala 2, T. Richardson 2, C. Seymour, K. Rayner, C. Brauer.
Murray: H. Kaak 5, Z. Barzen 2, D. Clarke 2, C. Wild, E. Baxter, K. Chalcraft, L. Ash, W. Chandler.

BEST:
Geelong:
C. Brauer, J. Clark, S. Ham, O. Henry, K. Rayner, L. Smith
Murray: C. Wild, J. Chalcraft, H. Kaak, K. Chalcraft, B. Kelly, T. Matthes

By: Peter Williams

Red-time goals in the first three terms helped the Murray Bushrangers record their second win of the season, overcoming a determined Geelong Falcons outfit by 21 points at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Falcons looked on top early in each of the terms, taking leads, before Murray struck late, particularly in the second and third terms, where they booted the last seven goals of the second and third quarters (three last in quarter two and four last in quarter three) to remarkably head into the breaks in front. Trailing by 16 points with three and a half minutes remaining in the second term, it looked like Murray would head into the change rooms pondering how to step up their game. But three goals in as many minutes left the visiting crowd stunned and excited at the same time as they took a two-point lead into half-time. In the third term, Geelong came out firing booting three of the first four goals, and when Oliver Henry split the big sticks, Geelong had a nine-point advantage. Murray piled on four goals in the last seven and a half minutes to not only hit the front, but head into the last break with a 15-point lead. A three goals to two final term saw the Bushrangers secure the win, 14.8 (92) to 10.11 (71). Cam Wild was again the top disposal winner with 27, using his hard running to work his way along the wings, also booting a goal after running from half-back winning a touch and finishing off nicely. Jye Chalcraft relished his inside role with 26 disposals and eight clearances, while Dylan Clarke had 23 disposals, six clearances and five inside 50s. Up forward, Hudson Kaak had a day out leading from the square, booting five majors from 15 disposals and seven marks. For Geelong, Charlie Harris worked hard for 21 touches, five marks, three clearances and five tackles, while Chas Karpala laid a game-high 11 tackles to go with his 20 disposals and two goals. Henry was also prolific up forward, snagging three goals from 16 disposals and seven marks working up the ground, while Sheldon Ham had 17 disposals, four marks, five inside 50s and six tackles in the loss.

 

WESTERN JETS 2.4 | 4.5 | 5.10 | 6.10 (46)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 4.4 | 7.9 | 9.10 | 16.13 (109)

GOALS:
Western: E. Ford 2, A. Clarke, J. Horo, D. Andrews , A. Manton
Dandenong: E. Cahill 4, L. Williams 2, D. Popa 2, J. Neal, C. Ellison, K. George, M. Gregory, C. Gay, M. Haywood, S. De Koning, J. Toner

BEST:
Western:
D. Andrews , W. Kennedy, E. Ford, J. Horo, N. Reynolds, D. Cassar
Dandenong: R. Orchard, E. Cahill, H. Young, B. Schmidt, M. Riordan, S. De Koning

By: Michael Alvaro

Dandenong Stingrays sit atop the NAB League ladder for a second-consecutive week, stamping their authority with a 63-point win over the Western Jets. Despite leading from the twelfth minute-mark and having the better of general play, the reigning premiers were kept within striking distance by a combative Jets unit, holding an 11-point lead at the main break. With the margin stretched slowly to an even four goals at three-quarter time, it was all Dandenong in the last as they piled on seven majors to cruise home to victory. The Stingrays had stars on each line, with Ned Cahill (19 disposals, six marks, 4.2) electric up forward, Hayden Young (26 disposals, seven rebound 50s) making the play down back, and midfielder Mitch Riordan (25 disposals, five clearances) dominant at the stoppages to put his hand up for mid-season draft selection. With Reece Orchard (13 disposals, nine tackles) named best for the ‘Rays, Daly Andrews (17 disposals, seven tackles, six clearances) earned the same honour for Western and showcased an improved inside game. Darcy Cassar was again the Jets’ leading ball-winner with a game-high 29 disposals, while dynamic bottom-ager Eddie Ford was dangerous in the forward half with 20 disposals, 10 marks and 2.1. While the Jets sit inside the top eight at 3-3, Dandenong’s undefeated record remains in tact on the back of their fourth-consecutive victory. Both sides are set to travel next round, with Western away to Geelong, and Dandenong travelling down to Tasmania in an historic fixture.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS 0.1 | 3.4 | 6.6 | 11.8 (74)
TASMANIA DEVILS 3.5 | 4.5 | 7.9 | 11.10 (76)

GOALS:
Bendigo: J. Ginnivan 2, J. Schischka 2, S. Conforti 2, J. Dick-O’Flaherty 2, J. Hickman, B. Vaz, R. Clarke
Tasmania: J. Menzie 4, R. Mansell 2, B. Gordon, O. Davis, C. Stephenson, I. Chugg

BEST:
Bendigo:
S. Conforti, W. Wallace, S. O’Farrell, J. Treacy, J. Hickman, J. Ginnivan
Tasmania: J. Steele, J. Menzie, R. Mansell, L. Viney, E. Jackson, B. Gordon

By: Michael Alvaro

Tasmania Devils got up in a thriller in Sunday’s first fixture, edging the Bendigo Pioneers by two points at Queen Elizabeth Oval. While the scoreboard tells a story of the travelling side leading at every break on the way to their win, the Devils relinquished a game-long lead at the 15-minute mark of the final term on the back of three-straight Bendigo goals, only to snatch it back twice – with Jye Menzie kicking truly after the siren to enact the final and telling lead change. A fast start from Tasmania proved the difference, and some, with the Pioneers playing catch-up after giving up a 22-point quarter time deficit. Sam Conforti earned a Draft Central player of the week nomination and was named Bendigo’s best for his game-high 30 disposals and two goals, with William Wallace (16 disposals, seven marks, five rebound 50s) good from defence and Jack Ginnivan (27 disposals, two goals) also productive. Menzie was clinical in front of goal with 4.0 from 12 disposals, but Jake Steele (13 disposals, 17 hitouts) was named best for the Devils. Ben Simpson (22 disposals) was their leading ball-winner, while Ethan Jackson was not far behind with 21. Both sides are set to host next week, with Tasmania clashing with Dandenong in the Apple Isle, while Bendigo faces Sandringham in Echuca.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER 3.2 | 3.5 | 10.7 | 12.12 (84)
CALDER CANNONS 0.4 | 1.6 | 2.8 | 4.9 (33)

GOALS:
Gippsland: F. Phillips 4, T. Baldi 2, J. Smith 2, H. Pepper, S. Flanders, B. Smith, M. McGannon.
Calder: J. Cardillo, C. Brown, J. Hotchkin, J. Kemp.

BEST:
Gippsland:
S. Flanders, B. Smith, R. Baldi, F. Phillips, J. Smith, T. Baldi
Calder: J. Martin, D. Mott, N. Gentile, F. O”Neill, J. Hotchkin, C. Brown

By: Peter Williams

An impressive seven goals to one third term set Gippsland Power up for a big 51-point win over Calder Cannons at Morwell Recreation Reserve on Sunday. In overcast conditions with a strong wind, Gippsland played to the home ground advantage perfectly, booting the first three goals of the game, before a Curtis Brown long bomb in the second term finally broke the Cannons’ drought. Having not conjured up a goal in the second quarter and leading by just 11 points at the main break, Gippsland decided to up the ante, piling on seven goals in the term, with only a 50m penalty and subsequent goal from the square to Josh Kemp being the Cannons’ only saving grace in the quarter. The last quarter was similar to the first two in the sense it was mostly defensive and inaccurate as the Power booted 2.5 to 2.1, as Fraser Phillips booted a couple of late goals to help Gippsland to a 12.12 (84) to 4.9 (33) victory. Phillips was impressive up forward with four goals from 12 touches and four marks, but captain Brock Smith was superb with 28 disposals, seven marks, two tackles, six rebounds and a team-lifting goal from outside 50 in the third term. Sam Flanders was just as good around the ground, having 24 touches, four marks, five clearances, five inside 50s, five tackles and booting a goal, while Riley Baldi continued his great form with 26 disposals, six marks, five clearances and three inside 50s. He also booted two behinds, not as accurate as his brother who made his two scoring shots count, booting two majors as well as 12 disposals, four marks and six tackles. For the Cannons, Jacob Martin had another big day out with 33 disposals, 10 clearances, seven marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds, while Daniel Mott picked up 25 disposals, six clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds. Ned Gentile (16 disposals, six marks and three tackles), Fergus O’Neill (15 disposals, five marks and four tackles) and Josh Hotchkin (29 hitouts and a goal from six touches) were all named among the best for Calder in the loss.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 3.3 | 6.4 | 7.7 | 9.8 (62)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2.3 | 5.4 | 9.8 | 14.10 (94)

GOALS:
GWV: T. Mahony 3, I. Grant 2, M. Martin 2, I. Thomas, J. Rantall
Northern: S. Brazier 3, S. Philp 2, B. Nikolovski 2, L. Potter, B. Major, Z. Costello, C. Barbera, J. D’Intinosante, L. Mcmahon, K. Davies

BEST:
GWV:
J. Rantall, J. Wright, T. Mahony, M. Martin, J. Cleaver, J. Tillig
Northern: L. Potter, S. Philp, J. D’Intinosante, N. Howard, C. Barbera, C. Simonsen

By: Michael Alvaro

Northern Knights turned a six-point half time deficit into a 32-point away win over the Greater Western Victoria Rebels to extend its victorious streak to three. While the Rebels got the better of the opening stages, the winners managed to stay within reach and struck after half time with over-ager Sunny Brazier central to the comeback with 2.1 in the third term. A five-goal final quarter sealed the win and a comfortable margin, with the Knights finding some form after a down opening month. Lachie Potter was again best-afield for the Knights with a damaging 16 disposals, while Ryan Sturgess sured up both ends with his team-high 26. Josh D’Intinosante also found the goals and plenty of the ball, with Sam Philp (19 disposals, two goals) returning to the side to good effect. Jay Rantall played a blinder for GWV, racking up 36 touches (seven clearances, six inside 50s) to be his side’s best. Toby Mahony and Jack Tillig had 20 touches each to be thereabouts, with the former also contributing three goals in a solid display. Mitch Martin was another ball-winner to hit the scoreboard with his two goals from 18 disposals, but the Knights midfielders were often given first use on the back of Nathan Howard‘s 28 hitouts. Both sides are set to play on neutral territory next week, with Northern playing Oakleigh and the Rebels facing Gippsland.

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 4.2 | 4.7 | 6.9 | 6.10 (46)
EASTERN RANGES 3.2 | 4.4 | 6.5 | 8.7 (55)

GOALS:
Sandringham: K. Yorke 2, J. Cowden, M. Bergman, J. Bell, A. Hanrahan
Eastern: J. Tilly 2, L. Stapleton, B. McCormack, M. Brown, B. White, C. Downie, M. Zalac

BEST:
Sandringham:
M. Bergman, R. Byrnes, C. Watts, J. Bowey, J. Bell, T. Milne
Eastern: C. Hirst, L. Stapleton, J. Ross, J. Hourihan, J. Nathan, J. Rossiter

By: Joe Lee

Onlookers were treated to an enthralling contest down at RSEA Park, with finals aspirants Eastern Ranges grinding out a nine-point win against a gallant Sandringham Dragons. In a tough and uncompromising affair where polish and poise lacked, grit and determination made up for. With the margin at each break never being more than a goal, both teams fought out to the death, with the Ranges breaking away in the final minutes to record a clutch win. Sandringham led at every break and won the inside 50 count 53 to 44, but failed to capitalise on ample opportunities, often bombing the ball in long where it was intercepted by Jack Ross, who was outstanding for the Ranges. Whilst the Dragons midfield, led by Ryan Byrnes and Miles Bergman, seemingly won the clearance count, it was the Ranges outside midfielders Cody Hirst and Connor Downie who delivered the ball to the Ranges forwards with class. Eastern proved the stronger team for longer, willing themselves over the line with some classy use and heroic defensive acts, placing them in the upper echelon of the ladder, with Sandringham rueing missing some straight-forward opportunities that were missed.

Tasmania monthly wrap: Tassie’s finest mix it with the best

IT has been a busy month in Tasmanian football, with the very best Under 18 boys and girls competing against talent from across the Country. Locally, both Lauderdale and Glenorchy have made undefeated starts to their Tasmanian State League (TSL) seasons, while the TSL Women’s kicked off on ANZAC Day with a big win for the reigning premiers. All that, and more in this month’s Tasmania football wrap.


DEVILS BEGIN NAB LEAGUE LIFE

The Tasmania Devils Under 18 representative team has been introduced to the NAB League Boys and Girls competitions over the past month as part of the league’s nation-wide expansion, with the boys already picking up a win on home turf and the girls completing their two-game cameo. Below is a wrap of how both sides fared in each game.

NAB League Boys:

Round 2 

Sydney Swans Academy 7.14 (56) defeated Tasmania Devils 6.6 (42)

Goals: W. Harper 2, J. Menzie 2, J. Callow, N. Baker
Best: J. Chaplin, O. Davis, S. Collins, L. Gadomski, J. Steele, M. McGuinness

The Devils endured a tough introduction to their NAB League campaign, but fought to the end in a 14-point loss to the Swans Academy. The home side led all day in Blacktown, gradually pushing out the lead despite inaccuracy in front of goal to build a 26-point buffer heading into the final break. The Devils rallied late to push a potential comeback, but their three final-term goals were not enough to bridge the gap in what was a low-scoring affair. Will Harper and Jye Menzie each put two goals on the board, with hulking key forward Jackson Callow adding one to ensure bottom-agers contributed five of Tasmania’s six majors. Nicholas Baker was the other Devil to find the goals, while overlooked North Melbourne Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect Matthew McGuiness led the ball-winning stakes with 27 disposals. Ruckman Joseph Chaplin beat him out to best-afield honours with his 20-disposal and 25 hitout effort, while bottom-aged stars Sam Collins (22 disposals, nine rebound 50s) and Oliver Davis (19 disposals, six tackles) impressed at either end of the ground alongside midfield ace Mitch O’Neill (21 disposals, nine tackles, six inside 50s).

Round 3

Northern Territory 6.8 (44) defeated by Tasmania Devils 13.14 (92)

Goals: J. Callow 5, W. Peppin 2, M. McGuiness 2, J. Menzie, J. Hennessy, R. Mansell, J. Chaplin
Best: M. O’Neill, J. Callow, L. Viney, R. Mansell, J. Steele, O. Burrows-Cheng

Tasmania Devils claimed its first win as a full-time NAB League side at the second time of asking with a thumping 48-point win over the Northern Territory Thunder Academy. With the game played on neutral ground at the Holden Centre in Melbourne, the Devils were made to travel for a second-consecutive week, but the four points ensured this one was much more fruitful. It was all-Tasmania after the Devils conceded a quarter time defecit, booting four goals in each of the remaining three terms to romp to victory. Jackson Callow put his name in lights with a starring five-goal performance from 19 disposals and eight marks, adjudged to only be bettered by Mitch O’Neill‘s 35-disposal effort. Jake Steele was again amongst the best, with over-ager Rhyan Mansell (23 disposals, seven inside 50s, one goal) and hard-working midfielder Oliver Burrows-Cheng (17 disposals, seven tackles) also thereabouts. National Academy memeber Will Peppin and Tyler McGinniss joined Callow as multiple goal kickers with two apiece, while Matthew McGuiness (18 disposals, five rebound 50s) and Oliver Davis (22 disposals, six inside 50s) again found plenty of the ball at either end.

Round 4

Tasmania Devils 10.3 (63) defeated Calder Cannons 7.9 (51)

Goals: J. Callow 4, J. Hennessy 2, J. Menzie, R. Mansell, P. Walker, W. Peppin
Best: J. Callow, O. Shaw, J. Chaplin, R. Ashlin, L. Gadomski, J. Steele

The firsts continued in Round 4 for the Devils as they overcame a persistent Calder Cannons outfit by 12 points to register their first win on home turf. After a stalemate first term saw the sides only manage a behind each, Tasmania burst to life with five goals to one setting up a 21-point half time lead. Despite their best efforts, the depleted Cannons could not overcome the Devils as they hung on for a second-consecutive win in front of adoring home support in Penguin. Jackson Callow continued his hot form, with his 16 disposals, eight marks and four goals this time enough to claim best-on honours from defender Oscar Shaw (17 disposals, 12 marks). Jake Steele (24 hitouts) was named in the best for a third-straight week for his role as an undersized ruck alongside Joseph Chaplin (17 disposals, 23 hitouts), with the injury-hampered Lachlan Gadomski (20 disposals, six marks) returning his best game to date. Bottom-ager Patrick Walker and over-ager Nicholas Baker led all-comers for disposals with 24 each, as the former also managed to find the goals in a solid outing. 

Round 5

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

Goals: T. Penwright, I. Chugg, L. Gadomski
Best: O. Burrows-Cheng, P. Walker, M. McGuiness, B. Gordon, L. Viney, O. Shaw

Tasmania’s winning streak was snapped by the Western Jets after a week off from NAB League duties, with the Devils going down by 47 points in Launceston. The home ground advantage did not prove as telling for Tasmania this time out, though signs were promising early on. The Devils booted the first goal of the game through debutant Isaac Chugg and dominated general play in the first 10 minutes, but a lack of scoreboard pressure allowed Western to find their way to a quarter time lead. The Jets did not let up after that, scoring consistently in each quarter to eventually overpower the hosts and claim take the four points back to Melbourne. Oliver Burrows-Cheng was named best for the Devils on the back of his 22 disposals, six tackles and six inside 50s in a combative display, while Patrick Walker was this time recognised for leading the disposal count (25) with a slot in the best six players. Matt McGuiness (16 disposals) and Oscar Shaw (11) stood up alongside Walker in defence to also be named in the best, while Bailey Gordon matched his disposal count of 25 as another to play well. Lachlan Gadomski and Tyler Penwright joined Chugg as the Devils’ only goal scorers on a dirty day, with the absence of bottom-age Academy members and star man Mitch O’Neill proving telling in the defeat. 

NAB League Girls:

Round 7

Western Jets 5.8 (38) defeated Tasmania Devils 0.1 (1)

Goals: Nil
Best: E. Brickhill, E. Dixon, A. Prokopiec, H. Smith, M. King, A. Clark

Much like the boys, the Tasmania Devils girls encountered a tough introduction to the NAB League, going down to the tenth-paced Western Jets in a goalless Friday night outing. The home side goalled in every quarter to build the eventual 38-point winning margin, with best-afield Devil Ellen Brickhill (14 disposals) finally getting Tasmania on the board in the final term with a behind. 2018 Allies representative Mia King was Tasmania’s leading ball-winner with 16 disposals, named in the best alongside Brickhill, Amy Prokopiec (14, eight rebound 50s) and Angelica Clark (10 disposals). Skipper Hailee Baldwin also had a steady start, collecting nine disposals and laying two tackles. 

Eastern Ranges 3.3 (21) defeated Tasmania Devils 2.4 (16) 

Goals: H. Breward, B. Oates
Best: H. Smith, B. Oates, M. King, C. Lovell, P. King

The Devils followed up a disappointing opening game with a much-improved effort against the finals-bound Eastern Ranges, narrowly going down by five points. After leading the tight tussle at quarter, and three-quarter time, Tasmania looked on course for an unlikely upset victory – only for it to come unstuck via a late Serena Gibbs goal for Eastern. 19-year old Hayley Breward scored the Devils’ first ever NAB League goal, joined later on by Brianna Oates, who was named in the best for her 12 disposals. Mia King again led the disposal count as the only Devil to crack the 20-mark, with Killarney Morey the next best on 13. Hannah Smith was adjudged Tasmania’s best for her 12-disposal and four-mark effort, while Perri King had another 10 disposals in the midfield. Again not the result the travelling side was after, but plenty of development and the experience gained would have the Devils label the weekend an overall success. 

 

DEVILS SHINE ON NATIONAL STAGE

With state representative honours now a weekly theme for those in the Tasmania Devils squad, four Apple Isle products got the chance to go a step further and represent their nation this month.

After suiting up for Tasmania in three NAB League outings, midfield ace Mitch O’Neill had the honour taking part in the AFL Under-18 Academy showcase game against VFL side, Casey Demons at the MCG. The annual match, which this year feautured the best talent from across the country, allows the next crop of hopefuls to shine on the big stage against AFL and VFL-listed players. O’Neill contributed 11 disposals, six tackles, four clearances and a goal in a positive display, playing a key hand in the second half as the Academy side rolled over the top of Casey. The North Hobart product played in with typical Tasmanian spirit, putting his head over the ball on numerous occassions against bigger opponents and working hard throughout the game.

In the other annual national showcase, O’Neill’s bottom-age Devils teammates Jackson Callow (North Launceston), Sam Collins (North Hobart), and Oliver Davis (Clarence) took on New Zealand’s open-age side at Marvel Stadium on ANZAC Day weekend. The Under 17 Australians proved too strong for their cross-Tasman rivals in the Adelaide v. St Kilda curtain raiser, picking up a thumping 77-point win. All three played important roles in the win, and along with O’Neill will soon return to NAB League duties with Tasmania ahead of Allies squad selection. Callow had 10 disposals and four marks, as well as three tackles while running at 70 per cent efficiency. Collins stood up in defence with 10 touches at an elite 90 per cent efficiency as well as five marks and two tackles. Davis was a prominent player in the midfield, racking up 21 disposals at 71 per cent efficiency with less than three quarters on the filed, while taking six marks, three clearances and seven tackles in the win.

 

LAUDERDALE TOPS TSL

Lauderdale and Glenorchy boast perfect records after five rounds of TSL action, with the former topping the table having played an extra game. Reigning premiers North Launceston sit third with three wins after going down in a Round 4 grand final rematch, with Launceston a game behind them at 2-3, and Tigers (1-3) rounding out the top five as Clarence and North Hobart languish at the base of the ladder with no wins thus far. The Southern Bombers’ early-season form is merely a continuation of their late-season run in 2018 which cultimated in a grand final appearance from fifth, and they look the team to beat going into their first bye. North Launceston can spoil their nearest rivals’, Glenorchy’s, winning run when they clash at UTAS Stadium this weekend, while one of North Hobart or Clarence will claim its first win (barring a draw) as they meet to open Round 6. Glenorchy’s Aiden Grace tops the goal kicking and Player of the Year charts with 15 in four games, including a bag of five against North Hobart, with Blues player-coach Mitch Thorp the next best goal kicker with 13 on the back of his six-goal haul against the Demons. Northern Bomber Brad Cox-Goodyer is another who continues to find the goals, starting the season in good form, with ex-Hawk Kieran Lovell performing for Tigers. Lauderdale’s Sam Siggins joins Grace with six votes in the Player of the Year race, while Lovell, Jobi Harper (Launceston), Josh McGuinness and Haydn Smith (both Lauderdale) are all tied on five votes after excellent starts to the season.

 

NEW-LOOK TSLW KICKS OFF

An expanded TSL Women’s competition kicked off on ANZAC Day, with reigning premiers Glenorchy picking up where it left off with a 10.13 (73) to 1.0 (6) win over Tigers in Round 1’s only fixture. Magpie Nietta Lynch was instrumental in the vcictory with half of her side’s 10 goals, while Paige Flakemore booted Tigers’ only goal for the game. The season continues this week as all six sides are set to participate in a Gala Day at UTAS Stadium, with competition newcomers Lauderdale and North Launceston commencing proceedings at 11:00am in what should be a cracking showcase of Tasmanian female football.  

 

In AFL-related news, Tasmanian products Chayce Jones (Adelaide) and Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne) each made their debuts at the highest level, with both impressing in respective roles forward of centre. Closer to home, Launceston was treated to a cracking match of AFL football between Carlton and Hawthorn, with the Hawks staging a remarkable second-half comeback to topple the Blues by just five points.

NAB League Boys Round 4 preview: Changes galore as NAB League goes national

ROUND 4 of the NAB League Boys sees established Victorian Metropolitan sides both play host and traveler as five clubs steel themselves for clashes against the Northern Academies, while the Country clubs each have a bye. A Saturday double-header sees both Sydney academies hit Sandringham, while the Queensland academies are set to host a game each at Southport on Sunday, and Calder becomes the first side for the year to cross Bass Strait and battle Tasmania.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GWS GIANTS ACADEMY
Saturday April 13, 10:45am
Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval – Sandringham

Northern Knights and GWS GIANTS Academy open Round 4 as sides still searching for their first win in season 2019. This bout acts as the Giants’ first experience in playing against established NAB League Boys opposition after losses to the Sydney and Brisbane academies in Rounds 2 and 3. For Northern, while the chance to showcase talent that would otherwise miss out during the year will be the number one priority, wins are at a premium and a 0-4 start would not be ideal. With the core ripped out of their side due to Vic Metro trial game commitments, the Knights have plenty of players who will be looking to consolidate a spot in the underperforming starting lineup. 19-year old Northern Blues listed Sunny Brazier is one of them, and should form a handy midfield trio alongside Sam Philp and Lucas Perry. Speaking of, the Giants have a few in-form ball winners of their own – with star Tom Green leading the way from Jeromy Lucas and Matt McGrory. An inexperienced and largely bottom-aged Knights defence will also have its hands full with dynamic Liam Delahunty, who has been in good goal-scoring form. With one side depleted and the other looking to prove themselves, this should prove to be a close encounter.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. SYDNEY SWANS ACADEMY
Saturday April 13, 1:15pm
Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval – Sandringham

Sandringham will be looking to maintain its perfect start to season 2019 as it hosts the Sydney Swans academy to close out Saturday’s proceedings. Like many of the metro sides, the Dragons have a raft of key outs as trial games roll into town, with at least 14 changes from last week’s side that beat Oakleigh. With their typical midfield core out, the likes of Jackson Voss and Angus Hanrahan will get the opportunity to run through the middle, while Riley Bowman is sure to take up more rucking responsibility. AFL family connections Jai Florent and Jeremy Goddard also slot in at either end as noticeable ins, but Sydney has arguably the most important inclusion of the round. Errol Gulden is set to suit up for his second game of the year, looking to have the likes of Braeden Campbell and Jackson Barling bounce off the electricity he brings. A change of structure looks imminent with Josh Rayner named at half-back, while the promising Ky McGrath will slot in as 23rd man. With the Dragons’ depth set to be tested on this rare occasion, look for the Swans to come out firing, with some serious talent running around on each line.

GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
Sunday April 14, 10:45am
Southport Oval

Best placed Academy side Gold Coast SUNS welcome NAB League Boys premiership fancies Oakleigh Chargers to the Sunshine State, looking to maintain its winning record. While the Suns downed NT and Brisbane in their first two games, Oakleigh suffered its first loss for the year against Sandringham last time out and will hope to rectify it this week. With perfect conditions forecasted, it is as good a chance as any for the Chargers to showcase their brand of football. The Suns have proven their worth though, and the likes of top-end midfield duo Connor Budarick and Ashton Crossley will have a big say on proceedings. The clinical Josh Gore is also in good form, and is sure to cause headaches for the Oakleigh depth alongside Hewago Paul Oea. Chargers over-ager Joe Ayton Delaney is one who remains amid the 11 changes, and should have a good battle with Budarick as another zippy midfield type. While many of the big names are missing, Oakleigh’s second-string is arguably as strong as some sides’ starting line-up, so they will stand every chance of jumping on the plane home with a win.

TASMANIA DEVILS v. CALDER CANNONS
Sunday April 14, 11:30am
Penguin Oval – Tasmania

Tasmania is set to play on home turf for the first time this season, hosting Calder Cannons at Penguin Oval. The Devils are the best placed side with one win, sitting pretty in ninth after toppling NT in Round 3, while Calder also got on the board last week with a win over Western. While six changes is nothing to scoff at for the Cannons, they will remain relatively steady coming into this game, travel aside, with a solid bunch of 19-year olds looking to contribute. Josh Kemp leads the pack alongside Mason Fletcher, with Tye Browning showing glimpses of why he was picked to return thus far, and top-ager Harrison Minton-Connell another likely type in midfield. The hosts will feel they have answers on each line though, with Jackson Callow one who may well keep Fletcher busy, while Matt McGuinness and Sam Collins have been good across half-back, Jye Menzie and Will Harper likewise up the other end, and Mitch O’Neill leading all-comers in midfield. With the whole state behind them, Tasmania will look to take full advantage of a good hand and streak to a second-straight win, but it will not be easy against the Cannons.

BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY v. EASTERN RANGES
Sunday April 14, 1:15pm
Southport Oval

Eastern Ranges will be hoping to make it three-straight NAB League Boys wins as it travels north to face the Brisbane Lions Academy in the second game of Sunday’s double-header. The Lions went down in last week’s Q-Clash, but hold a Round 2 win over their GWS counterparts, while Eastern has soundly beaten Western and Northern to shape as one of the surprise packets so far. With nine outs named, the Ranges will be stretched thin in combating their weekend travel, but will have solid contributors across the park. 19-year old James Blanck comes in to stake his claim, with forward pocket duo Chayce Black and Joshua Tilly showing good form thus far. The Lions have some eye-catchers, with Bruce Reville a clear standout last week, while Will Martyn will look to lift and join Tom Griffiths in finding a wealth of possessions. Good conditions should greet the sides, which should make for decent viewing on stream for those watching at home. A couple should really catch the eye, so look for those smooth movers in the hosts’ lineup.

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN TERRITORY
Sunday April 14, 2:30pm
Downer Oval – Williamstown

A clash between Western Jets and Northern Territory Thunder is set to close the round out, with the travelling Thunder still looking to get on the board in their NAB League Boys stint. After Western snatched a win in Round 1 over Northern, both sides have lost over the last two weeks with a crushing defeat handed to them each. The Jets remain the most steady of the Victorian sides coming into this weekend with only four outs, but they are all key players at that. Still, the likes of Aaron Clarke and Archi Manton have found the goals well, and over-ager Daly Andrews should catch the eye through midfield. For NT, Stephen Cumming looks to be coming along nicely after teasing for Dandenong last year, while the likes of Joel Jeffrey and Maurice Rioli Jr have provided moments of magic. Joel Budarick and Ben Jungfer are ball-winners also sure to catch the eye, though the conditions at Downer Oval may prove difficult for all. A good opportunity rises for the Thunder, but the Jets proved in Round 1 that they will not go down without a fight.

Weekend preview: NAB League Boys – Round 3

WITH a landmark Round 2 come and gone, Round 3’s set of fixtures delivers another nine games and another nine opportunities to observe the best talent from across the nation as the Northern Academies and Tasmania settle into NAB League proceedings. With a Sandringham double-header on Saturday and Bendigo triple-header on Sunday, settle in for some non-stop Under 18 action.

Northern Knights v Eastern Ranges
Saturday April 6, 9:45
Trevor Barker Beach Oval

Northern Knights host Eastern Ranges on neutral ground to open the round and Saturday’s double-header at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. The Knights are still without a win in 2019 after going down narrowly to Western and more comfortably to Sandringham, while Eastern come in 1-1 after toppling the Jets last week. Lachie Potter returns to the side after missing through injury, and will look to provide run on the outside of in-form Northern ball winners Adam Carafa and Sam Philp. While Potter gives the Knights’ defence more dynamism, the Ranges have brought in 19-year old Vic Metro representative James Blanck to sure up the back six – not that it has been particularly leaky. Further afield, Eastern’s Mitch Mellis will hope to build on his Round 2 Draft Central player of the week performance, with the midfield combination of Lachlan Stapleton and Cody Hirst effective so far. Both sides will see this clash as a good opportunity to pick up a win, with the Knights especially keen to get on the board as quickly as possible.

GWS GIANTS Academy v Sydney Swans Academy
Saturday April 6, 11:00
Manuka Oval

The battle of the bridge comes to the NAB League as the GWS GIANTS and Sydney Swans academies prepare to do battle in Canberra. While the Swans had a winning start to NAB League life, GWS will look towards this opportunity to get on the board having gone down to academy counterparts, Brisbane in Round 2. The Swans have been dealt a major blow as star of their opening game, Errol Gulden has been named as an out, with fellow bottom-ager Pierce Roseby set to slot right into his place. Samuel Thorne is one who can also pick up the slack alongside the likes of Jackson Barling and Kyle McKellar after good performances last week, and the midfield battle will be a cracker. Leading Giants prospect Tom Green showed his class last week and will hope to overwhelm the Swans mids, while the dynamic forward combination of Liam Delahunty and James Peatling should cause some headaches for the Swans. This is certainly one to watch with some high-end academy prospects running around, and should be a good contest to boot.

Brisbane Lions Academy v Gold Coast Suns Academy
Saturday April 6, 12:00
Yerong Football Ground

The academy state derbies continue as the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS academies play off in an Under 18 Q-clash up in the sunshine state. Both Round 2 winners, the sides will be playing off for bragging rights before testing themselves against established NAB League opponents. A potential midfield match-up between Gold Coast’s Connor Budarick Brisbane’s Will Martyn should be a belter, as would a shootout between Suns goalsneak Josh Gore and Lions forward ace Tom Wischnat – who bagged seven collective goals last week. With plenty of forward runners in either lineup and sunny conditions an forecasted, this fixture should well and truly attract some eyes, and will be as good an opportunity as ever for each side’s top-end talent to showcase their skills – or even use as preparation for future AFL Q-clashes.

Sandringham Dragons v Oakleigh Chargers
Saturday April 6, 12:15
Trevor Barker Beach Oval

The game of the round hits Trevor Barker Beach Oval as Metro premiership fancies, Sandringham and Oakleigh play off in what could well be an early season finals dress rehearsal. Both sides come into the game at 2-0 as the top two on the ladder, but the Dragons should come in as favourites given they hold home ground advantage and have won more comfortably thus far. The home side backed up a Round 1 shellacking of Calder with a solid win over Northern, while Oakleigh was tested last week against a fighting Calder side in tough conditions. With stars studded across each line for both teams, there will be no shortage of mouth-watering match-ups to grab the attention of recruiters. Sandringham’s forward line has been lethal so far, with Charlie Dean leading the competition for goals (nine), and fellow talls Riley Bowman and Jack Bell also pitching in. While they will no doubt trouble the visitors’ defence, Oakleigh’s midfield is set to feature three genuine top 10 draft pick contenders – with returning co-captain Trent Bianco joining Round 1 Draft Central Player of the Week, Noah Anderson, and the unflappable Matt Rowell. Over-ager Joe Ayton-Delaney also features in that midfield rotation, with he and Bianco able to join the back six or play on the outside. Recent AFL Vic Metro Academy squad inclusion, Nick Bryan will hope to continue his early-season run and provide his fleet with first use in the ruck, with Dylan Williams showing signs of clicking into full gear up forward. While Oakleigh’s midfield is arguably the competition’s best on paper, Sandringham’s engine room is proving to be right up there – as the likes of Jack Mahony, Ryan Byrnes, and Finn Maginness have formed a consistent ball-winning trio. Sandringham’s defence features a combination of aerial prowess and calm ball users, with Josh Worrell, Corey Watts, and Fischer McAsey versatile enough to tackle all sorts of forwards. With potential draftees littered across this game, it is simply a must watch – and the chance to watch this much elite talent most likely will not come until the National Championships.

Calder Cannons v Western Jets
Saturday April 6, 3:30
RAMS Arena

The winless Calder Cannons will have a point to prove when they meet Western Jets in another home fixture at RAMS Arena to close out Sunday’s games. Having been dealt a tough hand with their first two games being against premiership fancies Sandringham and Oakleigh, the Cannons showed marked improvement in Round 2 as they matched it with the Chargers for three quarters. On the other hand, Western suffered a comprehensive loss to Eastern after a promising Round 1 victory, so will be looking to pave a more consistent path as the season progresses. Calder’s tall defensive duo of Brodie Newman and Mason Fletcher will have their hands full with probably match-ups against Emerson Jeka and Aaron Clarke, while both sets of midfielders will hope to improve on last week’s outings – namely Western’s Josh Honey and Calder’s Daniel Mott, who have outstanding potential. Enigmatic Calder forward Josh Kemp is also set to be a factor, coming off three goals last week and hoping to build a case for the next level as a 19-year-old. The Cannons may surprise a few, but Western will hope it can get back on the winners list with an stronger output here.

Bendigo Pioneers v Gippsland Power
Sunday April 7, 10:00
Queen Elizabeth Oval

The season’s surprise packet to date, Bendigo Pioneers, will hope to keep its perfect record in tact when it faces Gippsland to open Sunday’s all-Country triple-header. The hosts have taken full advantage of retaining their top-end talent for the early-season proceedings, with Thomson Dow and Brodie Kemp leading the way well from midfield to provide an eye-catching mix of grunt and creativity. A thrilling win last week against Murray puts them in good stead at 2-0, with Gippsland on the wrong end of a tight loss last time out and coming in with a 1-1 record. Much like the Pioneers, Gippsland will hope to take advantage of having Caleb Serong free from school football and Vic Country commitments, but have a wealth of talent to see them through in any case. Ryan Sparkes has started the season well on the outside, with the powerful Sam Flanders mixing time in the midfield and forward line seamlessly, and over-ager Kyle Dunkley looking a much-improved prospect. With one side playing in a rare vein of form and the other looking to click into gear as most expect them to, this clash could well be right up there with the Sandringham and Oakleigh game for pure entertainment.

Dandenong Stingrays v Geelong Falcons
Sunday April 7, 12:30
Queen Elizabeth Oval

Dandenong Stingrays and Geelong Falcons take centre stage in the second QEO all-Country clash, with either side coming in on the back of polar opposite form-lines. While the reigning premiers have managed to scrape in for two six-point wins, the Falcons are one of four established NAB League teams still searching for their first win. Usual suspects are already appearing in the Geelong side, with co-captains Cooper Stephens and Jesse Clark continually standing up, while 19-year-old Charlie Sprague has also been lively thus far. The Falcons will unfortunately be without Jay Dahlhaus for what looks like being most of the season though, with the speedster partially tearing his ACL last week. On Dandenong’s end, Hayden Young is coming into form, with over-ager Mitch Riordan following suit in the midfield, while talls Bigoa Nyuon and Bailey Schmidt are also making a mark. With plenty of experience remaining from last year’s premiership side, the Stingrays will prove a tough test for Geelong as they look to bounce back by collecting a set of four points.

Northern Territory Thunder Academy v Tasmania Devils
Sunday April 7, 1:00
Holden Centre

Someone’s winless start will end when Northern Territory Thunder and Tasmania Devils take their talent to neutral ground in Melbourne, with both sides hoping to bounce back from defeats in their respective NAB League debuts. The Thunder is set to take an unchanged line-up to the Holden Centre, while Tasmania will have at least two fresh faces in the team this week with an extended squad named. The Devils fell respectably short of the Sydney Swans Academy last time out, with leading prospect Mitch O’Neill the standout alongside Matt McGuiness. They will be important once again alongside the running power of Sam Collins, while the versatile forward duo of Will Harper and Jye Menzie will hope to again combine effectively to help the Taswegians get on the board. Ben Jungfer was the NT’s clear best ball winner last week, and will play a key role against the Devils’ best, while twin tall pair Stephen and Matthew Cumming should again prove a handful wherever they are required. With plenty of speed set to come to the fore, expect some fireworks between two sides battling for their first win.

Murray Bushrangers v Greater Western Victoria Rebels
Sunday April 7, 3:00
Queen Elizabeth Oval

Murray Bushrangers and Greater Western Victoria Rebels are set to see out the round of action and Sunday’s QEO fixtures as they clash for regional bragging rights. While Murray have been unlucky not to snatch the win thus far – going down by a collective seven points in the first two rounds – GWV managed to get up by the narrowest of margins last week as they snatched a win from under the Falcons’ beaks. The Rebels have a number of triers who contribute well, with Jay Rantall and James Cleaver among the best so far, but they are set to lose key contributors Cooper Craig-Peters and Matty Lloyd for this week’s clash. On the other hand, Murray has named a handy inclusion, with over-ager Zane Barzen slotting straight into the forward line. With Will Chandler set to join him up there and Jye Chalcraft able to rest inside 50 from midfield duties, the Bushrangers’ look a dangerous prospect. Lachlan Ash and former-Knight Cam Wild have also gone about their business well as ball-winners, so should collectively provide some headaches for the Rebels midfield. With wins imperative as sides are at relative full strength, Murray will be keen to pick up four points here.

Weekend wash-up: NAB League Boys – Round 2

AN HISTORIC weekend of Under 18 football saw the northern academies debut in the NAB League, while competition new-comers Tasmania also participated after a Round 1 bye. With a couple of close games and boil-overs, this round of nine games certainly delivered on the hype.

SYDNEY SWANS ACADEMY 2.2 | 3.8 | 6.11 | 7.14 (56)
TASMANIA DEVILS 0.0 | 2.3 | 3.3 | 6.6 (42)

GOALS:
Sydney:
M. Sheather 2, E. Gulden 2, H. Parker, S. Thorne, C. Nash
Tasmania: W. Harper 2, J. Menzie 2, J. Callow, N. Baker

BEST:
Sydney:
E. Gulden, L. Parks, K. McKellar, J. Dol, M. Geddes, B. Campbell
Tasmania: J. Chaplin, O. Davis, S. Collins, L. Gadomski, J. Steele, M. McGuinness

Errol Gulden had a day out to lead Sydney Swans Academy to a 14-point victory on an historic Saturday of Under 18s football. Marking the first time a Northern Academy would compete in the NAB League and Tasmania’s return to the competition, the two sides fought out a low-scoring affair to open Round 2 and the Blacktown triple-header. After a relatively even first half, the Swans broke out to a 26-point lead at the final break to have the game all but won. The Devils had other ideas though, and double their score in the fourth quarter, but the gap proved too far to bridge as the home side sealed its victory. Gulden amassed 33 disposals, eight inside 50s, six marks, four rebounds and two goals in a complete game on the outside – and he is still only a bottom-ager. Marc Sheather was the only other Swan to bag multiple goals, while Will Harper and Jye Menzie each claimed two for Tasmania. Kyle McKellar was also effective for the Swans with 23 disposals and eight tackles alongside Braedon Campbell (15 disposals, eight tackles, 0.3) For the travelling side, ruckman Joseph Chaplin was close to best-on with 20 disposals, seven marks and 25 hitouts, followed by Matt McGuiness (27 disposals, seven marks, six rebound 50s) and Sam Collins (22 disposals, nine rebound 50s). While Tasmania moves on to a meeting with Northern Territory in Melbourne, the Swans will look to build on their win in a ‘Battle of the Bridge’ derby in Round 3.

GWS GIANTS ACADEMY 4.3 | 7.7 | 7.10 | 10.10 (70)
BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY 1.2 | 7.4 | 9.7 | 14.12 (96)

GOALS:
GWS:
L. Delahunty 3, C. Edwards 2, J. Moen, J. Peatling, M. Hamblin, L. Conlan, J. Lucas
Brisbane: T. Wischnat 4, C. Michael 2, N. Cumberland 2, C. Aston, T. Jeffrey, C. Bulley, E. Hunt, G. Sproule, W. Martyn

BEST:
GWS:
L. Delahunty, N. Murray, J. Lucas, T. Green, J. Peatling, M. McGrory
Brisbane: W. Martyn, T. Griffiths, B. Reville, N. Cumberland, B. Coleman, T. Jeffrey

The Brisbane Lions Academy overcame a half-time deficit to edge past GWS GIANTS Academy in the second game of Saturday’s academy triple-header. The hosting GIANTS started strongly with four goals to one in a fast opener, but were hit hard in the second stanza as the Lions piled on six goals to concede a slender three-point margin at the main break. In another game where bottom-aged players stood up, Brisbane’s Tom Wischnat booted four goals to be the leading forward, but it was midfield ace, Will Martyn (30 disposals, nine marks, five inside 50s, one goal), who was named the Queenslanders’ best. Bruce Reville was damaging with 16 disposals, eight marks, six tackles and five inside 50s, and N Cumberland (11 disposals, six tackles, six inside 50s) did well to conjure two majors. Liam Delahunty was terrific for the GIANTS and booted three goals, with Tom Green (29 disposals, seven inside 50s) their key ball-winner. While a Sydney derby awaits for GWS, Brisbane is set for a Round 3 Q-clash in Yeronga in what is set to be am exciting set of fixtures for the academy sides.

GIPPSLAND POWER 2.3 | 5.7 | 7.9 | 9.11 (65)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 3.3 | 5.4 | 8.7 | 10.11 (71)

GOALS:
Gippsland:
W. Papley 3, H. Neocleous 2, H. Pepper, M. McGannon, S. Flanders, C. Comben
Dandenong: J. Nanscawen 2, C. Weightman 2, E. Cahill, B. Nyuon, D. Smith, B. Schmidt, N. Heath, L. Goonan

BEST:
Gippsland:
S. Flanders, T. Hourigan, C. Serong, B. Smith, C. Comben, H. Pepper
Dandenong: C. Weightman, J. Toner, N. Heath, M. Riordan, H. Young, C. Gay

Dandenong secured a 2-0 start to the NAB League season, battling to a one-goal win over Gippsland at Morwell. Getting up in a game again decided by a goal or less, the Stingrays had just enough in the tank to run the Power over in the second half after being down by three points at half-time. The Power have been in close games to open the season, too, but were on the wrong side of this result to hold a 1-1 record. Will Papley bagged a game-high three goals for the home side, playing a good hand up forward with service from the likes of Sam Flanders(23 disposals, four marks, one goal), Kyle Dunkley (21 disposals, six tackles), and the returning Caleb Serong (21 disposals, nine tackles). For the winners, Corey Weightman was named best for his two-goal effort, with Hayden Young (21 disposals, five tackles) important in the final stages, and 19-year old Mitch Riordan (23 disposals, five tackles, five inside 50s) also good. Both sides are poised for another all-country clash in Round 3, with Gippsland travelling to Bendigo to face the Pioneers and the Stingrays playing Geelong in the game immediately after.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 5.1 | 5.3 | 8.4 | 9.9 (63)
BENDIGO PIONEERS 2.1 | 5.9 | 7.11 | 9.14 (68)

GOALS:
Murray:
W. Christie 2, J. Chalcraft 2, J. O’Dwyer 2, J. Hillary, J. Boyer, E. Hollands
Bendigo: M. Johnson 2, J. Atley, T. Dow, B. Kemp, J. Rodi, C. Vick, C. Fisher, E. Roberts

BEST:
Murray:
B. Kelly, J. Chalcraft, C. Wild, W. Quirk, J. O’Dwyer, J. Hillary
Bendigo: A. Gundry, T. Dow, B. Vaz, L. Fitzgerald, J. Atley, J. Rodi

Bendigo Pioneers finally claimed a win over the Murray Bushrangers after 15 years of trying, besting its fellow-country side by five points in a Saturday afternoon thriller. Murray started the better of the two sides with five first-quarter goals but the lead did not last long, with Bendigo surging ahead by a goal at half time – only to have to scrap back in the final quarter to snatch the win in a see-sawing affair. Thomson Dow (24 disposals, one goal) was again outstanding for Bendigo when it counted alongside Brodie Kemp (17 disposals, one goal), but both were beaten out to best-afield honours by ruckman Aaron Gundry (13 disposals, four marks, 18 hitouts). Ben Kelly‘s best-on performance for Murray meant both rucks had a ripping contest, with Cam Wild (30 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles, six rebound 50s) the Bushrangers’ best ball winner. Jye Chalcraft also had a big game with 26 disposals and two goals, and skipper Lachlan Ash matched his disposal feat. With the Pioneers hosting Gippsland as part of a Bendigo double-header, Murray is set to face GWV at home in search of its first win for season 2019.

GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY 3.5 | 8.7 | 9.8 | 12.10 (82)
NORTHERN TERRITORY 1.2 | 1.5 | 4.7 | 5.8 (38)

GOALS:
Gold Coast:
J. Gore 3, E. Dawson 2, M. Conroy, C. Budarick, M. Fraser, H. Rowles, M. Selsby, B. Reeves, H. Oea
Northern Territory: W. Derksen, M. Cumming, S. Cumming, M. Rioli Jnr, M. Cooper

BEST:
Gold Coast:
J. Gore, A. Crossley, C. Budarick, A. Davies, M. Pescud , C. Joyce
Northern Territory: B. Jungfer, M. Cumming, S. Cumming, J. Patrick, B. Lake, B. Rusca

Gold Coast Suns Academy rounded out the Bankstown triple-header with a comfortable 44-point win over Northern Territory to mark a successful NAB League debut. A strong first half set up the victory for the Queensland side, putting eight goals through while keeping the Thunder to just one to half time. While the Territory fought to make the scoreboard respectable in the second half, the damage had already been done and the SUNS rolled on to an impressive win. Josh Gore was dangerous up forward for Gold Coast to snare three goals as his side’s best player, while gun midfielders Aaron Crossley (27 disposals) and Connor Budarick (22 disposals, nine tackles, six marks, five inside 50s) tore it up further afield. Ben Jungfer was named best for the Thunder, collecting 31 disposals and six rebounds, while Stephen Cumming had 22 disposals to go with a monster 35 hitouts, and Matthew Cumming also fared well for his 12 disposals, five marks, and one goal. Northern Territory travel further south to Melbourne next week to take on Tasmania on neutral ground, while Gold Coast will be looking to go 2-0 with a win in their Round 3 academy Q-clash.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 3.2 | 6.4 | 9.9 | 12.10 (82)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2.2 | 2.3 | 4.5 | 5.9 (39)

GOALS:
Sandringham:
C. Dean 4, J. Mifsud 2, A. Hanrahan 2, D. Hipwell, J. Mahony, O. Lewis, J. Bell
Northern: C. Simonsen 2, Z. Costello, N. Kitchell, J. D’Intinosante

BEST:
Sandringham:
F. McAsey, N. Burke, J. Mahony, H. Ralphsmith, C. Dean, C. Watts
Northern: J. D’Intinosante, R. Uwandu, R. Sturgess, J. Davies, A. Carafa, N. Cox

Sandringham Dragons continued its perfect start to season 2019, putting in a consistent four-quarter effort to beat the Northern Knights on home turf by 43 points. Scoring three goals in each term while keeping the Knights to a maximum of two, the Dragons were simply too good across each line for the fighting Knights and slowly built their lead over the game. Charlie Dean was again a menace up forward for the home side, claiming 4.3 in a dominant forward display. The midfield combination of Ryan Byrnes (24 disposals, four tackles) and Jack Mahony (17 disposals, seven tackles, six inside 50s) was again effective for Sandringham, but Northern’s Adam Carafa was the leading ball-winner with 28, as well as a game-high 11 tackles. Josh D’Intinosante was not far behind in that stat with 10 of his own to go with 14 disposals and a trying 1.4 to be named his side’s best. Skipper Ryan Sturgess was also thereabouts in a busy backline, collecting 22 disposals and eight rebound s. With Northern opening Round 3 against Eastern in search of win number one, Sandringham is set to face Oakleigh in what looks to be an absolute belter between two 2-0 teams at Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

WESTERN JETS 0.1 | 2.4 | 4.4 | 5.4 (34)
EASTERN RANGES 6.7 | 8.11 | 12.14 | 13.19 (97)

GOALS:
Western:
E. Jeka, A. Clarke, Z. Christofi, K. Borg, J. Honey
Eastern: J. Tilly 3, M. Mellis 3, B. McCormack 2, J. Duffy, J. Clarke, J. Rossiter, L. Gawel, C. Black

BEST:
Western:
D. Cassar, J. Kellett, L. Rzanovski, K. Borg, Z. Christofi, L. Failli
Eastern: C. Hirst, M. Mellis, J. Nathan, L. Stapleton, J. Ross, Z. Pretty

Eastern Ranges got the upper hand in an East v. West battle, trumping the Western Jets by 63 points to see both sides move to 1-1. Signs were ominous early as the Ranges skipped out to a seven-goal lead at quarter time, holding it until half time and building on it in the second half. Mitch Mellis put in a performance good enough for a Draft Central player of the week nomination, collecting 35 disposals, five inside 50s and three goals. Joshua Tilly joined Mellis with three majors, while Lachlan Stapleton won 33 disposals (including 10 inside 50s) and Cody Hirst had 29 of his own. Darcy Cassar was best afield for Western on a dirty day with 31 disposals, nine rebound 50s and seven marks, while Josh Kellett was also handy with 20 disposals and 12 rebound 50s. The Jets will have a third crack at getting on the board next week in their meeting with fellow winless side, Calder, while Eastern is set to open the round against Northern in an interesting match-up.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 1.3 | 3.8 | 5.10 | 8.16 (64)
GEELONG FALCONS 2.2 | 4.3 | 9.6 | 9.9 (63)

GOALS:
GWV: D. McEldrew 2, J. Cleaver 2, I. Wareham, J. Rantall, I. Grant, M. Martin
Geelong: C. Karpala 2, M. Langan 2, J. Dahlhaus, M. Annandale, C. Stephens, S. Ham, H. Stubbings

BEST:
GWV:
J. Tillig, L. Herbert, H. Sharp, I. Wareham, J. Rantall, P. Glanford
Geelong: S. Christensen, C. Stephens, N. Gribble, S. Bourke, J. Clark, K. Rayner

Greater Western Victoria Rebels got on the board for season 2019 at the second time of asking, beating Geelong Falcons by the narrowest of margins in Ballarat. The winless Falcons looked like soaring to victory after opening up a 20-point lead at three-quarter time, but the Rebels finally put it together in a final term to run over the top of Geelong while keeping them goalless to round out the game. Jay Rantall was superb for the home side with 24 disposals, seven inside 50s, six tackles and a goal, while James Cleaver also put in a handy shift for his 17 disposals and bag of two. Geelong co-captain Cooper Stephens (28 disposals, five marks) again stood up in a losing side, with Keidan Rayner having 25 touches (including 10 rebound 50s) and Chas Karpala (19 disposals, seven tackles, two goals) also good. Geelong will now travel to Dandenong still searching for a win, while GWV will hope this result will get the ball rolling and put it in good stead for its clash with Murray on the same day.

CALDER CANNONS 0.0 | 5.4 | 6.4 | 7.4 (46)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 4.4 | 4.4 | 6.6 | 10.9 (69)

GOALS:
Calder:
J. Kemp 3, S. Ramsay, N. Gentile, T. Browning, J. Sutton
Oakleigh: D. Williams 3, N. Anderson 2, F. Macrae, L. Johnson, N. Dempsey, B. Jepson, S. Tucker

BEST:
Calder:
H. Minton-Connell, B. Newman, J. Kemp, S. Ramsay, J. Sutton, D. Mott
Oakleigh: N. Anderson, N. Guiney, M. Rowell, K. Schreiber, H. Mastras, L. Johnson

The Rolls Royce stars of Oakleigh slowly clicked into gear on Sunday, helping the Chargers to a 23-point win over Calder. The Cannons were dismantled last week and responded well to going four goals down in the opening term this week, hitting back with five majors to nil in the second stanza to take a lead into the major break. With the ledger all but level going into the home straight, the likes of Dylan Williams and Noah Anderson stood up when it mattered to drag Oakleigh over the line. Williams was kept relatively quiet, but managed to snare three goals in the fourth quarter, while Anderson (44 disposals, five tackles, five inside 50s, two goals) was near-on unstoppable. Matt Rowell also showed his class for 31 disposals, with bottom-ager Finlay Macrae (21 disposals, 1.2) dangerous up forward. Just as dangerous at the other end was Josh Kemp, who pulled Calder back into the game with two crucial goals in the second quarter and ended with three. Brodie Newman (21 disposals, five rebound 50s, four marks) was a calming influence in defensive 50, and Sam Ramsay was a good forward driver with 18 disposals and five rebounds. With plenty of improvement shown, Calder will face Western Jets at RAMS next week, with Oakleigh set to meet fellow premiership fancies, Sandringham in a ripping match-up.

Tasmania doubles up with Under 16s triumph

THE gripping Under 16 Division Two National Championships came to an end last Saturday in Yeronga, with Tasmania coming out on top by percentage alone. The Mariners, NSW/ACT and Queensland each picked up two wins, while Northern Territory were the only side to remain winless. 

NSW/ACT’s Errol Gulden was named the Alan McLean Medallist as Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, claiming the same honour for his state side. Meanwhile, Saxon Crozier was adjudged Queensland’s MVP, with Deacon Braun and Sam Collins named best for Northern Territory and Tasmania respectively. 

There were many players outside of the MVPs to put their hands up and have their names noted for the future. NSW/ACT’s Braeden Campbell joined Gulden in the Under-16 All Australian squad as NSW/ACT’s sole contributors after impressing off half-back, while the likes of Marc Sheather and Pierce Roseby were also standouts. For the home side, Queensland, Tahj Abberley proved a smooth mover with damaging traits, with Riley Johnson providing a more than capable option up forward.

Champions Tasmania had a wealth of contributors; key forward Jackson Callow booted 10 goals and averaged almost nine marks per game, Oliver Davis won the ball prolifically through midfield to average 20 disposals and be named alongside Collins and Callow in the All Australian side. Jye Menzie was another Mariner to hit the scoreboard with his six goals from the wing/half-forward.

Despite going winless, Northern Territory also uncovered some eye-catching talent in the form of Jeffrey Simon, who contributed well through midfield, and Malcolm Rosas, who was their only All Australian representative. Richmond fans are already hyped about the potential of Maurice Rioli, who pitched in with a couple of goals and looks to have all the traits his pedigree would suggest.    

Results:

Round 1:
Tasmania 11.9 (75) defeated Queensland 7.11 (53)

GOALS
Tasmania: Callow 3, Bearman 3, Menzie 2, Barwick, Davis.
Queensland: Briskey 2, Davies 2, Gates, Johnson, McGory.

BEST
Tasmania: Collins, Upton, Harper, Menzie, Bearman, Callow
Queensland: Clohesy, Abberley, Davies, Johnson, Crozier, Bulley

NSW/ACT 16.9 (105) defeated NT 6.7 (43)

GOALS
NSW/ACT: Gulden 5, Cullen 2, Steele 2, Eynaud 2, Monaghan, Wilson, Roseby, Dunstan, Dignam.
Northern Territory: Tipiloura 2, Ford, Jeffrey, Barlow, Rioli.

BEST
NSW/ACT: Wilson, Gulden, Pfrengle, Roseby, Steele, Cullen.
Northern Territory: Moniz-Wakefield, Lake, Lynch, Baird, Brock, Rioli 

Round 2:
Queensland 13.5.83 defeated NSW/ACT 10.8.68

GOALS
Queensland: Johnson 3, Crozier 2, Abberley, Cashen-Harris, Coleman, Fidler, Langan, O’Brien, Pickering, Sheriff.
NSW/ACT: Rossman 2, Sheather 2, Okerenyang, Dunstan, Parnell, Cullen, Monaghan, Steele.

BEST
Queensland: Crozier, Abberley, R.Johnson, Coleman, O’Brien, J.Johnson
NSW/ACT: Roseby, Gulden, Campbell, Sheather, Steele, Pfrengle

Tasmania 19.10.124 defeated Northern Territory 7.7.49

GOALS
Tasmania: Callow 4, Harper 4, Menzie 3, Borsboom 2, Barwick 2, Sanders, Norton, Walker, Bearman.
Northern Territory: Lake 2, M.Rioli, A. Moniz-Wakefield, B. Rioli. Rosas, Long.

BEST
Tasmania: Davis, Harper, Steele, Banks, Collins, Sanders, Menzie
Northern Territory: Braun, Forbes, A.Moniz-Wakefield, Lui, Rosas, Patrick

Round 3:
Tasmania 10.8 (68) defeated by NSW/ACT 12.7 (79)

GOALS
Tasmania: Callow 3, Harper 2, Bearman, Butterworth, Menzie, Norton, Sanders.
NSW/ACT: Rossman 3, Campbell 2, Gabila 2, Byrne, Wilson, Gulden, Roseby, Parnell.

BEST
Tasmania: Davis, Steele, Butterworth, Banks, Collins, Callow
NSW/ACT: Campbell, Dunstan, Roseby, Gulden, Eynaud, Byrne

Northern Territory 8.11 (59) defeated by Queensland 10.7 (67)

GOALS
Queensland: Coleman 2, Johnson 2, Langan 2, Abberley, Logi, O’Brien, Rowles.
Northern Territory: Ford 4, Brock, Jeffrey, Long, G. Moniz-Wakefield.

BEST
Queensland: Davies, Nicholls, Johnson, Coleman, O’Brien, Fidler
Northern Territory: Braun, Lui, Simon, Jeffrey, M. Rioli, Rosas

Scouting Notes: U16 National Championships – Division Two

WE headed down to Metricon Stadium on Tuesday to watch Tasmania take on Northern Territory and Queensland face off against NSW/ACT in the Under 16 National Championships. Michael Alvaro was on hand to take notes at the games.

Tasmania vs. Northern Territory

Tasmania:

#12 Will Harper

Harper was arguably the best afield with a dominant performance in the forward half. Starting from a deeper position, the solidly built Launceston product slotted home a set shot in the first term to get his game going. His contested marking came to the fore in the second term as he pushed further up the field, bullying his smaller NT opponents and adding another goal to his tally. Blessed with a booming left foot kick, Harper continued the trend and claimed majors in each quarter with a snap in the third and a long-range set shot in the fourth to cap off an outstanding day.

#14 Samuel Collins

A rock down back, Collins started the game well with hard attacks on the ball and clean use coming out of defence. The North Hobart boy showed an impressive work rate to make and effect a heap of contests, intercepting most that came his way and calmly rebounding. While Harper was quieter in the second half, he rarely put a foot wrong all day.

#15 Oliver Davis

A constant in the midfield, Davis dug in well to allow the Mariners first use while also showing some outside class. He tended to stay a kick behind the ball in the early stages, and used his wits to hit up Lachlan Borsboom and Harper inside 50. Davis’ harder edge came out in the third term as he took an impressive overhead mark, which he followed up by again finding Borsboom inside 50 for his second goal. He continued that form with some handy clearance work and deft hands in-close in a solid outing.

#16 Patrick Walker

Walker pushed up hard from a half-back/wing position to provide a real threat going forward. Like Collins, he was both clever and calm with ball in hand and accumulated well throughout the game. One of Walker’s highlights was a darting pass to Jye Menzie in the last quarter, which resulted in a goal to Jacques Berwick, showing impressive vision. Walker’s defensive work was good too, with some hard tackling and aerial work seeing him play a complete game.

#22 Samuel Banks

Playing deep in defence, Banks quelled a number of dangerous NT attacks and was solid with his intercept marking. His point of difference was the run he created out of the back half, taking the game on at each opportunity. Most of Banks’ best work was done in the second half as the game opened up and he could easily snap up the quick kicks sent his way.

#26 Jye Menzie

Menzie was a lively attacking presence in the first half, booting three goals as he found space pushing forward from the wing. His first was a straight-forward set shot from 20 meters, and his two in the second quarter came amongst some impressive tackling and pressure. Menzie was quieter in the second half, but popped up with an assist for one of Berwick’s two final quarter goals.

#33 Jackson Callow

Callow had an extraordinary purple patch in the second half, marking almost everything that came forward of centre, and kicking three of his four goals. The hulking full forward has strong hands and is a beautiful kick for goal, giving him a good base to work on as he develops. Those skills were on show as he sunk a multiple set shots and demanded the ball on the lead, providing a real and dangerous presence from the goal-square to centre-wing.

 

Northern Territory:

#5 Malcolm Rosas

Rosas was a constant feature in the NT midfield and added some real zip out of the congestion. Standing at 175cm, his hands overhead were surprisingly strong and he managed to win a couple of impressive one-on-one marks. His left foot was effective when given the chance to use it, and he provided some nice inside-50 entries.  

#15 Jeffrey Simon

Another to spend most of his time through the midfield, Simon competed well in a range of areas. He managed to burst away from the stoppages early with good pace, and spent the rest of the game accumulating possessions around the ground. He also showed off a decent leap and willing attack on the ball.

#16 Jamal Lynch

Lynch started the game in brilliant form off half-back, providing good run and carry while showing a more physical side with a solid one-on-one bump to win the ball. With the ball very much locked in the Tasmanian forward 50 in the first half, Lynch had a decent amount of it and tried to be creative going forward. One of his party tricks was attempting to run on to a handball around his opponent, and his diving trap shortly after made it clear that he is very much a natural footballer.

#17 Maurice Rioli

The latest of the Rioli clan, Maurice has all of the traits you’d expect given his pedigree. While he didn’t find a heap of the ball in the forward half, he looked dangerous in possession and started the game off perfectly with a snap after slipping his opponent. While he is still very raw, Rioli has plenty of talent to work with and isn’t afraid to pull off a party trick at full pace. At 171cm, he is not quite yet ready for a spot in the midfield by was given a run at a centre bounce in the third quarter.

 

Queensland vs. NSW/ACT

Queensland:

#8 Tahj Abberley

Abberley was a clever user throughout the game, nipping around with good pace and agility form the midfield, forward. He started well with a goal from a free kick after sharking the ball cleanly but being taken high. His left foot was damaging too with some handy forward 50 entries helping the Maroons to push the pace.

#11 Liam O’Brien

The bite-sized winger had an immediate impact with the first goal of the match, coming from a long range set shot. Gathering a good amount of the ball throughout the game, O’Brien’s best moments came in the third quarter when he pulled down a couple of strong marks.

#17 Blake Coleman 

Coleman was superb forward all day, marking well leading up to the arc and kicking well inside 50. He supplied two assists in the second term to Crozier and Johnson in that manner and looked dangeous when the ball passed centre-wing. While he didn’t manage to hit the scoreboard himself, he was a reliable avenue forward and caused a good amount of damage.

#22 Saxon Crozier

Crozier was another who pushed hard forward from the wing and found space around the arc, allowing him to impact the scoreboard. His two second-quarter goals were Queensland’s only majors for the term, with one impressively coming on the run. Crozier proved to be a solid ball winner with his high work rate allowing him to get to a number of contests. His strength contested situation was also notable as he showed good hands overhead and won a key shoulder-to-shoulder duel down the wing against Braeden Campbell.

#28 Riley Johnson 

Like Crozier, Johnson started up the ground but timed his forward runs to a tee early on to get on the end of easy passes in a paddock of space inside 50. His two first quarter goals came that way, with the tall Southport prospect slotting both set shot opportunities that came his way. His other goal came in the third quarter with a smart snap finish to make him Queensland’s most influencial player scoreboard-wise.

#29 Alex Davies 

Davies was impressive at the stoppages with a number of clearance opportunities falling his way. Attending a good number of contests, Davies was able to either flick out handballs with composure or scramble a clearing kick forward to set Queensland on the front foot. He racked up plenty of the ball and looked at home in the middle, with the bench even asking him to stay on at a crucial time instead of coming off for his rotation.

 

NSW/ACT:

#2 Errol Gulden 

Gulden is one of a number of hard at it Rams smalls who can contribute in multiple areas of the ground. Zipping in and out of traffic, the Marouba Saints man likes to take it on and has the ability to burst past opponents. He showed a good amount of grunt, but mixed it with class as he speared in a nice ball inside 50 in the second term. He may have enjoyed that effort a little too much however, as he turned it over trying the same thing shortly after.

#4 Pierce Roseby 

Roseby was one who racked up plenty of the ball in a consistent effort, doing all of the hard stuff in the midfield. His work rate was solid, and he tackled hard to set the tone for many of the other Rams mids.

#5 Cooper Wilson 

Working in a similar way to Gulden, Wilson spent a lot of his time on half-back and the wing bursting his way forward aggressively. At 172cm, his tackle on Queensland giant Mitchell Langan to catch him holding the ball was impressive, and he is deceptively strong. His hands overhead were just as good, and he wasn’t to be fazed by bigger bodies in one-on-one contests. Wilson was amongst the best based on pure tenacity and work rate, I like his game.

#7 Braeden Campbell 

Campbell caught the eye with a willing second half performance that nearly dragged the Rams back to level pegging. The industrious midfielder was aggressive and did all of the one-percenters early on while showing good composure with ball in hand. Campbell went on to put in a shift at the stoppages with some fighting clearances and drive out of the contest, accumilating well. His courageous contested mark going back with the flight in the third term epitomised his effort.

#12 Marc Sheather 

The versatile Sheather was on track for a best on ground performance after a blistering first half where he was in everything. His hard edge and combativeness was matched with poise and class on the ball as he gave repeat efforts and skipped through opponents with ease. While his work rate and ball winning ability from the wing was effective, Sheather was thrown deep forward for most of the second quarter, onwards in hopes of utilising his marking prowess. He turned his opponent to snap a handy goal in the second term and was a presence in the 50 for the remainder of the game.

Maroons and Mariners victorious at Metricon

IT was a day to remember for Queensland’s Under 16 side as they held off a tough NSW/ACT team in front of their home crowd at Metricon Stadium in the National Under 16 Championships. In the earlier game, Tasmania impressed in their 75-point drubbing of Northern Territory.

Tasmania 19.10 (124) defeated Northern Territory 7.7 (49)

Tasmania stormed out of the blocks in the first half to set up an emphatic 75-point win over the Northern Territory (NT) Thunder.

The Mariners revelled in perfect conditions at Metricon Stadium with fast ball movement and strong marking forming the basis of their game. Their mix of strength and speed through the middle of the ground proved to be vital, while the likes of Jacob Steele, Samuel Collins and Samuel Banks dominated the airways in defence against their smaller NT opponents.

Despite the scoreboard, it was not all bad for the Thunder as they had some solid individual performers. The game started off with the newest Rioli, Maurice booting the first goal, with Jeffrey Simon and Jamal Lynch showing serious class from midfield and half back. Meanwhile, Jye Menzie and Will Harper combined for almost half of Tasmania’s first half goals with three and two respectively, with another six individual goal kickers helping them to a commanding 63-point half time lead. The message made vocal by the Mariners leaders was that there was ‘still another half’ to play, and they would put NT to the sword in the second half.

Northern Territory came out with a point to prove in the third term, as Graham Moniz-Wakefield slotted the first goal. Tasmania soon clicked back into gear to put on four goals to NT’s three. The Thunder would go on to score another three majors to close out the game, with Brodie Lake claiming two of them. The Mariners also continued their good scoring form with another four goals meaning the margin was almost identical to the previous term.

Jackson Callow had an impressive second half to end with four goals from full forward, clunking some big marks on the lead and demanding the ball. Harper was also among the best with his four-goal effort, while the likes of Oliver Davis and Patrick Walker were industrious from midfield.

For the Thunder, Rioli looked lively with ball in hand up forward, while Simon was consistent through the middle with Malcolm Rosas.

 

Queensland 13.5 (83) defeated NSW/ACT 10.8 (68)

Queensland held on for a solid win in front of a home crowd against a spirited NSW/ACT side by 15 points.

With the scoring favouring their end, Queensland were poised to get off to a good start. The Maroons burst out of the gate with five first-quarter goals in a free flowing opener, with the Rams managing two of their own to keep in touch. Riley Johnson found space on the outer side to bag a double from set shots, while Liam O’Brien also troubled the scorers with his goal pushing up from the wing.

The second term saw the visitors take advantage of the conditions and boot four of their own majors, with the likes of Marc Sheather and Errol Gulden taking over the game. Sheather was superb initially on the wing, and eventually deep forward as he took down some impressive overhead contested marks, sliced paths through opponents with good agility and booted an important major. With Saxon Crozier helping to keep NSW/ACT at bay with two goals for Queensland, Marco Rossman’s second goal for the term cut the margin to five points at the main break.

The third term proved to be the ‘premiership quarter’ as The Maroons extended the gap out to 21 points with four goals. Shanta Cashen-Harris started to impose himself on the contest with his clean hands and inside 50 pressure, and his lone goal for the game at the end of the term was a vital one. With the game well and truly still on, NSW/ACT threw everything they could at Queensland in the final term as the ball stuck around in their forward half. Braeden Campbell was a bull through the midfield, with Coopa Steele helping him to will the Rams forward. It was to no avail though, as their three goals fell just short, with Hugh Fidler adding six points to the score after the siren to cap off a memorable day of football.