Tag: kade dittmar

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Peel books Grand Final ticket

THE final four teams took to the respective playing surfaces in picture perfect conditions on Sunday morning with a number of intriguing questions to be answered. The week off can be of real benefit at this time of the year. Conversely, it can also be a curse and therefore it would be fascinating to see how Peel would return to action against a buoyant Claremont outfit. Meanwhile, old rivals West and East Perth met knowing full well that there was no second chance for the loser.

WAFL Colts wrap: Finals Week 2

West Perth 11.8 (74) defeated East Perth 6.5 (41)

West Perth won their way through to a Preliminary final re-match with Claremont after a classy 33-point victory against rivals East Perth at a sun-drenched Leederville Oval on Sunday morning.

It was a keenly contested first ten minutes of play with the ball moving freely to either end but both defences holding strong. A quick passage of play doing the middle with Koopah Todd prominent led to the first goal for West Perth kicked by Ewan Brazier. Of the two teams, the Falcons looked to have adjusted to the occasion the better and Brazier soon had his second on the board. Lachlan Rewell then took a strong mark for the Falcons and duly converted to put the Falcons out to a 19-point advantage with the tackling pressure a real feature of the Joondalup-based side’s performance to that point. The Royals needed to respond quickly and did so through a terrific set shot goal by 16 year-old Kade Dittmar from 50 metres. The Falcons continued to take the ball inside 50, but were not able to further to their score, taking a 13-point lead into the first break. Powerfully built midfielder Tyron Hindmarsh was shaping as a key figure in this contest, having nine disposals in the first term.

The Royals started the second quarter well kicking their second goal in a row through Sebit Kuek. Undeterred, the Falcons steadied through the lively Brazier who took a strong mark and kicked his third for the game however he appeared to sustain a leg injury in the aftermath and left the ground for assessment. Todd was then able to take advantage of strong forward play from his teammates and finished from close range. The Falcons certainly had their opponents rattled, leading to some undisciplined play and a fifty metre penalty after a lively scuffle involving a number of players. Lachlan Scurria who had already taken a mark was the beneficiary of the aftermath and kicked the Falcons’ third of the term. East Perth was trying to find a way back into the contest, but that four goal buffer was proving tough to breach.

It was a professional first half performance by West Perth who completely dominated the use of the ball (169-85 in disposals) and (42-15 in marks). The shining light for the Royals was that even though they had minimal disposals, they were still taking the ball forward only trailing the Falcons by one in the inside 50 stakes (21-20). Key defender Heath Chapman was the leading player on the ground when it came to disposals amassing 16 along with six marks for the Falcons. Callum Johnson was tenacious with 15 and three tackles and Ewan Brazier was the best forward on the ground with three goals. Adam Boules was the only player to tally double figures for the Royals with 10.

The early stages of the third term would prove pivotal to the outcome of the contest but it was evident that the pressuring ability of the Falcons was a class apart from their opponents. This was exemplified by Todd’s tackle deep in the forward line which won him a free kick and he duly nailed his second major for the game. The ball movement of the Falcons was a sight to behold and they had East Perth at sixes and sevens. Goals to bottom-ager Jordan Berryand a third to Todd had all but moved them into a Preliminary final. The Royals were on the precipice and needed goals in a hurry. They got one from bottom ager Jaylen Colegate but after three goals in as many quarters, needed a minor miracle to keep their season alive.

If the Royals were wanting to conjure up something special in the final term, they needed a quick start and they got just that courtesy of a soccered goal to Harley Sparks. The Royals were looking as vibrant as they had been all day. Sparks was leading the charge and the midfielder kicked his second of the term narrowing the gap to 26 points with 14 minutes left. But it would take just one goal to end all hopes of a fairytale and Hindmarsh put the result beyond any doubt with a fine snap under pressure with Cooper Blackburn putting the icing on the cake soon after. Spider Lockitt kicked a late consolation, but the Falcons well and truly deserved their 33 point triumph. While some players will move up the playing divisions, there is enough talent coming through to keep them in the contending bracket.

West Perth had 130 more disposals than their opponents (340-210) and 51 more marks (93-42). Although they had less inside 50s, (41-39), they managed eight more scoring shots for the game which highlighted their efficiency throughout the contest. While the overall margin was convincing, it was the execution by foot which was a delight to observe and was certainly one of the more accomplished performances in the 2019 Colts season. While West Perth were defeated by Claremont last week, if they can re-produce this performance in seven days time against the Tigers, they will be very hard to beat.

Player of the game

There were plenty of contributors for the Falcons but the man who set the tone from the early stages was Koopah Todd. The midfielder has had many more prolific games in terms of disposals this season (17), but his all-round game was superb. The top-ager floated forward at will and was able to hit the scoreboard with three goals, along with five marks, six inside 50s and three tackles with couple of goal assists for good measure. If he can keep up that level of production in the weeks ahead, West Perth stand a good chance of winning the Colts premiership.

Other notables

Todd had plenty of support with midfield companions Callum Johnson (30 disposals and seven tackles) and Tyron Hindmarsh (25 disposals, six tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) playing their role with aplomb. Heath Chapman was superb down back, reading the play terrifically well with 26 disposals, seven marks and six tackles. Kade Dittmar ran hard throughout for the Royals with 15 disposals and six inside 50s while Harley Sparkstried to lift his side late finishing with 22 disposals, four inside 50s and two goals.

Peel Thunder 8.15 (63) defeated Claremont 4.5 (29)

Peel Thunder is the first team into the 2019 WAFL Colts Grand Final after a 34-point win against Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium on Sunday morning.

A unique first quarter saw Peel kick six straight behinds, but remarkably managed to keep their opponents scoreless and led by that margin at quarter time. The inaccuracy continued in the second term, with a mixture of rushed behinds and missed shots at goal. The Tigers made the most of limited opportunities to stay in the game. Just before half-time, Connor Heuer was able to finally put the ball in between the big two sticks and break the drought. While Peel well and truly had the running of the game in a number of key areas, you wondered whether the old adage ‘bad kicking is bad football’ would come into play.

However the minor premiers were able to break the game open in the third term by kicking four goals to two with key forward Ben Middleton and classy small forward Tyrone Thorne kicking two each. They continued to be in the ascendency in the final term, kicking another three without reply and wrapping up a convincing victory.

Taking everything into account, Claremont did very well to still be in the contest as long as they were. Peel had almost double the amount of inside 50s (57-29) which led to 14 more scoring shots (23-9). They also had 66 more disposals (332-266).

Tyrone Thorne was exceptional with the state U18s representative having 25 disposals, seven tackles, six marks and three goals. Jarvis Pina was equally influential with the midfielder collecting 25 disposals and nine marks, while Bradley Oldfield produced his consummate performance with 21 disposals and nine tackles. For the Tigers who will now face the Falcons for the second time in a fortnight, it was Joel Western with 24 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s, while the blooming talents of Callum Jamieson were again on show with 18 disposals, six marks and 26 hit outs.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Elimination Final – East Perth vs. Swan Districts

EAST Perth defeated Swan Districts by 24 points in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts Elimination Final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. The Royals will now face West Perth in the first semi-final next week, while it is season over for the Swans.

Below were the most notable players in the game.

EAST PERTH:

#2 Adam Boules

The Mount Hawthorn junior continued his excellent season for the Royals with another accomplished performance. Against the Swans, Boules collected a game-high 28 possessions, laid eight tackles and recorded an equal game-high five inside 50s to be one of the best players on the ground. A strong finals series could see him rise onto the draft board for next year.

#8 Cooper Sparks

The Deanmill product was his usual busy self in the midfield for the Royals. He accumulated 19 possessions, laid a team-high 12 tackles, recorded two inside 50s and took two marks. His desire to never shirk a contest laid the foundations for the Royals to run over the top of the Swans.

#9 Sebit Kuek

The West Coast Eagles’ Next-Generation Academy member was lively for the Royals, rotating between the forward line and the ruck. He finished with 13 possessions, 16 hit-outs, eight marks, five tackles, three inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of his game came late in the second quarter, when he took a strong pack mark just before the siren went. He then went back and coolly slotted the goal from a tight angle after the siren to give the Royals a 25-point lead at the main break.

#12 Kade Dittmar

The 16-year-old was his brutal self in the midfield for East Perth, often crashing and bashing his way through congestion to win the contested possession for his team. He finished with 17 possessions, 10 tackles, three marks and two inside 50s. He is shaping up to be a leading WA prospect for the 2021 AFL Draft.

#15 Luke Lombardi

Another 16-year-old, Lombardi showed plenty of class and composure off the half-back line for East Perth. He gathered 19 possessions, laid six tackles and grabbed four marks in an impressive display.

#21 Jamie Marinoni

Playing as a small defender, the Kojonup product was excellent for the Royals. He gathered 14 possessions, and took two marks, but more importantly he helped set up his fellow defenders to make sure the Swans were not as potent with their inside 50 entries as they have been all year.

#24 Liam Dellamarta

The Morley junior continues to stake a claim to be a solid outside midfield option in next year’s AFL Draft. Against Swan Districts, Dellamarta was prolific off the wing, accumulating 26 possessions, recording four inside 50s, laying four tackles and taking three marks. He was always willing to take the game on with his skill execution or through his pace.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The Lower South-West product was arguably the best ruck in the game, often giving his midfielders first use from his ruck work. He finished with 15 possessions, 33 hitouts and five marks in an excellent performance. What was even more impressive about Ladhams’ game was his desire to push back into defence to outnumber the Swan Districts’ forward line.

SWAN DISTRICTS:

#1 Kade Wallrodt

The South Bunbury junior tried his absolute heart out for the Swans, but unfortunately to no avail. Against East Perth he accumulated 23 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles, grabbed two marks and kicked a goal to be one of his team’s best performers.

#7 Ben Taylor

The younger brother of GWS’ rising star Sam Taylor, Ben was solid down in defence for the Swans, often halting the attacking entries by the Royals. Taylor gathered 15 possessions, laid three tackles and took two marks in a trying performance.

#12 Brenton Hilton

The Ellenbrook junior was excellent off the half-back line for the Swans, providing plenty of attacking drive from the defensive half. He finished with 21 possessions, five marks and five tackles in a brilliant performance.

#16 Max Chipper

The 2019 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent off the wing for the Swans. He accumulated 23 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded three inside 50s in an accomplished performance. His skill execution, reading of the play, and aerobic capabilities are all very good for someone his age.

#18 Jake Pasini

The 2019 WA U18s State Academy member showed why he is deserving to be recognised as one of the better key defensive options in this year’s crop. Against the Royals, Pasini finished with 17 possessions, four marks, two tackles and two rebounding 50s. With ball in hand, Pasini was always cool and composed even under heavy duress and without the ball he always attacked each contest with vigour.

#24 Sebastian Bright

The High Wycombe junior was his usual combative self in the midfield for Swan Districts. He accumulated a team-high 25 possessions, laid a game-high 13 tackles, recorded an equal game-high five inside 50s and took three marks to arguably be his team’s best player.

#31 Ethan Nordahl

The South Bunbury junior tried hard for Swan Districts. He finished with 18 possessions, six tackles, four marks and a goal in a combative display. The highlight of his game came in the last quarter, when he was able to shrug off an opponent before banging through a goal from 50 metres out.

#52 Atem Deng

The West Coast Eagles’ Next-Generation Academy member was lively in the forward line for the Swans. In the first quarter, he was able to nudge his opponent under the ball, gathered it, burst away from his opponent and then laced out Ayden Cartwright inside 50. In the last quarter, he took a courageous mark when he went back with the flight of the ball despite on-coming traffic. He finished with 15 possessions and four marks.

#59 Ty Sears

A bottom-age prospect, Sears showed he has potential to be a bolting prospect for next year’s AFL Draft with a classy performance. Playing off the half-back line, Sears gathered 12 possessions and recorded three inside 50s, trying to provide attacking drive from the defensive half.

Under 16 National Championships: Division 1 wrap

VIC Metro claimed its first Under-16 National Championships Division 1 title in 10 years, going through the three rounds undefeated as the clear best side. Each other team broke through for a win each in what was an even carnival played in a variety of conditions. We recap how each side fared and shed light on some of the better performers throughout the competition.

South Australia (1-2)

Results:
Rd 1 – South Australia 13.10 (88) def. Western Australia 9.5 (59)
Rd 2 – Vic Metro 5.15 (45) def. South Australia 3.6 (24)
Rd 3 – South Australia 10.3 (63) def. by Vic Country 11.13 (79)

MVP: Jason Thorne (South Adelaide)
Most Goals: Isaiah Dudley (Central District) & Morgan Ferres (Sturt), 5

The defending champions would have come in with high hopes of replicating last year’s run, with that feeling compounded by an impressive 29-point win over Western Australia to open their carnival. One of three members of the 2018 title-winning squad, Isaiah Dudley was the star of that game, picking up 27 disposals and booting four goals, with key forward Morgan Ferres matching the goal feat and skipper Jason Horne a presence through midfield. In similarly wet conditions up in Queensland for Round 2, the Croweaters simply fell short in firepower against eventual champions Vic Metro, going down by 21 points. Matthew Roberts was the star in that game with his 31 disposals, seven inside 50s and one goal, with Thorne putting in a brave captain’s effort despite being in the wars late-on and midfielder Cooper Murley another to impress. The tri-colours would go on to lose again to a Victorian side in Round 3, this time by 16 points in a plucky effort at the Gabba. Thorne rounded out a magnificent championships with 18 disposals, four clearances and two goals, while Harry Tunkin enjoyed some added midfield minutes to match his skipper’s disposal haul to go with eight tackles and four clearances. Lachlan Thomas and Lewis Rayson were others to round out their carnivals on a high note with run and intercepts from defence. One to watch for next year could be Tyson Coe, who ran through the midfield as an under-ager – much like Dudley, Thorne, and Roberts did last year. Overall, it was not quite the championships that the team would have wanted, but they should plenty of promise and will again provide some exciting top-end talent over the next few years.

Vic Country (1-2)

Results:
Rd 1 – Vic Metro 10.7 (67) def. Vic Country 7.7 (49)
Rd 2 – Vic Country 5.12 (42) def. by Western Australia 6.8 (44)
Rd 3 – South Australia 10.3 (63) def. by Vic Country 11.13 (79)

MVP: Joshua Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)
Kevin Sheehan Medal: Joshua Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)
Most Goals: Judson Clarke (Dandenong Stingrays) & Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels), 3

As we have come to expect, it was a very competitive carnival from the Country side which found itself in winning positions in each of the three games. They fell away in a three-goal loss to their Metro counterparts in Round 1 after leading by no more than two points at each break, with co-captain Campbell Chesser terrific on the outside to compliment the game of inside bull, Ben Hobbs. Judson Clarke also booted three goals in the loss, but it was not enough to see Country over the line. If the final-quarter fade out against Metro hurt, then a two-point loss at the death against WA could have really been a dagger. Despite again leading at the final break and having a wealth of possession in the fourth quarter, a WA goal in the final 30 seconds ensured they snatched the win in muddy conditions at Southport. Co-captain and eventual MVP Joshua Rachele was almost the one to drag his side over the line with his 32 disposals, six marks and 0.3, while Hobbs was just about the muddiest player afield at the final siren after digging in for 29 disposals, 10 tackles and four rebounds. Benjamin Green was another to enjoy the conditions, and Lincoln White very nearly broke the game open with his two third quarter goals. The narrow loss proved not to break the Vics’ spirits though as they bounced back for an impressive 16-point win against SA in Round 3. Rachele again showed his class and provided the highlight of the carnival in his 26-disposal effort, with Hobbs again doing his thing and Tom Brown influential with three goals from half-forward. Charlie Molan, Hugh Hamilton, and Mitchell Moschetti also rounded out strong carnivals, with Country a side that will count itself unlucky not to have come out with greater results. There are a lot of reliable performers in the squad, and they could rise sharply come their Under 18 year given their competitiveness.

Vic Metro (3-0)

Results:
Rd 1 – Vic Metro 10.7 (67) def. Vic Country 7.7 (49)
Rd 2 – Vic Metro 5.15 (45) def. South Australia 3.6 (24)
Rd 3 – Western Australia 8.7 (55) def. by Vic Metro 18.14 (122)

MVP: Tyler Sonsie
Most Goals: Alex Lukic (Oakleigh Chargers), 9 – most overall

The champions and clear-best side over the carnival enjoyed an undefeated campaign, but were made to earn a couple of their wins. Metro’s first Under 16 title win in 10 years started with a three-goal win over Victorian counterparts, Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium. After trailing at each break and by just one point at the last, Metro ran away with four goals to one in the fourth quarter for a strong win. Key forward Alex Lukic positioned well inside 50 to boot his first bag for the carnival (four goals), while skipper Josh Sinn and Braden Andrews proved a match-winners with their position swaps to finish the game, and Tyler Sonsie was another to provide cleanliness through the engine room. The class of Metro was always going to be tested in their next game against SA, especially given the horrendous conditions. Their top-end talent still managed to shine through in the end, enjoying a solid middle period of the game to run out 21-point winners. Lachlan Brooks was best afield with 23 disposals, six clearances and two goals from midfield, crucially combining with Sandringham teammate Blake Howes to boot four of Metro’s five goals. Tyreece Leiu led the disposal count with 24, while Josh Ward‘s clean hands were eye-catching in the wet. The title decider in Round 3 was a tight one up until the final break, with Metro cruising to victory on the back of 12 second-half goals – including seven to nil in the final term. Lukic again kicked a bag with five goals, while Sonsie ripped it up through the midfield and up forward to have 19 disposals, four clearances and 4.3. Youseph Dib again provided a physical presence to have 20 touches, four clearances and a goal, with Zac Taylor electric forward of centre and Josh Goater again popping up with some nice aerial efforts. The talent across the board extends on each line to the likes of Lachlan Rankin, Jake Soligo, Jed Rule, and Jack Rossimel, with the evenness of the team and top-end talent set to rival Metro’s Under 18 squad of 2019 in years to come.

Western Australia (1-2)

Results:
Rd 1 – South Australia 13.10 (88) def. Western Australia 9.5 (59)
Rd 2 – Vic Country 5.12 (42) def. by Western Australia 6.8 (44)
Rd 3 – Western Australia 8.7 (55) def. by Vic Metro 18.14 (122)

MVP: Blake Morris (Subiaco)
Most Goals: Saverio Marafioti (West Perth) & Ethan Regan (East Perth), 3

Results aside, WA was one of the more evenly spread squads over this year’s carnival, with plenty of contributors standing up at different times over the three games. It all seemed to come together in Round 2 as the Black Ducks pulled off a miraculous win over Vic Country with a Luke Polson goal in the dying seconds, getting the better of the Big V by two points on a Southport mud pit. Judd McVee was a standout from midfield, leading the disposal count with 23 to go with seven tackles and a combined seven breaches of each arc, while Mitchell Brown thrived in the conditions for his 17 disposals and six clearances alongside Kade Dittmar (22 touches, nine tackles, and four clearances). Multiple goals from Ethan Regan and Saverio Marafioti boosted their tallies and proved vital in the win, while match-winner Polson had an important 16 disposals and 14 hitouts. Earlier in Round 1, WA had less fruitful outing against SA on home turf in similarly wet conditions, going down by 29 points despite managing their carnival-high total (59). MVP Blake Morris was sensational in that outing with his intercept marking, while Max Chipper was composed on the outside and Zach Fleiner was positive on the rebound. Matthew Johnson and Luke Taylor booted the multiple goals this time out, with Richard Bartlett another effective mover in the forward half. A late-game fade-out put a dampener on what was a really competitive effort against eventual champions, Vic Metro in Round 3 – conceding seven unanswered goals in the final term to go down by 67 points. Earlier, it was again McVee who stood up with his burst from congestion and some busy work going forward, finishing with 16 disposals, seven clearances and two goals. Chipper and Bartlett again impressed to have 23 disposals each, with Jake Littleton and Rhett Bazzo also serviceable. It was a slightly down end to an otherwise solid carnival for WA, and they should again have some eye-catchers capture out attention. One who also warrants a mention is Lochlan Paton, who was sensational through midfield before injuring his hand in Round 2, keep an eye out for his progress.

Metro powers home to claim Division 1 title

A 12-GOAL second half against Western Australia (WA) helped Vic Metro claim the Under 16 Division 1 National Championships title, powering to a 67-point win in perfect conditions at the GABBA.

Oakleigh key forward Alex Lukic was dominant with five goals, while classy Eastern midfielder Tyler Sonsie booted four and won plenty of the ball.

It was WA who made the brighter start under the Brisbane sun, booting the first two goal of the game through Rhett Bazzo and a quality Judd McVee snap, but their lead soon disappeared as Metro began to penetrate their solid half-back set-up. Sonsie snuck home Metro’s first goal after marking deep inside 50, and Blake Howes was the beneficiary of Josh Sinn’s searing ball into the 50 to make it two. It was Zac Taylor who played a key hand in putting the Victorians in front – zipping through traffic to find space to snap on home, and handing off to Lukic shortly after to give them a nine-point lead at the first break.

The Black Ducks made the perfect start to the second term as McVee streamed inside 50 to claim his second major, but Jack Rossimel provided a quick reply after intercepting a Blake Morris kick across goal. The goal-for-goal trend continued as Kade Dittmar converted a tough chance from 40-metres out on the boundary, but Saverio Marafioti snapped the streak with his goal on the run to level the scores. It was at that point that Metro began to gain the ascendancy in territory, but couldn’t quite find their way to goal as WA stood firm, right until Sonsie snapped truly once again to give Metro their one-goal lead at the main break.

After Tyreece Leiu found the first goal of the third term for Metro, WA looked to be mounting a comeback as goals from Jake Littleton and Richard Farmer got them back to within one point. That was not quite to be the case though, as Lukic broke the game open with three-consecutive goals on the back of some good work close to goal and easy finishes as he opened up the angles. Youseph Dib snapped home to extend the Metro lead, but a late Richard Bartlett major from a WA forward stoppage gave them a sniff heading into the final break at 17 points down, with Farmer adding the handy point.

That behind wasn’t put to use though as Metro ran away with the game early in the final term, with Lukic adding a fifth after Morris spilt an eye-catching spekkie attempt and Sonise a third and fourth with some shrewd work close to home. The surge continued with majors to Taylor, Henry Brown, Howes and Jake Soligo as Metro enjoyed a host of scoring shots and coasted to victory.

Dib was Metro’s leading ball winner with 20 disposals and four clearances, while Sonsie had 20 touches and four clearances to go with his 4.3, and Eastern teammate Soligo gather 19 disposals and finished with one goal. Taylor and Howes were others to impress with their work inside forward 50, ending with two goals apiece.

For WA, Max Chipper led all-comers with his 23 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s, while Bartlett was in the thick of it with 23 touches, seven clearances and a goal, and Morris did his best to stand up down back with 16 disposals, four marks and seven rebound 50s. Littleton was another to win a good amount of ball (18 disposals), while McVee was arguably their best player in the first half, finishing with 16 disposals, seven clearances and two goals.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2.3 | 5.5 | 8.7 | 8.7 (55)
VICTORIA METRO 4.0 | 6.5 | 11.6 | 18.14 (122)

GOALS:

WA: J. McVee 2, R. Bazzo, K. Dittmar, S. Marafioti, J. Littleton, R. Farmer, R. Bartlett
VM: A. Lukic 5, T. Sonsie 4, Z. Taylor 2, B. Howes 2, H. Brown, Y. Dib, J. Soligo, J. Rossimel, T. Leiu

ADC BEST:

WA: J. McVee, B. Morris, R. Bartlett, R. Bazzo, M. Chipper
VM: T. Sonsie, A. Lukic, Z. Taylor, Y. Dib, J. Sinn

Scouting notes: U16 Division 1 – Round 2

VIC Metro and Western Australia both enjoyed impressive wins in a day of hard-fought Under 16 Division 1 contests in extremely trying conditions at Southport. Michael Alvaro was on hand to provide his opinion-based notes on the outstanding players from all four sides.


Vic Metro vs. South Australia

Vic Metro:

#1 Youseph Dib (Oakleigh Chargers)

The Oakleigh product started well, showing off his athleticism and explosiveness in traffic. Despite only being 171cm tall, Dib proved to be one of the stronger players around the contest, converting his ball-prizing will to hard tackles when not in possession. Dib accumulated well in the first half, moving with good agility at stoppages, moving this way and that to make room for clearances (four) and inside 50 balls (three). He almost found the goals with a couple of quick shots early, and had less of an impact after the main break.

#3 Henry Brown (Oakleigh Chargers)

Brown showed a good mix of ball winning in what is usually a mostly outside role on the wing. Like his Chargers teammate Youseph Dib, Brown played the conditions well to thrust the ball forward (four clearances and three inside 50s), with one kick finding Blake Howes inside 50 for his first goal. Brown did the tough stuff well in gathering his 18 disposals and was a solid contributor.

#6 Josh Ward (Northern Knights)

The Northern forward had an outstanding first quarter and was in everything within Metro’s attacking half. He first caught the eye with a spin out of trouble in the opening minutes and was simply cleaner than most others on the field in trying conditions. Ward found most of his 22 disposals early on and looked most dangerous when on the move, almost snapping a first quarter goal with a neat bit of play. He went on to move further afield and find the ball wherever he went, using the ball efficiently by foot with short, sharp kicks.

#8 Lachlan Brooks (Sandringham Dragons)

Arguably best afield, Brooks was another to impress with his clean hands and movement forward. He started with a strong pack mark from a kick-in and by winning possession around the stoppages, but really came to life after the main break with Metro’s only goals for the the second half. Starting in the centre bounce, Brooks won the first clearance of the third term and never looked back, winning six for the game and proving damaging with 20 of his 23 disposals coming by foot. He showed a great first five steps to break away and boot his first goal on the run, adding another in the final term by coming across to intercept a kick-in yet again and slot the resultant shot. Has some good burst and proved a shrewd addition to the Metro midfield.

#10 Lachlan Rankin (Oakleigh Chargers)

You would think that the conditions would not really suit Rankin’s game, but the half-back flanker still managed to show a bit of class. Taking on the designated kicking duties in the back half, Rankin often opted to go long, but also did some nice things in close – with a pretty clever look-away handball over his shoulder in the first term. He’s only slight, but Rankin also did well to win a couple of on-on-one duels and was effective in the air, while proving agile on the ground to get free and release by foot.

#11 Tyler Sonsie (Eastern Ranges)

While Sonsie did not always get his typically damaging running game from stoppages going, he still found a good amount of ball and was efficient with it. He missed a set shot chance early, a checkside in the second term, and had another shot marked on the line, but wasn’t deterred as he went on to chain together some nice handballs in close and get Metro moving out of tight spaces. Sonsie is a real prime mover, so hopefully he can show off his skills in drier conditions later in the carnival, with clean pick-ups and reads off the packs a feature of his game.

#13 Lachlan Benton (Sandringham Dragons)

Benton made himself busy and came into the game with a good patch late in the second term, applying pressure and eventually earning a free kick to slot his lone goal for the game, while also missing another chance on the run shortly after. A dangerous feature in the forward half, Benton also finished the final quarter well with a brave mark on the 50-metre arc and with a clever steal to give Lachlan Brooks a chance on goal. Finished with 16 disposals, four marks, and three inside 50s to go with 1.2.

#14 Angus McLennan (Sandringham Dragons)

A handy point of difference in the Metro back six, McLennan was influential early alongside Lachlan Rankin in moving the ball efficiently from defence. He tends to find a lot of possession inside defensive 50 and shows great composure there, while also showing his aerial prowess with a couple of intercept marks in the second term. McLennan was fantastic in the final term, taking two solid grabs on the last line, outbodying an opponent in the defensive corridor, and getting on his bike to repel SA’s attacks to good effect.

#15 Joshua Goater (Calder Cannons)

This was far and away the best game I have seen from Goater, proving an absolute wall with his superior positioning in the back half. The Cannons product consistently popped up with overhead marks to cut of SA’s long bombs forward as he dominated the area a kick behind the play. He was an attacking rebounder too, moving past opponents and kicking long to keep Metro relevant on the attack for as long as possible. Finished with another big grab in the final term and should thrive in drier conditions and a role he looks comfortable in.

#17 Josh Sinn (Sandringham Dragons)

The skipper battled hard through midfield to pick up a more unassuming 19 disposals than usual, unable to always provide his signature penetration on the outside. Sinn just finds the ball with ease and loves latching onto his left boot, bombing five clearances from congestion and breaching both arcs. He warmed to the contest to have a greater influence as it went on, adapting his game to convert his smart to tighter situations with a couple of clever handballs into space. A solid contributor, but can bring it to the next level.

#19 Blake Howes (Sandringham Dragons)

Howes was by no means one who was dominant throughout the game, but he popped up at the most important time with two goals in the second term to break the game open and put Metro ahead. Howes had an early chance to goal with a soccer from the goalsquare, but came alive with a purple patch that saw him convert a free kick and finish with absolute class on the run shortly after. Looks a pretty raw impact player at this stage, but always seems to find the goals.

#21 Tyreece Leiu (Eastern Ranges)

The strong Ranges midfielder did a lot of the grunt work through the engine room, leading his side for disposals with 24. While he does not always have the flashes of class that the likes of Sonsie and Sinn provide, Leiu thrived in the contested game and was prominent at the coalface. That makes him a good point of difference for Metro, and he should be able to match it with others in the NAB League given his already solid frame.

#23 Jed Rule (Oakleigh Chargers)

Rule is simply one of the better readers of the game in defence and used his nous to snuff out some dangerous SA attacks. He began with a sliding effort to intercept in the first term, backing it up with a more typical aerial clunk in the third and another terrific pack mark in the fourth. He also uses the ball really well for a taller player, making him the kind of modern defender that clubs love. Hardly made a mistake with his 17 disposals and five marks, and was as reliable as anyone.


South Australia:

#5 Isaiah Dudley (Central District)

Constantly looks like the busiest player on the field and was made to work up the field to have an impact. Dudley started with a few small glimpses of his usual self with a holding the ball tackle, high fly for a mark, and some clever touches to keep the ball in dispute. His agility in traffic again caused headaches for his opponents and allowed him to free himself for clean use, proving damaging in general play with repeat efforts in congestion. While he did not find the goals himself, Dudley did his best to create for others and made a sensational pass on the turn to find Jason Horne inside 50 as South Australia looked to charge, while also assisting a Morgan Ferres goal late on with a clever checkside under pressure.

#6 Lachlan Thomas (Sturt)

The conditions did not always allow for Thomas’ usual run and carry out of the defensive 50, but he still managed to breach the arc with almost half (six) of his 14 disposals. He always looked to gain distance when entrusted with the kick-ins, using the new play on rule to good effect and unleashing long kicks. His choice of kicks and opting for distance didn’t always pay off, particularly with a torpedo attempt in the second term, but you can’t fault his effort. Thomas is quick to release and makes his opponents do the same, applying good pressure around the ball in the back half.

#8 Cooper Murley (Norwood)

Murley was a great forward driver for SA through midfield, adding a bit of zip to a tough inside mix. He has the pace to hunt the ball and puts in a heap of efforts until he does just that, breaking with speed and delivering forward well. Murley is still pretty light-on, but showed good tenacity to hold on with his tackles, and took a brave mark in the third term. Was caught out on one occasion when looking to play on quickly, but was otherwise effective in doing so.

#11 Harry Tunkin (Glenelg)

Tunkin is one who makes up for a lack of height with heart, and showed that off the bat with a courageous effort under a high ball to earn a free kick in the opening term. He seems to thrive in contested situations and has a no-nonsense approach, hitting the contest when required and putting his body on the line. Mixed his hard edge with an ability to find the footy, racking up 19 disposals in a solid outing.

#17 Matthew Dnistriansky (Norwood)

A constant in the back half, Dnistriansky did well to remain a composed figure inside defensive 50 across the day. He has the happy knack of clearing his lines by foot, as shown with 14 of his 16 disposals being kicks, and repelled some good looking Metro attacks with apt rebounding.

#18 Tyson Coe (West Adelaide)

One who is actually an under-ager in this year’s competition – much like Roberts, Dudley, and Horne were in 2018 – as a 2004-birth. He still held his own around the stoppages with his decent frame for his age and did not fray from the contest, collecting 14 disposals and laying seven tackles. Should really benefit from the experience and will be one to watch for next year’s carnival if the form of the aforementioned three is anything to go by.

#19 Jason Thorne (South Adelaide)

The skipper put in a brave and workmanlike shift, initially in his usual midfield post and later up either end. He started with good intent, laying a big tackle at one of the earliest stoppages, following up with strong clearance work and ball winning in-close. Thorne showed he has the finesse to match his grunt work, lowering his eyes beautifully to find a teammate going inside 50 in the second term. He went on to spend some time down back after the main break, throwing his weight around down there and rebounding with clearing kicks. He copped a heavy knock in the same term and spend some time on the pine, before getting straight back into the thick of it. He then moved forward and was sensational in SA’s final push, winning a free kick deep to slot his only goal for the game and getting into position twice more to mark inside the arc. Unfortunately could not help his side over the line, but was a top effort.

#20 Matthew Roberts (South Adelaide)

Roberts was arguably the best afield with his 31 disposals, five marks, four clearances, seven inside 50s and one goal. He just seemed to be everywhere and won the ball in all areas of the ground – dominating at stoppages and finding space well forward of centre to make his threat two-pronged. He booted his side’s first goal of the game after clunking a nice mark deep inside 50 and remained relevant when resting forward, continually popping up with marks around half forward to lock the ball in. He may have been playing to the conditions, but many of Roberts’ kicks from the contest went long off a couple of steps, where he would otherwise wheel around further and find a more direct target. Still a dominant game and one who is shaping as South Australia’s most valuable players.

#23 Morgan Ferres (Sturt)

Was far from a massive game from Ferres, but he remained a dangerous prospect for SA up forward and provided a target in tough conditions for key position players. Could have bagged his first goal in the second term after winning a holding free inside 50 but missed the shot, later making up for it with somewhat of a consolation goal via the brilliance of Isaiah Dudley. Has the potential to do more as he has already shown, and should benefit from drier conditions in Round 3.

Vic Country vs. Western Australia

Vic Country:

#2 Campbell Chesser (Sandringham Dragons)

The Country co-captain built into the game slowly but eventually found his rhythm to contribute class and clean use. A usually efficient kick, Chesser unleashed long when on the the move to clear pockets of congestion and opposition set-ups at either end. His run was also effective as a point of difference, baulking an opponent on the way to breaking inside 50 in the second term in a play more suited to dry weather footy. The Melbourne Grammar boarder ended up with a very respectable 21 disposals and two tackles, with his influence felt across the field.

#3 Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels)

The hard-nosed midfielder came off the ground as near-on the muddiest player of the lot, such was his desperation to find the footy. Thriving in the conditions with his contested game, Hobbs collected 29 disposals, laid 10 tackles and rebounded four times in what was a workmanlike display, consistent throughout the four quarters. Hobbs will his way to the ball and through traffic time after time, running through whoever was in his way on path to his goal. With his contested game down pat and overhead marking a solid added trait, Hobbs can work on finding better targets in congestion, with much of his disposal at the stoppages being long kicks to no one in particular. Is still such a competitor, and one of Country’s best two or three thus far.

#5 Mitchell Moschetti (Gippsland Power)

The Gippsland product just seems to find the ball unassumingly, collecting 20 disposals and five rebound 50s in another solid shift. Moschetti positioned well behind the ball early to mark on the wing and began to accumulate the ball forward of the defensive 50 arc in the second term. His diving mark to intercept in the following quarter was a highlight, and he consistently has a say in proceedings by getting to as many contests as he can from behind the ball.

#8 Cooper Hamilton (Bendigo Pioneers)

The Pioneers defender provided good spark moving forward, chiming in with a couple of handy plays throughout the day. He started with a slide to win the ball and kick to Ben Hobbs to show good awareness, while going on to influence proceedings in the third term with neat disposal and a nice contested win to rebound from the back half. Hamilton began the final term where he had left off with a brave take under pressure and handball out to Joshua Rachele, finishing with 14 disposals, five tackles and two rebound 50s.

#9 Hugh Hamilton (Bendigo Pioneers)

The more stocky of the two Hamiltons, Hugh made his impact up forward. Was a little shaky early on with a set shot that went out on the full, but had some nice moments in the second term. The first was a strong one-on-one win at half forward, and the second was a really clean pick-up to show his quality under pressure. Hamilton went on to finish with 16 disposals and four inside 50s after a good middle period of the game.

#10 Benjamin Green (Gippsland Power)

Complimented Hobbs well in midfield with his own contested ball winning, and made an immediate impact with the assist for Josh Rentsch’s first goal with a long kick forward. A regular at the centre bounces and stoppages, Green found a decent amount of ball with 18 disposals and three clearances, while also having an influence in his side’s forward movement with six inside 50s. Capped his game with a slow snap that dribbled over the line just in time at the start of the third term and played an important role.

#11 Connor Macdonald (Dandenong Stingrays)

Macdonald was again one of Country’s most damaging forward movers, providing a reliable and creative link into attacking 50 with clean use, while finding a good amount of ball to make an impact. He is zippy when weaving a way through traffic and pops up in little spurts, but his haul of 24 disposals suggests he is finding some solid consistency.

#13 Joshua Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)

The Country leader was absolutely outstanding with the game in the balance and very nearly proved to be a match-winner, falling just short with his chances to do so. Rachele was impactful early on with his nous around the contest and presence of mind under pressure, but really came to life in an spurring second half performance. He showed rare vision to give Blake Scott a chance on goal in the opening stages of the third quarter and began to become more prominent as a clearance winner at the centre bounces. His flair began to take over in the following term as he tried to inspire his side, tackling beautifully in the corridor before hitting the post with what could well have been the game-sealing goal. It wasn’t to be, but Rachele had a game-high 32 disposals to go with six marks, four inside 50s, four rebound 50s, and 0.3.

#16 Lincoln White (Bendigo Pioneers)

White was another to spur his teammates on with a very influential purple patch, with most of his impact felt in the third term. The Pioneers product was able to hit the scoreboard in quick succession, first slipping an opponent to finish well and then sharply snatch the ball off hands to finish on the bounce and give a big ‘c’mon’ cry. He almost gifted Judson Clarke another goal straight after, and was a slippery opponent inside 50 for the WA defenders all day with his 21 disposals and three inside 50s.

#27 Josh Rentsch (GWV Rebels)

One of the better big-men on the ground in the early stages, Rentsch looked like one who could break the game open as he bagged two first-quarter goals with some added time deep forward. The Penhurst product was strong one-on-one, marking in the opening five minutes and putting through the resultant shot. He would back it up with a juggled attempt and second conversion later in the term before somewhat fading out of the game. He almost had the chance to produce another couple of shots but had delivery fall just short of him on the lead, instead getting the ball back up to smaller players off the deck. In tough conditions for key position players, Rentsch definitely showed signs.


Western Australia:

#7 Judd McVee (East Fremantle)

Aptly named given the stamp a certain Judd made in WA, McVee was fantastic through midfield and finished with a team-high 23 disposals to go with seven tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds. The quick but diminutive mover crashed in to win his own ball and zip away from traffic in the same motion, picking up from where Lochlan Paton left off early on. He was a consistent figure throughout and provided important spark, despite making a couple of turnovers by foot. His best moment was a lightning quick gather on defensive wing in the third term, and he looks an exciting player.

#8 Lochlan Paton (West Perth)

Paton was arguably the best player on the ground up to quarter time, when a hand injury became apparent. He is another midfielder who isn’t massively built, but was so hard at it and won his own ball at will. His evasion in traffic and breaking speed proved troublesome, with his work rate around the stoppages more than handy given the conditions. Hopefully we will get another glimpse of Paton before the carnival ends after his day was cut short, with plenty to like out of his first two outings.

#9 Max Chipper (Swan Districts)

Nicknamed ‘Chip’, the Swan Districts wingman was poised to have a big influence with his poise and class around the ball. Chipper is just so calm and clean in possession, but also proved brave with an intercept play in the second term to cause a turnover. His cool head would help WA prevail in a 3v1 contest, working out what could have been a disaster with a snap over the oncoming Country player to see Saverio Marafioti into an open goal. Finished with 17 disposals and nine tackles in a slightly different role, with much of the play occurring between the arcs.

#10 Mitchell Brown (South Fremantle)

You had to watch closely to truly appreciate Brown’s output, with a lot of his work done in-close as he won 17 disposals, six clearances and four inside 50s. Getting involved as part of WA’s usual midfield group, Brown showed he simply knows how to find the ball and did so with ease throughout the day. He began to find it in more open areas as the game progressed, finding ways to send his side inside 50 while also pitching in up the other end to save a certain Country goal with fantastic desperation alongside Blake Morris in defensive 50. A reliable prospect, and played his role well.

#12 Jake Littleton (East Perth)

The WA outside mover was not always in the game, but seems to chime in with handy touches and neat passages of play. While he is often a handy driver forward off a wing, Littleton showed good work rate to get back and close in on a taller Country opponent in the third term to prevent an easy chance on goal. He did a little bit of everything throughout the game with 15 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, and four rebound 50s, looking very efficient with ball in hand and opting for high percentage short kicks.

#18 Saverio Marafioti (West Perth)

Marafioti is very much a raw prospect, but there is a lot to like about him as an exciting forward. He absolutely burst out of the blocks with an impactful first half, popping up with a couple of touches at half-forward in a good amount of space. He found the goals with a soccered attempt early in the piece, and booted another major after again getting free out the back and latching onto a clever Max Chipper kick. While he faded out of the game a touch and gave away a couple of 50-metre penalties, Marafioti was a key figure in setting up the win early.

#30 Rhett Bazzo (Swan Districts)

The Swan District product proved very effective with his positioning behind the ball and ability to intercept, popping up in the first term with a sliding mark deep inside defensive 50. Bazzo would again position well to cut off another Country kick in the same term, going on to provide some attack with after cutting off the play with long rebounds. He finished with a very serviceable 15 disposals and five marks as a key figure behind the ball.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen (Claremont)

Van Rooyen caught the eye in the opening stages with a strong bit of play to clunk a mark on the second attempt, and he became a useful part of the midfield rotation with his high work rate both ways. The Claremont youngster is already a good size and looks able to play multiple roles, adapting well in this game to have 17 disposals, five marks, nine tackles and a goal – which came in the second term. He tried to cap off his game with another in the last with a torpedo attempt from range after sliding well for a mark, but fell short.

#38 Kade Dittmar (East Perth)

Dittmar was productive around the contests all day, finishing with 22 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances, and four inside 50s as one who pushed forward well from the midfield rotation. He did well to also pull in a couple of marks early on, flying to take one overhead and proving strong to hold another one-on-one. Dittmar had a set shot touched after following up from a short set shot from that second mark, but really got involved forward of centre in a strong second term. Is one who has really grown when donning representative colours.

#39 Luke Polson (Peel Thunder)

One of the heroes of the day, Polson booted the winning goal after earning a holding the ball free kick with just over a minute left in the game – coolly slotting the set shot and celebrating joyously with his teammates. Earlier, he took a solid grab backing up in the first term, but missed a shot gifted to him via a 50-metre penalty in the same play. Playing in defence during the first half, Polson read the ball well in flight to intercept in tandem with Blake Morris before moving into the ruck. He moves like a fourth midfielder in that position at 194cm, following up well at ground level and playing his part. He finished with 16 disposals, 14 hitouts and the winning goal in a great all-round display.

#41 Shannon Neale (South Fremantle)

One of the rotating rucks, Neale was initially slow to build into the game but warrants a mention for standing up in the all-important dying stages. He was frighteningly good at ground level for a 198cm player, scooping the ball up off the deck and dishing off like his outside movers normally would. Neale positioned so well behind the ball to lock it in on two occasions when WA finally got forward in the final term, taking a mark in one of the contests he made. Ended up with a pretty handy stat-line, collecting 12 disposals, five inside 50s and 0.2 while also having five tackles and 13 hitouts.

#42 Blake Morris (Subiaco)

Morris was an absolute wall in defence for the winners, mixing a strong marking ability and superior reading of the play with desperate ground level work to keep Country at bay. He had already showed his knack for marking overhead with a slippery ball, and did so again in this game with four very impressive marks across the day. While he gives up a massive amount of size against key position opponents at 187cm and 68kg, Morris is all heart and makes up for it with his speed and judgement. Once he built confidence, Morris began to attack more with his intercept possessions, but never strayed from his primary role of covering deep in defence. He was so composed on the last line and stopped a couple of certain goals with the sheer will to get back and stall until helped arrived. Super impressive, and looks like a modern prototypical defender who plays well above his height.

Black Ducks continue to break Vic Country hearts

WESTERN Australia’s Under 16s took a leaf out of the book written by their Under 18 counterparts, breaking Vic Country hearts with a hotly contested two-point win, claimed by a Luke Polson goal late in the piece.

Country broke to a slight lead after a close opening term, with either side enjoying bursts of momentum to each put two goals on the board. Saverio Marafioti was electric early in the forward half, booting WA’s first goal and having a hand in their second when he bombed long to a wide open Ethan Regan inside 50. Two majors from Country big-man Josh Rentsch split them and put his side just ahead at the first break, finishing well given the conditions. With arguably the best afield player to that point, Lochlan Paton, in the rooms with a hand injury at the first break, WA needed a big lift to get back on top. Paton would come back on (and off again) despite still being troubled by that hand, and the Sandgropers soared back into the lead in a quarter played mostly in their attacking half. With fluency in ball movement hard to come by on a muddy deck, the Black Ducks’ pressure boded well for locking the ball in – with Jacob van Rooyen and Marafioti the beneficiaries in claiming the term’s only majors. The less-than-ideal scoreless quarter for Country could have been a touch different had a couple of kicks to Rentsch not fallen short, and if Blake Morris had not been so strong in the air and at ground level for WA inside defensive 50. The saving grace for the Victorians was a half time margin of just 11 points, looking manageable as conditions cleared and the ground began to dry.

It proved telling as Vic Country replied in almost identical fashion to how WA had originally broken away, keeping them goalless in the third term while piling on three goals of their own. While Ben Green’s long-range snap rolled over the line to get Country going, Lincoln White and Josh Rachele proved the true catalysts for Country’s change in fortunes – with the former snaring two terrific goals and the latter getting involved in everything through midfield to push his side forward. The Victorians entered the final break seven points in front, but the Black Duckss would kick to the scoring end to finish. They took full advantage in a tense closing term, with the ball locked into Country’s forward 50 for what seemed like an eternity after Regan booted his second goal early on. With Country unable to capitalise and only adding four behinds with all their possession, WA would go up the other end and snatch victory as Polson goaled with 90 seconds left on the clock – as if it were out of a script.

The aptly named Judd McVee (23 disposals, seven tackles) was fantastic through midfield, picking up from where Paton had left off. Kade Dittmar was not far behind with his 22 disposals, nine tackles and four clearances, with WA’s big men providing a huge edge. Morris (16 disposals, six rebound 50s), Polson (16 disposals, 14 hitouts, one goal) and Shannon Neale (12 disposals, 13 hitouts, five inside 50s) all covered the ground beautifully and had real presence.

For Country, Rachele almost proved a match-winner – leading all-comers with a classy 32 disposals, six marks and 0.3, while Ben Hobbs worked tirelessly for 29 disposals and 10 tackles. Connor Macdonald (24 disposals, three inside 50s) proved a good forward runner, with White (21 disposals, two goals) dangerous inside 50 and Campbell Chesser (21 disposals, 10 tackles) solid.

 

VIC COUNTRY 2.3 | 2.4 | 5.8 | 5.12 (42)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2.1 | 4.4 | 4.7 | 6.8 (44)

GOALS:

VC: J. Rentsch 2, L. White 2, B. Green.
WA: S. Marafioti 2, E. Regan 2, J. van Rooyen, L. Polson.

ADC BEST:

VC: J. Rachele, B. Hobbs, B. Green, C. Chesser, C. Macdonald
WA: J. McVee, B. Morris, K. Dittmar, S. Marafioti, S. Neale

Scouting notes: U16 National Championships – Western Australia vs. South Australia

REIGNING Under 16 champions South Australia got their title defence off to a solid start, overcoming Western Australia by 29 points at Subiaco Oval. Below are notes on some of the outstanding players from either side.

Western Australia:

#5 Zach Fliener (West Perth)

Hard to miss under his helmet, Fliener proved a productive part of the WA back six. Looked strong for a smaller player and didn’t shy away from the contest, putting his body in the way to cut off opposition kicks. After showing his solid defensive traits early on, Fliener built the confidence to use his running game to good effect, and often finished with neat use by foot up the ground. Even managed to sneak forward and earn a goal in the final term from a free kick.

#8 Lochlan Paton (West Perth)

Was a pretty permanent fixture in the WA midfield and carried the ball away from congestion well. Got on the end of a couple of neat one-two chains from centre bounces to show good chemistry with his engine room partners, and could have made an even bigger impact with greater kicking penetration. Was still dangerous with his run and carry and accumulated across the day.

#9 Max Chipper (Swan Districts)

A constant on the wing, Chipper looks a really neat and composed user. Often kicked short to high percentage targets and flicked out handballs on the move, seeing a good amount of the ball. Seemed to cover the ground well as he found possession in all areas of the ground, proving an effective link in the chain.

#10 Mitchell Brown (South Fremantle)

Another centre bounce regular, Brown started brightly with the opening clearance of the game. That first bit of play would set the tone for the rest of his game, as the South Fremantle product made most of his impact around the stoppages. Also proved efficient with his long inside 50 entries, finding Luke Taylor in the first term and Lawson Humphries in the second. Brown would go on to find the ball more around the ground as the game wore on, and attacked hard at the contests in wet conditions.

#12 Jake Littleton (East Perth)

Littleton popped up forward of centre with touches in important areas, albeit if they didn’t quite amount to massive scoreboard impact. First caught the eye with a clean pick-up at speed early on, and was one of his side’s main avenues forward with a purple patch of inside 50 entries in the first term. Missed a set shot late in the same quarter on the back of one of WA’s better passages, and had a more quiet end to the game. Looked to be playing off a wing as he found the ball up the ground, but definitely had a greater impact in the front half.

#22 Richard Bartlett (East Fremantle)

One of WA’s more productive forwards despite not finding the goals, Bartlett really impressed with his use by hand – sweeping up spilled balls at half-forward and flicking out to teammates on the move. Does not have a huge frame, but his physicality in the contest was a key part of his style of play, allowing him to position best at the drop of the ball. Bartlett’s highlight for the game was an assist to Matthew Johnson, finding him by hand from a forward 50 stoppage. Also rotated through the midfield in the early stages, but found a home forward of centre.

#27 Matthew Johnson (Subiaco)

A raw midfielder/forward, Johnson was one who showed little flashes of his potential. Is quite tall for a midfielder at his age (187cm) but is still very lean at 65kg, somewhat levelling out his height advantage. Snapped a goal in the second term to set his side on a run of momentum, and later showed good explosive traits with a fend off and burst from congestion.

#31 Luke Taylor (Swan Districts)

The forward target kicked WA’s first goal of the game with a nice set shot finish from the pocket, but missed another chance shortly after. Impressed with his strong hands on the lead on two occasions in the first term, and looked on for a big game. Wasn’t helped by the conditions, but still made an impact by finding his side’s only goal for the third quarter – converting a free kick from a forward 50 stoppage.

#38 Kade Dittmar (East Perth)

Originally a train-on in the WA squad, Dittmar did well to make the most of his opportunity. Has a really solid frame already, and was physical when called upon both in the air and at ground level. Managed to find the ball at both ends, catching the eye in particular with overhead marking in the back half – including two quick ones in the second term. Built into the game well and accumulated across the day, playing the percentages by foot with neat kicking.

#39 Luke Polson (Peel Thunder)

Took on the majority of the ruck duties throughout the day, arguably getting the better of his SA counterparts. Is not the tallest ruck at 194cm, but that didn’t have much of an effect as Polson leapt well and found a way to get first hand on the ball around the ground. Perhaps the best aspect of Polson’s game was his follow-up efforts, finding the ball at ground level and hacking clear for his side. Looks a productive player for his position.

#42 Blake Morris (Subiaco)

A late inclusion to the squad as an over-ager having missed out on selection last year, Morris was arguably WA’s best. The Subiaco product clunked just about everything that came his way in a dominant defensive display. Started with an eye-catching intercept mark in the corridor and never looked back, reeling in a series on overhead grabs from high balls in his defensive 50 to show superior reading of the play. The half-time rain only slowed him slightly, as he came out after the main break with another strong pack mark in the wet. Worked well at ground level too with a goal-saving tackle in the second term, as well as a couple of rebounding attempts. Still looks a raw prospect, and had a bit of a blunder as he marked an Isaiah Dudley shot on his chest just over the goal line, but has great potential.


South Australia:

#2 Zyton Santillo (North Adelaide)

Made a lively start to the game, taking it on with some run and carry from his customary wing position, and even slotting home SA’s second goal of the game with a well converted set shot. Likes to burst past opponents as he gathers the ball, and found it at a good rate throughout the game. Was a little quieter after making his early impression, but remained one of his side’s best.

#3 Jay Watson (Eagles)

Was not initially one who caught the eye, but progressively got better and more involved as time elapsed. Started SA’s late surge in the second term as he announced himself with a set shot goal, and also hit the post in the following term. Was involved in a couple of nice passages for the winners, and got busy in the forward half.

#5 Isaiah Dudley (Central District)

Arguably the best afield, Dudley is full of talent and stands above the rest despite being just 162cm tall. Also caught the eye at last year’s Under 16 carnival with his nous around goal, and produced the same kind of play here with clever touches at ground level and four high quality majors. Looked to make an immediate impact with his first shot coming in the opening minute, but only really started to take over after quarter time. Harassed well inside 50 to give Morgan Ferres his second goal, and played a key part in Harry McInnes’ first with a steal and break through the corridor. Would find the goals himself shortly after with a lovely snap, and made another intercept to slam home a second. Continued on with the first goal of the third term and his fourth in the last, capping off a top-notch display. Has great agility and smarts, definitely one who will garner attention despite his height.

#6 Lachlan Thomas (Sturt)

An effective rebounder from the back half, Thomas swept up well across defensive 50 to accumulate a good amount of ball. Was the designated kicker given his kick-in responsibilities and often looked to take full advantage of being able to play on from them. Showed good composure on the ball and got to the important areas, barely putting a foot wrong throughout the game. Looks to be an important generator of run in a highly competitive SA back six.

#8 Cooper Murley (Norwood)

One of three who most consistently featured at the centre bounces, Murley provided a good point of difference between the midfield trio with some burst and run on the outside. Won an early clearance, but made his first real impact with a goal – collecting the loose ball over the back after initially airing a soccered attempt and converting into an open goal. Went on to win most of his ball on the outer of heavy congestion and moved it forward to good effect.

#10 Jase Burgoyne (Eagles)

A Flying Boomerangs representative last year, Burgoyne is the son of Port Adelaide champion Peter – and looks a mirror imagine of him in his early days. The pacey mover played most of this game in the forward half or on a wing, showing small glimpses of his pedigree. Took a nice one on one mark and moved the ball inside 50 in a lively second quarter, while also missing a casual attempted snap on goal. Was involved early in the third term again with more time forward, and had a particularly impressive pick-up at speed. Showed signs, but not the complete package just yet.

#11 Harry Tunkin (Glenelg)

A tough midfielder/defender, Tunkin looked to have relished the opportunity to get his hands dirty in wet conditions. Attacks the ball hard and remains strong in the contest, while also possessing good breakaway capabilities and a solid core. Really impressed in the second and third terms with his defensive efforts in the back half, while also racking up a good amount of ball and using it well by foot. Showed a good bit of composure in the third term to round two opponents, and also spent some time in the middle.

#14 Arlo Draper (South Adelaide)

Is a tall and lean type, but absolutely threw himself into every contest he could in the back half. Showed great desperation to lock in and win the ball at ground level inside defensive 50, making a heap of contests and helping SA to prize possession back. Also competed well in the air to bring the ball to ground, and was another to show levels of composure with ball in hand.

#17 Matthew Dnistriansky (Norwood)

Had a couple of nice moments during the match, starting with a solid overhead grab in the opening term. Did not have a massive first half, but again showed his worth with a booming kick from defensive wing to find a target forward in the second term. Started to really motor on after half time, staying relevant down back with some solid rebound and by racking up a good amount of ball.

#19 Jason Horne (South Adelaide)

The skipper well and truly led the way from midfield, putting in his fair share of contested work and using the ball well from congestion. Was a regular at the centre bounces, but also rested forward and found a goal in the second term – taking a strong contested mark and converting the resultant shot. Managed to set up Jay Watson’s goal in the same term on the back of a fend-off, but still looked most comfortable in the engine room as his side’s leading ball winner. Horne handed off well to runners tackled hard, working effectively at the stoppages and also proving productive around the ground. Will be a key figure for his side, and is arguably the best of a strong SA midfield core.

#20 Matthew Roberts (South Adelaide)

Back for his second stint in the Under 16 side after impressing last year as an under-ager, Roberts complimented the likes of Horne well in the midfield. The South Adelaide product is another who is strong and wins his fair share of contested ball, but also possesses a decent left foot. Looked particularly good early with an overhead intercept mark forward of the wing, but went on to really shine with his in and under work in the engine room, despite not having huge possession numbers.

#23 Morgan Ferres (Sturt)

Joined Dudley with a game-high four goals, playing deep forward as a slightly undersized lead-up target. Was really dangerous in the opening term, finding a good amount of ball inside 50 and putting through one of his two attempts on goal, reading the ball best off hands. Kicked his second goal in the following term in open play once again, adding two more in the final quarter to seal the game. His third came via another snap, and his fourth was a more conventional set shot. Had a couple of good one on one wins in the air despite his light frame, but was found out a bit more when searching for it up the ground before coming good again when positioned a kick behind the ball on the attacking arc. Definitely looks at home inside forward 50.

Reigning champions again look the team to beat

DEFENDING Under-16 Division 1 champions South Australia got their 2019 campaign off to an ideal start, bettering their Western counterparts by 29 points at Subiaco Oval in a game full of momentum swings.

The tri-colours burst out of the blocks early with consecutive goals to Morgan Ferres, Zyton Santillo, and Cooper Murley helping them to an ominous three-goal break. Their lead was soon to be cut though, as the home side hit back through forward targets Luke Taylor and Jacob van Rooyen to remain within striking distance. The ebbs and flows continued on into the second term, with SA ending the beneficiary of a high-scoring stanza of play – booting six goals to WA’s three to build a 26-point half-time margin. Three quick unanswered goals in the final four minutes of the term compounded the difference, with Jay Watson, skipper Jason Horne, and diminutive forward jet Isaiah Dudley all finding the big sticks late on.

With a downpour of rain continuing on from the half time interval, SA looked primed to hang onto the lead they had established, but WA simply would not go away. A deadlocked third term saw the spoils shared and margin relatively unchanged heading into the fourth quarter, with Dudley and WA’s Taylor each doubling up on their respective goal tallies. With the rain seeming to clear but the ball still wet, the home side made a charge early in the final stanza with another string of three goals – this time through Zach Fliener, Matthew Johnson, and Ethan Regan. Despite the lead being cut to just nine points and the run of play with WA, the visitors’ class shone through the dreariness as they finished strong with three goals of their own to seal a comfortable victory in the end, with a Ferres goal on the siren sealing the deal.

Dudley and Ferres were the stars inside 50 for the winners with four goals apiece, as the former provided intense ground ball threat when rotating forward through the midfield, and the latter more of an aerial option. Dudley’s teammates in last year’s Under 16 squad – Horne and Matthew Roberts – were fantastic through midfield, winning their fair share of contested ball and also featuring forward of centre. Santillo was another to impress with his run and carry from the wing, with Lachlan Thomas and Harry Tunkin reliable outlets down back.

For WA, late squad inclusion Blake Morris was simply outstanding down back – marking just about everything that came his way, especially during a dryer first half. Fliener was another to pop up in the defensive half, donning his helmet and carrying the ball forward to good effect. The likes of Lochlan Paton, Max Chipper, and Mitchell Brown all accumulated well across the game in the Black Swans’ midfield rotation, while Lawson Humphries and Richard Bartlett were dangerous links into the forward 50. Johnson and Taylor were the only multiple goal kickers in an even spread, with van Rooyen a key contributor to also find the goals and Kade Dittmar impressive in all areas of the ground.

With the carnival headed to Queensland for Rounds 2 and 3, next on the agenda for South Australia is a meeting with fellow Round 1 winners, Vic Metro. Meanhwile, Western Australia is set to face Metro’s weekend opponent, Vic Country.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2.2 | 5.3 | 6.5 | 9.5 (59)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 3.4 | 9.5 | 10.8 | 13.10 (88)

GOALS:
WA: L. Taylor 2, M. Johnson 2, J. van Rooyen, L. Humphries, R. Farmer, Z. Fliener, E. Regan.
SA: I. Dudley 4, M. Ferres 4, C. Murley, Z. Santillo, J. Horne, J. Watson, H. McInnes.