Tag: Lachlan Mcneil

Young gun focus: 2020 SANFL Round 12 wrap

WITH young guns impressing at state league level around the nation, we again narrow our focus for this week’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) wrap to the performances of youth throughout all three grades. There is plenty to unpack in our third altered edition, with Under 18 prospects scattered across the two senior competitions, and a bunch of youngsters impressing in the junior grade in Round 12.

>> SCROLL for full results 

Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) is again the talk of SANFL town, after drubbing reigning League premier, Glenelg by 78 points to put one hand on the minor premiership. 19-year-old Lachlan McNeil was again terrific among a raft of key Eagles ball winners, collecting 24 disposals in the win. Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy (NGA) candidate Lachlan Jones contributed to the defensive effort seeing the Bays held to just four majors, and he even added a huge specky to his highlight reel. Fellow defender Rhyan Mansell managed 14 touches, but comes under an injury cloud at the unideal time with his Achilles complaint. Glenelg’s Luke Parks (13 disposals, six marks) and Callum Park (14 disposals, nine rebound 50s) were both kept busy down back in the heavy defeat.

2020 AFL Draft hopefuls Luke Edwards (Glenelg) and Caleb Poulter (WWT) battled it out in the Reserves, as the Eagles again came away comfortable winners. Fellow Under 18s Cooper Horsnell and Ty Murphy have also enjoyed two’s berths for the Bays, along with Victorian mainstay Mitch Martin and 18-year-old Brady Searle up forward. WWT midfielder Harrison Dawkins was also named for a well-earned promotion. While the Eagles have already secured finals qualification across both senior levels, Glenelg’s youngsters like Edwards, Horsnell, and Murphy could spill back into the Under 18s side should the Tigers sneak into the top four there.

Speaking of the Under 18s, the Eagles pulled off a hat-trick of victories over their yellow and black counterparts, securing a thumping 93-point win on Saturday. Port fans will be buoyed to see father-son prospects Jase Burgoyne (2021-eligible) and Taj Schofield (2020) lead the ball winning stakes with over 30 disposals each, as both also hit the scoreboard in their midfield rotation. Max Litster (29 disposals, seven clearances, one goal) was again prominent, while bigmen Henry Smith and Zac Phillips both managed two goals apiece. Frazer Bradley (26 disposals, six marks) found the most ball for Glenelg, while Kye Dean and William Watts continued their solid form.

Elsewhere, South Adelaide and North Adelaide both bolstered their spots in the top four; as the Panthers preyed on Westies, and the Roosters crowed in a win over Central District. Daly Andrews’ promising start to SANFL League life continued with another 16 disposals and one goal, while 17-year-old Jason Horne was terrific for 15 touches and a major of his own in the Panthers’ victory. 2020 National Combine invitee Thomas Highmore also made a steady return from injury. North Adelaide key defender Dyson Hilder, whose League return saw Karl Finlay go the other way, was solid with 11 disposals and seven marks as his Roosters got up.

There was also some good talent running around for the Panthers at Reserves level, with another National Combine invitee in Phoenix Spicer among them. The speedy small forward/midfielder booted two majors and was among his side’s best players as South romped to a 71-point win. Draft hopeful Zac Dumesny was also listed to make his return from injury in the two’s. Prolific Westies midfielder Bailey Chamberlain narrowly missed League selection, but was part of the Reserves squad alongside Jye Sinderberry. Leading prospect Riley Thilthorpe was billed to slot back into the League lineup, but was a late scratching on account of his niggling groin complaint.

The Bloods’ Under 18s made South Adelaide earn its victory, pushing the Panthers for most of the game. Michael Laudato and Zac Venning combined for 54 disposals, 20 marks, and 12 rebound 50s in a busy defence, while Cade Kennedy and Dylan White worked hard through the engine room with over 20 touches and seven clearances apiece, and Luke Young snared three goals up forward. South’s depth proved too strong though, as the likes of Max Clifton, Luke Mitton, Dylan Brown, and Liam Hamilton all proved productive, while draft bolter Brayden Cook booted two goals and Nick Kraemer finally got back on the park.

Like the Panthers, North Adelaide enjoyed a big Under 18s win of its own, downing Centrals to the tune of 94 points. Among the goalkickers were Kyle Brazell and Matthew Borg, who each also found plenty of the ball, while bigmen Leo Coates (four goals) and Isaac Keeler (two) also impressed. There were no multiple goalkickers for the Bulldogs with some classy personnel missing, though Wyatt Ryan put in another mammoth performance with 26 disposals, 11 marks, and 32 hitouts. Lachlan Grubb was also an outstanding performer at Reserves level, booting five goals in Centrals’ win.

Back in the League frame, Norwood kept its finals hopes alive with a razor-thin win over Sturt, won off the boot of VFL recruit Nikolaus Rokahr. The Redlegs have been hampered by injuries, but that has only allowed youngsters like Daniel Fairbrother to get an extended run at senior level. He collected 19 disposals in his third senior game. Sturt swingman and potential Adelaide NGA prospect James Borlase missed due to school football commitments, though Tom Lewis continues to impress having gathered 18 disposals in the loss.

The Doubles Blues rocketed clear atop the Under 18s ladder as well, demoting Norwood to third with a 56-point triumph. Unsurprisingly, Tom Powell collected a team-high 33 disposals, but was outdone by Norwood’s Michael Cavallaro (34), who returned from Reserves duties. Ben Ianniello, who also has Reserves experience, collected 28 touches for the Redlegs, while Cooper Murley again ticked over the 30-mark. Henry Nelligan was also terrific with three goals from 26 touches despite the loss. He was one of the unlucky players to miss out on a National Combine nod though, alongside Sturt’s Mani Liddy, who contributed 24 disposals and a goal.

RESULTS

League:

West Adelaide 8.7 (55) def. by South Adelaide 17.13 (115)
Norwood 10.16 (76) def. Sturt 11.7 (73)
WWT Eagles 16.15 (111) def. Glenelg 4.9 (33)
North Adelaide 15.20 (110) def. Central District 12.6 (78)

Reserves:

West Adelaide 8.2 (50) def. by South Adelaide 18.13 (121)
Norwood 1.3 (9) def. by Sturt 13.20 (98)
WWT Eagles 14.17 (101) def. Glenelg 5.5 (35)
North Adelaide 9.16 (70) def. by Central District 13.9 (87)

Under 18s:

Central District 3.4 (22) def. by North Adelaide 17.14 (116)
Sturt 16.9 (105) def. Norwood 7.7 (49)
South Adelaide 12.15 (87) def. West Adelaide 10.4 (64)
Glenelg 5.4 (34) def. by WWT Eagles 18.19 (127)

Featured Image: Eagles forward James Rowe (front left) celebrates with teammates | Source: Cory Sutton/SANFL

Out to impress: SANFL Round 11 Preview

ROUND 11 of the South Australian Football League (SANFL) is set to see a number of youngsters take the field to ply their trade for their respective teams across the weekend as Draft Central brings to you a new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. In this edition, we zone in on the talented youngsters taking the field across all three major divisions.

Sturt midfielder Tom Powell could get his first opportunity to impress at League level after he was named on the extended bench for the Double Blues’ Saturday afternoon clash with South Adelaide. After battling with injury for parts of 2019, Powell has dominated the under-18 competition this season, averaging 36 disposals and nine clearances per game. He will be hoping to join fellow draft hopeful James Borlase in the senior side, after the Crows Academy prospect retained his spot in the line-up.

Talented Panthers utility Zac Dumesny and key defender Tom Highmore will spend at least another week on the sidelines as they recover from ankle injuries. Bottom-ager Jason Horne will feature in the South Adelaide league side once again, after he was named on the half-forward flank, whilst wingman Daly Andrews will play his third game for the club after crossing from Victoria.

Strongly built defender Harry Spacie, clean-kicking half-back Jack Flett and speedster Phoenix Spicer have all been named in South’s reserves side to face the Double Blues at Peter Motley Oval. At under-18s level, Mani Liddy and Will Spain are once again set to lead the Sturt onball brigade against the likes of South Adelaide’s Max CliftonArlo Draper and Brayden Cook.

Central Districts will be bolstered by the return of 18-year-old Corey Durdin after proving his fitness during the week. Durdin last played in the clubs Round 8 meeting with Sturt, where he suffered a hamstring strain. Wingman Jack Toner has kept his spot in the Bulldogs league side, along with goal-sneak Jordan O’Brien, who is set to join Durdin up forward. Norwood defender Daniel Fairbrother will be looking to build upon his impressive League debut, after being named on the interchange bench for the Round 11 clash.

Bulldog Lachlan Grubb will be joined at reserves level by Brodie Lake, who has been elevated after performing well for the under-18s since crossing from the Northern Territory. The talented duo will take on fellow teenagers Michael CavallaroJack Saunders and Ben Ianniello, who have been included in Norwood’s reserves side.

At under-18 level, Norwood will be hoping for big games from ever reliable midfielders Cooper Murley and Henry Nelligan. After racing out of the blocks and emerging as the team to beat in the under-18s, the Redlegs have lost their last two matches and will be looking to get back onto the winners list when they host a Central Districts side led by impressive 16-year-old onballer Austin McDonald.

Promising defender Luke Parks and his namesake Callum Park are both set to play vital roles in defence for Glenelg when they host West Adelaide. However they will not be faced with the challenge of nullifying Bloods tall Riley Thilthorpe, with the talented draft prospect set to spend another week on the sidelines as the club manages his workload.

A couple of Henley High School products will take to the ACH Group Stadium turf when the reserves kick off proceedings early on Saturday afternoon. West midfielder Bailey Chamberlain could line-up on potential Crows father-son prospect Luke Edwards, who returns to action after missing several weeks through concussion. Bloods defender Jye Sinderberry and Tigers forward Cooper Horsnell are also set to play reserves for their respective sides.

With Brodie Edwards named in the under-18 side, the Edwards-clan have a son playing for Glenelg across all three levels this weekend. Edwards and the likes of Hagan Wright and Kye Dean will be looking to put an end to Glenelg’s run of five consecutive losses when they take on the Bloods, led by Edward van den Berg and Luke Young.

The Roosters and Eagles will meet on Sunday afternoon in a top-of-the-table clash. Potential first round draft pick and Port Adelaide academy prospect Lachlan Jones will again suit up at league level, having impressed all season with his speed, leap and physical presence across half-back. Rhyan Mansell and Lachlan McNeil have become integral components of the Eagles side this season down back and in the midfield respectively. Roosters tall defender Karl Finlay has been equally as important for North Adelaide, often tasked with handling the oppositions best forward.

Eagle Caleb Poulter retains his spot in the reserves after making the step up last weekend. The usual suspects will take their place on the field for two of the under-18 competition’s in-form sides. The Roosters, fresh off a big win over Glenelg, will be looking to get the ball into the hands of skilful Adelaide academy prospects Tariek Newchurch and Blayne O’Loughlin, with Matthew Borg and James Willis set to handle the grunt work in the midfield. Port Adelaide have a couple of prospects in this clash too, in the form of Eagle midfielders Jase Burgoyne and Taj Schofield. The tall duo of Zac Phillips and Henry Smith could also cause some problems for the North Adelaide defenders.

FIXTURES

League:

Central Districts vs. Norwood | Saturday September 5, 2:10pm @ X Convenience Oval
Sturt vs. South Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 2:10pm @ Peter Motley Oval
Glenelg vs. West Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 4:10pm @ ACH Group Stadium
Woodville-West Torrens vs. North Adelaide | Sunday September 6, 2:45pm @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Reserves:

Central Districts vs. Norwood | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ X Convenience Oval
Sturt vs. South Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ Peter Motley Oval
Glenelg vs. West Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 1:30pm @ ACH Group Stadium
Woodville-West Torrens vs. North Adelaide | Sunday September 6, 12pm @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Under-18s:

Glenelg vs. West Adelaide | Saturday September 5, 11:05am @ ACH Group Stadium
Norwood vs. Central Districts | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ Coopers Stadium
South Adelaide vs. Sturt | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ Flinders University Stadium
North Adelaide vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Saturday September 5, 11:30am @ Prospect Oval

Young gun focus: SANFL Round 10 wrap

WITH young guns impressing at state league level around the nation, we again narrow our focus for this week’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) wrap to the performances of youth throughout all three grades. There is plenty to unpack in our second altered edition, with an Adelaide Crows Next Generation Academy (NGA) hopeful making his League debut, while three teams are now tied for top spot in the Under 18s.

>> SCROLL for full results 

West Adelaide vs. Sturt

League: West Adelaide 8.6 (54) def. by Sturt 10.1 (61)
Reserves: West Adelaide 7.6 (48) def. by Sturt 12.8 (80)
Under 18s: Sturt 10.14 (74) def. West Adelaide 5.9 (39)

A late rally ensured Sturt got over the line against West Adelaide in their League clash under Friday night lights, with just seven points separating either side come the final siren. The game would have attracted the eyes of many an Adelaide Crows fan, as NGA prospect James Borlase made his top flight debut for the Double Blues. The strongly-built swingman was solid down back, working a handy intercept game and using the ball well across his 14 disposals and five rebound 50s.

Tom Lewis and Casey Voss racked up 21 disposals each, aided by 53 hitouts from Daniel Fahey-Sparks, though coach Nathan Grima may face a selection dilemma as Tom Powell continues to bang the door down at Under 18s level. The prolific midfielder added another 47 disposals and 10 clearances to his formidable season tallies, while also contributing two goals. His partner in crime, Mani Liddy was also terrific with 33 touches and a goal of his own as Sturt sealed a hat-trick of wins over the Bloods.

Leading SA draft prospect Riley Thilthorpe was rested from his League duties with Westies this week, seeing former Sydney Swans Academy member Hamish Ellem slot in to bag two majors. Reed Stevens, the brother of leading ball winner, Kaine had 17 touches and six clearances on his League debut, while Lachlan Squire was unable to match his own debut numbers, kept to nine disposals.

In the Reserves grade, 19-year-old Josh Shute was named among Sturt’s best, while Under 18 midfielders Bailey Chamberlain and Nicholas Couroupis were among the best half-dozen for Westies in a losing effort. Jye Sinderberry (12 disposals, five marks) was again outstanding in the junior grade upon his second game back from injury.

Norwood vs. WWT Eagles

League: Norwood 12.12 (84) def. WWT Eagles 6.8 (44)
Reserves: Norwood 9.6 (60) def. by WWT Eagles 13.8 (86)
Under 18s: WWT Eagles 11.14 (80) def. Norwood 7.8 (50)

18-year-old Daniel Fairbrother had a League debut to remember, as Norwood trumped ladder leader, Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) by 40 points to remain in the finals hunt. The 182cm prospect gathered 12 disposals in his maiden outing, while Victorian recruit Nik Rokahr had a game-high 34 disposals. Isaac Saywell was another solid young performer for the Redlegs, registering 10 marks among his 19 touches overall.

Lachlan McNeil (21 disposals) continued his consistent run of form for the Eagles despite a rare loss, while the likes of Lachlan Jones and Rhyan Mansell had few answers for Norwood in defence. Up the other end, livewire small forward James Rowe was kept to just one goal as WWT struggled for firepower. It was just the second time all season Rowe managed less than three goals in a game.

Finn Heard narrowly missed League selection this week for Norwood, but managed to instead run out for the Reserves alongside fellow Under 18s Michael Cavallaro, Jack Saunders, Jackson Murphy, and Ben Ianniello. Caleb Poulter and star VFL recruit Sam Lowson both lined up for WWT in the same game, as the Eagles soared home 26-point winners.

Poulter’s absence at Under 18s level was made up for by the likes of Jase Burgoyne, Max Litster, and Harrison Dawkins, who all contributed over 25 touches. AFL Academy members Taj Schofield and Henry Smith both hit the scoreboard in the Eagles’ 30-point win. The result saw Norwood pipped for top spot, though the performances of Henry Nelligan and Cooper Murley (both 24 disposals and one goal) were promising. Mobile bigman Sam Duke was arguably the Redlegs’ best, notching 26 disposals and eight marks.

South Adelaide vs. Central District

League: South Adelaide 14.19 (103) def. Central District 10.6 (66)
Reserves: South Adelaide 9.4 (58) def. by Central District 13.16 (94)
Under 18s: Central District 7.7 (49) def. by South Adelaide 11.14 (80)

Daly Andrews built strongly on his opening SANFL League outing, adding two goals to another tally of 18 disposals as South Adelaide comfortably accounted for Central District. The Victorian’s kicking game and ability to penetrate in transition came to the fore as the Panthers kept their top four spot safe.

Bottom-age gun Jason Horne showcased his eye-catching hops and a good deal of confidence in another League appearance, finishing with 15 disposals as he continues to lead the class of 2021. Exciting 19-year-old forward Beau McCreery popped up in glimpses, contributing a single goal to his team’s win. For the Bulldogs, Dandenong Stingrays graduate Jack Toner was a touch quieter than his last few games, gathering 10 disposals. Meanwhile, Jackson Kelly, the son of Sydney champion, Paul booted two goals in a promising display.

There was some notable talent running around in the Reserves grade, headlined by the return of South star Daniel Sladojevic. The 19-year-old booted a goal, but his Panthers were ultimately outclassed by the Bulldogs to the tune of 36 points. Under 18 prospects Phoenix Spicer and Lachlan Grubb also took the field for either side.

The Panthers managed to get one back at Under 18s level, with an even team performance leading them to a 31-point win. Draft bolter Brayden Cook was again productive aerially with eight marks, though struggled with his radar in front of goal to register three behinds. Max Clifton, Liam Hamilton, Jayden Little, and Jack Flett were among the best top-agers afield, while Hugo Hoeck booted four goals and Arlo Draper notched six clearances. The midfield combination of Austin McDonald and Brodie Lake again worked well for the Bulldogs, as the pair combined for 51 disposals and 13 clearances. Bigman Wyatt Ryan was also influential.

North Adelaide vs. Glenelg

League: North Adelaide 10.9 (69) def. by Glenelg 10.11 (71)
Reserves: North Adelaide 14.11 (95) def. Glenelg 4.10 (34)
Under 18s: Glenelg 8.10 (58) def. by North Adelaide 21.10 (136)

Glenelg may have snuck home by two points in a crucial League clash against North Adelaide, but the Roosters were well on song across the other two grades in Round 10. Potential mature-age AFL recruit Luke Partington again impressed for the Bays with 27 disposals, bested only by Harrison Wigg of the Roosters (29 disposals). A pair of 19-year-old Tigers in Callum Park (18 disposals, seven rebound 50s) and Luke Parks (15 disposals, six marks) were instrumental in the back half for Glenelg, combining slick rebounding skills and aerial marking prowess collectively.

A bunch of Roosters stole the show at Under 18s level, with the likes of Jayden Davison, Blayne O’Loughlin, Matthew Borg, and Kyle Brazell all finding both plenty of the ball and the big sticks. Harvey Harrison booted a game-high four majors, followed closely by Adelaide NGA hopeful Tariek Newchurch with three. Kye Dean played his part as usual for the Tigers, finishing with 24 disposals and two goals, while midfield partner Hagan Wright managed 21 touches.

Featured Image: Deb Curtis/SANFL

Out to impress: SANFL Round 10 preview

HEADING into South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Round 10, Draft Central brings to you a new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. In our first edition, we zone in on the talented youngsters taking the field across all three major divisions.

Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospect Lachlan Jones will once again suit-up for the Eagles league side when they travel to Cooper Stadium to face Norwood under Friday night lights. The talented 18-year-old is yet to miss a game this season and has played an integral role down back for the first placed Eagles. He is joined in defence by Tasmanian Rhyan Mansell, with 19-year-old Lachlan McNeil named on the wing.

Intercept-marking machine Daniel Fairbrother has been named on the extended bench for the Redlegs league side, after impressing in the under-18s and reserves throughout the year. Midfielder Jack Saunders and small defender Michael Cavallaro both retained their spots in the reserves side for the round ten clash, alongside the athletic Benjamin Ianniello. Potential first round draftee Caleb Poulter will make the step up to Woodville-West Torrens’ reserves side, after displaying plenty of skill, athleticism and versatility with the under-18s.

The in-form Woodville-West Torrens take on the ladder-leading Norwood in the first of an under-18s double-header on Saturday afternoon at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. Prolific inside midfielder Max Lister has combined well with the outside class of Taj Schofield and bottom-ager Jase Burgoyne through the Eagles engine-room. Tall forward Henry Smith will again be the focal point in attack, with fellow AFL Academy member Zac Phillips set to resume his lead ruck role. His duel with Norwood ruckman Nathan Hearing is set to be closely fought, with the likes of bottom-ager Cooper Murley and ball magnet Henry Nelligan hoping to feed off his tap-work.

In the other Friday night game, West Adelaide’s senior side will be desperate to bounce back against Sturt, following last round’s lacklustre loss to previously winless Central Districts. Riley Thilthorpe has earned a week off, after playing all nine matches for the Bloods league side so far in 2020. Meanwhile, Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospect James Borlase is set to make his league debut for Sturt after plying his trade at reserves level for the first half of the year. The defender has been named at half-back for the Hisense Stadium clash.

Bloods ball magnet Bailey Chamberlain will play reserves again this week, after proving a touch-above under-18s level earlier in the season. He is one of several South Australian draft prospects who will be eager to make their league debuts before the SANFL season draws to a close.

The Double Blues under-18s will welcome back prolific midfielder Tom Powell with open arms after he missed the club’s round nine match. An on-baller in the Lachie Neale mould, Powell has been the in-form player of the under-18 competition and leads the league in disposals and clearances. He has been named in his customary on-ball role and will be supported by fellow AFL Academy member Mani Liddy and promising bottom-ager Will Spain. Tom Emmett will return to the side to provide a target in attack.

The Bloods under-18s have had a difficult season, but Jye Sinderberry has shown why he is a chance to be drafted. Edward Van den Berg will join him down back after showing some encouraging signs throughout the season to-date.

The Bulldogs will be full of confidence when they head down south to do battle with the Panthers, after breaking their winless-streak last round. Pocket-rocket Corey Durdin will miss at least another week after he sustained a hamstring injury in Round 8. Talented Panthers utility Zac Dumesny will also be missing in action as he recovers from an ankle injury. However bottom-aged sensation Jason Horne is set to play his fourth league game in a row for South Adelaide, after being named on the interchange bench. The ‘Dogs also boast a number of promising talents, including Jordan O’Brien, who will be looking to continue his promising form at senior level up forward. The league clash will also feature a couple of Victorians in Bulldog Jack Toner and Panther Daly Andrews. Both have made encouraging starts to their senior careers across the border.

Lachlan Grubb will have his sights set on a return to the league side when he fronts-up for Central Districts reserves. South Adelaide have handed reserves berths to a couple of their brightest stars in bottom-aged key defender Harry Spacie and flashy wingman Phoenix Spicer. Although polar opposites in their playing styles, expect both player to have an immediate impact in the second-tier competition.

In the under-18s, South Adelaide draft bolter Brayden Cook will likely attract plenty of attention from the Bulldogs defenders, who will be well-aware of his match-winning capabilities up forward and on the wing. Bottom-ager Arlo Draper has been named in the forward pocket, alongside Liam Hamilton and young tall Will Verrall. NT native Brodie Lake will play his fourth under-18s game in the red, white and blue, while fellow Territorian Jonty Patrick will be looking to provide a spark up forward. 16-year-old Austin McDonald will again carry much of the midfield responsibilities for Centrals.

The Roosters senior side will be looking to continue their winning ways when they host Glenelg at Prospect Oval. North Adelaide’s 19-year-old key defender Karl Finlay was terrific in his return from injury last round, blanketing Norwood big-man Tommy Pinyon. His partner in crime Dyson Hilder will line up in the reserves side, along with fellow 19-year-old Harrison Magor. Both will be eager to stake their claims for a return to senior level. Luke Edwards will miss another week after he suffered a concussion in his league debut against Central Districts.

Glenelg’s under-18s will be led by skilful half-back Hagan Wright and the strongly built on-baller Kye Dean. Meanwhile, the Roosters will once again be bolstered by the presence of three Adelaide Next Generation prospects in exciting forward Tariek Newchurch, classy bottom-aged defender Blayne O’Loughlin and athletic backman Lam SimonLeo Coates, who won the SANFL Under-18 MVP award for his performance last round, has been named at centre-half-forward, with James Willis, Kyle Brazell and Matthew Borg set to anchor the red and white midfield unit.

FIXTURES

League:

West Adelaide vs. Sturt | Friday August 28, 7:20pm @ Hisense Stadium
Norwood vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Friday August 28, 7:40pm @ Coopers Stadium
South Adelaide vs. Central Districts | Saturday August 29, 2:10pm @ Flinders University Stadium
North Adelaide vs. Glenelg | Sunday August 30, 2:10pm @ Prospect Oval

Reserves:

West Adelaide vs. Sturt | Friday August 28, 4:50pm @ Hisense Stadium
Norwood vs. Woodville-West Torrens | Friday August 28, 5pm @ Coopers Stadium
South Adelaide vs. Central Districts | Saturday August 29, 11:30am @ Flinders University Stadium
North Adelaide vs. Glenelg | Sunday August 30, 11:30am @ Prospect Oval

Under-18s:

Woodville-West Torrens vs. Norwood | Saturday August 29, 11am @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval
Glenelg vs. North Adelaide | Saturday August 29, 11:30am @ ACH Group Stadium
Central Districts vs. South Adelaide | Saturday August 29, 11:30am @ X Convenience Oval
Sturt vs. West Adelaide | Sunday August 29, 1:25pm @ Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Caught the Eye: 2020 SANFL – Round 9

THE TOP junior prospects from South Australia rolled on into Round 9 of the SANFL Under 18s competition, with a number of standouts continuing to emerge. But in this edition of Caught the Eye, we have compiled a list of the best and most promising performers from across all three grades this past weekend, with one representative from all eight SANFL clubs. For extended profiles on each relevant player, click on their names highlighted in red. For our full Round 9 scouting notes, click here.

Norwood vs. North Adelaide

Henry Nelligan
Norwood | Midfielder/Small Forward
7/03/2002 | 170cm | 69kg

Stats: 34 disposals, 5 marks, 5 tackles, 5 clearances, 8 inside 50s, 4 rebound 50s, 1 goal

Our scouts said: “The industrious Nelligan was the most prolific player on the field, seemingly finding the ball at will. His running patterns are excellent and he always puts his head over the ball. Nelligan has also been able to impact the scoreboard since returning to Under 18s level after stints in Norwood’s League and Reserves sides.” – Tom Wyman

Verdict: Nelligan has proven again that he is a class above most at Under 18s level, though his fantastic form through midfield arguably raises more questions than it brings definite conclusions. With such promising athletic attributes and natural smarts, the 170cm prospect seems destined to fulfil more of a small forward roll at senior or AFL level, but has found himself back at the junior grade after League trials in that position. He looks much more comfortable on-ball, though may adapt to fit a mould similar to that of Carlton’s Michael Gibbons.

Leo Coates
North Adelaide | Key Position Forward
7/09/2002 | 192cm | 83kg

Stats: 31 disposals, 10 marks, 5 tackles, 9 inside 50s, 1 goal, 2 behinds

Our scouts said: “(Coates) started up forward and was eventually shifted into the midfield where he was able to use his bigger frame to advantage, particularly in the third term when the heavens opened up. Also trialled in the ruck on various occasions – a testament to his versatility – Coates worked hard around the ground and always provided an option when up forward. He was also one of North’s most valuable players in the final term when the game was on the line.” – Tom Wyman

Verdict: Coates put in another impressive shift on the weekend, providing a key link for the Roosters into their forward 50 arc. While he plays like a centre half-forward, Coates’ in-between height makes him a mobile outlet who can either compete above or below his size. He looks most impressive while presenting hard on the lead, but also moves relatively well and has shown he is clean enough to also be utilised further up the field. It will be interesting to see which position suits him best in future.

South Adelaide vs. Glenelg

Daly Andrews (League)
South Adelaide | Balanced Midfielder
22/02/2000 | 184cm | 81kg 

Stats: 18 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles, 4 clearances, 6 inside 50s, 1 goal

Our scouts said: (Andrews) spent most of his time on the wing and ran hard both ways throughout the entire game, finding plenty of the footy on the inside and outside. His attack on the ball was fantastic, and he was always willing to take the tackle and dish it out to create space for teammates to work into. At stoppages, he positioned himself well at the back, often receiving a quick handball and then moving the ball forward.” – Tom Cheesman

Verdict: The Western Jets product was, in our eyes one of the more unlucky over-age prospects to be overlooked once again in 2019, but continues to chase his AFL dream with a move to the South Australia. Viewed as a player who was too outside-oriented, Andrews became a more balanced midfielder last year, but reverted back to his role on the wing for his SANFL debut. He again showed good signs in his first dig for South Adelaide, and should remain in the frame given his proven worth as he competes in the back half of the season.

Luke Parks (League)
Glenelg | Medium Defender

18/04/2001 | 189cm | 83kg

Stats: 11 disposals (10 kicks), 6 marks (2 contested), 1 tackle, 5 rebound 50s

Our scouts said: It was a tough day to be a Bays defender, but Parks stood up under insurmountable pressure. The former Sydney Swans Academy member worked very hard defensively right from the opening bounce… He showed that he can play on all sizes, often switching to different opponents whenever necessary to stop the Panthers from creating scoring opportunities.” – Tom Cheesman

Verdict: Another who was unlucky to miss out on being drafted last year, Parks is a promising type who made the move to South Australia after being overlooked by the Sydney Swans. His greatest qualities are eye-catching, with intercept marking and reading of the play forming the crux of his defensive game. He is a good size at 189cm and 83kg, able to play both tall and small as a versatile option among the back size. Parks is a readymade prospect and has already more than justified his choice to continue his footballing journey with the Bays.

Sturt vs. WWT Eagles 

Will Spain
Sturt | Midfielder
10/07/2003 | 174cm | 66kg

Stats: 31 disposals, 4 marks, 15 tackles, 4 clearances, 6 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50, 1 goal

Our scouts said: “(Spain’s) poise when he had possession, combined with relentless pressure and hustle when he did not, was impressive. He used the ball well when he had space as well as in-close, which seemed to be most of the game as he spent a lot of it in and under the contest. His ground ball gathers at pace were slick in the conditions, and he showed good pace and strength.” – Eli Duxson

Verdict: The absence of Tom Powell left a sizeable void in the Double Blues’ midfield, but Spain was terrific in his endeavour to fill it. He may be small in stature, but the bottom-ager digs in hard and is able to have a real impact at the coalface. Pleasing additions to his game include speed and dare on the outside, as players of Spain’s size are often required to possess some type of line-breaking attributes or points of difference. He is capable of some pretty complete performances going both ways, boding well for his development.

Lachlan McNeil (League)
WWT Eagles | Midfielder
9/02/2001 | 182cm | 80kg

Stats: 23 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles, 6 clearances, 3 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s

Our scouts said: “(McNeil) spent time on the ball and on the wing and showed a good balance between contested inside work, and slick outside ball use. His work in tight was a thing of marvel as he managed to find teammates with quick hands and was strong enough to be able to run on and impact again. His outside use linked a lot of defence to offence.” – Eli Duxson

Verdict: This one has been a long time coming, with McNeil returning some impressive form throughout the entire SANFL League season to date. Not only has the 19-year-old cemented his place in the ladder-leaders’ best lineup, but he has also had a great impact on most games. McNeil is able to ply his trade both inside and outside, winning the ball at a good rate and with neat balance. He was the Eagles’ leading ball winner on Saturday, and may well be proving some of his doubters wrong after being overlooked last year.

West Adelaide vs. Central District

Jye Sinderberry
West Adelaide | Key Position Defender
24/01/2002 | 189cm | 80kg

Stats: 23 disposals (16 kicks), 6 marks (3 contested), 3 tackles, 1 clearance, 3 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s

Our scouts said: “It was good to get Sinderberry back and he had a major say in West Adelaide finally getting a win, with his work in defence just outstanding. Sinderberry was an intercept marking machine, always finding himself in the way of Centrals’ forward entires. His ball use coming from defence was also superb, using it ball neatly by hand and foot.” – Ed Pascoe

Verdict: Injured Glenelg forward Kaine Baldwin has been quoted as saying that Sinderberry provided his most difficult opposition to date, so it is terrific that the AFL Academy member has hit some form upon his Under 18s return. While he is a touch under true key position height, Sinderberry’s marking and intercept quality makes him such an asset at centre half-back. He also uses the ball better than most key backs, bringing a good range of assets to the fore. The West Adelaide prospect will hope to put together a consistent back-end of the season.

Jonty Patrick
Central District | Small Forward
11/09/2002 | 179cm | 71kg

Stats: 11 disposals (8 kicks), 3 marks, 7 tackles, 1 clearance, 3 inside 50s, 1 goal

Our scouts said: “Patrick was a livewire in the forward line, showing plenty of skill and proving very clean in everything he did. His best quarter was in the second where he had some good bits of play with one instance when he gathered cleanly and waxed with Brodie Lake, which I expect to happen more often in the coming weeks. He would go on to kick a nice goal, going for a run and slotting the goal nicely to show his class.” – Ed Pascoe

Verdict: Another Northern Territory recruit, Patrick was already set for a move south having linked up with the Calder Cannons. But with the 2020 NAB League season scrapped, the exciting small finds himself playing alongside fellow Top-End gun, Brodie Lake. Patrick made a promising debut and should only get better in time, while his senior experience with Palmerston in the NTFL bodes well for a smooth transition.

Featured Image: Tait Schmaal/The Advertiser

>> 2020 South Australia Under 18s Squad Prediction
>> 2020 Power Rankings: July | August

SANFL League Player Focus:
Rd 1 – Corey Durdin
Rd 2 – Riley Thilthorpe
Rd 3 – Lachlan Jones
Rd 8 – Jason Horne & Lachlan Jones

Draft Watch:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Zac Dumesny
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Lachlan Jones
Tariek Newchurch
Caleb Poulter
Tom Powell
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

Marquee Matchups:
Kaine Baldwin vs. Denver Grainger-Barras
Corey Durdin vs. Braeden Campbell
Luke Edwards vs. Connor Downie

Scouting Notes: 2020 SANFL Under 18s – Round 9

ROUND 9 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) brings along with it another edition of our scouting notes, focusing on the top draft-relevant performers from around the competition this weekend. In this instalment, we again turn our attention to the prospects running around in the Under 18 competition, with a focus on State Academy based talent and others who may push for selection along the line. A bunch of top-end juniors plied their trade in senior grades over the weekend, so they also get a look-in.

Please consider that each set of notes showcases the opinions of our scouts individually, and there are only so many players we can keep an eye on each week.

North Adelaide vs. Norwood

By: Tom Wyman

North Adelaide:

#5 Leo Coates

Coates produced a strong showing at Coopers Stadium. He started up forward and rolled home the Roosters’ second goal of the game from a tricky angle in the first term. He was eventually shifted into the midfield where he was able to use his bigger frame to advantage, particularly in the third term when the heavens opened up. Also trialled in the ruck on various occasions – a testament to his versatility – Coates worked hard around the ground and always provided an option when up forward. He was also one of North’s most valuable players in the final term when the game was on the line. His side’s leading ball-winner, Coates finished with 31 disposals, one goal and two behinds, 10 marks, five tackles and nine inside 50s.

#21 Tariek Newchurch

One of several Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospects in action for the Roosters, Newchurch struggled at times to make an impact. He kicked the opening goal of the game within the first minute but was barely sighted for much of the first term. He laid a strong tackle to win himself a holding-the-ball free kick and used the ball cleanly in general play. In an attempt to assert himself on the match in the second quarter, Newchurch regularly pushed up the ground and won some uncontested ball. Unfortunately for Newchurch, he missed a snap he would normally have kicked and also sprayed a straightforward shot for goal on the run. The skillset, class and goal nous are clearly there for Newchurch, but he will need to more consistently lift his output in the back half of the season. Newchurch finished the game with 12 disposals, two marks, three tackles and four inside 50s.

#22 Lam Simon

Simon had some nice moments in his customary backline role. He was a touch fumbly early but improved as the game wore on, with his eye-catching athleticism and overhead strength particularly impressive. His obvious highlight of the match was a spectacular hanger on the half-back flank to intercept a likely Norwood forward 50 entry. For such a raw talent, Simon’s kicking technique appears quite natural and fluent and he hit most of his targets. With his intercept marking ability and athleticism, the top-aged Simon is another Crows Academy prospect to keep an eye on. He concluded the match with 19 disposals and seven marks (three contested).

#25 Blayne O’Loughlin

O’Loughlin continued his strong season with another fine showing against the ladder-leading Redlegs. He took a little while to get involved, but it soon became apparent why O’Loughlin is charged with the kick-in duties for the Roosters. His kicking, over both short and long distances, was excellent. He remained composed in the backline and trusted himself to hit up several targets through the corridor. Along with his sound execution, O’Loughlin displayed excellent vision and provided plenty of rebound for the red and whites. Although smaller in stature, he appears quite well-built and was solid in one-on-one contests. O’Loughlin was the pick of the Crows Academy prospects at Coopers Stadium, finishing with 25 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and seven rebound 50s.

#28 Matthew Borg

The prolific midfielder was again amongst the leading disposal getters on the field. Despite the Roosters being soundly beaten in the ruck contest, Borg’s work at the coalface was a major reason why his side finished plus-four for clearances. Borg looks to have a nice turn of pace, but his kicking, particularly with his opposite foot, could do with some refinement. Nevertheless, his goal in the third quarter ensured the Roosters went into the final change with the momentum. And his final term goal proved vital in North Adelaide securing an important victory away from home against the competition’s best side to-date. Along with his two important goals, Borg finished with 25 disposals, two marks, seven tackles, six clearances and seven inside 50s in a well-rounded performance.

#36 Kyle Brazell

The wiry Brazell started the game well and remained one of his side’s best throughout the match, spending time on the wing and up forward. Brazell was clean at ground level, accumulated plenty of the ball, and used it very well for the the most part. Although his kicking action is slightly unconventional, the left-footer boasts a measured and precise action and hit most of his targets. He gathered 27 disposals, ten marks, three tackles and six inside 50s.

Others:

Defender Kane Flanagan was impressive in defence, particularly early on. A no-frills type, he provided some meaningful run-and-carry and finished with 14 disposals, three marks and three rebound 50s. Like a number of his teammates, James Willis took a little while to get going but was heavily involved in the third term. He became an important cog through the midfield as the game wore on, with his ball use particularly impressive. He finished with 20 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances. Jayden Davison laid a game-high eleven tackles and also won six clearances. He, like Borg and Willis, was terrific in the contest despite the dominance of Norwood’s ruck department. Samuel McTaggart (20 disposals, four marks and four tackles) and Harvey Harrison (13 disposals, seven tackles and four clearances) were others to impress for North Adelaide.

>> MORE NORTH ADELAIDE CONTENT

Norwood:

#1 Cooper Murley

One of several exciting bottom-aged South Australian prospects making a strong impact at Under 18s level, Murley was typically classy despite his side’s loss. Although he wasn’t as efficient in front of goal as he would have liked, missing a couple of shots he would normally nail, it was Murley’s stoppage nous which really stood out. He boasts a flashy skillset and is very quick, but his stoppage work would have really impressed the Norwood coaching staff.

One of the things which is really noticeable with Murley is that he is always on the move at stoppages, looking to use his lighting quick acceleration to burst through a pack. Murley rarely finds himself flat-footed and won most of his clearances through thoughtful positioning and pure smarts, rather than brute strength. He was clean at ground level despite the slippery conditions and his intercept mark in the third term was followed up by a perfectly placed long kick to Henry Nelligan on the outer wing. Despite his light frame, Murley continues to shine at Under 18s level and finished another impressive day at the office with 26 disposals, three marks, five tackles, seven clearances and four inside 50s.

#5 Henry Nelligan

The industrious Nelligan was the most prolific player on the field, seemingly finding the ball at will. His running patterns are excellent and he always puts his head over the ball. Nelligan has also been able to impact the scoreboard since returning to Under 18s level after stints in Norwood’s League and Reserves sides. His running goal from 40 metres out in the second term helped cut North’s lead back before half time. Small but strongly built, Nelligan’s kicking was iffy at-times but his contested ball winning was terrific. Clearly one of South Australia’s most productive young midfielders, Nelligan concluded the outing with 33 disposals, five marks, five tackles, six clearances, eight inside 50s and four rebound 50s.

#27 Nathan Hearing

His side ultimately fell short, but Hearing was arguably best on ground. He started well, winning the opening clearance and kept going from then on. Ruckman aren’t typically known for their precise kicking inside 50, but Hearing was able to pin-point three targets amongst his five inside 50s. He comfortably won the ruck duel and consistently provided the Redlegs midfielders with first use at stoppages, but also showed a willingness to get involved around the ground. Hearing’s overhead marking was another outstanding component of his game. He clunked three contested grabs (seven marks in total) and provided a target down the line in a match where the tall forwards were quiet for both sides. His connection with Nelligan and Murley was terrific and the big man finished with 19 disposals, five tackles, 29 hit-outs and six clearances.

Others:

Connor Kent found plenty of the ball in the first half and finished with 20 disposals and six marks. Defenders Bailey Gal (25 disposals, six marks and five rebound-50s) and Billy Haebich (25 disposals, three marks, three tackles and three rebound-50s) were also amongst Norwood’s best, generating plenty of rebound from the back half.

>> MORE NORWOOD CONTENT

Glenelg vs. South Adelaide

By: Tom Cheesman

Glenelg:

#8 Hagan Wright

Wright was a standout for the Bays, finding plenty of the ball and frequently using his pace to break the game open. He worked hard on the inside and the outside, demonstrated a willingness to run both ways, and regularly provided an option for teammates coming out of defence. He laid some nice tackles, showed the ability to break tackles, and was good at delivering the ball inside 50 to the advantage of his forwards. At stoppages, he always held his positioning well and did not get sucked into the contest, thus enabling him to be an option for quick hands on the outside so that his team could move the ball quickly. Wright finished with 30 disposals, nine marks, four tackles, three clearances, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s.

#9 Kye Dean

Dean had a strong impact in the midfield for the Tigers. He applied plenty of pressure on the inside, showed composure with ball in hand and worked hard around the ground to take some nice marks. Dean was very clean with one-touch gathers at stoppages and ran back to help his teammates in defence when they were under pressure. He finished with 27 disposals, six tackles and six clearances.

#19 Jayden Davis

Bottom-ager Davis continues to be a major asset for Glenelg in multiple areas of the ground. He worked incredibly hard to get to the right positions and find the ball when in the midfield, but his greatest impact on Saturday came when he was up forward. Davis kicked three of his side’s seven goals, showing how much more productive they are with him inside 50. All three of his goals came within a five-minute patch in the third term and included a couple of clever left-foot snaps. He is a player that can change a game in the blink of an eye, and he should become even more dominant with added experience at Under 18 level. Davis finished with 24 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and three goals.

#27 Luke Parks (League)

It was a tough day to be a Bays defender, but Parks stood up under insurmountable pressure. The former Sydney Swans Academy member worked very hard defensively right from the opening bounce. He earned a free kick for too high early on because he was willing to put his head over the footy despite heavy pressure from South Adelaide forwards. He showed that he can play on all sizes, often switching to different opponents whenever necessary to stop the Panthers from creating scoring opportunities.

Parks’ best skill is his intercept marking, which was very prominent throughout the game. He often floated in from the side to rise above the pack to take strong contested marks. However, to use this attribute effectively he does play off his opponents a little bit to help himself cover ground more quickly, as all great intercept markers do. This can leave Parks out of position and susceptible to a fast rushed, chaotic kick inside 50, as evidenced in the first term when Panthers forward Sam Overall was able to take a fortunate mark in front position. I can honestly say this is nit-picking though, as it was the only ‘mistake’ Parks made defensively in the entire game.

Parks is very strong in one-on-one contests, highlighted when he took a brilliant mark one out in the goal square in the third term when his side was under the pump. In congestion he applied great body pressure on the opposition, never letting them get an easy possession and creating space for teammates. With ball in hand he was reasonably reliable by foot and eager to get it moving quickly whenever possible. Parks finished the game with 11 disposals, six marks and five rebound 50s.

Others:

Under 18s Frazer Bradley (16 disposals, six contested marks) and Connor Drum (19 disposals, nine marks) were fantastic in the air throughout the contest for Glenelg, despite going down by 23 points.

>> MORE GLENELG CONTENT

South Adelaide:

#4 Max Clifton

Clifton was the best player afield in the Under 18 match. He is a brilliant user with a booming left-foot kick and frequently broke the game open by biting off difficult kicks both through the corridor and going inside 50. At stoppages he was outstanding at playing the sweeper role, as he never let anything past him and amassed many inside 50s straight from the middle of the ground. He quite simply went lower and harder than his opponents at the footy all day, earning multiple free kicks for his efforts. He applied strong pressure too, including an aggressive run down tackle in the final term to earn a holding the ball free kick. Clifton collected 28 disposals, nine inside 50s and five clearances for the day.

#10 Brayden Cook

Cook is a fast-rising draft prospect and showed once again that he is a class above Under 18 level, finishing with 23 disposals, ten marks and a goal. Intercept marking was one of his standout attributes early in the season, and it was great to see this on show at times on Saturday. He worked hard around the ground to collect plenty of possessions and link up with Panthers teammates to transition the ball forward efficiently. He showed that he has great strength too when he took a strong contested one-on-one mark inside 50 in the second term. In the last quarter, he got on the end of a lovely weighted kick from teammate Dylan Brown to kick a major, making up for the more difficult set shot he missed earlier in the game. Cook has proven that he can play a range of positions and it will be very interesting to see where he is placed when playing higher levels of competition.

#33 Jason Horne (League)

Bottom-ager Horne is one of the top prospects for the 2021 AFL Draft and showed why that is the case on Saturday. He started the game off brilliantly and was a key reason why the Panthers kicked the first four goals. An early highlight was when he collected a mark on the left half-forward flank and then delivered a beautifully weighted kick across his body to the advantage of his teammate. This was a smart kick because putting it into the space (when the rest of the 50 was congested) allowed his forward to protect the drop zone and take what essentially ended up being an uncontested mark.

While Horne spent most of his time up forward, he got to roll through the midfield at times. When he was in there, he showed glimpses of how great a stoppage player he will be in the years to come. He never fumbles, has quick hands, magnificent ball control, and has an ability to spin at the right time so that he can get a clean handball out to teammates when tackled. He also worked up the ground to help the defence whenever they were under pressure. Although he missed a snap at goal in the first term, it was from about 40 metres about and easily made the distance, showing how much range he already has kicking around his body. The one-handed pluck before it was another sign of his incredible ball control.

Horne used his opposite foot a lot throughout the game, often wheeling onto that side of his body by choice when opponents tried to pressure him towards the boundary. He is also a fantastic pressure player, as exhibited when he laid strong tackles on Glenelg’s Billy Stretch and Callum Park in the second term. Under pressure he was such a calming influence for his side, always maintaining composure and keeping a level head. This was demonstrated when he started a forward thrust in the second term by winning the clearance at half-back, weaving his way through traffic and linking up with a teammate out the front of the stoppage. At this stage, Glenelg was right in the contest and many other players on both sides were panicking when they got the footy in congestion.

Unlike many young midfielders when they push up to League level, Horne is confident competing in the air. He launched at the footy multiple times when playing up forward, trying to mark whenever possible but responsibly spoiling when he was caught behind. Horne has some decent pace too when he wants to use it, highlighted when he ran down Glenelg defender Michael Virgin in the last term. Horne finished with 10 disposals, five tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s for the day.

#45 Daly Andrews (League)

Williamstown recruit Andrews played his first SANFL match for the Panthers on Saturday, and it’s fair to say he was very impressive. He spent most of his time on the wing and ran hard both ways throughout the entire game, finding plenty of the footy on the inside and outside. His attack on the ball was fantastic, and he was always willing to take the tackle and dish it out to create space for teammates to work into. At stoppages, he positioned himself well at the back, often receiving a quick handball and then moving the ball forward.

Andrews has a good size which helps him in one-on-one contests, as he is a solid mark overhead and always at least brought the ball to ground. He showed great agility by frequently running around oncoming tacklers and using handballs to link up with teammates and transition the ball out of defence. He never got sucked into the contest when he didn’t need to be there. Holding his positioning and width outside the stoppage allowed him to help out defensively and spread wide with ease.

In the third term, he kicked a very important goal by working hard from half-back to receive a handball from teammate Beau McCreery at half-forward, then straightening with a few steps and kicking truly from about 50 metres out. It was clear that Andrews will be a major asset for the Panthers for the rest of the season. He finished with 18 disposals, six inside 50s, four clearances, four marks and three tackles to go with his goal.

Others:

Arlo Draper (26 disposals, ten clearances, seven tackles) was one of the Panthers’ best in the Under 18s, running hard through the midfield and weaving past opponents at stoppages with ease. Dylan Brown (15 disposals, two goals) was fantastic up forward, while Phoenix Spicer (15 disposals, one goal) was lively and had a lot of score involvements.

>> MORE SOUTH ADELAIDE CONTENT

WWT Eagles vs. Sturt

By: Eli Duxson

WWT:

#7 Caleb Poulter

Poulter was prolific again for the Eagles, racking up 31 disposals to go with nine clearances, seven tackles, and five marks. He spent most of the day in the midfield and was on the move at stoppages all day. After a bit of a quiet first term for him, he did not miss a beat for the rest of the game, going in hard and aggressively at the contest. He intercepted a handball at a stoppage and cleared it down the line, only to follow up, receive a handball back, and find a leading target inside forward 50. It was indicative of his willingness to put in repeat efforts no matter where he was.

Poulter’s second half was dominant. He was faultless below the knees even in the muddy conditions and a sound decision maker under pressure. He seems to have a good tank but also manages to just get to very good spots, at one point it seemed that he was everywhere. He moved forward in the final quarter and though he managed just three behinds, he looked threatening. He has a good aerial ability and when it comes to ground, he goes back into midfield mode.

Poulter’s ball use was fantastic and when you get it 31 times, they will be important touches. His clearance work was top class and his ability to work in tight was impressive. If he could have hit the scoreboard a bit more accurately, it could have become an even bigger day for him.

#9 Max Litster

Litster had a complete day and would be competing for the votes with his 26 disposals and three goals. The solid-bodied midfielder was aggressive, showed good acceleration, and was more often that not one of the more active players at stoppages. He did seem to be flat-footed at times, but he covered so much ground working both ways exceptionally. He looked to move smoothly and when he drifted forward in the first quarter, he managed a tidy snap across the body to goal. On several occasions he worked his way deep defensively and in the second quarter, he took a strong overhead mark from a high clearance. His ball use was a little scratchy at times and he will want to improve on that.

His third quarter was busy as he made himself a marking option for the Eagles’ defensive 50 exits to display his strong hands and work rate again. He had three shots on goal and missed a 50-metre set shot despite making the distance with the heavy ball. He drilled another set shot after finding space from sloppy Sturt defence, and received hands to slot it from 40 metres out. Litster moved back on a couple of occasions and seemed to position himself quite well.

#19 Zac Phillips

Phillips controlled the ruck all game and won the hit-out battle comfortably, recording 30 to go with his 11 disposals. He seemed to be aiming his taps which was a positive sign, but ball-ups around the ground seemed to be his weakness. He often stayed too upright and was able to be pushed off balance on multiple occasions. He seemed to just be trying to use his athleticism to win the taps and though it did work, you would like to see some more body engagement.

His third quarter was terrific and was a key factor in the Eagles’ domination as he found the hit zones more regularly. Phillips has great raw ability with his mobility and tap work, but there are some things to work on. His ball use was not consistent, and he gave away two free kicks which led to back to back Sturt goals. With that being said, he has tremendous upside and with some work in those areas, he could be a damaging ruckman for the future.

#31 Jase Burgoyne

Burgoyne had another day out, collecting 33 disposals and amassing seven clearances. He moved between the wing, half back, and midfield and was able to find the ball in all positions. He seemed the most comfortable on the wing and in the midfield, as when he played down back, he only looked to attack and never really looked accountable. When he was on the wing, he was able to drift down back and become the spare player to use the ball exiting the defensive 50, also taking the kick-ins.

With his slight frame, he went to ground unnecessarily at times but still showed a strong ability to win his own ball in tight and dispose of it cleanly. He seemed to drift at times but in a good way. He gracefully moved around the field and just popped up and used his acceleration, surprising Sturt. This was on display when in the last quarter, he lined up on the half back-flank at the centre bounce and charged at the contest, taking possession and running right through the lane that opened up for him up the guts, sending it deep inside forward 50.

Though he will be looking to get a little bit stronger, his pace and outside ability compliments his efficient kicking. His teammates looked for him to use the ball and he was effective in doing so.

#30 Zane Williams (League)

The debutant started the game well with a tumbling gather before he stayed composed, assessed his options, and straightened up to find a target inside forward 50 who goaled. His pace was electric and looked dangerous front and centre. He laid a strong tackle later in the first quarter to receive a holding the ball free kick, a reward for his relentless aggression early. His second quarter displayed his roving ability, timing his run well, and taking clean possession at good pace. His ball use did not always match his good work, but he was not far off.

His second half saw his play phase out a little bit, but his effort remained. He was around it on several occasions, but he just could not get his hands on it as often as he would have liked. He showed an ability to be a leading target and with his pace, he looks to be a tough matchup when he gets going. Just the nine disposals for Williams but a solid first outing, nonetheless.

#34 Lachlan Jones (League)

The absolute brute of a teenager also did not find a lot of it, but in his defensive post for the Eagles in a comfortable win, it is probably a good indicator of a good team performance. His mobility and balance for his size was impressive and it was on display with a hard contest on the loose ball, as he ran through and was able to find possession sweeping out the back. He also gathered the contested ball late in the first term but was squeezed for space on the boundary. The stat that does not show up on the stat sheet is spoiling, but that is something that Jones managed a bit of with thumping, clearing spoils off good leaps a highlight. The highlight of the game would have been a hanger for Jones, but it bounced out at the wrong time. A good indication of his confidence though.

He moved forward in the last quarter and looked very comfortable. He led up well and found space easily with good acceleration and was generating good force coming through. You would not want to stand in his way. After making some big contests, he took a nice, contested mark 25 metres out and slotted his first league goal on the set shot. He has a another shot on goal later in the term but leant back on the kick to get a minor score. Usually playing in the back half, it was a good display of versatility for Jones.

#51 Lachlan McNeil

One of the better performers for the Eagles as the 18-year-old found 23 disposals to go with six clearances. He spent time on the ball and on the wing and showed a good balance between contested inside work, and slick outside ball use. His work in tight was a thing of marvel as he managed to find teammates with quick hands and being strong enough to be able to run on and impact again. His outside use linked a lot of defence to offence with three rebound 50’s and three inside 50’s. His ball use was clean and had a good balance between kick and handballs.

McNeil hunts the ball and was active at stoppages. His repeat efforts in the contest were impressive and his hip strength was also good for not being a big-bodied midfielder. He moves like Zac Bailey and worked hard to create an option in the back half of the ground. A highlight came in the fourth term with a clean spinning gather on a strong attack. He continues to go from strength to strength and playing good midfield minutes is an indication of the confidence he has, and the confidence the Eagles have in him.

Others:

The Eagles boasted performers all over the park, Harrison Dawkins was impressive again with 25 disposals and six clearances, while Jack Wheare looked dangerous in their forward line kicking one goal and four behinds. Some work on his set shot would have seen him kick a bag.

>> MORE WWT EAGLES CONTENT

Sturt:

#11 Will Spain

Spain had to step up in the absence of Tom Powell, and with 31 disposals, a monstrous 15 tackles, and a goal, he certainly did so. His poise when he had possession, combined with relentless pressure and hustle when he did not, was impressive. He used the ball well when he had space as well as in-close, which seemed to be most of the game as he spent a lot of it in and under the contest. His ground ball gathers at pace were good in the conditions, and he showed good pace and strength with a big fend-off almost leading to a goal. He had a little blunder in the second quarter with a poor kick almost turning it over in his defensive half, but he scrapped and earned a free kick at the next contest.

As the Eagles took over in the third quarter, his output was not the same. He was still hustling and working hard but his opposition was just too strong. His work in tight did not change and he was eventually rewarded with a goal from 40 metres out, a nice finish. Spain’s work rate to continue getting to stoppages was impressive and he showed a good ability to win and use his own ball well when he was there.

#17 Mani Liddy

The well-built Sturt midfielder also put in a complete performance as he done all season with 29 disposals, two goals, nine tackles, and five clearances. If you had to describe Liddy in a word, it would be strong. He was strong over the ball, with the ball, and without the ball. He was able to stand up in tackles and release, take solid overhead marks, and bustle through contests. His ball use was a little scratchy in the conditions, but his contested work and ability to be a strong option when he rested forward was good.

He worked hard for his first goal, putting in a 60-metre sprint to keep the play moving forward, before kicking it off the ground on the goal line. Liddy moved well in the fourth quarter to cover the exit and was rewarded with a misguided Phillips kick which he promptly gathered and goaled. He worked hard all day and stuck to his guns. Would love to see him spending more time down forward as he looks like a tough matchup both in the air and on the ground, but his contested work in the midfield is important for Sturt.

#34 Casey Voss (League)

Voss assumed his role down back and ended up with 20 disposals and six marks. He was serviceable defensively, but his strength seemed to be how he created offence out of the back half. He provided run on several occasions and was very tidy with his disposal with either handballing or kicking. His handballing complimented his ability to collect at pace and under pressure, and his kicking was pinpoint at important times.

He has all the assets you could want out of a midfielder, poise, tidy ball use, strength, and an ability to win his own ball. He certainly has the pedigree and at 182cm and 80kg, you can expect him to develop into a genuine midfielder in the future after spending bursts in there so far this season.

Others:

Ned Grieve had a quieter performance for Sturt but is certainly capable of more and showed glimpses of his best, while Jake Aish was important with 20 disposals and six clearances – both in the Under 18s.

>> MORE STURT CONTENT

Central District vs. West Adelaide

By: Ed Pascoe

Central District:

#12 Brodie Lake

Lake keeps going from strength to strength since coming down from NT, becoming a factor for Central District through the midfield. Lake started the game well, winning some stoppages and kicking long and accurately. His best bit of play came winning a holding the ball free kick at the defensive arc, then quickly playing on with a bounce, getting the one-two, and taking another bounce to finally kick long inside 50 to a teammate. That particular passage showcased his point of difference compared to many other midfielders in this year’s draft. Lake really impressed around the ground, not just at stoppages, taking plenty of marks with a few contested as well. Lake finished the game with 30 disposals, 12 marks and five clearances in a complete midfield display, showing his mix of dash and toughness. He looks another good prospect for Gold Coast as part of their Darwin zone.

#13 Austin McDonald

McDonald just keeps impressing every week. The talented youngster who isn’t even draft eligible until 2022 just continues to rack up the football through the midfield despite being lighter and shorter than most he comes up against. What really impressed was his tenacity in giving multiple efforts at the coal face and these efforts I would hope become a theme of his game in the coming years. McDonald finished the game with 28 disposals and five clearances and seems to have a knack of finding the pill consistently, which bodes well for his future at the level.

#23 Jonty Patrick

Joining Lake from the NT, Patrick was a livewire in the forwardline, showing plenty of skill and proving very clean in everything he did. His best quarter was in the second where he had some good bits of play with one instance when he gathered cleanly and waxed with Lake, which I expect to happen more often in the coming weeks. He would go on to kick a nice goal, going for a run and slotting the goal nicely to show his class. It wasn’t a huge game with only 11 disposals, but he worked hard off the ball with seven tackles and will only improve from here on out.

>> MORE CENTRAL DISTRICT CONTENT

West Adelaide:

#4 Cade Kennedy

Kennedy was one of West Adelaide’s talented bottom-agers who impressed in their first win of the season, playing off half-back and through the wing. He offered plenty of run and drive from the back half and favoured kicking, rarely missing a target with some nice low passes. His work-rate was on show when he ran hard to give an option coming out of defence, and while he wasn’t used, he just kept running until finally he would gather a loose ball and quickly kick long. It was good to see his hard running get rewarded with a possession. Kennedy finished the game with 20 disposals and four tackles.

#20 Luke Young

Watching Young play, you wouldn’t think he still has another year in the 18s system as the strong-bodied forward already looks to have the size and strength to compete. Compete he did, with a strong display playing as a shorter centre half-forward with his ability to lead up at the ball carrier and use the ball well in transition. Young had plenty of opportunities to hit the scoreboard and could have really had a big day if he was more accurate. He kicked the one that counted though, taking a mark at the top of the square in the last quarter to secure the Bloods’ first win of the year with a cool set shot. Young finished the game with 27 disposals, nine marks and kicked 2.3 in what was perhaps a best on ground performance.

#24 Jye Sinderberry

It was good to get Sinderberry back and he had a major say in West Adelaide finally getting a win, with his work in defence just outstanding. Sinderberry was an intercept marking machine, always finding himself in the way of Central’s forward entires. His ball use coming from defence was also superb, using the ball neatly by hand and foot. He lifted even more in the last quarter, taking some timely marks and finished the game with 23 disposals and six marks as the young centre half-back looks to finish the year strongly.

>> MORE WEST ADELAIDE CONTENT

Featured Image: Hannah Howard/SANFL

Young gun focus: SANFL Round 9 wrap

WITH young guns impressing at state league level around the nation, we narrow our focus for this week’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) wrap to the performances of youth throughout all three grades. There is plenty to unpack in our first altered edition, with a late change seeing West Adelaide blood its latest League debutant, while the top two Under 18s sides suffered defeat on an action-packed super Saturday.

>> SCROLL for full results 

North Adelaide vs. Norwood

League: North Adelaide 15.13 (103) def. Norwood 8.3 (51)
Reserves:
North Adelaide 10.20 (80) def. Norwood 4.10 (34)
Under 18s:
Norwood 6.9 (45) def. by North Adelaide 7.9 (51)

2019 State Under 18s representative Karl Finlay returned to the League fold for North Adelaide, as the Roosters continued their fine season with a 52-point win over the Redlegs. The key defender notched seven disposals and two marks, with usual partner-in-crime Dyson Hilder unable to make the cut on an extended bench this week.

Under 18s aside, much of Norwood’s young brigade was showcase in the Reserves, as the likes of Michael Cavallaro, Jack Saunders, Daniel Fairbrother, and Ben Ianniello all made the step up. Henry Nelligan, who made his League debut in 2020 racked up a game-high 34 disposals in the Redlegs’ Under 18s loss, highlighting his quality.

Cooper Murley, Bailey Gal, and Billy Haebich all clicked over the 25-disposal mark for Norwood in the same game, while Tom Michalanney and Marcus Roberts both had it 17 times as they push for a senior promotion. Talls Nathan Hearing (20 disposals, 29 hitouts) and Samuel Duke (19 disposals, one goal) were also impactful.

Adelaide Next Generation Academy (NGA) hopeful Tariek Newchurch was another star returnee, finishing with 11 disposals, three tackles, and three inside 50s after booting an early goal. Big Leo Coates was his side’s top ball getter with 31 disposals and nine inside 50s up forward, while Matthew Borg (25 disposals, two goals), Blayne O’Loughlin (26 disposals, seven rebound 50s), and Kyle Brazell (29 disposals, 10 marks) all continued their good form.

Central District vs. West Adelaide

League: Central District 10.13 (73) def. West Adelaide 8.3 (51)
Reserves:
Central District 15.11 (98) def. West Adelaide 6.6 (42)
Under 18s:
West Adelaide 7.11 (53) def. Central District 7.5 (47)

It may have come about via a late change, but GWS GIANTS Academy product Lachlan Squire made no doubt about his League credentials with 19 disposals, five marks, and five clearances on debut. The Queanbeyan native had been cutting his teeth in the Reserves grade and was named as a League emergency over the last few weeks, but made the most of his opportunity upon finally breaking through.

Leading Westies draft prospect Riley Thilthorpe played alongside Squire in the top flight, but had one of his quieter outings with six disposals, nine hitouts, and a goal. Fellow state academy member Bailey Chamberlain may be next in line for a senior berth having made the step up to Reserves footy, with Nicholas Couroupis another junior to have earned a promotion on the weekend.

For Centrals, Lachlan Grubb will hope to return having moved back down to the two’s, while Corey Durdin is set to miss at least another week with a hamstring injury. In the meantime, Victorian Jack Toner has fared well for the Bulldogs in their absence, notching 21 disposals and a goal in Centrals’ first League win for the year.

At Under 18s level, the Bloods pulled off their own maiden win for 2020. Dylan White was prominent with 30 disposals, while Luke Young booted two goals from his 27 touches and nine marks for the victors. Cooper Gilbert (eight clearances, 10 inside 50s) was again terrific at the contest, while Jye Sinderberry (23 disposals, six marks) made a triumphant return down back and Luke Heitmann booted three goals up the other end.

The Bulldogs had their two-game winning streak snapped, but NT recruit Brodie Lake again impressed through midfield with 30 disposals, 12 marks, and five clearances. His work both inside and on the spread was terrific. As per usual, Austin McDonald was again a mainstay through the engine room with 28 touches, while bigman Wyatt Ryan contributed 20 disposals, 21 hitouts, and a goal, and Matthew Borlace continued his solid form.

Glenelg vs. South Adelaide

League: Glenelg 8.2 (50) def. by South Adelaide 13.13 (91)
Reserves:
Glenelg 13.4 (82) def. South Adelaide 7.10 (52)
Under 18s:
South Adelaide 10.8 (68) def. Glenelg 7.3 (45)

Western Jets graduate Daly Andrews collected 18 disposals on his SANFL League debut for South Adelaide, as the Panthers earned an important win over Glenelg to jump the Bays in third spot. Capable of playing inside and outside, Andrews also won four clearances and booted a goal as he pushes his case to be drafted. 17-year-old Jason Horne did his 2021 prospects no harm either, gathering 10 disposals and laying five tackles in the win.

Callum Park and Luke Parks are others looking to stake their draft claims after also missing out last year, notching 12 and 11 disposals respectively. Jackson Edwards had 10 touches on his League return, while Brady Searle will have to wait a touch longer to enter the fold, and Luke Edwards will anticipate a return from injury. Victorian and Mitch Martin is another around the mark.

The Panthers also won out in the Under 18s grade, with Max Clifton (28 disposals, nine inside 50s) and Arlo Draper (26 disposals, 11 clearances) enjoying their time through midfield. Jayden Little and Harry Spacie also found plenty of the ball, while draft bolter Brayden Cook (23 disposals, 10 marks, one goal) was again impressive alongside Liam Hamilton (20 disposals, one goal). Liam Nye booted an equal game-high three goals.

Matching that goal feat was Glenelg’s Jayden Davis, who continues to prove his side’s most productive performer. Davis also had 24 disposals, which was beaten out only by teammates Hagan Wright (30 disposals) and Kye Dean (27) in the Bays’ loss.

WWT Eagles vs. Sturt

League: WWT 11.6 (72) def. Sturt 5.5 (35)
Reserves:
WWT 3.8 (26) def. by Sturt 5.9 (39)
Under 18s:
Sturt 9.4 (58) def. by WWT 11.17 (83)

League ladder leader Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) continues to soar in 2020, with plenty of contribution coming from its young stars. 2019 State Academy member Lachlan McNeil (pictured) was again productive with a team-high 23 disposals and six clearances, leading the way in his side’s big win. Tasmanian recruit Rhyan Mansell (16 disposals, six marks) continues to impress in defence, while Port Adelaide NGA prospect Lachlan Jones and 2019 Eagles Under 18 skipper Zane Williams had relatively quiet outings. It was the latter’s debut.

Casey Voss and Jed McEntee continue to make the grade for Sturt, with Voss adding another 20 disposals to his tally, and McEntee 13 upon surviving the extended bench. Tom Emmett made the step up to Reserves level for Sturt, while mature-age draft hopeful Sam Lowson made his first appearance in South Australia, running out for the Eagles’ Reserves having made the switch over from VFL side, Coburg.

In the Under 18s, Will Spain (31 disposals, one goal) and Mani Liddy (29 disposals, two goals) stood up in the absence of Tom Powell, but the Double Blues still went down by 25 points. Jase Burgoyne and Caleb Poulter cracked the 30-disposal mark for WWT, while Max Litster (26 disposals, three goals) had a day out. Taj Schofield also fared well upon his return with 20 touches and a goal.

Featured Image: Hannah Howard/SANFL

SANFL Round 9 preview: Top two look to continue dominance

ROUND 9 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) will see a couple of interesting match-ups across League, Reserves and Under 18s competitions as the pointy end of the season edges ever closer. In the League competition, two ladder-leading sides will looks to continue their form and knock their lower ranked opposition off their game, bordering on top four contention.

North Adelaide vs. Norwood

League: The Redlegs will travel to Prospect Oval to clash with the in form North Adelaide on Saturday afternoon. The Roosters sit alongside Woodville-West Torrens at the pinnacle of the SANFL ladder after two months of action. Meanwhile, the Redlegs sit just outside the top four and appear locked in a battle for a finals spot, after the Tigers ended their four-game winning streak. The Redlegs were competitive against Glenelg early in the match at Coopers Stadium, but a poor second half which yielded just one goal was never going to be enough. It hasn’t always been pretty, but Jacob Surjan‘s North Adelaide continue to get the job done. The red and whites pulled off a miraculous one-point victory after trailing the Bloods late in the final term on Friday night. It was a seesawing affair at Hisense Stadium, but two final quarter goals to Will Combe proved the difference.

The Redlegs managed to win many of the key statistics, including disposals, disposal efficiency, marks and tackles, however Glenelg’s hard-nosed midfield finished plus-9 in clearances and generated 24 scoring shots to 16. A major reason behind the Bays triumph was the performance of Jack Hannath in the ruck, who kept dominant Redleg Sam Baulderstone to just 28 hit-outs – his lowest of the season. This week, Rooster James Craig will go head-to-head with Baulderstone and attempt to nullify his influence. Craig is averaging 30 hit-outs per game but must be weary of Baulderstone’s ability to get involved in general play, having averaged 18.3 disposals at 73 per cent kicking efficiency in eight matches.

North were largely outplayed for much of the game at Richmond, loosing most of the key statistics. But at the end of the night, they prevailed on the scoreboard, the most important statistic of all. The aforementioned Craig provided the Roosters midfielders with first use and they took advantage, smashing the Bloods 22-37 in the clearances. Vice-captains Andrew Moore and Tom Schwarz almost recorded more clearances than the entire West Adelaide side, combining for 17. However it was the rebound and precise kicking of half-back duo Harrison Wigg and Alex Spina which proved decisive. They collected 33 and 27 disposals respectively, and set up a multitude of Roosters scoring shots from defence. This weekend, the Norwood forwards must prevent them from using their excellent kicking to break the lines. However the ‘Legs also boast a strong rebounding game, with Brad McKenzie and Cameron Shenton given the role of turning defence into attack.

Up forward, Norwood big man Tommy Pinyon took two strong contested grabs and kicked two goals but was missing for most of the match, collecting just four touches. Peter Bampton and the Richards brothers, Zac and Josh, were also amongst the goals against the Bays. The Norwood midfield, known for their goalkicking ability, must find a way to push forward and help out in attack against a well-drilled Roosters backline, led by key pillars Cameron Craig, Tanner Smith and youngster Dyson Hilder. At the other end of the ground, the Roosters received a six goal boost from Will Combe and Jarrad Allmond – both of whom are not exactly dominant in front of the sticks. Club leading goal kicker Lewis Hender was kept goalless but smalls Kym LeBois and Robbie Young both slotted majors.

The Roosters won by two points when the two sides met in round two, with Campbell Combe starring through the midfield for North. Norwood will dearly miss Josh Richards, who is expected to spend 4-6 weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury. The Roosters could regain premiership duo Alex Barns and Mitch Clisby for the clash, but midfielder Cam Hewett and Billy Hartung will miss at least another week. If past meetings between the 2018 grand finalists are anything to go by, this should be a very entertaining clash.

Reserves: The Roosters made light work of the Bloods in the reserves on Friday evening to move up to fifth on the ladder. Meanwhile, the ‘Legs were downed by Glenelg by 32 points. North will be looking to mount a surge towards the finals while Norwood continue their search for a second win.

Under-18s: Norwood are certainly the team to beat at under-18s level, after moving one game clear at the top of the ladder with a win over the Bays. Meanwhile, the Roosters pilled on the goals against West to win by 54 points. Norwood bottom-ager Cooper Murley and fellow midfielders Jack Saunders and Michael Cavallaro are names to keep an eye on in the red and the blue, while for the Roosters, the prolific Matthew Borg continues to rack up the touches and Elliott McNamara is coming off a six goal performance. Adelaide’s bottom-aged Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect Blayne O’Loughlin is one to watch for Crows fans.

 

Central Districts vs. West Adelaide

League: Round nine features the battle of the battlers, with Central Districts set to host West Adelaide at Elizabeth. The Dogs remain winless at the bottom of the ladder, while the Bloods sit above them with just one victory. However the two sides earned their first premiership points of the season when they couldn’t be separated after at the final siren back in round two. Although the results have not gone their way, the two clubs have fought valiantly and will both be eager to claim victory on Saturday afternoon.

West Adelaide will be kicking themselves for dropping points on Friday night after leading the Roosters late in the fourth term. Over at Peter Motley Oval, the ‘Dogs opened the scoring after just 30 seconds of play thanks to a Jordan O’Brien goal. But the Double Blues, desperate to keep their season alive, kicked away after the first break and never gave the Bulldogs a sniff. Although West tackled well, kicked at 80 per cent efficiency and won more disposals than North, the Bloods were comprehensively beaten in the hit-outs (47-20) and clearances (37-22). Central’s scoring woes continued, booting five goals and 12 behinds. Unlike the Bloods, they were well-beaten around the ground, finishing minus-56 for disposals and a massive minus-50 for marks. Although they were able to win the clearances (44-38), the ‘Dogs are finding it difficult to mount any scoreboard pressure of late.

The Bulldogs and Bloods midfielders have battled hard for little return so far in 2020. This clash features two of the SANFL’s most consistent on-ballers in Bulldog James Boyd and West’s Kaine Stevens. A genuine ball-magnet, Boyd comfortably leads the league in disposals, averaging 31.4 per game. However he is also using it beautifully, going at 89 per cent efficiency, and will almost certainly feature prominently come Magarey Medal night. Stevens also sits inside the top ten for disposals, at an average of 24.9 per game. A stoppage specialist who uses his big body to good advantage through the middle, the 27-year-old has provided West with plenty of experience through the middle and complimented fellow on-ballers Jordon Boyle and Brett Turner. The ‘Dogs have been well-served by the Schiller brothers, Jarrod and Travis, for a number of years now and they remain an important component through the middle with their strong defensive pressure and clearance-winning.

West Adelaide skipper Tom Keough has booted 12 goals so far this year and is the go-to guy up forward. Likely top ten draft pick Riley Thilthorpe has also shown plenty of glimpses of his tremendous talent, playing predominantly up forward with stints through the ruck at various times. The teenager has taken 12 contested marks this season and his size, leap and reach has proven a tough assignment for opposition defenders. John Butcher is the undisputed focal point of the Bulldogs forward line, but youngsters Corey Durdin and the aforementioned O’Brien have also provided impacted the scoreboard. Durdin was kept to just four touches against Sturt before he injured his hamstring, but has pieced together a strong season in difficult circumstances. However, he is expected to miss two weeks with a low-grade hamstring strain.

Boyd has been his side’s leading rebounder, but skipper Luke Habel has been a calming presence for the inexperienced Bulldogs outfit. For West Adelaide, veteran Logan Hill‘s rebound and ball use (95 per cent kicking efficiency) has been a real standout. The 188cm Mitch Duval has also shown good signs since coming into the league side in round three.

In a cruel blow, the Bulldogs will be without Troy Menzel for the remainder of the season after he suffered a serious ankle injury in the loss. He joins brother Daniel on the clubs long-term injury list. Meanwhile, West will be hoping defender Elliott Dunkin (wrist) and Josh Ryan (shoulder) can pass their respective fitness tests in time for the Saturday afternoon clash.

Reserves: Central Districts flexed their muscles with a 46-point win over Sturt in the reserves competition, while the Bloods woes continued, loosing to North by 52-points. Unlike the league side, Centrals reserves have been the highest scoring side, averaging 90 points per game. Expect them to enter this clash full of confidence.

Under-18s: The Bulldogs under-18s caused the upset of the competition so far when they knocked off the second-placed Double Blues by 17 points. Leek Alleer was excellent in the win, finishing with 22 disposals, two goals and four contested marks. Austin McDonald also continues to find the ball at under-18s level after spending the first few weeks of the 2020 season dominating at under-16s level. West Adelaide continue to fight on in what has been a tricky campaign, however Edward Van Den Berg is one to watch in the red and black.

 

Glenelg vs. South Adelaide

League: South Adelaide will head to the bay to face Glenelg at ACH Group Stadium on Saturday. The Tigers and Panthers find themselves inside the top four after eight rounds of SANFL football. Yet while Glenelg have steadied the ship and won three games on the trot, the Panthers find themselves at risk of dropping out of a finals spot following three consecutive losses.

Glenelg recorded less disposals, kicks, marks and tackles than Norwood last round, but got on top in the midfield and generated eight more scoring shots than the Redlegs. The Panthers, on the other hand, played well for much of the game against the Eagles and kept themselves within striking distance. They won the midfield battle and finished plus-32 for marks and plus-20 for disposals, however Jarrad Wright‘s men were left to rue missed opportunities in-front of goal, finishing with six majors and 15 behinds.

In his first game in the blue and white, the terrific performance of ruckman Paul Hunter will have excited the Panthers coaching staff. The former Crow went up against Eagle Jordan West for much of the game and accumulated plenty of the ball in general play. He collected 24 disposals to go with nine marks (three contested), 22 hit-outs, eight inside-50s and an equal game-high nine clearances in what was a complete performance. This week he is set to come up against Tiger Hannath, who impressed with his ability to nullify the influence of Baulderstone.

The Panthers boast an experienced midfield core, led by superstar Joel Cross, former Power defender Matthew Broadbent and hard-nut Nic Schwarz. On the outside, youngster Hayden Sampson has provided some spark with his speed, run and carry. The Panthers have also given talented 17-year-old Jason Horne an opportunity at league level in recent times. However this week they will do battle with arguably the leagues best in-and-under midfielder in Matthew Snook. As tough as they come, Snook is averaging 28.5 disposals, 7.5 tackles and 9.8 clearances per game and currently sits atop the R.O. Sherman Medal count. However he hasn’t been alone. Luke Partington has started to return to his 2019 best in recent weeks and Bradley Agnew‘s defensive pressure has been outstanding all season. The Panthers will know all about Partington’s abilities, given he kicked three goals in a dominant display against them in round two. Billy Stretch also had his best game in the black and yellow against the Redlegs.

Up forward, the Bays dynamic duo of Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds were kept to just one goal apiece at Coopers Stadium. Both capable of kicking a bag, when they are on the key forwards are very hard to stop. The Panthers will again be without key defensive pillar Tom Highmore who is set to another couple of weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury. Jack Kluske has also found some form in front of the big sticks, kicking five goals in the past four rounds. The Panthers have had an even spread of goal kickers, with smalls Eamon Wilkinson and Beau McCreery combining with big Sam Overall, who slotted three goals against the Eagles – comfortably the leagues best defence.

Down back, Tigers skipper Max Proud has done much of the heavy lifting, with Luke Parks and Michael Virgin providing plenty of rebound from the defensive-50. South Adelaide’s Joseph Haines was held to just eight disposals by Eagle Jack Firns – his lowest count of the season by a considerable margin. Haines has been highly effective this season with his intercept marking, run and carry and penetrating kicking sure to earn him a few Magarey Medal votes. Negating his influence should be high on the agenda of Glenelg coach Mark Stone.

The Tigers beat the Panthers by just five points in their round two encounter, and appear set to enter the re-match with a reasonably clean bill of health. Although draft hopeful Luke Edwards is set to miss another week after suffering a concussion on debut. South Adelaide have four players listed as a ‘test’, including promising teenager Zac DumesnyMark Noble, Jaidan Kappler and Ben Sawford. But, unfortunately, Ben Haren is set to miss 2-3 weeks with a quad strain.

Reserves: After racing out of the blocks at reserves level, Glenelg find themselves in fourth spot on the ladder after recording three losses in the past four games. They should enter this clash as favourites, however, against a Panthers unit which has looked promising at times but struggled for consistency.

Under-18s: The Panthers under-18s will be full of confidence after knocking off the Eagles in a thrilling one-point win at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. All eyes will be on forward/wingman Brayden Cook after his match-winning performance. He continues to rise up draft boards and looks to be a draft smokey. The Tigers have struggled of-late, but watch out for Brodie Edwards, the third son of Crows-legend Tyson, who has accumulated a bit of the ball in recent weeks.

 

Woodville-West Torrens vs. Sturt

League: This week Sturt is provided with the daunting task of taking down the high-flying Eagles, who are still yet to lose since the opening round. The Eagles already possess a match-winning forward line, dour defence and strong, experienced midfield but managed to bolster their on-ball stocks further with the recent signing of James Tsitas from Geelong’s VFL side.

A standout in the VFL for several years, Tsitas made his presence felt in just his second SANFL match on Saturday, laying eight tackles, winning nine clearances and collecting 25 disposals. His side was not dominant on the stats sheet but, as all good sides do, they made South Adelaide pay for their goal kicking inaccuracies. Sturt, on the other hand, recorded a much-needed victory of the Bulldogs at their Peter Motley Oval home. They controlled much of the match on the scoreboard and won most of the key statistical indicators.

A six-goal performance from key forward Jake Sutcliffe was just what the doctor ordered for a Double Blues side which has struggled to kick a winning score all-too-often in season 2020. Better still, two goal-showings from veteran Mark Evans, ruck/forward Dan Fahey-Sparks and small forward Harry Morrison added to the promising display. They will have to replicate their scoring pressure if they are to match it with the potent Eagles offence. James Rowe booted another four goals straight and is clearly the competitions premier small forward. Jack and Nick Hayes were kept relatively quiet against South, but Jake Von Bertouch booted another couple. Firns’ tagging role on Panther Haines was also instrumental in their round eight triumph.

Sturt’s midfield mainstays were all prolific in the win over Central Districts, with skipper James Battersby brilliant at the stoppages, (11 clearances), Sam Colquhoun typically industrial and teenager Casey Voss amongst the leading possession winners once again. However the performances of some fresh faces is what will have really excited coach Nathan GrimaAbe Davis took a few weeks to find his feet at his new club, but has recorded tallies of 26, 31 and 32 disposals in the past three games and is starting to show why Sturt were so keen on recruiting him from South Adelaide. Fellow newcomer Jack Henderson showed some excellent signs in just his second league game and ruckman Darcy Bennett won 32 hit-outs.

They will do battle with an often-underrated Eagles engine room featuring the likes of Tsitas, reigning club champion Jordan Foote, experienced duo Joseph Sinor and Matthew Goldsworthy and Jimmy Toumpas. Youngster Lachlan McNeil has also found his feet at league level this season and is averaging 17.6 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency. Tasmanian Rhyan Mansell’s dash off the half-back line for Woodville-West Torrens has been terrific and teenager Lachlan Jones continues to perform strongly as he pushes for draft selection.

Angus Poole (ribs) and Jarrad Redden (abdominal) have been listed as ‘tests’ for the Eagles. And for the Double Blues, small forward Josh Hone is likely to miss some time after sustaining a foot injury early in the game against the Bulldogs. A win for the Double Blues would be a sensational moral booster, but the ladder leaders present an imposing challenge.

Reserves: The undefeated Eagles reserves just keep getting the job done in the second-tier competition, after easily accounting for the Panther on the weekend. Third-placed Sturt will be looking top bounce back from a hefty-loss at the hands of the second-placed Bulldogs.

Under-18s: The Eagles and Double Blues under-18 sides will be looking to return to the winners list after both recording disappointing losses last round. And there will be plenty of talent on show at Peter Motley Oval, with the likes of Caleb Poulter, Henry Smith and Jase Burgoyne (Eagles) clashing with Tom Powell, Mani Liddy and Will Spain (Sturt).

Scouting Notes: 2020 SANFL Under 18s – Round 6

ROUND 6 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) brings along with it another edition our scouting notes, focusing on the top draft-relevant performers from around the competition this weekend. In this instalment, we again turn our attention to the prospects running around in the Under 18 competition, with a focus on State Academy based talent and others who may push for selection along the line. A bunch of top-end juniors plied their trade in senior grades over the weekend, so they also get a look-in. Some sides remained slightly depleted over the weekend with school football making its return.

Please consider that each set of notes showcases the opinions of our scouts individually, and there are only so many players we can keep an eye on each week.

South Adelaide vs. North Adelaide

By: Michael Alvaro

South Adelaide:

#9 Jason Horne

It was another superb performance from Horne, who is currently South Adelaide’s prime mover through midfield. The bottom-ager constantly got first hands on the ball at stoppages, especially early, and used his bursting speed to break forward quickly. Horne’s play of the game came in that exact manner, as he streamed away from a centre bounce and launched home his sole major for the day from 60-metres out. Credit to his enormous work rate, Horne was able to constantly find space around the ground and really hunted the opposition with smothering tackling pressure. 26 disposals and six clearances led another formidable statline for the Under 16 State MVP.

#10 Brayden Cook

One of three Panthers to notch 26 touches, Cook made the wing his own across another consistent outing. He took a bit of time to get going, but kickstarted his day with a strong pack mark and goal late in the first term. That kind of forward running and hardness at the contest made him a constant threat, with some nice accumulative work between the arcs boosting his stats throughout. Cook capped off his day with a second goal, put through from the goalsquare in term four.

#19 Jamison Snelling

One of a couple outstanding 16-year-old prospects in the South Adelaide side, Snelling showed terrific glimpses of his top form to finish with three goals from 21 disposals and seven marks. His first major seemed to come from nowhere, as he benefitted from a turnover just outside the forward arc and slammed the ball home from range. It would set him going, with Snelling rotated through the midfield and forwardline to good effect all day. His form from distance carried on too; finding the big sticks from outside 50 a second time after receiving a hand-off, and finishing smartly on the run from a touch closer in the fourth term to put the cherry on top of a strong performance.

#22 Jack Flett

Flett was arguably the most damaging member of South’s steady back six, providing a cool head on the last line while also attempting to break the lines on the rebound. His left foot would become a weapon, used to attack as he took on some nice cross-field passes and gained serious distance. The short-range game was there too, able to hit up easy outlet kicks to help his side maintain possession. But Fleet’s best moments came on the offensive, with one particular driving run through the corridor sending the Panthers inside 50. His 23 disposals and eight marks were somewhat reflective of South’s high possession defence, but there was enough going the other way to have a big impact.

#27 Will Verrall

The 16-year-old key position prospect has transitioned well into the Under 18 side, and continues to mix it well both up forward and in the ruck. An athletic type, Verrall’s leap was evident early as he rose to take a nice overhead mark inside 50, converting the resultant set shot. A big pack mark later in the opening term gave him a second goal after the siren, and Verrall never looked back. While he could not quite find the goals again, his clean hands at ground level and ability to get involved in chained forward moves made for good viewing.

Others:

A bunch of solid contributors headlined South Adelaide’s win, with electric small forward Phoenix Spicer again looking lively. He added two goals and plenty of speed to the Panthers’ effort from out on the wing, much like Isaac Burt (22 disposals, nine marks). South’s defence was also strong, led by Samuel Hindes‘ 20 disposals, 12 marks, and seven rebound 50s, and consolidated by the safe ball use of Harry Spacie (26 disposals, nine marks).  

>> SOUTH ADELAIDE TEAM PAGE

North Adelaide:

#15 Harvey Harrison

Harrison’s dash and dare from midfield was again a feature for North Adelaide, as he popped up in exciting spurts. After somewhat of a slow start (much like the rest of his side), the bottom-ager clicked into gear as he began to accumulate the ball on the outer of stoppage situations, using his five-step burst to accelerate forward and take the game on. A nice forward run in the third term was a highlight of Harrison’s day, as he finished with 25 disposals, five marks, and five clearances.

#18 James Willis

Another bottom-ager who is thriving for the Roosters upon being granted a touch more midfield responsibility is Willis, who returned 22 disposals, six tackles, and four clearances on a trying day. He too started a little shakily with a shanked kick under little pressure, but soon made up for it with an eye-catching run out of the defensive half. While his outside game would be sound given his speed, Willis looks just as good on the inside where he uses his strength to fend off opponents and bring them down in desperate tackles. That kind of play made him a driving force through midfield, and there is a good base to work off.

#25 Blayne O’Loughlin

O’Loughlin is just so consistent with his work out of defence, and hardly lost a contest when the ball entered his area. Whether it came in aerially or via the carpet, O’Loughlin was constantly able to intercept and mop up across half-back to foil many of South Adelaide’s attacks. There might not be much of him, but the bottom-ager has plenty of impact with clean rebounding kicks on his left side – both short and long in range. He was again the Roosters’ most prolific ball winner with 26 touches, along with seven rebound 50s.

Others:

Midfielder Matthew Borg also managed to rack up 26 disposals, providing a constant stoppage presence as he lined up against Horne more often than not. Kyle Brazell (23 disposals, seven marks) was another to find plenty of the ball, able to drive forward from the wing. Zyton Santillo looks to be filling the role of Tariek Newchurch for North, with his lead-up duties as a small working well to link his side into attacking 50. Shaun Bennier contributed the most in terms of goals, booting 4.4 from 16 disposals and six marks with most of his work done deep.

>> NORTH ADELAIDE TEAM PAGE

WWT Eagles vs. Central District

By: Tom Cheesman

WWT Eagles:

#7 Caleb Poulter

Poulter had another nice game for the Eagles in their victory at X Convenience Oval. He collected 25 disposals, five marks, five inside 50s, three clearances, and a goal while spending time in the midfield and across half-forward. The big-bodied AFL Academy Hub member was clean at stoppages, releasing many teammates into open space with some nice handballs on the up. He played with great physicality at clearances and in marking contests, and his terrific ability overhead was on show. Poulter also found plenty of the ball around the ground, made some nice decisions with ball in hand, and his kicking efficiency was exceptional. One of Poulter’s best traits is that he always follows up his possessions and contests, which is exactly what he did en route to kicking a clever goal in the last quarter.

#31 Jase Burgoyne

Bottom-ager Burgoyne produced one of his best performances at Under 18 level on Saturday. He spent more time than usual in the midfield, which led to him being the leading disposal winner on the ground. His acceleration and elite ability to change direction wreaked havoc on the opposition, as they quite simply could not stop him from linking up with teammates through the middle and transitioning the ball forward. Burgoyne is never afraid to take the game on and use the corridor, a trait that is incredibly impressive for such a young player. His teammates try to get the ball in his hands at any cost, demonstrating how much faith they have in his abilities. Increased midfield minutes also allowed Burgoyne to show more of his physicality and tacking pressure, which are elements of his game that have been much more hidden when playing his usual half-back role. He finished with 33 disposals, seven rebound 50s, five clearances, four tackles and a nice set shot goal.

#34 Lachlan Jones (League)

Jones is one of the best South Australian prospects in this year’s draft class, and he showed why he’s rated so highly once again on Saturday. The 185cm youngster has a strong build and is very suited to his role in the ladder-leading Eagles’ backline. Jones matched up on ex-Carlton and Adelaide forward Troy Menzel during the game (when Menzel went forward) and did an excellent job. He pushed Menzel wide on the lead, held his own in one-on-one contests, and read the flight of the ball well when positioned behind the play.

Jones’ marking ability is definitely one of his major strengths, and he took multiple intercept marks in pack situations throughout the game. He has fantastic reach and athletic jumping ability, skills which were both on show in this match as he used this athleticism to spoil his opponents whenever he found himself out of position. It is evident that Jones will be an important member of the Eagles defence at League level all season. The Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy member finished with eight kicks, four marks and three rebound 50s.

#51 Lachlan McNeil (League)

McNeil was outstanding once again for the Eagles. He worked hard around the ground to find plenty of the ball and linked up well with teammates down the wings to transition it forward quickly. The over-ager was also strong defensively, laying three solid tackles –  including a nice run-down effort at the start of the third term. He used the ball effectively, was particularly clean with his hands, and kicked a nice set shot goal from just inside 50 in the first quarter. McNeil finished with 21 disposals, four clearances and four inside 50s.

Others:

Brayden Calvett (four goals) was very lively for the Eagles up forward, while Zeke Scott (20 disposals, eight tackles) was hard at it in the midfield, and Max Litster (25 disposals, eight marks, two goals) had a strong impact.

Jacob Godden (22 disposals, nine inside 50s) was busy at half forward, using his pace to provide an option up the ground and get the ball over the back and into the Eagles’ key forwards.

Port Adelaide father-son prospect Taj Schofield unfortunately suffered a lower leg injury in the opening minute of the game whilst attempting to change direction and did not return.

>> WWT EAGLES TEAM PAGE

Central District:

#5 Kobe Wilson

Wilson was fantastic on Saturday, running hard up and down the wings to give Centrals supporters some exciting passages of play to watch. He started the game phenomenally, laying two strong tackles over the boundary and setting up the first goal of the game. Wilson has a spearing right-foot kick that is very effective, particularly when kicking short on the 45. He used his electric speed to provide a lot of run-and-carry for his side, and he kicked a well-deserved goal in the final term. Wilson had 13 disposals (all of which were kicks), five marks, five inside 50s and four tackles.

#13 Austin McDonald

McDonald was Central’s best clearance player on the day, collecting 18 disposals, eight clearances, and four inside 50s for his side. He is a very steady player, always composed and willing to wait for the right option to present itself. McDonald regularly provided an effective option for teammates in the corridor and applied relentless pressure on opposition players at stoppages around the ground.

#26 Shay Linke

Linke is in red-hot form for the Bulldogs and impressed on Saturday with another strong performance. He kicked two goals to go with a team-high 29 disposals, ten marks and eight inside 50s. Remarkably, 26 of Linke’s disposals were kicks, showing how much confidence he has in himself to make the right decisions going forward with the ball. He also worked hard at stoppages, earning five clearances for his side.

#27 Leek Alleer

Alleer was one of Central’s best when on the field, regularly providing an option for teammates to switch the play, and using his fantastic athleticism to impact the contest in all areas of the ground. He has a great reach to go with his impressive size, so he was never out-marked and used that reach and some serious closing speed to impact multiple marking contests.

His defensive tackling pressure was also outstanding, highlighted by a strong tackle on the speedy Jay Watson in the first term and then another great tackle in the second term on Zeke Scott. Alleer was involved in an unfortunate incident six minutes into the third term when an Eagles player dived for the ball and accidentally caught Alleer’s leg underneath them in the process. Despite trying to play on with the injury, Alleer soon left the field and did not return to the game. He finished with 15 disposals, five marks, three tackles and three clearances.

#31 Corey Durdin (League)

Although it was another tough day for Central’s forwards, Durdin showed once again many think of him so highly. The 172cm forward has an incredible work ethic and electric pace, applying plenty of pressure on opposition defenders throughout the contest and laying four important tackles. He kicked a clever soccer goal in the second term to get his side back in the contest, but unfortunately that was one of very few chances he got to hit the scoreboard. Durdin also provided a much-needed option for Centrals coming out defence and was always willing to get the ball moving quickly whenever he got the opportunity. He collected 12 disposals and three marks to go with his goal and four tackles.

#52 Lachlan Grubb (League)

Grubb made his SANFL League debut on Saturday and did not look out of place at all. Similarly to Durdin, he spent most of his time at half-forward and always presented well for his teammates. Early in the contest, Grubb settled himself in nicely by finding plenty of the ball and helping his side transition it into their forward 50. He got himself into strong positions, including multiple front and centres where he collected the ball on the run. Grubb also initiated some switches of play and pushed up the ground to apply some strong pressure. He finished with 11 disposals (ten kicks), three marks, two tackles, two clearances and two inside 50s.

Others:

Christopher Tidswell (19 disposals, seven marks, five rebound 50s) was solid through the middle and at half-back for the Bulldogs, using his nice left-foot to launch the Bulldogs into attack on many occasions. He always knew the right time to spread from the contest and did it very well. Finn Reed (16 disposals, six inside 50s, six marks, one goal) was also good, particularly in the second half. Some of his half-volleys were crisp and he attacked the footy with ferocity whenever it came his way.

>> CENTRAL DISTRICT TEAM PAGE

West Adelaide vs. Norwood

By: Michael Alvaro

West Adelaide:

#6 Bailey Chamberlain

While the Bloods’ woes at Under 18s level continued, Chamberlain remains the shining light and put in another committed display. The lone AFL Academy hub member afield for West Adelaide worked incredibly hard for his side, finishing with a formidable statline which read: 36 disposals, seven marks, eight tackles, eight clearances, five inside 50s, and six rebound 50s. Chamberlain’s trend of getting back to help the defence again came to the fore, as did his bursts from congestion. A few quick steps, and he would gain separation from his Norwood opponents. A real positive in his game was the ability to mix clearing kicks with calm use by hand and shorter-range execution via foot, which adds another dimension to his midfield craft.

#10 Eduard van den Berg

The West Adelaide defender continues to carry a decent workload across the back half, forming his side’s most prevalent form of resistance and rebound. Most of his 26 disposals were kicks, with one of his first coming in the opening term and earning him a terrific goal with little time to think about it. After slotting that major from around 40-metres, van den Berg reverted back to his usual game in mopping up down back, able to rebound effectively even if the ball would repeatedly come straight back his way. He’s a clean and calm user, making him vital to the Bloods’ defensive setup.

Others:

A few of the taller Bloods fared well on Saturday, with ruckman Luke Heitmann often proving too big and strong for his opponents in notching 37 hitouts to go with 11 disposals, six tackles, and two goals. He shared those duties with Thomas Faulkner, who had 25 hitouts, while Thomas Rundle worked hard up the field from half-forward to provide a focal point with eight marks. Nicholas Couroupis and Cade Kennedy combined for 24 disposals, 24 tackles, and two goals from midfield, while Zac Venning ticked over 20 disposals.

>> WEST ADELAIDE TEAM PAGE

Norwood:

#1 Cooper Murley

We’re beginning to run out of superlatives to describe Murley, who continues to impress as Norwood’s prime midfield mover – in his  bottom-age year, no less. He looked busy from the outset and showed his smarts early with some deft inboard kicks, while also getting to all the right spots at the drop of the ball. Not only did Murley use his speed to break away from congestion with ball in hand, but he also followed up his clearance work by chasing his own disposals and getting involved at the next contest. His forward running makes him a constant headache for opposition defenders, though Murley still has a slight tendency to shank one in every few kicks at full flight. He is still so damaging in that area though, and took full toll with 34 disposals, 14 clearances, eight tackles, and six inside 50s.

#6 Michael Cavallaro

The Redlegs wingman again showed his smarts in an assured outing, chaining together some nice forward momentum for his side and constantly crafting a way forward. Cavallaro didn’t let a crunching hit in the opening term deter him, going on to collect 21 disposals and four marks in a solid and well-rounded display. While his ability to create going forward is noticeable, Cavallaro was able to show he is more than just a forward runner by winning his fair share at the contest and at both ends of the field.

#21 Jack Saunders

Saunders has been a mainstay in the Norwood midfield of late and it is little wonder why, as he consistently gets the job done. Second to only Murley in the ball winning stakes once again (24 disposals), Saunders is the no frills type of midfielder that every engine room needs. Most of his touches were simple gather and gives, but they were largely effective. He repeatedly showed a nice burst to get into space after hitting the ball straight-on, and was able to find the ball in all parts of the ground – shown by his clearance numbers and penetration of either arc.

Others:

West Adelaide’s bigmen may have stood tall, but so did Nathan Hearing for Norwood. The ruckman competed well in the air and got involved at ground level with 23 disposals, seven clearances, and seven inside 50s to go with 27 hitouts. There was plenty of scoreboard damage done, mainly via the boot of Samuel Duke (four goals), followed by three from Jackson Murphy and a couple from Marcus Roberts, who also had 19 touches and five clearances.

>> NORWOOD TEAM PAGE

Glenelg vs. Sturt

By: Tom Wyman

Glenelg:

#2 Nasiah Wanganeen

Wanganeen showed flashes of his terrific skillset in Glenelg’s loss. A super smooth-mover, he is also a nice size, which allowed him to spend time on the ball, down back, and up forward. He was composed with ball in hand and looked to use his side-step to get around the man on the mark on a couple of instances. Wanganeen booted a goal in the final quarter and certainly possesses some likeable qualities. He finished with 19 disposals, six marks, six tackles, three clearances and three rebound-50s.

#10 Ty Murphy

Murphy was one of the few Tigers to show some real dare with ball in hand. He took the game on by using his speed to break the lines and generate some positive play moving forward. He was assured by foot for the most part and provided plenty of rebound from his role at half-back and on the wing. He laid a strong tackle on Tom Powell, something few have been able to manage in season 2020, and was rewarded with a holding-the-ball free kick. Murphy finished with 19 disposals, six marks, three tackles and six inside-50s.

#19 Jayden Davis 

It was a difficult day for the Tigers, but the performance of Davis will have impressed the Glenelg coaching staff. He was involved in almost every positive passage of play for the Bays and booted the clubs’ first two goals of the contest in the second quarter, thanks to some handy roving. He worked hard around the ground and took a game-high 11 marks, two of which were contested. He also racked up three clearances to go with a team-high 22 touches and four tackles.

Others:

On-baller Hagan Wright was one of Glenelg’s best in a midfield which was comprehensively beaten by a talented Sturt on-ball unit. He could have been more efficient by foot, but tried his guts out between the arcs and finished with 21 disposals, a goal, six marks, eight tackles, four clearances and four rebound-50s. Ruckman Max Fitzgerald produced a handful of effective taps to advantage, while Riley Davis and Joel Virtanen were solid down back, recording five rebound-50s apiece.

>> GLENELG TEAM PAGE

Sturt:

#8 Lachlan Thomas

The speedy wingman ran up and down the ground all day, finding plenty of space and providing a link-up option. He was able to set-up several Double Blues attacks with his breakaway speed and run-and-carry, and looked to move it on quickly whenever possible. His ball use was often damaging and predominately effective, particularly when going forward. Thomas brought plenty of energy to the contest and finished a strong outing with 24 disposals, nine marks, five inside-50s and three rebound-50s.

#11 Will Spain

It was yet another solid outing from Sturt on-baller, Spain. While fellow midfielders Tom Powell and Mani Liddy have received much of the credit for the Double Blues’ excellent start to the season, Spain has been an essential component in the engine room. He was active whenever the ball was in his area, cracking in hard when the ball was there to be won but also applying plenty of defensive pressure whenever Glenelg got their hands on it.

During a dominant first term for the Double Blues, Spain was on the receiving end of a hurried inside-50 and made the most of the opportunity by nailing the subsequent set-shot from straight in front. He was excellent at the stoppages, winning seven clearances for the evening. Although he lacked a bit of polish by foot at-times, Spain attacked every contest with ferocity and showed plenty of strength in-and-under. He finished with 23 disposals, two marks, eight tackles and five inside-50s.

#16 Blake Higgins

On an ‘all played well’ type of evening for Sturt, Higgins was up there with the best. His foot skills were excellent, picking out his teammates with high degree of difficulty kicks on a number of occasions. Higgins was busy all game and, much like teammate Lachlan Thomas, was particularly effective with ball in hand when heading inside-50. Sturt looked to give him the ball to utilise his foot skills as often as possible and he rarely let them down. He also proved effective at the stoppages, winning four clearances to go with his 22 disposals, four marks and five inside-50s.

#17 Mani Liddy

The ever-consistent Liddy was again prominent for the in-form Double Blues. Liddy used his solid frame and obvious strength to fire off a quick handball despite being tackled by a pack of Tigers on several occasions. Liddy again won most of this possessions at the coalface so it was encouraging to see him stream through the middle early and kick long inside-50 in the first term. As he has demonstrated all season, Liddy showed great vision and skill by hand to spot a teammate in some space on the outside of a congested stoppage and get the ball moving Sturt’s way.

Although he missed a couple of targets by foot, Liddy showed off the power in his leg by setting sail on a couple of bombs from around the 50-metre arc. His clever tap on to Tom Powell in the third term didn’t register a stat but it allowed Powell to convert from close range and extend Sturt’s lead. He also set up the opening goal of the game with a neat kick to key forward Tom Emmett. Like most of the Sturt midfielders, Liddy also hit the scoreboard with two goals but also registered three behinds. He concluded the outing with 29 disposals, three marks, four tackles, seven clearances and seven inside-50s.

#18 Tom Powell

If the son-of-a-gun wasn’t already in the first round conversation, he almost certainly will be after another best-on-ground performance against Glenelg. Powell was always on the move at stoppages, either going in hard and winning the contested ball or looking to use his burst of speed to accelerate away from congestion and send it forward. He was regularly at the bottom of packs, wrestling for possession and looking to force out a handball. On the rare occasion when Powell didn’t win the contested ball, he applied plenty of pressure and executed a number of terrific tackles to stop his opponents in their tracks. A holding-the-ball free kick in the centre of ACH Group Stadium was a prime example of his ability to pin opponents arms.

Powell was clean by foot and effective by hand in-tight. He was seemingly involved in every Sturt forward 50 entry and knows exactly where to run to receive the ball, both around the ground and at the stoppages. However, it was his impact on the scoreboard which really elevated his performance. He booted three goals – two from roughly 40-metres out on the run and a third with a snap from close range. He did blaze away a couple of times in front of goal when he could have lowered his eyes, but it was encouraging to see Powell have a big impact on the match in attack. He certainly appears to be the best pure midfield prospect in South Australia and has started the season like a house on fire. Powell gathered another 39 disposals, three marks, six tackles, ten clearances and five inside-50s.

#19 Zabien Parker-Boers

The damaging forward booted four goals in the 100-point win. His ability to keep his feet allowed him to simply out-maneuverer his direct opponent and stream into goal in the first term. Parker-Boers was clean in the air as well, hauling in two contested marks. One of few Double Blues with accuracy in-front of goal, the forward finished with 17 disposals and three marks.

#22 Ned Walter

In his trademark helmet, Walter was rock-solid down back. He took a number of intercept marks by simply reading the flight of the ball better than his Glenelg opponents. At ground level, Walter attacked the contest well and won a couple of contested possessions by going in lower and harder. He was clean and composed by foot and showed intent to bring the ball back into the centre of the ground when appropriate. He found plenty of the ball by involving himself up the ground as well and was rewarded with a goal in the final term. Walter gathered 22 disposals, seven marks, four inside-50s and four rebound-50s.

#29 Tom Emmett

The strong-bodied Emmett was the most dominant forward on the ground for the second-consecutive week. The Double Blues looked for him more often than not when going forward and his ability to win the front-position and create separation on the lead ensured he was rewarded with a plethora of shots on goal. He also took a couple of strong contested marks around the ground to prove he isn’t a one-trick pony. He booted three goals for the match but could have ended with a bag, having recorded four behinds. A highlight was his clinical finish from close to the boundary-line in the second term. Emmett’s field kicking was excellent and his methodical set-shot routine should hold him in good stead going forward. He concluded the evening with 15 disposals and seven marks, two of which were contested.

Others: 

Jordan Opperman took a screamer in the first quarter and, importantly, converted his set-shot from the top of the goal-square. He was another who could have finished with a bag, having booted two goals and five behinds. The forward collected 14 disposals and seven marks (including three contested). Big-man Ethan Cass competed well in the ruck but it was his work around the ground which really stood-out. He was involved in plenty of attacking handball chains and collected a handy four clearances, to go with 19 disposals, seven hit-outs and five inside-50s.

>> STURT TEAM PAGE

SANFL League Player Focus:
Rd 1 – Corey Durdin
Rd 2 – Riley Thilthorpe
Rd 3 – Lachlan Jones

AFL Draft Watch:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Lachlan Jones
Caleb Poulter
Tom Powell
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

Marquee Matchups:
Kaine Baldwin vs. Denver Grainger-Barras
Corey Durdin vs. Braeden Campbell
Luke Edwards vs. Connor Downie

>> July Power Rankings | August Power Rankings

>> 2020 South Australian Under 18s Predicted Squad

SANFL weekly wrap: Round 5 – League top three go two games clear

THREE teams are sitting pretty atop the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) League ladder at 4-1 after five rounds, with North and South Adelaide behind Woodville-West Torrens by percentage alone. The trailing pack, which includes reigning premier, Glenelg and Round 5 winner, Norwood find themselves two games adrift – a crucial buffer amid the improvised season schedule. The Eagles and Panthers were the only two clubs to go undefeated across all three grades, placing them firmly in finals calculations at this early stage.

>> SCROLL for full results 

Glenelg vs. WWT Eagles

League: Glenelg 12.11 (83) def. by WWT Eagles 16.7 (103)
Reserves: Glenelg 6.7 (43) def. by WWT Eagles 13.8 (86)
Under 18s: WWT Eagles 18.16 (124) def. Glenelg 8.5 (53)

Eagles held on for a well-earned 20-point win over Glenelg at League level, capping off a hat-trick of wins over the Tigers for the round. The visitors led by 40 points at half time, and had extended the buffer out to 45 during the third term, but were reigned in by a valiant Glenelg outfit which the Eagles looking a little nervy heading into the final stages.

While the likes of Andrew Bradley (35 disposals, 10 marks), Matthew Snook (31 disposals, 12 clearances, one goal), and Liam McBean returned stellar individual performances for the Tigers, it was the even spread of WWT contributors which proved the defining factor. Joseph Sinor and Jordan Foote led the disposal count with 23 and 21 respectively, while young guns Lachlan McNeil and Rhyan Mansell played their roles well. Lachlan Jones had his hands full with McBean in defence, while James Rowe and Jake von Bertouch both booted four goals up the other end.

The Reserves and Under 18s would follow suit, with a raft of juniors shining through on a super Saturday. Jack Wheare (four goals) and Jay Watson (three) led a brigade of six Eagles multiple goalkickers, with the highly-fancied Taj Schofield and Jase Burgoyne among them. Caleb Poulter was the leading ball winner with 24 touches, outdone only by Glenelg’s William Watts (31 disposals) and Kye Dean (25). William Neumann and Harrison Dawkins were among others to fare well in the Eagles’ winning effort.

Having suffered their first Reserves defeat, the Tigers trail the undefeated Eagles and Central District in third, but remain top of the Under 18s table despite another maiden loss. WWT has risen to fifth in the junior grade, one game out of the finals spots.

South Adelaide vs. West Adelaide

League: South Adelaide 12.7 (79) def. West Adelaide 9.5 (59)
Reserves: South Adelaide 15.11 (101) def. West Adelaide 7.3 (45)
Under 18s: West Adelaide 5.12 (42) def. by South Adelaide 12.16 (88)

South Adelaide cruised home to a 20-point win over West Adelaide to remain in the hunt for top spot, blitzing the Bloods with 12 goals to five across the first three terms – including seven of the first eight majors. While Westies improved in the final stanza with four consolation goals, the damage was already done. The Reserves and Under 18s made it a three-peat for Souths, notching wins to the tune of 56 and 46 points respectively.

Joel Cross again lead all comers for the Panthers’, amassing 26 disposals, five tackles, and six clearances. Joseph Haines (20 disposals) and Thomas Highmore (23 disposals, 11 marks) continued their strong runs of form, while State Under 18 gun Zac Dumesny also stood up with 19 touches. Up forward, Eamon Wilkinson booted a game-high three goals from six touches. Jordan Boyle (26 disposals) and Kaine Stevens (25) led the way for the Bloods from the engine room, with Brett Turner‘s two majors a key spark for his side’s late form, while Dallas Willsmore made a solid return to action.

At Under 18s level, Bailey Chamberlain continued his prolific start to the season with 35 touches for West, but it was Jason Horne who stole the show with 31 disposals and three goals. The Bloods found plenty of the ball, with the likes of Nicholas Couroupis, Eduard van den Berg, Dylan White, and Cade Kennedy cracking 20 disposals, but the Panthers’ midfielders simply had more impact with their possessions. Among them, Liam Hamilton was solid with 26 disposals, while Max Clifton had 22, and Phoenix Spicer and Brayden Cook both found the goals.

South Adelaide now jumps ahead of West via percentage in the Reserves standings despite both sides boasting 1-4 records, while the winless Bloods’ Under 18s remain planted to the bottom as the Panthers soar into the finals placings.

Central District vs. North Adelaide

League: Central District 9.8 (62) def. by North Adelaide 14.8 (92)
Reserves: Central District 11.10 (76) def. North Adelaide 8.8 (56)
Under 18s: North Adelaide 12.13 (85) def. Central District 7.5 (47)

Central District again fell short of its first League win for the year, going down by 30 points to North Adelaide on Saturday. Despite leading at half time, the Bulldogs’ lead was quickly overturned as the Roosters booted nine goals to three after the main break to claim victory. While North’s Under 18s also got up, it wasn’t all bad news for Dogs fans as their side held on to go 5-0 at Reserves level.

Leading League disposal getter James Boyd added another 38 to his mammoth tally for the Bulldogs, just two clear of North’s Thomas Schwarz on 36. Mitchell Harvey‘s four goals came at the ideal time for the Roosters, helping steer them ahead in the third term as the visitors appeared to have all the answers. Keenan Ramsay (three goals) and Kym Lebois (two) were also potent, while Andrew Moore and Jarred Allmond made for a productive inside/outside combination. Luke Habel collected 26 touches for Centrals, followed by Trent Goodrem and Jarrod Schiller (both 22). State Under 18s small Corey Durdin snagged two goals from 15 disposals.

The Roosters’ Under 18s were able to kick away in their outing, with Charlie Dowling booting four goals in a promising display. Leo Coates and Zyton Santillo also found the big sticks on multiple occasions, while Kyle Brazell snared a major from his 24 disposals. Blayne O’Loughlin led all comers from defence with 27 touches, as Matthew Borg (25, 11 tackles) trailed closely. Shay Linke (22 disposals, one goal) and Austin McDonald (21, nine clearances) were again instrumental for the Bulldogs, while Leek Alleer continues to show promise, clunking seven marks in his 18-disposal effort.

Centrals now trail North by a game in the Under 18 grade, sitting at 1-4 in seventh spot. The Reserves are holding up hope for the club with their blistering form to sit top, but a winless League side will be hoping for a swift turnaround during the mid-season period.

Sturt vs. Norwood

League: Sturt 10.13 (73) def. by Norwood 13.10 (88)
Reserves: Sturt 11.14 (80) def. Norwood 5.4 (34)
Under 18s: Sturt 6.10 (46) def. by Norwood 10.12 (72)

Sturt and Norwood competed in the competition’s sole Sunday fixtures, sharing the spoils as the Redlegs claimed a road League win, while the Double Blues got one back at Reserves level. On Saturday, Norwood’s Under 18s also claimed a win, sending the Redlegs to third and level on points with first. The Norwood Reserves are still winless though, and both sides side just outside the top four in the League grade.

There were plenty of big performers as the two senior teams did battle, with Mitchell Grigg slamming home two goals from 27 touches, while Ryan Bastinac marked a successful senior dig with 23 touches and a goal, and Matthew Panos booted two from his 22 touches. For Sturt, James Battersby led all comers with 27 disposals and nine clearances, with Sam Colquhoun trailing on 24, and Joshua Hone bagging three majors from 20 disposals. Jake Sutcliffe and Tom Pinyon also kicked three goals for either side as the Redlegs clawed back from being jumped at the gun.

Sturt’s Tom Powell was again the standout at Under 18s level, this time spilling over the 40-disposal mark and claiming nine clearances in a losing effort. Jack Saunders (34 disposals, six clearances) and Cooper Murley (28 disposals, two goals) were impactful from midfield for Norwood, while Michael Cavallaro (32 disposals), Daniel Fairbrother (29), and Benjamin Ianniello (27) all found plenty of the ball. Mani Liddy and Will Spain did the same for Sturt once again, while Tom Emmett claimed a game-high four goals.