Tag: Lachlan Potter

NAB League Boys weekend preview: Wildcard Round

IT is a big round of NAB League boys action this weekend, with the Wildcard Round getting underway at Preston, Craigieburn and Box Hill across two big days. There is no turning back for the losers, so for five teams, it is curtains on season 2019, while five others live to fight another day.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS vs. GEELONG FALCONS
Saturday August 24, 11.45am
Preston City Oval

There was always going to be one of the highly-rated top four sides drop out of the automatic finals qualification places and in this case it was Sandringham who finished fifth and face a Wildcard Round elimination final. They meet 2019 Wooden Spooners, Geelong Falcons in the repeat of the 2017 TAC Cup Grand Final. Geelong has had its most disappointing year for some time on wins alone, but outside the win-loss ratio, the Falcons are a much better side than meets the eye. Their last quarter fadeouts have cost them on a number of occasions and the majority of their developing talent are bottom-agers. Not to dissimilar to Eastern Ranges this year, the core of the Geelong midfield will still have a year to go in the system and should be better heading into next year. Coupled with the bottom-agers is overager Charlie Sprague who has been on a goal-scoring spree over the past five rounds, piling on 18 goals in that time – including six last round against Dandenong Stingrays. He comes up against an in-form Corey Watts who, along with the likes of Jackson Voss and forward-turned-defender Charlie Dean will not make it easy for Sprague. Oliver Henry and Charlie Lazzaro provide strong support for Sprague inside 50, with Lazzaro rotating with Tanner Bruhn and Noah Gribble through the midfield. Sandringham’s midfield is star-studded and will take full advantage of their greater experience, with Darcy Chirgwin, Finn Maginness and Ryan Byrnes in the top three midfields of the competition. If the midfield gets on top, then the forwards of Fischer McAsey and Kyle Yorke could have a field day, especially with Miles Bergman, Hugo Ralphsmith and Jake Bowey named in the forward line and who are all capable of picking up midfield minutes. Jesse Clark looms as Geelong’s most important player to try and halt the Sandringham attack, while Cameron Fleeton returns to provide the Falcons with some more stability back there. It is hard to see Sandringham losing this clash, but Geelong played its best game of the season last week, so if they can build on that and start strongly, anything is possible.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS vs. BENDIGO PIONEERS
Saturday August 24, 2.15pm
Preston City Oval

In the second game of a double-header at Preston City Oval, the Knights host the Pioneers. The Knights are coming off an impressive win over Western Jets in the final round after starting slowly, while the Pioneers started strongly, and had their chances but just went down to Gippsland Power by 10 points on Sunday. The Knights midfield has the upperhand in this game with Northern trio Adam Carafa, Sam Philp and Josh Watson all in good form, while Josh D’Intinosante looms as a key for Northern up forward with 26 goals to his name this season – second over all on the goalkicking charts. James Schischka might be the man to try and stop him, while William Wallace and Riley Ironside have played good defensive roles in the back 50 of late. Brady Rowles was impressive last week and will provide good rebound, while Sam Conforti, Thomson Dow and Riley Wilson can win the pill and hit the scoreboard. Josh Treacy is strong enough to worry opposition key defenders, with Ryan Sturgess and Jackson Davies the two who will likely play a big role in the defence for the home side. Aaron Gundry has been in good form this season, as has Jack Ginnivan and Ben Worme with the former able to kick multiple goals in a game, while Worme can push up the ground and rotate through the middle. Nikolas Cox and Ryan Gardner are another couple of players that must be contained or Bendigo risk conceding a big score, but they will be relieved that Lachlan Potter will miss the season as his run and carry can break games open. Northern go in as favourites at home, but Bendigo beat the Knights at this venue earlier in the season so will be confident they can repeat the dose here.

CALDER CANNONS vs. TASMANIA DEVILS
Sunday, August 25, 11am
RAMS Arena

In the standalone game at RAMS Arena, Calder host a somewhat depleted Tasmania side in what on paper should favour the fifth placed home side. With Mitch O’Neill already out and the likes of Sam Collins and Oliver Davis missing it means three of their top players will be unavailable for the knockout clash. Jared Dakin has returned to provide some vital leadership, while Matt McGuinness, Patrick Walker and Liam Viney provide good rebound off the back 50. With Harrison Jones, Jake Sutton and Jackson Cardillo inside the forward arc, the Cannons front six will be hard to contain, but the Devils’ forward line is capable of providing impressive contested marking with Jackson Callow and Jake Steele named in the key position spots. Steele can also play in defence if the Devils start to get overwhelmed on the scoreboard, while Sam Banks and Will Peppin are future prospects who have shown great signs. The Calder midfield of Daniel Mott, Sam Ramsay and Ned Gentile should take control of the game given their experience, and if they get first use to their forwards nice and quickly, then the Cannons could put up a big score. Tasmania must remain composed and use the ball well to take advantage of their contested marking talls in the forward line if they are to cause an upset in this game.

WESTERN JETS vs. GWV REBELS
Sunday August 25, 11.45am
Box Hill City Oval

Down the Eastern Freeway, Western Jets cross the West Gate to play the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels at Box Hill. Western’s defence has won it games in the past, with Lucas Rocci, Darcy Cassar, Cody Raak and Josh Kellett a formidable combination, while Emerson Jeka can play there as well. Jeka has been named in attack, no doubt to stretch the Rebels’ defence with the tall utility likely to cause headaches for undersized defenders. Also in attack is competition leading goalscorer Archi Manton, but the Jets have struggled to kick big scorers on a consistent basis, so quick ball movement forward is key, as the likes of Josh Honey and Eddie Ford can run and hit the scoreboard. The Rebels are more than comfortable in a shootout situation, but showed last week they can win in a slog as well, which will be great preparation for this match. Jay Rantall, Mitch Martin and Cooper Craig-Peters is an underrated midfield and capable of producing quick clearances, while Josh Rentsch is already showing signs as a top-end key forward despite being two years away from being drafted. Riley Polkinghonre and Jack Tillig have been consistent players up either end this season, while Toby Mahony adds a touch of class, and Ben Hobbs is a 2021 draft prospect with a high ceiling. The Jets have overage experience in Aaron Clarke and Daly Andrews on their side, while Will Kennedy has been phenomenal in the ruck. He meets Patrick Glanford who averages the second most hitouts behind Kennedy, while James Cleaver and Matty Lloyd have also remained in the team this season as overagers, playing roles up opposite ends of the ground.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS vs. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS
Sunday August 25, 2.15pm
Box Hill City Oval

In what could be the match of the round, eighth placed Dandenong Stingrays take on ninth placed Murray Bushrangers in the second game at Box Hill. The Stingrays head into the game on an eight-game losing streak after sitting at a remarkable six wins and a draw from seven games. They have improved the past month, but were overwhelmed by the last placed Falcons in the wet at Bendigo last weekend. With elimination on the line for the reigning premiers, they must pick up if they are to overcome Murray in this match. The Bushrangers were starting to get back to their best before slipping and sliding – literally and figuratively – to a hungry GWV Rebels side in the previous round. The Stingrays still have plenty of match winners with Hayden Young, Ned Cahill and Cody Weightman in the side, and after spending time in the midfield, have been named back in their most dominant positions of half-back and the latter two, half-forward. Lachlan Williams has consistency to build, but as he showed from his three-goal last quarter in Round 17, can pop up and turn a game if it is tight. Murray is usually a strong defensive side, with Liam Fiore and Ethan Baxter able to nullify their direct opponents, as Charlie Byrne and Zavier Maher provide the run and carry out of defence. Sam Durham, Jye Chalcraft, Cam Wild and Dylan Clarke provide a hard edge to the midfield, while Lachlan Ash is all class and can play anywhere on the ground. Jimmy Boyer and Clayton Gay can play up both ends for their respective sides, while Ben Kelly will try and work over Bigoa Nyuon in the ruck, who will have the athletic advantage in the air. Will Lewis played his first game for the year last week and looked impressive, while Josh Rachele is a Under 16s forward who looms as a top pick in the 2021 draft already.

Team Selection: NAB League Boys – Round 15

AS three rounds remain in the NAB League Boys, many teams have made changes at the selection table with some players returning from school football and injury, while others depart for the same reason. Jackson Callow and Darcy Chirgwin are a couple of players likely to have a big impact on their team’s chances, while Sam Banks and Lachlan Potter were among those to pick up injuries last weekend and will miss Round 15. The Knights have made the most changes of any side with 12 players moving into the Round 15 team, while the Western Jets are fresh off a bye having not played for three weeks after a development weekend the prior weekend.

TASMANIA DEVILS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS
Round 15 – 27/07/2019
11:00am
Invermay Park – Launceston

TASMANIA DEVILS

B: 58. Z. Adams, 8 . J. Steele, 35. L. Viney
HB: 21. L. Gadomski, 38. O. Shaw, 7. M. McGuinness
C: 34. J. Rand, 20. W. Harper, 17. P. Walker
HF: 2. O. Burrows-Cheng, 9. J. Chaplin, 4. W. Peppin
F: 33. L. Borsboom, 25. J. Callow, 27. R. Mansell
R: 23. H. Ireland, 13. S. Collins, 3. O. Davis
Int: 37. L. Deegan, 30. B. Gordon, 39. S. Green, 55. H. Griffiths, 56. J. Lane, 31. J. Menzie, 50. C. Riethoff
23P: 26. O. Sanders

In: O. Shaw, J. Callow, H. Griffiths, J. Rand, B. Gordon
Out: J. Barwick, S. Banks

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

B: 24. C. Langford, 33. C. Watts, 17. T. Milne
HB: 74. H. Loughnan, 18. J. Lloyd, 7. J. Voss
C: 49. L. Carrigan, 2. D. Chirgwin, 15. A. Hanrahan
HF: 43. J. Bowey, 28. R. Bowman, 39. B. O’Leary
F: 3. G. Grey, 14. K. Yorke, 16. J. Mifsud
R: 32. J. Bell, 6. M. Bergman, 5. R. Byrnes
Int: 20. C. Blitsas, 8. T. Deane-Johns, 19. J. Goddard, 38. B. Krongold, 21. T. Murray, 60. J. Nowell, 40. R. Virtue
23P: 64. M. Holmes

In: M. Holmes, J. Mifsud, J. Goddard, D. Chirgwin, C. Langford, J. Nowell, T. Deane-Johns
Out: R. Pietsch, E. Soylemez, T. Sheezel, F. McAsey

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GIPPSLAND POWER
Round 15 – 27/07/2019
11:30am
Shepley Oval – Dandenong

DANDENONG STINGRAYS

B: 1. H. Berenger, 20. S. De Koning, 13. N. Heath
HB: 10. C. Gay, 32. B. Kuipers, 39. J. Toner
C: 50. L. Williams, 42. J. Nanscawen, 2. H. Young
HF: 47. W. Bravo, 52. C. Ellison, 37. B. Welsh
F: 11. E. Cahill, 24. B. Nyuon, 51. A. Williamson
R: 28. B. Schmidt, 45. L. Goonan, 34. R. Orchard
Int: 3. M. Bergman, 8. B. Cliffe, 38. M. Gregory, 17. B. Milford, 23. J. Neal, 48. J. Stuart, 33. H. Sullivan
23P: 5. L. Cooper

In: J. Neal, J. Nanscawen, H. Sullivan, C. Ellison, L. Cooper, J. Stuart
Out: J. Mounter, D. Smith, M. Haywood

GIPPSLAND POWER

B: 10. L. Connolly, 22. Z. Reid, 14. T. Hourigan
HB: 37. H. Pepper, 12. B. Smith, 29. T. Rees
C: 1. R. Angwin, 6. R. Baldi, 15. R. Sparkes
HF: 21. M. McGarrity, 17. C. Comben, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 7. S. Berry, 16. J. Smith, 19. F. Phillips
R: 39. M. Hawkins, 4. S. Flanders, 35. J. van der Pligt
Int: 30. T. Baldi, 36. M. Bentvelzen , 13. T. Fitzpatrick, 8. B. McAuliffe
Emg: 24. B. Maslen, 33. N. Prowd, 32. L. Williams
23P: 44. K. Robinson

In: N. Prowd, S. Berry, L. Williams

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. WESTERN JETS
Round 15 – 27/07/2019
1:00pm
Norm Minns Oval – Wangaratta

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

B: 44. J. Hillary, 25. L. Fiore, 28. J. O’Dwyer
HB: 7. Z. Barzen, 22. E. Baxter, 2. C. Byrne
C: 26. S. Durham, 38. D. Clarke, 24. T. Panuccio
HF: 6. W. Chandler, 54. D. Bedendo, 31. J. Rachele
F: 19. J. Boyer, 9. K. Chalcraft, 53. C. Wilson
R: 1. W. Christie, 14. J. Chalcraft, 12. L. Ash
Int: 11. N. Irvine, 60. W. McKerral, 49. C. McLeod, 5. C. Wild
Emg: 17. B. Ashley-Cooper, 55. R. Bouker, 4. A. Shepherd

In: W. McKerral, A. Shepherd, D. Bedendo, W. Christie, N. Irvine, R. Bouker, T. Panuccio, B. Ashley-Cooper, J. O’Dwyer, L. Fiore, Z. Barzen
Out: E. Hollands, H. Beasley, C. Crisp, Z. Maher, M. Holt, W. Garner, S. Thompson, E. Keogh

WESTERN JETS

B: 37. L. Conway, 28. K. Crimmins, 18. E. Jeka
HB: 23. B. Chehade, 26. C. Raak, 8. J. Kellett
C: 14. M. Cousins, 39. L. Phillips, 27. D. Grmusa
HF: 10. Z. Christofi, 45. A. Clarke, 33. S. El-Hawli
F: 5. K. Borg, 44. A. Manton, 24. J. Honey
R: 47. W. Kennedy, 19. J. Horo, 7. D. Andrews
Int: 34. E. Bentley, 15. H. Blake, 43. L. Green, 11. J. Haines, 40. J. Mathews, 29. B. Ryan, 41. L. Rzanovski
23P: 32. H. Schumann

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS
Round 15 – 27/07/2019
2:30pm
Preston City Oval

NORTHERN KNIGHTS

B: 9. C. Simonsen, 24. B. Major, 51. R. Uwandu
HB: 42. J. Potter, 4. J. Davies, 31. H. Ramshaw
C: 41. N. Kitchell, 18. S. Brazier, 45. A. Taylor
HF: 12. C. Barbera, 5. J. D’Intinosante, 16. O. Simpson
F: 23. N. Cox, 11. R. Sturgess, 40. L. Mcmahon
R: 15. N. Howard, 43. T. McMahon, 13. S. Philp
Int: 37. K. Brandt, 34. Z. Costello, 28. K. Davies, 7. R. Gardner, 10. J. Lucente, 3. B. Nikolovski, 36. R. Seakins
23P: 50. N. Long

In: O. Simpson, R. Gardner, K. Davies, Z. Costello, N. Cox, C. Simonsen, B. Major, N. Long, N. Howard, H. Ramshaw, B. Nikolovski, K. Brandt
Out: L. Potter, D. Wilmot, J. Moylan, Z. Reichert, A. O’Sullivan, E. Macpherson, J. Rossimel, L. Waldron, M. Sindrivanis, J. Bowne

BENDIGO PIONEERS

B: 59. R. Clarke, 10. B. Vaz, 31. R. Ironside
HB: 38. B. Rowles, 20. J. Schischka, 25. W. Shaw
C: 1. S. Conforti, 19. B. Worme, 40. J. Evans
HF: 29. J. Ginnivan, 34. W. Wallace, 26. N. Walsh
F: 17. L. Fitzgerald, 22. J. Treacy, 44. S. O’Farrell
R: 11. A. Gundry, 21. R. Wilson, 6. J. Rodi
Int: 32. K. Attwell, 48. J. Guiney, 2. J. Hickman, 37. D. Matricardi, 9. E. Roberts, 27. C. Smith
23P: 60. J. Merrin

In: J. Hickman, J. Merrin, J. Guiney, C. Smith, D. Matricardi, B. Vaz
Out: A. Cole, M. Lias, F. Ellis Castle, S. Mitchell

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. CALDER CANNONS
Round 15 – 28/07/2019
1:00pm
Mars Stadium – Ballarat

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

B: 22. M. Burgess, 18. J. Wright, 6. J. Tillig
HB: 4. J. Hill, 11. J. Dwyer, 12. R. Polkinghorne
C: 14. L. Herbert, 1. C. Craig-Peters, 32. H. Sharp
HF: 2. I. Grant, 19. N. Caris, 10. M. Lloyd
F: 44. B. Hobbs, 5. M. Jorgensen, 41. F. Marris
R: 29. P. Glanford, 13. J. Rantall, 7. M. Martin
Int: 8. J. Cleaver, 27. M. Herbert, 3. T. Mahony, 45. J. Rentsch
Emg: 40. F. Macdonald, 26. N. Nash, 33. R. O’Keefe
23P: 15. G. Wright

In: F. Macdonald, M. Lloyd, J. Cleaver

CALDER CANNONS

B: 39. B. Overman, 38. B. Newman, 31. G. Thomas
HB: 5. C. Brown, 41. J. Eyre, 32. M. Simpson
C: 55. J. Goater, 3. J. Cardillo, 16. J. Keeping
HF: 49. M. Allison, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 2. J. Sutton
F: 44. H. Andronaco, 26. M. Fletcher, 60. S. Paea
R: 61. J. Hotchkin, 8. S. Ramsay, 1. D. Mott
Int: 37. B. Bozinovski, 27. N. Gentile, 57. J. Newitt, 34. O. Sasalu, 47. Z. Taylor, 59. D. Tully
23P: 45. F. Gentile

In: B. Bozinovski, J. Goater, J. Newitt, J. Keeping, D. Tully, Z. Taylor, F. Gentile
Out: L. Gollant, C. Edwardes, C. Brand, H. Jones, H. Minton-Connell

Anderson and Rowell star as Vic Metro claims first championship win

HEADLINED by top-rated draft prospects Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell, Vic Metro sealed its first win for the 2019 Under 18 Championship carnival with a grinding 17 point victory against South Australia at Alberton Oval. The score line was kind to the Croweaters as an inaccurate Metro kept the door slightly ajar for a South Australian comeback.

Both sides started slowly with Vic Metro’s Hugo Ralphsmith breaking through to kick the first goal of the game. South Australia responded as South Adelaide’s Daniel Sladojevic combined with club teammate Darnell Tucker to kick SA’s first for the contest. Metro took a slight advantage into the first break as theme of low scoring continued from the Western Australia and Allies match-up in the curtain raiser. The second quarter saw Vic Metro come firing out of the blocks with Rowell and Jack Mahony dominating clearances and the ground ball with Mahony hitting the scoreboard with a goal to extend Metro’s lead. Emerson Jeka profited from frequent inside 50 entrances with two marks from commanding leads but was unable to convert, kicking minor scores. Anderson showed his effectiveness when pushed up forward taking a solid mark inside 50, but was also unable to convert. South Australia’s Karl Finlay and Will Day stood strong in defence despite the constant Vic Metro inside 50 entries, resulting in Metro only leading by 18 points at the main break.

After the main break, South Australia roared into contention as Sturt’s Jed McEntee kicked truly from the set-shot after intercepting a wayward Metro kick in their defensive 50. Glenelg’s Brady Searle got another for the Croweaters and suddenly South Australia closed the gap to single goal with underager Luke Edwards’ brilliant checkside-snap goal. Unfortunately for South Australia, that’s where their best period of the match ended as Metro’s star quality shone through as the Big V powered away to a 30-point lead at the final break. Josh Worrell’s forward pressure was a sight to behold for a player of his size as a direct smother inside 50 resulted in a momentum-changing goal for Metro. Anderson then kicked his first for the match, kicking a great goal off one step from 45 meters out and Jeka was able to kick his first goal of the championships. The final quarter proved to be South Australia’s, kicking three goals to Vic Metro’s one but still unable to give Metro a scare. Tucker kicked a great goal from a tight angle as Searle kicked his second for the game. Sturt’s Josh Shute was eye-catching in the final quarter with his inside 50 entries but was overshadowed by the class of Rowell who continued to win every ball at ground level he contested. Anderson kicked another great goal from across his body just inside the 50 to top off a wonderful performance. Oliver Grivell kicked a consolation goal for the Croweaters which saw SA handed their first loss in the Championships since 2017.

Metro skipper Anderson was best afield finishing with 27 disposals, seven inside 50s and two goals, while Oakleigh teammate Rowell was outstanding once more with 26 touches, seven marks and four clearances. After four goals in the loss to Western Australia, Worrell continued his goalkicking form adding another three to his tally. Mahony provided support to Rowell with 22 disposals and eight inside 50s, while Trent Bianco and Lachlan Potter also provided plenty of run off half-back. Harry Schoenberg was tireless for South Australia leading the stat sheet with 29 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles. Finlay and Day were impressive in defence for SA, as defensive lieutenant Will Gould was continually moved across defence and forward. Port Adelaide father-son Jackson Mead was consistent with 25 disposals and nine tackles while Sturt pair McEntee and Shute were also serviceable.

Next round, both teams will travel to GMHBA stadium, with South Australia facing Vic Country and Vic Metro face winless Allies.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 1.2 | 1.3 | 4.4 | 7.8 (50)
VICTORIA METRO 1.4 | 3.9 | 8.10 | 9.13 | (67)

GOALS

South Australia: Searle 2, Edwards, McEntee, Grivell, Sladojevic, Tucker
Vic Metro: Worrell 3, Anderson 2, Mahony, Mott, Ralphsmith, Jeka

BEST

South Australia: H.Schoenberg, W.Day, J.Mead, K.Finlay, J.Shute, B.Searle
Vic Metro: N.Anderson, M.Rowell, J.Mahony, J.Worell, T.Bianco, D.Mott

Country upstages Metro to open national carnival with a win

VIC Country has upstaged its highly fancied Victorian rivals, defeating Vic Metro with maniac pressure and four quarter consistency. While Metro started strongly and had a patch early in the second term, it was mostly a game that belonged to Country with the defensive work of the back six, and elite kicking from Hayden Young and Lachlan Ash ensuring that the Country came away with the 9.10 (64) to 7.9 (51) win. Gippsland Power’s Josh Smith booted three first half goals, while Ned Cahill managed two, while Metro had seven individual goalkickers for the game, as Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson were the losing side’s best.

After Country started with all the attacking, it was Josh Honey who slotted the first major courtesy of a perfect pass inside 50 from Western Jets’ teammate, Darcy Cassar. Rowell and Anderson were going head-to-head with Sam Flanders and Thomson Dow in the midfield, with the latter getting the job done. Young was clearly the standout player on the ground in the first term, racking up 10 disposals, three marks, two inside 50s and three rebounds, with Josh Smith capitalising in the quarter with two majors, while fellow Gippsland Power tall Charlie Comben also made life difficult for the undersized Brodie Newman, booting a third Country goal. Metro was still on top though having converted majors through Harrison Jones and Cassar. Serong and Dow finished the term with eight touches and three clearances each, while for Metro, Cassar and Sandringham Dragons’ Jack Mahony were working hard for a team-high five touches.

The second term saw Country take control, capitalising on a couple of Metro misses to boot the only the two goals of the term. Cody Weightman and Fraser Phillips missed opportunities, but it was Elijah Hollands who conjured something out of nothing from just inside 50 to boot a terrific goal roving Comben. When Josh Smith booted his third for the game, Country were on top. Despite the best efforts of Anderson (10 disposals in quarter two) and Rowell (nine disposals) who took over the leading ball winners for the Metro side, it was country who would head in 12 points ahead after Comben missed a chance after the siren to go in further in front. Dow had the most that term for Country with seven touches to lead everyone on the field with 15 at the break, while Young, Ash and Jay Rantall all headed into half-time with 14 disposals each.

Metro made the start they needed early in the third term with Fischer McAsey booting a goal in the opening few minutes to gut the deficit to six points. Moments later, a nice quick ball movement starting with Rowell on the defensive side of the wing ended with Lachlan Potter hitting up Mahony having a set shot which unfortunately for him drifted to the left and fell short for country to regroup. It did not take long for the dominance of Anderson – who surpassed 20 touches midway through the term – and Rowell to start paying dividends. Rowell himself managed to get on the end of one, snapping a goal from point-blank range. With all the momentum in Metro’s favour, it took a terrific crumbing goal from Cahill who dribbled it home to put Country back in front. Mitch Martin then put in a terrific effort from the boundary but was touched on the line, but Country’s forward pressure forced a turnover and Comben found Sam Flanders, but also missed the chance, hitting the post. Both sides were making errors going forward under the pressure. Young’s kicking was a delight with a perfect non-preferred side kick in-board which led to another chance for Country but Weightman’s snap just missed. Weightman quickly made up for the miss with a great kick inside 50 to Smith who like his Power teammate Flanders, hit the post. While Metro dominated the term early, the recovery by Country in the second half had them nine points up at the final break, with narrow misses potentially damaging for the Country side.

The first goal in the final term was vital, and it was a team effort from Country who found the major through Flanders. The work from midfield seeing Ash find a target inside 50 of Cahill, before the Dandenong Stingrays talent hit-up Flanders who made no mistake. Just as it looked like Country would be taking control, a nice play from Metro set up a running Finn Maginness who made no mistake from point-blank. The next eight minutes was all Country with many inside 50s as Fischer McAsey did his best with some huge intercept grabs, but the overwhelming run of Country was telling as Rantall set up a goal to Mitch Martin who stretched the lead to 14 points with 12 minutes left. When Cahill read the stoppage play perfectly, he ran through a couple of players, grabbed a one-touch ball and kicked quickly off the boot to put it straight through the middle for his second. Country now led by 20 points with just nine and a half minutes left in the game. Flanders had a chance to put the icing on the cake with just over five minutes remaining but it missed to the left and Metro had the slightest of chances. But for every Metro forward foray, the Country side had answers with Brodie Kemp, Sam De Koning, Young and Ash holding up perfectly. Hugo Ralphsmith booted a late goal with 10 seconds remaining, but it was just a consolation goal with Country victorious over their state rivals.

Young finished the game as best on ground with 29 disposals, seven marks – two contested, seven rebounds and two inside 50s, while Serong was terrific in midfield with 22 disposals, two marks, five clearances, four inside 50s and seven tackles. Ash, Flanders and Rantall all had 21 disposals win the win, while Kemp held up in defence with Young, recoding six rebounds to go with his 16 disposals and four marks. For Metro, Rowell had 28 disposals, eight marks, five tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and a goal, while partner-in-crime Anderson had 25 touches, five marks, eight tackles and five clearances. Louis Butler (24 touches) found plenty of the ball, while Newman and McAsey were strong in defence, taking 13 marks between them.

VIC METRO 3.2 | 3.4 | 5.6 | 7.9 (51)
VIC COUNTRY 3.1 | 5.4 | 6.9 | 9.10 (64)

GOALS:

Metro: Honey, Cassar, Jones, Rowell, Ralphsmith, McAsey, Maginness.
Country: J. Smith 3, N. Cahill 2, C. Comben, E. Hollands, Flanders, M. Martin.

ADC BEST:

Metro: N. Anderson, M Rowell, F. McAsey, F. Maginness, B. Newman, J. Worrell
Country: H. Young, C. Serong, L. Ash, N. Cahill, J. Rantall, J. Smith

AFL Under 18 National Championships preview: Vic Metro

VIC Metro’s top-end talent is again something that will hold it in good stead this season, with quite possibly the top two picks in this year’s draft – Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson – as well as a host of skilful types, strong marking talls and speedy smalls. If they are not the team to beat, then Metro will be fairly close with South Australia, as the two sides that have been the top two sides the last couple of seasons will again lock horns in what could be a huge clash.

Key Players:

Noah Anderson
Oakleigh Chargers | Inside Midfielder/Forward
17/02/2001 | 188cm | 86kg

A prototype inside midfielder/forward who is strong in the contest and above his head, Anderson is readymade for senior football, and it was all about ironing out the inconsistency in his game. In 2019, Anderson has not put a foot wrong with some massive ball-winning efforts, and as we saw in his bottom-age year championships, he is capable of kicking a bag on the big stage – he booted four goals against Western Australia in Perth. Will be in a familiar setting in the midfield with good friend and teammate, Matt Rowell, as well as Oakleigh ruck Nick Bryan.

Darcy Cassar
Western Jets | Medium Utility
31/07/2001 | 183cm | 75kg

After being a half-forward/wing in his bottom-age year, Cassar has transformed into a defender with great effect in 2019. He has been a prolific ball-winner – having as many as 41 touches in a game this season – as well as a dominant rebounding force. He is a player who could force his way into the first round with a good season, and while most of the talk is around the boys from Oakleigh, Cassar has been nicely developing and could be a sneaky chance to come away from the carnival as one of Metro’s best. He has been named forward for the first game against Country which will be interesting to see how he fares after playing back this season.

Charlie Dean
Sandringham Dragons | Key Position Forward
19/06/2001 | 194cm | 86kg

The standout key position forward in this year’s draft, Dean is a clean marker who works up the ground and is able to be in sync with his teammates. The Dragons forward could fill out further, but his work rate and long ranging leads make him a dangerous prospect, as does his reliable set-shot goalkicking. Before he left to play school football, Dean was leading the NAB League Boys goalkicking, and is one of a number of chances to take out the goalkicking for the championships if he can seize his opportunities.

Matt Rowell
Oakleigh Chargers | Inside Midfielder
01/07/2001 | 178cm | 74kg

Not much left to be said about Rowell, who seems to have just about done everything right since he stepped onto the scene as a 16-year-old for Vic Metro. He has been a standout at all the national championships, he was the best player in Oakleigh’s losing Grand Final, the All-Stars game and against Casey Demons both at the MCG. Every time he sets foot on the hallowed turf he stands up, and expect him to do the same again. The clear standout player in the draft, and most consistent with very few holes in his game.

Josh Worrell
Sandringham Dragons | Tall Defender
11/04/2001 | 195cm | 74kg

Despite standing at 195cm, Worrell is more of a rebounding defender than a key position defender, mostly due to his light frame of 74kg. He uses the ball well and is able to intercept mark and project it forward, something that will no doubt be of use in Metro’s defence over the carnival. Given his height, Worrell can be flexible in his opponent and play against taller opposition if one of the other defenders is losing his battle. Metro will be keen to use his rebounding as a way of setting up scoring opportunities down the field.

X-Factor:

Trent Bianco
Oakleigh Chargers | Defender/Midfielder
20/01/2001 | 178cm | 70kg

One of the best kicks in the draft, the lightly built defender/midfielder has come along rapidly over the past 18 months. So much so he is very much in the conversation for top 10 despite his smaller stature. He thrives on winning the ball and running with it, using pinpoint kicks coming out of the back 50 and making good decisions with ball-in-hand. With the likes of Country having so many dangerous forwards, Bianco becomes an important player with his composure under pressure.

Lachlan Potter
Oakleigh Chargers | General Defender
26/01/2001 | 184cm | 70kg

The fastest player in the draft crop has lightning acceleration and while he is arguably the lightest player in the draft crop, can burn off just about anybody once he gets time and space in front of him. He draws opponents with his long bouncing runs, and he can play off half-back or on a wing, looking to break up play. Still has areas of his game to build upon, but in terms of X-factor, he certainly has that special ability to make things happen with his speed.

Dylan Williams
Oakleigh Chargers | Medium Utility
01/07/2001 | 185cm | 79kg

The talented forward is the epitome of X-factor given he has the capability of taking a game away from the opposition in a quarter. He can be basically unsighted for most of the game, then arrive with three or four goals in a quarter and has everyone excited for when he puts together a four-quarter performance. One of the most talented players in this group, Williams has been trialled down back this year to build his defensive pressure, but he is at his most damaging when he can play forward given his strength in one-on-ones, and then pinch-hit in the midfield.

Big Improvers:

Nick Bryan
Oakleigh Chargers | Ruck
22/10/2001 | 202cm | 87kg

The standout ruck from Victoria has a case to be the standout ruck across the country. Along with Western Australia’s Luke Jackson, Bryan has been a rapid developer of his craft, coming from nowhere to burst on the scene as a genuine top 20 chance. Athletic with elite acceleration for a player of more than 200cm and 87kg, Bryan will be a handful for opposition sides. Expect him to push forward and potentially hit the scoreboard as well.

Brodie Newman
Calder Cannons | Tall Defender
14/01/2001 | 191cm | 88kg

Newman was strong last year, but his numbers this year suggest he has gone to another level again. He provides leadership and direction in the Cannons defence, and positions himself well in the back 50. Newman has become an intercepting machine, and teams have tried to avoid him when kicking inside 50. Has had a number of big games in the NAB League Boys competition this year, and Vic Metro selectors have shown faith in him taking a taller opponent despite his 191cm frame, as he is built to take on taller players.

AFL U18s Fixtures:

vs. Vic Country – MCG, Saturday June 1.
vs. Western Australia – WA, Saturday June 8.
vs. South Australia – Alberton Oval, Saturday June 22.
vs. Allies – GMHBA Stadium, Friday June 28.

Summary:

As mentioned off the top, Vic Metro is a side that has the potential to take back the National Under 18 Championships from South Australia. After looking impressive last year, Metro was comprehensively beaten by the Croweaters in the finale at Etihad Stadium, and now Metro will travel to take them on in South Australia. They should have the measure of Vic Country and the Allies, with Western Australia the great unknown – the Sandgropers have top-end talent, but it is always the next tier that announce themselves at the national championships. It was in fact the Sandgropers who won the corresponding Under 16 championships with this group, but so many Metro players have developed since then. The likes of Darcy Cassar, Daniel Mott, Jamieson Rossiter and Josh Honey will benefit from the amount of inside midfielders who will feed them in the forward half. All are capable of having big games and use the ball well which makes them the ones to go through when going forward. The depth in the Metro line-up might not be the same as last year, but the top-end talent is once again impressive, and unlike last year, they are all fit and ready to go. The midfield is superb and the talls are the best across the carnival, while they have enough X-factor to create opportunities at ground level. Metro starts their campaign tomorrow and all things going well should kick off their championships with a win.

Dragons, Power dominate finalised Victorian squads

SANDRINGHAM Dragons and Gippsland Power make up one third of the total Victorian representatives in the Vic Country and Vic Metro sides which were officially announced this week. Following the Victorian trial games which saw the Victorian teams face-off against Allies at Ikon Park on Sunday, the two squads are set ahead of the National Under 18 Championships starting on Saturday, June 1.

Sandringham Dragons have a whopping 14 players across the sides, with 13 players – Jack Mahony, Ryan Byrnes, Louis Butler, Hugo Ralphsmith, Miles Bergman, Finn Maginness, Fischer McAsey, Joshua Worrell, Corey Watts, Charlie Dean, Andrew Courtney and Jack Bell – making the Metro side, while the Country-based Darcy Chirgwin earned a place in the Country squad. Gippsland Power had nine representatives themselves, with Caleb Serong, Sam Flanders, Riley Baldi, Harrison Pepper, Ryan Sparkes, Fraser Phillips, Brock Smith, Josh Smith and Charlie Comben all securing a spot in the final Country squad.

Oakleigh Chargers – led by potential top two picks Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson – had seven players in the Metro squad, while Dandenong Stingrays also had seven players in the Country squad, including top 10 potential pick Hayden Young.  Bendigo Pioneers had six representatives in the Country squad, including the injured Flynn Perez, while the likes of Cooper Stephens, Tanner Bruhn and Chirgwin are also currenly in the rehab program but are involved in the development camp tomorrow.

The two sides go head-to-head this Saturday at the MCG as a curtain raiser to the Collingwood-Fremantle clash in a Round 2 battle of the championships which has been brought forward. Vic Country then heads south to Launceston to face the Allies a week later, while Vic Metro traves to Western Australia.

VIC COUNTRY:

1 Ned Cahill (Dandenong Stingrays)
2 Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power)
3 Cody Weightman (Dandenong Stingrays)
4 Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power)
5 Cameron Wild (Murray Bushrangers)
6 Riley Baldi (Gippsland Power)
7 Mitch Martin (GWV Rebels)
8 Thomson Dow (Bendigo Pioneers)
9 Isaac Wareham (GWV Rebels)
10 Harrison Pepper (Gippsland Power)
12 Lachlan Ash (Murray Bushrangers)
13 Jay Rantall (GWV Rebels)
14 Liam Herbert (GWV Rebels)
15 Ryan Sparkes (Gippsland Power)
16 Brodie Kemp (Bendigo Pioneers)
17 Hayden Young (Dandenong Stingrays)
18 Brady Rowles (Bendigo Pioneers)
19 Fraser Phillips (Gippsland Power)
20 Elijah Hollands (Murray Bushrangers)
21 Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons)
22 Darcy Chirgwin (Sandringham Dragons)
24 Brock Smith (Gippsland Power)
25 Flynn Perez (Bendigo Pioneers)
26 Jesse Clark (Geelong Falcons)
27 Oliver Henry (Geelong Falcons)
29 Lachlan Williams (Dandenong Stingrays)
30 James Schischka (Bendigo Pioneers)
32 Ben Worme (Bendigo Pioneers)
33 Josh Treacy (Bendigo Pioneers)
34 Bigoa Nyuon (Dandenong Stingrays)
35 Toby Mahony (GWV Rebels)
36 Sam De Koning (Dandenong Stingrays)
37 Blake Kuipers (Dandenong Stingrays)
38 Henry Walsh (Geelong Falcons)
39 Josh Smith (Gippsland Power)
40 Charlie Comben (Gippsland Power)
41 Tanner Bruhn (Geelong Falcons)

VIC METRO:

1 Jack Mahony (Sandringham Dragons)
2 Mitch Mellis (Eastern Ranges)
5 Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers)
6 Finlay Macrae (Oakleigh Chargers)
7 Lachlan Stapleton (Eastern Ranges)
8 Adam Carafa (Northern Knights)
9 Will Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers)
11 Matthew Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers)
12 Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons)
13 Daniel Mott (Calder Cannons)
14 James Ross (Eastern Ranges)
15 Louis Butler (Sandringham Dragons)
16 Darcy Cassar (Western Jets)
17 Ryan Gardner (Northern Knights)
18 Lachlan Potter (Northern Knights)
19 Josh Honey (Western Jets)
20 Connor Downie (Eastern Ranges)
21 Hugo Ralphsmith (Sandringham Dragons)
22 Miles Bergman (Sandringham Dragons)
23 Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers)
24 Noah Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers)
25 Finn Maginness (Sandringham Dragons)
26 Ryan Sturgess (Northern Knights)
27 Oscar Lewis (Sandringham Dragons)
28 Jamieson Rossiter (Eastern Ranges)
29 Fischer McAsey (Sandringham Dragons)
30 Harrison Jones (Calder Cannons)
31 Joshua Worrell (Sandringham Dragons)
33 Corey Watts (Sandringham Dragons)
34 Charlie Dean (Sandringham Dragons)
35 Nikolas Cox (Northern Knights)
36 Emerson Jeka (Western Jets)
37 Andrew Courtney (Sandringham Dragons)
38 Brodie Newman (Calder Cannons)
39 Jack Bell (Sandringham Dragons)
40 Nick Bryan (Oakleigh Chargers)

Team of the Week: NAB League Boys – Round 7

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

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

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

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

Team of the Week: NAB League Boys – Round 6

DANDENONG Stingrays’ big win over Brisbane Lions Academy has seen them earn the most players of any side in our Draft Central NAB League Boys Team of the Week for Round 6. The Stingrays have four players in our Team of the Week, one more than other Round 6 winners, Calder Cannons and Gippsland Power, while Eastern Ranges also had a trio of players in our Team of the Week. Geelong Falcons, Northern Knights and Oakleigh Chargers were the other three sides to record a win, and they have two players in the team, while Bendigo Pioneers, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Tasmania Devils each have a player in the team.

Dandenong Stingrays’ Hayden Young and Sam De Koning feature in a strong defensive unit, with bottom-ager Clayton Gay in the forward line and Cody Weightman coming off the bench. Also in defence is Calder Cannons’ Brodie Newman, while Daniel Mott and Jacob Martin‘s games through the midfield earned them places in the team. On the opposite half-back flank to Young is Gippsland Power captain Brock Smith, while Riley Baldi sits on a wing and Fraser Phillips is at half-forward. The other team with three players in our side is Eastern Ranges, with midfielders Lachlan Stapleton and Zakery Pretty making the team again, while Billy McCormack is the starting ruck in a week where a number of rucks impressed.

Geelong Falcons’ victory over Sydney Swans Academy resulted in Jesse Clark (centre half-back) and Oliver Henry (forward pocket) both making the team, while Northern Knights’ Lachlan Potter rounds out the defence, and Josh D’Intinosante makes the team in the forward 50 yet again. The other remaining winning side with two players is Oakleigh Chargers, as co-captain and Draft Central‘s Player of the Week Trent Bianco slots into centre, along with teammate Josh May who also made the squad. Murray Bushrangers’ Jimmy Boyer booted three goals and comes into the team at half-forward, while Lachlan Ash is once again in the side. Of those players as their team’s sole representatives, Bendigo Pioneers’ Josh Treacy (full-forward), GWV Rebels’ Isaac Wareham and Tasmania Devils’ Oliver Davis (both interchange) also made the team.

Scouting notes: NAB League Boys – Round 6

ROUND 6 was the last chance for many to get a close look at Northern Academy products, as all five academies this week bowed out of NAB League action. With eight games to cast eyes on, here are our scouting notes on players from Victoria Metro and Country squad lists, as well as those pointed out by respective talent managers. All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

 

TASMANIA DEVILS 8.7 (55) defeated by OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 8.8 (56)
By: Brandon Hutchinson

Tasmania:

#2 Oliver Burrows-Cheng

Burrows-Cheng remained one of the hard hitters for the day. Continually went to Trent Bianco at the contest and minimised where he could, often affecting the stoppage. In the second, he laid an important tackle on Bianco as he moved inside 50, forcing a turnover and counter-attack which should have resulted in a goal. His presence on the ball was subdued but he tackled with intent (nine) and brought continual pressure to the ball carrier.

#4 Will Peppin

Peppin impressed at the hard ball and brought strength to the stoppages, bullying his way to the footy and keeping his feet at the ground ball. He remained clean by hand and dominated the clinch, fending and breaking tackles, keeping hands free and holding his feet. His work rate and courage were standouts across four quarters, as was his work going inside 50.

#7 Matthew McGuiness

McGuiness was pivotal at both ends, reading the flight of the footy better than most. He kicked the Devils’ first with an impressive left-foot punt and affected more with vision and elite movement. He was dropped back in the third to bolster Tasmania’s fractured defence, out-reading and reacting before his opponents.

#13 Sam Collins

Providing excellent coverage in the back half, Collins intercepted well and rebounded effectively out of defence (nine rebounds). His marking was a feature, clunking nine and prevailing in the contest. Collins continually beat his opponents, attacked the footy and accelerated well out the backline. On the day he did not record a handball but had 18 kicks, proving quick and effective in clearing danger. In all, an athletic and reliable footballer with a good attitude for the game.

#25 Jackson Callow

Callow proved damaging in the forward half across four quarters. He led hard at the footy and out-bodied his opponents in marking contests. He brought speed to the ground ball and proved deceptively nimble for his size. He kicked one goal for the day and affected many more, bringing outstanding goal sense to his forward outfit.

 

Oakleigh:

#1 Lucas Westwood

In his first game for the year, Westwood impressed with a classy four-quarter performance. He kicked his first following a high tackle free with an unusually low kick at goal. He continuously exploded with the footy, tackled hard and maintained involvement on both ends of the ground, measuring his kicks effectively and creating space.

#5 Trent Bianco

The captain was prolific for four quarters, leading his side with outstanding accumulation (42 disposals) and great running. He excelled in the stoppage despite the occasional tag, was the priority target for the tap down, and injected class and agility moving through traffic. His attitude was standout, demanding the ball as he led the kicker and breaking lines through well-measured passes and hard running. He caused plenty of trouble with flair through congestion and excelled with presence and elite awareness, wrapping up opponents (nine tackles) when the ball strayed from his path.

#27 Josh May

May’s composure with the pill was standout. The tall continually took the footy out the back and swept the midfield with pinpoint kicking – an action which likely won Oakleigh the game in the final minutes. He hands off well under pressure and glides from traffic which assists his exceptional ball use. In the third, his efforts converted a goal when he brought an exiting kick to ground, followed up and chipped to the lead despite fierce pressure. An important defensive unit and incredibly mobile with good size, May remained in everything and was second only to Bianco.

#47 Nick Balderanos

A good mover through traffic and present through stoppage work. Balderanos’ hands were consistently clean and his vision freeing the footy, elite. He earned two free kicks for his work rate and got very involved in forward chains. Seemed to play his role well.

#65 Thomas Lovell

Lovell demonstrated outstanding forward craft for four quarters. He showed strength in the marking contest and brought clean hands to the ball. Leading the board, Lovell kicked four goals despite the low scoring, including a beauty off the deck which stole a win from the home side. He also proved athletic in the ruck (six hit-outs).

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 11.11 (77) defeated by GWS GIANTS ACADEMY 12.16 (88)
By: Scott Dougan

 

Murray:

#5 Cam Wild

Wild was one of his teams’ best midfielders, with the hard-running midfielder finding plenty of the pill. He always found a way to stay involved in the contest and he did his best to have an impact defensively. His effective clearance work and ball use was noticeable throughout the match. Wild had 27 disposals and four tackles.

#14 Jye Chalcraft

Chalcraft was quiet early but it was not long before he got more involved, with the fierce competitor setting up teammate Lachlan Ash for the Bushrangers’ first goal of the second term. Even though he didn’t have the biggest game stat-wise, he was always dangerous when he was around the ball because of his defensive pressure. Chalcraft finished with 14 disposals and two goals.

#12 Lachlan Ash

Ash provided some speed and run and carry across half-back and on the wing for his team. His ball use was extremely useful and effective. Ash was the perfect player to deliver the ball inside 50, which he did successfully on numerous occasions. He drifted forward at stages throughout the match and even kicked a goal of his own in the first half. He finished with a team-high 27 disposals, a really good game.

#19 Jimmy Boyer

Boyer spent plenty of minutes up forward and was very lively when he was around the ball. He was one of his team’s most dangerous players, hitting the scoreboard plenty of times in the match. His class, speed, and ball use stood out as usual. Boyer booted three goals and had 22 disposals.

 

GWS:

#17 Jeromy Lucas

Lucas played through the Giants midfield and stood out with his composure with ball in hand. He always took his time before making a decision and at most times, he made the correct one. He won a lot of his possessions on the outside of the contest, where he was able to have the biggest impact. Lucas kicked a brilliant, long goal in the third term which put his team four goals in front.

#25 Thomas Green

Green was prolific around stoppages and in contested situations. He won first possession constantly and always disposed of the ball effectively. He found space in congestion and was able to use his acceleration to escape his opponents. What stood out most was Green’s ability to lower his eyes after bursting out of a stoppage. Most players would just bang the ball forward as far as possible, but Green took the time to find a teammate in space or on the lead. Green finished the match with a whopping 37 disposals, five tackles, and one goal.

#26 Liam Delahunty

Delahunty was able to create some separation from his opponent, Ethan Baxter throughout the first half. He was very good on the lead and he marked the ball strongly. He kicked his first major of the day in the second term when he kicked an eye-catching snap from 30 metres out. Delahunty had a very good game, finishing with 21 disposals, seven marks, and one goal.

#28 Matt McGrory

McGrory stayed involved throughout all four quarters and played pretty well. His rebounding out of the defensive 50 was superb and he consistently did his best to provide as much run and carry as possible for his team. In the second term, McGrory caught the eye when he won two vital one-on-one contests against highly rated Bushranger, Lachlan Ash.

 

CALDER CANNONS 7.10 (52) defeated BENDIGO PIONEERS 5.6 (36)
By: Taylah Melki

 

Calder:

#1 Daniel Mott

Always around the contest and working hard to win the ball, won a good clearance and used the ball well given the conditions. Kicked a good goal in the opening term and had good clean hands to move the ball forward multiple times throughout the game. Quick use of the ball, clever with ball in hand and constantly looking to attack the ball. Clever use of the body to try and out position his opponent and was a real ball magnet as the game went on. He ran hard and really made his presence felt around the ground. Mott used his good spatial awareness to hit up teammates on the lead by hand.  

#38 Brodie Newman

Newman was a commanding presence across the ground, taking a good mark in the opening term and had strong hands given the wet weather. He consistently contested hard in the air to punch or mark the ball and used his body well to try and gain better position. He provided good voice on the field to offer advice and applied strong defensive pressure in the back half. He got in good position and often out bodied his opponent to win the ball or take a mark. He was equally as strong up forward with his marking ability but missed a shot in front of goal in the fourth but his efforts throughout the game were impressive.  

 

Bendigo:

#1 Sam Conforti

Worked hard to try and win the ball for his side and good hands under pressure. He used clever running patterns to create space and was solid in the contest not afraid to get involved and apply strong physical pressure. He laid a couple of crucial tackles to hold the game up and really lifted in the third term. Conforti almost took a huge mark getting high and juggling the ball but just dropped it coming down but his effort was impressive. He positioned well across the ground to judge the play, had good general footy smarts and used his quick hands and good spatial awareness to know where the pressure is coming from.

#11 Aaron Gundry

Good lead up at the footy, and strong hands but missed a goal in the opening term on a tricky angle. Gundry worked hard in the ruck and tried use his read of the flight of the ball to his advantage. He was often out bodied by his bigger framed opponent but still played his role and won a few hit outs to his side’s advantage.

#20 James Schischka 

Laid some really good strong tackles throughout the game to stop and hold up the play of the Cannons. Schischka displayed his ability to read the play getting a deflection and then do the follow up his work at ground level. Good careful kicking action to dish off to a teammate leading up at him and had clean hands out of congestion. He laid a good smother in the third term and tracked the ball well at ground level to pick the ball up. His ability to read his opponent and get into the right positions was impressive racking up three marks in the third term alone showing his strength and control of the ball.

#21 Riley Wilson 

Good read of the footy and was involved early at the contest to dish out a handball to a teammate passing by. He had relatively clean hands and played on quickly to propel the ball forward. Wilson showcased his good vision and intent to keep the ball moving but had a rush of blood and missed a running shot at goal in the second quarter. his defensive work was solid with a really impressive smother mid jump in the third term.

 

GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY 14.11 (95) defeated GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 12.9 (81)
By: Sophie Taylor

 

Gold Coast Suns:

#1 Hewago Paul Oea

Had some solid moments, creating entries inside 50 but not forcing the footy. A great mover in traffic, Oea showcased his ability to weave in and out of players and good vision of where the ball was in order to play to his advantage. Oea’s smooth movement led to a great chase, tackle and entry inside 50, while also contributing two goals; the first a great snap on goal in the middle of a scrap, while the second helped keep the Suns on track after an intercept mark in the final quarter. Finished with 19 touches, five inside 50s, three marks and three tackles for a solid day out

#5 Connor Budarick

Some great work off the ball and pressure on the play saw Budarick have a solid match, doing his bit to settle the play and carry the ball forward. Took some solid marks to send the ball back forward, finishing the match with 23 disposals, eight marks and seven inside 50s.

#22 Alex Davies

Davies used his height to his advantage, providing a good option in pack scenarios and showing some good movement in space and shepherd around stoppages. Put pressure on ground ball and crumbers, credit to his clever use of space and ability to barrel through a pack. Had only the 12 touches, three marks and two tackles, but his bodywork off the ball was solid.

#28 Ashton Crossley

Crossley put his two-way running on show, highlighting his solid run and carry. Good thinking to open up space and ability to take the ball and run with it, playing to his own advantage. Put in the hard yards at the centre bounce, creating some great clearances through the midfield. With 19 disposals to his name along with two marks and two tackles, Crossley had a good hitout overall.

#31 Jack Johnston

Johnston showcased some of his speed and ability to separate from his opposition, creating options and putting himself in a good defensive position to receive the footy and clear it out to options further up the field. Johnston was another player who didn’t have too much of the footy, however was still able to put pressure on the ball.

 

GWV Rebels:

#3 Toby Mahony

Solid clean hands, good ability to clear ball into space and picking up four marks for his efforts downfield. Showed some smart ball placement inside 50 – had the right idea but not always executed the way he would have liked given at times there were no clean options forward to receive the footy and mark for an opportunity on goal. Mahony was a solid option inside 50, as well as providing a great shepherd to give teammates a clear opportunity to receive the footy and run the ball through the midfield.

#7 Mitch Martin

Martin had a good game, picking up 15 touches and showing his strong marking ability with five. Had some good composure at key moments to clear the ball out and even got an opportunity forward to kick a goal, slotting one through midway through the second. Also showed some good game smarts when going for the ball, knowing where to place self to intercept mark and feed back through the midfield.

#9 Isaac Wareham

Great pressure on ball, created some turnovers credit to his intensity on the ball receiver. Had a really great moment in the final quarter when he showcased his closing speed as he ran down Gold Coast speedster, Oea. Kicked two goals to keep the Rebels in the fight while also picking up five marks.

#13 Jay Rantall

Some good movement and moments across the field but had some rough patches unaware of player movement around him and was tackled on a few occasions. Great movement off the ball to keep footy in play. Was held well by his opposition, finishing with only the 14 touches and five inside 50s, while also rendered to his first match of the season without a score on the board.

 

GEELONG FALCONS 12.12 (84) defeated SYDNEY SWANS ACADEMY 7.11 (53)
By: Joe Lee

 

Geelong:

#37 Oliver Henry

The classy and smooth moving forward was dangerous all day and provided an omnipotent headache for Swans defenders. Played out of the goal square, Henry was often outnumbered in marking contests but managed to at least halve them or win them on multiple occasions. Had 13 touches, five marks and 4.2, the only knock on Henry’s game was missing a couple of easy opportunities earlier on in the piece. Plays taller than his size and was outstanding for Geelong, particularly in the second half which saw him score three of his four goals.

#40 Jesse Clark

Was Geelong’s best player along with Oliver Henry, integral in intercepting Sydney’s forward forays whilst also setting up offensive strikes with his effective disposal. Playing on Harry McGuire for most of the day, Clark beat his opponent one on one through his superior body-work, positioning and overall reading of the play. Had 10 rebound 50’s, seven marks and 24 disposals, Clark was consistently reliable throughout the whole game and his leadership in setting up the Geelong defensive structure should not be underplayed. Hardly missed a target by foot all day and was almost best on ground.

#46 Henry Walsh
The Geelong ruckman and brother of Carlton young gun Sam, had a quiet day, recording just five disposals. Whilst his work around the ground needs improvement, Geelong won the hitout count 48 to 37, with Walsh recording 24 of them. Was played behind the ball at times but struggled to make an impact on the game outside of his ruck-work.

 

Sydney:

#2 Hamish Ellem

The Swans spearhead struggled for most of the game, recording only seven disposals and a goal. Missed a couple of easy shots, including one that was 20m out directly in-front after he worked hard leading up to the ball carrier. Only had two touches in the first half when the game was particularly tight, and had three free kicks against. Does follow up his work well and possesses athletic traits, as displayed early in the third quarter when he collected the ball on the wing and ran to within range but missed the shot.

#3 Luke Parks

The close-checking intercept defender was solid for the Swans, intercepting a couple of Geelong’s entries and was rarely beaten one on one. Recorded 17 touches, four rebounds and four marks, Parks needed to be more attacking with his disposal, often just kicking it long to a contest. Athletic and moves well, Parks has good closing speed and was reliable for the Swans.

#7 Braeden Campbell

The tough and evasive midfielder-forward was Sydney’s best player all day. Consistently lifted when the Swans needed to and was part of the reason the Swans came close in the third quarter. Played predominantly midfield and on the wing all day, Campbell recorded eight tackles and nine inside 50s, showing he has both offensive and defensive traits in his well-rounded game. Has a damaging and raking left boot and could’ve had a day out if not for wayward goalkicking. Had 24 touches, 1.2 and three rebound 50’s, workin around the ground tirelessly in an outstanding all-round game.

#23 Errol Gulden

The small midfielder was serviceable for the Swans but was down on his usual numbers, recording just 22 touches and a goal for the day. Still had seven inside 50s and two rebound 50s but was not as noticeable as he normally is. Was instrumental in Sydney’s fightback in the third quarter, being more damaging and clean with his kicking but was overall well held for most of the game by the Geelong midfielders.

#39 Josh Rayner

The key position swingman was reasonably quiet this week, particularly in the second half, having just four disposals. Worked hard defensively with six tackles but gave away a few undisciplined frees, including one 50m penalty for not giving the ball back on the full, resulting in a Geelong goal right on three-quarter time. Held Max Annandale to four touches and won most one-on-ones but also had some poor moments. Overall, Rayner had 14 touches and five marks and was swung forward later in the piece but had little influence on the game.

 

BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY 3.11 (29) defeated by DANDENONG STINGRAYS 14.16 (100)
By: Shyam Raj Bali

 

Brisbane:

#11 Will Martyn

Martyn again led the Lions and tried hard all day. He offered plenty of end to end run for his team and was a big reason Brisbane stayed in the game for as long as they did. Martyn had lots of possessions rebounding out of the defensive 50 and sending his team into attack. His highlight for the day was a really classy moment in the third where he gathered a contested ball, spun and had a shot from 50 but unfortunately couldn’t get it on target. Had a game high 32 disposals to go with four marks and five tackles to be the lions best.

#12 Saxon Crozier

Bottom-ager Crozier battled well throughout the day. He had a few flashes of brilliance (only 16 until November) across half-back where he took the game on and provided some spark. His best five minutes came at the start of the second quarter where he was involved in about four passages of play in the opening minutes of the quarter both rebounding and laying a good tackle. Unfortunately his kicking let him down a little late in the game. Crozier finished with 15 disposals, four marks and three tackles.

#18 Bruce Reville

Reville’s eye catching run and smooth moving was on display early as he had several positions through the middle and HF sending his team into attack. The way he covers the ground and almost effortlessly catches up to/get away from opponents is very impressive. As like other games in the year he was quieter in the second half, finishing with 19 classy touches.

#19 Tom Griffiths

Griffiths was serviceable playing through the midfield and half-back. His best passage of play was in the second quarter, he took on a few players and seemed to run himself into trouble before managing to slip a tackle, lower his eyes and hit a target. He took a few kick outs in the second half also, playing on and hitting team mates across the defensive 50. Finished with 16 disposals but did not see as many midfield minutes as normal.

 

Dandenong:

#2 Hayden Young

Young’s run of big numbers continued, posting 28 disposals. Most of his work was done at the bottom of packs or around the defensive 50 as he often found space and repelled Brisbane attacks. Although he had the equal most possessions for Dandenong, he did not have a huge lot of highlights and was unassuming, gathering his possessions without fuss.

#11 Ned Cahill

Cahill had a really consistent game playing well for all four quarters and finishing with 21 disposals, nine marks and four tackles. He always did the team thing setting up team mates in better positions and lowering his eyes to hit targets inside 50. His individual highlight came in the third, where he was outnumbered two to one and forced a turnover, gathered the loose ball and goaled form 45.

#20 Sam De Koning

De Koning was a rock in defence, although it must be said that he had a relatively easy day after half time. He started well taking contested marks (three in the first quarter) and rebounding strongly to help start Dandenong attacks. Finished with 17 touches and seven marks.

#24 Bigoa Nyuon

Nyuon was well beaten early by Samson Ryan in the ruck as he struggled to find his timing for jumping at the taps. He also struggled around the ground with his light frame as Ryan managed to out position and out body him at most contests. In the second half he seemed to improve this a fair bit and ended up fixing his timing, and using his great leap to effect. When he played in defence he also had a few good instances of leaving his man to come up to the ball and cut off Brisbane attacking plays. He finished with 14 hitouts and 12 touches.

#44 Cody Weightman

Cody played well and showed his smarts around goal kicking 3.2 for the day. He could’ve had a big day out, but often did the team thing setting up team mates or putting team mates into better positions. Was always a threat when he was near the ball and he always made it feel like something would happen. He ended the game well kicking 2.2 in the last quarter to go with his one from earlier in the game.

#50 Lachlan Williams

Williams had a serviceable day playing most of his game across half back. He intercepted well and also hit targets throughout the day both coming out of the defensive 50 and moving the ball into the forward 50. Finished with a serviceable 16 disposals (14 kicks) and six marks.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER 12.9 (81) defeated EASTERN RANGES 11.5 (71)
By: Michael Alvaro

 

Gippsland:

#4 Sam Flanders

Starting in the midfield, Flanders built into the game nicely. The powerful utility showed a good knack for being able to collect the ball at speed, using his clean hands to gather and move the ball on in no-time. While some of his handballs early on hit no one in particular and simply cleared opponents, Flanders usually distributed well when he opted not to boot forward a clearance himself. Rotating forward, Flanders converted a set shot goal after marking on the lead with his first look inside 50, and later on proved instrumental in the Power win while playing deep. Intercepted a kick-in and booted a clutch second goal to cap off his solid outing.

#6 Riley Baldi

Baldi continued his eye-catching form after a return from injury, accumulating at a good rate throughout the day. An ever-present at centre bounces, Baldi acted as the anchor at stoppages and won his fair share of clearances. He worked hard around the ground to dish out a few neat kicks, but sometimes lacked effectiveness when going forward by foot. Baldi was terrific nonetheless and showed outstanding composure on the ball – particularly in a passage of three possessions during the opening term which he ended by shrugging an opponent with ease and booting laterally.

#12 Brock Smith

In one of his better games, period, Smith did enough to earn a Draft Central player of the week nomination. The Gippsland skipper was his solid self in defence, but stood out with a range of intercept marks and effective rebounding kicks. Calm in possession, Smith was entrusted with kick-in duties and pushed up into the middle of the ground to provide real drive forward. His aerial prowess under long and high balls also showed in other ways, as Smith surprisingly contested some a few ruck contests in defensive 50.

#15 Ryan Sparkes

An effective outside user, Sparkes continues to find the ball with ease and provide a good link forward. Often receiving from Smith, Sparkes utilised his skipper’s silver service to become a threat in space, while also proving calm in traffic when the ball was in dispute. Building a nice season.

#19 Fraser Phillips

In perhaps his best game to date, Phillips was able to show off all the traits that make him a promising talent. He was clean and effective inside forward 50, using the ball neatly on his left peg and proving efficient in front of goal. While he looks awkward in style at times, it all just seems to work for Phillips, and his long reach helped him to reel in the ball impressively. His best moment came in the first quarter after being caught holding the ball, where Phillips in-turn wrapped up his opponent as he tried to step around him on the mark to earn an easy set shot chance. Putting two other goals on the board, Phillips provided some crucial spark to Gippsland’s forward set-up.

#37 Harrison Pepper

Pepper loves the contest, and looked strong in contested situations once again. While he started shakily with a loose handball to hand Eastern the ball, he built into the game nicely. Rotating between the forward line and midfield with Flanders, Pepper provided the same extractor-type role with quick hands out while standing up in tackles. Took a nice contested mark while protecting the drop of the ball in the second term which caught the eye.

 

Eastern:

#7 Lachlan Stapleton

Stapleton took up his usual role as one of Eastern’s better midfield accumulators, extracting from the stoppages and then buzzing around the ground to find the ball. He mops up well at ground level, quickly disposing of the ball and sending the Ranges forward. Really came into the game in the second term with his service around the ground, and put up his usually high numbers.

#11 Mitch Mellis

While he had his fair share of the ball, Mellis did not look as damaging as he usually is. He swept the ball up well on the outside despite some fumbles, and was typically good in tight spaces – always finding a way out of trouble when hemmed in. Usually tackles well, but copped a huge fend-off early on, however showed he was not deterred when he took in a nice mark looking over his shoulder shortly after.

#18 Billy McCormack

Played a monster role in the ruck, slowly building in confidence after converting an early set shot and going out of his way to throw his body around. McCormack used that same physicality in the ruck around the ground, and really crashed into his opponent at the centre bounces. A low disposal game, but played an important role and managed to find the goals a second time.

#21 James Ross

Ross once again showed his leadership skills, standing up for his troops and taking on the responsibility of being the designated kicker out of defence. Took a nice one-on-one intercept mark on defensive 50 in the second quarter and looked to move the ball straight on – like he often does. Did the little things well in a lower-output game, and is proving to be consistent.

#22 Bailey White

White is one who is starting to catch the eye, backing up a four-goal performance in his first game with another three here. He looks a natural forward, always aware of where the goals are, ever the opportunist, and clinical when given the chance. Not a big winner of the ball, but could have had it a lot more if he hung on to some of his overhead attempts. He read the flight well to mark deep inside 50 for his second goal, and could be one to watch.

#23 Zak Pretty

Pretty has been in terrific form and was once again right in the thick of it early. Laid a nice holding the ball tackle in the opening exchange, and while he wins a lot of ball at the coal face, was most noticeable when retrieving it on hard lateral spreads. Missed a couple of kicks going forward on the run, but otherwise provided good drive from midfield.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 15.8 (98) defeated NORTHERN TERRITORY THUNDER ACADEMY 9.6 (60)
By: Scott Dougan

 

Northern:

#1 Lachlan Potter

Potter seemed to have no direct opponent all day, and he took full advantage of that. He won plenty of the ball and he did not waste a possession. His electric speed and agility was obvious, with the hard running midfielder burning many of the Thunder players on the day. He played across half-back and was able to create many effective passages of play. His kicking had plenty of penetration behind it, which helped him boot the ball effectively over a long distance. He had 24 disposals for the match.

#4 Jackson Davies

Davies had a massive second term, booting two very important goals for his team. His ball use was exceptional and his decision making when he had the ball was really good. He was also very composed with ball in hand and made sure he took his time before making decisions. Impressive.

#5 Josh D’Intinosante

D’Intinosante came to life in the second half and had a really big impact on the game. In the third term, D’Intinosante would bring the ball to the ground in a one-on-one contest, gather the ball cleanly and then blind turn his opponent, before running into an open goal. He was very unselfish on the day and could’ve ended up with more goals, but he always put his team first and made sure he made the correct and smartest decisions. He finished with a game-high two goals and 11 marks.

#7 Ryan Gardner

Gardner was ultra-impressive through the Knights midfield. He had plenty of disposals and used the ball well on both feet. He played predominately on the outside but was able to win the contested ball when needed. Gardner was a key player in the Knights victory, collecting 22 disposals (16 kicks).

#11 Ryan Sturgess

Sturgess was rock-solid down back for the Knights, making it very difficult for the Thunder to score. He read the play well and was able to take a handful of intercept marks – showing off his sticky hands. He would also provide some run-and-carry out of the backline, putting his efficient ball skills to good use. Sturgess had 21 disposals (19 kicks) and 8 marks.

 

Northern Territory:

#8 Malcolm Rosas Jr

Rosas spent plenty of minutes up forward and through the midfield. He worked tirelessly and was always involved, especially in the third term when he gathered plenty of possessions. His burst of speed and agility was on full display, with the classy midfielder able to escape his opponents’ attempted tackles. One of his best passages of play came in the third term when he made up a lot of ground to lay a ripping tackle on Josh D’Intinosante. Rosas knew where the big sticks were, hitting the scoreboard multiple times.

#19 Ben Jungfer

Jungfer’s work rate and clearance work was a real standout for the Thunder. He was able to win first possession around stoppages many times and he disposed of the ball effectively to his teammates on the outside. Jungfer used the ball well most times, moving the ball forward as often as he could. He finished with 22 disposals and six tackles.

#24 Joel Jeffery

Jeffery played in the defensive half and his rebounding definitely caught the eye. He turned the ball over a couple of times, but I liked that he wanted to take risks with ball in hand, rather than playing it safe. He read the play well and took some nice intercept marks in the second half. He finished with eight rebound 50s – a game-high.

Scouting notes: NAB League Boys – Round 5

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

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

By: Peter Williams

Bendigo:

#1 Sam Conforti

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

#11 Aaron Gundry

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

#19 Ben Worme

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

#20 James Schischka

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

#21 Riley Wilson

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

#38 Brady Rowles

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

Northern:

#1 Lachlan Potter

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

#5 Josh D’Intinosante

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

#11 Ryan Sturgess

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

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

By: Scott Dougan

Sydney:

#2 Hamish Ellem

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

#3 Luke Parks

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

#9 Sam Thorne

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

#10 Jackson Barling

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

Murray:

#1 Will Christie

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

#3 Ben Kelly

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

#5 Cameron Wild

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

#7 Zane Barzen

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

#10 Will Quirk

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

#14 Jye Chalcraft

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

#19 Jimmy Boyer

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

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

By: Peter Williams

Dandenong:

#11 Ned Cahill

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

#18 Mitch Riordan

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

#20 Sam De Koning

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

#24 Bigoa Nyuon

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

#42 Jai Nanscawen

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

#50 Lachlan Williams

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

Oakleigh:

#5 Trent Bianco

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

#23 Dylan Williams

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

#27 Josh May

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

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

By: Michael Alvaro

Sandringham:

#5 Ryan Byrnes

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

#6 Miles Bergman

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

#7 Jackson Voss

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

#13 Louis Butler

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

#15 Angus Hanrahan

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

#28 Riley Bowman

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

#36 Oscar Lewis

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

Brisbane:

#11 Will Martyn

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

#12 Saxon Crozier

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

#15 Tahj Abberley

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

#21 Noah Cumberland

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

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

By: Ed Pascoe

GWS:

#17 Jeromy Lucas

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

#26 Liam Delahunty

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

Gippsland:

#6 Riley Baldi

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

#11 Kyle Dunkley

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

#12 Brock Smith

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

#19 Fraser Phillips

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

#37 Harrison Pepper

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

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

By: Michael Alvaro

Eastern:

#4 Joshua Clarke

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

#7 Lachlan Stapleton

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

#11 Mitch Mellis

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

#13 Jamieson Rossiter

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

#17 Cody Hirst

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

#21 James Ross

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

#23 Zak Pretty

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

Gold Coast:

#1 Hewago Paul Oea

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

#5 Connor Budarick

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

#15 Corey Joyce

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

#28 Ashton Crossley

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

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

By: Shyam Bali

Calder:

#1 Daniel Mott

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

#8 Sam Ramsay

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

#38 Brodie Newman

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

Geelong:

#36 Charlie Sprague

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

#40 Jesse Clark

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

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

By: Michael Alvaro

Tasmania:

#2 Oliver Burrows-Cheng

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

#4 Will Peppin

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

#7 Matthew McGuiness

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

#12 Isaac Chugg

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

Western:

#3 Eddie Ford

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

#7 Daly Andrews

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

#20 Darcy Cassar

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

#24 Josh Honey

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

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

By: Peter Williams

GWV Rebels:

#3 Toby Mahony

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

#7 Mitch Martin

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

#9 Isaac Wareham

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

#13 Jay Rantall

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

NT:

#8 Malcolm Rosas Jnr

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

#19 Ben Jungfer

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

#24 Joel Jeffery

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

#27 Beau O’Connell

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