Tag: liam mcbean

State leagues preview: VFL done, and final games loom for some

THE VFL has been officially cancelled but there is still plenty of footy happening in a big weekend across the country. The QAFL and TSL finals continue, while the WAFL and SANFL home-and-away seasons enter their final round. We’ll take you through all the key matches for this weekend.

South Australia (SANFL):

All five matches of the SANFL final round feature a top five team against a bottom five team, with the most at stake for South Adelaide and Sturt. The Panthers will just need to defeat bottom side West Adelaide to ensure they make the first week of finals. It might not be an easy task though judging from the last time they met when the Panthers narrowly defeated the Bloods by three points in Round 9.

Sturt meanwhile will be hoping the Panthers lose and they can defeat North Adelaide who themselves are looking for victory to cling onto a second chance come finals. The two teams played out a thriller in Round 8 when the Roosters won by three points.

A victory to Glenelg against Port Adelaide can make it 18 from 18 for the season. The Tigers welcome back Michael Virgin who had 27 disposals and 16 marks when the two sides met in Round 4, while Lachie Hosie and Liam McBean will both line-up down forward after they combined for eight goals in that contest.

Elsewhere, Norwood host Adelaide, who have strengthened their side with a host of AFL-listed players including James Rowe and Will Hamill, while Central Districts tackle second-placed Woodville-West Torrens at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.

 

Tasmania (TSL):

It’s Preliminary Final week in Tassie with minor premier Launceston facing Clarence. The Roos came away with a two-point victory when the sides last met in round 20, and they will welcome back Josh Green, who booted three goals in that contest, after he missed last week through injury. Launceston has had the edge over the Roos this season however with two big wins in their first two meetings. With a Grand Final spot on the line, this could be an intriguing battle.

 

Queensland (QAFL):

With Redland-Victoria Point and Surfers Paradise eliminated last week, just four teams remain in the quest for QAFL premiership glory.

Top two teams Labrador and Broadbeach will face-off with the winner becoming the first team in the Grand Final. Both teams had a bye last weekend, so will be looking to find their home-and-away season form again quickly. The home team won on both occasions when they met during the season, so it’s up to the Cats to break that trend if they want to progress first to the big dance.

Meanwhile, with a chance to play the loser of the top two battle, Morningside meet Maroochydore with no second chances. The Panthers won by 22 and 20 points in their two home-and-away meetings, but with it all on the line anything can happen. Mitchell Scholard is in deadly touch for the Roos, kicking another seven goals in last week’s final, and will be hoping for more goals to get his team over the line.

 

Western Australia (WAFL):

With the final five all set, the top five teams will battle it out for finals positions in the last round of the WAFL this weekend. Peel host Subiaco who will assure themselves of the minor premiership with a win over the Thunder. Last time the two sides met, Subiaco won by 44 points, and they will be hoping for more of the same.

Meanwhile, Claremont are in that battle for top spot when they host Swan Districts. It was a high-scoring affair when they faced-off in round one with Alexander Manuel (Tigers) and Thomas Edwards (Swans) both kicking four goals. South Fremantle will also be hoping Subiaco go down as they remain four points off the top. The Bulldogs play the Eagles, a contest Jimmy Miller (five goals) and Haiden Schloithe (35 disposals) enjoyed earlier this year when the Bulldogs won by 11 goals.

In the other match, Perth welcome West Perth to Mineral Resources Park, with the Falcons looking to snag a top three position with a victory, and a loss to one of Claremont or South Fremantle. Perth, however, came out on top in their last contest, a low scoring affair in Round 8, where they won by 10 points.

 

New South Wales/Queensland/Victoria (VFL):

There has also been an update on the VFL with the season officially cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in New South Wales and Victoria preventing any games from occurring for the foreseeable future. A decision was made by the AFL to end the season with the 10-0 Bulldogs to be recognised as minor premier, but no premiership cup and no J.J. Liston Medal (VFL best and fairest award) will be awarded for the 2021 season.

Picture credit: Andrew Woodgate

State leagues wrap: Teams searching for form ahead of SANFL, TSL and WAFL finals

IT was another week with no games in the VFL or QAFL as COVID-19 restrictions continue to stop footy being played. Nevertheless, we were treated to big wins, small wins, upset wins and plenty of goals across the SANFL, TSL and WAFL action over the weekend. We recap everything that happened in this week’s state league wrap.

 

South Australia (SANFL):

The SANFL was full of big winners and big losers over the weekend, with all games decided by four or more goals, including three 50-plus point defeats.

The closest game of the round was Sturt’s 24-point win over Port Adelaide, but the Double Blues had dominated the match from early on leading by six goals at half-time. Anzac Lochowiak kicked four goals for the game, while James Battersby (27 disposals) and Casey Voss (24 disposals) found the footy. Port’s AFL listed players Jarrod Lienert (33 disposals, 1 goal) and Sam Powell-Pepper (30 disposals, 10 clearances, eight tackles) will be looking for a recall into the senior team with finals approaching, alongside Steven Motlop (20 disposals) and Boyd Woodcock (2 goals). The win keeps Sturt in the finals hunt with only one win separating them and a place in the top five.

Norwood 9.15 (69) got the job done over West Adelaide 6.4 (40) in a game that had some outrageous tackle numbers. The Redlegs had 113 tackles to the Bloods’ 109. Jacob Kennerley (17 tackles) and Patrick Fairlie (14 tackles) led the way for their teams with seven players recording 10 or more for the match. Declan Hamilton (31 disposals) found plenty of the footy for the Redlegs and Thomas Murphy (26 disposals) had the most for the Bloods.

In other games, Glenelg continued its unbeaten run with a 54-point win over Central Districts. There were goals galore for Liam McBean who booted seven majors, and Marlon Motlop who snagged four of his own. Daniel Menzel (four) and Tyson Stengle (three) kicked seven between them for Woodville-West Torrens, while Kai Pudney (34 disposals) found plenty of it in their 17.13 (115) to 8.2 (50) win over Adelaide. James Rowe amassed 35 disposals for the Crows and put his hand up for selection for the final AFL round next week.

North Adelaide defeated fellow top five side South Adelaide by 58 points to make it six wins on the trot. Roosters forward Aaron Young kicked four goals, while Campbell Combe (34 disposals) did battle with Panthers duo Joseph Haines (40 disposals) and Bryce Gibbs (33 disposals) in the middle.

 

Tasmania (TSL):

Clarence climbed into third spot after a stunning two-point victory over Launceston. Ex-Lion and Bomber Josh Green and Tasmanian Devils young gun Baker Smith both slotted three goals in the victory which was a nail biter right up to the final siren. Clarence led at every break, with the Blues always just behind. Cody Thorp booted five goals for the match, but the Blues will be ruing their inaccurate final term, kicking 2.5, which saw them succumb to just their second loss of the season.

Elsewhere, another young Devil put on a show, with Will Splann kicking five majors for North Hobart in their second win of the year, defeating Glenorchy on their home turf. While the Demons can’t move from last place, the loss for the Magpies all but ensures they will finish in second last position with just one home and away game to come.

Meanwhile, a stunning nine goals to one final term from North Launceston saw them come away with a 38-point win over the Tigers. After a big start to the second half from the Tigers, where they overturned a 20-point deficit to lead by 10 points at three quarter time, the Northern Bombers put their foot down and took control of the match in the final quarter. Bradley Cox-Goodyer was one of 10 goal kickers for the Northern Bombers, and led with three goals, while Marcus Gardner also kicked three for the Tigers.

 

Western Australia (WAFL):

Round 19 action consisted of four games, three in which were big margins, while one game saw second-last Perth give third-placed Claremont a real run for their money, with the Tigers just holding off a Demons last quarter comeback. Jye Bolton booted three goals for the match including the sealer late in the fourth quarter. Teammate Timm House also kicked three goals, while Bailey Rogers (31 disposals) and Ben Edwards (30 disposals) racked up plenty of the ball. For Perth, Jack Richardson, Kristian Cary, and Brent Edmonds each kicked two majors, with Austin Davis collecting the most touches (26) and Cary also laying a match high 12 tackles.

East Fremantle pulled off a stunning victory against league leaders Subiaco, winning the contest by 44 points. After starting the game as the better side Subiaco led by 14 points at the main break, before the Sharks stunned everyone in the third term putting up seven goals to none. They didn’t stop the onslaught winning the final quarter five goals to three. Jonathan Marsh played a starring role kicking three goals and having 27 touches, while Hugh Dixon also added three goals. Subiaco’s Lachlan Delahunty led all comers collecting 32 disposals for the match.

In other results, West Perth dominated the West Coast, led by Tyson Keitel kicking seven goals and Shane Nelson (41 disposals), Aaron Black (39 disposals) and Tristan Hobley (30 disposals) winning the footy at will. Brayden Ainswroth (30 disposals), Hamish Brayshaw (28 disposals) and Jarrod Brander (27 disposals) all played well for the Eagles, but they were outclassed, with the Falcons winning 16.10 (106) to 5.5 (35). The other match saw Swan Districts come out 41-point winners over East Perth with Aidan Clarke slotting four goals for the Swans and Royals players Rohan Kerr and Angus Scott collecting the most touches on the ground with 32 each.

Picture credit: Jack Foley via WAFL Twitter

State leagues wrap: Minor premiers crowned as regular seasons wind down

LOCKDOWN saw yet another round of VFL football postponed, but there was still plenty of state league action for football fans to enjoy around the nation. Minor premiers were officially crowned in South Australia and Tasmania as regular season fixtures wind down, while an established top five still has some shaking up to do over in Western Australia. We recap all the results and big performances in this week’s state league wrap.

South Australia (SANFL):

Glenelg found its way out of another tight spot on Saturday, overturning a 17-point deficit at the final break to surge past Norwood and claim the SANFL League minor premiership. The Bays made better on their chances having trailed at the first three breaks, enacting a seven-goal final term blitz to secure the 10-point victory.

Matthew Snook was again instrumental for Glenelg in midfield, leading all comers with 28 disposals and 10 clearances, while spearhead Liam McBean snagged three goals. Draft prospect Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera made an impact in his second senior outing, with his first League goal proving the sealer. For Norwood, Richard Douglas did all he could with 23 disposals and two goals.

The race for fifth spot is heating up, with Sturt applying plenty of pressure to current placeholder, Norwood after a statement-making victory. The Doubles Blues kept West Adelaide goalless in a 76-point drubbing on the road, putting them just a game behind the Redlegs in sixth but with superior percentage. In Sturt’s win, James Battersby and Casey Voss topped the disposal charts with 32-apiece, while Steven Slimming led a trio of Blues who booted two goals each.

Port Adelaide was the side Sturt snuck ahead of in sixth, after the Magpies suffered a 13-point Showdown loss at the hands of Adelaide. Up-and-coming senior players Lachlan Gollant and Dylan Williams snared four goals for their respective sides in a game which was lead by the Crows from the first goal. Bigman Billy Frampton was an ominous figure with 30 disposals and 13 marks, as James Rowe returned to the grade and snared a pair of majors, while Sam Mayes (35 disposals) had 15 more touches than any other Port player.

Back in the top half of the table, North Adelaide secured an important three-goal win over the second placed Woodville-West Torrens, strengthening the Roosters’ hold on third spot with the remaining chance to jump into second. The victors booted six goals to two after half time, with Aaron Young (29 disposals, six clearances, one goal) and Campbell Combe (27 disposals, eight clearances, one goal) instrumental in the result, while Daniel and Troy Menzel each snared two goals for the Eagles.

Pick one contender Jason Horne starred in South Adelaide’s 52-point victory over Central District, which keeps the Panthers a game clear in fourth. With his side trailing at the first break, Horne turned it on in term two with three goals to help gain the ascendancy. South never looked back from there, cruising to its ninth win of the season with finals less than a month away.

Tasmania (TSL):

A pair of thrillers were offset by Launceston’s ruthless 146-point belting of Glenorchy in Round 19 of the TSL, a result which saw the Blues officially claim this year’s minor premiership. Usual Tasmania Devils defender Zach Morris dominated with a swing to the front half, booting nine goals in a brilliant best afield performance. Brendan Taylor (four goals), Jake Hinds (three), Jay Blackberry and Jobi Harper (both two) also claimed multiple majors among the Blues’ 13 individual goalkickers in the 28.13 (181) to 5.5 (35) romp.

While North Launceston had the bye, fellow top four sides Tigers and Clarence locked horns on Saturday to spice up the race for third. After trailing at every break, Tigers slotted three goals to one in the final quarter to take home a crucial five-point win and jump Clarence into third spot via superior percentage. Marcus Davies was the victors’ sole multiple goalkicker in a brigade of eight scorers, as Zach Adams was named their best. Josh Green snared three goals for the Roos, but it was Sam Green who took home the coaches votes in a tight loss.

The round’s other close contest saw Lauderdale work back from a 33-point half time deficit to defeat wooden spooner North Hobart by two points, securing the result with seven goals to two after the main break. Allen Christensen was typically terrific for the Bombers in their remarkable win, while a bunch of Tasmania Devils prospects fared well for North Hobart. Will Splann (two goals), Dom White and Jye Menzie all found the big sticks, while Tyler McGinniss was named among the Devils’ best players.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL League top five remains unchanged after Round 18’s results, with East Perth the only side to climb the ladder on a four-game weekend of West Australian football. The Royals extended Perth’s losing streak with a 25-point triumph, having lead at every break on home turf to jump into sixth over East Fremantle. Aidan Lynch (32 disposals, 10 marks, one goal) led all comers, while Royals teammate Thomas Edwards-Baldwin was the game’s lone multiple goalkicker with three.

Arguably the weekend’s best and most important game saw Subiaco strengthen its standing atop the table with a five-point comeback win over fellow finals contender, Claremont. The Lions were jumped in the first term but worked back to within striking distance at 17 points adrift come the final break, before pouncing with four goals to one in the fourth quarter. Greg Clark was the only player to tick up to 30 disposals, while Ben Sokol booted six goals and Lachlan Delahunty (23 disposals, 25 hitouts) also proved instrumental in the win.

With the Tigers going down, reigning premier South Fremantle went a game clear in second after defeating East Fremantle by 61 points. The Bulldogs broke the game open after half time, running out the game with 11 goals to three in a ruthless showing of their firepower. Brandon Donaldson (five goals) and Mason Shaw (four) lead a strong core of eight goal kickers in the win, as Tom Blechynden notched a game-high 25 touches.

Meanwhile, Swan Districts remains three games clear of the finals drop in fifth after a kicking away from Peel Thunder in a 52-point win. The Swans were served well by Aidan Clarke (32 disposals, two goals) and Frank Anderson (30 and two), with all of their top seven ball winners also hitting the scoreboard. Tyrone Thorne saw the most ball though, registering 33 touches and nine tackles for Peel in their fourth-straight loss. West Perth and West Coast each have a game in hand after sitting out this weekend.

Image Credit: @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

State leagues preview: Covid chaos again for VFL

ANOTHER round and yet another COVID-19 curveball has been thrown at the VFL with situations in NSW and now Victoria forcing changes to be made. Elsewhere, state leagues will play out as per normal under minimal restrictions.

South Australia (SANFL):

A couple of big clashes to look forward to this weekend with the undefeated Glenelg looking to extend their winning run to 14 when third-placed South Adelaide come to town. The two teams last met in round seven at the Flinders University Stadium where Glenelg was too strong coming away with a 40-point win. Expect Tiger Liam McBean, who leads the league for most goals, to add to his tally, while Bryce Gibbs (South Adelaide) and Luke Partington (Glenelg) could have a nice duel in the centre as the second and third leading ball-winners across the comp.

Fourth-placed Norwood will take on second-placed Woodville-West Torrens at Coopers Stadium with a chance for the home side to draw level on points with the Eagles if they are to win. Both teams come in off a win last week against bottom five teams, but it will be the Redlegs who will need to come out firing after they lost to the Eagles back in Round 8 by 47 points.

In other matches, Adelaide will be looking to close the game between the top five and bottom five with an away victory over the fifth placed Roosters who have won three games on the trot. A key aspect for Adelaide will be trying to stop the likes of Lewis Hender, Dyson Hilder and even Lachie Wilsdon who kicked eight straight last week playing his first minutes up forward for the year.

Port Adelaide will be hoping Adelaide win, which would give them a chance to enter the top five provided they get the victory against bottom side West Adelaide, and ninth placed Central Districts will host seventh placed Sturt on Saturday.

Western Australia (WAFL):

With Round 15 getting underway and the top five separating themselves from the bottom five, it’s a big game for the likes of Peel Thunder and East Fremantle if they both want to narrow the points differential. Peel is hosting second placed Claremont on Sunday, and with the two teams matching up just over a month ago Peel will be confident of putting up a strong fight, having just lost the last game by seven points in Round 10.

East Fremantle meanwhile will take on fourth-placed West Perth who are looking to continue their four-game winning streak at home. Swan Districts and South Fremantle will do battle at Steel Blue Oval with both teams looking to hunt down the top two positions on the ladder. The Swans and the Bulldogs are both looking to make it a hat-trick of victories and this one could go down to the wire. Top of the table Subiaco will take on the struggling West Coast who have only won two games for the season, and a close game could be in the works with Perth and East Perth sitting eighth and ninth respectively facing off at Mineral Resources Park.

Tasmania (TSL):

Round 16 action features the top four teams all coming up against one another. The 12-1 league leaders Launceston will take on the Tigers on their home patch. Goal kicking spearhead Dylan Riley has kicked nine goals in two games this season against the Tigers and will be hunting another bag this weekend.

Clarence will be looking to replicate their round three result against North Launceston where they came away with a 11-point victory, before losing by 34-points when they played at UTAS stadium in Round 10. The Bombers sit one spot above Clarence on the ladder with two games separating them, so a win for the Roos is much needed.

Fifth and sixth placed teams Lauderdale and Glenorchy are playing each other at Lauderdale Oval on Saturday and it’s the home side who desperately need a win to try and make up an eight-point difference between the two teams.

 

Picture credit: Adam McFarlane

State Leagues wrap: Youngsters press claims for senior call-ups

A BUNCH of up-and-coming talents pressed their claims for senior selection across the state leagues this past weekend, with finals time drawing closer in the top tier. The West Australian Football League (WAFL) made its return after a week away due to lockdown, while it was business as usual around the nation with just over a month of home-and-away action left to play out. We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean moving forward in this week’s state leagues wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

The Battle of Bell Street headlined Round 13’s action in the VFL, with the Northern Bullants holding on to win by a single point against traditional local rival, Coburg. Players did justice to the resumption of this long-standing rivalry, though the Lions’ last ditch surge was not enough to snatch victory at Piranha Park. Bullants big man Daniel Hughes took home the inaugural Harold Martin Medal as best afield, having finished with 18 disposals and 35 hitouts.

While the Bullants picked up their third-consecutive win, Footscray avoided a major boilover to remain undefeated in 2021, defeating Sydney by seven points on the back of a six-goal final term. The Bulldogs twice trailed by as many as six goals throughout the contest, but did enough to power past the plucky Swans outfit. Patrick Lipinski‘s claims for a recall remain strong after 36 disposals and a goal, while tall Sydney pair Logan McDonald (14 marks, four goals) and Patrick McCartin (27 disposals, 11 marks) dominated the airways.

Collingwood and Geelong remain fixed in the top eight after earning their own closely contested victories, downing 2019 grand finalists Richmond and Williamstown respectively. The Cats lead at every break in their 12-point triumph, while senior-listed midfielder Charlie Constable (30 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) continuing his ominous form, while young forwards Jack Ginnivan (four goals) and Noah Cumberland (five) were sensational in the Magpies’ five-point salute on enemy territory.

While Port Melbourne was thumped by 95 points in Frankston on Friday, the Borough’s home deck was used on Saturday to field the clash between Greater Western Sydney (GWS) and Gold Coast. The Giants, who had a handy mix of AFL-listed players and academy products, ran out 40-point winners with Zach Sproule (five goals), Matt De Boer (35 disposals, three goals), and senior skipper Stephen Coniglio (36 disposals, eight tackles) proving a class above.

Casey and Sandringham were the other Victorian sides to register premiership points in Round 13, while Southport returned to the fray with a resounding 109-point romping of Brisbane. The result sees the Sharks sit a win clear in second, still an equal amount of points away from current frontrunner Footscray. The Round 14 fixture has also been announced, with both Sydney teams having the bye while Queensland travel is set to resume for a trio of Victorian clubs.

South Australia (SANFL):

Ladder position counted for plenty in Round 14 of the SANFL, as all of the top five sides registered wins against their bottom five counterparts. The handful of fixtures took part on a super Saturday of state league action, which did little to really shake up the order of things ranking-wise.

Reigning premier Woodville-West Torrens opened proceedings with a 19-point win over the bottom-placed West Adelaide, despite managing just nine goals from 30 scoring shots. Westies tidied up the margin with three final term consolation goals, but the Eagles’ scoring power was all too much in the end. Jack Hayes had a day to remember for the victors, clunking 20 marks (seven contested) and booting two goals, while prolific small forward Tyson Stengle managed 3.4 from eight touches.

Competition frontrunner Glenelg pushed its undefeated streak out to 13 games with a 30-point win over Sturt, kicking away in a five-goal to one third term. Bays spearhead Liam McBean booted six goals in a commanding display, as Lachie Wilsdon snared eight in North Adelaide’s 48-point salute over Central District. The likes of Harrison Wigg (42 disposals, nine clearances), Samuel McInerney (24 disposals, five goals), and Campbell Combe (29 disposals, two goals) were among the Roosters’ other outstanding individual performers.

North’s win opened up a gap to Port Adelaide in sixth, after the Magpies went down to Norwood by 36 points. The usual suspects were amongst it for the Redlegs, with Mitch Grigg (31 disposals, seven clearances, one goal), Richard Douglas (30 disposals, eight clearances), and Brad McKenzie (24 disposals, two goals) all in the thick of things. South Adelaide was the weekend’s other winner, with pick one contender Jason Horne (19 disposals, one goal) again catching plenty of eyes as his Panthers got the better of Adelaide.

Tasmania (TSL):

Launceston took out a crucial TSL top-of-the-table clash on Saturday, downing North Launceston by 53 points to strength its spot as the league leader. The Blues now boast a two-game gap to their closest rival, and consolidated their latest victory with five goals to nil in the final quarter. Brayden Pitcher booted six majors to spearhead the Blues’ win, Jake Hinds and competition stalwart Jay Blackberry took out votes as the best two players afield.

Fellow top four sides Tigers and Clarence also picked up wins against the bottom two teams, in North Hobart and Lauderdale respectively. The Tigers accelerated during a five-goal second term to end up 40-point victors on the road, while Colin Garland snared another bag of six goals as his Roos wrapped up a 49-point win on home turf. Both sides remain locked on 32 points, with Clarence ahead in third by 0.23 per cent.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL returned after last week’s lockdown with crowds enjoying five fixtures across a stacked Saturday of state league football. The home sides won out in four of those games, while Subiaco shot back to the top of the table as the race for minor premiership honours heats up.

Claremont’s one-point loss to South Fremantle opened the door for Subiaco to reclaim top spot on percentage, though all three teams now sit level on eight wins with a two-pronged chasing pack ready to pounce at just one game adrift. The top five looks relatively set, with a three-game gap now opened up between Swan Districts in fifth and Peel Thunder in sixth.

Swans scraped past the ever-improving West Coast by two points to remain in the hunt with West Perth, as the Falcons had a much easier time defeating East Perth by 30 points. Geelong champion Harry Taylor returned to East Fremantle and booted four goals as Corey Warner, the brother of Chad made his League debut, but their efforts were not enough to help overcome the Thunder in a 26-point loss.

Image Credit: Martin Keep/AFL Photos

State Leagues wrap: Finals spots shaken up

THERE were some key changes to finals calculations across the state league this weekend, with ladder leaders soaring as the following packs jostle for position. Victorian sides still await their return, but it was business as usual in South Australia and Tasmania, while West Australian fans had two fixtures to take in on Saturday and Sunday. We run you through all the results and outstanding performances in this week’s state league wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

Teams from everywhere but Victoria carried the Victorian Football League through another round of action, with three AFL reserves sides taking the field across a pair on Saturday afternoon fixtures. The first saw Gold Coast complete a dramatic turnaround against Sydney Swans, with first year utility Joel Jeffrey putting the SUNS ahead in the dying stages having trailed by as much as 38 points in term two. An eight-goal third quarter blitz set up the 17.5 (107) to 16.8 (104) victory, with Jeffrey among four SUNS to boot three goals. Brayden Fiorini racked up a game-high 45 disposals upon returning to the grade, as Sydney bigman Hayden McLean claimed four majors.

In the day’s second fixture, over at Blacktown International Sportspark, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) stormed home with seven final term goals to topple Aspley by 49 points. Having been trialled in numerous roles, GIANTS youngster Jake Riccardi returned to his familiar forward post and bagged eight goal to spearhead his side’s victory. Up the other end, competition leading goalkicker Matthew Hammelmann snared six of the Hornets’ nine major scores, as teammate Matthew Payne led all comers for disposals (32). Young GIANTS Tanner Bruhn (25 disposals, two goals) and Kieren Briggs (23 disposals, 28 hitouts, one goal) were also outstanding.

With Victorian teams back in training as of last week, a return normal programming should be just around the corner. Southport currently tops the ladder at 6-1 having played twice more than most other teams, while Casey Demons and Footscray remain undefeated at 5-0 to sit second and third respectively.

South Australia (SANFL):

Woodville-West Torrens moved up to second spot with a comprehensive 68-point drubbing of Port Adelaide, seeing the Magpies drop to fifth. The Eagles broke away with 10 goals to one after half time, with Jack Hayes (28 disposals, three goals) and James Tsitas (41 disposals, eight clearances) among the prominent figures. Jarrod Lienert was kept busy for Port, registering 14 rebound 50s among his 26 disposals as first year forward Ollie Lord showed some promise with two goals and three contested marks.

The Eagles overtook South Adelaide in second, as the Panthers went down to Norwood by nine points. Mitch Grigg continued his return to form for the Redlegs, racking up 34 touches and booting three goals in the win while Matthew Nunn (29 disposals) and Richard Douglas (19, one goal) also played key hands. Former AFL veterans Matthew Broadbent (25 disposals) and Bryce Gibbs (24, 11 clearances and one goal) stood up for the Panthers, as 200-gamer Joel Cross also hit the scoreboard and top draft prospect Jason Horne booted a goal from his 19 touches.

Ladder leader Glenelg moved to an ominous 10-0, defeating North Adelaide by 23 points as Liam McBean (five goals) and Matthew Snook (34 disposals) took hold. Meanwhile, Adelaide jumped Sturt after its 10-point win over the Double Blues, which saw senior-listed players Jackson Hately (31 disposals, seven clearances and one goal) and Billy Frampton (three goals) knock on the door for a call-up.

Tasmania (TSL):

Round 11 of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) went largely as expected, with ladder position telling the story of all three results. The round of action opened on Friday night as Tigers stormed KGV to come away 22-point victors over Glenorchy, seeing the visitors stretch the gap to their weekend opponents to three wins. Max Collidge booted three goals for Tigers, while Riley Oakley snared two for the Magpies as Edward Cole and Nathan Blowfield were named best afield for their respective sides.

North Launceston maintained its chase for top spot on Saturday, doubling Lauderdale’s score to win by 35 points in enemy territory. 14 of the combined 15 goals scored were kicked at one end of the ground, with the Northern Bombers dealing more damaging blows in the first and third terms. Jay Foon booted a game-high three goals and was named the victors’ best player, while Phillip Bellchambers snared two for Lauderdale as Rhys Sutton earned the coaches votes.

Competition leading goalkicker Dylan Riley enjoyed another day out, booting eight majors in Launceston’s 103-point thumping of North Hobart. Riley has bullied the Demons this season, kicking 18 goals in two meetings – including a season-high bag of 10. Alec Wright also featured prominently for the table topping Blues, while Callum Fitzpatrick was named the best for North Hobart after a tough outing.

Western Australia (WAFL):

Claremont rose to the top of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) ladder in Round 10, coming from behind to beat Peel Thunder by seven points on Saturday. The Tigers trailed at each of the first three breaks, before piling on five goals in the final term to sneak ahead at the clutch. Jye Bolton continued his dominance with another 35 disposals and nine inside 50s for Claremont, as youngster Jack Buller booted four goals in the win. Fremantle-listed midfielder Luke Valente was Peel’s biggest ball winner (26 disposals), as the Thunder again yielded a heavy amount of rotations.

The round’s sole other fixture came on Sunday, with East Perth causing a boilover to beat reigning premier South Fremantle by five points. The Royals were ahead at each break and while South remained within striking distance, they were unable to turn the tables and snatch victory. The Bulldogs still sit pretty comfortably in third though, with the Royals’ second win sees them remain ninth. The likes of Angus Scott (26 disposals), Angus Schumacher and Shayne Hill were terrific for East Perth, as Chad Pearson (29 disposals) led all comers and Brandon Donaldson (four goals) proved potent going forward for South Freo.

Image Credit: Hannah Howard/SANFL

State Leagues wrap: Big wins across the board

DESPITE the absence of Victorian Football League (VFL) action due to a statewide lockdown imposed on Victoria, the remaining leagues went ahead with business as usual, providing plenty of entertaining football action.

SANFL:

The SANFL kicked off its eighth round at Flinders University Stadium, where the South Adelaide Panthers proved too strong for Central Districts, running out winners by 27 points on Saturday afternoon. Despite only two points separating the sides at the final break, a six-goal final term from the Panthers was ultimately the deciding factor, as they grabbed their sixth win of the year, keeping them in second place, behind the undefeated Tigers. Panther Bryce Gibbs was far and away the best player, racking up 36 touches in the midfield, laying six solid tackles and booting two goals in a dominant display from the ex-Crow. For Central Districts, Harry Grant found plenty of the ball with 25 touches for the match.

At Maugham Thiem Kia Oval, Woodville-West Torrens ran away with a nice 47-point win over the Norwood Redlegs on Saturday afternoon. The Redlegs burst out of the gates, taking a two-goal lead into quarter time, but the Eagles kicked 11 goals to two in the remaining three quarters to nab a win that saw them rise up the ladder. For the victors, Riley Knight continued his strong season with 27 disposals and 10 marks through the midfield, while teammate Angus Poole booted three goals from his 21 touches. For the Redlegs, ex-Crow Richard Douglas fought hard with 29 disposals and a goal.

Prospect Oval was treated to a thrilling win for the home side, as North Adelaide escaped with a three-point win over the Sturt Sabres on Saturday afternoon. A late charge from the Sabres looked as if they might be able to steal an unlikely victory, but a late shot on goal from Sabre Daniel Fahey-Sparks didn’t register a major score, and the result was all but sealed. For the winning side, midfielder Campbell Combe put in an outstandingly tough performance, finishing the match with 25 disposals, five clearances and a massive 15 tackles. For the Sabres, Casey Voss worked tirelessly all day on his way to 28 touches and a goal.

Glenelg’s season remains perfect and they do not look like slowing down at all, following their 89-point belting of the Adelaide Crows at ACH Group Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Crows looked no match for their opponents, who were able to do as they please for all four quarters. Tigers forwards Luke Reynolds (five goals) and Liam McBean (four goals) were fantastic up forward, constantly giving teammates such as Matthew Allen (33 disposals) an option with the ball in hand. For the Crows, skipper Matthew Wright tried to lead his side as well as he could, finishing with 30 touches on a tough day.

The final SANFL game for the weekend saw Port Adelaide claim a strong win over West Adelaide at Alberton Oval on Saturday afternoon. A strong third term saw the Power break away from their opponents, who had been impressive in their efforts to match the home side around the contest, but the class of Port Adelaide ultimately got them over the line. For the victors, midfielder Sam Mayes was instrumental around the contest, finishing the match with 30 disposals and seven clearances as he gave his side midfield ascendancy. For West Adelaide, Kaine Stevens fought bravely around the ball, finishing the match with 33 disposals and a goal.

WAFL:

The WAFL kicked off their eighth round of footy at Leederville Oval, where Subiaco were able to snatch top spot on the ladder with a 44-point victory over the Peel Thunder on Saturday afternoon. The strong margin saw the victors gain enough percentage on the ladder to move up to premier spot on the ladder, as their opponents struggled to keep up with them, especially after a five-goal to none opening term. For the winners, Lachlan Delahunty was a clear standout, doing it all to finish the match with 30 disposals, 16 hitouts and seven inside-50’s in a strong outing. For the Peel Thunder, Reece Conca was great from the backline, racking up 27 touches while denying his opponents the ball.

Heading to Revo Fitness Stadium, Claremont were clinical in their 39-point victory over East Perth on Saturday afternoon. The game was reasonably even in the first half, with just one point separating the sides at the main break, but Claremont were able to turn it on in the second half on their way to their sixth win of the season. Claremont were led from the midfield, especially by Jye Bolton who finished with 34 disposals and nine inside 50’s in a strong attacking game. For East Perth, Angus Scott found plenty of space, racking up 34 touches and nine marks of his own.

At Fremantle Community Bank Oval, South Fremantle got their offensive game-plan rolling, storming away from West Coast to claim a 66-point win on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles have struggled to string together solid play all year, and South Fremantle took full advantage of that, especially in the second quarter where they booted seven goals in a dominant term. For the victors, Jimmy Miller booted five goals in a powerful display up forward, while former Saint kicked four goals from 26 disposals. For the Eagles, Xavier O’Neill tried to get his side going from the midfield, finishing with 24 touches and 10 inside-50’s.

Swan Districts grabbed a crucial round eight win, taking down East Fremantle to the tune of 44 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday afternoon. With both sides entering the clash with the same record, Swan Districts virtually determined the result of the game in the second quarter, where they booted eight goals to claim a commanding lead that they would never end up surrendering. For the winning side, ruckman Corey Gault caught the eye with his 19 disposals, six tackles and 36 hitouts in an impressive display, while Cameron Eardley was the strongest performer for East Fremantle.

In a low scoring affair, Perth were able to walk away with a 10-point win over West Perth at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday afternoon. Both sides were made to pay for their inaccuracy in a close contest, but Perth’s strong third term was ultimately telling in determining the result of the game. For the winning team, Corey Byrne was a standout in the midfield with his 30-disposal performance while Aaron Black found the ball 32 times for West Perth.

QAFL:

There were plenty of big scores in this weekend’s QAFL action, starting at Rococo Oval, where Broadbeach hammered Noosa, running out winners by a whopping 113 points on Saturday afternoon. The game was ultimately decided by quarter time, where the winners already held a 33-point lead, and they would only improve from here. For Broadbeach, Jordan Moncrieff continued his strong run of form in front of the big sticks, booting six majors in a damaging display. For Noosa, Will O’Dwyer played a lone hand up forward, booting four of the team’s six goals.

In another blowout, Labrador claimed a strong 78-point win over Wilston Grange at Cooke-Murphy Oval on Saturday afternoon. The victors were able to do as they pleased, and after a strongly contested first term, Wilston Grange were soundly beaten around all areas of the ground. For Labrador, Thomas Meagher was outstanding, booting three goals and finding plenty of the ball in a great display. For Wilston Grange, Zachary Stanton played his best game of the year despite the tough day for his team.

A big final term has seen Morningside claim their sixth win of the year, by defeating Maroochydore by 22 points at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday afternoon. With the match tied at three quarter time, the result looked as if it could go either way, and Maroochydore had all the momentum following a strong third term. Morningside were able to storm home, booting five goals to one in the final term to secure the result. For Morningside, Thomas Jeffery was clinical, booting three goals up forward in an influential display, while Maroochydore were well-led by the in-form Jacob Simpson.

Moving to Salk Oval, Palm Beach Currumbin were able to work their way to a 27-point triumph over Sherwood Districts on Saturday afternoon. The win was set up in the first half, where they took a whopping 45-point lead into half time, and were able to cruise to their third win of the season and climb up the ladder. For the victors, Jonathan Croad was once again impressive, finding plenty of the ball and leading his side from the front. For Sherwood Districts, Toara Marango put in his best performance of the year despite the loss.

The final match of the round saw Surfers Paradise claim a nice 24-point win over Mt Gravatt at Sir Bruce Small Park on Saturday afternoon. The game was fought evenly in the first half, with just five points separating the sides at the main break, but Surfers Paradise kicked away in the third term to grab their fourth win of the season. For the winners, Thompson Smith was everywhere, booting four goals and making the opposition pay on the scoreboard, while Frazer Neate led the way for Mt Gravatt.

TSL:
The ninth round of TSL action began at Blundstone Arena, where Clarence dominated their opponents on their way to a 68-point win over Glenorchy on Saturday afternoon. Clarence have proven tough to beat on their home deck all year and this match only escalated these fears for opposing sides. Clarence midfielder Jack Preshaw was his side’s best, finding plenty of the ball around the ground and constantly making his opponents work both ways. Glenorchy’s Cooper Meredith fought hard all day in tough conditions.

A remarkable match-winning goal from Riley Ashlin SAW the Tigers steal a four-point win over Lauderdale at Lauderdale Oval on Saturday afternoon. With only seconds remaining, Ashlin snapped an incredible goal from the pocket to give his side the match-winning lead and escape a shock loss. Ashlin was also one of his side’s strongest performers on the day, so it was only fitting that he deliver the win for his team.

North Launceston have continued their strong push for top spot on the ladder, with a 20-point win over North Hobart at North Hobart Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Demons competed well for most of the match, and threatened to cause an upset, but the Bombers were able to turn it on and burst past their opponents to put them dangerously close to claiming the premier spot on the ladder. Bomber Jack Avent impressed as he has done all season, while Sam Caswell continued his strong form from last week for the Demons.

Photo credit: Hannah Howard/SANFL

State leagues wrap: Teams deliver monster scores

WITH another weekend coming to a close, we take a look at what happened in state league football around the country, with plenty of massive scores as teams hit their straps.

Victoria:

The VFL had some big wins around the grounds this weekend, including one outside of Victoria, as the Tigers gave the Lions a belting to the tune of 62 points at the Gabba on Saturday morning. The Tigers booted a whopping nine goals in the first quarter, including three to forward Samson Ryan. The lead would only extend from there as the Tigers cruised to a big win over a helpless Lions side. For the Tigers, Ryan and Callum Coleman-Jones combined for eight goals up forward, tormenting Lions defenders, while Josh Caddy had 38 touches and two snags from the midfield. For the Lions, Tom Joyce and Cam Ellis-Yolman fought hard despite the circumstances.

Moving back to Victoria, North Melbourne had their first win of the season, taking down Essendon by 15 points at Windy Hill on Saturday. The game was thrillingly close for all four quarters, with only five points separating the sides at the final break. The Bombers gained a 12-point lead midway through the fourth quarter thanks to a fifth goal from Bombers forward Patrick Ambrose, but this was short lived. The Roos booted four unanswered goals, and stormed home for their first triumph of the 2021 season. For the victors, ruckman Tristian Xerri was a dominant figure, collecting a game-high 36 disposals to go with nine marks, six tackles and 27 hitouts in a marvellous display. For the Bombers, Ambrose’s five goals up forward were impressive, while ruckman Nick Bryan fought bravely.

Over at Ikon Park, the Hawks delivered a dominant performance, taking home the biggest win of the round as they defeated the Blues by 84 points on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks won all four quarters, doing as they please while the Blues struggled to keep up and constantly found themselves on the back foot. Hawk Vincent Adduci was the star up forward with five goals, while through the midfield, Brayden Kilpatrick found plenty of the ball. For the Blues, midfielder Matthew Kennedy found plenty of the ball on his way to 28 disposals on what was a tough day.

South Australia:

SANFL’s round seven action kicked off on Saturday afternoon, and for the Eagles, it was a perfect start to the weekend. At Hisense Stadium, the Woodville West-Torrens produced a masterful performance, defeating the West Adelaide Bloods by 100 points in a completely one-sided affair. Dominant second and third quarters from the Eagles – booting nine goals in each – put the game well out of reach for the Bloods, as they could not compete with a side that was firing on all cylinders. For the Eagles, Jimmy Toumpas had a bout of leather poisoning, finding the ball 45 times, while Daniel Menzel booted five goals up forward, and could have had plenty more if he had converted his four behinds. For the Bloods, midfielder Kaine Stevens worked his way to 32 disposals.

The Central District Bulldogs held off a brave comeback from the Sturt Sabres to walk away 10-point victors at Unley Oval on Saturday afternoon. The contest looked all but over heading into the final term, with the Bulldogs holding a 28-point lead over their opponents following a couple of one-sided quarters. The Sabres refused to give up, fighting hard in the fourth quarter to bring the margin back down, but ultimately couldn’t complete the fightback. For the Bulldogs, it was midfielder Jarrod Schiller who led the way, finishing the game with 26 touches, 10 tackles and a massive 12 clearances, and provided a strong contest with Sabre Tom Lewis, who had 24 touches, eight tackles and five clearances of his own.

Moving to Coopers Stadium, Norwood was able to overcome inaccuracy to defeat the Adelaide Crows by 48 points on Saturday afternoon. The Redlegs kicked 12.20, showing that the margin could have been a lot worse for the Crows had their opponents found the big sticks more. For the Redlegs, Tasmanian forward Jackson Callow was a victim of inaccurate kicking, booting 3.7 from 24 touches, while veteran Richard Douglas controlled things through the midfield with 31 disposals. For the Crows, youngster Will Hamill was influential with his 30 disposals.

At Alberton Oval, the Port Adelaide Power were able to scrape past the North Adelaide Roosters on their way to an eight-point win on Saturday afternoon. A big final term from both sides looked like the game could go either way, but ultimately, it was the class of the Power that got them over the line, with a late goal to Taj Schofield that sealed the result for his side. For the victors, midfielder, Sam Mayes was instrumental in his side controlling the ball, finishing the match with 32 disposals. For the Roosters, Andrew Moore found plenty of the ball through the middle and floated forward to boot a goal in the third term.

In the final match of the round, Glenelg were able to remain undefeated after seven matches, taking down the South Adelaide Panthers by 40 points at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers delivered a strong first half challenge, but the Tigers were able to find the form that has worked for them all year, as they booted nine goals to three in the second half to walk away winners. For the winners, Matthew Allen and Chris Curran found plenty of the ball, while Liam McBean booted three goals up forward. For the Panthers, Bryce Gibbs was typically strong in the midfield, finding the ball 31 times and booting a goal.

Western Australia:

The WAFL resumed following a week off, and the action started at New Choice Homes Park, with Claremont proving too strong for East Fremantle, storming away 42-point victors on Saturday afternoon. Claremont started the game in dominant fashion, booting six goals to one in the first term, and never slowing down from there on their way to a fifth win for the season. For Claremont, Lachlan Martinis found plenty of the ball as he has done so many times this season, and was well aided by Jye Bolton as the pair racked up 33 disposals each. For East Fremantle, Luke English ended the match with 29 disposals in a promising outing.

At David Grays Arena, West Perth were able to keep their form rolling with a strong 28-point triumph over Peel Thunder on Saturday afternoon. Despite coming into the match with one less win, West Perth were clinical in the premiership quarter, booting four goals to none to find themselves with an eventual match-winning lead. For West Perth, Keegan Knott’s six goals proved vital in the end, while Shane Nelson had 37 touches through the midfield. For Peel Thunder, former Bomber Jackson Merrett displayed his knack for finding the ball, racking up 37 disposals through the middle.

The crowd at Mineral Resources Park were treated to an upset, as Perth knocked off South Fremantle by a margin of 20 points on Saturday afternoon. Despite finding more of the ball as a team, South Fremantle’s inaccuracy kept them out of the hunt in the second half, as Perth were able to take their chances on a consistent basis. For Perth, Kristian Cary booted four crucial goals, while ruckman Christian Eyres impressed. For South Fremantle, Dylan Main was the star with 34 disposals and two goals in an eye-catching performance.

East Perth finally notched their first win of the season, as they took down West Coast by 57 points at Leederville Oval on Saturday afternoon. Both sides entered the clash at 0-5, and East Perth took the opportunity for a first win against a struggling West Coast side. A seven-goal last term cemented the result, while West Coast’s woes continue. For East Perth, Rohan Kerr stuffed the stat sheet with 31 disposals and 12 marks, while Aiden Lynch had 29 touches and a goal. For West Coast, Mark Hutchings fought all day through the midfield, gathering 28 touches.

Subiaco were able to remain in the top two on the ladder with a thrilling win over Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday afternoon. Swan Districts delivered a serious challenge to Subiaco, who were on top of the ladder heading into the clash, but just fell short in the final term. For Subiaco, Gregory Clark was dominant with 30 disposals, 12 tackles, six marks and two goals in a match-winning performance. For Swan Districts, ruckman Corey Gault amassed a whopping 50 hitouts to give his midfielders first use.

Queensland:

There were plenty of big scores from the victorious teams over the QAFL’s eighth round of action. This began at Maroochydore Multisports Complex on Saturday afternoon, as Maroochydore were triumphant over Wilston Grange to the tune of 27 points. A tense clash for the first three quarters, the home side was able to break away in the final term on their way to their fifth win of the season. The match proved to be a shootout, as Maroochydore’s Mitchell Scholard (14 goals in three weeks) and Wilston Grange’s Sam Gribble each booted five goals, but ultimately Scholard got the last laugh with the win.

A massive third term has seen Morningside take home a 27-point win over Palm Beach Currumbin at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday afternoon. Despite trailing by 17 points at half time, Morningside booted eight goals to none in the third term to completely turn the game in their favour, and never looked back from there. For the victors, Darcy Cameron-Reeves claimed best on ground honours, while Thomas Griffiths also impressed. For Palm Beach Currumbin, Corey Joyce’s strong form continued, ending as his side’s best for the second time in three weeks.

Over at Southside Toyota Oval, Mt Gravatt were clinical in their 88-point thrashing of Noosa on Saturday afternoon. With a strong 55-point lead at half time, Mt Gravatt never gave their opponents a hint of a comeback, dominating on all areas of the field as they sent a statement to the rest of the league. For Mt Gravatt, Jonah Licht booted five snags up forward, while teammate Luke O’Sullivan also caught the eye of coaches and spectators. For Noosa, Aaron Laskey battled hard all day despite the heavy loss.

Moving to Totally Workwear Park, Redland-Victoria Point were unable to match the intensity of Surfers Paradise, eventually falling by 17 points on Saturday afternoon. Surfers Paradise set the tone early, taking a three-goal lead into the first break. While their opponents fought valiantly to attempt a comeback, the victors proved too strong. For Surfers Paradise, Harrison Fraser delivered his strongest performance of the year, and would have impressed his coaches. For Redland-Victoria Point, Peter Yagmoor was terrific in a losing side, booting two goals.

The final match of the round saw an upset as Sherwood Districts shocked the league to take down Labrador by 40 points at Sherwood Oval on Saturday afternoon. Booting seven goals in the first quarter, Sherwood Districts dominated all day as Labrador struggled to keep up with the home side. For Sherwood Districts, Thomas Baulch booted six goals up forward, as Labrador defenders tried to find an answer for his clinical play.

Tasmania:

TSL’s eighth round of action kicked off in extraordinary fashion on Friday night, with North Launceston upsetting Launceston with a 15-point triumph at UTAS Stadium. The reigning premiers led at halftime, but were stunned in the second half, as North Launceston simply outplayed them to run away with a fantastic win that would surely give the rest of the league hope. For the victors, Jay Foon was outstanding, booting two goals on his way to a best on ground performance, while Jack Rushton also stood out. For Launceston, Jake Smith fought hard, particularly in the first half.

Over at Blundstone Arena, Clarence were dominant as they took down Lauderdale to the tune of 76 points on Saturday afternoon. The contest was closely battled in the first term, with just eight points separating the sides, before Clarence’s seven-goal second term saw them gain an unassailable lead. For Clarence, Ethan Jackson was terrific all day, while Oliver Preshaw booted three goals. For Lauderdale, skipper Allen Christensen battled hard all day to rally his troops.

The final match of round eight saw a clinical performance from the Tigers, as they smashed North Hobart by 89 points at Kingston Twin Ovals on Saturday afternoon. A seven-goal haul from Tyler Carter was the headline of the day, as he claimed best afield honours for the second week in a row. With fluctuating form over recent weeks, the win will surely inject some life into the Tigers’ season. North Hobart’s Samuel Caswell fought hard all day despite the margin.

State Leagues Wrap: Weekend of thrillers

AS the weekend came to an end, so did a round of exciting football around the country. State leagues saw plenty of contests that came down to the wire, while other teams flexed their muscles with big wins.

Victoria:

VFL action kicked off on Thursday night with the Casey Demons’ big win over North Melbourne as VFL finally returned to Marvel Stadium. The Demons kicked a whopping 19 goals and finished the game as 107-point winners in a game that would not have impressed North Melbourne fans. Sam Weideman kicked four goals as he continues his ripping form that is sure to earn him an AFL recall in the near future. Unfortunately for him, Casey’s AFL affiliate Melbourne is absolutely flying at the moment, but if the key forward keeps up these performances, he will be hard to ignore come selection time. For the Roos, ruckman Tristian Xerri fought hard, and won the duel with Casey’s rucks, collecting 16 disposals to go with his 35 hitouts.

Collingwood stole a victory at the death as they snuck away with a three-point win against the Gold Coast Suns at Olympic Park Oval on Friday afternoon. With his 20th disposal, Magpie Reef McInnes kicked a goal at the 26-minute mark of the final term to put his side in front, and the rest is history. Young Pie Oliver Henry’s three goal haul would have impressed coaches, while Sun Will Brodie dominated in the midfield, collecting 41 touches and laying 11 tackles.

Geelong held off a fast-finishing Sydney side to claim a tense four-point win at Tramway Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Swans led by three points heading into the final term but Logan McDonald’s three goal effort was not enough to get the Swans home. Charlie Constable found the ball 28 times in a promising display, while Josh Jenkins booted two goals. For the Swans, Lewis Taylor and Robbie Fox combined for 59 disposals and looked dangerous whenever the ball was in dispute.

Essendon’s fast start couldn’t be maintained, eventually falling to Carlton by 49 points at Windy Hill on Sunday afternoon. The Bombers led by 14 points at the first break, but a five goal to nil second term got the Blues in front, and they never looked back. Out of favour Blue Will Setterfield continued his strong VFL form with a 26 disposal effort as he continues to push for a recall, while Nic Newman returned from a serious knee injury sustained last year to gather 23 disposals in a promising outing for Blues fans. First game Don Nick O’Kearney gathered 36 disposals in an eye-catching performance.

South Australia:

Round 5 of the SANFL began with an upset, as Norwood took down the previously undefeated South Adelaide Panthers at Coopers Stadium on Friday night. The Redlegs kicked a whopping five goals to one in the second goal to give themselves a 26-point lead at half time, and the Panthers simply couldn’t get the comeback done in time. Norwood midfielders Matthew Nunn and Jacob Kennerley combined for a whopping 29 tackles with 16 and 13 respectively, while former Crow Richard Douglas racked up 30 disposals. Joseph Haines was the Panthers’ best with 28 touches.

Glenelg remain the best team in the competition after their 31-point triumph over the North Adelaide Roosters on Saturday afternoon at Prospect Oval. A four-goal lead at quarter time was a sign of things to come, as Glenelg rode the first quarter effort until the final siren. Former Tiger Liam McBean kicked a bag of five of Glenelg, while midfielder Luke Partington had 35 disposals and seven clearances. Thomas Schwarz kicked three goals for the Roosters.

A strong final term saw West Adelaide claim their second win of the season, taking down Central Districts by four goals at Hisense Stadium on Saturday afternoon. There were only four points separating the two sides at three quarter time, but West Adelaide were able to extend that lead after kicking four goals to none in the final term. Edward Allan was strong in the midfield for North Adelaide, finishing with 22 disposals, five clearances and 11 tackles, while teammate Thomas Keough kicked four snags. For Central Districts, Justin Hoskin’s 26 disposals and two goals were excellent.

Over at Unley Oval, Sturt were able to pull off a heist, stealing a one-point win from the Crows on Sunday afternoon. Sturt’s Ashley Johnson kicked his fourth goal 26 minutes into the final quarter to give his side a one-point lead that proved to be enough. He was well aided by teammate Albania Davis who had 33 disposals, 11 marks and a goal. Crows skipper Matthew Wright kicked three goals in what could have been a match-winning performance.

Port Adelaide’s ten goal win over the West-Woodville Torrens was set up by a clinical second quarter performance at Alberton Oval on Sunday afternoon. The Power kicked seven goals in the second quarter to take a 47-point lead into half time, which they only improved on in the second half. Port’s skipper Cam Sutcliffe was marvellous rotating through the midfield and forward line, finishing with 25 disposals and three goals, while Tom Rockliff had 34 touches and eight clearances. Eagles mid James Tsitas had a whopping 39 disposals for the losing side.

Western Australia:

In the WAFL, Round 5 kicked off with Swan Districts surviving a massive scare from an East Perth side who are still searching for their first win. The inaccuracy of East Perth really hurt their chances, kicking 7.13, while Swan Districts kicked 10.8 to run out 13-point victors for their third win of the season. Swan Districts midfielder Samuel Fisher had the ball on a string as he worked his way to 37 disposals and a goal, while teammate Frank Anderson had 35 touches of his own. Edward Simpson was nearly the hero for East Perth, booting five goals in a near match-winning performance.

Perth were able to cruise to their second win of the season with a triumph over East Fremantle by five goals at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday afternoon. A six-goal opening term set up the win, with the home side unable to close the gap in the next three quarters. Brady Grey was the star for the victors, with 29 disposals and a huge 10 inside 50’s for the match, while Doultan Langlands kicked three goals. For East Fremantle, Cameron Eardley led the way with 32 touches.

Despite a slow start, Claremont were able to find their rhythm in the second quarter, steamrolling their way to a 52-point win over West Perth at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Claremont trailed by two goals at quarter time, before kicking six goals in the second term to get the game back in their control. Claremont’s Lachlan Martinis racked up a whopping 42 disposals and nine marks in a dominant display, while Jack Buller kicked five goals for the victors. For West Perth, Shane Nelson had 39 disposals in an impressive display.

South Fremantle caused a major upset with their 18-point win over Subiaco, handing them their first loss of the year at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday afternoon. Subiaco were at the top of the table heading into this game, while South Fremantle had only won the two games, but they turned the table in this dominant display, set up by their seven goal second term. Haiden Schloithe put in a star turn for the winners, ending the match with 39 disposals and two goals in a clear best on ground performance. For Subiaco, Gregory Clark led with 30 touches.

West Coast’s struggles continued on Sunday morning after being convincingly beaten by Peel Thunder to the tune of 79 points at David Grays Arena. The Eagles trailed by seven goals at half time, and could not get themselves back in the game against a dominant Thunder side. Blair Bell kicked six goals for Peel, while teammate Josh Treacy kicked five of his own. West Coast’s Hamish Brayshaw performed admirably with 29 disposals.

Queensland:

QAFL’s fifth round of action kicked off with a blockbuster as Labrador upset Maroochydore by 12 points at Maroochydore Multisports Complex on Saturday afternoon. Labrador had one less win than the home side heading into this clash, but a strong third term saw the visitors take a lead that they would end up holding for the remainder of the game. Labrador’s Pearce Hanley once again claimed best on ground honours, running riot through the midfield as he continues to show that age will not slow him down. For Maroochydore, Jacob Simpson fought hard all day to be his side’s best.

Redland-Victoria Point cruised their way to their third win for the year against Mt Gravatt on Saturday afternoon at Southside Toyota Oval. Redland-Victoria Point jumped to an early lead in the first quarter and then only extended their control from there, waltzing to a crucial win that keeps them well in the hunt for top spot on the ladder. Redland-Victoria Point full back Mitchell Stallard was named his side’s best after a dominant display in defence. Gavin Grose was Mt Gravatt’s best for the second week in a row.

Sherwood Districts have finally found their first win for the season, defeating bottom-placed Noosa by 22 points at Rococo Oval on Saturday afternoon. Noosa remain winless, but Sherwood Districts will be hoping this is the triumph that kick starts their season. For the winners, Joshua Coombes led the way with three goals up forward, but it was truly a team effort that delivered the win. For Noosa, Ryley Buntain was his side’s best for the second consecutive week.

A bag of seven goals from forward John Anthony has led Palm Beach Currumbin to an important win over Wilston Grange at Salk Oval on Saturday afternoon. Anthony’s bag of seven was inspiring and proved crucial to Palm Beach Currumbin securing their second win of the season, shooting them up the ladder. Anthony was his side’s best, but had plenty of help from teammate Matthew Gahan. For Wilston Grange, Isaac Corvo was a clear standout.

Broadbeach kept their unbeaten streak rolling with their fourth win of the year, defeating a brave Surfers Paradise side by 10 points at Subaru Oval on Sunday afternoon. A close game all day, Broadbeach kicked three final quarter goals to seal the game to hold off the upset. For the winners, Liam Nelson was the star, leading his side all day in a best afield display, while Alby Jones was the bright spark for Surfers Paradise.

Tasmania:

TSL action resumed this weekend, as Clarence continued their hot streak, knocking off the Tigers at Kingston Twin Ovals on Saturday afternoon. The victors led all afternoon, and never looked like giving up the lead on their way to recording their third win of the season. For Clarence, Oliver Davis was best on ground for the second week in a row. For the Tigers, Blake McCulloch stood out through the backline to end the day as his side’s best.

North Hobart have recorded their first win for the 2021 season, kicking away in the last quarter to defeat Lauderdale by 18 points at Lauderdale Oval on Saturday afternoon. There was two points separating the sides heading into the last quarter, but North Hobart were too strong, kicking four final quarter goals on their way to a maiden win for the year. For the victors, Thomas Liefhebber was outstanding all day, while Jye Menzie kicked four goals. For Lauderdale, Alex Hevey never gave up and performed admirably.

Launceston continue to uphold their status as league powerhouse, demolishing Glenorchy by 148 points at Windsor Park on Saturday Oval. Launceston hit the 100-point mark by half time, and Glenorchy never stood a chance against this well-oiled machine. Launceston star forward Dylan Riley backed up his 10-goal haul last week with a nine-goal effort this round, putting emphasis on the importance of shutting him down. For Glenorchy, Nick Reibelt impressed despite the loss.

State Leagues preview: Opening rounds kick-off across the country

IN a Draft Central first, we have streamlined a look across the nation with a number of state leagues returning to action over the Easter long weekend. Competitions in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland all kick-off over the weekend and we preview them all in one convenient preview. At the time of publishing, only the South Australian and Tasmanian teams were out, with our West Australian and Queensland previews to come.

South Australia:

The much anticipated South Australian National Football League (SANFL) competition kicks off starting tonight in a huge opening long weekend of action.

Tasmanian key forward Jackson Callow will be one to watch for Norwood tonight as they host Port Adelaide returning to the competition after a year off due to the COVID-19 restrictions regarding AFL non-selected players in state leagues. With ex-Geelong talent Jacob Kennerley and ex-Swans tall Michael Knoll returning to Coopers Stadium, the home team will be hard to beat. For Port fans, they will get a glimpse at recent draftees, father-son prospect Taj Schofield and key forward Ollie Lord, whilst the likes of Dylan Williams and Joel Garner are also named in there.

Speaking of ex-AFL talent, South Adelaide has bolstered its list with no bigger name than ex-Crow and Blue, Bryce Gibbs joining the Panthers. He joins ex-Cat Jake Tarca and ex-Lion Sam Skinner, whilst former State Under 18s player Damon Frietag has also joined the cause, Potential number one pick Jason Horne is the player many will turn in to watch, named on the bench to start 2021. Their opponents Adelaide is in the same boat to the Port Magpies, returning to the competition for 2021. Next-Generation Academy (NGA) member Tariek Newchurch is an exciting talent to watch named off half-back, with AFL-listed Crows Jackson Hately, Riley Thilthorpe and Fischer McAsey alongside another NGA draftee in James Borlase. Thilthorpe being named on a wing will be an interesting one to watch, showing off the 200cm key position player’s versatility.

Looking to the other Good Friday clash between Central District and North Adelaide, GWS GIANTS’ Academy member Harry Grant has crossed to the Dogs, with Tom Graham stepping up to League level after plying his trade with the Reserves following a 2019 premiership with Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB League. Tasmanian Aiden Grace arrives from Glenorchy, whilst the Bulldogs brother-duo of Travis and Jarrod Schiller will find plenty of the ball. Lachlan Grubb and Lewis Cowham are among the ones to watch in the Reserves side. For North Adelaide, reigning Margarey Medallist Campbell Combe will look to get his season off to a perfect start, with ex-Power and Suns talent Aaron Young joining the team, and former Under 18s state representative Dyson Hilder at full-forward.

In a mid-afternoon game at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, the Eagles will unveil ex-Crow Riley Knight, as well as former Central talents Daniel and Troy Menzel for their clash against Sturt. James Tsitas has remained in South Australia rather than head back to the VFL, while Kobe Mutch will complete a dominant midfield hoping to get back on an AFL list after his time at Essendon. Ex-Crow Patrick Wilson will don the Double Blues colours in 2021 and is straight into the midfield, with former Under 18s state representative Josh Shute also in the side for his League debut. Jordan Houlahan and Zane Kirkwood will once again be keen players for the visitors.

In the final game of the round, Glenelg hosts West Adelaide tomorrow evening. The Tigers have brought in two ex-AFL talents in former Swan Toby Pink, and North Melbourne tall Sam Durdin. Both will provide great versatility around the ground, and back-to-back leading goalkicker Liam McBean will start off another season back at full-forward. Margarey Medallist from a couple of seasons ago Luke Partington will return again for the Bays, as Cooper Horsnell could be among a number of junior players to step up to League level in Round 1. For West Adelaide, Kieren Lovell has joined the side after a stint with Tigers in the TSL last season, while Tom Murphy has been named in the side after his stint with North Melbourne. Josh Gore will be a very handy goalkicker inside 50, while over-age draft prospect Jye Sindeberry has been named at centre half-back for the match.

 

TASMANIA:

Looking down on the Apple Isle, the youth of the competition will be reduced when Tasmania Devils enter the NAB League competition after it was cancelled in 2020. Nonetheless, there are still some good young talents to keep an eye on, and established players who will stand up.

North Hobart kicks off its campaign against Tigers in what should be a fascinating contest. Youngsters Jye Menzie and George McLeod are among the ones to watch for the Demons, as they hope to topple a Tigers side that has lost key ball winner, Kieren Lovell to the SANFL. Lachlan Gadomski remains an important tall for the Tigers, with Sam Duigan a key inclusion for the Kingborough-based side.

In a massive 2020 Tasmanian State League Grand Final rematch, the two Launceston sides go head-to-head with North Launceston up against reigning premiers, Launceston. Young midfielder Ollie Sanders will play a crucial role on the inside, with plenty of chances over the off-season for the Northern Bombers, though Jay Foon and Brad Cox-Goodyer remain among the top players in the side, and Angus Jeffries another teenager to keep an eye on in 2021. Launceston will have its forward line combination of Jay Blackberry and Dylan Riley, as Jake Hinds will line-up again in midfield for the team.

The other match for the weekend is Lauderdale up against Clarence. The Bombers will welcome Allen Christensen to the side, with the ex-AFL livewire named in the middle, team up with Sam Siggins in there. Clarence have a ton of youth on display, led by last year’s Rising Star in Ollie Davis back again, alongside Ethan Jackson, Darcy Gardner and Noah Holmes among others looking for a good 2021 season in the red and white.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

Peel Thunder vs. East Fremantle
Subiaco vs. East Perth
Perth vs. West Coast
South Fremantle vs. West Perth
Swan Districts vs. Claremont

QUEENSLAND:

Noosa Tigers vs. Wilston Grange Gorillas

Just the one match this weekend in a standalone clash between new Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) newcomers Noosa Tigers, and Wilston Grange Gorillas. The match, set to be played at Rococo Oval in Noosa, will have a 2pm start if it goes ahead. With much uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, there is yet to be confirmation the match will go ahead. The teams are also yet to be named due to the uncertainty around the outbreak.

Picture credit: Solstice Digital