Tag: lucas rocci

Scouting notes: Round 15 Metro

AFTER publishing the Country Triple Header notes yesterday, we headed down to Avalon Airport Oval in wet and wild conditions to watch the six Metro sides do battle, and take note of some of the performers that received a combine invitation, represented Vic Metro or played in the Under 17 Futures game last weekend.

Western Jets vs. Northern Knights

Western:

By: Peter Williams

#6 Lucas Rocci

The bottom-age forward showed good pressure inside 50 and earned a free kick in the second term for a push in the back. He converted the set shot from 20m out to get a goal to his name. In the third term he won another free, played on, drew a man in and handballed to Darcy Cassar in space. His best piece of play came late in that third term when in the midfield, he drilled a low bullet straight onto the chest of Emerson Jeka. Rocci had another good defensive effort in the final term when he smothered a Lachlan Potter kick from standing the mark, and forced a boundary throw-in.

#10 Steven Kyriazis

Did not win a heap of it, but had a few memorable moments throughout the game. In the second term he weaved his way through traffic and got a kick away to half-forward. He found the big sticks with an opportunistic goal inside forward 50 in the third term, answering the Knights who had all the momentum at the time, and had another chance in the fourth quarter when he gained separation from opponent Ryan Gardner at the stoppage and had a flying shot on goal which hit the post.

#17 Daly Andrews

Not a great day for running players, with the wet ground causing havoc with bouncing and kicking, but Andrews still did his best throughout the four quarters. He created run early and was amongst plenty of action, not always winning possession, but providing support around the stoppages. His kicking at times was hit and miss, but to be fair, so was most given the weather conditions. Laid some really good tackles.

#20 Darcy Cassar

The bottom-ager played his typical role along the wing, running in transition and showed on a couple of occasions he has some super quick first steps out of a stoppage. He used his acceleration to have a shot on goal in the third term, but was dragged down in doing so and the shot fell short. Overall, he showed good strength above his head to handball to teammates while being tackled, and did lower the eyes going inside 50, which was crucial in the conditions. One of, if not the Jets best on the day, because he hurt the opposition offensively and defensively, with some bone-crunching tackles.

#24 Josh Honey

He does not win a heap of the ball, but he has that touch of class about him that catches the eye. Kicked a superb goal in the second term from long range and kept presenting at half-forward and pushing up into the middle, showing desperation in his play, diving to take a mark in the muddy centre circle.

#31 Emerson Jeka

His athleticism is fantastic, he keeps presenting for his midfielders, just needs to finish off when given opportunities. His day got off to a good start in the second term when he won a free for a push in the back against Stefan Uzelac, and converted the set shot from 35m out. He showed shades of the more athletic big men in the competition in the third term, when he cleanly grabbed the ball off the bounce, handballed to a teammate and spun around to receive back and kick inside 50. His set shot in the same quarter sprayed out to the right and out on the full. The talent is there he just needs to finish off his hard work.

#38 Buku Khamis

Khamis just gets to contest after contest and provides a third man up spoil to help out teammates. In the fourth quarter he had a couple of highlights at crunch times credit to his ability to read the play. In one instance he accelerated off half-back, bursting through traffic and gave the handball off, which got his team going. One thing that could have been good to see was for him keep running, receive the handball back and pinpoint a target inside 50 with his fantastic kicking skills. In another instance, he showed his determination to make up for an error by foot, taking a good one-on-one mark, misfiring with the kick, but ran over and laid a strong tackle to win back possession. Overall he was one of the more composed users, and when he has the ball coming off half-back you know he is more often than not going to hit a target, and to keep backing himself to make an impact.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic

Not his best game, but still put his head over the football and never took a backwards step. Took a courageous mark 45m out in the first term, copping contact in the marking contest, but missed the subsequent set shot. In the second term he went in hard, took on the tackler but was brought down and pinged for holding the ball, so the improvement in that situation is just giving the hands off at the first opportunity with plenty of numbers around. His kicking was iffy on the day, but the weather was horrid, so like many others, it is hard to read too much into it.

Northern:

By: Scott Dougan

#3 Braedyn Gillard

In his first game back from injury, the midfielder was quick to have an impact, gathering some early possessions. He booted the first score for the Knights with a quick snap around the body that just missed. He continued to stay involved, setting up the first goal for the Knights moments later with a clever kick inside to Joel Naylor. Gillard topped off his huge first quarter by kicking the Knights third goal with an opposite foot snap. He proceeded to find plenty of the ball in all areas of the ground in the second term, but was unable to have the same impact in the second half. He finished with 16 disposals and a goal.

#8 Adam Carafa

Carafa was arguably the most dominant midfielder on the ground, gathering 33 possessions along with five tackles. He worked extremely hard all day, running tirelessly to have an impact offensively and defensively. Carafa was superb on the inside of the contest and constantly won his own ball. He was able to provide some run and carry on the outside at times and his ball use was reliable in windy conditions. One of his most eye-catching passages of play came in the third term when he set up Joel Naylor for his fourth goal, after taking his time to deliver the ball effectively inside 50.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante

The classy forward was as always, electric and classy. He started inside the forward 50 and worked hard to move the ball towards goal every time he could. His defensive pressure and tackling was a standout, laying a team-high seven for the match. ‘JD’ moved into the midfield in the second half and didn’t look out of place. His speed and agility around stoppages was handy, along with his clean hands in tight situations. He finished with 19 disposals and a goal.

#30 Justin McInerney

McInerney started the game quietly but redeemed himself with a positive second term. He laid some important tackles early on and his ball use by foot was good. His speed and agility was on display when providing some good run and carry out of the back half.

 

Eastern Ranges vs. Calder Cannons

Eastern:

By: Scott Dougan

#7 Lachlan Stapleton 

The hard-nosed midfielder continuously put his head over the ball to win first possession for his team. He was fantastic around stoppages, winning plenty of first possessions and clearances. One of his best passages of play came in the second term when he had a running shot on goal from 50 metres that hit the post. Stapleton ran hard all day and applied consistent defensive pressure, laying a team-high nine tackles.

#11 Mitch Mellis

On a difficult day for the Ranges, Mellis was one of their shining lights. He was able to provide some much-needed run on the outside of the contest and his ball use was clean. There’s not much to the 174cm midfielder, but his competitiveness and willingness to put his head over the ball make up for his lack of height and size. He took a strong mark against his opponent in the second term, demonstrating his footy smarts by using his body to win the contest.

#23 Xavier Fry

Fry did he best to create some run and carry out of the defensive 50, with the speedy half-back generating some speed and agility around the contest. He was beaten defensively in a one-on-one contest against Josh Kemp in the first term, which resulted in the Cannons forward having a shot on goal. Fry redeemed himself later on in the term, positioning himself in front of his opponent to allow himself to take a strong intercept mark. Fry’s footy smarts were evident in the second term when he was able to win another one-on-one marking contest against the bigger and stronger body of Mitchell Podhajski. For me, it is the little things about Fry that caught the eye. The rain had fallen at the oval, and when Fry had received a running handball from his teammate, he decided to place the ball on the ground to bounce rather than bouncing the ball normally, showing great football nous. Even though his team were well beaten on the day, he was involved in plenty of passages of play, putting his neat kicking skills to good use.

#31 James Blanck

The first quarter was a touch one for the key defender, often opposed to Cannons forward, Jake Riccardi who booted three goals. Blanck was always going to be faced with the difficult task of handling Riccardi, but was at his best when he was able to take multiple intercept marks after his ability to the read the ball off the opposition boot, showing how good he is in the air. Blanck is a natural defender but moved into the forward line later in the game, and did pretty well. He finished with 14 disposals, four marks and one behind.

Calder:

By: Ed Pascoe

#5 Curtis Taylor

Taylor showed his trademark class around the contest rotating forward and midfield he did his best work through the midfield winning 17 disposals and laying seven tackles showing his hard work. Taylor’s hands at the stoppage where clean with many quality handballs after spreading from the stoppage. Taylor’s best bit of play was an impressive mark in the third quarter and then quickly played on with a nice kick inboard. Taylor did not play in the last quarter, donning the tracksuit due to injury.

#20 Rhylee West 

West made his return to the Calder team in impressive fashion winning 22 disposals while also laying eight tackles. West was his usual self, winning the contested ball at stoppages and tackling hard.  West really impressed in the third quarter with some good pressure and an interesting tackle while he was falling over. West appeared tired in the last quarter but he had done the hard work in the first three quarters to get Calder into a winning position. 

#30 Mitch Podhajski

Mr Consistent Podhajski had another solid game for Calder with 21 disposals, five inside 50s, 10 tackles and a goal in a complete performance. Podhajski was busy around the stoppages in the first half winning plenty of the ball at the coalface and tackling hard. Podhajski had a huge third quarter kicking a fantastic snap goal early on, he copped a knock but came back on to be even more damaging with some bullet passes especially inside 50. Podhajski again staked his claim for the Morrish Medal with a complete performance.  

#57 Josh Kemp

Kemp in his return to the Calder team showed his impressive talent up forward. While only having nine disposals proved a handful up forward for Eastern with his impressive leap and forward craft causing them troubles all game. Kemp’s marking was a real feature taking a few good contested grabs despite his light size with his impressive leap and timing on show. Kemp finished with three goals with two snap goals coming from the first and third quarters. He impressed with his tackling putting on good pressure in what was a complete performance for the medium sized forward. 

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons

Oakleigh:

By: Scott Dougan and Ed Pascoe

#1 Riley Collier-Dawkins

It is hard to judge Collier-Dawkins game, with the possible first round selection spending plenty of time through the midfield and just as much time on the bench. He was able to have an immediate impact when he came onto the ground in the first term, collecting possessions in contested situations. Collier-Dawkins is not the quickest player going around but at 193cm, his quicks hands and acceleration from the contest is top notch. He had the chance to hit the scoreboard in the final term with a running shot at goal but just missed. Like any other player, there is plenty of things that he needs to work on, but there is definitely enough there for recruiters to get excited about.

#3 Joe Ayton-Delaney

Ayton-Delaney was at his best when he was providing run and carry out of the defensive 50. Similar to Rory Laird, his ball use is exceptional when he has the time and space to hit targets, but when pressure is heavily applied, his ball use and decision-making is rushed. This is one area of Ayton-Delaney’s game that he will be willing to improve on as he develops. In saying that, there were plenty of positive attributes about Ayton-Delaney to get excited about. He finished with 18 disposals (14 kicks).

#4 Will Kelly

The highly anticipated matchup between Ben King and Will Kelly proved to be a little underwhelming. Not because the matchup was one-sided, but because the pair saw a limited amount of the ball. The majority of the game was played in the half that Kelly and King were not featured, making it difficult to find a winner between the two. King was moved forward in the second half and this is when Kelly started to find some space. He was able to take some handy intercept marks as well as finding plenty of possessions across the half-back line. Kelly finished 12 disposals and six marks.

#5 Xavier O’Neill

The hard-running midfielder was able to get involved early on, finding plenty of the ball on the outside of the contest. His ball use was clean and he made smart decisions, especially by hand. He continuously applied defensive pressure on the opposition, laying four tackles. Unlike a lot of junior footballers, O’Neill does the small things well, such as shepherding for his teammates. He finished with 17 disposals and four tackles.

#9 James Rowbottom

Rowbottom showed his trademark attack on the ball through the midfield winning plenty of contested possessions and dishing out cleanly to his teammates on the outside, he finished with 26 disposals and six tackles. Rowbottom had a nice mark in the first quarter but would turn the ball over by foot, his kicking was not perfect early on but he had a very nice pass inside 50 in the third quarter to hit up teammate Will James. Rowbottom’s best passages of play were at the stoppages winning plenty of clearances and he will be wanting to work on his outside game as the year comes to a close.

#23 Isaac Quaynor

Quaynor played his usual game in defence doing all the defensive things well like spoiling and attacking the ball when it was there to be won. Quaynor’s best passage of play came in the first quarter where he attacked the ball hard at ground level with a terrific pickup on the run and would kick long inside 50. Quaynor was always willing to work hard to create rebound from defence showing he could play the perfect modern defenders role being able to beat his opponent while also running off with good run and ball use which showed with his three inside 50s from his 17 disposals.

#26 Jake Gasper

Gasper showed exactly why he is one of the better forwards in the TAC Cup with another solid display in front of goal. Gasper finished with two goals both classy set shot finishes coming in the first and last quarters. Gasper was classy with ball in hand throughout the day showing nice vision by hand and some quality kicks to teammates. Gasper got poleaxed in a contest but did well to recover to execute a good quick handball to set up a scoring opportunity, Gasper finished with 16 disposals and six tackles to go with his two goals.

#31 Will Golds

Golds was a constant contributor over the four quarters running hard on the wing and giving good drive inside 50 while also working hard into defence to help out the defenders, Golds topped his side for disposals with 27. Golds was damaging with ball in hand showing good vision with a few handballs and great movement under pressure, Golds also kicked well even hitting a nice opposite foot pass in the third quarter, another great kick inside 50 hit up teammate Jake Gasper in the last quarter which lead to a goal. He managed to hit the scoreboard with a creative kick off the deck sailing through the goals in the first quarter.

#32 Jack Ross

Ross was the standout midfielder throughout the day winning plenty of the ball at the coalface while also working hard around the ground he finished with 25 disposals, eight marks and five inside 50s in an impressive display through the midfield. Ross was busy in the first quarter doing everything including some long kicking inside 50 and even some intercept marks. Ross was rewarded late in the game with an impressive running goal that came purely by persistence in the contest, he did the one percenters well like some hard spoils and blocks around stoppages.

#64 James Jordan

Jordan had a great game in defence and grew as the game went on he managed to spoil well while also running off to hit up targets. Jordan showed good movement with ball in hand and was damaging by foot when he got into open space, one such kick in the third quarter was sensational under pressure and on the run. Jordan also took a nice mark in the second quarter and quickly played on showing good initiative, he finished with 15 disposals with 14 of them being kicks.

Sandringham:

By: Peter Williams

#2 Alastair Richards

Buzzed around the outside all day and kept receiving the handballs and giving off, trying to break up the congested play on a wet weather day. He moved through the middle as well and had a chance to goal in the third term, but tugged it left for a behind. Took a good mark on the wing in the fourth term and kicked to a contest down the ground. Ended up as one of the more prominent ball winners on the ground.

#7 Liam Stocker

A brave performance on the inside, with the key midfielder copping knock after knock but getting back up. Oakleigh has so many inside midfielders that crack in, while Stocker would have been missing Bailey Smith in that regard, with team highs of 13 contested possessions and seven clearances. He was the one feeding it out to his teammates and then working hard to get to space and kick long inside 50. He had a long shot on goal from 50m, but his kick just pulled to the left. He burst out of the stoppages on occasions and looked every bit of the well balanced midfielder he is, just looked tired by the end of the game in what would have been a heavy toll on the body given the weather and opposition.

#23 Angus Hanrahan

Found himself in the back half, working hard out of defence and collecting a number of rebounds to try and drive his team forward. He found space where very few could and repelled as best he could, but like many of his teammates, could not get his groove quite firing on the day.

#28 James Rendell

Worked tirelessly in the ruck, with pinch-hitting efforts from various teammates, but Rendell had a great battle with Bailey Wraith, and I would give the points to the Dragons big man. He ran hard to present from kick-ins and along the wing, and took a great intercept mark in the second term, dropping into defence to plug a hole, then provided an option in midfield, taking a strong mark and kicking to half-forward.

#29 Ben King

It was exciting to see him back at TAC Cup level and taking on a familiar foe in Will Kelly – the pair did battle in the APS competition where King booted seven goals. Yesterday, King booted an early major from a great mark leaping into the air and converted the set shot. It looked like it could be a good day for the big man, but with Sandringham choked by an unbelievable defensive midfield and half-back line, the potential top five pick barely saw much of the action. In the third term, he was swung into defence and found more of the football, taking some good marks and using the ball well by foot. Only managed the one goal and a late behind when he went forward in the final term, however he showcased his athleticism.

#74 Harry Reynolds

On debut for the Dragons coming out of school football and he certainly showed he was capable at the level. Took a good intercept mark at half-back in the opening term, kicked forward, ran on and received the handball and kicked long again, but this time it was intercepted. He applied good pressure throughout the game and tried to break the lines, but with Oakleigh’s setups behind the ball and the strength with which they controlled the contest for the four quarters, it was hard to conjure up too much. Very impressive game though, and imagine his metres gained would be good.

The run home: Western Jets

WESTERN Jets have had an up-and-down season to date, but still loom as a dark horse in the finals series. They sit sixth, and while they would need both Murray Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers to lose both games to finish top four, they have enough about them to secure a top six spot and play a bottom two team in the Wildcard Round. The Jets have looked very good at times, and realistically, the blowout 20-goal loss to Dandenong Stingrays makes their points against look worse than it actually is. Defensively they stand up well, and they rate around where they sit offensively, which makes them unpredictable and good enough to cause headaches for the top sides.

Wins: 8
Losses: 6
Draws: 0
Position: 6th
Points For: 899 (6th)
Points Against: 1001 (9th)
Percentage: 90
Points: 32

Fixtures:

R15: vs. Northern Knights – Avalon Airport Oval
R16: vs. Bendigo Pioneers – Queen Elizabeth Oval

National Combine Invitations: [4] Daly Andrews, Zak Butters, Buku Khamis, Xavier O’Halloran

State Combine Invitations: [1] Stefan Radovanovic

Five players received combine invitations, with the speedy Daly Andrews and Stefan Radovanovic, intercept machine Buku Khamis, and the X-factor in Zak Butters, all earning the right to test at the National and State combines. Along with the quartet, they have consistent midfielders Connor TharJaden Rice and Jack Watkins roaming through the midfield, talls Aaron Clarke and Hamish Murphy up either end, and a host of bottom-agers who have shown enough to suggest they will have plenty of draft potential next year. Steven KyriazisLucas Rocci and Emerson Jeka provide a forward presence, while Darcy Cassar and Josh Honey link between midfield and forward.

Top Fives:

Disposals:

1 – Connor Thar – 355 (1st overall)
2 – Jack Watkins – 284
3 – Darcy Cassar – 239
4 – Jaden Rice – 221
5 – Daly Anderws – 214

Marks:

1 – Darcy Cassar – 58 (eq. 20th overall)
2 – Connor Thar – 53
3 – Buku Khamis – 52
4 – Aaron Clarke – 51
4 – Steven Kyriazis – 51

Contested Possessions:

1 – Jack Watkins – 155 (2nd overall)
2 – Connor Thar – 147 (5th overall)
3 – Jaden Rice – 142 (8th overall)
4 – Xavier O’Halloran – 104
5 – Darcy Cassar – 103

Tackles:

1 – Jack Watkins – 111 (1st overall)
2 – Connor Thar – 77 (6th overall)
3 – Lucas Rocci – 57
4 – Josh Honey – 54
5 – Jaden Rice – 53

Hitouts:

1 – Darren Walters – 285 (2nd overall)
2 – Tom Warner – 59
3 – Aaron Clarke – 58
4 – Ayden Tanner – 31
5 – Emerson Jeka – 15

Clearances:

1 – Jack Watkins – 67 (3rd overall)
2 – Connor Thar – 62 (4th overall)
3 – Xavier O’Halloran – 58 (5th overall)
4 – Jaden Rice – 52
5 – Darren Walters – 28
5 – Zak Butters – 28

Inside 50s:

1 – Xavier O’Halloran – 62 (eq. 1st overall)
2 – Jack Watkins – 50 (9th overall)
3 – Connor Thar – 47
3 – Daly Andrews – 47
5 – Darcy Cassar – 45

Rebounds:

1 – Spencer Johnson – 38 (12th overall)
2 – Hamish Murphy – 37
3 – Jack Papachatzakis – 34
4 – Stefan Radovanovic – 32
5 – Daly Andrews – 30

Goals:

1 – Steven Kyriazis – 16 (eq. 13th overall)
2 – Aaron Clarke – 13
3 – Josh Honey – 12
4 – Daniel Pantalleresco – 9
5 – Darcy Cassar – 8

Scouting notes: Vic Metro vs. NSW/ACT

IN the second game at Ikon Park yesterday, Vic Metro defeated NSW/ACT in the Under 17s Futures game. We took a look at all the players from both sides.

Vic Metro:

By: Michael Alvaro & Ed Pascoe

#2 Mitch Mellis

It was the kind of performance that TAC Cup followers have come to expect from Mellis, working hard to impact the contest from half-back. He started in a more advanced position and was able to push the ball inside 50 on the back of some solid marks on the wing, matched with his dash. Mellis was effective by foot and hurt Queensland as he accumulated a decent amount of possessions in the first half. The nuggety Eastern product’s rebounding became more of a feature in the second half and he managed to do all of the defensive things right, too with a few important tackles and ground level efforts.

#3 Chayce Black

Black crashed in from the get-go and worked hard to set the tone for his side from the wing. While he struggled to get a handle on it early, Black later found more of the ball – flicking it out while standing in tackles and bursting through at stoppages. He laid a great tackle where he almost jumped on the back of his opponent and clung on, highlighting his desire for the contest and good presence.

#4 Lucas Rocci

Rocci didn’t find a heap of the ball during his midfield minutes, but managed to bag two goals at a crucial stage of the game in the third term. Both were set shots deep in the 50, but Rocci’s best moments were when he was seen reigning the ball in and keeping composed under pressure with vision and good hands.

#5 Josh D’Intinosante

‘JD’ was one of the stars of the show, owning his half-forward role while contributing well at stoppages forward of centre. The Northern Knight was perennially on the move, whether while applying pressure to the opposition or looking to move the ball on quickly. His best traits suit the role he played but he has shown an aptitude to play midfield, and this game was no different as his extraction was very good. D’Intinosante’s end product was also enjoyable to watch as he converted his two chances at goal, while also playing a key role in Brodie Newman’s two last quarter majors which sealed the game. His final term was exceptional, having a part in almost every contest that came towards Metro’s attacking 50 late on with strong one-on-one work to protect the drop of the ball.

#6 Lachlan Johnson

The son of Brisbane Lions champion, Chris is a handy prospect and will attract attention given he is also tied to Essendon’s Next Generation Academy. Playing forward and through the middle, Johnson showed off his good spring early on as he leapt for marks and pulled in a couple. He has the handles, but also showed a hard edge as he crashed through would-be tackles in the second term. Later on, he had a nice passage where he willed the ball forward, wanting it more than his opponents with the scoreboard close to level.

#7 Harrison Minton-Connell

While he rushed his kicks at times when looking to send it long under pressure, Minton-Connell stood out with his hardness at the ball. He did find Emerson Jeka with a composed short pass early on, but the Calder product’s highlights came when standing in tackles and taking solid marks with heat coming the other way.

#8 Sam Ramsay

Ramsay seemed to have played in a few positions, but mostly from half-back. Yet another Calder product in the line-up, Ramsay used the ball really well when going forward, highlighted by his assist for one of Josh D’Intinosante’s goals, and a bullet pass to Daniel Mott. Ramsay was strong enough in congestion and managed to burst away on occasion, with one of them being for his snap goal out of nothing in the final term.

#9 Lachlan Stapleton

The Eastern Ranges mid started well with a brave smother leading to Darcy Cassar’s early goal. He provided a cool head in the clinches and flicked some good handballs out to release teammates. Stapleton did have a couple of shaky moments after a big hit in the third term though; missing a good chance to seal the game after that.

#10 Steven Kyriazis

Kyriazis started forward with good effect, booting Metro’s first goal of the game from a mark deep in the 50. After a move to defence in the second half, the Western Jet provided some good composure and often kicked forward as a good link out of defensive 50. His hands were clean at pace and he collected some sharp balls to set his side forward.

#11 Adam Carafa

Carafa is a natural midfielder, but had a role to play at half-back and did a good job of it. While he provided a laser pass to Daniel Mott for his goal, it was Carafa’s ability to effect the first kick from the stoppage that really stood out. His smothers and spoiling were important, and he willed himself to most often be first to the contest. He is normally a good long kick, and would be hoping to add rebound to his game should he spend more time in defence.

#12 Daniel Mott

The smooth-moving Calder Cannon played mostly forward and looked lively around the 50. His best work was done early as he spread well, provided a dangerous inside 50, and slotted a nice set shot goal. He also had a nice moment in the third quarter as he burnt an opponent and sent the ball forward.

#13 Lachlan Potter

It was a real eye-catching performance from Potter, working his magic from the wing with daring run and blistering pace. He showed his opponents a clean pair of heals time and time again, and everyone at the ground could tell what was about to happen when the ball was in his hands. The Northern Knight was damaging as ever going forward with his line-breaking allowing him to deliver short passes inside 50, and while he may not have always found a direct target, it more often than not led to a goal. A particular highlight was his drive to the arc in the last quarter, where he absolutely ruined an opponent and finished off by hitting Knights teammate Josh D’Intinosante on the chest.

#14 Darcy Cassar

Cassar showed plenty of run throughout the game mostly playing on the wing and going forward on occasion. His only goal came in the first quarter on the last line, he had another shot at goal on the run in the second quarter but missed. His second half was mostly spent on the wing where he showed good run and kicked well.

#15 Josh Honey

Honey got better as the game went on, he started forward kicking a classy dribble goal in the second quarter before getting to play up the ground in the second half using his good skills and speed to his advantage. Honey’s second goal came in the third quarter through good positioning and snapping truly.

#16 Hugo Ralphsmith

Ralphsmith showed a lot of class mostly on the wing with his clean ball use and run for all four quarters. He managed to get dangerous running forward of the ball especially in the third quarter where he moved through traffic and kicked a long snap goal on the run. Ralphsmith was one of the better users of the ball for Metro with his work by hand and kicking a real standout.

#17 Miles Bergman

The Sandringham player showed plenty of dash early playing down back in the first half, he managed to take some nice intercept marks and was also taking the game on. In the second half he was able to get up the ground where he delivered the ball inside 50 with precision. His run was the real standout, often getting past the opposition with ease.

#18 Ryan Sturgess

Sturgess was all class in defence in the first half with plenty of intercept marks while also showing composure with ball in hand and rebounding effectively. Sturgess showed great movement in traffic and he even showed some nice desperation with a big chase to try and stop an opponent running into open goal. Sturgess would later move up the ground although he was not as effective as he was down back, but still managed some nice bits of play with some good roves at stoppages and clean ball use.

#19 Mihaele Zalac

Zalac had a quiet day but he did the small things well, his best highlight was a great spoil in defence showing his good timing and leap.

#20 Billy McCormack

The tall started the game down back taking some nice intercept marks and showing good ball use, he also did it at ground level with some nice tackles. McCormack was later moved forward where he looked dangerous, and had a long shot at goal that just faded short and a snap behind.

#21 Brodie Newman

Newman was a standout in defence in the first half taking some nice intercept marks and spoiling well. His standout quarter in defence was in the second where he took countless intercept marks. His kicking was good at times although he had a few direct turnovers as the game went on. He was moved forward in the last quarter and managed two goals on the last line in the dying minutes to win the game for Metro.

#22 Josh May

May was played everywhere, he rucked for parts where he had some nice taps, he showed good athleticism for a taller player with some nice pickups at ground level and a nice chase in the second quarter. He looked settled in the defence in the second half taking some nice intercept marks and using the ball very well by hand and foot.

#23 Nathan Howard

Like May, Howard was moved around a bit, he had some nice taps in the ruck and often followed up his work. He also had a nice handball in the first quarter showing that he has some skill to go with his size.

#24 Emerson Jeka

Jeka took plenty of lead up marks playing as a key forward, he used his long kicking for countless inside 50 entries. He did not kick any goals but he gave a few off with some nice short passes and his two shots on goal where a behind and a kick that dropped short. Jeka was moved into the midfield in the last quarter and he had a nice gather at ground level in the centre showing he could have an impact not just overhead but at ground level.

#25 Nick Bryan

Bryan rucked well throughout the game using his body well and working to be involved in open play. Some of his work by hand was very good for a ruckman and he was not afraid to tackle either.

NSW/ACT:

By: Craig Byrnes & Peter Williams

#1 Harry Grant

Grant is a busy small forward who stands 169cms, spending most of his time inside 50 and at the stoppages. He produced moments of good intent and defensive pressure, laying six tackles. although he did not kick a goal, he has some nice skills though and was clean when the opportunity presented.

#2 Samuel Thorne

A 174cm zippy and at times bustling midfielder who provided a good balance of offensive and defensive play throughout the day. He ran in both directions and tackled with aggression, hitting his opponent hard to ensure they earned their possessions. He provided some nice attacking disposals too, highlighted by a lovely exiting kick from his defensive arc in the third term and he hit a target inside 50 shortly after.

#4 Cameron Edwards

The small forward was a bit of a livewire for NSW/ACT inside 50, constantly raising the anxiety levels of the Vic Country defenders. He was dangerous at ground level and presented on the lead, taking a ball out in front, before centring brilliantly to Green in the better scoring position. He exploded in the second term, kicking two smart goals out the back to give his side momentum. Although he left his best to the final term, kicking an outstanding left foot banana goal to get his side up and about. Unfortunately he suffered a nasty looking injury late and was stretchered off the ground.

#5 Max D’Agostino

The Sydney Academy might only stand 178cm, but showed at times that he possesses extremely strong hands and is aerially relevant. He provided one of the highlights of the match, jumping into a pack on the opposition goal line to stick a huge contested mark before landing awkwardly on his back. He nearly dragged down another great mark later on, proving he will fly for the ball consistently. He smartly snapped a ball inside 50 to a teammate’s advantage during the third term, but didn’t win mountains of the footy overall.

#9 Aidan Watling

Watling had some good moments with ball in hand from the wing and through the midfield. He hit a dangerous pass inside 50 early in the first, but his teammates couldn’t take advantage. In the second term he provided an effective fend off on an opponent to create space and almost finished a brilliant piece of play by missing a difficult target by only centimetres which ultimately and unluckily floated out of bounds on the full. He has a bit of talent and will be looking to provide it on a more regular basis.

#10 Max Geddes

Playing behind the ball, Geddes started getting into it in the second half and took the game on. He provided an excellent long handball in the third term that created a fast foray forward for NSW/ACT and later produced an excellent spoil one on one against Rocci deep in defensive 50. He read the play well and despite making some errors, got more confident as the game went on.

#12 Harrison Parker

Parker was in and around the stoppages for a majority of the game and was pretty tidy inside. He hit an excellent kick to advantage early in the game and looked to have solid all-round skills throughout the afternoon. Not overly flashy, but did the job through the midfield and competed in the contests.

#14 Will Chandler

As the youngest player on the ground (does not turn 17 until December), the GWS Academy prospect may well possess the greatest scope of the NSW/ACT kids from Sunday. Playing mostly in the forward half, Chandler looked most threatening on the lead before swinging onto an at times lethal looking left boot. He didn’t hit all his balls perfectly, but was stylish and potentially damaging. Like Cameron Edwards he left his best to last, kicking another left foot banana from almost exactly the same position as his teammate to claim the lead late in the game. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get his team across the line.

#15 Thomas Tyson

Tyson was another of the NSW/ACT players who had quiet periods as the side relied on too few for a majority of the day. He mostly found himself forward and while he possessed a nice left foot, he didn’t win enough of it to impact the game consistently. He did produce a stylish shimmy and side step in traffic during the second half, so there is something there to look out for in future outings.

#19 Ky McGrath

McGrath spend a majority of his time in the midfield and may turn out to be a decent prospect for the Swans who have first rights. He won a brilliantly clean clearance in the first term and provided stoppage nous throughout the match. He went when it was his turn too, laying a big tackle in the second term and putting his body on the line when the game was there to be won. He is a good size at 184cm and is one I’m keen to have another look at.

#21 Jackson Barling

Set the tone early with two first quarter goals. He delivered with a great set shot from 35m out, and then pounced on an opportunistic ground ball in the goal square. He could have had a third goal – arguably his easiest attempt, but missed the set shot from 30m out when it cannoned into the woodwork. Handed off a goal once he won the ball inside 50 in the second term, giving it to Cameron Edwards in the goalsquare. Caught an opponent high in the third term, but showed real character to go over and check on his welfare. One of the better Rams on the day.

#23 Luke Parks

Had a few good moments, winning the ball in contested situations. He laid a strong tackle in the second term to stop and opponent in his tracks, and took an important contested mark outside 50 in the third term. He is a long kick, and gained good distance on his disposal.

#24 Adam Whyte

Whyte showed good agility, side-stepping an opponent in the second term to move well out of defence, and while he had the odd mistake by foot, including an out-on-the-full kick, he was good by hand. He opted to kick long most of the time.

#25 Thomas Green

The star on the day and just showed his class at every opportunity. His hands in close and ability to extract the ball from the inside to the outside was superb. He directed traffic, handed out goals with great precision inside 50 and nailed a couple of majors from long range with a great kicking technique. Honestly did not do much wrong and looked a class above at times, while also doing all the defensive things right. Best on ground for mine despite the loss.

#29 Liam Delahunty

If Green was best on ground, Delahunty was not far behind him. His kicking at times was a little inconsistent, but as a whole, Delahunty looked dangerous whenever he went near it. Opposed to Emerson Jeka for three quarters, he not only managed to do well one-on-one, he provided run and carry out of the back half, taking a number of crucial intercept marks. He gets to the right positions and is clean by hand under pressure. He went forward in the last quarter and had a couple of chances, including an impressive shot on the run storming through congestion, but just missed.

#31 Hamish Ellem

The big man was busy early, winning a few touches and kicking low inside 50, but was chopped off. He took a big contested grab late in the game at half-forward, was awarded a 50m penalty for a mark encroachment and then nailed the set shot. Had another chance not long after with a good mark inside 50 but his shot missed to the left on the siren.

#32 Lachlan Bayliss

Played a solid role in defence early with a big jump to punch a ball clear of an opponent. Moved up the ground and kicked a long goal from 50m in the final term as the Rams’ comeback was on.

#33 Luke Gallen

Nailed a set shot goal from 40m out in the second term after a good mark, and had another chance but his kick went wide. Managed to collect 14 disposals and five marks in a solid outing

#36 Ben Gibbeson

Remarkable that a 197cm player lined up on the wing, but that is exactly what happened with Gibbeson. While he did not win a lot of the football, he showed off his athleticism and his long kicking prowess at times. Had a snap in the final term, but it went a mile in the air and straight back to him and the contest.

#37 Oscar Bird

Had a lovely early pass inside 50 to set up Jackson Barling on the lead. He had his own shot on goal, but missed to the left. In the third term, Bird had a running shot at the goal, but missed again, then pushed up the ground and moved well along the wing.

#38 Reed Van Huisstede

Played in defence, and while he did not win a heap of the ball, played a strong brand of football, registering a number of rebounds out of the back 50, including a clearance to space out of the danger zone.

#41 Willson Mack

Had a huge opening term, and then bobbed up with some good highlights in the second half. Mack showed good vision after a mark on the boundary to kick inboard to Thomas Green in space. He attacked the contest hard and handballed clear to teammates in space, then got reward for effort with a big grab in the third term and converted a long-range set shot from 45m out on a 45 degree angle. He won an outnumber at a contest in the fourth term, handballed behind his head to the running Thomas Green who kicked the goal and gave the Rams some real fighting spirit.

#45 Kye Wilson

Took a good intercept mark at half-forward in the first term and passed well to Wilson Mack inside 50. He looked composed while being tackled, and late in the game, copped a knock via an “accidental” smother, with the opponents kick hitting him in a place that had him incapacitated for a bit of time.

Vic Country, Metro defeat Queensland and NSW/ACT in close contests

VIC Country and Vic Metro have come away with wins against Queensland and New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) in a double header of Under 17 Futures action at Ikon Park yesterday. Both games ended up being close contests, with Country narrowly winning by 10 points, and Metro booting the last two goals of the game to foil a NSW/ACT comeback in the final term to win by 11 points.

In the first of the double headers, Gippsland Power’s Josh Smith (seven disposals and three marks) seemed to be far too strong for his opponents, booting four goals in what was a low-scoring affair. Country lead by three points at the first break, but three goals to zero in the second term saw Queensland flip the game on its head and lead by 16 at the main break. Country dominated the early part of the second half, but failed to capitalise on some serious forward thrusts, booting 2.7 to 0.0. in a complete one-sided affair. They held a narrow three-point lead at the break, and looked good going into the last, but two goals to William Martyn in the final term gave the home side something to think about. Despite their inaccuracy, they extended the margin to 10 points by the final siren.

The Gippsland contingent in Vic Country was superb, with Riley Baldi (15 disposals, six marks and five tackles) winning the football with ease in the first half playing midfield, before playing at either end in the second half. Along with Smith’s four majors, Fraser Phillips (10 disposals, five marks and three inside 50s) was also impressive with some low bullets inside 50, and booting an early major in the first term. GWV Rebels’ duo Mitch Martin (17 disposals, three marks, three clearances and three inside 50s) and Izaac Grant (12 disposals, two marks and four tackles) were clean and concise with their ball use in transition. Meanwhile James Schischka (18 disposals, six marks, three tackles and five rebounds) was impressive off half-back as was Darcy Chirgwin (18 disposals, two marks, three clearances and four inside 50s) through midfield and Flynn Perez (19 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and a goal) all around the ground.

For Queensland, Ashton Crossley (26 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, four clearances, three inside 50s and seven rebounds) – brother of Gold Coast’s Braydon – was very busy in the midfield, teaming up with Allies Under-18 representative Connor Budarick (14 disposals, three marks, eight tackles and three rebounds). Martyn proved clutch in the final term with his two goals, while the likes of Thomas Jeffrey (11 disposals and four marks) and Bruce Reville (13 disposals, two clearances and three inside 50s) were impressive. Sampson Ryan (nine disposals and 18 hitouts) showed some promising signs for a taller player, while Josh Gore booted a goal from 14 disposals, six marks and four tackles. Joshua Hammond had a relatively quiet game, with only the three touches, but had a multitude of spoils.

VIC COUNTRY 2.3 | 2.4 | 4.11 | 7.14 (56)
QUEENSLAND 2.0 | 5.2 | 5.2 | 7.4 (46)

GOALS:

Vic Country: Josh Smith 4, Fraser Phillips, Flynn Perez, Jye Chalcraft.
Queensland: Matthew Conroy 2, William Martyn 2, Thomas Wischnat, Josh Gore, Gracen Sproule.

ADC BEST:

Vic Country: Riley Baldi, Fraser Phillips, Josh Smith, Mitch Martin, Izaac Grant, James Schischka, Darcey Chirgwin
Queensland: Ashton Crossley, William Martyn, Connor Budarick, Thomas Jeffrey, Bruce Reville, Sampson Ryan, Joshua Hammond

In the other game, Vic Metro got the job done against NSW/ACT despite a last quarter scare. Metro was on top of their opponent in the first term, booting four goals to two, leading by 14 points at quarter time. The Rams hit back in the second quarter with a four goals to one term to lead by five points at half-time, before Metro regained the ascendancy. Booting five goals to one, the home side lead by 25 points and looked likely to run away with the game. But a five goals to three final term saw NSW/ACT come within a kick in the final quarter, before Brodie Newman booted two late goals to seal the game for Metro, 13.13 (91) to 12.8 (80).

Both sides had plenty of goal scoring options, with six players booting multiple goals across both sides. Western Jets duo Josh Honey and Lucas Rocci both booted two majors, as did Newman and Northern Knights’ prospect Josh D’Intinosante. For NSW/ACT, Cameron Edwards finished with three goals, including one brilliant snap in the final term to bend around the post for a major, while Jackson Barling booted two goals in the first term, and Thomas Green launched two goals from almost the exact same spot just inside 50.

D’Intinosante was ultra-impressive up forward, providing a marking target for his teammates and handing off a goal or two while booting two of his own to finish with 18 disposals, six marks, three inside 50s and three tackles. Knights’ teammate Lachlan Potter opened up the opponents with some amazing acceleration down the field and registered 16 disposals, four marks, five tackles and three inside 50s, while Mitch Mellis (20 disposals, eight marks, three inside 50s and five rebounds) and Ryan Sturgess (20 disposals, six marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds) ran all day and covered some great ground on the outside. Sandringham Dragons duo Hugo Ralphsmith (19 disposals, two marks, five tackles and a goal) and Miles Bergman (14 disposals, six marks and six inside 50s) were equally important, particularly in the second half, while Brodie Newman‘s last quarter ensured Metro got the job done.

For NSW/ACT, Green (27 disposals, seven marks, 10 tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s, three rebounds and two goals) looked a class above, with he and Liam Delahunty (23 disposals, seven marks, two clearances and seven rebounds) living up to the high expectations as some of the state’s best prospects next year. Delahunty predominantly played back but went forward in the final term and had a couple of chances which just missed. Edwards was the most dangerous small up forward, but had what looked to be a bad hamstring injury in the dying minutes of the game. Hamish Ellem (11 disposals, three marks, nine hitouts, four clearances, four inside 50s and a goal) and Adam Whyte (12 disposals, six marks and four rebounds) were really good around the ground, while Barling’s two first quarter goals, and Will Chandler‘s (10 disposals, five marks and two inside 50s) work in the forward half was appreciated.

VIC METRO 4.3 | 5.4 | 10.11 | 13.13 (91)
NSW/ACT 2.1 | 6.3 | 7.4 | 12.8 (80)

GOALS:

Vic Metro: Josh Honey 2, Josh D’Intinosante 2, Lucas Rocci 2, Brodie Newman 2, Steven Kyriazis, Darcy Cassar, Daniel Mott, Hugo Ralphsmith, Sam Ramsay.
NSW/ACT: Cameron Edwards 3, Jackson Barling 2, Thomas Green 2, Luke Gallen, Willson Mack, Hamish Ellem, Lachlan Bayliss, Will Chandler.

ADC BEST:

Vic Metro: Josh D’Intinosante, Lachlan Potter, Mitch Mellis, Hugo Ralphsmith, Miles Bergman, Brodie Newman, Ryan Sturgess
NSW/ACT: Thomas Green, Liam Delahunty, Cameron Edwards, Hamish Ellem, Adam Whyte, Jackson Barling, Will Chandler

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 9

MURRAY Bushrangers have bounced back into the top four and now sit just two points behind second after favourable results. The Bushrangers defeated the Bendigo Pioneers, while losses to the Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets ensured the Bushrangers stay outside the top four was just a short one. Meanwhile Calder Cannons and Gippsland Power played out a draw, and the Northern Knights came from behind to defeat GWV Rebels away.

Western Jets vs. Geelong Falcons

By: Brandon Hutchinson

In poor conditions at Avalon Airport Oval, the Falcons and Jets were locked in a tight contest ending in a low a low scoring affair. By the end of the first, Falcons led by a goal, and by halftime that dropped to just a point. The game was scrappy and accuracy was less than subpar, but by the third the Falcons took control taking a 10-point lead and holding it until the end of the game.

Brayden Ham (18 disposals and six inside 50s) was pivotal in the Falcons win, having kicked four goals for the game. Cooper Cartledge stepped up to captain his side and dominated in the final quarter, taking plenty of intercept marks and finishing the game with 18 disposals, seven marks and five rebounds. Titit Nyak (15 disposals, three marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds) Baxter Mensch (34 disposals, seven marks, five clearances and seven inside 50s and one goal) Sheldon Ham (11 disposals and three inside 50s) also impressed with great composure and ball sense.

Hamish Murphy played strong out of the backline, keeping centred and in control of the ball. Darcy Cassar and Lucas Rocci fought hard through the Jets’ midfield to earn the contested ball and Steven Kyriazis played supreme overhead. The boys fought hard but were unfortunate in their fight back during the second half.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Oakleigh Chargers

By: Liam Connop

On a breezy day at Shepley Oval, top-side Dandenong were too strong for a gallant Oakleigh. The Stingrays were noticeably taller than their opposition over the ground, which would be influential as the game went on. Though the game was tight early, Dandenong broke the shackles in the second term, piling on five goals to one to lead by 42 points at half-time. Despite this, the Chargers fought hard until the final siren, eventually succumbing to a 55-point loss and losing a place in the top four.

Campbell Hustwaite (22 possessions, 11 tackles) was great in-and-under all day in the midfield for the Stingrays, while Reid Nanscawen (26 touches, six marks and five tackles) had an outstanding game in the midfield. Effective ball-use was provided off half-back by Will Hamill (16 possessions, three marks) and Hayden Young (12 possessions, three marks) to help set-up many attacking plays for the Stingrays.

For the Chargers, Jake Gasper (13 possessions, four tackles, two goals) presented to the midfielders all day while teammates Xavier O’Neill (22 possessions) and Fraser Elliott (21 possessions) were prominent in the midfield. Daniel Scala (13 possessions, seven tackles) also tried hard all day, competing well to win the footy.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Murray Bushrangers

By: Peter Williams

Murray Bushrangers have bounced back from a rare loss to Oakleigh Chargers last week, to record a 40-point win over Bendigo Pioneers at Queen Elizabeth Oval on Sunday. Murray booted the only two goals of the first quarter, and led by 20 points at the main break. Much like the first term, Murray came out firing in the third quarter, booting the only three goals of the term to stretch their lead to 39 points at the final break. A spirited Pioneers outfit only lost the final quarter by a point, but still suffered their eighth consecutive loss.

Jimmy Boyer and Ely Smith were busy for the Bushrangers, racking up 28 disposals each. Boyer took seven marks and laid five tackles, while Smith was instrumental on the inside with nine clearances and nine tackles. Kyle Clarke had a massive 24 kicks from his 25 disposals, also notching up five marks, six clearances, four rebounds and eight tackles. Up forward Jordon Butts was the main man in Hudson Garoni‘s absence, slotting six goals, while Bailey Frauenfelder had plenty of chances with five scoring shots from 19 disposals, but finished the game with 1.4. Bottom-ager Jye Chalcraft was one of the best on the ground, with his agility and forward prowess resulting in him collecting 24 disposals, four marks, four tackles and booting a goal.

Liam Marciano was once again impressive for the Pioneers, racking up 25 disposals, seven marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and seven rebounds. Jacob Atley was equally as busy with 25 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and two rebounds. The Perez brothers continued their good form from the week before with Oscar booting two goals from 21 disposals and six marks, while Flynn racked up 20 disposals, three marks, three tackles and four inside 50s. Zane Keighran got on the scoreboard with two majors, while Noah Wheeler had an equal team-high four clearances to go with his 18 disposals.

 

Gippsland Power vs. Calder Cannons

By: Peter Williams

Jake Riccardi-inspired Calder Cannons outfit has stunned an in-form Gippsland Power at Morwell on Sunday. The Power went into the game as strong favourites, having brought back a number of talented players into the line-up, although they were still missing some stars due to Vic Country. The Cannons were well and truly picked apart thanks to the high level of Vic Metro representation, meaning their next tier of players had to stand up, and they certainly did that. When Gippsland held a 16-point lead at half-time, things looked good for the home side, but the determined Cannons fired plenty of shots in the second half, to hit the front at the final break by a single kick. Gippsland refused to give in and threw everything at the Cannons, but it was the over-ager Riccardi who single-handedly dominated the scoreboard, booting four goals in the final term, including the last goal of the game, to tie the scores and split the points. It was Gippsland’s second draw of the season after splitting the points with Northern Knights earlier in the year at the same venue.

Riccardi was the star of the show, booting 5.2 for the game off 10 disposals (eight kicks) making the most of his opportunities, while also taking six marks and laying two tackles. Sam Graham topped the disposal count for Calder with 20 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and four rebounds, while also laying nine tackles. Ismail Moussa had 19 disposals and five rebounds, while Lucas Cavallaro was a rock in defence, notching up a game-high eight rebounds – three more than any other player. Sam Ramsay (19 disposals and four marks) and Daniel Hanna (18 disposals and six marks) were also among the high possession winners.

For Gippsland, Riley Baldi had a good day out with 29 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s, while overager Austin Hodge was consistent again with 24 disposals, five marks, four tackles and four inside 50s, while also nailing two goals. Bottom-ager Brock Smith had 19 disposals, six clearances and booted two goals in his return to the team from Vic Country, while Josh Smith booted three goals from 14 disposals, while sharing the ruck load with 10 hitouts. Jake Van Der Pligt had another promising game in defence with a team-high five rebounds from 19 disposals and seven marks. Bailey Beck (20 disposals, five inside 50s and three rebounds) and Rylan Henkel (26 hitouts) were others that impressed.

 

GWV Rebels vs. Northern Knights

By: Cameron Ross

Ugly conditions made it difficult, but the Northern Knights overpowered the GWV Rebels for a big win at MARS Stadium in Ballarat on Sunday. It was a game of inches with both teams having their opportunities to claim the four points and with the south-westerly breeze favouring the Midland Highway end, they needed to take their chances kicking to this end if they were to win. Both teams struggled in the first quarter but seemed to settle as the game progressed.

From early in the first quarter, Izaac Grant looked superb. The Rebels forward kicked his sides only two goals in the first term, the second being a delightful piece of play. The Knights kicked a very important goal against the run of play and into the wind in the last five minutes of the quarter, signalling their intent to win.

Both teams started to adjust to the conditions in the second quarter, and the Rebels began to clean up their disposal, and use their running players and when Grant kicked his third at the fourth minute mark, it looked as though it was going to be a good day for his side. However, this kicked the Knights into gear, and after Patrik Della Rocca responded moments later, the Knights all of a sudden were all over the Rebels. But the Knights struggled to capitalise on this momentum, kicking their set shots poorly, and not allowing for the wind anywhere near enough. The Knights missed three or four crucial goals, holding an eight-point lead at half-time.

The third term was the Grant show. He was outstanding kicking another three goals, bringing his overall tally to six up until three quarter time. The final quarter was tense and tight, but with the Rebels holding a slender lead for the majority. However, once again, the Rebels began to falter in the last 10 minutes of the final quarter, and you could see the Knights players running over the top of them. The Knights were first to the footy, and pressuring the Rebels players into uncharacteristic mistakes. However, the Rebels did have a chance to win it. In the final two minutes of the game, the Rebels owned the ball inside their forward 50. Despite it being chaotic, Charlie Wilson attempted a quick kick out of the pack which dribbled into the point post. This was as close as the Rebels got, as the resulting throw in was cleared as the Knights clung on for the victory.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, this game was like so many others for them this year. They have had so many opportunities to win games, and have not been able to get the job done. Instead of being 2-6-1, the Rebels could easily be 5-4, as the Bendigo, Oakleigh and now the Knights games were there to be won. The Knights deserved this win however. Della Rocca was impressive up forward, Josh D’Intosante was superb in the middle and the Knights engine room was outstanding and outworked the Rebels all day. Knights key defender Stefan Uzelac was their best player on the day. He stood up in big moments, and intercepted numerous inside 50 attempts. Grant was the best player for the Rebels, kicking seven goals in a losing side. Many of his goals came from 15-20 out, but this did not mean they weren’t deserved. He worked hard to get himself in the right positions and earned his big bag.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Peter Williams

Sandringham Dragons have made it two wins on the trot, defeating Eastern Ranges in a scrappy affair at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, claiming a 22-point win. The Dragons held their opponents scoreless in the opening term and a wasteful second quarter saw Eastern boot one goal from eight scoring shots as the home side lead by seven points at the main break. A four goals to zero third quarter blew the low-scoring game open to hand the Dragons a 31-point lead, before Eastern used the breeze to boot three majors in the final term and draw within 14, before a Dawit McNeish goal in the dying moments pushed it out to 22 by the final siren.

Liam Stocker was best on ground for the second consecutive week, notching up 30 disposals, five marks, four tackles, 10 clearances, six inside 50s and two rebounds, while Jackson Voss – son of Brett – had another promising effort between midfield and defence with 24 disposals, five marks, five clearances, two inside 50s and three rebounds. Will Kennedy also backed up his form with 23 disposals, six marks and three rebounds playing in defence, while Harry Houlahan and Alastair Richards both had 20 touches and assisted through the midfield with a combined six clearances.

For Eastern, Kye Quirk racked up 30 disposals, two marks, five clearances, three inside 50s, three rebounds and laid eight tackles, while Joel Burleigh was also strong defensively with nine tackles from 29 disposals, three marks and five inside 50s. Mitch Mellis (26 disposals, three marks, five tackles and two clearances), Adrian Kalcovski (24 disposals, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s) and Xavier Fry (21 disposals, two marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds) were other prominent ball winners.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 6

GEELONG Falcons have added some serious firepower to their clash with the Western Jets, with Ed McHenry and Connor Idun headlining the “ins” for this weekend’s TAC Cup action. Bendigo have also loaded up with Bailey Henderson and Will Holt among a host of changes, while Calder Cannons’ co-captain Mitch Podhajski, and Dandenong Stingrays’ pair Hayden Young and Sam Fletcher are among the inclusions for round six.

WESTERN JETS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Saturday, May 12, 11am
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

In the opening game of the round, the Western Jets are fresh off a victory over the Sandringham Dragons, while the Geelong Falcons made it two in a row after toppling the Calder Cannons last week. Both sides have brought in some fresh faces, with Western welcoming back defender Lucas Rocci, while David Fruscalzo, and Mathiang Chak as the 23rd player. For Geelong, midfield star Ed McHenry joins an already formidable Falcons midfield, while the likes of swingman Connor Idun and bottom-age talent Cooper Stephens are also inclusions for the match.

Western Jets

B: 28. J. Papachatzakis, 37. H. Murphy, 6. L. Rocci
HB: 17. D. Andrews , 38. B. Khamis, 36. J. Rice
C: 11. Z.  Butters, 39. S.  Radovanovic, 32. N.  Ellis
HF: 24. J. Honey, 45. A. Clarke, 26. W. Smyth
F: 20. D. Cassar, 31. E. Jeka, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 33. X. O’Halloran, 7. J. Watkins
Int: 29. D. Fruscalzo, 25. S. Johnson, 12. C. Thar, 35. T. Warner
Emg: L. Pettigrove, 2. T. Rudic, 16. C. White
23P: 5. M. Chak

In: L. Rocci, D. Fruscalzo, M. Chak
Out: J. Dodemaide

Geelong Falcons

B: 37. B. Campi, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 7. C. Harris
HB: 40. J. Clark, 31. C. Cartledge, 3. K. Rayner
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 25. L.  Taylor, 8. E.  McHenry
HF: 20. B. Ham, 39. C. Idun, 32. F. Parish
F: 22. S. Walsh, 48. B. Schlensog, 26. F. Wilson
R: 50. J. Grigsby, 30. O. Brownless, 10. B. Mensch
Int: 15. L. Handley, 9. B. Morton, 41. C. Stephens, 2. S. Torpy
Emg: 53. S. Christensen, 28. C. O’Connor, 21. L. Smith
23P: 11. C. Karpala

In: E. McHenry, C. Idun, C. Karpala, C. Stephens, J. Clark
Out: T. Richardson, S. Ham

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. EASTERN RANGES

Saturday, May 12, 2pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Coming off their first loss of the season to the Oakleigh Chargers, the Dandenong Stingrays will look to bounce back with a big win over the winless Eastern Ranges. The Ranges have not been able to get on the board so far and the match poses as a huge challenge, but with plenty of changes to the side, they will hope their form can change. AFL Academy member Sam Fletcher and 2019 top 10 prospect Hayden Young return to the Stingrays line-up, as does the ever consistent Angus Paterson, while the talented Will Hamill is out. For Eastern, a minimum of six changes have been made with the likes of Callum Norris, Jordan Jaworski and Brent Bredin out of the team, while bottom-age talent Jamieson Rossiter and tackling machine Lachlan Stapleton are back into the side.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 37. B. Angwin, 20. S. De Koning, 10. L. Young
HB: 12. M. Gahan, 5. A. Paterson, 2. H. Young
C: 3. J.  Plumridge, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 7. J.  Taylor
HF: 9. Z. Foot, 13. R. Bowman, 27. L. McDonnell
F: 52. C. Ellison, 28. B. Schmidt, 57. R. Nanscawen
R: 29. B. Williams, 16. J. Frawley, 33. J. Carosella
Int: 49. M. Cottrell, 1. S. Fletcher, 43. W. Geurts, 45. L. Goonan, 47. J. Hickey, 41. L. Stenning
Emg: 6. J. Barker, 11. E. Cahill
23P: 50. L. Williams

In: L. Goonan, A. Paterson, H. Young, J. Barker, S. Fletcher, L. Williams
Out: J. Smith,  W. Hamill

Eastern Ranges

B: 12. J. Gilbee, 42. T. Lockman, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i
HB: 20. B. Cardamone, 21. J. Ross, 24. K. Quirk
C: 4. R.  Clausen, 7. L.  Stapleton, 30. T.  Edwards
HF: 10. C. Black, 22. C. Quirk, 13. J. Rossiter
F: 37. J. Weichard, 18. B. McCormack, 46. B. White
R: 51. R. Smith, 8. J. Burleigh, 11. M. Mellis
Int: 39. C. Daraio, 53. J. Drake, 5. R. Einsporn, 2. A. Kalcovski, 34. J. Riddle, 54. J. Sullivan, 25. L. Vassis
23P: 43. K. Crosby

In: L. Vassis, J. Sullivan, R. Einsporn, K. Crosby, J. Rossiter, L. Stapleton, T. Hallett-Tauali’i, C. Daraio, B. White
Out: M. Zalac, T. Hardstaff, M. Brown, C. Norris, J. Jaworski, B. Bredin

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Saturday, May 12, 2pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

Over at Preston, the Northern Knights are looking to use their home ground advantage when they take on the in-form Murray Bushrangers who have won their past four games. The Knights have made at least four changes to their side with the likes of Nicholas Barro, Kareem Nasser and Cameron Wild returning to the side, while Mark Baker and Sam Philp are among the outs. For the Bushrangers, they have made no less than five changes to their side, with potential Brisbane father-son Jake Bradshaw returning, as does Edward Dayman and Nick Murray, while Ben Kelly, Fraser Ellis and Finbar O’Dwyer are among those out for the round six clash.

Northern Knights

B: 11. R. Sturgess, 28. S. Uzelac, 22. M. Wild
HB: 5. L. Potter, 33. J. Randall, 14. E. Tsitsis
C: 1. R.  Gardner, 10. B.  Bell, 40. N.  Mayne
HF: 24. R. Bowkett, 18. S. Brazier, 27. J. Lucente
F: 35. K. Agosta, 31. N. Barro, 17. J. D’Intinosante
R: 16. T. Hallebone, 7. H. Grace, 3. B. Gillard
Int: 37. K. Brandt, 20. P. Della Rocca, 23. J. Hart, 34. Z. Hudson, 29. K. Nasser, 44. C. Wild
23P: 39. N. Kitchell

In: C. Wild, N. Barro, N. Kitchell, J. Hart, K. Nasser, Z. Hudson
Out: J. Furphy,  S. Philp,  M. Baker,  J. Davies

Murray Bushrangers

B: 19. J. Boyer, 2. J. Butts, 22. A. Dang
HB: 12. L. Ash, 34. T. Boyd, 16. N. Murray
C: 7. Z.  Barzen, 5. E.  Smith, 4. L.  Vandermeer
HF: 26. R. Bice, 8. J. Koschitzke, 6. W. Chandler
F: 14. J. Chalcraft, 18. H. Garoni, 13. B. Frauenfelder
R: 23. M. Marriott, 17. N. Amery, 28. K. Clarke
Int: 11. E. Adams, 20. J. Bradshaw, 32. E. Dayman, 10. P. Warner
Emg: 57. R. Goodley, 15. R. Quinn, 44. L. Whyte
23P: 50. K. Davies

In: J. Bradshaw, R. Quinn, E. Dayman, R. Goodley, L. Whyte, K. Davies, N. Murray, E. Adams
Out: N. Irvine, B. Kelly, F. Ellis, F. O’Dwyer, D. Clarke

 

CALDER CANNONS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Saturday, May 12, 4.30pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The evening game at RAMS Arena pits the Calder Cannons up against the Bendigo Pioneers. After an inspiring victory in round one, the Pioneers have not registered a win since, while the Cannons have been up and down they will be keen to consolidate their early season form with a victory here. Co-captain Mitch Podhajski is a huge inclusion for the home side, joined in the team by Ned Gentile and Anthony Righele. Overager Dylan Landt, Daniel Mott and Luke Goater are the outs for the Cannons. For Bendigo, key forward Will Holt returns and will straighten up the side, as will Bailey Henderson who is one of the Pioneers most important players. Daine Grace and Zane Keighran are among five outs for the visitors.

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 17. N. Doyle
HB: 3. I. Moussa , 43. L. Cavallaro, 8. L. Sholl
C: 27. T.  Browning, 33. J.  Evans, 48. S.  Ramsay
HF: 44. N. Gentile, 29. J. Riccardi, 12. J. O’Sullivan
F: 11. J. Firebrace, 23. D. Hanna, 5. C. Taylor
R: 54. C. Lamb, 16. J. Bytel, 30. M. Podhajski
Int: 4. K. Baker, 42. N. Croft, 55. A. Righele, 39. L. Sultana
Emg: 53. M. Abou-Eid, 46. S. Callander, 19. B. Rigoni
23P: 34. O. Sasalu

In: M. Abou-Eid, N. Gentile, M. Podhajski, B. Rigoni, A. Righele
Out: D. Mott,  L. Goater,  D. Landt

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 21. D. Loveridge, 11. J. Grace, 25. F. Perez
HB: 16. J. Atley, 24. N. McHugh, 27. M. Lias
C: 19. T.  Walters, 5. N.  Wheeler, 48. P. Moi Moi
HF: 3. L. Marciano, 18. B. Henderson, 51. B. Waasdorp
F: 54. M. Christensen, 45. W. Holt, 29. E. Roberts
R: 23. D. Keating, 20. J. Schischka, 43. H. Lawrence
Int: 53. W. Allen, 15. L. Caccaviello, 7. L. Chisholm, 35. Z. Denahy, 37. C. McCarty, 33. J. McHale
23P: 38. K. Stevens

In: L. Caccaviello, W. Holt, Z. Denahy, M. Lias, W. Allen, B. Henderson, M. Christensen
Out: D. Grace, R. Ironside, Z. Keighran, A. Smith-Ralph, M. Hird, K. Lloyd

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Sunday, May 13, 1pm
Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

On Sunday, Gippsland Power hosts the Sandringham Dragons in what is expected to be a good Mother’s Day clash. Mason McGannon is the only confirmed out for the Power who have named an extended bench which features the return of ruck Rylan Henkel, and over-ager Austin Hodge. The Power are just two points off top spot and victory would be a huge boost for the Power, however the Dragons will be hoping to bounce back after back-to-back losses in rounds four and five. Dragons captain Bailey Smith heads back to school football, with James Rendell also out, while the midfield does receive some inside presence with Dawit McNeish and Liam Stocker returning, while Jai Florent – brother of Sydney’s Ollie – is also named in the team.

Gippsland Power

B: 12. B. Smith, 25. K. Reid, 15. R. Sparkes
HB: 18. M. McGannon, 14. T. Hourigan, 7. B. Patterson
C: 8. B.  Beck, 6. R.  Baldi, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 23. N. Gown, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 4. S. Flanders, 16. J. Smith, 9. I. Mosquito
R: 22. R. Henkel, 11. A. Hodge, 5. X. Duursma
Int: 26. W. Broadbent, 10. L. Connolly, 1. T. Hayes, 13. N. Lowden, 27. L. Munns, 19. F. Phillips, 35. J. van der Pligt
23P: 43. Z. Skinner

In: R. Henkel, H. Neocleous, A. Hodge, W. Broadbent
Out: M. McGannon

Sandringham Dragons

B: 15. R. Ladds, 69. C. Watts, 16. J. Paul
HB: 25. O. McMaster, 34. C. Birmingham, 45. J. Voss
C: 24. H.  Ferdinand, 50. T.  Deane-Johns, 14. R.  O’Meara
HF: 56. J. Hannah, 20. H. Bede, 42. T. Murray
F: 1. T. Long, 32. J. Griffiths, 58. K. Yorke
R: 30. E. Casey, 7. L. Stocker, 21. D. McNeish
Int: 37. N. Bufalo, 66. R. Byrnes, 59. A. Courtney, 39. J. Florent, 3. T. Fogarty, 47. T. Milne, 11. N. Stamatis
23P: 40. M. Scott

In: M. Scott, N. Bufalo, T. Milne, J. Florent, L. Stocker, D. McNeish, K. Yorke, A. Courtney
Out: B. Smith, M. Bergman, C. Millar, J. Rendell, R. Macdermid

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Sunday, May 13, 1pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the final game of the round, the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels host Oakleigh Chargers in a must-win game for the home side. Despite being competitive throughout each of their games, the Rebels have just the one win for the season, while the Chargers are at the other end of the scale with four wins from five games. Forward Izaac Grant and defender Cooper Craig-Peters – who was recognised during the week for designing the Western Bulldogs’ Indigenous guernsey – have been named, while the likes of Joel O’Connell and Toby Mahony make way for them. For Oakleigh, Joseph Ayton-Delaney, Zac Hart and Ben Silvagni are big losses for the Chargers as they head back to school football, while an extended bench features the likes of Ben Griffiths, Riley Thompson and Sebastian Fernandez.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 48. J. Cleaver, 43. J. Wright, 1. C. Craig-Peters
HB: 4. B. Annett, 8. H. Butler, 5. H. Jennings
C: 3. S.  Carlin, 9. L.  Dawson, 17. T.  Clark
HF: 12. A. Gove, 35. C. Hinkley, 7. M. Martin
F: 14. J. Hill, 28. C. Giddings, 6. C. Wilson
R: 20. T. Watts, 2. M. Schnerring, 13. T. Berry
Int: 29. P. Glanford, 21. I. Grant, 27. E. Lamb, 10. J. Lohmann
Emg: 32. M. Burgess, 45. D. McEldrew, 30. I. Wareham
23P: 16. E. Harvey

In: I. Wareham, D. McEldrew, C. Craig-Peters, M. Burgess, J. Wright, I. Grant, E. Harvey
Out: J. O’Connell,  B. Helyar,  J. Bibby,  T. Mahony

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 56. M. Fewings, 43. P. Bohan, 22. D. Williams
HB: 12. N. Answerth , 23. I. Quaynor, 50. V. Zagari
C: 24. S.  Harte, 35. X.  Fry, 42. K.  Viccars
HF: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 7. J. Robertson, 26. J. Gasper
F: 6. M. Day, 63. S. Elliott, 25. D. Scala
R: 65. L. Harry, 5. X. O’Neill, 1. R. Collier-Dawkins
Int: 2. L. Bugeja, 53. T. Calder, 39. S. Fernandez, 79. B. Griffiths, 76. H. Leonard, 57. R. Thompson, 77. M. Tighello
23P: 27. J. May

In: B. Griffiths, P. Bohan, M. Tighello, S. Fernandez, V. Zagari, H. Leonard, R. Thompson, T. Calder
Out: B. Silvagni, C. Whitehead, C. Beasley, J. Ayton-Delaney, Z. Hart

TAC Cup previews: Round 4

SO many changes at the selection table and ahead of round four we investigate which players will need to stand out, and those who will need to continue their form in order to get their team across the line in round four of the TAC Cup competition.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 

Round 4 – Friday, April 20, 7pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

Bendigo Pioneers host Oakleigh Chargers under lights tonight at Queen Elizabeth Oval and it becomes a game which is almost impossible to predict how it is going to go. Bendigo has made at least six changes, something that pales in comparison with Oakleigh’s team selection as 13 players return to school football or other commitments. Noah Anderson will be a key out, second overall in clearances for the Chargers, but Bendigo will still need to watch James Rowbottom, who has notched up 17 clearances (eight centre clearances) and is influential at the stoppages.

Bendigo’s 1-2 counter punch at the stoppages are Noah Wheeler and Zane Keighran with the latter named at half-back for the match. They have 21 clearances between them in season 2018, but Wheeler has also been crucial for 12 inside 50s. Bailey Henderson has been named up forward after being Mr Consistent at half-back, and he will line-up alongside Will Holt who is leading the goal kicking in the competition with Max King. The injury to Daniel Keating will be felt, with the in-form ruck having played some great football to date, and the Pioneers will look to Matt Hird in his first game this year to provide the midfielders with the first possession.

For Oakleigh, they will need their depth to step up in the absence of Anderson, Trent Bianco, Matt Rowell, Jack Ross and Charlie Whitehead in the middle, while Ben Silvagni has been the most influential forward in terms of scoreboard influence this year. In his place comes Sam Elliott who moves to full-forward with Daniel Scala the key small down there. With Anderson, Silvagni, Whitehead and Zac Hart gone, the Chargers lose four of their top five players involved in scoring chains this year. Instead of having eight of the top 10 in this match-up, it is more even 6-4 split. Oakleigh still has the depth to win the game, but Bendigo will be hoping to take advantage of the mass changes and its strong inside brigade make the most of its experience at the stoppages.

GEELONG FALCONS v. EASTERN RANGES 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.15am
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

In a game where both sides are still looking for their first win, last year’s reigning premiers and the team with the most players drafted in 2017, find themselves in a vastly different situation six months on. Geelong will welcome back Sam Walsh who is a crucial cog in the Falcons midfield, especially against an Eastern Ranges outfit which will be without the likes of Xavier Fry and Cody Hirst who both rotate through there.

Geelong will miss Charlie Sprague who has been arguably the most consistent Falcons player who has played all three games, as Sprague heads back to play school football, as will Cooper Stephens and a host of others among seven changes for Geelong. Eastern have also made six changes, with Hirst’s a forced one through injury. One area in which Eastern can try and take control is in the midfield with a strong inside brigade. With no Ed McHenry, the Ranges have four of the top five clearance players in the game, with Joel Burleigh, Jonte Duffy, Adrian Kalcovski and Lachlan Stapleton all providing good extraction from the stoppages. Oscar Brownless, Baxter Mensch, Brayden Ham and of course Walsh will look to go head-to-head with the Eastern onballers in what could decide the match.

The big question for these teams is scoring, with the Falcons missing Sprague (who would have the highest scoreboard impact in this match-up) and relying on Blake Schlensog who has had nine score involvements, three more than any other player on the field this season. Based on the season so far, both teams will look to share the load in terms of scoring, with Billy McCormack and Thomas Lockman named as the key position posts for Eastern, while Finlay Parish comes in for his first game and will line-up at centre-half forward in between Ham and Walsh. Throwing Connor Idun forward continues to offer a different look for the Falcons, and with a marked improvement in round three compared to the prior two rounds, the Falcons will be confident going into this one.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.30am
Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

In the other early game on Saturday, Murray Bushrangers will look to win their third consecutive match, while Sandringham Dragons head into the game unbeaten. With the start of the APS and AGVS seasons, the Dragons are hit harder than any other team and lose almost all of their best 22 – they made 16 changes. It will be a great test to see if they can overcome the Bushrangers with their next tier of players, and see some stand up in the absence of others.

Players who have been in form for the Dragons include Alastair Richards, Liam Stocker and Kai Owen, the three highest extractors for the Dragons this season who have been named in the line-up. Without Dawit McNeish and Bailey Smith, the Dragons will need to win the clearances against a Bushrangers midfield which includes Ely Smith and Dylan Clarke, with Mark Marriott dominant in the ruck more often than not. Losing the King twins always hurts, but the Dragons got the job done against Calder without them, and they will look to James Rendell to continue his good form – booting four goals in the second half against the Cannons – to have an impact on the contest. Up the other end, the Bushrangers have no shortage of contributors, with Patrick Warner (six goals), Bailey Frauenfelder (five), Riley Bice (four) and Jacob Koschitkze (three) all having an impact. Sandringham will be vastly unknown quantity up forward, with Liam Stocker (two) the highest season goal kicker behind Rendell, with Angus Hanrahan thrown forward for this match.

Last year the Dragons knocked off Dandenong Stingrays at Frankston Oval after making 17 changes to its side at the start of the APS season. It was a remarkable win, and they will be looking to do the same here. The trick will be trying to limit the influence of Murray’s midfield and working as a team to ensure they don’t concede too many early goals as they try and gel which is always difficult with wholesale changes. Murray does not rely on one goal kicker to kick a high score, something Sandringham will look for this round as the teams aim to share the goals around and provide a great contest in Wangaratta.

GIPPSLAND POWER v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 12.45pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve, Morwell

In what is shaping to be a great contest, Gippsland Power takes on Northern Knights at Morwell, a ground where the Power pushed Dandenong Stingrays all the way a few weeks back. The Knights have also improved since a round one capitulation against the Sandringham Dragons, and are starting to find their groove – so naturally both sides have been scattered with the start of the school football system with Gippsland’s four omissions among their four most important players – Xavier Duursma, Sam Flanders, Austin Hodge and Caleb Serong. Northern has also lost their most consistent ball winner in Tom McKenzie, as well as the likes of Justin McInerney, Oscar White and Joel Naylor among at least seven changes.

Gippsland will look to rely on Matthew McGannon for plenty of drive out of the back half, with the overager leading the competition in disposals (84) and marks (30). Through the midfield, Riley Baldi’s role as a clearance gem will become more important given the loss of partner in crime Hodge, and the fact the Knights will be without the only player with more clearances than Baldi this season in McKenzie. Gippsland will look to the likes of Nick Lowden, Brett Thorson and Boadie Motton to stand up through the middle and around the ground who have been that next tier of players behind the four omissions. Brock Smith is a talented bottom-ager who provides great drive, while Ryan Sparkes is another one who has impressed so far this season. Gippsland’s forward line is vastly untouched outside of Flanders, with Irving Mosquito and Josh Smith – two of the three highest Power goal kickers – both in the side.

For Northern, Josh D’Intinosante and Braedyn Gillard shape as the two most important players. D’Intinosante is a bottom-ager who has a good all-round game providing forward pressure and scoreboard impact. He also gets up the ground and sets up his teammates, as does Gillard through the middle with his work at stoppages. Without McKenzie, Gillard will look to Harrison Grace and Ryan Gardner among others to try and win the midfield battle – an area which is weakened for the Power by their omissions. Lachlan Potter provides a good link down back, while Patrik Della Rocca and Mark Baker will be a couple of targets who can hit the scoreboard if given the opportunity. The battle between Rylan Henkel and Thomas Hallebone in the ruck will be fascinating with both players selected in the extended Vic Country and Vic Metro squads respectively.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. WESTERN JETS 

Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 12.30pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong Stingrays face Western Jets in the first game on Sunday, with the Stingrays losing a number of key players to school football and Under 18 Academy Series commitments. The Stingrays are yet to lose in season 2018, but their depth will be put to the test with the likes of Stephen and Matthew Cumming, Hayden Young, Mitch Riordan, Toby Bedford, Jai Nanscawen and Heath Briggs out of the side. Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams return from the AFL Academy game among a host of fresh faces including familiar Stingrays name Sam De Koning who lines up at centre-half back. For the Jets, Emerson Jeka is a big loss down forward, while Lucas Rocci is another out; but the return of AFL Academy member Buku Khamis will buoy the Jets coaching staff.

Western might have the upper hand if they can control Williams and Bowman in their defensive 50, with Aaron Clarke, Steven Kyriazis and Zak Butters three of the most damaging forwards in the game, all adding a different element inside 50 for the Jets. Bailey Schmidt, captain Campbell Hustwaite, and Finlay Bayne have the three highest score involvements of the remaining Dragons, although expect both Williams and Bowman to have a say in the team’s fortune down forward. Zac Foot booted four goals in the last outing against the GWV Rebels, so is another who could be damaging, but the Jets also have a strong defence to rely upon.

The likes of Khamis and Hamish Murphy hold down the key defensive posts, while Stefan Radovanovic and Jack Papachatzakis provide good run and defensive pressure. Xavier O’Halloran has been Mr Consistent through midfield, while Connor Thar provides a strong presence at the stoppages and is a known ball winner. Daly Andrews and Darcy Cassar are others who have shown some good signs throughout the season. For Dandenong, Jamie Plumridge and Will Hamill provide a good trio with Hustwaite, while Angus Paterson has been a rock in defence.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. CALDER CANNONS 

Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 1.30pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The final game of the round sees GWV Rebels return to MARS Stadium where they take on the Calder Cannons with both sides at a crucial junction in the early part of the season, sitting 1-2 after three rounds. The Rebels will look to turnaround from the heavy defeat at the hands of Dandenong Stingrays up in Bendigo, while Calder will look to build on the performance against Sandringham Dragons without their AFL Academy members, and bring the same level of intensity into this clash. Unlike many other teams, both sides have got stronger at the top end, with the Rebels welcoming back midfielder Tom Berry, while the Cannons have their AFL Academy trio in, of Jack Bytel, Curtis Taylor and Rhylee West. They do lose Mitch Podhajski and Mason Fletcher who have been consistent all season, but will be bolstered by the important returns.

Without a second thought, the clearances are going to be an entertaining battle with Lochie Dawson and Scott Carlin leading the way in this game, while Taylor, Bytel and Curtis will add some serious grunt in the middle. Neither side has a dominant key forward, and instead looks to share the goals around between talls and smalls, with Jed Hill (five), Mitch Martin (four) and Josh Chatfield (three) the top Rebels goal kickers; and Taylor (four) and Jack O’Sullivan (three) the top Cannons in the absence of Podhajski. Tylar Watts returns to the ruck against Devereux Pretty who is back into the side this week, with the ruck battle a crucial one-on-one in the overall scheme of things.

Calder has a consistent defence with Jack Evans, Lucas Cavallaro and Lachlan Sholl back there, while Kyle Baker adds composure and speed. Dylan Landt and Tye Browning are other consistent mid/forwards, while the Rebels have a mosquito fleet in attack. Matt Schnerring and Toby Mahony joining Hill, Chatfield and Martin as dangerous forwards, while Jed Henderson will look to provide a target as well. Harris Jennings and Charlie Wilson are other players to watch, while Angus Gove links well between midfield and attack.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 4

MORE than 100 players have been named as inclusions across the twelve TAC Cup sides for round four as most sides are hit with forced omissions through the APS and AGVS competitions kicking off. The 101 players named as ‘ins’ include those named as emergencies, but there are still 83 players who were omitted from their respective sides from the round three clashes.

There are a number of big inclusions for those AFL Academy players who are not part of the school footballing system such as Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers), Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons), Hudson Garoni (Murray Bushrangers), Buku Khamis (Western Jets), Dandenong Stingrays pair Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams, and Calder Cannons trio Curtis Taylor, Rhylee West (who has the APS bye) and Jack Bytel. GWV Rebels star Thomas Berry and overager Tyrone Hayes (Gippsland Power) return, with the latter having not played TAC Cup since round one last season.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 

Round 4 – Friday, April 20, 7pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

The fourth round of TAC Cup action kicks off tomorrow night in Bendigo when the Pioneers host the Oakleigh Chargers under lights at Queen Elizabeth Oval. The Pioneers are searching for their second win of the season, while Oakleigh will be hoping to go three wins from four games. Brodie Kemp, Kobe Lloyd and Daniel Keating – the latter injured himself in the Pioneers’ last clash – are all outs, with overage pair Zac Denahy and Oscar Perez, and bottom-age ruck Matt Hird among the inclusions. Will Holt will look to go to outright leader on the goal kicking table early on Friday night, with the Pioneers full-forward currently sharing the lead with Sandringham’s Max King who is missing due to APS commitments. For Oakleigh, 13 changes have been made with Noah Anderson, Ben Silvagni, Kyle Dunkley, Will Kelly, Jack Ross, Matt Rowell, Joseph Ayton-Delaney and Matthew Warren among the outs. AFL Academy member Isaac Quaynor is a huge in for the Chargers, while Sam Harte, Lachlan Bugeja and Sam Elliott are among those called into the team.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 27. M. Lias, 11. J. Grace, 33. J. McHale
HB: 9. Z. Keighran, 24. N. McHugh, 43. H. Lawrence
C: 7. L.  Chisholm, 5. N.  Wheeler, 57. A.  Smith-Ralph
HF: 3. L. Marciano, 20. J. Schischka, 51. B. Waasdorp
F: 18. B. Henderson, 45. W. Holt, 17. R. Ironside
R: 12. M. Hird, 37. C. McCarty, 25. F. Perez
Int: 35. Z. Denahy, 1. M. Goodwin, 10. D. Grace, 2. J. Williams
23P: 38. K. Stevens

In: C. McCarty, M. Lias, D. Loveridge, K. Stevens, T. Walters, Z. Denahy, F. Perez, M. Hird
Out: K. Walker,  B. Kemp,  D. Keating,  T. Dow,  C. Vick,  K. Lloyd

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 39. S. Fernandez, 36. C. Beasley, 22. D. Williams
HB: 12. N. Answerth , 23. I. Quaynor, 35. X. Fry
C: 13. A.  Bosenavulagi, 1. R.  Collier-Dawkins, 24. S.  Harte
HF: 6. M. Day, 7. J. Robertson, 26. J. Gasper
F: 25. D. Scala, 63. S. Elliott, 42. K. Viccars
R: 71. T. Hogan, 5. X. O’Neill, 9. J. Rowbottom
Int: 2. L. Bugeja, 47. U. Chol, 64. C. Cormack, 56. M. Fewings, 65. L. Harry, 27. J. May, 50. V. Zagari
23P: 19. D. Romero

In: L. Bugeja, C. Cormack, J. Gasper, L. Harry, I. Quaynor, U. Chol, M. Fewings, D. Romero, S. Elliott, S. Fernandez, S. Harte, V. Zagari, J. May, C. Beasley, K. Viccars
Out: N. Anderson, B. Silvagni, K. Dunkley, B. Wraith, C. Leon, T. Bianco, M. Warren, W. Kelly, C. Whitehead, J. Ross, M. Rowell, Z. Hart, J. Ayton-Delaney

GEELONG FALCONS v. EASTERN RANGES 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.15am
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

In the early Saturday game, the two sides without a victory to their name will battle it out with Geelong Falcons hosting Eastern Ranges at Avalon Airport Oval in Werribee. Charlie Sprague and Cooper Stephens are a couple of omissions from the Falcons side that narrowly went down to Murray Bushrangers a fortnight ago, with school football returning. In their place comes a pretty handy player by the name of Sam Walsh, joining a couple of famous names in Finlay Parish and Sam Christensen in the 22. Eastern Ranges have also lost a couple of crucial players with Cody Hirst (injured) and Xavier Fry among the outs. Jordan Jaworski, Tyler Edwards and Ryan Einsporn will return to the team among at least six changes.

Geelong Falcons

B: 40. J. Clark, 31. C. Cartledge, 7. C. Harris
HB: 15. L. Handley, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 3. K. Rayner
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 25. L.  Taylor, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 20. B. Ham, 32. F. Parish, 22. S. Walsh
F: 39. C. Idun, 48. B. Schlensog, 26. F. Wilson
R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 10. B. Mensch
Int: 50. J. Grigsby, 9. B. Morton, 28. C. O’Connor, 16. B. Scott
23P: 17. S. Ham

In: L. Handley, F. Wilson, S. Christensen, S. Walsh, S. Ham, F. Parish, J. Grigsby, H. Spiller
Out: C. Sprague,  N. Young,  T. Richardson,  J. Muhor,  C. Stephens,  S. Bourke,  N. Conway

Eastern Ranges

B: 12. J. Gilbee, 53. J. Drake, 26. C. Norris
HB: 24. K. Quirk, 31. J. Blanck, 21. J. Ross
C: 4. R.  Clausen, 8. J.  Burleigh, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 10. C. Black, 42. T. Lockman, 45. M. Zalac
F: 9. J. Duffy, 18. B. McCormack, 5. R. Einsporn
R: 41. J. Corless, 7. L. Stapleton, 2. A. Kalcovski
Int: 38. M. Briggs, 20. B. Cardamone, 39. C. Daraio, 30. T. Edwards, 27. J. Jaworski, 32. F. Smith, 25. L. Vassis
23P: 37. J. Weichard

In: J. Drake, F. Smith, R. Einsporn, T. Edwards, J. Weichard, M. Briggs, J. Jaworski, C. Black
Out: T. Garner, S. Kapahnke, H. Chinn, J. Kritopoulos, C. Hirst, X. Fry

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.30am
Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

Also on Saturday morning is the clash between Murray Bushrangers and Sandringham Dragons. The Bushrangers have made at least four changes for the clash after their victory over the Geelong Falcons a fortnight ago, with Ben Kelly missing due to the Academy Series, and Finbar O’Dwyer who was named in Murray’s best in that win, also out of this weekend’s clash. Star key position player Hudson Garoni returns to the team and will line-up at centre-half forward, while Fraser Ellis has been named in a back pocket. Sandringham have had their annual APS cleanout with 16 players making way in wholesale changes. The changes do not include the King brothers and Bailey Smith who were also missing from the Dragons’ round three clash. As always, the Dragons depth will be tested, with the likes of Tom Long, Ronan Ladds and Tom Fogarty among a huge list of inclusions.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 28. K. Clarke, 16. N. Murray, 33. F. Ellis
HB: 12. L. Ash, 8. J. Koschitzke, 34. T. Boyd
C: 6. W.  Chandler, 17. N.  Amery, 4. L.  Vandermeer
HF: 26. R. Bice, 18. H. Garoni, 10. P. Warner
F: 14. J. Chalcraft, 2. J. Butts, 13. B. Frauenfelder
R: 23. M. Marriott, 20. J. Bradshaw, 5. E. Smith
Int: 19. J. Boyer, 38. D. Clarke, 22. A. Dang, 32. E. Dayman
23P: 40. N. Irvine

In: N. Irvine, H. Garoni, E. Dayman, F. Ellis, W. Christie, M. Oates
Out: B. Kelly,  C. Hill,  F. O’Dwyer,  B. St John

Sandringham Dragons

B: 3. T. Fogarty, 20. H. Bede, 16. J. Paul
HB: 19. S. Forbes, 69. C. Watts, 18. A. Seaton
C: 14. R.  O’Meara, 2. A.  Richards, 46. L.  Witts
HF: 12. C. Jones, 34. C. Birmingham, 1. T. Long
F: 23. A. Hanrahan, 28. J. Rendell, 11. N. Stamatis
R: 32. J. Griffiths, 7. L. Stocker, 8. K. Owens
Int: 37. N. Bufalo, 50. T. Deane-Johns, 24. H. Ferdinand, 56. J. Hannah, 15. R. Ladds, 25. O. McMaster, 22. C. Millar
23P: 42. T. Murray

In: N. Bufalo, R. Ladds, T. Long, J. Griffiths, H. Ferdinand, J. Paul, R. O’Meara, L. Witts, C. Millar, C. Birmingham, J. Hannah, O. McMaster, T. Deane-Johns, T. Murray, H. Bede, T. Fogarty
Out: H. Ralphsmith, F. Maginness, J. Goddard, J. Mahony, D. McNeish, W. Kennedy, J. Denborough, J. Worrell, D. Chirgwin, M. Bergman, S. Sofronidis, H. Houlahan, E. Casey, A. Courtney

GIPPSLAND POWER v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 12.45pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve, Morwell

Gippsland hosts a lunchtime clash against Northern on Saturday, with both sides losing key players to the school football system. Talented bottom-agers Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders are out, as is captain Xavier Duursma and over-ager Austin Hodge, all of whom have been in good form. Returning to the team sheet for the first time in more than 12 months is the excitement machine Tyrone Hayes who has been names on an extended bench, with Bailey Patterson and Zac Skinner also named in the team. Northern will miss Tom McKenzie‘s influence in the middle, with Oscar White and Justin McInerney also omissions from the team. In their place the likes of Sunny Brazier, Evan Tsitsis and Mitch Wild return to the fold.

Gippsland Power

B: 14. T. Hourigan, 23. N. Gown, 12. B. Smith
HB: 18. M. McGannon, 25. K. Reid, 15. R. Sparkes
C: 10. L.  Connolly, 13. N.  Lowden, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 9. I. Mosquito, 38. J. Wykes, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 3. M. McGannon, 16. J. Smith, 19. F. Phillips
R: 22. R. Henkel, 6. R. Baldi, 8. B. Beck
Int: 1. T. Hayes, 21. M. McGarrity, 7. B. Patterson, 43. Z. Skinner, 33. B. Thorson, 35. J. van der Pligt, 45. A. Young
23P: 36. M. Bentvelzen

In: T. Hayes, B. Patterson, A. Young, Z. Skinner, M. McGarrity, M. Bentvelzen
Out: C. Serong,  A. Hodge,  S. Flanders,  X. Duursma

Northern Knights

B: 5. L. Potter, 33. J. Randall, 11. R. Sturgess
HB: 25. J. Davies, 28. S. Uzelac, 14. E. Tsitsis
C: 1. R.  Gardner, 10. B.  Bell, 22. M.  Wild
HF: 24. R. Bowkett, 20. P. Della Rocca, 44. C. Wild
F: 17. J. D’Intinosante, 21. M. Baker, 40. N. Mayne
R: 16. T. Hallebone, 7. H. Grace, 3. B. Gillard
Int: 35. K. Agosta, 31. N. Barro, 18. S. Brazier, 34. Z. Hudson, 43. J. Murphy, 29. K. Nasser, 13. S. Philp
23P: 37. K. Brandt

In: E. Tsitsis, M. Wild, N. Barro, S. Brazier, K. Agosta, K. Nasser, Z. Hudson, J. Murphy, K. Brandt
Out: T. McKenzie, C. Simonsen, J. McInerney, A. Carafa, X. Naish, O. White, J. Naylor

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. WESTERN JETS 

Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 12.30pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

On Sunday, Dandenong Stingrays host the Western Jets at Shepley Oval, with plenty of talented talls switching places. The Stingrays lose a handful of top graders with twin talls Matthew and Stephen Cumming (Academy Series commitments with NT), midfield leader Mitch Riordan (School Football), pocket rocket Jai Nanscawen and rebounding defender Hayden Young all out. In their place the Stingrays welcome back twin towers Bailey Williams and Riley Bowman, while Sam De Koning will line-up at centre-half back. For Western, they have made just the two confirmed changes, losing star bottom-age tall Emerson Jeka, and Lucas Rocci, but have regained AFL Academy defender Buku Khamis, as well as Jaksyn Grant.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 32. D. Frampton, 43. W. Geurts, 16. J. Frawley
HB: 37. B. Angwin, 20. S. De Koning, 12. M. Gahan
C: 9. Z.  Foot, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 3. J.  Plumridge
HF: 27. L. McDonnell, 29. B. Williams, 7. J. Taylor
F: 17. F. Bayne, 28. B. Schmidt, 57. R. Nanscawen
R: 13. R. Bowman, 58. W. Hamill, 33. J. Carosella
Int: 49. M. Cottrell, 52. C. Ellison, 47. J. Hickey, 5. A. Paterson, 41. L. Stenning, 50. L. Williams, 10. L. Young
23P: 19. J. Burton

In: L. Stenning, L. Young, J. Burton, R. Bowman, S. De Koning, W. Geurts, B. Angwin, B. Williams, L. Williams
Out: T. Bedford,  H. Briggs,  M. Riordan,  S. Cumming,  J. Nanscawen,  H. Young,  M. Cumming

Western Jets

B: 25. S. Johnson, 37. H. Murphy, 28. J. Papachatzakis
HB: 30. L. Pettigrove, 38. B. Khamis, 39. S. Radovanovic
C: 17. D.  Andrews , 33. X.  O’Halloran, 20. D.  Cassar
HF: 11. Z. Butters, 2. T. Rudic, 4. J. Jenkins
F: 24. J. Honey, 45. A. Clarke, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 36. J. Rice, 12. C. Thar
Int: 40. J. Grant, 22. O. Manton, 35. T. Warner, 7. J. Watkins
23P: 9. J. Dodemaide

In: J. Grant, D. Fruscalzo, J. Dodemaide, B. Khamis
Out: L. Rocci, E. Jeka

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. CALDER CANNONS 

Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 1.30pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the final game of the round, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels host Calder Cannons at MARS Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Both sides are relatively unscathed from their top-end talent, although Calder will miss co-captain Mitch Podhajski and reliable defender Mason Fletcher who are among at least nine changes. However, the Cannons have loaded up in the midfield with Rhylee West returning (with St Kevin’s having the APS bye), joining fellow AFL Academy members Curtis Taylor and Jack Bytel back in the side. The Rebels also have a big name returning with Tom Berry coming back into the team for the first time since running into a post and suffering concussion in round one. He is joined by Ethan Harvey and Tom Clark in the side among five changes with Josh Bibby named as 23rd man. Tylar Watts is named back in the ruck, the third positional change in as many weeks after being centre-half forward in rounds one and two, centre-half back in round three and now back to his bottom-age year position of first ruck.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 10. J. Lohmann, 18. B. Helyar, 34. J. O’Connell
HB: 4. B. Annett, 8. H. Butler, 3. S. Carlin
C: 12. A.  Gove, 13. T.  Berry, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 14. J. Hill, 11. J. Chatfield, 7. M. Martin
F: 47. T. Mahony, 19. J. Henderson, 2. M. Schnerring
R: 20. T. Watts, 6. C. Wilson, 9. L. Dawson
Int: 17. T. Clark, 48. J. Cleaver, 29. P. Glanford, 16. E. Harvey, 27. E. Lamb, 33. J. Ross, 25. T. Shannon
23P: 37. J. Bibby

In: J. Ross, E. Lamb, T. Clark, J. Bibby, E. Harvey, J. Cleaver, T. Berry
Out: C. Perks,  K. Councillor,  J. Wright,  I. Grant,  M. Clarke

Calder Cannons

B: 4. K. Baker, 43. L. Cavallaro, 33. J. Evans
HB: 48. S. Ramsay, 38. B. Newman, 8. L. Sholl
C: 2. D.  Landt, 42. N.  Croft, 3. I.  Moussa
HF: 27. T. Browning, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 44. N. Gentile
F: 11. J. Firebrace, 29. J. Riccardi, 5. C. Taylor
R: 60. D. Pretty, 16. J. Bytel, 39. L. Sultana
Int: 17. N. Doyle, 54. C. Lamb, 1. D. Mott, 20. R. West
23P: 34. O. Sasalu

In: O. Sasalu, D. Pretty, L. Goater, C. Lamb, C. Taylor, J. Bytel, B. Rigoni, B. Newman, R. West
Out: S. Skidmore, P. Mahoney, L. Johnson, M. Podhajski, J. Westphal, H. Minton-Connell, S. Graham, M. Fletcher