Tag: luke jackson

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: East Fremantle ends long losing streak

WEST Australian Football League (WAFL) clubs welcomed back their national Under-18 champions with open arms in Round 14. This week a Friday night double-header took place which saw the ladder leaders get an almighty scare.

Did Peel Thunder keep up their winning streak?

Read on to find out all the details.

WAFL Colts Round 14

Claremont 13.8 (86) def. Subiaco 6.5 (41)

Claremont continued its excellent recent form while putting a massive dent in the finals hopes of Subiaco with a very impressive 45-point win over Claremont on Friday evening.

After a tightly contested first quarter which the Lions edged by two points, a 4.3 to 0.0 second quarter by the Tigers helped set up the victory. The Lions won their second quarter for the game in the third term cutting the margin to just 16 points with just 25 minutes to play.

But good teams know how to produce when the game is on the line and Claremont managed to do just that, again keeping their opponents scoreless while slamming on four goals of their own. State representatives Callum Jamieson and Liam Henry were instrumental in finishing the job off for the visitors. The win sees Claremont move three and a half games clear of the sixth placed Lions.

The Tigers only had 37 inside 50s but were incredibly clinical with 21 scoring shots, 10 more than their opponents. They also amassed 79 more disposals (352-273).

For the Tigers it was the duo of Jye Clarke and Jack Cooley who led the way combining for 68 disposals and 10 inside 50s between them. Isaiah Butters contributed in many ways with 18 disposals, six marks and two goals, while Henry was a typical livewire with 26 disposals, six marks and two goals. The work rate of Jamieson was terrific with 20 hit-outs and two goals to go along with 10 disposals. Meanwhile, Ben Golding tried his heart out for the Lions with 29 disposals, 10 tackles, eight marks and a goal to top it off.

Peel 8.9 (57) def. East Perth 8.8 (56)

It was not pretty by any means, but Peel would not care one bit as the Mandurah-based club won their sixth game in a row, defeating East Perth by one point in the second game of the double-header at Leederville Oval on Friday evening.

The Royals made all the running in the first half leading by 10 points at quarter time and extending it to 15 at the long break.

For a team with so many attacking weapons and by far the best percentage in the league at over 160 per cent, it was a lacklustre first 50 minutes of action by the premiership favourites as they produced their lowest opening half of the season (2.3). Coming off the bye, they perhaps needed that scratchy performance, as come the third quarter they were a different side kicking four goals to trim the margin. Peel have often produced a quarter of scintillating footy to swamp their opponents, but to East Perth’s credit they did not crumble, kicking three goals of their own with Cody Rodgers booting two of them.

Key Peel focal point Ben Middleton started the final term in just the fashion they wanted when he kicked his second to cut the margin to under a kick, but the Royals had the answers again when Rodgers continued to, have a impact by claiming his third goal. With the game on a knives edge, it needed someone to step up and be counted for their team and that man was state representative Tyrone Thorne who cut the margin again. It was then up to Jackson Knight to win the game. He did not win it by a goal, but two behinds and it was enough to see Peel continue their march to the minor premiership.

It was a gutting way to lose for the Royals who led for all but 13 of the 100 minutes of game time. Three weeks ago, the WAFL wrap discussed the upcoming stretch of games for the 2016 grand finalists and how it would decide whether they are contenders or pretenders. After a very good win over premiership hopeful Swan Districts, they have backed it up against Peel, albeit not with the four points. But just like Claremont, they are a certainly a dangerous team and have a lot of weapons that the likes of Peel and Swans will be more than wary of.

State 18s rep Jarvis Pina did not miss a beat on his return to club duty amassing 33 disposals, five tackles and five marks. While Knight was not only the match winner, he was also a tireless worker with 22 disposals, eight tackles and seven inside 50s. For the Royals, Cooper Sparks toiled hard all night with 25 disposals and five inside 50s while bottom ager Adam Boules and Patrick Reilly embodied the commitment of the Royals’ performance with eleven and ten tackles respectively.

East Fremantle 12.9 (81) def. Swan Districts 5.7 (37)

In a battle of two teams on long losing streaks, it was East Fremantle who got back on the winning track with a emphatic 44-point victory at East Fremantle Oval.

The Sharks got off to a good starting in their quest to end their nine game losing run leading by 10 points at quarter time. But it was the second term where they really excelled kicking 5.2 to just one goal and led by 37 points at the long break.

The Sharks had winners all over the ground and their midfielders were the beneficiary of complete ruck dominance (34 hit-outs to two). The weight of possession told a story with the Sharks having 61 more disposals (169-108), 18 more inside 50s (28-10) which led to 12 more scoring shots (14-2). Basically it was an annihilation and Swan Districts needed to act very quickly if they wanted to get back in the game.

However it was not to be with Under-18 All Australian Trent Rivers leading the way. The midfielder had 15 disposals and two goals to half-time, and went on with the job in the third term adding another eight disposals and a goal to his tally. The Sharks extended their lead to 46 points at three quarter time. A example of East Fremantle’s total team performance was that of the t10 goals they had kicked to this point, there was eight individual goalkickers.

The final quarter played out with Swans getting some respectability back by winning their first quarter for the game (2.3 to 2.1). That was small consolation however, as the Sharks players enjoyed singing the club song for the first time since April 14. The emphatic victory was underlined with their continued dominance across all the major categories.

The confidence from winning the U/18s championship filtered through to the players on their return to club level. Jeremy Sharp topped the disposal tallies with 35 disposals, four marks and eight inside 50s. Rivers had 26 disposals, five tackles and three goals, while Luke Jackson was supreme with 17 disposals, seven tackles, a goal and 38 hit-outs.

On a tough day for Swans, it was Jak Watson who led the way in a wholehearted fashion with 27 disposals, eight tackles and three marks. With that loss the former ladder leaders have slipped to fourth place, just above East Perth on percentage. They have two byes in the space of the next three weeks and that will help to refresh any tired bodies, while there are a few talented prospects ready to resume Colts action who could make a big difference.

While the result was a negative, the clear positive for Swan Districts as a club was the fact that WA Under 18s star Denver Grainger-Barras made his debut for the senior team. The versatile 17 year-old certainly held his own with 12 disposals and four marks and is someone to keep a very close eye on ahead of the 2020 national draft.

Perth 8.14 (62) def. South Fremantle 6.10 (46)

After five consecutive defeats, Perth returned to the winners circle with a solid 16-point victory over South Fremantle at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday afternoon.

In this contest between the teams placed eighth and ninth it was a very tight first half with nothing more than a few points separating the teams. Perth went into the long break with a three point lead but had the majority of play on their watch with 40 more disposals (167-127), eight more marks (47-39) and 17 inside 50s.

Regan Clarke, the player with nerves of steel who won the WA the national U18s title with his last second goal against Vic Country, kept up his momentum in the first half with 14 disposals and four marks. While his state teammates Elijah Taylor and Nathan O’Driscoll had 13 and 12 disposals respectively. Meanwhile, Manfred Kelly led the way with 14 disposals for the Bulldogs.

In a game dying to be broken open, it was the Demons who did so in the third term. In keeping with the pattern of the contest, it wasn’t particularly pretty but the home side kicked 2.5 to 1.2 which gave them a two goal lead heading into the last term, which in truth felt a whole lot more in such a low scoring contest.

However, Darryl Anderson gave Bulldogs coach Luke Tedesco exactly what he would have been after with two quick goals either side of a Tarkyn Brogan-Henry major to which cut the margin to six points. However, that was where any possibility of a comeback ended as Perth kicked four goals without reply as Tarkyn Brogan-Henry kicked his second of the quarter with five minutes remaining which snuffed out any hope of a revival by the visitors.

The victory was Perth’s fourth for the season and first since round seven which sees them move ahead of East Fremantle who had temporary hold of that position with their victory earlier in the day. The Demons managed 21 more inside 50s (53-32) saw them record six more scoring shots which in a low scoring encounter made all the difference.

O’Driscoll and Clarke continued their fine first half form and finished with 28 and 26 disposals respectively. The bottom ager O’Driscoll also managed 13 tackles and 10 inside 50s. While the contribution of Brogan-Henry cannot be underestimated as he compiled 21 disposals and two goals. Kelly was a outstanding performer for the Bulldogs with 30 disposals, 10 tackles and nine inside 50s.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – Round 14

A mixed bag of results did not take away from some outstanding performances in Round 14 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts, with many from the title-winning Western Australia Under 18s squad returning to action. Lenny Fogliani was on hand to provide his opinion-based notes on outstanding players from three of the four fixtures.

East Fremantle vs. Swan Districts

East Fremantle:

#2 Michael Wright

Playing as a defensive small forward, the Chapman Valley Junior was outstanding for the Sharks, performing his role to perfection. He accumulated 16 possessions, recorded six inside 50s, grabbed four marks, laid three tackles and kicked a goal to be one of his team’s best.

#7 Jeremy Sharp

The dual All-Australian was at his best for the Sharks providing a heap of offence from the wing. His penetrating skills, elite speed and endurance, skilful evasive moves and line-breaking capabilities were all on display against the Swans. He finished with a game-high 35 possessions, eight inside 50s, four marks and a goal.

#10 Trent Rivers

The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, often throwing his body into stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. His ability to shrug off opponents is elite for someone his age, and at his size (191cm) this makes him a very attractive prospect. His decision-making, vision and skill execution were all on display for the home team. He finished with 26 possessions, five tackles and three goals.

#15 Jack Carroll

The 2017 WA U15s State Schoolboys representative continued his fine season for the Sharks with another sensational performance. Against the Swans, Carroll collected 21 possessions, laid four tackles and took two marks to be one of the Sharks’ best midfielders on the day.

#16 Chad Warner

The clearance machine was again brilliant for the home team, often winning the ball for his team and getting it forward. He accumulated 31 possessions, laid 13 tackles, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal in a telling performance. The Willetton junior shares similarities to West Coast’s Jack Redden in that both are tough, thrive on the contest, can win their own ball and apply serious pressure to the opposition.

#18 Chris Walker

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) member was excellent on the half-back line, providing a heap of rebound as well as intercepting a host of Swans’ attacking forays. He collected 15 possessions, grabbed six marks, and laid two tackles to be a pivotal player for East Fremantle’s victory.

#20 Brandon Walker

The 2018 AFL Under 16s All-Australian member increased his draft stocks for 2020 with another superb performance. Against Swan Districts, Walker accumulated 16 possessions, took four marks and laid two tackles, playing primarily across the half-back line. His line-breaking capabilities, decision-making and disposal efficiency are all at a fantastic level for someone his age. He is a part of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy.

#23 Luke Jackson

The Larke Medal runner-up showed why he is arguably the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool with another brilliant performance. He gathered 17 possessions, won a game-high 38 hit-outs, laid seven tackles and kicked a goal to be one of the most influential players in East Fremantle’s victory. His raw athleticism, ruck craft and endurance make him a tantalising prospect.

#25 Jai Jackson

Pushing through injury, Jackson played a great game playing as a hybrid forward. Against Swan Districts, Jackson collected 11 possessions, laid seven tackles, took three marks and kicked a goal to be one of the more dangerous forwards on the ground. As well as playing as a forward, Jackson has demonstrated an ability to push into the midfield where he uses his big frame to crash and bash his way through stoppages to get the ball going forward for his team.

#29 Reuben McGuire

The Wesley College student always provided a target inside 50 for his team-mates to kick to. He finished with 11 possessions, 12 hit-outs, four marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. His raw athleticism, power and aggression make him an attractive key forward prospect.

Swan Districts:

#11 Ashley Brockbernd

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member tried hard all day for the Swans, playing off the half-back line. Against East Fremantle, Brockbernd accumulated 11 possessions, laid six tackles, took two marks and recorded two inside 50s to try and keep his team within touching distance of the rampant Sharks.

#12 Brenton Hilton

The Ellenbrook junior was prolific for the Swans playing in defence. He was trying to thwart plenty of East Fremantle’s attacking forays, while also trying to provide plenty of rebound from the defensive zone. He finished with 22 possessions, five tackles, four inside 50s and three marks.

#18 Jake Pasini

Having made a name for himself as a strong key defender, Pasini showed off his versatility playing as a big-bodied inside midfielder against East Fremantle. He bullocked his way to 17 possessions, three marks, two tackles and two inside 50s.

#21 Jackson Ryan

The 17-year-old showed why he could be one of the rising key forward prospects out of Western Australia for next year’s AFL Draft with a powerful performance. Despite a lack of attacking forays, Ryan always provided an option for his team-mates and clunked four marks. He finished with two goals from seven possessions.

#25 Jermarl Daly

The South Hedland product showed flashes of his brilliance against the Sharks. One moment of his brilliance came in the second quarter, when he took a fantastic pack mark and then nailed the goal to bring the Swans within a goal of the Sharks. He finished with seven possessions, three tackles and a goal.

#34 Jak Watson

Arguably Swan Districts’ best player, Watson never stopped trying for the visitors but to no avail. He accumulated 27 possessions, laid eight tackles, grabbed three marks and recorded two inside 50s in a dazzling performance.

#52 Atem Deng

The West Coast Eagles Next-Generation Academy member was sublime for the Swans, playing on the half-forward line. He gathered 15 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded three inside 50s as he tried to create attacking opportunities for the visitors. Last year Deng finished seventh in Swans’ Best & Fairest, and another strong year would increase his draft chances.

#59 Ty Sears

The bottom-age star was brilliant for Swan Districts off the half-back line. Against East Fremantle, Sears collected 19 possessions, recorded three inside 50s and took two marks as he tried to create attacking drive from the defensive half.

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East Perth vs. Peel Thunder

East Perth:

#2 Adam Boules

Stationed on the wing, the Mount Hawthorn junior was prolific for the Royals, as he always provided a link for their attacking forays and displayed a desire to run defensively as well. He gathered 22 possessions, laid 11 tackles, took five marks and recorded four inside 50s to be one of the best for the Royals.

#8 Cooper Sparks

The Deanmill product continues to amass an excellent season for East Perth with another polished performance against the Thunder. He accumulated a team-high 25 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles, took two marks and kicked a goal to be the Royals’ best player on the night.

#9 Sebit Kuek

The West Coast Eagles’ NGA member was dangerous in the forward line for the Royals, always providing an option for his team-mates. He gathered 11 possessions, won 18 hitouts, took three marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal in a dazzling performance.

#15 Luke Lombardi

Playing on the half-back line, Lombardi showed why he could be a bolter for next year’s AFL Draft. He finished with 14 possessions, three marks and two tackles, showing off poise, composure and sound-decision-making with ball in hand.

#19 Joshua Hubbard

The Ellenbrook junior was outstanding for the Royals, rotating between the half-back line and the wing. His run and carry, link-up play, decision-making and skill execution were all pivotal in the Royals’ effort to defeat the Thunder. He finished with 17 possessions, six inside 50s, and four tackles.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The Southerners product was instrumental in the ruck for East Perth. He finished with 10 possessions, 33 hit-outs, five marks and four tackles, while being in an entertaining duel against Brendan Cooke (nine possessions and 30 hit-outs).

#39 Cody Rodgers

Playing in defence and up forward, Rodgers competed hard all night for the home team. He only gathered five possessions, but took three marks and kicked three goals to be a potent option up forward. His contested marking was a real feature of his game against the Thunder.

#49 Rhai-Arn Cox

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member showed off his flair and offensive tricks in the forward half for the Royals. He collected 14 possessions, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal in a solid performance. As a small forward, Cox boasts excellent goal sense and the ability to take strong contested marks – similar to how West Coast star Liam Ryan plays.

Peel Thunder:

#1 Tyrone Thorne

The WA U18s State Academy member was dangerous in the forward half for the Thunder, always on the move and ready to pounce on any scoring opportunities that came his way. Thorne also showed why he is considered to be one of the better small forwards in this year’s AFL Draft pool with six tackles to his name. He finished with 11 possessions and two goals.

#2 Jackson Knight

Currently fourth in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award, Knight continued his excellent campaign with another solid performance for the Thunder. Against East Perth, Knight accumulated 22 possessions, laid eight tackles, and recorded seven inside 50s to be one of the more damaging midfielders on the night.

#3 Roy George

Stationed in defence, George showed why he is such a prodigious talent with his intercepting and rebounding a real feature of his game. He gathered 10 possessions, took two marks, and even drifted forward to kick a goal.

#8 Zachary Rankin

Stationed on the wing, Rankin played an excellent two-way game for the Thunder, being defensively accountable but also showing off some offensive flair. Against the Royals, Rankin gathered 18 possessions, grabbed five marks, laid five tackles and recorded three inside 50s to be one of the more instrumental players in Peel’s victory.

#11 Jarvis Pina

The Peel Thunder captain was pivotal in his team’s victory over the Royals with a game-high 33 possessions, five marks, five tackles and two inside 50s. His reading of the play, decision-making and penetrating skills were all on display for the recruiters to see.

#13 Cameron Gavin

The Halls Head junior was outstanding for the Thunder, finishing with 15 possessions, five inside 50s, four marks and two goals in a sizzling performance. His forward half presence was outstanding for the Thunder and he played a big role in the victory with his decision-making and skill execution a real feature of his game.

#18 Ben Middleton

The leader in this year’s WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Award, Middleton showed why he is arguably the best forward in the competition. In nine games for the Thunder, Middleton has kicked 18 goals – three ahead of East Perth’s Sebit Kuek and West Perth’s Ewan Brazier. Against the Royals, Middleton kicked two goals from eight possessions and four marks.

#27 Jack Sears

Playing on the wing, Sears sent a timely reminder to recruiters on why he should be considered one of the best players in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. He collected 23 possessions, took eight marks and recorded six inside 50s in a powerful display.

Subiaco vs. Claremont

Claremont:

#3 Leno Thomas

The Fremantle NGA player was lively in the forward half for the Tigers. As well as being gifted with offensive tricks, Thomas showed off a defensive side of his game against the Lions, recording five tackles. He finished with 10 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal.

#5 Ronin O’Connor

Stationed in defence, O’Connor was solid for the Tigers, often repelling Subiaco’s attacking forays. He gathered 12 possessions, laid six tackles and took three marks, but it was his leadership down back that caught the eye. His ability to communicate with his team-mates about where they should position themselves was outstanding for someone his age.

#8 Jack Buller

Arguably best afield for the Tigers, Buller was instrumental playing as either a key position player or when he pinch-hit in the ruck. His strength in the contest was outstanding, often barging his way through the opposition to get the ball going forward for his team. His final statistics were 16 possessions, 26 hit-outs and three tackles.

#12 Joel Western

A bottom-age prospect, Western showed why he is such a promising prospect for the 2020 AFL Draft. Against Subiaco, Western accumulated 18 possessions, took three marks, recorded three inside 50s and laid two tackles, from the wing. His speed, agility, vision, decision-making and skill execution were all on display.

#14 Jack Cooley

The 2016 WA U15s State Schoolboy was outstanding in the midfield for the Tigers, accumulating 33 possessions, taking five marks, laying five tackles and recording five inside 50s as he willed his team to victory. His power to burst away from stoppages and to win the clearance was simply phenomenal

#15 Liam Henry

The U18 All-Australian was electrifying around the ground for the Tigers, using his speed, agility and evasive tricks to weave his way in and out of congestion. Once in space, Henry was balanced and had the poise to execute his skills to a high level. His decision-making was also elite against the Lions. He finished with 26 possessions, six marks, three tackles and two goals.

#16 Anthony Davis

Stationed on the half-back line, Davis showed why he is considered to be a draft smokey this year. Against the Lions, Davis gathered 13 possessions, laid six tackles and took three marks as he tried to repel plenty of Subiaco’s attacking forays.

#22 Jye Clark

The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan Clark, Jye showcased why he is considered a top-five midfielder in the competition. Like his older brother, Jye is physical in the contest, prepared to throw his body on the line, is a sound-decision maker and is an excellent distributor whether by hand or foot. Against Subiaco, Clark finished with 35 possessions, five inside 50s, three marks and three tackles.

#25 Callum Jamieson

The North Beach junior was terrific for the Tigers, rotating between the forward line and the ruck. He gathered 10 possessions, won 20 hitouts, laid four tackles, took two marks and kicked two goals in a powerful display.

#35 Isaiah Butters

In just his second game of WAFL Colts, Butters showed he belongs at the level with a lively performance against Subiaco. He collected 18 possessions, took six marks, laid three tackles, recorded three inside 50s and kicked two goals in a dazzling display.

Subiaco:

#1 Jacob Peletier

The Esperance product was superb in the midfield for the Lions, racking up 24 possessions, recording three inside 50s, taking two marks and laying two tackles. His leadership throughout the game was exemplary, often throwing his body on the line to try and win the contested ball for his team.

#8 Ben Golding

Against the Tigers, Golding produced a performance that highlighted why he is currently third in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award. He gathered 29 possessions, laid 10 tackles, took eight marks, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal as he tried to will his team to victory. The only blemish on his performance was two behinds.

#19 Lachlan Henderson

Stationed at centre half-back, Henderson was outstanding for the home team, often repelling Claremont’s attacking forays. The 17-year-old finished with 10 possessions, four hit-outs and two marks in a solid performance.

#21 Connor Patterson

In just his fifth game of WAFL Colts, Patterson showed signs of being a gun player for the Lions. He gathered nine possessions, took three marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked two goals in a lively performance.

#27 Trey Kennedy

The Warwick-Greenwood junior was superb off the half-back line for the Lions, amassing 18 possessions, four marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. His defensive accountability, combined with his decision-making and skill execution make him an elite half-back flanker.

#37 Abraham Clinch

The Warwick-Greenwood product was prolific in the midfield for the Lions, gathering a team-high 32 possessions, recording five inside 50s, taking four marks, laying two tackles and kicking a goal. His desire to throw his body into congestion to win the ball for his team is outstanding for someone his age.

#41 Tyler Broughton

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent in the forward line for the Lions, using his speed, agility and flair to create scoring opportunities for his team. He accumulated 12 possessions, laid five tackles, took four marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal to be one of the most dangerous forwards on the ground.

#50 Xavier Peacock

The 2018 WA U18s State Academy player showed why he is one of the best ruckmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. His work around the ground, ruck craft and strength in the contest were all on display. He finished with 12 possessions, 17 hit-outs, three marks, three inside 50s and two tackles.

Scouting notes: AFL U18 Championships – Vic Country vs. Western Australia

WESTERN Australia took out the AFL Under-18 National Championships title with a narrow victory over Vic Country thanks to a goal after the siren. We were on hand to note down some of the prominent players, with all notes opinion-based of the individual writer.

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams

#2 Caleb Serong

Had one of the more quiet halves he has had on the big stage with just four touches in the first half against Western Australia. Visibly frustrated as he came to the bench at one point in the second term, Serong came out with intent in the second half to pick up 12 touches and finish with 16 by the final siren. Only the one effective kick, but buried himself under the packs and won 10 contested possessions and four hardball gets. Not the best game overall, but he was able to inspire his team more in the second half and it was a key reason Country got back in the contest. His overall carnival was superb and he throughly deserved his Country Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and All Australian honours.

#4 Sam Flanders

Was one of the more dominant Vic Country players early, but let himself down by foot in the first half, with four clangers by half-time. He was winning the ball in tight and able to get it out to his teammates and keep it moving, but found himself under pressure when at defensive stoppages and had to throw in on the boot. After half-time he was sharper by foot and ended up with a team-high 24 touches and seven clearances as the dominant inside midfielder on the Country side. He almost had a quarter of his team’s clearances and continued what was a marvellous carnival with an All Australian jumper.

#9 Isaac Wareham

Underrated performance by the GWV Rebels’ midfielder who while he made some mistakes, kept trying to take the game on and would have been high up there with metres gained. He almost created a highlight-reel burst out of the middle at one point but just slipped with a bounce and had to rush to get it out, and on another occasion was sold into trouble by a teammate. As a whole, he was one of the better Country players and he has good vision that sets up teammates laterally and opens up scoring opportunities. He looked most comfortable on the wing and was able to execute the kick inside the corridor, and also provide some opportunities for teammates going forward.

#12 Lachlan Ash

Like many of his teammates, he seemed a tad off in the first half with a couple of clangers – something that no-one associates Ash with given his elite kicking skills. He shook that off in the third term, as he burst off half-back, won a one-on-one against Liam Henry, took on the opposition and then with a dart inside 50 hit-up Brodie Kemp for a goal reminiscent of last week’s match winner against South Australia. His foot skills in the second half were back to what we have come to know from the exciting runner, and he and Hayden Young’s slicing kicks were forcing Western Australia onto the back foot. Finished with a team-high eight rebounds, five more than his next highest teammate.

#13 Jay Rantall

Just kept buzzing around the stoppages and running all day, using quick hands in close and when in space to open up opportunities for teammates. Knowing his own strengths, Rantall executed under pressure handballs to good effect and went in hard to win a team-high amount of hardball gets. He also was able to win a number of important clearances around the ground and had a flying shot on the goal to create something out of nothing, but missed.

#16 Brodie Kemp

Another standout game for Country and continues his ascent up draft boards with some crucial marks inside 50. He booted two goals from four scoring shots, and always threatened to be a danger in the air. One of the few consistent Country performers across the game, Kemp spent a lot of time on the inside and then went forward, winning 11 contested possessions and taking two contested marks. His strength in the air or at ground level was clear, and he was able to pump the ball inside 50 on numerous occasions. While he still made some mistakes by foot, Kemp was another player who took risks and was willing to put it on the line to try and win the championships for Country. A deserving All Australian member.

#17 Hayden Young

When Young hit-up a Western Australian opponent 40m out with a short kick from deep in defence under limited pressure, it was clear Vic County were not on their game early. Similar to Ash, Young and clanger kicks do not belong in the same sentence, and he fixed that in the second half with some terrific long bombs to find teammates in difficult positions but made it look easy with his ability. One kick that exemplified what Young is capable of came in the final term when under pressure he kicked 40m across his body inboard, over a few West Australian opponents to land in the lap of the running Isaac Wareham who did not need to break stride. Also collected an All Australian jumper for his carnival.

#36 Sam De Koning

The tall defender was Country’s best player if you take into account all four quarters. When very few were standing up, he was repelling attacks in the back 50 with strong intercept marks and rebounds out of defence. He came in with timely spoils on the lead and was able to nullify his opponents one-on-one. He also settled down the defence and kicked long out of the back half, though did make mistakes by foot. De Koning was at his best when able to drop back and take a settling mark then set up plays from defence to attack.

Western Australia:

By: Lenny Fogliani

#4 Riley Garcia

Until he injured his knee midway through the first quarter, Garcia was arguably Western Australia’s best player. He provided a heap of energy and zip around the contest and proved to be a damaging link-up player. His final statistics were seven possessions, three clearances and two tackles.

#5 Liam Henry

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy member increased his draft stocks with another exquisite performance. Against the ‘Big V’, Henry racked up 25 possessions, took six marks, recorded five rebounds, laid five tackles and produced four inside 50s. His mercurial ability to weave his way around opposition pressure, before composing himself and finding a team-mate in space, is extraordinary for someone his age.

#7 Nathan O’Driscoll

Another bottom-age prospect, O’Driscoll was brilliant on the half-back line for the Sandgropers. He finished with 21 possessions, six tackles, four marks, four inside 50s and two rebounds, providing good zip on the outside and damaging run forward.

#10 Deven Robertson

The WA Under 18 captain continued his magnificent campaign that saw him win the Larke Medal and the WA U18 MVP. Against Vic Country, he accumulated a game-high 28 possessions, laid eight tackles, won six clearances and recorded six inside 50s to be WA’s best player. His contested possessions and clearance work were outstanding and pivotal for WA’s victory.

#12 Regan Clarke

The match winner – Clarke will go down in WA history after he kicked the winning goal with five seconds to go in the final quarter. After taking the mark, Clarke was able to duly convert his set shot to give WA its first Championships triumph since 2009. But he was also fantastic throughout the game, finishing with 14 possessions, seven marks, three inside 50s and two tackles.

#14 Chad Warner

The Willetton product was busy in the midfield for the Sandgropers, often throwing himself into stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. He finished with 22 possessions, six inside 50s, five tackles, four clearances, and three marks. Warner shares similar traits to West Coast star Jack Redden – both are clearance machines and get the ball going forward for their respective teams.

#17 Jeremy Sharp

The reigning All-Australian put forward his best game for the WA at this year’s Championships. Against Vic Country he finished with 20 possessions, 11 marks, and a goal. His penetrating kicking, line-breaking ability and composure with ball in hand were all on display.

#21 Jake Pasini

The no-nonsense defender produced another solid performance for the Sandgropers. Lined up on Josh Smith, Pasini only gathered seven possessions and took two marks, but restricted Smith to five possessions and no goals.

#32 Luke Jackson

The runner-up in this year’s Larke Medal, Jackson showed why he is considered to be the best ruckman in this year’s draft pool. He accumulated 19 possessions, won 37 hitouts, five clearances, recorded five inside 50s, took three marks and laid two tackles to be one of the most influential players for Western Australia. His follow-up work and ability to cover the ground are elite for a ruckman his age.

#36 Denver Grainger-Barras

The bottom-ager was excellent in defence for the Sandgropers, often thwarting many of Vic Country’s attacking forays. Stationed at centre half-back and opposed to Elijah Hollands, Grainger-Barras accumulated 13 possessions and took eight marks, while Hollands gathered 14 possessions but failed to kick a goal.

Robertson leads class of 2019 in All Australian side

LARKE medallist Deven Robertson leads a strong brigade of midfielders in the 2019 Under 18 All Australian side which was announced today. The team features an impressive seven players from Vic Country and six from champions Western Australia, while South Australia has four players. The Allies and Vic Metro have supplied three players each to the team.

Vic Country’s defence was a strength of its 2019 campaign, with full-back Sam De Koning, and half backs Lachlan Ash and Hayden Young making the side. Up forward, Gippsland Power teammates Sam Flanders and Country Most Valuable Player (MVP) Caleb Serong have both secured spots, while Cody Weightman has been named on the bench after a superb carnival as the leading goal kicker. For the eventual champions Western Australia, their entire midfield just about made the cut with captain Robertson leading the charge, joined in the side by Trent Rivers, Jeremy Sharp, Liam Henry and ruckman Luke Jackson. Elijah Taylor also earned All Australian honours up forward after an electrifying few weeks.

South Australia provided Will Gould who along with Sharp and Mitch O’Neill made it back-to-back All Australian appearances, with the Croweaters captain supported by teammates, Jackson Mead, Harry Schoenberg and Dylan Stephens. The Allies MVP Tom Green and Harrison Medallist (best Academy Series player) Connor Budarick made the side along with O’Neill, meaning one from each of Queensland, New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) and Tasmania have achieved All Australian status. Vic Metro’s potential top two picks Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson were unsurprising inclusions in the side, along with Metro MVP Fischer McAsey who holds down a key back position.

Western Australia’s title-winning coach Peter Sumich was named as coach of the 2019 Under-18 All Australian side. Remarkably, no bottom-age players made the All Australian side this year, meaning next year’s squad is likely to be made up of 23 fresh new players.

FULL BACKS:

CONNOR BUDARICK – ALLIES

The talented midfielder was named in the back pocket having spent time in defence during the Academy Series, averaging 15.5 disposals, 2.3 marks and 9.3 rebounds in the AFL National Under 18 Championships. He had just the two rebounds during the four-game championships, but can play anywhere on the field and earned his place after winning the Harrison Medal.

SAM DE KONING – VIC COUNTRY

Consistent as ever across the series, De Koning got better as the carnival went on, and was one of Vic Country’s best in the final two games when a lot of his teammates were down on form. His intercept marking was a treat to watch as he finished the carnival with 12.5 disposals, 4.8 marks and 2.3 rebounds, playing mostly as a one-on-one defender with great spoiling technique.

WILL GOULD – SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The South Australian captain made it back-to-back all Australian jumpers and as the premier rebounder of the competition, it was no surprise to see his name feature in defence. He averaged 21.5 disposals, 4.5 marks, 2.5 tackles and a mammoth 7.5 rebounds – seven more total rebounds than his nearest competitor. An absolute beast who almost won his side the game against Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium.

 

HALF BACKS:

LACHLAN ASH – VIC COUNTRY

The slick, powerful boot of Lachlan Ash featured plenty of times over the championships, and he ranked third in the competition for rebounds and the highest disposal winner of the five rebounders. Ash finished with 23.0 disposals, 5.0 marks and 5.0 rebounds, as well as a handy 3.0 inside 50s getting forward and setting up attacking plays. Ash was the one who found Brodie Kemp for the winning goal against South Australia.

FISCHER MCASEY – VIC METRO

The Metro MVP was a revelation during the carnival and showed off his strength, intercept marking and long kicking out of defence. The Sandringham Dragons product racked up 14.5 disposals, 6.5 marks, 3.3 tackles and 2.5 rebounds clearly being the most important player for Metro and helping them in each and every game with great consistency.

HAYDEN YOUNG – VIC COUNTRY

Similar to Ash, Young has a super boot that he uses to penetrate through opposition zones and his elite kicking skills were on display throughout the carnival. Ranked fourth overall for rebounds, Young completed the series with an averaged of 22.0 disposals, 5.3 marks, 2.3 tackles and 4.5 rebounds.

 

CENTRE:

NOAH ANDERSON – VIC METRO

The powerful midfielder averaged an impressive 23.5 disposals, 3.3 marks, 2.8 tackles, 5.3 clearances and 3.0 rebounds, living up to pre-carnival expectations. He recorded the equal fifth and equal third most disposals across the tournament, being a key difference in the midfield battle between teams and finishing top five in the Larke Medal voting.

DEVEN ROBERTSON – WESTERN AUSTRALIA (CAPTAIN)

The Western Australia captain finished with a swagger of awards including state MVP, Larke Medal and All Australian jumper and the captaincy to boot. The ball winning midfielder not only had an impressive carnival, but he dominated, picking up the most ever disposals – 120 – which was two more than Sam Walsh last year. He also amassed an average of 4.3 marks, 6.8 tackles, 4.8 clearances, 4.0 inside 50s and 3.5 rebounds in a well-rounded game overall.

MITCH O’NEILL – ALLIES

The Tasmania Devils talent had two best on ground performances for the Allies across the carnival, averaging 20.3 disposals, 5.5 marks, 2.5 clearances and 3.3 rebounds spending time in defence and using his effective skills when driving the Allies forward. A key talent who does not win as much of the footy as others, but uses it well. Back-to-back All-Australians for O’Neill after making the squad on the bench last year.

 

HALF FORWARDS:

JACKSON MEAD – SOUTH AUSTRALIA

One of five midfielders named in the forward line, Mead did show an ability to play forward, booting two crucial last quarter goals for South Australia against Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium. They were his only two goals of the carnival as he dominated the midfield with 21.3 disposals, 3.3 marks, 3.0 clearances, 3.8 inside 50s and 5.0 tackles to be the playmaker in the forward half setting up scoring opportunities for his teammates.

ELIJAH TAYLOR – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The exciting forward looked classy throughout the past month, booting three goals against the Allies to help turn the game in the Sandgropers favour, and earning a place in the All Australian forward line. He finished with six goals from his four games to be equal third in the competition for goals, also averaging 12.3 disposals and 2.5 marks.

SAM FLANDERS – VIC COUNTRY

The Gippsland Power potential top five pick was one of Vic Country’s most consistent along with Power teammate and Country MVP Caleb Serong. He averaged 22.5 disposals, 4.5 marks, 6.0 tackles, 4.5 clearances and 4.8 inside 50s across his four games to stamp his authority on each and every match. He only managed the two goals, but was constantly looking like a threat in the forward half.

 

FORWARDS:

CALEB SERONG – VIC COUNTRY

Vic Country’s MVP ball-winning midfielder finds a place in the forward pocket, a role he has played as a bottom ager and is capable of doing. He booted three goals from his four games this carnival, racking up the equal fifth most disposals across the matches, averaging 23.5 disposals, 5.5 marks, 8.5 tackles, 5.3 clearances and 3.0 inside 50s.

BRODIE KEMP – VIC COUNTRY

The Bendigo Pioneers utility played everywhere over the championships, starting in the back pocket, moving into his dominant midfield role, then going forward and kicking crucial goals after towering marks. The most memorable was the winning goal for Vic Country against South Australia, but his whole carnival was a highlight, raising his draft stakes by averaging 20.0 disposals, 6.5 marks, 2.3 tackles and booting three goals in his four games.

LIAM HENRY – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Mixed emotions for Fremantle fans as their Next Generation Academy prospect Liam Henry earns a spot in the All Australian team. His talent is undeniable but his value at the draft board just skyrocketed, as he enjoyed an impressive carnival, booting three goals in four games, but having 17.5 disposals, 5.3 marks, 4.0 tackles and 3.3 inside 50s.

 

RUCK/ROVERS:

LUKE JACKSON – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The dominant ruckman across the championships, Jackson stamped his authority as the top ruck in this year’s draft crop with four impressive games. Jackson recorded a massive 59 more hitouts than the next highest ruck, averaging 36.8 per game, while finding the ball with 14.5 disposals, 2.5 marks and 3.0 tackles.

TOM GREEN – ALLIES

The big-bodied inside midfielder took out the Allies’ MVP and showed off his leadership skills throughout as captain of the combined side. His inside work was the best of anyone and followed on from a remarkable Academy Series where he averaged more than 30 disposals and 10 clearances. Green once again was the number one clearance player, averaging eight per game as well as 23.8 disposals, 2.8 marks and 4.5 tackles, with almost 50 per cent of his possessions once in the the contest.

MATT ROWELL – VIC METRO

The potential number one pick in the 2019 AFL National Draft did not harm his draft chances one iota after he was named among the best in each of the four games, including a couple of best on ground performances. He amassed 24.8 disposals, 5.0 marks, 6.0 tackles, 5.3 clearances and 3.0 inside 50s, ranked third for both disposals and clearances in a terrific carnival, adding yet another award to his already impressive collection.

 

INTERCHANGE:

HARRY SCHOENBERG – SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The South Australian MVP was a bolter of the carnival, impressing over highly fancied teammates and becoming a crucial player both on the inside and outside of the contest. He averaged the second most disposals behind the Larke Medallist Robertson, finished with 27.0 disposals, 4.8 marks, 4.8 tackles and 5.8 clearances.

JEREMY SHARP – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The third back-to-back All Australian played all over the ground, from defence to attack and in midfield, and had a solid all-round game with 21.0 disposals, 5.8 marks and three goals from his four games to earn a place in the 23-player squad.

CODY WEIGHTMAN – VIC COUNTRY

The speedy small forward continued his rise in the NAB League Boys with Dandenong Stingrays by topping the goal kicking in his four games. He finished with nine goals – eight of them came in two games, and also recorded 11.0 disposals, 3.5 marks, 2.0 tackles and 2.3 goals and could have arguably made the field as the top performing pure forward in the side.

TRENT RIVERS – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The classy midfielder never let his team down and was a key player with Robertson in the midfield, working hard on the outside and from half-back to use his vision and skill to pinpoint targets up the field. He had 21.8 disposals, 5.0 marks, 2.5 tackles and 3.0 rebounds across the tournament and could be the Sandgropers first player picked in November.

DYLAN STEPHENS – SOUTH AUSTRALIA

In three of the four games, Stephens was terrific using his slick skills and movement in transition to great effect going forward with the ball. He averaged 23.5 disposals, 3.5 marks, 4.3 tackles, 4.5 clearances and 4.8 inside 50s playing his role as that outside midfielder perfectly.

Deja vu as Western Australia clinch national title

IT was a case of déjà vu for Western Australia as the same group that beat Country to the National Championship title at Under-16 level with the last kick of the game did exactly the same two years later, winning a thriller by five points.

A Regan Clarke set shot just before the siren cancelled out Ned Cahill’s soccer goal to pinch the lead, with absolute scenes ensuing at Marvel Stadium after what was a rather slow first three quarters.

The visitors started brightly, bossing general play with the ball locked into their forward half and Country unable to create any form of rebound. Arguably the standout of the opening term, Jeremy Sharp started the scoring as he held onto a neat Elijah Taylor pass across the arc and kicked truly, with Callum Jamieson snaring WA’s second as he snatched the ball from Isaac Wareham and dribbled home, while Jai Jackson compounded a dominant first 15 minutes with his own set shot conversion. An injury to Riley Garcia as he fell awkwardly in a marking contest soured the look of the scoreboard, with the Sandgropers breaking to an even three-goal lead. Cahill missed a cut-edge opportunity late in the piece with time added on, opting for a shot with teammates screaming for it inside 50.

The second term started with much of the same, but WA’s Jamieson and Nathan O’Driscoll, and Sharp all missed set shot chances in the first seven minutes. The visitors just seemed to have greater numbers around the ball, with the likes of Liam Henry spreading best to get them moving forward. Meanwhile, Country lacked fluency in all areas as they struggled again to get the ball moving out of defence – as even the likes of Hayden Young and Lachlan Ash found themselves turning the ball over by foot. Logan McDonald snapped the streak of behinds at the fourth and fifth time of asking for WA, slotting a set shot and soccering off the ground to compile the misery for Country. Ned Cahill finally broke through for the home side’s first goal, earning a free kick at the bottom of the pack and making amends for his earlier miss. The struggle continued for them though as they got forward to no avail, with WA’s spare behind the ball proving more than handy as they led by 25 points at the main break.

A typically shrewd Cody Weightman snap early in the third term made it unlikely back-to-back goals for Country for the first time in the game. Their small momentum shift was quelled relatively quickly though as Tyrone Thorne dribble home a nice goal, with deadlock again setting in shortly after. Ash comprehensively burst that bubble with a highlight reel run through the middle and booming kick inside 50 to Brodie Kemp, who duly sent another through the big sticks, and the big-bodied Pioneer backed it up with another mark and goal to cut the margin to 11 points heading into the final break.

A Nicholas Martin overhead grab backing back in the forward pocket was the first highlight of the fourth term, and he cut inboard to find Sharp in worlds of space. The East Fremantle would go on to miss the resultant shot, but Riley Baldi could not quite him pay up the other end – missing from close-range after a 50-metre penalty and Country forward-half possession. Another 50-metre penalty gave Charlie Comben the opportunity to cut the margin to just five points after he marked well in front of Luke Jackson, and he delivered with 10 minutes remaining. Caleb Serong almost put his side in front but saw his shot touched on the line, but Kemp again looked to be the saviour with a big clunk deep in the pocket – only to hit the post with the shot. Henry popped back up with two chances to stick the dagger in Country’s heart but missed both with just five minutes on the clock, but Ned Cahill had no such worries with an opportunistic soccer-goal from the goalsquare to momentarily pinch the lead. A lunging Serong tackle looked a game-winner as WA almost got a shot off, but Clarke’s mark and goal just before the siren ended up being just that in a memorable finish.

After the game, Deven Robertson was announced as Western Australia’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), while Serong was named Vic Country’s top prospect for the carnival.

FINAL SCORES:
VC: 0.3 | 1.4 | 4.6 | 6.10 (46)
WA: 3.3 | 5.5 | 6.5 | 7.9 (51)

GOALS:
VC: N. Cahill 2, B. Kemp 2, C. Weightman, C. Comben
WA: L. McDonald 2, J. Sharp, C. Jamieson, J. Jackson, T. Thorne, R. Clarke

ADC BEST:

VC: S. Flanders, B. Kemp, H. Young, S. De Koning, L. Ash, C. Serong
WA: L. Henry, J. Sharp, D. Robertson, N. O’Driscoll, D. Grainger-Baras, L. Jackson

Western Australia and Vic Country to decide AFL U18s title

A NEW national champion will be crowned tomorrow evening with Vic Country and Western Australia set to lock horns for the national title, while South Australia and the Allies play after in what has become a dead rubber match, but still plenty of talent on show. Vic Country has not won since 2015, with Vic Metro and South Australia combining for the other seven titles in that time. Josh Schache was named the Larke Medallist for his dominance up forward, in a team that included Darcy Parish, Ben Ainsworth, Jarrod Berry, Jacob Weitering and Rhys Mathieson. For Western Australia, the time between wins is even longer, with a decade passing since their 2009 triumph where the likes of David Swallow, Mitch Duncan, Jack Darling, Brandon Matera and Travis Colyer were running around in the yellow and black.

 

VIC COUNTRY vs. WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Wednesday July 3, 2.10pm
Marvel Stadium

The 2019 AFL Under-18 National Championships once again comes down to the final day, and the winner of this match between Vic Country and Western Australia with the home side undefeated from its three games, while Western Australia has won two out of three, the only blip coming in a low-scoring against South Australia in Round 1. Both teams have accounted for the Allies and Vic Metro – with Country notching up its two wins early on including a 15-goal humiliation of the Allies, while Western Australia had to fight hard but recorded strong wins over both. This game is set to be a beauty with the strong defence of the Country side going head-to-head with the excitement machines that represent Western Australia.

Vic Country has made two changes for the game with Sandringham Dragons’ Darcy Chirgwin coming in for his first game of the series following a successful return from injury a couple of weekends ago against Eastern Ranges. That day he collected 32 disposals and 11 clearances in an impressive return match, joined in the Country side by Murray Bushrangers’ Cam Wild who was left out of the Murray side on the weekend in order to play this game, but picked up 29 touches the week prior. Fraser Phillips and Lachlan Williams are the two players to miss out after quiet games in the narrow win over South Australia. Western Australia has opted for four changes with the highly rated Jeremy Sharp missing out on the side this week, while Cameron Anderson, Tristan Hobley and Reuben McGuire are also out of the team. In their place come a couple of overagers in Ryan Bennell and Jarvis Pina, as well as Nathan O’Driscoll and Nicholas Martin.

Both teams have the capability to move the ball with speed, and for Country, it has the two best half-backs in the draft in Hayden Young and Lachlan Ash making life difficult for any side as they slice up opposition zones. Brock Smith and Sam De Koning have proven to stand up as the key talls, with Smith having to play in a higher weight division as he will with a potential match-up against bottom-age tall Logan McDonald on the cards. The small forwards of Country have been very damaging with Cody Weightman the leading goalkicker of the carnival and it will be between him and Elijah Taylor to take out the title. Elijah Hollands has weaved magic across the past month despite being a bottom-ager, while Ned Cahill has worked well with Weightman transitioning from Dandenong Stingrays to the Country side. The midfield of Gippsland Power duo, Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders, and Bendigo Pioneers’ Brodie Kemp has made a massive difference and will no doubt look to control the ball in there, able to match it with the strong West Australian midfielders.

Western Australia’s strength lies in its ruck and speed. Luke Jackson is the dominant ruck and is set for All-Australian honours, while Taylor, Liam Henry and Tyrone Thorne have that X-factor about them and can create something out of nothing. Deven Robertson has done his draft chances no harm after being injured last year, coming second in the disposals across the carnival, and being a shining light as captain of the Sandgropers. Riley Garcia and Chad Warner have also been consistent in there, while Trent Rivers is a touch of class who can play between half-back and the wing, or go through the middle. The bottom-age talls of McDonald and Denver Grainger-Barras hold the visitors in good stead for next year, while Jake Pasini and Callum Jamieson have been strong up either end at the carnival. Spectators also get a glimpse of bottom-age talent O’Driscoll who has been named at half-back, in a game that is predicted to be an absolute beauty.

Vic Country will head in as favourites having gone undefeated thus far, but Western Australia are fresh off a rest whereas Vic Country have the five-day break so it will be interesting to see how that affects them.

TEAMS

Vic Country:

B: 26. Jesse Clark – 36. Sam De Koning – 9. Isaac Wareham
HB: 12. Lachlan Ash – 24. Brock Smith – 18. Hayden Young
C: 8. Thomson Dow – 16. Brodie Kemp – 15. Ryan Sparkes
HF: 1. Ned Cahill – 20. Elijah Hollands – 13. Jay Rantall
F: 6. Riley Baldi – 39. Josh Smith – 3. Cody Weightman
R: 40. Charlie Comben – 4. Sam Flanders – 2. Caleb Serong
INT: 22. Darcy Chirgwin – 14. Liam Herbert – 10. Harrison Pepper – 5. Cameron Wild

IN: Darcy Chirgwin, Cam Wild
OUT: Fraser Phillips, Lachlan Williams

Western Australia:

B: 13. Ben Johnson – 21. Jake Pasini – 20. Jaxon Prior
HB: 22. Max Murphy – 36. Denver Grainger-Barras – 7. Nathan O’Driscoll
C: 12. Regan Clarke – 10. Deven Robertson – 5. Liam Henry
HF: 18. Jai Jackson – 25. Logan McDonald – 19. ELijah Taylor
F: 23. Nicholas Martin – 39. Callum Jamieson – 3. Tyrone Thorne
R: 32. Luke Jackson – 14. Chad Warner – 4. Riley Garcia
INT: 34. Ryan Bennell – 24. Ronin O’Connor – 11. Jarvis Pina – 35. Trent Rivers – 26. Trey Ruscoe

IN: Nathan O’Driscoll – Nicholas Martin, Ryan Bennell, Jarvis Pina
OUT: Cameron Anderson, Tristan Hobley, Jeremy Sharp, Reuben McGuire

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA vs. ALLIES
Wednesday July 3, 4.40pm
Marvel Stadium

In the second game of the double-header, South Australia and Allies will effectively play-off for third spot having already amassed two losses from three games. As South Australia defeated Western Australia, the Croweaters can effectively grab second with a win over the Allies and a Vic Country triumph in the first game. However they could also finish last with a loss, because they also lost to Vic Metro who sit with the same amount of wins – one. If the Allies win they will grab third, while if they lose they will be fourth after ensuring they will not finish last thanks to the win over Vic Metro. South Australia came agonisingly close to making this a title game if they had come away with the points against Vic Country, but with their back-to-back hopes dashed, the Croweaters will be keen to finish off the carnival with a good win.

The Allies have made two changes to the side that got over the line by two points against Vic Metro, recalling exciting bottom-age forward Braeden Campbell, as well as ball winner, Jeromy Lucas who has been named at full-forward. Out of the side go Nicholas Brewer and James Peatling. The South Australians have also made the two changes with Kysaiah Pickett returning from suspension for the game, joined in the side by Jordan Moore, while Jordan O’Brien and Brady Searle are the outs from the team that narrowly lost to Vic Country in the previous game.

The battle of the midfields will be entertaining with Jackson Mead, Harry Schoenberg and Lachlan McNeil going head-to-head with Tom Green, Ben Jungfer and Connor Budarick on the outside, while Will Martyn and Mitch O’Neill will hope to match the run provided by Dylan Stephens and Josh Shute on the wing. Up forward, South Australia has some great variety with Daniel Sladojevic the key tall, Cameron Taheny as the talented medium forward, and Pickett as the electrifying small. Noah Cumberland, Tom Griffiths and Luke Parks are in some good form and will look to cover the smalls and mediums, while Liam Delahunty could have the job on Sladojevic.

Up the other end, the South Australian defence is right up there in terms of quality with Dyson Hilder and Karl Finlay a couple of dominant tall intercept markers, allowing captain Will Gould to run riot off half-back. Will Day and Luke Edwards also create great run and rebound out of the back half, but will need to be accountable to the likes of Campbell and Hewago Paul Oea who are nimble and damaging if given time and space. Josh Gore is in some ripping form after three goals in the last game, and Hamish Ellem has also produced the goods at ground level. Add in the Allies depth of Errol Gulden and Malcolm Rosas Jr coming off the bench through the forward half and they have plenty of scoring options. Corey Durdin is a name to remember for next year for the Croweaters, while Damon Freitag could cause issues given his size and strength.

South Australia will be favourites in this game given how close all of their games have been, but the Allies have improved each game they have run out, so if that is any indication, they are set to hold up here against strong opposition.

TEAMS:

South Australia:

B: 35. Karl Finlay – 33. Dyson Hilder – 22. Harrison Magor
HB: 19. Luke Edwards – 24. Will Gould – 12. Will Day
C: 10. Joshua Shute – 18. Jackson Mead – 7. Dylan Stephens
HF: 8. Jed McEntee – 32. Daniel Sladojevic – 17. Josh Morris
F: 31. Jordan Moore – 9. Cameron Taheny – 1. Kysaiah Pickett
R: 37. Lachlan Burrows – 15. Harry Schoenberg – 20. Lachlan McNeil
INT: 14. Declan Carmody – 3. Corey Durdin – 42. Damon Freitag – 11. Callum Park – 28 Oliver Shaw

IN: Kysaiah Pickett, Jordan Moore
OUT: Jordan O’Brien, Brady Searle

Allies:

B: 8. Tom Griffiths – 52. Dirk Koenen – 21. Luke Parks
HB: 46. Noah Cumberland – 26. Liam Delahunty – 36. Sam Thorne
C: 15. Will Martyn – 3. Connor Budarick – 9. Mitch O’Neill
HF: 5. Braeden Campbell – 37. Josh Gore – 2. Hewago Paul Oea
F: 31. Hamish Ellem – 47. Jeromy Lucas – 32. Jack Steele
R: 54. Ben Kelly – 22. Thomas Green – 16. Ben Jungfer
INT: 12. Ashton Crossley – 1. Errol Gulden – 24.Joel Jeffrey – 20. Matt McGrory – 4. Malcolm Rosas Jr

IN: Jeromy Lucas, Braeden Campbell
OUT: Nicholas Brewer, James Peatling

Draft Central Power Rankings: July 2019

AFTER a massive 2018 which saw so many talented players realise their dreams, we turn our attention to the 2019 AFL Draft crop. In the third edition of our monthly Power Rankings which is posted on the first Monday of every month, we have compiled our top 30 players at this stage of the year. So much changes over the next 12 months, with only bottom-age form and the first couple of months of the seasons to go by so far. Take note that the order is based purely on opinion and ability, not on any AFL club lists or needs. In July, despite the list extended out to our top 30, there are still a number of prospects knocking on the door. For our June monthly rankings, check out this link.

#1 Matthew Rowell

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder
01/07/2001 | 178cm | 75kg

Easily the most consistent player in the 2019 draft crop, having barely ever played a bad game. The inside midfielder is a tackling machine, averaging double-figure tackles at NAB League Boys level, while also racking up a massive 7.3 clearances per game. What is remarkable about Rowell is not only his ability to win the ball, but his ability to bring teammates into the game. Rowell is always looking to provide possession to a teammate in a better position, but when he needs to step up, Rowell is more than capable of finishing on his own. When at forward stoppages, Rowell has a nous of breaking away and snapping off his left as he did twice against Casey Demons on the MCG. There are plenty of candidates to the number one pick this year, but Rowell looks the 2019 equivalent of Sam Walsh – consistent across the board and just ticks all the boxes. He will spend the year playing school footy outside his National Under 18 Championships commitments before returning to the Chargers’ for their finals campaign.

June Ranking: #1

Last month: Rowell was a standout performer for Vic Metro in the AFL Under 18 Championships to no-one’s surprise. While many teammates could not lift in the opening two games, Rowell was a steady force for the Metro team and continued his form throughout the four matches. He averaged 24.8 disposals, 5.0 marks and 0.8 goals at the carnival and it is hard to see him displaced from the top spot on the list.

#2 Noah Anderson

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder/Forward
17/02/2001 | 190cm | 87kg

In what was thought to be an anomaly last year with Henley High pairing Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine touted as potential pick one and two, Anderson and Rowell both attend Carey Grammar, making it a daunting combo for any other APS school. Anderson is different to Rowell in the sense he is taller, has the ability to break open a game in a quarter, and has a booming kick that easily travels greater than 50 metres. He has enjoyed a consistent start to the year and has not done too much wrong, with his field kicking an area he could improve on at times. When inside the forward half, Anderson is one of the most damaging prospects in the draft crop, and expect him to have an impact around goals at the National Under 18 Championships for Vic Metro. His game-breaking ability is as good as anyone’s in the draft crop.

June Ranking: #2

Last month: Much like Rowell, Anderson has not lowered his colours over the national carnival, being another standout performer with Rowell and Fischer McAsey for Vic Metro. In the four matches, Anderson has averaged 23.5 disposals, 3.3 marks, 2.8 tackles and 0.5 goals. Expect him to finish the year strongly in the NAB League once returning from his Carey Grammar duties.

#3 Hayden Young

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | General Defender/Inside Midfielder
11/04/2001 | 188cm | 82kg

One of the prime movers last season and a player who has the potential to be a deadly half-back. He has elite kicking skills coming out of defence, aided by the fact he has a penetrating kick that can clear 50m with ease. He just gets to the right positions and pushes up the ground where he takes a number of intercept marks. He will contest any marking contest regardless of opponent, and is a composed user in defence. He was tried in the middle early in the season, but his greatest influence is in the back half. After an okay start to the year without being anything dazzling, Young reminded everyone of his talent on the MCG, starring alongside Rowell and Anderson, taking a number of crucial intercept marks and setting up scoring plays. A hard edge with terrific kicking skills, Young is one to certainly keep in mind for Pick 1.

June Ranking: #3

Last month: We had him up in the region for some time but his national carnival pushed his name into lights as a potential contender for Pick 1, and along with Lachlan Ash as one of the most damaging ball users in the draft crop. In three games, Young has averaged 22.0 disposals, 5.7 marks and 5.0 rebounds. He is more of an offensive defender, laying just the 1.3 tackles, but is strong one-on-one and knows how to intercept both in the air or at ground level.

#4 Lachlan Ash

Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country | General Defender
21/06/2001 | 186cm | 80kg

Along with Young, Ash is the other standout Country prospect in defence. The Murray Bushrangers runner has few flaws to his game, owning the defensive 50 with a massive amount of intercept marks and rebounds, while slicing up opposition zones with his elite kicking ability. He is a player that just catches the eye, gets himself into the right positions, and can set up teammates around the ground or in attack. He has hardly put a foot wrong this season, and while his performance on the MCG had its ups and downs, his NAB League form is not to be questioned. He will be a massive chance for the Morrish Medal if he stays fit, and is a crucial part of the Murray Bushrangers outfit. The noticeable advantage with Ash compared to a lot of half-backs is he can win his own ball, and while he might only win a third of his possessions in a contest, he is comparably low with handball receives, almost winning more touches from marking than from handballs. If he and Young both play off half-back at the National Under 18 Championships, expect Country to have plenty of run and penetration.

June Ranking: #4

Last month: Ash had another terrific carnival game against South Australia, setting up the kick to Brodie Kemp for the winning goal. He has averaged 23.3 disposals, 5.3 marks, 3.3 inside 50s and 4.0 rebounds, getting up the ground and having an influence as well. A great choice for a team looking for that half-back with a deadly boot and terrific decision making skills under pressure.

#5 Sam Flanders

Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder/Forward
24/07/2001 | 182cm | 81kg

After playing as a damaging forward in 2018, Flanders has moved into the midfield this season and been one of the more prolific extractors. While it could be argued his greatest impact is around goals – where he seems to kick the impossible at times – he also has the nous in the midfield to find the ball at stoppages and kick long inside 50, or sweep the handball out to a running teammate. Gippsland has missed his influence and strength in attack, but he has added another dimension to a deep Power midfield. Flanders is a player who will divide draft watchers as he could be top five, or later first round depending on what you look at. He plays taller than his 182cm, and is strong overhead or at ground level. Another top-end Country prospect to watch this year.

June Ranking: #6

Last month: Moves up into number five on our rankings because of his consistency through the midfield. Stepped up to be one of the dominant Vic Country midfielders, and his hands in close are every bit as good as anyone else, and he has a match-winning ability. Needs to iron out his set shots which can be inconsistent, but in terms of his talent, it is untapped and could have a higher ceiling than most. Averaging 22.0 disposals, 4.3 marks, 6.0 tackles, 5.3 inside 50s and 0.7 goals per game.

#6 Tom Green

GWS GIANTS Academy/Allies | Inside Midfielder
23/01/2001 | 188cm | 85kg

The inside hard nut has drawn comparisons to Patrick Cripps in the way he excels at the contested ball, bullying his way to a truckload of possessions and clearances. He has clean and quick hands on the inside and a long kick, while having no issues whatsoever finding the pill. In the opening few NAB League games, Green racked up an average of 33 disposals and 10.25 clearances, still going at more than 60 per cent efficiency despite running at greater than 60 per cent contested. Across the board he is very consistent – similar to Cripps – in order to have an influence on the contest. He will be the top pure tall inside midfielder in the draft, with adding more scoreboard pressure the key between Green and the likes of Rowell and Anderson.

June Ranking: #5

Last month: After a quiet couple of games earlier in the carnival by his standards, Green was back to his best against Vic Metro and really stood tall in the narrow two-point win at GMHBA Stadium. In his three games, Green has averaged 24.0 disposals, 3.0 marks, 4.0 inside 50s and 3.7 tackles, but most importantly, is averaging almost seven clearances per game. He is the inside distributor who the GWS GIANTS will have to fork out a pretty penny to match.

#7 Caleb Serong

Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Small Forward/Midfielder
09/02/2001 | 178cm | 83kg

A tireless worker, Serong missed the opening game of the NAB League season and has been working his way back into the year finding plenty of the ball around the ground. For a smaller player, Serong never takes a backwards step and seems to find the ball in all three areas of the ground, having plenty of influence around the stoppages, particularly in the forward half. He is very strong overhead and brings his teammates into the game. Both he and close mate, Sam Flanders lead the Gippsland Power charge for draftees in what should be a big year for them. Will miss most of the NAB League season due to school and state commitments, but will be a welcome return come finals time.

June Ranking: #8

Last month: One of the leading contenders for the Larke Medal should he play another blinder against Western Australia at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday. He has moved up a spot on our rankings and is averaging the third most dispsoals behind Deven Robertson and Harry Schoenberg at the championships.  This carnival he has averaged 26.0 disposals, 6.0 clearances, 3.7 inside 50s, 2.0 tackles, 1.0 goals and a massive 7.7 tackles. He can win the ball inside or out and despite his size has plenty to like.

#8 Mitch O’Neill

Tasmania Devils/Allies | Outside Midfielder
21/02/2001 | 178cm | 69kg

The top Tasmanian prospect was an All-Australian in his bottom-age year, and has a nice blend of inside and outside capabilities. Given his lightly built frame, expect O’Neill to stick to the outside during the National Under 18 Championships, but he can win his own ball at the same time. He reads the taps well and is able to spread to the outside, pumping the ball inside 50 to set up scoring chains. Having spent time in defence last year, O’Neill has moved into the midfield and found just as much of the ball, and is a crucial ball user on the outside. He will be the player most analysed by opposition sides when playing Tasmania Devils in the NAB League, and O’Neill will enjoy added freedom at the National Under 18 Championships for the Allies.

June Ranking: #13

Last month: Overcoming a pesky ankle injury, O’Neill produced two best-on-ground performances for the Allies in their losses, before being solid without being outstanding in the win over Vic Metro. His ball use is what sets him aside from many other prospects, and while he does not always rack up the numbers others do, he rarely wastes a disposal. Has averaged 21.7 disposals, 7.0 marks and 3.7 rebounds at the championships, often playing in the defensive half of the ground. Could play as a running defender or as a winger at the top level, with his lighter frame used more as an outside player rather than inside one.

#9 Brodie Kemp

Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country | Tall Utility
01/05/2001 | 192cm | 82kg

Kemp is a player that will be looked at as a long-term prospect, and one who could be moulded into nearly anything. At 192cm, he has played a hybrid role over the past few years, rotating between attack and midfield, and even some time in defence. He knows how to hit the scoreboard and has a long kick but could tidy it up when at full-speed. His ability to get to the outside and move in transition is a strength. He is a smooth mover who looks like an outside player, but wins the majority of his possessions at the coal face. Another player who will miss the majority of the NAB League season due to his school football commitments, but will be one to watch at the National Under 18 Championships.

June Ranking: #15

Last month: One of a number of bolters up the draft board for this month, the hero from Vic Country’s win over South Australia makes it into the top 10. Kemp played his first full game in the midfield for the championships after spending the first couple of matches in defence. Kemp has that nice size of 192cm that makes him a prospect with good upside given nice athletic traits and a clutch ability (winning a high-level game with the final kick). He has averaged 21.0 disposals, 7.0 marks, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 clearances across his three games at the championships.

#10 Will Gould

Glenelg/South Australia | Key Position Defender
14/01/2001 | 191cm | 98kg

The key defender is the player likely to be the big point of difference in the top-end of the rankings, but I rate him as the standout tall in the draft. At 191cm he is a tad undersized for a key position player, but he has the ability to play small or tall, and has been working on his tank to play midfield at times. He wins plenty of the ball at half-back and averages almost eight rebounds per game at League level for Glenelg – holding his own against bigger bodies and dropping into the hole with his game smarts reading the ball in flight well. He has leadership tendancies and captained the Australian Under 18s at the MCG against Casey Demons and will be a prime candidate for the South Australian job as well. Gould has put on seven kilograms since the championships last season, enabling him to take the more monster key forwards, and while he might still be undersized, he just competes and has a massive work rate which stands out each time he plays.

June Ranking: #9

Last month: After a quiet game against Vic Metro in South Australia’s loss, Gould was one of the Croweaters’ best in their one-point defeat at the hands of Vic Country. Gould was almost the hero with a last quarter goal showing his ability to sum up the game and his burst through the middle and long-range goal came at a crucial time. Readymade player with his strength and size, and has averaged 20.3 disposals, 6.3 rebounds and 4.0 marks in his three games at the carnival.

#11 Dylan Stephens

Norwood/South Australia | Balanced Midfielder
08/01/2001 | 182cm | 70kg

Stephens is another lightly built midfielder who despite being just 70kg has forced his way into the SANFL League side for Norwood already in season 2019. Given the Redlegs’ tendancy to restrict kids from being exposed at the top level – see Luke Valente last year – it is a credit to Stephens – and teammate Taheny, to already earn their stripes. He has held his own too, admitedly playing a very outside game, but with many bigger bodies at the Redlegs, Stephens has terrific skills and moves well in transition, able to win the ball in midfield, take off and kick perfectly inside 50. He still has to add bulk to his frame, but he showed when taking on his peers he is capable of playing an inside role as well. Expect him to be the prime mover for South Australia at the Under 18 Championships and raise his stocks with a big couple of months.

June Ranking: #12

Last month: A mixed bag for the national carnival, had one impressive game, one disappointing game and one strong game form his three matches thus far. He still moves up one spot from last month, and when given time and space can be very damaging. Like O’Neill, Stephens is still lightly built and has been used as an outside midfielder, avearging 20.3 disposals, 3.3 marks, 3.7 tackles and 3.7 inside 50s.

#12 Jackson Mead

WWT Eagles/South Australia | Balanced Midfielder
30/09/2001 | 183cm | 83kg

The son of Port Adelaide inaugural Best and Fairest winner, Darren has made a promising start to the 2019 SANFL season, starting in the Reserves and impressing, showing that a League debut would be in the not-too-distint future. Mead will team up with Stephens at the National Under 18 Championships to lead the side through his penetrating kick and good skills, spreading around and using the ball well forward of centre. Not as prolific a ball winner as some others, Mead has good smarts and does not waste too many disposals. Importantly, Mead hits the scoreboard as a midfielder, and can win his own ball on the inside when required. He might play more of an inside role at the National Championships, but South Australia will be keen to give him time and space to impact the contest best.

June Ranking: #14

Last month: Arguably South Australia’s most consistent player in the three games thus far along with Harry Schoenberg, Mead has every chance to be the first South Australian picked in this year’s AFL Draft. Port Adelaide fans will be keen to keep him under wraps, but Mead has averaged 21.3 disposals, 3.0 marks, 3,7 clearances, 3.3 inside 50s, 5.7 tackles in the carnival so far and moves up two spots in our rankings to follow two of his South Australian compatriots.

#13 Trent Bianco

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Outside Midfielder
20/01/2001 | 176cm | 70kg

Arguably quite underrated given his size and the ability of his highly touted Oakleigh teammates, Bianco is one of the best ball users in the draft crop this season. Like Lachlan Ash, Bianco rebounds off half-back and can go into the middle when required, a place he will no doubt spend a lot of time this season having wrapped up his Year 12 studies last year. The co-captain of the Oakleigh Chargers is an outside ball user, and finding more contested ball could be an area he looks to in season 2019, but his skills are good enough that he could easily play as that outside user, especially considering his size. A versatile player, expect Bianco to be one of the Morrish Medal contenders this season when he is not running around for Vic Metro. He had a massive game against Tasmania Devils, racking up 42 disposals, although he did have seven clangers on the day. Keeps rising and despite being smaller, just finds the ball and uses it well more often than not.

June Ranking: #12

Last month: After a quiet first game in the AFL Under 18 National Championships, Bianco has put together a few strong performances. He has been utilised as more of a winger, which has benefited him, averaging 18.5 disposals. 4.3 marks, 3.8 clearances, 3.8 inside 50s and 3.0 tackles. Predominantly outside, Bianco’s next step would be his defensive capabilities as a way to grow further, but he is still quite light compared to other players.

#14 Dylan Williams

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | General Utility
01/07/2001 | 185cm | 81kg

After having a terrific second half of the year playing as a medium forward, Williams has spent time mixed between attack and defence in season 2019. He is definitely more suited to attack where he has a high vertical leap and is dangerous around goals. He is as strong overhead as anyone and certainly impressive for a player of his size. Not a huge ball winner, Williams just needs to find four quarter consistency this season as he is the player that can boot four goals in a term and take the game away from the opposition. He also has terrific skills, and hits three out of his four targets despite finding half his possessions in a contest. When at stoppages, Williams is more than capable of winning clearances as he showed against Dandenong, bursting away and pumping the ball long. One area of improvement is his defensive work, which is why he has been played in defence at times to build that area of his game. In the wet at Craigieburn against Calder Cannons in Round 2, Williams had eight out of 12 disposals effective, running at a much higher efficiency than his teammates. Does not have APS school commitments so will play the full year at NAB League Boys level with the Chargers, co-captaining the side with Trent Bianco.

June Ranking: #10

Last month: The exciting medium forward has been battling injury and form on and off this season and while he has shown glimpses, has not lived up to the lofty expectations placed upon him. He is still a natural match-winner, and one can expect with a good finals series in the NAB League that Williams could be similar to others before him (think Tim Taranto) and shoot up into the top 10 calculations – which he would be considered in for upside. 

#15 Cameron Taheny

Norwood/South Australia | General Forward
03/08/2001 | 184cm | 80kg

The medium forward is an excitment machine who lit up the National Under 16 Championships in 2017. He continued that form in his bottom-age year for Norwood, booting six goals in a game last year to show off his talents inside 50. Similar to Dylan Williams, Taheny has his ups and downs, but his best is as good as anyone else’s in the draft crop. A good season could propel him into the top half of the first round, and he is a player who could turn a match on its head which will be crucial for South Australia at the National Under 18 Championships. Has already broken into the League side for Norwood and booted three goals on debut. One to watch through the year as someone who could rise.

June Ranking: #11

Last month: Similar to Williams, Taheny has also had injury concerns and has not been able to dominate to this stage, but still has plenty of tricks in his arsenal. In South Australia’s final game at Marvel Stadium, Taheny could be one who gets off the leash and announces himself as a genuine top 10 prospect with a big game. Huge celing for the general forward.

#16 Fischer McAsey

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Key Position Defender
11/04/2001 | 195cm | 86kg

Fischer McAsey is a key position defender who has played up the attacking end in previous years. He has found his place in the defence in 2019. and seems to be a settled player there not only doing well for Sandringham Dragons and at Caulfield Grammar, but stepping up for Vic Metro at the AFL Under 18 National Championships. He is considered one of the draft bolters this season, with not too many key position talls jumping up, McAsey is a player who is firmly putting his hand up as a top 10 prospect should his form continue, and he has plenty of traits to like. His intercept marking, athleticism and ball use by foot is very solid and does not have too many weaknesses across the board.

June Ranking: N/A

Last month: The draft bolter of the AFL Under 18 National Championships, McAsey earned the title of Vic Metro’s Most Valuable Player (MVP)  for his work in defence. In his four games, McAsey has averaged 14.5 disposals, 6.5 marks, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 tackles, not only nullifying his direct opponent, but creating offensive run out of defence.

#17 Trent Rivers

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Balanced Midfielder
30/07/2001 | 189cm | 84kg

It is a good year for East Fremantle, with prospects basically growing on trees, and Rivers is another touted top 30 prospect along with Jeremy Sharp and Luke Jackson. Rivers is a natural-born leader who thrives on the contest and is as consistent as they come, racking up more than 20 disposals in most outings. He loves to tackle and put his body on the line, and is a crucial key to the midfield of Western Australia at the national championships. Unlike a lot of other top-end midfielders this year, Rivers has the size on him, standing at 189cm and 84kg, and readymade for senior football.

June Ranking: #23

Last month: Class with a capital ‘C’. Rivers is a big-bodied midfielder who uses it well on the inside or outside , and has been utilised as a winger or off half-back for the Sandgropers at the national carnival. It has allowed Rivers to use his precise decision making and foot skills to be advantage his team, and in the three games thus far, has averaged 22.3 disposals, 5.3 marks, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 tackles. Does not need many touches to impact a contest.

#18 Josh Worrell

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Key Position Utility
11/04/2001 | 193cm | 78kg

The Sandringham Dragons defender has had an impressive past few weeks after not having to do too much in the Dragons’ obliteration of Calder in the opening round of the NAB League season. On the MCG against Casey Demons, Worrell stood tall in defence, showing an ability to remain calm under pressure and use the ball well. At 193cm, Worrell will be a player that clubs look at differently, being that few cms smaller than the current trend for key position defenders, which is fine considering Worrell’s ability to provide run and carry out of defence. He is still lightly built, but he is strong overhead and has the potential to develop into a tall midfielder or one who roams off half-back and sets up attacking plays. A player who will spend the season at Haileybury College and Vic Metro before returning to the Dragons for the finals series.

June Ranking: #16

Last month: A hard player to place because he could be a top 10 pick on his best days, which he has shown capable of being just that at both ends. For Vic Metro he has filled the void up forward, booting seven goals from his first three games before going kickless in the last match against the Allies. In the national carnival he averaged 10.8 disposals and 3.8 marks, but could be an attractive prospect to clubs at either end.

#19 Connor Budarick

Gold Coast SUNS Academy/Allies | General Utility
06/04/2001 | 176cm | 70kg

The Gold Coast SUNS Academy player could draw comparisons to Ned McHenry in both his stature and defensive pressure. Budarick played as a forward last year, and has spent more time in the midfield in 2019, but will likely rotate between both at the National Under 18 Championships. Weighing in at about 70kg, Budarick is outside leaning when in the midfield and just has little bursts where he wins the football. In the exhibition match against Casey Demons, Budarick played in defence and held his own back there, but his best comes forward of centre where he lays an average of seven tackles per game, and forces turnovers close to goal. He runs hard between the arcs and will likely cost Gold Coast a top 30 pick based on his skills and work rate.

June Ranking: #17

Last month: The tackling machine has averaged two more tackles per game than any other player at the AFL Under 18 National Championships, laying a massive 9.7 across his three matches. He has played on the outside, and while he has not racked up massive numbers (13.7 disposals, 2.3 marks, 2.3 clearances and 2.3 inside 50s), he has a high work rate and rarely makes too many mistakes. Has dropped two places only due to others pushing a case ahead of him.

#20 Cody Weightman

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | General Forward
15/01/2001 | 177cm | 73kg

For the first two months of our Power Rankings, the electric small forward has been on the periphery of making it, and after a terrific national carnival – where he booted four goals in two of his three games – Weightman makes it into the Power Rankings in July. He has a high ceiling given he can create goals out of nothing and score from general play or set shots and has a powerful kicking action to boot. Just 177cm and 73kg, Weightman is another light prospect who has plenty of development left in him. Could be another player who lights up NAB League finals as he is a big game player.

June Ranking: N/A

Last month: After four goals in two of his three national championship games, Weightman slots into the top 20. There is not much of him, but he is likely to win the leading goalkicker award for the carnival , and has averaged 13.3 disposals, 4.7 marks and 3.0 inside 50s in his three games with one to go. Weightman will be keen to finish off on the right note in the final game at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday against Western Australia.

#21 Liam Henry

Claremont/Western Australia | Outside Midfielder/Forward
28/08/2001 | 179cm | 67kg

A member of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy, Henry is another lightly built midfielder who can go forward and impact a game inside 50. Henry has nice skills and slick athletic traits that help him work his way out of congestion while making good decisions with ball-in-hand. He does need to find a bit more of the football at times which is the next step, but he is a player who will rarely waste a possession and one who Fremantle fans would be excited to have on their list. Still has scope to develop further, and grow into his body at just 67kg and another sub-180cm midfielder. One who would be keen to finish off the year strongly – although perhaps Fremantle would prefer he kept it in check. A highly talented player.

June Ranking: N/A

Last month: Has been solid in the AFL Under 18 National Championships, averaging 15.0 disposals, 5.0 marks, 3.7 tackles, 3.0 inside 50s and 1.0 goals per game from his first three matches. He could be one who thrives at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday in the final game of the championships when the Sandgropers play for the title against Vic Country. Another player some clubs might rate really highly depending on needs and where they see his scope for potential.

#22 Jack Mahony

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Small Forward/Midfielder
12/11/2001 | 176cm | 70kg

One of the top performed and highly rated players at Under-15 level, Jack Mahony remains a top prospect despite others putting their hand up since. He might only stand at 176cm, but the Sandringham Dragons midfielder/forward has plenty to like about what he can offer to an AFL club. His kicking is as good as anyone in the draft crop, but more for his vision and decision making more so than a penetrating boot like others. He is a unique playmaker in the sense that he can set others up inside 50 with centimetre-perfect passes to leading teammates over any distance. Has more impact in the forward half, particularly as the player with the last disposal going inside 50. Hits the scoreboard himself as well which is important, and can run all day through the midfield if need be, though his size may limit him at the elite level.

June Ranking: N/A

Last month: Mahony has stepped up at the AFL Under 18 National Championships, playing consistently across the board, but impressing in the final game at GMHBA Stadium last Friday. He was one of Metro’s best, booting three goals – including two in the final term – and setting up countless others for teammates with his swift decision making and ball use in the forward half. In his four games for Metro, Mahony averaged 18.0 disposals, 3.3 marks, 3.5 tackles, 3.3 inside 50s and 2.8 clearances, as well as averaging a goal per game. He loves the contested stuff, winning the ball at the coalface more than half of the time.

#23 Luke Jackson

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Ruck
29/09/2001 | 197cm | 93kg

The athletic West Australian ruck picked Australian Rules over basketball last year despite donning the green and gold on the court. Jackson plays like an extra midfielder when moving around the ground and has been plying his trade at Colts level in the WAFL given the strength of ruck stocks at East Fremantle. Jackson looms as a potential first round pick, even though rucks are traditionally taken later. He would be viewed as a long-term prospect, and certainly if his two National Under 18 Championships games from 2018 are anything to go by, he has plenty of talent at his disposal. Clubs will like the fact he is not out of the contest once the ball hits ground level, and was solid against Casey Demons’ bigger-bodied rucks on the MCG. The standout ruck in the 2019 draft crop in a crop that does not have as many top-end talls as last year.

June Ranking: #20

Last month: The standout ruck across the AFL Under 18 National Championships, averaging a massive 36.7 hitouts as well as 13.0 disposals, 2.0 marks, 3.0 tackles and 4.3 clearances. While smaller players have knocked him down a couple of players in these rankings, the athletic tall is almost certain to be named All-Australian ruck as the only pure ruck to be averaging double-figure disposals at the carnival. Like with most big men, he could be a draft bolter, or slide, depending on team preferences.

#24 Jeremy Sharp

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Outside Midfielder
13/08/2001 | 187cm | 79kg

One of a number of East Fremantle potential draftees, Sharp is a skilled midfielder who is capable of playing off half-back as well as along the wing. He is not a massive ball winner, but he is a terrific kick of the footy and is a run-and-carry player. Along with Jackson, Sharp is a potential top 10 player who is a good size at 187cm and has added some bulk to his frame over the off-season. He is one of just three players who earned All-Australian honours as a bottom-ager last season following a magnificent Under 18 Championships. Sharp is one of those players you want the ball in their hands going forward as he will likely pinpoint a target inside 50. One to watch if he can go to another level at his top-age championships.

June Ranking: #18

Last month: Sharp will be keen to bounce back with a good performance after a bit of inconsistency by foot in Western Australia’s win over the Allies. He creates space and can be penetrating when given the area to do so. He averaged 21.3 disposals, 4.0 marks, 2.0 clearances and 2.0 rebounds, as well as booting a couple of goals in his first three games. Will be a key runner at Marvel Stadium for Western Australia if they can get up, and burst onto the scene at that very venue last year, making the All Australian side as a bottom-ager.

#25 Cooper Stephens

Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder
17/01/2001 | 188cm | 83kg

The Geelong Falcons midfielder unfortunately fractured his fibula in in Round 3 and will miss a few months, hoping to return in time for a big second half of the year. Stephens is a huge loss for Vic Country as Falcons Talent Manager Mick Turner said he would not take part in the National Under 18 Championships next month.  Stephens is a neat user of the ball, recording 65 per cent by foot, and in the two games before his injury, Stephens averaged 26 disposals, 3.5 marks, 4.0 clearances and ran at more than 60 per cent contested possessions. The question mark will be how he returns from his injury, but with the injury not being season-ending, expect him to come back and be a crucial player in the final couple of months for the Falcons.

June Ranking: #19

Last month: Has been injured, but was named vice-captain of Vic Country despite not being able to play in the national championships. Might slide over the next month, but hopefully will remind recruiters of his talent later in the year.

#26 Will Day

West Adelaide/South Australia | General Defender
17/01/2001 | 187cm | 70kg

The underrated South Australian utility has been one of the big improvers this season, showing off some nice signs at school football and then South Australia at the AFL Under 18 National Championships. Like Weightman, Day has been on the periphery of our Power Rankings the past two months, and after some solid performances at the national carnival, makes the list for July. Day has shown signs similar to last year’s bolter, Jez McLennan who had a good carnival and emerged as a top 30 prospect with nice foot skills and composure. Day can kick on either side of his body and is a good size at 187cm despite still being very light at 70kg.

June Ranking: #19

Last month: A promising start to the national carnival for Day, playing all three games and destined to play at Marvel Stadium against the Allies on Wednesday. He has averaged 18.3 disposals, 4.7 marks and 3.8 rebounds, using the ball wisely while remaining composed in defence. Could build on the defensive side of his game – averaging just the one tackle per game so far – but has some really damaging offensive traits that catch the eye.

#27 Darcy Cassar

Western Jets/Vic Metro | General Utility
31/07/2001 | 183cm | 79kg

As a bottom-ager last year, Cassar thrived as a half-forward/wing who would move the ball in transition and show power in his running to be able to impact for his side going inside 50. He is capable of hitting the scoreboard while playing in the forward half, but as he has shown so far in season 2019, he is just as adaptable in defence. Cassar has spent the season in the backline for the Western Jets, averaging a massive 28.2 disposals, 6.8 marks and 6.9 rebounds per game. He has added that element to his game, and expect him to be a versatile player at the national championships for Vic Metro, playing up whichever end is required of him, while also being able to play in the midfield.

June Ranking: #22

Last month: Has not had the greatest of national carnivals, ending up missing out on the final game after averaging 16.0 disposals, 2.0 marks, 3.0 inside 50s and booting just the one goal playing forward – that came in the first match against Vic Country. Still making the list on potential and upside, Cassar will be keen to finish off the year strong and show the signs he was showing pre-championships in defence for the Western Jets.

#28 Kysaiah Pickett

WWT Eagles/South Australia | Small Forward
02/06/2001 | 170cm | 68kg

Arguably the most naturally gifted player in the draft, the nephew of Port Adelaide and North Melbourne premiership player Byron, is small in stature but big on X-factor and his ability to do the impossible. He is clean at ground level, has high-level goal sense, and despite being so lightly built, was able to force his way into the Woodville-West Torrens League side courtesy of a massive six-goal game against North Adelaide in the first round of the SANFL Reserves competition. Adds an extra dimension to the South Australian forward line and will be one that could light up the big stage over the next month.

June Ranking: #24

Last month: Another player who has class with a capital ‘C’ and was a point of difference in South Australia’s dogged win over Western Australia in Round 1 of the championships, booting the goal of the carnival with clean hands and unbelievable skill from the tighest of angles. He missed the Round 4 game against Vic Country after being suspended for a game following the Vic Metro match, but will return for South Australia’s final game against the Allies on Wednesday. He is not a huge accumulator of the footy – just averaging the 9.5 disposals, 2.0 mark and 2.5 tackles but he does not need much of the football to be a damaging prospect inside 50.

#29 Nick Bryan

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Ruck
22/10/2001 | 202cm | 87kg

The super athletic ruck has come on in leaps and bounds this year, and posts a 2.91-second 20m sprint and 78cm running vertical leap, making him an elite speedster, let alone for his size. He has not spent as much time in the elite system with the AFL Academy as others, and still needs to keep building his tank, but Bryan has a huge upside, which is what will attract recruiters to him. He is also capable of going forward and impacting the scoreboard when required, and was plucked out to play in the AFL Academy game against Casey Demons, taking on mature-aged rucks and holding his own. At 202cm, he is the right size for a ruck, and could well be the first ruck chosen this year, depending on how he and Luke Jackson go at the national championships.

June Ranking: #21

Last month: Is rated on upside because of the rarity of his athletic traits for a 202cm ruck to be able to run as quick as he can. Bryan has a really high ceiling for clubs to develop, but slots in as the number two ruck behind Luke Jackson at the championships. Has been okay without being overly impressive, but has still managed 22.0 hitouts from 9.3 disposals and 2.5 marks. Heads back to school footy and will be keen to assert himself in the NAB League once back in the competition.

#30 Finn Maginness

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
23/02/2001 | 187cm | 80kg

The underrated midfielder missed out on being included in the State Victorian Metro Academy, but has not let that get him down, performing strongly across the NAB League and school seasons, and working his way up the boards with some strong performances against the best players around the country. He has a nice sidestep that can get him out of trouble and wins a lot of the ball in close, with a few areas to iron out such as his kicking, but he has some great developing traits and plenty of future development. Most importantly, he can win the ball on the inside and extract it out, but can also play an outside role too.

June Ranking: N/A

Last month: Has been one of the most noticeable players at the national carnival behind the big two midfielders of Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson. Maginness has averaged 18.3 disposals, 3.5 marks, 7.5 tackles, 3.8 clearances and 4.3 inside 50s across the four games at the carnival, and is one of the most prolific tacklers showing a strong defensive side.

Names to watch:

 

Deven Robertson (Perth/Western Australia)

The massive ball-winning midfielder from Western Australia has been a dominant force in the AFL Under 18 National Championships. He has averaged 30.7 disposals, 5.0 marks, 6.3 tackles, 4.3 clearances, 3.3 inside 50s and 4.3 rebounds in his three games across the carnival. He still has areas to tidy up such as kicking under pressure, but could be one who rises up the boards with another strong performance against Vic Country and finishing off the year strong in the WAFL.

Fraser Phillips (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)

Clearly possesses high-level talent, Phillips just needs to take hold of a game and put together a performance he has been building in the NAB League. He has quite a few nice traits and has plenty of X-factor inside 50, he has just been overshadowed by the likes of Weightman at the national championships. He will still be firmly in recruiters’ minds with a strong finish to the NAB League Boys season where he could stake a case to be the leading goalkicker for the competition there.

Harry Schoenberg (WWT Eagles/South Australia)

One of those players who has risen up thanks to strong performances across the championships and will be keen to continue that form in the final game against the Allies on Wednesday. Works hard on the inside and is a handball-first midfielder out to teammates running on the outside, having averaged 27 disposals in his three games so far for South Australia.

Elijah Taylor (Perth/Western Australia)

Taylor has X-factor and plenty of scope for the future as a medium forward. He always looks damaging when in possession and a worry for opposition defenders when not in possession. He is still raw compared to other forwards, but his ceiling is quite high and no doubt clubs will keep him on their radar.

Noah Cumberland (Brisbane Lions Academy/Allies)

Makes the list based on his traits that would be attractive to clubs. Not a huge ball winner, Cumberland has terrific closing speed and can burst away from stoppages, whilst also applying plenty of defensive pressure with a terrific tackling technique. Cumberland laid a match-winning tackle against Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium on Friday, and can play anywhere on the field with scope for the future.

Scouting notes: AFL U18 Championships – Allies vs. Western Australia

IN a see-sawing game, Western Australia ran out the stronger of the two sides in the game against the Allies, who booted three of the first four goals before the Sandgropers piled on seven consecutive majors to take home their second win from three games. Peter Williams checked out the game and his opinion-based notes on some of the standouts are below.

Allies:

#3 Connor Budarick

So composed with ball in hand, Budarick showed a terrific burst out of the middle early in the game to kick inside 50 to a dangerous spot. He applied defensive pressure throughout laying a massive number of tackles, and rose high to clunk a big contested grab on the wing. Budarick had a shot on goal in the third term after being the quickest to react to a Noah Cumberland mark, but his shot missed. Had another chance in the final term from a tight angle and tried to set it up to a teammate, but the Western Australia defence saw it coming and spoiled it over the line.

#4 Malcolm Rosas Jr

The highlights package, and almost-highlights from this game was unbelievable. Time and time again, Rosas Jr looked like he was about to tear the game open, whether it be through his blistering runs, his terrific side steps, or his high-flying grabs. He pulled out all the tricks in an eye-catching performance. Rosas kicked an early goal in the first term after contesting a ball in midfield and running forward, then set Josh Gore up for another after selling candy and dancing around a couple of players to kick perfectly into space. A couple of other chances in the first half were either marked or hit the post, but he looked ever dangerous. In the third term, Rosas Jr took a five-bounce run from half-forward deep into attack but took one too many bounces and lost control. He followed up with a couple of tackles, but the run was terrific. He did it again in the final term, taking a number of bounces of half-back, burning an opponent then side-stepping another and giving it off. Flew high in his final act of the game, could not quite take it then laid a big tackle.

#5 Braeden Campbell

Just a really clever player and one who looks dangerous in the forward half. He can hurt opposition players in the air or at ground level, and does not need much time and space to create something. He reads the taps and attempts to spin out of trouble, quickly putting boot to ball. Had a chance to do so in the second term for a major but it was touched on the way through, then had another chance in the third term through a snap but hit the post. Finished with a couple of behinds, but looked dangerous.

#9 Mitch O’Neill

A standout four-quarter performance from the Tasmanian who brings others into the game with his elite kicking and decision making. O’Neill is so composed under pressure and clean at ground level or in the air, and takes the risky kick that can backfire, but with his skill often puts pressure on the opposition defence. An example was his spearing pass straight down the guts to Noah Cumberland who took a huge mark. Often O’Neill dictates to his teammates down the field where to lead or when to fly for marks by his kicks. Made very few mistakes in a really outstanding performance.

#22 Tom Green

Played his usual role with some time in defence as well, mostly using his big frame to outmuscle the West Australian midfielders. He won a number of important clearances and dumped the ball forward, winning a lot of possessions around the ground. His work rate is terrific and showed off his versatility by playing in defence in the final term. He does not take a backwards step and has terrific hands in close, continually working hard.

#31 Hamish Ellem

Continually battled hard in the forward 50, spending time in the ruck and more so after Sam Gaden went off early in the third term. He had a number of opportunities but again could not capitalise, kicking a few behinds. He did set Josh Gore up for a goal in the final term, putting the ball nicely in front of him to convert the chance. He held his own in the ruck contests when he did and had a heavy workload at times against the highly rated Luke Jackson.

#37 Josh Gore

A talented forward, Gore is not a huge possession winner, but he makes the most of his opportunities. He slotted a great goal in the opening term, then broke the drought early in the fourth with a terrific goal. He was tight against the boundary line, used strength at the hips to shrug off an opponent and snap around his body to put it through the middle. He had another set shot in the second term after dispossessing West Australian captain Deven Robertson, but missed to the right.

#44 Nicholas Brewer

Held his own against the dangerous Elijah Taylor, even though Taylor did get off the chain more late in the game. He produced the top defensive effort of the match by running down the electric Taylor, continuing to chase 40m even after the forward had eluded him once, and his work rate saw him drag him down as he kicked to save a goal.

#51 Sam Gaden

Came off the ground early in the third term after what had been a really impressive performance against Luke Jackson in the ruck. While he knew Jackson had the athleticism, Gaden had the body strength and used it to his advantage at stoppages, working hard particularly at boundary throw-ins to outmuscle his opponent and give the midfielders first touch. He used the ball pretty well around the ground and was able to have a couple of inside 50s to dangerous positions. It was no surprise Western Australia got on top once he came off and Jackson had a lot more free reign at the stoppages.

Western Australia:

#3 Tyrone Thorne

There is not much of the lightweight forward, but his ability to hook the ball around the goal when having set shots from tight angles on his left was almost “Bend it like Beckham” style. He finished the game with three goals from four set shots, and while he was not a huge possession winner, played the role of permanent small forward perfectly.

#4 Riley Garcia

An accumulator by hand, Garcia wins a lot of his touches with deft handballs in close. He did his best work running hard on the outside and trying to take the game on, moving nicely around the stoppages. He almost sold himself into trouble at one stage in the third term, but remained composed and gave off the handball to a running teammate whilst Garcia was being hemmed in by three opponents. He hit up a teammate inside 50 in the final term and kicked it long down the wing well.

#5 Liam Henry

Another player in the game who looked always dangerous whenever the ball was in his area, the Fremantle Next Generation Academy Player had some really impressive touches at both ground level and in the air. He dropped an early mark and was turned over, but the next chance he got he learnt from the first error and clunked it at the highest point. He later roved a ball well off a pack and kicked it to a teammates’ advantage whilst Henry was under pressure. A quick thinker, Henry used the ball well, setting up a Tyrone Thorne goal in the second term and a Callum Jamieson goal in the fourth term with perfect kicks to their advantage. He only needs a second to dispose of the ball, and has lightning quick hands. At one stage he thought a bit too quickly in the first term, overrunning the ball or “spending it before he had it” but did back up with a defensive effort. He had a shot on goal in the final term but the shot went across the face in the dying seconds. A prospect who has a lot of upside.

#6 Cameron Anderson

Really stepped up into the game in the second term, working between the arcs with some impressive runs. He sold some candy and got past an opponent running inside 50 but his shot was touches on the line. He showed neat skills across half-back and then spent time up forward to lead out and take a good mark. He set up the leading Logan McDonald with a nice pass in the third term, then began a scoring chain in the fourth quarter with the nous to take on the man on the mark to draw an opponent and handball away to give the outnumber up the field.

#10 Deven Robertson

A work horse who put in a four-quarter performance once again. His strengths include his hands around the stoppages and his no-fear attitude towards the contest. He has game smarts and class to know his surroundings, and a high level of spacial awareness which was exemplified by his ability to wheel around in the final term and hit-up Tristan Hobley in space. There are still areas to develop, with Robertson dispossessed on a number of occasions, and the kicking under pressure was scratchy at times. What was impressive about Robertson’s game was he was able to take the game on from half-back and kept trying to gain metres for his side going forward. He was solid with the ball when having time and space. Has very quick hands and was important at the clearances.

#17 Jeremy Sharp

Had a mixed bag performance on the day, with some terrific vision and slicing 45-degree passes, and then some strange out-on-the-full kicks. His vision and delivery when given time and space is very impressive, and is clean at ground level. It is his kicking under pressure when forced to rush in congestion, or when at full speed being hunted down by opposition players that could be tightened up. He worked hard throughout and found the ball plenty in the first three quarters, roaming in all thirds of the ground. Set up a number of scoring chains and had lightning hands to give to a teammate with the disguised handball in close, before finishing the game off with a long-range goal from outside 50 in the dying seconds of the third term.

#19 Elijah Taylor

An exciting forward who was always looking like kicking a bag, and while he was well contained in the first half by Nicholas Brewer, got off the chain in the second half. His first goal did come in the first term from kicking across his body after missing a set shot 40m out when it hit the behind post. He had a chance for a second by leading into space 30m out on a 45-degree angle but his kicked just missed to the right. After half-time his influence on the game blew up, selling candy for a terrific goal. He took a mark, looked to play-on to his right, waited for his opponent to commit, then swung back to his left and never looked liked missing with a terrific kick. He booted his third in the dying minutes with a snap around the body. He dropped a potential mark, but followed up with a clean one-grab off the ground and snap off his left around the body. Taylor knows how to use the ball well under pressure.

#25 Logan McDonald

A talented bottom-age key forward, McDonald showed some great signs inside 50. He lead out at the right times and looked sure with his hands. He did kick out on the full from a snap early in the game, but worked into the match with a goal from a set shot 35m out on a tight angle. He had another chance on the opposite side but pulled it to the far left. He worked hard up the ground to take a couple of nice marks leading out along the wing and half-forward.

#32/#37 Luke Jackson

Had a jumper change midway through the game, and ended up coming from the field after an unlucky clash in the dying minutes deep in attack. Early on he had an intense battle with Sam Gaden, outmuscled at times at the stoppage, but was doing well around the ground with some good tackles and nice work at ground level to fire away quick handballs. He stamped his authority on the game in the second half once Gaden was off the ground, too athletic and nimble for Hamish Ellem and Liam Delahunty who were forced to play a more part-time shared role through the ruck rather than pinch-hit as they had before.

#35 Trent Rivers

Uses the ball well and had a solid game, with a big first quarter and a quieter second term, before working hard throughout the third and fourth quarters to win the footy. He has great vision and game awareness to set up scoring plays, and is able to use his slick skills to hit-up teammates leading out up forward. He won a vital one-on-one contest against Hewago Paul Oea on the wing, which would have been dangerous for the West Australians if he lost with a paddock in front of Oea. Rivers bumped his opponent off the ball and then with pressure coming, he had the composure to handball to a teammate and keep it moving. Remains composed with ball-in-hand and makes the right decisions.

#36 Denver Grainger-Barras

Another bottom-age tall who will hold the West Australian side in good stead for next year, he has some neat defensive and offensive attributes. He killed a contest at half-back with a great spoil across the line, and proceeded to be an intercepting defender throughout the game, saving a number of dangerous forward entries by dropping into the hole. Most importantly, he remained composed under pressure and looks like a promising prospect for next year, pushing up the ground to kick inside 50 at one stage late in the game.

Western Australia’s title campaign back on track with 25-point win over Allies

WESTERN Australia steadied after a slow start against a determined Allies outfit, to post a 25-point win at Alberton Oval on Saturday. Captain Deven Robertson and fellow midfielder, Trent Rivers stood tall across the game, while forwards Elijah Taylor and Tyrone Thorne booted three goals apiece.

The Allies booted three of the first four goals of the game, but missed a number of chances to go further ahead, with their inaccuracy stretching into the second and third quarters. In that time and including early in the fourth, the West Australians had booted seven consecutive goals to all but put the result beyond doubt.

It had been far from easy for the Sandgropers, with their second goal of the game not coming until almost half an hour after their first, before heading into half-time just six points behind. They then produced their best effort in the premiership quarter with four goals to zero, as Robertson, Rivers, Liam Henry and Taylor led the way, while Luke Jackson broke the shackles with Sam Gaden heading down to the rooms early in the quarter and not returning.

Josh Gore popped up to boot a final term goal and break the drought for the Allies after nine consecutive behinds. James Peatling also made good on an opportunity later in the term, but the class of Taylor and Thorne shone as the designated home side ran out 10.8 (68) to 5.13 (43) winners.

Not only were the likes of Robertson and Rivers accumulators through the middle for Western Australia, they were well assisted by the likes of Riley Garcia and Henry taking the game on. Up either end, Logan McDonald and Denver Grainger-Barras showed promising signs for next year’s draft, while Jeremy Sharp and Cameron Anderson popped up for some nice highlights.

For the Allies, it was Mitch O’Neill who put together an outstanding four-quarter performance to try and will his side over the line thanks to his elite kicking and decision making across the ground. Malcolm Rosas Jr played his best game of the year with a dominant performance including two running plays with five bounces, a number of candy-selling activities and a classy goal which could have been one of a number with a bit of luck. Others who stepped up were Braeden Campbell who was dangerous as a high half-forward and when inside 50, as well as Gaden before coming off injured, and Hamish Ellem continually presenting.

The result means Western Australia is still capable of winning the overall title if the Sandgropers can defeat Vic Country, having knocked off Vic Metro and now the Allies. While they lost to South Australia, the Croweaters’ defeat at the hands of Vic Metro has kept both teams in contention, and with Country to play both Western Australia and South Australia. The Allies on the other hand are not able to win the title this year, but will hope to finish off strong in their remaining two games against Vic Metro and South Australia.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1.0 | 3.2 | 7.6 | 10.8 (68)
ALLIES 3.4 | 3.8 | 3.11 | 5.13 (43)

GOALS:

WA: Thorne 3, Taylor 3, McDonald, Sharp, Jamieson, Jackson
Allies: Gore 2, Rosas, Peatling, Lucas

BEST:

WA: Robertson, Rivers, Thorne, Garcia, Henry, Taylor
Allies: O’Neill, Rosas, Campbell, Gaden, Budarick, Ellem

Metro and Allies continue search for opening championships win

A BUMPER double-header sees the Under-18 national carnival hit South Australia, with the Allies and Vic Metro looking to get on the board against Western Australia and South Australia respectively. Check out all the teams and a preview for both games below.

ALLIES vs. WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Saturday June 22, 10:30am
Alberton Oval, South Australia

Western Australia will look to regain a positive record in the 2019 AFL National Under 18 Championships when they face the winless Allies on neutral territory to kick off a South Australian double-header.

The Sandgropers started magnificently in their Round 1 win against Vic Metro, but fell short on home turf against the fast-finishing South Australia last time out. They are set to maintain a relatively consistent starting lineup coming into this clash, with the all-important core of the team again remaining in tact. While Luke Jackson has consolidated his status as the nation’s best Under 18 ruck, the likes of skipper Deven Robertson and Riley Garcia have benefitted from his silver service at the stoppages to dominate that area. Runners like Jeremy Sharp and Trent Rivers have also shown flashes of brilliance off half-back, and bottom-ager Logan McDonald looks to have stamped his claim as the side’s number one forward after impressing in game two.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the game will be the x-factor in each side’s forward half, with Elijah Taylor and Liam Henry finding plenty of goals so far for WA, while the Allies have included Gold Coast Academy pair Hewago Paul Oea and Josh Gore in hopes of creating some spark inside 50. After conceding 18.8 against Vic Country, the Allies have also bolstered their back six with a couple of overagers – namely Dirk Koenen and James Peatling, while shifting Braeden Campbell to his more natural half-forward spot. Connor Budarick is another who faces a move from half-back, set to spend more time running through the middle among a formidable Allies engine room set-up which should be able to match up well against WA’s. Big-bodied Suns product Ashton Crossley will add to their contested ball-winning capabilities, and over-age GWS/Oakleigh mover Jeromy Lucas could find a spot on the wing or flanks at either end. The top-end class looks to be on WA’s side in this clash, but you cannot count the talented Allies out, with match-winners in the midfield and forward of centre who will look to lift the team after a disappointing first outing.

TEAMS

Allies:

B: 21. Luke Parks, 52. Dirk Koenen, 8. Tom Griffiths
HB: 36. Sam Thorne, 44. Nicholas Brewer, 42. James Peatling
C: 9. Mitch O’Neill, 15. Will Martyn, 1. Errol Gulden
HF: 5. Braeden Campbell, 31. Hamish Ellem, 4. Malcolm Rosas jnr
F: 37. Joshua Gore, 26. Liam Delahunty, 47. Jeromy Lucas
R: 51. Samuel Gaden, 22. Tom Green, 3. Connor Budarick
Int: 24. Joel Jeffrey, 20. Matt McGrory, 2. Hewago Paul Oea, 46. Noah Cumberland, 12. Ashton Crossley

In: D. Koenen, N. Brewer, J. Peatling, J. Gore, J. Lucas, H. Oea, S. Gaden, J. Jeffrey, A. Crossley
Out: N. Murray, J. Barling, M. Conroy, S. Collins, J. Rayner, O. Davis, B. Reville, W. Chandler, S. Ryan

Western Australia:

B: 13. Ben Johnson, 21. Jake Pasini, 36. Denver Grainger-Barras
HB: 17. Jeremy Sharp, 26. Trey Ruscoe, 35. Trent Rivers
C: 12. Regan Clarke, 10. Deven Robertson, 9. Tristan Hobley
HF: 18. Jai Jackson, 30. Reuben McGuire, 19. Elijah Taylor
F: 5. Liam Henry, 25. Logan McDonald, 39. Callum Jamieson
R: 32. Luke Jackson, 14. Chad Warner, 4. Riley Garcia
Int: 6. Cameron Anderson, 20. Jaxon Prior, 3. Tyrone Thorne, 24. Ronin O’Connor, 22. Max Murphy

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA vs. VIC METRO
Saturday June 22, 12:50pm
Alberton Oval, South Australia

In the fixture that shaped early in the year as the game of the national carnival, South Australia and Vic Metro are set to lock horns in Saturday’s second game, with the sides showing quite differing form.

The hosts kicked off their title defence in style last week after a Round 1 bye, running over the top of WA away from home to pick up an impressive win. They will be without the only multiple goal kicker from that match though in Cameron Taheny, with the exciting forward picking up a groin injury. That means the likes of Kysaiah Pickett and Josh Morris will need to provide that spark inside 50 against a dynamic Metro defence, with Brady Searle also a handy front six inclusion. The balanced SA midfield looks quite set, with Jackson Mead consolidating his spot on the centre line, while Dylan Stephens and Jed McEntee add even more class and Will Day should be an important runner on the outside. Bottom-age talent Luke Edwards remains in the side after a promising display, joined by fellow ’02 birth Zac Dumensy as the only other bottom-ager in the team.

There is notable talent on each line for SA, putting them in good stead to compete across the board – but the midfield battle looks primed for Metro to win. The Victorians have made six changes as they continue to search for a win having come into the carnival as arguable favourites. Much of that is down to the individual brilliance of the likes of Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell, who have stood up in both games despite suffering two losses. The midfield remains relatively untouched, with a shuffle in the forward line seeing Emerson Jeka, Jamieson Rossiter, and Dylan Williams all coming into the team, while surprise leading goal kicker Josh Worrell stays on the forward flank. Northern’s Adam Carafa gets another chance alongside Andrew Courtney, while Carafa’s Knights teammate Nikolas Cox is one to watch as an athletic, tall wingman. The likes of Trent Bianco, Louis Butler, and Darcy Cassar – who all like to dash from defence – will all be kept accountable by the SA forwards, so may be tested once again for form. Up the other end, they will hope for a much bigger goal haul given their inclusions and the greater team balance they look to have. Expect a tense start, but plenty of highlights given the talent on paper from either side.

TEAMS

South Australia:

B: 30. Oliver Grivell, 35. Karl Finlay, 4. Jordan O’Brien
HB: 24. Will Gould, 33. Dyson Hilder, 19. Luke Edwards
C: 7. Dylan Stephens, 18. Jackson Mead, 10. Joshua Schute
HF: 23. Brady Searle, 43. Jamie Coff, 15. Harry Schoenberg
F: 1. Kysaiah Pickett, 32. Daniel Sladojevic, 17. Josh Morris
R: 37. Lachlan Burrows, 8. Jed McEntee, 20. Lachlan McNeil
Int: 22. Harrison Magor, 16. Zac Dumensy, 5. Darnell Tucker, 31. Jordan Moore, 12. Will Day, 11. Callum Park, 28. Oliver Shaw, 34. Jack Carpenter

In: J. Moore, B. Searle, Z. Dumensy, J. Coff, J. Carpenter, O. Shaw
Out: C. Taheny (injured), C. Durdin, D. Freitag

Victoria Metro:

B: 16. Darcy Cassar, 33. Corey Watts, 26. Ryan Sturgess
HB: 15. Louis Butler, 29. Fischer McAsey, 5. Trent Bianco
C: 24. Noah Anderson, 11. Matthew Rowell, 22. Miles Bergman
HF: 31. Joshua Worrell, 28. Jamieson Rossiter, 1. Jack Mahony
F: 23. Dylan Williams, 36. Emerson Jeka, 2. Mitch Mellis
R: 40. Nick Bryan, 25. Finn Maginness, 8. Adam Carafa
Int: 37. Andrew Courtney, 18. Lachlan Potter, 13. Daniel Mott, 21. Hugo Ralphsmith, 35. Nikolas Cox
Emg: 30. Harrison Jones, 9. Will Phillips

In: E. Jeka, A. Courtney, D. Williams, J. Rossiter, A. Carafa, N. Cox
Out: O. Lewis, J. Bell, H. Jones, J. Honey, C. Dean, J. Ross (all rotated)

BYE: Victoria Country