Tag: max chipper

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Elimination Final – East Perth vs. Swan Districts

EAST Perth defeated Swan Districts by 24 points in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts Elimination Final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. The Royals will now face West Perth in the first semi-final next week, while it is season over for the Swans.

Below were the most notable players in the game.

EAST PERTH:

#2 Adam Boules

The Mount Hawthorn junior continued his excellent season for the Royals with another accomplished performance. Against the Swans, Boules collected a game-high 28 possessions, laid eight tackles and recorded an equal game-high five inside 50s to be one of the best players on the ground. A strong finals series could see him rise onto the draft board for next year.

#8 Cooper Sparks

The Deanmill product was his usual busy self in the midfield for the Royals. He accumulated 19 possessions, laid a team-high 12 tackles, recorded two inside 50s and took two marks. His desire to never shirk a contest laid the foundations for the Royals to run over the top of the Swans.

#9 Sebit Kuek

The West Coast Eagles’ Next-Generation Academy member was lively for the Royals, rotating between the forward line and the ruck. He finished with 13 possessions, 16 hit-outs, eight marks, five tackles, three inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of his game came late in the second quarter, when he took a strong pack mark just before the siren went. He then went back and coolly slotted the goal from a tight angle after the siren to give the Royals a 25-point lead at the main break.

#12 Kade Dittmar

The 16-year-old was his brutal self in the midfield for East Perth, often crashing and bashing his way through congestion to win the contested possession for his team. He finished with 17 possessions, 10 tackles, three marks and two inside 50s. He is shaping up to be a leading WA prospect for the 2021 AFL Draft.

#15 Luke Lombardi

Another 16-year-old, Lombardi showed plenty of class and composure off the half-back line for East Perth. He gathered 19 possessions, laid six tackles and grabbed four marks in an impressive display.

#21 Jamie Marinoni

Playing as a small defender, the Kojonup product was excellent for the Royals. He gathered 14 possessions, and took two marks, but more importantly he helped set up his fellow defenders to make sure the Swans were not as potent with their inside 50 entries as they have been all year.

#24 Liam Dellamarta

The Morley junior continues to stake a claim to be a solid outside midfield option in next year’s AFL Draft. Against Swan Districts, Dellamarta was prolific off the wing, accumulating 26 possessions, recording four inside 50s, laying four tackles and taking three marks. He was always willing to take the game on with his skill execution or through his pace.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The Lower South-West product was arguably the best ruck in the game, often giving his midfielders first use from his ruck work. He finished with 15 possessions, 33 hitouts and five marks in an excellent performance. What was even more impressive about Ladhams’ game was his desire to push back into defence to outnumber the Swan Districts’ forward line.

SWAN DISTRICTS:

#1 Kade Wallrodt

The South Bunbury junior tried his absolute heart out for the Swans, but unfortunately to no avail. Against East Perth he accumulated 23 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles, grabbed two marks and kicked a goal to be one of his team’s best performers.

#7 Ben Taylor

The younger brother of GWS’ rising star Sam Taylor, Ben was solid down in defence for the Swans, often halting the attacking entries by the Royals. Taylor gathered 15 possessions, laid three tackles and took two marks in a trying performance.

#12 Brenton Hilton

The Ellenbrook junior was excellent off the half-back line for the Swans, providing plenty of attacking drive from the defensive half. He finished with 21 possessions, five marks and five tackles in a brilliant performance.

#16 Max Chipper

The 2019 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent off the wing for the Swans. He accumulated 23 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded three inside 50s in an accomplished performance. His skill execution, reading of the play, and aerobic capabilities are all very good for someone his age.

#18 Jake Pasini

The 2019 WA U18s State Academy member showed why he is deserving to be recognised as one of the better key defensive options in this year’s crop. Against the Royals, Pasini finished with 17 possessions, four marks, two tackles and two rebounding 50s. With ball in hand, Pasini was always cool and composed even under heavy duress and without the ball he always attacked each contest with vigour.

#24 Sebastian Bright

The High Wycombe junior was his usual combative self in the midfield for Swan Districts. He accumulated a team-high 25 possessions, laid a game-high 13 tackles, recorded an equal game-high five inside 50s and took three marks to arguably be his team’s best player.

#31 Ethan Nordahl

The South Bunbury junior tried hard for Swan Districts. He finished with 18 possessions, six tackles, four marks and a goal in a combative display. The highlight of his game came in the last quarter, when he was able to shrug off an opponent before banging through a goal from 50 metres out.

#52 Atem Deng

The West Coast Eagles’ Next-Generation Academy member was lively in the forward line for the Swans. In the first quarter, he was able to nudge his opponent under the ball, gathered it, burst away from his opponent and then laced out Ayden Cartwright inside 50. In the last quarter, he took a courageous mark when he went back with the flight of the ball despite on-coming traffic. He finished with 15 possessions and four marks.

#59 Ty Sears

A bottom-age prospect, Sears showed he has potential to be a bolting prospect for next year’s AFL Draft with a classy performance. Playing off the half-back line, Sears gathered 12 possessions and recorded three inside 50s, trying to provide attacking drive from the defensive half.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – Claremont vs. Swan Districts

IN the final round of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, Claremont defeated Swan Districts by one point at Leederville Oval.

In next week’s first finals, Claremont will take on West Perth, while Swan Districts will now take on East Perth in what is shaping up to be a terrific finals series.

Claremont’s Cameron Anderson, Jye Clark, Anthony Davis, Liam Henry, Harry Saggers and Leno Thomas did not partake in the game, while for Swan Districts, Matthew Brock, Dylan Brockbernd, Jermarl Daly, Atem Deng, Riley Garcia, and Zane Trew did not play.

Despite these gun prospects being absent, a host of other players stood tall throughout the game, with the best highlighted below.

CLAREMONT:

#5 Ronin O’Connor

Stationed on the half-back flank, O’Connor was excellent for the Tigers. Behind the play, O’Connor was setting up his fellow defenders, and when the ball was in his area, he attacked it with vigour and intent. His skills off half-back were also solid as he was able to set up plenty of forward opportunities for his team. He finished with 13 possessions, three marks, three clearances, two tackles and two rebounds.

#8 Jack Buller

The Christ Church Grammar student was exceptional at centre half-back for the Tigers. He was aggressive in the aerial contest, always competed strongly when the ball was in his vicinity and he was neat with his kicking skills. He finished with 12 possessions, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds.

#9 Nicholas Crump

The two-time WA U15s MVP and dual U15s All-Australian put together his best outing for the Tigers this year. Against the Swans, Crump accumulated 13 possessions, took four marks, produced four one-percenters, recorded two inside 50s and two rebounds in a lively performance.

#12 Joel Western

The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy member showed why he is such a highly rated prospect for next year’s draft with a sizzling display. He accumulated 27 possessions, took six marks, won five clearances, recorded five inside 50s and three rebounds. He used his speed and his skills to penetrate the Swans’ defensive zones and set up plenty of attacking opportunities for the Tigers. The highlight of Western’s game came in the third quarter when he took a strong contested pack mark.

#14 Jack Cooley

The 2016 WA U15s State Schoolboys’ representative was phenomenal in the midfield for the Tigers. He accumulated 19 possessions, won seven clearances, recorded three inside 50s, laid two tackles and kicked a goal in brilliant performance. The highlight of his game came in the third quarter, when he received a handball from Charlie Malone, and then banged through a goal from beyond 50 metres out. As a big-bodied inside midfielder, Cooley may receive interest as a rookie or late national selection.

#16 Anthony Davis

The former AFL-AIS Academy member was excellent on the half-back line for the Tigers. He finished with 17 possessions, four marks, three tackles and three inside 50s in an exceptional performance. His positioning, skills and decision-making were all features of his game.

#25 Callum Jamieson

The North Beach junior was excellent for the Tigers, using his smarts in the ruck to give his midfielders first use of the ball. He gathered 20 possessions, won 24 hit-outs, took nine marks, won two clearances and recorded two rebounds. He is shaping up to be a rising tall prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool.

#27 Charlie Malone

The Scarborough junior continued his excellent form for the Tigers with another dominant display, this time against Swan Districts. Against the Black Ducks, Malone accumulated 12 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, took three marks and kicked three goals in a lively performance. He finished the year second to Peel’s Ben Middleton for the WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Award.

#29 Jake Willson

Playing off a wing, Willson provided plenty of run-and-carry for the Tigers, linking up well between defence and attack. In this accomplished outing, he accumulated 16 possessions, recorded four inside 50s, took three marks, laid three tackles and kicked a goal.

#38 Isaiah Butters

The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy member was lively for the Tigers rotating between the wing and the forward line. He accumulated nine possessions, laid five tackles, took four marks, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal. The highlight of his game came in the final quarter when he nailed a goal from 45 metres out on a tight angle that put the Tigers up by seven points with just a couple of minutes remaining in the game.

SWAN DISTRICTS:

#1 Kade Wallrodt

The South Bunbury product was powerful in the midfield for the Swans, racking up 24 possessions, taking five marks, recording four rebounds, laying three tackles, recording three inside 50s and winning two clearances in a masterful performance.

#7 Ben Taylor

The younger brother of GWS’ rising star Sam Taylor, Ben was rock solid in defence for the Swans, thwarting a host of the Tigers’ attacking entries. He finished with 12 possessions, five one-percenters, three tackles, two rebounds and two marks.

#11 Ashley Brockbernd

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent in the midfield for the Swans, often throwing his body into stoppages to win the hard ball for his team. He accumulated 19 possessions, won seven clearances, recorded five inside 50s, laid five tackles and kicked a goal in a sensational performance. Late in the second quarter, Brockbernd snapped through a goal that extended Swans’ lead by 17 points.

#16 Max Chipper

The 2019 WA U16s State Academy member showed he has the potential to be a gun prospect for the 2021 AFL Draft. Against the Tigers, Chipper accumulated 17 possessions, took four marks, recorded two rebounds and laid two tackles while playing off a wing. His kicking is a real feature of his game as he is able penetrate the opposition’s defensive zones with his skills.

#18 Jake Pasini

The National Combine invitee showed why he is considered to be one of the best key defenders with a sensational display against the Tigers. He was very strong with his spoils and was very strong with his overhead marking. When rebounding out of defensive 50, Pasini was always cool, calm and composed even under duress and he always spotted up the best option coming out of defence. He finished with 22 possessions, nine rebound, five marks, and four one-percenters.

#24 Sebastian Bright

The High Wycombe junior was a brute in the midfield for the Swans, crashing-and-bashing his way through stoppages to get the ball to his outside runners. He accumulated an equal game-high 27 possessions, won a game-high eight clearances, recorded a game-high six inside 50s and laid seven tackles to arguably be his team’s best player.

#28 Jack Allen

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member was a key focal point in attack for the Swans, with his leading patterns, and overhead marking both real features of his game. He gathered eight possessions, took four marks, won four hit-outs, and kicked two goals, showing plenty of promising signs.

#31 Ethan Nordahl

The South Bunbury junior was prolific in the midfield for the Black Ducks, often trying his best to win the hard ball for his team. He finished with 26 possessions, nine marks, three clearances, two tackles, two inside 50s, two rebounds and two goals. The highlight of his game came in the first quarter when he snapped through a goal out of a pack.

#59 Ty Sears

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent on the half-back line for the Swans, providing plenty of energy from the defensive half. He collected 12 possessions, laid four tackles, took three marks, produced two one-percenters and recorded two rebounds.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – South Fremantle vs. Swan Districts

IN Round 16 of the Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition, Swan Districts defeated South Fremantle by 31 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday.

Below were some of the best players as noted by Lenny Fogliani.

South Fremantle:

#5 Jaxon Bellchambers

The Bibra Lakes junior keeps on improving his draft prospects for next year with yet another polished performance. He collected 13 possessions, laid five tackles, grabbed four marks and recorded three inside 50s to be one of South Fremantle’s best.

#6 Manfred Kelly

The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy member toiled hard in the midfield for the Bulldogs, often trying to provide a spark to get his team in the game. He finished with 24 possessions, five tackles and two inside 50s.

#23 Nash Miller

The South Coogee product tried hard for the Bulldogs, giving his all in the ruck. He accumulated 13 possessions, won 25 hit-outs, took four marks and kicked a goal to be one of South Fremantle’s better players. His desire to cover the ground was outstanding.

#26 Tyson Headland

The Kwinana product tried his heart out for the Bulldogs but to no avail. Stationed on the half-forward line, Headland tried his absolute best to create attacking forays for the Bulldogs. He finished with 13 possessions, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.

#34 Aiden Hall

The 17-year-old showed glimpses of why he could be a lively prospect for next year’s AFL Draft with a polished WAFL Colts debut. Against the Swans he accumulated 13 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid three tackles and kicked a goal. The highlight of his game came in the fourth quarter, when he ripped the ball out congestion before nailing his first goal for the Dogs.

#49 Ira Jetta

The 17-year-old was electrifying in the middle for the Bulldogs. Like Kelly, Jetta often tried to provide a spark for the Bulldogs through the middle of the ground, using his speed and skills to penetrate his way through the Swan Districts’ defensive zone. He gathered a game-high 33 possessions, recorded a game-high eight inside 50s, laid a team-high six tackles and grabbed a team-high five marks.

Swan Districts:

#1 Rhett Bazzo

The son of former Swan Districts’ champion Stephen Bazzo, Rhett showed off all the traits that helped him win All-Australian selection at the AFL U16 Championships. Stationed at full-back and opposed to Lachlan Johnson, Bazzo finished with 14 possessions and three marks, while limiting Johnson to one goal from eight possessions.

#2 Max Chipper

The 15-year-old showed why he was considered to be one of Western Australia’s best players at the AFL U16s Championships. In his debut for Swans, Chipper accumulated 21 possessions, laid five tackles and took three marks, playing off a wing.

#7 Ben Taylor

The younger brother of GWS’ rising star Sam Taylor, Ben was prominent for the Swans, playing through the midfield. He gathered 21 possessions, grabbed seven marks, laid four tackles, recorded four inside 50s and booted a goal.

#11 Ashley Brockbernd

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent for the Swans, finishing with 22 possessions, eight tackles, five marks and five inside 50s. His skills and decision-making were a real feature of his game.

#12 Brenton Hilton

Stationed on a wing, the Ellenbrook junior produced a dazzling performance with his smarts, skill execution and turn of speed all on display. Against the Bulldogs, Hilton accumulated 31 possessions, and took eight marks, playing the link-up role to perfection.

#28 Jack Allen

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member showed why he is one of the best key position players in the WAFL Colts competition. His overhead marking, power in the contest and skill execution were all features of his game. Against South Fremantle, Allen collected 14 possessions, won 14 hit-outs, took three marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal.

#31 Ethan Nordahl

Playing as a midfielder, Nordahl was arguably the best player on the ground. Against South Fremantle he accumulated 30 possessions, took six marks, laid four tackles, recorded four inside 50s and kicked a goal. His grunt work in the stoppages, combined with his ability to spread from the contest made him a potent offensive weapon for the Swans.

#35 Thomas Edwards

In his WAFL Colts debut, Edwards looked every bit a future star for either Swan Districts or for an AFL club that may take a punt on him. The Albany product gathered 10 possessions, took four marks, laid three tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked two telling goals to be one of Swans’ best players. His leading patterns, overhead marking, skills and decision-making were all outstanding.

#52 Atem Deng

The West Coast Eagles’ Next Generation Academy member showed why he is a highly rated forward using his speed, flair, skills and evasiveness to carve up the South Fremantle defensive system. He bagged four goals from 20 possessions to arguably be the most electrifying forward on the ground. A highlight of his game came in the second quarter when he roved a marking contest expertly before dribbling through a goal from the boundary line.

#59 Ty Sears

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member was solid off the half-back line for the Swans, accumulating 12 possessions, taking five marks, and laying four tackles, while also intercepting a lot of the Bulldogs’ attacking forays.

Remember the Names: Top performers from the U16 National Championships

WITH the 2019 Under 16 National Championships run and done, we cast an eye over some of the names you may well see much more of over the next few seasons leading into their draft year in 2021. Our list includes the Most Valuable Player (MVP) from each side across Division 1 and 2, and is broken up into each squad.

South Australia:

Isaiah Dudley (Central District)
166cm | 66kg | 30/04/2003
Small Forward/Midfielder 

Is an absolute excitement machine with his pace and bottomless bag of tricks, often starting inside forward 50 and then getting involved further afield in general play. Having impressed in last year’s championships as an under-ager with his nous around goal, Dudley enjoyed some added midfield minutes and is a tackling machine. His standout game came in SA’s carnival opener against WA, where he collected 27 disposals and booted four goals with some truly special plays. Given his height, Dudley will probably continue on as a small forward as he heads to senior level, but is arguably as talented as anyone in the crop.

Jason Horne (South Adelaide)
184cm | 75kg | 21/06/2003
Balanced Midfielder

The fearless leader took out SA’s MVP award on the back of three very consistent performances, displaying a great balance of mettle and class on either side of the midfield contest. He proved to be one of the more effective extractors throughout, but also sparked a heap of his side’s attacks as he got on his bike away from congestion and lowered his eyes well to hit targets. Also showed he can cause headaches when resting forward, finding the goals in each game and using his strong hands to compete under high balls. 

Matthew Roberts (South Adelaide)
183cm | 77kg | 5/07/2003
Inside Midfielder

Was one of the most effective inside ball-winners, following on from his form in the 2018 Under 16 carnival where attended centre bounces and attracted the ball at will. Roberts will surely form a formidable midfield partnership with South Adelaide teammate Horne for years to come, with both uncompromising ball-winners who have that added class. One of the more pleasing parts of Roberts’ game is his ability to also accumulate inside forward 50, as shown in his final two games of the carnival. Had a blinder in SA’s loss to Vic Metro with 31 disposals, five marks, four clearances, seven inside 50s and a goal in the wet.

Vic Country:

Campbell Chesser (Sandringham Dragons)
185cm | 78kg | 27/04/2003
Outside Midfielder/Half-Back 

Started the championships with a classy performance on the wing against Vic Metro before later moving to defence to provide that rebounding quality from half-back. The Country co-captain is a damaging user by foot and likes to take the game on to gain significant meterage, weaving his way around the outside and delivering spearing balls forward. Is originally from Lavington but boards at Melbourne Grammar, meaning he will align with the strong Sandringham Dragons program in NAB League, so look out for his set-ups by foot and clean hands in the near future.

Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels)
181cm | 75kg | 16/09/2003
Inside Midfielder

Hobbs is an absolute bull through the midfield with unrivaled tenacity and aggression at the stoppages. He wins almost all of his ball himself and thrusts it forward with long kicks, but also grew into the carnival with accumulation around the ground and neat spearing kicks to find shorter targets. Was arguably Country’s second-best player behind Rachele, constantly having 25-plus disposals, double digits in tackles and booting a few goals along the way. 

Josh Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)
179cm | 73kg | 11/04/2003
Midfielder/Forward

Class with a capital ‘C’, the Country co-captain took out the Kevin Sheehan Medal (Division 1 MVP) and his side’s own MVP award with three sensational performances throughout the carnival. His talent can be summed up with one play in Country’s last game against SA, where he instinctively tapped the ball on over his shoulder to Ben Hobbs at full flight who finished the play off with a goal. Does some freakish things and constantly looks a threat around the ball with his agility and ability to break away from congestion, using both to good effect at forward stoppages. Has obvious leadership quality too and really lifted in trying to drag Country over the line in their loss to WA, having 32 disposals, six marks, four breaches of each arc and 0.3. A star in the making.

Vic Metro:

Braden Andrews (Oakleigh Chargers)
187cm | 76kg | 21/02/2003
Midfielder/Utility

Able to play through the midfield and just about anywhere else he is needed, Andrews’ best qualities are his clean hands and cool head. While he was quieter against SA, Andrews proved his class in his other two outings and in particular with his role against Vic Country – where he started forward and found the goals, went on to spark the engine room, and later provided some solidity in defence to help Metro hold on for victory. Is one who has potential to be further unlocked, but has some really nice traits already.

Alex Lukic (Oakleigh Chargers)
194cm | 80kg | 7/01/2003
Key Forward

Started with a bag of four goals against Country and came back from a quiet game in the wet against SA to claim five against WA and round out a promising carnival. Did a lot of his work close to goal and proved efficient when given chances, finishing well with set shots and snaps as he opened up the angles. Also chimed in with a bit of ruckwork, and it will be interesting to see whether Lukic can rip games apart with marking on the lead and in more contested situations as he develops. 

Josh Sinn (Sandringham Dragons)
186cm | 72kg | 28/01/03
Midfielder/Half-Back

Was originally employed off half-back in the first three quarters against Vic Country, but became a permanent midfielder after being thrust into the centre bounces and willing Metro over the line in that game. He skippered his side well over the carnival, adjusting his usually outside game to work in the engine room while still providing his trademark run and damage by foot. May see him ease into NAB League level in the back six, but has proven his midfield quality.

Tyler Sonsie (Eastern Ranges)
181cm | 71kg | 27/01/2003
Balanced Midfielder

The Metro MVP was terrific across all three games, claiming best afield honours in two of them and showing off his versatility in the last with 19 disposals, four clearances, four inside 50s and 4.3 against WA. Is a clean extractor from midfield and oozes class in the way he wheels away from traffic, with the added bonus of being clinical around goal from all angles. Will certainly form a damaging midfield trio for Eastern with Tyreece Leiu and Jake Soligo over the next couple of years.

Western Australia:

Max Chipper (Swan Districts)
180cm | 63kg | 9/09/2003
Wing/Outside Midfielder

Better known as ‘Chip’ out on the field, the Swan Districts product is clean and cool in possession, using the ball neatly on the outside to hit targets at will. Unlike a lot of wingmen, Chipper arguably has a better short-range game and joins in at stoppages once the centre bounces play out. Had a really good start to his carnival against SA and finds the ball in all areas.

Judd McVee (East Fremantle)
179cm | 64kg | 7/08/2003
Midfielder

Judd by name and Judd by nature, McVee has that classic burst from the stoppage and showed he is able to hit the scoreboard across three promising games. Was arguably best afield in the first half against Vic Metro before being clamped, standing up in the absence of Lochlan Paton to finish with 16 disposals, seven clearances, four inside 50s and two goals in a promising showing. Is still quite light-on but is not afraid to get stuck in, giving him that valuable balance in midfield.

Blake Morris (Subiaco)
187cm | 68kg | 11/09/2003
Medium-Tall Defender

The WA MVP was an absolute rock in defence for the Black Ducks, proving an intercept machine in the air and as desperate as anyone at ground level. While he often gives up significant size – as seen when matched up on Country’s 196cm/91kg Josh Rentsch – Morris makes up for it with superior reading of the play, a sizeable leap, and the ability to mop up at the fall of the ball. Will be interesting to see whether he continues to play in the key back role or is freed up on the flanks, with a good knack for rebounding also in his locker.

Northern Territory:

Jason Baird (Palmerston)
185cm | 70kg | 29/12/2003
Midfielder/Defender

Played a key role in the Thunder’s resurgence against NSW/ACT with his accumulation across the ground and ability to push forward. He did not quite have the same impact against Queensland as he was forced to double as a key defender at times given the Maroon’s strength in that area, but battled hard and has some handy versatility.

Brodie Lake (Peel Thunder/Southern Districts)
186cm | 63kg | 16/05/2002
Midfielder/Forward

Collected the NT MVP award for his standout carnival, spending time between midfield and the forward line. Lake played his role well in either position, finding both a good amount of ball and the big sticks – most notably in his game against Division 2 title-winner NSW/ACT where he had 26 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, eight clearances, four inside 50s and two goals. Is a tall and lean midfielder with good hands overhead, so should continue to rotate between roles.

Mark White (Wanderers)
175cm | 65kg | 29/01/2003
General Forward

The tricky forward is a big exponent of taking on the man on the mark, doing it on many an occasion across the carnival to cut distances and get a better look on goal. White is also aggressive around the ball, applying strong pressure albeit while pushing the boundaries. He conveyed a bit of showmanship as he shooshed the Queensland crowd in his final outing and certainly adds a bit of spark when involved in the play.

NSW/ACT:

Joshua Fahey (GWS Giants/Queanbeyan Tigers)
186cm | 77kg | 11/11/2003
General Defender/Midfielder

Fahey is another big character who backs it up with his skill on-field, possessing a cool head and booming left foot which he used to send NSW/ACT forward out of defensive 50 and from midfield. Fahey’s work rate to get on the end of balls and penetrate the attacking 50 was also valuable, and he showed as much with his 24 disposals, six inside 50s and 10 rebound 50s against Tasmania to round out a solid carnival.

Matthew McKenzie (Sydney Swans/St Ives)
182cm | 79kg | 10/10/2003
Midfielder/Forward

Has a deceptively quick first few steps which he used to good effect when running though the midfield, while also providing a strong body at the stoppages. McKenzie racked up a good amount of ball and stayed busy when rotating through the forward 50, showing he can find the goals too. Enjoyed two solid and well-rounded performances in Queensland as one of a few promising St Ives boys.

Sam Stening (GWS Giants/Wagga Swans)
190cm | 72kg | 17/02/2003
Medium-Tall Forward

Stening came to life in an incredible final quarter against NT, while also picking up from where he left off in his next game to fix up some issues in front of goal to slot three majors from 14 disposals and six marks. Is not quite key position height but plays like one, marking well above his head with sticky hands and looking strong at full stretch. Could be a dangerous proposition once he fills out and finds his spot up forward.

Kai Watts (GWS Giants/Inner West Magpies)
178cm | 80kg | 1/02/2003
Forward/Midfielder

The NSW/ACT MVP was a dangerous asset for the Rams, starting forward and moving into the midfield as each game wore on. Watts was not a massive disposal-getter, having between 13-16 in his final two games, but has important touches and makes them count with some good delivery by foot. He gets in good positions close to goal and finds them, as shown in his 16-disposal, two-goal effort against the NT.

Queensland:

Austin Harris (Gold Coast Suns/Palm Beach Currumbin Lions)
175cm | 65kg | 30/04/2003
Defender/Outside Midfielder

Harris’ run and carry was fantastic for Queensland, making him a key contributor on his way to claiming his state’s MVP award. Harris just always found a way to the ball, getting into good areas with a high work rate and pushing forward at every chance. He often finished his runs off with neat kicks and provided a touch of class when in possession.

Daniel Lanthois (Brisbane Lions/Maroochydore)
173cm | 64kg | 12/02/2003
Midfielder

The diminutive and tough ball-winner does just about everything in the engine room, zipping away from stoppages and tackling hard on the rare occasions he doesn’t get his hands on the ball. Lanthois makes up for his lack of size with heart and really digs in around the contest, with one of his better performances coming against Tasmania as he had 18 disposals, 11 tackles, seven clearances and four inside 50s.

Noah McFadyen (Brisbane Lions/Wilston Grange)
186cm | 89kg | 18/03/2003
Medium-Tall Forward

Kicked 14 goals in his three games as the leading tall forward in Division 2, with his sheer strength and positioning deep inside attacking 50 granting him most of his goals. McFadyen took full advantage of the much smaller match-ups he faced against NT to boot 8.2 in one of the performances of the carnival, and could well be the next McFadyen for Brisbane fans to keep an eye on after Connor was drafted in 2018. Will be interesting to keep tabs on his growth and whether he hits true key position size, with his set shot routine looking pretty efficient at this stage.

Tasmania:

Samuel Banks (Southern Academy/Clarence)
184cm | 70kg | 2/04/2003
Midfielder/Half-Back

The Alan McLean medallist (Division 2 MVP) has already impressed enough in Tasmanian circles to feature in the state’s Under 18 NAB League side, and showed his class throughout the carnival. Able to play through midfield or more offensively off half-back, Banks has a penetrating kick which he uses to hit targets others wouldn’t dare try to through the corridor. Is also an apt interceptor in the back half, and was terrific in that role against NSW/ACT as he collected 25 disposals, 10 marks, and five rebound 50s.

Baynen Lowe (North-West Academy/Devonport)
176cm | 65kg | 29/07/2003
Midfielder

Another of the raft of diminutive ball-winners, Lowe is a tireless worker who is mostly sighted quickly booting the ball forward from stoppages. The Devonport product wins most of his disposals himself, showing great speed through traffic while also finding his fair share around the ground. Was fantastic for Tasmania alongside Banks as Tasmania’s highest disposal getters.

George McLeod (Southern Academy/North Hobart)
175cm | 61kg | 11/01/2003
Midfielder/Forward

McLeod mixes his time between the midfield and forward half and works hard, pitching in with little bursts of run and important balls into the forward half. Was just behind Banks and Lowe in terms of output but made his own impact across each game, with one of his standout outings coming against NSW/ACT (23 disposals, 11 marks, seven inside 50s, 2.1)

Under 16 National Championships: Division 1 wrap

VIC Metro claimed its first Under-16 National Championships Division 1 title in 10 years, going through the three rounds undefeated as the clear best side. Each other team broke through for a win each in what was an even carnival played in a variety of conditions. We recap how each side fared and shed light on some of the better performers throughout the competition.

South Australia (1-2)

Results:
Rd 1 – South Australia 13.10 (88) def. Western Australia 9.5 (59)
Rd 2 – Vic Metro 5.15 (45) def. South Australia 3.6 (24)
Rd 3 – South Australia 10.3 (63) def. by Vic Country 11.13 (79)

MVP: Jason Thorne (South Adelaide)
Most Goals: Isaiah Dudley (Central District) & Morgan Ferres (Sturt), 5

The defending champions would have come in with high hopes of replicating last year’s run, with that feeling compounded by an impressive 29-point win over Western Australia to open their carnival. One of three members of the 2018 title-winning squad, Isaiah Dudley was the star of that game, picking up 27 disposals and booting four goals, with key forward Morgan Ferres matching the goal feat and skipper Jason Horne a presence through midfield. In similarly wet conditions up in Queensland for Round 2, the Croweaters simply fell short in firepower against eventual champions Vic Metro, going down by 21 points. Matthew Roberts was the star in that game with his 31 disposals, seven inside 50s and one goal, with Thorne putting in a brave captain’s effort despite being in the wars late-on and midfielder Cooper Murley another to impress. The tri-colours would go on to lose again to a Victorian side in Round 3, this time by 16 points in a plucky effort at the Gabba. Thorne rounded out a magnificent championships with 18 disposals, four clearances and two goals, while Harry Tunkin enjoyed some added midfield minutes to match his skipper’s disposal haul to go with eight tackles and four clearances. Lachlan Thomas and Lewis Rayson were others to round out their carnivals on a high note with run and intercepts from defence. One to watch for next year could be Tyson Coe, who ran through the midfield as an under-ager – much like Dudley, Thorne, and Roberts did last year. Overall, it was not quite the championships that the team would have wanted, but they should plenty of promise and will again provide some exciting top-end talent over the next few years.

Vic Country (1-2)

Results:
Rd 1 – Vic Metro 10.7 (67) def. Vic Country 7.7 (49)
Rd 2 – Vic Country 5.12 (42) def. by Western Australia 6.8 (44)
Rd 3 – South Australia 10.3 (63) def. by Vic Country 11.13 (79)

MVP: Joshua Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)
Kevin Sheehan Medal: Joshua Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)
Most Goals: Judson Clarke (Dandenong Stingrays) & Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels), 3

As we have come to expect, it was a very competitive carnival from the Country side which found itself in winning positions in each of the three games. They fell away in a three-goal loss to their Metro counterparts in Round 1 after leading by no more than two points at each break, with co-captain Campbell Chesser terrific on the outside to compliment the game of inside bull, Ben Hobbs. Judson Clarke also booted three goals in the loss, but it was not enough to see Country over the line. If the final-quarter fade out against Metro hurt, then a two-point loss at the death against WA could have really been a dagger. Despite again leading at the final break and having a wealth of possession in the fourth quarter, a WA goal in the final 30 seconds ensured they snatched the win in muddy conditions at Southport. Co-captain and eventual MVP Joshua Rachele was almost the one to drag his side over the line with his 32 disposals, six marks and 0.3, while Hobbs was just about the muddiest player afield at the final siren after digging in for 29 disposals, 10 tackles and four rebounds. Benjamin Green was another to enjoy the conditions, and Lincoln White very nearly broke the game open with his two third quarter goals. The narrow loss proved not to break the Vics’ spirits though as they bounced back for an impressive 16-point win against SA in Round 3. Rachele again showed his class and provided the highlight of the carnival in his 26-disposal effort, with Hobbs again doing his thing and Tom Brown influential with three goals from half-forward. Charlie Molan, Hugh Hamilton, and Mitchell Moschetti also rounded out strong carnivals, with Country a side that will count itself unlucky not to have come out with greater results. There are a lot of reliable performers in the squad, and they could rise sharply come their Under 18 year given their competitiveness.

Vic Metro (3-0)

Results:
Rd 1 – Vic Metro 10.7 (67) def. Vic Country 7.7 (49)
Rd 2 – Vic Metro 5.15 (45) def. South Australia 3.6 (24)
Rd 3 – Western Australia 8.7 (55) def. by Vic Metro 18.14 (122)

MVP: Tyler Sonsie
Most Goals: Alex Lukic (Oakleigh Chargers), 9 – most overall

The champions and clear-best side over the carnival enjoyed an undefeated campaign, but were made to earn a couple of their wins. Metro’s first Under 16 title win in 10 years started with a three-goal win over Victorian counterparts, Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium. After trailing at each break and by just one point at the last, Metro ran away with four goals to one in the fourth quarter for a strong win. Key forward Alex Lukic positioned well inside 50 to boot his first bag for the carnival (four goals), while skipper Josh Sinn and Braden Andrews proved a match-winners with their position swaps to finish the game, and Tyler Sonsie was another to provide cleanliness through the engine room. The class of Metro was always going to be tested in their next game against SA, especially given the horrendous conditions. Their top-end talent still managed to shine through in the end, enjoying a solid middle period of the game to run out 21-point winners. Lachlan Brooks was best afield with 23 disposals, six clearances and two goals from midfield, crucially combining with Sandringham teammate Blake Howes to boot four of Metro’s five goals. Tyreece Leiu led the disposal count with 24, while Josh Ward‘s clean hands were eye-catching in the wet. The title decider in Round 3 was a tight one up until the final break, with Metro cruising to victory on the back of 12 second-half goals – including seven to nil in the final term. Lukic again kicked a bag with five goals, while Sonsie ripped it up through the midfield and up forward to have 19 disposals, four clearances and 4.3. Youseph Dib again provided a physical presence to have 20 touches, four clearances and a goal, with Zac Taylor electric forward of centre and Josh Goater again popping up with some nice aerial efforts. The talent across the board extends on each line to the likes of Lachlan Rankin, Jake Soligo, Jed Rule, and Jack Rossimel, with the evenness of the team and top-end talent set to rival Metro’s Under 18 squad of 2019 in years to come.

Western Australia (1-2)

Results:
Rd 1 – South Australia 13.10 (88) def. Western Australia 9.5 (59)
Rd 2 – Vic Country 5.12 (42) def. by Western Australia 6.8 (44)
Rd 3 – Western Australia 8.7 (55) def. by Vic Metro 18.14 (122)

MVP: Blake Morris (Subiaco)
Most Goals: Saverio Marafioti (West Perth) & Ethan Regan (East Perth), 3

Results aside, WA was one of the more evenly spread squads over this year’s carnival, with plenty of contributors standing up at different times over the three games. It all seemed to come together in Round 2 as the Black Ducks pulled off a miraculous win over Vic Country with a Luke Polson goal in the dying seconds, getting the better of the Big V by two points on a Southport mud pit. Judd McVee was a standout from midfield, leading the disposal count with 23 to go with seven tackles and a combined seven breaches of each arc, while Mitchell Brown thrived in the conditions for his 17 disposals and six clearances alongside Kade Dittmar (22 touches, nine tackles, and four clearances). Multiple goals from Ethan Regan and Saverio Marafioti boosted their tallies and proved vital in the win, while match-winner Polson had an important 16 disposals and 14 hitouts. Earlier in Round 1, WA had less fruitful outing against SA on home turf in similarly wet conditions, going down by 29 points despite managing their carnival-high total (59). MVP Blake Morris was sensational in that outing with his intercept marking, while Max Chipper was composed on the outside and Zach Fleiner was positive on the rebound. Matthew Johnson and Luke Taylor booted the multiple goals this time out, with Richard Bartlett another effective mover in the forward half. A late-game fade-out put a dampener on what was a really competitive effort against eventual champions, Vic Metro in Round 3 – conceding seven unanswered goals in the final term to go down by 67 points. Earlier, it was again McVee who stood up with his burst from congestion and some busy work going forward, finishing with 16 disposals, seven clearances and two goals. Chipper and Bartlett again impressed to have 23 disposals each, with Jake Littleton and Rhett Bazzo also serviceable. It was a slightly down end to an otherwise solid carnival for WA, and they should again have some eye-catchers capture out attention. One who also warrants a mention is Lochlan Paton, who was sensational through midfield before injuring his hand in Round 2, keep an eye out for his progress.

Scouting notes: U16 Division 1 – Round 3

VIC Metro claimed the Under 16 Division 1 title on the final day of competition having gone through undefeated, with Vic Country’s win over South Australia making it a Victorian double for the day. With the Most Valuable Players (MVP) named for each side and plenty of prospects stepping up, here are our Round 3 scouting notes.

Western Australia vs. Vic Metro
By: Peter Williams

Western Australia:

#4 Richard Farmer

Looked dangerous inside 50 for the West Australian side and used the ball well by foot when in possession. He was able to capitalise on the easiest of goals in the goal square thanks to a handball over the top from Saverio Marafioti. Throughout the match Farmer hunted the ball and the ball carrier with vigour.

#6 Lawson Humphries

Had a great third term where he became a crucial playmaker with quick hands and using clean touches going forward. He set up a number of attacking plays and was able to hit a target in the pocket on his non-preferred under pressure.

#7 Judd McVee

The star of the first half and continued on with a solid third term before being clamped more in the last term, McVee was a clear standout for the West Australian side on the day. He kicked a great goal from an intuitive snap around his body in the first term and has that burst out of stoppages that is eye-catching. He has quick hands and also showed great defensive traits by stopping an attacking play inside 50 with a big tackle. McVee is clean by hand or foot and composed in the midfield, able to dance around his opponents.

#9 Max Chipper

Won a heap of the ball on the day and showed nice vision with ball in hand. Set up their first goal with a nice kick into Rhett Bazo who slotted the goal after a 50m penalty. Had a turnover in the final term, which luckily did not cost his side. As a whole though he worked hard and kept buying in, battling along and won possessions in each third of the ground.

#10 Mitchell Brown

Behind McVee was the other standout in the first half, showing nice work at the stoppages and a long kick that created plays up the field. He was quieter in the second half, but his presence around the clearances early in the match was what kept Western Australia in the game. Brown’s best play came when he sold some candy under pressure dancing one way and then another and managed to get ball to his left foot and find a target down the wing.

#12 Jake Littleton

Worked hard in the forward half to win plenty of quick touches and get it inside 50. Early on he had a scrubber kick but it worked out to gift Saverio Marafioti with a goal. He finished off for himself with a nice kick which bounced through early in the third term, and had a second shot not long after deep in the pocket but it hit the post.

#15 Antonio Dadaliaris

Picked up from where he left off in the last quarter against Country. Had a couple of eye-catching moments, with a brilliant piece of acceleration in the second term where he was able to burst away from opponents in the back pocket, run across the goal face and hit a target on the other side. He also showed quick hands close to the line on a number of occasions, with his athletic traits the most noticeable.

#18 Saverio Marafioti

Was prominent early and fought through to the third term with important moments inside 50. He first showed great vision at half-forward to hit up a target wide across the other side of the ground off a couple of steps, then capitalised with a goal off a quick few steps inside 50. His hard running earned his teammate Richard Farmer a goal in the third term to reduce the deficit to a point and give his side hope of a victory.

#22 Richard Bartlett

Worked well at stoppages and was one of Western Australia’s best across four quarters. He uses his shoulders and hips well to evade tackles and get out of trouble in tight spaces. He looks dangerous whenever he is near the ball and he had a textbook forward stoppage goal, finding a clear path and reading the tap perfectly 30 metres out to snap around his body and add a much needed West Australian goal in the third term.

#30 Rhett Bazzo

Was one of the few West Australian players who stood up in the last term and found himself up forward with a goal in the opening term, then spent the rest of the time in defence. He took some crucial intercept marks and moved well through traffic for a taller player. He was neat with his skills and remained consistent throughout the match.

#42 Blake Morris

The West Australian Most Valuable Player (MVP) stood tall in defence with some nice highlights. He flew high a number of times and once it cost him with his opponent staying down, winning the footy and handballing it off for an easy Vic Metro goal. He did save a goal earlier in the game to cancel out that moment though, getting a hand to it in the goal square to put it over the line. Not as prominent as past games but still a rock in defence and a highly talented medium-tall.

Vic Metro:

#1 Youseph Dib

Whilst he was a bit rushed with his disposal at times, he also had some really classy touches throughout the midfield to win the most disposals of anyone on his side. His ability to get boot to ball, or by hand to his teammates is as quick as anyone going around and he was able to set up a number of goals or scoring plays by kicking inside 50. He always has a crack and tends to kick the ball across his body which usually means he has time and can be more damaging that way.

#2 Zac Taylor

A slippery customer who I described in my notes as “untackleable” because of his ability to slip out of opponents’ grasps. He shrugs the shoulders and swings the hips to evade being brought down, and also has high footy IQ, quick hands and plenty of class with the ball-in-hand. He is clean by hand or foot and sets up attacking players, kicking a goal in the final term to be rewarded for his hard work setting up a goal to Alex Lukic early in the game.

#3 Henry Brown

Showed some nice movement on the outside early to turn away from an opponent and kick inside 50, but also showed a fierce attack on the football to win a crucial one-on-one moments later. He is able to dispose of the ball when under pressure and can stand up in a tackle, also breaking the lines midway through the third term with a nice run down the middle, though his kick inside 50 was intercepted. He then returned the favour the next term, intercepting a kick-out 40m out straight in front and then sent it back over the goal umpire’s hat.

#5 Jake Soligo

Was a prominent player on the wing for Vic Metro, not too dissimilar to Trent Bianco‘s role for the Under 18s side and wearing the same number – it was uncanny. He moves the ball quickly down the wing and has nice touch by hand or foot. He kicked a goal after intercepting a kick-in 45 metres out straight in front and was a big ball winner on the outside.

#8 Lachlan Brooks

Reminded me a bit of Richmond draftee Jack Ross in the way he goes about it. Brooks is strong one-on-one, is hard to bring down with great core strength, and has that power-speed combination that makes him look damaging. He is balanced with ball-in-hand and uses it pretty well. He had a snap in the final term on goal but missed, though he set up a goal for Blake Howes with a nice kick to him in the forward hole in the last term.

#11 Tyler Sonsie

Absolute star. Sonsie looked classy throughout the four quarters and was deserving of the Vic Metro MVP award for his 2019 carnival. He finished the game with four majors, including two when the heat of the game was on and two in the final term stampede. He often pounced on the opportunity for goal with snaps around his body, with three of his four majors coming this way and his fourth after hard running resulted in him booting the ball off the ground in the goal square. He almost had a fifth goal and three in two minutes but his snap pulled to the right. Takes the game on and breaks the lines, and while he made the odd error in doing so, generally was great in his decision making and execution.

#16 Jack Newitt

Showed a piercing, penetrating kick off half-back and down the wing, moving well across the ground to get forward and give off a quick handball during an attacking play. He used the ball well by foot out of defence and showed good composure when needing to get the ball out of the danger zone.

#18 Braden Andrews

Has a set of quick hands in close and was able to extract the ball and get it out to runners, but then had an ability to get to the outside himself. Showed a clean set of heels to an opponent to burn him off and kick, albeit scrappily, to a teammate. Had a snap on goal but was touched on the line.

#19 Blake Howes

Was a strong player inside 50, playing a nice role in tandem with Alex Lukic and Jack Rossimel. Took a number of contested marks and on the lead under pressure, kicking a couple of goals either end of the contest, and missing another which he probably should have kicked. Overall provided good presence inside 50.

#22 Jack Rossimel

Slotted an important goal inside 50 from a tight angle which was impressive, and then flew high on the wing in the second term but could not quite bring it down. Rossimel had a chance for goal in the last quarter with a quick boot to ball but missed to the right, as he did with intercepting a kick 30m out straight in front. Still was important inside 50, and finishing off those couple of misses could have had a big game.

#28 Alex Lukic

Was the dominant forward on the day slotting five majors, and could have had seven with a couple of gettable shots in the last term. He was causing all sorts of headaches for the opposition with his height and size, reaching over the top of his opponents and pinching the ball. He won a couple of free kicks for being infringed, and also set up a goal for Tyler Sonsie in the final term whilst being tackled. Overall an impressive game from the big man.

South Australia vs. Vic Country
By: Michael Alvaro

South Australia:

#5 Isaiah Dudley (Central District)

The excitement machine was down on his usual disposal output (seven), but still managed to find a way to influence the game in his own way. Starting forward and spending most of his time there, Dudley played his usual game of pushing high up the field to impact stoppages between the arcs, but was first thrown into the midfield in the second term. His pressure around the ball was immense, laying a game-high 12 tackles and going hard at each one of them, while also continuing his knack of keeping the ball in dispute. Dudley hit the scoreboard in the final term after some more midfield time, winning a free kick at an inside 50 stoppage and converting the shot well. His agility and composure in his few touches shone through too, and it was a good overall carnival from the Centrals pocket rocket.

#6 Lachlan Thomas (Sturt)

The small defender continued to do what he does best, providing driving rebound from defensive 50 (eight rebounds) and going for pure distance with most of his use by foot. While meterage is usually his game, Thomas also managed to hit a nice target in the second term after intercepting at half-back, pin-pointing the kick towards his defensive corridor. Thomas also won a bit of ball up on the wing as he paced around the defensive half, but won most of his 16 disposals down back and was pretty safe in possession.

#7 Lewis Rayson (Glenelg)

One who stood up well in defence, Rayson caught the eye early on with a couple of solid overhead marks to intercept in the back half. He also made sure to impact aerial contests when marking was not an option, while also following up the spills to move the ball on quickly or lock it in. Rayson’s holding the ball tackle in the third term showed his smarts as his opponent went to take off after marking, and he enjoyed a consistent game across the board with 16 disposals, five marks, five tackles, and five rebound 50s.

#8 Cooper Murley (Norwood)

An important figure in the midfield-forward rotation for SA, Murley made a good start while resting in attack when he found space inside 50, marked, and slotted the set shot from about 40 metres out for his side’s opening goal. He would go on to continue his good form forward of the ball early in the second term as he snapped another goal, almost adding another in the same period of play. He was momentarily moved out onto the wing in the third quarter and dropped an uncontested mark with his first sight of the ball, but recovered really well to clear any danger. Murley would go on to show his well-roundedness, tackling well and providing good bursts from congestion with clearances on the move to push SA inside 50. Ended with 14 disposals, four marks, three clearances, and two goals.

#11 Harry Tunkin (Glenelg)

Tunkin was superb throughout and really seemed to enjoy his minutes in the midfield, getting stuck in to win a good amount of contested ball. He won a hat-trick of centre bounce clearances in the second term with fantastic tenacity, and showed a bit of finesse with a move through traffic to find Cooper Murley forward of the ball and provide a chance at goal. Tunkin continued his form in the third term around the stoppages and did the one-percenters around the ground, applying a particularly good smother on Tyler Sonsie inside defensive 50 to prove as much. His ability to hunt at ground level and win the ball under pressure accounted for many of his 18 disposals, with Tunkin also laying eight tackles in a big shift and spending a bit of time up forward late on.

#17 Matthew Dnistrianksy (Norwood)

Another of the SA defenders who had a solid day out, Dnistriansky was unfazed by a lot of the pressure that came his way. He accumulated across defensive 50 in his usual fashion, providing neat disposals and a solid defensive post on his direct opponent when required. He gave up about 10cm in height when matched up against Josh Rentsch deep inside defensive 50, but took it in his stride and competed well. The Redlegs prospect also fared well with a move up forward in the final term, finding space to mark and converting the shot well. He looked a little frustrated when giving away a free kick to Joshua Rachele late on as he threw the Country co-captain to the ground, but had a solid day with 12 disposals, a couple of rebound 50s and a goal.

#18 Tyson Coe (West Adelaide)

Played a pretty impressive role given he has not even turned 15 yet, unbothered by Country’s physicality in the engine room during his time through the midfield. He popped up early with a nice holding the ball tackle at a defensive 50 stoppage and later scooped up a slick ground ball at speed before bombing inside 50 to find Luke Young, who slotted SA’s third goal. Has some nice traits and should be a key figure next year given he has already been trusted in lining up at the centre bounces.

#19 Jason Thorne (South Adelaide)

The skipper and South Australian MVP was terrific throughout, earning an equal team-high 18 disposals to go with six tackles, four clearances, three inside 50s, three rebounds, and two goals in a dominant display of stoppage work. A good mix of grit and class, Thorne set the tone early with a smother on the defensive arc before contributing another show of strength with a strong mark overhead on the wing. His class shone through in the same term with a clean pick up and kick in one motion to hit an up-field target, with Thorne’s ability to lower his eyes proving damaging. He continued to use the ball well by foot around the ground, and his burst away from congestion sparked many attacks for SA. Thorne’s ability to sum up the situation quickly also translated with his work inside 50, snapping a nice goal in the second quarter and booting another in the following term after pushing hard to find space inside 50 and get the ball back from a teammate he had originally passed to. It was no surprise to see him named MVP in his second Under 16 carnival, as Thorne possesses a well-rounded midfield game.

#20 Matthew Roberts (South Adelaide)

Did not have his usual high-numbers on the back of some added forward time, but still made an impact to finish with 15 disposals, four clearances, and two goals. Was gifted his first goal in the opening stanza after being awarded a 50-metre penalty and added another in the third term with a clinical set shot on the wrong side for a left footer from about 40 metres out. Roberts thought he had another goal in the second quarter after streaming away from a forward 50 stoppage, only to turn around and see the goal umpire signalling a poster as he wheeled around to celebrate. Was still dangerous in his forward stints and attracted the ball, ending a fantastic carnival as arguably SA’s second most valuable player behind South Adelaide teammate, Jason Thorne.

Vic Country:

#2 Campbell Chesser (Sandringham Dragons)

The Melbourne Grammarian from Wodonga-way was a touch quieter than usual with just the nine disposals, but made them count and caught the eye with a couple of exciting plays. His prowess on the outside suited both the conditions and a move to half-back, but it took Chesser a bit of time to build into the game. He showed good composure with ball in hand in his early touches, and started to get going after half time. He looked pretty sore after a brave marking attempt early in the third term, but came back in the following quarter with a couple of bouncing runs from the back half and away from stoppages. Chesser got on his bike well when in space at half-back, looking to attack onto his left boot and move forward quickly. Not his usual self, but certainly showed glimpses.

#3 Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels)

There is little doubt over Hobbs’ ball winning capabilities, and he proved as much with another 25 disposals and six clearances in this outing. He is just so aggressive around the ball, willing his way through the contest and latching onto possession at stoppages before quickly getting boot to ball to slam it forward. With his contested game down pat, it was good to see Hobbs win more ball around the ground and use it efficiently by foot, kicking neatly over short distances and proving all-class forward of centre. Hobbs kicked two memorable goals, the first created by an unbelievably timed Joshua Rachele tap-on and snapped home at full speed, and the second slotted home from long range as he got a hand-off through the corridor. Would be a good chance to get a shot with the Rebels as early as this year, and was only second to Rachele for Country during the carnival.

#5 Mitchell Moschetti (Gippsland Power)

Moschetti is one who just seemed to pop up every now and then, quietly accumulating possessions through midfield and in the back half. His first good bit of play came through a clearance on the move in the first term, shifting to defence in the second quarter and taking a relieving mark. He looked calm with his rebounding run, but bordered on casual a couple of times as he mopped up working back and slipped handballs out to teammates with opponents closing in. He was relatively steady for the remainder of the game, reading a tap well in the third term to send Country inside 50 and finishing with 13 disposals, five tackles, and four rebound 50s.

#6 Kai Lohmann (GWV Rebels)

Lohmann came to life in a brilliant final term, getting to just about everything across the back half and hardly putting a food wrong. Earlier, he showed off his crafty outside movement and evasiveness up on the wing shrugging off his opponents and providing driving runs forward. But a move to defensive 50 saw Lohmann contribute his best moments, first taking a brave mark inside defensive 50 and winning key balls at ground level with terrific composure. His influence on the last line was great with a few handy intercept possessions and calm touches to see the ball into touch with opponents circling around goal. Looks a clever prospect with nice athletic traits.

#9 Hugh Hamilton (Bendigo Pioneers)

Rotated between midfield and at both ends, showing good strength in one-on-one situations and also proving dangerous at forward 50 stoppages. Hamilton found the goals early in the second term after latching onto a loose ball and booting home from close range, while also missing a snap in the following quarter from a stoppage close to home. The Bendigo product’s body positioning against direct opponents allowed him to win the ball both in the air and at ground level, and he stood up well in tackles to dish off. Hamilton made a questionable kicking decision when looking to switch across the defensive 50 after a good mark, but was otherwise really solid with 15 disposals, five clearances and a goal.

#11 Connor Macdonald (Dandenong Stingrays)

The Dandenong forward is a constant threat in the forward half with his line-breaking speed and ability to find the goals, putting in another decent showing with 11 disposals and two goals. Tends to show up in patches and with glimpses of promise, which would just about describe his two majors. Macdonald popped up in the second term to convert a relatively straightforward goal in close proximity to the big sticks, and showed off his pace with a terrific goal on the run in full flight to start the final quarter. Is flashy and has class, causing headaches for opposition defenders.

#13 Joshua Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)

The 2019 Kevin Sheehan medallist and Country MVP was again sublime, leading all-comers with 26 disposals, three clearances, three inside 50s and a goal. Despite starting in the midfield, Rachele’s looked most lively early inside attacking 50, missing a couple of early snaps on goal with his finishing still the only part of his game somewhat letting him down (1.3). He would soon well and truly make up for those two early behinds though, instinctively tapping over his shoulder to create Ben Hobbs’ first goal in a bit of play that was nothing short of special, showing uncanny presence of mind. Rachele went on to provide spark at the stoppages, winning his share of clearances and keeping his hands up well in congestion. The Country co-captain also showed off his wheels moving forward, continuing to create with a couple of one-two plays moving forward on the outside. He managed to hit the scoreboard in the third term with some good harassment inside 50 to see the ball spill free, latching onto the chance well to convert from close range. He capped off his game with some more crafty stoppage work and a nice kick inside 50 to assist a Tom Brown goal, falling to the ground after the final siren having given his all.

#17 Charlie Molan (GWV Rebels)

Another from what looks to be a strong Rebels crop, Molan accumulated well across the game to finish with 20 disposals, four clearances, three inside 50s, and a goal. His hands out of congestion in a pretty handball-happy outing (13) were a feature, especially as he racked up possessions at stoppages in all areas while running through the midfield. He had a little purple patch with his clearance work in the third term to win a couple from the centre bounces and push Country inside 50, continuing that form in the following quarter. Molan provided a strong body around the contest and is already a good size at 187cm, with the versatility to also have an impact up forward.

#18 Tom Brown (Murray Bushrangers)

Brown was super in the forward half, providing a key link from half forward into Country’s attacking arc with five inside 50s. So often Brown was the player found when his side cleared from the centre bounces, leading up superbly to half-forward and proving to be clean up the ground. It was his work inside the arc that truly made a difference though, finishing with a game-high three goals from his 16 disposals. Brown got going with an early snapped goal before narrowly missing another attempt, going on to get busy with a conversion from a holding the ball free kick, and claiming his third from deep in the 50 in the final term. The Murray forward was very efficient with his production and looks an exciting medium forward prospect.

#27 Josh Rentsch (GWV Rebels)

While it was not exactly a day out for Rentsch in front of goal, he did well to provide a presence inside 50 and follow up well around the ground when rucking. He was again unlucky not to benefit more from his strong lead-up play, copping pretty good heat from his opponents closing behind him and missing his only set shot for the game in the second term. Rentsch did his best to contribute at ground level, following up drops of the ball to dish off handballs to his runners and ending with 13 disposals, four clearances, and 10 hitouts in a solid game.

Metro powers home to claim Division 1 title

A 12-GOAL second half against Western Australia (WA) helped Vic Metro claim the Under 16 Division 1 National Championships title, powering to a 67-point win in perfect conditions at the GABBA.

Oakleigh key forward Alex Lukic was dominant with five goals, while classy Eastern midfielder Tyler Sonsie booted four and won plenty of the ball.

It was WA who made the brighter start under the Brisbane sun, booting the first two goal of the game through Rhett Bazzo and a quality Judd McVee snap, but their lead soon disappeared as Metro began to penetrate their solid half-back set-up. Sonsie snuck home Metro’s first goal after marking deep inside 50, and Blake Howes was the beneficiary of Josh Sinn’s searing ball into the 50 to make it two. It was Zac Taylor who played a key hand in putting the Victorians in front – zipping through traffic to find space to snap on home, and handing off to Lukic shortly after to give them a nine-point lead at the first break.

The Black Ducks made the perfect start to the second term as McVee streamed inside 50 to claim his second major, but Jack Rossimel provided a quick reply after intercepting a Blake Morris kick across goal. The goal-for-goal trend continued as Kade Dittmar converted a tough chance from 40-metres out on the boundary, but Saverio Marafioti snapped the streak with his goal on the run to level the scores. It was at that point that Metro began to gain the ascendancy in territory, but couldn’t quite find their way to goal as WA stood firm, right until Sonsie snapped truly once again to give Metro their one-goal lead at the main break.

After Tyreece Leiu found the first goal of the third term for Metro, WA looked to be mounting a comeback as goals from Jake Littleton and Richard Farmer got them back to within one point. That was not quite to be the case though, as Lukic broke the game open with three-consecutive goals on the back of some good work close to goal and easy finishes as he opened up the angles. Youseph Dib snapped home to extend the Metro lead, but a late Richard Bartlett major from a WA forward stoppage gave them a sniff heading into the final break at 17 points down, with Farmer adding the handy point.

That behind wasn’t put to use though as Metro ran away with the game early in the final term, with Lukic adding a fifth after Morris spilt an eye-catching spekkie attempt and Sonise a third and fourth with some shrewd work close to home. The surge continued with majors to Taylor, Henry Brown, Howes and Jake Soligo as Metro enjoyed a host of scoring shots and coasted to victory.

Dib was Metro’s leading ball winner with 20 disposals and four clearances, while Sonsie had 20 touches and four clearances to go with his 4.3, and Eastern teammate Soligo gather 19 disposals and finished with one goal. Taylor and Howes were others to impress with their work inside forward 50, ending with two goals apiece.

For WA, Max Chipper led all-comers with his 23 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s, while Bartlett was in the thick of it with 23 touches, seven clearances and a goal, and Morris did his best to stand up down back with 16 disposals, four marks and seven rebound 50s. Littleton was another to win a good amount of ball (18 disposals), while McVee was arguably their best player in the first half, finishing with 16 disposals, seven clearances and two goals.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2.3 | 5.5 | 8.7 | 8.7 (55)
VICTORIA METRO 4.0 | 6.5 | 11.6 | 18.14 (122)

GOALS:

WA: J. McVee 2, R. Bazzo, K. Dittmar, S. Marafioti, J. Littleton, R. Farmer, R. Bartlett
VM: A. Lukic 5, T. Sonsie 4, Z. Taylor 2, B. Howes 2, H. Brown, Y. Dib, J. Soligo, J. Rossimel, T. Leiu

ADC BEST:

WA: J. McVee, B. Morris, R. Bartlett, R. Bazzo, M. Chipper
VM: T. Sonsie, A. Lukic, Z. Taylor, Y. Dib, J. Sinn

Scouting notes: U16 Division 1 – Round 2

VIC Metro and Western Australia both enjoyed impressive wins in a day of hard-fought Under 16 Division 1 contests in extremely trying conditions at Southport. Michael Alvaro was on hand to provide his opinion-based notes on the outstanding players from all four sides.


Vic Metro vs. South Australia

Vic Metro:

#1 Youseph Dib (Oakleigh Chargers)

The Oakleigh product started well, showing off his athleticism and explosiveness in traffic. Despite only being 171cm tall, Dib proved to be one of the stronger players around the contest, converting his ball-prizing will to hard tackles when not in possession. Dib accumulated well in the first half, moving with good agility at stoppages, moving this way and that to make room for clearances (four) and inside 50 balls (three). He almost found the goals with a couple of quick shots early, and had less of an impact after the main break.

#3 Henry Brown (Oakleigh Chargers)

Brown showed a good mix of ball winning in what is usually a mostly outside role on the wing. Like his Chargers teammate Youseph Dib, Brown played the conditions well to thrust the ball forward (four clearances and three inside 50s), with one kick finding Blake Howes inside 50 for his first goal. Brown did the tough stuff well in gathering his 18 disposals and was a solid contributor.

#6 Josh Ward (Northern Knights)

The Northern forward had an outstanding first quarter and was in everything within Metro’s attacking half. He first caught the eye with a spin out of trouble in the opening minutes and was simply cleaner than most others on the field in trying conditions. Ward found most of his 22 disposals early on and looked most dangerous when on the move, almost snapping a first quarter goal with a neat bit of play. He went on to move further afield and find the ball wherever he went, using the ball efficiently by foot with short, sharp kicks.

#8 Lachlan Brooks (Sandringham Dragons)

Arguably best afield, Brooks was another to impress with his clean hands and movement forward. He started with a strong pack mark from a kick-in and by winning possession around the stoppages, but really came to life after the main break with Metro’s only goals for the the second half. Starting in the centre bounce, Brooks won the first clearance of the third term and never looked back, winning six for the game and proving damaging with 20 of his 23 disposals coming by foot. He showed a great first five steps to break away and boot his first goal on the run, adding another in the final term by coming across to intercept a kick-in yet again and slot the resultant shot. Has some good burst and proved a shrewd addition to the Metro midfield.

#10 Lachlan Rankin (Oakleigh Chargers)

You would think that the conditions would not really suit Rankin’s game, but the half-back flanker still managed to show a bit of class. Taking on the designated kicking duties in the back half, Rankin often opted to go long, but also did some nice things in close – with a pretty clever look-away handball over his shoulder in the first term. He’s only slight, but Rankin also did well to win a couple of on-on-one duels and was effective in the air, while proving agile on the ground to get free and release by foot.

#11 Tyler Sonsie (Eastern Ranges)

While Sonsie did not always get his typically damaging running game from stoppages going, he still found a good amount of ball and was efficient with it. He missed a set shot chance early, a checkside in the second term, and had another shot marked on the line, but wasn’t deterred as he went on to chain together some nice handballs in close and get Metro moving out of tight spaces. Sonsie is a real prime mover, so hopefully he can show off his skills in drier conditions later in the carnival, with clean pick-ups and reads off the packs a feature of his game.

#13 Lachlan Benton (Sandringham Dragons)

Benton made himself busy and came into the game with a good patch late in the second term, applying pressure and eventually earning a free kick to slot his lone goal for the game, while also missing another chance on the run shortly after. A dangerous feature in the forward half, Benton also finished the final quarter well with a brave mark on the 50-metre arc and with a clever steal to give Lachlan Brooks a chance on goal. Finished with 16 disposals, four marks, and three inside 50s to go with 1.2.

#14 Angus McLennan (Sandringham Dragons)

A handy point of difference in the Metro back six, McLennan was influential early alongside Lachlan Rankin in moving the ball efficiently from defence. He tends to find a lot of possession inside defensive 50 and shows great composure there, while also showing his aerial prowess with a couple of intercept marks in the second term. McLennan was fantastic in the final term, taking two solid grabs on the last line, outbodying an opponent in the defensive corridor, and getting on his bike to repel SA’s attacks to good effect.

#15 Joshua Goater (Calder Cannons)

This was far and away the best game I have seen from Goater, proving an absolute wall with his superior positioning in the back half. The Cannons product consistently popped up with overhead marks to cut of SA’s long bombs forward as he dominated the area a kick behind the play. He was an attacking rebounder too, moving past opponents and kicking long to keep Metro relevant on the attack for as long as possible. Finished with another big grab in the final term and should thrive in drier conditions and a role he looks comfortable in.

#17 Josh Sinn (Sandringham Dragons)

The skipper battled hard through midfield to pick up a more unassuming 19 disposals than usual, unable to always provide his signature penetration on the outside. Sinn just finds the ball with ease and loves latching onto his left boot, bombing five clearances from congestion and breaching both arcs. He warmed to the contest to have a greater influence as it went on, adapting his game to convert his smart to tighter situations with a couple of clever handballs into space. A solid contributor, but can bring it to the next level.

#19 Blake Howes (Sandringham Dragons)

Howes was by no means one who was dominant throughout the game, but he popped up at the most important time with two goals in the second term to break the game open and put Metro ahead. Howes had an early chance to goal with a soccer from the goalsquare, but came alive with a purple patch that saw him convert a free kick and finish with absolute class on the run shortly after. Looks a pretty raw impact player at this stage, but always seems to find the goals.

#21 Tyreece Leiu (Eastern Ranges)

The strong Ranges midfielder did a lot of the grunt work through the engine room, leading his side for disposals with 24. While he does not always have the flashes of class that the likes of Sonsie and Sinn provide, Leiu thrived in the contested game and was prominent at the coalface. That makes him a good point of difference for Metro, and he should be able to match it with others in the NAB League given his already solid frame.

#23 Jed Rule (Oakleigh Chargers)

Rule is simply one of the better readers of the game in defence and used his nous to snuff out some dangerous SA attacks. He began with a sliding effort to intercept in the first term, backing it up with a more typical aerial clunk in the third and another terrific pack mark in the fourth. He also uses the ball really well for a taller player, making him the kind of modern defender that clubs love. Hardly made a mistake with his 17 disposals and five marks, and was as reliable as anyone.


South Australia:

#5 Isaiah Dudley (Central District)

Constantly looks like the busiest player on the field and was made to work up the field to have an impact. Dudley started with a few small glimpses of his usual self with a holding the ball tackle, high fly for a mark, and some clever touches to keep the ball in dispute. His agility in traffic again caused headaches for his opponents and allowed him to free himself for clean use, proving damaging in general play with repeat efforts in congestion. While he did not find the goals himself, Dudley did his best to create for others and made a sensational pass on the turn to find Jason Horne inside 50 as South Australia looked to charge, while also assisting a Morgan Ferres goal late on with a clever checkside under pressure.

#6 Lachlan Thomas (Sturt)

The conditions did not always allow for Thomas’ usual run and carry out of the defensive 50, but he still managed to breach the arc with almost half (six) of his 14 disposals. He always looked to gain distance when entrusted with the kick-ins, using the new play on rule to good effect and unleashing long kicks. His choice of kicks and opting for distance didn’t always pay off, particularly with a torpedo attempt in the second term, but you can’t fault his effort. Thomas is quick to release and makes his opponents do the same, applying good pressure around the ball in the back half.

#8 Cooper Murley (Norwood)

Murley was a great forward driver for SA through midfield, adding a bit of zip to a tough inside mix. He has the pace to hunt the ball and puts in a heap of efforts until he does just that, breaking with speed and delivering forward well. Murley is still pretty light-on, but showed good tenacity to hold on with his tackles, and took a brave mark in the third term. Was caught out on one occasion when looking to play on quickly, but was otherwise effective in doing so.

#11 Harry Tunkin (Glenelg)

Tunkin is one who makes up for a lack of height with heart, and showed that off the bat with a courageous effort under a high ball to earn a free kick in the opening term. He seems to thrive in contested situations and has a no-nonsense approach, hitting the contest when required and putting his body on the line. Mixed his hard edge with an ability to find the footy, racking up 19 disposals in a solid outing.

#17 Matthew Dnistriansky (Norwood)

A constant in the back half, Dnistriansky did well to remain a composed figure inside defensive 50 across the day. He has the happy knack of clearing his lines by foot, as shown with 14 of his 16 disposals being kicks, and repelled some good looking Metro attacks with apt rebounding.

#18 Tyson Coe (West Adelaide)

One who is actually an under-ager in this year’s competition – much like Roberts, Dudley, and Horne were in 2018 – as a 2004-birth. He still held his own around the stoppages with his decent frame for his age and did not fray from the contest, collecting 14 disposals and laying seven tackles. Should really benefit from the experience and will be one to watch for next year’s carnival if the form of the aforementioned three is anything to go by.

#19 Jason Thorne (South Adelaide)

The skipper put in a brave and workmanlike shift, initially in his usual midfield post and later up either end. He started with good intent, laying a big tackle at one of the earliest stoppages, following up with strong clearance work and ball winning in-close. Thorne showed he has the finesse to match his grunt work, lowering his eyes beautifully to find a teammate going inside 50 in the second term. He went on to spend some time down back after the main break, throwing his weight around down there and rebounding with clearing kicks. He copped a heavy knock in the same term and spend some time on the pine, before getting straight back into the thick of it. He then moved forward and was sensational in SA’s final push, winning a free kick deep to slot his only goal for the game and getting into position twice more to mark inside the arc. Unfortunately could not help his side over the line, but was a top effort.

#20 Matthew Roberts (South Adelaide)

Roberts was arguably the best afield with his 31 disposals, five marks, four clearances, seven inside 50s and one goal. He just seemed to be everywhere and won the ball in all areas of the ground – dominating at stoppages and finding space well forward of centre to make his threat two-pronged. He booted his side’s first goal of the game after clunking a nice mark deep inside 50 and remained relevant when resting forward, continually popping up with marks around half forward to lock the ball in. He may have been playing to the conditions, but many of Roberts’ kicks from the contest went long off a couple of steps, where he would otherwise wheel around further and find a more direct target. Still a dominant game and one who is shaping as South Australia’s most valuable players.

#23 Morgan Ferres (Sturt)

Was far from a massive game from Ferres, but he remained a dangerous prospect for SA up forward and provided a target in tough conditions for key position players. Could have bagged his first goal in the second term after winning a holding free inside 50 but missed the shot, later making up for it with somewhat of a consolation goal via the brilliance of Isaiah Dudley. Has the potential to do more as he has already shown, and should benefit from drier conditions in Round 3.

Vic Country vs. Western Australia

Vic Country:

#2 Campbell Chesser (Sandringham Dragons)

The Country co-captain built into the game slowly but eventually found his rhythm to contribute class and clean use. A usually efficient kick, Chesser unleashed long when on the the move to clear pockets of congestion and opposition set-ups at either end. His run was also effective as a point of difference, baulking an opponent on the way to breaking inside 50 in the second term in a play more suited to dry weather footy. The Melbourne Grammar boarder ended up with a very respectable 21 disposals and two tackles, with his influence felt across the field.

#3 Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels)

The hard-nosed midfielder came off the ground as near-on the muddiest player of the lot, such was his desperation to find the footy. Thriving in the conditions with his contested game, Hobbs collected 29 disposals, laid 10 tackles and rebounded four times in what was a workmanlike display, consistent throughout the four quarters. Hobbs will his way to the ball and through traffic time after time, running through whoever was in his way on path to his goal. With his contested game down pat and overhead marking a solid added trait, Hobbs can work on finding better targets in congestion, with much of his disposal at the stoppages being long kicks to no one in particular. Is still such a competitor, and one of Country’s best two or three thus far.

#5 Mitchell Moschetti (Gippsland Power)

The Gippsland product just seems to find the ball unassumingly, collecting 20 disposals and five rebound 50s in another solid shift. Moschetti positioned well behind the ball early to mark on the wing and began to accumulate the ball forward of the defensive 50 arc in the second term. His diving mark to intercept in the following quarter was a highlight, and he consistently has a say in proceedings by getting to as many contests as he can from behind the ball.

#8 Cooper Hamilton (Bendigo Pioneers)

The Pioneers defender provided good spark moving forward, chiming in with a couple of handy plays throughout the day. He started with a slide to win the ball and kick to Ben Hobbs to show good awareness, while going on to influence proceedings in the third term with neat disposal and a nice contested win to rebound from the back half. Hamilton began the final term where he had left off with a brave take under pressure and handball out to Joshua Rachele, finishing with 14 disposals, five tackles and two rebound 50s.

#9 Hugh Hamilton (Bendigo Pioneers)

The more stocky of the two Hamiltons, Hugh made his impact up forward. Was a little shaky early on with a set shot that went out on the full, but had some nice moments in the second term. The first was a strong one-on-one win at half forward, and the second was a really clean pick-up to show his quality under pressure. Hamilton went on to finish with 16 disposals and four inside 50s after a good middle period of the game.

#10 Benjamin Green (Gippsland Power)

Complimented Hobbs well in midfield with his own contested ball winning, and made an immediate impact with the assist for Josh Rentsch’s first goal with a long kick forward. A regular at the centre bounces and stoppages, Green found a decent amount of ball with 18 disposals and three clearances, while also having an influence in his side’s forward movement with six inside 50s. Capped his game with a slow snap that dribbled over the line just in time at the start of the third term and played an important role.

#11 Connor Macdonald (Dandenong Stingrays)

Macdonald was again one of Country’s most damaging forward movers, providing a reliable and creative link into attacking 50 with clean use, while finding a good amount of ball to make an impact. He is zippy when weaving a way through traffic and pops up in little spurts, but his haul of 24 disposals suggests he is finding some solid consistency.

#13 Joshua Rachele (Murray Bushrangers)

The Country leader was absolutely outstanding with the game in the balance and very nearly proved to be a match-winner, falling just short with his chances to do so. Rachele was impactful early on with his nous around the contest and presence of mind under pressure, but really came to life in an spurring second half performance. He showed rare vision to give Blake Scott a chance on goal in the opening stages of the third quarter and began to become more prominent as a clearance winner at the centre bounces. His flair began to take over in the following term as he tried to inspire his side, tackling beautifully in the corridor before hitting the post with what could well have been the game-sealing goal. It wasn’t to be, but Rachele had a game-high 32 disposals to go with six marks, four inside 50s, four rebound 50s, and 0.3.

#16 Lincoln White (Bendigo Pioneers)

White was another to spur his teammates on with a very influential purple patch, with most of his impact felt in the third term. The Pioneers product was able to hit the scoreboard in quick succession, first slipping an opponent to finish well and then sharply snatch the ball off hands to finish on the bounce and give a big ‘c’mon’ cry. He almost gifted Judson Clarke another goal straight after, and was a slippery opponent inside 50 for the WA defenders all day with his 21 disposals and three inside 50s.

#27 Josh Rentsch (GWV Rebels)

One of the better big-men on the ground in the early stages, Rentsch looked like one who could break the game open as he bagged two first-quarter goals with some added time deep forward. The Penhurst product was strong one-on-one, marking in the opening five minutes and putting through the resultant shot. He would back it up with a juggled attempt and second conversion later in the term before somewhat fading out of the game. He almost had the chance to produce another couple of shots but had delivery fall just short of him on the lead, instead getting the ball back up to smaller players off the deck. In tough conditions for key position players, Rentsch definitely showed signs.


Western Australia:

#7 Judd McVee (East Fremantle)

Aptly named given the stamp a certain Judd made in WA, McVee was fantastic through midfield and finished with a team-high 23 disposals to go with seven tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds. The quick but diminutive mover crashed in to win his own ball and zip away from traffic in the same motion, picking up from where Lochlan Paton left off early on. He was a consistent figure throughout and provided important spark, despite making a couple of turnovers by foot. His best moment was a lightning quick gather on defensive wing in the third term, and he looks an exciting player.

#8 Lochlan Paton (West Perth)

Paton was arguably the best player on the ground up to quarter time, when a hand injury became apparent. He is another midfielder who isn’t massively built, but was so hard at it and won his own ball at will. His evasion in traffic and breaking speed proved troublesome, with his work rate around the stoppages more than handy given the conditions. Hopefully we will get another glimpse of Paton before the carnival ends after his day was cut short, with plenty to like out of his first two outings.

#9 Max Chipper (Swan Districts)

Nicknamed ‘Chip’, the Swan Districts wingman was poised to have a big influence with his poise and class around the ball. Chipper is just so calm and clean in possession, but also proved brave with an intercept play in the second term to cause a turnover. His cool head would help WA prevail in a 3v1 contest, working out what could have been a disaster with a snap over the oncoming Country player to see Saverio Marafioti into an open goal. Finished with 17 disposals and nine tackles in a slightly different role, with much of the play occurring between the arcs.

#10 Mitchell Brown (South Fremantle)

You had to watch closely to truly appreciate Brown’s output, with a lot of his work done in-close as he won 17 disposals, six clearances and four inside 50s. Getting involved as part of WA’s usual midfield group, Brown showed he simply knows how to find the ball and did so with ease throughout the day. He began to find it in more open areas as the game progressed, finding ways to send his side inside 50 while also pitching in up the other end to save a certain Country goal with fantastic desperation alongside Blake Morris in defensive 50. A reliable prospect, and played his role well.

#12 Jake Littleton (East Perth)

The WA outside mover was not always in the game, but seems to chime in with handy touches and neat passages of play. While he is often a handy driver forward off a wing, Littleton showed good work rate to get back and close in on a taller Country opponent in the third term to prevent an easy chance on goal. He did a little bit of everything throughout the game with 15 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, and four rebound 50s, looking very efficient with ball in hand and opting for high percentage short kicks.

#18 Saverio Marafioti (West Perth)

Marafioti is very much a raw prospect, but there is a lot to like about him as an exciting forward. He absolutely burst out of the blocks with an impactful first half, popping up with a couple of touches at half-forward in a good amount of space. He found the goals with a soccered attempt early in the piece, and booted another major after again getting free out the back and latching onto a clever Max Chipper kick. While he faded out of the game a touch and gave away a couple of 50-metre penalties, Marafioti was a key figure in setting up the win early.

#30 Rhett Bazzo (Swan Districts)

The Swan District product proved very effective with his positioning behind the ball and ability to intercept, popping up in the first term with a sliding mark deep inside defensive 50. Bazzo would again position well to cut off another Country kick in the same term, going on to provide some attack with after cutting off the play with long rebounds. He finished with a very serviceable 15 disposals and five marks as a key figure behind the ball.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen (Claremont)

Van Rooyen caught the eye in the opening stages with a strong bit of play to clunk a mark on the second attempt, and he became a useful part of the midfield rotation with his high work rate both ways. The Claremont youngster is already a good size and looks able to play multiple roles, adapting well in this game to have 17 disposals, five marks, nine tackles and a goal – which came in the second term. He tried to cap off his game with another in the last with a torpedo attempt from range after sliding well for a mark, but fell short.

#38 Kade Dittmar (East Perth)

Dittmar was productive around the contests all day, finishing with 22 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances, and four inside 50s as one who pushed forward well from the midfield rotation. He did well to also pull in a couple of marks early on, flying to take one overhead and proving strong to hold another one-on-one. Dittmar had a set shot touched after following up from a short set shot from that second mark, but really got involved forward of centre in a strong second term. Is one who has really grown when donning representative colours.

#39 Luke Polson (Peel Thunder)

One of the heroes of the day, Polson booted the winning goal after earning a holding the ball free kick with just over a minute left in the game – coolly slotting the set shot and celebrating joyously with his teammates. Earlier, he took a solid grab backing up in the first term, but missed a shot gifted to him via a 50-metre penalty in the same play. Playing in defence during the first half, Polson read the ball well in flight to intercept in tandem with Blake Morris before moving into the ruck. He moves like a fourth midfielder in that position at 194cm, following up well at ground level and playing his part. He finished with 16 disposals, 14 hitouts and the winning goal in a great all-round display.

#41 Shannon Neale (South Fremantle)

One of the rotating rucks, Neale was initially slow to build into the game but warrants a mention for standing up in the all-important dying stages. He was frighteningly good at ground level for a 198cm player, scooping the ball up off the deck and dishing off like his outside movers normally would. Neale positioned so well behind the ball to lock it in on two occasions when WA finally got forward in the final term, taking a mark in one of the contests he made. Ended up with a pretty handy stat-line, collecting 12 disposals, five inside 50s and 0.2 while also having five tackles and 13 hitouts.

#42 Blake Morris (Subiaco)

Morris was an absolute wall in defence for the winners, mixing a strong marking ability and superior reading of the play with desperate ground level work to keep Country at bay. He had already showed his knack for marking overhead with a slippery ball, and did so again in this game with four very impressive marks across the day. While he gives up a massive amount of size against key position opponents at 187cm and 68kg, Morris is all heart and makes up for it with his speed and judgement. Once he built confidence, Morris began to attack more with his intercept possessions, but never strayed from his primary role of covering deep in defence. He was so composed on the last line and stopped a couple of certain goals with the sheer will to get back and stall until helped arrived. Super impressive, and looks like a modern prototypical defender who plays well above his height.

Scouting notes: U16 National Championships – Western Australia vs. South Australia

REIGNING Under 16 champions South Australia got their title defence off to a solid start, overcoming Western Australia by 29 points at Subiaco Oval. Below are notes on some of the outstanding players from either side.

Western Australia:

#5 Zach Fliener (West Perth)

Hard to miss under his helmet, Fliener proved a productive part of the WA back six. Looked strong for a smaller player and didn’t shy away from the contest, putting his body in the way to cut off opposition kicks. After showing his solid defensive traits early on, Fliener built the confidence to use his running game to good effect, and often finished with neat use by foot up the ground. Even managed to sneak forward and earn a goal in the final term from a free kick.

#8 Lochlan Paton (West Perth)

Was a pretty permanent fixture in the WA midfield and carried the ball away from congestion well. Got on the end of a couple of neat one-two chains from centre bounces to show good chemistry with his engine room partners, and could have made an even bigger impact with greater kicking penetration. Was still dangerous with his run and carry and accumulated across the day.

#9 Max Chipper (Swan Districts)

A constant on the wing, Chipper looks a really neat and composed user. Often kicked short to high percentage targets and flicked out handballs on the move, seeing a good amount of the ball. Seemed to cover the ground well as he found possession in all areas of the ground, proving an effective link in the chain.

#10 Mitchell Brown (South Fremantle)

Another centre bounce regular, Brown started brightly with the opening clearance of the game. That first bit of play would set the tone for the rest of his game, as the South Fremantle product made most of his impact around the stoppages. Also proved efficient with his long inside 50 entries, finding Luke Taylor in the first term and Lawson Humphries in the second. Brown would go on to find the ball more around the ground as the game wore on, and attacked hard at the contests in wet conditions.

#12 Jake Littleton (East Perth)

Littleton popped up forward of centre with touches in important areas, albeit if they didn’t quite amount to massive scoreboard impact. First caught the eye with a clean pick-up at speed early on, and was one of his side’s main avenues forward with a purple patch of inside 50 entries in the first term. Missed a set shot late in the same quarter on the back of one of WA’s better passages, and had a more quiet end to the game. Looked to be playing off a wing as he found the ball up the ground, but definitely had a greater impact in the front half.

#22 Richard Bartlett (East Fremantle)

One of WA’s more productive forwards despite not finding the goals, Bartlett really impressed with his use by hand – sweeping up spilled balls at half-forward and flicking out to teammates on the move. Does not have a huge frame, but his physicality in the contest was a key part of his style of play, allowing him to position best at the drop of the ball. Bartlett’s highlight for the game was an assist to Matthew Johnson, finding him by hand from a forward 50 stoppage. Also rotated through the midfield in the early stages, but found a home forward of centre.

#27 Matthew Johnson (Subiaco)

A raw midfielder/forward, Johnson was one who showed little flashes of his potential. Is quite tall for a midfielder at his age (187cm) but is still very lean at 65kg, somewhat levelling out his height advantage. Snapped a goal in the second term to set his side on a run of momentum, and later showed good explosive traits with a fend off and burst from congestion.

#31 Luke Taylor (Swan Districts)

The forward target kicked WA’s first goal of the game with a nice set shot finish from the pocket, but missed another chance shortly after. Impressed with his strong hands on the lead on two occasions in the first term, and looked on for a big game. Wasn’t helped by the conditions, but still made an impact by finding his side’s only goal for the third quarter – converting a free kick from a forward 50 stoppage.

#38 Kade Dittmar (East Perth)

Originally a train-on in the WA squad, Dittmar did well to make the most of his opportunity. Has a really solid frame already, and was physical when called upon both in the air and at ground level. Managed to find the ball at both ends, catching the eye in particular with overhead marking in the back half – including two quick ones in the second term. Built into the game well and accumulated across the day, playing the percentages by foot with neat kicking.

#39 Luke Polson (Peel Thunder)

Took on the majority of the ruck duties throughout the day, arguably getting the better of his SA counterparts. Is not the tallest ruck at 194cm, but that didn’t have much of an effect as Polson leapt well and found a way to get first hand on the ball around the ground. Perhaps the best aspect of Polson’s game was his follow-up efforts, finding the ball at ground level and hacking clear for his side. Looks a productive player for his position.

#42 Blake Morris (Subiaco)

A late inclusion to the squad as an over-ager having missed out on selection last year, Morris was arguably WA’s best. The Subiaco product clunked just about everything that came his way in a dominant defensive display. Started with an eye-catching intercept mark in the corridor and never looked back, reeling in a series on overhead grabs from high balls in his defensive 50 to show superior reading of the play. The half-time rain only slowed him slightly, as he came out after the main break with another strong pack mark in the wet. Worked well at ground level too with a goal-saving tackle in the second term, as well as a couple of rebounding attempts. Still looks a raw prospect, and had a bit of a blunder as he marked an Isaiah Dudley shot on his chest just over the goal line, but has great potential.


South Australia:

#2 Zyton Santillo (North Adelaide)

Made a lively start to the game, taking it on with some run and carry from his customary wing position, and even slotting home SA’s second goal of the game with a well converted set shot. Likes to burst past opponents as he gathers the ball, and found it at a good rate throughout the game. Was a little quieter after making his early impression, but remained one of his side’s best.

#3 Jay Watson (Eagles)

Was not initially one who caught the eye, but progressively got better and more involved as time elapsed. Started SA’s late surge in the second term as he announced himself with a set shot goal, and also hit the post in the following term. Was involved in a couple of nice passages for the winners, and got busy in the forward half.

#5 Isaiah Dudley (Central District)

Arguably the best afield, Dudley is full of talent and stands above the rest despite being just 162cm tall. Also caught the eye at last year’s Under 16 carnival with his nous around goal, and produced the same kind of play here with clever touches at ground level and four high quality majors. Looked to make an immediate impact with his first shot coming in the opening minute, but only really started to take over after quarter time. Harassed well inside 50 to give Morgan Ferres his second goal, and played a key part in Harry McInnes’ first with a steal and break through the corridor. Would find the goals himself shortly after with a lovely snap, and made another intercept to slam home a second. Continued on with the first goal of the third term and his fourth in the last, capping off a top-notch display. Has great agility and smarts, definitely one who will garner attention despite his height.

#6 Lachlan Thomas (Sturt)

An effective rebounder from the back half, Thomas swept up well across defensive 50 to accumulate a good amount of ball. Was the designated kicker given his kick-in responsibilities and often looked to take full advantage of being able to play on from them. Showed good composure on the ball and got to the important areas, barely putting a foot wrong throughout the game. Looks to be an important generator of run in a highly competitive SA back six.

#8 Cooper Murley (Norwood)

One of three who most consistently featured at the centre bounces, Murley provided a good point of difference between the midfield trio with some burst and run on the outside. Won an early clearance, but made his first real impact with a goal – collecting the loose ball over the back after initially airing a soccered attempt and converting into an open goal. Went on to win most of his ball on the outer of heavy congestion and moved it forward to good effect.

#10 Jase Burgoyne (Eagles)

A Flying Boomerangs representative last year, Burgoyne is the son of Port Adelaide champion Peter – and looks a mirror imagine of him in his early days. The pacey mover played most of this game in the forward half or on a wing, showing small glimpses of his pedigree. Took a nice one on one mark and moved the ball inside 50 in a lively second quarter, while also missing a casual attempted snap on goal. Was involved early in the third term again with more time forward, and had a particularly impressive pick-up at speed. Showed signs, but not the complete package just yet.

#11 Harry Tunkin (Glenelg)

A tough midfielder/defender, Tunkin looked to have relished the opportunity to get his hands dirty in wet conditions. Attacks the ball hard and remains strong in the contest, while also possessing good breakaway capabilities and a solid core. Really impressed in the second and third terms with his defensive efforts in the back half, while also racking up a good amount of ball and using it well by foot. Showed a good bit of composure in the third term to round two opponents, and also spent some time in the middle.

#14 Arlo Draper (South Adelaide)

Is a tall and lean type, but absolutely threw himself into every contest he could in the back half. Showed great desperation to lock in and win the ball at ground level inside defensive 50, making a heap of contests and helping SA to prize possession back. Also competed well in the air to bring the ball to ground, and was another to show levels of composure with ball in hand.

#17 Matthew Dnistriansky (Norwood)

Had a couple of nice moments during the match, starting with a solid overhead grab in the opening term. Did not have a massive first half, but again showed his worth with a booming kick from defensive wing to find a target forward in the second term. Started to really motor on after half time, staying relevant down back with some solid rebound and by racking up a good amount of ball.

#19 Jason Horne (South Adelaide)

The skipper well and truly led the way from midfield, putting in his fair share of contested work and using the ball well from congestion. Was a regular at the centre bounces, but also rested forward and found a goal in the second term – taking a strong contested mark and converting the resultant shot. Managed to set up Jay Watson’s goal in the same term on the back of a fend-off, but still looked most comfortable in the engine room as his side’s leading ball winner. Horne handed off well to runners tackled hard, working effectively at the stoppages and also proving productive around the ground. Will be a key figure for his side, and is arguably the best of a strong SA midfield core.

#20 Matthew Roberts (South Adelaide)

Back for his second stint in the Under 16 side after impressing last year as an under-ager, Roberts complimented the likes of Horne well in the midfield. The South Adelaide product is another who is strong and wins his fair share of contested ball, but also possesses a decent left foot. Looked particularly good early with an overhead intercept mark forward of the wing, but went on to really shine with his in and under work in the engine room, despite not having huge possession numbers.

#23 Morgan Ferres (Sturt)

Joined Dudley with a game-high four goals, playing deep forward as a slightly undersized lead-up target. Was really dangerous in the opening term, finding a good amount of ball inside 50 and putting through one of his two attempts on goal, reading the ball best off hands. Kicked his second goal in the following term in open play once again, adding two more in the final quarter to seal the game. His third came via another snap, and his fourth was a more conventional set shot. Had a couple of good one on one wins in the air despite his light frame, but was found out a bit more when searching for it up the ground before coming good again when positioned a kick behind the ball on the attacking arc. Definitely looks at home inside forward 50.

Reigning champions again look the team to beat

DEFENDING Under-16 Division 1 champions South Australia got their 2019 campaign off to an ideal start, bettering their Western counterparts by 29 points at Subiaco Oval in a game full of momentum swings.

The tri-colours burst out of the blocks early with consecutive goals to Morgan Ferres, Zyton Santillo, and Cooper Murley helping them to an ominous three-goal break. Their lead was soon to be cut though, as the home side hit back through forward targets Luke Taylor and Jacob van Rooyen to remain within striking distance. The ebbs and flows continued on into the second term, with SA ending the beneficiary of a high-scoring stanza of play – booting six goals to WA’s three to build a 26-point half-time margin. Three quick unanswered goals in the final four minutes of the term compounded the difference, with Jay Watson, skipper Jason Horne, and diminutive forward jet Isaiah Dudley all finding the big sticks late on.

With a downpour of rain continuing on from the half time interval, SA looked primed to hang onto the lead they had established, but WA simply would not go away. A deadlocked third term saw the spoils shared and margin relatively unchanged heading into the fourth quarter, with Dudley and WA’s Taylor each doubling up on their respective goal tallies. With the rain seeming to clear but the ball still wet, the home side made a charge early in the final stanza with another string of three goals – this time through Zach Fliener, Matthew Johnson, and Ethan Regan. Despite the lead being cut to just nine points and the run of play with WA, the visitors’ class shone through the dreariness as they finished strong with three goals of their own to seal a comfortable victory in the end, with a Ferres goal on the siren sealing the deal.

Dudley and Ferres were the stars inside 50 for the winners with four goals apiece, as the former provided intense ground ball threat when rotating forward through the midfield, and the latter more of an aerial option. Dudley’s teammates in last year’s Under 16 squad – Horne and Matthew Roberts – were fantastic through midfield, winning their fair share of contested ball and also featuring forward of centre. Santillo was another to impress with his run and carry from the wing, with Lachlan Thomas and Harry Tunkin reliable outlets down back.

For WA, late squad inclusion Blake Morris was simply outstanding down back – marking just about everything that came his way, especially during a dryer first half. Fliener was another to pop up in the defensive half, donning his helmet and carrying the ball forward to good effect. The likes of Lochlan Paton, Max Chipper, and Mitchell Brown all accumulated well across the game in the Black Swans’ midfield rotation, while Lawson Humphries and Richard Bartlett were dangerous links into the forward 50. Johnson and Taylor were the only multiple goal kickers in an even spread, with van Rooyen a key contributor to also find the goals and Kade Dittmar impressive in all areas of the ground.

With the carnival headed to Queensland for Rounds 2 and 3, next on the agenda for South Australia is a meeting with fellow Round 1 winners, Vic Metro. Meanhwile, Western Australia is set to face Metro’s weekend opponent, Vic Country.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2.2 | 5.3 | 6.5 | 9.5 (59)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 3.4 | 9.5 | 10.8 | 13.10 (88)

GOALS:
WA: L. Taylor 2, M. Johnson 2, J. van Rooyen, L. Humphries, R. Farmer, Z. Fliener, E. Regan.
SA: I. Dudley 4, M. Ferres 4, C. Murley, Z. Santillo, J. Horne, J. Watson, H. McInnes.