Tag: sam mayes

South Australian weekly wrap: Roosters get back on track

SOME of South Australia’s (SA) young talents filtered back into South Australian National Football League (SANFL) games last week, with majority of SA’s U18 and U16 squad still away on National Championship duties.

School footy continues to be on break, so most clubs over the coming weeks will be able to get their best sides on the park, so SANFL club results will be interesting to watch. Jamie Morgan, Tom Wyman and Damon Mattiazzo all took a look at what is making news in South Australia.

League:

Port Adelaide 14.15 (99) defeated West Adelaide 3.4 (22)

Port Adelaide cemented their spot in the top five of the SANFL with an elementary victory over strugglers West Adelaide. The Magpies were in complete control of the contest with West Adelaide unable to cause any threat to the side that only featured one non-AFL listed player in their line-up. Billy Frampton was superb for Port with a dominant display comprising 25 disposals, nine marks and four goals. Former Lion Sam Mayes produced his best performance of the season so far with 28 disposals, seven marks and seven clearances, as Willem Drew and Kane Farrell were also busy with 23 touches each. Matthew Broadbent and Jarrod Lienert controlled the play from the wings with 25 and 24 disposals respectively. Highlight of the game came from Port Adelaide NGA player Martin Frederick who kicked the potential goal of the year with an amazing coast-to-coast goal from inside Port’s defensive 50. For West, former Hawthorn player Dallas Willsmore‘s efforts were left unrewarded in a tireless display accumulating 34 disposals, Chris Schmidt (31 disposals and five marks) and Kaine Stevens (30 disposals and six clearances) were also noteworthy.

South Adelaide 9.8 (62) defeated Sturt 15.8 (98)

The Double Blues grabbed the premiership points away from home at Flinders University Stadium, defeating the Panthers by 36 points. Josh Patullo kicked three majors for the victors and was aided in front of goal thanks to two goals each by mainstays Mark Evans and Josh Hone, Jack Penfold and veteran on-baller Aidan Riley. Consistent duo James Battersby (30 disposals, six marks, three tackles and eight clearances) and Sam Colquhoun (28 disposals, five marks, nine tackles and five clearances) helped their side win the midfield battle. Emmanuel Irra was the only multiple goalkicker for South Adelaide, booting two majors, with Abe Davis (brother of recent-Adelaide debutant Ben) again prolific with 33 disposals. Joseph Haines and Nick Liddle were prolific, recording 31 and 27 touches respectively, with the former also registering an impressive 10 marks and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Norwood 6.15 (51) defeated by Adelaide 13.10 (88)

Adelaide’s strong form in the SANFL continued with a dominant 37-point victory over Norwood. While the game was close in the first half, an eight goals to two second half – including a four goals to zero last quarter – saw the Crows run away with the contest. Adelaide listed players Patrick Wilson (28 disposals, six clearances, three tackles, nine marks and two goals) and Bryce Gibbs (22 disposals, 10 clearances, two marks and three tackles) impressed, as did Riley Knight who booted two goals from 22 disposals. For Norwood, Lewis Johnston continued his great form with 31 disposals, 10 marks, six tackles, two clearances and two goals, while Mitch Grigg and Matthew Nunn both had 26 touches, as well as a combined 17 marks, 14 tackles and 11 clearances in the loss.

Eagles 11.9 (75) defeated by Glenelg 14.6 (90)

This was a tough hitout from two in-form teams with Glenelg holding on by 15 points. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead with Luke Partington clearly best for the Tigers all day. Partington finished with 43 disposals, eight marks, eight clearances, and two goals. The Eagles steadied once again on the back of small forward James Rowe booting two goals in the second quarter who finished the game with four majors, but Glenelg forwards Brad Close (20 disposals, two goals) and Tom Schott (three goals) were key contributors in the win. The Eagles had their chances after being level at three quarter time and were led well by experienced Chris Hall (30 disposals, seven marks) but fell short.

Central District 11.13 (79) defeated by North Adelaide 17.5 (107)

Roosters players and supporters can finally put the nineteenth man saga behind them after securing their second win finally had them out of negative premiership points zone. Aidan Tropiano led the way for the Roosters with 39 disposals and seven clearances, while young forward Frank Szekely finished with four goals and earned a Breakthrough Player Nomination. Consistent performers Travis and Jarrod Schiller had a heap of the footy with 42 and 30 possessions apiece for the Bulldogs.

Reserves

Norwood 10.12 (72) defeated West Adelaide 4.7 (31)

Norwood were able to consolidate second spot on the ladder with a comfortable victory against third placed West Adelaide. Norwood were led by Connor Bristow who was dominant with 29 disposals that included 15 marks and a goal, Bristow was joined by dropped seniors Cody Szust and Christopher Olsson who had 28 and 26 disposals respectively. Brodie Carroll had 19 disposals returning from his stint in the senior side, as former State Academy players Tyler Martin (20 disposals) and Jacob Collins (16 disposals) were also influential. For West, James Bentley had a prolific game with 31 disposals and 1.4 for goal, Connor Fairlie (26 disposals), Lyndon Hupfield (24 disposals and 10 marks) and Aaron Anderson were other standouts.

South Adelaide 9.5 (59) defeated Sturt 7.14 (56)

South Adelaide prevailed by just three points in a nailbitting curtain raiser with Sturt. Returning from State Under-18 duties, Panther Darnell Tucker impressed with two goals from his 12 disposals, however it was his defensive pressure (10 tackles) which really stood out. Luke Bogle was crucial in his sides triumph, winning 31 disposals and getting the ball going his sides way with 11 clearances. For Sturt, Casey Voss was solid in what was a well-rounded statistical outing, collecting 25 disposals, six marks, five tackles, six clearances and seven inside-50s. Perhaps unlucky not to be given a chance in the SA Under-18 side, Anzac Lochowiak was effective again, collecting 23 disposals and laying 11 tackles. Fellow State Academy member Oliver Grivell booted 1.2 from. his 13 disposals. He took two contested marks (five in total) and, crucially, contributed to his sides defensive pressure by connecting with five tackles. Edward Allan was the most prolific player on the ground, amassing 33 disposals, six marks, six tackles and six clearances.

WWT Eagles 9.4 (58) defeated by Glenelg 10.13 (73)

The Eagles have had an inconsistent few weeks, while Glenelg has been improving with the Tigers securing a 15 point win. With some players recovering from injuries, the Tigers look a bit more settled and on the back of strong performances from Tom Feely (28 disposals seven marks,) and Ben Sawford (25 disposals and 10 clearances) the Tigers held on. Young talent Declan Carmody was good with two goals and Finn Betterman was also amongst the best. Eagles struggled to play consistent football and defender/mid Jake Westbrook and Sam Rowland were best for the Eagles.

Central District 17.12 (114) defeated North Adelaide 4.8 (32)

Centrals did a demolition job on the Roosters by 82 points. Darcy Pisani look set for a League call up after a 42-possession, one-goal game and Connor McLean finished with four goals. Max Lower battled for the Roosters to finish with 34 disposals, and youngster Jackson Antrobus (son of Tony) finished with one goal for the losing side.

Under 18s:

Norwood 15.8 (98) defeated West Adelaide 7.4 (46)

West Adelaide easily dispatched a disappointing Redlegs side with a 52 point victory at the City Mazda Oval. Beau Nunan was the star of the game with a performance headlined with six goals for the Bloods, Joel Groom was top ball winner for his side with 27 touches. Eduard Van Den Berg was also fundamental to West’s win, as the Blood’s Riley Thilthorpe kicked three goals from eight contested marks. For Norwood, Henry Nelligan continued his prolific form with 27 disposals, nine clearances and a goal with Mitchell Carroll also impressing with 26 touches and seven marks.

South Adelaide 8.9 (57) defeated Sturt 7.12 (54)

South Adelaide snatched victory from Sturt by three points in a come-from-behind victory down south. The Panthers were led by Sacred Heart duo Marcus Lippett (26 disposals, six marks, six tackles and three inside 50s) – who was strong in the air with three contested grabs – and bottom-aged state representative Zac Dumesny (23 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles and eight clearances). Consistent medium forward Mitch Riddle booted two goals to sit equal-fourth in the under-18 goalkicking standings. Ruckman/tall forward Ben Ryan and Tyler Oliver also contributed two goals, with Nicholas Kraemer‘s 10 tackles also of note. Sturt dominated in the ruck, thanks to 32 hit-outs from Sam Zevenboom and 25 from Amos Doyle. Midfielder Tully Kennett was instrumental in-tight, collecting 36 disposals (including 26 handballs), 12 tackles and winning 14 clearances. Declan Fahey (33 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles and nine clearances) and Charlie Allen (32 touches, five marks, 11 tackles and six clearances) were also especially busy, with Aiden Holland and Angus Kitto Sturt’s multiple goal kickers with two apiece.

Glenelg 12.4 (76) defeated WWT Eagles 9.16 (70)

Despite a late charge from the Eagles, Glenelg hung on to win by six points. Cooper Hornsell impressed with three goals and 17 disposals, and Riley Holder is having a strong season to date again finishing with two goals and 19 disposals. Eagles ball accumulators Lachlan Hoile finished with 30 disposals and six clearances and Taj Schofield (son of Jarrod) was good for the Eagles finishing with 23 disposals. The Eagles retained top spot, but the chase for finals will be tough.

Central District 8.17 (65) defeated North Adelaide 11.7 (73)

North secured an eight-point victory over Centrals. The Bulldogs surged in the last quarter but weren’t able to secure a win. Jack Carpenter from the Bulldogs had a good all round game with 25 disposals, six marks and a goal, while Jakob Thomson impressed with three goals and 22 disposals and 10 marks, six of which were contested. North remain second on the ladder behind Eagles. Tyran Hill was good for North thanks to a two-goal, 25-disposal game and Jamison Murphy continued some solid form again with 28 disposals and two goals as well.

SANFL weekly wrap: Glenelg gets up in standalone game as five SANFL players are drafted mid-season

IT was a quiet week for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), with the sole game as part of a split round, and some top-end Under 16s, Under 17s, Under 18s talent and South Australian squad members away from their clubs with trial games as part of National Championships preparation. It was a significant week off-field for the SANFL competition with the mid-season AFL draft impacting the League with five South Australian players drafted. Jamie Morgan and Tom Wyman take a look at what made news in South Australia the past week.

Glenelg vs Port

League: Glenelg 15.17 (107) defeated Port Adelaide 8.10 (58)

Glenelg consolidated its grasp of top spot with a 49-point victory over Port Adelaide in wet conditions at the bay. Defying early inaccuracy, the high-flying Tigers controlled much of the game against their AFL-listed counterparts, before a stellar third-term put the game all but beyond the Magpies grasp. The slippery conditions meant contested ball was key, and Glenelg’s engine room was strong all day, led by young duo Luke Partington (34 disposals, six marks, six tackles, six clearances) and Jonty Scharenberg (23 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and two clearances). Fellow onballers Marlon Motlop and Matthew Snook helped overcome a Magpie onball brigade led by prolific 2016 draftees Joe Atley (31 disposals, four clearances) and Willem Drew (31 disposals, nine tackles, nine clearances), who battled hard through all four quarters. Glenelg defenders Chris Curran and Aaron Joseph controlled the play in the backline, whilst up forward, Liam McBean booted four and was supplemented well by Luke Reynolds‘ pair. Also chipping in with two was medium forward Lachlan Hosie, who was recently drafted by North Melbourne in the AFL’s Mid-Season Rookie Draft. Jack Trengrove was slightly down on his usual output, managing 21 disposals and seven tackles, however Sam Mayes, Kai Pudney and Riley Bonner all won their fair share of the ball.

South Australian Under-18 squad member Will Gould showed his defensive flexibility, manning the 198cm Todd Marshall and 195cm Dallas Hill, before rolling onto the medium-sized Aidyn Johnson, Mitchell Mead and Tobin Cox, at times. Gould spent the entire game on-field, testament to his strong endurance base, and was rarely beaten one-on-one. Additionally, he was able to zone off and take several intercept marks (seven marks in total), often playing as the last man back and filling ‘the hole’ in the defensive-50 to good effect. He was extremely clean by foot, granted most kicks were short, but provided rebound when necessary. Arguably his best moment of the day was a contested, overhead mark deep in defence to save a shot at goal in the first half. His third-man up spoil, which killed the contest and flew 20 metres out of bounds, into the neighbouring cricket nets, further demonstrating the rare talent he possesses. He finished with 17 disposals, seven marks and five rebounds.

AFL Mid Season Draft – SANFL Impact

SANFL clubs were impacted this week, with a drafting of some talent from the competition and putting some SANFL sides into a tough position.

Players drafted from SANFL were:

– Michael Knoll (South Adelaide) – drafted to Sydney
– Lachlan Hosie (Glenelg) – drafted to North Melbourne
– Will Snelling (West Adelaide)- drafted to Essendon
– Cam Sutcliffe (Port Magpies) – drafted to Port Adelaide
– John Noble (West Adelaide) – drafted to Collingwood

SANFL remained firm in its opposition to the mid-season draft despite the competition producing top end talent, the impact on the competition for the remainder of the year for these clubs affected will be detrimental according to SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson’s statement.

With Glenelg losing leading goalkicker Lachlan Hosie, the impact on their forward line will be a watch as they also lost other key forward Josh Scott to injury earlier in the year. West Adelaide lose their two key ball getters and prime midfielders which will make their season harder from here on in.

School/College Football:

Sacred Heart held off arch-rivals Rostrevor by ten points on home soil to remain undefeated, four games in to the Messenger Shield competition. Both sides were without arguably their best players, with state representatives Will Day (SHC) and Cameron Taheny (Rostrevor) both sitting out. For the Hearts, captain Beau Macrae was again excellent in the middle and at half-back, as were South Adelaide duo Zach Dumesny (SA squad) and Marcus Lippett. For Rostrevor, Anzac Lochowiak was solid without being at his damaging best. Sacred Heart now sit as the only undefeated side for the year and look to launch into the second half of the season

In other games, PAC narrowly escaped a scare against Westminster holding on by seven points, whilst PAC were missing some of their top talent in particular Kossie Pickett and Karl Finlay. St Peters accounted for Trinity by 74 points, while Immanuel defeated Scotch by 33 points.

SANFL weekly wrap: Round 5 – Under 18s warm-up for Champs

THERE was plenty of football over the weekend in the South Australia National Football League (SANFL) with plenty of big games and close contests throughout the round. The Academy game also took place allowing the youngsters to compete against Western Australia. Our South Australian writers Jamie Morgan, David Chapman Damon Mattiazzo and Tom Wyman all contributed to the article.

SANFL U18 Academy

Last week saw a host of SANFLs best Under 18 players put through a SANFL Academy camp consisting of a variety of off-field training sessions as well as positional and game instructions. The camp culminated in two games with the squad split into two against a similar squad from WA.

Some U17 talent was also absent from the camp as they had been selected for Australian U17 duties in Melbourne.

The first game was played on Friday afternoon at West Adelaide Football Club. In a tough first quarter it took a while for both teams to gel and the scorers were not troubled early. By half-time it had been a defensive battle and Western Australia led 23 – 20. After half time SA hit the lead with the first goal, but from then on WA ran away with the game. Leading 48-27 at three quarter time and slamming on six goals in the last quarter to comfortably win 86 – 35. For WA it was their running brigade which really tore the SA midfield apart, winning the inside ball and then breaking out of the packs in numbers and using quick hands to move the ball with elite speed. Western Australia were led by midfield general Michael Wright with numerous contested possessions and his relentless chat and encouragement for his teammates. Other on ballers also who impressed included Cameron Anderson, Jye Clark, and Tristan Hobley. 200cm ruckman Callum Jamieson was impressive around the ground as well and also hit the scoreboard making his presence felt on the ground. Jeremy Sharp provided real poise and class, especially rebounding the ball and driving into attack. And 197cm Michael Mallard was also dangerous up forward. For SA the better players included the tall defenders Karl Finlay, Dyson Hilder and Jordan Moore. Midfielder Harry Schoenberg also had plenty of it, and Will Gould was again impressive starting down back and then having a run through the midfield and finishing up forward. Brady Searle was also one to link the play well and small forward Cooper Horsnell capitalised with a couple of goals. In the second game, South Australia won with a kick just seconds before the final siren, with Kysaiah Pickett and Cameron Taheny among those who played for the South Australians. The game was littered with injuries and illness, but gave both sides a good chance to warm up ahead of the National Under 18 Championships.


SANFL Wrap

League
Adelaide 14.6 (90) defeated Centrals 8.7 (55)

Adelaide left X Convenience Oval with the four points, defeating Central Districts by 35-points. Recent first-round draftee Ned McHenry played his best game for the club, amassing 28 disposals, seven marks, 11 tackles, four clearances and a goal to press his case for an AFL debut. Prolific on-baller Patrick Wilson notched up another 30 disposals and seven clearances, whilst Andy Otten was strong in defence, taking 12 marks. Josh Jenkins booted three majors, albeit from relatively easy shots, and key-position draftee Jordon Butts continued to look settled at the level, taking nine marks. Ben Davis and Lachlan Sholl were again impressive for Adelaide, as was skipper Matthew Wright who contributed two majors to the clubs winning margin. For the Bulldogs, Jarrod Schiller was terrific around the stoppages, racking up 34 disposals and 12 clearances to go with a pair of goals. His brother Travis was also amongst it regularly, collecting 35 possessions, as was fifth-gamer Jydon Neagle (27 disposals). Yet, despite winning enough of the ball in the middle, the Bulldogs had just one multiple-goal kicker and were simply outclassed by a youthful Crows outfit.

Port v Eagles

A strong second half was the catalyst for Port Adelaide to get back on the winners list defeating Woodville-West Torrens by 37 points at the Maughan Thiem KIA Oval. Former Demon Jack Trengove was again superb in the middle of the ground gathering 31 disposals, eight marks, eight tackles and kicked two goals to lead his side to victory and potentially extending his lead at the top of Magarey Medal. Ruckman turned forward Billy Frampton made up for lost time, returning from a two game suspension to kick goals while also proving to be an aerial threat with eight marks all inside 50m. Emerging ruckman Peter Ladhams continues his dominant season so far with his ability at ground level with 27 disposals, nine marks, four tackles and 22 hit outs in what is turning out to be a breakout year so far. Sam Mayes and Karl Amon continued their impressive form and push for AFL selection, while Steven Motlop had a quiet game disposal wise with only 17, but kicked two great goals to seal the victory. For the Eagles, Jack Hayes continued to give his side a sniff throughout the day but his efforts of two goals and three behinds with 11 disposals were to no avail. James Rowe was one positive for the Eagles kicking four goals for his side and has become the surprise leader of the Ken Farmer Medal after five rounds of the competition. Former Port and Swans players Jimmy Toumpas and Jordan Foote had 22 and 21 touches respectively in an all-round tough day out for the Eagles. The Eagles find themselves with a 1-4 record as they try to adjust to the new era under coach Sam Lonergan.

Eagles vs Centrals
Reserves: Centrals 15.7 (97) defeated Eagles 14.4 (88)
Under 18s: Eagles 10.18-78 defeated Centrals 2.7 (19)

The Reserves game was a tight tussle all day, with Centrals getting a break in the third term, but Eagles fought back in the last quarter to almost run over the Bulldogs. Flynn Pisani from the Bulldogs was best and is having a very good season to date. Steve Burton also had a standout performance clocking up a game high 38 disposals in a strong display for his side. Connor McLean was very good up forward and finished with three goals. For the Eagles, Jake Weidemann was a presence up forward finishing with four goals, while Jake Camitogianni and Cooper Gaffney were good around the contest for the Eagles.

The U18 Eagles won easily and the shining light was a six goal haul from Michael Frederick for the winning side. He could have ended up with nine if he was able to convert his three behinds but he clearly posed a dangerous figure in the forward line attacking the ball hard. Henry McCabe (son of Luke) again was solid for the Bulldogs finishing with 24 disposals and best for the losing side

Glenelg vs West
League:
Glenelg 10.14 (74) defeated West 8.10 (58)
Reserves: West 11.13 (79) defeated Glenelg 7.3 (45)
Under 18s: West 17.6 (108) defeated Glenelg 4.12 (36)

Glenelg gained its third win of the season with a 16-point victory over West Adelaide under ANZAC Day eve lights at City Mazda Oval. The Bloods led at every change but were unable to stop a Tigers side which came charging home in the last quarter. Lachlan Hosie finished with a bag of three, bringing his season tally to 14 to sit equal-top of the Ken Farmer Medal alongside Eagle, James Rowe. Luke Reynolds also contributed two goals, with Darcy Bailey and Marlon Motlop also booting majors. Motlop was integral in the win, collecting 25 disposals, seven marks and four tackles. He was supported by Chris Curran (24 disposals and eight marks) and Carl Nicholson (18 disposals, nine marks and four tackles). Young duo Jonty Scharenberg (17 disposals, seven marks and three tackles) and Luke Partington (17 disposals and three tackles) continued to build momentum in the engine room. For West Adelaide, Will Snelling dominated around the stoppages in a best-on-ground performance, tallying 27 disposals, five marks, 17 tackles and seven clearances. Veteran Chris Schmidt had 22 possessions, whilst Jono Beech, Mason Middleton and Gibson Turner each kicked two.

West Reserves side had another good win, with Nathan Batley and Kenny Karpany leading the way for the Bloods once again. Sam May is having a consistent season clocking up another 26 disposal and one goal game. Glenelg’s Alex Martini played a solid game in the loss, and Seb Kerrish continues to push for league selection with a 24 disposal game for the Tigers.

Westies Under 18s had a day out with talented Beau Nunan kicking nine goals in a classy performance. For the Bloods, Bailey Chamberlain found plenty of ball finishing with 32 disposals and three clearances, along with Zac Wooldridge collecting 31 disposals and 11 marks. Will Schreiber was best for the struggling Bays.

North vs Norwood
League:
Norwood 15.11 (101) defeated North 12.15 (87)
Reserves: North 12.14 (86) defeated Norwood 7.12 (54)
Under 18s: Norwood 14.8 (92) defeated North 10.9 (69)

Norwood fought off a fast finishing North in the rematch of the 2018 Grand final, but had control of the game for most of the day. Norwood’s class was evident and prime mover Matt Panos again was best for the Redlegs with 27 disposals and three goals to make him a deserved Anzac Medal winner. North showed signs and recently promoted small forwards Liam Verity and Strato Agostoras both hit the scoreboard with two and three goals respectively.

In the reserves, the result went the other way for North. For the Roosters small forward Frankie Szkeley was best with two goals, eight tackles and 17 possessions to provide real dash and spark around the packs. Midfielder Dakota Nixon returned from injury and also provided some poise for the Roosters with 24 disposals and seven clearances. Medium forward Cameron Tiggeman also had a day out kicking five goals, from both set shots and snaps. For Norwood, in a close to best on ground performance running defender Jacob Collins was impressive, with 28 possessions including nine marks as he repeatedly rebounded the ball or drove it forward from defence with a booming kick. Onballer Cody Szust was also strong with two goals and 22 possessions while Josh Richards also impressed with 24 disposals and six clearances for the game.

Under 18s victory went to Norwood as well, Mitchell Carroll was best for the Redlegs in a 26 disposal, 7 clearance game along with Xavier Tranfa who finished with 23 possessions and 6 tackles. For North Jackson Antrobus (son of Tony) had probably his best game for the Roosters, along with midfielder Lachlan Borg who ended up with 22 disposals and 6 clearances.

South vs Sturt
League:
Sturt 14.8 (92) defeated South 11.4 (70)
Reserves: South 11.11 (77) defeated Sturt 10.9 (69)
Under 18s: Sturt 15.13 (103) defeated South 7.3 (45)

Sturt enjoyed a 22-point win over South Adelaide in the League match with Sam Colquhoun having a day out. Colquhoun collected 40 disposals, 10 marks, six clearances, six inside 50s and three rebounds in a massive performance, while James Battersby (27 touches, 13 marks, four clearances and two inside 50s) was solid. Zane Kirkwood and Aidan Riley hit the scoreboard for the Double Blues with two majors apiece. For the Panthers, Matthew Rose had 30 touches, nine marks and eight rebounds out of defence, while Nick Liddle racked up 24 disposals, six clearances and six tackles. Ben Heaslip starred in the Reserves with 31 touches, 10 clearances and six tackles for the winning Panthers, while Joel Thiele was his nemesis at the stoppages, racking up 11 clearances himself as well as 27 disposals and six tackles. In the Under 18 demolition by Sturt, it was hard to go past the performance of the week by Sturt’s Charlie Allan. A huge game of 42 disposals, one goal, eight tackles and nine clearances was highly impressive. For the losing side, Max Clifton had a team-high 22 disposals as well as five marks, eight clearances, six inside 50s and four rebounds.

Is Brodie now the best of the 2012 bunch?

AS with any draft, there are going to be players that go on to have long and successful AFL careers, and those that unfortunately do not. The 2012 National Draft for instance has now seen two players reach 100 games in Port Adelaide’s Ollie Wines (112 games) and the Western Bulldogs’ Jack Macrae (104 games), with Sam Mayes, Nick Vlastuin, Joe Daniher, Lachie Whitfield and Jake Stringer all expected to reach their century milestone in the coming weeks. However, if one was to re-draft the 2012 edition today, it is the player selected with pick 18 that may well prove to be the best of the lot, in Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy.

Grundy was drafted from Sturt with the Magpies’ first selection in the 2012 National Draft, and after playing just the seven games in his debut 2013 season, has steadily improved his performances each year, having now played 87 games with the Magpies.

At 202 centimetres, Grundy was the tallest player drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft and like most tall players, has taken a little while to reach his full potential. But what is exciting for Collingwood fans, is that Grundy has seemingly now reached elite status as a ruck-cum-midfielder, and all at the age of just 24. 

In 2017, despite Collingwood’s disappointing 13th place finish, Grundy enjoyed a career-best season, playing in all bar two of the Magpies’ fixtures, due only to a suspension incurred from a tackle on North Melbourne’s Ben Brown in Round 20. Numbers wise, he averaged 18.4 disposals per game at 66 per cent efficiency, with 35.7 hit outs, four clearances and a SuperCoach average of 97.2 points per game.

But it is Grundy’s 2018 output which has seen him go to a whole new level, with a disposal average of 22.4 at 74 per cent efficiency, with 35.4 hitouts, 6.2 clearances and a massive jump in his SuperCoach average to an elite 128.4 points per game.

After a slow start in the Pies opening round loss to Hawthorn, with just 12 disposals and 28 hit outs, in each of his last four games Grundy has collected at least 20 touches, 30 hit outs and has named been in Collingwood’s best players on three occasions.  His performances against Carlton in Round 3 and Adelaide in Round 4 are likely to attract Brownlow votes at season’s end.

Grundy currently ranks fourth in the league for hit outs, 11th in clearances, and is the only ruck to rank inside the top 70 for disposals. 

Barring injury, Grundy should have the best part of a decade left at the top level, and could well rank as one of the best rucks in modern football. It is putting a lot of expectation to say this, but what he has shown in his career to date, particularly this season shows he has developed his body enough to impact on a whole game and attract midfielder like stats while playing a crucial role in the ruck for the Magpies.

If Grundy is able to maintain this form over a number of years, he may well be seen as the best value pick in the 2012 draft, despite the worthy efforts of some of the players drafted before him. Ultimately time will tell on that one, but as a football fan, I look forward to seeing Grundy’s progress in the weeks and years to come as he is not only exciting to watch, but that he is able to deliver in his role for the team.