Scouting notes: Herald Sun Shield Semi-Finals

SANDRINGHAM played host to the two 2017 Herald Sun Shield Semi-Finals, with St Patrick’s College and St Bernard’s coming out as the winners. The pair will face off in the Grand Final next month at Simonds Stadium. In blustery conditions, a handful of AFL clubs were watching on and Matt Balmer provides a few of his scouting notes from today.

St Bernard’s 8.12 (60) defeated MacKillop College 7.3 (45)
St Patrick’s College 14.7 (101) defeated Essendon Keilor College 1.2 (8)

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes: 

#12 Connor Thar (MacKillop College) – Found the ball consistently throughout the day and took multiple marks in the final quarter. Slotted a great goal in front of the changerooms in the last quarter from the pocket. Had an eyecatching run early in the game in front of the stands but was let down by his kicking which was poor.

#13 Josh Sloan (MacKillop College) – Has a bit of X-Factor about him showing off some speed and agility in the opening quarter. He won a free kick for a push in the back in the second quarter and goaled on a tight angle in front of a few recruiters hiding in their cars. Was one of the few MacKillop forwards who caused St Bernard’s trouble when the ball went down there.

#15 Patrick Brookes (Essendon Keilor College) – Showed off his strong vertical leap early in the contest but misread the flight of the ball in the breeze and jumped well below where the ball ended up. Marked better around the ground and his ball usage was ok on his right foot. Often was stuck at full-forward early when the ball wasn’t down there. Laid a very good tackle in the pocket and won a free kick – but missed the chance at goal, kicking it on the full in the second quarter.

#16 Nicholas Stuhldreier (St Patrick’s College) – Was quiet in the opening quarter but worked his way into the contest as St Pats began to dominate. Had a nice long inside 50 off his right foot in the second quarter, and his ball winning was pretty good. He played as an inside midfielder, but he would’ve finished the day with more uncontested possessions than contested.

#26 Daniel Hanna (St Bernard’s) – Booted the first goal of the game and was often the deepest forward. With the strong breeze his poor set shot technique did cause some trouble and resulted in him kicking a few points in the second half of the game that were kickable shots.

#29 Dale Cox (St Patrick’s College) – Cox had only returned from a trip back to Halls Creek earlier this week and showed off his trademark speed and agility early in the game. Picked up the ball in the first quarter and dished it off to a teammate close to goal who put it through the big sticks. Didn’t win a lot of the ball throughout the day but does present a lot of X-Factor when he’s around the ball.

#30 Aiden Domic (St Patrick’s College) – Took a good mark early in the contest and found plenty of the ball through the midfield. At times his ball use was a bit shaky, but he was willing to pass it off to teammates and run hard to get back the ball up the ground. Covered the ground well in a decent showing for the outside midfielder.

#30 Jake Riccardi (St Bernard’s) – Picks the ball up cleanly at ground level but at times early in the game he rushed his kicks. Took a nice overhead mark in the opening quarter and slotted the goal. The third quarter was when he flicked a switch booting three goals. His first saw him clunk a nice contested mark and he goaled the set shot, then Riccardi booted one off his left foot with the wind helping the ball come back through the goals. His third goal for the quarter saw him pick the ball up and snap it truly from 30m out.

#31 Noah Balta (St Bernard’s) – Balta started the game as the loose man across half back, but moved into the ruck where he spent most of his time throughout the contest. He showed off his exceptional vertical jump and on most occasions decided to bang the ball forward rather than tapping it to his midfielders. At times did try to do too much by trying to take on multiple opposition players and his decision making was questionable with ball in hand. Did roost it long off right foot at times especially with the wind.

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