SANFL U18s MOTR: Round 7 – South Adelaide vs. Norwood
NORWOOD picked up its third SANFL Under 18s win for the season on Saturday afternoon, downing South Adelaide by 17 points on the road. We noted the top individual performers from that game, before taking a look around the grounds and up the grades across the latest weekend of South Australian state league football.
By: Micah Hann
#6 Angus Bradley
Bradley spent a lot of the day across half-forward and the ball just refused to bounce his way in the first half. He got a little bit more time on the ball in the second half and started to win the ball inside the contest. His defensive work was consistent throughout and he worked tirelessly into space to present an option across half-forward and on the wings.
#9 Jaiden Magor
Magor’s class stood out as he won a game-high 27 possessions to go with an equal game-high three goals. He was repeatedly first to the football and got reward, earning two free kicks inside 50 before calmly converting. He was clean inside the contest and his skill level stood out, as repeatedly took possession with one touch and distributed accurately to teammates. At times he was forced to make the percentage play, effectively clearing the ball from stoppage with a powerful kick off the deck to gain the territory advantage for his side. When the game was on the line, late in the last quarter, Magor stood up and found plenty of the football, doing everything in his power to keep his side within striking distance. Magor’s combination of size, class and football smarts looked to be a level above his peers, on a day where conditions were incredibly difficult.
#10 Jack Delean
Delean looked set for a big day early. He created separation on the lead with ease and his ability to take the football cleanly in his hands, especially in wet and windy conditions, was again impressive. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to convert on some of his opportunities in front of goal, reflected by his three behinds and another shot that didn’t register a score. In limited midfield time, Delean had some nice moments, highlighted by a stoppage win on the wing in which he exploded out of the contest with pace and linked up with a teammate by hand, to thrust his side forward.
#17 Charlie Duncan
Duncan found a fair bit of the football, particularly across half-back and through the middle of the ground. His touch below his knees was typically sharp and his composure stood out at times as he had some important moments, especially late in the last quarter. Duncan’s courage could not be questioned as he fearlessly went back with the flight of the ball to impact a contest defensively, in the second quarter. His work rate to support his teammates in the back half was important, particularly during periods where Norwood had the momentum.
#32 Koby Cockshell
It was a tough day for Cockshell, who was unable to convert some opportunities from set shots that he would normally kick. He finally got a major in the last quarter after he won the ball out the back and soccered it through for a goal. Despite not having his best day, Cockshell made sure his presence was felt when the ball was in his area, throwing himself into the contest and laying a couple of big bumps and tackles.
#4 Tyson Walls
Walls was close to Norwood’s best afield and continued his rich run of form. On a day where clean possession was difficult to come by, his ability to win the contested ball, exit at speed and avoid tacklers proved pivotal to his side’s ball movement. Despite being one of the smaller players on the field, Walls showed no fear in mixing it up on the inside and laid some strong tackles against bigger opponents. At times, he showed some composure by foot, highlighted by a play in the third term where he turned down the opportunity to blaze away deep inside forward 50, and hit a lateral kick to Riley Verrall, who was then able to find a teammate for a shot on goal. Walls continues to show his competitiveness and high work rate, as he covered the ground well all day to support his teammates in both attack and defence. His consistent effort was rewarded late in the last quarter, as he kicked a goal on the run, to seal the win for his side.
#9 Taj Rahui
Rahui was important early and had his hand in Norwood’s two, first quarter goals. The first game from a classy left foot snap, but his second proved to be one of the highlights of the day. After marking at half back, Rahui took off at speed, leaving his opponent in his wake. He flew through the middle of the ground, took three bounces and kicked long inside 50 to the advantage of Dannen Blacker, who finished the play with a goal on the stroke of quarter time. Rahui is another, who despite being one of the small players on the field, enjoys physically imposing himself on the contest and his forward pressure resulted in a number of mistakes from opponents, particularly as they tried to move the ball from defensive 50.
#20 Riley Verrall
Verrall was important for Norwood throughout, with his poise and strength in the contest critical in big moments. Starting across half-back, Verrall lead an under-siege defensive unit, denying South Adelaide the opportunity to capitalise on their early dominance. His move into the midfield in the second quarter came with immediate reward as he was able to have an influence at stoppage. His long kicking brought some territorial relief for Norwood at times and he won some big contests on the wing late in the last quarter, that were crucial in securing a close win for his side.
#27 Logan Evans
Evans stood tall in defence, particularly early when South Adelaide dominated the territory battle. He worked tirelessly to rebound from defensive 50 in difficult conditions and showed some promise both as an interceptor and user out of the back half. His best moment came late in the last quarter where he out-duelled Jack Delean in a one on one contest and kick-started a passage of play that resulted in a Norwood goal.
#35 Alex Van Wyk
Ruckman, Van Wyk is quickly becoming one of Norwood’s most important players and was one of their best on the day. His contested marking in really difficult conditions stood out, as he managed to take some big grabs, just when his side needed them most. He used his strength through the ruck to out-body his opponent and put the ball to his midfielder’s advantage. His snap shot goal in the third term came against the flow of play and provided an important pressure release at a time when South Adelaide were clearly on top.
AROUND THE GROUNDS:
By: Tom Wyman
West Adelaide blooded talented midfielder Kobe Ryan at League level for the first time in their Saturday afternoon clash with Adelaide. The teenager looked comfortable playing across half-forward with stints in the midfield. As has always been the case with Ryan, he found the ball with ease and was able to impact the scoreboard with two goals. Although slightly built, recruiters will be well aware of Ryan’s ability to win his own football and attack each contest with ferocity.
Whilst Ryan earned his league debut, key forward Harry Lemmey returned to the Reserves where he gathered nine disposals and three marks in the club’s win over Woodville-West Torrens.
West Adelaide’s Under 18s overcame a lacklustre start to beat Woodville-West Torrens by 20-points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. Westies ruck Harry Barnett was the star for the visitors, gathering an impressive 29 possessions, 12 marks (three contested), 29 hit-outs, four clearances, eight inside 50s and two goals in a monster display which is sure to capture the attention of recruiting staff. In-form forward Tom Scully booted four goals while skipper Adam Bunworth managed 27 goals and nine clearances in the middle.
Adam D’Aloia was typically dominant through the centre for the Eagles, laying 12 tackles, taking eight marks and sending the ball inside 50 10 times from 34 possessions. He will however rue some missed opportunities in front of goal – booting 1.4. His fellow AFL Academy member Mattaes Phillipou booted two goals to go with eight marks and 30 touches.
Elsewhere, North Adelaide handed Glenelg their first loss of the season, whilst simultaneously keeping their undefeated start in-check at the Bay. With college football returning in the form of a round of trial games, both sides were forced to make several changes. The likes of Jakob Ryan, Lachlan Scannell and Archie Lovelock missed for the Tigers, while Roosters stars Max Blacker, Billy Dowling and Kane McAuliffe also played for their respective college teams.
North Adelaide midfielder/forward Kelsey Rypstra continued his rich vein of form with a best-on-ground showing which featured 39 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, nine clearances, 11 inside 50s, five rebounds and a goal. Needing a bounce-back game, Isaac Keeler booted four goals, as did Shaun Bennier and Oliver Dignan. Angus Tully and James White gathered 25 and 24 possessions respectively.
Glenelg’s Jayden Davis gathered 29 disposals, 10 marks and a goal while running machine Hayden Brokensha worked hard between the arcs to accumulate 26 possessions and five marks. Defender Michael Smith impressed in his first Under 18s game, contributing nine rebounds from 18 disposals.
Sturt consolidated third spot on the ladder with a 38-point win against the Bulldogs up north. Despite taking a two-point lead into the first break, the Double Blues proved too strong thanks to an even spread of performers. Thomas McCourt and Patrick Tidemann both gathered a team-high 20 possessions, while George Pope won seven clearances and Nick Sadler booted two majors.
Bulldogs bottom-ager Trent Tattoli was again dominant in the midfield, winning 32 disposals, nine clearances and two goals. He was well supported by Barossa Valley product Austin McDonald (27 disposals, four marks, eight clearances and a goal) and Jayden Matz (15 disposals, 24 hit-outs, four clearances and a goal) in the ruck. Brodie Tuck and Bailey Thorp each booted two goals for the home side.