SANFL U18s MOTR: Round 12 – West Adelaide vs. Sturt

UPON the return of representative stars to club level, Sturt bounced back onto the winners list with an even six-goal win over West Adelaide on Saturday afternoon. The Double Blues slotted nine of their 12 goals at one end of the ground, while restricting the Bloods to five behinds at the other in our Match of the Round. We noted some of the top performers from either side, before taking a look around the grounds.

  • Team
  • West Adelaide
  • Sturt


#1 Adam Bunworth 

Bunworth was a key pillar in the West Adelaide midfield, competing strongly inside the contest and working hard on the spread to present as an option to teammates. His work to cover the ground was rewarded as he accumulated a team-high 28 disposals and 10 marks. Bunworth typically made good decisions with the football and followed up any mistakes with a fierce intent to win back possession.  

#11 Oscar Kregar

Fresh off his representative experience for South Australia at the National Championships, Kregar patrolled the wing for West Adelaide and was repeatedly used as a target for his side coming out of defence. Like Bunworth, Kregar worked to find space on the wing and accumulated the football through a multitude of uncontested marks. Often required to kick long down the line, Kregar wasn’t able to extract maximum value for his possessions, however his consistent four quarter performance resulted in him being one of his side’s best on the day.  

#33 Will Patton 

Patton put in a really strong performance across halfback, demonstrating his versatility as a defender and an attacking option in the back six. Patton was competitive aerially, flying courageously to impact the contest with a spoil or intercept mark. While at times he was forced to kick long down the wing as he exited defence, he showed poise to lower his eyes and hit up shorter targets on occasion. The bottom-aged prospect was once again one of his sides best in a losing effort.  

#37 Tom Scully

It was a tough outing for Scully, where nothing seemed to go right for the key forward. His day started with a lunging effort on the goal line that hit the post. He registered two more behinds through a snap shot under pressure, and from a set shot that he would’ve expected himself to kick. Despite not making the most of his opportunities, Scully still managed some nice moments, demonstrating his ability to win the ball cleanly below his knees and proving to be a handful on the lead.  

#51 Harry Barnett

Barnett was easily one of West Adelaide’s best on the day. He was influential in the ruck, dominating the hitouts and finding his teammates with a few deft touches. In the second half, Barnett really looked to assert his influence on the contest, often tapping to his own advantage and running onto the loose ball to win the clearance. Barnett’s ability to win the football and accelerate away from the contest with confidence is unique for a ruckman, and often allows him to play as an additional midfielder through the centre of the ground. His contested marking continues to be an asset for his side as he hauled in a couple of big intercept marks in heavily congested packs.  

#54 Harry Lemmey

Lemmey returned to the West Adelaide Under 18 side and hit the scoreboard with two majors. He was strong on the lead and looked at his best when he presented up the wings and through the middle of the ground. It wasn’t the dominant performance many would’ve hoped from Lemmey, but he still flashed some of the talent that continues to make him a sought after prospect in this year’s AFL Draft.  


#24 Luca Slade 

Slade’s game may have been marginally over-shadowed by fellow bottom-ager Alex Holt’s best on ground effort, but he deserves a great deal of praise for this high-quality performance. Slade showed he was capable of influencing the game in a variety of ways. He was competitive inside the contest, winning plenty of the football himself and laying some big tackles when his opponent was first to it. He covered the ground well and accumulated plenty of uncontested football, consistently using it effectively by foot. After scoring his first goal from a free kick in the second quarter, Slade finished the game with two goals in the final term to cap off a consistent, well-rounded performance.  

#27 Alex Holt

After some strong form in his representative appearances for South Australia, Holt didn’t miss a beat in a best on ground performance across half-back. He was scarcely beaten all day and ran off his man to quickly turn defence into attack. He collected a heap of the football in the back half and rarely made a mistake by foot. Holt continues to impress with his unique ability to deny his opponent all opportunities to win the football, while also generating plenty of offensive drive and rebound from his own half.      

#37 Chad Reschke 

Reschke tied with Luca Slade for a game-high three goals, though it could have been more if he’d been able to capitalise on a few other opportunities. Despite being unable to register a score on at least two other shots on goal, Reschke was again tough to handle on the lead and presented all day as the focal point for his side up forward.  

#40 George Pope 

Pope was another Double-Blue who put in a well-balanced performance. Always willing to hit the contest when required, Pope laid some big tackles and came away with strong contested ball wins through the middle of the ground, across the wing and half-back. He coupled those efforts with some outside accumulation that culminated in another workmanlike performance.  

#60 Nick Sadler

Another first-class performance from Sadler, whose speed on the ball and ability to exit the contest at pace continues to be his trademark. Sadler was relentless in the contest, with his mere presence heaping pressure on the opposition. He consistently won the ground ball with clean hands and then used his turn of speed to exit the contest and drive his team into attack. A flying shot on goal after another exceptional ground ball win would’ve capped off his day perfectly, but the shot was unfortunately touched off the boot, despite sailing through the middle of the goal posts.


Norwood 21.13 (139) def. Woodville-West Torrens 6.5 (41) 

Norwood played host to the Eagles in Round 12 of the SANFL U18 competition, in what proved to be a very one-sided affair. The Redlegs won every quarter and cruised to a 98-point victory, to cement their position inside the top four.  

Fresh off his representative appearances for South Australia at the National Championships, Phoenix Foster kicked an equal game-high four goals from 15 disposals for the home side, while Taj Rahui played one of his best games of the season, also finishing with four goals and adding 23 possessions and five clearances.  

Despite coming up against Adam D’Aloia, one of the best stoppage specialists in the country, Norwood’s depth in the engine room, led by Josh Bradford (29 disposals and 11 clearances) and Noah Hyde (28 disposals, six clearances, nine inside 50’s and a goal) overwhelmed their opposition, winning the clearance battle 39 to 27.    

Despite the lop-sided score line, D’Aloia still managed to find plenty of the football, finishing with an equal game-high 29 disposals, seven clearances and a goal. Fellow South Australian U18 representatives Blake Hansen (25 disposals) and Nathan Barkla (19 disposals and seven marks) also found plenty of the football in defeat.  

North Adelaide 16.6 (102) def. Glenelg 10.5 (65) 

North Adelaide went two games clear at the top of the ladder, comfortably beating second-placed Glenelg by 37 points at home.  

North were led by Billy Dowling who finished with 27 disposals and two goals in another great display. He was well supported by running mates Hughen Wissman (28 disposals, seven clearances and a goal), James White (29 disposals and six clearances) and Angus Tully (21 disposals, eight marks and two goals). Isaac Keeler offered plenty up forward and in the ruck (14 disposals, 21 hit-outs and two goals), while fellow South Australian representative’s Max Blacker (15 disposals and a goal), Kelsey Rypstra (14 disposals and four clearances) and Shaun Bennier (seven disposals and five rebound 50s) also contributed in their return to the SANFL side.  

Bays midfielder Ben Ridgway (34 disposals, nine clearances, nine tackles, 10 inside 50s and a goal) was relentless all day, putting up an incredible stat line in a losing effort. Hayden Brokensha (19 disposals, six clearances and six inside 50s) was again one of Glenelg’s better ball-winners, while bottom-age star Ashton Moir finished with a game-high five goals.  

South Adelaide 18.8 (116) def. Central District 9.3 (57)  

South Adelaide extended Central District’s losing streak to six, with a convincing 59-point win. After a relatively even first term, the Panthers kicked 10 goals to two in the next two quarters to blow the game wide open. 

Will Verrall (17 disposals, 21 hitouts and three goals) was influential through the ruck and up forward, while Jack Delean (22 disposals, six clearances and two goals) also had an impact, both through the midfield and in the forward half of the ground. They were well supported by midfielders Austin Hogg (27 disposals and six clearances) and Blake Rodrigues (18 disposals, five clearances and 14 tackles).  

The Dogs were led by the brilliant bottom-age midfielder Trent Tattoli, who finished with 38 disposals, eight marks, 11 clearances, seven inside 50s (all game-highs) and a goal. William O’Brien (27 disposals and eight marks) and Will Schmidt (22 disposals, five clearances and 11 tackles) also found plenty of the ball through the middle of the ground, while Nash Haynes collected 26 possessions, 10 rebound 50’s and eight tackles. Bottom-age SA Talent Hub member Jayden Matz won 34 hitouts and laid nine tackles through the ruck for the visiting side.  

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