IT WAS comparatively a quiet round in the NAB League Boys competition with just four matches played across the weekend. A couple of those were huge thrashings, with Gippsland’s Power’s 100-point belting of Northern Knights earning the most players in our Rookie Me Central NAB League Boys Team of the Week for Round 14. The Power finished with five representatives, while other winners, Tasmania Devils, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Western Jets all managed the four players each. Eastern Ranges (three representatives) have the most of the losing sides, with Geelong Falcons (two) ahead of Northern Knights and Calder Cannons (one each).
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
It was an easy choice for Player of the Week and captain of our hypothetical Team of the Week for Round 14, with Gippsland Power’s Bailey Humphrey having a day out. A clear best on ground performer, Humphrey rotated between attack and midfield, slotting 4.5 from 31 disposals and 12 marks, and was named in the forward pocket of this side.
The defence was a little tricky to pick this week given two sides were really opened up and heavily scored against, though the sole representatives from the Calder Cannons and Northern Knights both made it onto half-back flanks. Kade Mueller was squeezed out of the midfield group given the strength in there and named back in a role he is equally familiar with, alongside Knights bottom-ager Aleksandr D’Arro. Eastern Ranges lost, but both their key defenders worked hard, with Lewis Hayes and Trent Marotta holding down the full-back and centre half-back positions respectively. Tasmania Devils star Lachlan Cowan was joined in the back pocket by Western Jets midfielder Darcy Weeks who was a dominant defensive running player and earned his spot in the starting 18.
The midfield had plenty of players put up their hands, with the skilful duo of Colby McKercher and Jonti Schuback on the wings. GWV Rebels overager Jamieson Ballantyne was named in the centre, with potential Top 5 pick Jhye Clark onball after another outstanding performance for Geelong Falcons. A couple of Western Jets round out the midfield, with Max Pritchard named starting ruck for the side, and one of his onballers, bottom-age Jake Smith also making the side.
In attack, there are a trio of Power players, with one being captain Humphrey, ad then two other excitement machines in Coby Burgiel and Zane Duursma also in the front six. The trio combined for a massive 9.11 and had 89 disposals and 27 marks between them to completely cut apart the Knights defence. Geelong Falcons’ Ted Clohesy made it onto a half-forward flank after 30 touches, while strong marking key forwards, Aaron Cadman and Will Splann earned their places following impressive outings against Eastern Ranges and Calder Cannons respectively.
On the interchange, it was tough to just narrow it down to six players, but two more Rebels made the cut, with damaging goalsneak Beau Tedcastle and bottom-age utility Alex Molan named on the six-player bench. A couple of other three-goal hauls feature on the bench, with Tasmania’s Jack Callinan and Gippsland’s Archer Reid providing a small-tall mix. Western Jets’ Cameron Kizan and Eastern Ranges’ Kai Windsor were also productive in their side’s games.
ROOKIE ME CENTRAL NAB LEAGUE BOYS TEAM OF THE WEEK: ROUND 14
B: Darcy Weeks (Western Jets) – Lewis Hayes (Eastern Ranges) – Lachlan Cowan (Tasmania Devils)
HB: Kade Mueller (Calder Cannons) – Trent Marotta (Eastern Ranges) – Aleksandr D’Arro (Northern Knights)
C: Colby McKercher (Tasmania Devils) – Jamieson Ballantyne (GWV Rebels) – Jonti Schuback (Gippsland Power)
HF: Coby Burgiel (Gippsland Power) – Aaron Cadman (GWV Rebels) – Ted Clohesy (Geelong Falcons)
F: Zane Duursma (Gippsland Power) – Will Splann (Tasmania Devils) – Bailey Humphrey (Gippsland Power) (c)
R: Max Pritchard (Western Jets) – Jhye Clark (Geelong Falcons) – Jake Smith (Western Jets)
INT: Jack Callinan (Tasmania Devils) – Cameron Kizan (Western Jets) – Alex Molan (GWV Rebels) – Archer Reid (Gippsland Power) – Beau Tedcastle (GWV Rebels) – Kai Windsor (Eastern Ranges)
EMG: Logan Morris (Western Jets) – Cam Nyko (Eastern Ranges) – Nathan Raphael (Northern Knights)