SANFL Under 18 stars had days out in Round 16, as representative mainstays and prospects on the rise took hold of the competition. With just two regular season rounds left, the final top four spot remains up for grabs. Before that plays out, catch up on all the weekend’s action in our Round 16 wrap.
Norwood 10.3 (63) def. by Central District 9.13 (67)
On-baller Austin McDonald starred for Central District as the visitors claimed an upset win over Norwood at Coopers Stadium, despite some wayward kicking. The Barossa Valley prospect was the leading possession getter on the ground, gathering 32 disposals, including 11 clearances.
Tall utility Brodie Tuck was also impressive, collecting 26 touches and taking an impressive 13 marks along with eight rebounds and a goal. Liam Fawcett booted three goals for the ‘Dogs, who claimed their first win since Round 6.
Riley Verrall was a pillar in defence for Norwood, racking up 14 rebounds from the Redlegs’ back 50. He looked to use his foot skills to set up the play, with 24 of his 28 touches being kicks. Taj Rahui accumulated 17 disposals, seven tackles, five clearances and a goal playing through the midfield and up forward, with Caleb Barton kicking three majors.
North Adelaide 12.17 (89) def. Glenelg 8.6 (54)
A strong North Adelaide side returned to winning ways against an undermanned Glenelg at Prospect Oval. State Under 18 representative Billy Dowling had the ball on a string for the Roosters, gathering 44 touches and booting four goals and three behinds. He took a staggering 17 marks, to go with six tackles, seven clearances and no-less-than 215 ranking points in one of the best Under 18 performances in recent memory.
With St. Peter’s College eliminated from the Messenger Shield competition, Dowling’s schoolmate Max Blacker also returned to the Roosters setup, accumulating 26 possessions and five marks. Isaac Keeler split his time between the ruck and full forward, finishing with two goals and three behinds, seven marks (three contested), 11 hitouts and 22 possessions.
Hayden Brokensha and Ben Ridgway flew the flag for the Tigers, who weren’t able to turn a half time lead into a victory. Brokensha had a day to remember, collecting 36 disposals, five marks and 10 rebound 50s, while the combative Ridgway managed 24 disposals and four clearances. Harvey Lambert booted three goals for the visitors and Ethan Murdock collected 22 disposals and a goal for his efforts.
Woodville-West Torrens 5.6 (36) def. by Sturt 18.12 (120)
Six goals to full forward Chad Reschke and four apiece to Will Torode and Zac Llewellyn gave Sturt a 74-point win over reigning premiers, Woodville-West Torrens. Cormac Dwyer was one of many SANFL Under 18 stars to have a big day out in round 16, gathering 37 disposals, two goals, six marks, seven tackles and 12 clearances in the midfield.
State vice-captain Nick Sadler collected 29 disposals and seven clearances while Declan Gladigau managed 29 touches and two goals of his own in what proved to be a dominant Double Blues showing in the western suburbs.
Bailey Arthur’s 29 disposals and lone goal saw him finish as the Eagles’ highest ranked performer. Elex Day (22 disposals, four marks and three tackles), Callum Fairall (22 disposals and six marks) and Jacob Battle (21 disposals and seven marks) were the only other Eagles to accumulate more than 20 possessions on a day where scoring proved difficult for the home side.
South Adelaide 4.7 (31) def. by West Adelaide 14.12 (96)
Kobe Ryan returned to the West Adelaide Under 18s for the first time since Round 5 and immediately proved a notch above. He collected 37 disposals, two goals, nine marks, eight tackles, 10 clearances and six rebounds in a stellar performance to lead the Bloods to a comfortable win at Noarlunga.
Fellow on-baller Adam Bunworth stepped up in the absence of Sacred Heart College skipper Tyson Coe to gather 26 possessions and lay nine tackles. Jamie Kovacic was busy in front of the sticks, booting four goals and four behinds from 23 touches and seven marks.
On a dour day for the Panthers, Austin Hogg was the leading disposal getter with 16 possessions. Big man Will Verrall was dominant in the ruck, winning 39 hitouts and six clearances from 15 possessions. Electric small forward Jack Delean was held to just eight touches and a goal as South Adelaide went down by 65 points.