SOUTH Australia came away with the victory at the recent School Sport Australia (SSA) Champions in the 15 and Under Boys division. In a six-team round robin format that feature five states – South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales – as well as the Australian Capital Territory, the Croweaters emerged undefeated from the carnival. They won all five matches, including over Queensland who finished second for the tournament.
Dyson Sharp headlined South Australia’s squad, with the 2007-born Sharp already earning one All-Australian honour at the Under 16 Championships last month. Now he has added another All-Australian to his CV with the Xavier College student among six Croweaters to earn the honour. Others who were named in the 25-player squad included Matthew Leray (Prince Alfred College), Gus Downs (Sacred Heart), Kobe Gibson (Tennison Woods), Brock Jamieson (Henley High) and Lachlan Sands (St Michael’s).
South Australia’s eight-point win over Queensland was the highlight of the tournament and guaranteed the victory, with a 15-point triumph over Victoria also impressive. They easily accounted for Western Australia (40 points), New South Wales (83) and Australian Capital Territory (102).
Runners-up Queensland also took care o the rest of the competition, winning by 21 points over Victoria on the opening day of the carnival, before defeating Australian Capital Territory (136 points), New South Wales (59) and Western Australia (five) to seal second overall. Harrison Bridge won the carnival’s best and fairest for his performances across the series, one of six Queenslanders to make the All-Australian squad. Jai Murray (Palm Beach Currumbin), Oscar Barry (Coorparoo Secondary), Beau Addinsall (All Saints Anglican), Dan Annable (Cleveland District) and Jack Harrison (Ambrose Treacey) joined the Faith Lutheran College student in the 25-player side.
Third placed Victoria finished two points clear of Western Australia, defeating the Sandgropers by a comfortable six-goal margin, while also running away with 53 and 135-point wins over New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory respectively. A familiar name in the All-Australian team is Willem Duursma, the fourth Victorian representative in the Gippsland family, with Duursma one of six players to make it into the squad. Other Victorians to earn the honour were Oliver Greeves, Thomas Burton, Tairon Ah-Mu, Jamie Gilchrist and Kayleb Lovett.
Western Australia rounded out the top four with victories over the two lower sides of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, but showed they were thereabouts with competitive efforts other than against Victoria and Western Australia. Four Sandgropers made the All-Australian team, with Darcy Montgomery, William York, Basil Hart and Cooper Bewick all earning spots.
New South Wales – whose sole win was a 58-point victory over Australian Capital Territory – had two representatives in the All-Australian side. Max King (Warners Bay High) and Ryder Corrigan (Trinity Anglican College) both stood out throughout the carnival, while the Australian Capital Territory managed the one, with Mt Stromlo High student Harry McMaster slotting into the final 25.