Scouting Notes: 2022 SANFL U18s – Norwood vs. Glenelg
FOR the second straight week, Glenelg took out a thriller to advance deeper into the SANFL Under 18 finals series. Matched up against minor premier, Norwood in Saturday’s preliminary bout, the Bays made better of less scoring shots to run out 10.7 (67) to 8.13 (61) victors at Thebarton Oval. We noted some of the top performers from either side, before taking a look around the grounds.
#4 Tyson Walls
The speedy Norwood utility started the day in the midfield, where he was important as a receiver or link-up player on the outside, rather than a contested ball winner at stoppages. After the half time break, Walls was sent to the half-forward line and tasked with manning fellow state representative Jakob Ryan, with the hope Walls could run off Ryan and make him accountable. However, Ryan’s advantage in the air proved too strong, and Walls was soon moved back into the middle where he found plenty of the ball. He booted a terrific long-range set shot to bring Norwood within two points of the Bays, and finished the day with 21 disposals, six marks and four inside 50s.
#6 Josh Bradford
Midfielder, Bradford was arguably Norwood’s best player in what proved to be an almost day for the Redlegs. He drew an early holding the ball free kick following a well executed tackle, then played on and delivered it inside 50 efficiently. Bradford was clearly Norwood’s go-to man at the stoppages, winning a game-high 12 clearances. His work rate was terrific as he ran hard between the arcs and looked to get the ball on the outside to compliment his strong inside game. He tackled hard and finished the game with 30 possessions, six tackles and six inside 50s.
#9 Taj Rahui
Taj Rahui had an inconsistent game for Norwood, at times putting the Bays defence under enormous forward half pressure, but fading out of the contest in patches. His loose ball gather and snap goal inside the first minute of the last term gave Norwood the perfect start, and was the highlight of Rahui’s game alongside a couple of strong rundown tackles.
#21 Harvey Pedler
Pedler lined up on-ball but spent most of the game up forward in a more natural role for the state representative. Just as Glenelg looked to enter the half time break with a sizeable lead, Pedler nailed two goals in quick succession to breathe life into the Redlegs. The first was a lovely goal on the run and the second a classy snap from a tricky angle to beat the siren. He only had the 10 disposals, but looked lively in attack alongside tall Phoenix Foster.
#33 Phoenix Foster
Foster had the perfect start to the game when he marked on the goal line and snapped the game’s first major. His aerial work was sublime as he seemed to mark just about everything in his path, however some of his subsequent kicks missed their intended target. Foster and Norwood’s second goal came in similar fashion to the first – a goal line mark and snap goal. He set up a Harvey Pedler goal with a towering mark – one of five contested grabs for the game. He managed nine disposals and six marks along with his two majors.
#35 Alex Van Wyk
Ruckman Van Wyk was typically dominant in the ruck for the Redlegs, giving his Norwood on-ballers first use at stoppages but also taking the ball out of the ruck and hacking it forward. Van Wyk’s physicality overpowered the slighter Glenelg rucks, and his marking all over the ground was impressive. He courageously dropped back in defence on numerous occasions to help out the backline, then pushed forward to present an option down the line. His long-range goal from well outside 50 received a favourable bounce and trickled through to lift the Redlegs. The competition’s leading ruckman, Van Wyk managed 19 disposals, 34 hitouts, four marks, five tackles, seven clearances, six inside 50s and three rebounds in a stellar performance.
Lovelock was once again prolific as Glenelg won its second straight nail-biter to book a spot in the Under 18 decider. Spending time as a high half-forward and at times pushing up onto the ball, Lovelock was everywhere early. He was clean at ground level and was one of Glenelg’s most damaging when going inside 50. He booted a set shot goal in the third term to make it four straight goals for the Bays. Alongside his goal, Lovelock finished with 26 disposals, seven marks, five tackles and six inside 50s in a sound performance.
#5 Ben Ridgway
McCallum-Tomkins Medallist, Ridgway had a strong game in the midfield, but also looked at home across half-forward. The skipper set the tone with his attack on the ball in the contest and willingness to tackle anything that moved and wore the red and blue. His hands in-tight were exceptional as the bottom-ager clearly looked the most dominant inside ball-winner on the ground. An early flying shot at goal hit the post, but he later set up Harvey Lambert after a terrific mark and precise kick. Although he gathered just 18 touches, it felt like he had more influence on the game than numbers would suggest. He laid 13 tackles and won six clearances as the Tigers progressed to the Grand Final.
#7 Jake Walker
Strongly-built midfielder, Walker had a well-rounded game in the yellow and black. He looked smooth and classy in possession and made good decisions by hand and foot. Walker’s disposal was a highlight, as he worked well alongside the likes of Ridgway, Lovelock and Jake Pavia-Amato – all of which spent time across half-forward. Walker has had a busy season with college, state and club football, but will be looking to finish the year off with a premiership medal. He managed 25 disposals, five marks, three tackles, four clearances and seven inside 50s for the Bays.
#8 Harvey Lambert
Lambert may have only accumulated eight disposals for the match, but made every possession count. His strong hands in the air caught the eye, so to his calm finishing inside 50. His role in the Tigers forward line cannot be understated and the Roosters will need to be weary of his marking ability come Friday’s decider.
#12 Jakob Ryan
The Glenelg star had a massive impact on the game across half-back. Norwood would’ve entered the game well aware of his strengths, but weren’t able to stop Ryan’s aerial dominance and ability to construct attacking drives from behind the ball. As was the case last week, Ryan found an abundance of possessions, reading the play well and always finding himself in the right spots to tidy up. His ball use by foot was accurate and matched his composure and poise. He worked hard in transition to record six inside 50s, along with his seven rebounds. Ryan took eight marks and finished the game with 30 disposals, 24 of which were kicks in another standout display.
#13 Hayden Brokensha
With the college contingent returning in recent weeks, Brokensha has spent more time across half-back. However, his influence on the game hasn’t wavered, collecting 27 disposals, 10 marks, four tackles and 12 rebounds as a key member of a strong Glenelg backline. Brokensha’s intercept marking was excellent, but his ability to set-up counter attacks by foot really impressed. He remained composed under duress and was a key reason behind Glenelg’s narrow victory.
UP THE GRADES:
By: Michael Alvaro
With only one League and Reserves game apiece this weekend, there wasn’t a wealth of draft age talent shining at senior level as usual. Kobe Ryan was the talk of the town in West Adelaide, as he gathered a game-high 27 disposals, eight clearances and a goal in his side’s 40-point loss to Sturt.
Tall teammate Harry Lemmey also showed encouraging signs with two goals from 10 touches in the defeat, while Tom Scully booted a lone major from his nine disposals. Both players clunked four marks apiece.
Adelaide father-son prospect Max Michalanney was the sole state Under 18 representative to feature at League level, helping Norwood down the Crows by 11 points at Adelaide Oval on Sunday. The defender managed six disposals, but kept busy with five tackles in his third top flight game.
The performance of state combine invitee Baynen Lowe also caught the eye in Norwood’s win. The Tasmanian native snagged three goals in quick succession to put his Redlegs in front, helping mount his case as a small forward option at the draft having been overlooked as a midfielder.
Moving down to the Under 16 prelim, and it was Woodville-West Torrens who advanced to face Glenelg in this year’s decider. The Eagles held on to win by seven points at Thebarton Oval, backing up last week’s strong semi-final triumph.
Rome Burgoyne lead all comers with 26 disposals and seven marks for the victors, while bigman Tom Luck had it 23 times to go with five clearances and 26 hitouts. Adelaide father-son candidate Tyler Welsh also played a hand with two majors, as one of three multiple goal kickers.
Despite his side going down, Phoenix Hargrave stuffed the stats sheet with remarkable numbers of 24 disposals, eight tackles, nine inside 50s, and five goals. State Under 16 skipper Sid Draper (23 disposals, one goal) was also solid, along with Benny Barrett (18 and one).