PREVIEW | Dragons, Chargers resume rivalry in standalone clash

WHILE eyes will inevitably turn to Sunday’s AFL Under 18 National Championships fixtures, there is even more pathway football on offer across the King’s Birthday long weekend as Sandringham and Oakleigh resume their local rivalry on Monday. We preview the standalone clash.

>> Preview: AFL U18 champs hit Adelaide

  • Team
  • Sandringham Dragons
  • Oakleigh Chargers

Monday June 12, 2:00pm @ RSEA Park


Two Talent League powerhouses will be out to snap their respective losing streaks when they resume hostilities in Monday’s standalone Round 10 showdown.


Round 3 | Friday April @ RSEA Park
Sandringham Dragons 11.9 (75) def. Oakleigh Chargers 4.13 (37)

It was a 38-point win to Sandringham the last time these two sides met, fittingly at the same venue they will do battle next time around. They usually lock horns in Round 1 but did so in Round 3 this year, with plenty of top-end talent afield nonetheless.

First round fancy Ryley Sanders led all comers with 33 disposals, while National Academy member Archie Roberts had it 30 times and skipper Will Brown booted three goals. For Oakleigh, Jagga Smith, Will Lorenz, and Finn O’Sullivan were most prolific.

None of the six players mentioned above will be playing on Monday. It’s the nature of the competition. Though, there remains a good amount of top talent and depth from either side set to return for the next fixture.


Both sides are yet to crack a win after the community break, albeit with much different looking lineups. Sandringham was 4-0 and the team to beat before returning to action, while Oakleigh was 2-2 with one of those losses coming to the Dragons.

Upon the season recommencement, Sandringham was felled for the first time by Murray, to the tune of 26 points, and then against Tasmania by 14. On the other hand, Oakleigh has suffered three losses by an average margin of 40 points.

The Chargers are yet to beat a full-time Talent League region in 2023 and despite laying claim to more mainstays than usual, have still been impacted by school and representative changes. Needless to say, that is also the case for the Dragons, and typically impacts their mid-season form.


Though the absence of school football will strengthen both sides, many premier prospects will instead be out representing their state this weekend. Still, there are a few Metro Under 18 squad members set to take the field having been overlooked for this round of representative action.

The Dragons have nippy wingman Josh Docking, 2022 Under 16 All Australian Luke Trainor, tricky forward Taj Hotton, and Murphy Reid at their disposal, while talls Levi Young and Luke Lloyd promise to provide some aerial presence through the ruck and inside 50.

For Oakleigh, bottom-ager Tom Gross is a handy oversight from the Metro team, set to be joined by Ollie Badr through midfield as Tadhg McCarthy returns down back. Over-agers Will Elliott and Luke Teal will also be out to impress at either end, along with developing ruck-forward Caleb Nancarrow.


You can just about throw the last time these two teams met out the window, given the series of changes since then, though Sandringham generally looks more even squad with more depth.

That factor will be massively tested on Monday and Oakleigh may sense an opportunity. Though, the Chargers’ lack of a win against full-time regions is telling. Dragons by 5.

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