SANFL U18s MOTR: Round 4 – Sturt vs. South Adelaide

STURT got its revenge in Saturday’s SANFL Under 18s Grand Final rematch, as a dominant forward performance spearheaded a fourth-quarter breakaway. After the Panthers led heading into half time, the Double Blues lifted their intensity around the contest and started to punish the Panthers on turnover.

Seven of the players who graced the field in the Round 4 hitout were recently announced in the South Australia State Academy squad. We noted which of these prospects performed best in our latest match of the round.

  • Team
  • Sturt
  • South Adelaide

Sturt 13.7 (85) def. South Adelaide 9.12 (66)


#27 Ned Atkinson
Forward | 182cm | 30/07/2006

Stats: 13 disposals, 4 marks, 7 goals

Atkinson’s game epitomised a gritty and hard-working forward presence, kicking seven goals for the day, four of those coming in the last quarter. Atkinson only kicked his first goal in the second quarter but slowly got himself involved through his footy IQ, intercepting a kick in and setting up a scoring shot. Bursting through a pack 25 metres out from goal, his physicality to pounce on the loose ball found himself running to the edge of the goalsquare and snapping through one of his easiest of the day. His hunt for the footy was critical in the fourth quarter, winning a holding the ball free kick close to goal, as well as a high tackle free kick the next play through his pace to get first to the contest. Atkinson put the cherry on top, belting his seventh goal from 50 metres in a powerful performance.

#54 Sam Waltham
Ruck/Forward | 194cm | 05/01/2006

Stats: 10 disposals, 3 contested marks, 1 goal

Playing a big role with his physical presence, Waltham led the game with three contested marks and was able to impact with his work rate up and down the ground. He was able to create turnover with a big pack mark early in the first quarter, leaping over four or five. Working inside forward 50 his running patterns were well timed, filling the space inside forward 50 to take an uncontested mark and slot a goal from 50. His longer limbs were handy at times, stretching out to get a hand to the ball and spoil a contest, even taking a one-handed grab inside forward 50 at full stretch.


Noah Thiessen provided gut-running efforts offensively, able to get on the end of a few uncontested marks inside 50, ending his day with a goal, as well as a strong contested mark defensively to stop a shot on goal. Jasper Maher and Oscar Merrett worked hard in the middle with their clearance work, whilst Ben McArthur got to some good spots with his physicality and kicked two goals.


#1 Jacob Sheehan
Defender | 197cm | 28/01/2006

Stats: 10 disposals, 8 kicks, 4 rebound 50s

Sheehan played his best football getting loose off his opponent and providing some composure out of defensive 50, starting some chains to keep the ball moving with pace. Aerial contests were part of his best work, able to create turnovers with a few spoils inside defensive 50. He was able to hold his ground well and win the footy when the ball came in frantically.

#6 Benny Barrett
Midfield | 174cm | 01/05/2006

Stats: 20 disposals, 6 clearances, 6 inside 50s

It was a similar consistent performance for Barrett, who was providing burst at the stoppages, creating a change of angle with his turning. The productive midfielder was quick and neat by hand on the outside of the contest and generally made good decisions, weighing up his options with the ball in hand. His kicking turning out of the stoppage was on early, able to poise himself and lace out kicks inside forward 50, however, some kicks led to direct turnovers putting too much pace into the kick, which let down accuracy at times.

#11 Phoenix Hargrave
Midfield | 182cm | 15/09/2006

Stats: 30 disposals, 8 clearances, 9 inside 50s

Hargrave has solidified his reputation for his hard-working nature in the midfield, and his efforts in the first half were dedicated to two-way running, consistently aiming to provide an driving outlet in transition deep in defensive 50. His understanding of space in transition kept him in the chain and his kicking was often neat and calculated to push a forward wide and open up the ground. His contested ability was strongest when he assessed his surroundings prior to the play, with his turnovers coming as a result of poorer spatial awareness. His productiveness tallied 30 disposals, nine inside 50s, and eight clearances.

#13 Dakota Sterzl
Midfielder | 188cm | 21/07/2006

Stats: 16 disposals, 5 marks, 1 goal

Sterzl found himself winning 50/50 contests high up the ground, often doing the unexpected for his team. High up the contest he showed his commitment to win one-on-one battles that forced stoppages. In the fourth quarter his footy IQ enabled his running capacity to hold off until the right moment, holding off outside the contest, and receiving the handball to the outside, nailing an important goal from 40 metres out when the game was in the balance.

#19 Cohen Shortridge
Forward | 187cm | 03/03/2006

Stats: 18 disposals, 13 kicks, 3 goals

A deadly accurate three goals straight give an account of Shortridge’s strong forward pressure game. His first goal of the game was a strong contested mark inside 50, putting his body on the line. He earned himself a goal with his forward pressure, forcing a turnover from a kick-in, battling the full-back in a one-on-one, and winning the battle with a snap over his head. The deadly accurate tag of his three goals was capped off with a lovely set shot from 50 metres on a difficult angle from his second pack mark of the game.


Speedy small-forward Jesse Nye pushed further up the ground to show another element of his creativity in transition. He had a nifty pickup deep inside 50 and finished off with a nice snap at goal. Oliver Goss had some courageous moments, finishing with two goals through the willingness to put his body on the line, along with some sneaky positioning inside 50 to find himself uncontested taking a few marks.


Glenelg’s third-quarter separation was enough to fight off a fourth-quarter Norwood comeback, as they ran out three-point winners.

Glenelg’s Riley Shepherdson made it 10 goals for the season, kicking four goals from 10 touches. Luke Candy two-way running was impactful on both ends, finishing with six inside 50s and three rebound 50s.

Norwood State Academy member Ned Bowman was prominent up forward, finishing with three goals and taking five marks from his 16 touches. Fellow Academy member Jacob Newton led the disposals, finishing with 27, and providing great transitional presence with 10 inside 50s.

After Central District conceded five goals to two in the first quarter, they kept West Adelaide to two goals for the remaining three quarters, running out 38-point winners.

West Adelaide’s Jonty Koehne was strong up forward for the Bloods, finishing with three goals. Lachlan Slattery held up defensively, taking eight marks, along with six rebound 50s.

Dyson Sharp provided pressure in the middle for the Bulldogs, with six tackles, six inside 50s, and five clearances from 31 disposals. Tom Cochrane was able to impact further up the ground, finishing with two goals from his 27-disposal performance.

The final game of the round was down to the wire, as North Adelaide kicked the last three goals to defeat Woodville-West Torrens by a point.

North Adelaide’s Blake Oudshoorn-Bennier had a day out with 36 disposals, a dominant figure in the centre stoppages with 10 clearances, also kicking a vital goal late in the fourth. Tom Tasker was tough in the midfield and prominent on both ends, with five inside 50s and rebound 50s from 28 disposals.

Jett Hasting matched it for Woodville-West Torrens in the midfield, a productive 25 disposals, 12 inside 50s, and a goal. Jack Cook was prolific out of defensive 50, accumulating 27 disposals and seven rebound 50s.

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