Vics beat all comers in dour double-header

THE NATION’S brightest Under 18 prospects descended on IKON Park for a representative double-header on Sunday, with both Victorian sides coming away with wins. Metro downed the Allies by 16 points to kick off proceedings, before Country held off South Australia to salute by eight points.

>> SCROLL for all the results, goals & bests

Conditions were oppressive in North Carlton for game one, though no one told top five draft prospect Jagga Smith. The fleet footed midfielder racked up 32 disposals and eight clearances in a near-flawless display, defying the dampness with incredible balance and clean skills.

On-baller Murphy Reid and defender Harrison Oliver (both 24 disposals) boosted their stocks in Metro’s win as they push into first round considerations. Elsewhere, Christian Moraes adjusted nicely to a new role down back, while Damon Hollow (21 disposals, 10 marks, one goal) was productive out on the wing.

Bottom-ager Zeke Uwland amassed a remarkable 729 metres gained as the Allies’ most prolific ball winner, matching the efforts of Reid, Oliver and Moraes with 24 touches. Samuel Marshall (23 disposals, seven tackles) also stood tall in the defeat, as the Allies moved to 1-2 after three games.

Joshua Murphy celebrates a goal for the Allies | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

The Allies only had themselves to blame with poor goalkicking seeing them fall behind at half time. Despite bridging the gap to just seven points at the final break, Vic Metro kicked away with four of the game’s last five goals to win 9.13 (67) to 6.15 (51).

Having previously run in waves out of the midfield, things were tougher for the visitors against a quality on-ball group – arguably the best of any team in the competition. Vic Metro’s class rose to the occasion and helped take the win in their maiden outing this year.

The Victorians will next take on Western Australia at Optus Stadium on June 23, after the Black Ducks opened their tournament with a loss to the Allies last week. The Allies’ fourth and final assignment comes against Vic Country in Queensland on Sunday July 7.

Vic Metro ran out winners | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

VIC METRO 2.6 | 5.8 | 5.13 | 9.13 (67)
ALLIES 1.7 | 2.10 | 4.12 | 6.15 (51)

Vic Metro: L. Ashcroft 2, I. Kako 2, J. Dattoli, T. Gross, D. Hollow, C. Richardson, J. Smillie
Allies: J. Murphy 2, O. Depaoli-Kubank 2, L. Douglas, D. Annable

Vic Metro: J. Smith, H. Oliver, M. Reid, D. Hollow, C. Moraes, L. Ashcroft
Allies: Z. Uwland, S. Marshall, L. Hogan, J. Shanahan, D. Annable, J. Murphy

Willem Duursma gets a kick away | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

VIC COUNTRY made hard work of their eight-point win over South Australia, as the Croweaters came home with a wet sail in a tense final five minutes. After trailing by as many as 27 points in term four, the visitors slammed home the last three goals of the game to be in with a chance, to no avail.

The home side led at every break and would skip away to handy buffers with strings of unanswered goals before being reigned back in. South Australia’s tall forwards kept the game competitive, taking advantage of Vic Country’s makeshift selection of key defenders.

Doing much of the damage was Adelaide father-son prospect Tyler Welsh. He booted a game-high four goals, including three in the second half, while Charlie Nicholls managed 1.3 but took nine marks in a strong display of his aerial ability. Fellow tall Tallan Rosenzweig also booted a single major.

Lucas Camporeale handballs | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Small forward Jacob Newton (13 disposals, six marks, three goals) was integral in the losing side. Skipper Sid Draper again showed his class with 26 touches, while Carlton father-son candidate Ben Camporeale led all comers with 28 disposals, and defender Angus Clarke (six marks) stood tall.

Vic Country’s effort was fronted by midfielders Xavier Ivisic (27 disposals, six marks, five clearances) and Harvey Langford (25 disposals, seven marks, six clearances). Small forwards Joe Berry and Jasper Alger also had a say with three goals apiece as Tobie Travaglia (24 disposals) bookended his game nicely.

After securing victory in their opening game, Vic Country will next face off against Western Australia in Perth on June 29. South Australia’s third game of the carnival comes against Vic Metro on June 30, back home at Port Adelaide’s base in Alberton.

VIC COUNTRY 4.2 | 6.6 | 10.8 | 13.9 (87)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2.2 | 4.6 | 7.11 | 11.13 (79)

Vic Country: J. Alger 3, J. Berry 3, J. Barrat 2, R. Stevens 2, A. Day-Wicks, X. Ivisic, J. Whitlock
South Australia: T. Welsh 4, J. Newton 3, N. Bowman, E. Bradley, C. Nicholls, T. Rosenzweig

Vic Country: H. Langford, X. Ivisic, T. Travaglia, J. Berry, J. Alger, H. Charleson
South Australia: J. Newton, T. Welsh, S. Draper, B. Camporeale, A. Clarke, C. Nicholls

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