West is best as scintillating Sandgropers storm SA

WESTERN Australia has pulled off the upset of the Under 18 National Championships to date, dismantling South Australia in a thumping victory at Alberton Oval today. The visitors were clinical inside 50, bookending the boilover with six goals in the first and fourth quarters to win 18.7 (115) to 6.12 (48).

Not even a quarter time spray from coach Tony Bamford could spark the home side into gear after falling five goals behind in the opening 25 minutes. Western Australia won every period and ran home with a wet sail, extending their 45-point lead at the final break to 67 as the final siren sounded.

Twin talls Max Rohr (four goals) and Kayle Gerreyn (three) spearheaded the scoring assault as two of Western Australia’s 10 individual goalkickers. The victors’ midfield group was also resolute, led by Luke Urquhart (19 disposals, seven clearances, 11 inside 50s), and Fred Rodriguez (22 disposals).

State skipper Bo Allan enjoyed a strong return from the back injury which kept him out of game one, gathering 19 disposals and five clearances. Fellow inclusions Hugh Boxshall (20 disposals, six tackles) and Loch Mactaggart (16 disposals) justified their selections in midfield and defence respectively.

Will Hayes was prominent in the first half | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Lively half-forward Will Hayes was a standout in the first half, while key defenders Darcy Petersen and Cody Curtin played key roles to shut down South Australian talls Tyler Welsh and Charlie Nicholls – keeping both forwards goalless for the first time in the tournament.

A shellshocked South Australia was served well by wingman Lucas Camporeale. The Carlton father-son candidate amassed a game-high 29 disposals, while inside midfielder Phoenix Hargrave had 27 touches and eight inside 50s, and forward Ned Bowman booted three second half goals.

The result sees South Australia move to a 1-2 record with just one National Championships game left to play – against Vic Metro at the same venue on June 30. The Victorians will be the 1-1 West Australians’ next opponent too, back home at Optus Stadium on June 23.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 1.2 | 3.6 | 4.9 | 6.12 (48)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 6.3 | 9.4 | 12.6 | 18.7 (115)

SA: N. Bowman 3, E. Bradley 2, J. Newton
WA: M. Rohr 4, K. Gerreyn 3, C. Burke 2, H. Davis 2, K. Evans 2, W. Hayes, B. Kelly, C. Banfield, C. Angove, M. Champion

SA: L. Camporeale, D. Sharp, P. Hargrave, A. Dodson, N. Bowman, J. Newton
WA: L. Urquhart, F. Rodriguez, M. Rohr, K. Gerreyn, W. Hayes, D. Petersen

West Australian skipper Bo Allan | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


Sun, June 16SA vs WAAlberton Oval10:05am
Sun, June 23WA vs Vic MetroOptus Stadium10:45am
Sat, June 29WA vs Vic CountryRevo Fitness Stadium10:30am
Sun, June 30SA vs Vic MetroAlberton Oval10:05am
Sun, July 7Allies vs Vic CountryBrighton Homes Arena10:35am
Sun, July 14Vic Metro vs Vic CountryIKON Park10:35am

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