Cream rises to the top as Metro sinks Sandgropers

VIC METRO has marched to a 33-point victory over Western Australia at Optus Stadium today, moving to 2-0 in the AFL Under 18 National Championships. The visitors booted seven of the game’s last eight goals, including a run of six in a row across terms three and four, in the 15.16 (106) to 10.13 (73) win.

After thumping South Australia to the tune of 67 points last week, the Sandgropers made a hot start and led at the first two breaks. Vic Metro’s midfield class proved a decisive factor though, winning the clearance battle 31-17 overall and 17-6 at the centre bounces to run over the top after half time.

In arguably his second best afield performance in as many games, Jagga Smith led all comers with 34 disposals and five clearances in the win. Partner-in-crime Levi Ashcroft had it 27 times with seven inside 50s, while Josh Smillie (22 disposals, nine clearances) elevated his level in the second half.

Metro was also well served by its bookends. Northern Knights key forward Thomas Sims was a force inside 50 with seven marks and three goals, while top 10 prospect Luke Trainor showcased his dynamism with 26 disposals, six marks and nine rebound 50s as WA’s tall forwards were shut down.

Midfielder Luke Urquhart proved the hosts’ main form of resistance around the ball. En route to a team-high 27 disposals, five clearances and seven inside 50s, the East Fremantle onballer had 12 touches by quarter time. Despite some wayward kicking on the run, he continues to rise in stocks.

WA skipper Bo Allan also worked to keep his side in the game. The state’s top prospect posted 19 disposals and booted two consecutive goals in term three before Vic Metro began its game-winning run. West Coast Next Generation Academy hopeful Malakai Champion (three goals) was also lively.

Western Australia, now 1-2 in the tournament, will next take on Vic Country at Claremont Oval on Saturday June 29. The undefeated Vic Metro will travel over to South Australia and battle the Croweaters (1-2) at Alberton Oval on the following day.

Luke Urquhart was among WA’s best players | Image Credit: Paul Kane/AFL Photos

WESTERN AUSTRALIA 5.2 | 7.8 | 9.9 | 10.13 (73)
VIC METRO 3.1 | 7.4 | 11.9 | 15.16 (106)

WA: M. Champion 3, B. Allan 2, H. Davis 2, C. Angove, C. Banfield, K. Evans
VM: T. Sims 3, J. Dolan 2, J. Smith, M. Reid, T. Gross, J. Smillie, I. Kako, C. Moraes, H. Oliver, J. Dattoli, H. Armstrong, G. Stumpf

WA: L. Urquhart, B. Allan, J. Artemis, M. Champion, F. Rodriguez, C. Angove
VM: J. Smith, L. Ashcroft, T. Sims, L. Trainor, J. Smillie, J. Dattoli


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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