Published on June 26, 2019 3:37 pm

L-R: Trent Bianco (Vic Metro), Connor Budarick (Allies) and Lachlan Ash (Vic Country - photo by Solstice Photography)

AFL U18 CHAMPS PREVIEW: Round 4

See a preview and the team line-ups for Vic Metro’s final match of the 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships against the Allies as well as Vic Country’s clash with South Australia in Friday’s GMHBA Stadium double-header.

* CLICK HERE for the results from Saturday’s Round 3 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships games, with the Allies and Vic Metro in action.

 

Round 4 of the 2019 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships will be available on the AFL Live Official App, thanks to Telstra. Coverage from GMHBA Stadium in Geelong starts from 10.30am AEST.

 

VIC METRO vs ALLIES 

Friday June 28, 10.30am @ GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

 

RECENT HISTORY

Vic Metro posted its first win of the 2019 Championships on Saturday in knocking off title-holder South Australia by 17 points in Adelaide. Prior to that, Metro lost to Vic Country by 13 points at the MCG and then to Western Australia by 17 points in Perth. The Allies opened their campaign with a 97-point loss to Country before a 25-point defeat at the hands of WA last week.

The Allies have pushed Metro in each of their three years competing in the Championships. They lost by 14 points at Marvel Stadium in 2016, triumphed by three points at GMHBA Stadium in 2017 – on the back of an inspired Jarrod Brander (ex-Bendigo Pioneers) performance – and fell by two points on the Gold Coast last year, when current Metro player Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers) booted four goals and Ben King (ex-Sandringham Dragons) kicked the match-winning major with less than 90 seconds to play.

 

COACH COMMENTS

VIC METRO

Comments from head coach Brett Allison:

 

LAST WEEK

“The main thing we focused on was our effort to win the ball back when we didn’t have it. We let ourselves down in that area in the first two games, so we wanted to limit SA’s uncontested possessions as much as possible and the boys put that into practice. We could see there was a very different look about the team within three minutes of the game starting.”

 

THIS WEEK

“We’ll probably be a lot taller than the Allies almost all over the ground, but we’ve dealt with significant height differences in a lot of positions in the three games to date so that should be no surprise to us. I think the Allies’ strength is their want to win the contested ball, so we’ll need to break even with them in that area. Certainly, if we keep to our theme of forcing turnovers and getting the ball back as quick as we can when they do have possession, that’ll go a long way.”

 

IN FORM

“Our leaders such as Noah Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers), Matthew Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers), Jack Mahony (Sandringham Dragons) and Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers) stood up against SA and it was great to see the rest of the team follow. We had Louis Butler (Sandringham Dragons) and Lachie Potter (Northern Knights) play on some crafty opposition forwards and hold them well. Miles Bergman’s (Sandringham Dragons) role on the wing was really important for us and I think Emerson Jeka (Western Jets) and Jamieson Rossiter (Eastern Ranges) really gave us some strong targets to kick to in their first games in the forward line.”

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

“We’ve made seven changes for the Allies game, which will bring us to 34 players who have played over the course of the Championships. Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons), Lachie Stapleton (Eastern Ranges) and Will Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers) will play their first games and we’re looking for some real drive and run through the midfield from them. We’re also looking for Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers) and Brodie Newman (Calder Cannons) to come back in after some injury niggles and make an impact in the forward line and defence respectively.”

 

 

ALLIES

Comments from head coach Luke Power:

 

LAST WEEK

“We were competitive against WA. We had the same amount of scoring shots (5.13 to 10.8) and inside-50s, but the next stage for us is just being able to execute better. If we’d given ourselves the opportunity to go into half time a couple of goals up then we could have built some momentum, but unfortunately we didn’t take our chances and left ourselves open to being overrun.”

 

THIS WEEK

“The group has had a couple of travels so far, so we just need to keep them as fresh as possible and make sure we train pretty lightly. We probably catch Metro as they’re starting to hit their straps, but the only expectation I have is that our boys stay really competitive and play as a team. The two teams we’ve played have been smaller sides than Metro, so it’ll be interesting to see how we match up in defence. We’ll have to try a few players in different positions to be able to cover their taller forwards.”

 

IN FORM

“I was really pleased with Connor Budarick (Gold Coast Suns Academy) last week, who went from the back line to the midfield and laid 11 tackles. We needed to add a bit more speed and versatility to our on-ball mix after the first match, and Connor complements Tom Green (GWS Giants Academy) and a couple of others really well. I was also happy with a couple of the boys who came into the team – Josh Gore (Gold Coast Suns Academy) up forward and Dirk Koenen (Gold Coast Suns Academy) down back – and I thought Sam Thorne (Sydney Swans Academy) competed really well. Malcolm Rosas (Northern Territory) really improved from our first game too.”

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

“We’ve lost our ruck Sam Gaden (Sydney Swans Academy) with an elbow injury, which is a shame because he did a really good job for two and a half quarters against (WA’s) Luke Jackson, so we’ll bring in some more height to help cover Metro’s talls in Jake Steele (Tasmania Devils) and Ben Kelly (Murray Bushrangers). We’ll also bring in Ben Jungfer (Northern Territory) who’ll spend some time on the ball.”

 

SELECTED TEAMS

VIC METRO

B: 15. Louis Butler 38. Brodie Newman 26. Ryan Sturgess
Sandringham Dragons Calder Cannons Northern Knights
HB: 18. Lachlan Potter 29. Fischer McAsey 5. Trent Bianco
Northern Knights Sandringham Dragons Oakleigh Chargers
C: 24. Noah Anderson (C)  25. Finn Maginness 22. Miles Bergman
Oakleigh Chargers Sandringham Dragons Sandringham Dragons
HF: 31. Joshua Worrell 28. Jamieson Rossiter 7. Lachlan Stapleton
Sandringham Dragons Eastern Ranges Eastern Ranges
F: 1. Jack Mahony 36. Emerson Jeka 23. Dylan Williams
Sandringham Dragons Western Jets Oakleigh Chargers
R: 40. Nick Bryan 11. Matthew Rowell 12. Ryan Byrnes
Oakleigh Chargers Oakleigh Chargers Sandringham Dragons
Int (from):
30. Harrison Jones 13. Daniel Mott 9. Will Phillips
Calder Cannons Calder Cannons Oakleigh Chargers
39. Jack Bell 27. Oscar Lewis 16. Darcy Cassar
Sandringham Dragons Sandringham Dragons Western Jets
35. Nikolas Cox
Northern Knights

 

ALLIES

B: 21. Luke Parks 52. Dirk Koenen 8. Tom Griffiths
Sydney Academy Gold Coast Academy Brisbane Academy
HB: 20. Matt McGrory 26. Liam Delahunty 24. Joel Jeffrey
GWS Academy GWS Academy Northern Territory
C: 42. James Peatling 3. Connor Budarick 9. Mitch O’Neill
GWS Academy Gold Coast Academy Tasmania Devils
HF: 46. Noah Cumberland 37. Joshua Gore 2. Hewago Paul Oea
Brisbane Academy Gold Coast Academy Gold Coast Academy
F: 32. Jake Steele 31. Hamish Ellem 36. Sam Thorne
Tasmania Devils Sydney Academy Sydney Academy
R: 54. Ben Kelly 22. Tom Green 16. Ben Jungfer
Murray Bushrangers GWS Academy Northern Territory
Int:
44. Nicholas Brewer 5. Braeden Campbell 12. Ashton Crossley
Sydney Academy Sydney Academy Gold Coast Academy
1. Errol Gulden 47. Jeromy Lucas 15. Will Martyn
Sydney Academy GWS Academy Brisbane Academy
4. Malcolm Rosas jnr
Northern Territory

 

 

VIC COUNTRY vs SOUTH AUSTRALIA 

Friday June 28, 1pm @ GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

 

RECENT HISTORY

Vic Country has powered its way to wins against Vic Metro (by 13 points) at the MCG and then the Allies (97 points) in Launceston before enjoying a bye in Round 3, while defending champion South Australia prevailed over Western Australia by 11 points in Perth but then fell to Metro by 17 points in Adelaide on Saturday.

Country last defeated SA in 2015 (twice) en route to the title but has since suffered losses by 11 points at Marvel Stadium in 2016, by 46 points at GMHBA Stadium in 2017 and by 27 points at Adelaide Oval last year. That day, subsequent no.1 NAB AFL Draft pick Sam Walsh (ex-Geelong Falcons) and first-round selection Xavier Duursma (ex-Gippsland Power) starred for Country, along with current Country co-captain Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power) and 2019 squad member Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons).

 

COACH COMMENTS

VIC COUNTRY

Comments from head coach Leigh Brown:

 

LAST WEEK

“The boys backed up their intensity from the Vic Metro match (against the Allies) and the best thing is that everyone is just playing their role and contributing. That’s important because sometimes the kids put too much expectation on themselves, but we’ve tried to make it as simple as we can in terms of how we want to play the game and then let their natural talents shine from there.”

 

THIS WEEK

“We’re expecting a really contested game against SA. They’ve spent three weeks in a row together and that continuity can be a really good thing. They have some really good backmen, they look really dangerous up forward and they have Jackson Mead and Dylan Stephens in the middle as well. I think we match up OK against them; we have some really good medium-sized players who’ll have some good battles across the board.”

 

IN FORM

Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power) has really led the way for us along with Lachie Ash (Murray Bushrangers) and Hayden Young (Dandenong Stingrays). Brodie Kemp’s (Bendigo Pioneers) game down back against the Allies was very good too, and I think those guys stepping up and driving the standards has helped others follow them. Brady Rowles (Bendigo Pioneers), Jay Rantall (GWV Rebels) and Charlie Comben (Gippsland Power) have all been really good contributors across the two games, while Cody Weightman (Dandenong Stingrays) kicked four goals against the Allies – whereas it was Ned Cahill (Dandenong Stingrays) who kicked a couple as that small forward against Metro. The ability for those types of players to step up and play their role when it’s their time has been really good.”

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Charlie Comben (Gippsland Power) is back in after missing against the Allies with illness, meaning Henry Walsh (Geelong Falcons) is unlucky to miss out in the ruck this week. Brock Smith (Gippsland Power) also comes back in after an injury in the first match and he’s really important as a leader in our defensive group. Isaac Wareham (GWV Rebels) missed the first couple of games recovering from a quad injury and we’re excited to get him into the team – his run-and-carry will be suited to the big ground at GMHBA Stadium.”

 

SELECTED TEAM

VIC COUNTRY

B: 18. Brady Rowles 36. Sam De Koning 26. Jesse Clark
Bendigo Pioneers Dandenong Stingrays Geelong Falcons
HB: 12. Lachlan Ash (C) 24. Brock Smith 17. Hayden Young
Murray Bushrangers Gippsland Power Dandenong Stingrays
C: 29. Lachlan Williams 16. Brodie Kemp 15. Ryan Sparkes
Dandenong Stingrays Bendigo Pioneers Gippsland Power
HF: 1. Ned Cahill 20. Elijah Hollands 3. Cody Weightman
Dandenong Stingrays Murray Bushrangers Dandenong Stingrays
F: 19. Fraser Phillips 39. Joshua Smith 6. Riley Baldi
Gippsland Power Gippsland Power Gippsland Power
R: 40. Charlie Comben 4. Sam Flanders 2. Caleb Serong (C)
Gippsland Power Gippsland Power Gippsland Power
Int (from):
8. Thomson Dow 14. Liam Herbert 37. Blake Kuipers
Bendigo Pioneers GWV Rebels Dandenong Stingrays
10. Harrison Pepper 13. Jay Rantall 9. Isaac Wareham
Gippsland Power GWV Rebels GWV Rebels
5. Cameron Wild
Murray Bushrangers

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