Published on June 6, 2019 3:22 pm

L-R: Matthew Rowell (Vic Metro), Sam Flanders (Vic Country) and Mitch O'Neill (Allies)

AFL U18 CHAMPS PREVIEW: Week 2

We preview Vic Metro and Vic Country’s trips interstate for their second games of the 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and reveal the team line-ups for Metro, Country and the Allies.

* CLICK HERE for the review of Vic Country’s win against Vic Metro in the opening NAB AFL Under-18 Championships match last Saturday.

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA vs VIC METRO

Saturday June 8, 10am (AWST) @ Lathlain Park, Perth

 

RECENT HISTORY

Vic Metro has defeated Western Australia in each of the last three years – including twice in Perth across the last two Championships. Metro prevailed by 18 points at Optus Stadium in 2018, with Ben King (now at Gold Coast) booting five goals, Rhylee West (Western Bulldogs) picking up 25 disposals and current Metro captain Noah Anderson (from Oakleigh Chargers) kicking four majors from 20 touches as a bottom-ager.

Metro also accounted for WA by 38 points at Subiaco Oval in 2017 and by 23 points at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong in 2016. WA last tasted victory over Metro in 2015, winning by 18 points at GMHBA Stadium in the teams’ second encounter of that year’s Championships.

 

COACH COMMENTS

VIC METRO

Comments from head coach Brett Allison:

 

LAST WEEK

“They (Vic Country) were too strong for us in the end. It was a really competitive game, but they got on top of us in the second quarter and we weren’t able to take our opportunities to get back in front. We started the game reasonably well and were able to match Country in most areas, but they really lifted their intensity and effort around the ball in the second quarter and we weren’t able to match them in that term. That was pretty costly in the context of the game, because there’s not much difference between the teams ability-wise.”

 

THIS WEEK

“We’ll have to defend really well against WA, because they’ll have a number of crafty players who are really agile and quick. The big focus for us will be forcing turnovers and getting the ball back when they’ve won possession. We’d like to be a lot stiffer defensively than we were last week; we think we gave away probably three or four goals to Country that really shouldn’t have been kicked. When we’re in possession, we want to keep backing our ball use and decision-making, which looked really good at times last week.”

 

IN FORM

Fischer McAsey (from Sandringham Dragons) at centre half-back was pretty strong for us all game (against Vic Country), as were the usual suspects of Matt Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers), Noah Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers) and Jack Mahony (Sandringham Dragons). Brodie Newman (Calder Cannons) and Josh Worrell (Sandringham Dragons) were pretty good contributors for us as well.”

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

“We’ve spoken about sharing the load across the four games and trying to expose as many players as we can who we think are at the Championships level. We’ve rotated five players into the team this week: Corey Watts (from Sandringham Dragons) and James Ross (Eastern Ranges) will be at the defensive end, Jack Bell (Sandringham Dragons) will play as a forward/ruck, Oscar Lewis (Sandringham Dragons) on a wing and off half-back, and Mitch Mellis (Eastern Ranges) as a small forward who maybe goes through the midfield.”

 

SELECTED TEAM

VIC METRO

B: 38. Brodie Newman 33. Corey Watts 14. James Ross
Calder Cannons Sandringham Dragons Eastern Ranges
HB: 15. Louis Butler 29. Fischer McAsey 5. Trent Bianco
Sandringham Dragons Sandringham Dragons Oakleigh Chargers
C: 31. Joshua Worrell 25. Finn Maginness 22. Miles Bergman
Sandringham Dragons Sandringham Dragons Sandringham Dragons
HF: 16. Darcy Cassar 30. Harrison Jones 1. Jack Mahony
Western Jets Calder Cannons Sandringham Dragons
F: 2. Mitch Mellis 34. Charlie Dean 23. Dylan Williams
Eastern Ranges Sandringham Dragons Oakleigh Chargers
R: 40. Nick Bryan 24. Noah Anderson (C)  11. Matthew Rowell
Oakleigh Chargers Oakleigh Chargers Oakleigh Chargers
Int:
39. Jack Bell 27. Oscar Lewis 13. Daniel Mott
Sandringham Dragons Sandringham Dragons Calder Cannons
18. Lachlan Potter 21. Hugo Ralphsmith
Northern Knights Sandringham Dragons
Emg:
26. Ryan Sturgess 19. Josh Honey
Northern Knights Western Jets

 

In: C. Watts (Sandringham), J. Ross (Eastern), M. Mellis (Eastern), J. Bell (Sandringham), O. Lewis (Sandringham)

Out: R. Sturgess (Northern – rotated), J. Honey (Western – rotated), A. Carafa (Northern – rotated), A. Courtney (Sandringham – rotated), C. Downie (Eastern – rotated)

 

 

ALLIES vs VIC COUNTRY 

Sunday June 9, 12.30pm @ University of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston

 

RECENT HISTORY

The Allies have taken the points against Vic Country twice from their three years competing in the Division 1 Under-18 Championships. They claimed a 23-point win at Blacktown International Sportspark in 2018, with subsequent Adelaide draftee Chayce Jones best afield and 2019 squad members Mitch O’Neill (Tasmania Devils) recording 26 disposals and Tom Green (GWS Giants Academy) 24. Sam Walsh (now at Carlton) led Country with 31 touches as current Country co-captain Caleb Serong (from Gippsland Power) gathered 21.

Country emerged victorious by 12 points in the teams’ 2017 clash – also in Blacktown – while the Allies posted their only win of the 2016 Championships by four points against Country at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.

 

COACH COMMENTS

ALLIES

Comments from head coach Luke Power:

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

“It’s just a matter of making the players as competitive as possible in the short amount of time they get to spend together. We’re conscious that the other teams spend longer together, so we need to do as much as possible to get them to communicate with each other so that can transfer onto the field… We started with 30 players in our AFL Academy hub for a camp in January, then the squad went up to 50 recently and we played a couple of practice matches against Vic Metro and Vic Country (two weekends ago).”

 

THE LEADERS

“We’ll name our leaders when the group comes into camp before Sunday, but Tom Green (from GWS Giants Academy), Connor Budarick (Gold Coast Suns Academy) and Will Martyn (Brisbane Lions Academy) seem to be the ones who are taking ownership of the group at the moment.”

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mitch O’Neill (from Tasmania Devils) was an Under-18 All Australian last year. He’s had an interrupted year, but he’s started getting more continuity in the last few weeks. He’ll play mainly as an outside midfielder. Oliver Davis (Tasmania Devils) and Sam Collins (Tasmania Devils) are bottom-agers who’ll get their opportunity. Oliver will play mainly as a forward/inside midfielder and Sam will play as a half-back flanker. We think Will Chandler (Murray Bushrangers) has some really good attributes, with his elite speed and ability to put on a lot of pressure as a small forward.”

 

UNAVAILABLE

Hewago Paul Oea (from Gold Coast Suns Academy) has a two-week MCL (knee) injury and we’re hoping he’ll be able to come back for some Championships games. Jared Dakin (Tasmania Devils) has a serious shoulder injury and we won’t see him play again this year, but he’s just started to join in the skills component of training. Kobe Tozer (Brisbane Lions Academy) has had dislocated knees over the last couple of years and now has stress reactions in his shins. It’s disappointing that he won’t be able to play because he’s a real talent.”

 

 

VIC COUNTRY

Comments from head coach Leigh Brown:

 

LAST WEEK

“The boys competed for four quarters (against Vic Metro) – that’s all we can ask of them – and I thought the pressure applied by all 23 players was fantastic. Those two things are going to set you up and give you a chance in any contest, and we really saw their talent come out from there.”

 

THIS WEEK

“We know (Allies head coach) Luke Power pretty well and he likes to energise the ball and get it moving quickly. I think they’ll be a little bit smaller and quicker than Metro, so our ability to defend and play our role in transition is going to be important. We just want to keep sticking to the way we’ve trained and coached our boys to play though – that team mentality and ability to pressure the opposition as a group was important last week and will be going forward as well.”

 

IN FORM

Hayden Young (from Dandenong Stingrays) was outstanding (against Vic Metro) across half-back, and he and Lachie Ash (Murray Bushrangers) gave us some real run and drive from the back line. Brock Smith (Gippsland Power) played an important role on Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers), who we identified as a player that can hit the scoreboard really quickly for his team. Charlie Comben (Gippsland Power) was great in the ruck and I thought he set the tone at ground level, while our midfielders like Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power), Jay Rantall (GWV Rebels), Thomson Dow (Bendigo Pioneers) and Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power) all got their hands on the footy.”

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cam Wild (from Murray Bushrangers) gets his chance this week and he can play as an inside midfielder, a half forward or out on a wing. We think his run will be important and he has an ability to find the footy. Lachie Williams (Dandenong Stingrays) will come in and play on a wing and maybe off half-back. He’s had a couple of good trial games with us and we think his run will be important too. Toby Mahony (GWV Rebels) will also come in and he can play as a forward or tall midfielder, which will add a different look to our group.”

 

SELECTED TEAMS

ALLIES

B: 21. Luke Parks 49. Nicholas Murray 8. Tom Griffiths
Sydney Academy GWS Academy Brisbane Academy
HB: 3. Connor Budarick 27. Josh Rayner 5. Braeden Campbell
Gold Coast Academy Sydney Academy Sydney Academy
C: 20. Matt McGrory 15. Will Martyn 9. Mitch O’Neill
GWS Academy Brisbane Academy Tasmania Devils
HF: 7. Oliver Davis 26. Liam Delahunty 17. Bruce Reville
Tasmania Devils GWS Academy Brisbane Academy
F: 14. Will Chandler 31. Hamish Ellem 46. Noah Cumberland
Murray Bushrangers Sydney Academy Brisbane Academy
R: 30. Samson Ryan 22. Tom Green 36. Sam Thorne
Brisbane Academy GWS Academy Sydney Academy
Int:
13. Jackson Barling 29. Matt Conroy 1. Errol Gulden
Sydney Academy Gold Coast Academy Sydney Academy
19. Sam Collins 4. Malcolm Rosas jnr
Tasmania Devils Northern Territory

 

 

VIC COUNTRY

B: 10. Harrison Pepper 36. Sam De Koning 26. Jesse Clark
Gippsland Power Dandenong Stingrays Geelong Falcons
HB: 17. Hayden Young 16. Brodie Kemp 12. Lachlan Ash (C)
Dandenong Stingrays Bendigo Pioneers Murray Bushrangers
C: 29. Lachlan Williams 2. Caleb Serong (C) 18. Brady Rowles
Dandenong Stingrays Gippsland Power Bendigo Pioneers
HF: 3. Cody Weightman 20. Elijah Hollands 1. Ned Cahill
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 8. Thomson Dow
Gippsland Power Gippsland Power Bendigo Pioneers
Int:
7. Mitchell Martin 35. Toby Mahony 13. Jay Rantall
GWV Rebels GWV Rebels GWV Rebels
15. Ryan Sparkes 5. Cameron Wild
Gippsland Power Murray Bushrangers
Emg:
32. Benjamin Worme 38. Henry Walsh
Bendigo Pioneers Geelong Falcons

 

In: L. Williams (Dandenong), T. Mahony (GWV), C. Wild (Murray)

Out: B. Worme (Bendigo – rotated), B. Smith (Gippsland – injured), B. Nyuon (Dandenong – rotated)

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