See the key stats that helped determine results in the NAB League Boys Preliminary Finals, with the team-first play of the Eastern Ranges and top-end talent of the Oakleigh Chargers driving each into Saturday’s Grand Final.
* CLICK HERE to see full match results, goalkickers and best players from the NAB League Boys Preliminary Finals.
* CLICK HERE for the review of the NAB League Boys Preliminary Finals.
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 17.7 (109) d SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 4.10 (34)
KEY TO VICTORY: As on the scoreboard, this was a comprehensive win for the Chargers in a statistical sense. Their sheer depth of ball-winners overwhelmed the Dragons, with Oakleigh racking up 77 more disposals (378-301), 33 more marks (102-69), 12 more clearances (36-24) and ultimately 12 more inside-50s (49-37). Seven Chargers recorded at least 22 touches – led by Matthew Rowell (game-high 32 disposals), Trent Bianco (27) and Will Phillips (27) – compared to three Sandringham players.
The manner in which Oakleigh won possession will pose questions for Grand Final opponent Eastern as well, the Chargers proving equally adept at gaining the ball inside (131-117 contested possessions) and outside (248-182 uncontested possessions) the contest against the Dragons. While Rowell (game-high 19 contested) and Phillips (15) excelled in congestion, complementary Oakleigh weapons like Bianco (game-high 20 uncontested), Finlay Macrae (19) and Kaden Schreiber (19) cut Sandringham up in space.
BEST STAT: For all the talk of the Chargers boasting several highly-rated 2019 NAB AFL Draft prospects, their bottom-age crop is also performing exceptionally well this finals series. Midfielder Phillips backed up a 29-disposal qualifying-final showing with 27 and game-highs of eight clearances and eight tackles against the Dragons, while key forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan followed up a three-goal haul against the Gippsland Power with four majors from 12 touches and nine marks (three contested) on Saturday.
Western Bulldogs Next Generation Academy prospect Jamarra Ugle-Hagan showed why he will be one of the most exciting players in next year’s AFL draft after four-goal haul in Oakleigh Chargers' preliminary final win: https://t.co/MA2fEfdiCV pic.twitter.com/xWHXMFv7oN
— Local Footy (@localfooty) September 16, 2019
EASTERN RANGES 10.8 (68) d GIPPSLAND POWER 5.8 (38)
KEY TO VICTORY: Consistent with their status as a very even team, the Ranges produced a tough and disciplined performance to counteract the impact of several Gippsland stars. While the likes of Sam Flanders (game-high 27 disposals and eight clearances), Ryan Sparkes (26 and 10 marks) and Caleb Serong (21 and five clearances) helped lead the Power to wins in disposals (316-305), marks (84-73) and clearances (36-29), Eastern thwarted them with its effort in the contest.
The Ranges crucially topped Gippsland in contested possessions (131-129) and tackles (73-70), winning key one-on-one battles and forcing important turnovers to create better scoring opportunities. Lachlan Stapleton (team-high 12 contested possessions and eight tackles) continued his strong season in the midfield, while more unheralded players like Jonte Duffy (game-high 10 tackles), Todd Garner (seven) and Mihaele Zalac (10 contested possessions) played their roles in a fashion that has seen Eastern win plenty of games in 2019.
Rowville junior Lachlan Stapleton put in another best afield display for Eastern Ranges, enhancing his draft claims by lifting his side into the NAB League grand final: https://t.co/VS6d4Hb52z pic.twitter.com/1YVtYzAJL8
— Local Footy (@localfooty) September 16, 2019
BEST STAT: While Oakleigh has several promising bottom-agers doing good things in finals (see above), so too do the Ranges. A trio of youngsters running around the flanks were Eastern’s primary drivers from defence and into attack against the Power, with Wil Parker launching a game-high eight rebound-50s from his team-high 23 touches, Josh Clarke recording four rebound-50s as well as a goal and Connor Downie generating a game-high six inside-50s in addition to booting a major of his own.
PRELIMINARY FINALS STATS LEADERS
DISPOSALS (32): Matthew Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers)
KICKS (18): Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers) and Ryan Sparkes (Gippsland Power)
HANDBALLS (19): Will Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers) and Matthew Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers)
MARKS (10): Ryan Sparkes (Gippsland Power)
TACKLES (10): Jonte Duffy (Eastern Ranges)
CLEARANCES (8): Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power) and Will Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers)
CONTESTED POSSESSIONS (19): Matthew Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers)
UNCONTESTED POSSESSIONS (20): Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers)
INSIDE-50s (6): Miles Bergman (Sandringham Dragons), Connor Downie (Eastern Ranges) and Finlay Macrae (Oakleigh Chargers)
REBOUND-50s (8): Wil Parker (Eastern Ranges)
HITOUTS (35): Riley Smith (Eastern Ranges)
GOALS (4): Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Oakleigh Chargers)
Saturday September 21 @ Ikon Park
Eastern Ranges vs Oakleigh Chargers from 1.05pm (broadcast live on Fox Footy)