See the key stats that helped determine results in the NAB League Boys Semi Finals, with fierce defence from both the Sandringham Dragons and Gippsland Power driving them into preliminary finals.
* CLICK HERE to see full match results, goalkickers and best players from the NAB League Boys Semi Finals.
* CLICK HERE for the review of the NAB League Boys Semi Finals.
1st Semi Final
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 8.7 (55) d CALDER CANNONS 1.12 (18)
KEY TO VICTORY: While the Cannons were good enough to win the majority of contests in this clash, Sandringham was too often able to gain possession from turnovers and then control the ball at will. Calder won the counts for contested possessions (131-123) and clearances (36-31) on the back of tough pairing Sam Ramsay (17 contested possessions and six clearances) and Daniel Mott (14 and nine), but the Cannons’ meagre scoreline illustrates their struggle to convert that work inside 50.
The Dragons rarely let opposition ball-carriers enjoy time and space, laying 75 tackles to 61 – led by Jake Bowey and Darcy Chirgwin with eight each – and when they did win the ball back, Calder found it difficult to stop their playmakers from having an impact. Sandringham recorded 91 more uncontested possessions (233-142) than the Cannons, as Angus Hanrahan (26 uncontested possessions), Finn Maginness (16 and nine clearances) and skipper Ryan Byrnes (15 and 10 inside-50s) ran amok.
BEST STAT: The leading goalkicker for the Dragons across their first two post-season games has been Miles Bergman, with four majors against the Geelong Falcons and then two against the Eastern Ranges. Another hard-running on-baller stood up against Calder though, with Hugo Ralphsmith booting 3.3 from 19 disposals and eight marks. Sandringham head coach Josh Bourke would be encouraged by the fact he doesn’t need to rely solely on his forwards to kick a winning score.
— Local Footy (@localfooty) September 9, 2019
2nd Semi Final
GIPPSLAND POWER 11.9 (75) d WESTERN JETS 6.4 (40)
KEY TO VICTORY: Gippsland’s manner of victory was quite similar to that of the Dragons, with the Power conceding an advantage to Western in the contest but proving fierce in defence. The likes of Daly Andrews (14 contested possessions and six clearances) and Lucas Failli (11 and seven) spurred the Jets to wins in contested possessions (132-126) and clearances (37-34), but Gippsland’s 94 tackles to 67 helps explain why it generated 49 inside-50s to 35 and, ultimately, a 35-point triumph.
Sam Berry and Trent Baldi (eight tackles each) led a core of 12 Power players to lay four or more tackles – Western had only seven players do the same – while Harrison Pepper (seven rebound-50s among 25 disposals) and unheralded back-line teammates Mitch Bentvelzen (four rebound-50s) and Tye Hourigan (three) cleaned things up for Gippsland in defence. Their rebound kicked off damaging chains of play that saw the Power rack up 74 more uncontested possessions for the match (174-100).
BEST STAT: Riley Baldi may not be rated as highly in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft pool as ball-winning Gippsland teammates like Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders, but the Vic Country representative’s consistency has been impressive this year. As stand-in captain on Saturday, Baldi ranked in the Power’s top three players across disposals (23), contested (nine) and uncontested (14) possessions, marks (four), clearances (four) and inside-50s (six), with that disposal tally right on his season average.
SEMI FINALS STATS LEADERS
DISPOSALS (32): Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons), Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons), Finn Maginness (Sandringham Dragons) and Sam Ramsay (Calder Cannons)
KICKS (21): Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons)
HANDBALLS (18): Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons)
MARKS (11): Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons)
TACKLES (9): Jonah Horo (Western Jets)
CLEARANCES (9): Finn Maginness (Sandringham Dragons) and Daniel Mott (Calder Cannons)
CONTESTED POSSESSIONS (18): Finn Maginness (Sandringham Dragons) and Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power)
UNCONTESTED POSSESSIONS (26): Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons)
INSIDE-50s (10): Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons)
REBOUND-50s (7): Harrison Pepper (Gippsland Power)
HITOUTS (35): William Kennedy (Western Jets)
GOALS (3): Harvey Neocleous (Gippsland Power) and Hugo Ralphsmith (Sandringham Dragons)
Saturday September 14 @ Ikon Park
Oakleigh Chargers vs Sandringham Dragons from 11am
Eastern Ranges vs Gippsland Power from 1.30pm