Cover Photo: Peter Argent https://www.facebook.com/oursportinglifeSA/
This week had West U16’s front Sturt at Peter Motley Oval (Unley Oval) early on Sunday morning in damp conditions. Sturt has had a mixed start to the season, and it was unknown what contest they would throw at us. We discussed the importance of work rate and I asked the question ‘do we deserve to be where we are on the ladder’ and today would give us the answer.
We brought in four new players with some forced changes due to injury and providing some rest to other players. New players Aiden Courtney, Kooper Pethers, Jock Van Kempen and David Yem were provided an opportunity and we also brought back Fraser Bone in ruck for the injured Nadim Oueiss.
We began the game well and with 13 inside 50’s to 5 we managed a 3.4 to 1.0 lead into the first break. Luke Young kicking 2 goals up forward with Connor Blackwell, Cade Kennedy and Charlie Pridham finding plenty of football.
The 2nd quarter saw Sturt play tempo football and aim to maintain control rather than play contested football. We allowed them to continually find loose players coming out of defense and we were poor with our ball use and wasteful going forward. Despite 14 entries inside 50 to Sturt’s 9 we were unable to kick a goal and Sturt outscored us 2.2 to 0.2 in probably our worst quarter of football for the year. Thankfully Jack McArdle, Jesse Thackeray and Tyson Coe were excellent down back thwarting many attacks
Half time saw us reassess our game plan and we aimed to reduce Sturt’s possession game. This saw us force them to kick to contests and enabled us to create contested situations where we demonstrated our strength.
Ed Faulkner started to take control in the center and tighten up on Sturt’s key ball uses while gathering 8 possessions himself for the quarter. Charlie Pridham and Cade Kennedy were gathering key disposals and Luke Young impacted strongly up forward kicking a further 3 goals giving him 5 for the game. We finished the quarter well kicking 5.3 to 2.1 and to lead 8.9 to 5.3 at the final change.
We had the pleasure of Gillon McLachlan watching our game and Hugh Desira decided to show him how it’s done at U16’s with a wonderful left foot snap from 40m late in the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter had us accumulate over 100 possessions (Charlie Pridham 15 poss) and control the game, outscoring Sturt 2.2 to 1.2 to finish up eventual winners by 30 points. This game saw us tested at times but showed our ability to adapt and fight our way through it.
Some players worth mentioning Cade Kennedy (24 poss and 3.1) Ed Faulkner (28 poss), Charlie Pridham (36 poss) found plenty of the ball, Luke Young (24 poss, 10 marks and 5.0), Jack McArdle (20 poss, 13 marks) and Jesse Thackeray, Connor Blackwell, Hugh Desira and Tyson Coe all contributed well.
This places us 4 wins and 0 loses with a strong percentage on top of the ladder with us facing 2nd placed North Adelaide next week.