Round 7 U18 Match Report
West Adelaide 14.13 (97) def. Sturt 10.6 (66)
On Saturday we ventured to Peter Motley Oval to take on Sturt for the second time this season. With both teams coming off the bye and sitting near each other on the ladder, this shaped as an important match for both clubs. In round one we left Unley with a narrow win but this shaped as a very different game given the changes to both teams as a result of college football.
Kicking in to a strong breeze in the first quarter, I felt we were able to control the ball well coming out of defence. Rather than blazing away, we were able to make sensible decisions and gradually make our way up the oval. We were able to put Sturt under pressure with our tackling & pressing on the ball carrier which resulted in many turnovers to our advantage. Despite being on top in general play we were wasteful in front of goal, kicking 2.5 to take an 8-point lead in to the first change.
The second quarter was once again an arm-wrestle. Both teams had their opportunities but the game remained tight. A late goal to Sturt reduced our lead to 15 points at half-time. All of the key indicators suggested we were going well but we felt our best football was ahead of us if we could tidy up some structural issues at the break.
For the majority of the third team Sturt were the better side. They out-worked us through the midfield and were first to the football on far too many occasions. Sturt ran in waves and got outside us which was disappointing. Sturt kicked the first 4 goals of the term and were leading by 9 points, but in a pleasing response we kicked the last 2 of the term to lead by 2 points at the final change.
The last quarter was one of our best for the season. The group were challenged at ¾ time to work harder to get first possession and to move the football on quicker. Joel Groom led the way in the midfield with 10 final-quarter possessions and Beau Nunan kicked 3.3 for the term in a dominant display. The final result was a 31 point win but could have been more given we had 11 scoring shots to 2 in the last quarter. Harri Bailye was impressive after being moved up forward for this game.
I am pleased with the way the group are progressing. We are becoming more consistent week to week and the group are starting to believe in what they can do if they work hard enough for long enough. We have a bye this week before facing Norwood next Saturday in another important match.
Best: Joel Groom, Beau Nunan, Harri Bailye, Oliver Ebert, Eduard Van den Berg, Declan Henty-Smith
Goals: Beau Nunan (6), Oliver Ebert (2), Bailey Boughen, Luke Heitmann, Bailey Chamberlain, Harri Bailye, Jason Westley, Joel Groom (1)
Talent & Development Manager / U18 Coach