Round 1 vs North Adelaide at Hisense Stadium, March 6th
The U16’s began their 2020 season facing North Adelaide at home at Hisense Stadium. We expected a tough encounter with North Adelaide winning the U15’s championships in 2019.
We were determined to start the season with a high intensity fast moving style and strong contested ball. We won the toss and kicked to the Northern end favored by a 2-3 goal breeze.
From the first bounce we displayed some excellent team football, winning contested ball and using some quick handball around contests. We hit the scoreboard early and continued to create numerous opportunities in front of goal and dominated the first quarter with 15 inside 50’s and managing 12 scoring shots to North’s 2 to take a 35 point lead into the first change. This could easily have been 7 or 8 goals but for a couple of easy misses.
West 5.7 – 37 to North 0.2 – 2.
The 2nd quarter was a more even affair with North Adelaide working their way into the game. The game became a bit scrappy as both teams started to make skill errors with numerous turnovers. North were only able to close the gap slightly kicking 2.2 to our 1.1 as we took a handy lead into the main break.
West 6.8 – 44 to North 2.4 – 16
Kobe Ryan was dominating across the ground collecting 25 possessions to half time and Tyson Coe was controlling the stoppages. Our big men Harry Barnett and Fraser Bone were also winning the rucks with Fraser taking a sensational mark soaring high above a pack midway through the first quarter.
The 3rd quarter provided an opportunity to us to extend our lead and put the game out of reach of North Adelaide. Having another 12 inside 50’s to North’s 7 we were our own worst enemy only managing to kick 0.7 to North’s 2.0 goals to allow them to stay within touch with leading by 23 points into the last and North having the breeze.
West 6.15 – 51 to North 4.4 – 28
Unfortunately, we lost Noah Hyde and Jedd Ryan, both with suspected concussions, so were down 2 players and our boys looked fatigued. Max Noblett bravely played on with a badly damaged shoulder and our on-ballers were running on empty. North sensed an opportunity and started running harder causing us to make mistakes and poor decisions. We were only able to manage 2 inside 50’s and 1 goal for the quarter while North continued to win stoppages and repeatedly enter their forward line with 14 inside 50’s to kick 4.6 and finally hit the front by 1 point with 3 minutes to play.
We were unable to regain the lead and finished with a heartbreaking 1 point loss after dominating the game for the best part of 3 quarters of football. Our inability to convert in front of goal when we had so many opportunities was a lesson we will take away. We left the door ajar and failed to finish off the opposition when we had the opportunity.
Despite the loss there were some excellent signs of team play, strong contested football and quick ball movement. Impressive displays by Kobe Ryan (36 disposals), Tyson Coe (34), Ashley Wilson was excellent up forward, our big men in Barnett and Bone won the rucks, Westdijk, Byrne and Zinndorf down back did their job while underage Max Downs showed some excellent signs.
We now face Norwood on Sunday at Coopers Stadium in an important match to hopefully kick start our season.
Final scores: West 7.15 – 57 North 8.10 – 58
Best players: Kobe Ryan, Tyson Coe, Ashley Wilson, Liam Westdijk, Max Downs, Archer Byrne
Goal Kickers: K. Ryan, Oueiss, J. Ryan, Satanek, Downs, Excell, Whitbourne
Michael Wakim – Under 16s Coach