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Roos back to best

Friday, 17th May, 2019

South’s Harry Butcher takes a nice mark in Wednesday night’s under 18s clash with North. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling South’s Harry Butcher takes a nice mark in Wednesday night’s under 18s clash with North. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling

By Tyler Hannigan

A stellar first half led South to a massive win over North in round four of the AFL Broken Hill under 18s competition on Wednesday night.

On a cool, still night at the Jubilee Oval, the Roos were on fire as they kicked 6.4 in the opening term and scored every time they went inside their attacking fifty during the term.

It was as complete a performance as you’re likely to see at this level and North had no answers. South sliced them up on the counter-attack and scored with ease.

Mason Ferguson and Adam Slattery kicked two goals each for the Roos with singles to Jackson Bray and Connor Washbrook as they led by 40 points at the first change.

Slattery had his third early into the second quarter and a fourth came shortly after as the South domination continued. They slammed on another six unanswered goals from 12 inside fifty entries in the quarter to take a 78-point advantage into halftime.

Despite the margin, North’s effort around the contest wasn’t that bad with seven clearances to South’s nine in the first half but they could only generate six inside fifty entries to South’s 22.

It was a very open game without a lot of tackling and while South’s six first-half tackles can be forgiven because they had so much of the possession, North’s numbers were well down with just nine across the two quarters.

The game might have been out of reach for the Bulldogs but they needed to show something in the second half to restore some pride, and they did, with improved intensity throughout the third term. 

They were aided by South who tried to be too cute with the ball at times, sharing possession just for the sake of it rather than to put the team in a better position as they had done in the first half. 

Most of this quarter was spent between the two fifties but North were finally able to score their first goal of the night thanks to Dan Kennedy late in the quarter. Kennedy was by far and away North’s standout but found very little support.

After a lacklustre third-term in which they went into forward fifty just four times and failed to kick a goal, South reset at the final change and came out firing once again.

Thompson Fleming started the run, booting his first of three goals for the quarter, and Adam McInnes joined in with one of his own shortly after.

South skipper Tyler McKenzie capped off a beautiful transition from full-back, started by his younger brother Lachlan, to kick his third of the night and secure his status as best on ground. 

Adam Slattery put the icing on the cake when he kicked goal number five as the Roos ran out 111-point winners.

While Tyler McKenzie was South’s best and Slattery was incredibly effective inside fifty, the work of Harry Butcher around the ground cannot be understated. Butcher’s clean hands and composure in heavy traffic, as well as his disposal on both side of his body, was a highlight of the game.

Tarrant Wood, Clancy Payne and Washbrook were again very important while juniors Luke Collins and Jackson Bray continue to impress.

As mentioned above, Dan Kennedy was North’s best and daylight was second. His ability to win contests consistently and make smart decisions was on full show and there’s no doubt that his experience at senior level is elevating his game.

The Bulldogs were great around the stoppages, winning the centre-clearances 12-9, but it didn’t translate into inside fifties. They were smashed 37-14 in that category due to South’s well-structured defence and brilliant counter-attacking play. There also wasn’t a great deal of effective tackling in this one with North leading 19-16.

 

SCORES

SOUTH  6.4  12.6  12.9  18.10 (118) def

NORTH  0.0  0.0  1.1  1.1 (7)

Goals: South - A. Slattery 5, T. Mckenzie 3, T. Fleming 3, M. Ferguson 2, J. Rowlands, J. Bray, A. Mcinnes, C. Washbrook, C. Payne. North - D. Kennedy.

Best: South - T. McKenzie, H. Butcher, A. Slattery, C Payne, J. Bray, T. Wood. North - D. Kennedy, B. Adams, R. Turner, B. Gebhardt, J. Cini, F. Colley.

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