In the second round of the NAB AFL U18’s National Championships, Vic Metro overcame Western Australia by 38 points at Domain Stadium on Sunday.
Below were the best players in the game.
ADAM CERRA | VIC METRO
MIDFIELD | 186cm | 85kg
A potential early pick, Cerra did his draft standings no harm with a sublime 24-possession performance against WA. In the midfield his inside work was outstanding, and when he was forward he knew when to time his leads to perfection, highlighting just how smart a footballer he is.
JACK HIGGINS | VIC METRO
MIDFIELD | 178cm | 76kg
Without doubt the best player on the ground, Higgins was exceptional from the opening bounce till the final siren. He accumulated 30 possessions, took nine marks, won seven clearances, recorded six inside 50s and kicked two goals in a display that could see him push into the top 10 of this year’s draft. His clean hands in the stoppages and his neat skills make him an attractive prospect.
DYLAN MOORE | VIC METRO
MIDFIELD | 175cm | 66kg
The Caulfield Grammar student was prolific for the Big V in their opening game of the carnival. He accumulated an equal game-high 30 possessions and kicked a goal in a dazzling display that will see his draft stocks rise. He showcased his ability to run and carry as well as his elite skills that will have recruiters salivating.
PATRICK NAISH | VIC METRO
WING | 180cm | 69kg
Richmond diehards will be ecstatic with the performance of father-son prospect Naish, who was superb against WA. On the wing, Naish showcased his run and carry to finish the game with 22 possessions. He also demonstrated his elite decision-making, exceptional skills and his standout ability to read the play. Richmond looks to secure a promising wingman at this year’s draft.
CAMERON RAYNER | VIC METRO
MIDFIELD-HALF FORWARD | 187cm |88kg
An explosive player who could be the number one pick, Rayner did his draft prospects no harm with a scintillating display against WA. He kicked Vic Metro’s first goal of the game when he took a strong mark inside 50, and finished the game with 23 possessions and six clearances. It is no wonder why he has drawn comparisons to Melbourne young gun Christian Petracca – Rayner is a powerful, explosive midfielder who can change a game in an instant.
CALLAN ENGLAND | WESTERN AUSTRALIA
MIDFIELD | 182cm | 73kg
The Claremont junior was full of run for the home side, often starting WA’s attacking forays, which was especially evident in the third quarter. England managed to gather the ball at half-back before setting off on a surging run, going all the way to half-forward and then he found Ben Miller inside 50 who truly converted. He finished the game with 17 possessions, three inside 50s and two clearances.
TOM JOYCE | WESTERN AUSTRALIA
MIDFIELD | 179cm | 67kg
A bottom-ager, Joyce continued his impressive form in the NAB AFL U18 Championships with 23 possessions against Vic Metro, following on from his strong outing against South Australia (21 possessions, four tackles, and four clearances) last week. His toughness and willingness to win the contested possession sees him as a tantalising prospect for next year’s draft.
BEN MILLER | WESTERN AUSTRALIA
RUCK | 196cm | 98kg
Arguably the best ruckman on the ground, Miller announced himself to recruiters with a dominant display over 2016 All-Australian member Sam Hayes. In a compelling performance, the Kalgoorlie product finished the game with 16 possessions, 28 hit-outs, three clearances and a goal. Miller demonstrated that he is an athletic and agile tall who is very hard to stop when he gets going.
AARON NAUGHTON | WESTERN AUSTRALIA
KEY DEFENDER | 194cm |84kg
The highly touted prospect again produced a performance that could see him soar into the first round calculations. The Peel Thunder star was a rock down back for the Sandgropers, with 15 possessions and six rebounding 50s, but more importantly he held Toby Wooller to just the one goal. Naughton is arguably WA’s best prospect at this stage and with more performances like this, he is set to soar up the rankings.
ZARETH ROE | WESTERN AUSTRALIA
GENERAL DEFENDER | 187cm |85kg
Stationed on the half-back flank, Roe’s performance could see recruiters take more interest in him. He finished the game with just 17 possessions, but it was his calmness under pressure and his ability to perfectly execute his neat skills under enormous heat that stood out. With a strong carnival and continuing dominance for Perth (his WAFL club), Roe could be set for the big time.
For the full match report click here