Vic Metro has made a successful Western Australia road trip, inflicting WA’s first defeat of 2017 by 38 points at Domain Stadium in Round 2 of the NAB AFL U18 Championships.
Metro trailed just twice in the match, conceding the first goal of the opening and second terms before taking control of the game of the back of a best on ground performance by Oakleigh Chargers Jack Higgins.
Higgins gathered 22 disposals, 6 marks and 7 clearances in a dominant first half, finishing the match with a game high 30 disposals with Eastern Ranges Dylan Moore. Higgins was the catalyst for a four goal to two second term for Vic Metro, where the Chargers midfield/forward had 11 disposals and kicked two goals.
Vic Metro overcame early inaccuracy before Cam Rayner (Western Jets) and Hayden McLean (Sandringham Dragons) found the goals to give Metro the lead midway through the term. Eastern Ranges pair Adam Cerra and Trent Mynott were the early ball winners for Metro with eight disposals apiece in the first term, helping the visitors to a four-point quarter time lead.
Despite losing the lead via a Cameron goal to WA just two minutes into the second term, Metro soon took control of the game kicking four of the next five goals before half time. McLean kicked his second, followed by a pair to Higgins before Dylan Landt (Calder Cannons) helped Metro to a 21-point half time lead.
Moore joined his Ranges teammates among the disposals at halftime with 15, and Sam Hayes had 12 to go with his 7 hitouts, sharing the ruck duties with Western Jets Tristan Xerri.
The run of goals continued for Metro in the third term, again kicking four of the next five goals to jump out to a 38-point lead just before three quarter time. Patrick Naish (Northern Knights) started the run, with Cerra, Moore, and Curtis Taylor (Calder Cannons) completing a four goal term as Vic Metro entered the final change with a commanding 32-point lead.
Any chance of a WA revival was thwarted as Nick Coffield (Northern Knights) kicked the first of the final term, followed by goals to Toby Wooller (Oakleigh Chargers), Hayes and Landt to help Metro to a 38-point win.
The spread of Vic Metro ball winners was the strength against WA, with 62 more disposals and eight players with 19 touches or more. Higgins (7), Moore (5), Cerra (5) and Rayner (6) combined for 23 clearances, overturning the 40-29 hitout count in favour of WA.
Metro will now return to Melbourne and prepare for the much-anticipated derby between Vic Country and Vic Metro next Saturday at Punt Road Oval, 2.30pm, with both teams entering Round 3 of the U18 Championships undefeated.
WA 2.0 4.0 6.3 9.4 (58)
VM 2.3 6.9 10.11 14.12 (96)
VM goals: Higgins 2 (Oakleigh Chargers), McLean 2 (Sandringham Dragons), Landt 2 (Calder Cannons), Naish 1 (Northern Knights), Rayner 1 (Western Jets), Cerra 1 (Eastern Ranges), Moore 1 (Eastern Ranges), Taylor 1 (Calder Cannons), Wooller 1 (Oakleigh Chargers), Hayes 1 (Eastern Ranges), Coffield 1 (Northern Knights).
VM best: Higgins , Cerra, Garner (Eastern Ranges), Stoddart (Eastern Ranges), Landt, Xerri (Western Jets)
WA goals: Allen 3, Ameduri 1, Cameron 1, L. Miller 1, B. Miller 1, Frampton 1, Starcevich 1.
WA best: Naughton, Allen, L. Miller, B. Miller, B. Ainsworth, T. Joyce.