Dominic Sheed has starred in WA's thumping win over Tasmania
WEST Australian captain Dominic Sheed has played a starring role through the midfield in his state's 62-point demolition of Tasmania in their round one clash of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships at Aurora Stadium on Sunday.
Sheed, who has been compared with Brisbane Lions champion Simon Black, collected 32 disposals and a game-high eight clearances.
Originally from Kalgoorlie, the 18-year-old has been plying his trade at WAFL club Subiaco and it was his ability to win the ball in tight and then spread in to open space which would have impressed recruiters on Sunday.
With likely high draft pick Blake Acres sidelined by a shoulder injury, Sheed set the tone for his teammates.
The collective spread of the West Australian team was a clear feature, as they worked their Tasmanian opponents over with some strong link up run.
Sheed was central to this style of play, but he was also supported by East Fremantle's Jarrad Jansen (28 disposals) and Patrick Cripps (26) – the third cousin of West Coast Eagles recruit Jamie.
As such, the Sandgropers managed to split Tasmania open on a number of occasions on the fat side of the ground with their ball use a genuine highlight.
Western Australia clocked up 61 inside 50s to Tasmania's 30, allowing promising forward Cameron McCarthy (two goals) to feature among the goalkickers.
McCarthy, a 195cm forward, is capable above his head and has shown excellent mobility for a big man. Sam Bevan also finished with three goals for WA.
Despite the discrepancy in inside 50 entries, Tasmania held up quite well under the circumstances.
Jake Kolodjashnij played a pivotal role on WA dangerman Jonathon Marsh, while twin brother Kade racked up 37 possessions and 20 handball receives through the midfield.
Toby Nankervis, standing at 199cm and 100kg, had 23 touches and 10 marks – continuing to show improvement and maturity after testing well at the Draft Combine last season.
Eventually though, Western Australia's firepower proved to be too difficult to handle, as they shared the football and ran Tasmania ragged in the second half.
WA defeated 14.17 (101) to Tasmania's 5.9 (39) in perfect conditions in Launceston.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 4.10 8.12 11.14 14.17 (101)
TASMANIA 0.3 2.3 4.6 5.9 (39)
WA: Bevan 3, Johnson 2, McCarthy 2, Abbott, Edwards, Waterman, Marsh, Sokol, Jansen, Cameron
Tasmania: Boscott, Smith, Lee, Bones, Fox
WA: Sheed, Johnson, Cripps, Hodgson, Bevan, Jansen
Tasmania: J Kolodjashnij, Lockhart, Nankervis, K Kolodjashnij, Boscott, Hanson