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Around the state leagues: Salem pushes for debut, Brock in form

Christian Salem (r) in action for Casey on Sunday
Fantasy round review: Big guns get the Easter choccies
Nine things we learned from round five
After the siren: Was the Judd call a dud?


VFL

MELBOURNE youngster Christian Salem has pushed his case for a senior debut, following a starring role for the Casey Scorpions in the VFL on Sunday.
 
Salem – the Demons' prized first-round selection (No.9 overall) in last year's NAB AFL Draft – collected 34 disposals in a terrific performance in the Scorpions' 14-point win over Frankston.
 
Demons coach Paul Roos has insisted the club would cautiously monitor Salem's development before he played his first senior game, but the 18-year-old's form may prove irresistible.
 
Carlton midfielder Brock McLean had 24 disposals, 11 clearances and 10 tackles in an inspired display for the Northern Blues.
 
Young onballer Nick Graham (25 touches) and rookie ruckman Cameron Wood (15 possessions and 39 hit-outs) also impressed.
 
Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson (five goals) and youngster Mitch Honeychurch were among the best as Footscray fell to the Blues by 25 points at Whitten Oval.
 
Geelong midfielder Steven Motlop made a successful return to football against the Box Hill Hawks on Saturday night, following knee surgery in January.
 
Motlop kicked a goal and collected plenty of the footy, while Josh Walker continues to impress, adding four goals.
 
Hawk Brian Lake continued in his bid to return to the senior side, while Sam Grimley (four goals) and draftee Billy Hartung did their bit.
 
Essendon ruckman Tom Bellchambers could come into contention for Anzac Day after returning from an ankle injury in the Bombers' hard-fought 28-point VFL win in Bendigo on Good Friday.

In his first game back after surgery in January, Bellchambers helped guide the inaccurate Bombers to an 11.25 (91) to 9.9 (63) triumph at the Queen Elizabeth Oval.

Bellchambers, who was named Essendon's best on the club's website, booted 1.4 and his tap straight down captain Ben Duscher's throat for Essendon's first goal kickstarted the Bombers after a sluggish opening.

Bendigo coach Aussie Jones expected the ruckman to be better for the hit-out if called upon to face Collingwood on Anzac Day.

"I thought he was OK, he was good late," Jones told AFL.com.au. "I actually thought (Gold defender) Jack Sheahan did a good job on him when he was forward.

"In the end, he just didn't get any shorter or less strong, so he got us a little bit late.

"I reckon he could (play AFL next week). If it was a genuine selection chat you wouldn't pick him on his form against us.

"But the becomes a little bit irrelevant, if they need a genuine, quality ruckman then he goes in because they know that he's up to that level."

While Bellchambers played the majority of his first game since round 21 last year, the news wasn't as positive for young Bomber Nick O'Brien.

The midfielder reportedly injured his lower leg during the second quarter and did not return to the action.

Kurt Aylett was named Essendon's best on the VFL website and hurt the Gold on the outside.

"He did a fair bit of damage, he was pretty good actually," Jones said. 

"He got a fair bit of uncontested footy, mainly out on the wing." 

Rookie-listed key defender Ariel Steinberg and the Bombers' first-round NAB AFL draft pick Zach Merrett also collected plenty of disposals before an estimated crowd of more than 2000 people.

In Saturday's other games, Majak Daw sent North Melbourne a clear reminder of his talent with a five-goal haul for Werribee. Daw's performance will give Roos coach Brad Scott food for thought after forwards Drew Petrie and Aaron Black both went goalless against Collingwood on Saturday. 
 
Daw's heroics almost inspired a come-from-behind triumph for the visitors, but it was the still unbeaten Port Melbourne which prevailed 16.11 (107) and 14.10 (94) at North Port Oval.

At Burbank Oval, out-of-favour Richmond key forward Tyrone Vickery booted the Tigers' VFL team's first goal, but couldn't hit the scoreboard thereafter in a 70-point loss to Williamstown.
 
Key forward/ruckman Liam McBean booted three goals and Jake King slotted one major in the 19.15 (129) to 8.11 (59) loss.
 
Versatile defender Jake Batchelor was Richmond's best, while Ben Lennon and Matt McDonough also fought hard.

Meanwhile, former Brisbane Lion Patrick Karnezis has put his hand up to play his first senior game for Collingwood against the Bombers with a three-goal display on debut for the Magpies' VFL team on Saturday.

The 21-year-old recruit's start to 2014 had been delayed by osteitis pubis, but Karnezis quickly made up for lost time in the 15.17 (107) to 9.9 (63) victory at Victoria Park.

Pies rookie Kyle Martin also bagged three goals, while veteran ruckman Ben Hudson, Quinten Lynch and Jonathon Marsh each kicked a major.

WAFL

Garrick Ibbotson pushed his case for an AFL recall after making a strong return from a shoulder injury in Fremantle-affiliate Peel Thunder's 18-point loss to East Fremantle on Good Friday.

Ibbotson was among the Thunder's best with 24 disposals, while key defender Alex Silvagni was superb down back.

Tom Sheridan led Peel's on-ball brigade with a game-high 32 disposals and a goal for the winless Thunder.

Unlucky Dockers young gun Anthony Morabito got through his fourth WAFL match this season and gathered 19 touches with six inside 50s.

Freo rookie Jacob Ballard had 25 disposals and ruckman Jack Hannath won 11 hit-outs and kicked a goal from 18 touches.

Former Eagle Brad Dalziell dominated for the Sharks with 25 touches and two goals.

Meanwhile, dumped ruckman Scott Lycett has rebounded with a five-goal performance for West Coast's affiliate East Perth in its 24-point loss to Subiaco.
 
Lycett kicked 5.1 from his 15 touches and formed a potent combination with Callum Sinclair, who won 27 hit-outs and gathered 20 possessions.
 
Jeremy McGovern (20 touches), Sam Butler (27) and Blayne Wilson (24) also impressed.
 
NEAFL
 
Kurt Tippett has made a positive return in his first game of football for seven months, booting three goals for the Sydney Swans' reserves on Saturday.
 
Tippett showed good touch after his long spell on the sidelines, but he was outscored by young Swans ruckman Toby Nankervis who slotted four majors.
 
Out-of-form Swan Gary Rohan showed positive signs across half-back in the red and white's 100-point win over Gold Coast.