Main content

Quick, smart, skilled: Lonie stars for Vic Country

Jack Lonie of Vic Country in action during the 2014 NAB AFL Under 18 Championship match between Vic Country and Vic Metro at the Trevor Barker Oval, Melbourne on May 18, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Jack Lonie was one of Vic Country's best in the big win against WA
He's lively, he's got some energy about him, he's good overhead and he can kick goals
Vic Country coach Mark Ellis, on Jack Lonie
JACK Lonie might be small but he is also a lot of other things.

Quick, smart, skillful and with a goal sense matched by few others in this draft, the Vic Country forward starred in his side's 62-point thrashing of Western Australia on Sunday.

The 174cm prospect kicked four goals from 24 disposals in his side's 14.13 (97) to 5.5 (35) win at Fremantle Oval, which strengthened its position as it fights for this year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships division one title.

Peter Wright on fire against South Australia

The cousin of former AFL players Nathan and Ryan continued his excellent carnival with another strong showing.

His impact was more than immediately met the eye, too, with 15 score involvements.

"He does everything that is required of him from a team point of view, and he gets the ball," said Country coach Mark Ellis.

"He's lively, he's got some energy about him, he's good overhead and he can kick goals. He's been terrific.

"He's just an infectious sort of kid who desperately wants to do well."

Vic Country established its dominance in the first term, opening a 29-point lead at quarter-time. It never relented, extending its lead at every change.

Geelong Falcons pair Nick Dixon (28 disposals) and Darcy Parish (21) led the midfield, with bottom-aged Parish collecting eight clearances and kicking a goal.

Billy Evans (21), Dan Howe (21) and Joe Maishman (19) were others to provide plenty of run, while Jordan Cunico gathered 18 disposals in the first half and was the best player on the ground until a broken nose early in the third term ended his day.

"Before that he was starting to do the things we know he's capable of doing," Ellis said. "It's only a nose, he'll be right."

Everywhere on the ground Country had winners. Half-back Darcy Tucker kept exciting West Australian Jarrod Pickett quiet, while Hugh Goddard moved to defence to shut down tall forward Tyler Keitel.

Tom Lamb also presented well playing mainly as a deep forward option before moving up the field, finishing with 20 disposals.

But where Country had contributors everywhere, the home team struggled for standouts.

Strong-moving midfielder Connor Blakely returned from a hamstring injury to gather 25 disposals and six clearances, while Jared Hardisty tried hard with 24.

Francis Watson, who turns 19 later this year, had 16 disposals but showed some flair in the air, leaping for marks as a flanker at both ends.

While Western Australia remains winless after four rounds of the national championships, if Vic Country wins its final two games against South Australia (June 27) and Western Australia (July 2) it will claim the division one crown.

"This game, if you prepare well and do the right things, good things can happen," Ellis said.

"We've said that all along. We just the play the game and we know if we play it well you get what you deserve."

Next weekend the division two sides take the stage for the first time this season, with a double-header at Blacktown on Saturday.

Tasmania will take on Queensland before NSW-ACT plays Northern Territory.

Western Australia           0.1   2.2       2.4       5.5 (35)
Vic Country                    4.6    7.7       11.8    14.13 (97)

GOALS
Western Australia:
Stewart, Pickett, Watson, Bevan, Nelson.
Vic Country: Lonie 4, Butler 3, Webb 2, Wilson 2, Parish, Nyuon, Marchbank

BEST
Western Australia:
Blakely, Hardisty, Winton, Watson, Dent, Smith
Vic Country: Lonie, Dixon, Parish, Tucker, White, Nelson, Cunico

Twitter: @AFL_CalTwomey