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U18s: Francis leads SA to big win over WA

Tall utility Aaron Francis had another strong game for SA

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AFTER dominating in defence last weekend, South Australian tall Aaron Francis was swung forward on Saturday and kicked 4.5 in his second straight best on ground performance.

Francis was at his powerful best alongside standout midfielder Luke Partington, with the pair driving SA to a 73-point win against Western Australia at AAMI Stadium.

It was the Croweaters' second win of the 2015 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, putting them in a strong position to take out the underage competition for the third straight year.

The final score was 18.15 (123) to 7.8 (50).

WATCH THE FULL GAME
First quarter
Second quarter
Third quarter
Fourth quarter

Francis, who has already played several senior games at SANFL level, took eight marks and laid seven tackles, finishing the match with 22 possessions after starting in the midfield.  

The 191cm South Australian burst through stoppages and was hard to beat in the air, making him a nightmare match-up and a priority for recruiters at the pointy end of this year's NAB AFL Draft.

Partington was his competition for best-on-ground honours with 26 possessions, five clearances, seven inside 50s and two goals.

The classy midfielder has now produced three brilliant games this championships and would also be pushing up many draft orders.

SA produced its match-winning break in the second quarter, kicking 6.5 to 0.1, set up by small target Jadyn Brind (3.2 and six inside 50s).

Brind is 181cm but he proved he can create scoring opportunities in the air as well as at ground level, taking eight marks.

SA's other threat in attack was 193cm forward Matthew Allen, who combined well with Francis to kick 3.2.

Andre Parella (203cm) was the standout ruckman, finishing with 29 hit-outs and five clearances to set up and complement his ground level teammates. 

WA produced a competitive third quarter, led by Callum Ah Chee (20 possessions and five marks) and Declan Mountford (19 and five rebound 50s), but the visitors were eventually overrun.

Their midfield couldn't compete with the class and decision-making of the South Australians, who won the clearances 38-23 and the inside 50s 51-33.   

SOUTH AUSTRALIA             4.2   10.7  14.11  18.15 (123)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA         2.2   2.3     6.5     7.8 (50)              

GOALS
South Australia: Francis 4, Brind 3, Allen 3, Partington 2, Haysman, Bonner, Nunn, Olekains, Markov, Redman
Western Australia: Clark, Mirco, Ridley, Zurhaar, Petrevski-Seton, Strnadica, Ehlers 

BEST
South Australia: Francis, Brind, Parella, Partington, Snelling, Surman
Western Australia: Mountford, Zurhaar, Watson, Harrold, Ah Chee, M.Taylor