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U18: Sun bags five in win over Giants

Dinny Navaratnam  April 1, 2017 6:12 PM

TAC Cup 2016 Rd 03 - Calder Cannons v NSW/ACT

Jack Powell impressed for the Giants

PROMISING Gold Coast academy forward Damien Burke booted five goals against Greater Western Sydney academy on Saturday at Blacktown International Sportspark to help his side to a 17-point victory in the Under-18 NAB AFL Academy Series.

Burke, who stands at 188cm, impressed with his accuracy in front of goal. As a mid-sized type, he can win the ball in the air or on the ground. 

He combined with Shawn Watson to do the damage for the Suns. Watson booted four, with many of his goals coming early in the game. A 19-year-old, he nominated for last year's NAB AFL Draft.

Brodie Foster was the standout midfielder for the Suns. He won the ball on the inside but was involved in transition as well and was able to make the Giants pay for their mistakes.

However, when the Suns went forward, Tom Highmore often intercepted across half-back. He used it well and was the Giants' best player. 

Tough onballer Nicholas Shipley won a lot of clearances. His disposal was a touch scrappy, although that had a lot to do with the pressure the Suns applied. 

His marking made him a threat up forward and a nice goal on the run in the last quarter, when he showed good awareness and weaved through traffic, helped the Giants push for the lead before the Suns kicked away.

Key forward Jarrod Brander was one of his side's better players. Brander presented well and took plenty of marks but his inaccuracy was costly. 

GWS lost priority access to Brander when the Albury/Murray region was taken out of the club's zone. 

Brander is one of several players who could be drafted at No.1 this year.

Highly rated midfielder Charlie Spargo pulled out of the game earlier in the week with knee irritation. He should be fine to return in the next fortnight. 

However, as with Brander, GWS no longer has priority access to Spargo. He is the son of former Lion and Kangaroo Paul Spargo. 

Jack Powell was another to impress for the Giants. The midfielder wins the ball on the inside and outside and rarely wastes a disposal. 

In calm conditions, conversion in front of goal was the difference as Gold Coast ran out winners, 12.3 (75) to 7.16 (58). 

GOLD COAST ACADEMY       5.0       7.1     10.2    12.3   (75)
GWS ACADEMY                    1.3       3.11    3.14    7.16   (58) 

Gold Coast academy: Burke 5, Watson 4, Arnold, Bowie, Simington
GWS academy: Fitzgerald 2, Gray 2, Stevens, Shipley, Edwards

Gold Coast academy: Foster, Burke, Graham, Crossley, Smith, Davidson
GWS academy: Highmore, Shipley, Fitzgerald, Brander, Gaynor, Budd