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Two sides to gun prospect's day of brilliance

Izak Rankine starred at Simonds Stadium in the under-17s NAB AFL All Stars game - AFL,Draft,Under-18s
Izak Rankine starred at Simonds Stadium in the under-17s NAB AFL All Stars game

SOUTH Australian draft prospect Izak Rankine was so good in Friday's under-17s NAB AFL All Stars game that he played for both sides – and still was named best afield.

The exciting 2018 draft hopeful started the clash at Simonds Stadium playing for Team Enright, which was named after Geelong great Corey Enright, and gathered seven disposals and two goals to help them establish a 45-point lead at half-time.

But with some injuries to Team Harvey, the opposing side named as a tribute to North Melbourne great Brent Harvey, and the lopsided scoreline, the AFL's selectors chose to switch Rankine to Team Harvey for the second half. 

The 17-year-old continued to be the most brilliant and exciting player on the ground, and kicked another goal to help his new side get back in the game. Rankine, who played for South Australia at this year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and looms as a very early pick at next year's draft, was named best afield.

There is already plenty of excitement in recruiting circles about next year's draft crop and that was on display in the clash, which saw Team Enright win 13.13 (91) to 7.10 (52).

Also good for the winners was Zane Barzen, who booted a game-high three goals, while Riley Bowman and Max King kicked two. King was imposing and it ends what has been a very encouraging season for the key position prospect from the Sandringham Dragons. 

King, whose twin brother Ben also played in the game, had six shots on goal and took eight marks in the contest. Joseph Ayton-Delaney had 22 disposals and four rebound 50s, while Connor Rozee collected 20 touches and was typically busy throughout. 

For Team Harvey, Jack Bytel was among their best with 25 disposals, six tackles and four clearances, while Jye Caldwell impressed with 21 disposals and a goal.

Possible Geelong father-son pick-up Oscar Brownless, the son of former goalkicker Bill, also gave good run and carry with 17 disposals and five tackles, and has improved his game this season, including playing in last week's Geelong Falcons premiership.

Bailey Scott, who can also join Geelong or North Melbourne as a father-son next year, or the Gold Coast as an academy pick, had 16 disposals, while ruckman Bailey Williams booted two majors and had 16 hit-outs. 

Club recruiting teams were out in force at the 'futures' game ahead of Saturday's under-18 NAB AFL All Stars game, which will feature players available at this year's draft. It will be streamed live on AFL.com.au from 9.50am local time.

TEAM ENRIGHT     5.7   8.11  9.12  13.13 (91)
TEAM HARVEY       1.2   2.2    6.6    7.10 (52)