South Australia after the AAMI State Game between the SANFL and VFL state teams at Glenelg Oval, April 06, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FORMER North Melbourne forward Lachie Hosie and ex-Sun Jez McLennan both played starring roles to lead the SANFL to a 14-point victory over the VFL at Stratarama Stadium on Saturday. 

Playing on his home deck in Glenelg, Hosie kicked three first-half goals before finishing with four for the match – two more than any other player on the ground – to continue his brilliant form from 2023. 

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The 27-year-old played five games across 18 months at the Kangaroos after being selected in the 2019 Mid-Season Rookie Draft, but has since stamped himself as one of the best players in the SANFL, winning the Ken Famer Medal last year before kicking six goals in the Grand Final to collect the Jack Oatey Medal in the Tigers’ premiership win over Sturt. 

Reigning Magarey medallist Harry Grant collected 25 disposals and laid seven tackles, while McLennan won the Fos Williams Medal after finishing with 24 polished touches to help pave the way to a 10.5 (65) to 7.9 (51) victory.

Jez McLennan with the Fos Williams Medal after the State Game between SANFL and VFL at Glenelg Oval, April 06, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The VFL made the better start in South Australia, leading by two goals at quarter-time before the SANFL pegged the margin back to two points at the main break by kicking the first four goals of the second term. 

Under the guidance of Jade Rawlings, the Croweaters broke the game open in the third quarter, kicking three unanswered goals before holding the VFL at bay in the fourth term, sealing a fifth consecutive win for the SANFL over its state league rivals.

Former Collingwood midfielder Callum Brown won the Frank Johnson Medal as the VFL’s best player, after amassing a game-high 28 disposals, six inside 50s and six rebound 50s in the Big V jumper. 

Callum Brown with the Frank Johnson Medal after the State Game between SANFL and VFL at Glenelg Oval, April 06, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Southport star Boyd Woodcock was busy with 27 touches and six clearances, while delisted Hawthorn rookie Ned Long made an impact with 17 disposals and two goals. 

This time last year, North Melbourne key defender Toby Pink and Geelong pair Shaun Mannagh and Mitch Hardie would have been playing in this game. All three were watching on at Glenelg, along with recruiters from almost a dozen clubs sprinkled around Stratarama Stadium. 

With the 2024 Mid-Season Rookie Draft still a couple of months away, recruiters are tracking the next wave of mature-age players to pluck out of the state leagues. 

Campbell Hustwaite, Ben Jepson and George Grey all produced moments for the VFL side, while Luke Reynolds and Frank Szekely caught the eye at different stages for the SANFL.