IN THE biggest game of the draft season so far it was the most hyped player who blitzed, with Nick Daicos producing a best-on-ground performance for Vic Metro in its 56-point win over Vic Country on Friday.
Daicos, who is linked to Collingwood under the father-son rule, amassed 41 disposals, six clearances and booted two goals in a dominant display that continued his stellar campaign in 2021.
The 18-year-old was everywhere in the midfield for Metro throughout its 15.15 (105) to 7.7 (49) win at Windy Hill, in what was the best of both sides facing off ahead of the NAB AFL Under-19 Championships under the watchful eyes of recruiters from every AFL club.
Daicos’ smarts, crafty kicking and brilliant vision made him a clear standout from the opening quarter to underline his claims as the possible No.1 pick. He was joined in Metro’s midfield by Josh Ward, who had 29 disposals, eight clearances and two goals in a polished performance to add to his claims as a likely first-round pick.
Mitchito Owens, who was a late inclusion for Metro and is tied to St Kilda’s Next Generation Academy, had a strong showing with 29 disposals and a goal, while Josh Goater (23 disposals) Zac Taylor (21) were also busy.
Paul Curtis continued to show moments of brilliance inside-50 with three goals and Sam Darcy, the Bulldogs’ father-son, kicked two goals including a brilliant snap on his non-preferred left foot.
Ben Hobbs was tireless through the midfield for Country with 25 disposals and 11 tackles, while Connor MacDonald had 25. Half-forward Josh Rachele kicked a goal from 20 touches, while Mac Andrew’s exploits in the ruck and forward line also took the eye.
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Melbourne has access to Andrew under Next Generation Academy rules however he is set to be out of their grasp, with the Dees only able to match a bid after pick 20 for the exciting tall.
His athleticism and ability across the ground means he is forming to be selected inside the first 15 picks on draft night, with Friday’s effort again solidifying his standing among the leading talls in the crop as he compiled 15 disposals and a goal.