REIGNING NAB AFL U19 champions Western Australia unveiled some exciting talent on Saturday in a convincing 29-point win over South Australia in the opening game of the 2021 NAB AFL U19 Championships at Lathlain Park in Perth. 

The first match of the championships provided great excitement for the footy world with the group of teenagers from both states strutting their stuff ahead of the NAB AFL Draft to be held later in the year.

Western Australia captain Finn Gorringe produced a strong leader's performance down back, with great support from aerialists Jacob van Rooyen (eight marks) and Rhett Bazzo (10 marks). They all played outstanding roles in keeping the opposition to just two goals by three-quarter time.

WA captain Finn Gorringe in action during the win over South Australia in the NAB AFL U19 Champs at Lathlain Park on Saturday, August 28, 2021. Picture: Supplied

WA's midfield provided consistent supply to their forwards with classy left-footer Gus Sheldrick (18 disposals) and Matt Johnson (19 disposals) both prominent, using the ball effectively and setting up many opportunities.

SA's defence was also resolute despite being under siege at times with both Zac Becker (14 disposals, four marks and eight rebound 50s) and Max Litster (14 disposals and five rebound 50s) solid performers.

Highly regarded wingman Nas Wanganeen-Milera (15 disposals) also showed a touch of class with his clean hands. His ball use was first class and helped his team outscore their opponents with three goals to one in the final term to win back some respect.

Nas Wanganeen-Milera in action for South Australia during the NAB AFL U19 Champs at Lathlain Park on Saturday, August 28, 2021. Picture: Supplied

Due to the evolving COVID situation across the country, the AFL will continue to work with all State and Territory Governments to best manage the staging of the reaming games including the clash between Victoria Metro and Victoria Country.  

The intention is to host all players, coaches and officials in Melbourne at the end of September.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA  3.2,  5.6,  8.12,  9.13 (67)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA       0.2,  2.5,  2.5,    5.8 (38)

GOALS
Western Australia: Hough 2, Amiss 2, Dittmar 1, Williams 1, Motlop 1, Paton 1, Regan 1
South Australia: Becker 1, Draper 1, Horne-Francis 1, Roberts 1, Stagg 1

BEST
Western Australia: van Rooyen, Johnson, Sheldrick, South, Gorringe, Hough
South Australia: Litster, Adams, Steene, Wanganeen-Milera, Becker, Roberts

WA players celebrate a goal during the win over South Australia in the NAB AFL U19 Champs at Lathlain Park on Saturday, August 28, 2021. Picture: Supplied