LAST year, Abe Davis showed his talents as a strong-marking, creative defender. Two games into this year's division two NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, Davis is showing plenty of encouraging signs at the other end of the ground.
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The 193cm Davis kicked two goals and had 15 disposals in New South Wales-ACT's nine-point win over Tasmania on Saturday at Windy Hill, and was influential in setting up a few more.
In a tight-fought win – the Rams took the points 8.9 (57) to 7.6 (48) – Davis presented well and kicked nicely. Tied to the Sydney Swans through their zone academy, some recruiters predict Davis could cost the club its second-round NAB AFL Draft selection.
The Rams' win means the division two title will be decided when they meet Queensland, also unbeaten, at Etihad Stadium this Wednesday afternoon.
There were many other contributors for the Rams, with ruckman Isaac Muller continuing his strong form. The 196cm big man from North Albury was one of his side's best, gathering 17 disposals and 33 hit-outs in a dominant display.
He fed a bevy of midfielders who fought hard in game that was at times fiery, with Jacob Hopper (21 touches, seven clearances) Isaac Heeney (18 disposals) and Callum Mills (17) impressive.
Tyler Roos also had 18 disposals, with the possible Brisbane Lions' father-son selection collecting five clearances and offering strong drive through the wings.
Though the Rams were well-fancied heading into the clash, and are expected to have a strong draft crop this year, Tasmania fought hard all day.
It was 17-year-old forward Nick Dodge, not eligible for the draft until next year, who stood up for Tasmania, kicking five goals and making the most of his chances.
Tim Jones, a hard-working and consistent midfielder, found 26 disposals, while Josh McGuinness had another busy day across half-back with 19 touches.
NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT 1.1 4.2 6.5 8.9 (57)
TASMANIA 1.2 2.3 5.4 7.6 (48)
NSW-ACT: Davis 2, Coughlan, Finlayson, Foote, Heeney, Mahady, Steele
Tasmania: Dodge 5, Fox, Hayden
NSW-ACT: Muller, Heeney, Davis, Roos, Steele, Hopper
Tasmania: Dodge, Jones, McGuinness, Hislop, Rainbird