By ZAC MILBANK
A slow start proved costly for the Torrens University SA U19 team after it lost to Western Australia by 29 points at Lathlain Park in Perth on Saturday.
Finally getting their NAB AFL National Championships campaign underway, the Croweaters were unable to hit the scoreboard until Hugh Stagg nailed his set shot 10 minutes into the second quarter.
By then, the Sandgropers had well and truly set on their path to victory after establishing a 20-point lead at the first change as they used their speed to their advantage on the wide open spaces.
SA midfielders Mani Liddy and Matthew Roberts had strong second terms to help their side claw back into the contest, with Roberts nailing SA’s second goal with a 45m set shot.
But a scoreless third term didn’t assist the comeback as Arlo Draper kicked the visitors’ next major in the opening minute of the fourth term.
Captain Jason Horne-Francis was productive with his touches, scoring a set shot goal from a free kick while also providing goal assists for Stagg and swingman Zac Becker who kicked SA’s final and fifth goal 20 minutes into the final quarter.
Wingmen Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera and Isaac Birt had their moments in space while forward Morgan Ferres presented well across half-forward, particularly early in the match.
WA 3.2 5.6 8.12 9.13 (67)
SA 0.2 2.5 2.5 5.8 (38)
BEST – SA: Litster, Adams, Steene, Wanganeen-Milera, Becker, Roberts
GOALS – SA: Stagg, Roberts, Draper, Horne-Francis, Becker
At Lathlain Park, Perth