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In round two of the AFL NAB Under 18 championships, NSW-ACT scored a narrow and impressive come from behind ‘upset’ win over Vic Country.
Played at Henson Park in Sydney, the Rams trailed at half-time by 27 points, but a six goal to one third term with the breeze set the stage for an enthralling last quarter. With alternating goals – the lead changed several times – the Rams finally managed to hang tough for a five point win.
Make no mistake, this is a very, very significant result.
It is the first time that a NSW-ACT team has beaten a Victorian team (metro or country) at Under 18 level.
So perhaps it suggests that the AFL are on the right track.
It also unearthed a potential future star in NSW-ACT captain, Ranga Ediriwickrama. He is of Sri Lankan origins, is from Cherrybrook Tech, and has played for Pennant Hills in Div 2 AFL in Sydney.
He was the NSW schools BandF in the 2005 Australian schools footy championship in which NSW came fourth behind Vic Metro, WA and Vic Country.
Unfortunately for Swans supporters, he’s already been snapped up by Geelong.
Another player following this path is Scott Reed (from Terrigal), who has been signed by Collingwood.
This is a list of NSW scholarship holders:
Adelaide: Sam Martyn
Bris Lions: James Brain, Jack Lawson
Collingwood: Scott Reed, Nick Perry, Thomas Young
Carlton: Joshua Fenaroli, Jake Pianta
Essendon: Benjamin Simon, James Webster
Fremantle: Matthew Long, Max Wilson
Geelong: Kale Temple, Ranga Ediriwickrama
Hawthorn: Michael Johnston, William Sierakowski, Trent Stubbs, Thomas Kickett
Melbourne: Teddy Strudwick
Port Adelaide: Jordan Johns
N Melb: Lachlan Pryor
Richmond: Harrison Lee
St Kilda: Joshua Duncan, Kane Murphy, Blake McGrath
Sydney: Ryan Bottin-Noonan, Jay Lewis, Matt May
West Coast: Anthony Stubbs
Western Bulldogs: Braedon Jones, Chris Ogle, Daniel Lloyd
From the list above, also in that 2005 Schools team:
William Sierakowski (St. Ignatius, Riverview)