With the NRL State of Origin about to kick off between the NSW Blues and the Queensland Maroons, we’ve decided to join the fun and create our own AFL State of Origin sides.
With both South Australian sides absolutely flying currently, is there enough local talent to knock off the mighty Victorian side?
Criteria to be selected:
- Selection is solely based on current form.
- State in which a player is selected is where they were drafted from, not born. For example, Charlie Cameron born in QLD but drafted from Swan Districts in WA – Eligible for WA not Allies
- Player must be fit to play right now, not injured. Suspension N/A.
- Allies has been extended to International players.
FB : Caleb Daniel, Callum Wilkie, Charlie Ballard
CHB: Mason Redman, Brennan Cox, Jordan Dawson (VC)
C: Zac Bailey, Lachie Neale (C), Will Day
CHF: Jason Horne Francis, Jack Lukosius, Kysaiah Pickett
FF: Izak Rankine, Darcy Fogarty, Tyson Stengle
RR: Brodie Grundy, Rory Laird, Connor Rozee
I/C: Sam Draper, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Will Hayward, Ryan Burton
Coach – Craig McRae (Glenelg)
Strengths: That backline could be mistaken as the current All-Australian backline. Intercepting machines, Callum Wilkie, Brennan Cox and Charlie Ballard are having career best years for their clubs, priding themselves on winning one-on-one contests against their opponents. Combine that with the slick ball use of Jordan Dawson, Mason Redman and Caleb Daniel and the Croweaters arguably have the best defence of any state.
Could anyone possibly tip against a Craig McRae coached side currently?
Weaknesses – Darcy Fogarty and Jack Lukosius are future stars of the competition, yet in comparison to the key forwards of Victoria and WA, the young guns are a few years off in terms of development. Brodie Grundy and Sam Draper have been more than competitive throughout the 2023 AFL season, however, coming up against the duos below, it’s hard to see the SA ruckmen getting on top of the competitions best.
FB: Brandon Starcevich, Nathan Broad, Liam Baker
CHB: Jordan Clark, Aliir Aliir (VC), Wil Powell
C: Blake Acres, Patrick Cripps (C), Shai Bolton
HF: Tim Kelly, Oscar Allen, Cameron Zurhaar
FF: Charlie Cameron, Aaron Naughton, Luke Jackson
RR: Tim English, Chad Warner, Stephen Coniglio
I/C: Daniel Rich, Tom Mitchell, Bobby Hill, Lance Franklin
Coach – Justin Longmuir (West Perth)
Strengths: The WA side have some of the best talls in the competition combined with blistering leg speed across every line in Jordan Clark, Liam Baker, Shai Bolton and Charlie Cameron. Tim English is the premier ruckman in the AFL and will have plenty of support from emerging Fremantle superstar, Luke Jackson. There is X-Factor galore in this West Australian side, led by one of the most exciting young superstars in the AFL in Chad Warner.
Weaknesses: Compared to SA and Victoria, the WA side are lacking one or two extra big men in defence to take the key forwards of the opposing sides. Nathan Broad and Aliir Aliir have taken plenty of scalps throughout the season but will be stretched by the powerful Victorian forward line. The depth of the WA side falls away slightly more than the SA and Vic side, largely due to the current injury crisis running rampant at the West Coast Eagles.
B: Sam Docherty, James Sicily, Jack Sinclair
HB: Tom Stewart, Darcy Moore (C), Nick Daicos
C: Tim Taranto, Marcus Bontempelli (VC), Josh Daicos
HF: Zak Butters, Jeremy Cameron, Jake Stringer
FF: Toby Greene, Charlie Curnow, Jordan De Goey
RR: Rowan Marshall, Andrew Brayshaw, Christian Petracca,
I/C: Zach Merrett, Noah Anderson, Caleb Serong, Max Gawn
Coach: Chris Scott (Eastern Rangers)
Strengths: Everything…Good luck to any side playing against the Big V. Their forward line has the perfect combination of power and explosive speed. Their defence is filled with intercepting beasts complemented by the exquisite ball use and run of Jack Sinclair and Nick Daicos. Watching a side like this would be something people talk about for the rest of their life.
Weaknesses: Hardly any weaknesses for this star-studded Victorian side. It’s been shown before however, that a side full of superstars doesn’t always gel together when it comes to working together as a team. Whilst Rowan Marshall and Max Gawn have been fantastic this season, WA Star, Tim English is undoubtably the best ruckman in the competition.
FB: Conor McKenna, Steven May (VC), Liam Jones
CHB: Keidean Coleman, Harris Andrews, Nick Blakey
C: Errol Gulden, Tom Green, Ben Keays
CHF: Isaac Heeney, Taylor Walker, Dayne Zorko
FF: Jeremy Finlayson, Mason Cox, Malcolm Rosas
R: Jarrod Witts, Jack Steele (C), Matt Kennedy
I/C: Toby Nankervis, Nick Murray, Luke Breust, Isaac Cumming
Coach: Chris Fagan (Tasmania)
Strengths: The Allies backline has the perfect combination of intercepting defenders mixed in with players who can break a game open with a single passage of play. The leg speed combined with the outstanding ball use of Nick Blakey and Keidean Coleman would be worth the price of entry alone. Jarrod Witts and Toby Nankervis would be a dreaded combination for any opposition ruckmen, both players are experienced bodies and physical players who would grind down any opponent over the course of 4 quarters.
Weaknesses: Compared to the sole 3 AFL based states, the Allies lack the depth over their full 22 players compared to their counterparts. Whilst their midfield consists of some of the best contested beasts in the game, they may find themselves lacking the speed in transition against some of the competitions best.