As much as 16 points down early in the second quarter, South Australia stepped up at pivotal times during the contest and showed their class and authority to come home 27-point winners against Vic Country.
In their second match of the 2018 National Under 18 Football Championships, played in drizzly and overcast conditions at Adelaide Oval, South Australia were just three points up at half-time after key goals in the second quarter to top five AFL draft prospects Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine.
South Australia's lack of ruck strength was noted with Victorian Country’s Bailey Williams dominating aerially for the majority of the game.
South Australia was further hurt in this area when their number one ruckman James Braidwood didn't reappear after half-time due to injury.
South Australia engineered a significant lead at three-quarter time and despite a spirited charge by the Vic Country boys went on to win 11.7 (73) to 6.10 (46).
SA coach Tony Bamford said while the hit out numbers show the deficit of nearly 40 across the day, he explained that the young Croweaters finished plus one across all clearances and were only minus four in centre clearance differential at the end of the day.
“Victorian country was excellent all day,” Bamford conceded.
“Our defence was outstanding led by Will Gould and Jez McLennan and in the end our midfield gave the forwards enough entries to kick a winning score.
“Captain Luke Valente was outstanding again while Jack (Lukosius) gave us a target and worked hard all day.
“I felt Hayden Simpson had some big moments in the game and Jacko Hatley was really important in that third quarter.
“Tom Sparrow was good in the second half and Jacob Kennerley was excellent on his wing.
“Just 188cm Ben Jarvis battled manfully in ruck and in the end we wanted to break even in the midfield which I believe we achieved.”
SANFL league experienced trio of Rankine, Hugo Munn and Lukosius all kicked three goals in the win.
South Australia's next match is on Friday, June 29, at Geelong against the Allies, a combined team of the best players across the Division two teams.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2.1 5.2 9.4 11.7 (73)
VIC COUNTRY 1.3 4.5 4.9 6.10 (46)
South Australia: Lukosius 3, Rankine 3, Munn 3, Kennerley, Colwell
Vic Country: Serong, Garoni 2, Barzen, Flanders
South Australia: Gould, McLennan, Valente, Lukosius, Jarvis, Kennerley
Vic Country: Duursma, Walsh, Stephens, Williams, Reid, Serong, Berry