The Lagunas saved their best work until last, claiming a thrilling four-point win over Port Adelaide’s Indigenous Academy on Friday, July 1.
It marked the third and final series of the Laguntas program, which is a joint-initiative between Richmond’s centre for Indigenous youth, the Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI), and AFL Victoria.
The 25-player squad travelled to Adelaide on Thursday, June 30 and took on the Power’s Indigenous Academy at Alberton Oval, ahead of the AFL clash at Adelaide Oval.
In the first series the Laguntas hosted Port Adelaide’s Indigenous Academy in a hit-out at Punt Road Oval.
While the Adelaide-based side secured a 45-point win in the first stanza, the Laguntas prevailed the second time around.
In their most recent clash, the final score read 12.6-78 to 11.8-74 but the Laguntas were down by one-point at the first break.
They booted four-goals-to-one in the second term to hold a 15-point lead at the main change.
The Laguntas came out firing in the second half and kicked ahead to a 20-point advantage at three-quarter time.
Port Adelaide’s Indigenous Academy staged a major fightback in the final term, but it was too little too late as the visitors clung on to a four-point victory.
Bendigo’s Derek Smith was a standout at Alberton Oval and booted two goals, alongside Dandenong duo William Smith and Kaleb Van Beek.
North product Dylan Potter and Eastern’s Leigh Pomponio were lively up forward and also booted two majors.
The Laguntas side was packed with talented footballers aged between 15 and 18, who mostly hail from Victoria.
The side was grateful for the hospitality provided by Port Adelaide’s Indigenous Academy, which included exclusive access to Port Adelaide’s change rooms before the game.