This Sunday, on their home deck, the Queensland Under 18’s play their final game of the NAB AFL Under 18 National Championships against Tasmania.
Before you head to the ground, or tune in to the live blog on www.aflq-new.fspdev.com, here’s what you can expect.
The foundation for another good win was laid last weekend, when Queensland played four quarters of scintillating football against the Northern Territory.
They can’t take the foot off the pedal though, the momentum they built has to roll into this week. The message through the Queensland camp is that the standard is now set; that’s what is expected for another four quarters this weekend.
Queensland was a lot better at ground level last week, which was required against NT. Now they have to ramp up the contested work and spread; that’ll be key this week.
Ballenden and Crossley coming back in will give them the height advantage, but they can’t rely on that alone. Queensland has to still look to take the game on with ball in hand. Playing at Metricon means there is a lot of room out wide for the team that wants to play out there. Look for Queensland to kick on angles going forward, open it up, before hitting one of the big forwards on the lead.
Tasmania is known for their ferocious attack around the footy. They pride themselves on the contested stuff, the hard ball, the tackling; it’s a storm Queensland has to weather.
Tasmania may have not had a win from their two starts, but have shown in patches that they are more than capable of beating anyone, so it’s vitally important to start well, not let them find their feet, and keep the ball moving quickly.
A lot has been made about the four AIS Academy products in Jack Bowes, Jack Rolls, Jacob Allison and Brad Scheer, and rightfully so, because they are elite.
But game isn’t won with four players..
Keep an eye on Nick Kempe on one wing, and Josh Williams on the other. Both have great tanks, and can turn a game on its head very quickly.
Then there’s the dynamic duo down back, in Max Spencer and Declan Watson. You back these two in nine times out of 10 to beat their opponents in a one on one. The footy is very safe in their hands.
Queensland vs. Northern Territory
Sunday May 22, 11:00am
Metricon Stadium, Gold Cost
LIVE BLOG FROM 10:45am
Queensland Under 16 Team vs. Gold Coast SUNS Academy
Sunday May 22, 9:00am
Metricon Stadium, back oval.
By Andrew Wiles