Morningside defender Tom Bell was judged Queensland’s best player in a hefty loss to Victorian Country at the NAB Australian U18 Championships in Melbourne today.

Saturday, 26 June, 2010

An improved effort from the Australia Post Queensland U18 Scorpions wasn’t properly reflected on the scoreboard today as they lost their fourth game of the NAB Australian U18 Championships by 108 points to a slick Victorian Country outfit in Melbourne.

The coaching staff commended much better endeavour levels despite the fact that the Scorpions went goalless in the second half and in the end lost 2-7 (19) to 19-13 (127) at Visy Park, Carlton.

The Queenslanders were out-classed by the Country boys in bitterly cold and slippery conditions.

So, they will face the Northern Territory at Visy Park on Tuesday looking for their first win of the championships, while Victorian Country, unbeaten after four games, will claim an undefeated division one championship if, as expected, they beat South Australia at Geelong on Wednesday.

The team statistics tally said it all today – Queensland had a total of 146 possessions while Victorian Country had 325 possessions.

“We just couldn’t get our hand on the ball,” said AFLQ Talent Manager Bob Batty. “Our boys had a real crack, especially in the first half, but we faded under pressure after halftime.

“We missed five set shots from pretty much straight in front which could have made the scoreboard look a bit more respectable, but this was a very good Vic Country side …. better than the WA side which beat us by a bigger margin.

“They moved the ball very well, hit their targets and were generally just too good.”

The Queenslanders, who left Nathan Reid, Tom Fields and Wyatt Bacon out of the 25-man travel party, were seriously hindered when they lost Jake Crawford (concussion) in the second quarter and David Meli (arm) in the third quarter.

Defender Tom Bell (pictured), a State U21 representative two weeks ago and among seven players called into the U18 side this week, was judged Queensland’s best player despite just two training sessions with the group. 

Playing deep in defence, Bell was perhaps the only Scorpions player to beat his opponent one-on-one and had a fine day.

Luke Shreeve worked hard up forward, with his tackling a feature, while James Nelis, another newcomer, was the pick of the Queensland midfielders.

Brad Slater filled his role at centre half forward, and Luke Rutledge worked hard at full forward.

Nelis and Rutledge were the two Queensland goal goal-kickers.

The Scorpions were at their best early, trailing by just 11 points at quarter-time – 1-2 to 3-1.

They added a further goal in the second term and went to halftime down 2-3 to 7-8 but thereafter it was one-way traffic in favor of the division one favorites.

In conditions not exactly conducive to skilful football, Victorian Country kicked 6-0 to 0-2 in the third quarter from just eight forward 50 entries, and rubbed further salt into the Queensland wounds with 6-5 to 0-2 in the final quarter.

The Scorpions will assess the fitness of Crawford and Meli before finalizing the side to play NT in a match switched from 9.30am Wednesday at Etihad Stadium to 12.30pm at Visy Park on Tuesday.

Reid, Fields and Bacon will all definitely play in a side which could number as many as 25 players if everyone is fit and the NT can match this number.

This follows a special edict from the AFL to increase the playing numbers because the teams were robbed of one extra day’s preparation.

Match Details

Victorian Country             3-1          7-8          13-8       19-13-127
Queensland                       1-2          2-3          2-5          2-7-19

Qld Goals: Nelis, Rutledge.

Qld Best: Bell, Shreeve, Nelis, Slater, Rutledge.

Our Supporters