Dream start for QLD U16s

By Beth Newman

Queensland’s U16s had the perfect start to their national carnival, with an 18.19 (127) – 6.8 (44) win over Tasmania.

On their home turf, the Maroons marked themselves as title contenders, dominating from the outset.

In a tight first quarter, Queensland kicked two goals to none, under some intense tackling pressure.

Taking a four-goal lead into half-time, the game opened up for Queensland in the third team, with the team linking up dangerously.

It was Queensland’s midfield dominance that set up the win, led by Palm Beach’s Brad Scheer, with Morningside’s Jack Rolls a standout on the wing.

Sandgate’s Eric Hipwood was a focal point up forward, with four goals, taking some impressive contested marks for Queensland and finishing well, while Jesse Esam also proved a strong target, finishing with 2.7.

With plenty of height through the side, coach John Rankin was confident in their forwards, but said he was pleasantly surprised by the team’s efforts outside the attacking 50.

“We always knew we had the power up forward, but our concern was whether we could match it in the midfield and probably down back,” he said.

“We were actually pretty good in both those areas, particularly in the mids.”

It was the stinginess of Queensland’s defence that stood out, keeping Tasmania goalless in the first and third quarters.

Rankin said he was especially surprised by a pair of players, who played out of their comfort zones in the championship opener.

“He’s one that might go unsung, but Jaicob Kenny came into the squad really late and played as one of our back six and was great,” he said.

“Shawn Watson was another surprise packet.

“We picked him as a defender and back-up ruck and he played forward today and kicked four.”

Luke Adams was the best for Tasmania, while Kyle Palmer-Hughes and Nat Franklin were also strong for the Apple Islers.

Queensland takes on NSW/ACT at Southport this Wednesday at 1:30pm.

Tasmania 0.3 4.4 4.8 6.8 (44)
Queensland 2.3 8.4 12.11 18.19 (127)
Tasmania: Andrews 3, Adams 2, Jones
Queensland: Hipwood 4, Watson 4, Williams 3, Esam 2, William 2, Perry-Warren, Scheer, Matulis

Tasmania: Adams, Andrews, Palmer-Hughes, Hodgetts, Franklin, Huxtable
Queensland: Rolls, Scheer, Hipwood, Perry-Warren, West

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