The Australia Post Queensland Scorpions produced a real Jeckyl & Hyde performance in going down to Vic Metro in the NAB Australian U18 Championships today.
Saturday 11 June 2011
The Australia Post Queensland Scorpions were taught a lesson in sustained intensity by a high-class Victorian Metro side in their second game of the NAB Australian U18 Championships today.
The Queenslanders went down 5-4 (34) to 17-17 (119) at Visy Park, Carlton, in a game in which the scoreboard told only half the story.
Yes, the Scorpions were out-classed completely in the second half. It was 11-3 to 0-2 after the long break.
But in the first half they were positively outstanding. They out-scored the Victorians 3-1 to 2-4 in the second quarter and were just 12 points down.
“No doubt about it – it was a game of two halves,” said AFLQ Talent Manager Bob Batty.
“Everything went like clock-work in the first half … we matched them for their intensity and played a fantastic brand of footy.
“The big bloke at full forward (Jonathon Patton) was the difference between the sides – he marked everything and looked every bit the superstar he’s tipped to be. Otherwise we were right in it.”
“But as good as we were in the first half we were disappointing in the second. We really let ourselves down, and once Victoria got into stride we had no answers. Our work-rate dropped, and by the last quarter our boys were out on their feet.”
Vic Metro outscored Queensland 5-4 to 0-2 in the third quarter and 6-5 to nil in the last to deny the Scorpions the meritorious result they deserved at halftime.
Significantly, inside 50’s favored the home side 50-29, and marks inside forward 50 went 23-4 to the Victorians.
Still, if nothing else the Queenslanders were shown at close quarters what is required at this level against the very best the Victorian Metro group has to offer.
Wingman Andrew Boston (pictured) topped the Queensland stats sheet with 20 possessions and seven marks and was judged his side’s best by coach David Ashkar.
Also outstanding was centre half back Tom Fields, who had 15 possessions and eight marks.
More importantly, Fields put Vic Metro gun Xavier Richards, brother of Sydney Swans ace Ted Richards, right out of the game after he had been a match-winner against NSW in his side’s first game.
Jackson Allen, returning to the side after injury, was a good contributor with 18 touches across half back and on the wing, and Richard Newell (17 possessions) continued his good form in the midfield.
Full forward Jackson Starcevich was the pick of the Queensland forward line with eight possessions, five marks and two goals. He always looked dangerous and took a couple of strong contested marked.
Small defender Chris Murphy also filled his role nicely in the back half and topped the Queensland tackle count.
Centre half back Sam Michael was taken to hospital after being forced out of the game when he copped a very heavy knock in the back in the third quarter, but X-rays cleared him of any serious damage and he flew home with his teammates.
The Queenslanders will have a week off before their third game of the championships against Northern Territory at Metricon Stadium on 25 June.
“We’ve got two weeks to learn to play four quarters of footy liked we played the first two quarters today,” quipped Batty.
In other matches today, South Australia beat NSW/ACT by 78 points, and Victorian Country beat NT by 33 points.
Queensland 2-1 5-2 5-4 5-4-34
Vic Metro 4-4 6-8 11-12 17-17-119
Queensland Goals: Starcevich 2, Sexton, Rolfe, Russ.
Queensland Possessions: Boston 20, Allen 18, Tucker 17, Newell 17, Fields 15, Joyce 15, Oxley 15.
Queensland Best: Boston, Fields, Allen, Newell, Starcevich, Murphy.