By Beth Newman
The QAFL walked away with plenty of lessons, after a 18.16 (124) – 5.11 (41) loss to the VAFA.
Five goals in the first seven minutes from the VAFA caught the QAFL out early, with a blistering beginning setting the tone early.
QAFL coach, Steve Daniel, said the QAFL were caught behind the eight ball but would take a lot from the match.
“What we found out is we’re not quite in the same league as the Victorians and the VAFA, so we’ve got some work to do,’” he said.
“I know the boys are prepared to do the work required, though, to get the results.
Daniel said the VAFA’s experience together showed in the game.
“That group has played three or four games together now, that’s why they’re so strong,” he said.
“For Queensland, we need to keep this group together and start to build something here.”
Matt Handley had three for the VAFA before the first break, finishing with eight for the game, with VAFA coach, Simon Lethlean, emphasisng the importance of that strong start.
“When you come away and your preparation is a bit more of a carnival, it was important to start well,” he said.
“We were up against a pretty fit team, big ground, the heat might have got to us if we didn’t start well, so it was crucial.”
Joel Rice, Tom Roach and captain, Cam Howat, were standouts in the VAFA win.
The QAFL showed fight as the game went on, but ultimately couldn’t gain a serious advantage, with Daniel lamenting some missed opportunities.
“At times, we turned it over and missed some blatantly easy marks and we missed some targets that we should have hit,” he said.
“I don’t know whether we were overawed.”
The QAFL’s defence lifted in the second quarter, with just the one point scored for either side, in the first 10 minutes, with Palm Beach’s Matt Derrick and Labrador’s Tom Daniel working hard in the back line.
Jamie Hackett worked hard in the QAFL’s forward line, but the VAFA defenders found time and space.
Matt Trewhella was sensational for the Queenslanders in the match, playing in defence and up forward, kicking two goals for the game, while Matt Logan and Paul Shelton were solid through the ground.
In a congested second term, the Queenslanders stemmed the tide of VAFA scoring but couldn’t convert their own chances.
It took until time on in the second quarter, for the QAFL to kick their first goal, through Jamie Hackett, giving them some reward for effort.
The QAFL was outnumbered in its forward 50, struggling to take a clean mark in attack.
The advantage of having trained together showed, as the VAFA linked up well from the get go, with strong transition from defence to attack.
Handley was a focal point in the VAFA’s attack, with eight goals for the day,
The VAFA played the third in the same vein as the first, kicking seven goals to one, to blow the margin out ahead of three-quarter time.
A low point for the visitors was the early exit of Murphy Ambrose from the game, after he dislocated his finger late in the third term.
Roach claimed the best on ground medal for the VAFA, while Trewhella was awarded the Zane Taylor Medal as the QAFL’s best player.