The 2015 National Diversity Championships got under way at Cazalys Stadium in Cairns today on a beautiful and warm tropical day. The event, comprising both the national Kickstart and All Nations Championships, showcased the tremendous Under 15 talent from across the nation for indigenous and multicultural players. Below is a match by match overview of the Day One action.
Game 1 – Kickstart – Queensland v New South Wales/ACT
Despite a slow start in the opening game of the tournament, it was the Queensland side who settled better on the dewy surface of Cazalys Stadium. NSW/ACT got away to the perfect start with the first goal of the match within minutes. But Queensland soon settled into a rhythm to boot the next three goals for the first half to hold a useful lead. With great drive from the middle, and a solid, miserly defence, Queensland built on their half time lead to kick a further two goals to run out eventual 22 point winners.
Final Scores: Queensland 5 3 33 d NSW/ACT 1 5 11
Game 2 – All Nations – Northern Territory v Western Australia
The sizzle and burn of the Northern Territory side was too much for a Western Australian team that was gallant but left in the wake of the Territorian boys. In a game which sometimes resembled a pin ball machine, players on both teams bounced off each other, pivoted, ran, turned and dazzled in an exciting match. But it was the Northern territory side that impacted the scoreboard constantly, running out comfortable winners by 41 points.
Final Scores: Northern Territory 7 7 49 d Western Australia 1 2 8
Game 3 – All Nations – Victoria/Tasmania v South Australia
Played simultaneously the Cazalys crowd were entertained by two high quality matches. In a tough slog, the South Australian’s superior accuracy in front of goal was the difference. On the shortened grounds the ball ricocheted from one end to the other regularly. At times scrappy, other times open and scintillating, South Australia ran out 14 point victors over the Victoria/Tasmania team.
Final Scores: South Australia 9 1 55 d Victoria/Tasmania 6 5 41
Game 4 – Kickstart – Western Australia v Northern Territory
In a tight and always intriguing tussle, the young men from Western Australia held on with a late sealing goal to down the Northern Territory team by 11 points. The Territorian team had first use of an increasing breeze and skipped to a two goal half time lead through plenty of dash and dare. By the Sandgropers came out after the break with a different attitude and applied plenty of scoreboard pressure through long, precise kicking to grab the win. A goal inside the final minute made the margin larger than the clash deserved as it the game came down to a “next goal wins” situation.
Final Scores: Western Australia 5 5 35 d Northern Territory 4 0 24
Game 5 – All Nations – Northern Territory v New South Wales/ACT
The Territory team was quick out of the blocks to build up a solid half time lead against the New South Wales/ACT team. With the day heating up, and players feeling the pinch, it would be a tall order for a big fightback, and as it proved the Territory team, more familiar with the climate possibly, had the legs to cruise home to a 48 point win.
Final Scores: Northern Territory 10 8 68 d New South Wales/ACT 3 2 20
Game 6 – All Nations – Queensland v South Australia
The Queenslanders got away to a strong early lead, kicking the first seven goals of the match, and looked to be set for a big runaway victory. But the Croweaters regrouped and lifted their intensity to stem the Queensland tide. A more even second half saw South Australia claw their way back into the game before late goals to the Queensland team put the result beyond doubt.
Final Scores: Queensland 12 9 81 d South Australia 4 6 30
Game 7 – Kickstart – South Australia v Victoria/Tasmania
The South Australian team were quick to use to conditions with a strengthening breeze and skip away to an early lead which they held comfortably to half time. Solid defence and winning clearances made the difference. After half time the Victoria/Tasmania crew upped their effort, spurred on by the win, but a resolute Croweater defence held them at bay despite a late flourish.
Final Scores: South Australia 5 4 34 d Victoria/Tasmania 3 2 20
Game 8 – All Nations – Victoria v Western Australia
This game proved to be an arm wrestle for most of the game, with a kick separating the teams until well into the second half. With the wind blowing across the ground, scoring was difficult for both teams. Victoria, however, was able to find an extra gear late in the game and ran away to an eventual 23 point win.
Final Scores: Victoria 6 6 42 d Western Australia 3 1 19
Game 9 – All Nations – Queensland v New South Wales/ACT
With accuracy an issue due to the wind blowing directly across the field, this game became a war of attrition and stayed close throughout the match. Queensland’s attacks were many and the New South Wales/ACT defence did well to repel the many attacks. Late in the game Queensland were able to steady with late goals and kill of the challengers.
Final Scores: Queensland 5 10 40 d New South Wales/ACT 1 5 11
Game 10 – Kickstart – Northern Territory v New South Wales/ACT
The exciting Northern territory team skipped away early to lead, making great use of the breeze but playing with a dare and ferocity that became contagious. When their first efforts failed, their second efforts were superb. New South Wales/ACT held firm in the second half, limiting any further damage, but could not make a dent in the lead as the Northern Territory goaled on the siren to seal the deal.
Final Scores: Northern Territory 9 5 59 d New South Wales/ACT 2 2 14
Game 11 – Kickstart – Queensland v South Australia
The South Australians, with first use of the breeze, played some great team-oriented and at times sizzling footy to race away with a five goal to nil half time lead. But Queensland fought hard and picked away at the deficit with tenacity and a new found confidence. Keeping the South Australians goal-less in the second half, Queensland finished full of running to go down by just 20 points in the end.
Final Scores: South Australia 5 2 32 d Queensland 1 6 12
Game 12 – Kickstart – Western Australia v Victoria/Tasmania
After a tight first half the Victoria/Tasmania team held a slender one goal lead, despite having the wind advantage. In a low scoring affair, both defences worked overtime to hold their opposition at bay. The match remained tight and slightly in Victoria/Tasmania’s favour until Western Australia edged back in front with just five minutes to go. From there Western Australia never looked back, running away to a 17 point win.
Final Scores: Western Australia 5 7 37 d Victoria/South Australia 3 2 20
The teams turned on a terrific day’s entertainment for the supporters and crowd at Cazalys Stadium today, and more of the same exciting and exhilarating brand can be expected tomorrow as teams begin to jostle for finals placings.