The Queensland Blaze have opened the Australian Primary Schools national championships in Perth with two hard-fought losses to heavyweight opposition.

Wednesday, 28 July, 2010

The Queensland Blaze have opened the Australian Primary Schools Championships in Perth with two brave efforts which infortunately produced losses to heavyweight opposition.

On Sunday they were beaten 11-8 (74) to 0-5 (5) by Victoria, and on Monday they went down 8-8 (56) to 2-6 (18) to Western Australia.

Coach Darren Baldwin reports that game one was played on a beautiful clear warm day at Scotch College, Claremont.

He said the Blaze didn’t get the rewards for a four-quarter effort that was equal to the efforts of 2006 Darwin.

The spirit displayed by the Blaze players was very encouraging, he said.

“All players were solids contributors. However, Nat Carswell was a standout as our best player. He was a tackling machine.”

Others singled out were Isaac Mole, Luca Mason, Campbell Walker, Declan Watson and Fraser Labrom.

The Blaze were unable to take some early opportunities to apply some scoreboard pressure in the first half, when the team’s inside 50 entries were equal to the Victorians.

“The difference was that the talented Victorians simply took their opportunities when they had them,” said Baldwin.

“But the Queensland party were very impressed by the efforts. The team fully followed team rules and earned the respect they deserve.”

On Monday the Blaze travelled to Mandurah, 75 minutes south of Perth, to take on Western Australia, thereby becoming the first team to play the U12 Sandgropers at a National Championships. 

Sadly, the Blaze were slow out of the blocks against a well-drilled WA side.

The first quarter began as a cold windy rain shower hit the ground and the Sandgropers took full advantage of the strong breeze, kicking an impressive five goals in the first 12 minutes. 

The Blaze looked shell-shocked until an inspirational second-effort by Jack Bowes broke the goal drought in the second quarter. 

The second half was a tough tussle between two sides enjoying this historical game. 

Another inspirational piece of forward pressure by big improver Ben Presser gave the Blaze a second goal and some early momentum in the third term, but that was as close as they got.  

After quarter time the game was very even with the Blaze scoring 2-6 to WA’s 3-8. 

“They certainly came to play and the Blaze just didn’t settle until after the quarter time break,” said coach Baldwin.

“We can’t doubt the player’s commitment to the contest and an uplifting win is just around the corner.”

Best players for Queensland against WA were Joel Perry-Warren, Presser, Bowes, Charlie Howard, William McDowell-White and Isaac Mole.

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