By Beth Newman
The Queensland U18s will be looking for more than grunt against the Eastern Ranges on Saturday.
As they vie to string back-to-back TAC Cup wins together, Queensland U18 coach, Adrian Fletcher, said his side was moving ever closer to the style of footy that he wants them to play.
“We’ve got to set a benchmark with the way we play,” he said.
“Grunt footy will give them wins, but it’s not necessarily going to give them the best chance of playing AFL footy.”
“We want competitiveness and run from our guys.”
Queensland showed their grit and ability to play as a team in their nail biting win against Gippsland three weeks ago, and Fletcher said he was looking for more of the same come Saturday.
“Individually you can be a star, but as a team, everyone gets rewards,’ he said.
“We’ve challenged the individuals on what they have to do in their positions to continue to be part of the team.”
Maintaining a high intensity is a key focus for the Queenslanders against the Ranges, irrespective of the scoreboard, Fletcher said.
“It’s not about wins, it’s about competing at the level we expect,” he said.
“We shouldn’t fluctuate.
“Even If you’re not getting touches, you should be able to generate a good output.”
Seventeen year-old Isaac Corvo comes into the side for the first time this weekend, after putting a back injury behind him, while North Queenslander, Glendon Woosup will make the trip for the clash.
Key position player, Matt Hammelmann, will miss the clash with soreness.
It won’t be an easy assignment for Queensland against fourth-placed Eastern Ranges, armed with plenty of momentum, coming off five straight wins after a slow start to the season.
The Eastern Ranges have seen plenty of draftees through their doors, including last year’s top pick Tom Boyd, and players like Jarrad Smith and Luke Hannon could cause some headaches.
With the U18 Nationals underway the visitors will be missing Christian Petracca, who racked up 32 touches last week, and midfielder James Parsons.
Queensland takes on Eastern Ranges tomorrow at 10:30am at Redland’s Casheezi Park.
B Henderson Jackson Holland
HB Leong Andrews Trask
C Wagner Cameron-Reeves Weller
HF Keays Uebergang Blood
F: Walton Dennis Rayner
R: Preuss Stevenson Dawson
Int: Cormick Moseley Corvo Watson Bertoli-Simmonds Woosup*
B Healy Lake Burt
HB Kift Mitchener Wright
C Cotte Jeffs Evans
HF Hannon Sheridan-Ferrie Hardwick
F Traynor Weideman Edwards
R Jones Batty Crocker
Int Smith C. Clarke Hare Harvey Sverns Nolan*