By Beth Newman
Queensland claimed a historic victory over Tasmania, in the Apple Isle’s first standalone women’s match, 17.10 (112) – 8.3 (51).
The home side got a quick jump on the Queenslanders, with a goal from the first clearance, but from then on the Maroons were the dominant side.
It was Queensland’s ability to respond to Tasmania’s challenges all day that set them apart, whether it be that first major, or ensuring a rapid fire response to Tasmania’s late goals in the first and third terms.
Queensland coach, Jeff White, praised his side’s ability to withstand all of their opposition’s pressure.
“I just said to the girls, ‘don’t panic’, they’re going to get a run on, they’re going to score goals,” he said.
“We just need to focus on what we can control and that’s what they did.”
In a tight first quarter, Queensland’s run was limited by the strong midfield contests, but the tireless efforts of fullback, Adair Henderson and the side’s star-studded half-back line, kept the Tasmanians at bay.
Queensland’s pinpoint accuracy certainly helped, with the side converting every opportunity in front of goal in the opening term.
Former Tasmanian representative, Coorparoo’s Kaitlyn Cantrell, had a standout performance facing her home state for the first time, while senior state debutant, Zillmere’s Tayla Harris, led the way in front of goals, with five majors for the match, taking a couple of screamers along the way as well.
UQ’s Sharni Webb was sensational across the ground, kicking two goals, and playing a crucial midfield role, while captain Emma Zielke, was impressive.
Zielke’s performance earned her the best on ground medal, while Harris was awarded Queensland’s best, as voted by the Tasmanian coaches.
Tasmania fullback turned forward, Nietta Lynch, had a solid battle with Henderson all day, and kicked four goals for the game, before plaing a crucial defensive role late.
Tasmania rebounded in the third term, kicking the opening goal of the term, and dominating the attacking possession.
The game opened up for Queensland, with their strong running style of football, with the side’s class shining through in transition.
Netball convert, Zoie Crawford, claimed a debut goal for the Tasmanians in the third, as they cut Queensland’s lead to 28 points, at the final change.
Former Tasmanian rep, Kaitlyn Cantrell, got Queensland off to a perfect start in the last quarter, kicking her first goal for her new state.
The Maroons had most of the chances in the final term, but Tasmania’s defence stood strong, stopping some certain goals in their last line.
White, was effusive in his praise of his charges.
“They hunted the ball in numbers, they were calm in situations when the heat was on and I couldn’t be prouder,” he said.
“I couldn’t fault anyone.”
The Queensland side played instinctive footy and White said that proved the key.
“I let them play , that was my whole focus,” he said.
“That’s what they did and it was really good fun.”