Queensland 7.13.55 defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 10.9.69
The Queensland Under 18 State Academy team opened their 2015 TAC Cup campaign on Saturday, going down to the Dandenong Stingrays by 14-points.
Queensland started the better. They were well on top in clearances and inside 50’s early in the first quarter, but couldn’t hit the scoreboard.
The Stingrays came with a real game plan to Tidbold Park. They clogged up the corridor and got numbers back in defense, forcing Queensland to bring the ball into the forward line from the boundary.
When Jarrod Butler intercepted a kick 60 meters from goal, took a few bounces, broke a tackle and finished on his right, Queensland were on the board.
Despite the positive start, Dandenong held a two-goal advantage at the first change.
Coach Adrian Fletcher isolated Eric Hipwood deep in the forward line to start the second quarter, directing the boys to get it in long and quick. Queensland came out firing, and with the tackling pressure ramped up they started to take the game on and began to look really dangerous when they went forward.
When Connor West slotted the first of the quarter on the run from the pocket, Queensland were up and about.
They dominated the play for over 10-minutes, but couldn’t quite find their goal kicking radar, kicking 2.5 for the quarter. A couple of quick goals from Dandenong against the flow of play meant the Stingrays held an eight-point advantage at the main break.
Queensland struggled by foot early in the third, missing a few critical targets though the middle. Just when the game was getting away from them, Reuben William created something out of nothing through his pace and forward pressure, causing a turnover close to the goal line before soccering it through.
They rallied late in the quarter, getting their running game going and moving the ball swiftly.
A goal to Cody Filewood after the three quarter time siren brought Queensland back within eight, and it was game on.
Dandenong kicked the first of the final quarter, but when Dyson Budarick laid a huge tackle in the forward 50, and Cody Filewood made no mistake after an advantage call, they were still right in it.
They continued to look threating, taking the game on more and more as the match progressed, but couldn’t convert their dominance onto the scoreboard. Dandenong settled late, with Jake Dipasquale sealing the 14-point win with a snap from the boundary in time-on.
Eric Hipwood showed his versatility, swinging from the forward to back, Connor West moved well all day, and Dyson Budarick kept Queensland in the game in the second half with his attack on the ball.
Queensland Academy and High performance Coach, Adrian Fletcher, said the game was a learning experience on when to pull the trigger and when to slow the ball down.
“We have just got to understand where our numbers are, when to use those numbers and play possession football, or when to go in fast, that was the difference between the good and the bad of the day,” Fletcher said.
Despite not getting the win, he was happy with the commitment of the boys all day.
“We stuck around for the whole day, we weren’t playing as good as we could have, but we kept sticking in there and giving effort,” he said.
“We just need to work on our skillsets to make sure that when we get our chances we put scoreboard pressure on the opposition.”
Queensland’s second game is Saturday May 9, against the Gipsland Power at Broadbeach.
Goals: Cody Filewood 2, Dyson Budarick 1, Reuben William 1, Connor West 1, Jarrod Butler 1, Eric Hipwood 1
Best: Corey Wagner, Jesse Joyce, Max Spencer, Oliver Ritchie, Nate Dennis, Cody Filewood
Story: Andrew Wiles @andrewjwiles
Photo: Deion Menzies, Highflyer Images