Queensland U18s clinch TAC Cup thriller

By Beth Newman

The Queensland U18 side pulled off a thrilling win, over Gippsland Power, 9.18 (72) – 10.11 (71).

Trailing by 16 points at the final change, Queensland kicked four goals to one in the last  term to clinch their first TAC Cup win this year.

The state team was left to lament some inaccurate kicking, with a three-quarter time return of 5.16, but their strong finish was enough to stave off the Power.

It was Aspley’s Liam Dawson who put Queensland in front late in the final term, with Queensland showing grit to withstand a late Gippsland charge, with the side laying 21 tackles for the quarter.

It was an even spread in the attacking half for Queensland, with their nine goals coming from different sources

Morningside’s Matthew Hammelmann thrived in a new defensive role, playing at centre half back, after a quiet start to the season, while Aspley’s Nick Jackson had another strong game in the Queensland back line.

Small forward, James Rayner, laid some crucial pressure in the  attacking 50, while inside midfielder Lachie Weller continued his positive start to the season.

While Queensland U18 coach, Adrian Fletcher, was happy with the win, he said there was still room for improvement.

“We had opportunities to put the nail in the coffin earlier than we did,” he said.

“It was a big ask travelling this far, but they all turned up to play and we were all really happy.”

Fletcher said Queensland would take plenty of confidence from the win.

“We want to enjoy our wins, emotionally that’s what it’s about,” he said.

“Our behaviours are getting better and if we can keep getting better, we’ve got a list that can stand up.”

“Our structures were very good, we used the corridor when we had numbers and our tackling pressure was up again.

Queensland has a three-week gap until their next match, against Eastern Ranges on May 31.

Queensland U18  1.5   3.11   5.16   9.18 (72)
Gippsland Power 2.4    4.8    9.8     10.11 (71)

QUEENSLAND Goals: Daniel Henderson, Darcy Cameron Reeves, Dylan Mutu, Cassidy Haberfield, Lachlan Weller, Liam Dawson , James Rayner, Jesse Walton, Harris Andrews

Best – Lachlan Weller, Nick Jackson, Liam Dawson, Corey Wagner, Hayden Bertoli-Simmonds, Nate Dennis.

Goal Kickers: A. Di Ciero 4, J. Cunico 2, D. Keilty 2, J. Dunkley , C. Ambler
Best Players: S. Skinner, D. Keilty, A. Di Ciero, J. Dunkley, A. Carr, B. Dessent

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