By Beth Newman
The Queensland U18s fought hard, but fell short of the Sandringham Dragons 9.13 (67) – 6.5 (41), in their second TAC Cup match, on Saturday.
After kicking the first two goals, Queensland trailed by two points at quarter-time, but a five-goal-to-two second quarter to the Dragons’ favour proved to be their undoing.
Queensland coach, Adrian Fletcher, said the side struggled to adapt to the Dragons’ pressure in that second term.
“We started well, but then they challenged us with their physicality and our blokes took a quarter to regather their thoughts,” he said.
“We need to be more relentless in contests.
“We’re probably 70 per cent in that at the moment, where we need to be at 100.”
Fletcher said he was pleased with the way his side rallied in the second half, but emphasised the need for greater consistency.
“We showed a bit of spirit,” he said.
“There were some good passages of play, but we’ve just got to do it consistently.
Fletcher said there was still time for the guys to continue to gel, after their second game together.
“They (the Dragons) played as a team, that’s one thing we’ve got to get if we want to play good footy,” he said.
“We’ve got to get better and be closer.”
Nineteen year-old forward, Matt Uebergang, proved a shining light for the state team, kicking two goals and stepping up under pressure in attack.
Hayden Bertoli-Simmonds and bottom-aged midfielder, Ben Keays, were also solid for the Queenslanders, while defender Nick Jackson lifted in the second half.
Hawthorn father-son prospect, Harry Dear, kicked three goals for the Dragons, while Brendan Maynard found plenty of the football as well.
In a blow to the Queensland side, captain, Darcy Cameron-Reeves was out of the game early, with bursitis in his knee , the severity of which is unknown.
Fletcher said Queensland would need to rebound quickly, with a match against Gippsland next Sunday.
“We just need to rebuild as a team.”
Queensland 2.1-13 4.3-27 6.5-41 6.9-45
Sandringham Dragons 2.3-15 7.6-48 9.13-67 11.13-79
Goal Kickers: M. Uebergang 2, H. Andrews 2, G. Woosup , L. Weller
Best Players: M. Uebergang, H. Bertoli-Simmonds, B. Keays, J. Rayner, L. Weller, L. Dawson
Goal Kickers: H. Dear 3, D. Atkins 2, B. Maynard 2, A. Giuliano , H. Whitehead , M. Manteit , A. Brayshaw
Best Players: T. Grace, A. Brayshaw, H. Balic, M. Manteit, B. Maynard, H. Dear