The Australia Post Queensland Scorpions have suffered a hefty loss to NSW/ACT at the NAB Australian U18 Championships in Melbourne today.

Saturday, 2 July, 2011

The division two title hopes of the Australia Post Queensland Scorpions at the NAB Australian U18 Championships are on the ropes after a disappointing loss to NSW/ACT at Visy Park in Melbourne today.

Coming off an excellent win over the Northern Territory, the Scorpions went into the crunch match full of confidence and expectation but failed to deliver.

They let the Blues get on top early and once they had a sniff there was no stopping them as they coasted to a 12-87 (79) to 3-7 (25) win in blustery conditions.

The Queenslanders weren’t helped when Michael Wyld failed an early morning fitness test and they lost captain Dalton Tucker, Tom Field and Adam Oxley to injury.

Captain Tucker (hamstring) and key defender Fields (shoulder) were forced out of the game during the third term, and utility player Oxley (knee) followed at three-quarter time.

It was a big loss, with the captain and two older players going down, but it would be folly to suggest this affected the result. NSW were much the better side.

“It was very a disappointing performance,” said AFLQ Talent Manager Bob Batty.

“We never looked like it to be honest. NSW are a very disciplined side that likes it in tight so we went in with a plan to get it, switch it and run with it. But we didn’t do it,” Batty said.

“We always seemed to be forced wide and we had no flow in our game.”

It was three scoring shots to two to NSW in the first quarter but, significantly, NSW kicked three goals and Queensland kicked two behinds.

The Scorpions kicked with the wind in the second term but were out-scored 1-0 to 3-2, and even at halftime the Blues, 30 points up, looked like winners.

Queensland had more of the play in the third term but failed to take their chances, kicking 1-3 to 2-1, before NSW blew things out with a 4-4 to 1-2 final quarter.

Peter Yagmoor (pictured) was the Scorpions best playing off half back, winning plenty of ball and using it expertly by foot.

Fraser Thurlow dominated the ruck hit-outs and did some nice things around the groumnd, while Clay Cameron was the only Queensland forward who looked dangerous.

Oxley, playing on a wing and at half forward, was impressive before he was forced out of the game, while on-ballers Henry Joyce and Lachlan Russ battled hard all day.

With Tasmania beating NT in the other division two game today, the Apple-Islanders are now in the box seat to claim the division two title.

They are unbeaten after two games, while Queensland and NSW/ACT have a 1-1 win/loss record, and NT are trailing at 0-2.

But all is not lost, even though Queensland’s percentage took a battering today.

If Queensland beat Tasmania in the final game at Geelong’s Skilled Stadium on
Thursday and NSW lose to NT then Queensland and Tasmania would finish level and would take the title on head-to-head meetings.

But if Queensland beat Tasmania and NSW beat NT then Queensland, Tasmania and NSW would have two wins apiece and it’d come down to percentages, meaning the Scorpions would need a thumping in their final game to have any chance.

And, of course, if Tasmania beat Queensland then they will claim the title undefeated.

Earlier, Wyld, Aaron Laskey and Josh Kolka were left out of the 25-man travel party.

But with Tucker, Fields and Oxley all facing scans tomorrow, the three players who missed out at final selection will certainly play against Tasmania.

Match Details

Queensland    0-2    1-2    2-5    3-7 (25)
NSW/ACT        3-0    6-2    8-3    12-7 (79)

Queensland Goals: Davidson, Sexton, Cameron.

Queensland Best: Yagmoor, Thurlow, Cameron, Oxley, Joyce, Russ.

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