A sustained, intense effort by the Under 18 Queensland Scorpions saw them grind down a gallant North Queensland Under 25 team at Townsville’s Tony Ireland Stadium yesterday.
With a four-day Townsville training camp under their belts and much to prove after a below-par TAC Cup performance against the Calder Cannons in Brisbane last week, the Scorpions posted an impressive 16.11 (107) to 10.3 (63) win over the Northeners.
Brought together less than 24 hours before the game, the North Queensland Under 25s – comprising five Cairns, six Townsville, eight Mackay and three Capricornia players – provided a great contest for the Scorpions, trailing by 10-points at half time and 26-points at the final change.
For three quarters North Queensland looked every bit the competitive outfit they hope to become, as they press for entry into the North East Australian League (NEAFL) state league competition.
The longer the game went on, the more the Scorpions were able to capitalise on the ruck work of Rookie Search player Archie Smith, bringing midfielders Lachie Weller and Isaac Conway into the game. They provided plenty of forward entry opportunities for Johnno Freeman, Matthew Hammelman and Isaac Rokeby.
Most impressive was the Scorpions rebounding from defence, based around a clean and decisive switch of direction by defenders Luke Rogerson and Aden Rutledge.
Across the ground, it was the Scorpions ability to maintain a higher skill level on the wide-open spaces of Tony Ireland Stadium that saw them eventually overwhelm their opponent.
North Queensland was able to repel many of the Scorpions forward-50 entries through the work of key defenders Adam Mueller and Blake Miles; whilst Mackay City Hawks midfielders Nabako Stow and Aaron Wade provided plenty of headaches for the Scorpions with their speed and clean hands around stoppages.
Cairns Saints’ half forward Sam Harkin was North Queensland’s most dangerous offensive contributor, finishing the match with three goals.
Queensland Scorpions vs North Queensland Under 25s
Goal Kickers: JonathanFreeman 4, Mathew Hamellmann 3 , Issac Rokeby 3, Bill Pendlebury 2, Dacy Trask 2, Liam Dawson 1, Lewis Radford ,
Best: Luke Rogerson , Aden Rutledge, Luke Weller, Issac Conway, Matt Hammelmann
Goelkickers: Arron Wade1, Sam Harkin 3, Shaun knott 1, Sam Dunbar 1,
Nathan Peters 1, Damien Dewis1, Dylan Leys1, Adam Mueller 1,
Best-Adam Mueller, Naboako Stow, Blake Miles, Aaron Wade, Sam. Harkin,
1st: Q4.2 (26) NQ 4.0 (24)
2nd: Q7.5 (47) NQ 6.1 (37)
3rd: Q11.10 (76) NQ 8.2 (50)
4th: QU18. 16.11 (107) NQ 10.3 (63)