Isaac Conway and Jordan Bourke have taken the individual spoils as the Australia Post Queensland Young Scorpions have won the division two U16 title in Sydney.

Saturday 16 July 2011

The Australia Post Queensland Young Scorpions have claimed the NAB Australian U16 division two title for the fifth time in nine years after a blistering come-from-behind win over Tasmania today.

The Scorpions trailed at every change in a real arm wrestle but kicked 6-6 to nil in the final stanza to win 12-14 (86) to 8-3 (51) at Blacktown Olympic Park in West Sydney.

The win continued a golden period for the Queensland at U16 division two level, having won the title five times and finished second three times since 2003.

So, the Queenslanders went through the championships, beating Northern Territory by 46 points, NSW/ACT by 23 points and Tasmania by 35 points, plus the World XVIII by 18 points in a non-championship game.

Captain Isaac Conway was named Queensland’s Most Valuable Player over the four-game series, and Jordan Bourke (pictured) won the Alan McLean Medal as the division two B&F winner.

Also, there is an expectation that after such a complete carnival Queensland will be well-represented in the 2011-12 AFL/AIS Academy squad, expected to be named next week, or soon after.

The Tasmanians came out hard and kicked the first two goals today, and thereafter there was little between the sides in a dour struggle.

The Scorpions trailed by four points at quarter-time and half-time, and by seven points at the last change after missing several good chances in the third term which could have proved costly.

But despite having several players carrying injuries they answered the challenge from proud coach Ray Windsor and found another level in a magnificent final stanza.

“It was a magnificent effort in the end,” said AFLQ Talent Manager Bob Batty.

“They could have almost walked on water in the last quarter they were that good and that resilient,” he said.

Sam Gribble returned to the side after missing the World XVIII game through illness, but still Queensland fielded only 23 players, having lost Josh Stiller and Hayden Bertoli-Simmons to injury in the first quarter of the three-game series in Sydney.

It didn’t matter. Well drilled by coach Windsor, they played a good brand of football, running hard and sharing the ball well across all parts of the ground.

Caine Tickner was best afield in what was a virtual grand final against Tasmania, collecting 17 possessions, eight marks and three clearances and kicking four goals as he alternated between centre and full forward with Bourke.

Bourke, son of ex-Geelong captain and Brisbane Bears ruckman Damien Bourke, also relished the dual role, bagging 19 possessions (11 contested possessions), seven marks and three goals.

Jermaine Wardle was an outstanding contributor in the ruck and at centre half forward, finishing with 15 possessions (11 contested possessions), eight tackles, 22 hit-outs and three clearances.

On-baller Nick Davidson had 15 possessions (10 contested possessions), six clearances and kicked a goal, while Lewis Radford, swung from half back onto the ball in the final stanza, was a good player all day and finished with 18 possessions (12 contested possessions) and nine tackles.

Nick Jackson played at full back on the Tasmanian captain, who had three times kicked four goals in a game during the championships, and did a sterling job as he held the opposition’s would-be match-winner goalless.

Batty, full of praise for the quality of the Queensland group and their behavior during their extended stay in Sydney, also lavished praise on the work done with the side by the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns Academies.

“No doubt that has made a difference this year – they are a more resilient group and they understand the game better. They were a really spirited and switched on bunch,” Batty said.

Match Details

Queensland    1-2    3-5    6-8    12-14-86
Tasmania        2-0    4-3    8-3     8-3-51

Queensland Goals: Tickner 4, Bourke 3, Rokeby 2, Davidson, Nilmo, Mills.

Queensland Best: Tickner, Wardle, Bourke, Davidson, Radford, Jackson.

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