Team effort brings rewards for QLD U18s

By Beth Newman

The Queensland U18s needed a full team effort and that’s exactly what they dished up in a resounding 57-point win over the Eastern Ranges.

Heading into the match, against the red-hot Victorians, coach, Adrian Fletcher challenged the team to beat their opposition’s spirit and it showed in the 14.12 (96) – 5.9 (39) win, where they were never behind.

While much of the sting was out of the match in the final quarter, it was the most significant result for the year, ending the Ranges’ run of five straight wins.

It was that collective mentality that Fletcher was especially pleased with after the match.

“We challenged them before the game that if they’re coming up against us on our home deck, we need to work them and show more spirit than them,” he said.

“They’re showing some real team spirit , which I’m loving seeing.”

There were some poor turnovers in slippery conditions, but it was the Queenslanders’ ability to back up and prevent the Ranges from punishing them that proved the difference., Fletcher said.

“You can make a mistake but if you’ve got support there, it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“They’ve been fantastic (in that respect).”

There were some brilliant individual performances, with a couple of players taking advantage of a chance in a new position.

Liam Dawson had a super game in a midfield role, relishing his chance on the ball, and kicking four goals as well.

Big man Braydon Preuss had a breakout game in the ruck and up forward, with three goals to his name.

Maroochydore’s Daniel Henderson played close to his best game of the year, while Southport’s Darcy Trask was pivotal in the second and third quarters, when the game was still in the balance.

It was the side’s bottom agers that proved some of their best, with Morningside’s Ben Keays and Sandgate’s Corey Wagner two of the most influential.

While they gave the goal umpires a bit of work today as their running game style started to come to fruition, Fletcher praised his side’s defensive efforts.

“If we keep playing that way, we’ll score goals but we’re defending well, which is the key to me,” he said.

“I want to make sure we can defend.”

Eastern Ranges’ captain, Luke Hannon, continued a recent run of good form for his side, working hard through the midfield, while Ryan Harvey was also good.

Queensland’s next match signals the start of their National Championships, taking on the Northern Territory at Blacktown on June 21.

They’ll have plenty of depth to call on in that game, with key position player, Matt Hammelmann, set to return, as well as a handful of players who will be pushing for selection in the coming weeks.

Queensland         2.4-16    6.4-40    11.9-75    14.12-96

Eastern Ranges    1.3-9    3.5-23      4.7-31      5.9-39


Goals: Liam Dawson 4, Braydon Preuss 3, Cameron Stevenson 1,
Jacob Watson 1, Lachlan Weller 1, Liam Mosley 1, James Rayner 1,
Henry Leong 1, Matthew Uebergang 1,

Best: Ben Keays, Corey Wagner, Liam Dawson, Daniel Henderson, Nick Jackson,
Braydon Preuss.

Goal Kickers: C. Clarke 2, R. Harvey , B. Hardwick , D. Crocker
Best Players: L. Hannon, C. Clarke, J. Healy, D. Crocker, L. Jeffs, R. Harvey

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