15-year-old game changer
Down 24-7 early in the game, Caloundra needed someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, and grab it quickly. It’s times like these that the senior players, the experienced heads, the leaders, find a way to kick a few goals, but it was the opposite on Saturday. 15-year-old Nicholas Smith, on debut in the seniors, booted two quick goals to change the tempo of the game. For the record, Caloundra went on to kick 19 of the next 20 majors, talk about a momentum shift. You’ll be seeing a lot more of this kid before the year is out.
100 per cent
The UQ QAFL team broke the drought on Sunday afternoon by downing Sandgate, their first win since round 2. That was just the cream on the cake for the club as a whole though. Five Red Lions’ and Red Lionesses’ teams took to the field this weekend; and all five walked away with wins. Fair weekend down at St Lucia.
I’ll give you the hot tip, if we learnt anything from round 18 in the AFL, it’s that there are going to be some very handy Queensland products running around in out there for years to come. Pick 13 in last years national draft, Lachlan Weller made his debut for Fremantle, coming on as the sub and finishing with eight disposals, three marks and two tackles. Then there was Harris Andrews, the Round 18 NAB AFL Rising Star nomination. Andrews took a staggering 12 marks, had 22 touches, and was arguably the Lions’ best in their game against Geelong. If you combine Andrews’ stats with fellow academy graduate, Liam Dawson, they had 39 touches, 19 marks, and went at close to 90 per cent efficiency with their disposal. The state academy team might be known as a footy factory from now on.
Monkey off the back
For the first time in 10 games, Maroochydore have beaten Noosa in the QFA North seniors. It’s been a while, 2010 to be exact, since the Roos have taken the chocolates against the Tigers, but they changed that in emphatic style on Sunday with a 10-goal win. With both teams locked on 40-points heading into the game, it was an important hoodoo to break. I have a feeling it won’t be the last time these teams do battle in 2015.
After Queensland had five invitees to the National Combine last week, a further nine players were yesterday invited to the state combine to strut their stuff in front of AFL recruiters later this year. State academy players Dyson Budarick, Wylie Buzza, Gareth Hunt, Jesse Joyce, Max Spencer and Nick Weller have all been asked to attend, and will be joined by NEAFL players Josh Wagner, Matt Uebergang and Paul Hunter. It could be a big year for Queensland footballers come draft time.
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles