U16 Scorpions hope to finish on a high

The Queensland Young Scorpions wrap up their nationals campaign tomorrow, against NT.

Queensland Young Scorpions coach, John Rankin, will be looking for a more team-focused approach from his players to finish off their U16 nationals campaign.

The Queenslanders take on NT in their final match of the championships tomorrow, with both teams searching for their first win.

Rankin said the side hadn’t shown enough  improvement in its second match against Tassie on Wednesday, and would be looking for greater team cohesion in the match against the NT.

“We were disappointed, because after game one we acknowledged some issues and trained to address those, but then we played similarly in game two,” he said.

“We reviewed game one and acknowledged some issues and trained to change them, but then we went out and played similarly in game two.”

“Tomorrow’s game comes down to team that  plays in a cohesive manner.”

With the U16 championships some of the player’s first taste of a professional environment, Rankin said it was always going to be challenging to get the players to adjust to a more team-oriented mindset.

“One of the challenges has been to get some players who are used to playing in primary role (in their clubs) and trying to get them to play a different role,” he said.

“We’ve been delighted with some players who have.”

“Some players have really taken on board what we’ve tried to achieve and sacrificed their own individual performance for the sake of the team.

“If we can get the vast majority with that mindset then we’ll see a totally different situation to what we’ve had (so far).”

Rankin said despite failing to notch up a win, morale within the group had been high throughout the week.

“There’s been a really good mood throughout the week and they’ve trained really well today, the best hey have,” he said.

“There’s a lot of spirit amongst the group and there’s been a lot of things that they have done right.”

Faicng off against he speedy and spectacular NT side, Rankin said it would be about shutting down their run and ability to gain easy possessions.

“If we give them any time and space, they’re going to be a really challenging team,” he said.

“They have a lot of  speed and a willingness to play in an unconventional way, and take the game on. When you don’t expect it.”

“The only way to make sure they don’t have that space is to make sure we’ve got the ball and if they get it we get it back and we put pressure on them.”

Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s game, Rankin said the Queensland side would take a lot out of the experience of travelling and playing the best from other states.

“There’s a range of things they’ve encountered from a coaching perspective, that they never would have experienced anything like it,” he said.

“When these guys play local footy, because of their athleticism, skill, size, knowledge of the game ,they’ve probably found there are some things they don’t need to do and they can still have a good game and a strong influence on their team.”

“However, when they come up against an opposition that are physically as capable, as quick, as tall and strong,  if they don’t’ do the basics well, they get found out.”

Eric Hipwood, Heath Malloy and Josh Elmslie come into the Queensland side, in place of Dom McEwan, Tom Rowles and Jordan Harding .

Queensland play NT tomorrow at 1:30pm to wrap up their 2013 U16 Nationals campaign.

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