U16 Scorpions to smarten up against TAS

The Queensland U16 Scorpions will look for redemption in Rd 2 of the national championships tomorrow.

Queensland needs to play smarter to claim a win over Tasmania in Round two of the U16 National Championships tomorrow, coach John Rankin says.

The side’s poor defensive efforts let them down in their opening clash against NSW/ACT , Rankin said, and he would be looking for an improved showing against the Apple Isle.

“We weren’t smart – we played really, really dumb footy,” Rankin said.

“We didn’t get our hands on the ball and we didn’t put anywhere near enough pressure on them when they had the ball.

 “If you look at how many uncontested possessions they had, we literally didn’t lay a hand on them,” he said.

“A lot of times NSW/ACT were able to run around without defensive pressure. I’m not just talking about tackling, but blocks and rounding them up.”

 Rankin is confident his side had learned a lot from the match against the Rams.

“The difference will be they’ve got an understanding that you can’t just run around and free wheel,” he said.

“It comes down to whether you’re prepared to do the team-oriented things.

“I think we all tried to do it a bit ourselves rather than do defensive things.”

Rankin said his charges would definitely be more aware of the level required to win matches at national level, after the NSW/ACT match.

“Without any doubt, some felt they’d done pretty well just to make it and achieved what they’ve needed to achieve, “he said.

“Because we were struggling and NSW were playing so well and putting some of our lesser players weren’t able to cope with it.

“Going forward, we’re keeping it simple and giving them a couple of key performance indicators. It’s not about kicks, marks and handballs, but more subtle things.”

Queensland will be boosted by the inclusion of Redland youngster, Tom Michael, into the side tomorrow, after he missed the first match through illness.

“He’s good for us, both a really important player in the forward line forward and also certainly capable of playing ruck too.”

Rankin said he wasn’t closing the door on Queensland’s title hopes after the opening match.

“We probably played the best team to start off,” he said.

“Tassie will play a bit like NSW/ACT – they’re a hard, contested team but we think we’ve got enough good finishers that will give us a really god chance.”

“If we don’t play well and smart and defend well all over the ground, we’ll give Tassie a chance. But, I’m reasonably confident with the work we’ve done this week.”

Queensland take on Tasmania in Round Two of the NAB Under-16 AFL Championships tomorrow at 10am at Blacktown International Sports Park.

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