The Australia Post Queensland Young Scorpions are one win away from the NAB Australian U16 division two championship after an 18-point victory over the World XVIII today.

Wednesday, 13 July, 2011

The Australia Post Queensland Young Scorpions are one win away from the NAB Australian U16 division two championship after an 18-victory win over the World XVIII in West Sydney today.

The unbeaten Young Scorpions will play Tasmania on Saturday for the title.
A Queensland win and it will be all over; a loss and they’ll most likely finish in a three-way tie with Tasmania and NSW/ACT, who are tipped to beat the winless Northern Territory in their last game.

Then it’ll come down to percentages.

There’s every reason to think the Young Scorpions will be hard to beat after another impressive performance against a much-improved World side coached by former Brisbane Lions ace Chris Johnson.

The game was played on the smaller ground at Rouse Hill, which suited the World, and the Queenslanders will be happy to get back to the bigger Blacktown Olympic Park for the decider on Saturday.

Still, AFL Queensland Talent Manager Bob Batty was full of praise for the World side and, accordingly, the performance of the Young Scorpions under coach Ray Windsor.

“The World have improved enormously on last year – they were a very slick outfit,” he said.

“They went at it very hard and it took a good Queensland performance to match them. Happily we were equal to the task.”

The Queenslanders had a bare 22 players for today’s non-championship game after Sam Gribble joined Josh Stiller and Hayden Bertoli-Simmons on the absentee list.

Gribble was ill and couldn’t even get out of bed to watch the match, played on the coldest day in Sydney in 15 years.

Stiller, who suffered a broken jaw against NSW/ACT on Sunday, and Bertoli-Simmons, who received a broken collarbone in the same game, were both on hand to watch after surgery on Monday night and Tuesday night respectively.

They saw a wonderfully committed Queensland side that fought hard after the World, who beat NT in their first outing on Sunday, kicked the first two goals of the match.

“It was a real slog all day,” said Batty. “We steadied well after they got away to a bit of a flyer, and after they hit the front again in the third quarter we kicked the last three goals before three-quarter time to take back the ascendancy.”

The World XVIII led at quarter time by a point before Queensland won each of the next three quarters.

It was the Young Scorpions by two goals at halftime and 17 points at three-quarter-time before they ran out winners 11-6 (72) to 8-6 (54).

Captain Isaac Conway was best afield with 24 possessions and a goal to head an impressive team performance.

Nick Selman had 23 possessions, 11 marks and a goal off a wing, while Caine Tickner was third best with 15 possessions, five marks, eight tackles and a goal in a role split between the back pocket, midfield and forward pocket.

Lewis Radford, best afield against NSW/ACT, was good again with 18 possessions in a very tight and productive performance across half back.

Jermaine Wardle was good in the ruck before moving to centre half forward, while Bill Pendlebury picked up 16 possessions and six tackles to go with two goals through the midfield, and fellow midfielder Nick Davidson had 15 possessions, nine tackles and two goals.

Angus Watts was a resolute force at centre half back, while regular full forward Jordan Bourke, who had kicked 14 goals in the first two games, was used all over the paddock and was a valuable contributor again despite kicking only one goal.

In the other games today, Tasmania beat NT 14-10 (94) to 2-6 (18), and NSW/ACT accounted for South Pacific 12-6 (78) to 8-9 (57).

Match Details
Queensland   2-2   5-3   8-4   11-6-72
World XVIII    2-3   3-3   5-5    8-6-54

Queensland Goals: Pendlebury 2, Davidson 2, Conway, Selman, Tickner, Bourke, Dawson, Goodall, Mills.

Queensland Best: Conway, Selman, Tickner, Radford, Wardle, Pendlebury, Davidson, Watts.

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