U18 Preview: Queensland vs. NSW/ACT


When the siren rang at the end of the Tasmania game, Queensland became the only undefeated team in Division Two.

That happened because Queensland were able to lock down on Tasmania every time they had the ball, and then get it on the outside when they had possession themselves.

Tasmania love to play a contested style of footy, but Queensland didn’t allow it. They set up well behind the footy, and were relentless in their defensive work. If it wasn’t for kicking 1.11 in the last quarter, the 39-point winning margin could have been much greater.

The week that was

The Queensland boys have stayed in Melbourne between games, with recovery the first focus, before turning their attention to tomorrow.

“We are fit and healthy, which is always a plus, and we have recovered well. We have had five days between games, so we have tried to keep as much of a routine as possible. Hopefully we can warm up well tomorrow and it rolls on from there,” coach Adrian Fletcher said.

What needs to happen tomorrow?

Queensland are in the position they are in for a reason. They have to keep playing with the flare, with the run and carry, and with the confidence they have played with all carnival. Run will be the key.

“I’m excited for the guys but it’s about getting those basics right, and then adding in a bit of flare where we can. That’s why we have played well to this point, so that’s what it will come down to tomorrow,” coach Adrian Fletcher said.

What can’t happen?

NSW/ACT cannot be given anytime or space with the ball. They are a lot taller than Tasmania, and are extremely clean in open space, so restricting the amount of uncontested possession they have will be vital.

Opposition watch

There are two names that spring to mind when speaking about the RAMS, Jacob Hopper and Harry Himmelberg.

Hooper is a clearance machine. He wins his own footy, is clean below his knees and uses the football superbly.

Himmelberg will most likely line up forward for the RAMS. He kicked three in their first game against Tasmania, and showed some flashes of individual brilliance.

The end.

The task ahead of Queensland is pretty simple. Win, and they win the championships.

If NSW/ACT win, it will come down to percentage, but Queensland can’t get caught up in thinking about that situation. They need to just focus on the game itself, and do whatever they can to put the RAMS away early.

“We haven’t spoken about the end result at all. We have spoken about the journey, and tomorrow is another step in that journey,” Fletcher said.

“Obviously there is a little bit more at stake, which we have spoken about, but we have to treat the game as the third. NSW are a tough opposition.”

The details

Queensland take on NSW/ACT at Simmonds Stadium, Geelong, from 11:00am Thursday.

The game will be live blogged from 11:00am HERE

And will also be telecast live on the FOX FOOTY channel.

By Andrew Wiles –@andrewjwiles

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