Two from two. Music to any Queensland footy fans ears.
On Saturday, the Queensland Under 18 State Team got the job done by 39-points over Tasmania, making them the only undefeated team in the NAB AFL Division Two Championships in 2015.
Over the space of four quarters, it was Queensland’s run and carry that proved too much. They hunted in numbers, and were then able to spread and open the game right up when the ball was turned over.
Jacob Allison kicked the first of the game nine-minutes in, but it was Tasmania who finished the quarter the better, up by four-points at quarter time.
They say the championships are where reputations are made. If this is the case, Eric Hipwood just became a bona fide star.
Queensland coach Adrian Fletcher moved Hipwood forward during the first break, and it paid immediate dividends. Goals were hard to come by all day, unless Hipwood had the footy in hand.
He kicked four in a quarter, including a super finish from the boundary line on the run, to turn the game on it’s head, and give Queensland a 12-point lead at the main break.
The third quarter was all maroon.
Queensland were getting first use out of the middle through Mabior Chol in the ruck, Ben Keays was very busy, and bottom age players Jacob Allison and Brad Scheer were running riot.
Buzza kicked the first of the quarter, and after a few missed opportunities, Wagner put one through to increase the three quarter time lead to 28-points.
It wasn’t just the midfield and forward line on song though. The Queensland defensive unit held Tasmania scoreless for the entire quarter.
Tasmania’s defense was under fire in the forth, the inside 50 count for the second half alone was 33-6 in Queensland’s favor.
Buzza kicked his second five minutes in, before Webb broke the Tasmanian scoring drought half way through the last.
As soon as Tasmania could clear the defensive 50, it was being fired straight back in. The only saving grace to the score line was Queensland’s inaccuracy.
They kicked 1.11 in the final quarter, but the job was done.
When the final siren rang. Queensland were 39-points up, and one step closer to clinching the division two title.
The standout performer was Eric Hipwood, who finished with four goals, 20 disposals and seven marks in a best on ground performance.
Keays was top disposal getter with 23, Budarick finished with 6 clearances next to his name, and Allison, who kicked 1.4, also had four inside 50’s and three rebound 50’s.
Queensland’s final game of the championships is this Thursday, 11:00am at Simonds Stadium up against NSW/ACT.
The equation is pretty simple. Win, and the championship is theirs.
Adrian Fletcher’s thoughts
“It’s good that the boys are getting the reward for the time, hard work, and effort they are putting in.
“It was a real team effort. If you look at the stats, everyone contributed. We were in the game for the whole time, it’s just we didn’t score. When we put Hipwood forward, that’s when we got our momentum.
“Tasmania play a short possession game, so once we closed them up, they couldn’t get it out of our forward line.
“Hipwood can play at both ends, forward or back. William was really good again, Allison was amazing for a bottom age player, so there are some really good signs there, now we just have to capitalise on them.”
QUEENSLAND 1.3 5.3 7.7 8.18 (66)
TASMANIA 2.1 3.3 3.3 4.3 (27)
Queensland: Hipwood 4, Buzza 2, Allison, Wagner
Tasmania: Pearce, Sushames, Webb, Rainbird
Queensland: Hipwood, Weller, Allison, Dennis, William, Keays
Tasmania: Pearce, Gardner, Reynolds, Hayden, Webb, Donnellan
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles