What happened last week?
While the scoreboard wasn’t flattering, Queensland had more than their fair share of chances against NSW/ACT in their first of three NAB AFL Under 18 Championships games this year.
The maroons went down by 47 points, but led the inside 50 count by three for the game. The opportunities were there to kick a bag but they just weren’t seized. In comparison, when the ball went up the other end, the Rams would hit the scoreboard.
What needs to change?
Queensland have to be cleaner at ground level this week. They will go in with a smaller forward line, so the pressure around the footy will be raised.
It’s going to be cold and probably wet down in Tassie this weekend, which means the ball is going be on the deck a lot more than it is not.
That means the small forwards such as Nick Kempe and Joel Perry-Warren will have a big role to play.
The addition of Connor West back into the side for the first time this year is also a big deal. He is a classy left footer who will provide some fantastic ball movement off the half back line. He provides a lot of polish.
Playing the Northern Territory always means one thing; it’s going to be quick.
They are never the tallest side going around, but love to run, love to get it out wide, and love to back themselves in and have a bounce.
They key to beating them will be not eliminating that run completely, because that would be unrealistic, but limit how they use it. They cannot afford to give them the corridor, instead pushing them wide and forcing them to kick under pressure.
Then on the rebound, the transition has to be quick and direct, where Queensland can use their height and strength advantage in the one-on-one battle.
Adrian Fletchers thoughts
“We had our fair share of the ball last week, we just couldn’t kick the goals we needed to when it was in our 50.”
“This week, the focus on the ground level ball; to be cleaner, to use it better in the midfield, and give our forwards every chance of kicking a winning score.”
Queensland vs. Northern Territory
Saturday May 14, 10:00am
Blunstone Areana, Tasmania
By Andrew Wiles