A frustrating day for the Rams at Metricon
It was a frustrating afternoon at Metricon Stadium for the AFL NSW/ACT Under 16s Rams against Queensland. In a one of those games where the breakthrough just wouldn’t come, the Rams were gallant in defeat by 15-points.
The Rams did not get off to the start they had wanted. Queensland kicked three goals in the first six minutes, with the ball barely making its way out of the Rams’ defensive-50. It would be Godfrey Okerenyang to open the scoring for the visitors, against the run of play.
Soon after, Errol Gulden had a chance to back-up Okerenyany’s six-pointer following a high tackle call, 40m out. Unfortunately, the kick went left but it signaled trouble for the Queenslanders, struggling to get the ball out of their defensive zone, as the Rams laid on the pressure. Queensland would clear, but it would come straight back in, until Marc Sheather finally struck for the blue and gold.
Despite the increase in energy from the Rams, Queensland would soon hit back with a couple of their own, giving them an 18-point lead at the first break.
Hamish Dunstan kicked a goal early in the second-quarter, putting the Rams in the driver’s seat for a comeback.
Gulden remained in the action across the field laying tackle after tackle, clearing when required and impacting Queensland shots on goal.
Sheather kicked two stellar goals in a row – the first a clever snap from the goal square and the second on the trot. Not long after he had an opportunity at a set shot, but the kick hit the post.
A free on the fifty gave the Rams the chance to take the lead, but an errant kick would see them miss the opportunity, just 20 seconds before the half-time siren. At the main break, they were five points down after a hearty second quarter.
The message at half-time was positive. The coaches were happy with the pressure being applied but were asking for more.
Unfortunately, Queensland would come running out of the blocks in the third term, increasing the margin once more.
But a brilliant roving move from Gulden off a ball-up in the fifty would suppress Queensland’s early run. Gathering the tap from the stoppage, Gulden’s quick hands were able to get the ball away smartly, resulting in the Rams’ first goal for the quarter.
To Queensland’s credit, they were fast, tall and composed, and by the last break, they were up by 21 points.
Jack Cullen opened the Rams’ account in the final quarter as they looked to mount a big comeback, and before they knew it, they were within two-goals from taking the lead.
The Rams tried all day. Heads were high despite trailing the majority game and they continued to threaten in the final quarter. The play was all the way of the visitors, but they could not convert. They peppered and peppered, and Queensland were well and truly under the pump. When the ball would leave the Rams’ attacking fifty, it would go straight back in, but unfortunately, it made no difference on the scoreboard.
A Queensland goal after the siren would seal the win for the home side, rubbing salt into the wound of the hurting Rams.
Under-17s Rams Coach, Lloyd Perris said he was was happy with his players’ intent despite the defeat.
“A really disappointing loss in the end,” said Perris.
“We were there, we were within 10-points in the last quarter, we just lacked a bit of composure in the end.
“We were led really well by a couple of midfielders in Pierce Roseby, Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden. Their ability to just go, effort after effort, and get to contests, get to so many contests and impact it, was outstanding.
“Unfortunately it was probably left to too few to compete all day, so [it’s a] pretty disappointing result in the end but we’ve got a week together on the Gold Coast now, so we’ll definitely band together.”
AFL NSW/ACT – 10.8.68
QUEENSLAND – 13.5.83
Goals – Rossman 2, Sheather 2, Okerenyang, Dunstan, Parnell, Cullen, Monaghan, Steele
Best – Roseby, Gulden, Campbell, Sheather, Steele, Pfrengle