A tough second day in the Australian Under 15 Championships, featuring two games each for both teams, has produced mixed but positive results for the Tasmanian Girls and Boys sides.
The Under 15 Boys lost in their early match 0-5 to WA Gold before rallying for their second match of the day to secure their first points of the tournament with a 2-2 draw against VIC Development.
Coach Nathan Dart said after a tough first day he was pleased with the improvements his players showed across both games, tripling their PCs and circle entries despite not quite making their chances count.
“Against WA we were quite strong in the first quarter and we matched it with them most of the game,” he said. Dart singled out WA’s trio of talented players as the key difference between the sides.
It was a different story in their afternoon match against VIC Development. The Boys took an early lead in the 4th minute through a Kiah House tommohawk before conceding two goals in the second half, and then House scored a dramatic equaliser right on the final siren.
After a tough opening two games the first goal was a breakthrough moment for the team.
“When I scored all of a sudden we all popped up, got excited, and started moving more,” House said.
Dart is certain that it’s only going to improve from here on for his Boys.
“We haven’t taken a backwards step – we’ve had our two hard games against WA and NSW, and now we’re confident we can match it with the rest,” he said.
The Under 15 Girls continued their strong start to the tournament, losing 0-2 in the morning to NSW State before grabbing their second win with a 3-1 victory over WA Black.
Coach Sofie McLeod thinks it could have been a very different story if not for a slow start in the morning.
“Our slow start cost us the match – it’s as simple as that,” she said.
“We woke up after quarter time and held them from that point but it was too late.”
However, they focused on the positives from that match during the break and came out ready to fire against WA Black.
“It was a totally different start for us. We stuck to our game plan from the very beginning, and when the goals came the girls lifted in confidence.”
Maddison Brooks picked up Player of the Match in both games on day 2, and scored a handy double against WA Black to take her tally for the tournament up to 3 from 3 matches.
She agreed with McLeod’s assessment of the opening match, saying that NSW would be a serious contender for the title and the slow start cost them a big chance.
“We weren’t very switched on, but as the game went on we worked better as team,” she said.
That changed in their second match, with the side desperate to get a win on the board against WA to make up for the loss in the morning.
Tomorrow the Girls will take on VIC Development.
“This is a chance to prove ourselves and get another win, but we have to go hard at the start,” Brooks said.
The Boys will face QLD Gold.