Contributed by: Michael Christiansen
The South Pacific Under 16s squad finished up their week on the Gold Coast with a tough game against the Australian indigenous Flying Boomerangs at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
The benefits of the week of competition showing in their game play that was regarded as their best displayed across the carnival with improved spread and ball movement. A little more finishing ability and the scoreboard may have reflected a tighter result. With 3 games played across the week – the footy learning also is the result of up to 10 months preparation through the AFL South Pacific talent pathways.
The following is a summary of the week - comments based on AFL South Pacific.
AFL Pacific Development Officer Ben Drew stated ” With the end of the football and players heading home to their respective countries, I would like to send a big thankyou to all the AFL Staff and volunteers around the Pacific for your tireless work in preparing and organising the players through the Oceania Cup, In Country National Championships, South Pacific Cup and now the National U/16 Championships. I do hope the players involved here and those still in their countries take what they have learned and the experiences they have had to improve their football abilities and come back even better next year! It has been a very enjoyable 10 months preparation for this week and the players certainly have put their best foot forward on and off the field!”Match Results
|Game 3 - Metricon||Goals||Behinds||Total|
The South Pacific Boys played their best game of the carnival spreading the ball and moving up and down the ground well. But the boys were unable to finish off their hard work on the scoreboard and allowed the Boomerangs to take the ball into their forward line with ease. Our tackling pressure was superb and our effort around the ball great. The skill execution of the Boomerangs was a class above and allowed them to hit the scoreboard. Christian Blackie was again outstanding in the back line and Giovanni Silbery produced his best game at centre half back. Katah Siwee had the ball on a string all day and Jone baba kicked a crucial goal mid way in the third quarter. Jemasol Paiara battled hard all day to play his best game of the Week. Peter Lavong again had a terrific game off the half back line rebounding the ball countless times and snuck up forward to finish with a terrific goal! Peter was named player of the carnival for the South pacific. Well done Peter!
|Game 2 - Broadbeach||Goals||Behinds||Total|
|WA North West||10||8||68|
Comments The South Pacific played a terrific game, improving dramatically from game 1. But the finishing class and skill level of the WA North West side stood out as they took the points. The first half was very tight and the South Pacific worked very hard all game. Their tackling pressure and decision making with the ball was a highlight for the South Pacific. The learning curve for our Pacific based players has been tremendous! Their improvement has been terrific. Christian Blackie was solid again in the back half and Peter Lavong rebounded the ball out of the back half all day! Ryan Bonga and Te Kopa Tipene Thomas were terrific on their wings and the Small ground players Jemasol Paiara, Gilmore Morehari and Kila Rawali were battling hard all day. Pilo Dagiaro provided a great target up forward also kicking 2 goals. It was a tough game with our players improving and playing a better brand of football. The Skill level of the WA North West side was terrific and they were able to finish their hard work on the scoreboard.
|Game 1 - Broadbeach||Goals||Behinds||Total|
Comments After a slow start the team really gelled together to record a terrific last second victory with the last kick of the game! DJ Grundler kicked truly to put the South Pacific ahead for the first time in the game, giving them a great victory. The first half was a very fumbly affair, with the majority of the side only arriving into camp late Friday night, the start was tough and slow. It was a true test of the players character to be able to come away with a win. All of the players banded together in the second half to take the game on after falling behind by up to 4 goals early in the 3rd quarter. Siope Ngata was terrific at Centre half back, Gilmore Morehari and Jemasol Paiara got there hands on the ball to turn the second half around and DJ Grundler kicked the winning goal with seconds remaining!
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