NSW/ACT won Division 2 of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships after remaining undefeated during the titles.
In contrast, last years champs, Queensland, were this years chumps, being well beaten in all 3 games it played.
The last time NSW/ACT won Division 2 was in 2003. Craig Bird from Nelson Bay, NSW, won the Hunter Harrison Medal for the Division 2 best and fairest player.
Cyril Rioli, nephew of both Maurice Rioli and Michael Long, also caught the eye with 7 goals against Queensland. Tasmania’s Aaron Joseph, Queenslander Dayne Zorko, Northern Territory’s Austin Wonaeamirri, and Craig Bird, from NSW/ACT, were the NAB Most Valuable Players from Division 2.
Division 2 results from the matches played at Victoria Park in Melbourne.
Northern Territory 17.9 (111) d Queensland 12.13 (85)
Goals - NT: C Rioli 7, Rolfe 4, Whitehurst 4, Motlop, Stewart Rioli
QLD: Zorko 3, Stewart 2, Magin 2, Mulligan 2, Hill, Fewkes, Enright
Best - NT: Oliver, C Rioli, Wonaeamirri, Liddle, Rolfe, Sharples, Whitehurst
QLD: Zorko, Gibson, Stewart, Brittain, Headland, Reid
NSW/ACT 20.13 (133) defeated Tasmania 13.14 (92)
Goals – NSW/ACT: McGregor 3, Breust 2, Colvin 2, Davies 2, Davis 2, Terlich 2, Ediriwickrama 2, Bird, Reed, Walker, Wilson, Stroobants
TAS: Bowden 2, Shade 2, Cornelius 2, O’Garey, Hislop, Collier, Joseph, Salter, Mihocek, Hewitt
Best – NSW/ACT: Bird, Ediriwickrama, Breust, McGregor, Reed, Davies, Cleaver
TAS: Joseph, Salter, Cornelius, Bowden, Collier, Bellchambers
Here's a report complaing about the venue for the final round of games -
Young stars shine in dismal surrounds
Emma Quayle (Age) July 11, 2007
WHEN the AFL moved its under-18 championships to Melbourne several years ago, the plan was to give the best rising talent a taste of life on the big grounds. And to show the recruiters what they looked like there.
It is not the league's fault that so much rain fell in the past week that it had matches booted off Skilled Stadium and then Princes Park. Nor is it the AFL's fault that the MCG has not been made available for the past three years or that using Telstra Dome's troubled turf has never been an option. But it is a huge shame that — having started their carnivals on the SCG and Telstra Stadium two weeks ago — the boys from NSW, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania had to wrap things up yesterday inside a dilapidated old stadium called Victoria Park.
There were no coaches' boxes. There was one small scoreboard, minimal facilities for the players and less for their families and friends. Playing the final division-two games there was the AFL's last resort after it was kicked off Carlton's ground, and you could tell. The division-one finals have been moved to Casey Fields today. This comes after the South and West Australian teams made it all the way to Geelong last week, only to be told their games the next day had been moved to Melbourne. The South Australians travelled to Carlton the next morning, then had to go back to Geelong because they hadn't been able to switch their accommodation. Now, some of the players will get to go home and say they won a national title at Cranbourne (no offence).
The recruiters aren't happy. Neville Stibbard, the Kangaroos' recruiting manager, was most disappointed for the players, but said there were not enough big grounds in Melbourne now to stage such an important event. "I know the rain's been really unfortunate, but it reminds me of when they played at Gumly Gumly in Wagga, in 1992. They had to move the cows off the ground and we were promised that no kid would ever play on a ground like that again," he said. "We can't get on the MCG, we were promised we'd get onto Telstra Dome, and those promises have fallen short. It's time to move it back to another state, where we can get on bigger grounds."
That's an option the AFL will consider, given how successful taking the first round of matches on the road has proved. The league's game development manager, David Matthews, wants the AFL to get its hand on a venue it can maintain and control. He'll keep pushing for the bigger grounds, but thinks that will always be problematic."Telstra Dome's in the best condition it's been, but it's hard to forecast how each year's going to unfold and what surface issues there might be at their stadium. We'd like to play there and we'll work on it, but we don't want to be left at the mercy of late decisions," he said. "I think what it highlights is the need for the AFL to work hard with AFL Victoria and local councils and the State Government. We need to find another elite facility that we can use."