Powerful performances in close encounter

A POSITIVE impact from Gippsland Power’ players was not enough to halt Victoria Country’s heart-breaking loss to Western Australia in the NAB Australian Football League Under 18 Championships on Friday.

Power’s Jack Leslie, Josh Scott and Jordan Cunico took part in the match where Western Australia forward Cameron McCarthy stole the victory with the last kick of the day to seal the three-point win at Simonds Stadium, Geelong.

Gippsland Power regional manager Peter Francis, who was on hand to watch Victoria Country tackle Western Australia, praised the efforts of the Gippsland representatives.

“Jack Leslie played really well in ruck all day and he was terrific, aggressive, took a lot of marks, was in and under the packs and was really quick and athletic,” Francis said.

“Hopefully he’ll be in the team to go up against Victoria Metro at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.”

He highlighted Scott’s impressive bag of three goals, which he said was a standout for Victoria Country.

“He was very, very good; he would have been named in the best five and Leslie was definitely one of the best,” Francis said.

“Scott moved around a lot and took some beautiful marks at half-forward.”

Scott kicked two goals in the first quarter before sending his last goal home in the third.

Francis said Cunico was off and on during the match and was not provided with many opportunities.

He was hopeful Cunico would be selected in the squad to take on Victoria Metro.

“Hopefully he’ll be given more of a chance then,” Francis said.

He said so far several Gippsland Power players have been selected to take part in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships journey.

Francis said while Gippsland player Alex Carr did not get an opportunity to pull on a Victoria Country jumper, he was one to watch out for.

“He has had a good season, but it has been an injury-interrupted season,” he said.

“He’s played some perfect football in the last few weeks.”

Power will find out early this week which of its players will be selected to line up for Victoria Country against Victoria Metro.

The match will be played at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday from 5.35pm.