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Riolis star, NT takes title

Willy Rioli celebrates a brilliant goal from the boundary
NORTHERN Territory has taken out the division two title at the 2012 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships after a come-from-behind 24-point win against Tasmania at Simonds Stadium on Thursday.
 
Queensland could have spoiled the Thunder's party with a triple-digit win against NSW/ACT in the final game of the carnival, but the Scorpions could only manage a 28-point victory, which saw NT claim its first national crown since 2004.
 
The Tasmanians got off to a flyer and led at the first two breaks, but NT edged in front late in the third quarter then powered away to a 9.9 (63) to 5.9 (39) win in slippery conditions in Geelong.

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Ben Rioli led the way for NT with 19 disposals across half-back with Jake Neade (18) and Dom Barry (17) also important.
 
Jesse Lonergan was impressive for Tasmania with 15 possessions and two goals, while Jarrod Hibberd gathered 18 possessions.
 
Tasmania kicked four goals in the first quarter to open up an early lead, but managed just one more for the entire match.
 
Willy Rioli kicked a superb goal from theboundary line after the quarter-time siren to keep the Thunder within striking distance, but Tasmania still held an 11-point lead at half-time.
 
Jed Anderson put NT in front with his goal two minutes before three-quarter time and teammate Dom Barry stretched the advantage to nine points with a long goal after the siren.
 
The title was still in reach for Tasmania in the final term, but Roy Assan and Jarrod Stokes scored the only majors for the quarter, which ended in jubilation for the Thunder boys.   
 
NORTHERN TERRITORY              2.0   4.3    7.6   9.9  (63)  
TASMANIA                                         4.3   5.8    5.9   5.9  (39)
 
GOALS
Northern Territory:
Stokes 2, Anderson, Assan, Barry, Neade, W. Rioli, Roberts, Wasley-Black
Tasmania: Hanson 2, Lonergan 2, Kendall
 
BEST
Northern Territory:
Neade, B Rioli, Anderson, Alice, McEwin, Stokes, Williams
Tasmania: M Walsh, Nankervis, Thurlow, Jeffery, Siggins, Lonergan
 
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs