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NSW/ACT too steady for NT

NSW/ACT has won its second game of the National AFL Under-18 championships with a hard fought 19-point victory over the Northern Territory, which lost its second match of the carnival.

The Rams 12.8 (80) defeated the Thunder 9.7 (61) in sunny, yet cool conditions in the first of the double-header at Skilled Stadium in Geelong on Tuesday.

After an even contest in the opening half, NSW/ACT booted six goals to three after half-time to set up the win, while the Northern Territory faded in the second-half, although not to the extent that it did in its first game of the tournament last Saturday.

NSW/ACT’s Jayden Kotzur starred for the Rams with five goals – including three in the opening nine minutes of the match – to continue an impressive start to the championships.

Kotzur’s NSW/ACT teammates’ Nick Potter (23 disposals), Brad Cross (20 possessions) and Shaun Daly (19 touches) were also fine players, while the athletic Nick Braybon once again caught the eye, with eight marks, six tackles and six inside 50s, on top of his two goals. His presence for the Rams was a key factor in the overall result.

Northern Territory duo Raphael Clarke and Joel Campbell booted three goals each, while Johno Mullins (24 disposals) was his side’s highest possession winner. Key Territory pair Tom Logan and Cameron Ilett were also among the Thunder’s best.

NSW/ACT started the game in a blaze of glory, but it was the Kotzur show, as the Rams’ midfielder posted three goals from three kicks. Raphael Clarke opened the Thunder’s account late in the term, but the Rams led by 13 points at quarter-time.

Braybon opened the second term for NSW/ACT to extend the lead to 20 points, as the Rams looked set to break away from the Northern Territory. However, the Thunder fought back with four in a row to pinch the lead in an impressive comeback. But two late goals from the Rams helped them regain the lead by three points at half-time.

Kotzur kicked his fourth to begin the second-half, while NSW/ACT booted four goals to one for the quarter to lead by 20 points heading into the final break.

The Rams added three goals to one in the final quarter and when Kotzur posted his fifth, the combine was never in doubt.

NSW/ACT: 3.4 6.7 10.7 12.8 (80)
NORTHERN TERRITORY: 1.3 6.4 7.5 9.7 (61)

GOALS: NSW/ACT: Kotzur 5, Braybon 2, Cross 2, Archibald, Daly, Nunan
Northern Territory: Campbell 3, Clarke 3, Pangiraminni 2, Bailey
BEST: NSW/ACT Daly, Braybon, Cross, Potter, Hodgson, Kotzur, O’Dwyer, Perrett
Northern Territory: Mullins, Campbell, Ilett, M.McLean, Logan, Smart
At Skilled Stadium