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NT crowned champions at inaugural Clontarf State of Origin

Jackson Clark -

The inaugural Clontarf Foundation State of Origin series has recently been held in Melbourne, featuring around a hundred talented Indigenous footballers from around the country.

Teams from the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria were represented at the event held at the AIA Vitality Centre, the home of the Collingwood Football Club.

The Northern Territory were crowned champions after going undefeated over the course of the two-day carnival.

The Territory 10.5 (65) defeated Victoria 6.7 (43) in a high-calibre game in their second game, televised on Kayo on Saturday morning.

The game was played in cold and blustery conditions, which would generally favour the Victorian players, but it was the Territorians who had the better of the contest in the opening half.

The Territory team utilised slick ball movement and converted opportunities in front of goal to take a seven goal to two advantage into the half time break.

Victoria performed far better in the second half and ultimately outscored the Territory, but they were unable peg back the margin created from their opposition's dynamic start.

Alice Springs product Kaleel Ross was at his game breaking best and got on the end of a number of impressive goals.

The Northern Territory were victorious at the inaugural Clontarf State of Origin.

Adrian Scott, Nelson Anders and Jason Ramsamy were other Territory players who adapted well to the conditions.

Talented Territorian Tyrese Raymond claimed Player of the Carnival honours after a string of impressive performances over the two days.

Raymond is a promising young footballer currently playing for Darwin Buffaloes in the Northern Territory Football League.

At the conclusion of the carnival, an All-Australian side was selected to take on the prestigious St Patricks College from Ballarat on the Sunday morning.

Eight Territorian players were selected in the team with classy utility Phoenix Joe Pool judged Clontarf's best performer after an eye-catching display.

The Clontarf State of Origin series provided another pathway for development and exposure to elite football opportunities for the Clontarf Academy members from the involved states.

While playing ability was a key criteria for selection in these teams, school attendance, behaviour and commitment to their studies was also considered.

The Australian football carnival followed a successful rugby league State of Origin clash earlier in the year between Clontarf representative teams from Queensland and New South Wales.

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