QAFA (B) SUNSHINE COAST GRAND FINAL PREVIEW
Pomona vs. Maroochydore
Saturday August 20, 2:00pm, Nambour
It’s been a long 11 months, but Grand Finals season is upon us, and we have a cracker to kick it off.
The journey to the big dance has been positive for both of these clubs.
In week one of finals, Pomona was a class above Gympie, and Maroochydore held off a gallant Nambour and Hinterland.
That meant Maroochydore came up against Gympie last week, where a blistering first quarter proved the difference for the Roos.
So far this year, Pomona lead the head-to-head 3-1, but all have been relatively close. Don’t expect that to be much different in this one.
Having said that, when the siren rings and the ball is bounced, all games to get to this point mean nothing.
Pomona will be confident that their best wins this, it’s been that way all year, but Maroochydore are more than a show.
The midfield battle will be key. If one team can gain a clear advantage in the contested count, it will go a long way to winning.
Daniel Hickleton will be the target in front of goals, and will need some serious defensive work put into him from the Roos’ back six.
The two Maroochydore coaches, Leigh Roberts and Leigh Wilson, have also got to stop blokes like Mahony feeding it to him through the middle.
For Maroochydore, Jeremy Cockram and Matthew Green need to work in tandem in front of the sticks. If they can chip in with three or four each, they are capable of kicking a winning score.
Pomona Coach Paul Murphy will also be keeping an eye on the way they use their runners on the outside of the contest.
The first quarter will tell the tale of the afternoon.
QAFA (B) Central
UQ vs. Jimboomba
Friday August 19, 7:30pm, Giffin Park
Ice baths will be at a premium after this, because it’ll be on in the middle.
Jimboomba have prayed on their opposition in the middle in the first two weeks, putting the torch on them in the contested stats.
They won’t have it there own way this week. UQ are as tough as any over the top of the footy.
The advantage the Redbacks do have is there speed on the outside. With the likes of Guise on the outside of the contest, they will hurt the Red Lions if given the time and space out there.
UQ need to slow it down. It nearly worked against Zillmere, but it has to work tonight. They can’t let it be a shootout; they must keep the Redbacks under 13 goals.
On form, you’d have to go with the Redbacks in this one, but UQ will be more than up for the fight.
Semi Final 2
Maroochydore vs. Mayne
Saturday August 20, 2:00pm, Maroochydore
It was just six days ago that these two teams squared off in a classic.
It was one-point that day, and I don’t think it’ll be much different tomorrow.
Mayne had a shaky start to the season, they were on the ropes, but they are peaking at the right time.
Maroochydore have been the team to beat all year though. Ever challenge that has been thrown at them; they have handled, or responded the next week.
Now it all comes down to this. Who wants the direct ticket into the Grand Final more
They both know each other’s game really well. Maroochydore know they need to stop Faulkner up forward, and open the game up as much as possible through their runners.
Mayne know that Norman needs defensive work put into him, and the more down the line they can play it the better.
Premierships aren’t won in the first week of finals, but the mental advantage on the line is huge.
Semi Final 1
Caloundra vs. Noosa
Saturday August 20, 2:15pm, North St Oval
Your guess is as good as mine on this one.
They finished third and fourth on the ladder, Caloundra lead the head-to-head 2-1, but both are very dangerous if it is on their terms.
If we look at the most recent form between the two, It was Caloundra who booked a home final with a win over the Tigers in round 15 by 27-points.
Scoring has come a bit easier for Noosa this year, so Caloundra will want to limit their forward 50 entries.
If the Panthers can share the load in the forward line, and have their midfielders pushing forward to become dangerous, they will be hard to stop.
For Noosa, coach Sam Faure will be the go to in the forward half, but look for him to bring the little blokes at his feet into the game.
It’s a genuine toss of the coin, this one. Caloundra at home should start favorites, but the half time margin is going to tell us a lot about who is on.
LIVE BLOG FROM 2:15PM
Springwood vs. Yeronga South Brisbane
Saturday August 20, 2:30pm, Lowe Oval
Last time these two teams met, it was one of, if not the, game of the year.
Add to the mix the opportunity to play in a prelim for the victor, and I’m excited.
Yeronga have been the real mover and shaker of 2016, stepping up another level, but just like Mayne in the North, the reigning champs are timing their run superbly.
Yeronga were hot early, but their last eight games have only yielded four wins. What we do know is, there best is as good as anyone’s, but they are going to need it.
It’s going to be as high scoring as it gets this weekend. Both teams can, and probably should, kick around 100 points.
Springwood’s greatest strength is their medium size blokes dictating the speed of the game. They will crack it, win the contested ball, but then are very good at finding space on transition.
Yeronga need to go quick, long and direct. If they get the Pumas on the hop, and kick it long to Boyd, they will win this.
Don’t miss a minute with the live blog on www.aflq.com.au.
Bond University vs. Kenmore
Saturday August 20, 2:00pm, Bond University
Kenmore come into this one having already played a mini-elimination final last week against Burleigh.
If they didn’t win that, it would have been curtains in 2016.
That’s got to give them confidence, knowing they can win when their necks are on the line, just like this week.
On the other hand, Bond romped home to a massive win over Coomera. The question has to be asked, is a tough, hard fought match better preparation, or would you rather come in fresh and energized.
It’s going to be a battle of the star forwards in this one. Up one end, you have Kenmore’s Jack De Winter, who has bagged 59 goals so far this year.
Up the other, is Ben Merret, who has 63 majors.
Bond is going to try and get this on the outside, and load up from the backline. If they are allowed to go latterly, and use the fat side, they will burn Kenmore.
The Bears have to keep it in a phone box, and cut the Sharks off at their legs.
It might be their first final in the QFA South, but make no doubt about it, Bond know how to win them, and I don’t think that will change this week.
Beenleigh vs. Pine Rivers
Saturday August 20, 2:00pm
Beenleigh will go into this one reasonably confident of getting the job done, after taking the points in both encounters this year, but Pine Rivers come in, in good form.
The Buffalos’ defensive work has probably been a bit better this year, so they will look to choke Pine Rivers in the back half, and pounce on turn overs.
If the Swans can open the game up by foot though, they will be more than a show.
Kedron vs. Park Ridge
Saturday August 20, 2:00pm, E.K. Anderson Oval
Was there a case of keeping cards close to the chest last week? We will find out tomorrow.
Last week, Kedron wiped the floor with Park Ridge, romping home to a 107-point win.
I don’t think it will be such a blow out this week, but surely that type of win has got to leave a few scars on the Pirates.
If Kedron are allowed the time and space through the corridor, they will carve the Pirates up again, because the delivery will be too good to stop the forwards like Fitzgibbon.
If they were playing games last week, the Pirates will have to start well, because of Kedron kick the first couple, they will have the belief they can run away with it, just like they did last week.
Elimination Final 1
Yeronga vs. Aspley
Saturday August 20, 1:00pm, O’Callaghan Park
Aspley have been very gallant this year, but they face a tough task this week.
Yeronga were too good for the Hornets when they met three weeks ago, and I don’t see that changing.
If Aspley can be close at half time, they will come home strong, but the Devils will look to put the foot down early.
Elimination Final 2
Coolangatta Tweed vs. Zillmere
Saturday August 20, 3:15pm, O’Callaghan Park
It was only percentage that separated Coolangatta from a week of, and a double chance, which says a lot about how they are travelling this year.
In their last meeting, it was Cooly who got over the line by 29-points, so they will take confidence from that.
But Zillmere know how to win when it counts, you only have to look back 12 months to work that out.
The Eagles have to be in front at quarter time, and use their runners.
If Cooly starts well, they should control the tempo.
QAFA Northern Rivers
Ballina vs. Tweed Coast
Saturday August 20, 2:00pm, Fripp Oval
Tweed Coast comes in full of steam, after overrunning Lismore last week, while Ballina fell agonisingly short of Byron away from home.
It’s probably not going to be the highest scoring affair; it’ll be more of a scrap for goals.
Ballina have been too classy all year for Tweed, so the Tigers might have to pull a rabbit out of the hat here.
But it’s finals, so anything can happen.
Colts Division 1
Semi Final 2
Southport vs. Broadbeach
Saturday August 20, 9:15am, Frankhauser Reserve
Last week, Southport were outclassed by an inform Maroochydore, but all is not lost.
Despite coming off a loss, and the Cats coming off a win, the Sharks will still start favorites.
To win though, they need to get control in the middle. They have a potent forward line, but can’t afford to leave them starved.
What the Cats wouldn’t have been happy with last week is 8.15 on the scoreboard.
They need to reverse that ledger tomorrow to be any chance.
Semi Final 1
Western Magpies vs. Aspley
Saturday August 20, 4:45pm, Chelmer
Last week was two very different tales.
The Magpies were no match for Mt Gravatt, and Aspley had a big win over Caloundra.
I think Aspley are a big chance of causing an upset here, and sending the Magpies packing in straight sets.
It will be close, it will be contested, but if Aspley pull the trigger in the corridor, and kick a few early, it’ll be on.
Colts Division 2
Semi Final 1
Noosa vs. Coorparoo
Saturday August 20, North St Oval
Both teams have got their tails up, so this should be a cracker.
Noosa comes into this on the back of a big win over Mayne, and Coorparoo ran out 10-goal winners over UQ.
These two teams only played in round 17, so they know what to expect.
On that day, it was Noosa who got the job done pretty convincingly, which will fill the Tigers with confidence.
Coorparoo can’t let them have the space out wide like they did that day. They have to slow it down.
If it is open, Noosa win.
Semi Final 2
Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Burleigh
Saturday August 20, 9:15am, Cooke-Murphy Oval
These two teams could consider themselves pretty unlucky not to be in the Division 1 finals, but here they are, and you bet they want to make the most of it.
Their form line throughout the season has been good, with both notching up the eight wins for the year.
They met in round 14, where Palm Beach comfortably got the job done.
With their senior team pretty healthy at the moment, but Burleigh’s seniors being finished for the year, both should field really strong line-ups this week.
Palm Beach’s run and spread with the football in hand should be a little too strong for the Bombers, though.
By Andrew Wiles