Match of the round:
Saturday 4:45pm – Yeronga South Brisbane Vs. Coolangatta Tweed (Leyshon Park, Yeronga)
It’s the grand final rematch everyone’s been waiting for, but due to unforeseen circumstances we’ve had to wait until the second last round of the competition for it to arrive. Yeronga and Coolangatta were slated to face off in the opening round of the QWAFL this season, before severe weather rolled through south-east Queensland to cancel all games that week. The next scheduled clash was set for Round 7, which got underway but was brought to an abrupt end in the second quarter after a horrific broken leg to Bluebirds co-captain Alex Hamlyn. Here’s hoping third time’s a charm in round 16.
Yeronga have a very stable list currently, with the luxury of being able to name a consistent side each week. This round they get Queensland Under 23 representative Selina Puruntatameri back after a week off visiting family. Erica Fowler and Emily Bliss are still on the sidelines being managed with injury, but the good news for the Devils is Sabrina Frederick-Traub should be clear to play after dislocating her finger early in their game against UQ last week. Frederick-Traub was immediately taken from the match to be checked out, with fears the finger could be broken, but was given the all-clear from medical staff post-match. The 20-year-old will surely be a handful for Coolangatta, who have struggled to find a suitable replacement for Hamlyn at centre half-back this season.
The Bluebirds have had a horrid run with injuries of late, losing Best and Fairest candidate Zoe Lattanzi this week to a rolled ankle as well as Shinae Barnett who has been ruled out for the rest of the year with ongoing concussion symptoms. Queensland Under 23 captain Maddy Roberts is also in doubt with a strained hamstring limiting her this week at training. The silver lining for Coolangatta this week is they’re able to field a couple of their Under 18 representatives in Arianna Clarke and Ruby Blair. It’s going to be tough for Coolangatta to topple Yeronga with this under-strength side, but the memory of last year’s grand final win over the same opponent could prove as motivation for the Bluebirds to do the same again. A win for Coolangatta would see them firm as almost a lock in the top four, but a loss would make it very interesting for the rest of the competition.
It was a very interesting match last time Coorparoo played UQ. The Red Lions got off to a flyer, piling on four goals in the first quarter to lead 25-0 at quarter time. But a Coorparoo resurgence would see the Kings slowly claw their way back into the game, whereas UQ seemed to hit a brick wall and just couldn’t get their game back up and running to hit the scoreboard. It went right down to the wire, with UQ eventually holding on for a 25-23 victory. If the game had run for five more minutes, the smart money would have been on Coorparoo to get the four points.
This time around, The Kings are in a much better position sitting on top of the ladder, and have a chance to stamp out UQ’s finals aspirations with a big win. UQ, currently fifth on the ladder, need to win at least one of their final two games to be a chance for finals, while also needing a big percentage boost to overtake both Coolangatta and Wilston Grange ahead of them. There’s a chance it could come down to the final round where UQ take on Maroochydore, but if the Red Lions can take down the Kings again on Saturday it would set them up perfectly for a finals run.
Cellar dweller battle:
Zillmere play their final game of the season on Saturday, with a bye scheduled in Round 17. While they haven’t had the best of seasons on the field, it’s off the field where they have really made their mark. The Eagles have had players selected in numerous representative teams, seen plenty of new sponsors coming on board and had their new clubhouse finally re-opened last weekend. For their final match they face Maroochydore, who sit above Zillmere in sixth position with two wins to their name (both against Zillmere). The Eagles will be hoping to end their season on a high note with a competitive showing against the Roos, then celebrate the season post-match with a planned function for players and family.
Round 16 Matches:
Saturday July 29
4:45pm – University of Queensland Vs. Coorparoo
Venue: UQ Oval 9 – St Lucia
4:45pm – Yeronga South Brisbane Vs. Coolangatta Tweed
Venue: Leyshon Park – Yeronga
4:45pm – Zillmere Vs. Maroochydore
Venue: O’Callaghan Park – Zillmere
BYE: Wilston Grange
By Josh Cheadle