Bond University QWAFL Preview

 

Saturday 4:30pm – Yeronga South Brisbane Vs. Wilston Grange (Leyshon Park – Yeronga)

Two teams. One grand final spot up for grabs. That’s the equation for this Saturday when Yeronga host Wilston Grange in the 2017 QWAFL Preliminary final.

With the ledger squared at one win apiece this year for these two sides, we’re primed for a ripper of a game. The uncharacteristically warm August weather is set to subside by Saturday with the temperature tipped to hit a maximum of 20 degrees. Wilston Grange will be the underdogs heading into this one, but with their dazzling rise reaching new heights this season, could they soon end up as top dog?

Yeronga will take an unchanged side from their narrow loss to Coorparoo last week into their first do-or-die clash. The Devils had an abundance of scoring shots in that game but squandered their opportunities in front of goal to kick twice as many behinds as majors. They’ll be looking to rectify those inaccuracies this week, but face a tough challenge in the Wilston Grange defensive line which is one of the best in the entire competition. With Yeronga possessing potentially the most dangerous forward line, it should make for a fascinating contest.

The Gorillas are also sticking to their guns and naming a similar squad, with Zandy Davidson the only new inclusion from last week’s dominant win. Davidson will bolster the Gorillas’ backline further and her willingness to take the game on and attack the footy will be eagerly welcomed by Grange.  The Gorillas played their structures extremely well last week despite a trademark sluggish start, and will be confident of replicating their performance on the small stage on Saturday.

 

Last time they met:

Round 12: Wilston Grange 6.10 (46) def. Yeronga 4.5 (29)

Round 17: Yeronga 8.10 (58) def. Wilston Grange 7.3 (45)

 

Matchups that matter:

All the exciting action seems likely to unfold in the Yeronga attacking/Grange defensive half. With a couple of tall targets in Jade Ransfield and Sabrina Frederick-Traub taking up post on or inside 50, the question is who will Kate Lutkins pick up? Lutkins is one of the most damaging defenders in the competition when she’s in form, and can be a handful for even the most experienced and accomplished forwards. Expect to see her moved around fairly regularly but I’m tipping her to start on Lions teammate Frederick-Traub.

There’ll be another Lion v Lion matchup in the middle, with Tahlia Randall likely to go head-to-head with Emily Bates on a few occasions. Both players have been huge in getting their sides to where they are today, but will need to produce the goods again to win that spot in the Grand Final. With Randall likely to take some of the ruck responsibilities for Grange, look for Bates to stick near her then try to read her taps at the stoppages.

 

Coaches’ comments:

“Training was good this week… the girls seem focused!” 

  • Yeronga coach Scott Stephens

“All the pressure’s on them so it’s a nice feeling for us. People still don’t believe how good we are but I like that, we just stick in our own little world.”

  • Wilston Grange coach Laura Kidd

 

Predictions:

Phil Lovett (UQ Coach) – Yeronga by 35 points

John Taylor (Zillmere Coach) – Wilston Grange by 11 points

Stu Jackson (Maroochydore Coach) – Yeronga by 18 points

Josh Cheadle (QWAFL Writer) – Yeronga by 22 points

 

By Josh Cheadle

Twitter: @JoshCheadle20

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