QAFL Finals Preview: Week 2

A Sneak Peek at the Heavyweights

Labrador vs. Palm Beach Currumbin

Sat 9 Sep, Cooke-Murphy Oval 2.00 pm

Live blog:

 

Many tipped the Lions and Tigers to be around at the end of the season and now they’re set to do battle, in a top two finals clash. This is QAFL footy at its best.

There’s no love lost between these two Gold Coast rivals and they know every detail of each other’s list, making the matchups on the day a fascinating study.

Much hinges around the way Palm Beach Currumbin coach Chad Owens plans to counter the dangerous Labrador forward line, of Hall, Retzlaff and Goldsmith when he’s down there. It’s a lot of firepower to control and he’ll need exceptional games out of big Jackson Emblem and the athletic Liam McNeven.

“Obviously they’re the biggest forward line in the competition, that can work for you or against you I guess,” said Palm Beach Currumbin coach Chad Owens.

“We’ve just gotta make sure we bring the ball to ground and then we can run off those fellas.”

The Lions’ best bet looks like stopping the Labrador midfielders from getting on top, so it will be interesting to see who goes to who in the middle. There’ll be plenty of rotating and switching roles in the clinches, but some players might require some special attention.

“Billy Hicks in the middle I think is a star of the competition, he’s a finals footy player, I think little Adam Clarke is the same,” said Owens.

“They’ve got a quality midfield, so if we can limit their midfield, obviously their forwards aren’t going to get as many opportunities.”

Around the footy, Jason Burge and Jesse Derrick are the Lions’ most damaging players, while Labrador likes the ball in the hands of Bill Hicks and Adam Clarke. According to Labrador coach Aaron Shattock, it’s likely to be the sort of game where each coach backs their midfielders to win the footy.

“We definitely give some respect to a couple of their midfielders, but I don’t think either team has really tagged any midfielders or anything like that, so it will be pretty much a head to head battle I would have thought,” said Shattock.

“We’re pretty evenly matched I think, in the midfield, so we’ll have to wait and see tomorrow.”

 

Tip: Labrador by 21 points

 

QAFL coaches weigh in

Troy Moncur (Mt Gravatt): Labrador by 28 points

Brydan Morgan (Western Magpies): Labrador by 14 points

Brad Moore (Surfers Paradise): Labrador by 17 points

Nathan Clarke (Wilston Grange): Labrador by 6 points

Graham Adams (Sandgate): Labrador by 20 points

 

 

Claws Out

Broadbeach vs. Morningside

Sun 10 Sep, Ord Minnett Oval 2.00 pm

Live blog:  http://www.aflq.com.au/broadbeach-vs-morningside/

 

The claws are out as the Cats take on the Panthers, both sides coming off big games and eager to get through for a shot at the big dance.

Though both teams played in big games, they approach this contest from different angles, Broadbeach coming off a close loss to the Lions and Morningside, a big win over Mt Gravatt.

Given Broadbeach appear to have the talls to go with Morningsides important bookends in Abey and Mitchell up front, as well as Buntain and Nash down back, it looks like plenty will be decided in the middle of the ground.

Despite a Broadbeach defense that boasts the likes of David King and Jason Sharp, Morningside coach Steve Wildschut remains confident his forwards can get the job done, no matter who they’re playing.

“As a footy club we’re confident that if one or two get shut down, then the third one is going to get off the chain,” said Wildschut.

“I don’t know whose turn it’ll be this week . . . Each of them individually as a key forward does what they need to do and depending on who the best defenders go to . . . That’s the person that tends to have a week out.”

Ashley Evans, Nathan Kinch and Matthew Logan were terrific last week against Mt Gravatt, all collecting over 20 disposals and leading from the front. Expect them to go head to head with the likes of Benji Neal, young Jack O’Shea and Evan Panozza.

“Benj and Jack O’Shea and these guys are really taking it to the next level. To be perfectly honest everyone talks about everyone else’s on ball division, but I think we’ve got a really good on ball division too,” said Broadbeach coach Brett Andrews.

Another interesting dimension to the contest, is how Broadbeach’s youth go against the more experienced heads at Morningside.

The talented brigade of Cats youngsters includes SUNS Academy prospects Connor Nutting, Kwaby Boakye and Timakoi Bowie, along with U17 Queensland State Academy success stories Hapeo Bobogi and Kelly Kaugla from Papua New Guinea. Then throw Jesse Esam, Dylan Lancaster and Jack O’Shea in there and the amount of young talent contained in the one team is a frightening prospect.

“It’s fantastic, and it’s a fantastic opportunity as a football club to house those guys,” said Andrews.

“It’s a credit to our football club that those guys want to come to our club.”

Morningside’s creativity off half back becomes important in shaping the game, as Campbell Wearne, Matthew Serrurier and Alastair Nash look to find their way through traffic and create opportunities for the Panthers.

“It’ll have to be a 22-man game for us this weekend,” said Wildschut.

“They’re going to have moments of brilliance, they’re going to tear the game apart, so, what can we do to curb that? We’ve got some things in place, but we’ve also got to make sure that we have a complete structure and game plan, about how we want to go about it.”

 

Tip: Broadbeach by 29 points.

 

 

QAFL coaches weigh in

Troy Moncur: Broadbeach by 44 points

Brydan Morgan (Western Magpies): Broadbeach by 32 points

Brad Moore (Surfers Paradise): Morningside by 7 points

Nathan Clarke (Wilston Grange): Morningside by 1 point

Graham Adams (Sandgate): Morningside by 7 points

 

Team Lists

Labrador vs. Palm Beach Currumbin

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Broadbeach vs. Morningside

Download Footy Record

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By Sean Melrose

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