Round 4 QAFL Preview and Teams

BY ANT WINGARD  @AntWingard

Mt Gravatt Vultures v Broadbeach Cats

Saturday May 12, 2:00PM
Dittmer Park

Last Time They Met

Round 14, 2017: Mt Gravatt 12.14 (86) def Broadbeach 12.12 (84) at Dittmer Park.

Preview

For the second straight week, the Cats will feature in a top of the table clash. And after seeing off a wayward Surfers Paradise last week, Broadbeach travel up the highway to face a rejuvenated Mt Gravatt side who continue to thrive under the guidance of Daniel Webster. For so long Broadbeach have lived in the shadows of their Gold Coast rivals, but a win against the Vultures would definitively herald the arrival of the Cats on the glitter strip.

Mt Gravatt’s season thus far has been above outside expectations, but they face their biggest test this week against the ladder leaders. Wins against the Magpies, Gorillas and Tigers have shown the Vultures at their best, but if the season were to end today, none of those three sides would qualify for finals. As much as the contest is about Broadbeach announcing themselves, that same notion bares the same significant for the Vultures.

The ruck battle between Andrew Smith, who has been perhaps the best ruckman in the competition after four rounds, and youngster Shawn Watson, could truly shape this game. While Broadbeach boast a number of big midfielders around the contest, if Smith is able to edge out Watson in the ruck and around the ground, the contest could swing either way.

Download: Rd4 – Vultures v Cats Team Lists

Labrador Tigers v Wilston Grange Gorillas

Saturday May 12, 2:00PM
Cooke-Murphy Oval

This match will be live streamed at www.aflq.com.au/qafl-live

Last Time They Met

Round 15, 2017: Labrador 11.15 (81) def Wilston Grange 11.4 (70) at Cooke-Murphy Oval

Preview

Labrador enter Round 4 as a team desperate to produce their first win of the season. Mt Gravatt’s opening quarter onslaught was enough to relegate the Tigers to a 0-3 start. It wasn’t until well into the second quarter where Labrador finally hit the scoreboard and despite a late comeback, the Vultures’ lead proved too much. Already, Labrador has lost more games in 2018 than their entire 2017 season.

Their sluggish start is not ideal for one of the competition’s most successful clubs, but the Tigers have the opportunity to repent themselves in Round 4. Buffed by the return of Wayde Mills, who will line up alongside Jayden Young for the first time this season, the Tigers will look toward this contest as one where they can win.

Wilston Grange, who haven’t found the winners circle since Round 1, will view the game in much the same vein. In their losses to Mt Gravatt and Morningside, the Gorillas certainly had their chances, but lapses in concentration allowed the opposition to establish a wide enough lead. Most of their goals thus far have come mainly through midfielders who float forward, but against the Tigers, the Gorillas will need to navigate through the defensive talls of Mills and Young.

Dyson Budarick returns for the Tigers while Western Australian recruit Thomas Bertola will make his debut for the Gorillas after a couple of strong performances in the Reserves.

Download: Rd4 – Tigers v Gorillas Team Lists

Palm Beach Currumbin Lions v Western Magpies

Saturday May 12, 2:00PM
Salk Oval

Last Time They Met

Round 15, 2017: Western Magpies 5.13 (43) def by Palm Beach Currumbin 22.14 (146) at McCarthy Homes Oval.

Preview

Broadbeach and Mt Gravatt both sit in first and second place, but Palm Beach Currumbin is still the premier team of the QAFL. And if not for the bye in the opening weekend, that same sentiment would bare more truth around the league. Big wins against Labrador and Sandgate have shown the Lions at the best and have provided the side already with the best percentage in the competition.

But while Palm Beach Currumbin have faced the two bottom sides of the competition, the Western Magpies have faced the two best. And while the results haven’t gone their way with the Magpies still searching for that elusive first win, the contests have been close – with the margins sitting on 18 and six points in either game. The difficult start for the Magpies doesn’t get much easier with their matchup against the Lions looming, but their performances indicate the contest should once again be close.

The Western Magpies’ midfield possesses the necessary size and strength to match it with the Lions, in a facet that could decide the game. Magpies’ Gareth Crawford, Brenton Saunders, Jonathan Macanawai and Ryan Harwood will face off against Lions’ Thomas Thynne, Tyler Cornish, Jason Burge and Jesse Derrick at the coal face.

The midfield battle will offer first use for each team’s big forwards. And while Palm Beach Currumbin will be without John Anthony, who has kicked five goals in his two games, will be aptly serviced by Jarryd Douglas. Anthony Corrie and Jakob De Winter will be the biggest beneficiaries from a Magpie midfield domination.

Download: Rd4 – Lions v Magpies Team Lists

Surfers Paradise Demons v Sandgate Hawks

Saturday May 12, 2:00PM
Sir Bruce Small Park

Last Time They Met

Round 17, 2017: Sandgate 13.6 (84) drew Surfers Paradise 12.12 (84) at Lemke Road

Preview

Sandgate and Surfers Paradise played off in an after the siren draw last year and the battle between two of the competition’s two youngest sides will again rear its head for the first time in 2018. While Surfers Paradise is perhaps a year ahead of the Hawks in their respective rebuilds up the ladder, Sandgate will strongly believe this game is one they can win.

Against a similar side, the Hawks have a chance to test themselves. After narrowly going down to Wilston Grange in the opening round, this is perhaps Sandgate’s best opportunity to claim their first win. The Demons will view the game much the same. After keeping a lid on things in the preseason, advocating the team was still developing to a consistent and competitive level, wins in the opening rounds jolted Surfers Paradise into the early finals conversation. But the loss in Round 3 to Broadbeach have halted the Demons and brought back some realisation of just how hard the 2018 season is going to be.

The young nature of both sides hints towards an intriguing battle on field. Sandgate trio Jai Larkins, Jake O’Halloran and Ben Hogan are all under 20 years of age but represent some of the Hawks’ better players this year. How they fare against similar Demons in Rene LeFeuvre, Alby Jones and Harris Newton is critical in the game’s result.

Download: Rd4 – Demons v Hawks Team Lists

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