MATCH OF THE ROUND
ZILLMERE vs. YERONGA
Saturday June 28, 4:45pm O’Callaghan Park
A 15-goal win against Griffith Moorooka got Zillmere’s season back on track last week, but the Eagles will have to lift if they want to knock off Yeronga on Saturday.
In one of the most competitive seasons of women’s football in recent memory, wins aren’t easy to come by, and both teams will be eyeing the points this weekend for different reasons.
For the Eagles, a win would move them into the top four, while a victory for the Devils would put them in striking distance of Coorparoo and Coolangatta.
The last time these two teams met, the Devils were way too good, thrashing Zillmere by 94-points, but Eagles coach, Jacob Simmons-Bliss, guarantees the result will be different this time around.
“That game we played against Yeronga and the start of the season was a total write off, it was a complete lack of effort and you won’t see that from us this weekend, Simmons-Bliss said.”
“The team is feeling really up and about at the moment, the girls are recovered and fresh and we are really excited about this challenge.
“We learnt what needed to from that last game against them and it isn’t a factor for us, we have finished our heavy training load and are confident we can get the win.”
Both Yeronga and Zillmere have been deadly in attack this season when given time and space, but Simmons-Bliss believes the key to victory lies in the defensive structures.
“I absolutely think defensive pressure is key, if we can apply significant pressure and play in our forward half we are a really good chance,” Simmons-Bliss said.
“We really relish playing the top sides and I think we play our best football against them, so this weekend is a great opportunity to show what we can do.”
Yeronga have been one of the more consistent performers in 2015, but despite comfortably beating the Eagles in round 2, Devils coach, Scott Stephens, is adamant that it won’t be a factor this weekend.
“I’m not really taking too much notice about the first one against them, I’m expecting a much different Zillmere outfit,” Stephens said.
“That game against them in round 2 was probably the only true four quarter performance we put in this year, and I think if we do that again we can definitely win.
“It’s going to come down to who handles the pressure the best, if we can handle the pressure that they bring we should be able to counter and put some points on the board.
With the likes of Bates, Harris, Ransfield, Anderson and Zanchetta lining up this weekend, there are a few mouth watering-match ups in store, and Stephens isn’t shying away from one player he will be trying to stop.
“You definitely have to watch Tayla (Harris), she kicked a bag of eight in the state game and then she kicked seven last week, so she is very capable,” Stephens said.
“There are some team tactics we will have in play, it takes a group effort to cut out a player of that magnitude, but we have a few things up our sleeves to stop Tayla.”
Don’t expect a repeat scoreline of round 2 on Saturday, this one should be a ripper.
GRIFFITH MOOROOKA vs. UQ
Saturday June 28, 4:45pm Alexander Park
It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for these two sides and this week presents the perfect opportunity for one club to get a much-needed win under their belt.
UQ have been unlucky in 2015, losing a string of close games to sit second bottom on the ladder with just one win to their name.
Griffith Moorooka on the other hand are still looking to break their duck ten rounds into the year, after losing their first seven hit outs by big margins.
Although UQ comfortably defeated the Reds by 88-points earlier in the season, Red Lionesses coach, Michael Swann, knows his team faces a huge challenge on Saturday.
“This is a really difficult time of the year for us with exams and holidays, and we only have eight regular QWAFL players available this week, so we know the girls face a monumental challenge,” Swann said.
“I think Griffith would have earmarked this one for a few weeks as one to get win and if we don’t show up ready to play I think it will be a pretty difficult game.
“But this weekend is an opportunity for the girls who don’t usually play regularly in the QWAFL to get a run and experience the elite level.”
Although UQ are down in numbers this week, Swann still believes his side can pull out a win if the intent is there.
“We need to find some avenues to goal and focus on moving the ball forward, but really with this week the desire and hunger to win at all costs must be there,” Swann said.
“We’ve lacked that desire on those occasions where we were in with a chance of winning, but if the girls stay focused and work hard I think we are a good chance.
“Our newer girls who haven’t experienced this level before might find it tough to adjust to the pace of the game, but I still want to see a high work rate and constant commitment.”
Griffith Moorooka have been a little off the pace with the rest of the competition this season, but Reds coach, Glenn Hogetts, believes his group could snag a win this week if things go their way.
“If we play the way we have been playing the last three weeks I think we are a chance,” Hogetts said.
“Training has been really good, everybody is up and about and the girls are really enjoying their football which is the space you want to be in.
“Last week was a big improvement from the first round and we are looking for the same again this week against UQ.”
Despite not securing a win this season, Hogetts believes the Reds have turned a corner in recent weeks and is expecting a new found attitude to reflect results.
“At the start of the year we were working as individuals but we had a little meeting a few weeks ago and the girls are now starting to work for each other and gel as a team,” Hogetts said.
“We know that it all won’t click overnight, but we are improving and this week I’m looking for the girls to be smart around the footy, be proactive and work for each other.”
WILSTON GRANGE vs. COOLANGATTA
Saturday June 28, 4:45pm PBI Oval
After suffering their first loss of the season last week to Coorparoo, Coolangatta will face another tough challenge this Saturday when they clash with Wilston Grange at PBI Oval.
Although the Bluebirds six game winning streak was snapped by the Navy Roos, Coolangatta coach, Aaron Russell admits the loss has done his side the world of good.
“I think it has rejuvenated us to be honest, we have got more focus on the second half of the season now and both myself and the girls learnt some good lessons out of the loss,” Russell said.
“We trained really hard on Wednesday, got good numbers and we are really motivated now to hit this back half of the season running.”
Wilston Grange have been solid without being amazing in 2015, but Russell believes the challenge will definitely be there on the weekend.
“They are a bit of a different side in the way they play and they can be a pretty tough side to get on top of physically, so we know they present a tough challenge,” Russell said.
“For us, we just want to correct a few things from the weekend, there are definitely a few areas we can improve on and Grange are efficient when going forward so we can’t afford any lapses.
“I don’t think they have fielded their best side all year, so if and when they get their full side on the park it will be really interesting to see what they can do.”
Wilston Grange will go into this one heavy underdogs despite their four wins, but Gorillas coach, Ron Kemp, is hopeful his undermanned team can take it to the ladder leaders.
“Unfortunately I’m running out of personnel at the moment, but we will put the best girls we can on the park and have a red hot crack,” Kemp said.
“They are a very good team, a very quick team, but they are susceptible to pressure and that’s what we have to apply to win it.
“Hopefully we can slow the pace down a bit, we need to tackle well and slow down their flow if we are going to get on top.”
Although Coolangatta have a number of stars who can carve an opposition to pieces, Kemp admits that he won’t be focusing on specific players come Saturday.
“It’s difficult when you have a lot out, but we can’t just focus on a couple of people, we have to focus on their style and gameplay – we’ve played them once and I think we can try things to disrupt them,” Kemp said.
“I think that’s what we need to do this weekend, try things – the girls need to have the confidence to attack, work hard and control the play a bit more, those are the ingredients.”
By Grant Hitzman