MATCH OF THE ROUND
Wilston Grange vs. Surfers Paradise
Saturday May 21, 2:00pm, Bendigo Bank Oval
LIVE BLOG FROM 1:45pm
Your guess is as good as mine as to what to expect tomorrow.
What we do know is that Surfers in playing some seriously good footy at the moment. You only have to look at their last three weeks for proof.
But Wilston Grange provides them with a bit of an unknown.
The Gorillas showed what they are capable of in the first quarter against Broadbeach last week, piling on nine unanswered goals.
If they bring that this week, ring a ding-ding, it’ll be on.
Surfers’ strength this year has been their ability to set up with an extra or two behind the ball and then slingshot forward.
Bendigo Bank oval isn’t a bullring, but it’s not the biggest ground either, so they will be a little hemmed in.
Grange’s backline will have their work cut out though. Danny Green has looked unstoppable at times one-on-one, and Noa Corbett has swooped on everything that has hit the deck.
Surfers must keep McIvor in check off halfback, and can’t leave Trewhella one out. He’s too good with his body.
How tomorrow plays out is an unknown, but that’s why we go and watch isn’t it?
Where it will be won: Uncontested possession
Broadbeach vs. Palm Beach Currumbin
Saturday May 21, 2:00pm, Ord Minnett Oval
It might be a stretch to call them neighbours, but make no mistake, Gold Coast teams hate losing to other Gold Coast teams.
The Palm Beach Broadbeach rivalry is about to go up a notch.
It’s going to be quick, it’s going to be open, and it’s going to be high scoring.
Palm Beach is the best finisher in the business at the moment. The Cats have to be very close, if not in front at three quarter time to win this.
To do that though, the Cats have to start better. They can’t give the Lions a head start like they did the Gorillas last week.
Stopping Palm Beach means stopping Woolley, Stephen Thynne (who would be very close to leading their best and fairest right now) and Jesse Derrick at the very least.
You can’t give them any space, or have a free run at the contest in the middle.
The Cats have got to use their speed out wide. Royes’ role in the midfield will be essential to that; it starts with him.
Where it will be won: the big deck means whoever can spread better will win. Pretty simple.
Morningside vs. Mt Gravatt
Saturday May 21, 2:00pm, Jack Esplen Oval
Local rivalries always bring out the best in teams. You find an extra gear when the going gets tough.
When you add to the mix that both of these teams are right up the pointy end in 2016, it’s a dream match up for round 7.
Last week couldn’t be any more opposite for these two though.
Mt Gravatt dominated UQ, while Morningside were handed a heavy loss at the hands of Surfers.
I have the feeling that won’t mean a whole lot when the ball is bounced tomorrow.
Frame will go to Moncur, who needs to be stopped on the lead if they leave him one out, while Wearne and Brown will get a look at Estall at some stage.
Two of the most mobile ruckman in the competition, Smith and Mollison, will also cover some serious ground on Saturday.
Who comes out on top in that battle will go a long way to giving their team the edge.
Then there are the Hamill brothers squaring off against Nash and Kinch.
There are 50/50’s across every line on the ground. It’s near on impossible to pick. This game is a direct reflection on just how close the QAFL is this year.
I think we will know a lot more about Mt Gravatt by the end of this one.
Where it will be won: link up work
Sandgate vs. Labrador
Saturday May 21, 2:00pm, Lemke Road
You know the saying ‘close but no cigar?’ Well Labrador and Sandgate have lived it this year.
They definitely haven’t been as bad as the three wins between them suggest; they both could easily be pushing for a spot in the five.
Last week was a bit of ‘what if?’ for each side. Sandgate couldn’t put the Lions away when they had the chance, and Labrador had one pinched from right under their nose.
It would have hurt them both, no doubt. Redemption is on the cards.
Both teams play a similar brand of footy.
They love the contested stuff; will crack in at every opportunity, but then pull the trigger quickly when they get their hands on the pill.
The difference in the game will be who can be the cleanest. It’s all about polish.
Retzlaff is massive for Labrador, both figuratively and literally. His inclusion will straighten them up.
Nick Jackson back from Aspley on the half-forward flank will be very handy for the Hawks.
Labrador will start favorites, but never write off Sandgate on their home deck.
Where it will be one: going inside 50.
Western Magpies vs. UQ
Saturday May 21, 2:00pm, Chelmer
Doesn’t matter what level of footy you play, there is always a spring in the step when a team gets a new coach.
They run across the ground a little lighter, they ball zips around that little bit more, and history shows, the team usually wins.
The Magpies, under Nathan Clarke, will be hoping that trend continues this weekend.
Luke Scott, who was a late withdrawal last week, will be a handy in… but where does he play?
Clarke has the option of playing him behind the ball, or turning the forward line into a four tall attack, alongside Staker, Pope and Dickfos. Not a bad headache to have.
For UQ, it’s about the whole 22 this week. They got caught on the back foot early last week, and struggled to get into the game.
The start of this one is crucial this week. They can’t get sucked in to playing a heap of numbers around the footy, like they did last week. That will suit the Magpies to a tee.
They have got to keep their width, start winning the centre clearances, and then take off.
The spine of Hannaford, Lovett, Powyer Tagell and Carlson will all have to be on top of their game.
Where it will be won: the Magpies’ forward line.
150-year fact – Queensland Football Forensics
After competing in the Metropolitan Division of the QAFL in 1968 and 1969, Mt Gravatt defeated Oakleigh at Ashgrove in the first round of the first South Queensland Australian Football Association (SQAFA) season on 4th April 1970.
The Vultures backed up the victory with a win over Army at Dittmer
Park the following week. Despite their promising start to the season, Mt Gravatt eventually finished sixth of eight teams in SQAFA’s first season.
Remember, 24 hours after the game, match replays will be available to view HERE. No excuses not to be all over the ins and outs of the QAFL in 2016.
By Andrew Wiles