MATCH OF THE ROUND
Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Morningside
Saturday July 2, 2:00pm, Salk Oval
LIVE BLOG FROM 1:45PM
It’s the intro that writes itself. One v two; winner takes top spot.
Footy equations don’t get much simpler.
If we look into the crystal ball, I think Palm Beach will try and play this one as quick as possible, whereas Morningside will be a bit more measured.
Last time they met, the Lions opened up a lead through their run, but the way Morningside looked after the footy in the dying stages got them the win.
For what it’s worth, I think both teams are playing better footy than they were in round 3, so this should be a cracker.
Buntain will most likely get the job on Douglas, so watching them jump at the footy will be breathtaking.
McNeven and Emblem will probably go to Mitchell and Abey, which will be as physical as it gets.
Croad is back, which helps the Lions tall stocks, as is Stephen Thynne. Don’t get two bigger ins than that.
Morningside are missing a few. Delbridge and Dalton out from last week’s side hurts their run, but then again, when your reserves are undefeated you back your depth in.
They also get to keep Isaiah Edwards from Redland, who was a massive key last week.
I think Palm Beach’s run wins this, but if Morningside can use the middle of Salk Oval, they are more than a show.
Where it will be won: tempo
Mt Gravatt vs. Sandgate
Saturday July 2, 2:00pm, Dittmer Park
Predicting what’s going to happen in this one is like being confident who is going to be our Prime Minister come Saturday night.
When you think you have an idea, doubts creep into your mind that make you second-guess yourself.
These two teams have been victims of a high turnover of personnel over the last few weeks, which means it’s bloody hard to pick a winner.
What we do know is that both need to win, and both want to bounce back from last week.
Sandgate are going to attack the Vultures around the ball. They need to be up in the stoppages, but more importantly, they need to be cleaner with how they use the ball.
They win their fair share of footy; it’s just about capitialising on the half chances that will be the difference.
Mt Gravatt go in very small this week, which means they need their run more than ever.
They have to get the ball out wide; they can’t keep it in the corridor, or have too many repeat stoppages.
With no genuine ruckman named for Mt Gravatt, that’s an area Sandgate need to target.
You’ll probably find the Vultures’ mids like Hamill and Hunkin will rove off Gray.
A couple of NEAFL players return to both line-ups this week, which definitely make a huge difference.
Forbes and Jackson strengthen the Hawks’ key position stocks, while the Vultures get Niland-Rowe, Christensen, and Walsh in.
Moncur and Chapman are also back from injury.
Mt Gravatt need to get over this wretched run of injuries and bank a win, they don’t want to fall back into the pack too far.
Where it will be won: speed of the game.
Wilston Grange vs. Western Magpies
Saturday July 2, 2:00pm, Bendigo Bank Oval
These two teams always seem to put on a bit of a show.
It’s tough, it’s brutal in the middle, there are a few blokes always out on their feet by the end, and it’s always unpredictable.
Don’t expect tomorrow to be any different.
The Magpies are as formidable as anyone at the moment. There contested work has come back, and they are spreading well.
If you’re looking for a make-or-break aspect to this game, it’s the Magpies’ forward line.
With Val Pope back from overseas, they have a three-pronged tall attack with Dickfos and Staker.
Eaton will go to one, Christie to another, and probably Richardson on the third, unless Trewhella swings back.
If one or two of those three have a big afternoon, it’s going to be a long way back for the Gorillas.
That’s why the midfield battle becomes so important.
Grange has got to make the Magpies look as ugly as possible going forward. If the delivery is good, they will be unstoppable.
Foster is in great form in the ruck; that’s an area the Gorillas can target. They have to be up in the contested count.
That’s what’s going to bring kids like Lliam Molan into the game.
Ice baths will be a hot (or cold) commodity after this.
Where it will be won: Magpies’ forward line.
Labrador vs. UQ
Saturday July 2:00pm, Cooke-Murphy Oval
It’s all about the inclusions this week.
UQ get Hannaford, Mason, McKee, Dennis, and Warren back just to name a few.
Labrador get Hollis back into the ruck, and Southport skipper Ben Headland, who is returning from injury, will pull on the yellow and black.
Because of that, UQ will be a different team to what we saw last week, but they can’t afford to slip in and out of this game, otherwise they Tigers will put them to the sword.
They need to throw caution to the wind, use the space Cooke-Murphy Oval has to offer, and play like they have nothing to lose.
On the other hand, this is a real opportunity for Labrador to push for a top three-spot, which is what they have their eyes on at the moment.
Hollis back in the ruck means that the UQ backline will be stretched. Powyer, Ablett and probably Lovett will have to cover Baxter Retzlaff and Goldsmith at some point… good luck.
Labrador will look to choke the Red Lions in from the backline with their pressure, but if UQ can get it on the other side of that, they can really use their leg speed.
Tigers will start hot favourites, and I don’t see them letting this one slip, but UQ’s team is the strongest it has been in months.
Where it will be won: the pressure
Broadbeach vs. Surfers Paradise
Sunday July 3, 2:00pm, Ord Minnett Oval
This will be like two brothers in the back yard trying to run away from each other all afternoon.
Make no doubts about it, both of these teams are going to want to tuck the ball under the wing and take off.
Stopping each others run will be near on impossible, so it’s going to be about who manages it the best.
It’ll be about cutting the opposition’s legs off from the back line. Once it gets over the back, or into space, good luck.
Broadbeach had a team-lifting win last week. They travelled to Brisbane, shook off a scrappy start, and showed that despite their injuries they still have the cattle to ruffle a few feathers.
Whereas Surfers got their season back on track with a second half demolition. That means both teams will head into the game confident, which is half the battle with a young team.
Quick will have his hands full with Green up one end, while the Surfers defence will have to watch a few mid sized forwards like O’Donnell, Neal, and the big bloke Strong who will crash the packs.
If Surfers want to remain in touch with the five, this is a must win.
Where it will be won: the runners
150-year fact – Queensland Football Forensics
During University of Queensland’s season in the QANFL in 1960, many members of the Senior team, along with a number of the Reserve Graders, represented the University, and indeed Queensland, at the annual Inter-Varsity Carnival.
In 1960 the carnival was held in Hobart in late May, and well-known first graders Tony Burge, Brian Gabbedy, Bill East, Peter Light and John Armstrong formed part of the team. The Football Record described the carnival as ‘a
week where, in the case of our code, approximately 125 players from Perth to Brisbane get together and meet each other in a very convivial spirit.’
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