QAFL WRAP: Round 18

Mt Gravatt 2.3,  7.6,  8.11,  10.16  (76)
Wilston Grange 0.2,  2.3,  7.3,  12.4  (76)

Two games, two draws. Unthinkable. Unbelievable.

Luckily for Mt Gravatt, it was as good as a win, as the two points, and their healthy percentage, booked them a home elimination final against Surfers Paradise next week.

Like the first encounter, Mt Gravatt had the ball in their hands when the final siren rang.

This time it was Josh Vearing, but the distance was always going to be an issue.

His shot, like Lliam Molan’s one-minute earlier up the other end, didn’t have the legs in it.

This was your classic game of two halves.

Mt Gravatt went out early and put the foot down, opening up a 33-point half time lead, and look destined to take this out.

But the Gorillas had other ideas, turning it on in the second half to just keep clawing their way back into it.

They were making the most of their opportunities, while the Vultures, who had 10 more scoring shots, couldn’t capitalise.

Oskar Baker tore it to shreds in the second half for Grange, with Trewhella and Richardson down back, and Williams up forward also starring.

If there wasn’t a bloke by the name of Mick Hamill running around for the Vultures, they wouldn’t be thinking about finals at all. He was superb….again.

I just can’t believe they drew again…

The Vultures live to fight another day.

Coaches thoughts:
Brad Pollock – Mt Gravatt

“Another one. You wouldn’t read about this.

“Full credit to them, they just kept coming and coming in the second half.

“We were able to do what we needed to do though I guess, and now we get a home final next week, which we can’t wait for.

Matt Trewhella – Wilston Grange

“It was a really strange day, we were shot early, they were all over us, but we regrouped at half time and really got it on our terms.

“We were able to get it out wide a little more, and our younger guys were really playing well.

“It’s a weird feeling though, but I’m proud of the guys.



Labrador 1.2, 8.5,  11.7,  17.10  (112)
Palm Beach Currumbin 6.3,  6.5,  7.5,  8.6  (54)

For the first time this year, the Tigers are on top of the QAFL world, and what a time to do it.

The previous 17 rounds means nothing right now, because Labrador have booked themselves a week off, and a double chance, claiming the minor premiership in their quest for back-to-back flags.

They did it with a comprehensive win over Palm Beach, who they took top spot from, but it looked unlikely early.

The Lions kicked the first six goals of the game, all be it with the wind at their back, to jump the Tigers, who could have gotten a bit too comfortable after their huge win last week.

But after quarter time, it was one-way traffic.

Labrador kicked the next eight goals of the game, and 16 of the next 18 to get the job done.

It was played at a frantic pace, which seems to be the trend of the Tigers in the last month.

When they can bring their runners into the game like Clarke and Hicks, they are hard to stop, I don’t care who you are.

Their back line was also on song yesterday. It has to be to restrict the Lions to that second half score.

What will leave a sour taste in the mouth of Palm Beach were the injuries to Croad, Steve Thynne and Chisholm. Once they went down, they were up against it.

The Tigers can kick the feet up next weekend, and get their bodies right, while the Lions take on the Magpies at home.

Coaches thoughts:
Perry Meka – Labrador

“We took a bit of the week before into the game, and went out thinking it was going to happen. With the evenness of this competition, you cant do that.

“At quarter time in no uncertain terms we told them that wasn’t acceptable, and they responded.”

“Lots of people talk about the forward line, but our back line was sensational,

“We had to tick this box, now we have beaten every side in the comp.

Chad Owens – Palm Beach Currumbin

“We got outplayed after quarter time.

“We just lost all of our momentum in the second quarter, and couldn’t get it back.

“It was a really weird game. We still had a few boys who rolled over, which was disappointing.

“We have got to stay positive. We were good enough to earn the double chance, so we have to remember that.



University of Queensland 5.6,  11.8,  17.10,  24.12  (156)
Broadbeach 4.0,  7.3,  12.4,  14.9  (93)

There is a sweet feeling in football when everything just clicks. It’s almost like you’re on auto-pilot, everything just falls into place.

That happened to UQ yesterday.

There have been patches of brilliance all year, but it worked for four quarters, as they shut the door on 2016 in the best possible fashion.

Coming up against a Broadbeach side who limped into the final round numbers wise, they were always going to have the legs down the stretch.

Broadbech kicked the first two in the opening minutes, and looked up and about, but UQ were able to gain the ascendancy in the contested ball stakes, which was a trend that continued all afternoon.

The Red Lions went hunting yesterday for anything in a blue and white jumper. Their tackling pressure was through the roof.

The margin blew out late, as UQ finished by running in waves, but the job was already done.

Powyer was a rock down back, and Tagell was getting his hands on everything that came forward.

Searl and Palmer worked well in tandem in the middle for the Cats, but a few of their mates will be very happy the season is done, so they can ice up the bumps and bruises.

Coaches thoughts:
John Tootell – UQ

“It was good to get the job done, the boys were committed to the cause.

“They had a couple of missing as well, but our focus was just playing four good quarters of footy.

“Last time they killed us in the middle, so we put a big focus on that.

“Things that we have been trying all year finally worked.

“I am pretty proud of the efforts today.

Brett Andrews – Broadbeach

“We just ran out of troops yesterday, there were a lot of blokes on one leg.

“We just haven’t been the same since the Palm Beach game really, we were the walking wounded.

“They battled hard, but with the team we had, we just couldn’t get going.”



Western Magpies 2.0,  7.2,  13.4,  14.7  (91)
Surfers Paradise 3.3,  7.6,  9.9,  13.11  (89)

The title read round 18, but it was the perfect way to whet our appetites for finals footy.

The Magpies have got themselves a double chance these finals on the back of a two-point thriller at home.

Both teams were playing like their lives depended on it, because without knowing the Morningside score, it pretty much did.

Surfers started the best, but couldn’t put as much scoreboard pressure on as they would have liked.

The Magpies wrestled back control in the two middle quarters thanks to their ability to run away from the congestion.

The three goal advantage they held at three quarter time, combined with Surfers having limited rotations in the last due to injuries, put the Magpies in the box seat coming home.

Surfers didn’t buy into that though, having a red-hot crack, and pushing the black and white all the way until the final siren.

A goal to Daniel Green at the 29-minute mark brought them within two-points, and they looked to have the momentum, but the Magpies made sure they locked it up at the next centre-bounce, and closed the game out.

That’s when word came out to the Surfers players that despite the loss, they are in, finishing in fifth.

If finals are anything like this game, we are in for a belter of a four weeks.

Coaches thoughts:
Nathan Clarke – Western Magpies

“In the end, we were really pleased with that. Surfers played really well.

“We butchered the ball a couple of times, which we need to fix up before next week.

“They were very good in periods, but I think after quarter time, we can feel comfortable that we played really well.

“One thing that was getting us is that they were getting a lot of easy ball because our forwards were getting to high, so once we forced them to defend us more, we got into the game.

Peter Young – Surfers Paradise

“After the game the boys were pretty down, they knew they were in, but they were still disappointed about the result.

“We put a lot of effort into that game, and we thought we should have come away with the points.

“We basically had no interchange at the end, so it was good that we finished so well, we were pretty pleased with that.

“It was tight for most of the day, that is for sure. It was a quality game of footy.



Sandgate 2.4,  8.9,  9.14,  13.17  (95)
Morningside 2.4,  3.5,  7.8,  10.12  (72)

Sandgate has become the biggest party spoilers of 2016.

Their win was the first over Morningside in over 30 years, but more importantly, ended the Panthers year.

They also sent their skipper, Trent Fuller, off into retirement in the perfect way.

Morningside had it all to play for. If they won, a home elimination final was the prize, but because of the Mt Gravatt draw, and Surfers’ better percentage, they are over and out in 2016.

That’s still sinking in for me just writing it, so I can’t begin to imagine how they are feeling.

To put it simply, Sandgate were better everywhere yesterday.

They beat the Panthers up in the middle, they stopped their spread, and they were clean going forward.

Overington was outstanding, and Beaven was having a blinder.

It was the second quarter they made their move, piling on six goals to one, to ruffle a few feathers.

From that point, Morningside were forced to chase, but the gap was too great.

They got it back to 18-points at three quarter time, but could go no further.

When the siren rang, 2016 was over for both clubs. Something not many expected.

Gee whiz Sandgate get themselves up for big games at home. This is a turn-up for the ages.

Coaches thoughts;
Graham Adams – Sandgate

“It was a great day, in my opinion, we beat them all over the ground today.

“It was always going to be a big day, with our captain Trent Fuller playing his last game, and as a group, we really wanted to send him off the right way.

“Our midfield group was outstanding today.

“It’s an enormous feeling.”

Matt Walder – Morningside

“At the end of the day, Sandgate looked like the team playing for finals, not us. You would have thought they had everything to play for.

“We were poor in every aspect, not taking it away from Sandgate at all, but our levels of impact were as low as they have been in a month.

“They beat us up on the inside, our efficiency levels were poor, were playing catch up for the whole day.

“Percentage didn’t kill us, 17 other rounds killed us.”


So here is the final ladder

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By Andrew Wiles

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