Bond University QAFLW – Round 1 2024 Preview

By Daniel Viles

Saturday 6 April 2024, 4:45pm at Zupps Aspley Oval, Carseldine
Live stream with commentary on YouTube
Team lists available on the PlayHQ Game Centre
Head-to-Head: Played 10 – UQ won 9; Aspley won 1
Head-to-Head at Zupps Aspley Oval: Played 5: UQ won 5
Last time they met: 22 Jul 2023 (Round 15) – University of Queensland 6.1 (37) d Aspley 3.11 (29) at Zupps Aspley Oval.

The first Match of the Round in the 2024 Bond University QAFLW features the Aspley Hornets seeking a vengeance of sorts against a University of Queensland side that nearly derailed their run to the Grand Final in 2023.

Aspley was eyeing a top-two finish with two rounds to play when wayward goalkicking plus a clearance masterclass from UQ midfielders Laura Roy and Ava Seton led to an eight-point upset. In the end, finishing third and beginning their maiden finals campaign at home worked out well for the Hornets, while the Red Lionesses ended their year with four wins from five matches and the knowledge that they could beat teams in the top four.

The beauty of the first round in every Bond University QAFLW season is that you never quite know who’s going to turn up. Missing for Aspley will be this year’s captain (and former Red Lioness), Emma Pittman, plus both of last year’s captains, Courtney Daniec and Ang Lingard. In fact, only 11 of their Grand Final side will run onto Zupps Aspley Oval tomorrow evening.

However, any perceived lack of experience has been overcome with a swarm of players whose careers range from revived to exhumed. Former Western Bulldog and Gold Coast Sun Tiarna Ernst plays her first QAFLW match since the 2019 Grand Final for Bond University. One of her opponents that day, Alanna Perry, won Aspley’s 2021 Tayla Harris Medal before taking maternity leave. 2020 Premiership ruck with Yeronga, Rachael Anstey, also returns after two years absence. Jasmine Kawa, now vice-captain, and Eloise O’Connor return to the gold and brown from stints in the VFLW.

At the other extreme, coach Luke Glacken has awarded state league debuts to four players who played QFAW footy in 2023. Experienced midfielder Jessica Davy has joined from premiers Moreton Bay, Maddi Tallis has left Redcliffe to test herself at a higher level, while from Sandgate come Isabella McDonough and Evie Long, the latter via the circuitous route of being drafted to the Brisbane Lions AFLW squad first.

For UQ, Annie Shewring dons the maroon and cerulean after a six-year gap, although she “shewhorned” in a Best on Ground for Australia in the 2018 Anzac Cup match against France in Villers-Bretonneux. Coach Ross Clayfield has resisted the temptation to rush the debuts of any former elite netballers, but has included Monique Piunti, formerly of Bond University netball, as well as retaining Bridey Condren who debuted late in 2023.

Anneliese Neary will debut for UQ alongside five of her Lions Academy teammates, including Coco Garton who played eight matches for Coorparoo in 2023. Two-time South Queensland representative Gracie Roy has left Morningside to play her first QAFLW match alongside sister Laura. Just 10 of the 20 players from UQ’s final round match against Bond University last July will take the field against Aspley.

A match between two teams featuring a collective 21 new players is most likely to be decided by the 20 remaining players. UQ’s forwards lack the experience of Aspley’s defensive line, but improved rapidly last year and may relish the immediate chance to test their off-season progress.

However, the other end of the field is where current Red Lionesses Jessi Henning, Charlotte Andrews and Lucy McCormick will seek to contain and frustrate former Red Lionesses Jess Stallard, Rachael Vetter and Louise Tyson. The outcome of that battle will determine which club settles its nerves fastest in 2024.

In other matches, Fankhauser Reserve will host the first ball-up of the 2024 Bond University QAFLW season when Southport take on last year’s surprise packets Wilston Grange. Premiers Bond University travel to Yeronga while Coorparoo hosts Maroochydore in a clash full of former north Queenslanders.



Saturday 6 April 2024, 2pm at Fankhauser Reserve, Southport
Head-to-Head: Played 4 – Southport won 4
Head-to-Head at Fankhauser Reserve: Played 2 – Southport won 2
Last time they met: 15 Jul 2023 (Round 14) – Southport 6.9 (45) d Wilston Grange 5.1 (31) at Giffin Park.



Saturday 6 April 2024, 2:45pm at Leyshon Park, Yeronga
Head-to-Head: Played 13 – Bond University won 8; Yeronga won 5
Head-to-Head at Leyshon Park: Played 6 – Bond University won 4; Yeronga won 2
Last time they met: 22 Jul 2023 (Round 15) – Bond University 13.15 (93) d Yeronga 0.4 (4) at Leyshon Park.


Saturday 6 April 2024, 4:45pm at Giffin Park, Coorparoo
Head-to-Head: Played 17 – Coorparoo won 11; Maroochydore won 6
Head-to-Head at Giffin Park: Played 8 – Coorparoo won 7; Maroochydore won 1
Last time they met: 29 Jul 2023 (Round 16) – Coorparoo 12.16 (88) d Maroochydore 0.1 (1) at Domino’s Park.


You can watch all matches in the Bond University QAFLW by visiting the Official AFLQ YouTube channel.

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