Caloundra vs. Coorparoo
Caloundra and Coorparoo will both want to lock down on the last spot in the 2011 State Association division one Grand Final this week when they do battle at Kianawah Road on Saturday. The Kings dished out a bit of punishment to Caloundra in their last outing only two weeks ago, but the Panthers bounced back to record a 51 point victory against Yeronga in the Semi Final last week. Without in-form tall Jake Weller the Caloundra forward line went into the game lacking some much needed strike power, but ruckman Shaun Clarke (7 goals) and veteran Barry O’Brien (5 goals) more than made up for the loss with two big performances. David Gazelle had his best game of the year in a best on ground, 3 goal effort, while Tye Morrison and skipper Matt Clarke also contributed heavily to the favourable result.
Coorparoo continued their ongoing tussle with the UQ Red Lions in their Semi Final last week, losing this time by just 9 points. In the latter stages of the regular season, UQ and Coorparoo played in the year’s first draw, and this intensity went to another level as all good finals matches do. The Kings went into the main break 3 goals down after squandering some easy shots on goal in the first half. They then bounced back with a big third quarter to put themselves right back in the hunt. The Red Lions turned it on in the final stanza however, and had it not been for the solid pressure of the Coorparoo backline the final score may have been more. Captain Ben Cowan was solid with 3 goals, as was Tyson Spurling with 2 majors of his own. Although the last quarter proved to be costly, there were plenty of good signs to come out of the match, with Ben Gibson and Sandy Hampson performing admirably and others in the Kings’ backline stepping up to handle the UQ forwards.
Both sides will know what it takes to win through to a Grand Final as both sides were there last year. So far this year Coorparoo have been the better side and have taken the points in two of the three times they have played. Despite their loss last week, it would be safe to give the Kings the favourites tag heading into this weekend. With Caloundra missing influential forward Jake Weller and having to travel down from the coast, this is going to be a tough encounter for the reigning premiers. They know what it takes to win at this crucial stage of the season and that is something that will be invaluable when this one goes down to the wire.
The Last Five Weeks:
Caloundra – WLWLW
Coorparoo – LWWWD
Head-to Head This Year:
17.16-118 Caloundra def. Coorparoo Kings 15.4-94
17.19-121 Coorparoo Kings def. Caloundra 12.13-85
7.8-50 Caloundra def. by Coorparoo Kings 14.10-94