Third-placed Maroochydore to rely on young talent in do-or-die clash

Bond University QAFLW Finals Wk 1 Preview – Maroochydore v Coorparoo

Maroochydore Roo’s will look to make the most of home ground advantage in this Saturday’s Elimination Final clash against Coorparoo at the Maroochydore Multisport Complex.

In the two meetings between the two sides throughout the 2021 Bond University QAFLW season, the home side prevailed on both occasions.

Coorparoo snagged a one-point victory at Giffin Park in Round 3 (5.2-32 v 4.7-31), while in Round 8 Maroochydore stormed home at Fisherman’s Road with Jya Epstein kicking two of the Roo’s six goals (6.3-39 v 2.3-15).

But regardless of turf, Maroochydore Head Coach, Steve Moody believes his team has the fighting spirit to get the win and go one step closer to booking a spot in the grand final.

“Getting the win over them (Coorparoo) in round eight proves if nothing that they can be beaten, but that’s probably where it starts and ends at this point in the season,” he said.

“Coorparoo will roll out a different side this weekend and we’ll probably have a different side as well. So all of that becomes a little bit of a false confidence in some respects. At the end of the day, whoever you play on the on the day is who you have to beat.

“It’s game plan as usual for us this weekend. We’re fully aware of what the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition are, but we certainly don’t want to get too caught up trying to change the way that we play too dramatically. We haven’t trained for long and often enough to be able to do that.

“We know what we’ve got to do when we have the ball and we know what to do when we don’t have the ball and it’s about reinforcing that.”

Moody expects his young talent will be key play makers in the do-or-die game.

“Both Maggie (Harmer) and Bella (Smith) are on the Academy radar/draft prospect – they’ve really stepped it up this year,” he said.

“It’s a good opportunity for some of our younger talent too, like Jacque Dupuy and Chole Gregory to test themselves against high quality AFLW girls and say ‘if I want to be at their level this is what I’ve got to be able to do.’

“I’d love to think that it’ll be exciting for all of the girls. Whether they’re 16, 17, 31 or 32. They’re all going to be a little bit nervous. If they can settle pretty early in the piece and just play by the game that we want to play, then, with a bit of luck, we’ll put together a good performance.”

Coorparoo come into the game with four wins in a row, including a 7-point victory over second-placed UQ in Round 11.

“We know the finals is a different ballgame, the pressure rises now but we think that we’ve been building really well as a group over the last four weeks,” said Coorparoo Assistant Coach Dan Arklay.

“There’s an excitement amongst the group; in training and with our development girls as well, being at the other end of the highway. Having both teams (QAFLW and Development) entering another final series is really exciting for the football club.”

They’ll look to their four Brisbane Lions AFLW Premiership players dotted around the park for leadership; Hickie, Anderson, Ellenger and Wuetschner, but also their core group that has stood up through the season.

“One of the staples of this group is that we don’t always rely on our AFLW girls,” said Arklay.

“Throughout the season our backline has been really served well with the likes of Ariana Reilly and Laura Blue. Our forward line has been fantastic with Macie Brown and Jessica Mclean who’ve been able to hold down some important spots for us.

“And certainly, Renee Teys with the absence of Thalia Hickie in the ruck throughout the year, has put in some really strong positions in gains and her performance has been outstanding.

“Maroochydore are quite a run and gun side. They’ve got a lot of talent across the park. So I think it will be a great game and our girls are up to the challenge.”

The winner of the match will meet the loser of the Bond University v University of Queensland Qualifying Final, next weekend.

To read a preview of this game, click here:

Maroochydore v Coorparoo
Saturday June 19 – 2:00pm @ Maroochydore Multisport Complex


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