Bond University QAFLW Round 5 2024 – Preview

By Daniel Viles

The status of ‘premiership favourite’ awaits the winner of this Saturday’s Bond University QAFLW Match of the Round between last year’s grand finalists, Bond University and Aspley.

With both sides having defeated Southport in 2024, this match will finalise the early-season pecking order of the competition and provide no small amount of confidence to the victor.

Aspley has won only two of its eleven matches against Bond but, significantly, those two wins have been in the first meeting of each of the last two seasons.

At time of writing, Bond University had published a side with no changes from that which defeated Wilston Grange in Round 5; Aspley brings Jaimie Bryant back into the side after withdrawing her late from the team that went on to defeat Maroochydore.

This match follows the top-of-the-table clash formula of best attacking team versus best defensive team, Aspley and Bond respectively filling those roles. Bond’s halfback line of Jasmyn Davidson, Sophie Balcombe, Sally Evans and Tobi Chapman have been ruthless against any side that bombs thoughtlessly into its forward 50. Aspley’s attack often takes opposition halfbacks out of the equation by drawing them into space and allowing a direct link between midfielders and high forwards.

Those high forwards for Aspley now include former Sun, Bull Shark, and 2021 Goal of the Year winner, Kitara Whap-Farrar. Long considered one of the most talented players to have graced the Bond University QAFLW, the unpredictable running and stepping of Whap-Farrar is often countered only by players who have spent a long time becoming familiar with her game style. Bond has two such players: former Coolangatta teammates Grace Moodie (a likely direct match-up on Whap-Farrar); and Leah Kaslar (likely to play at half-forward but very experienced in defence) who may force Whap-Farrar to dig deeper into her bag of tricks than usual.

There is a question mark over who Aspley will use in the ruck and a bigger question mark over how much it matters. Bond University has two 180cm plus ruck options in Abbey Bevan and Maisy Evans; Aspley has none. The Hornets’ have named 171cm Jasmine Kawa at ruck but whether that’s a match-long strategy remains to be seen.

Last week, the Hornets successfully used 172cm Lucy Pengelly in the ruck and won the hit-outs for the first time this year. However, Pengelly’s role as a defensive lynchpin surely will be required against an attack as strong as the Bull Sharks have. The same consideration will probably rule out 180cm Tiarna Ernst from turning back the clock and contesting the restarts.

Against this, there is a growing school of thought that hit-outs are an overrated statistic. Aspley’s midfield has turned more lost hit-outs into won clearances than any other team this year. Bond looked most dangerous against Grange last week when the rucks became linking midfielders as soon as they landed, most notably from Bevan to help create a goal immediately after conceding.

Both Bond and Aspley love to move the ball wide and love to handball. If the taller Bull Shark rucks become sufficiently dominant to tap the ball outside the contest at will, Bond’s outside runners could create havoc. If Aspley can at least turn the restarts into a lottery, their midfielders will back themselves to find paths to the wings. Either way, the whole point of going upwards will be to find a way outwards.

In Saturday’s other matches: Maroochydore travels to Southport; Yeronga hosts Wilston Grange; and University of Queensland finally gets to play at Base Architecture Meadows in 2024 when it hosts an intriguing match against traditional bogey-team Coorparoo.

This round is only the third time on record (i.e. from 2010) that all matches in a round of the Bond University QAFLW are being played at 2pm on Saturday.


Saturday 11 May 2024, 2pm at Bond University Oval, Robina
Live stream with commentary on YouTube
Head-to-Head: Played 11 – Bond University won 9; Aspley won 2
Head-to-Head at Bond University Oval: Played 5 – Bond University won 4; Aspley won 1
Last time they met: 27 Aug 2023 (Grand Final) – Bond University 10.6 (66) d Aspley 2.5 (17) at Brighton Homes Arena.


Saturday 11 May 2024, 2pm at Base Architecture Meadows, St Lucia
Live stream on YouTube
Head-to-Head: Played 23 – Coorparoo won 19; UQ won 4
Head-to-Head at Base Architecture Meadows: Played 9 – Coorparoo won 8; UQ won 1
Last time they met: 17 Jun 2023 (Round 10) – Coorparoo 3.7 (25) d University of Queensland 3.3 (21) at Giffin Park.


Saturday 11 May 2024, 2pm at Fankhauser Reserve, Southport
Head-to-Head: Played 5 – Southport won 4; Maroochydore won 1
Head-to-Head at Fankhauser Reserve: Played 2 – Southport won 1; Maroochydore won 1
Last time they met: 8 Jul 2023 (Round 13) – Southport 7.8 (50) d Maroochydore 2.3 (15) at Domino’s Park.


Saturday 11 May 2024, 2pm at Leyshon Park, Yeronga
Head-to-Head: Played 23 – Yeronga won 18; Wilston Grange won 5
Head-to-Head at Leyshon Park: Played 10 – Yeronga won 7; Wilston Grange won 3
Last time they met: 3 Jun 2023 (Round 8) – Wilston Grange 6.7 (43) d Yeronga 1.4 (10) at Hickey Park.


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

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