Bond University QAFLW Round 7 – Preview

By Daniel Viles

Saturday 1 June 2024, 2pm at Leyshon Park, Yeronga
Live stream with commentary on YouTube
Head-to-Head: Played 4 – Southport won 4
Head-to-Head at Leyshon Park: Played 3 – Southport won 3
Last time they met: 29 Jul 2023 (Round 16) – Southport 14.12 (96) d Yeronga 0.1 (1) at Fankhauser Reserve.


Yeronga South Brisbane begins the toughest possible run of matches in the Bond University QAFLW when it hosts Southport in this Saturday’s Featured Match.

The winless Devils face each of the top three teams in succession with visits to Aspley and Bond University in the following two rounds.

The Sharks will feel some of Yeronga’s pain having lost to the same two opponents back-to-back in Rounds 2 and 3, but have revived their season with three straight wins since, most recently a 59-point defeat of fourth-placed Coorparoo.

Both teams will be at full strength, long-term injuries notwithstanding, with the junior representative season pausing between the Coates Talent League and National Under 18 Championships.

Southport welcomes back forward Dekota Baron, defender Alannah Welsh, and ruck Georja Davies. Coach Peter Doherty has also awarded a debut to former Tweed Coolangatta junior and Suns Academic Nakeisha Drew-Perkiss after she scored twice in each of her two Reserve Grade matches this month.

Yeronga will be relieved to again have the services of experienced quartet Sophie Wheeler, Courtney McDonnell, Madi Goodwin, and co-captain Lucy Bellinger. Steph Rosenthal resumes her place after withdrawing late against UQ.

Midfielder Farradai Hopkins will play just her second game in Devils colours in 2024 after starring for the Lions Academy as a fullback. Her positional sense and long kick were on show in their recent win over the Calder Cannons at Brighton Homes Arena and give coach Stuart Mackay yet another defensive option.

Indeed, defensive options may have been front and centre of Mackay’s mind this week. Not only will the Devils need to deal with the threat posed by Baron, who has kicked 21 goals in six matches for the Sharks and Suns Academy this year, but also Maddy Baldwin whose recent move to the forward line has yielded 12 goals in her last three games. Throw in the likes of Tayla Gregory and Scarlett Featherstone, plus the selfless Hannah Davies whose effect on matches is rarely reflected on a stats sheet, and one could forgive any opposition for feeling intimidated.

Yeronga won’t be. Jess Matthews and Camilla Burnett have been-there-done-that in the back third, Madi Goodwin remains one of the most intimidating players in the state league, and they can always break glass in case of emergency to bring Lucy Bellinger back from the forward line.

But it’s the smaller and faster defenders who have an opportunity to discover what they can do this week. Jamie Howell, who plays her fiftieth match for Yeronga this week, frequently disrupted UQ’s attack in Round 6 not only with her trademark pace and tackling prowess, but by affecting marking contests from the front rather than the back. Georgia Hewett and Steph Rosenthal have their own defensive skill sets but may be inspired to take a similar approach if Howell’s method proves successful.

The good news for Southport is that even if their forwards experience periods of frustration, every opposition defence trying to clear the ball will look up and see a wall of Rianna Schipp on one side, Abbie Pluples on the other, and any of Steph O’Brien, Megan Hunt, Maddy Watt and Maighan Fogas ready to turn the ball over and make them do it all again.

In the other Round 7 matches: Aspley will look to complete the first round-robin with a perfect set when it hosts Coorparoo; Bond University hosts UQ in U-Clash XVI; and Maroochydore travels to Wilston Grange.


Saturday 1 June 2024, 2pm at Zupps Aspley Oval, Carseldine
Head-to-Head: Played 11 – Coorparoo won 6; Aspley won 4; drawn 1
Head-to-Head at Zupps Aspley Oval: Played 5 – Coorparoo won 3; Aspley won 2
Last time they met: 12 Aug 2023 (Semi Final) – Aspley 8.8 (56) d Coorparoo 1.7 (13) at Zupps Aspley Oval.


Saturday 1 June 2024, 4:45pm at Bond University Oval, Robina
Head-to-Head: Played 15 – Bond University won 8; UQ won 6; drawn 1
Head-to-Head at Bond University Oval: Played 7 – UQ won 4; Bond University won 3
Last time they met: 29 Jul 2023 (Round 16) – Bond University 6.5 (41) d University of Queensland 3.2 (20) at Bond University Oval.


Saturday 1 June 2024, 4:45pm at Hickey Park, Stafford
Live stream on YouTube
Head-to-Head: Played 14 – Maroochydore won 8; Wilston Grange won 6
Head-to-Head at Hickey Park: Played 7 – Maroochydore won 4; Wilston Grange won 3
Last time they met: 22 Jul 2023 (Round 15) – Wilston Grange 7.11 (53) d Maroochydore 4.3 (27) at Hickey Park.


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


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