By Ant Wingard
Coorparoo v University of Queensland
Saturday June 8, 4:45PM
Just two weeks after Tahlia Hickie made her long awaited return to QAFLW action, another prized King youngster is set to take the field for the first time in over a year.
Under 18 Queensland representative Tarni White will don the Coorparoo navy this week when they tackle University of Queensland at home – the first time White has played at QAFLW game after tearing her ACL in early 2018.
White is expected to play a half of football for the Kings as she is managed back from the long-term injury ahead of the NAB Under 18 AFL Women’s National Championships in Perth next week.
White’s return is one of many causes for celebrations in Brisbane’s south as seasoned defender Ariana Reilly will also play her 100th game for the Kings in Round 8.
Reilly, one of four original Kings players from their inaugural 2013 premiership team still playing at QAFLW level, will become the first one-club female player at Coorparoo to reach the 100 game milestone.
White’s inclusion to the Coorparoo team is one of four changes to the side that will face the Red Lions including Paige Parker and Hayley Moore – who like White, will be on limited game time.
The Red Lions will too be looking to make a statement as we close in on the midpoint of the season.
Having claimed a season defining win over Maroochydore last week, the Red Lions, who sit level on points with Coolangatta and the Roos, have the opportunity to move into third with a win should other results also fall their way.
University of Queensland will welcome back Bree Koenen into the fold as well as Eva Agnew while Nat Exon will miss.
Maroochydore v Wilston Grange
Saturday June 8, 4:45PM
Maroochydore Multisport Complex
Wilston Grange’s premiership defence has been given perhaps the best midseason boost imaginable with the addition of Kate Lutkins back into the side.
Lutkins is set to play her third game of the season against Maroochydore after missing the first portion of the season following the conclusion of the AFLW season and then again with her commitments in the defence force.
But Lutkins’ reintroduction to the side can’t be understated. In her two games, she was among Wilston Grange’s best players and booted three goals in total.
With Wilston Grange sitting behind the pack in seventh position, Lutkins could be the spark the Gorillas need to make their move in the season’s second half.
Equally important is the game for Maroochydore who find themselves amongst a logjam in the middle of the QAFLW standings.
Having already earned one victory over Wilston Grange this season, the Roos could prove a point to the competition with a win in that they truly have the wood over another side.
Maroochydore have lost a trio of state players with Belle Dawes, Chloe Gregory and Under 18 Queensland captain Lily Postlethwaite all to miss as the team prepares for Perth next week.
Among the additions to the team are Tahlia Randall, Alex Ayre and Shania Jones while Wilston Grange will also gain Imogen Stackelberg with Emily Bashforth to miss.
Bond University v Aspley
Saturday June 8, 3:45PM
Bond University and Aspley have taken opposing views with their talented youngsters ahead of the Queensland’s Under 18 AFLW National Championship opener next week against West Australia.
The Bullsharks will be without eight of their Queensland Under 18 contingent for the showdown as Bond University will make close to ten changes following their shock loss to Yeronga last week.
On the other hand, Aspley will gain confidence in their inclusions for the contest with state representative Ainsley Rintala-Apps set to feature for the gold and brown hoops.
Perhaps the most notable inclusion for the either side is Lauren Bella’s promotion from the QAFLW Development ranks for Bond University after starring in the development side’s win over Yeronga.
With Yeronga drawing level with them on the scoreboard, this week’s matchup against Aspley is the opportunity for Bond University to reassert themselves as the premiership favourites, even without a plethora of talented youngsters.
But the opportunity is there for Aspley as well, who one week after Yeronga caused the shock of the competition to date, the Hornets could do just the same just one week later.
The Hornets, despite their struggles, have been a team on the gradual improvement, and against a Bullsharks side without some of their best players, the platform is there for Aspley to steal the show.
Yeronga South Brisbane v Coolangatta Tweed
Saturday June 8, 2:45PM
With most teams in the QAFLW in contention for a spot inside the top four and a finals berth, crunch games between jostling sides eventuate into season shapers.
This weekend’s clash between Yeronga and Coolangatta is one of those games.
It’s a footnote that has been mentioned several times throughout this column however it remains valid given just how even and competitive the QAFLW season is unfolding to be.
Having produced the upset of the season against Bond University last week, the Yeronga faithful could mount a case for the competition’s to sport or at worst, entrench themselves firmly within the finals bracket and increasing their likelihood of a finals return in 2019.
Similarly, Coolangatta can make a statement. The team that started the season on fire has cooled somewhat over the past month, winning one of their previous three games.
Like Yeronga, a win would reaffirm the Bluebirds as a genuine contender while a loss would hand them their third loss in the past month.
On the selection table, Yeronga have lost four-goal hero Zimi Farquharson for the crucial clash while Dee Heslop will also miss as she nurses a sore shoulder.
Among the additions to the side are Jessy Keefe and Lara David and recalled youth girls prospects Kara Stock.
For Coolangatta, forward pair Sandra Carter and Lauren James will miss while Selina Priest and Alex Hamlyn bolster the side.