Bond University QAFLW Semi Final – Teams

By Daniel Viles

Saturday 12 August 2023, 2pm at Fankhauser Reserve, Southport
Live stream with commentary on YouTube

Head-to-Head: Played 5 – Southport won 3; Bond University won 2
Head-to-Head at Fankhauser Reserve: Played 2 – Bond University won 2
Last time they met: 24 June 2023 – Bond University 7.9 (51) d Southport 4.4 (28) at Fankhauser Reserve

Shark Stoush VI will determine the first team into the 2023 Bond University QAFLW Grand Final as minor premiers Southport host the only team to defeat them this year, the Bond University Bull Sharks.

The story of the Bull Sharks’ season has been the frequent interruptions by the Academy and Queensland U18s programs. With those programs now finished, Bond can enter the finals with merely the same concerns about availability that every other team has.

Conversely, the (Great White) Sharks’ side, which has been very settled with 17 players making 10 or more appearances in 2023, now finds itself without AFLW recruits Lilly Pearce (Richmond) and Caitlin Wendland (Brisbane).

While Pearce is a massive loss, Tayla Gregory has been averaging 11 hit-outs a match as a secondary ruck this year, while both Maddy Baldwin and Selina Priest are no strangers to a ball-up.

Another option may be Steph O’Brien who played ruck in one of her best ever QAFLW games (Pride Round 2022) when she held her own in the hit-outs and then went back to being Steph O’Brien the midfield maestro as soon as her feet hit the ground.

The question mark over Bond Uni is that its constellation of young stars have played little to no senior finals. The entire starting half-forward line of Milne, Harris and Usher will make its senior finals debut on Saturday afternoon. Is this a negative because they’re untested, or a positive because they’re unscarred?

Bond goes into this game as slight favourites based on its win at Fankhauser in June (no home team has yet won a Shark Stoush), but the big absentee from the Southport side that day was Selina Priest. Getting through a defence without Priest in it tends to be a bit easier than getting through one with her in it. The Bond attack will need to be precise to ensure that Priest’s trademark move of coming out of the defensive line to not only intercept passes but return them with interest doesn’t become the narrative of the match.

One-on-one match-ups aren’t really a “thing” in modern Aussie Rules, and yet seeing Priest named at centre halfback and Havana Harris at centre half-forward borders on hypnotic. Then again, one could just as easily focus on the possible match-up between former teammates Maher and Tarlinton, or the tyro O’Connell against the experienced Kaslar, or the mutual agility of Remmos and Hutton.

For the neutrals, there is universal delight at seeing Meghan Sullivan overcome what could have been a season-ending injury to return to the Bond University QAFLW for the finals.

FB | 24 Alessia Smythe (vc) | 35 Jess Maher
HB | 4 Hannah Davies | 21 Selina Priest (c) | 11 Leigh Alder
C | 8 Abbie Pluples | 47 Georgia Breward | 45 Maddie Gault
HF | 10 Carly Remmos | 36 Maggie O’Connell | 19 Sarah Ingram
FF | 34 Meghan Sullivan | 1 Kristi Harvey
FOL | 32 Tayla Gregory | 7 Steph O’Brien | 14 Maddy Watt
IC | 12 Tamsin Perry | 16 Tori Winstanley | 46 Maddy Baldwin | 57 Ruby Mitchell | 58 Peyton Mackie

EMG | nil

Coach: Peter Doherty

IN: Maddie Gault; Steph O’Brien; Meghan Sullivan; Tori Winstanley
OUT: Rianna Schipp; Caitlin Wendland

FB | 49 Kiara Bischa | 10 Grace Moodie
HB | 20 Paris Lightfoot (c) | 36 Leah Kaslar | 11 Georgia Hutton
C | 12 Sally Evans | 17 CJ Landwehr | 40 Charlotte Taylor
HF | 26 Nyalli Milne | 63 Havana Harris | 18 Ava Usher
FF | 9 Bella Iverach | 56 Lily Tarlinton
FOL | 50 Jasmyn Davidson | 7 Courtney Sexton | 32 Josie McCabe
IC | 2 Georgia Johnson | 4 Tara Harrington | 8 Ella Calleja | 14 Gabby Deller | 29 Jemma Blair

EMG | 25 Tshinta Kendall | 27 Sienna McMullen | 31 Tobi Chapman | 62 Paige Price

Coach: Andy Lovell

IN: Kiara Bischa; Tara Harrington; Havana Harris; Josie McCabe; Nyalli Milne; Ava Usher
OUT: Tobi Chapman; Tshinta Kendall; Shannon Nolan; Piper Phelan; Jasmine Single; Skye White


Elimination Final: ASPLEY v COORPAROO
Saturday 12 August 2023, 4:45pm at Zupps Aspley Oval, Carseldine
Live stream with commentary on YouTube

Head-to-Head: Played 10 – Coorparoo won 6; Aspley won 3; Drawn 1
Head-to-Head at Zupps Aspley Oval: Played 4 – Coorparoo won 3; Aspley won 1
Last time they met: 3 June 2023 – Aspley 9.14 (68) d Coorparoo 2.3 (15) at Zupps Aspley Oval

Aspley will host its first ever Bond University QAFLW finals match on Saturday evening against a Coorparoo side with a contrasting playing style but an equal desire to extend its season.

The Hornets love to move the ball by hand and are prepared to move forward more slowly as long as they have control of the Sherrin. No QAFLW team has a higher effective handball percentage than Aspley’s 65.9% with none of the regular midfielders lower than 60%, and only Southport attempts more handballs per match.

The Kings create width by foot, leading the competition in uncontested marks usually through switches of play. Indeed, marking is their preferred method of winning the ball in the first place, again leading the competition for contested marks and marks inside forward 50, while trailing only Southport for intercept marks.

So with two teams who prioritise controlled possession, the key factor becomes disrupting their opponent’s control. Interestingly, neither team has big tackling numbers in 2023, which doesn’t indicate an unwillingness to tackle but more a desire to spoil opponents’ passing chains by any legal means so that there’s no-one with the ball to tackle…which brings us to the Battle of the Hannahs – Giles v McLachlan. Both have shown throughout 2023 that they will fight to win the ball from siren to siren with very little let-up. Yes, Mikayla Martin and Jess Watts will show off their ability to clear the ball away from the contest, and Courtney Daniec and Sally Young will direct the contest like they’re Hou Yifan and Judit Polgar (look them up), but their effectiveness is likely to be determined by which of Giles and McLachlan is the more successful ball-miner.

The Hornets’ big win over the Kings in Round 8 is relevant, but Saturday’s Coorparoo team will have eight players who were absent from that contest. In attack, Chelsea Chesterfield was in her first game back from injury while Jo Miller returned the following week, thus significantly increasing the agility and variety pushing forward. Down back, having Ajla Fetahagic back in her customary centre halfback role with Zelinski and Roberts-White alongside her will force Aspley to be more creative with its forward 50 entries.

Luckily for Aspley, creative forward 50 entries will make up most of its season highlights video. The wide running of Tyson, Crozier and co. is breathtaking at its best. At centre half-forward, the Hornets have experimented in recent weeks with Lendrum, Brennan and Mirfield all being given opportunities and all having some success. It’s too simple to say that the job of a Hornets key forward is to make sure Jess Stallard has room to work, but, well, I’ll say it anyway.

The one guarantee for this match is that coaches Luke Glacken and Rebecca Randazzo have prepared teams that each play with physicality and intellect. This will be a game you can watch with your heart and your brain.

FB | 16 Anna van de Wiel | 13 Lucy Thompson
HB | 20 Emma Pittman | 23 Ange Lingard (c) | 5 Lucy Pengelly
C | 15 Jaimie Bryant | 45 Hannah Giles | 22 Holly O’Flaherty
HF | 9 Louise Tyson | 59 Holly Mirfield | 37 Rania Crozier
FF | 40 Rachael Vetter | 25 Jess Stallard
FOL | 28 Anais Kirvan | 4 Courtney Daniec (c) | 30 Mikayla Martin
IC | 8 Maddy Kawa | 10 Morgan Lanigan | 12 Lucia Liessi | 19 Hanna Brennan | 54 Emma Lendrum

EMG | 11 Tarryn Meyer | 35 Ella Desrettes | 42 Izzy Kotatis

Coach: Luke Glacken

IN: Jaimie Bryant; Rania Crozier; Maddy Kawa; Holly Mirfield; Holly O’Flaherty
OUT: Ella Desrettes; Bree McKenzie; Tarryn Meyer; Gabby Roberts; Jaida Tabb

FB | 45 Bonnie Farrell | 23 Charlotte Edmunds
HB | 42 Grace Roberts-White | 15 Ajla Fetahagic | 29 Kaitlyn Zelinski
C | 18 Lucy Schneider | 3 Sally Young (c) | 47 Laura Blue
HF | 2 Kayla Geddes | 30 Taya Oliver | 39 Jacinta Baldwick
FF | 26 Chelsea Chesterfield | 54 Chloe Gaunt
FOL | 59 Coco Garton | 12 Jo Miller | 24 Hannah McLaughlin
IC | 4 Jess Watts | 27 Megan Evans | 34 Liz Hills | 36 Ayla Fraser | 44 Josii Hargreaves

EMG | 1 Bridget Taylor | 6 Ari Reilly | 8 Mel Sweeney | 9 Emma Zielke | 31 Jasmine Fretwell

Coach: Rebecca Randazzo

IN: Jacinta Baldwick; Coco Garton; Liz Hills; Kaitlin Zelinski
OUT: Kalei Brighton; Jasmine Fretwell; Mel Sweeney; Emma Zielke

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


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