Friday Forecast: Round 11

Sandgate vs. Broadbeach
Saturday June 25, 2:00pm, Lemke Rd

We are about to enter the unknown.

I don’t think anyone can confidently predict what’s going to happen this week.

Broadbeach have been smashed on the injury front, Sandgate are up and about after their win but have lost a couple. It’s a genuine mystery.

So let’s deal with what we do know. Sandgate lose Forbes and Jackson, which does hurt their key position stocks, but that’s not the only reason they won last week.

They are going to have to go at the Cats in the middle tomorrow. They need to hunt in packs, hit hard, and put the pressure on defensively.

The opportunity is there for them to push around a young Broadbeach midfield if they want to take it.

For the Cats, it’s about keeping their cool. We know they are missing a few, I think the injury list was up to 24 at last count, but they just need to take a breath, evaluate the situation and pull the trigger.

To beat Sandgate they have to get the ball on the outside. They have the legs out there.

To do that though, you have to get your hands on the footy first. Can’t have one without the other.

There will be a few one-on-ones to watch, like Strong and Lubke, Palmer and Gray in the ruck, Royes and Stackelberg/Rutledge, but to be honest, no one player is going to win this.

It’s going to take a buy in from all 22… and that’s exciting.

Where it will be won: the location of the game, inside or outside.

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Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Western Magpies
Saturday June 25, 1:30pm, Salk Oval

It just wouldn’t be a week in the QAFL without a finals tease, would it?

We wouldn’t have been thinking that three weeks ago, but the Magpies are back in town.

The challenge ahead of them this week doesn’t get any bigger; Palm Beach at Salk Oval.

The most exciting part of this contest is the matchups.

Emblem on Staker, McNeven on Dickfos, Hunt on Douglas, Allen, Carseldine Crawford against Woolley, Chisholm and Callinan… you could go on all day.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Croad is still missing, because Beer didn’t make bar with that ankle tweak, so the ruck is a 50/50.

On Salk Oval, contested ball is king. The team that wins that stat will most likely win the game; it’s that simple.

The Magpies can’t give the Lions any time and space using the footy. Their foot skills, on a small oval, will open the game right up, and it’ll be flying into their forward line.

We know Palm Beach are the hunted now, which is a good place to be, but could we be looking back at this day as the game the Western Magpies turned their premiership aspirations around?

Where it will be won: contested ball.

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Mt Gravatt vs. Labrador
Saturday June 25, 2:00pm, Dittmer Park

The Vultures are up against it this week; there is no other way to put it.

They are battered and bruised, nowhere near full strength, and up against a Labrador outfit hitting their straps.

There’s been a few more added to the injury list, like Crawley and Chapman, but they do get back Tim Douge for his first senior game of the year. It’ll be interesting to see how he slots in after just one game in the twos last week.

It’s going to take something special this week to get up, but stranger things have happened. When a young group has nothing to lose, sometimes they pull a performance out of their rear end.

They don’t have a real tall marking forward in the team this week, which means Estall’s role become pivotal.

For Labrador, they loose a couple like Crossley and Budarick to NEAFL duties, but their spine is still the key.

Mills’ use will be key out of the backline, Bantoft has the luxury of being able to go to about three different players, Clarke and Hicks in the middle will provide the run, and Baxter and Retzlaff will be a handful for Tronc and Hart.

Oh, and there’s that new bloke Todd Featherstone who will play game number two for 2016 this week.

Mt Gravatt’s start last week proved if it’s played on the outside they will kick the goals they need, but I don’t think it’ll be getting out their on their terms. The Labrador midfield will be too strong.

Where it will be one: First disposal

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Surfers Paradise vs. UQ
Saturday June 25, 2:00pm, Sir Bruce Small Oval

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this is as important game as any on the calendar for Surfers Paradise.

After three losses in a row, they have to win this. They have to turn their momentum around, and they can’t afford to fall a game behind the top five.

It’s a big game for UQ as well. No doubt the Demons are gettable, and they smell blood in the water.

You can throw all the all the tactics on the board that you want, but honestly, both these teams need to play with freedom, break the shackles and get on their bike.

They play a similar brand of footy. They love to run from behind, they love to play quick and take they game on, but when things aren’t going to script, they can sometimes go into their shells.

Expect a blistering fast game this weekend, it’s going to be end to end, there are probably going to be a few forced turnovers, but they will have a crack.

The Surfers midfield could be the difference. Pope, Cass Haberfield, Fraser, Woolford… when they are on, they rack up massive numbers.

They have also got a 17 year old kid, Connor McKenzie, debuting this week. That will lift the spirits around the place.

No Hannaford hurts the Red Lions a lot, but their backline looks very strong. Lovett, Ablett, Marshall, Begley, Powyer, they are all damaging. They need to be as dangerous offensively as they can be defensively to kick start it all.

There isn’t much in it on recent form, but there is too much on the line for Surfers this week; I think they win this one.

Where it will be won: Who runs the hardest.

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Wilston Grange vs. Morningside
Saturday June 25, 2:00pm, Bendigo Bank Oval

If we learnt anything from Morningside’s performance last week, it’s that a side lifts for Homecoming Day.

They should know better than anyone what to expect from Grange this week, who will be out to prove a point in front of their past players.

It’s got to be worth 10 per cent extra in the tank when the going gets tough, but whether that will be enough to get close is a different kettle of fish.

The Panther’s last three weeks have been as good of a period as anyone has put together so far this year.

They have decimated everyone in front of them, and don’t look like slowing up.

The challenge for the Gorillas will be handling the pressure that will be put on them. Morningside brought the heat last week, and Broadbeach couldn’t hit a target. The Gorillas need to be better than that.

Brittain is back, and McIvor comes in with Aspley having the bye. They are worth four to five goals alone, so change the dynamic completely.

Eaton should go to Abey again, which leaves Christie or Richardson on Mitchell.
If Trewhella plays high, look for the battle between him and Mueller. That’ll be one to watch.

As much as the Gorillas midfield need to keep an eye on Kinch, Nash and Evans, Delbridge was the man last week. He can’t be left alone.

On form, Morningside win this, but if I learnt anything over the past 18 months, it’s that the Gorillas play well on big days, and there isn’t many bigger.

Where it will be won: foot skills

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150-year fact – Queensland Football Forensics

Since their formation in 1971, Broadbeach has won two premierships at senior level, both during their time in the Gold Coast league.  In 1987 Broadbeach had a big win over Palm Beach Currumbin in the Grand Final to claim their inaugural flag.

Then in 1996 the Cats doubled Labrador’s score in the decider before entering the QAFL competition the following year.  Jim Stubbs, who was the club’s founding president, passed away in 2008.  After this the Cats’ best and fairest award in the seniors was named the Jim Stubbs Memorial Medal in his honour.


Match Replays

Remember, 24 hours after the game, match replays will be available to view HERE. No excuses not to be all over the ins and outs of the QAFL in 2016.

By Andrew Wiles

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