Lions keep cool ahead of QAFL finals

By Beth Newman



Don’t expect much to change for Palm Beach when they take on Labrador in the QAFL qualifying final tomorrow.

Lions coach, Daryn Cresswell, said his side had been preparing for finals for weeks and would be ready for the lift in intensity tomorrow.

“You can’t just flick a switch (for finals),”he said.

“We’ve spent the last four weeks building up to this game.”

Cresswell knows all too well that ladder positions are irrelevant in finals, after his side lost its qualifying final last season before taking the premiership the hard way, and said the players involved in that series had learned a lot.

“We blew it,” he said.

“Seeing the result two weeks later, they understand what it takes to play in a final and winning one.”

While the Tigers have plenty of quality in their ranks, Cresswell admitted he was not upset that their captain, Ryan Davey, was still absent from their team sheet.

A foot injury saw Davey miss the last four rounds of the season and while the star midfielder is hopeful of a late-season miracle, he will certainly miss this weekend.

“He’ll (Davey) be on my Christmas card list,” Cresswell joked.

“I have a lot of admiration for him and it makes things a little bit easier when a class player is out.”

“They’ve got elite players, though, we know that…and we know it’s going to be a really tough, hard fought battle.”

Momentum will be a crucial element for Labrador tomorrow, as they try for a sixth straight win in their first final since 2010.

Tigers coach, Steve Daniel, said the safety net of a double chance in finals was a reassuring thought heading into the match.

“If things don’t go right tomorrow afternoon, we get another crack at it against Mt Gravatt or Broadbeach,” he said.

“Sometimes in finals not everything goes right on the day and if you don’t have a double chance, you’re out.”

Key defender, Tom Daniel, has been named but is under an injury cloud ahead of the game, with a calf injury preventing him from training in the lead-up to the match.

With their first match up played at Coolangatta, tomorrow’s clash will be the Tigers’ first visit to Salk Oval, but Daniel has taken a page out of Ross Lyon’s book, not worried by the prospect.

“As a club participating in finals, we’re happy to play anywhere,” he said.

“If that’s Salk Oval for the first time, well we’ll play there.”

The winner of tomorrow’s qualifying final will play Morningside in the major semi-final next weekend, for a spot in the QAFL grand final on September 20.


Mt Gravatt will play its first final, a sudden-death clash with Broadbeach, on Sunday, but coach, Brad Pollock, says the Vultures have been playing finals for eight weeks.

Mt Gravatt’s second-half of the season has consisted almost entirely of must-win matches, with a number of clubs breathing down their necks in the fight for fifth spot, and Pollock said Sunday will be just the same.

“The amount of times I’ve had to say, ‘if we don’t’ win this one that could be it,’ (is crazy) and we’ve been doing it with a less than full-strength team,” Pollock said.

Finishing four games below the fourth-placed Cats, the Vultures look like the rank outsiders on paper, but they have shown they’re competitive with top four teams, only falling short of Palm Beach by a goal last weekend.

Pollock said that competitive effort was proof that they are not making up the numbers in the final five.

“We don’t see ourselves far below the other teams, if at all,” he said.

“I reckon we are a serious threat if we get over this initial hurdle.

“We can do some serious damage.”

 A key inclusion for the team will be the return of Nick Tronc, who made it through a run in the reserves last weekend, while Frazer Neate and Tim Douge also come into the side, their strongest of the season.

Broadbeach coach, Wayne Petterd, got a confidence boost looking at the weather forecast, which predicts sunny, 24 degree day.

“I said to the boys, ‘if it rains, we’re just going to go sit in the Lone Star,’” he said.

Broadbeach will have an injection of quality for the knockout final, with Josh Searl and Southport-listed trio, Kieran Brennan, Adam McKenzie and Darin Stewart coming for the Cats.

The experience of those players could be crucial for the game, with both sides’ players having little finals experience.

“There are not too many players who have played finals footy,”Petterd said.

“I think the day itself will lift the players, the pressure lifts, the attitude, everything goes to another level.”

The ruck battle will be a major focus of the game, with Kieran Brennan taking some of the load off the developing Brayde Palmer, up against the formidable Craig Malone and Wiley Buzza.

“Brayde’s a ripper and he’s been good all year, but he needs some support against the quality opposition,”Petterd said.

“Both sides have good midfielders and whoever gets first use will benefit from the dominance of their ruckman.

Nathan Quick has been ruled out for the season, after rupturing the lateral ligament in his knee against Labrador.

Read and download the QAFL Finals Wk 1 record here.


Michael Conlan –  AFLQ CEO (57)

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Lisa McKoy –  AFLQ  Media Manager (64)


Simon Devine – AFLQ Competition  Manager (69)

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Breeanna Brock – AFLQ Female Programs Manager (62)


Jack Barry –  AFLQ  State Coaching, Volunteer & Affiliates Manager (69)

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Craig Millar – AFLQ Football  Operations Manager (63)

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Beth Newman – AFLQ Community  Football Writer (72)


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