QAFL Friday Forecast: Round 11

Wilston Grange vs. Morningside
Saturday July 4, 2:00pm – PBI Oval


I’ve said it a couple of times this year; beware a team coming off a loss.

It seems that Wilston Grange coach Matt Trewhella doesn’t agree.

“Having Morningside coming off a loss is a terrific time to play them, it’s something that we haven’t faced before, so hopefully there is a little doubt from the weekend and we can have a good contest,” Trewhella said.

They will go into tomorrow’s game having learnt a few lessons from the Magpies win last week.

They are full of confidence, fielding a pretty strong team, on their home deck, which Trewhella is hoping is a recipe for success.

“I think we like playing them at home where we can cramp them up a bit and stop their run and spread. Our focus will be like the Magpies, win the contested ball and not let them get that outlet, and second phase ball movement,” he said.

“We have had three looks at them in the last year so I’ve put some things in place that I think can beat them and hopefully the guys can execute it.”

He knows it won’t be easy though. They are the reigning premiers for a reason.

“The problem is their on-ballers always play well against us. We learnt last week that if you can get on top of Russ and the other on-ballers then you can get on top, but that is going to be difficult,” Trewhella said.

“It’s about how we get those four to five goals back we haven’t been able to find last time we played them.”

Last week was disappointing, no doubt, but it’s not panic stations down at Morningside just yet.

“We have lost two games in the last 30, and when you are a club that doesn’t have losing behaviour, that’s hard work,” coach David Lake said.

He believes that they have bounced back during the week extremely well.

“Our week, and our call to action in terms of lifting our standards back where they belong has been amazing,” he said.

“You start to think that if I don’t do that, that won’t matter, but this week it has really mattered. Their training levels all week have been really good so if that transpires into playing it will be really good.”

They will do their due diligence on the Gorillas for the game, but the main focus is internal.

“We have just got to get our winning game back on, perform our processes, and lift our energy levels, which comes from effort, from communication, from enjoyment and from not being ho-hum about the fact you get used to winning,” Lake said.

The Gorillas have got close in the past, but haven’t quite got the job done over Morningside. Is this the week it all changes, or will Morningside bounce back in resounding fashion?


Mt Gravatt vs. Broadbeach
Saturday July 4, 2:00pm – Dittmer Park


If you were playing this game a month ago, it could have easily been titled ‘the battle for the wooden spoon,’ but not anymore.

The past four games has seen a huge turnaround in from for the Cats and Vultures, but these are the games they both need to win to consolidate it.

Broadbeach got agonizingly close to Palm Beach last week, and coach Brett Andrews knows the area they need to fix to reverse that result.

“They are hurting a bit after the loss, but we went over the statistics of the game, and we had 42 turnovers by foot, and 15 frees against. If we halve those, we will give everyone a chase,” Andrews said.

Having said that, he knows this week will be tough, but has faith in the boys’ ability to get the win.

“There are no easy games for us, so we have just got to go down there and play our sort of football, be a little bit more discipline, and reduce those turnovers,” he said

“Last week was probably our best game, the last month we are two and two and playing some reasonable footy so we go in fairly confident.”

Mt Gravatt’s barometer is their running game, something Andrews will try and stop straight away.

“They are fleet footed and quite quick so we have thrown a few bigger bodies in, and we will try and make it more physical,” Andrews said.

Vultures coach Brad Pollock recognises the stakes of this game.

“It’s going to be a tough match, and let’s face it, it’s a must win for them if they have finals ambitions. We know they will be coming out fully focused so all we can do is concentrate on playing the style of footy we want to play,” Pollock said.

“We want to be good defensively, try and shut them down, cause mistakes, and get our running game going.”

Pollock believes their improvement on field relates heavily to the cohesion off it. 

“Let’s face it, we have got a pretty young squad and I think it has finally clicked that they need each other to try and beat some of the better teams,” he said.

This could honestly go either way, if it’s contested, Broadbeach will win, if it’s nice and open, the Vultures will run away with it.

Getting the game on their own terms early will be pivotal.


Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Sandgate
Saturday July 4, 2:00pm – Salk Oval


No doubt about it, round two still stings for the Palm Beach footy club, and this weekend, they will look make it right.

“I don’t have to mention it, the boys are still filthy about it, it doesn’t sit well with them that we were up at three quarter time and threw away a lead and lost,” coach Chad Owens said.

Sandgate ran over the top of the Lions last time they met, something Owens will be doing everything to avoid this game.

“We need to have a massive first quarter, and try and set up the win like we did last week. You consume so much energy if you lose the first quarter and then chase for the rest of the day,” he said.

“Last time up there they basically outplayed us in every aspect of the game. Looking at their results, they were highly competitive up until the last quarter last well, so it’s not going to be easy.”

Owens believes stopping the contested work of the Hawks will go a long way to winning the game.

“The last drill we did at training last night was all contested, we know that they are physical, very big bodied and very strong,” he said.

“They have got Aden Rutledge who was best on ground by two footy fields last time we played them, he’s a really good player so we will have a plan in place for him.

“Then they have got Tommy Overington in the middle as well, but they have also got a lot of other players who do jobs well, just play their roles.”

The Lions have lost both Stephen Thynne and Zac Callinan to injury, which hurt, but have regained Tyler Cornish, Tom Thynne, Jed Harrison and Nick Crowley.

Sandgate got their season going against the Lions in round two, so will take a bit of confidence from that.

“Yeah we do, we know we can beat them, but Palm Beach are a very good football side, they are sitting fifth for a reason so we need to play our best tomorrow,” coach Graham Adams said.

On the small confines of Salk Oval, the contested ball figures will be key.

“It’s going to be tough in their, and that’s where it will be won, so we have got to be good early,” he said.

The one area of their game the Hawks need to get right to get the win will be their ability to put scoreboard pressure on.

“Our defense has been really good this year, so has our midfield, we just aren’t kicking enough goals,” Adams said.

“We are averaging seven or eight a game, and if Rutledge doesn’t kick a bag, we just struggle a little bit.

“We have got Stackelberg down there who has done a fantastic job all year, but he is still young, so if he kicks his two, he has done his job. We just need to score more now.”

Palm Beach will have a point to prove this weekend. They will go in favorites at home, in a must win game to hold onto fifth, but Sandgate have got up before and are certainly more than capable of getting up again.


UQ vs. Surfers Paradise
Saturday July 4, 2:00pm – Oval 7 St Lucia


On paper, it might not be the headlining game of round 11, but we don’t have to look back too far to remember just how good a game it was last time these two teams met.

Let me refresh your memory. With near on the last kick of the day, Jake Evans took a huge mark and kicked a clutch goal to give UQ a one-point win.

Last week was far from ideal for the Red Lions, they didn’t really show up to play. This week at training has been all about that competitiveness.

“The boys pulled together and we made sure on Tuesday that we really stepped up the aggressiveness of training. We did a lot of tackling and defending your man one on one and beating your opponent,” coach Darren Pfeiffer said.

Although a long time ago, they still take a bit from the round two win.

“I think that helps, with a young team who haven’t beaten a lot of sides, knowing that we can will hold us in pretty good steed mentally, but they are obviously playing some really good footy, so if we don’t come switched on that same thing will happen as last week,” he said.

After last weeks result, they have got a point to prove.

“On the track I’ve been asking the boys and saying we need to step it up after last week because that was the most disappointing loss of the year for us. We definitely have got to come out and defend a lot better, and really care about not letting our opponents get any easy kicks,” Pfeiffer said

As a result of that physical training session, D’Roza will miss this week, but they welcome back Phil Lovett who bolsters their key defender stocks significantly.

As for Surfers, they are all eyes ahead this week.

“We can’t go back, we just have to look forward. They played well that day and they got the points, but it’s a new game now, and we need to win games if we want to have a crack at the five, which we still think we are a slight chance of doing,” coach Peter Young said.

They have held their own the last few weeks against some of the inform teams in the comp, now they just need to make sure it stands up in games they should win.

“We just need to stick to what we have been doing for the last couple of weeks. We haven’t quite been good enough but if we play like we have the last couple of weeks we should win and win well,” he said.

“We really need to have a bit of steel about us where if we get in front, we put the foot to the throat and finish sides off.”

Young admits there is a bit of mystery to how UQ will perform each week, but he has a good read on the main man of the outfit.

“They are a hard side to judge, they are a bit of unknown, but I know Pfeiff pretty well, his old man used to run for me back in Adelaide, so we know how good of a player he is,” he said.

After a couple of close ones, which has been the theme of the year, Surfers have to win, and win comfortably if they want that finals door to remain ajar.


Labrador vs. Western Magpies
Sunday June 5, 2:00pm – Cooke-Murphy Oval


Sunday afternoon, Cooke-Murphy Oval, the two in form teams in the competition are set to lock horns in what is set to be one of the games of the season.

There has been a real buzz about this game ever since the final siren rang last Saturday, but according to Labrador coach Steve Daniel, it’s just a round 11 game.

“From the Western Magpies point of view I suppose it’s a massive game for them, but for us personally, it’s no different from any of the other games we play this time of year,” Daniel said.

They are another opponent who we are coming up against and they are no different from any of the other teams we play; only this time we are probably structured up a hell of a lot different to when we last played them.”

Injuries have taken their toll on the Tigers line up in recent weeks. Come Sunday, they will be without Davis, Tom Daniel, Lappin, Davey and Hicks just to name a few.

“We are still without a few, but everyone has to go through it, and we have been a little bit lucky that we have been able to win a couple of games down on personnel, but it gets a bit tougher this week when you come up against one of the other top teams,” he said.

“We are not going to rush those players back just because it is one v three, we have got to make sure they are ready for the most important part, and that is the end of the year.”

Anyone who has seen the Magpies in the last month would have noticed one thing; numbers around the footy.

Daniel wont be losing too much sleep over that game-plan though, as the Tigers love it just as much.

“We like the same thing, so it’s just going to be tough hard relentless footy like it was last time. Our midfielders like to pride themselves on the fact they are pretty tough and hard at the contest, so that won’t change at all,” he said.

Glenn Humphrey knows that last week won’t mean much unless they put in a good showing this week as well.

“We are pretty happy with the way we are travelling at the moment and this week is another test for us. Now it’s a case to see if we can back up last week, and whether or not the same methods will be enough,” Humphrey said.

As for the plan of attack, why change what works?

“These two sides are fairly similar in the way they like to control the middle of the ground so we will let them have the middle of the ground and we won’t go anywhere near it,” he said.

“Regardless of the size of the ground it’s about controlling the football around the stoppages, and then sharing it well between your teammates.”

Like last week, Humphrey won’t be locking down individually on anyone straight away. But there is a plan B if something isn’t working.

“We will just play it as we see it. If someone gets on top of us early we will put some time into them. They have got a lot of good footballers playing so it’s about us controlling the game,” he said.

They will have to do it with skipper Lachie Woods, who finished the game with a strained AC joint last week, and Tom Michael, who has hurt his ankle.

With some key injuries to the Tigers, and the Magpies in red-hot form, there is no better chance to beat the streak than the present.


By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles


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