By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend

The penultimate round of the QAFL Senior home and away season will be epic. It’s hard to pick a winner across most games this round; almost as much as it is to pick the final order of the top six with each game having a direct impact on what will happen to the final ladder formation.

No debutants will take to the field this week, which is against the norm in recent months as all teams attempt to fill their best line-ups.

Redland Victoria Point will be without Matt Hammelmann in the match against Aspley, Jacob Townsend will miss for Broadbeach, while former St Kilda star David Armitage returns for just his second game for the season as he lines up for Palm Beach Currumbin.



Surfers Paradise

Key ins – Matt Doran (VFL), Jack Brauman, Harrison Ireland, John Boxer, Cameron Topping

Key outs – Nick Williams, Lachy McDonald, Alex Mitchell, Zai Millane, Tom Rundle

The Dees made five changes from the team that defeated Morningside by a point last week. The headline return is Matt Doran who returns from the VFL with Southport having a bye. Cameron Topping also comes in for late-outAlex Mitchell and will be a key up forward.


Key ins – Tom Monahan, Tyler Stack, Jai Fitzpatrick, Ryley Buntain, Tallis Buntain

Key outs – Patrick Monk, Mac Johnston, Billy Bowes, Daniel Ladner, Cody Donlan

The Northern Tigers will field one of its strongest teams of the season with five massive names returning to the team including vice captain Tyler Stack. Coming off the back of an impressive win against Mt Gravatt, this line-up looks extremely good.

Impact on the result of this game

If Noosa wins, it will move to 10th if Maroochydore beat Mt Gravatt. Victory will do nothing to change the ladder position for its opponents. If Surfers Paradise wins and Morningside beat Broadbeach, it moves into third position.

Who will win and why

Surfers Paradise is at near full strength and considering its major win last week against Morningside, a mini-final for its opposition, it will come into this game filled with a tremendous amount of confidence. Don’t discount Noosa for making it a tight contest, however. 



Mt Gravatt

Key ins – Gavin Grose, Kaeden Corboy

Key outs – Dylan Bromilow, Wyatt Greenaway

The Vultures have brought in veteran Gavin Grose back into the team while Kaeden Corboy returns to the ruck for his first game since Round 9 against PBC. Corboy’s efforts were recognised after an impressive outing in the Reserves in the previous round.


Key ins – None

Key outs – None

For just the second time this year, the Roos go in with an unchanged line-up. This is the most times that any team has done so this season.

Impact on the result of this game

If Mt Gravatt wins, Maroochydore will miss finals. If Maroochydore wins, it could move to seventh if Sherwood upset PBC and Broadbeach beat Morningside. Should Labrador beat Wilston Grange, Maroochydore will not make finals regardless of the result. Mt Gravatt cannot make finals.

Who will win and why

This is a mini-final for Maroochydore. If you’re only as good as your last quarter, then this team will come in filled with momentum after kicking six goals on the bounce to overrun PBC late in the second half at home last week. Given Mt Gravatt has beaten a contender in recent times, its best is really good and when midfield machines Joel Leahy and Matt Pearce (ruck) get named on the bench, you know there is talent in this squad. Expect the reigning QAFL Impact Player of the Week Sam McLachlan to be a key in the Roos winning a close contest and continue his stellar season; one where perhaps he could be an outside chance for the Grogan Medal.




Key ins – Jono Freeman

Key outs – Justice Freeman

The Hornets have made just one change from the team that lost to Labrador last week with Jono Freeman returning to the forward line while Justice Freeman comes out.

Redland Victoria Point

Key ins – Reuben William, Jarrod Huddy

Key outs – Marcus Khoo, Matt Hammelmann

The Sharks bring back William and Huddy into the team with the latter coming in for a straight swap for Marcus Khoo while star forward Matt Hammelmann will miss his first game of the season, leaving his race to 100 goals on shaky grounds (currently 82).

Impact on the result of this game

If Aspley wins, the minor premiership belongs to them. IF RVP wins, it moves into top spot. This sets up an interesting state of play for the final round if Aspley does win. If Broadbeach beat both Morningside and Labrador, and Morningside beat RVP in the final round, it will drop to third place on the ladder. If RVP drop its final two games and Morningside wins its final two matches, we could see the pair play off in week one of the finals following the final round of the home and away season.

Who will win and why

This is a really tough game to tip. RVP has been in solid touch, losing to Broadbeach in the last month; a fate that Aspley also suffered. RVP powered away in the second half against Wilston Grange in its last match two weeks ago; meanwhile, Aspley fell away against Labrador in the second half.

It’s hard to write off both teams that are loaded with extreme talent but Aspley showed last week it was beatable. However, take into consideration that Aspley has not taken home the four points on two occasions, returning fire to beat PBC on the road by seven-goals after its draw to Broadbeach in the season opener, and then beating Noosa by 52 points and enjoying 38 scoring shots following its loss to Broadbeach. The group responds well.

Most punters will say that this is the rightful preview of the 2023 QAFL Senior Grand Final and that this has been a lock for most of the year. They’d be correct and it would be a fitting finale to season, one that we’re getting before finals. Aren’t we in for a treat?



Wilston Grange

Key ins – Taylor McCubbin, Daniel Lanthois, Zackary Derksen, Jackson Gordon

Key outs – Samuel Pettigrew, Jhye Hartung, Jake Fazldeen, Hugo Thew

The Gorillas welcome back some big returns headlined by the class of forward duo Dan Lanthois and Zac Derksen, while Taylor McCubbin returns to the backline.


Key ins – Jay Foon, Mackenzie Bristow, Nathan Wright

Key outs – Lochie Howell, Josh Deacon, Matt Hoy

Three massive ins for the Southern Tigers. Foon, Bristow and Wright will add so much speed, height and strength across the ground. The loss of Hoy does hurt.

Impact on the result of this game

If Wilston Grange wins, it has fifth spot secured regardless of the results around it. Victory would put Labrador immediately back into the firing line where Morningside, PBC and Maroochydore can still take its spot in sixth place, and with Broadbeach awaiting it next week, it’s in trouble. If Labrador wins, regardless of results – Maroochydore can’t make finals, Morningside must beat Broadbeach and PBC must beat Sherwood to be a chance to play finals. If both fall over – Labrador can lock in sixth spot this week and the match next week against the Cats is a pre-finals warm-up for a likely match-up in week one of the finals.

Who will win and why

Wilston Grange can play some of the best football of any team this season and have a major fall from grace. It really depends on which team fronts up. The intensity and aggression that Labrador showed against Aspley at home last week was a premiership-brand of football – first to the ball, running hard in numbers and confident in finding the best option going forward. The additions of Foon, Bristow and Wright – with the exception of Hoy who is out of the team and McEldrew; it’s almost close to the first 22 for this team on the park.




Key ins – Sam Jasper, James Gledhill, Max Lower

Key outs – Jacob Townsend (managed), Leonardo Lombard (QLD 17s), Jared Eckersley (VFL)

The Cats welcome back Sam Jasper into the forward line, James Gledhill and Max Lower, three massive names. Jacob Townsend is rested while young guns Lombard and Eckersley showcase their talent in the representative and VFL football.


Key ins – Mitchell Howson, Jake Godwin, Ryan Cole

Key outs – Wylie Buzza, Wilson Barry (both VFL), Kelly Castle

As expected, Buzza and Barry return to the VFL. Godwin and Howson will be handy additions. Castle missing does hurt but Ryan Cole will fill his role in the midfield.

Impact on the result of this game

If Broadbeach wins, third spot on the ladder as a minimum is guaranteed. If it then beats Labrador next week and RVP lose to Aspley and Morningside, Broadbeach will jump into second place. Victory for Broadbeach sets up a monumental task for Morningside to make finals with results this week and next to determine if it can still take sixth position. If Morningside wins, sixth spot is firmly in place. If Wilston Grange beat Labrador, Morningside winning this game will see it finish this round in sixth spot. With PBC likely to beat Sherwood (and Labrador losing), we could have three Gold Coast teams fighting for one spot in the final round of the season.

Broadbeach can still finish fourth if it loses its final two games and Surfers Paradise beat Noosa and Aspley.

Who will win and why

Broadbeach has three massive stars returning in place of three players from its best 22, showcasing the tremendous depth in this team. Morningside went down to Surfers Paradise last week by a point and a result that severely impacted its finals race. It needs to bring that level of intensity to this contest. The neutral fan wants Morningside to win to make it a grand-stand finish in the final round of the home and away season, but alongside Surfers Paradise and RVP, Broadbeach joins those teams with the best form in the back half of the season and makes it difficult to tip against.

However, Morningside has one of the top two ruckman in the competition in Brad Hodge and with young gun Taine Dawson shouldering the ruck load with the absence of Riley Bowman, the veteran ruckman might have a greater impact over his younger opponent and light a fuse that could spark a Morningside win. This contest is crucial.



Palm Beach Currumbin

Key ins – Alex Fry, David Armitage

Key outs – Tyler Cornish, Hunter Hall

Alex Fry comes in for his first Senior game since 2021 after coming through the Colts program and Burleigh. David Armitage returns to the team for the first time since Round 1. The former St Kilda player will be eager to have an impact in a must-win game. Tyler Cornish is a big out.


Key ins – Will Fletcher, Will Cruice, Ethan Harris, Morgan Smith, Thomas Carey, Owen Collins

Key outs – Tom Gillett, Riley Greene, Lachlan Harvey, Harrison Bridge, John Baker, Ryan Gilder

The Pies make six changes from the team that went down to Broadbeach two weeks ago with some massive names returning to the line-up. Will Fletcher returns from concussion, Ethan Harris is back in the team and Owen Collins will ignite the midfield.

Impact on the result of this game

If Sherwood wins, it will be its second victory of the season and PBC will need results to go its way to make finals. IF PBC wins, it could be percentage behind sixth-placed Labrador if it loses to Wilston Grange and Broadbeach beat Morningside. If Labrador wins, PBC will hope Broadbeach can beat them next week (while beating Mt Gravatt) to make finals. Broadbeach winning the next two games will be vital to PBC making finals. Morningside could beat Broadbeach and RVP in the next two weeks and regardless of the results, PBC won’t make finals, while Labrador could beat Wilston Grange and Broadbeach with both Morningside and PBC still missing finals (confused, yet?).

Based on the draw of the teams around them and its opponent next week, PBC is the clubhouse leader to take sixth position especially taking into consideration of the form of Broadbeach who probably won’t drop a game for the rest of the home and away season.

Who will win and why

PBC had a disappointing final 32-minutes last week and with a super-star line-up taking to the field; it must win this weekend at all costs. Sherwood could pull a rabbit out of a hat and win, and that will make the final few rounds very interesting.

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