By Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend
Hold onto your seats for Round 13 of the Senior Men’s QAFL competition. Old scores will be settled at Hickey Park; the Roos look to have found their pounce when they take on a determined Vulture outfit; the Panthers look to put a stop to the fast-moving Hornets at home; the Sharks and Pies will show off some new young talent; Labrador will look to put its demons to rest after a slow start to the season and respond against the Demons; while the in-form Broadbeach and red-hot Palm Beach Currumbin go head-to-head in a Gold Coast clash for the ages.
WILSTON GRANGE v NOOSA
Key ins – Brady Rees (W), Jake Fazldeen (int), Patrick Snell (int)
Key outs – Ryan Thomson, Kailem Baker, Lachlan Zakaras
A few key ins for the Gorillas headlined by the returning Patrick Snell, while co-captain Kailem Baker is a tough loss in the midfield which will open the door for Will Martyn to have a greater impact.
Key ins – Dan Ladner (HB), Tait Niddrie (Ro), Mav Pettigrove (int), Mac Johnston (int), Oscar McKinley
Key outs – Lachlan Dawson, Charlie Bowes, Isaac McCrimmon, Tom Monahan, Kurtis Evenden
Mav Pettigrove headlines one of five changes for the Northern Tigers with Lachlan Dawson and Isaac McCrimmon two of the big losses out of the team.
Wilston Grange had an outstanding second half against the Vultures last week and will be looking to string successive wins together and keep itself well entrenched in the top six. Not having both co-captains Kailem Baker and Matt Eagles will hurt but there is enough depth in this team to be a dominant force in the midfield and secure the four points at home.
Noosa was outclassed in the second half against Broadbeach which realistically provides more of an insight into where Broadbeach is. However, five goals across a whole game is challenging given that it swept PBC off their feet in the final term the previous week. It has won two of its three games on the road; both on the Gold Coast and went down to the Gorillas at home by two kicks on Good Friday earlier this year; hinting that there is enough spice in this team to compete.
Wilston Grange at home is always tough and its last game at Hickey Park produced a disappointing loss to the reigning champs. Can it redeem itself and put another nail in the 2023 finals prospects?
MAROOCHYDORE v MT GRAVATT
Key ins – Mitchell Habgood, Nathan Jensen, Ty Gallop,
Key outs – Will Jones, Tom Holt, Bradley McDonald
After making no changes for the team that went on to defeat Sherwood last week, the Roos made three changes with Mitch Habgood headlining the additions.
Key ins – Taj Moncur, Fletcher Clare, Alex Watkins
Key outs – James Johnson, Braydon O’Dea, Joel Leahy
The Vultures have made three changes to the team that narrowly lost to Wilston Grange last week. Braydon O’Dea and Joel Leahy are massive omissions from that team while Taj Moncur will be a handy inclusion.
The Maroochydore of old returned to Sherwood last week with two incredible quarters to seal its biggest win of the season. The Roos had margins of less than 20 points in their previous five games for a 1-4 record and there is a bit of belief around the team that it can return to that form that saw them win their way to the 2021 decider. Although, it was just one game.
Mt Gravatt has a sound draw put in front of it and its fate is purely in its hands. The loss last week to the Gorillas at home hurt and it was a result that absolutely had to be a win. The second half was testing and it must respond. Losing O’Dea and Leahy hurts, but this is absolutely a winnable game. With the games against the Sharks and Cats in the coming weeks following the bye, this is a season-defining game for this group.
Maroochydore showed something special last week, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if it gets off to a hot start and holds firm for the remainder of the game. Its list is simply too good for the results that it’s produced this season.
MORNINGSIDE v ASPLEY
Key ins – Dylan D’Roza (W), Wilson Barry (C), Dylan Swann (int), Joshua Hammond (int)
Key outs – Damian Martin, Ryan Cole, Cedric Cox, Adam Peak
After a disappointing loss to the Lions last week, the Panthers have made four changes with the biggest addition being Wilson Barry who returns to the midfield from VFL duties.
Key ins – Mason O’Sullivan (debut – BP), Lachlan Rayner
Key outs – Will Wolbers, Liam Dawson
Aspley has made two changes from the team that beat Labrador with ruckman Will Wolbers and key backman Liam Dawson coming out in place of debutant Mason O’Sullivan and Lachlan Rayner. O’Sullivan has spent the past two seasons playing in the Reserves after coming through the Colts and junior system at Sandgate.
Morningside has been hit by injuries and a lack of confidence. The past few weeks have seen the confidence taken away from the team, which is a shame because everywhere you look, there is potential in this list and a lot of future talent. Wilson Barry returning into the midfield is massive and Dylan D’Roza will compete well on the wing.
Aspley welcome Mason O’Sullivan into the team for his debut and the absence of Wolbers and Dawson will provide more opportunities for others to step up. There is just so much talent running through this team and the win over Labrador last week by such a big margin showed that we’re seeing a truly special season from this group. However, despite the success now, it’s only June and as we saw last year from Broadbeach, it’s all about making the Big Dance and performing better on the day. With what we’re seeing here though, this Aspley team is perhaps the most balanced line-up that we’ve seen from a single team in the top four in recent memory and it will take something special to challenge them.
Morningside is just one game and percentage out of the top six, so regardless of the result here, finals is still on the table.
REDLAND VICTORIA POINT v SHERWOOD
Redland Victoria Point
Key ins – Andrew Dart (debut – CHB), Jack Rolls (W), Tajuan Bromwich (debut – int)
Key outs – Tyler Hausfeld, Adrian Williams, Brock Aston
The Sharks have made three changes this week with Jack Rolls headlining the inclusions. Andrew Dart makes his Senior debut with the club after previously playing with Alexandra Hills, while Tajuan Bromwich makes his debut after coming through the Reserves and Colts system at the Sharks. Adriam Williams, Tyler Hausfield and Brock Aston are big outs.
Key ins – Elijah Glass (W – VFL), Tom Fry (debut – FP), Riley Easton (FP), Connor Bulley (FF), Dan Edwards (int), Morgan Smith (int)
Key outs – Zack Bidgood, Hiovake Livesey (ACL), Ethan Harris, Toara Marango, Deng Arok, Thomas Kearney
The Pies have made six changes from the team that lost to Maroochydore last week. Hiovake Livesey headlines the exclusions after becoming the ninth player to succumb to a serious ACL injury last week. Elijah Glass returns from the VFL after kicking his first goal for the Lions in the win over the Swans. Tom Fry makes his debut for the club after spending much of the season playing for the Brisbane Lions Academy Boys team in the Coates Talent League and played in the Under 16 National Championships in 2022 with the Lions Academy.
The Sharks were shaken and taken all the way by the Demons last week in a mighty battle between two quality teams, while Sherwood suffered injuries to key personnel early in the loss to Maroochydore and just couldn’t keep up.
RVP welcomes two debutants into the team with Dart coming from some success with Alexandra Hills and will add some quality strength in the backline in the absence of Williams. Bromwich is a key young gun coming through the system and will add plenty while Jack Rolls will add some quality through the midfield.
The Sharks welcome back Glass and also the addition of Tom Fry who crossed from Mayne while taking part in the Brisbane Lions Academy Program. The pair will team up with Rising Star nominee Owen Collins to add some class and pace in the midfield and showcase the young talent that this group is continuing to develop. Injuries hurt the team, but the output that the club injects into the Brisbane Lions Academy through a successful development program and providing a platform for younger players to get Senior experience, is invaluable.
It’s second against bottom in this clash and the Sharks will be too strong.
LABRADOR v SURFERS PARADISE
Key ins -Lochie Howell (debut – CHB), Cooper Anderson (FF – VFL), Campbell Lake (int)
Key outs – Caleb Back, Joshua Deacon, Ayden Punter
The Southern Tigers welcome back Cooper Anderson (12 touches and six marks) from his debut game for Southport in the VFL last week and also Campbell Lake (seven disposals) from the Suns, while Lochie Howell makes his debut after coming through the Reserves and Colts.
Key ins – Nicolas Harrison (HB), Joel Foster (W), Cameron Topping (Ruck), Daniel Van De Werken (int)
Key outs – Nicholas Williams, Jamison Shea, Anthony Stewart, Harris Lee
The Demons welcome back some key talent through their four changes with Cameron Topping leading the list of inclusions in the ruck, who perhaps could have been the big difference-maker last week against the Sharks. Nick Williams (Allies) and Jamison Shea headline the exclusions.
This is going to be a battle to the true bitter end between these two fierce rivals. Labrador comes off a disappointing loss to Aspley but welcomes back two VFL guns that will ignite this group in a way that nothing has this season. Like Sherwood, Labrador has seen a number of its core list go into the VFL system which is a testament to the talent in the list, but it does hurt the QAFL team on match day.
The Demons were oh-so-close in its clash with the Sharks and after leading early, remained in the contest until the final few minutes. Nick Williams held Matt Hammelmann to three goals, and while he will re-join the Allies program in the National Championships, the team won’t have that firepower from the opposition.
Surfers Paradise is eyeing off a place in the top four and it’s going to be a brutal, physical and intense contest against a Labrador team that is desperate to be within arm’s length of the top six. A Labrador win here will be massive for its confidence but also put the competition on notice that teams outside the top three are going to fight for the remaining three spots until the bitter end.
BROADBEACH v PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN
Key ins – Brandon Chadwick (HF), Jye Lockett (FF)
Key outs – Brayden Taylor, Jez Butler (both omit)
The Cats welcome back Brandon Chadwick and Jye Lockett (VFL) this week to help the team continue its strong mid-season run.
Palm Beach Currumbin
Key ins – Ky Molony (HB), Cameron O’Leary (HF), Hunter Hall (int)
Key outs – Cooper Portelli, Ben McInneny, Tyler Cornish
The Lions have made three changes with Cameron O’Leary returning from a lengthy stint on the sidelines from injury, replacing Tyler Cornish at half forward.
After its loss to Wilston Grange back in Round 9, Broadbeach has won its past three matches with key wins over Maroochydore, Sherwood and Noosa. While both teams remain in the bottom three of the competition, it is more about how the team produced those victories, especially with fast finishes in the second half of those three games.
PBC played arguably its best-attacking game of the season last week against Morningside. The addition of Buykx-Smith up forward adds a valuable target while Spud Frawley is hitting his straps with more Senior appearances in the backline. The addition of Cam O’Leary into the team is massive at half forward, especially if the Lions find him on the lead with shallow forward 50 entries and he can take shots from outside 50.
This will be the game of the weekend, especially with both teams finding their form. Look out for Jye Lockett up forward to be a key target for the Cats but he could be outclassed at the other end by Buykx-Smith.
A Broadbeach win looks likely although the Lions will be there until the very end.
1 – ASPLEY (42 – 230.78%)
2 – RVP (36 – 162.46%)
3 – BROADBEACH (30 – 130.56%)
4 – WILSTON GRANGE (28 – 109.05%)
5 – SURFERS PARADISE (24 – 108.38%)
6 – PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN (24 – 87.72
7 – Labrador (20 – 83.40%)
8 – Morningside (20 – 80.59)
9 – Mt Gravatt (16 – 89.38.49%)
10 – Maroochydore (12 – 93.88%)
11 – Noosa (12 – 73.90%)
12 – Sherwood (0 – 51.61%)