QAFL Review – Round 18

Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend

With just three games taking place in Round 18 of the QAFL Senior competition; each game had a lot riding on the result; not just for the winners, but those who play in the second round of split round matches next week.

Noosa put on another dazzling second half performance to put a hault to Mt Gravatt’s finals plans; Redland Victoria Point responded to its Round 17 loss to Broadbeach with an impressive effort against a much-improved Wilston Grange; while Broadbeach enjoyed a win on the road against Sherwood.
NOOSA 19.13.127 defeated MT GRAVATT 12.10.82
Needing victory to keep its slim finals aspirations alive; Mt Gravatt travelled up to the Sunshine Coast in search for taking home a much-needed four points.
Noosa have been a danger team at home this season and have secured major victories against teams on the fringe of the top six.
The Noosa Tigers burst out of the blocks with a strong start in the opening term; leading by 18-points – 26 to 8.
Mt Gravatt lifted its work-rate and forward 50 pressure in the second term to increase its scoreboard pressure; but for every goal it kicked – it was matched by the opposition who kicked four goals to increase its lead to 25-points at the main break.
With so much riding on the second half; Mt Gravatt gave itself every chance of taking the game away from the hosts; kicking five third quarter goals and cutting the margin back to 14-points heading into the final change.
Noosa have a habit of getting a big run on in the final term; and this game was no exception. With the possibility of victory in its sights; Noosa slammed home eight goals to run away victors by 45-points.
Noosa has kicked six goals or more in final quarters in each of its five wins; instilling belief in the team that if victory is possible at three-quarter time; that it can run over the top of teams very strongly.
Noosa led the disposal count by 90 (387 to 297); the tackle count by 31 (59 to 28); effective spoils by 14 (16 to 2); hit-outs by 33 (63 to 30) and marks inside 50 by 13 (22 to 9).
For Noosa; Aaron Wilson was outstanding with five goals from 12 kicks and enjoyed a game-high seven marks inside 50. Seb Rogers impressed with 26 touches and five marks inside 50 to go with three goals. Returning captain Aaron Laskey was unstoppable with 29 touches; 11 inside 50s and a goal.
For Mt Gravatt; Harry Milford produced a season’s best performance with five straight goals from his 10 kicks along with three marks inside 50. Joel Leahy was clinical with 29 touches; nine clearances; 10 inside 50s and a goal while Dylan Smith impressed with 27 touches (25 kicks) and five intercept marks to go with a goal.
Noosa (11th) – Surfers Paradise (A) and Maroochydore (H)
If Maroochydore beat Palm Beach Currumbin this weekend; Noosa could be playing to keep its cross-town rivals out of the finals and what an extraordinary game it could be. If results go the way of both teams; this Sunshine Coast battle could determine sixth place.
MT GRAVATT (10th) – Maroochydore (A) and Palm Beach Currumbin (H)
Things would be a lot different had it beaten Noosa on the weekend. It’s just about mathematically impossible to make finals from here but it can influence who doesn’t make finals. If it beats Maroochydore; that takes them out of the race and who knows, if it beats PBC, that’s them done too.
The Sharks responded to its loss to the Cats with an impressive 40-point win over a competitive Wilston Grange outfit.
The Sharks were always going to be in for a shoot-out against the Gorillas; a type of game that suits them best. The opening term was outstanding where they slammed home seven goals to lead by 26-points at the first change.
Wilston Grange needed to respond after a rollercoaster run of form in the past two months and it rose to the challenge in the second term kicking four goals to one to cut the margin back to eight-points at the main break.
With both teams looking to return to the winners’ list; the Sharks responded better in the third term; however it was inaccuracy that proved costly. They kicked 7.3 in the first term; but kicked 3.7 in the third term at the same end of the ground to extend its half-time lead by 13-points to a 21-point lead.
Wilston Grange threw everything it could at RVP in the final term but couldn’t contain the damaging midfield and forward line. RVP kicked six goals to three in the final term to win by 40-points.
RVP dominated the disposal count with 455 (+181) in one of the highest disposal counts for the season. It recorded 142 marks  (+63); lead the clearances by 34 (56 to 22) and took 19 marks inside 50.
Wilston Grange led the hit-outs by four and despite the heavy ball use by its opponents; still registered 50 inside 50s to 54 but had trouble converting, scoring on 32-percent of entries.
For RVP – three players didn’t get 10 or more disposals but those players combined for nine of the 17 goals kicked by the team with Hammelmann (5.2 from eight kicks); Josh Brown (2 goals from nine touches) and James Rayner (2 goals from eight touches) still having an impact. Eleven players had 20 or more touches with Caleb Franks (36) leading six players that had 30 or more.
For Wilston Grange – Daniel Bowles was outstanding with 34 touches; six inside 50s and a goal; Will Martyn had 26 touches and kicked two goals while Bailey Gordon gathered 19 touches; had 10 clearances; seven inside 50s and kicked a goal.
REDLAND VICTORIA POINT (2nd) – Aspley (A) and Morningside (H)
Must secure victory in both games to secure its place in the top two; or rely on Broadbeach dropping one of its final two games. The last game against Morningside is a massive danger game as the Panthers could be fighting for its place in the finals in the final round.
WILSTON GRANGE (5th) – Labrador (H) and Sherwood (A)
It would take a miracle for this team not to make finals with teams needing to make up the difference of more than 13-percent and rely on it dropping both matches in order to slip out. Ideally; this team must go into finals with consecutive wins – that’s a non-negotiable if it doesn’t want to just make up the numbers.
BROADBEACH 16.9.105 defeated SHERWOOD 5.12.42
Broadbeach made it seven wins from its past eight matches as it stormed away to a solid victory on the road to Sherwood.
To the surprise of no-one; Sherwood came out full of confidence against one of the genuine premiership contenders; kicking three goals in the opening term (it kicked three goals in four quarters against a red-hot Surfers Paradise in the previous round). Broadbeach put five goals on the board after kicking just seven across four quarters in the previous round against RVP.
The Cats dug deep in the second term and showed just why it is one of the most feared teams in the competition as they enjoyed 12 shots on goal (6.6) and held their opponents to a solitary point to grow its lead to 52-points at the main break.
Sherwood fought hard in the second half to put some more respectability on the scoreboard; having 10 scoring shots to six after half-time before going down by 63-points.
Broadbeach led the disposal count by 140 (345 to 205) and the inside 50 count by 27 (58 to 31). The Pies; without fearless captain Will Fletcher competed in all other areas with 29 clearances to 55; 15 intercept marks to 19; 10 forward 50 marks to 13 and 50 tackles to 52.
For Broadbeach; Kasey Nicholas returned to the team and enjoyed 31 touches; 13 marks and four tackles; Jye Lockett and Alan O’Neill kicked three goals each; young star Leonardo Lombard had 25 touches while future ruck star Taine Dawson enjoyed a career-best 22 touches along with five contested marks; two goals and a staggering 44 hit-outs (this coming from someone that made his VFL debut before his Senior Cats debut and is shouldering the ruck in the absence of Riley Bowman who is playing for Southport in place of injured Fraser Thurlow).
For Sherwood – Connor Bulley is still hitting the scoreboard and while he kicked just one goal from five shots; he is proving to be a key target that the team needs; Dan Edwards kicked a goal and laid seven tackles; while Josh Cooper had a team-high 26 touches.
SHERWOOD (12th) – Palm Beach Currumbin (A) and Wilston Grange (H)
Could cause an upset against PBC and knock them out of the race for finals.
BROADBEACH (3rd) – Morningside (H) and Labrador (A)
Morningside is starting to click and will be a big threat as it fights to save its place in the top six. A win over both teams will cause so much chaos as to who makes the top six with the last two games against teams sitting in sixth and seventh. If it wins both games and RVP drop both matches to Aspley and Morningside; Broadbeach will move to second.

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