QAFL Round 12 – Preview

By Abby Collins

This Saturday’s clash at Hickey Park will see the Wilston Grange Gorillas attempt to tame the Palm Beach Currumbin Lions in a show stopping match up of talent.

With both teams eyeing the victory, the match promises to be a thrilling showdown of skill, strategy and claws.

The last time these two powerhouses met was in the first round of this season. The Lions took home their first four points with a final score of 18.19 (118) to 17.12 (114).

Hungry for revenge Wilston Grange has made only minor changes to their previously unsettled line up.

The Gorillas will welcome back key players Hugh Fidler, Jack Fazldeen and Oscar Stewart, a happy sight for Coach Brent Moloney. Moving out of the line-up for the Gorillas is Lliam Malone, Samuel Pettigrew and Jack Manly.

“Hugh Fidler’s a huge in for us this weekend,” Moloney said.

“He is one of our best and fairest winners.

“He has been outstanding the last couple of years as a deep forward and inside mid.”

Meanwhile the Lions will be making five changes, bolstering their line up with the likes of Hunter Hall, Thomas Thynne, Lachlan Jolley, Dean Katsiris and Luca LaVerde.

The Lions’ outs for this week are James Frawley, Tai Hayes and Nelson Beikoff-Smart. Shifting into the teams’ emergencies is Matthew North and Dylan Patterson.

The Lions are known for their claws, those that make them truly sharp this season are Tom Hickey, captain AJ Dawson, Cory Beaman and Fred Valpied, all of whom are on Moloney’s radar.

“Tom Hickey is their number one ruckman, he’s leading in the competition for clearances,” Moloney said.

“He has had a huge impact for them this season. They obviously have some very talented players. There’s Cory Beaman, he kicked six goals against us last time.

“Their captain AJ Dawson, a state player, is another one we will be watching out for.

 Number 66, Fred Valpied, has had an outstanding year too and won’t be overlooked.”

Wilston Grange is no stranger to outstanding players, bringing a lot of strength to their side this weekend is Rhys Mathieson, Billy Richardson, Will Martin and Zach Westernberg.

“I am looking forward to seeing Mathieson and Will Martin working together across the midfield,” he said

“Billy Richardson was our best on ground against Redland Victoria Point. He’s an Allies kid, he had a real breakout game two weeks ago where he started to really impose himself on the game. He is definitely one to keep an eye on.

“And Zach Westernberg has been rock solid for us down the back.”

Drawing closer to the pointy end of the season every four points counts.

“We’re fully aware of what they can do. They are obviously top four for a reason,” Moloney said.

“They beat us in round one, so we’re hoping to square the ledger on Saturday.

“It takes 22 of us to beat them, it’s a pretty important match of footy for our club.”

Whose roar will win out, the Gorilla’s or the Lion’s?

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