QAFL Round 15 Preview

Submitted by Chris Yeend

Broadbeach – 1st (12-0-166%)
Palm Beach Currumbin- 6th (6-6-110%)

What will PBC do to change the result from last week?
Conditions were tough last week on a wet Salk Oval deck. With conditions drying up later in the week and wind helping take the moisture out of the ground, we’ll see a more competitive and efficient Lions outfit. Dumas, Sekac and O’Leary provide so much silk at ground level and class in the air up forward and the trio will want to make their mark on the scoreboard and at half forward.

Momentum and disposal efficiency is a key. So many times across the season the Lions have turned the ball over at crucial stages and handed momentum back to the opposition. Clean ball use is essential and this line up, loaded with capable players on every line, will respond.

How good is Jonah Semmler?
With the Gold Coast Academy under his CV, Semmler has slotted comfortably into the backline to play a key role. With Cal Searle on Southport duties across the season, Semmler has slotted well into the backline and shown great contested pressure against the leading opposition forwards and used his creative flare to set up play further down the ground. He is truly one to watch.

What will Michael Rischitelli add to the Lions?
To have someone of his ilk in the back half of the season is a big win. What he adds to the midfield and then across half-forward is a massive upside for this line-up that will benefit from that extra bit of experience. With Rischitelli, Cornish, Thynne, Crossley and the under-rated Stafford running through the midfield, this team will win more games on the run home towards the finals and hopefully for their sake, shut the door on the likes of Maroochydore and Wilston Grange taking their spot before the final round of the season.

Until they lose a game, there is absolutely no reason why you could tip against Broadbeach. For a team that turns over up to 30-percent of its Senior squad each week, Craig O’Brien has the perfect game plan to suit each role, and each player plays it to perfection. Very similar to Richmond during its premiership run where a player can go out, another goes in and plays that role to perfection.


Labrador – 4th (7-4-162%)
Surfers Paradise – 10th (3-8-66%)

How much will that last few minutes of the match against Broadbeach play on the mind of Labrador?
To be honest, probably not a lot, but there is a lot that this team can look at to learn from it. For the most part, the game was played at break-neck speed and the Tigers were quick to get the ball and run and using it to be perfection to pierce through the Broadbeach defense.

This team will look back and focus on adjusting the tempo of the game to suit what is happening. The last few minutes of that game could have seen the team play more possession football; slow the play down and keep the game on their terms.

Alex Mitchell is a handy get for the Dees
Mitchell is one of few players in the competition who has played 10 games or more and kick at least one goal in every game. He has two bags of six including against a solid Maroochydore defense. He also kicked three of seven goals for Surfers in the 44-point loss to Labrador in Round 4. If you’re only as good as your last game, six goals in your last effort isn’t bad in preparation to face a quality backline.

Is Labrador a chance of missing the top six?
Mathematically it’s still possible and for a line-up loaded with incredible talent, it would be disappointing for this group. The question is asked because on the flip side, if as expected it makes the finals, they have matches against the Sharks, Hornets, Lions and Noosa, all currently in the top six, on the run home and if they are going to make a big impact in finals, their performances against these teams will be crucial.

Surfers Paradise has enjoyed a solid month of footy, winning three of five games and turned their confidence around. Labrador faces Wilston Grange next week before a run of blockbuster games to close out the home and away season, so what it does in this game in terms of how it wins, will be absolutely crucial. They’ll be too strong.


Redland Victoria Point – 2nd (11-1-192%)
Sherwood – 11th (1-11-56%)

Pies looking to finish season strongly
The last month of football for the Pies has been solid. To be in the contest for 3.5 quarters against the Dees, get within nine-points of the Roos, stun Noosa to win by 17-points and go down to the Panthers by 14-points is a good turn-around. By comparison, their first month of football had them concede an average of 20 goals a game including 23 against the Sharks in Round 2. Aside from conceding 15 goals against Labrador a week after almost upstaging Broadbeach, life after the first four games has been positive if you’re a Sherwood fan.

Hammelmann eyeing off the century
To kick 25 goals in his last two games, Matt Hammellman is having a run of a lifetime. He single handedly dragged the Sharks to victory over the Panthers with 11.8. He is now just 34 goals off the century. With matches against Broadbeach, Labrador and Aspley over the next three weeks following this contest, to reach the century will be a big challenge, but then prior to his last two games he had 41 goals and the century was a distant thought.

What approach will the Sharks take into this game?
They’ll want to play their best football, but they also know that the Sherwood this week is vastly different to the one at the start of the season. This is a massive game for one of the contenders especially with a tough month coming up and what they can do here will help in their preparation for that game.

Sherwood will be too strong at home but will get a better resistance from Sherwood and we won’t see the result 124-point result that we did earlier in the year.


Morningside – 8th (4-7-81%)
Aspley – 3rd (8-3-180%)

Where does this game rank in terms of interest for this round?
This is the second must-watch game of the weekend. With four wins separating the pair; one team tracking along nicely for its quest for premiership success and the other just looking to create as much pressure on the top sides, on paper it would be hard to see why this game would over-ride one such as Broadbeach and Palm Beach Currumbin (with Grange and Maroochydore the one to watch for neutrals).

But before fans start ripping down the stands at the Gabba, hear me out. Since Round 6 when it lost to Broadbeach by 50-points (a game where the margin pushed out late), Morningside secured its first win of the season (over Mt Gravatt), beaten PBC by 64-points, beaten Noosa by less than a kick and led RVP until late in the game (as well as beating Sherwood under lights). If I’m Aspley and looking at the effort of the Panthers against the top six teams, this has DANGER GAME written all over it.

Morningside possess a big opportunity at home to topple one of the flag favourites and the last six weeks has shown that this is a different side. Aspley at its best is outstanding, but so is its lower placed opposition who is playing like a top four side. So yes, this will have a lot of eyes glued to it.

How important is Errin Wasley-Black for the Hornets?
Very important. His run off half-back and creating play further up the field is crucial. His work with Banks-Smith through the middle is outstanding and teaming up with another speedster, Will Peppin at half-forward caps off the chain. The run starts with Errin and he’s crucial to this team.

If the ground is heavy, who does it suit?
Aspley rely a lot on pace to dominate games. Any built up moisture on the ground at Morningside, particularly on the main wing just sits on top and makes conditions slippery. By comparison, the other wing can be heavy. This will suit the home side a bit more.

Aspley wins but it will be a really interesting contest, especially if Keegan Downie gets off the chain for the Panthers. This will be more exciting than what the ladder suggests.


Noosa – 5th (6-6-112%)
Mt Gravatt – 12th (1-11-47%)

Alarm bells ringing for the Tigers?
After such an impressive start, Noosa is on a four-game skid and is in danger of slipping out of the finals race. Fortunately for the team, it has just two of its remaining matches against teams in the top six, but at its best, could win the remaining matches of the home and away season. Given its performance for most of the season, Noosa should have won its last two matches and be pressing on Aspley to supersede it in third spot. If Mt Gravatt can cause the upset, the winner of Maroochydore and Wilston Grange will be just percentage behind them outside of the top six.

As of writing, former AFL forward Wylie Buzza is in the team for the Vultures, that is massive.
The Vultures have been screaming for another key forward to help Jonah Licht. Even for one game, this is huge, and it gives more confidence to the midfielders to find reliable options when pressing forward. The combination of Licht and Buzza can help kick a competitive score.

What can Tom Baulch do to ignite the Tigers?
The founder of Prime Training and the internet sensational is the X Factor in this Tiger team. What he does on the field and the energy he has around his team mates is electric. With the team’s back against the wall, an adoring home crowd and great weather, he will lead this team to victory.

If Noosa want to play finals and make a statement in finals, this is the game where that statement takes place. The next month is going to be crucial and despite the success it has already endured in the 2022 season, the job is not done, this team can genuinely contend.  


Wilston Grange – 8th (5-6-80%)
Maroochydore – 7th (5-6-93%)

Last roll of the dice for both teams
This is a defining game for both teams. The pair played off two weeks ago against different opposition with the Roos just falling short against Aspley and the Gorillas just getting over the line against the lowly Vultures.

Wilston Grange need percentage and need to be consistently playing at its best over the coming weeks to stand any chance of making finals; and the Roos, while the form line is not too dissimilar to their 2021 home and away season before making the dream won to the decider; must start winning matches against the top six to stand any chance of making finals. If it can’t beat the teams below them, like this week’s opponents; then it’s a tougher ask to beat the teams above them.

Will it live up to the hype of the last encounter?
With the wet weather cast aside this weekend, and Hickey Park being one of the premier grounds in the competition; and both sides with some quality players eager to run on a quick track, there is absolutely no reason why this match couldn’t live up to the Round 5 encounter where the pair played a highly entertaining brand of football that had Wilston Grange win 111-90.

When the season is done and dusted, it will rank in the top 10 for matches this year due to the pace of the game, the talent on the park, high scoring and high-octane energy across four quarters.

Both teams are evenly matched, and loaded with incredible talent. And while it was just a practice match, earlier this year Maroochydore won at this venue by less than a kick. It was no surprise to see both teams fight it out in an epic encounter for four points six weeks later.

There is genuine excitement for this game and if conditions stay perfect, it will be another classic.

If Wilston Grange win, could we see the Round 21 clash against PBC be the one that determines who makes finals?
Isn’t that the dream scenario for a mutual football fan? If Wilston Grange register one more win and percentage than PBC that the Round 21 clash at Hickey Park could determine who makes the top six?

This would mean that every game those two play in counts for so much. Both teams at their best can beat almost any opposition; or at the least push them; and at their worst could drop games that they are perhaps expected to win. If Maroochydore beats Wilston Grange this weekend, this ‘Pie in the sky’ possibility will remain an unlikely chance, but there is no harm casting the net of possibility out there.

Maroochydore has two games on the run home against teams below it, one of them is against the red-hot Morningside; so this result means everything. However, Wilston Grange see a massive opportunity here to make a step towards playing finals and that step starts here, at home where the road to the top six is becoming clearer and it should win a close one.

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