Submitted by Chris Yeend
LABRADOR v PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN
Labrador – 5th (2-1)
Palm Beach Currumbin – 1st (3-0)
COULD ANDREW BOSTON BE THE RECRUIT OF THE YEAR FOR THE TIGERS?
The former Gold Coast Sun and 2021 Southport co-captain is a ball-winning machine. Averaging more than 25 touches in the VFL last year in a COVID interrupted season, Boston is no stranger to winning the hard ball and also finding team mates in space. He can find the goals and the leadership that he delivers to this group is outstanding. With a number of players joining the competition from the VFL and AFL in the off-season, Boston will stand out as the season progresses and poll well on Grogan Medal night.
HOW GOOD IS CAMERON O’LEARY FOR THE LIONS?
In a few words, ‘DAMN GOOD!’ The former Barwon Heads star in the Bellarine FNL in Victoria had limited playing opportunities over recent seasons but he made a statement in his third game in the QAFL with a near best-on-ground five-goal performance against Mt Gravatt in the wet. When O’Leary wasn’t kicking goals, he was setting them up and more than held his own in trying conditions. He will be a dangerous player for the Lions if the opposition doesn’t give him the respect he deserves.
IS PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN THE REAL DEAL?
You can only beat who is put in front of you, but last week was as complete of a four-quarter performance from this team as you’ll see this year. The near-20-goal win over the Vultures was a surprise, but what was more of a surprise was that the Lions kept going and when they commit to that intensity, they can match it with the best.
It’s hard to see the Tigers losing here, especially at home and given their form, but don’t be surprised if the Lions get up and continue its undefeated start to the season. This could be the game of the weekend if both teams play to their strengths. Look out for ex-AFL opponents Liam Jones (PBC) and Lochie Henderson (Labrador) to cross paths.
REDLAND-VICTORIA POINT v MT GRAVATT
Redland-Victoria Point – 3rd (2-1)
Mt Gravatt – 9th (1-2)
WHERE DO YOU PLAY JONAH LICHT?
Mt Gravatt had a dilemma last week against Palm Beach Currumbin where its captain, Licht played predominantly inside the forward 50 and rarely ventured up the ground. He is handy at winning the ball and if it’s not getting inside the forward 50, he is at times better off pitch-hitting in the midfield and playing the likes of Matt Pearce one-out in the goal square and having Licht winning some of the ball out of the middle. It’s a tough job because you do need more than one of him to get this Vulture machine going.
MATT HAMMELMANN, HOW MANY GOALS?
After kicking two last week in the loss to the Cats, this goal kicking machine is ready to re-launch. Austin Brent probably gets the job on him, and he is a very strong defender who was on the receiving end of too many inside 50s from the Lions last week. He did hold his own against various opponents, but Hammelmann is not just any opponent. He’ll kick at least six in a solid day’s work.
WHO WINS IN THE RUCK, CRAIG MALONE OR JARROD HUDDY?
Malone was outstanding for the Vultures last week against a make-shift ruck combination for the Lions almost to the point that the Lions’ midfielders were reading the ball off him. Huddy has the capacity to press forward and kick goals while Malone is more of that kick-behind-the-play performer. Malone gets the honours here, but it’s more what he does when he wins the taps, or his team mates.
There is blood in the water and the Sharks are circling after dropping their opening game of the season last week. They’ll be too strong at home.
ASPLEY v MORNINGSIDE
Aspley – 4th (2-1)
Morningside – 11th (0-3)
WHAT DO THE PANTHERS NEED TO DO TO LIFT?
Morningside’s midfield isn’t that bad, it just lacks the fire-power up forward to kick a big winning score. The likes of Colenso, McDonald, Cameron-Reeves and others will take time to build that goal scoring formula, it just needs one more power forward to take the opposition defense to task and kick multiple goals.
ARE FANS GETTING EXCITED ABOUT CONNOR STACKLEBERG?
After kicking six-goals on debut against the Gorillas and kicking another six last week, there is a lot to like about this former Brisbane Lions Academy product. A power-house forward and genuine excitement machine, he offered a lot of promise for the Hornets in the VFL last year and has continued that this year. If he starts to get loose inside the forward 50, he can lead well into space and kick long goals. So yes, fans should be getting excited and he is the key cog in Aspley’s finals’ aspirations.
REECE TOYE, WHAT A CAREER TO DATE
Reece lines up for game 200 this weekend and what an incredible effort it has been so far. A wonderful player and ambassador for this club, this key midfielder deserves all of the success that heads his way. MORE HERE.
LOSE HERE AND THE PANTHERS WILL STRUGGLE TO FIND THEIR WAY BACK?
This group just needs to be competitive. They should consider themselves a chance in this game and need to draw as much confidence out of it as possible ahead of matches with Broadbeach and Labrador in the coming weeks. This is not a club that should be 0-4 considering its talent and development. It’s all about the little wins that will help contribute to some big wins from rounds 8-10 against the other current three-winless teams.
After a 20-goal win last week, the Hornets have got their sting back. These are the games they should win.
MAROOCHYDORE v WILSTON GRANGE
Maroochydore – 6th (2-1)
Wilston Grange – 8th (2-2)
HUGH FIDLER IS A STAR OF THE FUTURE
That’s an obvious call after winning the rising star award during the week with 21 touches and 10 tackles last week. Fidler made his VFL debut last year with the Lions and despite limited game time, he impressed with his tackling, something that has become a key asset to his game. He is one of the more exciting players to watch in this competition and his best football is ahead of him. For a player that’s not even 21 yet, he is seen as one of the stars of this team.
WILL HAMISH SURPASS JOSH AS THE BETTER GOVAN BY SEASON’S END?
The former Kyneton FNC (Bendigo FNL) captain is playing out of his boots this season. Flying in and out each week, he has played three games this season and he is dominating in the midfield. His pressure acts are outstanding. He is a different player to younger brother Josh but with both firing in the midfield, the Roos win either way.
A DOUBLE HEADER FOR SENIOR FOOTBALL, SHOULD WE SEE MORE OF IT?
Everyone will be a winner this Saturday when the Senior men take to the field first and then the Senior women take to the field immediately afterwards. It would be great to see more of this as we see the Senior components of men and women building a greater unity for the club and fans can enjoy football under lights. This is a fantastic idea by all involved and we should see more of it.
Maroochydore will be too strong at home but we’ll see the emergence of a hungry Wilston Grange outfit take the game right to them as it did in the practice match prior to the season starting (Maroochydore won with the last kick of the game).
NOOSA v SHERWOOD
Noosa – 7th (2-2)
Sherwood – 12th (0-3)
HOW GOOD OF A GET IS STERLING MITCHELL FOR THE PIES?
After crossing from Yeronga in the off-season on the back of a 14-goal season, Sterling stepped up last week kicking three of his team’s four goals. For coach Adrian Fletcher and the team, it’s about developing some of these younger stars to get the best out of their football and that effort from Sterling is a sign that with a bit more game time and opportunities, he will kick more goals.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR THE TIGERS LAST WEEK?
It was a game that they would have loved to have won. It would have added more credibility to their rise up the ladder and they’ll be disappointed it didn’t go their way. A win against rivals Maroochydore would have put the competition on notice. After failing to kick a goal in the first quarter and trailing by 20-points, the Tigers broke even for the rest of the game but poor kicking in front of goal proved costly in the second half (4.10).
HOW WILL NOOSA RESPOND?
Unfortunately for Adrian Fletcher and his Pies, Noosa will be desperate to make amends for last week with a big win. Sherwood still has some great talent in the list that should put a stop to a lot of Noosa’s endeavours, but it may be a tough day especially if Templeton, O’Dwyer and Wilson get loose.
Noosa and it needs some percentage because if it wants to play finals, percentage will be the difference between sixth and seventh place.
BROADBEACH v SURFERS PARADISE
Broadbeach – 2nd (3-0)
Surfers Paradise – 10th (0-3)
NO MONCRIEFF, NO WORRIES?
In the match of the season to date, at least on paper heading into the game, Broadbeach, without key spearhead and reigning Grogan Medal winner Jordan Moncrieff kicked an impressive winning score against the Sharks on a wet, and testing day for players and fans.
In its premiership year in 2021, Broadbeach was ranked number one for the fewest points conceded by more than 25 goals from its nearest rival. With James Gledhill in fine touch in defence, the rest of the backline lifts to his standards.
ARE THE DEES IN TROUBLE?
Losses to PBC, Maroochydore and Labrador could be a cause for concern if you’re a Dees’ supporter and with a testing game against the Cats on Sunday, it could very well be 0-4. However, with a struggling Mt Gravatt next week and a winnable game at home against the Tigers the following week; topped with hosting the Gorillas; a 0-4 start could lead to 3-4 in the opening two months of the season. Other than Maroochydore in Round 9, matches against struggling Morningside and Sherwood could see this outfit push towards the top six regardless of the result in Sunday’s match.
WHERE CAN THE DEES MATCH THE CATS?
Probably in the midfield. Jack Yelland, Harrison Fraser, Matt and Dan Green can provide that speed and physicality in the midfield. The issue at the moment is the capacity to kick a winning score with limited options up forward.
If Surfers Paradise can make a physical game of this contest and get to within five-goals, I think it would be a big upside as it has a more favourable draw over the coming weeks. Broadbeach is just too good at the moment, but this will be a danger game, and they know it.
Picture by Highflyer Images