QAFL Round 5 – Preview

Chris ‘Yeendy’ Yeend

Noosa has made the one change with Isaac McCrimmon coming out and Mason Gilifillan coming in.

For Aspley, William O’Dwyer and Rhiley Owens come in while Mitch Crawley and James Nellis come out from the team that beat Wilston Grange.  

Wilston Grange welcome in Hugo Thew, Ryan Thomson and Oscar Stewart, while Patrick Snell, Marly McGregor and Zach Derksen come out of the team.

Morningside welcome VFL leading goal kicker, Brisbane Lions forward and Morningside assistant coach Wylie Buzza in for his first game (Lions have VFL bye); with Keegan Downie Flyn O’Toole and Ben McCarthy also coming into the team; while James Cownlishaw Nax Neslon, Mitch Howson and Wilson Barry come out.

Sherwood welcomes back Thomas Kearney, Hiovake Liversey and Zac Briggs while Riley Greene, Elijah Glass, Jacob Aurisch come out of the team.

Labrador welcome Matt Watmuff, Matt Hoy, Sam Mercer, Josh Young into the team while William Derrington, Levi Fyffe, Josh Deacon and Campbell Lake come out.

Palm Beach Currumbin welcome Ben McInneny, Jordan Rogers, Cory Beaman, and Hayden Keil; while Finn Hay, captain Thomas Thynne, Ethan Seakac and Josh Lys come out of the team.

Broadbeach welcome back Brandon Chadwick, Blake Ericson and Justin Bishop while Sam Jasper, Hamilton Howard and Jared Eckerlsey come out.  

Maroochydore welcomes Lochie O’Toole, and Bailey Hahn come in while Lachlan Robinson and Brent Pearson come out. Redland Victoria Point welcome back captain Scott Miller but lose Reuben William.

** Not all teams were submitted in time for publication.


Noosa – 11th  (0 – 66%)
Aspley – 3rd (10 – 162%)

Leading goal kicker
Noosa – Aaron Wilson – 7 (LW – 1)
Aspley – Nick Dodge – 9 (LW – 2)

Last week
NOOSA – if there was one game that this team was eager to get up for in the opening month of the season, the one against cross-town rivals Maroochydore was the one. With the match played in overcast and blustery conditions, Noosa struggled to make the most of its opportunities in front of goal with 1.6 in the second quarter to trim a 23-point quarter-time deficit to 19. The Roos got the run on in the third quarter and sealed the 37-point win. Dawson, Crisp and Seb Rogers were outstanding for the northern Tigers but it was an opportunity that went missing and now this group sits 0-4 after the opening month and the 2022 finals appearance seems a long time ago.

ASPLEY – great teams make the most of their opportunities in front of goal in tough conditions and the Hornets showed that against the Gorillas. They kicked 12 of 17 goals to one end of the ground while holding their opponents to just one goal at the same time. The 67-point win was perhaps a bit surprising considering the opposition but then, it shows just how good this team is.

X Factor
Noosa – Seb Rogers: ultra-tough and a magnificent user of the ball. Blessed with great speed and ruthless aggression between the arcs.
Aspley – Will Wolbers: he is the best ruckman in the competition right now and arguably held that mantel last season. Could we see him come into conversations for the Grogan Medal? He dominates the hit-outs (58 last week) and is an option up forward. He kicked three goals last week after seven from 21 games last year. A rest up forward just makes this team so much better.

Who will win
Noosa has the bye after this  week before it takes on Sherwood at home. The Northern Tigers have their season hanging in the balance and it gets more challenging this weekend against the reigning premiers who played sublime football last week. If there is absolutely any hope of a season revival, this has to be it for Noosa; but with Aspley just starting to click into second gear, it’s going to be a job too tough and the reigning premiers to salute an undefeated start to the year. As a side note, Noosa did beat Aspley in the only meeting between the pair in 2022.


Wilston Grange – 5th (8 – 108%)
Mt Gravatt – 4th (8 – 116%)

Leading goal kicker
Wilston Grange – Lachlan Rhook – 8 (LW – DNP)
Matt Gravatt – Dylan Smith – 11 (LW – 3)

Last week
WILSTON GRANGE – it was a tough day at the office in the second half against Aspley, conceding 10 goals to three in the 11-goal loss. As hoped, it put on a strong start to lead the reigning premiers on the road but fell away after quarter-time. Hugh Fidley toiled hard while Daniel Bowles impressed across half back. This group needs to be more consistent for longer periods of the game.

MT GRAVATT – bad kicking is bad football. After leading by 19-points on the road to Morningside last week; the Vultures had six shots on goal in the last term for a return of 0.6. Morningside also had six scoring shots for a return of 6.0 for an 11-point win. Jackson Griffiths and Jake Torney impressed.

X Factor
Wilston Grange – Hugh Fidler: incredible in  the air, brilliant in front of goals and as tough as they come.
Mt Gravatt – Dylan Smith: he has kicked 11 goals from three games and has allowed captain Jonah Licht to impact higher up the ground. Smith up forward provides another key dynamic to the team and he is arguably the most impactful player in this team.

Who will win
Wilston Grange will be highly favoured to win at home. From a neutral perspective, a draw would be ideal because it keeps both teams entrenched around in and around the top six as the loser likely drops out. The Vultures have been exceptional this year with its starts, but Wilston Grange on paper just looks to be that team that could replace Noosa in the top six this year and a win here will help. A bye after this game follows winnable games against Surfers Paradise and Maroochydore.  


Morningside – 2nd (12th – 110%)
Sherwood – 12th (0 – 55%)

Leading goal kicker  
Morningside – Keegan Downie – 9 (LW – DNP)
Sherwood – Patrick McCarthy – 7 (LW – 3)

Last week
MORNINGSIDE – an impressive effort in the final term was needed to beat the Vultures at home and that’s exactly what happened, especially without Mitch Robinson and Keegan Downie in the team. An 11-point win was exciting with Kelly Castle in the midfield and Brad Hodge in the ruck playing incredible football.

SHERWOOD – the Pies almost secured their first win of the 2023 season when it fell two-points short of the Lions at home. After leading for the majority of the first half, they fell short in a highly entertaining encounter. The team book-ended the game with four goals for the quarter which was even more impressive considering they had kicked four goals across four quarters in their previous match.

X Factor
Morningside – Wylie Buzza: it’s not often that the leading goal kicker in the VFL comes into a team in the QAFL but the Panthers will take it. The assistant coach will still get to play while the Brisbane Lions have a bye in the VFL and form the most dangerous forward duo in the QAFL alongside Keegan Downie.

Sherwood – Pat McCarthy: really big on him as a key option up forward and the team will develop around him. He kicked three goals last week and draws the opposition’s best defender; so, he’s getting the respect he deserves.

Who will win
Do not rule out Sherwood here. This is a big danger game for the Panthers, just like it was for the Lions last week. The home team should secure victory and start to create some separation from them and the teams in the bottom half of the six. This fixture could see a close result for either side or a big win for Morningside, it should be a really entertaining contest.


Maroochydore – 8th – (4 – 96%)
Redland Victoria Point – 1st (12 – 182%)

Leading goal kicker  
Maroochydore – Mitch Scholard – 8 (LW – 4)
Redland Victoria Point – Matt Hammelmann – 13 (LW – 3)

Last week
MAROOCHYDORE – it was tough conditions last week at home against cross-town rivals Noosa but the Roos stepped up when the game was there to be won at crucial stages in a strong 37-point win. Vice-captain Mitch Scholard stepped up with four goals while crafty small forward Ben Thomas kicked two. Ben Kethro was instrumental down back; playing his part in restricting Aaron Wilson and the Noosa forwards to just four goals.

REDLAND VICTORIA POINT – the Sharks trailed reigning Grand Finalists Broadbeach by a kick at quarter-time and led by two-points at the main break. They kicked five goals to two in the third term to open up a 20-point lead en-route to a 22-point win. This is arguably the most important home and away win that this team has enjoyed in several seasons considering the force of the Cats and being able to climb over the top of the best team in the past three years; an opponent it has struggled to beat over that stretch. If there is season-defining wins that we’ll look back on at the end of the season across the competition, Saturday April 22 at Dowling Sports Ground could be that game.

X Factor
Maroochydore – the entire midfield: it’s hard to pick one player because centre clearances will be earned and if the midfield can break freely and have time to kick the ball low and hard to their forwards, that’s going to go a long way to setting up victory.
Redland Victoria Point – Adrian Williams: if the Sharks win, he will have shut down Mitch Scholard and the opposition forward line. Williams at his best in this fixture will determine the result of the game. If the ball is kicked high in the air, Williams will spoil everything. 

Who will win
The Sharks secured its most important win of the home and away season since pre-COVID, could Maroochydore do the same? The Sharks should be too strong but for all of the hard-work that the Roos have put together since joining the competition in 2020, they haven’t taken down a big name during the home and away season; this is their time. The Sharks by six-goals but it will be close for the most part.


Labrador – 10th (4 – 78%)
Palm Beach Currumbin – 6th (8 – 90%)

Leading goal kicker
Labrador – Harry Law – 6 (LW – DNP)
Palm Beach Currumbin – Malachi Dumas – 4 (LW – 1) and Nick Crowley – 4 (LW – 1)

Last week
LABRADOR – in a performance from both teams that won’t generate a great deal on the highlight-reel, the Southern Tigers let a big opportunity slip against Surfers Paradise. Kicking just three goals for the game in an eight-point loss is an effort that it will be keen to bounce back from; especially after failing to kick a goal in the second half.

PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN – it clawed and scrapped its way to a hard-fought win against the Pies by two-points on the back of 11 goals to eight after quarter-time. AJ Dawson was outstanding, and Marcus White impressed in a solid performance.  

X Factor
Labrador – Matt Cecchin: a hard runner across half-back and a physically intimidating player.
Palm Beach Currumbin – Carl Nicholson: has shown plenty in the ruck since crossing to the club in the off-season and is a handy replacement for Will Bella who crossed to Melbourne in the VFL during the off-season. He plays hard-attacking football and reads the contest well in the air.

Who will win  
If Labrador cannot win here, it could be the start of a long season ahead. Palm Beach Currumbin to come away with another hard-fought low-scoring physically bruising contest that may not see the winner kick 10 goals; maybe as a collective that in itself might be tough to see across four quarters from both teams combined.  


Broadbeach – 7th (6 – 102%)
Surfers Paradise – 9th (4 – 95%)

Leading goal kicker
Broadbeach – Jye Lockett – 8 (LW – 3)
Surfers Paradise – Billy Beardsell – 4 (LW – 1)

Last week
BROADBEACH – a strong effort against the Sharks but not the desired outcome; going down by 22-points. A strong start and slow finish hindered the result. It won’t be a match that impacts the confidence of this group too much and it will respond well.

SURFERS PARADISE – it doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win. That’s how Surfers Paradise attacked the game last week against Labrador. It kicked four goals across the game to win by eight-points. Cameron Topping and Kain Ford impressed.

X Factor
Broadbeach – Kwaby Boakye: brilliant in the air; across half-back, quick, exciting and a game changer. A tremendous player to have in this team that will transition the ball from defense to the forward line really quickly.

Surfers Paradise – Cameron Topping: Handy in the air and is a key tall around the ground. A strong asset to this team.

Who will win
Broadbeach are going to be too strong here and will respond after last week’s loss to the Sharks with an impressive performance against a Demons outfit that has shown a lot of competitive edge this season.

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