Submitted by Chris Yeend.
MT GRAVATT v SURFERS PARADISE
Mt Gravatt – 9th (1W – 3L)
Surfers Paradise (10th – 0W – 4L)
HOW DO WE ASSESS THE FORM OF THE VULTURES?
After going down by 118-points to Palm Beach Currumbin in testing conditions the previous week, the Vultures responded well against the Sharks with 12 goals on the board, including five in the second term to eclipse their four-goal tally across four quarters the previous week. Craig Malone was again outstanding in the ruck and to compete as well as they did across four quarters against a premiership contender, speaks volumes of the potential in this team on a good day.
WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE DEMONS?
The 129-point loss to the Cats last week surprised everyone. The margin was almost as surprising as the scoring shots in the first half, 18 to 3. There is a bit of forward power missing from this list in the off-season and the backline and midfield is missing some key personnel, but there is absolutely no reason why this team under 2019 premiership coach Brad Moore should be in the position it is at the moment in 10th place and averaging 55-points per game.
IS CRAIG MALONE THE BEST TAP RUCKMAN IN THE COMPETITION?
If you had Malone as the number one ruckman at either Broadbeach, Labrador or Redland-Victoria Point, that team will not lose a game this year. That alone speaks volumes of how good he is. He is tall, strong and tough to beat in centre bounces and around the ground. At present, he is the best ruckman in the competition right now and it will be a joy to see other ruckman around the competition try to knock him over and beat him across four quarters.
MATCH UP OF THE DAY
Jonah Licht (Mt Gravatt) and Nick Hay (Surfers Paradise) will be entertaining. Hay is better in the air where as Licht is better on the lead and on the ground. If Licht kicks four goals or more, he wins the battle.
WHO WILL WIN and WHY
At the start of the season, you couldn’t see Surfers Paradise losing this game. Prior to last week, you couldn’t see Surfers Paradise losing this game. Mt Gravatt have potential where if it faces a similarly matched team, those younger players can compete well. There is that potential there and in this game, it stands out. Jonah Licht gets off the chain and kicks six with the support from another player that will kick three or four goals.
SHERWOOD v PALMBEACH CURRUMBIN
Sherwood – 12th (0W – 4L)
PBC – 5th (3W – 1L)
ARE THE PIES GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS ALREADY?
Absolutely not. This team has so much room for improvement and the draw hasn’t been kind to them with tough games against the Hornets, Sharks and Noosa Those three teams are entrenched in the top six and face a much-improved Lions outfit.
THE LIONS TOOK ON LABRADOR LAST WEEK, WHAT DO WE THINK?
There is a lot to like about the grit and fight they showed against Labrador last week. The margin threatened to blow out on several occasions but the hard-work from the midfield enabled the Lions to close the game down and keep up the scoreboard pressure. After trailing by 22-points at half-time, PBC closed the gap to 17 at the final change but they could have been in front if not for poor kicking; 3.7 to 3.2. The 22-point margin was about right and there is enough to suggest this group is ready to not only challenge the big guns, but even pinch a win or two along the way.
THOMAS THYNNE, HOW GOOD OF A LEADER IS HE?
The number 28 in the middle has been a wonderful leader for this team in the opening month of football and helped been the engineer for numerous centre clearances and transitions from the backline to the forward line. The Lions have a keeper here, he is outstanding.
WHO WILL WIN and WHY
The Lions put more than 20 goals on the board against a Mt Gravatt team that has already shown a bit more potential than other teams in the bottom half of the ladder. The Lions also have a bigger bodied and more experienced midfield. PBC will be too strong but it won’t be that easy for them.
LABRADOR v ASPLEY
Labrador – 4th (3W – 1L)
IS ASPLEY FLYING UNDER THE RADAR?
To be fair, it potentially is but it is challenging to get a feel for where this group is placed. With a narrow loss to the improved Noosa team, and two comfortable wins against the Pies and Panthers in recent weeks, this team needs to be tested and what better way to do so than with a bumper clash against Aspley? This game will go a bit deeper into defining where it is. A win here makes it a greater contender. There is a lot to like about them, especially with Connor Stackleberg kicking six goals in each of the last two weeks.
HOW VALUABLE WAS LAST WEEK’S WIN OVER PBC FOR LABRADOR?
Sometimes you just need to grind it out and that’s exactly what the Tigers did. It wasn’t going to be a pretty game against the Lions but to dig deep and keep the margin at around the three goal mark for much of the game and stop any momentum from the opposition, that’s a defining win. There is a sense that this game could be a carbon copy of the clash against PBC.
DOES LACHLAN HENDERSON GO TO CONNOR STACKLEBERG?
As fans, it’s a given, this is the match up they need to see. The best backman in the game taking on the best forward in the game. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Henderson tries to play a bit more loose and less one-on-one with his opponent. Considering that Stackleberg is dynamic on the lead, Henderson dropping in to fill that space might be a far better option for the Tigers and leave Jayden Young taking on Stackleberg.
RYAN BANKS-SMITH IS IN RED-HOT FORM, CAN HE BE STOPPED?
With 38 touches last week and a dozen inside 50s, he is in quality form. He has has the luxury of facing less experienced line-ups in recent weeks but the ability to win the ball and execute his disposal as well as he has, must give him a lot of confidence. The dual between he and Tom Simpson is must-see. It will be interesting if the Tigers try and shut him down or try and keep the ball away from him. He can be stopped purely on the basis of the better level of competition, but does that mean he gets his hands on the ball?
WHO WILL WIN and WHY
Aspley would benefit from this win in a major way that will help build its season. Labrador is just too good at home. It ranks sixth in the competition for scoreboard pressure in the first month, as opposed to Aspley that sits in second position for most points scored and first for least points conceded. Labrador has played three finalists from 2021 and a potential finalist in 2022 (PBC); Aspley has played just one finalist from 2022 (Morningside). Labrador won’t kick more than 12 goals and that will be enough to win.
MAROOCHYDORE v REDLAND-VICTORIA POINT
Maroochydore – 8th (2W – 2L)
Redland-Victoria Point – 3rd (3W – 1L)
HOW DO WE ACCESS MAROOCHYDORE’S RUCK SITUATION?
The loss of Jacob Simpson in the off-season is proving to be a massive hole to fill for the Kangaroos. The changing of Pearson and Laing in the ruck is a solid alternate fix but it’s not the ideal solution. Simpson was named in the best in the majority of games for the team since it joined the QAFL for season 2020 as an excellent tap ruckman.
Pearson is handy as a crash and bash player and works as an extra midfielder; while Laing is handy as a back up ruckman, but it’s not ideal. Wilston Grange dominated out of the ruck last week with Zach Westerberg winning 40 hit-outs. Jarrod Huddy awaits this week and he’s a star.
HOW GOOD IS THE SHARKS OUTFIT UP FORWARD?
Redland-Victoria Point showed last season that it is one of the best attacking teams in the competition and it has shown that already again this year. Seven players kicked two or more goals last week in the win over the Vultures but that’s just a standard input from this team with more players very capable of kicking goals. Head coach Phil Carse has a range of players to rotate across half-forward to fill attacking roles as required.
BROCK ASTON, HOW GOOD IS HE?
After a solid effort for the Panthers last year, his cross to The Tank has been effortless and he’s benefited from a game style that suits his ability a lot more. He had more than 30 touches again on the weekend and teamed up well alongside Calaeb Franks who is another quality midfielder. This Sharks outfit is coming along nicely.
MAROOCHYDOORE COULD BE 2-3 AFTER THIS WEEK, IS THERE CAUSE FOR CONCERN?
There definitely is. The problem is, this squad can compete and win against any team it faces. The talent is clearly there. It was outclassed for four quarters last week against the Gorillas that dominated the centre clearances and led the entire game. The Roos need to improve its delivery into the forward 50 and give its forwards better access. With Aspley and Labrador in the wings in the coming weeks, the Roos could be 5-2 after seven games or 2-5. Each game over the next three weeks is like a mini final.
WHO WILL WIN and WHY
For Maroochydore to win, it needs to play exactly how Wilston Grange did against it last week; first to the ball, lead from the opening few minutes and continue that pressure across four quarters. The Sharks continue to build themselves into a full quality outfit and based on form alone, they should win with a margin around the four to five goal mark.
BROADBEACH v MORNINGSIDE
Broadbeach – 1st (4W – 0L)
Morningside – 11th (0W – 4L)
THE MAYOR HAS ARRIVED
Reigning Grogan Medal winner Jordan Moncrieff kicked his century for the club last week when he kicked 10 goals to take him over the 100 goals for the club in 26 appearances. His 10 goal haul from 18 touches against the Demons was pure bliss and fans would love nothing more than to see him take that form to new levels over the coming weeks. Could we see back-to-back 10 goal hauls? Considering that Surfers Paradise have a bit more experience down back and Moncrieff still kicked 10, makes life challenging for the Panthers.
WHERE CAN MORNINGSIDE WIN A MATCH UP ON THE GROUND?
Brad Hodge isn’t given the respect that he deserves in his role and he could be too strong for Ryan Pickering in the ruck. Hodge is big bodied and strong, and can get front position a bit better in around the ground stoppages. The Panthers just need players to get the ball first.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM TOBY TRIFFETT?
The former Lions Academy product and Morningside midfielder is very agile and has quality speed and endurance. He has a big responsibility in the midfield against the reigning premiers and he will absolutely embrace it. This is a great challenge for his football career and if he can manufacture some centre clearances and keep up the delivery in the forward line, it will only do his confidence the world of good.
WHAT DOES BROADBEACH NEED TO ACHIEVE FROM THIS GAME?
The same it did last week, to have each player strive to win their position. Competition for spots will be red-hot over the coming months and its matches like this where some players who are struggling can stand out and really own their role. Unfortunately there has been some heavy margins already in the competition, and depending on what happens across the season, percentage could be the difference between a double chance or running through the Elimination finals; and Broadbeach may not feature in the top two for highest scoring teams this year.
WHO WILL WIN and WHY
Broadbeach will be just too strong. Morningside need to hit the scoreboard at regular intervals and if it can register at least eight goals, it will be a positive for this group that can only and will get better.
Catch this game on Clutch TV
Picture by Brooke Sleep Media