Submitted by Chris Yeend.
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN v BROADBEACH
PBC – 4th – 4/2
Broadbeach – 1st – 6/0
DESPITE THE LOSS TO THE SHARKS, ARE THE LIONS STILL TO BE SEEN AS A THREAT?
The loss to the Sharks hurt last week. Conceding a goal on the half-time siren definitely hurt and the Sharks came out swinging in the third term to break away to a match winning lead. PBC held its own against the best midfield in the competition, despite the wet conditions. Its major issue when the game was to be won, was its movement from half-back to half-forward. Adrian Williams was best afield for taking so many marks and executing defensive efforts for the Sharks when the Lions pressed forward. Cornish and Thynne are quality mids, but they unearthed another one in the form of Liam O’Brien who was one of the best last week with his hard efforts and pressure. There was nothing from that game that suggested that this team couldn’t run with the best in the business, and it gets that chance against the Cats.
MICHAEL SELSBY, WHAT A PERFORMER
For a player that is part of the Southport squad in the VFL to have the capacity to jump straight into the midfield and pick up a lazy 38 touches, it’s not hard to see why he is one of the most talented onballers on the Gold Coast not playing AFL, and the best is still ahead of him. His 38 touches last week featured 20 contested disposals which is amazing in tough conditions. When the Cats get access to him, their midfield looks so much more slick.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS GAME FOR THE LIONS?
Eventually, they need to take a big scalp and cannot rely on just bold showings against quality teams. The losses to Labrador and RVP saw this team in winnable positions, they just need to flick up that extra gear. They certainly have the capacity to get within four goals of the Cats, they just need to turn it up an extra notch in the fourth quarter and run over the top of them, just like they did with seven last quarter goals against the Pies two weeks back.
Broadbeach by 15 points because they are the best overall team in the competition, and PBC is a side that will contest across four quarters but not being able to land that knock-out blow. Look out for Liam Jones to block up the space of Jordan Moncrieff and deny the Broadbeach spearhead of goal scoring chances that may keep the margin close.
REDLAND-VICTORIA POINT v ASPLEY
RVP – 2nd – 5/1
Aspley – 3rd – 4/1
RAIN, HAIL OR SHINE, THE SHARKS CAN GET THE JOB DONE
With Brock Aston, Caleb Franks and Jack Rolls running amok in the midfield, there is so much potential in this team. Aston was the pick of the bunch last weekend with 20 contested possessions and nine tackles, plus a mesmorising goal from the boundary line to be the best onballer. With Hammelmann well held in trying conditions, Matt and Jake Warren are quality crumbers, and of course the backline is well established with Williams and Stallard commanding that area and setting up play further down the ground. This team has winners on every line.
ARE ASPLEY UNDERRATED?
There is still a bit of the unknown about the Hornets this year perhaps because they are new to the competition and we’re seeing teams that missed finals last year (Noosa, Wilston Grange, PBC) occupying spots in the top six. Add Aspley to the mix and we’re presented with a new set up in the race for the finals. They’ve played some exciting football and have a quality, emerging midfield. They haven’t beaten a team inside the top six this year, but they did take down Labrador who is still a major challenger in the race for the finals. A win here will not only be massive for the club, but also for the competition.
DO THE SHARKS HAVE THE BEST BACKLINE IN THE COMPETITION?
Best is too strong of a word to use, but it wouldn’t be too far off. Adrian Williams was the ultimate brick-wall across halfback last week and was the reason that Palm Beach Currumbin had so few efficient inside forward 50s in the second half. The loose defender with the extra kick behind the play is a key when you have Stallard and Yagmoor playing loose and setting up the play well down the ground. Currie, Miller, Baker, Matthews and Waters are capable of playing key roles down back just to give that extra versatility. It may not be the best in the competition, but it’s great to watch function well.
Redland-Victoria Point will be too strong at home in a close contest but don’t be surprised to see Aspley get up on the road and cause some more carnage inside the top six and set itself up as a top three contender which it probably the fitting placement in the competition based on overall form of all 12 teams.
LABRADOR v MAROOCHYDORE
Labrador – 7th – 3/2
Maroochydore – 8th – 2/3
DO OR DIE FOR BOTH TEAMS
Both teams come into the game after a week’s break due to rain and off losses to top six teams. This is a danger came for both teams and the winner will be right back in the mix of the top six. It’s hard to believe that last season these two teams were battling it out for a spot in the Grand Final and now find themselves languishing outside of the top six. If the Kangaroos go down here, they could be three games out of the top six after just seven rounds and it will be a long road back. The Tigers have secured three wins this year with the first coming against this team by plenty.
CAN WE JUST MENTION THAT PRELIMINARY FINAL, ONE.. MORE.. TIME?
It was the best and most memorable game of the 2021 season and both teams return to the scene of the crime where the game took place, the one where the Tigers led by 22 points at the 22 minute mark of the last quarter and the Roos kicked 5.2 to nothing in 10 minutes to win. It’s worth mentioning it in this instance because both teams have the capacity to put on a classic.
SWING HENDERSON FORWARD OR KEEP HIM DOWN BACK AGAINST SCHOLARD?
Lachie Henderson is leads the tally of most marks in the competition with 59. If he drifts back, he will likely get more intercept marks, perhaps playing in front of Maroochydore’s Mitch Scholard. If he swings more into the forward line in a more CHF role and push Bryce Retlzaff into the goal square, the Roos don’t have the defense to shut down the both of them.
Labrador will avenge the Preliminary Final loss with back-to-back wins over the Roos in a game where, if both teams are in full form, should be playing for a spot in the top three this week. The potential in this game is massive; we won’t see a repeat of the opening round 12-goal win by the Tigers and we’ll see it go to the wire.
NOOSA v MT GRAVATT
Noosa – 5th – 4/2
Mt Gravatt – 9th – 1/4
WAS LAST WEEK THE WIN THAT SETS UP NOOSA’S SEASON?
In heavy rainfall against a desperate Surfers Paradise outfit, the Tigers trailed by 17-points in the second quarter and then hit the front by half-time and stayed there. To come back, hit the front and hold off a strong team, that’s a defining win. To comeback like they did and win like they did in the second half, take away the opposition, those are the wins that make a season. The winner of that game was always going to benefit more than just taking the four points.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE COMEBACK OF GAVIN GROSE FOR MT GRAVATT?
To have not only a club legend, but a league legend back in the line-up to add more strength to the team down back and just to have his presence around the group on game day, it’s simply massive. Grose led the way with 20 touches last week for the Vultures, who were only two-points down in a tight first quarter. As this group looks to rebuild and get some experience into his developing and emerging players, he is essential to helping that process.
THE GAME IS RELOCATED TO NOOSA, HOW MUCH DOES THAT HURT THE VULTURES
It’s tough when you’re unable to play on your home ground each week you’re scheduled to play there. Matches against Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and now Noosa were scheduled to take place at home and the wet conditions making the ground unsafe to play on is difficult. It’s already a challenging year for this squad but to not have the routine and structure of playing at home, that’s very difficult.
Noosa will still be thriving off last week’s win over the Demons and salute to a win and maintain its place in the top six. There is currently four teams on four wins, so percentage will be crucial with a number of teams outside the top six still looking to take Noosa out of the top six race.
SURFERS PARADISE v WILSTON GRANGE
Surfers Paradise – 10th – 0/5
Wilston Grange – 6th – 4/2
OUCH, THAT ONE HURT LAST WEEK FOR THE DEES DIDN’T IT?
With difficult conditions and the season slipping away, Surfers Paradise threw everything at Noosa and just came short. It was gut-wrenching to lose that contest, but the bright side is that this group showed tremendous heart in testing conditions and showed that it can definitely take the fight up to any opposition. It’s been said week-in, week-out, this squad is not a squad that should be winless. There is still quality in this team and a win is so close.
SHOULD MATT PAYNE GET FINED FOR HOW MANY MEDIA MENTIONS HE GETS EACH WEEK?
If he did, he’d be funding the end of season trip on his own. A lazy 48 touches in the wet last week and averages 36 each week, the most of any player. He was always going to be a talking point before the season started and he’s delivered better than any other player in the competition. Half of his touches were contested, with eight inside 50s with the next best getting five across the whole game. He brings the team around him to life.
ZAC WESTERBERG, DO NOT FORGET THE NAME
Wilston Grange was struggling for ruck options across the off-season, but they’ve found a beauty in Zac Westerberg. After crossing from Coolangatta Tweed in the off-season, Westerberg is the second highest for hit-outs in the QAFL competition this year and with Grogan medal favourite Matt Payne, Bailey Gordon and Daniel Bowles looking to get first hands on the ball from his hit-outs in the middle and around the grounds, this Wilston Grange effort is building some sort of team.
Surfers will be hurting from last week but Wilston Grange are building a nice body of work to contribute to a quality start to the season and make it four on the trot and build some confidence ahead of a big month of football coming up for it.
SHERWOOD v MORNINGSIDE (SUNDAY)
Sherwood – 12th – 0/6
Morningside – 11th – 0/6
IS THIS ONE OF THE MATCHES OF THE ROUND?
When you have a game featuring two win-less teams at the bottom of the ladder and some heavyweights going head-to-head at the top end of the ladder, it would be easy to say no. However, this is the only game on the card where you can look at and find it difficult to confidently pick a winner, aside from the Sharks and Hornets. Both teams have enormous potential in their junior programs and have put on some bold showings in recent weeks. This is a genuine toss of the coin game if you’re a QAFL tipper. It’s too hard to pick a winner, making this a must-see game on the stand-alone Sunday fixture.
CONGRATULATIONS JASPA FLETCHER
We may have seen the last of Jaspa this season as the Brisbane Lions Academy player heads off to Frankston this Saturday to represent the NAB AFL Academy against Collingwood in a VFL game. Jaspa is the only Queenslander represented in the squad that features players across the country. His achievements is a testament to the development of Sherwood’s junior system and is a massive victory for the club, and of course Jaspa and his family. If last week was his last outing for the season, 11 contested possessions and two of his team’s four goals in the wet isn’t a bad effort.
CAN KEEAGAN DOWNIE MAKE A STATEMENT
After his bold performance against Broadbeach two weeks ago, Downie has a great engine that can motor up and down the ground, taking strong contested marks and the capacity to kick goals. He has the physique and ability to kick three or four goals in a match-winning display given his ability. This could be his day.
It’s a toss of the coin. Morningside by less than a kick, just because its efforts against Broadbeach two weeks ago was solid.
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