QAFL Wrap: Round 1

Wilston Grange 4.6, 5.8, 7.12, 11.14  (80)
Labrador 2.1, 4.2, 7.7, 11.10 (76)

The Gorillas played down their premiership aspirations pre-season.

They, like many, thought they might be a bit inexperienced to go all the way this year.

They either played us for fools, or underestimated themselves.

The Gorillas, and their kids, aren’t going anywhere in 2016, they will be thereabouts again.

Up against the reigning champs, who just came off the back of a faultless pre-season, the task was going to be big, but from the opening bounce until the final siren, they went hunting.
They constantly outnumbered the Tigers at the contest, they spread better, and their foot skills were elite.

Despite how good Labrador is, the score line flattered them today. They were on the back foot for all four quarters.

Kids like Lliam Molan up forward set the tone; he is a star.

The baby Gorillas showed a lot today, the confidence they will gain from this win could set them up in 2016 perfectly.

Coaches thoughts
John Galligan – Wilston Grange

“The result was good, but it was more about how we went about it. Our work rate was high, it was sustained pressure, and it was a good outcome for a young group of boys.

“The kids really accepted the challenged all pre-season, today was a reflection of the trust and belief we have in them really.”

Perry Meka – Labrador

“We had no interchange after half time, but we fought back well.

“We started ordinary, and that is going to happen when you have six or seven new players, so we have got to gel a bit, and that’s okay.

“Our disposal was atrocious, and our decision making wasn’t that good either, it was a kick and hope thing. Second half we composed our self and hit our targets.

“You hope now that we take that into next week.”


Mt Gravatt 4.2,  7.7,  12.10,  15.14  (104)
Western Magpies 2.3,  3.5,  5.7,  8.10  (58)

Yesterday we learnt that pre-season form is good form, and that Mt Gravatt are the real deal.

They went toe-to-toe with a team that many expect to be in the mix for a premiership this year, and they beat them at their own game.

The Vultures controlled the stoppages, a trademark of the Magpies circa 2015, and then put the afterburners on when they got on the outside.

Andrew Smith gave them first use time and time again in the middle, Carbone was running amok, Tronc was rock down back, and Jayden Crawley was the best target on the ground when he was up forward.

The game should have been over at half time, but the Vultures skipped away in the second half, making sure everyone knows they aren’t here to make the numbers up this year.
Coaches thoughts
Brad Pollock – Mt Gravatt

“What worked was that we put a lot of pressure on them. They had to kick to a lot of one on one contests, which played into our hands.

“As we know, pre-seasons can be a little deceptive, I was quietly confident we would be competitive today, but you just don’t know until you get into the real thing.

“There were times today when the Magpies showed they are a class unit, which made the result even better. We know we are going to be super competitive against the top teams this year.

“It’s only round 1 though, we have got to continue this form.”

Glenn Humphrey – Western Magpies

“We were terrible.

“Around the stoppages, we were beaten at our own game. They used the ball better than we did, and they work harder than we did.

“They had 18 more inside 50’s than us, and fully deserve the win that they had.

“The only thing I take from this is that we were poor.”


Palm Beach Currumbin 5.4,  8.8,  12.12,  17.16  (118)
University of Queensland 3.1,  5.4,  7.5,  8.8  (56)

I wrote Friday it would be fast, and it lived up to that in every single way.

This one was an end-to-end, free flowing, fast paced game of high attrition, in which Palm Beach kicked away in the second half.

Jon Croad was outstanding in the ruck and up forward, finishing with three majors in his Palm beach debut. Keep an eye on him this year.

Despite the score line, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for UQ.

They came up against a very good football side, away from home, with a lot of injuries in the second half.

For the first 60 minutes, they stuck it right to the Lions.

Harry Milford looked extremely dangerous, Connor Ballenden was unstoppable before he got a corkie, and the wise heads down back of Phil Lovvett and Sean Powyer were good.

In the end though, Palm Beach were just too silky.

They kicked crucial goals against the wind, and that was the difference.

Steven Thynne looked right at home again, and the new recruits slotted in seamlessly.

They are a real danger this year, especially if the game opens up.

Coaches thoughts
Chad Owens – Palm Beach Currumbin

“Today was hard fought. It was a good win though.

“It was a good result in the end, because they had some quality players. Our work against the wind was the big difference.

“We have still got to get better at it, but our run out wide was good today.”

John Tootell – UQ

“It was a pretty even contest up until half time, but we kind of got bashed up a bit I guess. We had no rotations late.

“It’s not often you’re happy after a 10 goal loss, but the boys performed well. We moved the ball pretty well; they were quick and well structured.

“They were a bit more polished than us, but we still take positives out of it.”


Surfers Paradise 1.3, 7.5, 10.9, 14.16  (100)
Sandgate 0.2, 0.6, 4.9, 6.11  (47)

At half time, the lights had been shot out of this one.

Surfers Paradise ran riot early, holding the Hawks goalless, while piling on seven themselves, and that was just about the ball game.

Danny Green was in a league of his own up forward, with six in the first half, kicking eight for the afternoon, while Pope and Atkinson kept feeding him the ball.

The Surfers defensive unit were on song from the get go, not giving away any cheap ones early.

To the Hawks credit, they didn’t throw in the white towel at the main break, they came out and held their own in the second, but the start is what killed them.

They learnt the hard way that you can’t give any team in the competition a head start this year; it is that even, you won’t claw your way back.

For Surfers, this win will do their young group wonders.

Last year they didn’t get off to a flyer, and it cost them in the end.

This year, they are ahead of the leger.

Coaches thoughts:
Peter Young – Surfers Paradise

“We probably didn’t finish off like we should off, but we are happy.

“To hold them goalless in the first half, we are pleased with that.

“I thought our back six and midfield were really strong today, that’s where our run started.

“To be one up, where last year we lost a close one and ended up chasing our tail, that’s a good start. It’s round 1 though, we aren’t getting carried away.”

Graham Adams – Sandgate

“We had a lot of forward entries but just couldn’t convert.

“I think their skill level was better than ours under pressure, and I thought they were probably more direct at goal than them.

“We toiled away, they know they played a game of footy, but we were going down their with expectations we didn’t achieve.”


Morningside 4.5, 10.5, 15.8, 15.12  (102)
Broadbeach 3.0, 7.3, 9.6, 11.10  (76)

Polish. That was the difference in the end.

Morningside just had that little bit more composure, used the footy a bit better, and hit targets when it counted.

The game was a bit similar to the elimination final last year, Broadbeach hung around all day, but Morningside were always in control.

Mueller and Abey worked well together, a partnership Morningisde would love to see in sync every single week, and Russ was a ball magnet before going off with a minor knee complaint.

Scoring was never a problem, with the game pretty open, but a Broadbeach team missing a couple of key senior heads just couldn’t find that next gear they needed to make it interesting.

They will take a bit from it though, some of their best players all day, like Fitzsimmons, Nutting, and Pecotich, are all 18 or under, and proved that they can mix it with the best on the senior stage.

Morningside, without setting the world on fire, got the job done today in a comfortable fashion, something very important in the overall picture.

Coaches thoughts
Brett Andrews – Broadbeach

“We just had too many blokes going away, and too many blokes training one night a week.

“The great thing was, all of the young blokes I played stood up.

“We were probably two weeks behind where I would like us to be before the first game, our pressure was pretty good, but they just cut us up for a little while.

“Morningside were good, they were clever, we were a little bit silly.”

Matt Walder – Morningside

“Round 1, you don’t know what’s going to turn up, so it is always good to walk away with a five goal win on the road.

Our start was good, by half time we were well and truly in the game.

“We have got room for improvement, that’s for sure. We had more opportunities than the score line suggests, but we to make sure those opportunities are goals.”

By Andrew Wiles

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