Queenslanders’ still in the race for flag

Week two of the AFL finals will see two sudden death semi-finals with the winners advancing into a preliminary final to take on either Hawthorn or Fremantle in the hopes of securing a grand final birth.

In the first semi-final on Friday night, Geelong will take on Port Adelaide at the MCG looking to make amends for their loss to Fremantle.

While Geelong doesn’t have any Queenslander’s on its list, three of their coaches played significant roles in shaping the history of football in Queensland.

Head coach Chris Scott played 215 games with the Brisbane Lions, winning the 1998 club best and fairest before featuring in the 2001 and 2002 premiership sides before missing 2003 through injury.

Assistant coach Nigel Lappin is one of the all-time greats of the Brisbane Lions, winning four All-Australian selections (2001-2004), a club best and fairest in 2004 and three premierships across his 279 games.

Blake Caracella was traded to the Lions at the end of 2002 where he then featured in the 2003 premiership and 2004 grand final loss to Port Adelaide before being traded to Collingwood.

Port Adelaide’s pair of Queenslanders, Brent Renouf and Daniel Stewart, both failed to feature in the Power’s win over Collingwood but may come into consideration depending on injury and team structure.

The second semi-final will take place on Saturday night between Sydney and Carlton at ANZ Stadium and will feature at least three Queenslanders.

Sydney’s Kurt Tippett will be looking to atone for a poor performance in the qualifying final against Hawthorn by returning to the form he showed before succumbing to a hamstring injury in round 23.

Jesse White may come under pressure to hold his spot with the expected return of Adam Goodes, but should have done enough in his performance against Hawthorn to secure his position for the game against Carlton.

For Carlton, Tom Bell will be looking to build on his 17 possession performance against Richmond when the Blues take on the Swans at ANZ Stadium.

The other Queenslander in the Carlton squad, Shaun Hampson, is unlikely to come into consideration after back-up Carlton ruckman Robbie Warnock was the most influential big man on the ground in the win over Richmond.

While week two of the finals may only feature three Queenslander’s on the field, there will still be plenty of interest surrounding both games from a Queensland perspective.

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