QWAFL Grand Final Review: Triple treat for Coorparoo



They say the third quarter is the premiership quarter, the time for a club to stand up and take the game by the throat.

And that’s exactly what Coorparoo did on Saturday afternoon, playing a near perfect 20-minutes to secure a historic third consecutive premiership.

A 42-point win was far from the close contest many expected, but Coorparoo were simply too good on the weekend, dominating from the opening bounce.

It was the usual suspects for Coorparoo from the get-go, Zielke to Young to Arnold, it was clinical footy early.

With Beth Pinchin missing for Coolangatta and no real key defender in her place, Arnold was running rampant around Leyshon Park in the first term.

By the 13-minute mark of the first quarter, Arnold had already taken four contested marks inside fifty and banged home two majors.

It was looking pretty ominous for the Bluebirds, but Admson managed to give one a roost from 40 to keep Cooly within striking distance.

A third goal from Arnold just before quarter-time handed the Navy Roos a 21-point buffer at the first change and a serious momentum boost.

Barely a minute had passed in the second term, but it was clear that Coolangatta had gone up a notch.

The intensity was at another level and the Bluebirds were finally starting to open the game up with their trademark run and carry.

Within five minutes Zuber and Lattanzi both had shots on goal and Cooly were on the attack, moving the ball quickly out of the guts.

But unfortunately their hard work was all undone when Clark toed one through for the Navy Roos to increase the deficit to 25-points.

Morgan Lowe managed to peg one back for the Bluebirds moments later, but a beautiful bit of linkup play from Zielke and Sexton set Arnold up for her fourth of the day.

Trailing by 24-points at the main break, Coolangatta needed quick goals to put the pressure on Coorparoo, and they got the perfect start inside a minute through Wallace.

18-points was the closest the Bluebirds would get for the afternoon however, a switch flicked for Coorparoo and for the rest of the quarter they totally took over.

Emma Zielke is the best player in the competition for a reason, and the QWAFL Best and Fairest winner showed why with her next two touches of the footy, booting a pair of quick goals.

Zielke then linked up with Young, Hunt and Crack to produce a few stunning passages of play that led to goals for Lee, Sexton and Arnold for her fifth.

It was a scintillating 20-minutes from the Navy Roos and a real show of dominance from the defending champs. By three-quarter time the margin had blown out to 48-points and the game was in the books.

Coolangatta showed some great fight for pride in the final quarter, kicking two goals in the opening 10-minutes.

Hannah Sexton finished the job for Coorparoo however, kicking a beautiful running goal with five minutes left to put the icing on the cake.

It was a gallant effort from the Bluebirds, but unfortunately they just didn’t have the legs to keep up with Coorparoo’s fast paced style.

Fittingly, Emma Zielke walked away with best on ground honours for the game to cap off an incredible year.

Congratulations Coorparoo, excellent season and a stellar way to finish with a three-peat.

Coach’s thoughts

Aaron Russell – Coolangatta

“We were up against it today but the girls did a good job under the circumstances, we should be proud of what we have achieved this season.

“To come from fifth last season to a grand final in a year is an amazing effort, I think the girls should be proud of what they’ve done.

“Coorparoo haven’t won it three years in a row for nothing, they were excellent today, full credit to them.

“We will learn from this and take the next step, work hard in the offseason and continue to recruit and come back firing for next season.”

Sally Young – Coorparoo

“We couldn’t have played at the level we did without the competition there, Coolangatta have been great this season and it’s been an awesome battle.

“Each game was harder than the last, but we were able to put it all together today – the run from the girls was great.

“We’ve had a hard couple of weeks, but we were able to pull it together and get the job done with our Coorparoo culture.

“It’s a great feeling, this group of girls really deserve it, it hasn’t been easy but I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.”

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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