MATCH OF THE ROUND
COORPAROO vs. ZILLMERE
Sunday July 5, 2:30pm Giffin Park
The hunter becomes the hunted.
After knocking off Coolangatta two weeks ago in a two-point thriller, the Navy Roos are now the team to beat, and they face a tough challenge this Sunday against a hungry Zillmere outfit.
Coorparoo clashed with the Eagles earlier in the season, comfortably beating them by 52-points, but Navy Roos coach, Bernie Cantrell, is aware of the damage Zillmere can do.
“I think we go into this one expecting to play a pretty tough and hard game, Zillmere are a good side and we have a lot of respect for them,” Cantrell said.
“We just want to continue playing the footy we know that works for our group – that man on man pressure and run and carry is pretty important and if we maintain that I’m confident we can win.”
Sunday’s game will feature a star studded lineup with the likes of Anderson, Sexton, Harris, Zielke and co lining up, and Cantrell is adamant that one Zillmere star must be reigned in to stay on top.
“Tayla Harris is a pretty damaging player and she can kick a bag real quick and put you under some serious pressure,” Cantrell said.
“She is a player that we will definitely discuss and we’ve got players across each line that we know can take her and make a contest of it.
“The style of footy we play makes every single girl out there accountable and we know whoever takes someone like a Tayla on will have the confidence to go with her.”
It hasn’t been the prettiest of seasons so far the Eagles, who sit in fifth spot with just three wins after nine tough rounds.
Zillmere will again go into this 2014 Grand Final replay as big underdogs, but Eagles High Performance Coach, Brendan Terry, knows his girls are fired up for the challenge.
“We’re really excited just like any other football team to play the best – it gives us a good chance to see where we are at,” Terry said.
“We think last week’s game showed great improvement and that’s the game we have to use to keep moving forward.
“Our video analysis shows us that we need to work on our kicks to advantage and how we use the football, so I’m hoping we see some improvement in those areas this week.”
Although Coorparoo have a wealth of state talent at their disposal, Terry believes that no one in the Navy Roos side can be overlooked.
“Obviously there are the likes of Zielke, Hunt and Sexton who can do huge damage, but you can’t just ignore other players to target them,” Terry said.
“There have been a lot of younger, less known players come into the league this season who have made an impact, so we can’t ignore the damage they can do as well.”
Expect a fierce fight from the Eagles this Saturday as they attempt to close the gap between the top sides and rejoin the QWAFL top four.
WILSTON GRANGE vs. YERONGA
Friday July 3, 7:30pm PBI Oval
After losing three out of their last four, Wilston Grange need a win to stay close to the QWAFL elite, but the Gorillas will need to put in a huge effort to knock off the red hot Yeronga lineup this Friday.
It hasn’t been an easy month for Wilston Grange, and unfortunately the Gorillas will again be low on players after a string of injuries.
“I’m going to be very much in the same position as the last few weeks, very down on personnel and player options,” Wilston Grange coach, Ron Kemp said.”
“A few of our key position players are out with injury and unfortunately we are going to be pretty light on in that area.
“But we just have to go out there and play four quarters and try to convert the opportunities to score, we didn’t do that last week so we want to see that improvement.”
The last time these two sides met, the Gorillas were on the receiving end of a 60-point hiding, but Kemp is confident his group can perform better.
“We’ve done some work during the week to target their weaknesses, but it’s going to be a tough game, they have got a lot of skilful players,” he said.
“I think everybody just has to compete and be accountable for their player, then when we get the footy we have to use it efficiently and dictate the pace – if we do that I give us a shot.”
Yeronga have been the quiet achiever this season, a 5-2 record and third place on the QWAFL ladder isn’t a bad place to sit, but Devils coach, Scott Stephens wants more.
“We are totally aware of what we need to improve on to become a better football club,” Stephens said.
“We have been letting ourself down in front of goal and we need to improve our forward structure significantly.
“We want to continue winning, we don’t want to drop games because we know the best sides in this competition don’t, it’s as simple as that.”
The Gorillas are known for their aggressive and physical approach to the game, which is something Stephens believes the Devils must get on top of if they want the chocolates on Friday night.
“They are always a really physical side and they have plenty of girls in their team that will dominate you if you don’t stand up to the challenge,” Stephens said.
“We need to get more physical around the contest if we want to win, we have been pretty good but we have to continue to get better and we are really focusing on that.
“We know that Grange are going to put us under a lot of pressure, but we absorbed the pressure last time and the girls are little more physical and stronger so I expect to do it again.”
COOLANGATTA vs. UQ
Saturday July 4, 4:45pm Len Peak Oval
Coolangatta were back to their devastating best after thrashing Wilston Grange last weekend, and it’s hard to see the ladder leaders faltering when they clash with UQ this Saturday.
Despite going in as heavy favourites, Bluebirds coach, Aaron Russell, has been quietly observing the Red Lionesses efforts this season and is adamant they won’t go quietly on the weekend.
“I’ve seen a couple of their games this season and I think they have been one of the more consistent sides in the competition,” Russell said.
“Looking at purely results, UQ have been pretty good, they haven’t got the wins but overall they have looked really competitive.
“We realise that they are quite a competitive side and they never look beat throughout a game, so we will have to play well because we know they will just keep coming.”
The Bluebirds have arguably been the best side in the QWAFL this season, boasting a handsome 7-1 record, but Russell insists that his team are still looking to nail the basics like any other club.
“We are just looking for consistency and to nail our basic skills and execution like anyone else,” Russell said.
“We played our best game of the year fluency wise against UQ last time so that gives us some confidence, but we really just want to see improvement.
“There are quite a few girls out this week through injury and other commitments, so it’s going to be a bit of a different mix, but I’m excited to see what the girls do.”
UQ have performed admirably in 2015, notching up two impressive wins against Griffith Moorooka, but Red Lionesses coach, Michael Swann, knows the going will be tough this week.
“We know its going to be a tough match, Cooly are clearly one of the top sides this year, but it is an opportunity to test ourselves against the best and see where we measure up,” Swann said.
“We’re a developing side and it’s about improvement week after week for us, we just need to focus on that and continue to work hard.”
Although Swann admits he would like to make this weekend closer than their 106-point loss in round 7, he is adamant that the scoreboard result will not be the measuring stick.
“There are other factors that indicate how you’ve played on the day, not just the scoreboard,” Swann said.
“The girls will know whether they have improved from last time regardless of scoreboard result and there are things we will look at internally to see how we have done.”
By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman