QWAFL Preview: Round 12



Saturday July 11, 6:45pm Leyshon Park

They might be sitting pretty in third position on the ladder, but Yeronga must take the fight to Coorparoo this weekend if they want to be considered a serious premiership threat.

The last time these two sides clashed, Yeronga were on the receiving end of a 65-point belting, which is something Devils coach, Scott Stephens, is keen to change on Saturday.

“The last time we played them was definitely our worst performance we have put in this season, and we don’t want that to happen again,” Stephens said.

“There are a couple of things we have to focus on against Coorparoo, but mostly we can’t let them win the contested ball and can’t let them get ahead in the midfield.

“We are confident our back six can keep some of their better forwards at bay, the job in my mind is up to the centre line players to stop their rebounding scoring – we all need to be accountable.”

Despite going down heavily to the Navy Roos in round 5, Stephens is confident his girls can give the defending premiers a real run for their money if all things go to plan.

“For the first time since round 2 I have a full list available, which means I had to leave some girls out, which is hard, but also means we are going in full strength,” Stephens said.

“When we played Zillmere at full strength we had our best game of the year and I think with all our top girls out on the park this weekend we can give it a real shake.

“I definitely think we have enough talent to get the points, we just have to take our chances and be really accountable out there, if we do that I think we can win.”

The Navy Roos have been on a warpath since their only loss in round 2, claiming seven wins on the trot to be equal favourites for the QWAFL premiership through eleven rounds.

Coorparoo will start deserved favourites on Saturday after a cracking start to the year, by Navy Roos coach, Bernie Cantrell, is approaching this clash with caution.

“In all honesty I’m approaching this one with a lot of caution, it will be a tough game and I’m fully aware how good Yeronga are,” Cantrell said.

“I think this week is about sticking to and trusting our game plan, we play really good footy when we do that, so hopefully we can stick to our guns and grind out another win.

Saturday will feature some mouthwatering matchups with the likes of Zanchetta, Zielke, Bates, Sexton and Thomas lining up, and Cantrell admits he will be keeping a close eye on one specific Devil.

“We’ve got to be mindful of Batesy (Emily Bates) on Saturday, last time she she did a ripping job she we will have to man her up wherever she goes,” Cantrell said.

Expect a classic game between these two sides this weekend, with the fight for the minor premiership well and truly alive.



Saturday July 11, 4:45pm Alexander Park

On paper, it might not be the headliner for round 12, but this game is extremely important for both clubs.

Griffith Moorooka haven’t recorded a win this season and with plenty of tough games to come, the Reds are running out of chances to get on the board in 2015.

This clash is a must win for Wilston Grange however, and Gorillas coach, Ron Kemp, admits that anything but four points this weekend is simply not good enough.

“Without doubt in my mind if we want to play finals footy this season, we have to go out and get the win this weekend, we must get it done,” Kemp said.

“This is a chance for us to potentially skip two games ahead of Zillmere, which is huge, because the last game of the season against them could decide which team plays finals.

“But we can’t go into this game with the wrong mindset, if you think it will be an easy win you will get caught out, and Griffith have a few skilful girls who are more than capable to hurt us.”

Wilston Grange have struggled to regularly field their best 22 this season, but Kemp is adamant that if the attitude is right, his girls can get the job done.

“It’s been frustrating and it’s still a work in progress, but we are pretty close to having the team we had on the park last week and I think it will be a fairly balanced group,” he said.

“If we can emulate the same sort of intensity and pressure that we did last week, I’m fairly confident that we can do well and come away with the win.”

It hasn’t been an easy season for Griffith Moorooka, but there have been signs of improvement for the Reds and some shining performances from Sam Virgo and Klarindah Hudson in recent weeks.

Despite their tough run, Reds coach, Glenn Hogetts, is positive that his team are the heading in the right direction, insisting that scoreline is not the be all and end all of success.

“The girls have been training really well recently and their heads are always high and the effort is there every single week, which is all I can ask for,” Hogetts said.

“Mostly, I’d just like to see the girls get closer this week and continue to work hard, which for me means showing constant pressure and going hard at the footy.”

Although Wilston Grange will go in heavy favourites this Saturday, Hogetts believes the Reds are still a chance and can capitalise on the Gorillas continuing list problems.

“I really see this week as a chance to push the Gorillas to the limit and possibly get a win on the board, so we are really looking forward to it,” Hogetts said.

“They have been struggling with injuries and getting on the park recently, so if we take our chances and have full concentration for the full game I think we can go close.”



Saturday July 11, 4:45pm O’Callaghan Park

It hasn’t been a pretty season for Zillmere in 2015 and with just three wins to their name, the Eagles must start performing if they want to play finals this season.

The bad news for Zillmere is that they run into the top of table Bluebirds this Saturday, and if history is anything to go by it’s going to be a tough afternoon for the Eagles.

Back in round 5, Coolangatta took the chocolates with a comfortable 37-point win, and Eagles coach, Jacob Simmons-Bliss admits the effort must improve to stop the Bluebirds this weekend.

“I think it’s really important for our players to take ownership over their own performance this weekend,” Simmons-Bliss said.

“If we want to get the win, we have to work as a team and apply the key fundamentals that we have been working on in training.”

It has been almost impossible to crack the Bluebirds this season, but Simmons-Bliss believes it is achievable if the right game plan is implemented.

“I think the best way to slow a team down that moves it so quickly is maintaining possession and not allowing them to attack the scoring zones,” Simmons-Bliss said.

“We are aware of the quality they have in their list, but for us this week it is about whole team attack and defence, we don’t have the luxury for match-ups, so it will require a full team effort.”

Coolangatta have raced to a 7-1 record in 2015 and despite shutting down nearly everyone in their path this season, Bluebirds coach, Aaron Russell, is still wary of the capable Eagles outfit.

“We played Zillmere at the start of the year and they were a big challenge for us so we are expecting another tough one,” Russell said.

“They still have some very good players and it really doesn’t matter to us how they have been tracking, they can turn it around at any moment.

“We will be focusing on moving the football away from the contest this week, we want to use width and we have a few key matchups in mind that we would like to win.”

Although the Bluebirds play away at O’Callaghan Park this Saturday, Russell believes that the ground will actually play into Coolangatta’s favour on Saturday.

“The ground is quite big and wide and we really think that will suit us, it suits our type of play and how we like to move the ball, so we are feeling really good about it,” he said.

One player that Coolangatta would love to reign in this weekend is Eagles star, Tayla Harris, but Russell is adamant that the focus won’t be to stop the enigmatic forward.

“Tayla is an elite player that you don’t come up against too often, so I really see it as an opportunity for a girl to get some experience on her and take their game to a new level,” Russell said.

“It’s too hard to stop Tayla, you don’t really do that, but it is a chance for a girl to go with her and make it tough for her at every contest, that’s how I see it.”

A win for the Bluebirds this Saturday would guarantee they stay in top spot on the ladder, while a win for the Eagles could potentially see them leapfrog the Gorillas in fourth.

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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