QWAFL Preview: Round 17




Saturday August 22, 3:15pm Giffin Park

A four-month winning streak is about as intimidating as it gets, but that’s what Yeronga will have to overcome this Saturday if they want to be considered a serious premiership threat.

Coorparoo have been flying in 2015, twelve straight wins by an average margin of 78 points has the Navy Roos set for another big run in September.

It seems almost impossible to crack Coorparoo at this stage of the season, but the third-placed Devils have vowed to come out all guns blazing against the title favourites.

“I don’t see any team in this competition flogging Coorparoo, so if you are going to beat them you have to slog it out for four quarters,” Yeronga coach Scott Stephens said.

“We want to get a fast start, we want to put heaps of pressure on them and if we are accountable out there I think we can break through.

“It’s going to be a big task, but we’ve been third all year and at some point we have to test ourselves and go further.”

The Devils certainly have the capability to knock over the Navy Roos, it is simply a case of execution according to Stephens.

“I know that if we stick to our game plan for four quarters we are every chance, I’m just hoping everything will fall into place,” Stephens said.

“Can we get the start, can we run with them and can we play four consistent quarters of football? Those questions remain unanswered and that will be the key on the weekend.”

A win this Saturday would all but guarantee the minor premiership for Coorparoo, but Navy Roos coach, Bernie Cantrell, isn’t getting ahead of himself.

“We approach Yeronga with a lot of caution to be honest, if we hadn’t got off to a fast start the last time we played them the result could’ve been a lot different,” Cantrell said.

“The minor premiership isn’t really a focus for us, we just want to go out there and play our brand of footy and make sure we are playing consistent footy heading into the finals.”

Saturday’s clash will see a myriad of state talent lining up, with the likes of Zielke, Sexton, Hunt going head to head with Zanchetta, Bates and Thomas.

The midfield battle should be another classic between these two sides on the weekend, but Cantrell is adamant that shutting down the stars won’t be enough to secure four points.

“On game day I will give a specific girls a role on some of Yeronga’s danger players, but we can’t get too caught up in tagging or targeting a player,” Cantrell said.

“We have to pay the whole team respect, they are a very good side who are only getting better so I expect it to be another tough game.

“But as long as we stick to our structures and team values I’m confident the girls can get the win.”

Two wins over Yeronga this season gives Coorparoo the deserved edge going into this clash, but don’t be surprised if the Devils take this one down to the wire.



Saturday August 22, 4:45pm Len Peak Oval

Second versus fifth, seven wins difference between the two sides and a 2-0 head-to-head record in favour of Coolangatta. On paper, this looks like another straight forward win for the Bluebirds.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Zillmere have turned their season around in the last month, playing with the flair and intensity that helped them reach the 2014 QWAFL grand final.

The Eagles even got the better of Coolangatta in the second-half of their round 12 battle, and Zillmere coach, Jacob Simmons-Bliss, insists that his side are primed and ready to cause a huge upset.

“If we play to our full potential there is no reason why we won’t come away with the four points Saturday night,” Simmons-Bliss said.

“We need 22 players to contribute of course, but we believe our best is good enough to beat any side in this competition, including Coolangatta.”

It would be the upset of the season if Zillmere were able to get the job done on Saturday, and Simmons-Bliss is confident the Eagles have the tools to do it.

“We match up really well against Coolangatta, in our last start against them we outplayed them in the second half and our girls showed what they can do,” Simmons-Bliss said.

“I think we can take plenty of confidence from that performance, and if we get a good start I think we can ruffle some feathers.

“It’s going to come down to physicality though and I think we have that covered – in a game like this if we can establish ourselves around the contest early I give us every chance of winning.”

With their finals hopes hanging by a thread, the Eagles have a lot to play for this weekend, which is something Bluebirds coach, Aaron Russell is completely aware of.

“We know that Zillmere have a finals spot as motivation, so we are definitely expecting them to come out strong this weekend,” Russell said.

“To be honest I think they are going to keep coming at us like they did last time, they are a pretty hungry football side so I think it will be a tough challenge.”

Although Coolangatta are slight favourites heading into this Saturday, the Bluebirds will have to get the job done without the services of captain, Leah Kaslar and full-forward, Rosalie Adamson.

Despite missing two of his stars, Russell is confident his group can get the job done on the weekend.

“You can’t really be too concerned about ins and outs really, they are just one of those things you can’t do much about,” Russell said.

“I think this game we just need to get our hunger back a little, I want girls to put their hands up for selection and play consistent footy.

“If we do that and focus on what works for us I believe we have the quality and depth to get the win.”



Saturday August 22, 4:45pm PBI Oval

With just three games remaining in the regular season, Wilston Grange must win this Saturday if they want to play finals in 2015.

The Gorillas were disappointing against Coolangatta last weekend, unable to stop any of the Bluebirds run in a disastrous 114-point defeat.

The loss capped off a tough month for Wilston Grange, who have picked up just one win in their last four hit-outs, a statistic that Gorillas coach, Ron Kemp, is keen to change.

“This week is a really good opportunity for us to get back in the winners circle, which is where we need to be,” Kemp said.

“We’ve got a good compliment of girls coming back this week who will fill some key position roles for us, and I think that will really help our cause.

“I think Moorooka will still be a tough challenge though, they are hungry to get a win so it will be a good, hard battle.”

Although Wilston Grange have comfortably beaten the Reds on both occasions in 2015, Kemp is adamant that complacency will only earn his team a one way ticket to a loss.

“I will certainly be reminding the girls about the last game we had with them, that’s for sure,” Kemp said.

“The last time we played them the girls went in thinking it would be an easy win because of where Moorooka were on the ladder, and we got a big fright in the first half.

“We can’t take them lightly again, we can’t afford to, if we give Moorooka a sniff I think they are good enough now to take it and run.”

It hasn’t been an easy season for Griffith Moorooka, 13 straight losses doesn’t sound good in any language.

And with Coorparoo and Yeronga to come, this Saturday against the Gorillas is realistically the Reds last chance to add a win to the ledger.

“The girls have certainly gotten better since the year has gone on, so hopefully this week we can put the pressure on and things will go our way,” Griffith Moorooka coach, Glenn Hogetts said.

“I don’t feel like for a lot of this season the scoreboard has reflected how we’ve played, we’re miles ahead of where we started and it would be great to get some reward.”

Despite the tough season Griffith Moorooka have gone through, Hogetts has been impressed with how his players have carried themselves in 2015.

“I’m incredibly proud with how they have pushed through the season, they are a good bunch of girls and I’m so proud of them and what they are achieving,” Hogetts said.

“It’s pretty much been like that all year, they always have a smile on their face and that’s all I can ask them to do, go out and enjoy it.”

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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