QWAFL Preview Round 6
MATCH OF THE ROUND
UQ vs. COORPAROO
Sunday May 24, 2:00pm Oval 7, St Lucia
Coorparoo and UQ will clash this weekend at St Lucia, in what should be an intriguing battle between two very physical sides.
The reigning premiers have been red hot the last fortnight, winning their last two by a whopping 133-point average.
Coorparoo’s link up play and quick ball movement has been a highlight in recent weeks, but in a blow for the Navy Roos, star players Emma Zielke and Hannah Sexton are out for Sunday’s showdown.
Despite missing a few of his guns, Coorparoo coach, Bernie Cantrell, is confident his squad has the depth and the guts to push UQ to their limits.
“With some of our key girls out, it gives our less experienced girls the opportunity to be exposed to the top level and play some good hard footy,” Cantrell said.
“I haven’t seen much of UQ, but we have to approach this game like we would against a Coolangatta or Zillmere, and we are expecting a tough one.
“Looking at their (UQ’s) improvement and some of their results on paper, if we don’t get on top and stay on top early they could definitely shake us up that’s for sure.
“We just want to put in another good four quarter effort and play some team footy, I think if we do that we’re a good chance.”
UQ will return to the QWAFL this week after a bye, but it has been a productive year so far for the Red Lionesses.
A thumping 88-point over Griffith Moorooka has been the highlight of the season for UQ, but two highly competitive losses against Wilston Grange and Zillmere is proof of how far the Red Lionesses have come.
Although UQ will head into this one as underdogs, Red Lionesses coach, Michael Swann has plenty of belief in his developing group.
“Coorparoo are always a really tough side, we are expecting that this weekend, but we always think we are in with a chance,” Swann said.
“From what I’ve seen of Coorparoo they are quite a physical side who are quite hard at the footy, so we have to be physical at the contest and use our pace as an advantage.
“They have got a few outs this week, but there are a couple of match ups that we would like to see go our way.
“We have been travelling really good, training has been really good for us and we are putting out a full strength side, so we give ourself every chance.”
GRIFFITH MOOROOKA vs. YERONGA
Friday May 22, 7:00pm Alexander Park
Griffith Moorooka are still looking to break their duck in 2015, but Yeronga will be out to prove a point after a below par effort against Coorparoo last week.
The Devils were beaten comprehensively by the 2014 premiers last Saturday and according to coach Scott Stephens, his girls are fired up to make amends.
“The girls were hurting after the loss last week, which was a good thing, it has lit a fire in them to come out and perform,” Stephens said.
“We want to bounce back from last week and go in and attack the footy, apply pressure to the opposition, get first use and strip it back to basics.”
Although the Reds have struggled in 2015, Stephens believes the Roosters are dangerous on their day and shouldn’t be underestimated.
“We have to show every opposition respect, I don’t believe in looking at results to determine how tough a team is going to be,” he said.
“Moorooka will take care of themselves, Glenn (Hogetts) has a very capable football brain so we aren’t underestimating them, we just have to worry about us.”
Although Griffith Moorooka face a tough task this week, Reds coach, Glenn Hogetts, doesn’t think a win is too far fetched.
“A win could be on the cards if things go our way, if we play the way we did last week with some small improvements we are a chance,” Hogetts said.
“They (Yeronga) are a quick and skilful side, so we just have to try and shut them down and work at 100%.
“We need to keep winning the ball at the stoppages, I understand we cant win them all, but I want to see secondary ball ups and get repeat entries so we can play the game in our half.”
The Devils have a slew of talented play who can impact a game, but Hogetts is remaining tight lipped on who he will be targeting on the weekend.
“I have one key matchup that worked in the practice game, but this time I won’t wait until half-time to implement it.”
ZILLMERE vs. WILSTON GRANGE
Saturday May 23, 4:45pm O’Callaghan Park
Zillmere and Wilston Grange clash this Saturday at O’Callaghan Park in a battle for northside supremacy.
It has been a case of inconsistency for Zillmere in 2015, two wins and two losses making it tough for the Eagles to gain any momentum this season.
Wilston Grange have been up and down themselves this year, two good wins over UQ and Griffith Moorooka overshadowed by a disappointing 66-point loss against Coolangatta in round 2.
Although the Eagles suffered a tough loss last weekend, Zillmere coach, Jacob Simmons-Bliss has been happy with his teams progression, insisting they are on the right path.
“We are feeling absolutely primed and ready to go, we have that north side rivalry going with Wilston Grange and our players are looking to take on a tough physical game,” Simmons-Bliss said.
“I’d like to see us put in a four quarter effort, make sure we are compliant to our game plan and make the most of our opportunities.
“We believe our style of footy will give us the momentum we need to get the four points, we have the ability to play physical and run over the opposition.”
Both coaches are expecting this one to be a gritty, physical game, but Wilston Grange coach, Ron Kemp believes the key to the Gorillas success lies in their workrate.
“We must have a high work rate, work for the four quarters and apply pressure if we are going to push Zillmere,” Kemp said.
“Realistically we have got to defend and pile the pressure on to take their speed away and slow the game to where we want it – you can’t allow Zillmere to run, they will carve you up.
“I’m happy with where we are at, Tuesday was a great, great session for us and If we can take that form into the weekend we are a big shot.”
Zillmere will be without gun forward Tayla Harris this week, but Kemp is wary of a few Eagles that can change the game.
“The Harris types are always tough to handle and Zillmere have a few of them, something we can do in that area is tag up and apply the pressure – if we can do that to some of their guns we can get on top,” he said.
Emma Pericic, Rachael Anstey and Alexandra Anderson are a few guns that the Gorillas will need to reign in to take the points, while Zillmere must stop Brie Weatherstone from kicking goals and Kate Cowen’s midfield pressure if they want the win on Saturday.
By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman