QWAFL Preview: Round 7



Saturday May 30, 4:45pm Leyshon Park

Wilston Grange staked their claim as a legitimate contender with a win over Zillmere last weekend, but the Gorillas will need to pull out all the stops when they clash with Yeronga on Saturday.

Despite the Gorillas cracking start to the season, Yeronga will head into this one slight favourites, however Devils coach, Scott Stephens, is refusing to take Wilston Grange lightly.

“We take every team like they are the benchmark of the comp, and Grange have been playing some great footy, so we know we are in for a tough one,” Stephens said.

“There are probably two or three girls in their team that are very good players, and we know they have they ability to come out firing.

“We have to match them for physicality, but my philosophy for this game is simple – have the right mindset and put in the work, if we do that we can overcome any obstacle and win the game.”

Wilston Grange have been flying high this season and a win this week could see them solidify a top three spot on the ladder, but Gorillas coach, Ron Kemp, is making sure to keep things simple.

“We are pretty much going to take the same approach we did against Zillmere, we want to focus on the girls work rates and keep making quality decisions with the ball,” Kemp said.

“The win we got last week has given the girls the realisation that they can compete with top sides and that we have the ability to apply pressure and absorb pressure.

“Our training again this week has been excellent, I don’t see any hangover in our training and we are looking forward to the game.”

Two of the Devils guns, Jordan Zanchetta and Emily Bates, will return this Saturday, which is a huge boost for Yeronga according to Stephens.

“They are two of the best players in the country, so of course they are huge ins, but at the same time all 22 have to go out and perform,” he said.

“We haven’t put in a four quarter effort since Zillmere, and that’s what we are chasing, if we can play a four quarter game we situate ourself well to win the game.”

Shannon Campbell has been arguably the Gorillas best this season, her work in defence has been first class and Ron Kemp believes her matchup could be key on the weekend.

“Shannon has been great this year, and we know that a Zanchetta or a Bates could matchup on her, it will definitely be interesting, but we have to look at the whole team and apply pressure across the board.”


Saturday May 30, 2:00pm Oval 7, St Lucia

UQ have been huge improvers this season, but the Red Lionesses are in for a tough one this Saturday when they take on the competition leaders at St Lucia.

Coolangatta have been scintillating this season and wins over Coorparoo, Yeronga and Zillmere have cemented their place as the competitions top dog through the first six rounds.

Although the Bluebirds will head into this one heavy favourites, Coolangatta coach Aaron Russell has a huge amount of respect for the youthful Red Lionesses.

“They have got some really strong players, really quality players, they have got a really good midfield and a pretty strong team,” Russell said.

“We played them in a practice match earlier in the year but they weren’t nearly at full strength so it was hard to take much from it.

“They (UQ) were really competitive with Coorparoo last week and were maybe a little unlucky not to kick a few more, our girls will need to start the game strong to set the tone or they could get on top of us.”

UQ’s competitive spirit has been the beauty of their club this season, but Red Lionesses coach Michael Swann knows his girls are in for a tough slog.

“We know it’s going to be the toughest game we’ve had this season, but we just have to keep improving on our game and working on us,” Swann said.

“We are just looking to improve every week and make the most of our opportunities, but we always think we have a chance and we want to win as well.

“I’d say we are still a little behind the eight ball, but the level of competition has gone way up from last year and we are really proud of how we have closed the gap.”

Breanna Koenen has been one of the Red Lionesses best this season and Aaron Russell is wary of how Koenen can impact a game.

“We will probably speak about Bree before the game, we won’t exactly have a matchup in place but more a plan of how to stop her impact,” Russell said.

“It also depends where they line up, if Sharni Webb goes forward we need to watch out because her game can really really hurt you.”



Saturday May 30, 4:45pm O’Callaghan Park

Grand final rematch, Saturday twilight footy, what could be better?

There is a lot on the line for both sides this weekend, bragging rights, competition points and most importantly, momentum.

Zillmere have struggled to find the latter this season, winning two and losing three through the first six rounds to sit a disappointing fifth on the ladder.

Coorparoo have won three on the trot and are looking better with each game, but Navy Roos coach, Bernie Cantrell admits that he is looking for more from his girls.

“We want to get some of our consistency back, we were definitely a bit flat last weekend, hopefully we step back up this week,” Cantrell said.

“We went back to training this week and focused on what we want to achieve, that man on man footy that has been so good for us.

“More than anything I just want pressure, lots of pressure, that’s the key to the win.”

Zillmere Eagles Female High Performance coach, Brendan Terry, will take the reigns as head coach for the Eagles in the place of an absent Jacob Simmons-Bliss.

Terry is adamant the Eagles are fired up for the clash and is expecting a turn around from a few sub par performances.

“We are really excited about the game, it’s a grand final replay and we have an absolute focus on the running game and hitting our targets up forward,” Terry said.

“I think that our training loads have dictated our performances in the past, we are at the back end of our heavy load now and we are expecting those performances to go up as a result.

“Our focus has definitely been on the finals series and we realise with that philosophy it is going to take time for things to come, but we are confident we are on the right path.”

Both sides have a few cracking players lining up this week, but Terry on Cantrell have differing opinions on the match ups involving the likes of Harris, Anstey, Zielke and Sexton.

“I feel like we can’t but any emphasis on specific players, the wonderful sport of women’s AFL is attracting new players and if we focus on some of the past guns we might miss some of those 18/19 year old new gems running around,” Terry said.

“On a regular basis I don’t pick my side around certain players, but Tayla (Harris) is one we will have to watch, they can use her in so many different positions, so we have to man up.

Expect both sides to step up to the plate this weekend, this one should be a corker.

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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