QWAFL Preview: Round 8




Saturday June 13, 4:45pm PBI Oval

With the representative bye done and dusted, QWAFL action will resume this Saturday at PBI oval when Wilston Grange and Coorparoo lock horns in a top four game of the round showdown.

Both sides have been very impressive this season, with just one win separating the second placed Navy Roos and fourth placed Gorillas.

A 7-point win over Zillmere in round 6 has been the highlight of the Gorillas’ season, while four consecutive wins for Coorparoo has the defending premiers looking dangerous as ever.

With rain predicted on Saturday, the damp conditions may favour the physical Wilston Grange outfit, but Gorillas coach, Ron Kemp, knows the tide will be against his side this weekend.

“We are really going to have to be on our game this weekend and the girls know that,” Kemp said.

“They (Coorparoo) have been starting to hit their straps lately and they have some really good state talent in their team, so we must put the pressure on to stop them.

“We are down some personnel this week – there are still a few injuries from the Yeronga game and I’ve lost a few to work commitments, but we have to work with what we’ve got.”

Two players for Coorparoo that could cause some serious damage this Saturday are Navy Roos captain, Emma Zielke and live-wire forward, Hannah Sexton, who are both playing super football in 2015.

Kemp is adamant that the Coorparoo duo can’t be the only focus on the weekend, but admits they require some extra attention.

“Mostly it is how our team plays, we have to lift our pressure and play a physical game if we want to win and that’s what we plan to do,” he said.

“But we have to respect those good players, we have to match them up as best we can to try and negate their impact – I’ll be looking for someone with speed to take on Hannah and with Zielks I’ll be putting a player on her that can run all day.”

Coorparoo have been dominant since their only loss to Coolangatta in round 1, focusing on playing an aggressive man on man style, which according to Navy Roos captain, Emma Zielke, has been extremely successful.

“We were a little bit shell shocked in that first round, but it gave us the motivation to work harder and in the last four games we have been playing really well,” Zielke said.

“We trust our one on one contests around the ground and I definitely think the approach of making every player accountable is really working for us.

“The next two weeks are huge and we know that Grange are going to be really tough opponents, so we want to go out there and win the contested footy and try to score goals from turnovers.”

Wilston Grange’s Shannon Campbell has been fantastic this season and Zielke admits her troops will need to target the star defender to limit her output.

“We always go into our games mentioning a few key players and how we are going to use the footy around them, and Shannon is probably Grange’s biggest player, so we will definitely have a focus on her,” Zielke said.

“I think the main thing is not letting her get into too much free space and making sure we don’t give her too many 50/50 balls because that is where she thrives.”

Coorparoo’s clearance work and team based football have been the big winners this season and Wilston Grange must shutdown the Navy Roos in the middle if they want the four points.

The defending premiers running game and cleaner skills might prove the difference in this one, but don’t expect the Gorillas to go down without a fight.



Saturday June 13, 4:45pm Len Peak Oval

Coolangatta have been flying high in 2015 and the Bluebirds will be looking to make it six wins on the trot when they take on the struggling Griffith Moorooka this Saturday.

After finishing fifth on the competition ladder in 2014, Coolangatta have leapt to the top spot after seven rounds this season, knocking off the likes of Coorparoo, Zillmere and Yeronga in the process.

The Bluebirds will be missing a host of talent this week, including star midfielder, Leah Kaslar, but Coolangatta coach, Aaron Russell is looking forward to seeing some new girls step up.

“We have a good chance this week to get some new girls some game time and see if they can step  up in the absence of our stars,” Russell said.

“I believe we have a lot of depth in our list, so we are going into this game with a different forward line and midfield to see who can put their hand up and play a key role.

“We have been focusing on a lot of one-on-one stuff at training, so I would like to see that this week, but mostly I want to see our new girls develop into better players.”

Although Russell admits he will be trying new things against Griffith Moorooka this week, he is adamant that the type of opposition is not dictating his coaching philosophy.

“I have really focused this year on trying new things on a week to week basis to crack that perfect formula,” he said.

“It doesn’t come down to opposition, we just have the luxury at Coolangatta of having some really coachable players who will do anything for their team, so I’m lucky I can take advantage of that.”

Griffith Moorooka will play their first game in three weeks this Saturday due to competition and representative byes, and Reds coach, Glenn Hogetts admits the break came at the right time.

“The break came at the right time for us, the girls didn’t just need the physical rest but also a mental break and time to relax,” Hogetts said.

“The girls are feeling pretty good now, we’ve had a good couple weeks on the track, training has been good and we have improved our fitness, so hopefully we see the dividends in the game.

Coolangatta will go into this weekend’s clash as huge favourites against the bottom placed Reds, but Hogetts is aware the focus is on improvement at this stage.

“They (Coolangatta) are the form side going around, so we just want to keep the pressure on all game and stick to our own personal goals,” he said.

“We want to improve our disposal of the footy and execute a game for four quarters instead of lapsing for periods – we just want to be in the game for the whole 80 minutes.

“Coolangatta have done a lot of work over the pre-season and they have shown it can be done, so that is some motivation for us, we just have to be accountable every week and put in 100%.”


Saturday June 13, 4:45pm Leyshon Park

Yeronga will be hoping to make it three wins in a row this Saturday to cement themselves as a top three club, while UQ will be searching for their first victory since round 2.

The Devils have arguably been the most exciting team in the QWAFL this season, with a 94-point victory over Zillmere and tight 11-point loss to Coolangatta proving they can mix it with the best.

Yeronga’s track record in 2015 will see them start heavy favourites against UQ on the weekend, but Devils coach, Scott Stephens, is refusing to take the Red Lionesses lightly.

“We haven’t played UQ yet and I’m not one to take too much notice of results, for all I know know they could matchup really well against us, so I’m going in with extreme caution,” Stephens said.

“They have a very damaging player in Bree Koenen at their disposal, who had a fantastic game for Queensland last weekend and can tear you apart in minutes.

“We are down Nat Thomas and Tia Broughton, but I’m confident we have a group that can win the game, we just have to work really hard and respect the danger that University possess.”

Yeronga have threatened to explode in 2015, but haven’t quite hit their peak yet, which is something Stephens is confident will come.

“We have got all the ingredients, we just have to find the recipe and that is my job as the coach of this football club,” he said.

“I’m a much different style of coach to what the girls have experienced in the past, but it is coming together slowly and I know we are a very capable team at full flight.

“It really is our forward structure that needs to lift, I believe we can go up a notch in that area and when we do I think we have the tools to make some noise.”

UQ have played some really good football this season under head coach Michael Swann, with a big 88-point win against Griffith Moorooka the highlight to date.

Strong outings against Wilston Grange, Zillmere and Coorparoo have proven that the Red Lionesses have come leaps and bounds since their debut 2013 season.

UQ are more than capable of holding their own against anyone this season, but Swann admits that Yeronga present another tough challenge this week.

“It is going to be another tough game, there are no easy week’s in this competition and we are going to have our work cut out for us,” he said.

“Yeronga are a quality side, we just have to focus on attacking the footy hard and work on how we spread it from the contest.

“It is just about an ongoing development for us, we can’t focus too much on what Yeronga are doing, we just have to stick to our game plan.

“There are certain things we will try to counteract the likes of Bates and Zanchetta, but we just want to perform consistently throughout games and let the scoreboard take care of itself.

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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