QWAFL Review: Round 17



If Coorparoo weren’t already the clear favourite for the 2015 QWAFL premiership, then Saturday’s 55-point demolition of Yeronga has confirmed it.

The Navy Roos were at their clinical best at Giffin Park on the weekend, dominating from start to finish to defeat the Devils for the third time this season.

Coorparoo captain, Emma Zielke, got things started in style for the Navy Roos, kicking a pearler from 35-metres out on a tight angle.

Yeronga had plenty of chances in the opening term, but were wasteful in front of the uprights, missing three sitters on goal to kick a dismal 0.5 for the quarter.

Leading by 22-points at the first change, Coorparoo went into another gear during the second term, leaving Yeronga in their dust.

Three goals to Mackenzie Arnold in under three minutes completely blew the game open and just five minutes into the second-quarter, Coorparoo led by 40-points.

The Devils snapped out of their slump for the remainder of the term, lifting their intensity and finally finding some run on the wing.

Regan Winterbottom tried hard all afternoon and was a leader in the middle, tackling hard and going in for second and third efforts.

A late goal to Hayley Newberry finally got a major on the board for Yeronga, but it was much too late for the Devils, who trailed by 41-points at half-time.

The second-half was a major turnaround for Yeronga and the third-quarter was the type of contest we expected from these two sides; fierce.

Emily Bates and Nat Thomas were huge for the Devils in the third, running hard through the guts and kicking a goal each to reduce the margin to 29-points.

Coorparoo steadied in the final 10-minutes however and a pair of late goals to Mackenzie Arnold iced the game for the Navy Roos.

Kaitlyn Cantrell was excellent for the Navy Roos, while Queensland stars Emma Zielke and Megan Hunt controlled the game beautifully through the middle.

Mackenzie Arnold continued her goal kicking onslaught, bagging six for the afternoon to make it 38 majors for the season.

The 55-point victory for Coorparoo marks their 13th straight win in the competition and secures back-to-back minor premierships for the club.

If we can learn one thing from this game, it’s that Coorparoo are going to be extremely hard to beat from here, especially in September.

Coach’s thoughts

Bernie Cantrell – Coorparoo

“I think I got a four quarter effort out of the girls today, the second and third efforts on the ball were great so I’m really impressed.

“Last time we played Yeronga here (Giffin Park) it was a very similar start and in the second quarter they really took it to us, where today we made the most of a good first quarter.

“We are really happy how we are playing at the moment, but I still think there are another one or two gears we can go to, there is still improvement to come

“Over the next couple of games we will try a few things and see if we can make some real improvements heading into finals.”

Scott Stephens – Yeronga

“There are a few things we need to get right that are not right yet, and when you come up against a really good team like Coorparoo it really stands out.

“We’ve spoken about a few things that we need to do better during the year and the response hasn’t been there, but I also need to hold a mirror up and look at how I’m doing things.

“We definitely know what we have to fix, it’s just a matter of how do we do that – that is the challenge over the next two weeks.

“It was just the second quarter where we got blown out of the water today, but if you don’t put in four quarter efforts you don’t win games against good sides, simple.”



Upset of the season.

Zillmere always promised to deliver at the business end of 2015, and that’s exactly what they’ve done, holding on to defeat Coolangatta in a 1-point thriller at Len Peak Oval.

A superior record, home ground advantage and a 2-0 head-to-head record had the Bluebirds clear favourites to win this one, but it was Zillmere who looked the goods in the early going.

Desperate to keep their shot at playing finals alive, Zillmere started the game like a house on fire, moving the ball quickly and efficiently to open Coolangatta up.

An early goal to Monica Allen was exactly the kick-starter the Eagles needed, but a few wasted opportunities came back to bite Zillmere when Acacia Powell and Lauren James kicked a pair of majors in the space of five minutes.

With scores tied up 14-14 at quarter time, both sides were desperate for a string of goals in the second term to surge ahead, but it never came.

It was the definition of back and forth action in the second-quarter, but neither side could find a breakthrough thanks to some resilient all-round defence.

18 minutes of goalless football was played before Morgan Lowe kicked the only major for the quarter, giving Coolangatta a slim 7-point half-time buffer.

They say the third-quarter is the premiership quarter, the time to make a move and put yourself in the best position to win the game.

And that’s exactly what Zillmere did, seizing control of the quarter out of the middle and never looking back.

Alexandra Anderson was scintillating in the guts, winning the hard ball time after time to set up Zillmere’s talls inside fifty.

The Bluebirds intensity lifted a notch after a burning hot five minutes from the Eagles, but they couldn’t find their famous run that has helped them so much in 2015.

Three class goals to star forward Tayla Harris was the difference in the third term and at the final change the Eagles were on the brink of a huge upset, leading by 11-points.

The final quarter was full of tension, with Coolangatta and Zillmere trading goals in the first 10 minutes to keep the margin at 11-points.

Some more hard work in the midfield from Zillmere kept them on top for most of the quarter, but the pressure was mounting and the Eagles were beginning to feel it.

Three consecutive rushed behinds kept Coolangatta at bay, but when Morgan Lowe kicked her second with just four minutes left, the Bluebirds trailed by a just 1-point.

But it wasn’t to be. The Eagles held on in the final minutes to record their biggest win of the season by the smallest of margins.

Although the Eagles will be on top of the world after their upset win, they must overcome UQ and Wilston Grange in the final two weeks if they want a place in September.

Coach’s thoughts

Aaron Russell – Coolangatta

“I think Zillmere had a fair bit to play for today and they played accordingly, we had lots of opportunities and we missed them, its always tough but our inaccuracy cost us.

“We’ve got some things to work on and I think that there is plenty to take away from the loss.

“We had a really good last quarter but that is too late to kick into gear, playing one great quarter is three quarters too late.

“We just have to stick to our guns and keep playing our brand of footy, if we do that it will put us in good stead for finals.”

Jacob Simmons-Bliss – Zillmere

“We are really pleased with the overall result and how the game unfolded, how we played and kept them to a low score was pleasing, we definitely delivered.

“We needed to have a positive start because we play better in the second half, so we were really happy at our position at quarter-time and half-time.

“I’m stoked with the style of game we played, it was clever and was some of the best we’ve played all year, we feel like as a group it is all starting to come together.

“We’ve still got work to do to make finals and it is important we keep working hard on the training track and on game day to give us the best chance of getting there.”



Wilston Grange needed a win to keep their finals hopes alive, and that’s exactly what they did on Saturday, grinding out a scrappy 68-point win against Griffith Moorooka.

The Gorillas starts to games have left a lot to be desired in 2015, but their opening quarter on Saturday was sublime, establishing a physical presence early.

Determined to make up for a poor performance against Coolangatta last week, Wilston Grange’s attack on the football was ferocious and there was nothing the Reds could do about it.

Wilston Grange played a near flawless quarter of football, kicking four answered goals through some lovely build up to take a handsome 24-point lead into quarter-time.

The Gorillas didn’t have it all their way in the second term however, as Griffith Moorooka started to find their feet in the contest.

Missing a few of their regulars, including captain Sam Virgo, the Reds relied on a few inexperienced players to stand up – and they delivered in spades.

Danielle Wall and Isabella Freeman have played just five games at QWAFL level between them in 2015, but they were two of the Reds best on Saturday, playing handy roles through the guts.

Wilston Grange had plenty of scoring opportunity for the quarter, but some wasteful shots on goal resulted in six behinds and zero majors.

Leading by 29-points at half-time, the Gorillas never really blew Griffith Moorooka away, but did enough to extend their lead.

Some excellent tackling and defensive pressure kept the ball inside Wilston Grange’s half for most of the third-quarter and the Gorillas were able to capitalise, kicking 2.5 for the term.

Brie Weatherstone recaptured some of her early season goal kicking form, booting three majors for the afternoon in a near best on ground performance.

Griffith Moorooka tried hard all afternoon and their work rate was excellent, but unfortunately for the Reds they were just a step behind and couldn’t do any damage on the scoreboard.

In the end, Wilston Grange’s persistent pressure and steady flow of goals handed them the four-points and a much needed confidence boost.

The win for the Gorillas now sets up a final round showdown with Zillmere that will decide their finals fate.

Coach’s thoughts

Ron Kemp – Wilston Grange

“I asked the girls to start from the get go and not take it easy and they did that, they moved the ball well and I think the only thing that let us down was scoring shots.

“We transitioned the ball well and our backline was particularly strong, our accountability overall was quite good, so overall I’m pleased.

“Can’t take anything away from Moorooka but we were just that little bit better and I think our half-back line was the difference today.

“We’ve got the bye next week and we need to make the most of it – hopefully the girls can get fresh and ready for a big one against Zillmere.”

Glenn Hogetts – Griffith Moorooka

“It’s hard to get a consistent side when we are chopping and changing a lot, but I think the girls did a good job, they fought it out right to the end.

“The pressure and the tackling was really good I though, we stuck to our tackles and as a result had plenty of ball, just couldn’t make the most of it.

“Credit to Grange, they played a really tough game and were able to break us down.

“The last couple of weeks I just want to make sure the girls are having fun, hopefully we can do that and put a bit of pressure on our opponents in the next two weeks.”

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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