QWAFL Review: Round 18




Yeronga’s pursuit of a grand final berth in 2015 has been given a huge surge of momentum with a stunning win over Coolangatta on Saturday.

In wet and slippery conditions, the Bluebirds made the Devils work hard for their 28-point victory, in what was a season defining game for Yeronga.

The Devils have been unable to defeat a top two club this season, and it seems like all Yeronga needed was a steady downpour to turn their luck.

It was a scrappy opening quarter at Leyshon Park, and it was clear from the get go that the team who adapted to the conditions best would walk away with the chocolates.

Coolangatta looked the goods early, forcing the ball forward through some excellent clearance work to park the footy inside scoring range.

A goal to the returning Rosalie Adamson and four scoring shots in the first five minutes looked ominous, but Yeronga gritted their teeth and eventually found their feet on the muddy deck.

Goals to QWAFL leading goal-kicker Hayley Newberry, Jordan Zanchetta and Nat Thomas steadied the ship for Yeronga and handed the Devils a slim 8-point buffer at quarter-time.

Heavy rain continued to pour at Leyshon Park during the second term, making it nearly impossible for either team to do some damage on the scoreboard.

Yeronga looked the better of the two clubs in the sloppy conditions, showing some surprisingly clean skills in the wet and a relentless attack on the football.

Coolangatta continued to fight hard, but the Devils back six were excellent, stopping the Bluebirds time and time again in front of goal.

A cracking goal from Nat Thomas on the boundary was the only major for the quarter, extending Yeronga’s lead to 15-points at half-time.

The midfield war raged on in third-quarter, with Jordan Zanchetta and Kate McCarthy engaged in a ripping back and forth battle.

Regan Winterbottom was again one of the best contributors for the Devils, navigating traffic beautifully in the rain to keep the ball in Yeronga’s half.

It was still anyone’s game with 10 minutes to go in the third term, but a late goal to Katherine Selhorst made it mighty tough for the Bluebirds, who trailed by 23-points at the last change.

Coolangatta came out with plenty of fire in the final term, but they were never able to apply any serious scoreboard pressure, kicking three behinds for the quarter.

A classy goal from Hayley Newberry sealed the game for Yeronga and handed Coolangatta their second straight loss.

The four points won’t change Yeronga’s third place status on the QWAFL ladder, but the Devils now have some serious momentum heading into September.

Coach’s thoughts

Scott Stephens – Yeronga

“I got everything out of the girls I could have hoped for tonight, it was not ideal conditions in the wet but we achieved a four quarter performance.

“It wasn’t ideal conditions and the ball was like a cake of soap at times, but everyone tried hard for four quarters and we were smart about how we handled the weather.

“It was really good tonight that we absorbed that pressure from Coolangatta and we managed to be effective up forward and got the ball in long.

“The backline was the key tonight, they shut Coolangatta out and I could probably name every single one of them as the best player, they were a real unit.”

Aaron Russell – Coolangatta

“Yeronga just handled the conditions better tonight, it just took us too long to get used to the wet.

“Our second half was really good and for the day and we actually had more inside fifties, but the first half is where we lost it, we just mucked around too much getting the ball forward.

“It was our lowest score for the year and 1.9 is a little bit concerning, but I think we played better than the scoreboard showed.

“We won the tackle count, the contested possession count and the inside fifty count which 99% of the time wins you the game, but we just didn’t handle the conditions well.”




After losing three games by less than three kicks this season, UQ have finally got over the line in a close game, defeating Zillmere by just 3-points in a low scoring affair at St Lucia.

The Red Lionesses have been on the brink of a season defining win for a number of weeks now, and their win over the Eagles on Saturday signals a coming of age for the young UQ side.

It was clear from the opening bounce that this clash would be another close one, with both sides trading blows early out of the middle.

Zillmere weathered an early onslaught from UQ to hit the scoreboard first after ten minutes through Shaliese Law.

Some good spread and quick ball movement through the corridor was working beautifully for Zillmere and just minutes later Tayla Harris added a major.

The Eagles were looking the goods to kick a few more for the quarter, but UQ had other ideas, locking down in defence and kicking one of their own through Mikayla Warlond to trail by just 5-points at quarter-time.

The second term was just as competitive as the first, with both sides finding it tough to break away from a fierce midfield battle.

Bree Koenen was again excellent for UQ on Saturday, the Queensland star controlled the midfield beautifully and opened up some clever passages of running play.

A goal midway through the term to Bec Barnes was the only major for the quarter as UQ headed into the sheds at the main break holding a 1-point lead.

Another back and forth quarter in the third term kept the scoring low as both teams continued to apply huge amounts of defensive pressure.

Brianna Hochkopper was sensational on the wing for UQ in the third term, providing some electric pace to keep the ball inside the Red Lionesses forward fifty.

A goal to Madeleine Glasby was again the only major score for the quarter, but Zillmere were still in with more than a sniff, trailing by just 8-points at three-quarter time.

The Eagles pressed in the final term and a late goal to Amanda Whitehead made things very interesting, but UQ did enough to hold on to collect their fourth win of 2015.

Zillmere’s finals fate now rest with a do or die clash with Wilston Grange next week, with the winner guaranteed a place in September.

Coach’s thoughts

Michael Swann – UQ

“The girls were pretty happy with how it all (the game) went, we’ve found ourselves in a few close ones this year and I think this win will give the girls some future confidence against good sides.

“We dug a little deeper than we have recently when we’ve been in the position to win – I think our backline really stood up and kept bouncing back, they are a big reason we won.

“I’ve got no doubt the girls are more than capable of being right up there next year, the last couple of weeks has been about self belief, which I think is the biggest thing holding them back.

“The win gives them the confidence that they have the ability to compete at this level which is exactly what they needed.”

Jacob Simmons-Bliss – Zillmere

“There was a lot of wasted opportunity from our end, we didn’t play as well as we have in the last few weeks.

“Our thoughts have been collectively going towards next weeks clash and the girls effort was a little bit down as a result, in our book it was disappointing.

“All credit to Uni for pipping us though, they took advantage of there tall players and their attack on the ground ball won the game for them.

“But we believe that the things we are unhappy with can be fixed, now it is just about having a good week on the track and getting ready for Grange.”


Coorparoo have extended their winning streak to 15 games with a thumping 106-point win over bottom-placed Griffith Moorooka on Saturday.

It was a wet old night at Alexander Park, but that didn’t stop Coorparoo from peppering the goals early, kicking 4.4 in the first term.

The Navy Roos have been excellent at moving the football out of stoppages this season and Saturday was no different, with Emma Zielke leading the way out of the middle.

To Griffith Moorooka’s credit, they continued to attack the football in the second quarter, even managing to get on top for five minutes through some great tackling.

A goal to captain Sam Virgo and more than 10 minutes without a score for Coorparoo in the second-quarter was a major win for the Reds in an otherwise rough outing.

Leading by 43-points at the main break, Coorparoo continued chipping away in the third-quarter to add to their already sizeable lead.

Hannah Sexton played a starring role for the Navy Roos on the wing, while Adair Henderson had her best game up forward for the season, booting three goals.

Jenna Vandyk was again brilliant for Griffith Moorooka, keeping Coorparoo’s star goal-kicker, Mackenzie Arnold to just one major for the evening.

At three-quarter Griffith Moorooka trailed by 68-points, and under the circumstances it was a great performance by the Reds up until that point.

Unfortunately for Griffith Moorooka, everything started to click for Coorparoo in the final term as the Navy Roos booted a whopping 5.8 to finish the game on a high.

Griffith Moorooka tried hard all night in the wet conditions, but Coorparoo were clearly a cut above in a lopsided clash.

Coorparoo will finish the regular season at home against UQ next weekend, before clashing with Coolangatta in a mouthwatering qualifying final in a fortnight.

Coach’s thoughts

Glenn Hogetts – Griffith Moorooka

“Very happy we controlled a bit of footy this week, the weather wasn’t the greatest, but the difference was Coorparoo had a lot more run and carry.

“We played one on one footy and Coorparoo were dropping marks that they usually don’t drop, there was a lot of pressure and the attitude was great.

“I’m happy the girls are enjoying their footy, they had a heap of fun even in the rain and that’s what I want them to do next week as well.

“It’s been a long year and I just want them to enjoy the last game and keep pressuring the opposition.”

Bernie Cantrell – Coorparoo

“It was pretty tough conditions and how the girls handled themselves in wet weather footy was really good.

“We had some really good passages throughout the game, the conditions were pretty trying and how the girls skills held up was mighty impressive.

“Emma Zielke especially played really well, she has been great the last few weeks and her performance today in wet conditions was pretty special.

“I’m happy where we are at right now, there are always little bits and pieces to improve on but I think we are ready for finals.”

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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