MATCH OF THE ROUND
COORPAROO 9.6.60 DEFEATED COOLANGATTA 9.4.58
Book it, game of the year.
Coolangatta and Coorparoo put on spectacle at Giffin Park on Sunday, fighting tooth and nail in a top of the table clash that went right down to the wire.
The Bluebirds were undefeated heading into this one but if anyone was going to knock the ladder leaders off their perch it was Coorparoo, who had won five on the trot.
The first quarter started full of emotion and intensity, and it was Coorparoo who got off to the hot start through Emma Pittman, who kicked the opening goal inside two minutes.
Coolangatta quickly regained control however, dominating the stoppages and centre clearances to put the Navy Roos under enormous pressure.
The Bluebirds made the most of their opportunities up forward in the first, bagging a late pair of goals to lead by 15-points at quarter time.
Coolangatta continued their dominance out of the middle for the first 10 minutes of the second quarter, but the Bluebirds went unrewarded on the scoreboard, unable to hit a target inside fifty.
As great teams do, Coorparoo made the most of Coolangatta’s mistakes, kicking three majors in the final eight minutes of the quarter to head into the sheds with a 6-point buffer.
It was clear after the main break that both sides were desperate to win this one, every ball was chased, countless tackles were laid and the intensity was at a season high.
Leah Kaslar was a star for the Bluebirds all day, her commitment to the contest unmatched as Coolangatta attempted to regain the lead.
Coorparoo and Coolangatta traded goals in the third, with Sally Young kicking two crucial majors to keep the Navy Roos in front.
Leading by just 7-points at the final change, the game was still well up for grabs and what followed was the most intense final quarter in the QWAFL season.
Dani Sammut kicked her third for the day at the start of the term to hand the Navy Roos a 13-point lead, and after ten minutes with no further score, Coorparoo looked home.
But Indy Sleeth had other ideas, sailing one through from 30 metres out to give Coolangatta a chance with just five minutes on the clock.
Coorparoo scrambled in defence, flooding all 18 players back, but Jordan Membrey found a way to poke one through to put the Bluebirds within a kick.
But at the next centre bounce, the siren sounded, Coorparoo home in a 2-point thriller to hand Coolangatta their first loss of the season.
The Navy Roos now join Coolangatta at the top of the QWAFL ladder after their classic win.
Damien Richards – Coorparoo
“We worked hard all day and we knew that the transition off a lot of the stoppages and the contest was going to be the key, we lapsed a little bit at times, but we did enough to get the job done.
“I thought our run was really good at the critical points in the game and every time Coolangatta kicked a goal we seemed to respond with one of our own, I think that’s what got us over the line.
“I thought our work rate was a little questionable at times during the game, but when it really mattered in that last quarter the girls stepped up and defended really well which was awesome to see.”
Aaron Russell – Coolangatta
“I’m very proud of the girls, we had to fight back hard in the second half and the girls never gave in which is what I want to see.
“I think especially in that last quarter, it would have been easy to fall away from a good side like Coorparoo, but we worked hard to get back into the game, it just wasn’t enough in the end.
“I thought our tackling and contested ball was great today, we can probably can work a little on our run and carry because in the second half we didn’t take the game on as much as we needed too.
“We know that we will be playing Coorparoo a few more times this year, so we will have to look at the tape and see where we can improve on for next time, because they are the benchmark.”
UQ 3.8.26 DEFEATED BY WILSTON GRANGE 9.6.60
Wilston Grange have bounced back after their crushing loss to Coorparoo last weekend, making the most of a fast start against UQ to down the Red Lionesses by 34-points.
Conditions were perfect on a crisp winters morning at St Lucia and like most clashes between these two clubs, the game started at a frenetic pace.
The Gorillas dictated the pace early through clean disposal work and clever uncontested spread, but UQ weren’t making it easy for Wilston Grange, laying a string of goal stopping tackles.
Grange’s forward pressure and time in possession was eventually awarded when Brie Weatherstone slotted through the first of the day from 35 metres out.
The Gorillas then kicked another three for the quarter to head into the quarter time break with a handy 12-point lead.
UQ had the lions share of the football in the second quarter, but couldn’t make the most of their opportunities, squandering a few easy shots on goal to let Wilston Grange off the hook.
A goal to Casey Cubis was the only major for the quarter, but was enough to put Wilston Grange in control of the game and ahead by 20-points at half-time.
Much like the second quarter, UQ started fast in the third, controlling the ball out of the middle and dominating the physical side of the contest.
Unfortunately, the Red Lionesses again couldn’t capitalise, kicking just two behinds for the quarter to fall further behind the Gorillas.
Trailing by 24-points at the start of the last quarter, Sharni Webb breathed some life into UQ’s comeback, kicking a goal inside five minutes to keep the contest interesting.
The Red Lionesses had plenty of opportunity again in the last, but for the third straight quarter couldn’t make the most of their forward pressure, kicking three behinds in quick succession.
Wilston Grange managed to stop UQ’s running game through some heavy tackling and when Amy Kelly kicked one with just five minutes left, it was curtains.
Mica and Casey Cubis were standouts for the Gorillas, while Annabel Shewring and Marley Beaven led the way for UQ.
Michael Swann – UQ
“We were pretty disappointed with how the game panned out and we probably didn’t play to our potential.
“We think that we controlled the ball for about three quarters, but we lacked forward pressure and let Grange take a lot of uncontested grabs.
“They blew us out of the water early, but apart from that we think it was a game we lost more than anything.
“There are lots of positives to take out though, we attacked the footy hard all day and a couple of our new girls played well, but we need to start winning those close games.”
Ron Kemp – Wilston Grange
“I think we played well in the first quarter, we sort of dropped away a bit in the second and third, but UQ are a good physical side, they tackle hard and they gave us a good contest
“They had the better of it in the middle quarters and it really was an arm wrestle, so I was happy with the effort and to see the girls hold on.
“One of the things we talked about at three quarter time was to slow down, look for options and kick to position in space and that’s how we got over the line in the end.
“The girls worked hard all game and their attitude was right there, if we can take the focus from this game into next week I think we can be very competitive.”
ZILLMERE 15.15.105 DEFEATED GRIFFITH MOOROOKA 0.1.1
After starting the year with just two wins from six games, Zillmere bounced back on Saturday against Griffith Moorooka, thumping the Reds by 104-points to get their season back on track.
The Eagles showed no signs of rust after a three week stint on the sideline, dominating the centre clearances early to set up a handy four goal first term.
Mikayla Anderson was again a standout for Zillmere, winning the hard ball out of the midfield and applying a heap of tackling pressure to tighten the screws on the Reds.
Some brilliant second and third efforts from Griffith Moorooka stopped the bleeding in the second quarter, but a late flurry of goals gave Zillmere a big 58-point lead heading into the main break.
The third quarter was easily the most productive of the game for the Reds, their back six playing an intense brand of football to limit Zillmere’s chances inside fifty.
Tahlia Randall was an outstanding contributor for Griffith Moorooka, working hard all afternoon in the cool conditions to stop the Eagles dominant run and carry game.
A late goal from Nicola Clark helped steady for the ship for Griffith Moorooka, and from there the Eagles never looked back.
Emma Pericic played another great game in Eagles colours, dominating the game off half back and kicking a late goal in the final quarter to put the icing on her huge day.
Reds defender, Jenna Vandyk, had a great battle with Eagles star Tayla Harris in one of the match ups of the day, but in the end Harris proved too strong, booting a cool seven in a star performance.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, Griffith Moorooka were never embarrassed by the much stronger Eagles outfit, and at times looked on the verge of breakthrough, but it never eventuated.
Zillmere now move to 3-4 for the season, but face a big challenge next week against third placed, Yeronga.
Jacob Simmons-Bliss – Zillmere
“We were really pleased with what we saw today and I thought it was a great opportunity to implement the things we have been working on perfecting for the back half of the year.
“We were really fresh and crisp with our skill execution, we hit our targets and the girls worked for the teammates at a really high level which was fantastic.
“It was evident in today’s performance that the group has been receptive to what we have been saying and they are definitely applying it on the field.”
Glenn Hogetts – Griffith Moorooka
“I thought today was quite and improvement from the first round, all in all I’m really pleased with how we went, we are getting better as we play more.
“There was improvement all over the ground, we were able to hold them up a lot and the game wasn’t just played in their half of the ground.
“They got away from us a bit in the last quarter, but from the first time we played them we think there is an improvement there – the tackling was really good and there was always pressure.”
By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman