QWAFL Wrap: Round 1



 Round 1 winners Wilston Grange, Coolangatta & Zillmere 




This one always promised to be tough and Wilston Grange and UQ didn’t disappoint in their season opener at St Lucia on Saturday.

The ball was congested, skills weren’t silky smooth and you could throw a blanket over all 36 players on the ground, but it was tough, gritty football that defines the fight of a footy club.

And it was clear that both sides had plenty of fight, battling all afternoon in a back and forth arm wrestle.

The Gorillas started white hot from the opening bounce, peppering the forward fifty relentlessly in the first half, with midfielder turned key forward, Brie Weatherstone, all over the Red Lionesses back six.

Trailing at the major break 27-9 and looking completely out of sorts, UQ fought back in the second half, contesting every disposal, chasing every kick and stringing together some crafty run and carry play to pile the pressure on the Gorillas.

First-gamer, Annie Shewring, was a standout on debut, providing plenty of run in the second-half to give UQ some life.

The Red Lionesses had plenty of opportunity to punish the Gorillas late in the game, but some sloppy entries inside fifty and wayward shots at goal cost UQ in the end, going down by 14.

Expect the battle between these two clubs to be even tougher in round 9 when both sides field full strength sides.

Coach’s thoughts

Ron Kemp – Wilston Grange

“It was a tough grinding game, both teams wanted the footy and it was fairly physical and it got a bit scrappy, but I think the most pleasing part for me was watching us work the footy away from the contest.

“When we did turn the footy over, we did pressure them and shutdown a lot of their options.

“We weren’t as dominant out of the middle as much as I would have liked, realistically we should have used the breeze to hold the ball in and score more points, but overall I’m happy.

“I’m always happy with the win and against UQ who are a fairly good side I’m happy to get away and get a good start.”


Michael Swann – UQ

“Not a bad start, but plenty to improve on.

“Both sides went hard at the footy all day, it was a pretty scrappy contest and not a whole lot of free possession, so I think one of the things we need to work on is breaking it out of the congestion.

“We went forward a lot of times but turned the ball over across half-forward by getting caught behind so it’s something we need to improve on.

“Overall the performance was very good, we were trying to make sure we had some fresh legs for the end and I think we definitely had the run in the last quarter, but we didn’t quite take our chances.



Coorparoo were always going to be up against it this week. New look team, road trip, facing a competition heavyweight. That’s a tough ask in anyone’s language.

The defending premiers fought hard but it was clear that the Bluebirds were a step above, dominating the contest and utilising their superior engine to run the Navy Roos off their feet.

Leading the game siren to siren Coorparoo were never a serious look in but fought hard regardless, with a winning third quarter a small highlight for the day.

A ripping performance from Rachel Crack in the second half helped keep the final margin respectable for the Navy Roos, who for the most part were soundly outclassed.

Rosalie Adamson and Morgan Moroney were dominant up forward for Coolangatta all afternoon, bagging five between them in the Bluebirds 34-point win.

Coolangatta have officially put the rest of the competition on notice and there may be a new top dog in the QWAFL.


Coach’s thoughts

Aaron Russell – Coolangatta

Pretty happy with the win, obviously it’s good when you win and that’s the way we wanted to start the season, we’ve set the tone now.

“We were willing to chase when our players had 10-15 meters to close down and as a result we laid some really good tackles, it is one area of our game that really stood out to me.

“There wasn’t really a weak link in the chain today and everyone stood up to the challenge, it’s really hard to pick the best player which is exactly what you want.

“There’s lots of things we need to improve on, but Coorparoo were obviously the benchmark last year so very happy to take the points.”

Bernie Cantrell – Coorparoo

“The first half definitely cost us and that’s where we lost it.

“After that we were working just to stop the bleeding, I was forced to send two of my better players down back just to stem the flow.

“The second half was much better and the overall pressure and commitment was fantastic from the girls.

“Cooly have a very young and fit side, so we definitely need to improve in fitness if we are going to compete.”


The game was over in a blink of an eye for Griffith Moorooka this week, conceding 10 goals in the first quarter alone on the way to a big loss to Zillmere.

The Roosters have been focusing heavily on development this season, and although they fought all afternoon, the powerful play of the Eagles was too much to handle.

The high performance plan Zillmere have invested in clearly paid dividends on the weekend, with fitness, ball skills and usage all operating at an extremely high level.

Cassi Bell bagged six goals, while Nadia Clark and Meg Pullinger both slotted three. Overall the Eagles had 13 different goal kickers, an indication of how effectively the ball was spread and shared.

Griffith Moorooka had patches of impressive play and tackled relentlessly all day, a good sign for the development of the club.

Zillmere finished the game as strong as they started, closing the game with an eleven goal second half to run away 187-point victors.

The Eagles will be tough to beat this year and look to have all the tools to go one better than 2014.

Coach’s thoughts

Jacob Simmons-Bliss – Zillmere

“We achieved what we wanted to achieve today, went up against actual opposition and proved to ourselves what we were capable of.

“I though the overall effort was fantastic, the number and the stats were obviously great too, but more than that it was great to see the commitment from the girls and how they remained compliant to the game plan.

“We played 9 reserves girls today and I think each of them did very well, it was nice to see them perform at senior level and as a club it’s nice to have that depth there.

“Obviously there are always things that we can improve on and we will work on those things during the week, but on a whole the entire coaching staff were really pleased with today’s game.”

Glenn Hogetts – Griffith Moorooka

“They got away early and their speed of foot was elite, we were slow adjusting to that.

“They kicked 10 in the first and we had to reassess, we had some good passages after that but couldn’t score, but we held them up ok in the end.

“They (Griffith Moorooka) fought the whole game and our tackling pressure was really good, so that was a positive”

“The scoreboard doesn’t show it, but all in all I’m pretty happy, the girls listened to instructions and fought hard all day.

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman

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