QWAFL Round 13: Review



So close, yet so far.

For the second time this season, Yeronga have pushed Coolangatta to their limit, only to fall just short and go home empty handed.

This game was a must win for the Devils if they wanted to finish in the top two at seasons end, and although they didn’t collect the chocolates on Saturday, they still created a cracking contest.

From the opening bounce, all the ingredients that make a great game of footy were happening; high tackling pressure, intensity around the contest, clean ball movement and plenty of forward entries.

The Bluebirds had the best of Yeronga for most of the first quarter, capitalising on some hard work in the guts to spend the best part of 10 minutes in their forward half.

Two goals in quick succession from Zuber and McCarthy put the Bluebirds well on top mentally in the first term, but a late goal to Hayley Newberry cut the margin to just 7-points at quarter-time.

Coolangatta came out red hot in the second quarter, spreading the ball beautifully across Leyshon Park to open the game up.

The Bluebirds passing game was a thing of beauty after quarter time, and when Kara Membrey set up McCarthy for her second of the afternoon, Yeronga looked in big trouble.

A stronger effort around the contest helped the Devils in the back half of the quarter, and Jade Ransfield kept Yeronga in it when she slotted a tough one from 35 metres.

It seemed like Yeronga were just starting to get on top until McCarthy kicked her third with a wrong’un like bounce that would’ve made Warnie proud to give Coolangatta an 18-point half-time lead.

The third quarter completely belonged to Coolangatta thanks to some silky work up forward from Lauren James and Yolanda Jones.

A three goal to nothing quarter swung the momentum completely Coolangatta’s way, and with a 35-point lead at the final change, it seemed this one was over.

But as Yeronga have done countless times in 2015, they fought, and fought hard.

The final quarter was a totally different Devils outfit, the intensity went up a gear, girls were committing to the contests and Yeronga finally found some of their famous run.

A pair of goals to Ransfield and one to Newberry sliced the lead to 14-points in the blink of an eye, and with 10 minutes to go, it was anyone’s ball game.

It was a wild final 10 minutes, but in the end Alicia Murray slotted one home with three minutes left on the clock to hand the Bluebirds a gritty 20-point victory and top spot on the ladder.

Great game of footy.


Coach’s thoughts

Scott Stephens – Yeronga

“For three of the four quarters Coolangatta wanted the ball more than we did – they attacked it, they ran hard at it and our girls were flat footed.

“When we got the football we used our opportunities well which I was happy with, but it takes a lot more than that to play this game.

“At three quarter time I told them to go and have a crack at winning it, and they did, but unfortunately when you’ve only kicked two goals to that point, it’s a bit hard to kick six more.

“But that last quarter showed some character, they could have dropped their bundle and let Coolangatta run all over them, but at some point we have to show character for four quarters.”

Aaron Russell – Coolangatta

“To be honest it was probably one of the defining games for us for the year, our ability to find a way to win was really good and they nailed every challenge I set for them.

“I can’t really be more happy with the girls performance tonight, they proved so much and showed a lot of toughness when Yeronga kept coming hard at us.

“Credit to Yeronga for continuing to come at us, but we were able to dig deep in the last and hold them out which I’m really proud of.

“Our pressure levels and attack on the footy was exactly what we wanted in the first three quarters, we just got a little tired in the end, but that was going to happen with the numbers available.”



With their hopes of playing finals hanging by a thread, Zillmere have pulled off a gutsy second half comeback to defeat UQ in a 2-point thriller at St Lucia.

The Red Lionesses came out firing in the first quarter, and Claudia Wharton got UQ off to the perfect start with a goal inside the opening minute.

Some excellent spread and ball movement from UQ stopped the Eagles from utilising their running game in the opening half, and it was hurting Zillmere on the scoreboard.

Mimi Hoger managed to bag one towards the end of the first quarter to draw the game level, but a quick flurry of goals from Moran, Beaven and Baldock gave UQ a cool 17-point lead heading towards half-time.

A late goal from Georgia Byrne helped reduce the margin to 9-points at the main break, but all the momentum was with the Red Lionesses.

The Eagles lifted their intensity in the third term and managed to get their running game going, but it was clear that UQ weren’t going to crumble, playing some excellent help defence.

Monica Allen and Anna O’Keeffe traded goals midway through the third quarter and although the Eagles had their chances, they still trailed by 12-points at the last change.

If ever there was time for a young player to step up and make a name for themselves, this was it.

And that is exactly what Kiana Riley did for the Eagles in the final term, kicking two goals in as many minutes to steal the win from UQ and keep their finals chances alive.

Emma Pericic was again instrumental down back for the Eagles, while Nicola Clark’s move to defence was pivotal in the 2-point win.

The nailbitting win keeps the Eagles in fifth spot, just one win behind the Gorillas in fourth.

Coach’s thoughts

Michael Swann – UQ

“We were pretty disappointed that we couldn’t get across the line, we were on top for most of the game, but lacked some experience and class in the end.

“When it got tight in the end it was a new experience for us because I don’t think we’ve been in that position before, we just didn’t have the experience to close out a game.

“It would be up there with one of our better performances this season, we just need to develop that killer instinct.

“Jordi Smyth played her best game of the season for us down back today and Jess Wiggan as acting captain showed a lot of class and leadership which was great.”

Jacob Simmons-Bliss – Zillmere

“I am so proud of what the girls were able to conjure up in the second half today.

“With our long injury list as well as state players unavailable, I thought it was a really inspiring effort and something to be very proud of to get the win.

“I’ve been promising all season that we were going to deliver in the back half of the year, and it’s really promising to see our girls playing really well in the last 2 weeks.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to UQ, they have come a long way and are incredible to watch, they gave us a red hot contest, but we were able to find a way to win as a team.”



Even with no state players available and a host of others out through injury, Coorparoo were still far too good for Griffith Moorooka on Sunday, running out massive 174-point winners.

It was always going to be a tall order for the bottom placed Reds to take on the defending premiers away from home, and although the fight was there, Coorparoo were a cut above.

From siren to siren, Coorparoo totally dominated the contest, using their superior size, strength and run to overpower the struggling Moorooka outfit.

By halftime, Mackenzie Arnold had already kicked a bag and the Navy Roos were flying with a huge 96-point lead.

Hope Skehan played a key role for Griffith Moorooka all day, controlling the half-back and midfield to try and limit the Navy Roos run.

The Reds played a more intense second half, running with the Coorparoo girls and creating plenty of contests, but the class difference was too much for Griffith Moorooka.

Rachel Crack had a superb day out of the ruck for Coorparoo, completely dominating the middle of the park to be near best on ground at day’s end.

Second gamer Zoe Clark chipped in with a lazy six-goals, while Arnold continued her onslaught in the second-half to walk home with a huge bag of 11.

The Dynamic forward has now kicked 20 goals from just three games and looks to be one of the real dangers in the competition going forward.

Coorparoo turned the burners off towards the end of the contest, but still finished the final quarter with three class goals to collect their ninth win on the trot.

It was a fantastic all-round performance from the Navy Roos on Sunday and served a reminder to the rest of the competition what they are capable of with limited numbers.

Coach’s thoughts

Bernie Cantrell – Coorparoo

“Very happy overall, we played a few of our new girls who put their hand up and I thought they played a great game.

“It really was a great 22 player performance out there, I thought Zoe (Clark) was great for someone who hasn’t played a lot at this level.

“I’m happy that we can bring these girls in and they can play our brand of footy and stick to our man on man structures, it gives us a lot of flexibility.

“I have to give full credit to Griffith Moorooka, it’s been tough for them but they never stopped against us today.”

Glenn Hogetts – Griffith Moorooka

“We weren’t too bad just down a little around the stoppages and didn’t play our one on one footy, but overall not too bad.

“The girls never gave up and in the last quarter we limited them to three goals, and towards the end we only had 17 players out there so it was a good effort.

“We moved the ball pretty well and we were able to move it up and down the ground pretty effectively, we just fell down a little on our one on one play.”

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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