QWAFL: Round 16 Review

QWAFL Round 16 Review



Complete domination.

That’s the only way to describe Coolangatta’s 114-point capitulation of Wilston Grange on Saturday, in what was a huge return to form for the Bluebirds.

Recent weeks haven’t been some of Coolangatta’s best in 2015, but the Bluebirds were firing on all cylinders on Saturday, starting with a scintillating first quarter.

A ferocious attack on the football, persistent efforts to move the ball forward and beautiful skill by hand saw the Bluebirds skip to a handy 25-point lead after 20 minutes.

The lead could have been bigger at quarter-time for Coolangatta, but some wayward kicking at goal resulted in seven first quarter behinds and just three majors.

Despite missing their captain and midfield general in Leah Kaslar, Coolangatta still managed to stay on top in the guts with the leadership of Kate McCarthy and Yolanda Jones.

Morgan Lowe and Nikki Wallace stood up in the absence of star forward Rosalie Adamson, booting five first-half goals between them to steer the Bluebirds to a huge 60-point lead at the main break.

Although the game was all but in the books at half-time, Coolangatta continued to put the foot down in the third term, moving the ball flawlessly around Len Peak Oval.

Acacia Powell was again a handy target up forward for the Bluebirds, kicking three classy majors in the second half to pile even more pressure on a deflated Wilston Grange outfit.

The Gorillas effort couldn’t be questioned for the afternoon, but some sloppy decision making and poor disposal use didn’t help as the Bluebirds raced to a huge three-quarter time lead.

Katie McGlade was one of the Gorillas shining lights for the afternoon, playing a starring role in defence that kept the bleeding to a minimum in the final quarter.

Some more average execution in front of goal stopped the lead blowing out past 150-points in the final quarter, but as the final siren sounded, Wilston Grange were well beaten, mentally and physically.

Kristy Wallace played a brilliant role for Coolangatta in just her second game for the club, kicking two-goals out of half-forward in a near best on ground performance.

The 15-goal victory guarantees the Bluebirds a top two finish this season, and still keeps the hope of a minor premiership alive.

Coach’s thoughts

Aaron Russell – Coolangatta

“The part we were most happy with was the work rate from the girls, really nobody had a bad game today and I think everybody contributed to the win.

“The first quarter we just wanted to come out and make amends for last week, we just wanted to come out with a better attitude and more intensity at the contest, which I think we achieved.

“We were able to set the tone in the first half with work rate and effort and after that we were able to use our skills and speed to open the game up, so I was really happy with that.

“We had some really sensational passages of footy today, we carried the ball well and were really composed with it.”

Ron Kemp – Wilston Grange

“Coolangatta are a strong running side and if you let them run they will cut you to pieces and proof was in the pudding today, they outran us and outplayed us.

“The wind got taken out of sails early and we just didn’t go with it after that, chasing players all day takes it out of you and once that fatigue sets in you tend to drop off and that’s what happened.

“But we still tried and the girls still tried to look for each other and that’s all you can ever ask.

“We just have to lift our work rate and accountability, if we do those two things it allows us to put pressure on, which is the key.”



UQ have once again proven that they will be a team to watch in 2016, playing three ripping quarters of football against Yeronga on Saturday before being overrun in the final term.

The third placed Devils were the heavy favourites heading into Saturday’s clash with the Red Lionesses, but it was UQ who got the fast start, kicking a goal inside five minutes through Sharni Webb.

Yeronga steadied the ship moments later with a goal to sharpshooter Hayley Newberry, who made it 13 straight games with at least one major.

Three more goals for the quarter helped the Devils charge ahead and lead by 20-points at the first change, but UQ were far from done.

A cracking second quarter was exactly the type of contest we have come to expect from these two sides; free flowing, high intensity and bucket loads of pressure.

Shannon McCartney played a blinder for the Red Lionesses in a rare QWAFL appearance, playing a scintillating role out of defence to keep Yeronga’s lively forward line at bay for most of the match.

Jordan Zanchetta again led the way for Yeronga, floating in and out of half-forward to rack up a huge possession count for the afternoon.

Despite having plenty of footy in the second quarter, the Devils couldn’t increase their quarter-time, stopped time and time again by some desperate chase from UQ.

The Red Lionesses have threatened to claim a big scalp numerous times in 2015, and their third-quarter against Yeronga showed why.

UQ moved the ball beautifully in the third term, spreading from the contest quickly to spend the lions share of the quarter in their attacking fifty.

Goals to Marley Beaven and Anna O’Keeffe cut the lead to 16-points at three-quarter time and with 20 minutes to go it was anyone’s game.

And fortunately for Yeronga, they saved their best quarter for last.

A trio of majors to Zanchetta, Ransfield and Thomas inside 10-minutes stopped any chance UQ had of a comeback and ultimately led the Devils to a scrappy 46-point win.

The four points for Yeronga guarantees a third place finish in 2015, but the Devils will need to lift a gear if they are any chance of flag run come September.

Coach’s thoughts

Michael Swann – UQ

“Both sides were on top and it was a hard fought game, we didn’t do enough but we continued the weekly development we have spoken about.

“Each week has been a step forward, it’s been a slow process but I think we are definitely getting there – I think the girls are starting to believe they belong with these top teams.

“Over the last 3 years we’ve been chipping away and looking to put in good performances and I feel like it’s all starting to click.

“We’ve got the two grand finalists from 2014 to finish the year now, so it will be a good test to see where we’re at.”

Scott Stephens – Yeronga

“Our first quarter was ok, it was slower than what we wanted and I think we realised UQ were out to play.

“The second and third quarters were a little disappointing, we lacked effort and I feel like all the effort was left to a handful of girls.

“We managed to pull out five goals in the last quarter to get over the line, but we were a bit flat, we didn’t play four quarters and our effort didn’t match UQ’s.

“If we don’t play four quarter performances for the next two games, I don’t see us getting wins, so that is something we are going to have to address.”

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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