QWAFL: Round 2 preview

QWAFL Preview Round 2




Saturday April 25, 4:45pm O’Callaghan Park

Yeronga South Brisbane will officially kick off their 2015 QWAFL campaign this Saturday when they re-establish their rivalry with Zillmere at O’Callaghan Park.

The Devils and Eagles battled four times in 2014, in what was easily the closest rivalry in the competition. Zillmere nabbed two wins during the regular season, as well as one in finals, while the Devils claimed a 9-point victory in round 7.

Three of the four games were decided by 18-points or less, making this clash one to mark down on the calendar.

The Devils have had the luxury of an extra week to prepare for the Eagles, but that won’t be any advantage heading into Saturday according to Yeronga coach, Scott Stephens.

“Zillmere played in a grand final (in 2014) so they are going to be stiff competition and I’m expecting us to have a really tough game out there,” Stephens said.

“We had the week off but it’s still round 1 for us in terms of the feeling, so it’s a little bit of the unknown.

“We’ve had a bit of a break between our last game and now, but our preparation has been solid and I think this weekend is about finishing the game, toughing it out and proving we can get on top of quality opposition.

The Devils definitely won’t have it easy on Saturday, O’Callaghan Park is one of the biggest grounds in Brisbane and Eagles coach Jacob Simmons-Bliss plans to take full advantage of that.

“We believe we have a big home ground advantage at Zillmere,” Simmons-Bliss said.

“Our oval is one of the biggest in the competition and we use the full length to our benefit and believe we can cover the ground better than anyone.

“Yeronga are going to be tough, they have been a pretty formidable side the last 4-5 years and I expect them to up there with the top sides in 2015.

“There will be a lot of changes this week with seniors and reserves doing some rotating, but the goal is to keep remaining compliant to our game plan and hopefully nabbing a win out of it.”



Saturday April 25, 2:00pm PBI Oval

Coolangatta certainly made a statement after beating the reigning QWAFL premiers last week, and they will look to back it up this Saturday against a highly competitive Wilston Grange outfit.

Both teams will go into this one full of confidence after impressive round 1 wins, and the chance to start the season 2-0 is a huge incentive.

Despite knocking off the Bluebirds twice in 2014, Gorillas coach Ron Kemp is wary of a much improved Coolangatta outfit.

“After seeing the result from the weekend, they are obviously up and running,” Kemp said.

“I had a quick look at their team and it looks pretty strong – they’ve picked up some extremely talented girls.

“They were a really good improving side last year and young Aaron (Russell) knows what he is doing so without doubt I think it’s a test, we have a really tough ask.

“We have to execute what we’ve been training, we have enough quality players to have a chance at winning but it’s just about the execution.”

Coolangatta will have to be at their best to knock off the Gorillas away from home this week, but road games don’t intimidate the Bluebirds playing group, according to coach, Aaron Russell.

“In terms of the matchup I don’t know a lot about Wilston, but we know they will be tough competition and we want to win on the road,” Russell said.

“But in all honesty I think (road games) may have been an issue once upon a time, but if you’ve got the right attitude, frankly it doesn’t matter.

“And that’s the attitude we want to take, the girls are super excited after the win last week but we trained well on Tuesday and are looking forward to the trip.”

The Bluebirds win against Coorparoo last week created a bit of buzz around the competition, but Russell insists the chatter isn’t getting to his girls.

“We sort of stay away from all the talk, but I think it’s a bit humorous after only one win that people say we are the team to beat,” he said.

“Our girls definitely aren’t getting complacent though and we know we’ve got lots of work to do.”



Saturday April 25, 4:45pm Alexander Park

Griffith Moorooka and UQ are looking to join the winners circle this week after both clubs suffered home losses in Round 1.

The Roosters were comprehensively beaten last week by an impressive Zillmere outfit, but Griffith Moorooka coach, Glenn Hogetts believes a win could be on the cards if all goes to plan on Saturday.

“I reckon it will be pretty even,” Hogetts said.

“UQ have improved from last season, but we are hoping that we can apply the same sort of pressure we applied to Zillmere in the second half for a full game.

“We have five coming back in this week, two of which are state squad players, so I’m quietly looking for a win.

“Most importantly we want to keep our focus on the way we want to play and not get too involved in what the other team is doing, so that starts with strong tackling and turning defence into attack.”

UQ weren’t at full strength last week against Wilston Grange, and although the Red Lionesses have lost a few other girls through injury and work commitments, the club has announced three big ins that are sure to boost their stocks.

2014 Best and Fairest winner, Daryl Jensen, Kate Harvey and International Cup player, Chantal Beaudin will return this weekend along with three more promising debutants.

UQ coach, Michael Swann, was adamant his side has what it takes to get the job on the weekend but is still focusing on improvement in the Red Lionesses third season in the QWAFL.

“We got stuck last weekend around the contest a lot and need to work on clearing it around the stoppages and getting rid of the ball a little quicker,” Swann said.

“The goal is to win every week and if we improve on and tweak the things that need improving we are confident that we we will have a good result.

“We’ve always had really hot closely contested matches (with Griffith Moorooka), they have been scrappy kind of affairs, both have been bottom of the ladder in the past, so we are expecting it to be quite physical with both teams wanting to get a win on the board.”

By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman



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