Match of the round:
Saturday 4:45pm – Wilston Grange Vs UQ (Wilston Grange – Bendigo Bank Oval)
As far as crucial games go, they can’t get much bigger than this one we’re about to see unfold on Saturday evening. Wilston Grange and UQ are both tied up on 18 points and on the cusp of locking down a top-four position on the ladder. After a deflating loss to Coolangatta last weekend, this match becomes even more critical for UQ, who suffered an untimely injury blow during the week with key players Bre Koenen (ankle) and Sharni Webb (sickness) ruled out.
It provides an opportunity for a few fringe players to make their way into the side, and for UQ’s mainstays to step up and fill the void left by the absence of the experienced duo. For Grange, Tahlia Randall is also in question with a hip complaint but is expected to take her place in the side on Saturday.
It should be a very physical and demanding game, with both sides known for their heavy presence in contests and aggression around the ball. A match-up to keep an eye on will be UQ fullback Jessi Henning against Grange full-forward Maddi Peeters. Both women are in ripping form at the moment, with Peeters placed second in the QWAFL leading goal-scorers and Henning having represented Queensland at Under 18 level a few weeks ago. Taking on Peeters is a big ask for the 17-year-old, but she’s certainly proved herself this season after holding her own against Brisbane Lion Sabrina Frederick-Traub a few weeks ago.
First quarter flyers:
One thing to note about both UQ and Grange ahead of their crunch match is both sides have on numerous occasions gotten off to scorching starts this year but have been unable to maintain that consistent intensity for four quarters. The prime example was last week, where the Red Lions blitzed Coolangatta in the first quarter, pumping out four goals. However, when Coolangatta responded, UQ couldn’t find the next gear and were restricted to just eight behinds for the rest of the match, going goalless after quarter time.
The same can be said about Grange, who last week matched Coorparoo in the first quarter with some sizzling footy before dropping off in the second quarter to give the Kings a handy lead. It’s something both teams will be looking to rectify on the weekend and means we could be in for some enthralling footy in the opening stanza to set the scene for the rest of the match.
Back to business:
With the competition bye firmly in the rear-view window, all coaches are now in the same situation as they aim to field a consistent side each week to build momentum into the pointy end of the season.
Yeronga look best set at this stage, having already had three byes. The advantage to playing so little footy in the first half of the season is the Devils have a solid seven-game run heading into finals to get everything clicking.
Looking at the ladder, it seems to be a five-horse race for the flag after ten rounds. Yeronga and Coolangatta have some breathing room at the top of the ladder, with Coorparoo, Wilston Grange and UQ battling it out for the final two spots in the top four. However, nothing’s a given when it comes to QWAFL footy which means the door is wide open for any club to stamp their authority on the back half of the 2017 season.
Round 11 Matches:
Saturday June 24
4:45pm – Maroochydore Vs. Coorparoo
Venue: Maroochydore – Maroochydore Multisports Complex
4:45pm – Wilston Grange Vs. University of Queensland
Venue: Wilston Grange – Bendigo Bank Oval
4:45pm – Yeronga South Brisbane Vs. Zillmere Eagles
Venue: Yeronga – Leyshon Park
BYE: Coolangatta Tweed
By Josh Cheadle