Round 12 Bond Uni QWAFL Wrap

Round 12 results:
Coolangatta Tweed 10.9 (69) def. Maroochydore 0.2 (2)
Yeronga South Brisbane 4.5 (29) def. by Wilston Grange 6.10 (46)
BYE: University of Queensland
BYE: Coorparoo
BYE: Zillmere Eagles

Grange topple Yeronga:
Who could have seen this one coming? This season just becomes more and more unpredictable each week as we watched fifth-placed Wilston Grange dismantle the Yeronga Devils. Yeronga were missing a few of their star players in Virgo, McCarthy and Frederick-Traub, but were still packing plenty of firepower heading into the match. Nothing can be taken away from the way Grange played on Saturday night – they were gutsy, disciplined, and took the game on at every opportunity.
After a blistering first quarter, the Gorillas had Yeronga on the back foot early, something the Devils had rarely encountered this season to date. Grange’s early dominance seemed to have a compounding effect on Yeronga, who started to play more reactive than proactive footy and therefore found it difficult to score. Kate Lutkins was rock solid down back for the Gorillas, providing some crucial intercept possessions along with Jamie Stanton who found plenty of the footy once again. The massive win brings Grange back into the top four with four more games for them coming up.

Double blow for Devils:
As well as suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of Wilston Grange, salt was rubbed into Yeronga’s wounds when Esther Allen went down in the third quarter with a dislocated and fractured ankle. Allen was contesting the footy on the wing when she lost her footing and hit the turf. Play continued down the ground before the trainers called for the umpires to pause the game. Allen was stretchered off the ground with the support of both side’s trainers and treated on the boundary while the ambulance was called. With 3:45 left in the final quarter, play was stopped again for the ambulance to make its way onto the field, and with the game already lost, Yeronga rallied together to send off their teammate as one. The diagnosis isn’t looking good for Allen, with multiple fractures in the ankle requiring surgery to repair, it’s unlikely we’ll see her again in 2017.

Bluebirds’ big guns shine:
Coolangatta’s star players have combined to give the reigning premiers an important win over Maroochydore on Saturday. It was a typical Coolangatta display, with Beth Pinchin and Leah Kaslar laying the foundation in defence, Nikki Wallace, Zoe Lattanzi and Hannah Sexton providing the run-and-carry through the middle, and Selina Goodman the General in attack. Coolangatta’s defensive work was one of the most notable on the day, with the backline holding Maroochydore scoreless for the entire first half. They continued that trend in the second half, proving to be almost impenetrable when Maroochydore could only manage two behinds. The win sees Coolangatta draw level with Yeronga on points, with Round 16 shaping to be a huge grand final rematch between the two sides.

The ladder now:
Yeronga’s first loss has seen Coolangatta re-join the Devils at the top of the table on 28 points. Coorparoo still hang on to third place on 26 points, however Wilston Grange have launched themselves back into finals calculations with their upset win seeing the Gorillas tied with UQ on 22 points. Maroochydore and Zillmere trail in sixth and seventh position respectively. As we get further and further into the season, percentage could make or break a club’s finals hopes. Between UQ and Grange, it’s UQ who have the poorer percentage with 103% compared to 179% for the Gorillas. We’ve got five clubs battling it out for a finals berth and five more weeks of unpredictable QWAFL footy.

By Josh Cheadle
Twitter: @JoshCheadle20

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