By Ant Wingard
Aspley v Coolangatta
Saturday May 4, 2:00PM
Any hope of a return to the winner’s list for Coolangatta Tweed will need to be done without lynchpin defender Beth Pinchin.
Pinchin injured her knee in the Bluebird’s Round 3 loss to Coorparoo and is expected to miss an extended time with a torn meniscus leaving the Coolangatta defence without their most reliable defender.
The loss is somewhat relieved by the return of Alex Hamlyn to the line-up who helps bolster a defensive unit that conceded under 30 points across the opening two games of the season.
Coolangatta coach Matt Bedford emphasised the loss of Pinchin, who is one of three changes to the line-up that will also be without the team’s leading goal kicker Sandra Carter.
“We have to make sure we can cover those loses but we welcome back in Alex (Hamlyn) and Rosie Adamson, which is a good sort of swap but obviously not ideal to lose the two,” Bedford said.
After suffering their first loss of the season to Coorparoo last week, the Bluebirds have gone about ensuring they return to the winners list again this week against a Hornets’ side that too came up short against Maroochydore last week.
The opportunity for both clubs to return is there making their Round 4 showdown even more crucial in the scope of the season.
The loss of Pinchin, who was the 2018 QAFLW Team of the Year full back, could play into the hands of the Hornets, who possess one of the most goal-savvy forwards in the competition in Michaela Campbell who has kicked seven goals so far this year.
Bedford said his side had worked hard during the week as they look to continue their stay atop the QAFLW standings.
“Our focus this week at training has been on two-way running to make sure we’re accountable of our opponents.”
Wilston Grange v Yeronga
Saturday May 4, 2:00PM
After a shock loss to University of Queensland in Round 3 of the Bond University QAFLW, the message for Yeronga is simple from coach Aaron Russell.
“We did get smashed in a lot of areas but it all comes down to the fact that we didn’t get our hands on the footy, Russell said.
“If we can get our hands on the footy first, we can give our forwards a bit more supply and in the same way, if we can get the footy a bit more, it means our backline is also under less pressure.”
The Devils were left shocked in the opening 40 minutes of the loss to the Red Lions, who piled on eight goals to two in the first half before the Devils fought back to outscore them in the second half.
And after a successful opening two rounds of the season, Russell is hopeful Yeronga can return to their best this week against a Wilston Grange side who are winless at home so far this season.
The Devils’ hopes of etching their third win of the season will be boosted by the return of veteran midfielder Sam Virgo, who missed the loss to the Red Lions last week.
Despite the inclusions of midfield pair Gabby Collingwood and Jacqui Yorston since Virgo’s last game, Russell was also adamant of unleashing Virgo back into the midfield.
“Sam gives us a lot of on field leadership and was superb for us in rounds one and two,” he said.
Wilston Grange will also be bolstered by the return of Kate Lutkins, who will play her first game for the Gorillas since her best on ground performance in the 2018 Bond University QAFLW Grand Final, while Emma Gerke will also return.
University of Queensland v Bond University
Saturday May 4, 4:45PM
The QAFLW’s dark horse will take a relatively unchanged line up into their university derby with the Red Lions this week, at the peculiar location of Coorparoo’s Giffin Park Oval.
Given ground availability, the University of Queensland home game has been shifted to Brisbane’s eastern suburbs, but the importance of the matchup remains constant despite the neutrality of the venue.
Bond University have emerged as a genuine title contender after three weeks of the competition and since their last outing against Wilston Grange, the side has only gotten stronger.
Western Bulldogs AFLW premiership player Tiarna Ernst has been named for her QAFLW debut for the Bullsharks after signing for the Gold Coast SUNS AFLW team last month.
The reliable defender will join Laura Attard in defence having already successfully holding Wilston Grange and Coorparoo to two goals each in their previous two contests.
University of Queensland on the other hand will be without one of their most influential players from last week’s breakthrough win over Yeronga.
Megan Hunt will miss the contest after her equal career-high best six goals against the Devils in Round 3 as one of six changes for the Red Lions.
QAFLW regulars Jane Childes, Marley Beaven and Jamie Stone will all also miss while Maddy Wood returns.
The Red Lions’ run and carry caught the Devils off guard in the opening half last week and against a similarly fast paced Bullsharks side, a similar approach could help the home side notch their second win of the season.
Maroochydore v Coorparoo
Saturday May 4, 4:45PM
Maroochydore Multisports Complex
Coorparoo will be without a host of big name performers for their clash against an in-form Maroochydore, with a bevy of experience
After a best on ground performance for the Kings last week, Sally Young will miss the contest for as another Coorparoo player ties the knot while Jess Wuetschner, Emma Zielke and Emma Gibson have also all not been listed for the clash.
Perhaps the biggest omission from the team however is Emma Pittman, who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL suffered in their Round 3 win over Coolangatta.
Coorparoo’s seven outs from their winning side last week has seen Tori Groves-Little named for her first game of the season alongside youngsters Georgia Poulsen and Caitlyn Rawding.
Maroochydore has named a big inclusion of their own with Isabelle Dawes named for her first game in Roos colours for 2019.
The Roos could be considered the form team of the QAFLW after landmark wins over Wilston Grange and Aspley heralded their first consecutive wins in competition history.
With Shannon Campbell named for the Roos at her new post as a key forward, Rachel Crack will loom pivotal for the Sunshine Coast side in the defensive half against Jesse Wardlaw and Jenae Govan in the Kings’ attack.