By Ant Wingard
Bond University v Coolangatta Tweed
Saturday May 18, 3:45PM
Coolangatta Tweed has been dealt a significant blow ahead of their crucial Gold Coast derby clash against Bond University this weekend.
The Bluebirds, who dropped the top spot in the QAFLW standings to the Bullsharks with a loss to Wilston Grange last week, have been hit with a number of key omissions from the side that has helped them win three of their opening five games.
Jordan Membrey and Maddy Roberts – two of the Bluebirds most experiences and best performers through the opening five weeks – will both miss the clash while emerging tall Amy Fortescue, who has also made an immediate impact this season will also miss.
The trio headline a raft of omissions to the team that were shell-shocked by the Gorillas in Round 5.
The changes make the task of overcoming the Bullsharks – who enter Round 6 now atop the ladder – even more difficult, especially given the contrast in changes to the Bond University side.
Bond have made 11 inclusions to the team. Among those are a whopping nine players named in the Queensland state representative academy on Tuesday.
Despite their short tenure in the state competition, Bond University also boast a perfect record against their Gold Coast rivals in the QAFLW.
In the two side’s history at this level, the Bullsharks are 2-0 against the more experienced Bluebirds and it’s likely the dominoes will fall in Bond University’s favour once again this weekend.
Maroochydore v Yeronga South Brisbane
Saturday May 18, 4:45PM
Maroochydore Multisports Complex
Yeronga’s penchant to winning ugly in season 2019 has served them well so far this season and the same ethos could carry them to another win against Maroochydore this weekend.
So far this season, the Devils have chalked up unfashionable victories against Coorparoo and Wilston Grange albeit in the wet, while also grinding out a win against Bond University in the season opener.
But the method is working thus far with Yeronga sitting comfortable in second place in the standings where they trail Bond University merely on percentage.
Against the Roos this weekend though, the Devils will find themselves without two of their premier midfielders in Emily Bates and Jacqui Yorston, who have been named among the outs for the side.
The pair have been arguable among their most consistent performers since resuming state league duties following the conclusion of the AFL Women’s season and it remains to be seen just how the midfield group will cope in their absence.
The Yeronga midfield has been a strength for the side thus far and even proved the difference in last week’s win over Coorparoo. Jordan Zanchetta and Sarah Duncan are among those likely to stand up in the engine room if the Devils’ fast start to the season is to continue.
Maroochydore will welcome back a host of their own big names for the contest including defensive pillar Ashleigh Hales.
Queensland state representatives Chloe Gregory, Tahlia Mead, Lily Postlethwaite and Belle Dawes will also return for the Roos.
Aspley v Coorparoo
Saturday May 18, 4:45PM
Southpine Sports Complex
Coorparoo will welcome back one of their favourites after over 500 days on the sidelines as they look to revitalise their season against Aspley.
Kings junior Tahlia Hickie will play her first game in 567 days when the side run out at Southpine Sports Complex after a number of serious injuries hampered her state league career since debuting as a 16-year-old in Round 5 of the 2017 season.
Hickie played seven games for Coorparoo that year, even featuring in their Grand Final loss to Yeronga where she kicked a goal and was named among her side’s best players.
That would be her last game for the Kings until this weekend after a bone cist in her ankle in the 2018 preseason ended her season before it even started and earlier this year, she hurt her MCL which has kept her out of action until now.
A gifted tall, Hickie is capable of holding down a key post in the ruck or in defence or attack but is equally as smooth below her knees when the ball hits the ground.
Her return to the line-up for the first time in over a year could help propel the Kings to their second win of the season according to Kings mid-forward Sally Young.
“It’s exciting to see her back in the team after a tough year for her last year, which was also her draft year,” Young told aflq.com.au.
“Now she finally has a chance to get back on the field and we can’t wait to see her out on the field.”
Along with Hickie, Coorparoo have been bolstered by Hayley Moore, Tori Groves-Little and Page Parker, who will play her first game of the season, while old Coast signing Ellie Hampson will also make her QAFLW debut.
Aspley have added seven players to their Round 6 line-up including Lucy Pengelly, Ainsley Rintala-Apps and Chloe MacDonald.
With already one win against the Kings this season, the Hornets could put a scoreless fortnight behind them in what would be their second win of the season.
Wilston Grange v University of Queensland
Saturday May 18, 4:45PM
Throughout the opening portion of the season, there has been no two clubs quite as polarising as both Wilson Grange and University of Queensland.
Often, the results of a disappointing loss one round would be followed by an underdog win the next; often causing more questions than answers.
Both teams currently sit with two wins and three loses however neither has strung together consecutive wins, but that will certainly change this weekend, for one club at least.
Of course, the Gorillas already have one win on the board against the Red Lions this season – an opening round win.
The two Brisbane clubs, perhaps for the first time this season, enter the contest with a wet sail of form and pride having produced rampageous wins in the previous round.
Wilston Grange dominated Coolangatta on their own turf to clinch their second win of the season while University of Queensland rendered Aspley scoreless as they became the first team this year to reach triple figures on the scoreboard.
For this week’s crucial clash, University of Queensland has welcomed back Nat Exon and Bec Barnes, while Xanthe Cerutti is among three outs for the team.
For Wilston Grange, Kate Lutkins is a glaring omission from the side that beat Coolangatta while Emm MacNeill will also miss the contest. Mackenzie Findlay, who is another QAFLW player to earn a state representative guernsey last weekend is among the ins for the Gorillas.