By Ant Wingard
Image: David Layden Photography
Coolangatta Tweed v Coorparoo
Saturday June 15, 2:00PM
Old QAFLW rivals will go head to head once again in a season defining encounter on the Gold Coast this week and with so much to play for, the importance of the four points is paramount.
Coorparoo find themselves two places outside the top-four finals bracket but their rejuvenated form over the past month has seen them rocket back into contention and the Kings now find themselves equal on points and trail both the Bluebirds and University of Queensland on percentage.
The story reads somewhat differently for the Bluebirds, who after a scintillating start to the 2019 season, have cooled over the past fortnight in the wins column – despite the side playing decent football throughout the stretch.
Despite their performances on the field, the Bluebirds have lost three of their past four games including last weekend’s close encounter with Yeronga.
For the contest, Coolangatta have regained forward Sandra Carter and Rosalie Adams while they will also be without Ebony Peterson for the contest.
Coorparoo on the other hand have lost a host of their Under 18 talent along with midfielder Emma Zielke but welcome back Emma Mackenzie and Mary Ross in what will be five changes to the side.
Maroochydore v Bond University
Saturday June 15, 2:00PM
Maroochydore Multisport Complex
Maroochydore and Bond University face an unusual prospect this season in their games against one another having not played each other with a near full strength team.
In the two sides earlier encounter this year, both the Roos and Bullsharks were without their Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS Academy girls due to their carnival in Coffs Harbour, and again this weekend – their second meeting of the season – with the Under 18 national championships happening over in Perth.
While all teams in the QAFLW will obviously be without their state representative players this weekend, there’s a case to be made that Maroochydore and Bond University have been hit perhaps the hardest.
The personnel absences mean that the two sides, who have been the competition’s two biggest improvers since last season, won’t have the opportunity to meet full strength unless they cross paths in the finals – a proposition that could be helped should Maroochydore cause an upset this weekend.
Maroochydore too, will be without vice-captain Ashleigh Hales for the match however Bond University will also be without two of their most experienced players in Tiarna Ernst and Laura Attard.
Yeronga South Brisbane v Wilston Grange
Saturday June 15, 2:45PM
Yeronga South Brisbane will find themselves without a host of their senior players for their Round 9 showdown with Wilston Grange as availability and external commitments have hindered the Devils’ experienced midfielder.
Sam Virgo will miss the contest given her duties with the Queensland Under 18 state representative team, while gun recruit Jacqui Yorston will also miss after travelling to Townsville with the SUNS.
Among the other losses for the team are forward Jade Ransfield and Laura David.
The Devils however, won’t feel the loss of the experienced quartet incredibly however as they regain the likes of Emily Bates, Courtney McDonnell, Zimi Farquharson and Gabby Collingwood, who returns after nursing an ankle injury, for the game.
With the Gorillas continuing to fall behind the pack as we head into the final portion of the home and away season, a win against the slightly less strengthened Yeronga side could help kickstart their premiership defence.
The Gorillas of course, enter the contest having lost their past three games but have shown a knack this season of stirring up the competition status quo with upset wins over University of Queensland and Coolangatta.
Wilston Grange has lost youngsters Mackenzie Findlay and Imogen Stackelberg while regaining Kate Lutkins and Clare Lawton, who returns following an ACL injury early last season, for the crucial contest.
Aspley v University of Queensland
Saturday June 15, 3:00PM
University of Queensland can rekindle their rampant midseason form this weekend as the Red Lions charge toward another finals appearance in 2019.
The Red Lions face a tough battle to make it in the top four, sitting level with Coorparoo and Coolangatta heading into Round 9.
But their form suggests the Red Lions have the opportunity to solidify their place as a finals contender.
UQ have won three of their past four games with their only loss – last week to Coorparoo – coming after a bout of knocks and injuries culled the Red Lions’ playing stocks as the Kings ran away 28-point victors.
The Red Lions have already chalked up one win over Aspley this season, a team who while lean on experience, have continued to improve steadily as they find their feet in the top flight.
The Hornets, despite losing out to Bond last weekend, showed enough fight through the midfield to match it with University of Queensland however better polish moving inside 50 may be required – all three of their goals last week came in the final term.
UQ have lost Xanthe Cerutti for the contest but welcomed back a bevy of players including Madison Wood, Bec Barnes and Brittne Hayes.
Aspley will see the return of Renee Weller for the game while losing dynamic mid-forward Kylie Guarino for the game.