By Ant Wingard @AntWingard
Photo: David Layden Photography
Coolangatta Tweed v Maroochydore
With just two games in the Bond University QWAFL in Round 9, as Coolangatta and Maroochydore have the opportunity to spruik life into their 2018 campaigns after both sides have endured a string of losses over the past handful of rounds.
After a successful opening period of the season, which saw the side compile three wins over their first four games, the Bluebirds have stalled in recent weeks, losing their past two games prior to the bye last week. Currently, Coolangatta sit in fourth spot on the ladder, but are within striking distance of second or third place if the Bluebirds can muster a sizeable win over the Roos this weekend.
Results continue to disparage a young Maroochydore side who have now lost five games in a row, but the streak of losses is in no way indicative of their on-field performances. Over the past fortnight, the Roos have lost games each by less than ten points as the side continually challenge their opposition; showing a knack at winning contested ball around the stoppages.
Maroochydore will be encouraged by an undermanned Bluebirds team, who will be without a bevy of their regular QWAFL side due to selection in either the Brisbane Lions or Gold Coast SUNS Winter Series teams this weekend. Among those missing is silky midfielder Maddy Roberts and former Lions utility Selina Goodman.
Wilston Grange v Bond University
Bendigo Bank Oval
The Gorillas face a tricky predicament ahead of their Round 9 showdown with Bond University as the first placed team will find themselves without a large contingent of their players through the Winter Series in Sydney this weekend.
In total, eight players have been chosen in the Lions and SUNS team this weekend – the equal most of any QWAFL side, but the clear most of any side playing this weekend. Prime movers Kate Lutkins, Shannon Campbell and Jacqui Yorston have all been given the call up by the Brisbane Lions, while Tahlia Randall, Jamie Stanton and Jordan Membrey will all feature for the Gold Coast.
Bond University will also be without a number of their players, including QWAFL leading goal kicker Charlotte Hammans, but with just five players on representative duty, enter the contest with perhaps the more experience line up.
The Bullsharks etched their name back on the winner’s list last weekend with a steady win over Maroochydore. The third placed Bond University could again move further up the table with an upset victory over the Gorillas on Saturday, with this weekend perhaps the best chance all season for a side to inflict the first Wilston Grange defeat in 2018.