By Ant Wingard
Image: Highflyer Image
Coorparoo v Maroochydore
Saturday February 7
Maroochydore Multisport Complex
Maroochydore will be presented with the opportunity to earn back a slither of retribution against the team that prematurely ended their spectacular 2019 campaign when they host the Kings on the Sunshine Coast. The Roos enjoyed incredible success last season, but their maiden finals run was almost over before it began as Coorparoo decimated the green and gold brigade to the tune of 53-points.
That night, it was Tori Groves-Little who did the damage for the navy blue in a starring role across half-back, but fortunately for the Roos, she won’t be out there after receiving the call up from the SUNS to make her AFLW debut tonight.
Instead, the Kings have called upon three of their premiership winning team to return to the line-up following their Round 1 fade out against Yeronga South Brisbane. Defender trio Clementine Rousseau Forwood, Tahlia Hickie and Alanna Perry will all make their QAFLW season debuts this week to strengthen the Kings’ backline who will face off against Round 1’s best forward outfit which featured three multiple goal kickers against Aspley.
The Roos will blood three new faces to the QAFLW in what will be four changes from their victorious Round 1 side. Loula-Suzie Bensaci, Taylah Wallbank and Te Aorangi Jordan have all been named for their debut while Brooke Matheson is also set to play her first game of the season.
Yeronga South Brisbane v Wilston Grange
Saturday February 7
Yeronga South Brisbane will be without one of their best and most important players for their clash with fellow 1-0 outfit Wilston Grange this week with Jordan Zanchetta set to miss with AFLW duties.
Zanchetta was simply superb in their Round 1 win, with her dominance around the stoppages a clear catalyst for the Devils’ run-away victory. And while it was probably expected her availability would alter throughout the AFLW season, her loss from the team’s engine room cannot be understated.
The Devils were perhaps the best and most polished side across Round 1, with their quick clearance work and ability to spread quickly from stoppages a clear standout. Without Zanchetta, replicating that success becomes somewhat difficult yet it’s expected The Devils will challenge for the win.
Two-goal debutant Lexia Edwards will also miss as familiar names Gabby Collingwood, Renee Cowan and Natalie Thomas return while Emmii-Lee Zanker Close will play her first game for the club against the Gorillas.
While Yeronga may have the upper hand inside 50 given their gluttony of scoring options, Wilston Grange may have dominance in the ruck. Emm MacNeil was stellar against UQ last weekend while Yeronga operated with a makeshift ruck for most of the game against Coorparoo. With the Gorillas likely to scrap in out through the middle – something they were able to do well against the Red Lions – MacNeill’s influence could play a major role through the middle.
Bond University v University of Queensland
Saturday February 7
This game will be live-streamed here
The prospect of starting the season 0-2 will become reality for either the Bull Sharks or the Red Lions as the two university clubs fight it out on the Gold Coast. Both teams failed to capture the four points in the opening weekend but each came narrowly short despite their best efforts.
While the season is still in its infancy, the importance of a win here is paramount given the expected competitiveness of the league in 2020. Both teams are expected to jostle for a finals position and thus a 0-2 start is certainly not ideal.
Bond University will regain the services of skipper Shannon Dankert for the clash after missing last week’s nail biter to Coolangatta Tweed. Danckert is one of four changes to the Bull Sharks line up including Jess Maher, who returns from offseason injury, Teagan Levi, who starred for the development team last week and Lucy Single.
For the Red Lions, Round 1 was very much a case of missed opportunity. The side had plenty of chances to hit the scoreboard against the Gorillas but were wildly inefficient moving inside 50. Megan Hunt remained a standout for the Red Lions who has returned for more of a midfield role in 2020 after spending much of last season as a lead up forward.
The Red Lions have made six changes to their Round 1 side including Sara-Jane O’Grady, Grace Brennan and Shae Adams. In their place are Meagan Cook, Summer Kirtley, Jane Childes, Jamie Stone, Roxane Mutschler and Tiarna Jericho.
Coolangatta Tweed v Aspley
Saturday February 7
Coolangatta Tweed were the talk of the town following their last gasp Round 1 victory over rivals Bond University, secured with literally the last kick of the game. Now, the Bluebirds have the opportunity to go 2-0 and reignite their return to finals.
Of course, the team raced out to a similar win/loss record after two games before succumbing to a host of injuries in the second part of the season and eventually make finals. The task for them of course, this season and should they win on Saturday, is to ensure that doesn’t happen this time around.
And while Coolangatta Tweed will likely enter as favourites for the contest – 69 per cent of people are tipping them on our Instagram poll – the side have already suffered a small road bump ahead of the game.
Holly Mirfield is set to miss for the bluebirds after producing a gripping performance last week as one of two changes for the side. The loss of Mirfield, given her importance to the side as both a key forward and ruck, is significant, while the team will also be without Madison Ellery. In their place come Jannifer Gomes and Lucy Turney.
For Aspley, Round 2 is an opportunity to regain some momentum following their big loss to Maroochydore and we know from last year the Hornets aren’t strangers to producing upsets early in the season. While the side didn’t trouble the scorers much in week one, it’d be remiss not to mention the pressure and ball-winning ability of Aspley’s midfielders.
The Hornets will also make two changes to the side with Jazmyn Pringle and Jordan McConnell missing out and have been replaced by Renee Weller and Sarah Giles.