THE cobwebs are now blown off and the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition players are adjusted to the tempo returning to football. With the additional talent scattered across the lists upon return in Round 4 last weekend, Round 5 is set to either further set teams forward, or see them slip back to the pack. We preview each game with the must-watch matches first.
COORPAROO vs. COOLANGATTA TWEED
Saturday, July 18, 4.45pm – Giffin Park
Our chosen match of the round sees the bolstered Coorparoo taking on the second placed Coolangatta Tweed in the evening game at Giffin Park on Saturday. The Kings might have started the season slowly, but with the inclusion of a host of AFL Women’s stars last week, are genuinely a title contender. They come up against the Bluebirds who suffered their first loss last round against Bond University, but remain in second on the QAFL Women’s ladder.
- Coorparoo has won its last two games now, both against Aspley Hornets and are coming off a massive 93-point win on the road
- Despite being at a 50 per cent win-loss record, the Kings have a massive percentage of 188.15, the third highest in the league despite sitting fifth
- Coorparoo have scored 68 more points than their nearest rival
- After winning their first three games, Coolangatta Tweed lost to Bond University by 24 points
- Opponents have kicked more than 30 points against the Bluebirds in three of the four games, whilst prior to last round, Coolangatta Tweed had no scored below 33
- The Bluebirds did outscore the Sharkettes last week in the second half after conceding 4.4 in the first half, but only 0.1 in the second half
- Jess Wuetschner booted four goals and was one of eight individual goal kickers for the Kings, and will be one that the Bluebirds need to stop
- Coolangatta Tweed has plenty of AFLW talent itself and with Sally Riley and Hannah Dunn through the middle, it will be crucial the Bluebirds win the midfield battle
YERONGA SOUTH BRISBANE vs. MAROOCHYDORE
Saturday, July 18, 2.45pm – Leyshon Park
The other match worthy of match of the round is Yeronga South Brisbane looking to tackle the top of the table Maroochydore. The Roos are the only undefeated team in the competition, and sit four points clear of Coolangatta Tweed with a superior percentage. Regardless of the result, the Roos will retain top spot because of this percentage, though will want to hold off another genuine contender in the match. The Devils drew last week against an improving University of Queensland side, and sit fourth with Bond University gaining a massive percentage boost to create some separation last week.
- Yeronga South Brisbane could theoretically move up to second if Coolangatta Tweed and Bond University lose, though realistically third is the most likely scenario
- Maroochydore will remain top of the table regardless of the result courtesy of their impressive percentage of 260.32
- The Roos have the best rated defence in the competition, with the second lowest against tally, but with Bond University playing one less game. The Roos concede just 15.8 points on average
- The Devils are one of the best offensive sides in the competition, averaging 46.5 points per game compared to Maroochydore’s still very impressive 41 per game
- Both these sides have some terrific young talent both current and future AFL stars with Zimmorlei Farquharson among the AFL Women’s National Academy and alongside Dee Heslop and Jacqui Yorston for the Devils, while Brisbane’s top two picks last season in Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes are running around for the Roos
UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND vs. WILSTON GRANGE
Saturday, July 18, 4.45pm
The other game that will be interesting in terms of ladder positions and subsequent consequences for the result is that between Wilston Grange and University of Queensland. Neither side is a particularly high scoring team, but they are quite strong defensively and match up well. The Red Lionesses have to catch up a bit of percentage to overtake the Gorillas, but roughly a five-goal win could see them grab sixth spot that Wilston Grange currently holds. If the Gorillas get up, they can leapfrog Coorparoo if the Kings lose, with the draw taking away any percentage difference.
- After three consecutive losses to start the season, the Red Lionesses got their first points on the board with an important draw against Yeronga South Brisbane last week
- University of Queensland only average 14 points per game, compared to the Gorillas’ 25.3 points, but also concede less with 31.5 per game to Wilston Grange’s 40.3 per game.
- The Red Lionesses do not mind a scrap, coming back from eight points down at half-time last week to pull level and hold out in the final term
- Breanna Koenen and Megan Hunt were both impressive in the draw, and will be closely watched by Wilston Grange in this match
- Kate Lutkins can play up either end and her reading of the ball in flight is superb, so expect her to be a thorn in the Red Lionesses side for the Gorillas
BOND UNIVERSITY vs. ASPLEY HORNETS
Saturday, July 18, 3.45pm – Bond University
In the one game that seems fairly straight forward to predict, a bolstered Bond University side comes up against the last placed Aspley Hornets at home. The Sharkettes took down Coolangatta Tweed last weekend to hand the Bluebirds their first loss, and could go as high as second with a victory here. Aspley sit on the bottom of the table with the lowest rated attack and defence, but a team with no expectations can often be the most dangerous.
- Bond University have a superb defence, averaging just 16 points against in their three matches played this season, whilst the Hornets average just 9.5 points per game
- The Sharkettes also average 40.7 points per game on the offensive end, whilst the Hornets have leaked 67.5 per match, including 93 last round in their loss to Coorparoo
- Not having any AFLW talent has hurt the Hornets with the other seven sides bolstered, though Courtney Daniec is one who continues to be named among the best, while the likes of Isabella Kotatis and Lucy Pengelly are names who have gone through the pathway systems.
- Bond University have an array of AFLW talent, beginning with young guns, Ellie Hampson, Charlotte Hammans and Lauren Bella, whilst Taylor Smith booted two goals last week and the Levi sisters – Maddison and Teagan – are both in the AFL Women’s National Academy
- It would be the upset of the season if Aspley can get it done, but the key is winning the midfield and playing sensibly going forward.