THE final round of the most unusual season in Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) history is here, with the following week’s finalists already decided – barring a massive upset in the final round – but the order of which they enter the post-season series can still change.
The biggest question marks lies between the second to fifth positions with just four points separating those teams. Bond University has sewn up top spot with a massive percentage of 369.23, well clear of the only team that could mathematically catch them in Coolangatta Tweed. So barring what would likely need to be a 500-point odd victory, and a Sharkettes loss, the Bluebirds will have to settle for second. The top two get a week off, which will give both sides a refresher coming into the penultimate week of the season a week later.
Bond University takes on Coorparoo this weekend, and the Kings are a dangerous side. If they win, they can go as high as second barring other results, but the two teams they can catch – Coolangatta Tweed and Maroochydore – both play the bottom two sides. The Bluebirds play the winless Hornets who have nothing to lose, but know this is their last game of the season and would love to go out with a bang. The Roos take on Wilston Grange, with the Gorillas still a mathematical chance of making finals.
Last week Maroochydore’s 95-0 win over Aspley Hornets helped the Roos leapfrog Coorparoo on percentage, gaining a whopping 40-odd per cent and now in firm control of third spot. If that form is anything to go by, then Wilston Grange is up against it in this game, but if they can somehow produce a huge win, and University of Queensland lose, then they can technically grab sixth spot. The Red Lionesses are playing firth placed Yeronga South Brisbane with the Devils also keen to win, though it seems clear they will face Coorparoo in the elimination final a week later. A home ground advantage would be nice however, so the four points should do that, unless the Sharkettes go down to the Kings.
If the favourites all win, then the only change to the ladder would be the Devils leapfrogging the Kings, but if the Red Lionesses can knock off the Devils and officially lock up a finals spot, then Yeronga South Brisbane will remain in fifth and the ladder will remain the same even with a Coorparoo victory.
The finals series is structured with the top two teams – Bond University and, barring a loss to the last placed Hornets, Coolangatta Tweed – having a week off. The third placed team will take on the sixth placed side, whilst fourth and fifth will do battle in a couple of elimination finals. The importance of Maroochydore’s percentage-boosting win in Round 11 to grab third is not to be undersold as they now take on University of Queensland who are clearly a step below the others on the table with 14 points and being that distance away from the top five. Coorparoo and Yeronga South Brisbane are evenly matched with 28 points apiece, and would be a huge elimination final regardless of who hosts it.
Fast forward a week later, and the top of the table Sharkettes will take on the winner of fourth or fifth, which if the top sides win in week one of finals, would be either Coorparoo or Yeronga South Brisbane, leaving the second placed Coolangatta Tweed to play Maroochydore in that scenario. The winners of those preliminary finals would go through to the grand final where they will contest the 2020 premiership title.
One award that will be determined at the end of the round is the leading goalkicker, with Coorparoo’s Jamie Stanton in pole position with 15 majors this season, two clear of University of Queensland’s Dakota Davidson. Maroochydore’s Shannon Campbell sits in equal third on 12, alongside Bond University’s Taylor Smith. Also hitting double-figure goals are another trio of Kings in Emma McKenzie (11), Jess Wuetschner (11) and Chelsea Chesterfield (10).
In terms of the league best and fairest, there is only one player to be named in her team’s best in all 11 rounds which is Courtney Daniec (Aspley Hornets). The Hornets have had a tough season, but clearly have some standout players who perform week-in, week-out with Isabella Kotatis (eight), Morgan Lanigan (seven), Lucy Pengelly (seven) and Angela Lingard (six) always featuring prominently in the bests. Wilston Grange have a trio of players also having good seasons in Kaitlyn Day (nine bests), Catherine Svarc (seven) and Kristen Tyquin (six). Others who have stood out in that top group are Coorparoo’s Jade Ellenger (seven), Maroochydore’s Maggie Harmer (seven) and Lily Postlethwaite (six), and University of Queensland’s Megan Hunt (seven) and Jane Childes (six).
QAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 12 FIXTURES:
Aspley Hornets vs. Coolangatta Tweed
Wilston Grange vs. Maroochydore
Bond University vs. Coorparoo
University of Queensland vs. Yeronga South Brisbane
Picture: RF Photography