2021 AFLW U17 Championships – Queensland: Game 2 preview

AFTER a hard, contested game one of the AFL Women’s Under 17 Championships, the Queensland Academies in Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns will go head-to-head today from 1pm in a Lions home game at Moreton Bay Sports Complex. We preview the match and some of the key aspects to look out for.

BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY vs. GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY
Wednesday, September 22 @ 1pm
Moreton Bay Sports Complex

Game two of the clash between the two Queensland Academies takes place up at Moreton Bay Sports Complex, with Gold Coast coming off a big 55-point win in game one. It was a seven goals to one opening half that really set the Suns apart from the Lions, with Brisbane starting to hit its straps late in the second term and competitive through the third quarter. If the Lions can bring the same intensity they did from game one from the opening bounce, but clean up the finishing skills, then it has the potential to be a cracking game. A few areas that were evident in Sunday’s match will be worth watching in today’s match include:

  • The midfield battle

Brisbane brought the head in the opening game and the tackling pressure both in its intensity and technique was superb, though the likes of Alana Gee had the run of it and was able to find plenty of space once she exited the contest. If the Suns are able to get their hands on the ball inside and get that first or second disposal out to their runners like they did Gee, then the game will likely go down a similar path. Brisbane have the speedsters as well, with some talented forwards who can use their athleticism to advantage, but the area they should capitalise in is contested ball. Charlotte Mullins and Ava Seton were two standout contested ball winners in the opening game, and will be ones looked to in order to win it at the coalface and get it out to the free options on the outside.

  • Defensive lines and inside 50 ball use

These were two key areas where the Suns excelled over the Lions in the opening half of game one. Both sides were cracking in through the middle, but once one of the sides got free and assessed their options going forward, it was often the Suns who either took the ball with some grass to break the lines, or put the ball to a leading target. Brisbane’s inside 50 entries were often chopped off by the like of Tara Harrington, who if they did not mark it, would bring the ball to ground and then run it out. If the Lions intercepted the ball, they just made a few too many errors in transition, which they cleaned up more in the second half, but cost them early.

  • Capitalising on the scoreboard

It’s no secret that the half-time score of 7.1 to 1.5 could have been a very different ball game with some accuracy. Granted, the Lions had tough shots with Brooke Sheridan tucked up in the pocket twice and kicking the majority of the score in the first half, but a couple of set shots and forward forays were rushed when setting their sights on goal. By contrast, the Suns rarely wasted their chances early, getting good looks inside the vital 35m range, as well as having goalside views for their speedsters such as Nyalli Moore to run onto.

OVERALL:

Expect the game to be a tighter one than the first one, with the Lions tweaking a few things for game two, and still bringing the same intensity. The tackling pressure was red hot and the Lions were just as fierce as the Suns. It is now just about adjusting their decision making and ball use consistency going forward, and not only capitalising when they do get chances, but getting those closer, better looks in front of goal rather than tough shots or forced to create something out of nothing. It all lends itself to being a cracker of a game.

 

Picture credit: RF Photography / AFL Photos

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