Tag: Breanna Koenen

AFL Women’s Sunday wrap: Dockers come from behind in final quarter showcase

FREMANTLE proved just how good they are with a huge final quarter effort against Carlton on Sunday, downing the Blues by four points credit to a three goal final term. The 6.9 (45) to 6.5 (41) outcome was not a reflection of majority of the match however, with Carlton’s explosive start and continuous pressure well and truly shutting down the Dockers.

In a must-win for Carlton, the side came out firing from all cylinders with three goals to nil in the first as experienced trio Nic StevensDarcy Vescio and Tayla Harris were quick to get on the board, as Charlotte Wilson and Mua Laloifi well and truly shut down the Blues backline and relegated the Dockers to just the one behind. A tighter second quarter was credit to Fremantle’s increased pressure around the footy, lifting in intensity and contesting much better as Kiara BowersHayley Miller and Sabreena Duffy stepped up to win the quarter. The winning end continued in the third as the Blues once again lifted, adding another two majors to their tally, but it was an outstanding final quarter from the Dockers that saw the side really showcase what they are made of and their winning form, booting 3.2 to Carlton’s 1.0 to take their first and only lead of the day at a vital time in the match and coming away with the four point win.

For the winning side, it was a two goal effort from both Jasmin Stewart and Duffy that helped get the side over the line, whilst Gemma Houghton was kept quiet for much of the contest bar a late conversion to seal the win. Bowers was exceptional with 28 disposals and 10 tackles, while Miller (13 touches and 10 tackles), Ebony Antonio and Steph Cain also had an impact. For the Blues, Stevens booted two from 14 touches, whilst Kerryn Harrington was kept busy with 22 touches and Breann Moody collected 19 and six marks, as Maddy Prespakis stepped up once more to create chaos through the middle.

Bar fixture changes due to COVID-19 protocols interstate, Carlton will hope to take on Gold Coast next Friday night in Queensland, while Fremantle will host Melbourne next Sunday night in a do-or-die encounter for the red and blue.

CARLTON 3.4 | 3.5 | 5.5 | 6.5 (41)
FREMANTLE 0.1 | 2.3 | 3.7 | 6.9 (45)

GOALS
Carlton: N. Stevens 2, D. Vescio, T. Harris, S. Gibbs, G. Gee
Fremantle: J. Stewart 2, S. Duffy 2, S. Cain, G. Houghton

BEST
Carlton: M. Prespakis, N. Stevens, B. Moody, D. Vescio, K. Harrington, V. Laloifi
Fremantle: K. Bowers, E. Antonio, S. Duffy, S. Cain, L. Pugh, J. Stewart

Image credit: AAP: James Ross

Image credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

LIONS DISRUPT HOT PIES

A last minute fixture change saw the Brisbane Lions take on the Collingwood Magpies on neutral territory in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon to complete the round, with the Lions taking to Whitten Oval and its lack of crowd like a duck to water, exposing the Magpies in a relatively inaccurate encounter from two of the top sides. The Lions dealt the Pies their first loss of the season, running out three-point victors in the 4.11 (35) to 4.8 (32) matchup in windy conditions.

It was a shocking first quarter from the Lions, booting eight behinds in a huge start that they really did not capitalise upon. The Magpies, to their credit, kept their foot on the accelerator and proved that they could cope defensively but it was realistically Brisbane’s inability to convert off set shots that shot them in the foot, only leading by 13 at the first change despite dominating the inside 50 count. Despite the Magpies applying better pressure for the remainder of the match, their first quarter struggle was too much for the side to come back from even as they kept the Lions to a goal per quarter in the second and third, and put just the one behind on in the last. The Magpies rallied in the final term after losing Jordyn Allen and Lauren Butler before the second half began, mounting their comeback and booting 2.4 in the final term. But it was too little, too late as the Lions held on for the three-point victory, knocking the Magpies out of top spot with huge performances from Ally Anderson (26 disposals and four marks) and Cathy Svarc (10 disposals, five tackles and a goal) topping off a solid day at the office.

Svarc was largely responsible for keeping Bri Davey quiet as Chloe Molloy was also relegated to a quiet performance with just five touches to her name. Sophie Conway (15 touches, three behinds), Nat Grider (13 and six tackles) and Emily Bates (13 and nine) were all impressive for the Lions as Bree Koenen locked down the backline, while for the Pies it was Britt Bonnici (28 touches, five marks and four tackles), Jaimee Lambert (22 touches) and Sharni Norder (Nee Layton, 17 touches, four tackles) who kept the ball rolling.

Next week the Magpies will play yet another match in Victoria as they host St Kilda on Saturday afternoon, while the Lions intend to host North Melbourne during Saturday’s twilight fixture, pending COVID-19 protocols in Queensland.

BRISBANE 2.8 | 3.8 | 4.10 | 4.11 (35)
COLLINGWOOD 1.1 | 2.4 | 2.4 | 4.8 (32)

GOALS
Brisbane: C. Hodder, S. Campbell, J. Wuetschner, C. Svarc
Collingwood: A. Sheridan 2, S. Alexander, J. Lin

BEST
Brisbane: A. Anderson, S. Conway, E. Bates, C. Svarc, K. Lutkins
Collingwood: B. Bonnici, S. Norder, R. Schleicher, J. Lambert, S. Chiocci

AFL Women’s Sunday wrap: Vintage Phillips drags Crows back onto winners list

A VINTAGE Erin Phillips performance propelled Adelaide back onto the winners list on Sunday, as the Crows handed Brisbane its first loss of the season to the tune of 12 points. Phillips booted the first two goals of the game and a late sealer as Adelaide won out 6.9 (45) to 5.3 (33), moving level on points with the Lions with three wins and a spot well within the top six.

Phillips’ more permanent move forward proved a masterful tactic, as the two-time league best and fairest wasted no time in setting up a defining lead for her side. Her goals were supported up the other end by a first term shutout, which set the tone for Adelaide’s win. The gap proved too far for Brisbane to bridge thereafter despite constantly chipping away and lingering within a goal for most of the final term.

While the Crows did not relinquish their lead throughout the contest, conversion rate remains an area of improvement for the victors who put up an inaccurate 6.9 from their wealth of clear-cut chances. Ashleigh Woodland was a main culprit with 1.4, but her six-pointer came at an ideal time as she reestablished Adelaide’s two-goal buffer right on the half time siren.

The Lions comes away licking their wounds in more ways than one, with a couple of potentially key injuries further scuppering their promising early-season run. Gun youngster Lily Postlethwaite and defensive leader Shannon Campbell both went down in the first half, with the seriousness of those knocks still yet to be fully confirmed.

Emily Bates finished as Brisbane’s leading ball winner with 19 disposals, two ahead of Greta Bodey. The latter also contributed two second half goals which gave the Lions every chance of snatching a victory. Orla O’Dwyer and Ally Anderson were also productive moving forward in the maroon, blue and gold, while defender Breanna Koenen proved pivotal in defence with 14 touches, four marks, and four tackles.

Phillips was far and away the best player afield; finishing with 21 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s, and four goals. Only Ebony Marinoff saw more of the ball with 28 touches, while fellow midfield maestro Anne Hatchard notched 19 of her own. Woodland was a threat up forward despite her inaccuracy, and skipper Chelsea Randall proved her worth to the side with 13 disposals and seven marks on her return. She may come under match review scrutiny after a heavy bump on Bodey, though.

The freshly minted Round 5 fixtures see Brisbane turn around first for another crucial clash, set to face Fremantle in Western Australia on Saturday. Meanwhile, Adelaide is due to return home to take on St Kilda at Norwood Oval on the Sunday.

BRISBANE 0.0 | 3.0 | 4.1 | 5.3 (33)
ADELAIDE 2.5 | 4.6 | 5.8 | 6.9 (45)

GOALS:

Brisbane: G. Bodey 2, D. Davidson, C. Hodder, T. Smith
Adelaide: E. Phillips 4, A. Woodland, R. Forth

DC BEST:

Brisbane: G. Bodey, B. Koenen, A. Anderson, E. Bates, O. O’Dwyer, I. Dawes
Adelaide: E. Phillips, E. Marinoff, A. Hatchard, C. Randall, E. Jones, A. Woodland

Featured Image: Adelaide’s Erin Phillips celebrates one of her four goals | Credit: Glenn Hunt/Getty Images via AFL Photos

Credit: (Retrieved via) Melbourne FC

Lacklustre Dees eaten alive by hungry Dogs

It was a disastrous day for an inaccurate Melbourne, outplayed by a sharp shooting Western Bulldogs side on the prowl at VU Whitten Oval in front of a capacity 3180-strong crowd. Whilst both teams traded blows and went goal-for-goal early, it was the Bulldogs that ultimately came away with an excellent 6.1 (37) to 2.11 (23) victory to win their third match on the trot and really kickstart their season. 

The impatient Dees had their work cut out for them from the get-go, struggling to make use of their talls inside 50 and missing the ever reliable Kate Hore who was a late omission. While it was the red and blue that dominated inside 50s early, keeping the footy locked in their front half, a coast to coast flurry from the Bulldogs saw the red, white, and blue boot the first major of the day from their first inside 50 – a set shot from Kirstin McLeod – and maintained constant pressure on the Demons. Whilst a Karen Paxman goal minutes later more than evened the ledger given the Dees’ peppering of the left and right posts, minor missed opportunities became the theme of their day as they failed the apply the scoreboard pressure they so desperately needed.

Another couple of even quarters kept the match flowing up and down the field, with both sides finding the big sticks a couple of times and Izzy Huntington the first to boot two. But while Melbourne were keeping in touch with plenty of hunt on and off the ball, it was the Dogs that had the upper hand in front of a passionate home crowd, and with the Hampson-Hardeman Trophy on the line, it was the underdogs that stepped up when it counted, with the four goal to nil second half more than enough to run over the tired-looking and lacklustre Demons.

A final quarter flurry from the Dogs and a couple of gutsy plays saw the Dees rendered goalless after three quarter time and run down by the feisty Dogs who relentlessly attacked and fought tooth and nail for the footy. Rushed kicks were the side’s downfall, especially when it counted in the latter stages, as the Bulldogs manned up and disrupted the play, roving seamlessly and plucking off some unbelievable marks in an impressive victory at Whitten Oval.

Whilst she was kept quiet for much of the match, Ellie Blackburn was the star of the show in the final quarter, booting a crucial goal to go with her 16 touches – down from her typical output – and seal the deal for the Bulldogs, also leading the side for disposals in a shared team effort. Jess Fitzgerald joined Huntington in the multiple majors club, booting two of her own to go with 12 touches and eight tackles, whilst Kirsty Lamb (12 touches, six tackles) and Bonnie Toogood (seven tackles) were excellent applying physical pressure. For the Dees, Paxman stole the show with 27 touches and a goal, whilst Shelley Scott slotted the side’s second major from her 16 disposals and six marks. Maddi Gay (19 disposals, four tackles), Tyla Hanks (16 and seven) and Lily Mithen (16 and five) also proved critical around the ball but to no avail as they were eaten alive by the hungry Dogs.

The Western Bulldogs will return to the kennel once more next round, hosting GWS Giants on Saturday afternoon, while Melbourne will look to bounce back against Collingwood on Sunday at Victoria Park.

WESTERN BULLDOGS | 1.0 | 2.1 | 4.1 | 6.1 (37)
MELBOURNE 1.4 | 1.6 | 2.8 | 2.12 (24)

GOALS:

Western Bulldogs: J. Fitzgerald 2, I. Huntington 2, E. Blackburn, K. McLeod
Melbourne: K. Paxman, S. Scott 

DC BEST:

Western Bulldogs: J. Fitzgerald, K. Lamb, E. Blackburn, I. Huntington, B. Toogood
Melbourne: K. Paxman, T. Hanks, M. Gay, L. Mithen, E. Zanker

Credit: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images via AFL Photos

Staunton stunners see Giants step past Eagles

Veteran Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward Cora Staunton proved the difference in her side’s 20-point win over West Coast on Sunday, booting four of the Giants’ seven majors to help seal their second win on the trot. With the game on the line after a goalless third term, the Irishwomen came up clutch with two goals in as many minutes during the final stanza to ultimately ice the 7.6 (48) to 4.4 (28) victory.

While Staunton’s two goals were the only majors seen in the second half, the game opened up with a flurry of scoring. A combined 7.3 (45) made for the second-highest first term total in AFLW history, setting the platform for a hotly contested match. Both sides were up to the challenge and cracked in hard as the game endured at a high pace.

But as has often been the case throughout the Eagles’ short history, scoring dried up and they fell away late to allow the Giants’ experienced heads to take control when it mattered. A fourth quarter knee injury to boom recruit Aisling McCarthy has potential to further sour West Coast’s winless season, adding to its already mounting injury toll.

Game-changer, Staunton finished with 4.2 from her 16 disposals and two marks, proving she still has it at 39 years of age. She was the lone multiple goalkicker on the day, while Alyce Parker was unsurprisingly atop the disposal charts with 25 touches. Partner-in-crime Rebecca Beeson had it 22 times and laid eight tackles, while the likes of Nicola Barr (16 disposals, six marks) and Alicia Eva (18 disposals) returned solid outings.

Young midfielder Bella Lewis led all comers for the Eagles with 16 disposals and got her hands dirty with nine tackles, as did Tayla Bresland (seven). Skipper Emma Swanson again led from the front with 15 touches, while the likes of Maddy Collier, Ashlee Atkins, and Mikayla Bowen were all productive and also snared a goal each in the loss.

West Coast’s search for win number one in 2021 lands back home next week as the Eagles host Gold Coast in another winnable fixture, while GWS takes on a red hot Western Bulldogs outfit on the road at Whitten Oval.

GWS GIANTS 4.2 | 5.3 | 5.4 | 7.6 (48)
WEST COAST 3.1 | 4.1 | 4.3 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:

GWS: C. Staunton 4, J. Dal Pos, T. Mackrill, R. Beeson
West Coast: A. Atkins, P. Laurie, M. Bowen, M. Collier

DC BEST:

GWS: C. Staunton, A. Parker, R. Beeson, A. Eva, N. Barr
West Coast: E. Swanson, A. McCarthy, B. Lewis, T. Bresland, M. Bowen

Lions reclaim top spot with roaring third term

BRISBANE has reclaimed top spot on the AFL Women’s ladder after a five-goal third term saw the Lions run out 45-point winners against West Coast at Hickey Oval. In the competition’s first-ever Monday night fixture, the home side was tested early but absorbed all of the Eagles’ first half pressure to then slingshot it back at them thereafter in what ended up a comfortable 10.5 (65) to 2.8 (20) result.

Having booted 15 goals and conceded just one across the first two rounds, Brisbane was hounded by West Coast in the first half but somehow managed to scrounge a one-point half time lead. It was a case of the Eagles ruing missed opportunities, particularly in the opening quarter as the Lions found it all too easy to score once they broke out of their own half.

While West Coast’s pressure gauge was at an all-time high, the lack of scoreboard impact proved telling once Brisbane clicked into gear. A flurry of three Lions goals immediately after half time broke the game open, and eventually broke the Eagles once that feat was extended to five. The difference; Brisbane was ruthlessly clinical with their territorial advantage, while the Eagles lacked the polish to make good on theirs.

There were some key individual performers and breakout stars across the board, with arguably none more impressive than Brisbane tall, Taylor Smith. The 21-year-old finished with five marks and three goals from her 11 disposals in an exciting display, proving a good barometer for Brisbane’s eventual scoring flow.

Dakota Davidson was strong early and snared two majors to now head the competition’s goalkicking charts. Veteran Lauren Arnell led all comers with 18 touches in a vintage display, as the likes of Sophie Conway (15 disposals), Nat Grider (15), and Ally Anderson (14) all stood up when it mattered. Kate Lutkins and Breanna Koenen were important down back when the pressure was on, while Greta Bodey and Orla O’Dwyer worked to break the game open in the second half.

In what was largely a front-loaded effort from the Eagles, Aisling McCarthy (17 disposals, one goal) gave her all rotating forward from midfield, much like Parris Laurie did in the ruck. Young midfielders Bella Lewis and Mikayla Bowen were both promising in patches with their attack on the ball, with skipper Emma Swanson solid and Imahra Cameron a shining light up forward.

With Round 3’s fixtures run and done, the next set of games lie just around the corner. Both sides are set to play next on Sunday, with Brisbane back home to take on Adelaide while West Coast travels once again to face Greater Western Sydney in Blacktown.

BRISBANE 1.0 | 3.1 | 8.5 | 10.5 (65)
WEST COAST 1.5 | 2.6 | 2.6 | 2.8 (20)

GOALS:

Brisbane: T. Smith 3, D. Davidson 2, G. Bodey, A. Anderson, J. Wardlaw, L. Arnell, E. Bates
West Coast: A. McCarthy, A. Gilmore

DC BEST:

Brisbane: T. Smith, L. Arnell, S. Conway, A. Anderson, K. Lutkins, G. Bodey
West Coast: A. McCarthy, P. Laurie, E. Swanson, M. Bowen, B. Lewis, I. Cameron

Image Credit: AFL Photos

2021 AFLW Preview: Brisbane Lions

BRISBANE made a surprise finals appearance last season and will again be reaching for the stars under coach Craig Starcevich in 2021. Having continually undergone a wealth of list changes, the Lions’ squad is relatively young but more settled now and has the backing of brilliant leaders who look poised to continue their quest in proving the naysayers wrong.

2020 RECAP

The Lions were far and away the biggest surprise packet early last season, going undefeated across the first four rounds and setting the base for eventual finals qualification. A drawn Q-Clash in Round 3 was the only blemish on Brisbane’s record in that time, until a top-of-the-table clash with Fremantle sparked a string of three losses. Having gone down to the Dockers and Collingwood to end the regular season, Brisbane put up a fight against Carlton come finals time, but ultimately fell away in a game indicative of its season as a whole.

At the end of it all, the Lions had a third place finish in Conference A to show for their efforts as stalwart defender Kate Lutkins was named her side’s sole All Australian representative. The likes of best and fairest winner Emily Bates and spearhead tall forward Jesse Wardlaw enjoyed breakout seasons, helping form a good springboard for the Lions to leap off heading into 2021.

NEW FACES

Another promising draft crop should put the Lions in good stead in terms of squad depth, with a good mix of talents entering the den. Zimmorlei Farquharson headlined Brisbane’s intake at pick eight, putting her behind Gold Coast’s Annise Bradfield as the second Queenslander selected overall.

The speedy half-forward/winger is a threat on the attack; impacting both in the air and at ground level while also applying her pace going both ways. She represented her state at the Under 18 National Championships in 2018 and 2019, impressing as an under-ager and going on to win this year’s QAFLW premiership with the Yeronga Devils. The Lions Academy graduate has great versatility, a trait consistent with the remaining draftees.

Indy Tahau was the next taken at pick 37, another athletic type whose dynamism suits a range of roles. The South Adelaide tall has family ties to the Sunshine State and has already played senior football, promising to bring great competitiveness across all levels for the Lions. Mature-age recruit Ruby Svarc, the sister of 2020 standout Cathy, is another promising inclusion. The former Essendon VFLW dasher plays much like her sibling with terrific run-and-carry, moving the game forward aggressively. At 27-years-old, her readymade status suits the Lions’ upward trend.

Elsewhere, Brisbane’s only trade action saw Taylor Smith recruited from Gold Coast. The developing Suns Academy product is a tall with good athleticism and upside. Courtney Hodder was a rookie selection, while Beth Pinchin finally gets her shot at the top level as a replacement player, as Sharni Webb sits out the 2021 season due to pregnancy.

ONE TO WATCH IN 2021

Listed at number five in Draft Central’s AFLW 10 Under 10 to watch series, Nat Grider is one to keep an eye on this year. The 20-year-old is poised to enter her third season of top flight football and after playing just twice in her maiden campaign, will be full of confidence having cemented her spot across all seven games in 2020.

The versatile 171cm defender went from strength to strength last year and now has some solid experience under her belt, making her a dependable option when shutting down opposition forwards, intercepting or rebounding out of the back half. With the potential to also play through midfield, Grider has some promising upside and came into the competition as a highly touted junior. Should she continue her upward trajectory, she could be a key player in Brisbane’s push for consecutive finals berths.

WHY THEY CAN WIN IT

Most point towards Brisbane’s youth upon first glance at its list, but make no mistake that the famed ‘foundation eight’ will be at the centre of their side’s premiership quest. The crew of inaugural Lions will be shaved down to seven this year with Webb’s absence, but are well represented in the leadership group with skipper Emma Zielke flanked by vice-captain Breanna Koenen, 2020 All Australian Lutkins, Shannon Campbell, and Bates. Fellow foundation members Ally Anderson and Jess Wuetschner are also set to go around once again and have proven their class across multiple seasons. Should these unmistakable leaders continue to bind together and support the Lions’ exciting youth, they could climb to the top of the tree in years to come, if not now.

QUESTION MARK

A lingering theme surrounding Brisbane’s 2020 campaign was its steep fall-off after the halfway mark. The Lions were able to lean on their mix of hardened leaders and youthful exuberance to go undefeated across the first four rounds, but came up short against some stiff opposition thereafter. Capturing greater consistency across the whole season will be key and the growing experience levels of the squad as a whole should put Brisbane in good stead. But having arguably overachieved in 2020, the question remains; will the Lions fall away again in 2021?

FINAL WORD

Brisbane is beginning to look like a settled squad after bearing the brunt of expansion, with the building blocks of a finals contender now set. Experience will count for a lot as the Lions strive to become more consistent and set the standard for a raft of promising youngsters to work towards. A better-than-expected finish in 2020 will perhaps bring some unwanted expectation, but this is a side capable of fighting and causing upsets against highly fancied teams caught lacking. Finals should again be the goal, but it will be tough.

Featured Image: Lions skipper Emma Zielke leads her side out | Credit: Brisbane Lions/AFL Media

QAFL Women’s weekend preview: Elimination Finals – Roos and Devils earn hosting rights

FINALS fever is here in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition, with Maroochydore and University of Queensland facing off, before Yeronga South Brisbane and Coorparoo do battle. For the losers, it is season over, while for the winners, preliminary finals dates with Bond University and Coolangatta Tweed await.

MAROOCHYDORE vs. UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND

The third placed Maroochydore hosts the sixth placed University of Queensland in the opening game of the round, with the winner set to play second place Coolangatta Tweed in the semi-finals. Finishing the season with seven wins, three losses and two draws, Maroochydore will be the clear favourite compared to the Red Lionesses who finished the QAFL Women’s season with three wins, eight losses and a draw.

Prior to the COVID-19 postponement, Maroochydore raced out of the blocks to win all three of its games – including a thriller against the Red Lionesses – then by Round 5 had four wins and a draw to its name. They stumbled a little over the next few rounds with losses to Coolangatta Tweed, Coorparoo and Yeronga South Brisbane around a precautionary draw with top of the table Bond University. A nine-point win over the Red Lionesses gave the Roos confidence again and they went on to finish the season with a three-game winning streak, smashing Aspley Hornets 95-0 to grab third spot on percentage, and then taking care of Wilston Grange, 43-9.

The University of Queensland had the opposite start to the season as Maroochydore, dropping all three games prior to the break, and losing by a narrow two points to Yeronga South Brisbane in the first game back in Round 4. They clicked into gear with impressive wins over Wilston Grange and Aspley Hornets to look like a team on the move up the ladder. Unfortunately for Red Lionesses fans, that was a false mirage as they only won one of the last six games, and that was against the Hornets by four points – the closest the Hornets came to a win. Despite this, the University of Queensland can take plenty out of two narrow losses to the Roos, knowing they match up well and would have been their preferred opponent out of the other top four teams.

Shannon Campbell finished the year with 13 goals in nine games, and was among the best on multiple occasions, Mikayla Pauga remains a huge best and fairest chance, averaging a goal a game and named in the best every second game on average from her 12 matches. Ashleigh Hales (six goals), Chloe Gregory (five), Jacqueline Dupuy (five) and Jennifer Carden-David (five) have also been consistent sources of goals this year. Maggie Harmer‘s seven bests from 11 games has her with the most consistent performances this season for the green and golds, while Brisbane Lions young gun, Lily Postlethwaite has six with Pauga. Others who have shone include Ruby McDowell (five), Bella Smith (four), Isabel Dawes (four) and Tayla Gesch (four).

Dakota Davidson has been the clear standout in front of goal, snagging 13 majors in nine games, named in the best on three occasions for the Red Lionesses. Greta Bodey has not played in a month, but prior to that she kicked eight goals in five games, while Megan Hunt – potentially leading the club’s best and fairest with seven bests – has six majors. Sophie Ure (four goals) has also been productive in her nine games. Aside from Hunt, players further up the field have also been named among the best many times, including Jane Childes and Mikayla Martin (both six). Jamie Stone has five bests ahead of Alexandra Moran, Breanna Koenen, Mia Teubler and Sara-Jane O’Grady who all have four.

Maroochydore go in as strong favourites on recent form, though University of Queensland will have confidence from pushing the Roos twice.

 

YERONGA SOUTH BRISBANE vs. COORPAROO

In the second match on Saturday, fourth placed Yeronga South Brisbane plays host to fifth placed Coorparoo for the right to take on minor premiers, Bond University in the preliminary finals. There is not much separating both these sides on the ladder, with the Devils snatching the home ground advantage in the final round with a win over the University of Queensland, whilst the Kings went went down to the Sharkettes to drop to fifth. In season 2020, the Devils finished with seven wins, three losses and two draws, while the Kings had the seven wins and five losses, just five points behind.

Yeronga South Brisbane comes into the match off the back of some pretty good form, winning three of the past four games, and that loss came against Bond University a fortnight ago. The Devils have been running hot since the break, starting with a couple of draws in Rounds 4 and 5, then narrowly avoiding a remarkable third draw in a row with a one-point win over Wilston Grange. They found their form again after Round 7’s win over Aspley Hornets, with wins over all the other sides except the top two. In the two matches with Coorparoo, they won in a high scoring Round 1 clash, 69-54, then again three weeks ago, 46-28.

Coorparoo started slowly this season, having a couple of losses in Rounds 1 and 2, then got on the board with a comprehensive 57-point win over Aspley Hornets. Upon returning to the QAFL Women’s, the Kings had the fortune of playing the last placed Hornets again and smashed them by 93 points, a record that would stand until the Roos’ 95-point shellacking over them. They easily accounted for Coolangatta Tweed and looked the team to beat, before falling to Bond University by 21 points in Round 6. From there, the Kings picked up three consecutive wins, before dropping games to both the Devils and Sharkettes in the final three rounds either side of a 40-point triumph over Wilston Grange.

Yeronga South Brisbane shares the goals around with Lexia Edwards (10 goals) averaging a goal a game to lead the Devils in goalkicking this season. Lucy Bellinger is not too far behind with eight goals – five of those in one game against the Hornets – and named among the best four times. Courtney McDonnell (seven), Sam Virgo (seven), Adrienne Keeffe (four) and Madison Goodwin (four) have also been prominent in 2020. Jordan Zanchetta has been the stand out for the Devils, named among the best five times in her 10 games, just ahead of Bellinger, Emily Bates, Jacqueline Yorston and Vanessa Hart who have all earned four bests nominations. Hart has only played the six games since the break, which makes her the in-form player.

For the Kings, the AFL Women’s experience is at the top of the table with Jamie Stanton kicking a competition-high 15 goals to share the leading goalkicker award with Bond University’s Taylor Smith. She has been named in the best on five occasions, and has clearly been the standout and one of the league’s top performers since returning to the Kings’ outfit in July. Also fantastic, Jess Wuetschner has booted 12 goals in eight games, one more than Emma McKenzie (11) and just ahead of Chelsea Chesterfield (10). Kelsey Crosbie who has remarkably not played since March, booted eight goals in three games to remain inside the top five, one ahead of Tori Groves-Little (seven). Jade Ellenger leads all-comers when it comes to bests with eight nominations from 12 games ahead of Stanton’s five, and then a host of experienced players on four such as Ally Anderson, Emma Zielke and Tahlia Hickie.

Yeronga South Brisbane have the form against Coorparoo, but the Kings can never be discounted with the stack of AFL Women’s talent on the list.

QAFL Women’s weekend preview: Round 9 – Drawn compatriots to do battle again

WITH a month of Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s football remaining, the eight teams are jostling for the best possible ladder position heading into finals. Six of the eight sides will make finals – which makes it interesting with only the top five teams seemingly all but home unless one has a major slip-up. We take a look at some of the key battles within the fixture this weekend.

Top of the table Bond University should be strong favourites against Wilston Grange, with the Gorillas dearly missing Kate Lutkins in defence since heading to Victoria for her work in the army. The Sharkettes have rolled out four wins and a Round 7 cancellation draw to be well ahead on percentage, but still only four points clear of third, fourth and fifth. Annie Muir and Annise Bradfield are a couple of young talents who continue to perform for the Sharkettes, while Maddison and Tegan Levi are a couple of AFL Women’s National Academy members who are often amongst the best.

The Gorillas got their second win on the board last week in what was a crucial victory for Wilston Grange, knocking off last placed Aspley Hornets by 20 points. They will need to be more convincing this week though after a slow start in the first half in Round 8. Lucia Liessi (six goals) and Luka Yoshida-Martin (four) have been key influences for the Gorillas, while recently signed Brisbane Lions talent, Catherine Svarc, along with Kaitlyn Day have been sensational this year. It will take quite a performance to knock off the top side, but they have some good AFL Women’s talent in there to orchestrate it.

If Bond University do slip up, then Coolangatta Tweed will be waiting to pounce. Though the Bluebirds have their own problems to deal with this week, coming up against third placed Coorparoo who knocked them off last time out. With only four points separating the sides and the Kings having a far greater percentage, second spot is on the line in this clash. Furthermore, a loss would see them tumble down to fourth with Maroochydore and Yeronga South Brisbane also facing off this weekend. In their last clash, the Bluebirds went down by 34 points to the Kings, but have strung three wins on the trot since then, and two of those were against top two sides at the time, Maroochydore and Yeronga South Brisbane. The Kings have won four out of five since the restart of the competition, with only a slip-up to Bond University in Round 6 the sole blemish.

Both these teams have quality young players with Keyshia Matenga arguably leading the Bluebirds best and fairests at this point, with Alexandra Hamlyn another who has really stood out this season. The inclusion of Kate Surman and Leah Kaslar has bolstered Coolangatta Tweed, while Georgia Breward and Sally Riley are other experienced players who have thrived on the support of their fellow AFL Women’s talent. Any forward line that could contain the likes of Jess Wuetschner and Jamie Stanton will always be dangerous, and the pair have won games off their own boot. Emma McKenzie is a consistent source of goals, equal with Wuetschner on nine for the season, and been productive in season 2020. Throw in the likes of Ally Anderson and Emma Zielke, then youngster Jade Ellenger who is in unbelievable form, and the Kings are one of the clear title contenders.

The aforementioned fourth and fifth clash between the Roos and Devils is anticipated to be just as entertaining as the second and third clash. Not only are the teams evenly matched, but the last time they played, they could not be split in what would be the first time all season Maroochydore dropped points. Prior to that they had won every game, and since then, have lost two, and had the cancellation draw with Bond University. It has seen them slip from first to fourth, but luckily it is only four points difference, and the Roos have a better percentage than second placed Coolangatta Tweed. So does Yeronga South Brisbane, which means the winner of this game will grab third spot given they will overtake the loser of the Bluebirds and Kings.

The Roos have some serious young AFL Women’s talent in Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes running around, while other young Academy hopefuls in Chloe Gregory and Tahlia Mead have also been regulars in the side this season. The goals are shared around with Mikayla Pauga, Ashleigh Hales and Jacqueline Dupuy all snagging five majors thus far in season 2020. Lucy Bellinger has enjoyed a sensational year for the Devils, leading the club’s goalkicking with eight, and been arguably their top player this season in seven games. Vanessa Hart has been a welcome inclusion since the break, whilst Emily Bates and Jacqueline Yorston joined Jordan Zanchetta among a host of other AFL Women’s talents to have a real say on Yeronga South Brisbane’s efforts in the second half of the season.

The final game of the season is the sixth placed University of Queensland travelling to the eighth placed Aspley Hornets. With the top five teams relatively close and competitive, the Red Lionesses are 10 points off the back and look like the quintessential next best that might not be a serious contender, but have enough that on their day can cause an upset. That being said, if they want to play finals, they simply have to win here against a winless Hornets outfit. The Hornets were ultra competitive, and seriously unlucky against Wilston Grange in the bottom two clash last round, but with three of the top four teams – Bond University, Maroochydore and Coolangatta Tweed – coming up in the final three rounds of the season, this is the one game the Hornets can try and snatch a win and ensure they do not go winless in season 2020.

Courtney Daniec has been a rock all season for the Hornets, named amongst the best in every single match. Since coming into the side, Angela Lingard and Shaye Eaton have been prolific to help with the Hornets’ resistance, while Isabella Kotatis and Lucy Pengelly are other young talents who have been amongst the best performers in 2020. They might lack AFL Women’s experience, but the Hornets have nothing to lose and every side is dangerous when their backs are against the wall. It is hard to see the Red Lionesses dropping this game though, with Dakota Davidson averaging two goals a game since returning to the competition, and Greta Bodey not far behind with eight from five games herself. The pair have bolstered the attack and along with Breanna Koenen and Megan Hunt, have been standout players to help the Red Lionesses chase a finals spot.

QAFLW ROUND 9 FIXTURE:

Coolangatta Tweed vs. Coorparoo
Aspley Hornets vs. University of Queensland
Maroochydore vs. Yeronga South Brisbane
Bond University vs. Wilston Grange

QAFL Women’s weekend wrap: Round 8 – Top five move 10 points clear of bottom three

THE top five spots in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition look sealed and delivered after Round 8 results saw the teams occupying those spots move 10 points clear of the bottom three. Bond University and Maroochydore’s postponed match from Round 7 was officially ruled a draw on the ladder, meaning the Sharkettes regained top spot with the Roos fourth. All within four points of each other are Coolangatta Tweed (second), Coorparoo (third) and Yeronga South Brisbane (fifth).

The Sharkettes showed no signs of fatigue coming off a week off, booting three goals to zero against University of Queensland in the opening term to race to a 22-point lead at quarter time. The Red Lionesses hit back in the second term, booting the only two goals of the quarter to draw within eight points, before the Sharkettes again kicked away in the third, piling on three goals to zero to all but seal the deal with a 29-point advantage at three quarter time. The teams were fairly even in the final term, with the Sharkettes running out flat five-goal winners.

Taylor Smith and Kalinda Howarth both slotted five goals for the winners, as young talents Annise Bradfield and Annie Muir were named among the best. Lucy Single and Krystal Scott were also strong in the victory which handed the visitors top spot by percentage. Dakota Davidson slotted another two goals in defeat for University of Queensland, while Grace Bodey (one) was one of he best. Sharni Webb, Marley Beavan and Breanna Koenen were others who shone despite the defeat.

Coolangatta Tweed won the battle of the temporary top two sides following Round 7 results, thanks to a nail-biting encounter with Yeronga South Brisbane. The Bluebirds and Devils were neck-and-neck for the most part, with Yeronga South Brisbane booting the only goal of the first term, before the Bluebirds hit back to hit the front by half-time with a narrow two-point advantage. Kicking the only goal of the third term, the Bluebirds extended the lead to five by the final break, and then held on with both sides booting a final quarter goal, but also a combined seven behinds with some missed opportunities in there.

The Bluebirds had four individual goalkickers on the day, including AFL Women’s talents, Sally Riley, Paige Parker and Kitara Farrar, as well as Holly Mirfield. Alexandra Hamlyn and Keyshia Matenga continued their good form to be named among the best, while Ebony Peterson and Kate Surman were also impressive. The Devils had an even team performance led by Lily Bougoure, Dee Heslop and Sarah Duncan, while Sam Virgo (two goals) and Adrienne Keefe (one) both hit the scoreboard for the home side.

Coorparoo snatched third spot with an important win over now fourth placed Maroochydore. The Kings made more of their forward entries, booting five goals from nine chances compared to two from 12. The Roos got the jump on the Kings in the opening term, leading 2.2 to 1.0 at quarter time, but then could not quite find the big sticks, booting eight behinds in the last three quarters as the home side kicked a more accurate 4.4 to run out 5.4 (34) to 2.10 (22) winners.

Jamie Stanton again was a source of goals, as the AFL Women’s talent kicked a couple along with fellow top-end stars, Emma Zielke, Ally Anderson and Jess Wuetschner. Anderson was named best on ground as Jade Ellenger continued her ripping form this season, while Renee Teys and Mollie Emong were also outstanding. Tahlia Randall was named among the best and one of only two goalkickers for the Roos, with Jacqueline Dupuy the other. Tayla Gesch, Isabel Dawes and Maggie Harmer were impressive in the loss too.

In a battle of bottom three sides, Wilston Grange ensured Aspley Hornets’ losing streak extended into an eighth week, defeating the winless Hornets by 20 points. It was definitely one of Aspley’s most competitive performances, leading at quarter time and half-time, but the Gorillas took over kicking 3.4 to 0.0 in the second half, two of which came in the final term to win 5.8 (38) to 3.0 (18).

Lucia Liessi kicked two snags in the win, while Paige Schouw, Krystle Spanos and Charlotte Taylor all kicked a solitary major. Emm Macneill, Catherine Svarc and Rheanne Lugg were all impressive for the winners, while Isabella Kotatis, Kylie Guarino and Shaye Easton stood up for the Hornets. Jasmine Kawa, Dakodah Cott and Lauren Kreis were all solitary major goalkickers in the defeat.

QAFLW ROUND 8 RESULTS:

Wilston Grange 5.8 (38) defeated Aspley Hornets 3.0 (18)
Yeronga South Brisbane 3.8 (26) defeated by Coolangatta Tweed 4.6 (30)
Coorparoo 5.4 (34) defeated Maroochydore 2.10 (22)
University of Queensland 3.2 (20) defeated by Bond University 7.8 (50)

QAFL Women’s weekend preview: Round 8 – Top of the table clash highlights weekend action

A TOP of the table clash between Yeronga South Brisbane and Coolangatta Tweed highlights a huge Round 8 in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s action, as a number of other ladder-defining clashes take place.

WILSTON GRANGE vs. ASPLEY HORNETS
Saturday, August 8, 2pm – Hickey Park

  • A bottom two clash here between the seventh placed Wilston Grange and seventh placed Aspley Hornets
  • The Gorillas have the one win and cancellation draw this season, whilst the Hornets are yet to taste success
  • A win to the home side could see them level University of Queensland on 10 points, while Aspley can draw within two of the Gorillas with a victory
  • Wilston Grange is on a four-game losing streak since the return, but have only lost by more than five goals once, and one of them was a heartbreaking one-point defeat
  • Kaitlyn Day has been sensational this season, with Catherine Svarc using all her experience since returning, Rheanne Lugg also impressive for the Gorillas
  • Lucia Liessi and Luka Yoshida-Martin lead the goalkicking for Wilston Grange
  • Michaela Campbell and Rachel Crawford have been the multiple goalkickers for the Hornets this season
  • Courtney Daniec outstanding for the Hornets, whilst Isabella Kotatis and Lucy Pengelly will also be up there in the club best and fairest votes

 

YERONGA SOUTH BRISBANE vs. COOLANGATTA TWEED
Saturday, August 8, 2.45pm – Leyshon Park

  • Top of the table clash between first placed Yeronga South Brisbane and second placed Coolangatta Tweed
  • Both teams have achieved 20 points, with the top of the table Devils only losing the one game this season, while winning four and having two draws, while the Bluebirds have had a fifth win, but an extra loss with no draws
  • Winner takes top spot, and loser could theoretically fall as far as fourth
  • Since the break, Yeronga South Brisbane are two draws and two wins, Coolangatta Tweed had two losses then two wins, so both are in form the last fortnight
  • Lucy Bellinger is in terrific form with eight goals in six games, named among the best in four games, while Madison Goodwin (four) is next in line for goals, as 18 Devils players have hit the scoreboard
  • Emily Bates, Jordan Zanchetta and Vanessa Hart are among the Devils players in great form this season
  • Selina Priest (four goals) leads the goalkicking for the Bluebirds, ahead of Ahlani Eddy and Uma Brennan (both three)
  • Youngster Keyshia Matenga has been named amongst the best four times, more than any other player, while Alexandra Hamlyn, Casey Samuels, Georgia Breward and Sally Riley have also been strong

 

COORPAROO vs. MAROOCHYDORE
Saturday, August 8, 4.45pm – Giffin Park

  • A real ladder-defining clash for both the fourth placed Maroochydore and the fifth placed Coorparoo
  • Both teams have plenty of AFL Women’s experience, with the Kings sitting at 4-3 and two bonds off both the Roos and Bond University, though have played an extra game
  • A win to Maroochydore will see them at least move up to third, and if Bond University loses, second, while Coorparoo cannot drop below fifth, but could be a win behind fourth with a loss
  • Maroochydore had its first loss a fortnight ago to Coolangatta Tweed, and was not able to avenge it since, with the postponed match against Bond University
  • Coorparoo has been on fire of late, winning four of their past five games after two losses to start the season
  • Emma McKenzie (nine goals), Jess Wuetschner (eight) and Chelsea Chesterfield (six) are all in great form, as is match-winner Jamie Stanton who booted three last quarter goals last week to win the game for the Kings
  • Jade Ellenger is a contender for the best and fairest this season with a really consistent performance each week, as are McKenzie and Brooke Spence, while Emma Zielke and Ally Anderson are just another couple of stars running around
  • Ashleigh Hales and Mikayla Pauga (both five goals) are leading the goalkicking as Chloe Gregory and Jacqueline Dupuy are just behind on four
  • Maggie Harmer and Ruby McDowell have been named amongst the best more than anyone else (four times), while the likes of Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes are ever-dangerous

 

UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND vs. BOND UNIVERSITY
Saturday, August 8, 4.45pm – UQ Oval 2 St Lucia

  • Huge game for both sides with Bond University able to keep in touch with the top two if the Sharkettes win, though have a game in hand, while University of Queensland can really go a long way to securing a finals spot with a victory
  • If the Red Lionesses lose, they could well sit only percentage ahead of Wilston Grange, and if Coorparoo get up, there will be an eight-point gap to fifth
  • For Bond University, they could slip to fourth with a loss, favoured by the fact Maroochydore and Coorparoo face off this round
  • University of Queensland have a mixed bag since the return of the competition in July, with two wins, a draw and a loss, while Bond University have had the unfortunate situation of a forced cancellation draw before the break, and potentially another one last week, depending on if that match with Maroochydore is rescheduled or not
  • Jasmyn Davidson leads the Sharkettes goalkicking with six majors ahead of Taylor Smith (five) and Lydia Pingel (four)
  • Youngsters like Annie Muir, Maddison Levi and Annise Bradfield have been superb in 2020, alongside the likes of Ellie Hampson and Lauren Bella
  • Dakota Davidson is the other Davidson to be sharp in front of goal, booting eight majors for the Red Lionesses in 2020, while Greta Bodey (seven) and Megan Hunt (four) are next in line
  • Hunt has been in blistering form for the home team this season, while Jane Childes, Alexandra Moran and Breanna Koenen are others who have stood out

QAFL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 7 – Top of the table clash postponed as top five create separation

IT was a strange weekend in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) women’s competition, with the highly anticipated top of the table clash between Bond University and Maroochydore postponed due to a COVID-19 precaution. One of the Bond University players was awaiting a COVID-19 test result, and a rightful cautious approach saw the game abandoned, with further discussions to be had about either a reschedule or splitting the points.

In the final game of the round, it took Coorparoo a half to click into action, but the Kings finally got into the rhythm to overrun a dogged University of Queensland side on the road. The Red Lionesses burst out of the blocks early to boot the first three goals of the game and lead by as much as 20 points at one stage midway through the second term.

While Chelsea Chesterfield scored a drought-breaking major for the visitors not long after, they still headed into half-time with a 13-point deficit. Three consecutive goals the other side of the break – including two to Jess Wuetschner saw the Kings remarkably steal the lead, though a momentum steadier from Grace Bodey saw the home team draw within one.

Refusing to let the momentum go back the other way, Coorparoo slammed home four last quarter goals – including a remarkable three consecutive majors to Jamie Stanton and a third goal to Wuetschner – to run out 8.5 (53) to 4.3 (27) victors. Stanton was best on ground for her match-winning heroics, while Stephanie Filbay and Dania Herdman were also impressive in the win. For the Red Lionesses, Breanna Koenen was named best-on, with the likes of Mia Teubler, Jane Childes and Bodey (two goals) also strong in defeat.

Meanwhile Yeronga South Brisbane became the third team in as many weeks to nab top spot due to no points being handed out for the first against second clash. Only behind on percentage, Coolangatta Tweed leapt up to second, with Coorparoo gaining ground on the top four in fifth with another win meaning just four points separates first from fifth.

The Devils earned top spot with a comprehensive 76-point victory against Aspley Hornets. In what was an accurate display from both teams, Yeronga South Brisbane booted a consistent three to four goals in each term, whilst restricting the Hornets to just the two majors in the 14.4 (88) to 2.0 (12) win.

Lucy Bellinger was on fire with five snags for the winners, while Emily Bates and Adrienne Keeffe also had a couple of majors with eight individual goalkickers all up for the winning side. Courteney Bromage was named best on ground with Bellinger, Bates and Emmii-Lee Zanker-Close also impressive. For the Hornets, Ainsley Rintala-Apps and Morgan Lanigan were the top talents as the usual suspects tried hard in defeat. Angela Lingard, Lucy Pengelly and Isabella Kotatis all worked well in front of a home crowd.

Coolangatta Tweed moved up to second spot with a dominant second half performance to see off Wilston Grange by 22 points. Level at half-time after the Gorillas fought back from eight points down at the first break to hold the Bluebirds scoreless in the second term, the home team booted 4.5 to 1.1 after half-time to run out 6.7 (43) to 3.3 (21) winners.

In her second game back from injury, Kitara Farrar booted two goals in the winning side, as did fellow AFL Women’s talent, Paige Parker. Bethany Pinchin, Keyshia Matenga and Emily Otto were also among the top players for their efforts on the day. For the Gorillas, Lucia Liessi (two) and Kristen Tyquin (one) both snagged goals, while Catherine Svarc and Rheanne Lugg used their AFL Women’s experience to try and drag their side across the line.

QAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 7 RESULTS:

Coolangatta Tweed 6.7 (43) defeated Wilston Grange 3.3 (21)
Bond University vs. Maroochydore – POSTPONED
Aspley Hornets 2.0 (12) defeated by Yeronga South Brisbane 14.4 (88)
University of Queensland 4.3 (27) defeated by Coorparoo 8.5 (53)

QAFLW weekend preview: Round 6 – Sharkettes travel to Giffin Park to face Kings in match of the round

ROUND 6 of the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s has a potential grand final preview between two high-powered sides in Coorparoo and Bond University, whilst another contender and ladder leader in Maroochydore faces a big challenge in Coolangatta Tweed. In other games, Yeronga South Brisbane goes up against Wilston Grange, and University of Queensland hosts Aspley Hornets.

COORPAROO vs. BOND UNIVERSITY
Saturday, July 25, 4.45pm – Giffin Park

Our match of the round for Round 6 is Coorparoo up against Bond University which has developed into a top three clash. The Kings are red-hot since welcoming a stack of AFL Women’s talent into their midst, winning the last three games, and most notably the past two with a 93-point shellacking of Aspley Hornets, and an impressive 34-point win over Coolangatta Tweed. After losing their first two games of the year, the Kings are up to third on the table, and will leapfrog Bond University with a win. The Sharkettes are far from an easy beat however, maintaining a really consistent performance throughout the year since dropping their first game to Coolangatta Tweed in Round 1. Three wins and a cancellation draw later and the Sharkettes are only four points away from Maroochydore and within reach of top spot.

The Kings have so much firepower up forward with Emma McKenzie leading the goalkicking having played the four games and booted eight, while Jess Wuetschner (five) and Chelsea Chesterfield (four) are also dangers up forward having just joined the team in the past couple of weeks, while Kelsey Crosbie booted eight from the three games prior to lockdown. Young talent Jade Ellenger has been impressive throughout the year named in the best multiple times, while fellow Lions AFL Women’s talents in Emma Zielke and Ally Anderson make the Kings the team to beat on paper.

Jasmyn Davidson leads the Sharkettes goalkicking after a five-goal haul last week, as Bond University have a number of multiple goalkickers including Lydia Pingel (four). Caitlin Thorne (three goals), as well as teenagers, Taylor Smith and Maddison Levi (three each) are also hitting the scoreboard. Another young up and comer in Annie Muir has been named amongst the best four out of a possible five times, while Gold Coast young guns, Ellie Hampson and Charlotte Hammans are front and centre of a team that has so much young talent it is spilling over. In many ways, this clash has experience up against the future, and it could be a potential grand final preview.

It is hard to split either of these teams with both sides in terrific form. Perhaps the experience of the Kings nudges out the Sharkettes marginally, but there is plenty to like about Bond University and what the second placed side can produce when it is on fire.

 

MAROOCHYDORE vs. COOLANGATTA TWEED
Saturday, July 25, 4.45pm – Maroochydore Multisport Complex

The sole undefeated side in 2020 remains the hunted so far, with Maroochydore passing each test that has been thrown its way. Yet to face the other two title contenders in Bond University and Coorparoo since they were bolstered by their AFL Women’s yet, the Roos will now set their sights on Coolangatta Tweed in what should be an entertaining contest. Maroochydore will start favourite after four wins and a draw, and the fact that the Bluebirds have dropped a bit since the break. On the other side of the coin to Maroochydore, Coolangatta Tweed have played the two likely title contenders in the two rounds since returning to competition and were far from disgraced. They lost to Bond University by four goals and Coorparoo by 34 points, and this match will give the Bluebirds as much of an indication about where they stand, as it will for Maroochydore.

Ashleigh Hales leads the Roos’ goalkicking this year with an average of a goal a game from her five matches. Chloe Gregory, Jacqueline Dupuy and Mikayla Pauga all have four goals to their name, and a host of others have also hit the scoreboard. Maggie Harmer and Ruby McDowell have been the Roos’ top performers this year named in the best three times, while the young Brisbane Lions talent in Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes, and the experienced Tahlia Randall make Maroochydore a hard team to beat.

Three players share the Coolangatta Tweed leading goalkickers with Ahlani Eddy, Selina Priest and Uma Brennan all having slotted the three majors. Alex Hamlyn and Sally Riley have two apiece as the other multiple goalkickers for the Bluebirds. Casey Samuels is in some great form this year, named in the best the most of anyone on her side, while the Bluebirds have some AFL Women’s talent of their own in Georgia Breward, Kate Surman and Hannah Dunn among others. Maroochydore is a deserving favourite in this game, but the Bluebirds will give the Roos a real challenge.

 

WILSTON GRANGE vs. YERONGA SOUTH BRISBANE
Saturday, July 25, 2.00pm – Hickey Park

The earliest game of the day pits Wilston Grange up against Yeronga South Brisbane with the Gorillas looking to win their first game since Round 1 when they accounted for the Red Lionesses by 11 points. Since then they have suffered three losses and a cancellation draw, including going down to the Devils by five goals. On the other hand, the Devils might have forgotten what that winning feeling is themselves, but not necessarily through losing. Yeronga South Brisbane burst out of the blocks with a couple of wins and then suffered a loss prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, but upon return have mustered up two draws. Back-to-back draws for the same side is unusual, so the Devils will be hoping lightning does not strike a third time and they can take home the points.

Jordan Zanchetta kicked the goal that ensured the Devils went home with something last week, and she has been impressive in her four games this season. Likewise, Lucy Bellinger has stood out, while Madison Goodwin and Vanessa Hart are others who have impressed in their time this year. The Devils hare the goals around with already having 15 individual goalkickers in five games, a real feature of their style.

For Wilston Grange, Kaitlyn Day has been the standout running around, while the experienced Catherine Svarc has been a welcoming return. Imogen Stackelberg and Kristen Tyquin are among those who have hit the scoreboard multiple times this year and will be looking to do so again in this clash. The Gorillas are up against it in this contest, expect the extra experience of the Devils to win out and shake off their past two draws with the four points.

 

UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND vs. ASPLEY HORNETS
Saturday, July 25, 4.45pm – UQ – Oval 2 St Lucia

After three consecutive losses to start the year and a draw upon return back in Round 4, the University of Queensland finally broke through for its maiden win of 2020 by downing Wilston Grange. The Red Lionesses blew away the Gorillas by 44 points in an impressive performance, and have come good at the right time to face an Aspley Hornets side that has really struggled without AFL Women’s experience. There are some consistent performers for the Hornets, but they have been met with some heavy defeats, losing their last two contests by 93 and 65 points and only kicking a goal from the two games combined. It is fair to say the revamped Red Lionesses head into the contest as heavy favourites in front of home fans.

Dakota Davidson is leading the goalkicking for the University of Queensland, slotting five goals in four games, ahead of Megan Hunt, Breanna Koenen and Greta Bodey who all have he two majors. Hunt has been one of the starring Red Lionesses, named in the best four out of five games, while Koenen and Davidson have made quite the impact off the two games since returning to the competition.

The Hornets have only kicked the six goals this year with Michaela Campbell and Rachel Crawford both slotting two, while Kylie Guarino and most recently, Phoebe Baird kicking one each. Baird is someone who has made an impact coming into the side since the break, named as a starring Hornet so far this month, and provides great relief to the likes of Courtney Daniel, Isabella Kotatis and Shaye Easton who have all been superb in defeat this year.