Tag: matt hammelmann

Stat Leaders: 2021 VFL – Round 3

THE 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) season rolled on into its third round over the weekend, with 1 fixtures spread from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. There were a number of outstanding individual performances among the Round 3 action, as AFL-listed talent and state league guns alike topped a range of key categories. We take a look at this week’s stat leaders, as well as the season tallies to this point.

>> RESULTS: State League wrap

Usual forward Jake Riccardi swung into defence for GWS on Sunday and had a blinder, seeing him top the league for kicks and marks in Round 3. The 21-year-old racked up 40 disposals, with 31 of them delivered by foot and 19 earned via marks. His dynamic performance helped the Giants to a 30-point win over Southport, their first for the season.

It was no surprise to see Coburg ball magnet Marcus Lentini again tick over the 40-disposal mark, this time managing 42 against Brisbane in what was a battle of the Lions. The mid-season draft hopeful was just pipped atop the handball charts on the weekend by Gold Coast’s Will Brodie, who dished out 22 in the Suns’ narrow loss to Collingwood. In the same game, first year Magpie Reef McInnes got his hands dirty with a round-high 11 tackles.

Elsewhere, competition leading goalkicker Matt Hammelmann upped his season average (5.3) with a bag of six majors as Aspley went down to Frankston. The effort accounted for over half of the Hornets’ score, brining Hammelmann’s season tally to 16 after three games. Western Bulldogs ruck Jordon Sweet also excelled in his field, feasting to win 38 hitouts against inexperienced Northern Bullants’ talls.

Looking at the season leaders, Frankston jet Nathan Freeman has served a reminder of his class in 2021 with a clean run, topping the league for disposals and kicks. Jacob Dawson is another former AFL player finding plenty of ball, distributing more than any other player thus far by hand. Hammelmann and Casey’s James Munro are the other state leaguers topping charts, while AFL-listed bigmen Connor Ballenden and Ned Reeves have the most marks and hitouts respectively.

Find the full list of Round 3, and 2021 season stat leaders below.

ROUND 3 STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Marcus Lentini (Coburg) – 42

Kicks:
Jake Riccardi* (GWS) – 31

Handballs:
Will Brodie* (Gold Coast) – 22

Goals:
Matt Hammelmann** (Aspley) – 6

Marks:
Jake Riccardi* (GWS) – 19

Tackles:
Reef McInnes* (Collingwood) – 11

Hitouts:
Jordon Sweet* (Footscray) – 38

2021 SEASON STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Nathan Freeman (Frankston) – 117 total / 39.0 average

Kicks:
Nathan Freeman (Frankston) – 78 / 26.0

Handballs:
Jacob Dawson (Southport) – 56 / 18.7

Goals:
Matt Hammelmann (Aspley) – 16 / 5.3

Marks:
Connor Ballenden* (Brisbane) – 34 / 11.3

Tackles:
James Munro (Casey) – 28 / 9.3

Hitouts:
Ned Reeves* (Box Hill) – 118 / 39.3

* – denotes AFL-listed.
** – denotes season leader.

Image Credit: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos

2021 VFL Round 2 review: Southport wins battle of Queensland standalones

SOUTHPORT Sharks have overcome inaccuracy to post a 14-point victory over Aspley Hornets in the battle of the Queensland standalone teams at Fankhauser Reserve. Both sides won their respective Round 1 Victorian Football League (VFL) matches, so were coming in with good form. Despite having 19 more scoring shots throughout the match, the Sharks were only able to just get across the line, 14.25 (109) to 15.5 (95) as the visitors never stopped pushing the home team.

The match started with Aspley’s Matt Hammelmann on absolute fire. He booted two goals in the first six minutes, then converted a third midway through the term, for the Hornets to lead 3.1 (19) to 1.3 (9), as Jesse Joyce was the sole goalkicker for the home side. After a couple of other misses late in the term – Billy Gowers being the main suspect with three behinds – back-to-back goals to Round 1 hero Lukas Webb, as well as Ryan Gilmore, handed the Sharks a five-point lead at the first break.

The Sharks dominated the second quarter from the get-go as Brayden Crossley, and Gilmore contributed to a couple of behinds before Crossley bagged his first major, and Gowers got his first from his fourth scoring shot. By the midway mark of the second term, the Sharks were out to a 22-point lead, but already missed chances were keeping the Hornets in the game. Against the flow of play, Ben Warren and Ryan Banks-Smith slotted majors for the Hornets, and it was clear the visitors were going to capitalise on their chances.

In the final 15 minutes of the term, a flurry of action saw the Sharks extend their lead a little more, despite three straight behinds in the final couple of minutes. Crossley and Gowers both booted their second goals prior to that, with Thomas Baulch snagging one back for the visitors. At the main break, the Sharks had 22 scoring shots to nine, but only one more goal for an 18-point lead.

Desperate to capitalise on forward half possession, the Sharks had a goal in the opening three minutes going to Michael Manteit, which was countered by Ryan Bastinac of the Hornets. Three more minor scores down the Sharks’ end – including a couple of rushed behinds – were worrying, but Rhys King and Gowers ensured they did get some bang for their buck. They needed someone to try and contain Hammelmann however, as the ex-Brisbane forward was dominating with another three goals – taking his match total to five by the final break. For all the back-and-forth, the margin was once again 18 points at the last change.

The home fans really started to get nervous in the final term despite kicking the first two goals of the quarter through Gowers and Nutting to stretch the lead out to 30 points. Just when they looked to run away with it, the Hornets kicked five of the next six goals – including Cody Stackelberg matching Hammelmann’s three consecutive majors – which cut the deficit to within a kick. With seven minutes on the clock, the game was well and truly alive. Luckily for the Sharks, King came to the rescue to kick a steadier, and from there the home team held on for the victory, 14.25 (109) to 15.5 (95).

Gowers finished with a massive 5.5 from 17 disposals and six marks, leading the way for the winners, as Crossley and King both booted two goals, while Webb (25 touches), Joyce (23) and Manteit (20) all found plenty of the ball and each snagged a major. Jacob Dawson feasted around the ground on his way to 34 disposals, while Fraser Thurlow had 29 hitouts from 19 touches. Despite playing in a losing side, Hammelmann snagged six goals from 11 touches and seven marks, with Stackelberg’s three coming from 14 disposals and four marks. Baulch (25 disposals, two goals), Jack Rolls (22 and one) and Bastinac (19 and one) all worked hard to also hit the scoreboard, as ex-AFL talents Jacob Allison (30 disposals) and Corey Lyons (26) led the disposals.

It was a mixed back of results for the other Queensland sides, with Gold Coast Suns claiming a 14-point win over Sydney Swans, whilst the Brisbane Lions suffered a heavy 69-point loss to Carlton. Dylan Stephens (32 disposals, seven marks and five tackles), Sam Gray (31 disposals, six marks and five tackles) and Ryan Clarke (30 disposals, eight marks) all put their hand up for a Swans recall, whilst youngster Sam Thorne slotted three goals, as did Joel Amartey. For the Suns, Will Bella slotted three goals form 10 touches and five marks to be a standout Academy prospect, with Malcolm Rosas (18 disposals, two goals) and Will Brodie (31 disposals, two goals) among the top AFL-listed players. For the Lions, Tom Fullarton had a day out with 34 touches and 18 hitouts through the ruck, while Rhys Mathieson kicked four goals from 18 disposals in a half. The Blues had an even set of contributors led by Will Setterfield (25 disposals, seven marks and 10 tackles) and Paddy Dow (20 disposals, six tackles) through the midfield, whilst Ben Crocker and James Parsons combined for a whopping 12 goals in the win.

Western Bulldogs handed GWS GIANTS their second loss of the season, as last year’s number one draft pick, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan slotted five goalswer to be amongst six multiple goalkickers for the Dogs in the huge 21.9 (135) to 10.3 (63) victory. Mitch Hannan (three goals), Rhylee West (three and 25 touches, seven marks and five tackles) and Louis Butler (two and 20 touches, six marks and three tackles) were all huge, while teenager Dominic Bedendo (nine disposals, five marks and two goals) also looked dangerous for the Dogs. Jesse Hogan continued his good return to form with four goals from 14 touches and 11 marks for the Giants, while Will Shaw (two goals) and James Peatling (23 disposals, six marks) and Josh Green (21 disposals, three marks and four tackles) were among the top ball-winners.

Meanwhile, Port Melbourne and Williamson enjoyed wins against Sandringham and Werribee respectively. Nash Holmes (28 disposals, six marks and five tackles), Tom O’Sullivan (28 disposals, eight marks), Eli Templeton (25 disposals, 13 marks and two goals) and Isaac Conway (24 disposals, four marks, five tackles and two goals) all dominated for the Borough, while Luke Dunstan had the ball on a string for the Zebras, collecting 46 disposals. Ryan Byrnes (25 disposals, five marks) and Leo Connolly (19 disposals, four marks) were other St Kilda-listed talents who stood out. Mitch Hibberd was again lively for the Seagulls with 23 disposals and eight tackles, leading the way from Liam Hunt (20 disposals) and Jack Toner (16 disposals, eight marks), while Tom Downie had a great battle with Matthew Lobbe, collecting 35 hitouts from 12 disposals. Lobbe had 37 and 12, while Matthew Hanson (25 disposals, six tackles), Shaun Mannagh (24 disposals, four tackles) and Tom Gribble (22 disposals, four tackles) were also big ball-winners.

In other results, Frankston Dolphins dominated North Melbourne on their way to another win, getting up 16.8 (104) to 5.9 (39). Tyler Roos and Nathan Freeman shared in a lazy 85 disposals and 20 marks between them for opposite sides through the midfield, while Bailey Lambert (five goals), Jack Mentha (three) and Will Fordham (24 disposals, two goals) were also damaging on the scoreboard for the Dolphins. Will Walker (23 disposals, 11 marks) Harry Jones (21 disposals, eight marks) and Flynn Appleby (20 disposals, 11 marks) supported Roos in the heavy loss. Another standalone side Northern Bullants was not as fortunate against Hawthorn at Box Hill City Oval, with the visitors going down by 56 points after being level at quarter time. Emerson Jeka slotted five goals from 20 disposals and nine marks in a dominant display up forward, while Fergus Greene (14 disposals, three goals) and Keegan Brooksby (13 disposals, 24 hitouts and two goals) were also good. Ned Reeves had a casual 54 hitouts to go with 16 touches and a goal as well. for the Bullants, Tynan Smith kicked three majors from 16 touches, as Tom Wilson (26 disposals, 10 marks) and Paul Ahern (23 disposals, one goal) were among the best.

In the final two games, Casey Demons recorded a big 13.18 (96) to 5.7 (37) victory over Richmond, while Essendon won the Anzac Day eve battle with Collingwood, 12.13 (85) to 6.14 (50). It was a good day for the red heads, as Jake Bowey (26 disposals, five marks) and Oskar Baker (24 disposals five marks) both impressed, while Neville Jetta was strong with 23 touches, and Ben Brown (four goals) and Sam Weideman (three) stepped up in front of goal again. For the Tigers, Mabior Chol was the only multiple goalkicker with two, as Pat Naish (28 disposals, five marks) and Callum Coleman-Jones (18 disposals, nine marks and 29 hitouts) worked hard through the four quarters. Tom Cutler (27 disposals, seven marks and three goals) was outstanding for the Bombers, while Ned Cahill (21 disposals, five marks and six tackles), Angus Baker (21 disposals, five marks) and Josh Tynan (21 disposals, five marks) were also solid. For the Magpies, youngster Caleb Poulter racked up 27 touches, three marks and three tackles to put his hand up for an AFL debut, as Reef McInnes (17 disposals, four tackles) and Tom Wilson (20 touches, seven marks) were also impressive. Next-Generation Academy member Youseph Dib finished with 11 disposals, tow marks and eight tackles in a solid display.

VFL ROUND 2 RESULTS:

GWS GIANTS 10.3 (63) def. by Western Bulldogs 21.9 (135)
Gold Coast Suns 14.11 (95) def. Sydney 12.9 (81)
Carlton 24.10 (154) def. Brisbane 13.7 (85)
Southport 14.25 (109) def. Aspley 15.5 (95)
North Melbourne 5.9 (39) def. by Frankston 16.8 (104)
Collingwood 6.14 (50) def. by Essendon 12.13 (85)
Hawthorn 17.10 (112) def. Northern Bullants 8.8 (56)
Richmond 5.7 (37) def. by Casey Demons 13.18 (96)
Port Melbourne 13.14 (92) def. Sandringham 9.12 (66)
Werribee 7.11 (53) def. by Williamstown 9.10 (64)

Picture credit: RF Photography

Out to impress: QAFL Seniors Grand Final preview – Broadbeach vs. Morningside

AFTER nine regular season rounds and two enthralling weeks of finals, it all comes down to this. Undefeated minor premier, Broadbeach meets Morningside (2nd, 7-1) in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Grand Final on Saturday afternoon, and there is plenty of young talent primed to impact on the big stage.

In a new-look QAFL preview, Draft Central again narrows its focus to the young guns in action across the two best sides in the competition, including a bunch of Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS Academy products. We take a look at who shone when the sides previously met in 2020, while also touching on the strengths of some budding AFL Draft prospects in action.

2020 QAFL Grand Final

Broadbeach vs. Morningside
Saturday, September 26 | 2:30pm
Leyshon Park, Yeronga

Previous meeting…

Round 9 – Broadbeach 13.16 (94) def. Morningside 6.8 (44)

GOALS:

Broadbeach: C. Nutting 3, C. Cameron 3, J. Moncrieff 2, J. Fisher 2, R. Gilmore, B. Chadwick, B. Reeves
Morningside: L. Edwards 2, M. Hammelmann, S. Crozier, E. Mallan, B. Coleman

BEST:

Broadbeach: K. Boakye, E. Reeves, M. Lower, C. Cameron, B. Lowe, S. Mills
Morningside: W. Pendlebury, E. Mallan, L. Russ, R. William, B. Kethro, H. Joyce

It took until the final home-and-away round for the season’s two undefeated outfits to meet, with Broadbeach the side which would stand clear after a statement-making 50-point victory. The Cats’ range of scoring options ensure they pulled away strongly in the second half, overcoming some early woes in front of goal to put Morningside to the sword. Usual suspect and former Gold Coast forward Connor Nutting booted three goals in the winning effort, with fellow SUNS Academy graduate Ryan Gilmore and Bailey Reeves also hitting the scoreboard. For the Panthers, who showed plenty of room for improvement, current Brisbane Academy prospects Saxon Crozier and Blake Coleman also found the big sticks, but 24-year-old leading goalkicker Matt Hammelmann was kept to just one major in a big tick for Broadbeach’s defence.

The finals journey…

After both earning a week’s rest as the top two ranked teams, the preliminary finals proved a relatively straightforward stage for either side. Broadbeach scrapped to beat Sherwood, who employed some defensive tactics, to the tune of 43 points to book its spot in the decider. It should prove a handy tune-up for the Cats as their defence held up well, though the finishing up forward could do with some sharpening. Meanwhile, Morningside held off a pesky Palm Beach Currumbin (PBC) to advance via a 19-point victory. Crozier, Coleman, and Hammelmann were all again among the goals, but Victorian recruit Matthew McGannon was named best afield for his efforts through midfield. The Panthers will need another big effort from their forwards this coming Saturday.

Ones to watch…

A race against time will determine whether leading Queensland draft prospect Alex Davies returns to action for Broadbeach. The big-bodied inside midfielder has only managed one outing for the Cats in 2020, and is recovering from an elbow injury which saw him miss the Academy Series. It could be a risk to play him ahead of next month’s draft combine, but he would add clean extraction skills in what is usually the most hotly contested game of the season.

Conversely, another current SUNS Academy player in Aiden Fyfe promises to break the game open for Broadbeach, with his sharp ball use by foot and outside run making for valuable assets when the Cats are in need of a spark. Set to be stationed either off half-back or on the wing, Fyfe looms as a good counter to some of Morningside’s runners. Namely, Saxon Crozier‘s capacity to penetrate on the outer will be a key to much of the Panthers’ success, along with Blake Coleman‘s creativity in attack. Both make up two of the leading Lions Academy prospects for 2020, and have adjusted well to senior football.

Staying with the midfield battle, Broadbeach’s Bailey Reeves has a good mix of ball-winning traits both inside and out, and should battle well against the likes of Toby Triffett and Matthew McGannon, two of Morningside’s prime movers. Up forward, livewire small Josh Gore will look to go big having turned heads in his over-age year. The SUNS Academy graduate should keep a Panthers defence which boasts Nathan Colenso busy alongside the likes of Connor Nutting and Ryan Gilmore. Both Gore and Nutting have booted 17 goals this season.

Tip: Broadbeach by 15

Featured Image: Broadbeach young guns Alex Davies and Josh Gore celebrate after a goal | Source: Russell Freeman Photography

QAFL weekend preview: Round 9 – Top two battle for minor premiership

A BATTLE to decide the minor premiership is what confronts top two sides, Broadbeach and Morningside this weekend, with the final round of Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) action taking place. Both sides have won every match thus far, to sit on seven wins from eight games – with one bye – heading into Round 9 of the competition prior to finals. Both teams will secure a top two spot, but first placed will take on the winner of fourth or fifth and avoid the third placed finisher in the preliminary finals.

While Broadbeach has had the much superior percentage – 239.39 per cent – Morningside has won a number of tight contests to ensure it sits on 28 points heading into the final round. Regardless of the match’s result, neither side can drop outside the top two. It is a similar story for third placed Palm Beach Currumbin that has had a strong season in response to its grand final loss last year, only dropping games to the top two sides. It has helped the Lions sit eight points clear of the mid-table crunch, and guarantee themselves third spot and facing sixth in the first week of finals.

Seven teams are still in contention for six spots, with effectively the clash between Maroochydore and Surfers Paradise determining the final spot on the ladder. Realistically, the Roos just need to be avoid getting smashed, as they are 15 per cent clear of the reigning premiers who have had just the two wins this season and had a couple of of forgettable matches in 2020. If Maroochydore win – or at least do not lose by a considerable amount – then they will play finals and potentially move up a spot in the process. The Demons must win if they are to be any chance of defending their 2019 title, but in counter contrasting to the Roos, must win, and win well. Roughly around an eight-goal win – depending on the scores – would be needed for an unlikely finals berth.

However, what makes it interesting is the fact that fifth placed Mt Gravatt – who take on Palm Beach Currumbin – hold a near-identical percentage to Maroochydore (just 1.27 per cent more). What that means is, it is possible for Surfers Paradise to have a win – realistically will need to still be a pretty healthy win – while getting into finals if Mt Gravatt suffers a disappointing loss. In the scenario that the Lions account for the Vultures well and the Demons win, then Maroochydore would actually move up to fifth despite the loss, and Mt Gravatt drop out of the six. However if Surfers only wins by a little and Mt Gravatt push the Lions, then Maroochydore can leapfrog Mt Gravatt, but the Vultures remain in sixth.

Sitting pretty in fourth is Sherwood, a side that holds its own destiny in its hands. Realistically the equation is simple – win and get third spot, lose and potentially drop as far as sixth. The Magpies have a superior percentage to the other 3-4 sides, with 98.91 per cent and no chance of any other side overtaking them on percentage – barring some 200-point shellacking – so they will have pole position in terms of home ground advantage for the elimination final if they can win. They will play one of the other three teams depending on the results, unless they lose and both Mt Gravatt and Maroochydore win, which means they will slip to sixth. They take on eighth placed Labrador which has avoided the wooden spoon – unless they cop a big loss and their percentage drops them below last placed Wilston Grange who have the bye.

Heading into the final round, Matt Hammelmann has the leading goalkicker award sewn up barring a big bag from one of his nearest rivals, having booted 33 goals in seven games at an impressive 4.7 goals per game. He leads another former Brisbane forward in Liam Dawson (26 goals in seven games), from Broadbeach’s Jordan Moncrieff (25 in six) and Maroochydore’s Mitchell Scholard (25). Young gun Josh Gore is fifth on the table with 16 goals in six games.

In terms of top performers for the season, Labrador duo Fraser Thurlow and Matthew Lee have stood up to be named in the best all seven times, as has Morningside’s Matthew Payne, and Wilston Grange’s Will McKenzie (seven from eight). Mt Gravatt’s Luke O’Sullivan and Maroochydore’ Jacob Simpson have featured in the best six times, while Hammelmann, Scholard, Palm Beach Currumbin’s Zac Harrison, Wilston Grange’s Isaac Corvo and Maroochydore’s Josh Govan, have all featured in the best on six occasions. When it comes to Rising Star possibilities, Wilston Grange’s Tahj Abberley, Broadbeach’s Bailey Reeves, and Surfers Paradise duo Myles Jewell and Max Pescud are all among the mix.

QAFL ROUND 9 RESULTS:

Broadbeach vs. Morningside
Labrador vs. Sherwood
Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Mt Gravatt
Surfers Paradise vs. Maroochydore

Scouting notes and wrap: QAFL – Round 7

A COUPLE of Gold Coast Suns Academy members had days out in front of goal, while their Brisbane Lions counterparts were also impressive in losing sides. In this week’s Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) weekend wrap and scouting notes, we take a look at how some of the top young guns performed, and which teams enjoyed massive wins. We have included scouting notes for the Broadbeach and Maroochydore clash, as well as the Surfers Paradise and Wilston Grange match.

In the biggest win of the round, Broadbeach Cats trounced Maroochydore by 94 points, with a goal after the siren to Roos’ leading goalkicker Mitchell Scholard saving his team from a triple-figure defeat. He kicked two goals in the win, but it was the shared goalkicking load on the opposite side which was the difference. Broadbeach slammed home seven goals to zero in the opening term, then had a 59-point lead by half-time. They did not take the foot off it in the third term, booting five goals to one to race out to an 88-point advantage by the final break, before reaching the three figures late in the game prior to Scholard’s consolation major in the 17.18 (120) to 4.2 (26).

The star of the show up forward was over-age small, Josh Gore who slammed home five goals in a premier crumbing effort to outscore the opposition by himself, while Clay Cameron and Connor Nutting both booted multiple goals, and Max Lower was superb around the ground. For the Roos, Carter Michael was best-on in a tough day for the visitors, and he features in our scouting notes alongside Gore, as well as Broadbeach’s Bailey Reeves and Aidan Fyfe. Scholard and Zac Stone were the other players to stand out for the losers on the day.

There were some similarities in Surfers Paradise’ win over Wilston Grange, but it was also a vastly different contest, as the Demons survived a late scare from a determined Gorillas’ outfit to win 9.11 (65) to 9.8 (62). Gold Coast’s Max Pescud was slotting goals – and behinds – from everywhere, dominating the scoreboard and kicking one third of the game’s goals. He features heavily in our scouting notes alongside Wilston Grange’s best, Tahj Abberley. Despite losing by just three points, Abberley was one of the Gorillas’ standout players through the midfield, kicking a memorable goal as he tried to haul his more experienced teammates over the line in the last quarter. In the end though Pescud’s half-dozen majors were enough for the reigning premiers to have a pulse for season 2020, taking home a much needed four points in the bottom two clash.

Aside from Pescud, Perry Lewis-Smith booted two goals in the win and was amongst the best with Cameron Topping and Daniel Charlesworth. For the Gorillas, Aaron Fabian and Josh Baxter kicked five majors between them, while Will McKenzie and Sam Gribble were also named among the losing team’s best. Abberley, Pescud and Shatna Cahen-Harris all feature in our scouting notes this weekend.

Palm Beach Currumbin did what many expected one of the title favourites to do and took care of business at Labrador, getting up in a 50-point victory. The Lions actually trailed the Tigers at quarter time by five points, but then took the lead with a three goals to zero second term to head into the main break with a 13-point advantage. A dominant six goals to two third quarter put the result all but beyond doubt at the final break, with Palm Beach Currumbin finishing off strongly to win, 14.11 (95) to 6.9 (45).

Six players booted two goals apiece in the win for the Lions, with Mitchell Johnson and Jarryd Douglas amongst those players, and the best. Thomas Thynne and Zac Harrison both impressed for Palm Beach Currumbin on the road, while Fraser Thurlow and Jaise Coleman stood tall for the losers. Gold Coast Suns Academy prospect Rhys Nicholls featured in our Player Focus for the week while Bryce Retzlaff (three goals) and Blair Rubock (two) were the key goalkickers in a losing side.

In the other match, Morningside continued its unbeaten form with an easy 80-point thumping of Mt Gravatt. The Panthers piled on five goals to one in the opening term and led by 33 points at the main break. If that was not enough, they kicked the last seven goals of the game in the second half, to run away 16.7 (103) to 3.5 (23) winners. Matt Hammelmann slotted eight majors in a remarkable performance, while young talent Saxon Crozier kicked a couple alongside Reuben William for the winners. Hayden Bertoli-Simmonds and Brisbane Academy member Blake Coleman were both named among the best, while for the Vultures, Joel Leahy, Luke O’Sullivan and Daine Macdonald were impressive.

Scouting notes:

By: Peter Williams

Tahj Abberley (Wilston Grange)

The Brisbane Lions Academy member was a clear standout in a losing side for the Gorillas, playing predominantly through the midfield and getting some crucial onball minutes. He had the ball on a string in the opening six minutes, earning a rest with five touches to his name. He finished the game with close to 20 disposals and a number of tackles, but it was his work by hand that really stood out. He has the composure to pause and release in time, especially considering the amount of times an opponent would drag him to the ground the moment he got the ball. He has the smarts to keep the ball in front of him and not take possession if an opponent is hot on his collar, and then when having the time and space in front of him, takes the game on.

On a number of occasions he pushed hard down a wing or down the middle, and while he was still late, generally made good decisions with ball-in-hand. The one error he would probably take back was late in the game when he chose to keep the ball inside the field of play deep in attack, without realising opponents were right behind him, forcing them to clear and maintain possession. Otherwise, Abberley’s decision making by hand or foot was generally impressive, and a highlight in the third term was where he handballed quickly out of the stoppage, ran onto the next handball, and launched from outside 50 to see it sail home. In the fourth term, he set up a number of scoring opportunities that helped put his team in front early in the match, and pickpocketed an opponent in the middle at one stage and burst out of the stoppage to kick long. overall, Abberley played a starring role in a losing side.

Shatna Cashen-Harris (Wilston Grange)

Cashen-Harris had a mixed bag of a day with some very nice highlights, but also a few mistakes. His strengths are his pressure and speed, which he combines to run down opponents or force turnovers. While he is not a huge accumulator, he just competes throughout the day, and an example of that was in the opening term where while fighting against two opponents, he brought the ball to ground and across the boundary line safely for a throw-in. He tended to fumble a little at ground level and sometimes would rush his kicks, but he is good in marking contests in terms of his positioning and body work.

In an example of his game, Cashen-Harris won the ball on the forward side of the wing, then took off, but had a free option 30m out from goal and went long to the one-on-one contest which was marked by the defender. It still got the ball to a dangerous spot, but it was just the surveying the area and working out the best option, rather than the more predictable one as such. Nonetheless, his strength in the air saw him pull down a great contested mark leading out up forward, protecting the ball drop and then converting the set shot less than two minutes into the final term. A bit more consistency and there is some definite positives.

Aidan Fyfe (Broadbeach)

The Gold Coast Suns Academy member did not quite have the same ball-winning numbers as his Northern Academy Series efforts, but he had a number of memorable highlights, particularly in the final term when he won a number of possessions in the back half. He was often found running from defence to midfield with some slick handballs, taking a number of bounces down the wing and kicking long inside 50 to the danger zone. The majority of his disposals would have come in the final term, which included a nice left-foot kick from half-back to open up space on the wing. Picking up plenty of intercept possessions in the last 30 minutes, he showed good hands and solid defensive pressure, including stopping a Maroochydore player in his tracks at half-forward and winning the ball back for his side.

Josh Gore (Broadbeach)

If you wanted to find a DVD on how to play a small forward’s game, then Gore’s performance against Maroochydore was the perfect example. He booted five goals and just continually got to the right spots. The knock has come on being pigeonholed as a small forward, but considering what he was able to do on the weekend, he has the traits to adapt that at any level. The only knock in the game you could have for Gore was a little fumbly at times, such as midway through the second term, but both his offensive and defensive traits were on point. Gore also looked for other options inside 50 which is an important trait for a small forward, rather than just eyeing the goals first off, and when the position presented itself, he was reliable with ball-in-hand around goals.

Of Gore’s five majors, the first game 15 minutes in the opening term when competition leading goalkicker Jordan Moncrieff leapt up in the goalsquare to take the contact and tap back to the loose Gore who kicked the easiest of majors. He made it two late in the term when he received the handball following hard running and snapped around his body 20m out. A third goal came late in the final term on the back of fast ball movement inside 50 and good positioning from Gore to mark uncontested on the lead. He had a chance midway through the quarter but was tackled as he snapped. It was positive to see a good second effort as he bounced up and tackled Carter Michael, letting him know about it too. His final two goals came in the third term, one off a well read bounce into his lap which he goaled with ease, while the final game with another snap around his body after working his opponent under the footy and taking one step before sending it home.

Carter Michael (Maroochydore)

In a tough day at the office, the Brisbane Lions Academy member produced a really strong, consistent performance off half-back, trying to create something for his team in a defence that was often under-siege. It was quite literally one-way traffic for the majority of the match, but Michael was one of the few who could leave the game knowing he had done just about all he could on the day. Tasked with the kickout duties, he often played on and put the ball 60-plus metres out of the defensive zone, and positioned himself well in the back 50. Aside from a quieter second term, Michael was often prolific one-on-one or dropping back into the hole and intercepting a Cats forward thrust.

He used the ball well coming off half-back, and had a lovely left-foot piecing kick down the middle, avoiding using too many lateral possessions, and sensing the importance of rolling the dice and taking the game on. He did have a poor kick coming out late in the first term that went straight to the opposition for a goal, but as a whole, he hit most of his targets. Michael’s metres gained stat would be quite high, and he set up a rare goal with a nice handball to Lochie Laing in the last term. Overall his game was quite impressive and it is always hard to standout in a 15-goal loss.

Max Pescud (Surfers Paradise)

When a player kicks half a dozen goals, and almost the equivalent of that in behinds, it is hard to not enjoy the show. He has a nice combination of strength and speed where he can win the ball on the lead or in a one-on-one contest. At one stage he had all of his team’s goals, and four of the Demons’ five at half-time. What makes Pescud so damaging is he can kick goals in a number of ways, and do it consistently as well. The other forwards often cleared out to give him space and he stayed back almost like a lone striker in soccer, then would burst out, or get the position he needed in a marking contest and duly delivered. If there was an improvement to come out of the game, it would definitely be keeping mindful of other options as there was a couple of times where he had the chance to give off the handball but threw it on the boot quickly for a behind. An example of this was late in the fist term where he was one-on-one, grabbed the ball as he was about to tackle, had time to give the handball off with his teammate to run into an open goal, but just rushed and chucked it on the boot.

Looking at his six majors, the first two came in the opening term, with a strong leap, one-grab clunk eight and a half minutes into the quarter with a 30m set shot on a slight angle sailing home. His second came two minutes later when he ripped the ball off the deck at ground level to put ball to boot and snap truly from 20m out. His third came early in the second quarter with another snap after wrestling the ball back, then kicked his fourth at the other end of the term with a huge flying intercept grab between opponents who tried to cross the forward 50, converting the 40m set shot. He should have had at least five at the half, with a set shot 30m out jumping over the fence to retrieve the ball, but his set shot missed. He saluted with his fifth 17 minutes into the third after missing a rushed shot earlier in the term, showing good positioning, leading out and marking 35m out to convert. A 50m penalty brought him to within similar range late in the premiership quarter, but he surprisingly missed that chance, but brought up his half dozen nine minutes into the last, when he marked 15m out from goal and popped through the major to hand his team the lead, kicking six of the then eight goals.

Bailey Reeves (Broadbeach)

Starting on a wing, the Gold Coast Academy member played his role throughout the match and probably ended as one of the better Cats in the big win. He won plenty of the ball and always looked to move it on quickly, particularly by hand between the wing and half-forward. He teamed up with Aidan Fyfe on a number of occasions, and was also strong defensively, laying a shepherd to enable his teammate to get the ball forward and then had a shot on goal himself that was pinched by Clay Cameron on the line in that third term. Throughout the match, Reeves had an influence on the game, won it in transition and set up a number of scoring plays.

A few examples of his highlights were a strong intercept mark seven minutes into the first term where he kicked long inside 50 that led to a chain of handballs and eventually a goal. He showed quick hands on a number of occasions at half-forward, and was generally reliable, though did turn it over by hand once in pressure. He hit up Moncrieff a couple of times, once in the opening term – which the big man missed – then again in the final term which the competition’s leading goalkicker made no mistake this time. Occasionally he would kick long and a defender would intercept, but his low short passes were more effective when eyeing off forward 50 targets. He had a flying shot himself 12 minutes into the last term but it just sprayed to the left. Winning plenty of it in the last quarter, he showed great run and carry through the middle and with the use of his hands, set up another Broadbeach goal.

QAFL ROUND 7 RESULTS:

Labrador 6.9 (45) defeated by Palm Beach Currumbin 14.11 (95)
Mt Gravatt 3.5 (23) defeated by Morningside 16.7 (103)
Surfers Paradise 9.11 (65) defeated Wilston Grange 9.8 (62)
Broadbeach 17.18 (120) defeated Maroochydore 4.2 (26)

Picture: RF Photography

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QAFL weekend preview: Round 7 – Last chance for reigning premiers, Vultures to tackle undefeated Panthers

RED hot Mt Gravatt is making its way up the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) ladder after three wins in four games to go outright fourth on the table. The Vultures side looked down and out in the opening couple of rounds, but has steadily built together a winning streak to be back at a level 3-3 from six games. Now they take on an undefeated Morningside outfit in the Vultures biggest challenge to-date, and as one of the sides yet to have a bye, a win is crucial for the fourth placed team.

The key to victory for the Vultures will be to restrict in-form goalkicker Matt Hammelmann who has slotted 20 goals in five games to be one of the clear dominant goalkickers in the competition. If the defence can restrict his influence on the game, and not allow too many of the smaller damaging forwards such as Blake Coleman to have an impact, that will be crucial. Coleman has proven to be silky in any condition, and he will be looking to return from the Northern Academy Series first two rounds and put in a big performance for the Panthers.

An upset win for the Vultures gives them breathing space inside the top four, while a loss could see them slip back to fifth if Maroochydore can upset Broadbeach. In that match, Broadbeach are the premiership favourites and will be hard to stop, seeing off every challenge thus far, including a one-point victory over Palm Beach Currumbin last week. Maroochydore had a vital win in Round 6 and were able to get four points clear of the bottom three, but cannot rest on their laurels if they are to be a serious threat in the competition, and continue to rise up the ladder.

Carter Michael has impressed at the Northern Academy Series where he will return to the green and gold and provide some good dare and athleticism down the ground. He can play off half-back or running along a wing, and he can really break the game open with his kicking. Fast entry inside 50 and unpredictability is the key for Maroochydore as the team shared around the goals a little more last week. Though Mitchell Scholard is still the man to target with 20 goals in five games at four a match.

Broadbeach forward Josh Gore could cross paths with Michael as he did at times in the Academy series, with the over-age forward booting eight goals in four games so far. Jordan Moncrieff is the competition’s leading goalkicker though with a mammoth 24 goals in five games at almost five per match. Aidan Fyfe and Bailey Reeves are both coming off strong performances for the Suns Academy and will be ones to watch for the Cats.

In a more predictable result, a vengeful Palm Beach Currumbin will be ready to take out the frustrations of a one-point loss in Round 6 on Labrador in Round 7. The Tigers won their first game last week against Wilston Grange, but had struggled to that point. They will need to take it up another level again to match it with the Lions who still remain one of the teams to beat.

Ex-AFL talents in Bryce Retzlaff and Jono Beech remain dangers in the forward half, while another ex-AFL player to watch is Fraser Thurlow who would likely be leading Labrador’s best and fairest. The Lions do not have a dominant goalkicker, and instead share the load around with Mitchell Johnson (11 goals) and Jarryd Douglas (10) in double figures. Ethan Hunt showed some promising signs in the Northern Academy Series, while Suns captain Jack Johnston will return to his defensive post for last year’s runners-up.

In a must-win clash for both sides, Wilston Grange will travel to Surfers Paradise in a battle of the bottom two teams. It has not been a memorable start to the season for the reigning premiers, as the Demons find themselves on the bottom of the QAFL ladder after six rounds. The good news is, they are still only four points away from the finals positions, and a late season surge could see them sneak in. It goes without saying Surfers Paradise must win this game against the Gorillas if they are to be a legitimate chance in season 2020.

Losing their past three games, the Demons welcome back talented young top-age forward Max Pescud from the Northern Academy Series who had booted six goals in three games for the Demons. He was named in the best for both Suns’ Academy games and could be the key to victory here, while Myles Jewell has shown good form up the other end. For the Gorillas, Tahj Abberley is a prospect who can break a game open with his run and carry, while Shatna Cashen-Harris had some highlight-reel moments in the Academy Series as well. Both Lions Academy prospects will look to have an impact her, as will Kuot Thok.

QAFL ROUND 7 FIXTURE:

Labrador vs. Palm Beach Currumbin
Mt Gravatt vs. Morningside
Surfers Paradise vs. Wilston Grange
Broadbeach vs. Maroochydore

Picture credit: RF Photography

QAFL weekend wrap: Round 5 – Magpies and Vultures snatch crucial wins

SHERWOOD and Mt Gravatt have snatched crucial wins against bottom two sides, Wilston Grange and Labrador respectively to ensure the Magpies and Vultures remain in touch with the top three of the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL). While two of the top three sides – Broadbeach and Morningside – continued their undefeated run and Palm Beach Currumbin had the bye, the Magpies and Vultures now sit outright fourth and fifth on eight points, eight behind the top three, but four ahead of the rest of the pack.

Liam Dawson booted another five goals for the Magpies in their 33-point win over the Gorillas, piling on six goals to three in the opening term. Wilston Grange came back into the contest in the middle of the match, cutting the deficit to 11 by half-time and still being within 17 points at the final break, before the home side kicked away again with five goals to two in the last term to run out 14.3 (87) to 8.6 (54) in an accurate display of goalkicking.

Aside from Dawson’s five snags, Claye Beams scored three, and Brody Lumber booted two in an even term performance. Sampson Ryan (one goal), Aaron Highlands and Errin Wasley-Black were all named among the best for the Magpies in the win. For the Gorillas, Oscar Stewart and Josh Baxter booted multiple goals with two apiece, as Sam Gribble and Andrew Boston (both one) hit the scoreboard and were named amongst the best with Will McKenzie and Bae Gallop.

It took the full four quarters for Mt Gravatt to shake off a determined Labrador side, but finally did so with a four goals to one final term. The Vultures trailed at quarter time by 10 points, hit the front by 13 in the second term, but had their lead cut to two by three quarter time. Inaccuracy was hurting the Tigers, as they watched the Vultures run over the top of them with the breeze, booting 4.1 to 1.3 in the final term, for a Mt Gravatt victory, 11.7 (73) to 7.13 (55).

Jonah Licht starred up forward for the winners, slotting five goals in a best on ground performance, while Luke O’Sullivan was the other major goal kicker with two. Lochlan Harrop and Daine Macdonald were both among the best in an impressive performance by the visiting side. For the losers, Daniel Middleton booted three majors and was named among the best, as Fraser Thurlow continued his ripping form for the Tigers, joining Matthew Lee and James El Moussalli in Labrador’s best.

There was no stopping Jordan Moncrieff once again, as the Broadbeach forward powered his way to half a dozen goals in a dominant 70-point victory over reigning premiers, Surfers Paradise. The honeymoon period certainly appears to be over for the Demons, who have just one win from five rounds – albeit including a bye – but were smashed in the opening half, as the Cats piled on eight goals to one. The one-sided affair continued in the second half, though it was a little closer as Broadbeach ran out 13.15 (93) to 3.5 (23) winners.

Despite booting six majors, Moncrieff was not named as best on ground by the Cats, as Tyrone Armitage earned that honour. Harrison Arnold, Ethan Reeves and Kwaby Boakye were others who stood out in the huge win, while Clay Cameron and Connor Nutting booted two goals apiece. Harrison Fraser was the sole multiple goal scorer for the Demons, booting two of his side’s three majors, as Perry Lewis-Smith, Jack Prestegar and Myles Jewell were nominated as Surfers Paradise’s best in defeat.

Anything Moncrieff could do, Matt Hammelmann decided he could do better, one-upping the Cats forward in Morningside’s 15-point triumph over Maroochydore. The former Brisbane forward slammed home seven majors to be the leading goalkicker from the round, in a weekend that had five players slot five or more goals in a memorable Round 5 for the big men.

One of those was Maroochydore’ Mitchell Scholard who continued his unbelievable form with another five majors to ensure his team remained in the hunt for a win. They very nearly got there too, with Maroochydore leading at each break and by as much as 13 points at the last change. A four goals to zero final term saw the Panthers run over the top of them and win 14.9 (93) to 12.6 (78). Three of those four goals came from Hammelmann as he singlehandedly spearheaded the attack and dominated inside 50.

James Rayner (two goals) was the other multiple goalkicker for the Panthers, while Sam Godfrey, Peter Mollison and Will Pendlebury all were named as the best players in the win. Jacob Simpson and Jai Larkins joined Scholard in the Maroochydore bests, as Jackson Bury (two goals) was the other multiple goalkicker for the green and gold side.

QAFL ROUND 5 RESULTS:

Broadbeach 13.15 (93) defeated Surfers Paradise 3.5 (23)
Labrador 7.13 (55) defeated by Mt Gravatt 11.7 (73)
Morningside 14.9 (93) defeated Maroochydore 12.6 (78)
Sherwood 14.3 (87) defeated Wilston Grange 8.6 (54)

Bye: Palm Beach Currumbin

QAFL weekend preview – Round 5: Panthers eye off top spot at season midpoint

ALL Queensland Australian Football League (AFL) games return to the traditional 2pm on a Saturday timeslot, with the eight teams preparing for some huge contests over the weekend. Round 5 marks the midway point of the nine-round season, with top of the table Palm Beach Currumbin having a bye this weekend.

BROADBEACH vs. SURFERS PARADISE
Subaru Oval

One of the games of the round, the third placed Broadbeach Cats take on reigning premiers, Surfers Paradise Demons. Whilst the Demons are fifth with just one win from three games, their losses came against top two sides, Palm Beach Currumbin and Morningside – the latter just last week and losing in the last minute. They will need to quell a red-hot Broadbeach outfit that has a whopping 209.86 per cent, with the top three teams eight points clear of the rest of the competition. If the Cats, Tigers and Panthers all win this weekend, that gap will extend to 12 to all bar one team with just four rounds remaining.

So far Bailey Reeves is the sole Cat to have been named in the best in every game, though Jordan Moncrieff is the danger man, slamming home a massive 17 goals in three matches to be the competition’s leading goalkicker. Over-ager Josh Gore is not too far behind on eight majors, whilst the likes of Blake Erickson, Jed Turner, Kai Sheers and Bradley Lowe have been amongst Broadbeach’s best this season. For the Demons, Max Pescud had his best game of the season with three majors last week and would be competing well in the best and fairest, as only Kain Ford has been named in the best more times (three). Defender Myles Jewell, and Matthew Green have also stood out, while Tyson Brazel has six majors to his name, the same as Pescud.

Broadbeach has been the more consistent team this season so should win in a thriller.

LABRADOR vs. MT GRAVATT
Cooke-Murphy Oval

Down the other end of the ladder, both Labrador and Mt Gravatt have benefited from such an even competition outside the top three. The Vultures have the one win – by a point – while the Tigers are yet to taste victory, which means if the home team gets up, there will likely be a remarkable five teams on one win at the end of Round 5, If the Vultures get up, then their finals plans could be right on track after a disappointing first couple of rounds, potentially leaping up to fourth with a victory.

In an even spread of goalkickers, Daine Macdonald leads the way for the Vultures on five, with Harry Milford (four), Jonah Licht and Luke O’Sullivan (both three). O’Sullivan has been superb this season, whilst Todd Carbone is another who has really stood out, as the likes of Ethan Kerr and Thomas Matthews are young talents to watch. The Tigers have had a rough draw this season, but would eye this game as a genuine chance to taste victory. Ex-AFL talents, Bryce Retzlaff (six goals) and Jono Beech (five), and young talent Blair Rubock (three) are the sole multiple goalkickers. Fraser Thurlow and Matthew Lee have had terrific starts to the season despite the Tigers slow start.

Likely to be a close game, but Mt Gravatt should be confident in their chances here after a narrow loss last week.

MORNINGSIDE vs. MAROOCHYDORE
Jack Esplen Oval

In an exciting clash, second placed Morningside has the chance to take top spot – even if temporarily – with a win over Maroochydore. The Panthers escaped thanks to a Jack Payne goal in the last minute against the Demons last round and could go five from five and move ahead of the Lions who have a bye this weekend. While the Panthers will ultimately have their own bye in the remaining rounds, it will put them in a good position for the run home. Maroochydore has already had its bye, back in Round 1, but has not been able to pick up a win since, though an upset here could see them jump to fourth on the table.

Matt Hammelmann has been a reliable source of goals this season for the Panthers, with the former Brisbane player snagging 13, ahead of Luke Edwards (seven) and Jack Rolls (five). Payne has been named among the best every game this season, with James Cowlishaw and Tom Griffiths also impressive. Along with Griffiths, Blake Coleman, Saxon Crozier and Nathan Colenso are other teenage talents to watch out for. It is a different story for the Roos with Mitchell Scholard well out in front of the club goalkicking with 12 majors, as Jesse Malthouse and Lachlan Robinson come in next with two apiece. Brent Pearson, Jacob Simpson, Jai Larkins and Josh Govan are others who have stood up this season, while Carter Michael is a top-age Academy prospect to keep an eye on.

Morningside are in terrific form and should win, though Maroochydore could end the Panthers’ run.

SHERWOOD vs. WILSTON GRANGE
McCarthy Homes Oval

Sherwood Magpies had a terrific Round 1 win but has slumped to three consecutive losses since then. Luckily their percentage is high enough to still be in fourth, but they have to win against the Gorillas in this one. The winner of this game will have the opportunity to go fourth, showing just how even the league is in 2020. Wilston Grange needs to back up its narrow win over Mt Gravatt last week with another victory here and build momentum, but it will be difficult against a Sherwood side that has realistically played pretty well against stiff opposition.

Liam Dawson has been the standout goalkicker this season, slotting 14 majors for 2020, six ahead of Brody Lumber (eight). Claye Beams has hit the scoreboard in his return to the QAFL with seven majors, with Thomas Baulch (four) also doing well in front of the big sticks. Ryan Harwood and Dawson have showed how crucial they are to the club, named among the best every week, while Cade Scott and Jack Austin are among the rising talents in the team. Josh Baxter is the leading goalkicker for the Gorillas with five goals, as Aaron Francis (four) and Sam Gribble (three) are not far behind. Wilston Grange have a number of young stars to watch, led by Tahj Abberley, with Kuot Thok and Noah McFadyen other names who have proven to be future talents.

Sherwood is favoured to break its losing streak in this match, but Wilston Grange have been getting better and better as the weeks go by.

Scouting notes: QAFL MOTR – Surfers Paradise vs. Morningside

IT was a thrilling contest that went right down to the final siren, with Morningside Panthers remaining undefeated in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) thanks to a two-point victory over reigning premiers, Surfers Paradise. While Matthew Payne ultimately kicked the match-winning goal in the last minute, we take a look at a few of the young talents on show for both sides who caught the eye in Surfers Paradise’s Max Pescud, Jasper Graham and Myles Jewell, and Morningside’s Blake Coleman, Saxon Crozier, Nathan Colenso and Tom Griffiths.

SURFERS PARADISE

#3 Max Pescud

Playing as a lead-up forward, Pescud was really busy in the first half, kicking a goal in each of the first two terms. His first came off reading the ball well from the bounce inside 50, cleverly sidestepping an opponent and kicked off a few steps straight through the middle. His second was more straightforward with a hard lead and strong mark 25m out which he duly nailed. It came after a late chance in the first term went begging to the right following a strong contested mark out in front one-on-one. Pescud has a nice little burst of speed off the contest and has the goal sense to get forward into dangerous positions.

In the third term he was a little quieter as Tom Griffiths went onto him at times. He pushed further up the ground and laid a strong tackle to lock the ball up in a stoppage, but by far his highlight was a massive hanger from five deep just inside 50. Unfortunately wheeling around on the right his shot stayed to the right. He did not get much opportunity in the fourth term with the ball predominantly in the Panthers’ half of the ground, but he scored his third goal after being on an early end-to-end play, marking 20m out with good position and slotting it home.

All in all, Pescud was impressive for the Demons, always looking dangerous, and if he had been able to convert those other two set shots, could have headed home with five, but three snags was terrific in a low-scoring contest.

#4 Jasper Graham

The overager is a midfielder-forward type who might not be big in stature, but he loves the contest. Straight from the get-go it was obvious he was willing to throw his body on the line and run hard. In the opening quarter, he took a good mark under fierce pressure inside 50 after copping contact but unfortunately his shot drifted far right. Not long after, he played the role of facilitator to get it to Pescud who sidestepped an opponent and kicked a great goal. He continued to push hard working up to the wing and roaming back inside 50 in the first half, setting up another goal, this time to Jack Brauman in the second term with a quick-fire handball out of traffic. He used great vision to spot the free Brauman who duly delivered from long-range.

In the third term he bullocked away with a great close-down tackle midway through the quarter to lock the ball inside 50. Whilst it was not his possession that provided another teammate – Tyson Brazel – with a goal, Graham’s ability to lock the ball up and force a stoppage gave Surfers a chance and they capitalised with a major. In another team-orientated play, Graham managed to gain some good distance with the kick along the wing and gained serious territory later in the third quarter. He did not see much action in the final term with the ball up the other end.

#31 Myles Jewell

A tall defender with some very nice traits that caught the eye. Still lean compared to others, Jewell is really strong in the air, clean with his marking and solid by foot. He can read the ball well in flight and was one of the Demons’ best in the tight loss. In the opening term, Jewell took a number of intercept marks by positioning himself well in the hole or a kick and a half behind play, knowing when the quick kick forward would come. He also showed he was willing to push up the ground and be an extra number if required, playing on the dangerous Reuben William at times. The second term he was quiet, but come the third, and in particular fourth terms, Jewell came alive with some big players in crunch moments.

The third did not start the way he would have liked, winning the ball in the contest and trying to handball to a teammate but misfiring to see it intercepted by Nathan Colenso who set up a goal for the Panthers. He made up for it with a big intercept mark in front of the dangerous Matt Hammelmann which showed he had some toe on the lead and was also not afraid to match it with stronger opponents. He timed a spoil to perfection in a pack early in the final stanza when William went up to mark, and then when William pushed up to the wing, he followed and got front position in a marking contest, reading the ball well and marking. One of the most impressive moments for Jewell was his terrific pack grab at half-back late in the term, calling for it off the kickout, then sliding across the pack to pull it in. He laid a desperate tackle in the last couple of minutes and closed down an opponent inside 50 who had to rush his kick.

Overall Jewell is a nice intercept defender with good hands, smarts in the air and athletic enough to play on smalls or talls. Aside from his one mistake with the errant handball, Jewell played a really strong game for the Demons.

 

MORNINGSIDE:

#23 Blake Coleman

The lively forward had a quiet game by his standards with the ball, but it did not stop him providing a high level of pressure to the opposition. He was predominantly inside 50 for most of the game, but would push up to have stints through the middle, laying a big tackle late in the first term. The second term was his most productive. He started with his work at ground level early in the term able to see him keep the ball in front of himself, tried to spin out of trouble but was dispossessed. But he had a nice clean pick-up at half-forward off the half volley where he tapped it to his advantage then was able to use clean hands to handball. He had won the ball inside 50 about 35m out from goal and tried to snap after a quick burst out of a the stoppage, but his kick was smothered.

The second half he did not have many touches, but he is one of those players that still looks dangerous. He laid a crunching tackle five minutes into the third term at half-forward to lock the ball in the Panthers’ half, a theme of his game with his high-level defensive pressure. Coleman is good at keeping the ball in front of himself without taking possession because opposition players are aware of how quick he is, he can sometimes rely on a jumper pull to win a free, so he will tap the ball in front of himself without taking possession completely. He was also able to corral an opponent late in the match, forcing him to kick close to the boundary and along the line rather than open the game up through the middle.

#27 Saxon Crozier

Had a consistent four quarter game, and of the Panthers youngsters just kept getting involved. He had an early touch in the opening minute with a quick handball to a teammate who was able to deliver inside 50 for an early goal. Playing off a wing, Crozier was running hard and finding space with ease, and always getting to ball-winning positions. You can tell he is a natural ball-winner with the way he finds himself in positions around the field, and he earns the touches too with good hard running. He pushed hard into the back pocket at one stage in the opening term and won the ball, then cleared with composure. His vision and ability to open up angles with the handball is a strength, and despite being strong offensively, he still did the defensive things well, such as a spoil at half-back to knock the ball out of bounds away from Graham.

When having time and space, Crozier was able to hit up teammates well with nice kicks, and it was only when corralled he could sometimes chuck it on the boot for distance. He has the ability to give himself an extra metre or two and get his kick away, but has a safe option to kick long down the ground. His fourth term was memorable particularly early when he tricked opponents into thinking he was going to execute the handball back inside his defensive 50, only to sidestep, completely turn direction and then run out of the pack and kick long to the wing. He won the ball deep in defence again midway through the term, and then had a couple of impressive moments in the forward half late in the game. With seven minutes remaining, Crozier had a run through the middle, taking a bounce and having a long-range shot on goal from 50m but it drifted to the right. He continued to work hard and earned a free kick at half-forward to kick inside 50 a minute later.

Overall, Crozier was impressive, and most dangerous when he had time, space and options.

#32 Nathan Colenso

The over-ager can play as either a forward or a midfielder, but in this game was nearly exclusively inside 50. He has a big frame that he throws at the contest time and time again, and whilst he was lively in Round 3, had a quieter game in Round 4 this round. There is no question he puts his body on the line, laying some strong tackles, and after a quiet first half, he worked his way in with some moments. The third term he was tackled but managed to get his hands free and handball before being brought down – a feature of his game – and then moments later, set up a goal to Henry Joyce by intercepting an errant Jewell handball and timing his kick perfectly to hit-up his teammate inside 50.

Colenso looked a little ginger in the fourth term stretching out his quad later in the game, but he popped up in a crucial moment in the final minute, as Surfers Paradise attacked for one last roll of the dice. After kicking the go-ahead goal with 45 seconds remaining in the match, the Demons surged forward and Colenso’s opponent tried to win the ball off the half-volley, but the Gold Coast Suns Academy member crunched him enough to force the ball to bounce into the behind post on the opposite side of the forward 50.

#42 Tom Griffiths

It was a memorable game from Griffiths who was named among his side’s best in the narrow win. In the first half he was quiet, with only a kick on the boot through the middle and then a strong tackle at half-back to lock the ball up among the noticeable moments. He was playing his role without anything outstanding offensively, coming off half-back and dropping deeper to assist. Then came the second half, where he was massive in big moments, in particular, one-on-ones going to the dangerous Pescud at times who had two first-half goals.

His first appearance was actually at half-forward with a nice lead and mark just outside 50, delivering silver service to Hammelmann on the lead for a goal assist. While it might have looked like his role had changed, not long after, he was back in his usual post in defence, picking up a loose ball off the next opposition inside 50 and with clean hands helped Morningside get it out of danger. One-on-one against Pescud, Griffiths did well with his positioning to get in front and not allow his opponent much time to fly, taking a strong mark and hitting a target.

The final term was the most frantic, but also Griffiths’ best. He won a free kick at half-forward for being held in a tackle, and then pushed back into defence with nice pressure in the air to force the ball across the line. Composure personified, Griffiths was able to win a huge one-on-one at half-back when the Demons had numbers forward of the ball, then not only nullified the contest, but fended off his opponent and chipped well to a teammate, weighing his kick perfectly.

After a quieter start in terms of ball-winning but not defensive work, Griffiths got his offensive ability firing on all cylinders with accurate passes and big one-on-one moments that helped his side get over the line.

QAFL weekly wrap: Round 4 – Top three gain breathing space as Gorillas return favour to Vultures

A WEEK after Mt Gravatt snatched its first win over Maroochydore by a point, the Vultures were on the receiving end of the narrowest result, going down to Wilston Grange by that exact margin in Round 4 of the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL). The Gorillas leapt off the bottom of the table in the process, leaving Labrador as the only winless side and the Tigers unable to do anything about it on the weekend having had the bye. In other results, the top three sides in Palm Beach Currumbin, Morningside and Broadbeach all recorded wins.

In the game of the round, Morningside enjoyed a come-from-behind victory over reigning premiers Surfers Paradise, handing the Demons their second loss from three games. The Panthers moved to 4-0 on the table with the 8.9 (57) to 8.7 (55) victory, which saw them boot five goals to two in the second half to run over the top of their opponents. The Demons led by as a much as 20 points at the main break and 13 points heading into the final term, but could only manage one major to three in the final term to go down by a narrow two points.

Matt Hammelmann continued his good form with three majors for the Panthers, as Reuben Williams slotted two and was named amongst the best. Lachlan Russ, Thomas Griffiths and James Cowlishaw were also impressive in keeping the Panthers’ undefeated start to the season alive. Young talent Max Pescud booted three goals in Surfers Paradise’s defeat, named among the best as only one of two multiple goal kickers for the Demons. Tyson Brazel (two goals) was the other, whilst Jack Brauman (one) and Myles Jewell stood out in the match.

A match-winning goal to Kuot Thok in the 22nd minute of the final term helped the Gorillas secure a much-needed victory over Mt Gravatt. Wilston Grange burst out of the blocks in the opening term to boot three goals to one, but only managed two goals in the next two quarters as they watched their lead evaporate and eventually disappear completely with the Vultures taking an eight-point advantage into the final break. Luckily for the home side, they got their act together with two early goals, before the Vultures hit the front in the last five minutes, only for Thok to stand up and win the match with a vital major.

Aaron Fabian and Josh Baxter both booted three goals in the win, while Taylor McCubbin, Andrew Boston and Lions’ Academy member Tahj Abberley were named among Wilston Grange’s best. For the Vultures, Harry Milford was the sole multiple goalkicker with two snags, as Kyle Walsh (one goal), Orien Kerr (one) and Luke O’Sullivan all stood out in defeat.

Palm Beach Currumbin has flexed its muscles in a commanding 61-point victory over Maroochydore on the road. Last year’s grand finalists continue to look like the team to beat, shaking off an early challenge from the Roos to run away with the contest. Early in the second term, the Roos drew within six points, but only scored another three goals from there as the Lions piled on 13 of the next 16 majors, including an eight goals to two second half to storm to a 17.5 (107) to 6.10 (46) victory.

Jarryd Douglas slotted three majors, but was far from alone with another five multiple goalkickers, including Tyler Cornish, Jack Bates and Brock Askey who all slotted two majors and were named in the Lions’ best. Zac Harrison and Nicholas Crowley were also impressive in the huge win. For Maroochydore, Mitchell Scholard‘s goalkicking form continued with another four snags taking his total to 12 from three games. Unfortunately he was once again a lone target up front with the team only booting the six majors. Brent Pearson, Josh Govan and Jacob Simpson were the best Roos on the day.

In the other game, Jordan Moncrieff and Josh Gore had big days out to lead Broadbeach to a stunning 15.13 (103) to 10.6 (66) victory over Sherwood. Piling on seven goals to three in the opening term, the Cats immediately had the upper hand, but had to fight for it through the middle of the match as the Magpies closed the gap to four goals at the final break. A four goals to two final term in favour of the visitors saw the margin blow back out to 37 points by the final siren.

Moncrieff was once again best on ground as he led his side with seven majors to be the leading goalkicker in the competition with 17 from three games at almost six a match. Over-ager Gore played a very handy supporting role wiht four snags, whilst Blake Erickson, Josh Searl and Harrison Arnold were also impressive in the Cats’ big win. Former Brisbane talents, Claye Beams (three goals) and Liam Dawson (two) hit the scoreboard with multiple majors, while Aaron Highlands and Ryan Harwood were named the Magpies’ best in defeat.

QAFL RESULTS:

Maroochydore 6.10 (46) defeated by Palm Beach Currumbin 17.5 (107)
Surfers Paradise 8.7 (55) defeated by Morningside 8.9 (57)
Sherwood 10.6 (66) defeated by Broadbeach 15.13 (103)
Wilston Grange 8.5 (53) defeated Mt Gravatt 71.0 (52)