IN the past week, Queensland football lovers have seen the release of the QAFL and QFA Colts 2018 fixtures released, as well as an AFLX trial at the Under 14 Cross-Conference Invitational.
QAFL and QFA Colts 2018 Fixtures Released
AFL Queensland has announced the finalised structure and fixtures for the Under 18 Colts competition ahead of the 2018 season. The updated structure includes six new teams that will participate in the Colts format in 2018; increasing the total number of clubs involved to 24 – four more than last year. The structure aims to align teams with their existing senior competitions, with the 24 teams grouped into three separate competitions.
The alignment aims to assist in the transition of players from the youth ranks to senior football. As a result, most matches in the fixture will commence at 9:30am, prior to each club’s respective senior fixtures. All three competitions feature a 19-round home and away season, before a finals series at its conclusion. Grand Finals will be held on September 15 (QFA Colts Maroon), September 16 (QFA Colts White) and September 22/23 (QAFL Colts) adding to the theatre of existing Grand Final days.
All Colts competition games commence on April 21.
AFLX takes centre stage at Under 14 Cross-Conference Invitational
AFLX made its first venture into Queensland youth football last weekend as 18 teams across the Wide Bay and South East Queensland regions competed in the Under 14 Youth Boys Cross-Conference Carnival Invitationals. Rules from the latest footballing initiative such as ten-point ‘zooper’ goals, kick-ins after all scores and play on form posts were all incorporated in the carnival, however games were still played on a traditional football oval.
Both Wynnum and the Sunshine Coast hosted one-day carnivals on March 25th for several Under 14 clubs as part of their preseason preparations. Ten teams from the Wide Bay, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast leagues participated at the Sunshine Coast event at North Shore AFC, whilst eight teams from the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions partook in the Wynnum carnival.
Feedback from clubs across the offseason as part of the Youth Male Strategy highlighted a desire for more variety in the games played and the opportunity for an alternative match day experience. As a result, AFL Queensland developed the initiative to provide South East Queensland junior AFL clubs with increased variety of opposition in the preseason as teams from different competitions and regions played against each other.
Each team across both carnivals played four games throughout the day with everyone receiving a participation medal for their contribution on the day.
AFL Round Two:
Brisbane Lions vs. Melbourne Demons
Melbourne survived a huge scare, holding off a ferocious Brisbane comeback to win by 26 points at the Gabba on Saturday night. The clash marked the first home game of the season for the Lions and Luke Hodge’s first appearance at the Gabba in Lions’ colours. For the second week in a row the Lions have given their opposition the start as the Demons kicked five goals to the Lions’ three behinds in the first term. This had Brisbane down by 31 points heading into the second term. Again, the Lions were to aggressive with ball in hand to the point of recklessness, blazing away when they needed to slow the game down. The result was a glut of turnovers, particularly entering attack, leaving them stranded as the ball rebounded the other way.
In the second term both sides were on level pegging, but for the majority of the second half the Lions were much more dominant. Between the seven-minute mark of the third quarter and the 17-minute mark of the last, the Demons didn’t kick a goal. The Lions drew level through Allen Christensen’s third major, and had the momentum to roll over the top of the visitors. But critical mistakes cost them, and the Demons rallied to pull away in the last 10 minutes.
Jesse Hogan and Jeff Garlett were particularly instrumental for the Demons. Hogan was dominant, setting up Melbourne’s victory with three goals from 14 possessions and seven marks in the first half, with two more final quarter goals sealing the win. Garlett as usual needed only a couple of half-chances to have an impact, kicking two and giving away another to Nathan Jones in the first half. Like Hogan, he kicked two more in the last when his side needed a spark.
There were bright spots for the Lions. On top of the courage shown to come all the way back to level the scores at one stage, Crows import Charlie Cameron was the Lions’ best player and barely wasted a touch. But Melbourne were a stronger unit, beating the Lions inside for contested ball. The Lions drop to 0-2 ahead of trips to play Port Adelaide and Richmond in the next fortnight.
Brisbane 10.14 (74) defeated by Melbourne 14.16 (100)
Brisbane: Cameron 3, Christensen 3, Bewick, Zorko, Hipwood, Cox.
Melbourne: Hogan 5, Garlett 4, Jones 2, Fritsch 2, Neal-Bullen.
Brisbane: Cameron, Christensen, Cox, Taylor, Zorko
Melbourne: Hogan, Garlett, Oliver, Jones, Petracca
Gold Coast Suns vs. Carlton Blues
In-demand power forward Tom Lynch booted eight goals to help Gold Coast Suns to a convincing 28-point win over Carlton, keeping their undefeated record intact. The Suns led from start to finish, bursting out of the blocks with five goals to one in the opening term to set up a handy buffer. Their relentless pressure ensured that the Blues could find no easy way back into the game, highlighting the new brand of football that coach Stuart Dew has swiftly enforced.
Pocket rockets Darcy Macpherson and Jarryd Lyons were in the thick of things with game-highs in tackles (10) and contested possessions (26) respectively. They were supported well by former Blue Nick Holman, who continued his impressive return to AFL football with 15 disposals and 10 tackles. Their collective impact made all the difference on the day, as the Blues won the disposal and inside 50 counts comfortably, but found themselves butchering the ball in important areas under the pressure of 93 Gold Coast tackles.
The home side were up against it before the ball was even bounced, with their ever-reliable ruckman Matthew Kreuzer a late out, replaced by midfielder Cameron Polson. It proved to be telling, as Jarrod Witts took full advantage of the less-experienced rotation of Levi Casboult, Charlie Curnow and Cam O’Shea, who was on debut. While Curnow put in a solid shift with his two goals alongside his brother Ed, who was ever-present with his 38 disposals and 10 tackles, the Blues lacked a spark in the forward half and were swiftly found out for it.
For the second time in their history the Suns will go into round three with a perfect record, looking to improve to a 3-0 record with a win against Fremantle Dockers at home. Their early season form is a far-cry from what many expected out of the young Suns squad, and there is sure to be some excitement up on the Gold Coast with the Commonwealth Games due to commence this week.
Gold Coast 15.11 (101) defeated Carlton 9.13 (67)
Carlton: Wright 2, C. Curnow 2, Cripps, Fisher, Weitering, Lamb, Murphy.
Gold Coast: Lynch 8, Martin 3, Macpherson, Lyons, Ainsworth, Young.
Carlton: Cripps, E. Curnow, C. Curnow, Simpson, Petrevski-Seton, Murphy
Gold Coast: Lynch, Witts, Swallow, Martin, Lyons, Hall, Thompson