Tag: QAFL

Queensland weekly wrap: Finals time arrives

FINALS time has well and truly arrived across the country and Queensland, which means Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) knockout action is about to get underway. Meanwhile at the elite level, both Brisbane and Gold Coast’s years are winding down having comfortably missed out on finals.

QAFL finals kick off

The QAFL Seniors and Reserves finals get underway this weekend and the competition in the Seniors couldn’t be any tighter. Palm Beach have been the top side all year and have the week off whilst Broadbeach face Morningside in a qualifying final, and Surfers Paradise face Mt Gravatt in a do or die elimination encounter.  

Broadbeach claimed second spot on the ladder with 11 wins this season, while 10 wins apiece from Morningside, Surfers Paradise and Mt Gravatt, puts them third to fifth in that order with only percentage separating them.  

In Reserve grade, it appears to be a two horse race for the QAFL Reserve crown between first placed Broadbeach and second placed Mt Gravatt. Broadbeach have 14 wins this season and Mt Gravatt have 13 to be a few games clear of their finals counterparts; Labrador, Palm Beach and Western Magpies. Much like the Seniors, Labrador (third), Palm Beach (fourth) and the Western Magpies (fifth), are all clustered together in the bottom half of the top five, making results very hard to predict.

Overall it should be a cracking finals series in both QAFL divisions. Head down to the games or catch all the action via the QAFL Facebook page.

 

Season over for Lions and Suns

The closing of the home and away season marks the end of the year for the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns. For Gold Coast it was not the ideal send off with a 102-point loss to eight place Geelong, but with speculation over Michael Barlow’s future, he did himself plenty of favours with a 35 possession game.

Alex Sexton ended the season as club leading goalkeeper with 28 whilst Touk Miller led the disposal count at 485. Jarrod Witts’ magnificent season ended with 854 hitouts, good for second in the AFL behind only All-Australian Ruckman Max Gawn.

From a team perspective the Suns are in a full rebuild, exemplified by Tom Lynch leaving the club. They will get high picks in the offseason to add to some impressive young talent that just needs time and experience. The Suns end the season in 17th with four wins, two down on last year’s total but taking into account a much more competitive competition this season.

The Brisbane Lions have ended their season with five wins, exactly the same as last season but the win-loss record doesn’t tell the whole story. The Lions have been much more competitive this season in no small part thanks to the additions of Luke Hodge and Charlie Cameron who provided immediate positive impact on the team. In addition, some Lions have had breakout seasons including the likes of; Eric Hipwood, Jarrod Berry, Alex Witherden and Hugh McCluggage.

A couple of Lions were unlucky not to be named in the final All-Australian squad. Harris Andrews and Dayne Beams made the 40-man squad but couldn’t make the final 22. Nevertheless, those two alongside veterans Dayne Zorko, and Mitch Robinson in particular had strong seasons.

Looking ahead, the future of the Lions looks very bright based off close losses this season against stiff opposition who have walked all over them in the past. With Chris Fagan and Hodge at the helm the sky is the limit for Brisbane.

New coverage, new chapter for Queensland AFL

THE rich history of Australian Rules Football extends far below the AFL stars on the television. A heavy sense of pride and reputation exists when the local weekend warriors battle it out in rain, hail or shine on a Saturday afternoon.

But for most of the game’s 150-year history, this reputation and authenticity at the local level has mainly taken a back seat in the dominant AFL states of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. It seems now though that Queensland has taken a big step towards stamping its mark on local AFL in Australia.

The Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) has this year begun to film all games for public viewing online as well as conducting a live streamed game with commentary every round on Facebook during the 2018 season. This extended coverage follows suit with the Victorian Football League (VFL), being the trend setters with live streaming along with radio and televised games for several years now.

Part of this new process is Riley Staraj, one of the appointed commentators to call the live QAFL games this season.

“It’s a product that’s only started this year and it’s a very authentic product bringing our local game to a wider audience and bringing exposure to the QAFL,” Staraj said.

The new coverage of the QAFL also has taken a page out of the North Eastern Australian Football League’s (NEAFL) book. The NEAFL have streamed games online for several years also to show off the talent that exists in the reserve grades of teams such as the Brisbane Lions.

QAFL Competition Manager Christopher Davies said that when discussions were first held in spring last year to undertake the extended coverage, the main goals were based on qualitative, not quantitative results.

“We didn’t set ourselves any goals in terms of numbers it was about whatever we did, we do it properly and that it looked professional,” Davies said.

The principal statistic that measures the reach of the QAFL coverage is that an average of between 1500-2000 people tune in each week to watch the live streamed game. Although this figure does not account for how long people are watching the game, it demonstrates the interest in Queensland AFL.

There have inevitably been challenges for the QAFL taking its first steps in national recognition, in regard to the logistics and technical aspects of the coverage.

“We’ve had our technical challenges to start with in learning the new system that we use to upload our videos and of course unfortunately it wouldn’t stream… Aside from that it’s all been relatively good,” Davies said.

Of course, like any broadcasting team there are the unsung ‘tech’ heroes who virtually put on the show and the same heroes exist in the QAFL coverage. QAFL caller Matt Carroll has nothing but praise for the tech team behind the streaming, making his job very easy.

“All that I do is clip the microphone to my lapel that’s it, the tech guys have done a great job,” Carroll said.

The increased exposure that the streaming of games gives to the QAFL, opens up talent pathways for all those involved. This includes players, coaches, commentators and coaches alike.

For Staraj, it has always been a goal of his to call AFL at the highest level. He strongly believes that calling QAFL games is the best avenue for the foreseeable future, to develop his commentary career.

“This is the best stepping stone you can get because it’s such a niche industry,” Staraj said. “You need practical experience and you can’t get a better opportunity than this, calling the QAFL.”

With more eyes than ever on every QAFL game, the opportunities are there for players aspiring to reach the highest levels. The pathway may now be easier than ever before as a result of the extended coverage of the QAFL.

Mt Gravatt Senior Coach Daniel Webster believes that the streaming of QAFL games is a great tool that might help his players get picked up by the higher leagues around the nation.

“More people actually get to watch the games,” Webster said. “So, if a recruiter or someone from interstate wanted to watch a replay of a player’s game they just need to jump on the AFLQ website. “From that perspective it’s definitely a good tool for recruitment.”

Perhaps the most excited party in all this coverage are the players running around the paddock on Saturday afternoons. All eyes are now on the best of the best club footballers in Queensland for the first time. This offers extra motivation for players looking to impress and move up the AFL ranks.

Mt Gravatt’s very own QAFL senior player James Markham said that with more spectators online, it’s another reason to play better. On the flip side for players are their nerves before they play, and James claims that it plays on the mind on some of his teammates.

Rhys Estall (Mt Gravatt teammate) gets nervous when a lot of people are watching especially with the games being streamed nowadays,” Markham said.

Furthermore, Markham echoes his coach’s thoughts that the broader coverage of the QAFL will do nothing but help players chasing a football dream.

Looking ahead to the future, the administration at AFL Queensland have plans in place to extend even more the online broadcast of QAFL matches.

“We probably will look to extend the live stream to every game in time. Obviously, there’s a lot of challenges that come with streaming every game live each round along with incorporating more pre-game and post-game content,” Davies said.

To culminate the first season of streaming of matches, the QAFL alongside AFL Queensland will be live streaming all QAFL finals matches. To view QAFL matches head to the QAFL Facebook page and follow the links.

Queensland weekly wrap: QAFL Round 7 wrap; AFL teams smashed

THE completion of Round 7 of the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) sees the ladder taking shape quite nicely, with two teams clear at the top. Meanwhile, it was a disappointing weekend for fans of the Queensland AFL clubs as both sides were comprehensively beaten.  

QAFL Seniors Round 7 wrap:

Seven rounds into the QAFL season and the pecking order has begun to take shape on the QAFL ladder. At the top are two clear favourites, Palm Beach and Mt Gravatt. The pair are unbeaten so far with both having had a bye thus far. We have to wait until Round 10 to see a potential grand final warm up match between the two sides. Both Palm Beach and Mt Gravatt have two players each high on the Syd Guildford Medal leaderboard after seven rounds; Jarryd Douglas (Palm Beach, 28 votes), Nicholas Crawley (20 votes), Andrew Smith (Mt Gravatt, 20 votes) and Jayden Crawley (19 votes). Premiership favouritism must go Palm Beach’s way, after all they are the reigning premiers.

Broadbeach, Morningside and Surfers Paradise are the three teams sitting around where many would expect at this stage. Broadbeach are outright third with four wins so far and should not be counted too far out of the premiership race. They have come very close to Palm Beach and Mt Gravatt in their clashes – losing 87-79 against the Vultures and 83-62 to Palm Beach. The Broadbeach Cats boast a healthy percentage, the current leader in Syd Guilford voting Blake Erickson on 31 votes, and two very winnable games against Sandgate and the Gorillas coming up. Do not sleep on the Cats!

Morningside have two wins this season and sit in sixth. There is no lack of top level talent at Morningside with three players in the top 10 of the Syd Guildford leaderboard thus far, combined with some strong key forwards up front. Morningside will be ruing that loss to Sandgate recently as a third win would have put them with the Magpies and Surfers Paradise in equal fourth. After resting with the bye this round, Morningside will test themselves against Mt Gravatt and look to prove they belong in finals contention.

Surfers Paradise are the typical middle of the road team at the moment with a 3-3 record so far. They have beaten teams they should have in Labrador, Morningside and Sandgate and lost ones they were expected externally to lose against Broadbeach, the Magpies and Mt Gravatt. The Surfers Paradise Demons are definitely keen to be in the mix come finals and their close losses to top teams show that. The Demons loss by 13 points to Mt Gravatt and 19 to Broadbeach so they are not far off the pace. Cassidy Haberfield has amassed a strong year thus far with 22 votes in the Syd Guildford tally, good for fourth in the competition.

After a string of three close losses in the first month of footy, the Western Magpies have found the winning formula, rattling off three consecutive wins. They have all been 10+ goal victories against Surfers Paradise, Wilston Grange and Sandgate. They now sit in fourth place with 12 points like Surfers Paradise but the Magpies boast a percentage of 149.76, good for the second best in the league. Magpies forward Jake De Winter put in the performance of the season so far with a monstrous 10 goals against Surfers Paradise in Round 5 which has helped him shoot to second in the leading goal kicker tally only behind Jarryd Douglas of Palm Beach.

If someone told the Sandgate coaching staff they would have the same number of wins as Labrador after seven rounds they would think you were crazy, but that is how things stand now. The Sandgate Hawks are joined by Labrador and Wilston Grange with one win each after seven rounds. The fall of Labrador is the main mitigating factor of this three-team logjam for the wooden spoon. The Hawks jagged an impressive win over Morningside in Round 5 by 12 points away from home, showing their very young side are not the pushovers many expected them to be. Furthermore, the Hawks were very competitive against the Vultures last round as they led the equal ladder leaders at halftime but fell away in the second half.

The Wilston Grange Gorillas have shown they are only a level off the best in games where just a slight lack of class and experience cost them. It has been a tough stretch since their season-opening win against Sandgate and it has been compounded by big losses in recent weeks to the Magpies and Palm Beach. The Gorillas face Broadbeach this coming round in a game where both teams have much to play for. The Gorillas will be wanting a show of pride and skill to separate themselves from the bottom teams whilst Broadbeach will be looking for a big victory to close in on Palm Beach and Mt Gravatt.

Finally, how the mighty Labrador have fallen this season. After a disappointing finals campaign last year, that form has continued this year. Labrador have just a 121-92 win over the Gorillas in Round 4 to show for their season thus far. It is hard to pinpoint the one big issue for Labrador this season and they have suffered recent big losses to Morningside and Broadbeach. Round 8 sees them playing the young Sandgate Hawks in a must win performance to show they are not a bottom side by afterwards having wins against the Gorillas and Hawks to show for it. Key talls Jake Goldsmith and Bryce Retzlaff will be hoping for others around them to step up this week and for the remainder of the year.

Round 8 will see Morningside, Mt Gravatt and the Western Magpies all have byes.

AFL Round 11 – Suns and Lions get pummelled:

In Gary Ablett’s return to Metricon, he was on an absolute tear all game as the star Cat collected 37 touches and kicked three goals against the Suns. He was joined by teammates Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan, Sam Menegola and Patrick Dangerfield as leading ball winners on the ground. Touk Miller was the best for Gold Coast with 27 disposals and a goal continuing a good year for him. After a competitive first term where the Cats kicked 3.5 to the Suns’ 2.4, the game was all one-way traffic. Geelong piled on 14 goals to the Suns’ two over the last three quarters including a seven goal to zip second term to silence the home crowd. Not a whole lot of positives for the Suns this round and they need to put this game behind them when they face the Giants on Saturday afternoon, who are coming off a gritty win against the Crows in Adelaide.

The Lions went down 141-87 against North Melbourne at Etihad, which began with a five goal to zero blowout in the first term by the Kangaroos. It was a tough day for the Lions with injuries to Charlie Cameron and Allen Christensen early on severely limiting their rotations. The Kangaroos ran the Lions off their feet kicking 12 goals to three in the first half and putting the game to bed. The Lions though were not ready to be tucked in quite yet, fighting back hard in the second half. Both sides kicked nine goals apiece in the second half.

Shaun Higgins and Luke McDonald were superb for North Melbourne with 38 and 34 disposals respectively while Dayne Beams was inspirational for the Lions, somehow kicking five goals and getting 32 touches in a side that lost by over 50 points.

The Lions will quietly fancy their chances when they face the Bombers Sunday afternoon at the Gabba.

Queensland weekly wrap: QAFL monthly round-up; QLD Academies finish level

IN the past week the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns’ Academies finished their Under 18 Academy Series with two wins each, while we recap the past month in the QAFL.

QAFL Seniors Monthly Recap:

The Queensland AFL (QAFL) community has been treated to a high quality and competitive first month of QAFL footy. With the addition of live streaming and commentary for games adding to the competition which is seeing a change of the guard at the top of the ladder. After four rounds, the Mt Gravatt Vultures have a perfect record and have catapulted to top spot. Based off preseason external and perhaps internal expectations, the Vultures have surprised the league with tough wins over Labrador, Western Magpies, Wilston Grange and Broadbeach. The Vultures have demonstrated their ability to hold their nerve and structures in close games with an average winning margin of 12 points through their first month. Key forward Jordan Bain has been excellent kicking 15 goals so far this season. The Vultures have a bye next round before facing Surfers Paradise away from home in round six.

From second to fourth sit three Gold Coast sides all with 12 points and three wins apiece. Palm Beach, Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise all look like teams that will likely be playing finals footy later this season. Palm Beach Currumbin could easily be in top spot if they haven’t already had a bye. Currumbin have flexed their muscles early on including a demolition job over Labrador in the Grand final rematch.

Morningside, Wilston Grange and Labrador have one win apiece and are placed fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Labrador have continued their form slump from late last year with only a win over the languishing Gorillas for the year. Alarm bells will be ringing in the Labrador coaching box as their side has managed to concede over 400 points in four rounds of footy, the worst in the league. Labrador will be hoping for more contributions across the 22 instead of heavy reliance on big’s Jake Goldsmith and Bryce Retzlaff.

The Grange Gorillas have been brave so far this season being very competitive in all their losses and perhaps could have taken another game or two with more experience in the side. In second bottom is the unluckiest team in Queensland footy, the Western Magpies.  Much like the Vultures, the Magpies have been locked in tight contests so far this season but have lost their three close games by an average of 12 points. This includes going down by six against the Vultures and 13 against Palm Beach. The Magpies will be hoping persistence pays off next round when they face Surfers Paradise at home.

In last are the Sandgate Hawks where many expected them to be. The young Hawks will want to pick up a few wins this season as they continue rebuilding with youth. Aside from a belting from Palm Beach, the Hawks have been gallant in losses to Wilston Grange and Surfers Paradise. Sandgate perhaps smell a win next round when they face Morningside.

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Lions and Suns finish U18 Academy Series neck and neck:

The two Under 18 Queensland academies must have a sense of theatre and state rivalry as the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns Academies both finished their Under 18 Academy Series with two wins and three losses. The Lions however hold bragging rights beating the Suns by 12 points in week two of the competition. The Under 18 Brisbane Lions Academy were unable to claim victory in their last game against the Northern Territory in the Under 18 Academy Series. Brisbane did themselves no favours giving up a four goal to zip opening quarter making victory unlikely. However, they managed to claw their way back over the next three quarters kicking 11 goals to NT’s 10 to fall short by just 14 points at TIO Stadium. The Lions finish their series with a 2-3 record with wins over GWS and Gold Coast academy which should leave the coaching staff fairly content overall.

Northern Territory             4.1       7.2       10.3    14.5 (89)
Brisbane Academy           0.5       4.5       8.7       11.9 (75)

GOALS

Northern Territory: M.Cumming 3, Ferreira, Mummery, Wyatt 2, Box, Brown, Jungfer, Kossack, O’Connell
Brisbane Academy: McFadyen 5, Ansell 2, Jeffrey, Wratten, Franks, Stackelberg

BEST

Northern Territory: Jungfer, Baird, Mummery, Schwarze, Ferreira, M.Cumming
Brisbane Academy: McFadyen, Coleman, Cowan, Reville

For the Suns, their final encounter of the series was a nail bitter going down to the Swans Academy by just two points. The sides were impossible to split on the day as the match went against the form guide of the competition being much closer than externally expected. Top 10 prospect Nick Blakey was again sensational, booting three goals for the Swans and ultimately being the difference between the sides in the end. Like the Lions, the Suns finish 2-3 with wins over the Northern Territory and GWS.

Sydney Academy                    2.1       5.2       6.3       8.8 (56)
Gold Coast Academy              3.1       4.3       6.3       8.6 (54)

GOALS

Sydney Academy: Blakey 3, Reinhard, Ellem, Stern, Loone, Barling
Gold Coast Academy: Scott 2, Lowah 2, Crossley, Gore, Portelli, Graham

BEST

Sydney Academy: Wicks, Blakey, Stern, Kilpatrick
Gold Coast Academy: Scott, Greenwool, Portelli, Bowie

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QLD Private School League launching in 2019:

AFL football will be rolled out in term one next year across eight private schools in Queensland. The announcement was made by the Associated Independent Colleges (AIC) offering AFL to students from grades 5-12 on a two-year trial. This change to private school sport comes after a 2017 AIC sports review found parents and students wanted AFL to be introduced as an option.  This announcement is another mark of growth for AFL football in the sunshine state.

Queensland weekly wrap: Q-Clash weekend provides thrillers

THE Q-Clash was the centre of focus in Queensland football this week at both the AFL and Under 18 levels. While the senior Suns clung on to victory at the Gabba, the Lions academy claimed bragging rights to even the ledger. The other big story of the week was the landmark occasion of the first ever QAFL games being live-streamed.

AFL Round 5 | Q-Clash 15 – Gold Coast Suns vs. Brisbane Lions

Gold Coast were able to edge out Brisbane on Sunday afternoon to win the fifteenth Q-Clash by just five points. It gave the Suns their third win of the season, whilst the Lions remain winless after five rounds.  The Suns led by as much as 27 points in the third term and had to withstand a final quarter Lions comeback, but hung on to win 11.10 (76) to 10.11 (71) after successive losses in Perth. Brisbane’s number one draft pick Cam Rayner had a flying shot at goal from 50m in the final seconds to draw the contest but pulled it wide for a behind.

Touk Miller of the Gold Coast Suns showed how to play a team role to perfection at the Gabba. Miller went to Dayne Zorko and made the Lions star’s night a miserable one. At every opportunity, Miller got stuck into the All Australian, pushing, shoving and giving him no breathing space.  Zorko finished with a paltry 10 disposals and had minimal influence, while Miller became more and more involved as the night wore on, racking up 21 touches, including seven clearances. Co-captain Steven May played easily his best game of the season, while David Swallow, Brayden Fiorini and Jarrod Harbrow also excelled.  The goal of the night was a toss-up between Fiorini’s one step bomb from a stoppage just outside forward 50, and Charlie Cameron’s snap goal in the final term.

The loss will sting the Lions. It is the fourth time in five rounds they have had a chance to win in the final term, yet they remain winless.

Final Scores:

BRISBANE          2.3     4.7      7.9      10.11     (71)                 
GOLD COAST     4.2     7.3     10.6     11.10     (76)         

Goals:

Brisbane:  Hipwood 3, Cameron 2, Taylor, Bailey, Rayner, Zorko, McStay.
Gold Coast: MacPherson 2, Lynch 2, Fiorini 2, Lyons, Young, Day, Holman, May.

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Under-18 Academy Series – Brisbane Academy vs. Gold Coast Academy

The Q-Clash rivalry was in full effect in the second round of the Under 18 Academy Series as the Lions and Suns faced off. A brilliant seven goals to zero first term by the Lions helped set up their 12-point victory. The Suns would claw their way back throughout the match kicking 11 goals to four over the final three terms in a display of guts and determination.  

Standout performers for the Lions included small midfielder Jesse Quint, racking up 20 touches and a goal. Caleb Franks totalled a massive 37 disposals to lead all the ground in that category, while snagging two goals himself. Thomas Griffiths was also impressive gathering 25 touches and rebounding well across half-back.

For the Suns, Bailey Scott again was in the best players, collecting 19 disposals and two goals. Labrador midfielder Cooper Portelli had 25 disposals and eight marks, while Matthew Smith kicked three goals up forward.

Final Scores:

BRISBANE LIONS           7.1       9.5       10.10   12.11 (83)
GOLD COAST SUNS        0.0       5.3       7.4       11.5 (71)

Goals:

Brisbane: Franks, McFadyen, Tomkinson 2, Pettigrove, Quint, Matthews, Jeffrey, Smith, Ansell
Gold Coast: Smith 3, Scott 2, Portelli, Katsiris, Haua, Wingrove, Burke, Miles

BEST

Brisbane: Quint, Tomkinson, Franks, Stackelberg, Matthews, Pettigrove
Gold Coast: Portelli, Smith, Scott, Gore, Stone

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First ever QAFL games live streamed

AFL Queensland provided their first complete live streams of QAFL matches over the weekend.  On Saturday, QAFL viewers were treated to an absolute thriller between senior sides Mt Gravatt and the Western Magpies. In a game that was neck and neck throughout, the Mt Gravatt Vultures escaped six-point winners at home.

On Sunday, the second live streamed match was between Surfers Paradise and last year’s runners up Labrador. After a three goals to zero opening stand by Labrador, Surfers responded in the second term, kicking five goals to two to lead by four points at the half. The sides would go back and forth in the second half with Surfers helping themselves to a big opening round upset thanks to having 28 scoring shots to Labrador’s 17.  

At a minimum, one QAFL game each week will be streamed at www.aflq.com.au/qafl-live throughout the season. An additional six games will also be broadcast to showcase the bigger matchups of the year.

Queensland weekly wrap: Academy boys stake claim for Allies

IT was not a great weekend for the Queensland AFL and Under 18 sides with four losses between the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns. There were a number of standouts from the teams however who still performed despite the results.

Under 18 Academy Series Week One – Brisbane Lions vs. Sydney Swans

THE UNDER 18 Academy Series kicked off at Blacktown International Sports Park on Saturday, which included the Brisbane Lions Academy taking on the Sydney Swans Academy. The Swans were too strong and led from start to finish in the second game of the National Under 18 Academy Series. The Swans ran out 49-point winners over the Lions, in front of a sea of AFL club recruiters.

Possible top 10 and Sydney Swans father-son pick Nick Blakey booted five goals, and was the star of the show for the Swans. The 195cm forward was too good for his Lions opponent, also finishing the day with 19 disposals and seven marks. Brisbane Lions fans would be hoping that Blakey decides to join the Lions as a father-son selection in the draft later this year.

Cooparoo junior Darcy Marsh was impressive for the Lions with two goals from his 23 disposals in a midfielder masterclass. Hard Lions midfielder Caleb Franks battled well, amassing 19 disposals and a goal while Toara Marango proved a pillar down back.

Meanwhile in the earlier game, Tasmania booted eight goals to one in the second quarter, to move to an uncatchable lead over the Gold Coast Suns Academy side, eventually running out 45-points winners. 

Tall defender Caleb Graham showed some good signs overhead, claiming five marks for the game – repelling multiple Mariners attacks from defensive 50.  Midfielder Bailey Scott used his speed through the midfield, gathering 23 disposals, five clearances and a goal. Scott is eligible to be drafted by three clubs (as well as having the option of entering the open draft), as the son of former Cat (132 games) and Kangaroos (111 games) player Robert Scott is eligible for father-son both clubs, as well as being part of the Gold Coast Suns academy. Tall defender Dirk Koenen (194cm) was the Suns’ best player for the contest, taking eight marks for the match.

The Brisbane Lions play the Gold Coast Suns Academy next Sunday at the Southpine Sports Complex.  

Full-Time Scores:

Sydney Swans 16.6 (102) defeated Brisbane Lions 8.5 (53)                 

Goals:

Sydney: Blakey 5, Kilpatrick 3, McKellar, Reinhard, Barkley, Barling, Stern, Carroll, Wicks, Parker
Brisbane: Marsh 2, Reville, Franks, McFadyen, Stackelberg, Jeffrey, Ansell

Best:

Sydney: Cameron, Blakey, McKeller, Kilpatrick, Reinhard, Rayner, Parker
Brisbane: Marango, Marsh, Griffiths, Franks, Stackelberg

 

Tasmania 15.9 (99) defeated Gold Coast Suns 8.6 (54)                 

Goals:
Tasmania: Jones 4, Rubock 3, Mundy 3, Dakin 2, Banks-Smith 2, O’Neill
Gold Coast: Smith 2, Burke, Conroy, Graham, Greenwool, Lowah, Scott

BEST
Tasmania: 
Auckland, Turner, Jones, House, McGuinness, Gadomski 
Gold Coast: 
Koenen, Smith, McDonald, Scott, Graham

AFL Round Four – Lions and Suns smashed ahead of Q-Clash

It was a disappointing round for Queensland AFL supporters as the Lions and Suns were both comprehensively beaten over the weekend. The Lions had a horror 93-point loss to a rampant Richmond at the MCG on Saturday afternoon where they just managed two goals in the game. The Suns were not much better losing by 80 points to the West Coast Eagles in Perth where they made 71 clangers around the ground.

These underwhelming performances may prove to be a poor endorsement for the 15th instalment of the Q-Clash to be held at the Gabba next Sunday afternoon. With both sides sharing in recent poor from over the last few seasons, the hope for solid attendance at the Gabba is low. Over the last few seasons, crowds at the Gabba have been amongst the lowest in the AFL, ranking 16th in 2016 and 2017. That ranks them just above the two expansion teams, Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants.

Both sides sit in the bottom echelon of the AFL ladder and they would have both had this Q-Clash circled on the calendar at the start of the year. Three of the last six Q-Clashes have been decided by three goals or less, with an already rich history of close encounters between the two Queensland sides.  

Broadbeach bounce back in final QAFL practice match

The Broadbeach Cats QAFL Seniors and Reserves have bounced back in their final practice games against Sandgate last Saturday at Springwood. Preliminary finalists from last season, the Broadbeach QAFL seniors were comprehensively beaten by QAFL rivals, the Mt Gravatt Vultures 118-76 when they met on April 7. The Senior and Reserves Cats QAFL squads shook off the big loss and handed the Sandgate Hawks tow thrashings of 130 points in the Reserves and 66 in the Seniors.

Broadbeach Senior coach Brett Andrews wrapped up his side’s last hit out before round one against Morningside at home. In summary, Andrews was pleased that his teams’ attitude was where it needed to be along with their new recruits impressing. Andrews also mentioned he will have some headaches when it comes to team selection with so much depth in their senior ranks.

Queensland weekly wrap: Colts fixtures released; juniors embrace AFLX

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.

Final Scores:

Brisbane 10.14 (74) defeated by Melbourne 14.16 (100)

Goals:

Brisbane: Cameron 3, Christensen 3, Bewick, Zorko, Hipwood, Cox.
Melbourne: Hogan 5, Garlett 4, Jones 2, Fritsch 2, Neal-Bullen.

Best:

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.    

Final Scores:

Gold Coast 15.11 (101) defeated Carlton 9.13 (67)

Goals:

Carlton: Wright 2, C. Curnow 2, Cripps, Fisher, Weitering, Lamb, Murphy.
Gold Coast: Lynch 8, Martin 3, Macpherson, Lyons, Ainsworth, Young.

Best:

Carlton: Cripps, E. Curnow, C. Curnow, Simpson, Petrevski-Seton, Murphy
Gold Coast: Lynch, Witts, Swallow, Martin, Lyons, Hall, Thompson

Queensland weekly wrap: AFLW Lions fall short; former Roos skipper swallowed up in mini-draft

It has been a heartbreaking week for Brisbane Lions fans as they saw their women’s side fall agonisingly short in the AFLW grand final, while their AFL counterparts lost their season opener at the hands of St Kilda. Meanwhile, the NEAFL/QAFL mini-draft highlighted a busy week elsewhere.

AFLW Grand Final | Brisbane Lions vs. Western Bulldogs

The Western Bulldogs overcame a goalless first half to clinch a thrilling six-point victory over the Brisbane Lions in the AFLW grand final at Ikon Park. A three-goal-to-nil third term proved the difference as the Dogs defied the absence of suspended skipper Katie Brennan, putting a dramatic week behind them to capture the premiership.

Both teams struggled to score early on with the conditions and heat of the contest proving difficult. Lions young star Sophie Conway kicked the game’s lone goal of the first half. Conway capped off a neat passage of play by converting a set shot from 15 metres after being spotted by Jess Wuetschner. Conway should have returned the favour minutes later when she had Wuetschner alone near goal, instead going for goal herself and wasting a gilt-edged opportunity. Still, the Lions’ pressure around the ground was outstanding, and they dared to take the game on. But a handful of half-chances in the second term amounted to nothing, so while the Dogs were held scoreless for the quarter, so too were the Lions with just a goal in it at halftime.

The complexion of the match changed soon after the break. The Dogs began to take control in the middle and implemented a direct style of play. With the rain having abated, Deanna Berry unloaded from just beyond 50 metres to kick the first goal of the game for the Bulldogs. Kirsten McLeod dribbled another Dogs through moments later to turn the tide of the match. Young Bulldog star Monique Conti tumbled through the Dogs’ third major moments before three-quarter time, and the wave was palpable. This had been their premiership quarter.

Wuetschner found an opening early in the final term, goaling to renew Lions’ hope. Then Jamie Stanton continued to find the footy, helping to set up a chance to the hitherto quiet Sabrina Frederick-Traub, but the big forward missed, cutting the margin to an even goal. Later in the term Emma Kearney won a holding the ball free kick with a tackle on Lions’ Kaitlyn Ashmore 30-metres out from goal. She kicked truly to all but seal the deal with five minutes left to play. Wuetschner goaled from a stoppage with three minutes to go, cutting the margin to just five points. In the end it wasn’t enough for the Lions, losing by a goal in the decider for the second year running.

Final Scores:

WESTERN BULLDOGS   0.1   0.1   3.2   4.3 (27)
BRISBANE LIONS         1.1   1.1   1.1   3.3 (21)

Goals:

Western Bulldogs: Berry, McLeod, Conti, Kearney
Brisbane Lions: Wuetschner 2, Conway  

Best:

Western Bulldogs: Conti, Blackburn, Kearney, Birch, Spark, Bruton
Brisbane Lions: Lutkins, Stanton, Wuetschner, Zielke, Ashmore  

QAFL clubs vie for NEAFL talent in mini-draft

As the football season draws closer, Queensland clubs from both the NEAFL and QAFL competitions have staged the 2018 QAFL mini-draft this week. The mini-draft exists to align every Queensland NEAFL primary listed player to a QAFL club, with representatives from the clubs tasked with selecting players in reverse ladder order and who have no previous alignment to their list. In the circumstance where a NEAFL player is not selected by their team on any given weekend, they will be available for selection for their aligned QAFL club that weekend.

Eight former AFL players have been aligned to QAFL clubs in 2018, including former North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow, who we could potentially see suiting up for Wilston Grange, and Matt Hammelmann, who could return to Morningside.

Port Douglas reigns supreme in North Queensland Premiers Challenge

The Port Douglas Crocs showed on Saturday why they are widely regarded as one of the best regional teams in the state, when they accounted for the Townsville-based Hermit Park Tigers by 45 points in the inaugural NQ Premiers Challenge. The battle of AFL Cairns and AFL Townsville 2017 premiers was scheduled to be the curtain raiser for the AFL’s Gold Coast Suns vs North Melbourne match at Cazaly’s Stadium, however persistent rain saw the match moved to the newly revamped Watsons Oval in Cairns.

Final Scores:

Port Douglas 10.11 (71) defeated Hermit Park 4.2 (26)

Goals:

Port: Daniel Moore 5, Adam Gross 2, Mitchell Bohm, Kaine Freyling, Kallum Oates.
Tigers: Jack Davidson, Jason Di Betta, Benjamin Holden, Josh Hall.

Coolangatta and Robina make womens football history

Coolangatta and Robina earned themselves a slice of womens football history at the weekend when the two clubs were crowned the inaugural Alpha Sport Women’s Showdown champions in their respective divisions. Coolangatta’s QWAFL side outlasted QWFA Division 1 powerhouse Aspley in the final, winning 3.1 (19) to 1.0 (6) to claim first place in the tournament on Saturday at Leyshon Park. Sunday’s leg saw Robina go undefeated and defeating Coomera in the final by 37 points.

Lion cubs ready to roar in 2018

QUEENSLAND’S top young talent is continuing to grow, with 2018 promising to be another busy year for the Brisbane Lions Academy. The Lions have a number of talented prospects they will develop and showcase across the season.

Lions Academy manager Luke Curran was kind enough to give AFL Draft Central his time in discussing what lies ahead for the academy this season.

The Academy already had its first hit outs across last weekend, featuring three games played by the academies Under 18 girls and male Under 16 and Under 18 squads. The Brisbane Lions Under 18 Female Academy played against the Gold Coast Suns Under 18 Female Academy in a curtain raiser to the AFLW, between Brisbane and Collingwood at the Moreton Bay Sports Complex recently.

Curran was pleased with the performances of the Academies’ male and female teams over the weekend in wet conditions.

“The three academy games were really good. The girls had a win (37 points) over the Gold Coast Suns in their first practice game,” Curran said. “We also had the U16s and 18s boys in difficult conditions. The boys and girls’ teams both played well considering the conditions.”

The Lions Academy also had eight players play in the Lions’ North Eastern Australian Football League (NEAFL) squad in their practice match against Aspley last weekend. By all reports the academy players acquitted themselves well in the match.

“Feedback from the NEAFL match from the coaches was really good,” Curran said. “The boys slotted into that team well and all performed their roles as required. We’ll be using players from our U19 NEAFL development program and U18s regularly throughout the year to make up numbers in the NEAFL main squad.”

The under 18s and 19s in the Lions Academy all aspire to get drafted later in the year. Curran identified some of the top prospects with high potential to be drafted onto an AFL list.

Ben Sloan had a reasonable season last year, going through again this year as a 19 year-old with the hope of good performances to put him in contention,” Curran said. Jack Tomkinson is a tall ruckman and key position player that’s stepped up over summer playing good footy. “From the 18 year-old’s you’re looking at guys like Tom Matthews who played in the Under 17 all star game last year. Connor McFadyen, Kiedean Coleman and Jesse Quint. There’s a fair few in the 18s we are happy with now.”

Fans will have the opportunity to see these young stars in action throughout the year. Academy players will be committing to play both academy/representative games, alongside matches for their local clubs depending on their week-to-week schedule. Fans can find the clubs of academy players on the Brisbane Lions website.

The key competitions for the Lions academy prospects this season include the AFL Under 18 Academy Series in April, followed by the Division 1 National Under 18 Championships.  Academy players will be looking to put a good foot forward in the Academy Series to stamp their spot in the Allies side at the national championships. Curran stressed that the players should not rely on the Academy series to perform their best but rather do so on a week-to-week basis in club and NEAFL games.

“We find the NEAFL games are important as well playing with and against AFL listed players on a regular basis,” Curran said. “Every game is important, the boys will fluctuate week to week but hopefully they can put consistent performances together. From our point of view, we are more worried about performance and development rather than outcomes of the games.”

The Lions Academy will have two more practice games over the next fortnight against the Gold Coast Suns Academy and the Wilston Grange QAFL side in preparation for the Academy Series. To keep updated and learn more about the Lions Academy just check out the Brisbane Lions website.

Queensland weekly wrap: New opportunities open in thriving women’s football

A BUSY week in Queensland football has been dominated by the women’s game, with more exposure and a growing list of clubs highlighting the effect of the Brisbane Lions’ success in AFLW.

QWFA changes

This season will continue to see exponential growth in women’s AFL in Queensland, with an overhaul of the Queensland Women’s Football Association’s (QWFA) 2nd Division.

Seven additional teams will enter the competition, which results in the existing QWFA Division 2 split into the North and South divisions. The seven new teams are: Ipswich, Griffith Moorooka, Alexandra Hills, Mt Gravatt, Robina, Morningside and Surfers Paradise. The QWFA Division 2 North and South fixtures both commence on April 28, featuring eight and seven teams respectively.

The grand finals for both the North and South divisions will be held on the final weekend of August.

These new additions are a showcase of how the fever of women’s AFL grips the whole state, promoting a strong future for the game.

Commentators Wanted for Streaming QAFL Matches in 2018:

In a notable step forward for Queensland AFL, the QAFL will now have a number of games live-streamed throughout the 2018 season. AFL Queensland announced that 25 matches across the 2018 QAFL season, in addition to all six finals matches, will be streamed live and free online.

At least one QAFL game will be streamed with play-by-play commentary per week on aflq.com.au, with an additional six games to be broadcast throughout the season to showcase the biggest clashes of the year.  

As a result, AFL Queensland are now seeking voluntary commentators to call the streamed games. The selection criteria stresses that desired commentators will have sound interest and knowledge of the QAFL and a willingness to help shape the identity of the league. To express your interest in a position contact christopher.davis@afl.com.au for more information.  Applications close March 10.

AFLW Lions Remain at the Top:

AFLW Round 4 | Brisbane Lions vs. Fremantle Dockers

Brisbane:  0.0   1.1   2.2   3.4 (22)
Fremantle: 0.1   0.2   1.3   2.3 (15)

GOALS:

Brisbane: Wuetschner 2, Gibson.
Fremantle: Barr, Atkins.

BEST:

Brisbane: Lutkins, Wuetschner, Stanton, Anderson, Exon
Fremantle: Filocamo, Donnellan, O’Sullivan, Antonio, Atkins

The Brisbane Lions remain equal top of the AFLW ladder following a hard fought seven-point victory over the Fremantle Dockers. The conditions were wet and dreary at the South Pine Sports Complex, with over 150mm of rainfall in the 24 hours leading up to the game.

The first quarter conditions made it extremely difficult for both sides to create scoring opportunities, with the Dockers registering the lone behind of the term. It took until the second quarter for the first goal of the game to be scored, with Jess Wuetschner finishing smartly off the ground in the goal square from a Sabrina Frederick-Traub assist. The half ended with the Lions leading by 5 points.

Brittany Gibson extended the lead midway through the third term, converting a 40-meter snap around the body. The Dockers  managed one goal in the term thanks to Stacey Barr, keeping the score very close going into three-quarter time.  

With the game at knife’s edge the whole day and into the final term, goal kicking maestro Jess Wuetschner came up clutch for the Lions. Wuetschner intuitively poked through another goal from the square to secure a Lions victory.  

Brisbane will travel to Casey Fields Friday night to take on third-placed Melbourne, who suffered their second loss of the season to Collingwood in Alice Springs. This game promises to be another cracker, with two flag fancies facing off. First bounce is at 7:05pm (AEDT).

JLT Community Series and Councillors Cup:

The Brisbane Lions will kick off their preseason campaign against the Sydney Swans on Saturday, March 3 at the Moreton Bay Sports Complex. Lions coach Chris Fagan will likely name a near full-strength side after the cancellation of the Lions’ second intra-club last Friday due to the wet weather.

The match holds much anticipation as it introduces big-name recruits Luke Hodge and Charlie Cameron, who may pull on the Lions jersey for the first time. Furthermore, this match comes quickly off the back of great success in the AFLX competition where both fresh faces and senior players showed great preseason form. The Lions’ team for Saturday’s JLT match against the Swans will be named on Thursday at 2pm AEST.  

The Moreton Bay Sports Complex will also host a curtain raiser to the Lions and Swans fixture. Local rivals will square off in the Councillors Cup when the home team Moreton Bay Lions play the Redcliffe Tigers in a showcase of Moreton Bay AFL. The game begins at 12:30PM.