QAFL/W watch: Smith steps up in wet for Hornets

JUST five matches took place across the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) men’s and women’s competitions last weekend, with heavy rain playing havoc on all grounds. Those matches that did go ahead were rain affected, but the a number of the clashes – three men’s and two women’s games – were called off. We now take a look across both competitions and which AFLM and AFLW Draft hopefuls stood out in the wet.

From a QAFL Women’s perspective, all eyes were on Aspley as the Hornets travelled to Giffin Park to take on the Kings. Coorparoo took the points despite having just 14 inside 50s to Aspley’s 32, but the Kings dominated contested possession by 44 (204-160). A massive 54 free kicks were paid in the wet as well, with the Kings laying a supreme 130 tackles to the Hornets’ 62 to not give them an inch.

Brisbane Lions Academy AFLW Draft hopefuls Ella Smith and Charlotte Mullins both played in the loss to Coorparoo, with Smith starring in the wet, racking up 29 disposals at 66 per cent. She was particularly efficient by foot running at 72 per cent, whilst amassing a 41.3 per cent contested rate. She took a couple of intercept marks, showed good positioning and recorded three clearances, five inside 50s and laid four tackles. Mullins also impressed with 19 disposals at 58 per cent efficiency but running at a far higher 61.9 per cent contested rate. Mullins also had a clearance, two marks – one intercept – four tackles and two inside 50s, working hard around the ground.

Other Northern Academy Under 18s representatives from the Hornets included Lilu Hung who picked up an impressive 22 disposals and cracked in with 66.7 per cent contested, and laying six tackles, while Phoebe Baird had the 12 disposals – 78.6 per cent contested – and seven tackles. Inside midfielder Courtney Daniec was again the pick of the mature-agers, picking up 23 disposals – 68 per cent contested – at 70 per cent efficiency, three clearances, three tackles and four inside 50s. Charlotte Howard had the five touches for the Kings, laying three tackles and having two inside 50s. Her Coorparoo mature-age teammates Laura Blue and Sally Young combined for 51 disposals, with 35 contested possessions between them.

Meanwhile in the other game, Yeronga South Brisbane’s Ebony Milne had a day out, with the teenager picking up 20 disposals at 80 per cent efficiency, as well as four marks – two intercept, two tackles, three inside 50s and two goals. Still a bottom-ager the Lions Academy talent could be one to watch for next year. Meanwhile the Browne sisters played with Sarah (10 disposals, one clearances and three tackles) and Courtney (nine disposals – eight contested – and three tackles). Ex-Geelong VFLW talent Theresia Meissner also impressed for the Red Lionesses, picking up 19 disposals – 15 contested – two tackles and an intercept mark.

Looking to the men’s league, and just the one Allies representative ran out over the weekend, in what was simply a slog fest with terrible muddy conditions under foot. Shadeau Brain recorded 17 disposals, five clearances, two tackles and two inside 50s in Noosa Tigers’ 81-point thrashing of Mt Gravatt Vultures. Impressively, despite running at 73.3 per cent contested rate, Brain still managed 71 per cent efficiency, though 12 of his 17 touches were by hand in the wet conditions.

With many games cancelled and the Allies representatives and AFLW Draft hopefuls unable to string too many games together at the moment, it is hoped the players can have a clean run soon.

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