PREVIEW | QAFLW Round 11: Sharks swarm at Fankhauser

FANKHAUSER Reserve will transform into a shark tank tomorrow afternoon when top of the table Southport hosts Bond University in Round 11 of the QAFL Women’s competition. The undefeated Sharks will host the second placed Bull Sharks in what is anticipated to be a massive match. We preview that game and the three others across the league.

Saturday, June 24 @ Fankhauser Reserve, 3:00pm

Coming off its biggest challenge of the year, Southport incredibly dropped 262 per cent from its mindboggling total heading into Round 10 despite still winning the match. The Sharks are not going to be challenged for percentage any time soon still boasting 684.34 per cent, but the 11-point victory over Aspley was a good one for last year’s grand finalists to have ahead of the run home.

This clash is equally expected to be a challenge for the Sharks, even if they should still get past their further south counterparts even if it takes off some more percentage from another tough encounter. These sides played back in Round 4 when Southport defeated Bond University by 36 points on the road, though both teams were missing quality young guns in the game.

Bond University has not quite had the same dominance as Southport, but still holds a massive 255.79 per cent, which had it not been for their opponents’ percentage, would be incredible after nine rounds. Losing to Aspley in Round 5 by a goal steeled the Bull Sharks into picking up four consecutive wins since then, including huge victories over Yeronga South Brisbane and Wilston Grange.

For fans of AFLW Draft talent the Southport-Bond University clash will be a showcase of just that from both sides. Southport has already seen three players drafted just this year through the Supplementary Draft in Annise Bradfield, Darcie Davies and Poppy Boltz. Davies’ younger sister Georja is a few years off, but will be another to add to the ranks. Those players along with the experience of Carly Remmos and Kristi Harvey means the Sharks will always play a strong brand of football.

Bond University has a stack of draft relevant talent over the next couple of years, highlighted by bottom-age stars Havana Harris and Tara Harrington and double bottom-ager Ava Usher. Regaining AFLW Academy member Sienna McMullen for the match with talented over-age forward/midfielder Ella Calleja to be alongside Suns Academy skipper Josie McCabe means the Bull Sharks are as strong as ever heading into the match.

Given the draft talent coming into the match for the Bull Sharks, this could be Southport’s greatest challenge thus far, but back at Fankhauser Reserve, the Sharks will be a tough team to beat so expect them to grind out a marginal win.

Saturday, June 24 @ Graham Road, 2:00pm

After that near miss against Southport last week, expect Aspley to bounce back against Maroochydore in Round 11, remaining at Graham Road. The Hornets will need to keep pushing hard to maintain third spot on the ladder with fourth placed Coorparoo playing the winless Yeronga South Brisbane, and would close the gap to just four points between the sides if Aspley lost. The Hornets should be fine and post a big win though.

Saturday, June 24 @ Leyshon Park, 2:00pm

As highlighted above, fourth placed Coorparoo has a chance to keep in touch with the top sides by beating the last placed Yeronga South Brisbane. The Kings have been a bit up and down this season, but do have a percentage of 120.77. They will not want to drop this game as Wilson Grange – two points behind them – could leapfrog them on the ladder. The Devils cannot move off the bottom of the ladder for now, but a win would give them confidence heading into the last month.

Saturday, June 24 @ UQ Playing Field 2, 2:00pm

In what will truly be the reigning premiers’ last chance at being in the finals race, the Red Lionesses must beat the Gorillas or they can put a line through finals aspirations. A loss to Wilston Grange – and an almost certain win to Coorparoo – means the University of Queensland would be 12 points adrift outside the top five. A win, and they edge a little closer, and while it is an uphill battle, would still be a chance. The Gorillas on the other hand need a victory to ensure likely victors in Aspley and Coorparoo do not build too much distance on them.

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