PREVIEW | QAFLW Round 9: Top 4 chance for separation

ROUND 9 of the QAFL Women’s competition sees several key players return from the AFLW Academy and Under 21 All-Stars match, in a weekend that could very well begin to lock in the QAFL Women’s finalists. The top four sides face off against the bottom-four sides which means the four-point gap that separates fourth placed Coorparoo and fifth placed Wilston Grange will only likely grow.

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for this weekend.

Coorparoo must make a statement on the road

The fourth placed Kings have a massive opportunity to really cement fourth spot for the time being when they hit the road to travel to Maroochydore. The Roos are coming off a good win in Round 8 over the Red Lionesses, but have essentially only beaten the other bottom three sides. Maroochydore is a better side at home and has shown it can challenge teams for a half or so, and if the Roos get their tails up, watch out.

The Roos regain AFLW Academy tall Lilly Baker for the clash, and look ominous with a host of youngsters including Kaiya Hides and Lataya De Pauw, while the consistency of Sara-Jane O’Grady is undoubted. Top-age tall Chloe Gaunt and talented Under 16s player Enah Desic will be ones to watch for the visitors.

Percentage key for Bull Sharks

In a competition that is largely viewed as a three-horse race for the flag, Bond University currently sits third in that pecking order. After losses to Southport, Coorparoo and Aspley Hornets, the Bull Sharks need to regain some of that current percentage. They smashed their opponents Yeronga South Brisbane by 90 points up at Leyshon Park last time, and now back at home and much stronger, they will be looking to build on their percentage of 203.43.

Regaining pick one contender Havana Harris is a huge inclusion, while Mia Salisbury and Nyalli Milne headline other Bond University AFLW draft prospects. The Devils have really struggled the last couple of seasons and are still searching for their first win. Farrandai Hopkins is a key player for the visitors, while Lucy Bellinger will always crack in hard.

AFLW Draft prospects on show in Sharks-Gorillas clash

There is no shortage of AFLW Draft talent in the Southport-Wilston Grange match, with a mix of top, bottom and double-bottom age players to keep an eye on. Southport’s depth should be too much and the Sharks should record a good win, but are on the road for this one, so expect a fierce effort from the Gorillas.

Wilston Grange regain Zimra Hussain from the Under 21 All-Stars and she was coming off a 30-plus disposal game last time out for the Gorillas. She and double bottom-ager Mia Geere are the two to watch, while exciting star Keyshia Matenga is one to watch. The bottom-age Sharks contingent of Georja Davies, Alannah Welsh and Dekota Baron will be keys to watch, while Kierra Zerafa is also in great form.

Hornets look to increase their lead at the top of the table

Aspley will likely make easy work of University of Queensland, with the Hornets already eight points and more than 100 per cent clear of second placed Southport on the ladder. The Hornets come up against a Red Lionesses outfit that suffered a shock loss to Maroochydore last week, making finals a real difficult prospect even though there is plenty of time left in the season.

Aspley midfielder Isabella McDonough is an exciting prospect but missed last week, while over-age marking forward Lilu Hung is another Queensland representative who has an impact each weekend. Dominant goalkicker Jessica Stallard and last week’s five-goal hero Kitara Whap-Farrar are other Hornets to keep in mind. University of Queensland utility Laura Roy is a crucial inclusion back from Under 21 All-Stars duty. Remember the name Eva Sartor as well, while cross-coder Gabi Simpson was ultra-impressive for the Red Lionesses last week.

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