Bond desperate for top two –
July 14, 2022
After their hard-fought 21-point win over Aspley, the Bull Sharks women’s seniors are sweating the fitness of two key players ahead of their final game of the regular season against Maroochydore.
Emily Otto in the back line and Jasmyn Davidson in the ruck suffered a painful defeat this week and have a 50-50 chance of playing, which could pave the way for two reserve players to step up.
Despite health concerns, the team is looking forward to a grueling bus journey to Brisbane’s Leyshon Park, where every match of the Pride Round will be played.
LAST TIME MEET THEM
The round 9 match between the Bull Sharks and Maroochydore Roos ended in a heart-pounding draw of 15 against mid-QAFLW.
The teams were evenly matched in the first quarter, which ended with eight points each, and the scoreboard was unchanged in the second quarter.
Bond went into the last 20 minutes with one point on Maroochydore, but de Roos stepped in in the final minutes to equalize the final score.
Otto and Davidson have to get through tonight’s training to be ready to play.
As the reserves grow stronger, up to eight players wait in the wings to play seniors.
However, Bull Sharks coach Luke Mansbridge does not want players to get out of their comfort zone.
“We just have to look at it positionally,” said Mansbridge.
“I don’t want to raise girls and play them out of position, I want to make sure they play the same roles as in the reserves.”
Ruck Abbey Bevan was named best on ground in the reserves’ 99-point win over Aspley for her silver service to the Bull Sharks midfielders.
Her teammates in the backline, Zoe O’Sullivan and Kylie McMullen, are also in the fray.
WHERE IT WILL BE WON
It all starts in midfield for Bond.
For the last two rounds, the players in the engine room were tenacious, supplying the front lines capable of taking winning scores against Southport and Aspley.
“If they keep playing like this we will be hard to beat because we are hard to score,” said Mansbridge.
“I still want them to be aggressive and pick up the game and play our way because I don’t think many other clubs play like us when we have football, so I want them to keep doing that.
“We were challenged in the last quarter against Aspley, but we reacted very strongly and there was good leadership. It’s good to have games like this at this time of year because it steals you for the final.”
Mansbridge said his players don’t need motivation to perform in their last game of the home and away season.
“There is a real vibe to Pride Round and our players are right behind it. It is important that we support these kinds of days and the QAFLW is doing a great job organizing them.”
ONE TO WATCH
Teagan Tatlock gave a best performance on the ground against Aspley and when the game was on the line in the final quarter, her tireless attack proved the difference.
Her commitment to the midfield group is an inspiration to her teammates.
IF WE WIN/LOSES
Due to the extremely tight ladder, there are several scenarios that could affect how the Bull Sharks finish the regular season.
If they win, they will finish second on the ladder and get a second chance in the final.
They could also finish on top if the University of Queensland is beaten by Aspley, which Mansbridge says is a real possibility if the Hornets bring their A-Game.
If the Bull Sharks lose, they could be fourth on the ladder, but there’s no chance of them falling out of the top four.
IN OTHER GAMES
The women’s reserves are favorites to beat Maroochydore after winning their last five games.
The men’s teams leave for Coolangatta Tweed Heads.
Senior’s coach John Chenhall said his players need to have the right mindset to be consistent across all four quarters on hostile ground.
“We’re going to talk about how we react under pressure. This is going to be a finale-like atmosphere,” he said.
MATCH DAY INFORMATION
QAFLW round 16
Seniors Bull Sharks vs Maroochydore Roos 2pm Saturday (Leyshon Park)
Reserves Bull Sharks vs Maroochydore Roos 15:40 Saturday (Leyshon Park)
QFA round 14
Reserves Bull Sharks vs Coolangatta Tweed 12:00pm Saturday (Eximm Oval)
Seniors Bull Sharks vs Coolangatta Tweed Saturday 2pm (Eximm Oval)
Team lists will be posted on Bond University AFL Facebook page on Friday morning after training on Thursday evening.