By Grace Hamilton
The Bull Sharks will be seeking redemption in Saturday’s preliminary final at home to secure their spot in the QAFLW decider against the University of Queensland.
After suffering a tough loss against UQ in the qualifying final, the seniors will head in desperate to convert their attack into points against cross-city rivals the Southport Sharks.
The women’s reserves will look to capitalise on their second-chance match against Coorparoo to book their place in the grand final against the Southport Sharks.
Both games are set to be close, with the hosts planning on using the vocal Bond University crowd to their advantage.
LAST TIME THEY MET
The women’s seniors team last met Southport in round 14, claiming a 21-16 win.
With both teams renowned for their fitness, Bond are optimistic the extra conditioning work they have continued to do at training will propel them over the line once again.
In the reserves, Bond will face Coorparoo for the first time since round 10.
The mid-season encounter proved a wake-up call for the Bull Sharks after they were pummelled 32-0 in what was expected to be a close game.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The seniors are hunting their second grand final appearance in a row.
They suffered an unfortunate loss against the University of Queensland in last season’s decider and are eager to set up another battle against the St Lucia team to claim the 2022 premiership.
A win for the women’s reserves will give Bond the chance to convert their minor premiership into ultimate QAFLW glory.
Both teams have trained hard throughout the week to adjust to new player combinations, with the seniors losing Meara Girvan (wrist) and Jordann Hickey (suspended) prior to their semi-final.
In another blow, midfielder Georgia Johnson was ruled out early this week after being caught in a dangerous tackle which left her with an injured collarbone.
Despite the set-back, head coach Luke Mansbridge is optimistic the side will bring their A-game.
This week the seniors directed their focus on game structure in preparation for what will be a skilful, physical match.
Backline workhorse Emily Otto said coaches have kept a steady training plan all season to focus on game simulation and conditioning.
“If we want to win we have to fight for it,” she said.
“This year has been all about backing ourselves and backing each other.”
Otto said the shift from last year’s finals period is that instead of hoping to win, players believe they will win.
“This year we’ve learned how to win, we know we can do it,” she said.
IN OTHER GRADES
A much-needed bye round last weekend has given the Bull Sharks men’s teams time to recover ahead of their round 16 matches.
They will travel to Ballina to take on the Bombers at Fripp Oval.
The third placed seniors will look to dominate their fifth placed rivals in order to establish themselves as finals contenders.
In the reserves, Bond will be out to polish their team structures as they look to climb into the top two on the ladder.
MATCH DAY INFORMATION
Seniors – Bond University vs Southport Sharks – Saturday 1:00pm – Bond University Oval 1
Reserves – Bond University vs Coorparoo – Saturday 11:00am – Bond University Oval 1
Seniors – Ballina Bombers vs Bond University – Saturday 2:00pm – Fripp Oval 1
Reserves - Ballina Bombers vs Bond University – Saturday 12:00pm – Fripp Oval 1