by Holly Slattery
Wet weather has not dampened the rivalry between Bond University and UQ with the Bull Sharks still waiting to avenge last year’s QAFLW grand final loss after falling by eight points at The Canal on Saturday.
After a hard-fought draw in their first meeting of the season, the continual rain turned the return bout into a scrappy affair, and it was the reigning premiers who handled the conditions best in the 3.6 (24) to 2.4 (16) win.
The Bull Sharks started well, storming to a 13-point lead by the first break.
But with the heavy conditions slowing down Bond’s preferred free-flowing style of game, UQ were able to take control of the second quarter, keeping the hosts scoreless while kicking 3.1 themselves to go into the main break with a handy six-point buffer.
The second half was largely an arm wrestle with neither side able to kick a goal. UQ managed four points to the Bull Sharks’ two to secure the win.
Bond forward Jasmyn Smith, who was recently one of 10 Queenslanders announced in the AFLW Draft Combine, says the grudge match served as a reminder of the team’s need for greater consistency.
“There were periods of play where we were playing amazing and we were on top, and then there were some where we just weren’t switched on enough,” Smith said.
“We knew it was going to be scrappy and the ball would be on the ground a lot, so we knew we weren’t going to get it up cleanly or get as many clean marks to the forward line to get some good snags.
“We had that in mind, and I think we did well at certain points to push our position forward, but there was a certain bit in the second quarter where they ended up getting two or three goals on top of us which cost us the game in the end.
“It was just a few moments like that where we lacked concentration and it cost us.”
For 17-year-old Smith, learning to fight back will be the key to overcoming challenges similar to the weekend’s against Bond’s varsity arch rival.
“It was always going to be a tough game and UQ put up a good fight like they always do, so it was a really close game and the weather conditions didn’t help,” she said.
“I think when the other team fights back as hard as we’re fighting, we need to learn how to respond, which we do well but when UQ come at us, they’re a really good side and we need to be quicker to respond.
“We ended up responding in the third and fourth quarter, but it was just a bit too far gone by then.
“We need to learn how to switch it on and not expect things to come to us.”
The women’s reserves boasted a convincing 53-6 victory over UQ earlier in the day despite the miserable conditions, while both men’s teams stayed dry with a Round 6 bye.