MASSACRE ON THE GOLD COAST, ANGELS SOAR ABOVE BRIGADE 41-0
(GOLD COAST, Australia – Monday, January 6) Out-matched, out-coached, and out-prepared was the story of Saturday night’s massacre on the Gold Coast. Western Australia came into Saturday night’s game having to keep pace with a 2-1 New South Wales team, while Queensland was still in the hunt at only 0-1 and having had 4 weeks to prepare, heal-up, and watch game film on everyone.
After that extended preparation window, Queensland actually looked worse than they did on opening night vs NSW. This result was somewhat inevitable as word of players missing considerable practice time, as well as not being in football-shape, surfaced. There seems to be an overall lack of discipline within this Brigade side, with no leadership from players or coaches. There is poor technique on both sides of the ball as even a 5 yard bubble screens became an adventure for Queensland, and Jayne Caldwell threw more interceptions than completions in the 1st half.
US import Tamar Fennell has been kept in check for the entire season, largely due to little to no blocking upfront. Without a passing or running attack, Queensland’s offense is dead on arrival. In fact, Queensland’s first two offensive drives ended in an interception and fumble.
Western Australia took advantage and mounted a 7 play 28 yard scoring drive, which was capped by Tammie West’s 1 yard touchdown run to gain an early 6-0 lead. Queensland’s answer wasn’t with points, but with even more turnovers late in the 2nd Quarter, allowing WA to convert the Queensland error to more points as Tammie West hauled in a 21 yard touchdown pass from Leah Turnbull to take now a 14-0 lead. The comedy of errors for Queensland continued as only :15 seconds remained in the 1st half, Queensland once again fumbled and WA capitalized on the very next play as Turnbull found Tegan Brown for a 17 yard touchdown pass to give WA a commanding 21-0 lead at halftime.
What spoke volumes at halftime inside the Queensland locker-room, was a sense of acceptance of their poor play by their coaching staff and base of players; as if either no one cared, or this was their fate. No one’s feet were held to the fire by anyone except for US import Tamar Fennell who was the only one that showed any passion or desire.
In the 2nd half Queensland was a mirror image of their 1st half effort, with 2 turnovers on downs and the only decent 9 play, 29 yard drive, was halted by a Fennell fumble, and Queensland’s fifth turnover of the game.
WA’s offense played as if it were women vs girls, carving up the Queensland defense, as three different players scored, including another Tammie West 1 yard touchdown run, coupled by a Tegan Brown’s 6 yard touchdown run. Tessa Atkinson added her own 6 yard touchdown run which all led to a final of 40-0.
It is now simply gut-check time for Queensland and its leadership. Will they step up in their final games against Victoria and WA, or simply fold? Some fans are probably wondering how head coach Luke Chapman is still on the job as nearly two years of preparation has fielded the worst club in Australia.
WA is a completely different story with two back-to-back wins, after opening the season with a loss. It appears with a win over Queensland on 1 February, WA will earn the right to advance to the Grand Final which will be played at their home ground on 8 February.
|passing yds (net)||47||18|
|TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS||30-175||37-91|