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BMD Premiership Round 9 preview

It has all come down to the wire in season 2024 of the BMD Premiership, as eight teams enter the last round still with a mathematical chance of making this year’s finals series.

Only one team has already qualified, with the Mackay Cutters last week wrapping up this year’s minor premiership with a 22-all draw against the Brisbane Tigers.

They will host one of the qualifying finals. But who they meet beyond Round 9 is still a mystery.

The Central Queensland Capras are the only team of the competition who cannot play in this year’s finals series, making the race to lock in the top four an incredibly tense and fierce battle.

Brisbane Tigers and Tweed Seagulls – sitting in eighth and ninth respectively, both on seven points – are at extremely long odds to make it.

Not only would they both need to win by high margins, but they would need multiple other results to go their way.

But for the Norths Devils, Western Clydesdales, Souths Logan Magpies, Burleigh Bears, Wynnum Manly Seagulls and Sunshine Coast Falcons, anything is possible in Round 9.

Norths Devils

Ladder position: Second place on 10 points

For-and-against: 54

Meg Ward’s Devils are in the driver’s seat at the moment. All they have to do is secure the two points against the Mackay Cutters this weekend – or even a draw – and a finals berth is theirs for the taking. The Devils have come along in leaps and bounds this year and one factor that plays strongly to their advantage is they only have one Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons representative in forward Makenzie Weale. With all State of Origin players in camp this weekend and therefore not playing in the BMD Premiership, the Devils remain largely unaffected, especially compared to other teams that are in finals calculations. A loss on Sunday would see the Devils be at the mercy of other results, but heading into Round 9 they’re looking promising for their first ever BMD Premiership finals series.

Western Clydesdales

Ladder position: Third place on nine points

For-and-against: 0

Similar to the Devils, a win this weekend against the Souths Logan Magpies would lock in the Toowoomba-based team's place in the finals. But both the Clydesdales and Magpies have been hit hard by the absence of Origin stars, making for an interesting battle this weekend. Coach Mitch Sargent will look to co-captain Tara Reinke and veteran forward Steph Hancock to really step up and inspire the rest of the team as they bid to play finals in their inaugural BMD Premiership season. There is no doubt it is a tough task that lies ahead – Souths Logan are running off the back of some strong momentum. But given what they have already achieved this year, there is no limit to what the Clydesdales can produce come game day.

Souths Logan Magpies

Ladder position: Fourth place on eight points

For-and-against: 42

Whatever happens next, Souths Logan should be really proud of the way they revived their season. After a slow start with four straight losses, they turned things around in Round 5 against the Sunshine Coast Falcons and have now won four straight. This coincided with the return of Evania Pelite, who will be out for Origin duties this weekend. The big task ahead for Souths Logan is to show they can win without their star fullback – something they have not yet achieved in 2024. They will also be missing the likes of Destiny Brill and Keilee Joseph (with fellow Origin representative Skyla Adams currently named to play), but with the momentum and confidence the Magpies have built over the past month - not to mention their strong for-and-against - there will be plenty of belief in the team that they can not only make this year’s qualifying finals, but go all the way after falling short in 2023.

Burleigh Bears

Ladder position: Fifth place on eight points

For-and-against: 3

The reigning premiers will be kicking themselves after their narrow loss to the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Round 8. It was a must-win game for both teams and Sheridan Gallagher stepped up for the Falcons when they needed it the most. Now the Bears are facing the reality of not playing finals for the first time since the women's competition was introduced in this format in 2021. They will be without Zahara Temara, Lauren Brown and Sophie Holyman compared to their opponent in the Brisbane Tigers who will only be missing Shannon Mato to Origin commitments. But the Bears still have a wealth of experience to draw from, including Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Tallisha Harden and Chante Temara. These players have enough finals experience to know what to do this Saturday. The only other factor for the Bears and teams below them on the ladder is not only do they need to win this weekend, but they will be relying on other results to sneak into that top four.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Sunshine Coast Falcons

Wynnum Manly ladder position: Sixth place on eight points

Wynnum Manly for-and-against: -10

Sunshine Coast ladder position: Seventh place on eight points

Sunshine Coast for-and-against: -59

These two teams sit in very similar positions on the ladder as they prepare to meet in the final round of the competition this weekend. In Round 8, last year’s runners-up, Wynnum Manly, put in a really gutsy effort against the Tweed Seagulls to keep their finals hopes alive. They now sit in a better position than their fellow Seagulls with their eyes on the Sunshine Coast Falcons this Saturday. The Falcons in Round 8 caused the upset of the weekend with a stunning last-minute victory over the Burleigh Bears. This weekend, a win for either is needed – but it also needs to be a win by a considerable margin to boost their negative differential points. While Wynnum Manly will be without the likes of Emily Bass and Sienna Lofipo – with Julia Robinson also missing for them in recent weeks as she returns from injury – they will be boosted by the presence of their skipper, Shaylee Bent. The Sunshine Coast meanwhile have been dealt blow after blow this year with injuries amongst their squad, but have shown great determination and spirit to keep coming back and causing upsets across the competition. This clash will open Round 9 and is sure to set a few expectations in a thrilling final round of football.

In the only other match in Round 9, the Tweed Seagulls will play host to the Central Queensland Capras at Tugun. Tweed - like the Brisbane Tigers - are an outside chance of playing finals this year. They can mathematically make it but would need a lot of results to go their way - including a big win over the Capras - to get there.

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