Under the microscope
Sandgate skipper Aaron Fabian played a blinder against Wilston Grange in the season opener, showing what he is capable of. Still, the question remains if the flashy half back can back it up again this week. Hawks teammate Tom Overington wasn’t his usual influential self in the game and followers will be hoping he returns to the big time when the Hawks take on the Magpies.
The sky lounge
Jesse Derrick will no doubt be a frequent flyer in 2017, so for the rest of the season we might just assume he’s sitting in the corner somewhere, having the regular. It was business as usual for the tough midfielder against Morningside and Labrador should be putting together a plan for how they are going to handle him, prior to their meeting with Palm Beach Currumbin on Saturday.
Also flying after the first round is key forward Charlie Pershouse, the young gun winning a rising star nod after the weekend. He’ll be critical in the Pies encounter with Sandgate, providing an avenue to goal and a dangerous presence up forward. Pershouse is dynamite on the lead and runs his opponents ragged, he also loves to jump at the ball, which should make for some great aerial battles.
Match of the round
The danger zone
Surprisingly, it’s the Tigers in the danger zone this week. They had a day out against a young Surfers team and though you couldn’t criticize their performance, they’ll come up against a completely different side this week in the Lions. Palm Beach has had their grand final loss to the Tigers gnawing at them all off-season and they defeated a strong looking Morningside first up. Add in the fact that Labrador will go into the clash without their captain Bryce Retzlaff, who’s an important target in the forward 50, and you have a danger game for the Tigers.
The Morningside and Wilston Grange matchup looms as a big game. The Gorillas were impressive against Sandgate on ANZAC eve, showing off an even spread of contributors that can all have an impact at stages. Gorillas youngster Oskar Baker showed he can be damaging if given space, kicking four against the Hawks, while for Morningside Ben Bisset got his season off to a great start against Palmy.
Wilston Grange will be facing off against a Panthers team that went toe to toe with Palm Beach for a large portion of the game and will have learnt from their mistakes. The Panthers will be desperate to get a win on the board and the Gorillas will want to show they’re premiership contenders. Expect a hot footy early and plenty of heat in the game.
Way back when
The most obvious, of course, is the grand final rematch between the Lions and the Tigers. It was a huge win for Labrador on the day and Palm Beach Currumbin had to reassess their list afterwards. The Lions felt they were undersized and have recruited during the off-season for bigger bodies and experience. We’ll see on Saturday if they have what’s needed to take on the reigning premiers.
It was multicultural round the last time the Pies played Sandgate and they came out on top, finishing with a 28-point lead. That’s by no means a thrashing and Sandgate will fancy themselves against the Magpies, after playing some good football in patches against the Gorillas in round one.
Last time Surfers met Broadbeach was round 12, on a day the Cats would rather forget. The Demons won by a telling 82-point margin, against a young, injury ravaged side. This year things could be different, with Broadbeach having added some more experience, while Surfers have lost a few of their older heads.
Round 11 last year provided a thriller between Grange and Morningside, the Panthers coming out on top by 14 points. This weekend could be close again.
Mt Gravatt has the bye this week, so coach Troy Moncur took some time to provide some insight on this week’s games. Troy will be heading along to the Surfers and Broadbeach clash, as the Demons are their next opponent.
As it’s still early in the season, many of the coaches haven’t yet had a first hand look at their opposition but Moncur keeps his eyes on each round’s replays to stay up to date.
Mt Gravatt is coming off a loss to the Western Magpies, so ‘Monkey’ is in a good position to give some thoughts on their chances against Sandgate.
“Ever since I was playing footy back here ten years ago, and coached against them, they’ve always been a tough, physical side and they were that again on the weekend,” said Moncur.
“We really just wanted those three practice matches to get into gear and what not, but it’s the way it is and we just have to bounce back.”
Moncur thinks that while Sandgate are a competitive side, the Magpies will likely get over the top. That being said, he hasn’t had a close look at the Hawks yet.
The Mt Gravatt coach is in agreement that the Wilston Grange and Morningside game looms as a close one, particularly seeing as though both sides have a new coach, new structures and decent form.
As for the grand final rematch, Monkey is as interested as everyone else to see how these two grand finalists from last year stack up against each other.
“To win a couple of flags in a row is a massive effort and to try and put three years in a row is an even bigger one. Just to try and hold everyone together and to keep that drive and what not there,” said Moncur.
“From my memory last year, Palm Beach just had that really good, young, quick side and when they were up and about they could really run over the top of teams.”
Despite thinking that it might be Palm Beach’s year to challenge Labrador at stages, the Vultures coach is of the opinion that the Tigers might get up on the weekend.
Broadbeach has put in a body of work setting up a strong off-field situation and look like favorites heading into their showdown with Surfers. Don’t count the Demons out though, according to Monkey the D’s will have looked at where they went wrong against Labrador and will be eager to turn things around.
By Sean Melrose Follow @seanmelrose