Match of the round
Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Western Magpies. Live blog: http://www.aflq.com.au/palm-beach-currumbin-vs-western-magpies/
Need for Speed
The Western Magpies have been on an interesting run, getting over the top of a Surfers team that have proven themselves difficult to handle, but then faltering at home to the Cats.
Most QAFL teams will say that they’re playing well in patches, but nowhere else is it more true than at the Magpies. They can bury teams with their outside run and pinpoint passing. When they’re on, they play with blistering speed and have the ability to score in a hurry.
That being said, Palm Beach can move the ball end to end with furious pace and, as their ladder position shows, perhaps they can do it for longer than most. It sets up this Round 8 clash as a battle of speed, in which the outside runners and skilful users become ultra-important.
Lions Jason Burge and Tyler Cornish have shown this season, that if they’re given space they can turn on a dime and find targets with ease. Then there’s last year’s Grogan winner, Jesse Derrick, who covers ground and gut runs like very few can.
The star studded Palm Beach midfield puts the onus squarely on the shoulders of Magpies midfielders Drew Mitchell, Tom Ielasi and Gareth Crawford. Who plays a defensive role and manages to get off the chain will go a long way to deciding the outcome of the game.
The sky lounge
Jayden Young comes in to Labrador’s matchup with Wilston Grange as the Zane Taylor medallist for the best player on the ground in the QAFL’s representative game against the WAAFL. While the league’s best players were on show, this guy was considered to be playing at a level above them all. It’s a big accolade.
After a strong start to the season ‘Rooney’ has taken it to another level, while before the bye he was the competitions in-form backman, he’s now one of the competition’s absolute elite.
The Tigers take on Wilston Grange at Bendigo Bank Oval, in a good measuring stick sort of game for the Gorillas. Most pundits would be expecting Labrador to keep rolling, but the longer they do, the greater the chance of a slipup.
Under the microscope
Aaron Fabian is the type of player that’s capable of just about anything on the footy field. The bearded Hawks skipper can take hangers, make the first tackler miss and he’s a skilled disposer of the ball. Unfortunately, the last couple of weeks have seen the thrilling form he showed earlier in the season go back to a moderate level.
It’s been a challenging year for Sandgate so far and they sit on the bottom of the ladder without a win. Quite a few things need to fall into place for the Hawks to get going and snag a few wins, but a fit and flying Aaron Fabian at his peak certainly couldn’t do any harm.
Sandgate is set to meet a rampant Broadbeach outfit that have lost just a single game so far this season, in what looks like a difficult prospect for the Hawks. They have a bye the week after, then Surfers Paradise, so can look forward to an easier block, after playing Labrador, Palm Beach and Morningside in their last three games.
Road to redemption
After a bye, then a decisive 84-point victory over Sandgate and another bye, there’s no excuse for the Panthers, they should be raring to go against Mt Gravatt on the weekend. Their season hasn’t started out the way they would have hoped and they sit in seventh position on only two wins, making the road to redemption and a shot at the finals, a long one.
It’s time for Morningside to draw a line in the sand and get their season moving back in the right direction. Mt Gravatt are coming off a huge win over Wilston Grange. Huge, not just because of the 75 point margin, but because of the message they sent to the rest of the competition. The Vultures have made an effort over the past few weeks to show that they will not be pushed around, while the Panthers should be desperate for a win.
This one’s set up to be a physical thriller from the first minute.
Way back when
The day of the 2016 preliminary final is one a few of the Magpies players will have in the back of their minds. Palm Beach put on a clinic, taking out the game 16.17.113 to 4.10.34.
Labrador got up over Wilston Grange in their last encounter, in Round 10 last season, winning 116 to 63.
Broadbeach were too good for Sandgate when they last played, taking the points 99 to 52.
It went down to a final frantic quarter, the last time the Panthers battled it out with the Vultures, but honours went to the Vultures 85 to 77.
By Sean Melrose