Allied Pickfords Cup Finals Wk 1 Preview

By Beth Newman


When Palm Beach and the Magpies met a month ago, it was hard to see how there could be a 2012 grand final rematch in week one of the finals.

The Magpies were in fourth, a game behind third-placed Surfers, playing the teams around them coming into finals.

But they pulled off an incredible seven-point win, and continued a sensational back-half resurgence, finishing the season on an eight-game winning streak.

On the other hand, Palm Beach has sat in the top two the entire year, dropping only two games.

One was to Grange in Round four, the other was that Round 13 match.

Now the two fierce rivals face off for the chance to play Springwood for a grand final berth.

Palm Beach would be extra glad to have the double chance, with a number of senior players missing,

Matt Carroll (groin), Kristen Higgs (shoulder) are out after last week’s match, while Clint Kelly remains on the sidelines for another week.

U18 player, Jed Harrison, comes into the line up, and will have a chance to prove himself on the big stage.

All three should be right for next weekend, whether that be for a game against Springwood or the elimination final winner.

A late mental lapse saw the Lions drop a big lead against the Magpies, something which assistant coach, Jamie Munro, is confident will not happen tomorrow.

“At times, we had lapses in concentration and we had a number of players that weren’t undertaking what they expected,” he said.

“We’re confident with the way we’ve played since then that those things that we’ve fine tuned have been working.”

Munro said the advantage of playing at Salk Oval was a massive boost for the Lions.

It’s an advantage that we don’t have to sit in the car for an hour or more,” he said.

While the Magpies and Lions have had a strong recent rivalry, Munro said it didn’t matter who was on the other side, the Lions would be ready.

“They’ve been training since November for this moment,” he said.

“Whilst the Magpies have been a bit of a challenge along with Noosa in recent years, the boys are up and around it and ready for a finals run.”

The Magpies have kept with a pretty similar side to last week, bringing back co-captain Lachlan Woods, and including William Fozard.

With two of the best midfields in the competition, that is likely where the game will be won.

Magpies’ Jimmy Rozynski and Tim McEvoy are back in sensational form, while Stewart Wenham has shown plenty this season as well.

In their last match, Val Pope managed a bag, and the Lions will be keen to shut off the supply to the Magpies forwards and punish them on the rebound.

Regardless of the result, Munro said the Lions would be ready to dust themselves off and do it all again next week.

“Having this win gives you a crack at Springwood and it’s the shortcut to the GF, “ he said.

“We’d like to be able to do that and set ourselves up to be able to have a go at Springwood next week, but we’ll see what happens and reorganise ourselves for whatever happens after that.”


It’s déjà vu for Surfers and Grange, in Sunday’s elimination final, but really things couldn’t be more different this time around.

The two finished in the same spots in 2012, but the Gorillas were heavily undermanned and by coach, Matt Trewhella’s admission, “limped” into the finals, while the Demons were on a roll.

Their last fixture was similar, with the Demons taking a massive win over a depleted Grange side in Simon Fenton’s 250th match.

On Sunday, it is Surfers coming in a little flat, while the Gorillas head in with two straight wins and an almost full-strength side.

Having rested Dan Brittain and Mat Stevens against Noosa last week, their big guns will be ready to go against Surfers.

On the other hand, Surfers’ Ryan Dienjes has sat out a fortnight with concussion, but will be back in action for the final.

Dienjes is one of three massive inclusions for the Demons, with Jason Torney and Karl D’Orazio also making their way back into the side.

Despite the sluggish fortnight, that included losses to Palm Beach and the Magpies, Demons coach, Beau Zorko, said it could be a good thing for his side.

“I’m really rapt we’ve had some preparation and experience against that higher intensity and a really high level of football over the last few weeks,” he said.

“We’ve played two really strong footy clubs who have been there, done that and are on their way to doing it again.

“We’re the emerging club that is still learning how to do it.”

After finishing fourth, the Demons will have to do it the hard way, with a game every week, but Zorko said the sudden-death element would help his charges stay in the zone.

“I’m really happy we have to play every week if we’re going to get there (to the grand final),” he said.

“I honestly believe it helps our mindset and it helps our attitude going into each week.”

Playing on their home ground, a bigger oval that suits their running game, they almost couldn’t be playing a more different opposition.

Where Surfers runs, Grange’s big men are the focal point of their set up, with a focus on a strong, mark-heavy style of footy.

Zorko said his side wouldn’t be intimidated by the bigger bodies in Sunday’s cutthroat final.

“We need to make as much of the contest of the aerial balls as we can and make sure we’re in front and first to the ball when it hits the ground,” he said.

“We’ve hit the reset button this week, gone back to what we do well and given the guys the confidence to take the game on and play the game we’ve taught them to over the past few years.”

Grange coach, Matt Trewhella, has plenty of reasons to feel confident going into Sunday’s sudden-death match, and said that their marking ability could be the difference.

“Being able to take contested marks inside 50 and around the ground and try to get a bit of a run on (is key),” he said.

“Whether we had those talls in or not, we wouldn’t be able to go with the way they spread.

While Trewhella said Dienjes was on their radar, but the 22 year-old would not necessarily have a traditional tag on the day.

Aleks Mathewson will likely have the job on Demons spearhead, Trent McIntyre, which could be key to determining the match’s result.

Mathewson did a superb job on Mayne’s Caleb Brown a fortnight ago, nullifying his influence on the contest, and proving his ability.

With one of their most experienced sides in recent weeks, Trewhella said they would have the mental strength to take on the young Demons.

“Just from a set up point of view, being able to read the play (it helps),” he said.

With the sides coming off contrasting fortunes, Trewhella said he hoped their golden fortnight would give Grange the edge on Sunday.

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