Allied Pickfords Cup Rd 15 Preview

By Beth Newman

Saturday footy doesn’t get much bigger than a local derby between Mayne and Wilston Grange.

Two fierce rivals battling it out for bragging rights, with a seven-point difference in their last clash, there’s not much extra motivation required for either side.

But it’s not just bragging rights up for grabs at Mott St tomorrow, with the two sides essentially playing for their season.

Currently, the Tigers sit in fifth with a superior percentage, but a loss would see the Gorillas leapfrog them.

After four straight losses, the Gorillas find themselves on the outer and if they fall at Mott St tomorrow, finals officially go from a sure thing to a very slim possibility.

Mayne coach, Mitch Ferguson, whose side’s win over Grange in Round four kick started its mid-season resurgence, is well aware of what is riding on this game.

“It could well be the biggest game we’ve had in 20 years,” he said.

“It’s a cracker.”

Ferguson said classy Grange midfielder Steve Brittain, would be the biggest danger for the Tigers, after impressing in his return from appendicitis last weekend.

“They’ve got the second best player in the competition in Brittain,” he said.

“He’s impossible to stop. He’s too classy to be held down for too long.”

With the injection of experience back into their side coupled with a home ground advantage, Ferguson said he thought his players would deal with the pressure of the match well.

“It will make a huge difference back on our home deck and I’d like to think those experienced players are all up and going this week,” he said.

“We’re aware of the importance but we’re trying to break it down to playing our role on the day.”

It’s a big day for Grange coach, Matt Trewhella, who makes his return from injury in the game tomorrow.

Sitting pretty in third going into the June bye, Trewhella said he would not have expected to be playing for their season with two rounds left.

“I was pretty positive and we were planning to finish third,” he said.

“It’s (tomorrow’s match) our season, it’s a test of character for a lot of our guys.”

Trewhella said his side had been intimidated by oppositions who had sniffed out their inexperience in recent weeks, but he hoped that wouldn’t be a problem against Mayne.

“Over the last month we’ve been intimidated and they’ve gone after us a lot, knowing we’ve got s a few out,” he said.

“I hope we become the aggressors in the contest tomorrow.”

Trewhella is one of two major inclusions for the Gorillas, with Andrew Mills slotting into the side as well.

While he doesn’t think they will make the same swift impact as Steve Brittain last week, Trewhella said the extra experience will no doubt boost the young side.

“We’ll bring leadership and direction,” he said.

“There’s still a lot of young guys, so it helps with our set up s and looking after those younger guys.”

Mayne’s Luke Faulkner is the wildcard for the Tigers tomorrow.

While Faulkner has been named in the midfield, his ability to go forward is well-known and Ferguson threw him in attack against Palm Beach, where he caused all sorts of problems.

Trewhella said his side had prepared for Faulkner, whether running through the midfield or playing as an extra marking target in the forward line.

While there are some big name players in the Tigers side, Trewhella said their last match had shown them they couldn’t spend too much time on any player tomorrow.

“We’re prepared for most scenarios,” he said.

“There are some other guys that sneak up, (Nick) Aldridge , (Henry) Leong, (Jeames) Gillett all did last time,” he said.

“It’s more the awareness of their whole team and putting time and effort into all of them and not just a few.”

Both coaches are expecting a bumper crowd out at Mott St, in a game that shapes as one of the biggest of the season.

Up on the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore is playing for some pride, against Burleigh at Fisherman’s Rd.

The Roos will be confident going into the match against the wooden spooners and will certainly be favourites.

Burleigh is still winless in 2013 and will be desperate to notch up a win on the Sunshine Coast, with only two matches left.

Just up the road, Noosa faces a massive challenge against Palm Beach at Weyba Rd.

The young Tigers have shown plenty of fight this season and will be looking to throw a spanner in the works, seeing as they can’t make waves in finals.

It’s not a great time to get the Lions, who are looking to prove their four-quarter ability after costly lapses in the past fortnight.

Back in Brisbane, UQ faces Sandgate, in what could be a massive game.

The students put the sword into Burleigh last weekend, with their biggest win of the season, and have named another one of their strongest sides to face the Hawks tomorrow.

UQ welcomes speedster Lewis Radford back into their side for the match.

Sandgate has been back to its fighting best in recent weeks and will be looking to show that against UQ.

In their last clash at Lemke Rd, the students were reasonably competitive for much of the day and the Red Lions will be hoping to show their improvement at Oval 7.

Springwood takes on Coolangatta at Lowe Oval, still missing key midfielder, Albert Proud.

The return of Rhan Hooper to the side will be a major boon for the Pumas, taking on an unpredictable Cooly side.

Finally, Western Magpies takes on Surfers at Chelmer tomorrow, in a match that will help shape the top five.

While both of these sides are set to play finals, their positions could still change with two rounds left.

The Magpies will be keen for revenge in the match, after the Demons inflicted their first defeat of the season in Round four.

Click here to download the Rd 15 Allied Pickfords Cup record.

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