By Beth Newman
Tomorrow’s Sunshine Coast derby against Noosa could be a turning point in Maroochydore’s 2013 season.
Coming off a 100-point domination of Coolangatta last weekend, Roos coach, Brett Maloney, said their ability to produce another strong performance would determine their status in the competition.
“It’s a hugely important game,” he said.
“Being able to back up the following week (after a big win) is a sign of a good side.”
Maloney, who coached the Noosa Under-18s last season and also played in two premierships with the Tigers, said he hoped his inside knowledge would help the Roos tomorrow.
“Personnel wise, I know their games,” he said.
“You’d like to think you can get a little bit of knowledge and get a bit of an advantage.”
Maroochydoore will be bolstered by the return of young guns Cameron Stevenson from the state under-18s side and Daniel Anderson, who played as a top-up for the Lions reserves last weekend, while vice-captain Jarrod Raun also comes back into the side.
Maloney said there would be no complacency from his side, despite Noosa’s winless start to the season.
“Anyone who wants to take Noosa lightly at Noosa will have their backsides handed to them,” he said.
“It’s been well-documented that Noosa have lost some players, but they’ve still got some very handy players and some very successful players.
“Captain Peter Trompf is their benchmark, and he’s been a star of the comp for a lot of years.”
Tigers coach, Wayne Fletcher, said he would be expecting a bruising encounter at Weyba Rd.
“Any game against Maroochydore is a tough, physical affair gearing up for and we’ll be going into the game realising it’s going to be a tough hit-out,” he said.
Noosa has had two losses by less than a goal this season, while last weekend they let a strong start slip away against Mayne.
Fletcher said consistency against the Roos would be the key to picking up their first win of the season.
“We haven’t been too far off the pace but we need to be consistent over four quarters and give every chance of getting a positive result,” he said.
“We’d love to have a win. It would be a great confidence boost for the players.”
The Sunshine Coast clash heads a list of mouth-watering Round six clashes tomorrow.
Wilston Grange and Springwood go head to head, in a clash of the competition heavyweights.
The Pumas will be without star Albert Proud (suspension), which could be a major blow for their side.
The Gorillas will be looking to consolidate their spot in the top three, after a drought-breaking win over Surfers Paradise last weekend.
Palm Beach carries all the momentum into its clash against Burleigh at Salk Oval tomorrow, with the Lions coming off a win over the Western magpies.
The Bombers are improving each week, and were in a winnable position against Sandgate last weekend, but have as yet been unable to convert their improvement into a victory.
In an intriguing clash down at Peak Oval, Coolangatta takes on Mayne.
Mayne have strung two straight wins together after a winless first six weeks, and will be looking to get their season back on track with a win against the Blues.
Coolangatta suffered a massive defeat at the hands of the Roos last weekend, and have been one of the most difficult teams to predict all season, making tomorrow’s clash one of the most interesting of the round.
Sandgate faces a tough test against defending premiers, the Western Magpies, at home.
With the Magpies coming off two straight losses and starting to feel the effects of an early-season injury toll, this could be a prime opportunity for the Hawks to cause one of the upsets of the season.
The youngsters have already shown their ability to push opposition over four quarters and, at home, could be a major threat for the Magpies.
Fifth-placed Magpies will be hungry to get back in the winner’s circle against the Hawks.
Surfers faces off against UQ in the final match of the round.
The Demons were disappointed with their efforts last weekend against the Gorillas and will be looking to re-assert themselves against the Red Lions.
UQ pushed ladder-leaders Springwood all the way last weekend, and will need to produce another effort like that to take the win tomorrow.
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