By Beth Newman
Surfers Paradise coach, Beau Zorko, hopes his side’s stability will hold them in good stead against Noosa tomorrow.
The Demons have only made two changes ahead of the match, after a strong victory over UQ last week.
A win against the Tigers could help cement their status as a premiership contender, and keep them away from the logjam in the middle of the competition.
Zorko said the relative consistency of their squad in recent weeks would be an advantage against the Tigers, who have made four changes after their Round six clash.
“It’s really pleasing to have some good continuity and it certainly helps with our game and our flow,” Zorko said.
The Demons have a prime opportunity to jump a game clear of either Western Magpies or Grange, who play each other tomorrow.
Zorko said his side would have a bit of extra motivation to even the ledger against the Tigers, who knocked them out of last year’s finals.
“They’ve got some new personnel and we’ve got a quite similar group last year, but it’s obviously in the back of your mind certainly from last year,” Zorko said.
“We have a lot of respect for Noosa as a footy club and we’re really looking forward to tomorrow.”
To notch up a win, Zorko said his side would have to avoid the kind of lapse they had against UQ, when a sub-standard second quarter undid a strong start.
“I’d go so far to say our second quarter was terrible last week,” he said.
“Our work rate dropped, our defensive run dropped and we turned it over when we got the football.
“We’ve put a very strong focus on improving that this week.”
Surfers youngster, Harrison Fraser, will make his senior debut in the match, while Chris Kranz’ strong reserves form has been rewarded with a senior start as well.
The Demons will not be taking Noosa lightly, especially after the Tigers pulled off a thrilling win over Maroochydore in their local derby last weekend.
Tigers coach, Wayne Fletcher, said that win had lifted the spirits of his players and they were keen to show they could match it with some of the best in the competition.
“The boys got a lot of confidence out of the win over Maroochydore,” Fletcher said.
“We’re coming down expecting a tough game from Surfers Paradise. We haven’t got the best track record down there, but we’re hoping to change that.”
Fletcher said his side would be looking to build on their performance, and keep their intensity strong for an entire four quarters.
“Last week, 3 ½ quarters was enough to win us the game,” he said.
But a 3 ½ quarter performance won’t be good enough for the Tigers against Surfers, who are a step above the Roos , and Fletcher said he would his side would be ready to test themselves against a finals contender.
“They’re in the top 5 and we’re a fair way of it, so hopefully we can make some ground tomorrow.”
Noosa will play two debutants in the clash tomorrow, with under-18s player, Ben Grey, and ex-Maroochydore player, Sam Wilson, getting the call up for the match.
Around the grounds:
Round seven provides some crucial match-ups, which could go a long way to shaping the ladder positions at the end of the year.
Wilston Grange and Western Magpies face off in a massive game, which would keep the winner in touch with top two.
Grange will be looking to bounce back from a narrow loss to Springwood last week, while the Magpies will be looking to build on a dominant win over Sandgate.
Springwood’s unbeaten streak will be tested once again, when they take on Maroochydore at home.
The Roos were shattered after a disappointing Sunshine Coast derby last Saturday and will be hungry for a win at Lowe Park.
Springwood are still without Albert Proud this weekend (suspension), and will look to their older heads to lead the way.
Burleigh is still searching for its first win of the season, against UQ.
The Bombers have been on the improve after aslow start to the season, and impressed against Palm Beach last weekend.
UQ pushed Surfers for much of their round six clash, and this could be a very winnable game for them if they can maintain a high intensity for the whole match.
An improved Mayne face a tough test against Palm Beach at Mott St.
The Tigers have managed three straight wins and will be hoping to re-assert themselves after an injury-marred start to the year.
Palm Beach has been in fine form so far and will be looking to widen the gap between them and the rest of the field.
Wrapping up proceedings, is a Sunday afternoon clash between Cooly and Sandgate.
The Hawks’ three-game winning streak ended with a loss to the Magpies last week, but they have a massive chance to rebound against the Blues, and keep themselves in touch with finals.
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