Allied Pickfords Cup Rd 9 Preview

By Beth Newman

Springwood faces its toughest test of the season tomorrow, against Palm Beach, but coach Tony King hasn’t lost any sleep over the result.

King said the Pumas were looking forward to testing themselves against the Lions but would not be hitting the panic button if the game fell Palm Beach’s way.

“We’re not afraid of losing,” he said.

“Palm Beach is the yardstick and so hopefully we can stay with them as much as we can.

“If we can have a win this week, it gives us a lot of belief for the end of the season.”

The Pumas’ relatively healthy list will help them going into the match, with King making only one change for the top of the table clash, bringing Ethan Reading into the side.

King said that stability had definitely helped them in recent weeks and would hold them in good stead against the Lions.

“The more you can keep your group together, the better,” he said.

Both sides have shown their attacking potency this season, regularly kicking big scores, and King said their offensive tendencies would hopefully attract a big crowd.

While he’s not afraid of the result, King said he did hope one thing would be different to their last fixture against Palm Beach.

“Last year, [Daryn] Cresswell filled in and kicked six goals and we lost by 20 points,” he said.

“Hopefully, that doesn’t happen again.”

The Lions welcome Ben Heffernan-Roper back into their team for the clash, in which the two sides will play off for the John Pekin Shield.

In a major blow for the Lions, the league’s leading goal kicker, Nathan Carr will be missing against the Pumas.

The match kicks off at 2:15pm at Lowe Oval, Springwood.

While the top of the table clash might be the headline act this weekend, there will be plenty of quality footy on everywhere.

It’s a high-stakes clash at Enoggera, between Mayne and Maroochydore.

The Tigers must win to keep themselves in touch with the top five and build on their recent strong form.

On the other hand, a win for the Roos would snap a three-game losing streak and provide a much-needed confidence boost ahead of a gruelling fortnight, with matches against the Magpies and Wilston Grange.

Meanwhile, at the Sunshine Coast, Noosa takes on the inconsistent Coolangatta.

The Blues are coming off a thrashing at the hands of Wilston Grange and will be looking to redeem themselves and continue their 2013 improvement.

A win for Noosa would make it three from their last four matches and give their young charges’ continued reward for effort, after plenty of hard-fought matches this season.

Down the coast, Surfers will be looking to stretch their winning streak to four matches against Sandgate.

After a disappointing effort against Mayne last weekend, the Hawks will be out for redemption, and you can expect their early-season intensity to return in spades against the Demons.

Over at Chelmer, the Magpies will have a chance to make a strong statement against competition newcomers, UQ.

The Red Lions were thumped by Palm Beach last week, but with plenty of players to return, they should put up a better fight against the defending premiers, who are dealing with injury problems of their own.

Rounding out the Allied Pickfords Cup this week is a clash between Wilston Grange and Burleigh.

This should be a big win for the Gorillas, but it will be a chance for the Bombers to put themselves to the test, after showing consistent improvement in recent weeks.

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