AFLQ Community footy writer, Beth Newman, discusses some of the major talking points from last weekend’s footy.
1. Magpies out from under the radar
They’re the defending premiers and they’re on a nine-game winning streak, but somehow they’ve snuck under the radar a bit this season. Well, that reign is officially over after Saturday’s performance. Fourteen straight goals to open their scoresheet set the tone for the day, and their midfield was back to its destructive best against the Lions, who are certainly no slouches in the middle. They will be a handful for the Pumas on Sunday.
2. Corrie is not the only focal point
Anthony corrie is the league’s leading goal kicker, but he only needed to kick one in the Magpies’ rort on Saturday. Kale Reed and Alex Dickfos shouldered the load in the forward line, with five and three, while youngster Brady Allen was in on the action too, with three. They gave the Lions’ defence plenty of headaches, particularly with Jackson Emblem swung forward, and they struggled to match up on all of them. With such quality forwards, winning in the midfield becomes ever more crucial for the Magpies’ opponents. Though, that’s not too easy either….
3. Salk Oval is no fortress
Home ground advantage is massive in finals, but for Palm Beach, it was another loss at Salk Oval. Their home turf is the only ground where they’ve tasted defeat this season. It has been mentioned in the Six Points before, but with a third home loss, it’s becoming more of a trend. They have a chance to buck that growing trend against Surfers on Sunday, but they will need to lift their game.
4. Finals footy is built on defence
It only took one quarter to see the switch in mentality from the regular season to finals at Sir Bruce Small Park on Sunday. While the Demons are renowned for their run and carry, it was their tackling pressure that came to the fore in their elimination final. Grange, too, was absolutely suffocating all day. In a low scoring affair, the intensity never left, and it set the tone for the finals series.
5. Keep Torney back
Surfers have played Jason Torney in defence and attack this season, but after his showing against the Gorillas, he should never be pushed past the centre square again. He was unstoppable playing loose in defence and the Gorillas took far too long to respond to that, with Torney only getting a man late in the third. As well as doing the team things, he went for an incredible specky on centre wing, showing his taste for the spectacular side of life. If he pulls up alright from the weekend, he is close to Surfers’ most valuable asset in finals.
6. Experience is good, but the kids are alright
Jake Ryan went back and slotted the sealer for the Demons, while Jimmy Rozynski was all over it on Saturday at Salk Oval. These experienced heads set the tone for their sides, pushing their bodies all afternoon. However, equally impressive was the output of guys at the opposite end of the scale. Youngsters like the Magpies’ Allen, Surfers’ Harrison Fraser and Cassidy Haberfield, Palm Beach’s Thomas Thynne all stood up to the finals pressure with ease. Having youngsters who can take the heat takes the load off club veterans, a handy asset as finals go on.