Beth Newman covers the major talking points from the weekend’s games as the countdown to finals begins.
1. The Bombers need some heart
Burleigh have been labelled the best last-placed team by opposition coaches this season and have shown flashes of competitiveness against plenty of teams. The weekend was no different, with the Bombers only a point down at half time, before a second half capitulation against the Magpies. The Gold Coasters can’t maintain winning positions and it’s not just a physical problem. Their flashes of brilliance are outweighed by mental lapses and it’s something that coach, Shane Williams, has flagged a number of times. If they want to avoid a winless season, they need to figure out what it takes mentally to grab the four points.
2. Any game, anywhere.
The Pumas faced the competition’s toughest road trip on Saturday, heading up to Noosa, and proved they can handle it with the best. A gruelling assignment, Springwood finished strongly, showing no hangover from the bye or the Sunny Coast trek. It was only the second time the Pumas have gone away with a win at Weyba Rd, and a far cry from their 20-goal loss to the Tigers in Rd 9 last season.
3. The kids are alright
Palm Beach proved its depth against Sandgate on Saturday, missing a number of top-tier players. But it was their young kids who really stood up for both sides in the see-sawing match. Thomas Thynne in only his third match looked at home in the half-back line, and second-gamer Jed Harrison was also strong. On the flipside, the Hawks’ standouts were 19 year-olds, Tom Overington and Corbin Dickfos. While the Hawks fell away in the second half, their kids have plenty of upside and oppositions should be scared of their potential.
4. A rest isn’t always best.
Grange suffered a shock loss to Maroochydore on Saturday, their second loss after a week off this season. The Gorillas have proven themselves as one of the best this season and are the only team to have beaten flag favourites, Palm Beach, but two of their losses have come after byes. The first, in Round 5, against Mayne was a turning point for the Tigers’ season and could be written off as an unlucky day. But a second loss against a side they should’ve beaten has taken away their advantage over Surfers and could prove costly as they strive to cement their top three spot.
5. Percentage is going to be the difference in 2013.
Surfers Paradise did what Grange couldn’t on Saturday, nabbing a percentage boosting win over a team they were hotly tipped to beat. By taking victory over Coolangatta at home, the Demons closed the gap against the Gorillas to only .19 per cent. Both sides have a challenging run home, including playing off in Rd 13, and this weekend could prove to be a major contributor to their final ladder position.
6. The Tigers are well and truly on the prowl.
After a horrendous start to the season, with injuries in the double digits, Mayne made a massive statement at Oval 7 on Saturday. In the middle of the ladder logjam, any big win is incredibly valuable and the Tigers proved they can twist the knife when it counts. The Red Lions were without a number of their first-choice players, but as the Tigers return to full-strength, they look ever more threatening.
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