FORMER club champion Darren Beaufoy will again take over the coaching reins from absent Craig O’Brien when the Lions host Maroochy-Northshore on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
By Terry Wilson
O’Brien has work commitments in central Queensland, which means Beaufoy will go for his second win as head coach after taking over the role earlier in the season.
But Beaufoy will be without three key players – defenders Scott Vis (knee) and Damien Lyon (work), as well as ruckman Michael I’Anson, who is being rested because of general soreness.
In their place the Lions have promoted Jack Munro, older brother of co-captain Angus, Stephan Thynne and veteran Robert Scott.
The inclusion of Scott is an interesting one given he has been at PBC for years and is the only player of the current group to have appeared alongside stand-in coach Beaufoy in a match.
Beaufoy knows little about Saturday’s opponents from the Sunshine Coast so is wary of an surprise from the Roos.
“They are a bit of an unknown factor to us – and we haven’t got our strongest team because of injuries,” said Beaufoy.
“It is a very important game because we have the bye next round.”
The Lions have moved to fifth on the ladder, level with Surfers Paradise on 20 points and only four behind Noosa, who play Sandgate on the weekend.
Maroochy, with just one win and coming off the back of a 75-point loss to the Western Magpies, have been forced into six changes – nothing new for the club this season – including Shaun McKenzie, among the Roos’ most consistently better players.
“But we have a good gain in Jarrod Raun, one of our vice-captains,” said coach Roger Delaney of a much-needed positive.
As bad a season as the rebuilding Roos are experiencing, there is no way Delaney will revert to negative tactics.
“What we’ve been keen on is not going defensive,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a tough year and we knew we may not win games.
“But we also knew that we’d have people not enjoying their football and stop playing if we went defensive.”