By Beth Newman
LABRADOR v PALM BEACH
It took a game-breaking effort from Ryan Davey for Labrador to beat Palm Beach in Rd 4, but they’ll have to do the job without him tomorrow.
The Tigers captain is unavailable for the match, but Labrador football manager, Jarrod Field, said it would take more than individual brilliance to claim the vital win.
“This is a mini-final for us,” he said.
“We want to spread the load, rather than just rely on Ryan Davey, – we need everybody to lift.”
West Australian, Michael Cox, comes in for his first game at the Tigers, and Brayden Eddy comes back into the side, with Kieran Daley (work) and Josh Clarke (injury) to miss, along with Davey.
Palm Beach coach, Daryn Cresswell, said the match, which could serve as an early glimpse of the finals would be important, but September was a hard thing to emulate.
“Finals are a different kettle of fish,” he said.
“It’s hard to emulate that sort of thing.”
Cresswell said while finals are still a way off, tomorrow’s game and next week’s clash with Morningside would tell him a lot about his players.
‘It’s nice to win, but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t,” he said.
“Certainly our players are aware that when we’re picking teams for finals footy, it’s about those who play well in big games.”
Jackson Emblem is the biggest in for the Lions this weekend, after a week out with a calf injury, while Southport-listed Liam McNeven and Dylan Troutman and Thomas Thynne also return.
MAGPIES v MT GRAVATT
Winning is the only option for the Western magpies, against Mt Gravatt tomorrow, coach Glenn Humphrey says.
Sitting in sixth, a game behind the Vultures, a win for the Magpies would put them right in the finals race, a fact of which Humphrey is acutely aware.
“We need to win games of footy,” he said.
“Getting close enough is not good enough.”
The Magpies will have confidence from their Rd 4 win over the Vultures, where their ability to shut down the Vultures’ run proved crucial, something they will aim to do again.
Jordan Bain returns from Redland for the Magpies, and Val Pope returns from injury, while Richard Wenham and Matt Garland are out.
Bain booted 11 in his last match for the Magpies and will be a focal point up forward for the Magpies.
Mt Gravatt have a difficult run home, starting with their closest rivals for that last finals spot, and coach, Brad Pollock, said they were desperate to claim that added breathing space.
They will be boosted by the return of Jayden Crawley, Frazer Neate and Redland-listed pair, Mitch Harley and Adam Boon in the match.
Boon’s return will add some vital run to the Vultures outfit, something that would be vital to a Vultures win.
“The Magpies closed us in last time with their style so we want to play our style of footy play a more possession type of game,” he said.
“We’re looking to take the Magpies on.
“When he (Boon) last played he was in great form, and we’ll be hoping we get some good run off the half-back from Adam.”
BROADBEACH v WILSTON GRANGE
Wilston Grange have pushed the top sides this season and Broadbeach coach, Wayne Petterd, says his side will be ready on Sunday.
“You always get a good contest with Grange,” he said.
“They do seem to find another leg (against the top sides), but it’s just back to us worrying about what we can control.”
Liam Frawley will miss the match with an AC injury, suffered early in last week’s match, but Petted has faith is back six will step up in his absence.
“He’s been in good form, and he gives us that run and bounce out of our back half,” he said.
“But we’re pretty evenly balanced, so whoever we bring in is more than capable to cover that.”
Petterd said he would be looking for his side to finish off better against the Gorillas.
“We need to be able to execute a bit better, we control the footy and our efficiency rate in the midfield (is there) but we’re not quite getting the rewards up forward as we would like.”
Forward/ruck Ben Haire is a major inclusion for the Gorillas, replacing Bradie Foster (SUNS reserves).
Gorillas coach, Matt Trewhella, said they would be much more prepared for the Cats this time around.
“Last time was a really disappointing day as we were out-enthused by Broady and were spectators for most of the day,” he said.
“We only lost by 4 goals but we never looked like winning the game.
“We have improved since then and we are much more prepared for the way they play.”
MORNINGSIDE v SANDGATE
Morningside faces a major unknown, in Sandgate, on Saturday, but coach David Lake, said the Panthers would be wary of the Hawks.
Sandgate led the Panthers for part of their Round four clash at Lemke Rd, and Lake said they would be prepared for anything ahead of tomorrow’s match.
“Sandgate are a side that’s gotten the third closest to us,” he said.
“They might find something.”
Morningside have made three changes to the side that held off Wilston Grange last week, with Rhys Power (concussion), Sam Faure (cork) and Ben Kunkel all out, with Michael Wyld, Cameron Burnside and Peter Mollison to return.
Panthers’ developing tall, Ryan Roselli, retained his spot in the team after a solid debut last weekend.
Lake said it was crucial to get things right this week, with a blockbuster clash with Palm Beach to follow.
“We’ve got to make sure our intent’s good and our processes are right,” he said.
“We’ve got a big week coming up the week after.
“We want to be a process-focused side rather than an emotional one.”
The Hawks, to be coached by ian Carter for the remainder of the season, have made a number of changes to the side, with Liam Rutledge the key absentee, with a knee injury.
SURFERS PARADISE v UQ
Surfers Paradise has switched the focus firmly to enjoyment leading up to tomorrow’s clash with UQ.
Demons coach, Beau Zorko, said the team had set about returning to the things which marked their midseason rise.
“We’ve been very good at being inconsistent,” he said.
“We’ve stripped things back, added enjoyment factor back, focusing on what we do best when we’re enjoying our footy.
Zorko said they would not be lacking for motivation against UQ.
“We’ve got a sniff at September, a sniff at rebounding from our performance last week and there’s some personal and club pride at stake,” he said.
“I’d be disappointed if we needed any more motivation than that.”
Harrison Fraser comes into the Demons’ side for the clash, after a stint with the SUNS reserves, with Zorko hoping for his side to rebound from last week’s loss to Broadbeach.
“We thought we lacked that zip last week so H is back in and (John) Macansh will play a more prominent role for us,” he said.
UQ will take plenty of confidence into the match, after a near boil over the last time the sides clashed, with the Demons clinching just a three-point win.
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Simon Devine – AFLQ Competition Manager (41)
Breeanna Brock – AFLQ Female Programs Manager (37)
Jack Barry – AFLQ State Coaching, Volunteer & Affiliates Manager (41)
Craig Millar – AFLQ Football Operations Manager (39)
Beth Newman – AFLQ Community Football Writer (45)