By Beth Newman
SURFERS PARADISE v BROADBEACH
Surfers Paradise coach, Beau Zorko, says the memory of Broadbeach’s last gasp Rd 5 win was still a fresh wound for his players, ahead of their rematch.
After coughing up a six-goal lead to lose by just four points against the Cats that day, Zorko said his side was not going to let history repeat.
“It’s (that loss) absolutely burning (inside us) and in all honesty, it should,” he said.
“We lost all composure (in that game) and it’s been fantastic to the credit of the group, that in similar situations since, we’ve dealt with it a lot better.”
Significantly, the Demons have only made two changes to the side that beat Mt Gravatt last weekend, with Ben Merrett (Southport) and Dane Grant (hamstring) replaced by Trent McIntyre and Cassidy Haberfield.
For Broadbeach, the focus is on ensuring they won’t’ have to pull off a major heist at Sir Bruce Small Park on Sunday.
“If we want to play finals, we’ve got to get starts against these kinds of sides,” he said.
“Our goal in the second half (of the season) is to mirror image to the first half, win the 50/50 games and we need to improve against the better sides on paper.”
They will welcome Southport-listed player, Kieran Brennan, into the side, likely to play a key forward role in his return from a foot injury, giving crucial support to Taylor Haley.
Petterd said they would be looking for improved decision-making, after a disappointing loss to Morningside last weekend.
“We went goal for goal against Morningside, then they would get two or three against us,” he said.
“We can’t do that, we need to stay on top of everything.”
SANDGATE v LABRADOR
Labrador’s Nick Stockdale will make his senior comeback for Labrador, 400 days after a serious knee injury.
The 23 year-old who ruptured his ACL against Sydney Uni in Rd 11 last season, has worked tirelessly to make his come back, and a five-goal effort in the reserves, made it an easy decision to recall him to the seniors against Sandgate.
Stockdale and veteran, Mat Clarke, are two Tigers to come back into the side this season, while colts captain Rhys Coombe, will make his debut.
The Tigers’ injured brigade is slowly diminishing as well, with Jesse Ridd and Will Jacobs to come back through the reserves this weekend, and Tigers coach, Steve Daniel, is excited at the prospect of their bad luck ending
“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said.
“We’re slowly starting to get people back, which is going to help with the run home come finals time.
“It’s just fingers crossed that they get through.”
With every match significant in the run home, Daniel said his team was simply focused on notching another win this weekend, to keep their top two chances alive.
“Where we finish – our destiny’s in our own hands,” he said.
“We’d just like to have a win this weekend to keep our season rolling along.”
The Tigers will miss rising star, Dyson Budarick in the match.
Sandgate is yet to name its side for the match, after the resignation of coach, Rob Dickfos, this week, but will have a team named by 10am on Sunday.
PALM BEACH v MAGPIES
Palm Beach has erred on the side of caution ahead of its clash with the Magpies, taking the conservative approach with injured players.
Centre half-back, Jackson Emblem, will not play due to a calf injury, but, with key games against Labrador and Morningside looming, Lions coach, Daryn Cresswell, said they wouldn’t take any undue risks.
“We suspect Jacko will just miss this week, but we erred on the side of caution,” he said.
“He’s just such an important player.”
Another notable absentee is Bryce Perry-Bolt, who could miss six weeks with a knee injury, though Cresswell is confident the side has proved he is not the only forward firepower they have.
“Our last two weeks has been the best footy we’ve played all year and that goes to show, we’re not reliant on Bryce,” he said.
“We had a 10-goal win and 20 goal win and we found other avenues up front who chipped in and hit the scoreboard.”
Tim Fielding has also been ruled out for the season, after an ACL injury.
One person who will be relieved that Emblem is not on the team sheet is Magpies coach, Glenn Humphrey, with Emblem a thorn in their side in the teams’ Rd 5 clash.
“Last time, we played kick to kick with Emblem at centre half-back,” he said.
Humphrey said it was important for the team to tighten up in defence and attack this weekend, against their fierce rivals.
“We’ve got to be able to work hard defensively and offensively,” he said.
“We need to be creative to give ourselves a chance to kick a winning score.”
Jordan Bain has been recalled to Redland’s seniors after his 11 goal performance against Sandgate, along with Ben Landry, while Aaron Yusia-Marcic is unavailable due to state U16 commitments.
UQ v MT GRAVATT
UQ will look to rebound from a disappointing loss to Palm Beach, when it takes on mt Gravatt, in a twilight match tomorrow.
The Red Lions have welcomed back a host of key players in the wake of the Lions loss, and coach, Matt Stewart, said they had moved on from last weekend quickly.
“We didn’t’ harp on too much about it, we just freshened the guys up and refocused,” he said.
Rhys Tagell is a major inclusion for the Red Lions, for his first game of the year, while Zac Southern, Sam Rockliff and Dan Mauch are also among the inclusions.
After taking some time out of footy at the start of the season, Tagell returned via the club’s thirds, before proving his form in the reserves the past fortnight and could be vital for UQ tomorrow.
Mt Gravatt coach, Brad Pollock, knows every match is a must-win for them, with three clubs breathing down their necks of the fifth-placed side, and said victory was all they were chasing.
“After our last couple of weeks, most important thing is to concentrate on winning a game of football,” he said.
“We’ve fallen into a run and gun style that has brought us undone.
“This week it’s very important that we get a win on the board regardless of the margin, to create a basis for the coming weeks.”
Redland-listed Craig Malone will come into the Vultures side, in his return from a broken leg, while Will Hamill also returns to the side, but Mt Gravatt will miss vice-captain Frazer Neate (shoulder).
WILSTON GRANGE v MORNINGSIDE
Wilston Grange coach, Matt Trewhella, says his side is looking forward to its biggest character test of the year, against Morningside.
Trewhella said the side would need to call upon its depth in the match, missing a handful of key players, but he remained upbeat about his team’s prospects.
“Morale is high and training intensity levels are high but that needs to transcend to match day,” he said.
“For me having another two debutants, some comebacks and a relatively inexperienced side, there is an unknown, but that is the exciting part of footy.”
The Gorillas will miss Ben Haire and Jordan McIvor-Clark, while Jack James has been called up to the Brisbane Lions reserves, with Alex Ritchie and Connor McLean making their senior debuts.
Morningside will unveil an exciting prospect of its own in the match, with New Zealander, Ryan Roselli, to debut in the place of in-form ruckman, Peter Mollison (soreness).
Roselli, a former long jumper, has played a dozen AFL games, but Panthers coach, David Lake, said he had shown rapid improvement.
“He’s (Ryan’s) exciting, he’s played back, ruck and forward in the reserves,” he said.
“We’ll give him a look around the park and it’s a good opportunity to give him a look.”
Benalla’s Ben Kunkel will also make his senior for the Panthers, while 2013 reserves premiership player, Alex Diamond, plays his first senior game of the year.
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Michael Conlan – AFLQ CEO (27)
Lisa McKoy – AFLQ Media Manager (33)
Simon Devine – AFLQ Competition Manager (37)
Breeanna Brock – AFLQ Female Programs Manager (32)
Jack Barry – AFLQ State Coaching, Volunteer & Affiliates Manager (36)
Craig Millar – AFLQ Football Operations Manager (34)
Beth Newman – AFLQ Community Football Writer (40)