Friday Forecast: Finals Week 2

Semi Final 2
Labrador vs. Western Magpies
Saturday September 3, 2:00pm, Cooke-Murphy Oval

The go to:

Tigers: Pressure. It’s the thing they have been building on all year, and played a huge role in the position they are now in. They restrict the opposition going forward, create turnovers on the half forward line, and rebound quickly.

Magpies: The blend. Win the inside ball, spread, and then choke the opposition in out of defence.


What they will try and stop:

Tigers: There were a lot of Labrador players at last week’s qualifying final, so they would have seen the spread of the Magpies. Yes, they were good in and under, especially in the fourth, but they won with their spread around the footy. They can’t be allowed to run freely away from the stoppages.

Magpies: They can’t give the Labrador defenders clean use. They have to make them play one-on-one, and limit the way they rebound. That’s going to happen by looking after the ball, and spreading out the forward line. If all the Magpies forwards are tripping over their own feet, the Labrador defence will sweep the ball out.


Key match-ups:

Wayde Mills vs. Brent Staker: They will get a look at each other at some stage, but it depends on where each coach wants their player to start. If they both start high, Staker has to peel off Mills and be used in transition, otherwise Mills will float across and intercept like he has done so often this year. That will mean Young covers the deepest forward.

Charlie Pershouse vs. Josh Baxter:  The youngster has one of the biggest jobs on the ground, up against a bloke who can kick them from anywhere. Has to play a meter or two off him, and spoil late.

Cal Carseldine vs. Tom Thorsen: The two inside bulls. Will lock-horns at most stoppages. If one is on top of the other, it’ll be huge.

The dream:

Tigers: Hicks and Clarke have six inside 50’s between in the first 10 minutes. Will mean their running game is on.

Magpies: Staker has two early ones, and Scott has four rebound 50’s.


The nightmare:

Tigers: Being strangled in from the back half.

Magpies: Retzlaff, Baxter and Goldsmith kick the first three of the game in the first five minutes.


The game breaker:

Tigers:  Adam Clarke. Taken his game to a new level on the inside this year, and was sublime last time they played. Something is bound to happen if he has the footy in his hands.

Magpies: This week more than any, it’s Luke Scott, because he holds the key to where the Magpies stack their talent. They have two options, play Scott down back, to counteract Labrador’s three talls, or play him forward next to Staker, Copland, Dickfos and Pope, and try and stretch the Labrador back six.


Last time they met:

It was one of the strangest games of the year. In the pouring rain at Chelmer, the Tigers came out like a bull at a gate, up sevens goals to nil at half time. But then the Magpies came back, kicking eight last quarter goals to one. In the end though, Labrador held on to win by three-points.


Team news:

Tigers: After a week off, the Tigers line up looks as good as it gets all things considered. Missing a few who are out for the year, like Blake Bantoft, but majority of the club looks fit.

Magpies: Lachie Woods has gotten over his ankle issue from last week that saw him miss most of the game, and Pershouse is in for Will Fletcher


Labrador by 21

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Semi Final 1
Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Mt Gravatt
Sunday September 4, 2:00pm, Salk Oval

The go to:

No point separating them into team categories here, because they are both going to run the ball, play on quickly, and isolate their forwards. 

There is a difference though. The Lions will use the short lateral kick inboard, while the Vultures will look to feed it out wide, and go along the wings.


What they will try and stop:

Lions: Can’t let the Vultures wingman peel off and become the bailout option. They are very good at not getting sucked into the contest, which is probably what won them the game last week.

Vultures: Stop the fat side transition. The first kick is in the middle, and then there is an option out wide. Can’t afford Palm Beach to have that freedom.


Key match-ups:

Ashley Chapman vs. Jarryd Douglas: Chapman took the points on Green last week, and you would think he will go to Douglas Sunday. It’s going to be a very agile match up considering their size, so Douglas’ best bet is to get on his bike and hit up the arc.

Jesse Derrick vs. Mick Hamill: The two best players in their respective teams. Both are so damaging with the ball in hand, and both gain a heap of metres. Neither can allow the other to get out the back of the contest to turn and run.  

Jackson Emblem vs. Jayden Crawley:  Would have loved to see Emblem on Moncur, but it wasn’t to be. Unless Crawley plays right up the ground, you would expect Emblem to go to him, which would free McNeven up to rebound.  Will be good to watch under the long ball. Emblem will body more, while Crawley will try and get a jump at the footy.


The dream:

 Lions: First three centre clearances right through the corridor.

Vultures: Estall kicks seven, and Tronc takes 10 marks.


The nightmare:

Lions:  Long kicks down the line to packs.

Vultures: They are forced to play slow, and can’t find and outlet out wide all game.


The game breaker:

Lions: Jon Croad. Was excellent last week, and was the reason the Lions were in it late. If he can have that influence again over Andrew Smith, the Lions win.

Vultures:  Josh Vearing, because you can’t buy experience. If it is tight late, and Vearing gets busy, I can’t see the Vultures losing. He knows exactly what to do and when.


Last time they met:

It was a nail biter, but in the end, Palm Beach were able to claw over the line by 10-points.


Team news:

Lions: With the SUNS NEAFL team finishing up last week, Palmy get their hands back on a few players. Max Spencer will slot into the backline, Lachlan Richie on to a wing, and Jacob Dawson will play on the ball. Bound to help their run. Hamilton, Marshall and Mold go out.

Vultures: Nick Tronc is back, while Sam Godfrey makes way.


Palm Beach by 7

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By Andrew Wiles

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