Friday Forecast: Finals week one

Qualifying Final
Western Magpies vs. Wilston Grange
Saturday September 5, 2:00pm – Leyshon Park, Yeronga



Magpies: Nothing has changed for the Magpies this year. Their defence, especially around the football is what has won them a lot of games this year.

They have had an ability, second to none, to choke teams in by making them play through their numbers around the football, and stop the switch.

Gorillas: Earlier in the year, it was all about the big-bodied midfielders, but the Gorillas are more than that now. Their biggest plus late this year has been their ability to slow the play down when needed, and then pull the trigger and go if it opens up.


Magpies: It’s hard to find too many weaknesses in this Magpies line up at the moment, but if you look at the last month, it’s been a bit patchy. Yes, they have found a way to win when everything isn’t going their way, and have probably had one eye on the finals, but consistent output isn’t just a switch you can flick.

Gorillas: A couple of times this year, the Gorillas have failed to capitalise on the scoreboard. If they are going to win this game, they must kick straight, especially early.


It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, but it was a cracking contest. It was the Magpies, who, after a couple of goals went begging early in the last quarter, finally got across the line. Don’t expect any different this time, it’s going to be tight.


Since then, both teams have enjoyed some very good form; in fact, they haven’t lost a game. The Gorillas have probably had the slightly better month; there isn’t much in it though. Both teams will have slightly tweaked line-ups compared to the last time this weekend, but both will be near on full strength.



Magpies: Luke Scott, like most weeks, will have a massive role to play this week. He will be pivotal in setting the play up by foot from the half-back line, generating the Magpies run, as will Cal Carseldine, who will be that next link in the chain.

Gorillas: Steve Brittain is the man in the middle tomorrow. If he can win the footy at the stoppages, giving the Gorillas first use, with the help of Bradie Foster in the ruck, that will go a long way to being on top in this game.



Contested ball will be key tomorrow. Both teams pride themselves on it, both teams set up around it, so whoever holds the advantage around the stoppages will win.

Tip: Gorillas by 7



Magpies: Richard Wenham is in, for his 100th senior game, Riley Easton is out.

Gorillas: Brittain and Leong Kettle in, Eaton Molan and Howe out.


Coach’s thoughts:
Glenn Humphrey – Western Magpies

“This is what it’s all about. The first half of the season is just a prelude to the finals. It’s about now getting some reward for everything we have put into this season.

“I don’t think the last two games are relevant this time of year. It’s about making sure that we concentrate on doing what we do well, and ensuring that defensively we are very strong. Once we do that, the game will take care of itself.

“One of the major things that we took from last time was, that we come from behind, and stole it right at the end. We took from it to never give up against them, because there is always going to be chances if you work your rear end off.

“What have to stop the influence of their midfield. They have obviously got a very impressive midfield with the likes of Kuret and Brittain, and Nixon-Smith has been very good at running the lines.

“They have got some scoring power up forward as well, with Trewhella up forward, so we have got to keep them quite.

“It’s all about getting enough ball supply to our forward third, whether that be by our forwards kicking the goals, or our midfielders kicking the goals. It’s about consistency in turning those opportunities into goals.”

Matt Trewhella – Wilston Grange

“A couple of weeks ago, the ladder was still being decided, it was winter, and we were still trying to lock in third. There was a lot of work going into everything. Then something changed. On September 1, something was different. The weather was different, my coffee tasted different, the way I woke up was different, one because it finals, two because it’s spring. It’s fantastic to be here.

“Everyone knows how they use the ball. The problem being is they haven’t played too many bad games. Even when they are off a little bit they still win.

“They are hard to score against. We know a lot of their setup comes from behind. We know what they are trying to do, when know where their goals come from, but we haven’t been able to stop them. Both games they have played how they want to.”

“We need to win the contested ball, we need to win the stoppages, and we need to kick our goals.

“Luke Scott, Matt Davis and Brady Allen are the ones that set them up from behind, so it’s making sure they don’t get any easy disposals off half back.

“If we can replicate our pressure like we had against Morningside and Labrador, they will be susceptible.”


Elimination Final
Morningside vs. Broadbeach
Sunday September 6, 2:00pm – Jack Esplen Oval



Panthers: Morningside are synonymous with their link up work from the back half. It’s their phase two and three running that has won them a lot of games of footy in the last two years. When that is going, it’s hard to stop.

Cats: Since the halfway point of the year, two things have come to the fore at Broadbeach. There pressure has lifted, and they have spread a lot better from the contest. That will be key tomorrow.


Panthers: When Morningside has been beaten this year, their contested numbers have been down. It’s something that has have really worked on as the year has progressed, but it’s an area that they need to get right to win.

Cats: When Broadbeach have played four quarters of footy this year, they have beaten Labrador and Morningside. Problem is, they have only played four-quarters a couple of times. They have to eradicate the patches where they go missing, and string it all together for 120 minutes.


The whole reason we are still talking about Broadbeach right now is because of their win two weeks ago over Morningside. They grinded away all day against the Panthers, opening them up on the rebound late, to run out 29-point winners.


Spackman Nash and Russ were all missing that day, which will bolster Morningside’s 22 in a big way. They were flat last time they met, no doubt about it. It will be interesting to see how they respond on Sunday.

Having said that, Broadbeach’s win over Morningside was the catalyst to their confidence. It was after that game they really started to believe they are genuine contenders, proven last week with their four-quarter performance against Sandgate.



Panthers: While the midfield is important, I’m putting the spotlight on Morningside’s forward combination tomorrow. Abey and Mueller could be the most potent one-two punch in the league if they can work together well. A big haul for both of them has been brewing, and they would love it to happen tomorrow.

Cats: If Morningside’s key is their forward line, Nathan Quick will be vitally important for the Cats. He will most likely start on Abey, and can’t concede any cheap ones early.



As much as these two teams will focus on the inside, the team that can get it out wide, show some poise, and then let loose going into the forward line should win. It’s going to be a day where clean possessions are hard to come by, so four or five elite passages of play out wide could be the difference.

Tip: Morningside by 11



Panthers: Edwards and Brown in, Wearne and Pendlebury out

Cats: McConnochie and Reeves in, Stollery and Mullins out. (Hancock is a Southport emergency. The final call will be made on Sunday morning.)


Coach’s thoughts:
David Lake – Morningside

“Last night was as good as it’s felt in a long time.

“Energy, intensity and enthusiasm are three important parts.

“They will have a crack, they have good energy and enthusiasm, and you’ve got to quell that.

“At the end of the day, there are a lot of blokes that are different from last year. When it comes to finals, you have got to do things that you ordinarily wouldn’t. It’s got to become second nature.

“Sometimes you’ve got to put your head in a place you don’t want to, and I’m comfortable that my group understand what has to be done.

“There is a sense of excitement, it’s at home, and everyone is up and about.”

Brett Andrews – Broadbeach

“They trained well last night; no complaints. Everyone is on deck, so we are half a chance.

“We are under no illusion of what sort of task it is, playing Morningside at Morningside, but we are looking forward to the challenge as a footy club.

“We are playing good footy, we got them a couple of weeks ago. We have momentum, confidence, fitness and speed, so I think it’s going to be one hell of a clash.

“We want to be a hard side to play, and we don’t want anyone to get an easy game off us. We are playing for keeps.

“We have just got to bring our a-game. It’s going to come down to our pressure, especially on the ball carrier.”


By Andrew Wiles@andrewjwiles

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