Friday Forecast: Round 5

Morningside vs. Wilston Grange
Saturday May 7, 2:00pm, Jack Esplen Oval

I’m licking my lips at this one. This game has the potential to be anything.

Both teams were down last round, but if both pull it together this week, it has classic written all over it.

The most appealing part of it is how quickly either side can turn it on.

Both have the ability to pile on a bag of goals before you can blink; flicking the switch is a very handy skill to have.

Morningside will be without Russ, so the roles of Threapleton and Edwards, who is back from Redland this week, become even more important in the middle.

The Gorillas are missing coach Matt Trewhella, so they will be a bit smaller, but Fletcher McIvor back in is huge; he gives them a lot of length up and down the ground.

Then there is the sub story of Matt Walder, coaching against the team he played for last year. If any of the nine other coaches know how to stop Grange, it’s him.

Foster and Mollison going head to head in the ruck will be outstanding to watch, they were the two best ruckman in 2015.

Abey and Eaton deep in the Morningside forward line is also going to be one to keep an eye on; both will hit up hard at the footy.

On form, Morningside win this one, and win well, but never write off Grange.

Where it will be won: forward 50 conversion

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Broadbeach vs. Sandgate
Saturday May 7, 2:00pm, Ord Minnett Oval

Ferocious. That’s the best way to describe how this one will play out.

You couldn’t ask for a better lead in to the bye than what these two teams had.

Both had season turning wins, albeit from different positions in the last quarter, but there will be no excuses this week.

I can guarantee you no one is going to take a backward step when the ball hits the deck.

The difference in the game will be who can turn that contested scrap into a fluent forward entry.

Broadbeach were very good at it last game against the Magpies, but Sandgate have the stronger forward line of the two.

Quick, Strong and Tomlinson will have to try and nullify the influence of the Rutledge brothers, and Connor Stackelberg.

Those three forwards probably win that contest, so it’s then about limiting the entries Sandgate have for the Cats.

If they starve the Hawks, they win… pretty simple.

But, and there is always a but, if the Hawks have a decent amount of forward 50 entries, I can’t see them not kicking a large score.

Game on.

Where it will be won: who gets their hands on the footy first.
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Labrador vs. Mt Gravatt
Saturday May 7, 2:00pm, Cooke-Murphy Oval

Who would have thought after the Alpha-Sport pre-season cup final that we’d be here?

But here we are… with Mt Gravatt looking at keeping their top two spot, and Labrador desperate for a win.

This one is going to be quick, it’s going to be end-to-end, and there are going to be a lot of risks taken in transition. The team that’s cleaner will reap the rewards.

The inclusions for Labrador are very important.

The Clarke brothers come back, as does Billy Hicks, which will inject some pace into the line up.

Goldsmith comes back into the ruck, and will go head to head with Smith, but they will be missing skipper Bryce Retzlaff for six weeks with a broken finger.

With Retzlaff out, watch for Baxter to have a day out, he seemed to do it all last year when he was the sole key forward.

As for the Vultures, it’s all pretty stable lineup wise down there.

They learnt last game that if they lapse for a quarter, it’s nearly impossible to win this year; that will be rectified this week.

This game is going to tell us a lot. Can Mt Gravatt continue their run after the bye, or can Labrador bounce back into calculations with a good win?

Where it will be won: outside
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Western Magpies vs. Palm Beach Currumbin
Saturday May 7, 2:00pm, Chelmer

A few people would have had this billed as a finals match-up in the pre-season.

If the Magpies want to keep their top three hopes alive, it nearly is.

At 2-2, it’s not panic stations just yet, but they don’t want to fall behind the ledger.

Palm Beach had their best win of the season against Mt Gravatt before the bye. Another win in Brisbane is worth its weight in gold.

These two teams play pretty different football, so it’s going to be an arm wrestle to control the rhythm.

The Lions will look to do what the Cats did before the bye; load up from the backline, use the wings, and run it up.

The Magpies need to keep this one in the corridor, they won’t out run the Lions, they must stick to their niche.

Croad didn’t skip a beat on his return to the Lions last game, and will be a real handful in the middle or up forward, as will Jarryd Douglas.

Emblem, Lys, and Schneider will have to be switched on to contain Pope Scott and Stallard, so keep an eye on those match ups.

Who goes to Sam Stubbs is also very important. His height and speed makes him an awkward match up, so someone like Luke Mitchell might have to do the job on him.

The first quarter is going to tell us a lot about this one, if the magpies keep it tight they are a show.

Where it will be won: the tempo of the game.

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UQ vs. Surfers Paradise
Saturday May 7, 2:00pm, Field 9, St Lucia

It’s always interesting when two of the youngest teams in the league square off; there is always that uncertainty of what you’re going to get.

Even though only one of these teams got the win last game, they both come into it in their best nic so far in 2016.

Sound funny doesn’t it? But UQ really turned a corner against Morningside. That has to be the standard going forward.

They got a taste of what they are capable of, if they get on their bikes this week there is no reason why they can’t go one step further

Surfers made a statement against Labrador; it’s the four-quarter performance they have promised all year.

The key for them this week is continuing that desire, that hunger for the pill, and doing it for 120 minutes.

Powyer will probably go to Green, who is in red-hot form of late; stopping him will be key to keeping Surfers under 100-points.

Watching Hannaford and Pope go head-to-head in the middle will also be a treat.

These are the games Surfers need to win if they are a finals contender. It’s a must.

Where it will be one: contested ball

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150-year fact – Queensland Football Forensics

Former Valley player and Ascot and Mayne captain, champion centreman Len Gregory, had founded the Wilston club in 1945. His encouragement of local schoolboys, particularly students of Wilston State School, was integral in the early development of the club. The club started with a single team which competed in the Under 15 Grade. In 1947 the League urged the club to change its name to ‘Wilston-Grange’ to be more representative of the district rather than a single suburb. The strong growth of the club was the catalyst for the promotion of Wilston-Grange to A Grade in 1950.

Wilston-Grange have had some ups and downs in their time in the QAFL. Their three premierships have all closely followed difficult years. They were wooden spooners in 1954 then premiers in 1955, wooden spooners in 1967 then premiers in 1969, and wooden spooners in 1970 then premiers in 1972.

By Andrew Wiles

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