MATCH OF THE ROUND
LABRADOR vs. MORNINGSIDE
Sunday May 24, 2:00pm – Cooke Murphy Oval
Live blog from 1:30pm
It’s the game we’ve all been waiting for. The grand final rematch. Two undefeated teams going head to head on a Sunday afternoon. Does it get any better in May?
Yes, it’s only round 6, but how can you not be excited when the two best teams in the comp square off.
Morningside coach David Lake knows they will have to bring their best to consolidate top spot on the ladder.
“From their point of view, they’re as up and about as they have been, they look good,” Lake said.
Lakey is really happy with his own backyard.
“Last night was the best I’ve seen them on the track in terms of understanding the task at hand,” he said.
“Our work rate has been the biggest thing this year, our capacity to enjoy working hard. Hopefully we are skilled in our transitions, and control of the footy like we have been.”
You don’t often say that a team who hasn’t lost in 18 months will be up against it, but there are a few factors that will test the Panthers this weekend.
“It’s Sunday. It’s not normal. It’s at their ground. It’s backs to the wall for us to find out where we are really at,” Lake said.
“As a measuring stick, it’s a perfect opportunity because nothing is on our terms.”
Twenty-five wins on the trot, it’s some feat, but Morningside aren’t ready for it to end just yet.
“It would be a shame to go back down to zero, because that starts you down a new road and you don’t know what’s down that road, you don’t need to find out,” he said.
Labrador on the other hand, would love to be the team that breaks the streak.
“We are hoping somebody can do it, and if it is us that’d be great,” Senior Assistant Jarrod Field said.
Opportunities like this don’t come around every week, and the Tigers are certainly looking forward to it.
“It’s really exciting, a great opportunity to test where we are at and see if we have improved at all. I think it’ll be won or lost in the midfield,” he said.
“We didn’t play super last week but we finished the game well, we are nearly at full strength so we will give a good account of ourselves on Sunday and hopefully that is good enough, but we are certainty not getting ahead of ourselves by any stretch.”
Both teams will go in at pretty much full strength, which means there are some mouth-watering match-ups around the ground.
Labradors forward line against the likes of Tomlinson, Frame and Kinch.
McNiece, Logan, Delbridge and Russ will be going head to head with Davey, Clarke, Baird and Lappin.
There is honestly too many to list, but one thing is for certain, this will be a classic.
The time for speculation is over; let’s these two teams stand in 2015.
FOOTY CLUB: QAFL RECORD – RD 6 – LABRADOR VS MORNINGSIDE
MT GRAVATT vs. SANDGATE
Saturday May 23, 2:00pm – Dittmer Park
Two clubs, one massive opportunity.
Mt Gravatt are desperate for a win, and Sandgate would love to get on a roll after grinding down UQ last week.
It’s been a tough start to the year for the Vultures. The effort has been there, they have just chopped the ball up too often.
“Let’s be honest, not a lot has gone right at the start of the season so I really expect us to go in as underdogs in this game,” coach Brad Pollock said.
“For us to conjure a win we need to eradicate a lot of the unforced errors and get rid of the turnovers. We are competing well but just turning the ball over too much and creating too many opportunities for the opposition.”
To beat an inform Hawks outfit, they have got to get their running game going.
“We have been a bit stagnate in our run, so we will look to improve that, that’s the young blokes strength so lets play to it,” he said.
Players like the Rutledge brothers and Ben Beaven have been the barometers for Sandgate through their contested work and attack on the ball. Pollock will put some work into them.
“They are a strong little team, and (contested ball) will be their strength in the game so we need to use our pace and young legs,” he said.
“They are obviously leading the way for them so we will need to pay them some attention.”
Sandgate coach Graham Adams is expecting a tight one, but will look to take control in the middle.
“It is (a good opportunity), I think they are two evenly matched teams so whoever plays well on the day will win,” Adams said.
“Theirs is a small ground, and we like to play through the middle on those type of grounds so that’s how we will be trying to operate.
After notching up their second win of the year on the weekend, the vibe has certainly lifted down at Lemke Road
“There is a really good feeling down at our club at the moment, we just want to keep moving forward and hopefully get a few more wins on the board,” he said.
Mt Gravatt will be without their skipper Fraser Neate and Hamill, but bring in Chris Murphy and Pat Neate for his senior debut.
If Sandgate find a bit of oomph, they will be hard to stop. The Vultures have to get the ball out wide and run.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 6 – MT GRAVATT VS SANDGATE
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN vs. WESTERN MAGPIES
Saturday May 23, 2:00pm – Salk Oval
Palm Beach proved they are still in 2015 right up to their necks last week.
They took it to Labrador for four quarters, but just couldn’t find reward for their effort on the scoreboard.
They will have to bring that same heat and desire this week when they come up against a Western Magpies team going from strength to strength.
“Our biggest problem is, you get up for a big game against Labrador, but when you’re not playing one of the top two teams, that you have to bring the same intensity or you get beat like we did against Sandgate,” Palm Beach coach Chad Owens said.
Both teams pride themselves on their contested work, so Owens knows they are in for a fight.
“They are not a team that win or lose by big margins apart from the Labrador game, they are in every game. I think it will be a game that if you switch off for a couple of minutes they will kick a few goals on you really quickly,” he said.
“It should be good, on a small ground it’s going to be interesting to see. It could be a low scoring game really.”
It’s a must win for the Lions if they want to stay in touch with the top two.
“It’s paramount, if we don’t win this week, we have got Morningside next week, so we don’t want to be behind the ledger, we want to be above it,” Owens said.
The Magpies have been getting some serious return from their mid-size forwards this year, something the Lions’ defense will have to lock down on.
“Val Pope, Thompson, I think their medium size forwards are better than their bigs, so we have got some big jobs for our young kids this week,” he said.
Magpies coach Glen Humphrey said that spread of goal kickers is something they have been working hard at.
“What we are trying to exploit is that we not stuck with one avenue to goal, we are going to have a few avenues to goal and we are putting more of an onus on our midfield to kick more goals,” Humphrey said.
After a few weeks off, they gave Surfers a five-goal start last week, something they wont get away with tomorrow.
“I think we will be much better off for the run last week after having three weeks off, so very keen to make sure we get off to a good start and put the pressure on the opposition from the start,” he said.
“It will be a good contest for us. We have got to go down there and put ourselves up against a side that looks like they are travelling well.
“It’ll be in close where the game is one and lost, in the middle and around the ground, so that will be the driving force as to what we will look at.”
They will have to do it without Luke Scott, who wasn’t available for selection this week, after being instrumental last weeks win.
We will finally get a read on the Western Magpies this week. They have the internal belief they are a finals team, now they get the chance to prove it.
UQ vs. WILSTON GRANGE
Saturday May 23, 2:00pm – Oval 7 St Lucia
Wilston Grange is staking their claim as a real finals contender this year, and to keep their season rolling, they will be looking to make a statement against UQ this week.
Matt Trewhella is weary of the Red Lions though; they troubled the Gorillas last year, so Wilston Grange will look to take control early.
“Last year we didn’t put UQ away when we thought we would have. To be honest if we are not up and about and aren’t playing well they are not going to go away. The further into the game they get the more chance they have of winning,” Trewhella said.
They got the four points against Broadbeach last week, but it wasn’t easy.
“We addressed some of the issues we had last week with Broadbeach, and that was how easily we let the ball out of our forward line. It wasn’t through a lack of pressure it was more to do with our running patterns defensively,” he said.
Wilston Grange, through the likes of Brittain, Proud and co. will try and limit UQ’s run and carry through their strength in the guts.
“I know they like to play quick footy and I know they will try to win the game so it’s about getting our bigger on ballers on top and winning the clearances early,” Trewhella said
UQ won their fair share of footy against Sandgate last week, but struggled to find a target going forward.
With both teams numbers being on the wing, they couldn’t find the space and run they wanted out wide, which they will look to rectify this weekend.
“Our two’s are doing really well with that run from defense, which is what we need this weekend, is a couple of blokes to run really hard from the backline,” Pfeiffer said.
“Wilston Grange are a very good contested footy team so we will definitely want to win the contested footy still, which we have been quite good at this year, and then get it out to our wingman or get it forward to space where we can use our pace.
“We have got some pretty quick and agile guys up forward so we need to get it into space so those guys can do their thing.”
With a young, still being molded towards their new game plan, Pfeiffer is confident the club is heading in the right direction despite just the one win.
“I’m still confident with where the team is at. We are trying to create a little bit of stability in the team now,” he said.
“The first month, with not having the greatest understanding of all the players it was always going to chop and change.
“From here on we really look to get stability through a few of the positions of the players and get them knowing exactly what their role is and how they can play it.
Wilston Grange will go in as deserving favorites, but beware a young side that gains momentum early. It’s game like this they need to assert their dominance if they want to play finals in 2015.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 6 – UQ VS WILSTON GRANGE
BROADBEACH vs. SURFERS PARADISE
Sunday May 24, 2:00pm – H&A Oval
Two young teams on the rebound in the battle of the coast. This one could go either way.
Both sides have shown this year that when it all clicks, they can play some scintillating football.
With both teams desperately needing a win to keep their season alive, Broadbeach coach Wayne Petterd knows how big this game is.
“We have got to start winning or we can kiss our finals hopes goodbye, it’s a little mini-final for both sides,” Petterd said.
The Cats have showed some great signs in the last two weeks against Labrador and Wilston Grange, they just need to piece it together for four quarters.
“I liked the way we played last week so I just want to continue that on,” he said.
“It goes back to our midfielders doing their job, which I thought we were good at last weekend until the last quarter.”
Both teams have some very classy inside midfielders, and will both be cracking in from the first bounce.
“I can’t fault our contested footy, it’s more our ball use that has been letting us down,” Petterd said.
“The likes of the Haberfields’ and Agita, they know footy and they know how to win it, but its just who uses it at a higher efficiency rate.
“Being a young side they will be running around on enthusiasm and so will we, so whoever can control it and use it the best will reap the rewards.”
Surfers Paradise is starting to find a rhythm in 2015.
Although strong on the inside, they have some real pace on the outside, something they need to click into gear early.
“We have just got to get it out to our outside runners who can use the footy. I don’t think we did that well last week, so hopefully this week we can use the runners,” coach Peter Young said.
“They have got some really good inside midfields and players like Pantic and Dienjes, so it’s going to be tough. There is nothing between eight teams.”
There is some tall timber in the Demons forward line. With McIntyre and Green in good touch, the Cats back six will have their work cut out.
“We have been happy with the forward line most of the season. We seem to be getting the footy in there and having lots of shots on goal, it’s just not reflecting on the scoreboard with how we are kicking,” he said.
This one is harder to pick than a broken nose. Both teams are pretty evenly matched across the field, so whoever used the ball the best on the outside is likely to get the four points.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 6 – BROADBEACH VS SURFERS PARADISE
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles