Friday Forecast: Wet weather round

Match Centre

Friday Forecast: Wet weather round

Wilston Grange vs. Western Magpies
Saturday July 25, 2:00pm – PBI Oval


Both corners ready… Round two… Let’s get it on.

It’ll be just 14 days since the last time these two teams squared off, but I don’t think anyone is complaining, this will be one of the games of the year.

These two teams were schedualed to lock horns in round four, but due to the storms that hit on that weekend, the time is now.

Despite the Magpies getting the upper hand first time round, these two teams are extremely evenly matched.

They both love asserting their dominance in the guts, and they both have, all be it different sized, very potent forward lines.

By their own admission, the Gorillas had a dirty day two weeks ago, but will be bolstered by a few handy inclusions.

We were missing some key players last time so it was difficult on the day, and our structure since then has been a lot better,” coach Matt Trewhella said.

“When you take out some key senior players in our group, we dropped down a level. Having the inclusions of these guys means we will be much better prepared.”

Trewhella, Brittain, Watson, Waters. All a-grades in their own right, and should all make a huge impact tomorrow.

While Trewhella didn’t take much from how his own mob played last time, they got an insight into the Magpies set up.

“We definitely spoke about the way they play. We saw some things we learnt about them, and some trends, so we addressed that last night,” he said.

“We know who their key players are, we know what we let them do, we know how they move the ball, and we know that they won the inside ball as well at the stoppages.

In terms of stopping the Magpies, it all starts with the 50/50 ball.

“I think they were able to win the ball out of the stoppages quite easily, we seemed to nullify that for a period of time but their set up across half back killed us,” Trewhella said.

“Towards the end of the game, our forwards moved between the arcs, and put in a lot of work for no result, so we need to nullify their half backs because once they set up from there, it’s definitely going down inside their fifty and it’s hard to stop.

“We have worked hard defensively with our forward group, and have identified that blokes like Luke Scott and Matt Davis are in terrific form, so we need to be accountable to those guys so they can’t just tee off like they did last time.”

As for his own troops, they torched the ball last game, something that shouldn’t happen again.

“Our disposal last time was poor, so we didn’t kick a lot of goals when we went forward or take the most of our opportunities, so I think with blokes like myself and Brittain probably playing forward, it gives us some more leadership and hopefully some more contested marks up forward,” he said.

The Magpies were domineering in round 12, which deservingly gives them a bit of confidence this week, but Coach Glenn Humphrey believes it will be a different kettle of fish.

“Make no mistake about it, they will come out swinging, I have absolutely no doubts about that,” Humphrey said.

“They want to get one back at us and even the ledger between the two sides for the year, so it’s going to be a tough game and I expect to see a different side than I saw last time.”

“We have got to be confident in the fact that what we do works for us, but we have just got to go out and make sure we perform it well.

The game was wide open early last time, which neither coach is expecting come 2pm tomorrow.

“I think it will be a lot tighter in the clinches this time round, and it will be a lot more heavily contested,” he said.

Humphrey won’t be reinventing the wheel for tomorrow though.

“We will play the game as we see it, but we will definitely try and play the game on our terms and restrict use of the football by the other side, so nothing will really change along those lines,” he said.

Neither team will have a better chance to gain four points on those around them than tomorrow, something that’s not lost on Humphrey.

“It’s an opportunity to get ourselves a double chance. Knowing that there are still five games to go after this, it puts in a good position in terms of our nearest rivals. If we have a win, it gives us a shot at second spot. The important thing is we have to get through this one though,” he said.

Tomorrow will be a special day for the Magpies. Matt Thompson, affectionately known as ‘clock’ around the traps due to being born with a shortened right arm, will rack up senior game 100.

Following his senior debut in 2007, he has become an integral part of the Magpies forward line since.

“To be able to play at this level, with the disability that he has, it’s a credit to the way he goes about it. Anybody that wants to pay him the respect that is due to him does it at his own peril in my opinion,” Humphrey said.

The Magpies will be without Dickfos, Bain Williams and Maricic tomorrow, but welcome back Tom Michael, Jae Humphrey, Riley Easton and Matt Thompson to balance things back up.

Every man, woman, and their dog should get to PBI Oval tomorrow. This one is going to be as good as it gets pre finals. It might not be for sheep stations, but both clubs will be very keen to lock down on third spot as finals looms.



By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles

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