Gorillas vs Demons heads round 6

Surfers Paradise get their chance to show if they are genuine finals contenders in the big clash at Sunlinc oval against Wilston Grange.

By Terry Wilson
Gold Coast Bulletin

CRAFTY playmaker and former skipper Simon Fenton is one of three changes made by Surfers Paradise for a key away engagement against Wilston-Grange at Hickey Park in Brisbane today.

After taking the scalp of premiers Noosa on the Sunshine Coast a fortnight ago, the Demons now have the only unbeaten side in the Pineapple Hotel Cup in their sights.

A past Duncanson-Todd Medal winner (the league’s best player award), Fenton will be joined by ruckman Mick Cunningham and forward Phil Nolan, formerly with Beenleigh, as the changes to the Surfers lineup.

They are in for Dan McGavin (family commitments) and Aaron Rolfe and Jack Bristow, who are being rested because of general soreness.

Coach Beau Zorko agreed it would be a feather in the Dees’ cap to bowl the Gorillas over in their home jungle.

“They have obviously recruited well and they’ll be wanting to take another victim,” Zorko said.

“I watched them against Burleigh the other week and they are a big, physical side, so minimizing their effect on the game will be a key component for us.”

But maybe some of Zorko’s fears have lessened somewhat with news on the selection front at the Grange.

Coach David Martin came up with six changes from the side that beat Western Magpies in the mud in round four and there are some important losses among them.

Midfielder Matt Shir (calf), Lee Smith (broken leg), Dan Campbell (leg), Tynan O’Donnell (sliced tendon) and ruckman Will Thwaite (knee) are all gone from this weekend’s red, white and blue combination.

Martin has yet to taste victory as coach of the Grange in matches against Surfers, a side he watched in action against Maroochydore last weekend when they scored by 100-plus points.

“They’re pretty structured and they are disciplined in their play,” Martin noted.

Meanwhile, Palm Beach-Currumbin, still smarting from being labeled soft after being toweled by Western Magpies last weekend, have produced another key signing.

Broadbeach midfielder Martin Curtis, fourth in the Cats’ 2011 best and fairest, has joined the Lions. He has been lured to Salk Oval by former Broadbeach teammates Jesse Derrick and Jackson Emblem.

Curtis is joined by forward Tynan Dyer, full-forward Bryce Perry-Bolt and wingman Troy Brown in the changes for PBC’s engagement against Burleigh at Bill Godfrey Oval.

The outs for the Lions are David Manning (broken wrist), Jordan Bates (work), Jordan Wallace (quad) and the omitted Brent Pearson.

Asked if the harsh criticism off the inept effort against the Magpies last weekend had stirred the pot at Salk Oval, coach Daryn Cresswell said: “We had a lengthy video session on Tuesday night and we went through areas that needed rectifying. There were 22 of them.”

Burleigh have lost Nathan Sullivan (pre-booked holiday and omitted Anthony Rofe and Alex Makin. The Bombers regain Cam Rowlands and promoted teenagers Dean Martin and Brady Rykers.

Coolangatta have six layers out for their match against Mayne at Len Peak Oval, prompting coach Neil McKay to quip that numbers are getting “a bit thin”.

“We’ve lost three to injury, one to work and another two who played for us on permit last round,” he said.

Evan Dureya is playing on permit from Southport as one bright piece of news for the battling Blues.

“And we had three past juniors come back to the club this week  and that’s encouraging,” McKay said.

There have been a couple of extraordinary matches between the Blues and Mayne over the years, harking back a couple of seasons when something like 14 goals were kicked in the final term.

McKay had a simple way to describe how much Mayne have improved.

“They’re a lot stronger because they’ve won three from five this year. They won none from 16 last year. So its simple mathematics, isn’t it.”

Springwood have their work cut out for them against an inform Sandgate combination, the Hawks returned to top form with a thumping 135 victory over Coolangatta last round.

The Pumas are yet to win a game but their improvement last round against Mayne showed they are improving each week. Mitchell Vasterink comes up against Brendan Forbes in the ruck which should be an interesting contest as both have been amongst the best players for their clubs in recent weeks.

Others to watch for Sandgate are Sam Lubke, Aiden and Liam Rutledge while for the Pumas Dylan Witney and Luke Ruf have been consistent winners.

Maroochydore Roos coming off the bye have made a number of changes in an attempt to control the rampaging Western Magpies.

The Magpies showed last week against the Lions that they have tons of speed and a very cohesive forward line led by Anthony Corrie (30 goals so far). Reid Dobson, Brendan Saunders and Will Fozzard are also in great touch.

The Roos will be stretched to the limit and will need all hands on deck if they are to be competitive in this game

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