Lions Selectors make some Tough Calls

PALM Beach-Currumbin’s match committee made some bold decisions when they finalised their side to play premiers Noosa in the qualifying final at Salk Oval on Saturday.

by Terry Wilson
Gold Coast Bulletin

Blessed with an embarrassment of riches at this stage of the season, the Lions overlooked the trio of Brent Rynehart, Brad Hewat and Bryce Dyer to tackle the Tigers, champions of 2010 and 2011.

The omissions of Rynehart and Hewat, in particular, are seen as big calls from an outsider’s perspective, although Cresswell said Rynehart’s form has been a touch inconsistent and Hewat had been “battling” for some time.

Rynehart was a member of PBC’s premiership sides in 2007 and 2009 and was in the losing 2008 grand final side.

Hewat was a star of 2010, but ended the season being sent off in the first quarter of the grand final when Noosa thrashed the Lions.

The Lions brought back big forward Bryce Perry-Bolt, and on-ball pair Sam Bourke and Martin Curtis.

Reappointed as coach of PBC for a second term next year, Cresswell believes his players learnt plenty from their 12-point loss to Noosa at Salk Oval in the 11th round when the Lions were accused of being not hard enough.

“That was one of our worst performances of the year,” Cresswell said.

“We’re out to make amends, but we’re also under no illusions that Noosa is a physical side and we’re fully prepared for that.

“They’re well versed in finals football and we certainly learnt our lessons the last time we played them.”

While PBC have had a softish run to the finals, following up wins against Maroochydore, Coolangatta, Burleigh with last weekend’s success at Wilston-Grange, Noosa rounded off their finals preparations with a good win over flag favourites Western Magpies.

Once again the Tigers are to miss the grunt provided by ruckman Peter Trompf (adductor) and tough backman Adam Bovalino (broken hand), but they managed witput them against the Magpies.

In the only change to the Noosa side, half-back Owen Bailey returns at the expense of Jack Tickner.

“Jack was terrific last weekend, but unfortunately we’re trying to get the right balance,” explained coach Wayne Fletcher.

Fletcher said the Tigers took plenty from the win over the Magpies but conceded his side took a while to adjust to the absence of Trompf and Bovalino, who both may have played their last games of the season.

“We probably took a couple of matches to adapt to their losses, because we dropped games to Surfers Paradise and Sandgate,” Fletcher said.

“But we got a lot of confidence from last weekend, it was a very strong win and we were consistent over the four quarters.

“But we need the same type of effort this weekend because it’s always a tough gig against Palm Beach any time, especially down there.”

In the reserves which starts at 11.30am Sandgate take on Surfers Paradise in what will be a tough no holes barred contest

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