COOLANGATTA may be out of the finals race, but claiming the scalps of a top premiership contender is the target for the Blues, who host Western Magpies at Len Peak Oval on Sunday.
By Terry Wilson
That, plus the need to make amends for a poor effort last round, should drive the Blues on as they chase a late-season upset on their home turf.
And a tricky situation at the Magpies may lend to the home club’s chances.
The Magpies are heading to the southern tip o the Gold Coast without three key players – Val Pope, Peter Kilroy and Sean McEvoy. That represents an awful lot of class and experience.
Although the visitors regain centre half-back Ed McDonnell, ruckman Hayden Thick and young wingman Lachlan Woods-Honour.
Blues coach Neil Mackay was upbeat on Friday when assessing the chances of his erratic side, which this week has five changes.
Out of the line-up are Emmaus Wartuva (hamstring), Jim Barrett (knee), Danny Maxwell, John Vogae and Ryan McCabe.
The ins are defender Greg Costello, on permit from Ocean Grove, mid-season signing and key position player Tiernan Carbry, 2010 B@F runner-up Dalton Sanderson, Jamie Beer-Carey and Ali Pinda.
“Every game I reckon is 50-50,” said Mackay when asked about the chances of the Blues springing a surprise.
“We have to redeem ourselves after last weekend. We turned up at Springwood with a bad attitude. We have to get back on the horse and have a go.”
“The Magpies are a top three team and that’s one of our goals, to knock one of them off.”
Magpies boss Peter McClellan says his players need to concentrate on their mental approach over the next month, especially with the chance of top spot on the ladder a distinct possibility.
“Last week we played two reasonable quarters of football (against Burleigh),” he said.
“We want four quarters of the same this weekend.’