THE Western Magpies did not bother to travel down to the Gold Coast last weekend to watch second semi-final opponents Palm Beach-Currumbin beat Noosa.
by Terry Wilson
Gold Coast Bulletin
Asked if he noticed PBC’s form against Noosa last weekend, McClelland replied: We didn’t go down, but . . ..
“We spent some time together as a group and worked on our game plan and our team environment.
“Our view is to worry about what we can do rather than what they can do.”
Certainly McClellan and his Magpies know what to expect from PBC, a team they have beaten twice this year.
“We respect them and from our point of view we know they’ll be intense early,” he said.
The Magpies lost their final-round match away to Noosa, so there is a strong form line there for this match.
But the Magpies have three key chances, regaining half-forward Greg Lavey, half-back Matt Dillon and midfield champion Ben Heffernan-Roper.
They are in for Dylan McDonald, Daniel Frame and Kale Reed.
PBC have two changes from the side that beat Noosa. Small forward Beau Runnalls (hamstring) and Jordan Bates (omitted) are out and into the side come midfielder Martin Curtis and youngster Mitch Bury.
Runnalls pinged a hamstring at training on Tuesday night, but the Lions could not use big spearhead Bryce Perry-Bolt as a replacement because he, too, is having hamstring problems.
Coach Daryn Cresswell said Bury was given the defensive role on star Magpie forward Val Pope the last time the sides met and he did an excellent blanketing role, hence his return to the top side.
Cresswell, meanwhile, says the Magpies deserve their flag favouritism.
“I’m under no illusions they they’re the best team,:” Cresswell said.
But we know both times we lost to them we were in front at half-time and at various stages ahead by four goals.
“So we know we can match them, but we need to match them for longer periods.
“I feel the pressure is on them because everyone expects them to win at home.”