IT remains a week-by-week walk of the finals tightrope for the Surfers Paradise Demons, who trek north to play Mayne in another must-win game.
By Terry Wilson
Sitting in sixth spot on the ladder, level with Palm Beach-Currumbin (149.5 per cent), the Demons for-and-against is an unhealthy 97.5, which means they are effectively a game behind their Gold Coast rivals in the race for a top-five finish.
“So we’ve got absolutely no room for complacency – we’re playing for our finals berth every week,” said coach Beau Zorko, who has won two from two since taking over the reins from Rob Martin.
On form, Surfers should beat the extremely erratic Mayne who last weekend turned on a wretched second half after leading Burleigh at half-time to lose by 75 points.
But Zorko is wary of an ambush.
“We’re certainly on red alert because this is a game we dropped last year,” he said. “Mayne have been playing some good footy and no doubt they’ll set themselves for this one.”
“I’ve noted they kicked 100 points against Burleigh, so they have to be doing something right to do that.
“We’ve addressed the situation of going up there and doing a good job because it’ll make it extremely difficult make the five if we lose this one.”
Surfers have two changes from the side that beat Springwood last round.
Rover Jordan Pope (broken hand) and under-18 Ash Freeman are out, replaced by big Trent McIntyre and Luke Gavin.
Mayne are still wondering what happened last weekend, but player-coach Luke Faulkner said players seem to have their minds back on track judging by an excellent training session on Wednesday night.
“We know we butchered it in the third quarter last week and we’ve worked hard on things this week,” said Faulkner.
“The boys know they need to do something to rectify it, so fingers crossed that we can finally crack it for a win.”
Mayne’s changes total four – losing permit-pair Cleve Hughes (Southport) and Luke Ferguson (Morningside), as well as Blake Faulkner (ankle) and Paul Spurling (unavailable).
Into the side are Sam Gardiner, Nathan Smyth, Taylor Murtha and John Seccull.