Match of the round
Western Magpies vs. Wilston Grange
Sunday July 12, 2:00pm – Poweyenna Oval
Live Blog from 1:45pm
It’s the game we have all been waiting for. Ever since the washout in round 4, this game has been earmarked.
Three v four, two of the best midfields going head to head, eight-point game. I’m excited.
The Magpies had a tough day at the office last week, it just wasn’t their day. They have moved on though, and all eyes are on this weekend.
“We moved on pretty quick. We had a look at where we broke down and how we can improve. Twice we have played them, twice they have given us a bit of a touch up, but we don’t have to worry about them until finals so we just move on and worry about what we have to do this week,” coach Glenn Humphrey said.
“Particularly with us playing on our home deck, Sunday is a game we expect to win.”
You could put your house on the fact this will be brutal in the midfield. It’s the area in which both teams pride themselves on.
They might be up against the likes of Brittain, Proud, Kuret, Kettle and co. but the Magpies are backing themselves in.
“We have got to look at getting in there and pairing off with them and beating them as individual players. We need to back our own midfield against theirs that’s what we will be doing,” he said.
Last week might have been a speed hump in the journey, but the game plan will stay the same, numbers around the footy.
“We will square off around the stoppage, make sure that we have matched up numbers around the stoppages, and see how it pans out from there,” Humphrey said.
Woods, Thompson and Maricic are huge inclusions this week. All three will strengthen their spine.
Wilston Granges round 11 performance is a stark contrast to that of the Magpies, but coach Matt Trewhella doesn’t read into it too much because he knows it’s going to be a dog-fight
“They are coming off a massive loss and we are coming off a massive win, so what you take from that I’m not sure,” Trewhella said.
“The last few years, we have always got ourselves up to play the Magies, it’s a game we always look forward to, and it’s a game we always prepare well for, so it’s going to be a very heated battle, and I can’t wait.”
The Western Magpies won seven on the trot due to their ability to get numbers around the footy, and not allow the opposition to get the ball outside. It’s something Trewhella has prepared for.
“We will go about things similar to Morningside. Their preference was to have numbers around the pill, and we played a way that allowed us to sit off and let them come to us,” he said.
“They have got a well spoken about midfield, but I think the quality in ours shapes up just as well, so I’m looking forward to a very intriguing battle.”
He is pretty confident of the cattle that will line-up in the forward 50 as well.
“The game will be won in the midfield, but they have got a big challenge on their hands with our forwards,” Trewhella said.
Finally, we are able to get a read on how these two teams stack up against each other. Even though these teams play again in a few weeks time, don’t expect anyone to hold back.
It should be a belter.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 12 – WESTERN MAGPIES V WILSTON GRANGE
Broadbeach vs. Labrador
Saturday July 11, 1:30pm – H&A Oval
There is still light at the end of Broadbeach’s finals’ tunnel, which makes this week huge.
It means that they have to do what no one else has done so far in 2015. Knock off Labrador.
It’s not out of the question though.
“We are not playing that bad of footy. We played a decent half against Morningside, but let them get away early, and lost by eight-points to Palm Beach. We are playing better football,” coach Brett Andrews said.
To do it, they have to stop the lapses within games. If that happens tomorrow, there’s no better team at punishing you than the Tigers.
“The thing that scares me tomorrow is our down period. Teams tend to blow us away in 15 minutes and then we match them for the rest of the game. We get scored against pretty easily in that period but we can also score easily throughout the game,” he said.
“It’s about everyone clocking on tomorrow, or else they will blow us off the park.”
Andrews believes it will be their work away from the ball that sets themselves up with the footy in hand.
“Working when we haven’t got the footy. Not shutting people down as such, but a bit of man on man stuff, and a bit of accountability when we haven’t got the footy,” he said.
“We are a bit of a gambling side at the moment. We need to eliminate the low percentages and work on the high percentages.
“No one has been able to stop them so far. If you worry about them too much I think they will blow us off the park, we need to get a lot of footy, and cut down on our errors again like last week. If we halve them again we will have our fair share of that.”
Tigerland is a happy place to be at the moment, but Steve Daniel recognises that Broadbeach have a lot to play for this weekend, and they are ready for it.
“They are certainly playing a lot better, and for them it’s a really important game, they have to beat us if they want to keep their finals hopes alive. They are going to be a really dangerous opponent, we are well aware of that,” Daniel said.
They are just taking everything in their stride though, especially after an on-song performance like last week.
“It was a really good win, and everything seems to be coming on alright. We had a light week on the track this week, we had that heavy training load for four weeks so now we have pulled it back a bit,” he said.
Why change something if it’s working? Expect the same type of game from Labrador this weekend.
“I would like to think we just keep going with what we have been doing. Last week we were really impressive in a number of areas, which we have been trying to do, so if we can keep that consistency up we will be pretty happy,” Daniel said.
Broadbeach have been playing good footy lately, no one can argue that, but I think the mountain might just be too big to climb this weekend.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 12 – BROADBEACH V LABRADOR
Morningside vs. Sandgate
Saturday July 11, 2:00pm – Jack Esplen Oval
Two losses in a row. It’s unfamiliar territory for Morningside to be in across the last year and a half. Now it’s time to respond.
“We have got to get better at what we do if we want to remain challengers, so we have to challenge the blokes that just aren’t quite there,” coach David Lake said.
To be honest, it wouldn’t matter who Morningside were playing this weekend, the focus was always going to be internal.
“We were flat against the Magpies, we were good for a half last weekend, we clearly came forward, and now we need four points to go with the effort, it’s that simple,” he said.
“It would be nice to get a bit of momentum from here. Our focus has been on us this week, our methods, and our behaviors.
“No amount of attention on the opposition is going to change that. We were a side that was playing good footy, we need to get back to that and get more of a consistent output. Without being disrespectful to Sandgate, that’s just where we are at.”
Morningside are renowned for their phase two running, their link up work, and their ability to run in numbers.
It’s been missing in parts for the last two weeks.
“We talked about how phase one has never left us but phase two is where you win the game. Our phase two has been a bit stop and start. It was there in the third quarter last week, but we never got our hands on it in phase one in the last to have phase two,” Lake said.
“Phase two running is an instinct thing. Every player goes for the first, but do they do the second. Sometimes you lose the instinct to go for the second part.
“Our major focus this week is setting ourselves free to play, and ticking it off a quarter at a time.”
They welcome back Head and McDonald this week, but lose Dale to an ankle injury, and Pendlebury will look to find some touch in the twos.
As for Sandgate, despite the last two weeks, they won’t be taking Morningside lightly.
“We are looking forward to the challenge again. In my opinion, Morningside at Morningside is the hardest game in the comp; it’s a big challenge for our young fellas,” coach Graham Adams said.
These are the games that are the measuring stick.
“Between Morningside and Labrador, they are the two standouts of the competition. To play well against them is pretty important for our side, and our club to keep moving forward,” he said.
They weren’t able to get over Palm Beach last week, but they played some solid footy throughout, something they will look to build on this week.
“We were pretty steady all day, we just couldn’t quite kick two to three goals in a row. We couldn’t get a run on properly,” Adams said.
While Morningside will be focusing on getting that phase two back, Sandgate will be doing everything they can to make sure it remains absent.
“We will indeed, that is where they get all their run that’s for sure, so we will try and stop it,” he said.
It hasn’t been a great fortnight for the Panthers, but I think that this is the week they reset, and kick off their run to the finals series.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 12 – MORNINGSIDE V SANDGATE
Surfers Paradise vs. Mt Gravatt
Saturday July 11, 2:00pm – Sir Bruce Small Park
There is a bit of an unknown surrounding this game, you just don’t know what each team will bring on the day.
When they play their best footy, it’s good enough to challenge anyone, but as is the case with young teams, sometimes it just doesn’t click.
Mt Gravatt may not have got the win last week, but for half of the game, they were excellent.
Now, it’s about getting that output for all four quarters.
“There is a positive feel around the place, the boys are playing some reasonable footy at the moment. We are having patches during the game where we can’t sustain it so that’s something we have to work on,” coach Brad Pollock said.
“I think we are confident of just playing good footy. It’s hard to read where Surfers are at, it’s a bit of a lottery trying to read the form sometimes, but we can only concentrate on ourselves.”
The ability to reset, calm down, think through a situation and go again is the key.
“The boys will be up for it, we are trying to eliminate those lapses. When things go against us in a game, we are trying to settle them down and work their way through it, that’s the real focus this week,” he said.
Their running game on the big ground will be important, but Pollock believes they can’t let it turn into a shootout.
“With a team like Surfers, you have just got to shut down their run. Defensively we have to be accountable and try and force some turnovers, that’s where the key to this game will lie,” Pollock said.
“It might suit us that big ground, it’s nice and wide, so it might suit our kids getting it out there.”
Their key position stocks get a boost this week with Wylie Buzza and Cam Ross back in.
As for Surfers, it was a little bit ugly last week, but they still got over the line by a point.
Coach Peter Young knows that this weekend could be just as close.
“Every game is close game for us, and that’s what we try to do so we can have a crack,” Young said.
Young has crunched the numbers on what he thinks might happen, but regardless of that, this week is a must win.
“We went through all the sides last week, and saw what we have got to win. We think we can win five, which will give us nine for the year, and Palm Beach will win two, so that’s where we are at,” he said.
He believes a win tomorrow will come from a mixture of inside and outside work.
“We really have to win the contested footy. Then we need to get on our bikes and spread. Our ground is a lot bigger than theirs, but I think they play bigger grounds better than their home, with their speed,” Young said.
“I was surprised to see how high scoring their game was last week, but I don’t think that will happen this week, we will try and shut it down.”
There are also a few Vultures they will have to keep an eye on.
“They have got some players we have to watch. Rhys Estall can play, Buzza gives them something in the ruck and up forward, Crawley didn’t play against us last time, so they have got some players that can do some damage,” he said.
“I was surprised to see how high scoring their game was last week, but I don’t think that will happen this week, we will try and shut it down.
Interestingly, all three Haberfield’s, Jesse, Cassidy and Brody, will line up in the seniors this week.
They will be joined by Trent McIntyre who returns, as does O’Hare, but will miss Daniel Green.
If Surfers want to play finals, it’s a must win, simple as that.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 12 – SURFERS PARADISE V MT GRAVATT
UQ vs. Palm Beach Currumbin
Saturday July 11, 2:00pm – Oval 7 St Lucia
UQ came agonisingly close to their second win last week. It was a heartbreaker.
What it did show, is that Palm Beach will have to be on their game this week.
“We had a look at the stats, and we had about 15 more inside 50’s for the game so when we look at it like that, they were disappointed, but it has given them a bit of confidence in a way,” coach Darren Pfeiffer said.
“They are driven to get that win, so it’s given them confidence that they can be on top of a team around the ground. They want to get the win this time.”
Last time these two teams met, it was a lot closer than most anticipated. They take a bit from that.
“The couple of home games help, so that will be good for the lads, and I think Palm Beach, last time we got off to a pretty good start against them, and looking back, we felt like after that game we were in with a good shot of winning, a few things just fell down,” he said.
“This time the boys are looking forward to having a crack at them.”
Pfeiffer put a real focus on the little aspects of everyone’s game last week, and that won’t change this week.
“We were really good with our one per centers, and looking after each other so that really showed that we are switched on if we are doing that well,” he said.
“We need to do that again, and then finish off in front of goal and keep the ball inside 50. That will go a long way to beating them I think.”
Chad Owens is confident in his boys this week, but recognises they will have to play their best footy to win.
“We only beat them by five or six goals last time, and that was a real sloppy, muddy day, so I think it will be a close game, it’s not going to be one where you blow out and have a massive win,” Owens said.
“They are playing a lot better than the ladder suggests.”
He expects the game to be played in a phone box.
“We have got to play them on their ground which is such a small ground, so it’s going to be a reasonably tight game, well that’s what we are planning for anyway,” Owens said.
“It’s a ground you can score quickly on as well, so with a bit of luck hopefully we can have our kickers like Josh Woolley getting it in long, keeping it down our end and keeping them under pressure.”
UQ will push Palm Beach this week, but with a finals berth on the line, I think the Lions have too much to play for to let this one slip.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 12 – UQ V PBC
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles