MATCH OF THE ROUND
Wilston Grange vs. Labrador
Saturday August 15, 2:00pm – PBI Oval
LIVE BLOG FROM 1.45PM
Physicality. It’s what both these teams pride themselves on. It’s going to be a flat out fight for supremacy early.
Not many people will be expecting Wilston Grange to get over the top of Labrador, so they have got nothing to lose tomorrow.
“We have got a pretty young side. We are just going to have a crack and roll the dice,” Coach Matt Trewhella said.
“They play similar brand to Morningside. You have just got to out play them, and play your own game. Last time we were completely outplayed in the second half down at Labrador, but it’s a different story at Grange, we can clog things up a bit.”
Trewhella isn’t overthinking this week. It’s about doing the basics right.
“We are trying not to complicate things. If we can put as much pressure on defensively and then kick a big score we should be a chance,” he said.
One on one footy, drop the ball in the middle, and away you go boys. That’s what the Gorillas will be doing anyway.
“You can try and stand next to them and move them around and physically intimidate them but it just doesn’t work. I think we need to just go head to head with them and just have a crack. We just want to get some form against the sides above us,” Trewhella said.
Third spot is still up for grabs, but results have to fall their way. It’s more about testing themselves against the best tomorrow.
“I have made no secrets that we want to finish third, but we need things to go our way. We have some guys who aren’t in the form they were previously this year so we are just trying to keep things really simple, especially after the short break leading into the top side,” he said.
The Gorillas are being cautious with Albert Proud, who could have played, and have brought Scott Waters in.
Labrador has a few handy inclusions themselves. Josh Fraser, Matthew Lappin and Bryce Perry-Bolt all come in this week.
It hasn’t been a real like for like swap though. Adam Clarke is away, Baird has a slight hamstring, as does Gugliotta. While the inclusions are out and out stars, it will be interesting to see how that affects the Tigers’ run.
While top spot is theirs baring a disaster, it’s not a game they will be taking for granted.
“It’s another big game for us again this week, Grange are still in the hunt for a top three spot and we would like to cement top spot on the ladder,” Coach Steve Daniel said.
They will be keeping a close eye on a couple of key players through the midfield, and one swingman in particular.
“We will be very mindful off Eric Kuret and Steve Brittain in the midfield, and Matthew Trewhella is also very damaging at either end he plays,” he said.
Another week, another finals preview, and I can’t wait.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 16 – WILSTON GRANGE V LABRADOR
Mt Gravatt vs. Western Magpies
Saturday August 15, 2:00pm – Dittmer Park
A couple of months ago, this would have been light Saturday stroll in the park for the Magpies. Not anymore.
While the Magpies will go in as deserving favorites, it’s not a game they can afford to take lightly by any stretch of the means, or they will get rolled.
The Magpies game plan is a bit like your Nan’s house at the moment. Every time you rock up, everything is in the same place as it was the last time you were there, but that’s a good thing.
“We are looking to go out and win ourselves another game of footy on the weekend. We wont do anything different, we will concentrate on what we do well, restrict the use of the football by the opposition side and then use it well ourselves,” Coach Glenn Humphrey said.
He is definitely not counting the four-points yet though.
“I expect them to come out very hard at the contest, particularly early on in the game, and we need to make sure we can work our way through that and continue what we try to achieve this week,” he said.
Their first half last week was as good of football as they have played all year. It was clinical. Now it’s about finding that for four quarters.
“It’s about getting it for longer periods of the game. We can do it in first halves, second halves, third quarters, but we need to do it consistently for an entire game of footy. This week is as good as any to give it a go,” Humphrey said.
The Magpies have had a defense first ethos all year, and it’s worked. In the last few weeks though, we have seen their ability to put big scores on the board pop it’s head up.
“I guess our scoring power is about everybody taking responsibility for it, not just our forwards. Having our on ballers contributing and even some of our defenders getting up the ground and getting some goals from half-back is something that we are concentrating on,” he said.
Pope, Michael and Heard all come in this week. McEvoy, Garland and Easton will all miss.
It was a dirty day last time these two played for Mt Gravatt, but it was really the turning point in their season.
“It was this corresponding game in the first half that really brought us back to basics. From that time on we have really probably only had one disappointing game, won a few, and have been competitive. It’s a real chance to test where we are at,” Coach Brad Pollock said.
He has no doubts where it will be won though.
“The Magpies strength from what we can tell is their inside work, plus they are running well and spreading well. We are pretty conscious of that. How we combat it, we will just have to wait and see,” he said.
“They are a team full of confidence, so we are just going to try and dint that the best way we can. We have got a few little ideas but I’ll keep that in the dressing room.
The Vultures have been reducing their errors week by week. Pollock hopes tomorrow will be another step forward.
“There is no doubt the top teams have exposed our little errors that have created goals for them. That is something we are always trying to improve on but for this week, we want to pay a really good defensive game and just be confident and take the game on when we get the ball,” he said.
For once, Mt Gravatt welcomes three back, in Estall, Malone, and Saunders without losing anyone to injury.
The Magpies should win this game, and hold onto second spot on the ladder, but they will be given a real run for their money.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 16 – MT GRAVATT V WESTERN MAGPIES
Sandgate vs. Surfers Paradise
Saturday August 15, 2:00pm – Lemke Road
Both teams are desperate for a win here. It might not change much in the scheme of things in terms of the ladder, but this game means a lot to both teams.
It’s more than four-points. It’s about showing both young lists that they are capable, and reassuring each side they are on the right path for 2016.
Surfers got within five metres of a win last week with a shot on goal in the dying seconds, but they learnt a lot from it.
“It’s the same old learning cure. It’s our turnovers of the footy hurting at the moment. We need to be a bit more controlled with how we do things, which I’m sure we will,” Coach Peter Young said.
This week, they will look to cause turnovers themselves.
“It’s about putting pressure on this week, it’s something we want to pride ourselves on, if we put pressure on them they will turn the ball over,” he said.
Despite the mixed results in 2015, enthusiasm and commitment down on the coast is still extremely high.
“We have got some real speed there over the last couple of weeks so we want to see how these boys go. The good thing is that we are still getting great numbers on the track. They want to finish off well and build some real momentum for next year,” Young said.
The focus will be internally, rather than externally this week. They want to be the hunted.
“We are going out there with the mindset of playing our own game. All sides have got good players so we really want them to change their structures and game plan to match us rather than us go out with everything about them,” he said.
McIntyre Newton and Haberfield will miss this week, but will be covered by Fraser, Brown, and Farley-Smith.
Sandgate are champing at the bit for win number four this year, and there is no better time than the present.
“When you have had a run like we have had for the last eight or so weeks, we are desperate. If we are going to win one, this is going to be the one,” Coach Graham Adams said.
“We feel like we are just going to go out there and enjoy it. We don’t feel like we have got anything to lose, just trying to get a result, that’s all we are trying to do.”
This weeks focus is a relatively simple context, kick a score.
“I just think we have got to execute our skills right, and just kick goals. It’s an area we have struggled with all year, and we believe if we can kick 12-13 goals we are going to win games because most of the time our defense is okay,” he said.
“They have got a couple of big bodied forwards, they are the ones who got us last time so we have got to try and stop them. If we can do that, that will go a long way to us winning.”
Mid quarter fade-outs have hurt Sandgate in recent weeks; Adams wants that irradiated tomorrow.
“If you win the midfield, most times you win the game. Being brutally honest, our midfield has been okay for most of the year but the last two weeks they have gone to sleep in patches and that’s the patch that has hurt us,” he said.
Sandgate will be blustered by two key ins this week, in Ben Beaven and skipper Trent Fuller.
It’s a battle of the kids, but I think Surfers are just that little bit more primed for this game.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 16 – SANDGATE V SURFERS PARADISE
UQ vs. Broadbeach
Saturday August 15, 2:00pm – Oval 7 St Lucia
Can you see that light flickering in the distance? That’s Broadbeach’s finals dreams.
It might be a while away, it’s pretty faint, but mathematically, it’s still there.
Problem is, not only will they have to win all three games to get there; Palm Beach results will also have to fall their way. If Palm Beach win one from here on in, that light gets extinguished.
Still, the Cats have got it all to play for this week, and it will be done through a sustained effort.
“Quarter by quarter, and the start. We have got to get out there early, assert our dominance, and put it to bed as quickly as possible,” Coach Brett Andrews said.
On the small ground, it’s about creating as much space as possible and not getting in each other’s way.
“We have got to create a bit more space in the forward line, we need our small forwards to stay at home and crumb some goals, because we are not getting them easy enough,” he said.
Broadbeach, a bit like UQ, have played patches of brilliant football this year. For Andrews, it’s about eliminating the gap between their best and worst.
“The one and only thing I would like to eradicate from our football team is the flat spot. We have played one four-quarter game this year, and that was against Labrador. I think we have to lead, if we lead every quarter, that is what will push us along for the next 30 minutes,” he said.
They welcome back McConnochie Pantic and Stevenson this week, but lose some height in Hancock, Royes and Klessens.
UQ have been in, and have won games over the last month due to their ability to play that slingshot style football from the back half.
Now it’s about combining that with defense.
“The main thing for us, we looked at the video and we have got to improve our defense across the whole ground. The boys are pretty confident with how they move the ball, I think we have proven that over the year, but we have really got to concentrate on getting the ball off the opposition,” Coach Darren Pfieffer said.
They will look to lock down defensively at St Lucia, but open it up offensively.
“Defensively it will definitely help playing at home. We know how to play it and we know how to lock teams in. I know they are a young fit team as well but hopefully we can use our pace to find a bit more space on the small ground,” he said.
“We have been playing some good offensive footy and that makes it enjoyable when your kicking goals, but we are not going to win games if we are not defensively good enough. We have got the players to win games of football so there is a drive there.”
Which ever team can play their best footy for the longest period of time will win this game. Just which team that will be is up in the air at the moment though.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 16 – UQ V BROADBEACH
Palm Beach Currumbin vs. Morningside
Sunday August 16, 2:00pm – Salk Oval
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Palm Beach. Their output hasn’t been anywhere near their internal expectations. This week, it’s about gaining a bit of respect back.
“15 goals and 12 goals two weeks in a row, it’s not good enough. We finished the second half off well last week so we hope that will give us a bit of momentum going forward,” Coach Chad Owens said.
The task doesn’t get any easier though. This week they come up against a Morningside outfit looking to bounce back, and build a head of steam going into September.
The key for Owens will be making sure Morningside’s run will be like they are on a treadmill.
“We just spoke about how they are big on their running game so you have got to have pressure on them all over the ground. Our forwards need to keep blokes like Kinch and Tomlinson quiet from the back half, that’s where it is all generated from,” he said.
“It’s a small ground so we think we can condense them in a fair bit with that, that’s what we are focusing on a bit anyway.
“They have got good players on every line but so do we, so we will just see how we can handle that.”
It has been their starts that have left them chasing for the rest of the day, so the first 20 minutes is a huge focus of the Lions this week.
“That’s where we have been sorted the last two weeks, and it’s been over at quarter time, so that’s the big thing, we have got to get off to a good start trying to get back in the game,” Owens said.
Emblem and Schneider, whose year is over with injury will miss, but they get back Harrison, Wilson and Callinan this week, which will help the disposal.
As for Morningside, while they didn’t get over the top of Labrador last week, they aren’t that far away.
“Last week showed us that we are around the money, so we need to continue and have a four quarter effort which leads onto the journey of September. We need to keep tweaking our game plan until it becomes a September game plan,” Coach David Lake said.
He is also placing a big emphasis on the start. The first quarter is going to go a long way in telling us how this one will play out.
“The start is a significant part. I thought we started really well against Labrador last week, it’s a really important part to get scoreboard ascendancy early because that’s what the day tends to look like,” he said.
While their ladder position is unlikely to change a whole lot, these last three weeks are still important to show what they are made of.
“We have just got to keep developing who we are, we play fifth sixth and seventh in the last three weeks, so we are playing Palmy who are a finals side, and they other two are playing for footy credibility, so we need to show we are capable. If we can’t play these sides and be competitive we are in some trouble in September,” Lake said.
Head, Fletcher, Russ, who was touch and go this week, will miss, but will be covered by Mueller, Pendlebury and Dale.
On the small oval, this is where that hard edge Morningside have been working at will really come into play. If the Lions start well it’ll be game on, but they have to be on from the first bounce.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 16 – PALM BEACH V MORNINGSIDE
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles