MATCH OF THE ROUND
WESTERN MAGPIES VS. SANDGATE
Saturday June 13, 2:00pm – Chelmer
Live Blog from 1.30pm
Two teams, two big-bodied midfields, one contested game.
The Magpies are in ripping form of late, and it’s because of their attack on the pill in close, and their ability to share the footy on the spread.
Although that game style plays into Sandgate’s hands a bit, Glenn Humphrey has a very simple approach to this weekend; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“Nothing is going to change, we look at trying to control the stoppages, and then sharing the ball and using the ball once we get out wide, and then try and run them off their feet, and make them chase,” Humphrey said.
There have been a couple of big changes for this game in the black and white.
The co-captain Lachlan Woods will miss with an ankle injury, Val Pope is away with work and Sam Mewing has pulled up sore with a back injury.
They do get young gun Sam Copland back, along with Tom Michael and Jack Williams from Redland, and Riley Easton, at just 16 years old, will make his debut after some good form in the two’s.
Humphrey will keep an eye on the likes of Overington and Rutledge, but won’t completely lock down on them.
“We will make sure we are very mindful of those guys. We are not going to go with straight-out tags but we will mindful of their ability to get the football,” he said.
Sandgate were outgunned against Surfers Paradise last start, but their best is more than capable of taking it to the Magpies.
“We have trained really well and looking forward to getting out there tomorrow,” coach Graham Adams said.
“They are very strong through the midfield, we spoke about it at training last night, we think that’s where the game can be won or lost on the weekend.”
If you take a glass-half-full approach to a loss, the Hawks found out where they need to be better.
“We have got to make sure we use the ball well and hold possession. I think against Surfers we battled a little bit in that area, we didn’t quite hit our targets enough, so that’s an area we have got to get right tomorrow,” he said.
“I think we can really put up a good showing tomorrow.”
This one will be ferocious in the middle, expect a few sore boys on Sunday.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 8 – WESTERN MAGPIES VS SANDGATE
WILSTON GRANGE VS. MT GRAVATT
Saturday June 13, 2:00pm – PBI Oval
Wilston Grange is chugging along at the moment like that old faithful Toyota Corolla you see on the road.
They are consistent, reliable, and doing what they need to do without being flashy or making headlines.
On paper, they are much stronger than a young Mt Gravatt lineup, but coach Matt Trewhella doesn’t have to look back far to know what they are capable of.
“They beat us twice last year, and the second time was quite convincing, some of the players that dominated us last year are still playing,” Trewhella said.
Rhys Estall has been proving a headache for most defenses in 2015, but Trewhella thinks he has the man to shut him down.
“We have got a pretty young back line but Lachlan Moir, in 2013, was our best backman, and he is back this week so he will take him when he is forward,” he said.
The key to another win will be putting heat on the Vultures.
“The three starting on-ballers have bigger bodies but we are just trying to get as much pressure around the ball, we have worked hard with our half forwards getting more involved in the game at stoppages,” Trewhella said.
“What killed us against Labrador was our positioning and our running patterns, so we have worked very hard on our defensive running patters and as a result we have got better attacking.”
Declan Bevan and Steve Brittain will come back this week, but they aren’t taking any risks with Dave Kettle and his sore hamstring.
They have struggled on field this year, but Mt Gravatt coach Brad Pollock says the signs are there off field for them to be able to turn that around.
“They have been really positive on the track, and they have been training well for three or four weeks, it just hasn’t come out in the game,” Pollock said.
“The results haven’t been that great but they are putting in, and they know where they are at, so that’s the positive thing.
“Whether it is this week, the following week or whatever, I’m pretty sure they are going to become competitive pretty soon, but lets hope it’s this week.”
The big bodies of the Gorillas could pose a problem for the Vultures, but they will be a lot more prepared after being exposed in that area against the Western Magpies.
“That was a bit of a factor against the Magpies as well, we have had a good think about that and hopefully we can counteract that a little bit,” he said.
To win, the key will be getting their run and carry to work.
“Reality is, some of the boys we lost last year were our key runners, so we are trying to reeducate the new guys and other boys to bring that into their game,” Pollock said.
“They have certainly got the leg speed so we have got to convert that into practice.”
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 8 – WILSTON GRANGE VS MT GRAVATT
MORNINGSIDE VS. BROADBEACH
Saturday June 13, 2:00pm – Jack Esplen Oval
Kieran Brennan, Ben Hancock, Ryan Pantic, Clay Moscher-Thomas and Daniel Skrinis.
No, that’s not the best on ground list, but rather the outs for Broadbeach this week due to injuries and NEAFL duties.
They face a huge task against Morningside, but coach Brett Andrews refuses to use the outs as an excuse.
“The boys have been training really well, we will make a good account of ourselves I reckon. I’d be very disappointed and surprised if we lay down,” Andrews said.
He has drilled into his players they must be accountable.
“They run the ball really well, they are well drilled, they cover each other, so we have just got to be really on our game and get a lot of the ball,” he said.
“They play a lot of rebound scoring so they don’t mind you scoring, they just score a lot more.”
With such a spread of contributors from Morningside, it’s hard to pick one or two to shut down; it’s more about structure for the Cats.
“We will bring a defensive mindset into the game because you have got to watch them, although we have got to concentrate on their guys a fair bit there is too many too single out, otherwise we get lost in our own game,” Andrews said.
“There is a couple of guys we will be marking for sure but we are going to have to play them at their own game.”
As for Morningside, it’s been a really good two-week training block during the break.
“We have continued to train well on the track right through the period but last night was a really good night,” coach David Lake said.
Lake doesn’t expect Broadbeach to play in their shell, but rather come out and have a crack.
“They are very bouncy and they are very quick. They come to play, and they pull the trigger,” he said.
“From our point of view it’s about applying enough pressure to effect that pulling of the trigger to get the ball back. I like that they try to play but also like that, that gives you a chance to get the ball back.”
Morningside welcome back Pendlebury and Dale for the game, but will be without skipper Sam Brown who is overcoming a hamstring niggle, and ruckman Peter Mollison to an exam.
Broadbeach will have to start like a house on fire to get up tomorrow, but the outs, combined with the Panthers strength, will most likely be too much to overcome.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 8 – MORNINGSIDE VS BROADBEACH
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN VS. SURFERS PARADISE
Saturday June 13, 2:00pm – Salk Oval
It’s a huge day for Palm Beach tomorrow. Yes, they are celebrating their 1985 premiership and playing off for the Signtific Cup, but above all, they are looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
The game against Surfers, who they are on equal points with, is a must win if they want to stay in touch with the top four.
“It’s a big day for us, and we have lost three in a row, so we need to win,” coach Chad Owens said.
“They are pretty similar to us in that they are young, so they will come out with a bit of run.”
There are a few certainties in life, death, taxes, and that this game will be won in the midfield.
“Our midfield is our strength. We just need to win it inside and get it into the forwards,” he said.
They will also have to shut down the Demon’s tall timber up forward from the opening bounce
“They have got Trent McIntye down there, and the big bodied, Green so we have to stop them,” Owens said.
“Liam McNeven has been really good for us this year so he will probably get first crack at Trent.”
Surfers Paradise is in good form of late. They have won three of their last four, and will be looking to consolidate that spot in the five.
“It’s an eight point game really, if we win, we go a game clear from them,” Coach Peter Young said.
It’s been tough going for the red and blue against the Lions in the past, so they understand the task in front of them.
“We know it’s a big day for them too, so we are looking forward to the challenge. I know the boys are too because we haven’t had much success over the past 8-10 years over them,” he said.
“We know they are a lot younger than they would normally be but they have always been a big bodied side and strong in the contest so we expect no less from them.
They will go head to head in the contested area, but Surfers will look to win it on the outside.
“We have worked pretty hard on our spread and our run, so we want to run in waves. If we outwork them, we will put a big score on the board,” Young said.
For Palm Beach to bounce back, they need to find a bit of consistency in their output. If they don’t, Surfers will put them to the sword early.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 8 – PALM BEACH VS SURFERS PARADISE
LABRADOR VS. UQ
Sunday June 14, 2:00pm – Cooke-Murphy Oval
Labrador may be sitting at 7-0, but coach Steve Daniel is ensuring they aren’t getting complacent before their clash with UQ this week.
“We just made sure the boys copped a bit of a reality check with their training on Tuesday night, like most clubs during the bye you can get a bit lackadaisical, and a bit half hearted turning up to training so the boys copped a nice little swift hit over the head,” Daniel said.
“We respect everyone and we treat them like anyone else. They are going to win another game sooner or later, so you take them lightly at your own peril.”
After a weekend off for the majority of the squad, the Tigers are keen to just get out there and kick the footy again.
“We just want to get back on track after the week off. It’s been a real solid week on the track, they had a really hard night on Tuesday, I think the boys are looking forward to getting back into it,” he said.
As for the opposition, stopping Pfeiffer will be a focus, but all their efforts won’t be going into one player.
“He is a real quality player as we all know so we are certainly mindful of him, but there is a few others in the team that we have to be mindful of as well, we don’t put all our eggs in the one basket,” Daniel said.
Instead of getting away from footy for a week, UQ put in the hard yards on the track to tick the legs over, and work on what they need to do to get win number two.
“They have been really good. We got in an extra session on Saturday, and with the eight-day break this week we can squeeze in another one too. Hopefully that will give the boys a bit of confidence. Their enthusiasm on the track has been great,” coach Darren Pfeiffer said.
The focus has been on the basics.
“Getting the skills right and defending. Defensive turnovers has been a massive one for us,” he said.
“Both teams are going to turn the footy over but if we can be better at defending that turnover than the opposition, then we should go a fair way to winning.”
There’s no bigger task in QAFL football than Labrador at the moment, but UQ won’t be parking the bus in the goal square to stop them.
“They have been playing some really good footy and they are a strong team so we have just got to keep doing what we need to do,” Pfeiffer said.
“We are not going to come up with any special tricks or play ten behind the footy or anything, we are just going to keep our game plan and when it finally clicks, we will have a very good chance of beating anyone.”
Even if they don’t get the win, a good showing from the Red Lions this week will go a long way in boosting the confidence down at Oval 7.
FOOTY RECORD: QAFL RECORD – RD 8 – LABRADOR VS UNI OF QLD
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles