By Terry Wilson
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN v BROADBEACH
At Leyshon Park, Yeronga, 2.30pm Saturday
Palm Beach Currumbin: Ins: Alex Dawson, Steve Thynne. Outs: Harry Hulls (omit), Ashton Crossley (omit).
Broadbeach: Ins: Luke McGuane, James Royes, Jack O’Shea, Benji Neal. Outs: Timakoi Bowie (emergency), Rhys Finn (emergency), Darcy Irwin (emergency), Alex Rayner (emergency).
Results this season:
Round 6: Palm Beach Currumbin 11.17 (83) d Broadbeach 8.14 (62) at Subaru Oval.
Round 15: Palm Beach Currumbin 13.7 (85) d Broadbeach 9.13 (67) at Salk Oval.
Second Semi-Final: Palm Beach Currumbin 9.15 (69) d Broadbeach 5.13 (43) at Salk Oval.
BROADBEACH have bitten the bullet by recalling three injury concerns to their side as they attempt to unseat Palm Beach Currumbin as champions of the QAFL in the Grand Final on Saturday.
Previously considered little or no chance of making the big match after injuries, the trio of Benji Neal (a/c), Luke McGuane (hamstring) and James Royes (ankle) have all been included in the Cats 22 to tackle their Gold Coast rivals PBC.
The Cats also named skipper Nathan Quick despite sustaining knee soreness in the Preliminary Final win against Morningside.
All four trained solidly on Thursday night and even though coach Brett Andrews agreed there could be an element of doubt by naming them, he said the quality of the four concerned was too good to ignore.
the fourth changer to Broadbeach’s line-up is the return of smart colt Jack O’Shea who is in the rare position of possibly winning flags with separate clubs in as many weeks after playing for Southport in the NEAFL Grand Final last week.
It is interesting to note that Broadbeach named all four omitted players – Timakoi Bowie, Rhys Finn, Darcy Irwin and Alex Rayner as emergencies so do not be surprised if there are one or two late changes.
By contrast everything was rosy in the PBC camp in the lead-up to the flag decider without an injury to be seen at Salk Oval.
Asked if the Cats were taking a huge gamble at selection time, Andrews was confident the right moves have been put in place.
“Is it a gamble? Yes, maybe,” Andrews said.
“Luke has missed two and Benji and Jimmy (Royes) have missed one, but there’s nothing wrong with Neal.
“We have for good ins and they all trained well.
“Realistically there’s a gamble on only a few sore boys and Luke’s obviously a gamble but he trained well.”
Down the road at Salk Oval the mood was bubbling over as the Lions prepared for their first back-to-back premierships since their efforts of 1999 (GCAFL) and 2000 (AFLSQ).
The Lions have two changes, bringing in Alex Dawson and Steve Thynne for unlucky youngsters Harry Hulls and Ashton Crossley.
“We think we’ve picked a team that can win a premiership,” coach Chad Owens said of the red-hot favourites.
“Training this week has been unbelievable, which you’d expect during grand final week.”
One considerable factor looms in this gripping contest and that is grand finals experience.
People say you have to lose a grand final before you can win one and in the case of that experience, PBC have it in truckloads.
There are 14 players named by PBC who were in the 2017 premiership side.
RELATED: QAFL Grand Final Team Lists
A number of the Lions, including Jesse Derrick, Jackson Emblem, the Thynne brothers Steve and Tom and Tyler Cornish have played several Broadbeach have just the one, forward Matt Fowler, who has savoured the big moment on the season’s big day.
So the X factor is clearly how Broadbeach handle the pressure.
“The experience factor is a small per cent but it’s not the be-all or end-all of it either,” Owens said.
“There are a lot of people who haven’t been in a grand final before but who have been successful.
“But I guess it helps a little bit.”
RELATED: Friday Flashback: QAFL Grand Final
Clearly, on grand finals played statistics, this Grand Final is a matter of a giant of the premiership scene up against a club that has battled hard for the limited successes they have had.
Yet hope springs eternal in the Broadbeach camp. Remember a mythical hero named David who slew Goliath?
“It is very much like that because they’re the champions,” Andrews said.
“We’re battle worn and ready to go but it’s not going to be easy – they never are.”
Coaches say PBC Lions will roar again
RIVAL coaches have Palm Beach Currumbin the overwhelming favourites to win back-to-back QAFL Grand Finals on Saturday.
All but one of the seven coaches not involved in the premiership decider have tipped Palm Beach to down Broadbeach in the all-Gold Coast affair at Yeronga.
Only Morningside’s Steve Wildschut, who has confirmed he is stepping down from the coaching role at Jack Esplen Oval, has gone for Broadbeach to spring an upset.
Here’s what the coaches thought:
STEVE WILDSCHUT (Morningside): Broadbeach. I think they have the all-round game to be able to match it with Palmy and they’ve been pretty close to them for the past few years.
BRAD MOORE (Surfers Paradise): Palm Beach. It is really difficult not to pick them because they’ve been the benchmark now for the past few years. I know Broady have worked really hard to get to where they are but Palmy’s list strength is too good to ignore.
DANIEL WEBSTER (Mt Gravatt): I have to go Palm Beach. They have more depth than any other team. Their best players are stars and they have so many match-winners.
BRYDAN MORGAN (Western Magpies): Palm Beach. I think they have too much firepower up forward in Anthony and Douglas and Broady rely on Fowler a bit too much.
AARON SHATTOCK (Labrador): I think Palm Beach will win it. Their list has more A graders on it and their firepower is a bit stronger.
NATHAN CLARKE (Wilston Grange): Palm Beach by four goals. Broady have had those couple of injuries and I believe Palm Beach have too much top-end talent.
JARAD MARSH (Sandgate): Palm Beach. I think the ground size is close to their ground. They recruited some bigger bodies a few years ago and they will come in handy.