By Beth Newman
MATCH OF THE ROUND
Western Magpies v Sandgate
There will be a live blog of this match on https://www.aflq.com.au
Coming off a “brutal” opening QAFL match, the Western Magpies are ready for another physical contest in their first home match, against Sandgate,
The Magpies played out a bruising match against Wilston Grange last week and senior coach, Glenn Humphrey, said his players were prepared to do it all again.
“We won’t change too much. We’ll attack the contest ferociously,” he said.
“It’s our first game in front of our home crowd and I don’t see any reason why we can’t be putting up a win.”
“I see every game as one we should be winning.”
The Magpies go into the match without key midfielder, Callum Carseldine, who ruptured his ACL in round one, and will bring in strong running players Drew Mitchell, Ben Hooper and Mitch Stallard against the hard-running Hawks
Humphrey said notching up a win, heading into the Easter bye, would be vital for his side to stay in contention.
“The boys are really looking forward to getting a first win,” he said.
“That is important for us to stay with the pack and not fall behind.”
There are plenty of new faces in the Hawks’ side too, with a swag of changes ahead of this weekend.
Brendan Colch, Jacob Huisman, Jono Giles and Jackson Dickfos are all missing with injuries, while Nick Jackson and Corey Wagner have been called into the state team and James Nelis is playing in the NEAFL.
New recruit, Ryan Eyles comes into the Sandgate team for the first time, while Troy Millard will come into the ruck.
After keeping a relatively consistent side together in recent weeks, Hawks coach, Rob Dickfos acknowledged the disruptions would be challenging for the side on Saturday.
“The changes do make it very difficult but it gives the opportunities to other blokes,” he said.
“We’ve built a strong relationship between the players with that regular 22 or 23 players over the last few weeks.
“Now it’s up to these guys to make the most of their opportunity. They won’t be handing up their spots too easily.
Dickfos said the Hawks had been undone by the Magpies’ quick ball movement in the past, and a strong start would be crucial.
“Their quick movement has unsettled s in the past, so the boys need to be ready so we’re not chasing all day.”
Morningside v Broadbeach
The Panthers could be an even more intimidating prospect this week, against Broadbeach.
Despite losing Adam Spackman, Tyson Upton and Nick Bertoli-Simmonds for their match, Aspley’s Ryan Holman slots into the side.
The fact that another NEAFL player, in Jon Williams, will line up in the Panthers’ reserves this weekend, shows the depth the side has and the pressure on players’ spots each week, coach David Lake said.
“We’re in a frying pan every week to deliver or someone is there (ready to step up),” he said.
“You create that inside your club and every player has to continue to deliver.”
“It’s a healthy thing to have.”
Rhys Power and Blane Delbridge come into the side from the reserves last week, and Lake said those two would not be surrendering their spots easily.
Broadbeach bring a bevy of new faces into the side, with Connor Riley, Nathan Manczal, James Royes, Dale Maden and James McNamara coming into the side
Despite the side’s shake-up, coach, Wayne Petterd, said his team would be ready for a test at Jack Esplen Oval tomorrow.
“They’ll embrace the challenge and that’s what the first half of our season is about – the guys learning each week,” he said.
One area the Cats will be honing in on is keeping the ball in their hands, against the Panthers’ strong defence.
“We need to control the ball,” he said.
“We can’t give it back easily.”
Palm Beach v UQ
Palm Beach will not be taking UQ lightly, as they prepare frothier first home game of 2014.
The Lions were dominant against an undermanned Surfers Paradise side last week, while the Red Lions fell short at Sandgate, but senior coach, Daryn Cresswell, said they wouldn’t be chalking up a win just yet.
“They’re a very different side to last year and we will certainly not be underestimating them,” he said.
“We will be taking them very seriously.”
Cresswell said his focus would be on maintaining a strong four-quarter effort, after a nine-goal opening term turned into a 10-goal win against the Demons in Round one.
“It’s not like flicking a light switch on,” he said.
“We need to be doing everything right. We’ve got some big games after this with Morningside and Labrador and we need to be doing everything well.”
“It’s not about just kicking goals, it’s about defensive efforts as well.”
The Lions will welcome Davan Dyer, David Manning, Matt Dillon, Thomas Thynne back into the side, with Luke Marshall and new recruit, Dillon Kane, playing their first games for the club.
Zac Callinan, Nick Crowley, Dylan Troutman are all playing in the SUNS reserves side, while Liam McNeven is out with a back injury and Matt Derrick will miss with an ankle injury.
For the Red Lions, the focus is all on the scoreboard, while not necessarily the final result.
Acting senior coach, Tim Mackinley, said the players were determined not to repeat their effort from last week, which saw them dominating the midfield but failing to add scoreboard pressure.
The UQ side will have some extra help this week, with the inclusion of Aspley’s Cain Tickner in the side, which will give them a strong forward target.
“To win the Inside 50s and be down by 20 points at half time last week was disappointing,” he said.
We want to make sure we use the ball better and take our opportunities to put scoreboard pressure on.”
The Red Lions will miss 2013 best and fairest, Michael Stewart with injury, while Patty O’Shaughnessy, Luke Brennan and Darling Downs recruit, Sam Rockliff, will make their debuts.
Wilston Grange v Labrador
Labrador took a lot from their round one clash with Morningside, but coach, Steve Daniel said there’s one thing they want to get rid of against Wilston Grange.
“We don’t want to be so spasmodic,” he said.
“We need to play consistently, across four quarters of football.”
In wet conditions, Labrador turned the ball over too often last week and Daniel said better efficiency would be vital against the Gorillas.
“We’d like to win this, but it’s going to be tough,” he said.
“They’re a fairly improved side and one that everyone thinks is probably going to be around the top five.”
“It’s really important then that we use the ball better than last week.”
The Tigers will miss Todd Featherstone and Ryan Davey in the match, with Peter Everitt, Michael I’anson, Zac Brain and Bronson Durack coming into the side.
After a first-up home win, Gorillas coach, Matt Trewhella, wasn’t willing to talk his side’s chances up too much.
“We’re not expected to win and they probably expect to beat us,” he said.
“But tomorrow will be about our attitude and how we play.”
“Under the pressure they’ll put on, we don’t want to go into our shells.”
The Gorillas bring Kris Jahnke, Gary Vass and young guns Dene Edwards and Lachie Nixon-Smith into their side this week, while John James (NEAFL),Harris Andrews (state U18) and Lee Smith (ankle) are out.
Surfers Paradise v Mt Gravatt
It’s their first home game and they’re honouring the life of a devoted club volunteer, so there will certainly be plenty of motivation for Surfers Paradise against Mt Gravatt tomorrow.
The Demons will be honouring late life member, Jimmy West, naming their new scoreboard after him, as part of their first game at Sir Bruce Small oval this season.
Coach, Beau Zorko, said there was a tangible buzz around the club in the lead-up to the match.
“I think everyone’s starting to realise what it means for the club to be in the state league,” he said.
“There’s a different harmony to the group this year and that’s further enhanced that positive feeling.”
“It’s a really exciting thing to be a part of.”
On the field this week, the Demons take on another fresh-faced side, in Mt Gravatt, and Zorko said they would be taking nothing for granted.
“I wouldn’t be writing off Mt Gravatt,” he said.
“They were competitive in patches against Broadbeach and we got blown out of the water in a quarter last week.”
Southport’s John Macansh and Nathan Kenny will play for the Sharks and the SUNS reserves, respectively, this weekend, while James Farley-Smith is playing in the Queensland U18 side.
Mt Gravatt coach, Brad Pollock, said this game, against the strong running Demons, would be a learning curve for his young side, as they build up senior football experience.
With many playing only colts and reserves football in the past, they are still getting used to the longer game time and would only improve, he said.
“The more experience they gain, the more relaxed they’ll be in senior football,” he said.
“Outside of the top teams, I see all our games as 50-50s.
“We played one bad quarter last week and that was the difference.
We need to make better decisions, because this is definitely a winnable game.”
Redland’s Sam Godfrey will be a handy addition to the Vultures side this week, returning from TV commitments, while Adam Boon and Majok Aneet will also be in the side.
The Vultures have lost Jesse Green, Mitch Harley and Caleb Saunter for the Demons match.
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Michael Conlan – AFLQ CEO
Lisa McKoy – AFLQ Media Manager
Simon Devine- AFLQ Competition Manager
Jack Barry – AFLQ State Coaching, Volunteer & Affiliates Manager
Craig Millar – AFLQ Football Operations Manager
Beth Newman -AFLQ Community Football Writer