By Beth Newman
1. Noisy takes the spotlight
In breaking a 14-year losing streak at Chelmer, Surfers Paradise’s Simon Fenton gave his team another reason to celebrate, with a career-best 10 goal tally. Fenton has played more defence in the past year, but he might get a chance to switch the ratio around a bit as the season goes on after his performance against the magpies. In his 15th season with the Demons, the 250-gamer is a club favourite and every Demons supporter would have been stoked to see him notch up double digits.
2. Russ running riot
Lachie Russ has timed his run perfectly this season, building into the year well. The 21 year-old didn’t exactly have a sluggish start, selected in the competition rep team, but in the last month he has showed some of the best form of the competition. He is good in tight and has shown that he can also find the goals, with 22 goals in his 13 games for the year. With a lot of attention paid to the side’s high-profile midfield, Russ has thrived and looms as a key ingredient in Morningside’s premiership ambitions.
3. Britts is back
He shook off three opponents, kicked four goals in a best on ground performance and he hasn’t played footy in six weeks. It’s fair to say Steve Brittain’s return for the Gorillas on Saturday was a success. It’s not just his ability to use the footy, but he lifts his team with his leadership as well. He takes Grange to another level when he plays. Everyone at Hickey Park will be praying he stays fit as they try to sneak their way into the top five.
4. Palmy put the pressure on
For three quarters on Saturday, Palm Beach looked every bit the better side, against undefeated Morningside. In the words of the Lions coach, Daryn Cresswell, they capitulated in the last, and really went away from what had worked. They will get some immense confidence from the first three quarters and that performance showed the Panthers are certainly not unbeatable. But the question is can Palm Beach do it for four quarters? The coaches have played down these recent epic match ups as regular home and away games, but if they meet again, everything will be at stake and Palm Beach will have to prove they can.
5. Last chance saloon
There’s no QAFL footy this weekend, the last weekend off for clubs until the season finishes up. The way clubs approach the week off will determine how the final five is made up. Injury management, continuing momentum into the final month of the season and warding off any complacency running into finals will all be vital. And when we all get back, those who are ready for their last shot and those who aren’t, will be pretty clear.