WESTERN Magpies coach Peter McClennan has targeted second spot on the ladder as a likely finals position for his side, who take on winless Mayne at Chelmer Oval on Saturday (11am start).
By Terry Wilson
One of four sides sitting on 44 points with two round remaining to the play-offs, the Magpies should win – but know Mayne are definitely due for a drought-breaking success and do not want to become the Tigers’ first victims for 2011.
“Our plan is for two good games against Mayne and Coolangatta,,” said McClennan in reference to Noosa’s pending minor premiership and with second and third spots right open.
“Anything above second would be a bonus.”
McClennan agreed the Magpies are still right under the hammer in terms of a top-three finals finish, although a 78-point win over Mayne in round eight suggests his worries may not be warranted.
The Magpies have three changes to their line-up, regaining half-back flanker Conrad Hudghton, ruckman Scott Clark (back back from injury after two months) and big forward pocket Jye Spencer.
They replace Sean Mewing, Jack Parkes and Cameron Mitchell-Hill.
Over in the Mayne camp, hope springs eternal. Player-coach Luke Faulkner said the Tigers will be fielding perhaps their best side of the season and remains optimistic a win over two of the top-four sides over the remaining rounds is within reach.
“We’ve got a fairly strong side in again, so we’ll have a crack,” said Faulkner.
“If we had this side all year we’d have win a couple of games.”
Mayne have five changes, losing permit pair Ryan Head (back to Mt Gravatt) and Jack Collings (back to Morningside), Bill Stephens, Matt Orreal (under-18s final) and Jess Henry.
They brought in half-back flanker Matt Hungerford, ruckman Luke Radonich, back pocket Ryan Louwen-Skovdem, small forward Scott Vanderwolf and co-captain and on-baller Jeames Gillett.