By Terry Wilson
Photo: RF photography
Broadbeach v Western Magpies
At Subaru Oval 2pm
Ins: Josh Searl, Nick Upton, Nick Burton, Max Gambell, Jake Strong.
Outs: Evan Panozza (family), Robert Blood (quad), Jack O’Shea (Southport NEAFL), Harrison Kerr (Redland NEAFL), Luke Dempsey-Ceh (knee).
Ins: Doug Lawrence, Dylan Adkins, Mitch Stallard, Gareth Crawford, Jack Goodall, Kale Reed.
Outs: Will Fletcher, Steve Mills, Aaron Highlands, Logan Murray, Aaron Maricic, Jack Austin.
Last time they met: Round 2: Broadbeach 14.11 (95) d Western Magpies 11.11 (77) at McCarthy Homes Oval.
THE Western Magpies do not have the best of records playing against Broadbeach at Subaru Oval (formerly known as Merrimac Oval).
Away from wins there in 2015 and 2016, the Magpies have won just two of 11 clashes against the Cats at the venue since 2001.
However, one of the Magpies’ biggest days was at the same ground in the 2008 AFLSQ Division 2 grand final when they beat Palm Beach Currumbin via an after-the-siren goal from Luke Scott.
All that is past history, Magpies coach Brydan Morgan said, as his team prepared for another trip down the M1 to the Cattery.
It is concentrating on the “now” and winning a game that is set to play a major role in the race for the finals double chance.
“Yes, places in the five are certainly up for grabs,” Morgan said. “From second all the way to seventh is pretty close.”
The Magpies spent Tuesday night poring over video of their loss to Morningside last weekend and reaction from the players to the loss has been good, according to the Magpies boss.
The Magpies have tabled seven changes and second-placed Broadbeach five.
The Cats have some key losses, namely reigning best and fairest Evan Panozza (family commitments), Robert Blood (quad), Luke Dempsey-Ceh (knee) and Jack O’Shea and Harrison Kerr, who have NEAFL duties with Southport and Redland respectively.
Among those back in are dual best and fairest winner Josh Searl and regular Nick Burton while Max Gambell, a local junior, is set for his debut for the hoops.
Over in the Magpies camp, they get some handy performers back, namely
Doug Lawrence, Dylan Adkins, Mitch Stallard, Gareth Crawford, Jack Goodall and Kale Reed.
A key to the match could be what former Magpie Matt Fowler does to his old side.
Fowler, one of the original Gold Coast Suns under-17 squad members, kicked three the previous time the clubs met and is coming off hauls of eight (Wilston Grange) and nine against Sandgate before Broadbeach’s bye.
Fowler is running second (28 goals) behind PBC’s Jarryd Douglas (30) in the hunt for the Ray Hughson Medal in what has been a low-scoring season for the full-forwards.Rd11 - Cats v Magpies_
Surfers Paradise v Morningside
At Sir Bruce Small Park, 2pm
Ins: Brody Haberfield, Chris Kranz, Max Pescud.
Outs: Kain Ford (hamstring), Matt Green (hand), Jalen Curtis (omit).
Ins: Sam Godfrey, Louis McCormick.
Outs: Eddie Mallan (Aspley NEAFL), Michael Graham (inj).
Last time they met: Round 2: Surfers Paradise 11.12 (78) d Morningside 11.9 (75) at Jack Esplen Oval.
MORNINGSIDE are the team on the move in the QAFL and Surfers Paradise have been the dark horses of the season so far.
The sides clash in what should be a great contest at Sir Bruce Small Park where the Panthers will be desperate to reverse a three-point loss when the sides last met at Jack Esplen Oval.
“They’re coming off two fantastic wins against Mt Gravatt and the Western Magpies,” Surfers coach Brad Moore said.
“We just held on the last time we played them after they come at us hard in the last quarter.”
And, as Morningside coach Steve Wildschut noted, Surfers have already equalled their haul of four wins in 2017.
“They’re vastly improved on last year so we’re not taking them lightly at all.”
However, Wildschut said Morningside are much more settled now and they took a lot away from their defeat at the hands of the Demons in the second round.
Both teams are involved in the scrap for a spot in the bottom section of the top five. Morningside (16 points) are fifth and Surfers (16) are sixth although the Panthers have a superior percentage of 124.43 compared to the 98.49 of the Demons.
At selection time, Surfers lost a couple, but gained a big one on full-back Brody Haberfield, who returns after several weeks off with a hand injury.
“He’s a great inclusion for us at the back,” Moore said of Haberfield, who has also regained defender-midfielder Chris Kranz and promoted small forward Max Pescud.
Matt Green is a big loss after playing just the one match for Surfers. Green is headed back to Balranald where he is playing out the season.
Morningside get Sam Godfrey back in their midfield and they named a first-gamer in Louis McCormick, whose father played full-back for the club in the 1981 grand final.
McCormick Jnr is a Sunshine Coast product who has been with the Panthers since going there as a 17-year-old.Rd11 - Demons v Panthers
Mt Gravatt v Wilston Grange
At Dittmer Park, 2pm
Ins: Brendon Telford (Redland NEAFL), Kailem Baker (Redland NEAFL), Sam Stubbs.
Outs: Jordan Bain (back), Daniel Morgan (calf), Adam Boon (Redland NEAFL).
Ins: Brad Terrell, Kale Ross.
Outs: Declan Warren (hip), Fletcher McIvor (knee).
Last time they met: Round 2: Mt Gravatt 13.17 (95) d Wilston Grange 12.12 (84) at Bendigo Bank Oval.
MT Gravatt have to end a two-game losing streak against genuine flag contenders or stumble back to the pack chasing a top-three finish for the finals.
Mt Gravatt host Wilston Grange at Dittmer Park in a game they need to win to keep themselves in the fight for second and third and at the same time maintain a two-game advantage over fourth and fifth.
And, coming off the back of a hammering from Morningside, then an honourable loss to premiers Palm Beach Currumbin, the pressure is on the Vultures.
“Obviously we got smashed (by Morningside) then we put in a good performance against Palm Beach without winning,” coach Daniel Webster said.
“It’s hard to bounce back from a big loss, especially against the top team in the competition, but I thought we stuck it out well.
“We have to continue to build. We had that lull now it’s important to keep progressing.
“Last week was a step in that direction and now we have to take another one.”
The clash against the Gorillas is set to highlight the return to Dittmer Park of big forward Sam Stubbs, who was waiting to be cleared back to the Vultures from Wodonga Raiders in Victoria.
Pending the official green light, Stubbs is most likely the man to replace the injured Jordan Bain at full-forward.
Bain was taken to hospital by ambulance last week after landing awkwardly in a marking contest.
Webster said indications are good although the club remains unsure of the extent of Bain’s injury and how long he will be sidelined.
Mt Gravatt should be boosted by the inclusions of Redland pair Brendon Telford and Kailem Baker although they have lost Adam Boon back to the Bombers.
The Grange have made a rare two changes, bringing in Brad Terrell and Kale Ross for his seniors debut.
However, the Gorillas can hardly afford to lose Declan Warren (hip) and Fletcher McIvor (knee).
“We’ll be short in reserves again and we’re certainly towards the bottom of our depth, but all we can do is our best,” Grange coach Nathan Clarke said.
“We say every week that we can win because our strongest area is in the midfield.
“We’re really competitive there. Our midfield strength is good enough to cause them some headaches.”Rd11 - Vultures v Gorillas
Palm Beach Currumbin v Sandgate
At Salk Oval, 2pm
Palm Beach Currumbin:
Ins: Jack Anthony, Alex Dawson, Zach Callinan, Curtis Marsden, Simon Callahan, James Cahill, Ben Denton.
Outs: Jordan Taylor (Southport NEAFL), Jesse Derrick (unavailable), Jarryd Douglas (groin), Ashton Crossley (Qld U17s), Josh Woolley (Suns NEAFL), Tom Frazer (omit), Lachlan Torpy (omit).
Ins: James Nelis (Aspley listed), Zac Beuchner (Aspley listed), Jordan Maynard.
Outs: Josh Preval (Aspley NEAFL), Toara Marango (Brisbane NEAFL), Marcus Schrader (holidays).
Last time they met: Round 3: PBC 16.21 (117) d Sandgate 3.10 (28) at Lemke Road.
UNBEATEN Palm Beach Currumbin will be missing three of their elite players when they host Sandgate at Salk Oval on Saturday.
Skipper Jesse Derrick, forward Jarryd Douglas and flanker Josh Woolley are among seven changes made by the reigning premiers.
Derrick is unavailable, Douglas is nursing a sore groin and Woolley will play NEAFL for the Gold Coast Suns.
With a number of key performers to return to the side over the coming weeks, a welcome addition this weekend is ex-Collingwood and Fremantle AFL player Jack Anthony.
Anthony has been the centre of speculation in recent weeks about whether he will finish the season with PBC, although coach Chad Owens insists he will play against the Hawks.
Rising Star nomination Alex Dawson is another key player returning to the Lions unit in which local junior product James Cahill and former Perth player Ben Denton are set for their maiden seniors games.
Owens said the Lions have blooded more than 10 locals so far this season.
For Sandgate coach Jarad Marsh the trip to Salk Oval carries with it an intriguing family connection.
Over last weekend’s bye Marsh and wife Eliza became parents for the first time with the birth of son William.
Eliza’s older brother Tony Wallace was a former PBC star, playing in the 1995 GCAFL premiership side and being named club best and fairest for the 2003 AFLSQ Premier Division.
On the selection front things have been reasonably quite for the Hawks, with only three changes.
Into the side are NEAFL-listed James Nelis, Zach Beuchner and Jordan Maynard although offsetting that are the losses, to NEAFL duties, of Josh Preval and Toara Marango.
The last time the sides clashed PBC had a commanding 89-point win at Lemke Road Oval but with the Lions minus so many stars, Sandgate cannot be written off.Rd11 - Vultures v Gorillas