By Terry Wilson
Broadbeach (4) v Wilston Grange (5)
At Subaru Oval, 2pm Saturday
Ins: Broadbeach – Nelson Pollard, Harrison Arnold, Joel Newman, Jackson Fisher, Seb Rogers. Wilston Grange – Liam Molan, Jack Lipscombe, Zac Puncken, Graceson Sproule.
Outs: Broadbeach – Nick Burton (unavail), ), Kwaybe Boake (unavail), Ethan Reeves (omit), Ryan Pantic (susp), Xavier McMahon (inj). Wilston Grange – Will Martyn (Allies), Hamish Warren (omit), Brad Tyrrell (omit), Campbell Luhrs (omit).
Last time they met: Wilston Grange 12.9 (81) d Broadbeach 7.16 (58), Round 17, 2018, at Hickey Park.
It could be said that Broadbeach and Wilston Grange have plenty in common in that both can run hot and cold.
The sides clash at Subaru Oval on Saturday and rival coaches Beau Zorko (Broadbeach) and Barry O’Brien (Grange) and are coming off indifferent efforts in the previous round.
They both blew big quarter-time leads to lose to Labrador and Morningside respectively and the orders have gone out in each camp to find some consistency across the four quarters.
Zorko said the Cats have been lacking a killer instinct by leaving the door ajar and allowing opponents back into games.
“We’ve been playing some really good football and getting into positions to finish the games right out,” said Zorko.
“But we’re lacking killer instinct. We have to find that and so our focus is getting back to a brand of football we know we’re good at – and maintaining it.”
For a number of Broadbeach players there is the matter of avenging a loss to the Gorillas last year in round 17 at Hickey Park.
“It is something the playing group highlighted this week,” said Zorko.
“They didn’t play well against the Grange last year and most of them want to rectify that but rectifying our issues from last weekend was something the coaching group focused on.”
O’Brien has tasked his troops with finally notching a win kin the road.
Success has come at Hickey Park but getting points on the board away from home is an issue O’Brien wants to see.
“We’ve got to start winning games away from Hickey Park,” he said. “It’s all well to win at the Grange but to play finals we have to be winning away games.”
That issue is just part of the problem. Finding four quarters of consistency is another key area.
“We’re certainly playing better but it’s taking time,” said O’Brien.
“We have new players and a new coaching structure and we’re slowly taking steps forward.
“If we play like we did against Labrador in the first quarter last week we can be good.
“But the players have to understand that getting close is not good enough anymore.
“We’re competitive but being competitive is different to winning games of footy.”
At selection time Broadbeach came up with five changes, among their losses being Nick Burton, the suspended Ryan Pantic and big man Xavier McMahon.
The Cats brought back Nelson Pollard, Harrison Arnold, Joel Newman, Jackson Fisher and have Seb Rogers from Redland available.
Wilston Grange included Zac Puncken and Graceson Sproule, two teenagers eligible for the colts, in their four changes.
Palm Beach Currumbin (1) v Labrador (8)
At Salk Oval, 2pm Saturday
Ins: Palm Beach Currumbin – Nathan Carr, Reyne Harris, Jack Marino, Corey Beaman. Labrador – Nick Jackson, Jacob Sands, Tyler Brown, Anthony Djurovitch.
Outs: Palm Beach Currumbin – Jack Anthony (inj), Tom Frazer (inj), Jackson Emblem (inj), Jordan Gribble (omit). Labrador – Emmanuel Baru (ill), Rob Clements (Southport), John Boxer (interstate), Cooper Anderson (omit).
Last time they met: Palm Beach Currumbin 17.16 (118) d Labrador 6.8 (44), Round 12, 2018, at Cooke-Murphy Oval.
There is a theory in QAFL circles that reigning premiers Palm Beach Currumbin come back to the field without their star full-forward Jack Anthony out on the ground.
The theory will be put to the test at Salk Oval on Saturday when the Lions host Gold Coast rivals Labrador with Anthony sidelines because of an ankle injury.
Obviously any side missing their leading attacker will be affected, but it remains to be seen whether the Lions can fire without Anthony, who has kicked 32 goals in six matches this season.
PBC coach Jess Sinclair definitely knows the absence of Anthony is a key factor, yet he is taking a positive tack when he says the door has been opened for some new tactics.
“We’re going to be a lot less predictable without Jack up there,” said Sinclair.
“Actually, I’m pretty excited to see how we go without him in the side because this will put the onus on some other guys to step up.”
Most of the time Anthony demands the ball be kicked long to him and in some ways this cuts down scoring opportunities for team mates who now will be freed up.
An interesting selection as a replacement for Anthony at full-forward is 30-year-old Nathan Carr.
A regular in seniors a few years ago, Carr has returned to Salk Oval and managed to kick 31 goals in the reserves this season.
“Nathan is in good for and he played a lot of seniors footy a few years ago,” said Sinclair.
“He has talent and he gets his opportunity now.”
Carr kicked nine goals for the Lions’ reserves against Western Magpies last weekend.
The Lions have four changes to their side with Jackson Emblem (hand) and Tom Frazer (hamstring) dropping out because of injuries.
Reyne Harris, one of the inclusions, is one who will be chasing a big tally of goals up forward against the Tigers.
Labrador, meanwhile, have handed 19-year-old Tyler Brown a first-grade debut for what will be a tough clash against the defending champions.
“Tyler has been in our best every week in the reserves and was probably stiff not to be in a fortnight ago but missed because of an ankle injury,” said Labrador coach Liam Burke.
Southport-listed Anthony Djurovitch is back in the side in a swap for Rob Clements, who is back up to NEAFL with the Sharks.
Unsurprisingly Burke welcomed the news that Anthony is out of action for this clash, describing PBC’s loss as massive for the Tigers.
“But obviously they still have a fantastic spread across the ground,” he said.
Mt Gravatt (7) v Sandgate (9)
At Dittmer Park, 2pm Saturday
Ins: Mt Gravatt – Zac Stone, Todd Carbone, Luke O’Sullivan, Michael Doust. Sandgate – Lochie Harrop, Jared Bond, Jacob Hartup.
Outs: Mt Gravatt – Mitchell Hart (inj), Dom Nash (inj), Harry Hunken (Redland), Jack Wratten (Redland). Sandgate – Nick Haberer (Allies), Brandon Batchelor (unavail), Jayden Patching (unavail).
Last time they met: Mt Gravatt 12.13 (85) d Sandgate 5.5 (35), Round 15, 2018, at Lemke Road Oval.
Putting premiership points on the board then worrying about building their percentage is the call of the day when Mt Gravatt host Sandgate at Dittmar Park on Saturday.
The Vultures are one of four clubs sitting on eight points with a third of the season gone and heading into a round where, given certain results, there could be six sides on 12 points.
Mt Gravatt are currently seventh but with a poor percentage of 77.15. That is a statistic that could come back to haunt them at the pointy end of the season, but securing four points is the priority right now for coach Adam Boon.
“We’re looking for the win first and foremost,” said Boon.
“Our percentage is quite low, but the focus is on getting the win.
“We certainly don’t want to be Sandgate’s first victims of the season but we know we’re going to get a god contest because they’re young and enthusiastic.”
Mt Gravatt made four changes, bringing in four running types in Zac Stone, Todd Carbone, Luke O’Sullivan and Michael Doust, but losing two Redland-listed players in Jack Wratten and Luke O’Sullivan.
“We’ve lost some good ones but we’ve also got some good ones back in,” said Boon.
Sandgate regain smart small forward Lochie Harrop and they named another Aspley junior product Jacob Hartup for his seniors debut as they continue to blood fresh young talent.
“What we’re looking for again is just for further improvement and trying to get four quarters together,” said coach Jarad Marsh.
“And we’re giving another kid the chance to play senior footy.”
Western Magpies (6) v Morningside (3)
At McCarthy Homes Oval, 2pm Sunday
Ins: Western Magpies – Claye Beams, Ben Jaenke-Cain, Riley Easton, Luke Mitchell. Morningside – Ben McNiece, Nathan Colenso.
Outs: Western Magpies – Samson Ryan (Allies), Rory Johnson (omit), Jesse Hampel (omit), Harry Marshall (omit). Morningside – Tyler Hausfield (unavail), Jai Kennealy (Redland).
Last time they met: Western Magpies 20.20 (140) d Morningside 5.9 (39), Round 17, 2018, at Jack Esplen Oval.
The Western Magpies welcome back four key players for their big Brisbane derby against Morningside at McCarthy Homes Oval on Sunday.
The Magpies regain former Brisbane Lions on-baller Claye Beams, Ben Jaenke-Cain, last year’s Rising Star Award winner Riley Easton and Luke Mitchell for what is shaping as a classic contest.
After announcing the four changes, coach Brydan Morgan said he believes this weekend’s team looks stronger ‘on paper’ after they lost to premiers Palm Beach Currumbin last weekend.
The Magpies were far from disgraced at Salk Oval and even PBC coach Jess Sinclair said they controlled play but didn’t get the rewards.
Morningside coach Clint Watts has pored over match video of that encounter and knows his Panthers are in for a torrid battle.
He noted the extent of height in the Magpies attack and has worked on a number of tactical methods to spike that avenue.
It may be an area where Morningside could struggle – as in negating the home side’s height advantage – but Watts also knows that the Magpies are highly competitive in close.
“We know they’re very good in and around the footy and probably have a better mix now between youth and experience,” said Watts.
“And they still have those bulls around the ball.
“This is a big game, a stand-alone Sunday game, and it’s always a good trip out there.”
Morningside regain Ben McNiece and reinstated teenager Nathan Colenso after losing the unavailable Tyler Hausfield and Jai Kennealy to Redland.
The Magpies definitely look stronger than last weekend and the call from Morgan is to win a fair share of contested ball.
“I think the game will be decided by the team that executes and has better composure with ball in hand,” he said.
“The trend this year is that teams that use the ball well and make their entries count do well.
“We have done a lot of work on that ball movement this week, ball movement forward of centre.”
General opinion last week was that the Magpies did not gain reward for their work downfield against Palm Beach Currumbin, spoiling their chances with too many skill errors.
The Magpies do have some potent attacking options through Aaron Highlands, Brody Lumber, Jack Allison and Jack Goodall and this could be an area where the Magpies get on top.