Thursday 12 August 2010

Southport rebounded from three successive losses to hammer the Western Magpies last weekend, but the big test awaits in the shape of Mt Gravatt at Fankhauser Reserve on Saturday morning (11am).

The Sharks were ruthlessly efficient in the 104-point demolition of a Magpies outfit that tried desperately hard, reflecting a week of reflection at Southport.

“There was a lot of soul searching and a few home truths told, and that included from players to coaches as well,” coach Craig Crowley said after the successive losses to Labrador, Morningside and Redland.

It was only the third time in history the ultra-successful Sharks had lost three games in a row.

“There was the situation where we had been the hunted and we sat down and accepted – without justification – that we had been beaten by good sides,” Crowley said of the first two losses. “As a consequence that allowed Redland to catch us under our guard.”

Crowley and his committee reacted strongly at the selection table, making six changes before the Magpies clash, including the demotion of popular longtime servant Dane Carmody and quality defender David Lynch.

“The significant selection decisions showed everyone that we were not mucking around,” Crowley said.

“When we had to tell them they were obviously disappointed but the good thing is they went out and were among the best in our Seconds.”

Crowley is hoping the tough patch will steel his side’s resolve as they approach the finals.

They went through a similar tough period in 2006 – Crowley’s first year in charge – but responded superbly to win the premiership in a tightly contested finals series.

“It got out feet back on the ground…it was a very good wake-up call,” Crowley said.

The Sharks can still finish minor premiers if they beat the Vultures on Saturday and Labrador lose in Darwin.

They would then need to win a tricky clash at Aspley in Round 18.

“We’re looking forward to any challenge that comes our way,” Crowley said.

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