IF Surfers Paradise are to go on and play finals later this month there is only one way they will do it – by winning their two remaining fixtures against Palm Beach-Currumbin and Wilston-Grange.

By Terry Wilson

The Demons travel down the road to play PBC at Salk Oval on Saturday (2pm start) knowing there is no other avenue to the play-offs. It is win, and win only, for them.
The situation of both Surfers and PBC – who also need to win to keep up their fight for a finals top-three finish – should ensure a crackerjack Gold Coast derby.
Surfers are sixth on the ladder on 36 points, four behind Palm Beach-Currumbin and eight off the pace being set by Noosa, Sandgate, Wilston-Grange and Western Magpies.
So finals would be out of the question should they lose to the Lions.
The Lions, on the other hand, can still grab a top-three finals berth, but need to beat Surfers, then Burleigh, to get there – and have some results elsewhere go their way.
“We’re determined not to let this one slip, there is too much at stake,” said coach Craig O’Brien of the derby.
“Surfers will be confident, they always are against us. This is a grand final for them and it’s an important game for us so it’s a big, big game for both sides.”
O’Brien said cementing a place in the finals is top priority and a home elimination final is on the cards for the Lions.
Surfers coach Beau Zorko said everybody at Demonland is aware of the situation.
“We’re fully aware of the situation we’re in,” he said. “The reality is we have to win.
“We had to win five out of five (to make the finals) and this is the fourth game of that five.
“Palm Beach are a very good side and well coached, so it’s another terrific challenge for us.”
Zorko said that, should PBC take Saturday’s clash, heads will not drop at the club.
“It is so important to finish the season on a high,” he said of the Demons’ remaining schedule.
“If we don ‘t make it we certainly aim to shape it,” he said.
Sandgate, for one, are anxious for the Demons to beat both PBC and Wilston-Grange so the Hawks can stay in the top three.
Against the Demons is the fact they lost to PBC in round eight by 13.14 to 7.14 at Sir Bruce Small Park.
The Demon have improved since then, but so have the Lions, who have won 10 of their past 11, their last loss being by two points against Sandgate in round nine.
At selection time PBC made their now customary multiple changes, bringing in
defenders Chris Williams, Scott Vis and Matt Boyd, ruckman Trevor Cahir and exciting teenage wingman Nick Burton.
Out of the Lions side are Korey Fulton, Pearson, Brendan Rhodes (shoulder), Brad Horn (jarred knee) and omitted pair Tyler Cornish and Brayden Pearson.
Fulton played last round on permit from NEAFL club Broadbeach and kicked 12 goals in three and a bit quarters.
“We dropped him for disciplinary reasons – he didn’t train on Thursday,” joked O’Brien of the expected change of personnel.
O’Brien said five was a significant number of changes to be making so close to the finals, but he also revealed Lee Clark, Brad Horn, David Round and Brendan Rhodes are all due back next weekend.
Surfers have only the two changes, bringing back defender Stuart Keel and ruckman Troy Armstrong.
They replace Ash Freeman (tonsillitis) and Nick Barling, who played on permit from Taylors Lakes last round when the Dees beat Burleigh comprehensively.

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