It is must win game for final hopefuls Sandgate this week when they host reigning premier Noosa on Saturday.
By James Diamond
After last week’s disappointing performance against Mayne, Hawks coach Ben Long is “hoping to turn things around this week”.
“We have been working on some little things on the training track and I’m sure we will be more competitive this week”
“We’ve always prided ourselves on always being competitive and working as team regardless of the result and that’s our main focus heading into this week.”
Noosa, coming off a shock loss to Surfers Paradise last week are hoping to return to their premiership form of last year.
Tiger’s coach, Wayne Fletcher said “he was happy with the player’s effort last week and poor skill execution was the main reason for the loss”
“We are very keen to respond this week, we have been working hard this week on our skills and we’re confident heading into this match against Sandgate”
They will be bolstered by the return of full forward, Danny Brewster, who missed last week’s game due to the representative duties.
Sandgate have lost key player Aden Rutledge for the clash and the season due to foot surgery.
The Western Magpies welcome back a host of players for their clash against Springwood this Saturday.
Coming off a bye last week, the Magpies are bolstered by the return of Val Pope, Reid Dobson, Ed McDonnell and James Rozynski as they look to continue their form heading into finals.
Magpie’s coach, Peter McClennan was content with the bye last week saying it was “the week off the team needed to have” as it allowed for the return of key players.
“They [Pope, Dobson, McDonnell, Rozynski] haven’t played for a long period of time but they are core players heading towards the finals”.
“We are really trying to get all our players back into our game plan and executing that effectively. We know Springwood will come out and have red-hot crack and that’s what were looking for before finals”.
They face an excited Springwood outfit that are looking to test themselves against the competition benchmark.
“We’re looking forward to it. Obviously it’s a massive challenge but we have just got to match them where we can” said Puma’s coach Tony King.
“We are a bit decimated at the moment but we have to just got to do our best.”
A lot of water has gone under the bridge since these teams last played back in round 1. The Gorillas have enjoyed a measure of success but with the Finals only a couple of weeks away they won’t be taking the improving Bombers lightly.
“It vital for us at this time of year to continue to sharpen our skill levels,” said Wilston Grange Coach David Martin. “It might sound very cliché but we have to go back to basics and refresh the systems we use at stoppages, kick-ins and bounces,” he added.
The Gorillas still have a number of nagging injuries to regular senior players and will be hoping to come out of this game unscathed.
Form players to watch for the Gorillas are, Cale Agosta, Hugh Campbell and Anthony Penny.
The Bombers have had a week’s rest and will be looking to continue the improvement they have shown over the last few rounds.
Although they made a number of fundamental errors against Sandgate they were harder at the ball than previous games and there was far more team spirit.
Players to watch for the Bombers are Nathan Sullivan, Chris Burrell and Zack Tschirn.
Coolangatta have had a tough year numbers wise. The lack of depth has been hard to manage and has proved very difficult for Coach Neil Mackay.
“We lost 32 players from last years’ list and it has been a real struggle to build the numbers,” Mackay said. “The game is now about pride, we showed a lot spirit and enthusiasm against Noosa than we had demonstrated in previous games and we hope to continue that improvement against the Lions this weekend.” he added.
Palm Beach Currumbin are sitting in 3rd spot on the ladder and will be fighting hard to protect the double chance.
Coach Daryn Cresswell said of last weeks’ win at Maroochydore “ I was pleased with the way we didn’t over-use the football and got it into our forward line quickly.”
The Lions have a strong line-up with James Drake in excellent form with Ryan Hards, Angus Munro and Blake Schneider all performing well.
The Blues will be looking for Stanis Susuve, Ben Dovey, Kapun Morris and Andrew Haines to keep up the consistent performances.