SANDGATE have had some good news for a change – their quality ruckman/forward Brendan Forbes’ rib injury is not as serious as first thought.
By Terry Wilson
Forbes sustained what was first thought to be a season-ending rib injury against Noosa last weekend, but it seems the injury is only a muscle strain and he should be right for the finals.
But Forbes is among five changes made by Sandgate for their trip to the Sunshine Coast to play Maroochy-Northshore at Fisherman’ Road on Saturday.
Chasing a repeat of their massive 147-point win over the Roos in round eight, Sandgate have had to replace Forbes, Jason Anthonisz (hamstring), Matt Nuss (general soreness), Aidan Dineen (unavailable) and Trent Morrissey (omitted).
The ins this weekend are class ruck-rover Ben Drew, on-baller Will Bradley, tall utility Shane Rogerson, small forward Scott Hines and Jordy Fuller,, an under-18 for is first seniors game.
Sandgate simply have to win to retain a chance of a finals double-chance. They have next weekend’s bye, so can finish with a maximum of 48 points for the season is they get over the Roos.
“First things first,” said captain-coach Ben Long of what lies ahead.
“We have to win this one because it’s our last dress rehearsal before the finals.
“So we’re worried about our own systems and getting things into place.
“We don’t have an option having other teams to do a job for us elsewhere. We need to take four points from this game and finished the preliminary rounds on a positive.”
Luckless Maroochy have lost all their ruck strength with an injury to Steve Morris, who is out with an ankle strain.
Coach Roger Delaney said it will be left to Harley Read and Greg Stirton, definitely not possessive of ruck-like physiques top shoulder the load at contests.
The unavailability of Morris has opened the door for another of Maroochy’s under-18s, Harrison Kempf, to make his seniors debut.
To date the Roos have blooded more than a dozen players kin firsts this season.
“That is not a bad thing,” said Delaney. “It has been a tough year but some of the under-18s have been terrific.
“And some of the part-timers have become good leaders as well.”