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MACK TRUCKS MATCH PREVIEW - MAGPIES BUILD TOWARDS FINALS

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MACK TRUCKS MATCH PREVIEW - MAGPIES BUILD TOWARDS FINALS

Andrew Thomson

The Western Magpies are building toward finals as they travel to meet another old rival in Mt Gravatt on Saturday at Dittmer Park.

On paper the Pies will be warm favourites, but will be wary of a resurgent Vultures team keen to take down a scalp or two before season's end.

The Magpies had a huge win in their first clash this year but the home team are stronger this time around and will want to make a statement. The Magpies have withstood all challenges bar three this year and have made three changes to the side that won well against PBC last week.

In comes Val Pope after missing with illness, CHF Tom Michael returns from Redland and young speedster Jake Heard gets his chance after 2 years of injury frustration and recent good Reserves form.

Out of the side are Brodie Easton and Matt Garland, both squeezed to the Reserves after stepping up in recent matches and the unavailable Tim McEvoy.

The changes have resulted in a strong looking forward line with Tom Michael at CHF, Sam Copland to a flank and the classy Val Pope back in to provide another forward option. With Alex Dickfos now at permanent full forward it is a potent attacking unit. Dickfos is averaging 4 goals a match in recent weeks and has kicked 45 goals to be on fourth the goal kicking list, 11 goals behind leader Kent Abey.

Speedsters Riley Easton and Jake Heard will both be injected into the forward line to hurry and harass and add another level of excitement to the Pies forward line.

The back line has been miserly in all but 2 matches this season and Glenn Humphrey and his selectors have moved Doug Lawrence to fullback to counter the Vultures key forward. Chris Hunt goes to CHB and Sean Mewing and Luke Scott flank him in a solid and rebounding half back line.

Hayden Thick will start in ruck to give him more game time after missing recent matches and this will allow the hard working Dom Beer to reduce his workload. 

Callum Carseldine, the QAFL's Syd Guildford Award nominee for Round 15, just continues to rack up "hard ball gets" and he is part of a strong engine room with Drew Mitchell and Richard Wenham, both also Syd Guildford nominees this season.

The Pies centreline of Brad Allen, Ben Jaenke-Cain and Aaron Maricic provide a variety of styles and sizes and all can inject themselves decisively into the play to drive their team forward.

The Magpies will be set for an early onslaught from Mt Gravatt but look to have the class all over the ground to withstand this and then take control of the contest to enable them to take the 4 points and consolidate second spot on the ladder.

Western Magpies vs Mt Gravatt Vultures - Dittmer Park, Sat Aug 15 @ 2pm

B: Jae Humphrey - Doug Lawrence - Luke Mitchell

HB: Sean Mewing - Chris Hunt - Luke Scott

C: Brady Allen - Ben Jeanke-Cain - Aaron Maricic

HF: Sam Copland - Tom Michael (R) - Lachlan Woods (c)

F: Matt Thompson - Alex Dickfos - Val Pope

Foll: Hayden Thick - Drew Mitchell - Callum Carseldine (c)

Int: Riley Easton - Richard Wenham - Jake Heard - Dom Beer