The Western Magpies should prove too strong for the ninth placed Sandgate when the two teams meet at Sandgate on Saturday.
The Pies come off a tough match last round and have made four changes to the side that snuck home for a 9 point win last weekend.
In comes Tim McEvoy from a week off for a wedding, Redlands based Jack Goodall, winger Sunny Aneet after missing 2 matches and Matt Mazarolle makes his senior debut after consistent Reserves form
Out are Callum Carseldine and Richard Wenham (niggles), Aaron Maricic (unavailable) and Jai Humphrey (injured).
Sandgate have struggled this year and will be counting down to the end of the season but did trouble the Pies in their first round clash for three quarters before the Pies finished with a comfortable win after a quality final quarter.
The Pies have enjoyed the wide open spaces of the big Sandgate ground in recent years and with space and time the likes of Val Pope, Alex Dickfos, Sam Copland and Tom Michael, the Pies forwards will be handful for the Hawks defenders. Dickfos' 2 goals last week was down on his recent output so he will be keen to up the ante this game.
Pope was superb last week with 6 goals, however some general soreness after last week, he may be eased through this match to have him primed for the finals.
Speedsters Riley Easton and Jake Heard will also relish the space and could be damaging up forward if given room to move.
The engine room will welcome back Tim McEvoy who will step into the breach with Carseldine and Wenham out of the side. McEvoy's shoulders will have enjoyed a week off but he has been consistent all year without too much fanfare and his experience is a vital ingredient in the midfield rotations. Luke Mitchell is rumoured to join his brother Drew through the middle of the ground and the Pies have several options to throw into the midfield mix if needed such as Luke Scott and debutante Matt Mazarolle.
Sunny Aneet will be keen to bounce back from a turbulent 3 weeks and with Ben Jaenke-Cain and Brady Allen forms a potent centreline. Jaenke-Cain continues to rack up possessions and Allen can be an x-factor, able to play forward or back and tall and can kick a long ball.
Doug Lawrence has been superb this year in the key defensive role and for a 19 year old looks and plays like a grizzled veteran. His tight defensive work and closing speed to the contest and judgement with the high ball has been exceptional and his 8 big spoils v Wilston Grange have apparently been nominated for Danny Frawley's "Golden Fist Award". Lawrence is complemented by Chris Hunt who is equally adept in the air then usually has the pace and balance to gather at ground level to launch many a Magpie counter attack.
The Magpies are favoured in this match but Sandgate will be ready to pounce should the Pies have their minds elsewhere. A solid effort from the Magpies should secure the four points and consolidate second place on the ladder going into the final round.
Western Magpies vs Sandgate - Lemke Road, Sandgate - Saturday Aug 22 @ 2pm
B: Sean Mewing - Chris Hunt - Luke Mitchell
HB: Jake Goodall - Doug Lawrence - Luke Scott
C: Brady Allen - Ben Jeanke-Cain - Sonny Aneet
HF: Sam Copland - Tom Michael (R) - Jake Heard
F: Matt Thompson - Alex Dickfos - Val Pope
Foll: Dom Beer - Lachlan Woods (c) - Drew Mitchell
Int: Tim McEvoy - Riley Easton - Matt Mazarolle - Hayden Thick
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