After their disappointing display last week, the Western Magpies will be keen to make amends when they play Morningside in the cut-throat QAFL First semi-Final at Yeronga on Sunday
The Magpies have named an extended squad of 26 players for the match and will settle on their line-up on the weekend.
The Magpies were down on their usual output in the midfield after half time last week, and were well beaten as a result.
The Pies midfield has been lauded for their hardness at the contest this year and have rarely been beaten and the on ball brigade will be striving to regain their mojo on Sunday.
In their previous two matches against the Panthers this year, the Pies broke even in the midfield battle in the first outing and then won the contested ball in the second game as the Pies recorded a strong victory.
Cal Carseldine, Drew Mitchell and Lachlan Woods were down in their usual output last week and will be eager to show that this was a once-off. Tim McEvoy was among the Pies best last week and his finals experience will be invaluable again on Sunday.
Sunny Aneet was back to his best last week on a wing and Aaron Maricic and Brady Allen provide contrasts in the wing rotations but both will be looking to give the Pies drive through the middle of the ground.
The Pies ruckmen in Hayden Thick and Dom Beer worked hard last week and will need to be at their best to give their midfield group a fair crack at the football.
The Magpies backline was under the pump after half time last week and will be tested again especially with Morningside key forward Kent Abey back to form last week. Doug Lawrence will be given the task on Abey but the Pies can swing Hayden Thick onto him if needed, as heT has a good record against the Panther spearhead.
Luke Scott and Matt Davis are class players and both played key roles in the win earlier in the year and will likely be joined by Chris Hunt across the halfback line. Hunt was one of the better players last week and will be looking to continue his good run of consistent form.
The Pies will also look to have some tagging roles on a couple of the Panthers midfielders who are keys to their set up at the stoppages. Nathan Kinch was the player who kickstarted his side last week and the Pies may elect to have a player run with him.
Up forward Val Pope was well held last week but he will be hard to keep down again and key forwards Alex Dickfos and Tom Michael provide the big marking options. Both got their hands on the ball often enough but were let down with wayward goal kicking last week. Early scoreboard pressure will lift the Pies confidence and it is important they get away to a good start on Sunday.
Half forward Matt Thompson rarely plays a bad finals game and he also poses a threat to the Panthers defence.
The Magpies brains trust have named a squad, so may have some tweaking of the side in mind with conditions potentially playing a role.
The Magpies have prided themselves on their contested football and have not lowered their colours often this season, and certainly not two weeks in a row. The midfield battles will be crucial to the outcome and if the Pies can at least break even it may be enough to allow them to kick a winning score.
Western Magpies Squad v Morningside - Leyshon Park, Yeronga, Sunday Sep 13 @ 2pm
B: Sean Mewing - Doug Lawrence - Luke Mitchell
HB: Matt Davis - Chris Hunt - Luke Scott
C: Aaron Maricic - Ben Jeanke-Cain - Sunny Aneet
HF: Sam Copland - Tom Michael (R) - Lachlan Woods (c)
F: Matt Thompson - Alex Dickfos - Val Pope
Foll: Dom Beer - Cal Carseldine (c) - Drew Mitchell
Int: Richard Wenham - Tim McEvoy - Brady Allen - Hayden Thick
Riley Easton - Matt Garland - Brodie easton - Jak Williams (R)
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