What a difference a week makes...
The Western Magpies hit back hard after a poor match last week to have a comprehensive victory over the highly regarded Wilston Grange at Yeronga on Saturday.
The Pies were comfortable 41 point victors in the end, winning 13.14-92 to 7.9-51. It was obvious from the first bounce that the Pies were on-song, with renewed vigour at the contest and a much improved work-rate.
The first quarter was an arm wrestle, though the Pies looked stronger without getting the reward their efforts deserved. The second quarter saw the Pies midfield gain control with Callum Carseldine back to his Grogan Medal winning best and Gareth Crawford in and under all game to show why he is a league B & F winner in Victoria.
With the uncompromising defence of 2015 returning, led by Luke Scott, Doug Lawrence, Chris Hunt and Tyler Jones the Pies repelled many Gorilla attacks and led by 21 points at half time. Lawrence was strong in the air and at ground level, Scott was back to his best with brilliant reading of the play and intercept marks and had 10 first quarter possessions when the game was up for grabs and Hunt just does what he does best by shutting down his opponent and then providing run out of the back line. The Pies were hard at the contest all over the ground and won the physical battles in a positive sign for the season ahead.
The first half saw more direct football from the Pies with half back Tyler Jones playing a great game with long incisive runs and direct and penetrating kicks into the forward line.
Inclusions Brenton Saunders and Jake Heard added pace the the Pies forward line and Saunders was a live wire up forward until he injured his ankle in the third quarter.
Other inclusions in David Lewis and Reece Bridge (in his first senior game for the club) were both good, with Lewis winning plenty of the ball across half forward and Bridge playing well in a strong defensive unit.
The third quarter saw the Pies play indirect football and it became a "fumble-a-thon" with dropped marks and poor disposal by both sides, with the saving grace being that Grange were as bad, if not worse, than the Pies.
The Pies led by 20 points at the final change and dominated the last quarter with a 60 metre Nick Barling goal sealing the victory as the Pies went onto an emphatic win which puts their season well and truly back on track.
Dom Beer was again good in ruck and Drew Mitchell won plenty of the ball, Matt Sondergeld was busy and Alex Dickfos worked hard in the forward line.
Coach Glenn Humphrey was pleased with his team's endeavour, winning the contested ball and clearances, laying ten more tackles and having 20 more inside 50s than Wilston Grange.
The Pies were without Brent Staker and Richard Wenham (both injured) and Lachlan Woods and Ben Jaenke-Cain (both unavailable) and Sean Mewing made his return in the Reserves after recent injury.
Best: Pope, Carseldine, Crawford, Jones, Scott, Davis
Goalkickers and quarter by quarter scores are currently unavailable