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PLACE PREVIEW - PIES LOOK TO BUILD MOMENTUM

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PLACE PREVIEW - PIES LOOK TO BUILD MOMENTUM

Andrew Thomson

The Western Magpies will look to build on last week's victory when they travel to Sandgate to take on the hawks on Saturday.

The Pies bounced back with a strong victory last week while Sandgate have two losses but have been competitive both weeks.

The match poses a danger game for the Pies and look no further than opponents last week in Wilston Grange for a cautionary tale as the Gorillas, after a big victory over the 2015 Premiers in Round 1, did not bring the same intensity to their clash with the Pies a week later and were well beaten.

The Pies have included versatile big man Jadan Morton into the senior side and he will start at fullback, the position he played in the Pies 2006 premiership. Morton can play at either end of the ground and in ruck and gives the Pies plenty of big man options with his inclusion. Also in are Co-captain Lachlan Woods and centreman Ben Jaenke-Cain, both missing last week due to unavailability, so they will be fresh for the contest. New recruit Brent Staker is still recovering from a hamstring strain and will again miss.

Out are Doug Lawrence for his debut with Aspley after terrific form at CHB for the Pies and all at the Magpies wish Doug all the best on Saturday. Tyler Jones has also been rewarded for his scintillating form last week with a recall to the Redlands team and Brenton Saunders misses after rolling an ankle last week. 

Morton at fullback releases Luke Scott to the back flank where his intercept marks and attacking football is important for the Pies. Chris Hunt to CHB adequately covers for Lawrence and with Matt Davis again in good form the Pies half back line is strong. Reece Bridge was good on debut last week and takes one back pocket with Luke Mitchell continuing his good pre-season form in the other pocket.

Callum Carseldine gave the Pies the midfield  grunt they were missing in round one and with Gareth Crawford finding his feet with a superb Round 2 showing and the return of Woods and Jaenke-Cain the Pies can control the midfield.

Dom Beer, Nick Barling and Liam Dwyer rotating through the ruck should give the Pies first use of the ball from the midfield and around ground..

Up forward Alex Dickfos will rotate between full forward and CHF. He has worked hard but has yet to hit the form of last year but another week of hard work should see him notch up a few goals this week.  Small forwards Jake Heard and Matt Sondergeld were both busy last week with Sondergeld playing his best game for the Pies in last week's good win.

Val Pope was again good last week despite carrying a sore foot but with another week to get better will cause the Sandgate defenders a few headaches. Most sides find him a difficult match up and as a measure of the respect they hold him do much of their planning in how to curtail him--usually without success!

The Pies will be looking to make it 2 from 3 and get their season well and truly on track but will need to be wary of complacency and to be on their guard to thwart a Sandgate ambush.

Western Magpies vs Sandgate Hawks - 2pm Sat April 16 @ Sandgate

B: Luke Mitchell - Jadan Morton - Rhys Bridge

HB: Matt Davis - Chris Hunt - Luke Scott

C: Brady Allen - Callum Carseldine (C) - Aaron Maricic (R)

HF: David Lewis - Liam Dwyer (R) - Val Pope

F: Jake Heard - Alex Dickfos - Matt Sondergeld (R)

Foll: Dom Beer - Ben Jeanke-Cain - Drew Mitchell

INT: Tim McEvoy - Nick Barling - Lachlan Woods (C) - Gareth Crawford