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PLACE PREVIEW - PIES NEED TO BOUNCE BACK VS GORILLAS

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PLACE PREVIEW - PIES NEED TO BOUNCE BACK VS GORILLAS

Andrew Thomson

The Western Magpies will be looking to bounce back after a lacklustre Round 1 showing when they meet close rivals Wilston Grange at Yeronga on Saturday.

The tale of the two teams in Round 1 could not be more different with the Pies defeated favourites in their match against Mt Gravatt while Wilston Grange caused an upset when they overcame 2015 premiers Labrador.

From all reports Grange were hungrier than Labrador last week and won the contested ball and their pace troubled the Tigers.

The Pies last week looked sluggish with slow and poor ball use making them appear even slower, and coach Glenn Humphrey will have worked at training on decision making and on quicker transition of the football to the forward line.  

The Pies have made a number of changes to the lineup with Chris Hunt coming into a key defensive post, Redlands listed Liam Dwyer into CHF with David Lewis on the flank and speedster Jake Heard and Redlands listed Brenton Saunders to the forward pockets. Reece Bridge comes into the interchange bench after a best on ground showing in the Reserves last week.

Out of the side are be tagging defender Richard Wenham (concussion), young forward Sam Copland (Queensland Under 18s), Co-Captain Lachlan Woods (wedding), centreman Ben Jaenke-Cain (unavailable) and Redlands listed Jack Goodall to the Reserves.

The Pies midfield will be keen to bounce back after a slow start last week and Co-captain Callum Carseldine will be better for the run after an interrupted pre-season while Gareth Crawford will have found his feet in QLD football. The Pies will look to both of these and Drew Mitchell and Tim McEvoy, who was good last week, to provide drive in the absence of Jaenke-Cain and Woods. 

Dom Beer was good in ruck last week but the Pies lost the clearances and will have worked on this during the week. They will need to be on song against the strong Gorilla midfield. Beer will get support from Nick Barling who spent most of his time at CHF last week.   

A crowded forward line and slow ball movement hampered key forwards Alex Dickfos and Nick Barling in Round 1 and with Dickfos and the recalled Dwyer both strong overhead the Pies will look to get them one out in the contest, via quicker forward entries.  The inclusions of Heard and Saunders will inject pace to the forward line and with Val Pope at half forward the Pies will be hoping for increased firepower up forward both in the air and at ground level.

The recall of Hunt to a key defensive post strengthens the Pies defence and allows Luke Scott to be a rebounding defender along with Luke Mitchell, who was a good player last week.

The half back line of were solid last week and will be important for the Pies to lock down the Grange forwards.

It may only be Round 2, but with the Pies depth tested - this is an important match with a win getting the Pies back on the rails and reigniting belief in the group.

Western Magpies vs Wilston Grange Gorillas at Yeronga, Sat April 9 @ 2:30pm

B: Luke Mitchell - Doug Lawrence (A) - Tyler Jones (R)

HB: Luke Scott - Chris Hunt - Matt Davis

C: Aaron Maricic - Cal Carseldine (C) - Brady Allen

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

F: Jake Heard - Alex Dickfos - Brenton Saunders (R)

Foll: Dom Beer - Gareth Crawford - Drew Mitchell

I/C: Tim McEvoy - Nick Barling - Reece Bridge - Matt Sondergeld (R)