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PLACE PREVIEW - FIERCE CONTEST EXPECTED AGAINST OLD RIVALS

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PLACE PREVIEW - FIERCE CONTEST EXPECTED AGAINST OLD RIVALS

Andrew Thomson

The Western Magpies face traditional rivals Mt Gravatt in a vital QAFL clash at Chelmer on Saturday. The Pies will be confident after a rebound victory last week and will be keen for a good showing in front of an expected big crowd, before gathering to celebrate the clubs 60th Anniversary.

The traditional rivalry built via many classic clashes in the 80s will be further enhanced this weekend as it is a vital match for both clubs--the Pies are in fifth place on the ladder and the Vultures are 6 points ahead in third place, both aiming for a a Top 3 finish.

The Pies were rocked in round 1 when they were comprehensively outplayed by Mt Gravatt in a match many pundits expected the Magpies to win, despite slow pre-season form.

The Magpies' brains trust have made only one change with Matt Sondergeld coming in and Sam Copland going back to the Reserves for more game time.

Young defender Will Fletcher was named as this week's QAFL Rising Star and he looked to be very comfortable at Senior level and his ball use was first class. He has classy and experienced mentors around him in Luke Scott, Tim McEvoy and Chris Hunt who along with Brady Allen were a tight defensive unit last week as well as being creative off half back.

The Pies got their mojo back in the midfield and will be keen to right the wrongs of their last clash against Mt Gravatt where the Magpies were well beaten in the contested ball. Expect Callum Carseldine, Drew Mitchell, Gareth Crawford and Ben Jaenke-Cain to be fierce at the contest to prove that Round 1 was an aberration and to build momentum post the mid year break.

Jadan Morton came into ruck last week to give Dom Beer a chop out and it was his best game for the year and gave the Pies first use of the ball. A similar performance is required on Saturday.

The Pies forwards relished the better and faster ball movement last week and the confidence of Alex Dickfos will improve as a result while Brent Staker adds experience and footy nous to open up opportunities for his teammates.

Coach Nathan Clarke will ask his side to maintain the standard set last week and will reiterate how big this game is in the context of the season. A win sets the Pies up for a launch at the top three, a loss puts them back in the dogfight for a finals place.

Western Magpies vs Mt Gravatt at Chelmer on Saturday, June 18 @ 2pm

B: Luke Mitchell - Chris Hunt - Will Fletcher

HB: Luke Scott - Brady Allen - Tim McEvoy

C: Matt Davis - Cal Carseldine (C) - David Lewis

HF: Drew Mitchell - Brent Staker - Lachlan Woods (C)

F: Brenton Saunders - Alex Dickfos - Matt Sondergeld

Foll: Dom Beer - Ben Jeanke-Cain - Gareth Crawford

INT: Jadan Morton - Rhys Bridge - Brodie Easton - Mitch Stallard