The Western Magpies senior side will take on undefeated ladder leaders Labrador at Chelmer on Saturday to keep their 2017 finals hopes alive.
While taking on the Tigers is a daunting task, the Pies were the last side to beat them in QAFL football with a 1 point win at Labrador last year, before also being the only side to push them at all in the back end of 2016 with a 3 point loss at home and a 20 point qualifying final loss.
With everything on the line for the Pies, they will leave nothing in the tank - while the Tigers are untouchable in 1st place on the ladder and could be forgiven for tapering into finals.
Unfortunately there are more forced changes to the side this week with key outs in Pershouse and Mitchell due to injury, while Dillon, Saunders and Stallard are welcomed back into the side to offer experience and plenty of zip and skill around the footy. Stallard is back from another long injury layoff and will no doubt raring to go for his home club.
The midfield without their injured skipper will need to be at their uncompromising best, getting first use and locking the ball down when Labrador take possession. Smart ball use will be key to ensure the experienced and talented half back line of the Tigers aren't able to zone off and take intercept marks before setting up a Tiger counter attack from the back half.
The Pies will need to be bold and prepared to take risks to get the ball in quick and deep to a mobile forward-line. Nothing breeds confidence and boldness with the footy like applying scoreboard pressure, so the boys will need to take their opportunities when they are presented - as a quality outfit like the back to back Premiers will hurt you if you don't put them away when you can.
It promises to be a fascinating encounter between a young side looking to prove themselves against the old tigers sitting atop the ladder who have been there and done that. Nothing would please the Magpie faithful more than a thrilling win to keep the finals hopes alive coming into their final fixture next week.
NOTE THE MATCH STARTS AT 1PM DUE TO THE Q-CLASH
Western Magpies v Labrador at Chelmer Saturday, August 12 at 1:00 pm
B: Kurt Vine Harry Marshall B Johnson
HB: Matt Dillon Brady Allen Mitch Stallard
C: Matt Davis Ben Jaenke Cain Luke Mitchell
HF: Brenton SaundersAaron HighlandsLiam Dwyer
F: Val Pope Jake de Winter Riley Easton
Rucks: Dom Beer, Gareth Crawford
Rover: Brodie Easton
I/c:, Caleb Franks, Logan Murray ,R Smith, Tom Ielasi