The Western Magpies will want to keep the momentum from the past two wins going as they travel to the northern suburbs to do battle with old rival Wilston Grange. While the word revenge is not a positive one and dwells on the past, the Pies will still be keen to avenge a couple of narrow losses from last year which cost the Pies a finals spot.
The situation is a bit different with the 2018 Magpies looking a much stronger and more versatile outfit than the 2017 model and the Gorillas sit in eighth spot on the ladder with a single win to their name. However they have been competitive in all their matches to date and while the Black and Whites will be nominal favourites, there are no guarantees in the QAFL this season.
The Magpies will be without their best player to date in Ryan Harwood and also will be missing Will Fletcher—both are unavailable for this match. Another big loss is Dylan Adkins, who misses with injury, and also out of the side are Lachie Dennis and Luke Brennan to the Reserves.
In comes Ben Jaenke-Cain for his 150th Senior Game for the Magpies after recovering from back spasms and young Queensland Academy player Caleb Franks also returns for the Pies from Lions NEAFL duties. Doug Lawrence returns after missing last week and Redlands listed Stephen Mills come back in and both will bolster the defence after key defender Aaron Highlands goes into the ruck in the absence of Adkins and half back Fletcher is missing. Also back in after a remarkable selection run is Brodie Easton, who has gone from the Woodsmen to the Reserves to the Seniors in successive weeks.
Obviously the loss of Harwood and Adkins will hurt the pies but the return of Jaenke-Cain offsets the loss of Harwood somewhat and Highlands when asked has been excellent in the ruck. Arguably the result of the 5 ins and 5 outs is a net gain to the Pies.
Jack Goodall remains at the Pies for this week and he has been good whether in a key forward or back post or pinch hitting in the ruck. He will start at centre half forward this week and will provide the Pies with a marking option up forward to complement Jack Austin and Jake de Winter. Franks joins Kale Reed and last week’s QAFL Rising Star Riley Easton as the small forwards and they all provide forward pressure and know where the goals are.
Gareth Crawford has found the elixir of youth in the past two matches and his grunt work with Jono Macanawai in midfield has given the Pies midfield dominance in the past two victories.
The Pies need to be on-song from the first bounce as they were last week to establish control to ensure no repeats of 2017 when they let the four points slip in tight matches against Grange. A win here sets the Pies up for a mid-year assault after next week’s general bye.
QAFL Round 7: Western Magpies v Wilston Grange at Stafford on Saturday, June 2nd @ 2 pm.
B: Brodie Easton Stephen Mills Luca Winton
HB: Brady Allen Doug Lawrence Luke Mitchell
C: Brenton Saunders Gareth Crawford Dave Lewis (VC)
HF: Anthony Corrie Jack Goodall Kale Reed
F: Tom Ielasi Jake De Winter Riley Easton
Foll: Aaron Highlands Drew Mitchell (Capt) Jono Macanawai
I/C: Matt Davis, Jack Austin, Ben Jaenke-Cain, Caleb Franks
In: Ben Jaenke-Cain, Brodie Easton, Doug Lawrence, Stephen Mills, Caleb Franks
Out: Dylan Adkins (injured), Ryan Harwood, Will Fletcher (both unavailable) , Lachie Dennis, Luke Brennan (both Reserves )