The Western Magpies Reserves must be ruthless against the winless Sandgate today at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer to keep them in the race for a final five berth.
The Pies will start favourites but coach Des Lashman will stress the need to be hard at it all match to try to close the 15 percent gap that separates them from Morningside, both on 28 points.
The Pies have been strengthened by the inclusion of the unlucky Lachlan Dennis and Jack Austin, both squeezed out of the Seniors by returning players, Gareth Crawford, the joint Bill Peirce Medallist of last year returns after a short holiday and lively forward Sempitake Kwizera comes back in after missing last week with illness.
Out goes skipper Sean Mewing with family commitments, while Nathan Congram has been rested and Jordan Bonney and Matt Mazerolle have unluckily missed out, showing the enormous depth at the Magpies this year with the 3rds securing a Grand final berth last night.
Chris Hunt has been rewarded for a fine season with the captaincy for the match and he and his fellow defenders have been miserly recently.
Gerard Moore was superb in ruck last week and Val Pope returned to the form we all know he is capable of. Dennis and Crawford boost the midfield and with Brodie Easton and Logan Murray form a powerful midfield unit and Austin gives the Pies another tall target up forward to complement the strong marking Jeremy DeRooy.
At ground level the Pies have plenty of goalscoring potential in Sam Parker, Kwizera and Brenton Saunders.
The Pies should win well and will have one eye on the Chelmer scoreboard but the other eye will be on the Labrador v Morningside match as that game has a big bearing on the Pies' season.
QAFL Round 18: Western Magpies Reserves v Sandgate at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer on Saturday, August 18th at 11.30 am
B: Tristan Dowdy Harry Marshall Kurt Vine
HB: Zach Collison Chris Hunt (Capt) Peter Kilroy
C: Rory Johnson Brodie Easton Sam Hartog
HF: Brenton Saunders Jack Austin Val Pope (vc)
F: Sempatike Kwizera Jeremy De Rooy Sam Parker
Rucks: Gerard Moore Logan Murray Gareth Crawford
I/C: Lachlan Dennis, Sean McEvoy (Capt), Sam DeNys, Monty Vine
Emerg: Matt Mazarolle, Jordan Bonney
In: Jack Austin, Lachlan Dennis, Gareth Crawford, Sempatike Kwizera
Out: Sean Mewing (unavailable), Nathan Congram (rested), Matt Mazarolle, Jordan Bonney (both omitted )