The Western Magpies will be warm favourites when they host Sandgate at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer as the Pies wear their Commemorative Guernsey to celebrate 50 years of Senior Football and ex-captain Lachlan Woods 100th Senior match.
The Pies are coming off a huge win over Morningside while Sandgate are last on the ladder with one win for the season. That said the Pies need to be on guard for an ambush as the Hawks have upended several favourites in recent seasons, defeating eventual Premiers Palm Beach in the final round last year and knocking Morningside out of finals contention the year previously, so the Magpies will be keen not to become another Hawks casualty.
As Assistant Coach Michael Nixon said last week as many of the Pies players turned their attention to the Surfers Paradise match, "it won't matter what happens against Surfers if we don't beat Sandgate".
The Pies still look very strong with the inclusion of Matt Davis from illness and the Redlands listed pair of Sam Copland and Liam Dwyer from injury
Jake De Winter is unavailable for a wedding and Lachlan Dennis and Jack Austin were the unlucky two to be squeezed out after doing their jobs in the past 2 victories. Copland is almost a straight swap for De Winter and Dwyer is a straight swap for Austin, while Davis replaces Dennis.
The pleasing part of the Pies recent matches as been the evenness of the contribution from all players and the pressure they have applied all match.
The backline has been miserly lately with Brady Allen, Luca Winton and David Lewis generally controlling proceedings and in recent matches Ryan Harwood as acted as a sweeper/quarterback to launch the Pies into attack from the half back line. Doug Lawrence got his mojo back last week and Jack Goodall can basically play anywhere and generally does it well.
Jono Macanawai was another who got his mojo back last week after a number of flat performances and a week off a fortnight ago did him the world of good. Woods has been on fire in recent matches and Drew Mitchell and Ben Jaenke-Cain have been their usual consistent contributors.
Copland has several 5 goal hauls for the Pies this year and will be keen to get another handful while Riley Easton and Kale Reed have provided the forward pressure. Anthony Corrie will also look to hit the scoreboard after a strong return to the side last week.
The Magpies cannot afford any complacency in this match and coach Brydan Morgan will have stressed to his players the need to focus on the Hawks before they can turn their attention to next week's match. And the Pies should be eager to chair 100 gamer Lachlan Woods off the ground as a winner.
QAFL Round 18: Western Magpies v Sandgate at McCarthy Homes Oval at Chelmer on Saturday, August 18th at 2.00 pm.
B: Will Fletcher Doug Lawrence Luca Winton
HB: David Lewis Jack Goodall Brady Allen
C: Matt Davis Lachlan Woods Luke Mitchell
HF: Aaron Maricic Liam Dwyer Sam Copland
F: Kale Reed Anthony Corrie Riley Easton
Foll: Dylan Adkins Drew Mitchell (Capt) Ryan Harwood
I/C: Tom Ielasi, Ben Jaenke-Cain, Billy Johnson, Jono Macanawai
In: Matthew Davis, Sam Copland, Liam Dwyer
Out: Jake De Winter (unavailable), Jack Austin, Lachlan Dennis (both Reserves)
Emerg: Harry Marshall, Jack Austin, Lachlan Dennis, Brenton Saunders