The Western Magpies, confidence restored after a strong win a fortnight ago, will be up for the contest against the fourth placed Broadbeach at Broadbeach in Round 12 QAFL action later today.
The Pies have made three changes with Kale Reed and Harrison Kerr promoted after short Reserves stints and Aaron Highland returning after picking up a niggle in the interstate game vs SA. They replace the injured Drew Mitchell, Lachie Dennis unavailable and Zane Lovell back to the Reserves.
The Pies retain exciting youngsters in ruckman Samson Ryan and classy winger Bruce Reville, both key players in the Pies' win a fortnight ago.
Ryan in particular gives the Pies midfield the first opportunity in the centre clearances which makes a huge difference to the Magpies forward entries. Ryan Harwood has 2 matches under his belt now and was back to his best last round with the maximum 10 Syd Guildford votes and Claye Beams is starting to show what Pies fans know he is capable. Will Fletcher is playing consistent football and is developing into a bull at the contest while Tom Baulch provided spark from a wing on his return to the side last round.
With a return to availability of several key players for the Pies, coach Brydan Morgan has freed up the game plan with the Pies happy to push the ball forward and if needed be to kick to a contest in the 25 metre arc as well as playing possession football when the game dictates.
With Jack Austin developing with each game and Brody Lumber getting back to form the Pies have a couple of key targets to either mark the ball or force it to ground. Lumber in particular has been taking plenty of strong marks, but will need to bring his kicking boots back to have a greater impact. Posessing a beautiful smooth kicking action, he’s stabbed at a few in recent weeks and his accuracy suffered - however, taking strong marks is the hard bit and Lumber is a beautiful set shot when relaxed.
The defence has been miserly all year and with Beams on half back playing a distribution role, Luca Winton having not lowered his colours since Round 1 and skipper David Lewis back to control proceedings across half back the Pies look solid in the back half. Brenton Saunders has-re-invented himself as a back pocket and Riley Greene has been strong for the Pies all year and must surely be close to a Rising Star nomination before too long.
The Pies must win this match if they want to play finals football this year and with a bounce in the step in the past 2 weeks they will be up for the challenge.
QAFL Round 12: Western Magpies v Broadbeach at Broadbeach on Saturday, June 29th at 2.00 pm
B: Luke Mitchell Luca Winton Brenton Saunders
HB: David Lewis (Capt) Riley Greene, Claye Beams
C: Bruce Reville Ryan Harwood Tom Baulch
HF: Aaron Highlands Brody Lumber Dan Edwards
F: Macauley Lonergan Jack Austin Harrison Kerr
Rucks: Samson Ryan
Rover: Gareth Crawford
I/C: Ethan Sivijs, Will Fletcher, Riley Easton, Kale Reed
In: Kale Reed, Harrison Kerr, Aaron Highlands
Out: Drew Mitchell (inj) , Zane Lovell (Reserves) , Lachie Dennis (unavailable)