The Western Magpies start 5 weeks of elimination finals when they travel to Hawthorne to play the equal second Morningside in QAFL Round 14 action on Saturday.
There are 5 home and away rounds left this year and the Pies essentially have to win all of them to make the finals.
The Pies have been in most contests this season for only 3 wins but in the 8 losses just could not find a way to win the tight contests much like 2018, however one match in which they were well beaten was 6 weeks ago against Morningside.
The Pies will be out to show that that loss was an aberration and only have to look back to 2018 when Morningside came to Sherwood for a clean sweep of victories early in the season, only for the Magpies to travel to Jack Esplen Oval and return the favour including a 100+ point demolition in the Senior game.
The Pies have three changes to the side, one forced with Claye Beams at a wedding and Jack Austin and Macauley Lonergan both go to the Reserves to regain their early season form. David Lewis has overcome an ankle with a lot of hard work to take his place in the side.
In comes key on baller Ryan Harwood after missing a match with a thigh niggle and also in is Gerard Moore for his first Senior match in six years after compelling Reserves form--he has not played a bad game this season. Moore, a previous club captain and dual Premiership player will be no stranger to the increased intensity of Senior football and will more than hold his own in the ruck battles. Also in is rugged on-baller Gareth Crawford and he was missed in the engine room after being unavailable last week.
The Pies Intensity at the contest was good last week but it was the class of the Lions that wore them down. Morningside are a physically strong team and the Pies will need to bring their traditional "hard at it persona" to match the home team.
Moore and Samson Ryan will need to match the twin towers of Morningside to give the Pies a hope of winning the contested ball. Harwood and Crawford back in boost the Pies midfield
Moving the ball quickly will be essentialy ot give the Pies forwards a chance one out, especially the in-form Brodie Lumber who has been marking everything in recent weeks!
Down back the Pies have generally been miserly and will need to be again to keep the Panthers forwards in check. Youngsters Riley Greene and Ethan Sivijs have grown into the role and have been leading lights this year and Luca Winton has been a model of consistency. Lewis proving his fitness is a bonus for the Pies and Brenton Saunders has been in good form across half back this year.
The Magpies are still exuding good vibes and will be out to upset the Panthers and keep their flickering finals hopes alive.
QAFL Round 14: Western Magpies v Morningside at Morningside on Saturday, July 13th at 2.00 pm
B: Luke Mitchell Luca Winton Brenton Saunders
HF: Riley Greene, Jack Goodall, Ethan Sivijs
C: William Johnson Will Fletcher Rhett Lloyd
HF: Harrison Kerr Brody Lumber Dan Edwards
F: Zane Lovell Samson Ryan Kale Reed
Rucks: Aaron Highlands
Rover: Riley Easton
I/C: David Lewis Gerard Moore, Gareth Crawford, Lachie Dennis
In: Ryan Harwood, Gareth Crawford, Gerard Moore
Out: Claye Beams (wedding), Jack Austin, Macauley Lonergan (both Reserves)