The Western Magpies face another virtual elimination final when they travel to the Gold Coast to do battle with the second placed Surfers Paradise in the final home and away QAFL round on Saturday.
The Pies have been playing on the edge for the last three rounds and have scraped into fifth place but must still win on Saturday then watch the scoreline in the Mt Gravatt-Labrador match to calculate the percentages.
The Magpies and Demons are arguably the form teams of the competition and with the home team playing for a home Qualifying Final and the Pies for a finals appearance this is a high stakes contest-- just like a finals game in fact!!
The Magpies have made 3 forced changes at selection with Samson Ryan, Bruce Reville and Caleb Franks called into the Redlands team. In comes Macauley Lonergan, Lachie Dennis and Ben Jaenke-Cain. Lonergan was the Pies best in the Reserves last week and Jaenke-Cain has been consistent for many weeks in the Reserves and has kept his chin up and deserves his recall-- you know what you are going to get from the former Bill Peirce Medallist.
The Pies forward line, dysfunctional at times in the early part of the season, has found its mojo and with more direct ball coming into the forward half it allows the class of Ryan Harwood, Claye Beams and Brodie Lumber to contest one-out and they will all win more of those than they lose.
In Gerard Moore the Pies have a class ruckman who will more than provide a contest and the Pies a fair share of the ball and with Riley Easton, Will Fletcher and Gareth Crawford all in good form the Pies willget plenty of contested ball to get the ball moving forward.
The back six remain unchanged and have been superb in recent weeks, led by skipper David Lewis and fullback Luca Winton, who has had another great season. Riley Greene, this week's QAFL Rising Star nominee, and another youngster in Ethan Sivijs have both been superb all season with their consistency exceptional for two teenagers holding down positions in the back 6.
Aaron Highlands and Jack Goodall have both been consistent players and have played the roles coach Brydan Morgan asks them to and also give Morgan flexibility as both can play forward, back or in the ruck/midfield.
Well, the equation is simple--win and hope the other result goes their way, lose and its curtains for the season. The Magpies will be keen to reverse last year's final round result when they lost to the Demons and missed finals in somewhat of an upset. This will be played with finals like intensity and with the Magpies playing their best football of the year will be quietly confident of victory.
QAFL Round 19: Western Magpies v Surfers Paradise at Surfers Paradise on Saturday, August 17th at 2.00 pm
B: Luke Mitchell Luca Winton Brenton Saunders
HF: Riley Greene, Jack Goodall, David Lewis
C: Will Fletcher Ryan Harwood Dan Edwards
HF: Claye Beams Liam Dwyer Val Pope
F: Kale Reed Brodie Lumber Aaron Highlands
Rucks: Gerard Moore
Rover: Riley Easton
I/C: Ethan Sivijs, Lachie Dennis, Macauley Lonergan, Ben Jaenke-Cain