By The Remostrator
The Red Lions Reserves co-captain takes a look at what the weekend has in store for his side as they take on Palm Beach in a qualifying final. Despite earning a second-chance the boys will be eager to impress upon the competition their finals ambitions from week 1. A victory will see the 2’s take on Surfers Paradise for a place in the Grand Final.
Palm Beach Currumbin v University of Queensland
Last time they met:
Palm Beach Currumbin 21.11-137 defeated University of Queensland 4.6-30
An undefeated streak which stretched back to 2011 was abruptly ended by the home team as they showed themselves to be true premiership contenders.
The Red Lions travelled south absolutely decimated by injuries and felt the wrath of an excellent football side that used the ball well, particularly of half back.
The away side only managed four for the day with coaches Burgo and Wilkinson both drafted in at the eleventh hour. On the other side the goals were raining in with the league’s leading goal kicker, Bryce Dyer shredding it up kicking 5.
Qualifying Final Preview
The varsity lads make the daunting trip south after a stirring come from behind effort against Maroochydore in the last round of the home and away season. Their opposition primed up for the finals with a respectable loss to the undefeated minor premiers, Surfers Paradise. Despite finishing on equal points Palm Beach finished the higher due to their superior percentage.
The Red Lions have announced a team with only seven survivors from the previous encounter in round 8. They welcome back key defenders Tom Gehrmann and Sean Westerhuis as well as hard nut Mark Keighly.
The winner of this game gets a chance to play off for a spot in the GF next week and the boys are raring to go after a spirited finish to the home and away season.
Players to Watch
The outstanding defender at the club over the last 5 seasons took a step back from senior football this year to focus on family and his duties promoting the paddle pop company. The Seniors’ loss was however the Reserves gain as the G-Train quickly established himself as a crucial cog in the young reserves outfit. His ability to read the flight of the ball and to take intercept marks is matched only by his decision making. He faces a tough task containing the league’s leading forward but the team feel well equipped with the quiet and unassuming Tommy G marshalling the troops from the backline.
Named in the team’s best in six of his 13 games this year, including three in the last four weeks the man with excellent bendurance is hitting form at the right time. Two weeks ago he nailed an absolute bomb on the run from outside 50 and his involvement and impact on the game have both continued to develop throughout the season. Watch for both he and his fleet footed companion D’Roza to have an impact as the reserves play time on for the first time this year.
The man female umpires love to hate has had a late season renaissance after spending much of the year yo-yoing between seniors and reserves. In a coaching masterstroke last week the normal fullback was switched up forward to good effect. With sticky hands and a penchant for back chat Doherty could be the x-factor in the forward half. Watch for Disco to provide some much needed support to talisman Nick Mayes deep in the forward line.