East Wagga-Kooringal won’t be changing their game to counter Andy Carey this Saturday, despite The Rock-Yerong Creek star’s 10-goal haul last weekend.
Carey lit up Maher Oval with an explosive start and a dominant finish, kicking six goals in the last quarter to get the Magpies home against North Wagga.
Hawks coach Gavin McMahon was impressed but not surprised.
“I think it’s like everyone at this time of year, they’ve all got their weapons and if you allow them to play to those weapons you’re going to be in trouble,” McMahon said.
“He’s an experienced footballer at pretty high levels so you’d expect him to be doing that on the back of some good ball.
“He knows how to play on the big stage.”
The Hawks aren’t drawing up any special plans to counter the former Albury Tigers star.
“We’ve been playing the same all year against all different sorts of forward lines and we’re not about to change anything.”
McMahon was quick to point to his own star full forward when asked if he’d seen a performance like it this season.
“I've probably seen Marc Geppert do that a few times this year,” he said.
'I've probably seen Marc Geppert do that a few times this year.'Gavin McMahon, East Wagga-Kooringal coach
“When you’ve got an accomplished forward at the front end and they're getting good ball then they’re going to be hard to stop.
“Gep kicked nine against Temora in round one and it was one of the best games I’ve seen him play.”
With a spot in the grand final up for grabs, McMahon isn’t expecting a shoot-out saying finals can often be dour, contested affairs.
But he’s wary of what the Pies are capable of.
“They looked like they were about to get going at times then didn’t, but it makes you nervous because they looked like they could explode a couple of times.”
EWK have beaten the Magpies in two meetings this year and McMahon points out they’ve been undermanned at the back in both encounters.
Fullback Trent Garner was out when Carey kicked eight at Gumly early in the year, and centre halfback Blake Aichinger was missing in the return match at The Rock.
McMahon believes the midfield is where the game will be won and lost given both sides have the ability to make the most of their opportunities.