Focus on Easts Magpies

Wests Magpies coach Josh Garden expects better from his troops.
Wests Magpies coach Josh Garden expects better from his troops. Murray Wenzel

EASTS Magpies coach Josh Garden hopes his team will run into its clash with Across The Waves tomorrow a little humbler and a little wiser.

Easts were sent tumbling from the top of the ladder last Sunday by competition stragglers Wests who mounted a shock 28-22 victory.

Garden said cockiness and over-confidence cost his side dearly in the clash and has set to work shrinking the egos of his players.

“We didn't give Wests the respect they deserved,” he said.

“We took them too lightly and they made us pay for it pretty convincingly.”

Garden has told players solid, safe and consistent football is needed if the team is to be a finals force and warned against fancy footwork and flashy flourishes.

“We need to concentrate on cutting down on errors and holding on to the football,” he said.

“The tricky stuff is good at times but you need to know when to use it and when to try and keep it simple.”

Garden said the loss to Wests had sent some players in his team crashing back down to earth and hoped a more measured and careful approach to Across The Waves would be successful.

“They might not be at the top of the table but they're a quality side and we need to treat them accordingly,” he said.

Easts will be boosted by the return of renegade five-eighth Matt Tanner who will return to the fray after a foot injury.

“He's a key player for us and he couldn't have come back at a better time,” he said.

With only three games left in the regular season, Garden said keeping the resurgent Across The Waves in check would be essential in securing his team's spot in the finals.

“It's an important game for us and we'll be treating it accordingly,” he said.

“The boys need to treat it like it's our last and bring their best game.”