Meningie v Mannum
The Bears and the Roos go head-to-head in a top-of-the-table round 16 clash at Meningie on Saturday.
With the sides tied on 22 premiership points with season records of 11 wins and two losses, the victor will go a game clear on top of the table and will take a great deal of confidence into the finals.
This match looms as a blockbuster between the two premiership favourites.
Both sides head into the clash coming off wins with the Bears defeating Tailem Bend by 21 points and the Roos knocking off Jervois by 18 last weekend.
Despite the season has proving to be as even as any in recent memory, Meningie have winners all over the ground and, if all guns are firing, the Bears look hard to stop.
Brodie Martin is instrumental for the Bears either in the middle or from half back, Karl Lohde, Brian Fenton and Myles Warmington have been in hot form in the midfield and Tyson Schmid and Harry Slee are also having good seasons.
Jed Durdin is the Bears’ main target up forward while scoring regularly comes from the running midfield for Meningie
Meningie’s Peter Nelson will have an entertaining battle with Mannum’s Jake Bowen in the ruck as they battle to give their talented onballers first use.
Star Mannum player Levi Krause hasn’t played since the middle of June and the longer he is on the injury list the harder the rest of the Roos’ midfielders will have to work, while playing coach Michael O’Malley has also missed the last two games.
The X factor is Gene Robinson.
The Roos’ forward averages 6.5 goals a game and with three games to play and 85 goals to his tally, he is on track to kick 100 goals in the minor round.
He has kicked bags of eight and seven against Meningie this year but he will need some help in the scoring department this week.
Young Roos Callum Cook, Everette Giles and Ben Wiblin stood up last weekend to get the job done and the younger players will need to be at their best again if they are to win this weekend.
However, the Bears seem to have more guns firing and with the home ground advantage and the recent 47-point win by the Bears over the Roos at Meningie in round 13, the home side will start favourites for this clash
The Standard’s tip: Meningie, 11-20 points.
Imperials v Ramblers
Imperials will host Ramblers for the third meeting between the cross-town rivals this season.
The Blues and the Roosters have shared the wins from their two meetings so bragging rights will be on the line as the sides fight to take out the season series over the arch-enemy.
However, there is more on the line than bragging rights for the Roosters. While Imperials are anchored on the bottom of the ladder, the Roosters are playing to lock in a finals position.
The Reds are currently one game ahead of Tailem Bend in fifth spot and with three games to go and a similar percentage, wins are crucial.
The first time the sides met, the Roosters won by nine points and in round 10 the Blues recorded their second win of the season by two points, so not much has separated the two sides.
Ramblers og into this match after the bye last weekend but head into the match in reasonable form.
Before the break the Roosters beat Tailem Bend by 19 points to firm as favourites to hold on to a finals spot and before that clash, the Reds lost to the two teams above them, Mypolonga and Jervois by one and two points respectively.
Jarrad Weyland, Patrick O’Neil and Brandon Thiele have been consistent contributors for the Roosters this season, Alex Pfeiffer, Matthew Thompson and Matt Altmann are all talented players and the introduction of Ben Dougall into the Rambler side adds some class.
Imperials’ ruckman Matthew Williams has performed well all season giving his midfielders Dylan Hollitt, Phil Smith and Daniel Girdham first use while being important around the ground.
Both team field young players who look promising and it should be a good battle betweent he up-and-coming players on each side’s list. Ramblers have too much to play for and should not drop this match.
The Standard’s tip: Ramblers, 31-40 points.
Tailem Bend v Mypolonga
The final game of round 16 will see Tailem Bend host Mypolonga in what is an important clash for the Eagles as they strive to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
The sides have met twice this season with Tailem Ben taking out the first meeting at Mypolonga before a resurgent Mypolonga side got their revenge over the Eagles with a 46-point win at Tailem Bend.
On that day, the Tigers were first to the ball and far too slick for the Eagles, who will need to show a fair bit of improvement if they are to win this match.
The Tigers are in hot form and have won five out of their last six matches and sit four games clear in third place, not far off the top two sides.
When Tailem Bend beat Mypolonga earlier in the season, James Moss did not kick a goal and was playing further up the ground.
However, on the smaller confines of the Tailem Bend oval, Moss kicked eight and helped the Tigers to a comfortable win. Ben Gogel is having a stellar season, Corey Jones is a general in defence for the Tigers and might get the job on Tailem Bend’s Scott Welsh.
Seamus Mcdonnell and Lachlan Butler are playing well while for Tailem Bend the form of Harrison Westhoff, former Tiger Daniel Bartlett and Michael Sumner has been pleasing.
The Standard tip: Mypolonga, 21-30 points.