IMPERIALS are heading into the 2012 finals series with some very patchy form over the last month.
Eight weeks ago it was Imperials then daylight but you have to be careful when flirting with form, especially at the business end.
The Roosters exposed their lack of pace through the midfield and the easy entry Ramblers were able to obtain in their scoring zone was a tad embarrassing.
They couldn’t contain the big Rambler forward Matthew Altmann who finished with a match-winning seven goals while at the opposite end of the ground the Blues had Luke Harrowfield as their only effective forward.
The loss of gun ruckman Adam Davey has hurt them.
The big man was a vital cog in the Imperial machine and now the Blues are forced to use Kerren Hall and Ben Quast in this role which robs Peter to pay Paul.
Shane Collins is revered as the miracle worker and he is going to need to be because its starts to get serious from here on.
Ramblers thrive on the wide open spaces of Johnstone Park as twice this season the Reds have demolished Imperials at the venue.
Imperials prefer the tighter confines of LeMessurier and that’s where the replay will take place Saturday next.
Collins has seven days to find seven goals.
He got nothing from his big forward Matt Kowald and he will be looking for him to add to his tally of 53 goals this season.
Imperials didn’t get a great deal from Phil Smith who has had a pretty good year.
“Harry” Wait dropped a chest mark, his first in six years and many punters who follow his progress were left speechless and they have a lot of players down on form.
Up until Saturday, Ramblers’ form was of a similar vein but they came ready to play on Saturday.
Matthew Thompson fired up and gave them a safe avenue.
Jarrad Weyland did some nice work in and under and Lloyd McIntyre, the number one tiler in RMFL football, was very effective streaming out of defence.
The ability of Alfie Gollan to weave through traffic and hit the target was a telling factor in the Roosters’ 35-point win.
Can the Roosters back it up next week at headquarters or was it a flash in the pan or can the Blues bounce back and preserve their record at LeMessurier?
The wooden spoon was decided at Tailem Bend when the home side was defeated by the narrow margin of two points as Jervois relegated them to the bottom of the table.
Pre-match, the rumours were flying that Jervois coach Chris Ladhams had been sacked and wouldn’t be taking part in the match.
It’s hard to separate the rumours from the facts as he didn’t take his place in the starting line-up and Jervois took to the field with stand-in coach Shawn Hicks.
Hicks must have cranked the Bluds up as they had plenty of the football but just couldn’t finish off.
At half-time Jervois had 15 shots to seven but still only led by 13 points.
It was a tight second half and Tailem Bend closed the gap to trail by two points at the last change and in the finish that two points got Jervois over the line.
Nick Wark, with eight goals in a losing side and suffering a hamstring injury was the best forward on the ground by a street.
Jarryd Linde finished the season strongly but Jervois got the chocolates with the cagey Brett White bagging four goals and tough ruckman Jim Lyon going off with a bang.
Both sides had disappointing seasons and they will be looking to rebuild over summer by re-signing all their contract players and with both clubs searching for new coaches it’s a busy few months ahead for their administration.
The Mypolonga Tigers have firmed into favouritism for the 2012 premiership by demolishing the Mannum Roos by 74 points.
The Tigers won every quarter and did it in convincing fashion.
They have won there last eight games and have rocketed to the top of the RMFL ladder and they are going to take some beating in the run home. The Tigers haven’t won a premiership since 1994 and currently have the longest running drought of any team in the competition.
The big query over the Tigers is can they stand up under the pressure of finals football?
They have a three-pronged attack with Brad Martin, Simon Hatch and Gene Robinson all scoring heavily and banging through 13 goals against Mannum and the gun run and carry player Adam Eckermann having hit a rich vein of form.
He must be coming home at a rate of knots that should see him figure in Mail Medal calculations.
The inability of the Mannum Roos to score heavily will weigh against them heading into finals.
They don’t put teams away and when you rely on the smaller running players to kick your score it’s never going to be enough.
The Tigers have earned top spot but with only one game in a month they go into a finals series underdone whilst the Mannum Roos head to Meningie for a knockout final knowing one bad quarter can end their season.