IMPERIALS’ 2018 River Murray Football League campaign kicks off this weekend as they travel to Tailem Bend to take on the Eagles for the Leahy-Kneebone Cup.
The Blues had a round one bye and will be keen to impress while Tailem Bend will be looking to jump into the winners’ circle after a big loss to Ramblers.
The matches between the Bears and the Bluds and the Roos and the Roosters should be cracking contests while Mypolonga have a week off with the round two bye.
TAILEM BEND v IMPERIALS
Tailem Bend plays host to Imperials for the annual Leahy-Kneebone Cup clash.
The game is played in honour of Stephanie Leahy and Molly Kneebone who lost their lives in car accidents and the yearly cup clash has preserved the girls’ memories on the footy field and netball court while promoting road safety.
This cup was donated by the Motor Accident Commission in memory of well-respected Imperial Football Club member Stephanie Leahy who was killed at age 18 in a road accident at Mypolonga in 2010.
In 2014, the Leahy family invited the Kneebone family, who lost their daughter and Tailem Bend netballer, Molly, in a motor vehicle accident, to be part of the special day.
Imperials won the trophy for the first six years until last year when Tailem Bend won the cup for the first time.
Tailem Bend come head into round two after disappointing first up display against Ramblers.
The Eagles started well but conceded 10 goals in the third quarter to go down to a spirited Roosters’ side by 58 points.
Imperials are coming into the match off a round one bye so it will be new Blues coach Scott McMahon’s introduction to River Murray football.
The former AFL player will take the field as a playing coach and believes his team is ready to lift from their bottom placing in 2017 and content for finals in 2018.
McMahon told The Standard last week his side had “trained hard, listened, learned and want to get off the bottom of the ladder.”
McMahon identified a key deficiency from Imperials’ 2017 side as missing a reliable goal-scoring target and set about fixing it with the introduction of goal-kicker Johnny Boras into the line up.
Boras is coming off seasons of 58 and 80 goals for Torrens Valley in Hills division one and if he can get on top of Tailem Bend’s defence, led by Harry Westhoff and Jarryd Linde, he could prove a match winner.
In addition of the big inclusions of McMahon and Boras, familiar faces are returning to the club and will provide experience and leadership to what is a young squad.
Luke Harrowfield is back in Blue; he has been on of the league’s best players this decade and a massive inclusion for Imperials.
Gareth Williams is also making his return to the club and is a proven performer in the midfield.
Tailem Bend welcomed forward Brad Hartman, midfielder Benn Crate and defender Jake Ferraro for their first games with the club last week and all should be better for the run with their new team.
All will be important players for the Eagles and they each can make a big impact on this game.
The Eagles have a few injury concerns with a number of players coming of the ground last week which could force a few changes.
Tailem Bend forward Daniel Perks left the ground just before half time and the Eagles struggled to adjust so they will be hoping he can get up for this week’s match.
The Eagles held the wood over Imperials last year but Tailem Bend did not bring a four quarter effort last week and the league is too close to get away with that without getting burned.
An inability to combat Ramblers’ midfield run last week will need to be addressed for the Eagles to enter the winner’s circle this week.
The Blues may come in a bit rusty and could take a while to get used to a new coach.
However, given the experience that has been injected into the side and with the prospects of more player availability with a better run with injury then last year, expect the Blues to improve this year.
The Standard’s tip: Imperials, 11-20 points.
- 9 S. Clay
- 49 B. Crate
- 5 J. Ferraro
- 33 A. Gollan
- 24 B. Hartman
- 7 D. Hogarth
- 48 M. Holland
- 51 N. Johnson
- 21 J. Linde
- 6 W. Lipp
- 2 W. Luckett
- 19 J. Marino
- 30 S. Martin
- J. Merritt
- 17 D. Perks
- 13 J. Smedley
- 15 H. Westhoff
- 11 N. Westhoff
- 47 K. White
- 11 J. Boras
- 24 J. Clarke
- 17 K. Daish
- 18 N. Daish
- 9 B. Dalitz
- 15 L. DeMichele
- 1 L. Harrowfield
- 28 J. Honner
- 19 D. Leech
- 5 B. Lienert
- 12 M. Lienert
- 7 B. Martin
- 53 S. McMahon
- 3 J. Rance
- 44 G. Rigney
- 2 G. Williams
- 27 M. Williams
- 8 J. Laube
- 21 J. McLaren
MENINGIE v JERVOIS
In what is looming as the match of the round, early flag favourites Jervois head to Meningie to take on the Bears.
Meningie made a big statement last week, beating the reigning premiers at Mypolonga.
The Tigers were minus a few regulars but the core of their premiership stars were there and the win was an impressive showing from a new-look Meningie side.
Meningie coach Ryan Lewis has taken the reigns of a side that has lost half last year’s best 21 players but the Bears proved they are up to the challenge with a round one win.
The league got it’s first look at Paynter brothers Will and Seb and they lived up to expectations with solid performances.
Fellow new Bear Alex Scott was also good while Sam Sanders and Scott Biddle will be hoping to take their good round one form into this weekend’s match.
The Bears’ list is still headlined by some of the best in the competition.
The Standard Medalist Brodie Martin, State country ruckman Peter Nelson, the returning Peter Reichelt, Harrison Slee and the likes of Trae Rigney and Greg Saddlier make for a strong roster.
Was the weekend’s result a show of strength from a side who refuses to slide down the ladder despite massive personnel changes or did they catch the Tigers off guard?
Only time will tell, but what we do know is Lewis will have his men primed to take on Jervois, who boasts the best list in the competition.
For the Bluds, they hit the road after a gritty home win over a high-quality opponent in Mannum.
Justin Hardy was brilliant with six goals, Matthew Kempe heads into the game in solid form while local products Ryan McKaye and the returning James Cobbledick are proof that the Bluds have a great mixture of imported and local talent.
New Blud Taite Silverlock got his first run in the River Murray and made his mark. The Bluds had a few out and are expected to get stronger as players return.
Playing coach Ryan Willits has set high expectations in 2018 and will be hunting a round two win at Meningie – a venue that hasn’t been a happy hunting-ground for many teams in recent history.
The Standard’s tip: Jervois, 11-20 points.
- 47 H. Barnett
- 22 Z. Barry
- 4 S. Chandler
- 12 J. Cobbledick
- 15 R. Fischer
- 16 B. Gabell
- 25 T. Gibson
- 2 J. Hardy
- 27 M. Kemp
- 11 J. Kluske
- 31 L. Kluske
- 18 T. Kluske
- 33 O. Love
- 9 R. McKaye
- 5 J. Noye
- 17 M. Noye
- 7 C. Robins
- 20 T. Robinson
- 42 H. Schulz
- 10 T. Silverlock
- 1 R. Willits
- Not listed
MANNUM v RAMBLERS
Mannum hosts Ramblers in another round two match that has the makings of a thrilling contest. Mannum will be hoping to make amends after a narrow loss against the Bluds at Jervois.
Despite the five-point defeat, Mannum will take plenty positives from their round one showing. New Mannum recruit Billy Hayes wasted no time getting busy with a solid performance living up to his reputation as a ball-winner.
Mannum’s Jye DeZyla looks set for another big season while Matthew Williams reminded us all he’s a classy performer. Anthony Cooper was also good on debut for the Roos.
Mannum forward Gene Robinson kicked a bag of seven majors, Levi Krause hit the scoreboard with three and while they didn’t get the win, Mannum coach Michael O’Malley is sure to have seen good signs.
Ramblers started their season with an impressive win over Tailem Bend. It took them a half to shake off their opponents but then they buried the Eagles with a 10-goal third quarter.
They were full of run and impressive with their use of the football.
New coach Scott Prebble told The Standard it might take his group a while to get used to his new structures and game plan but it would appear they are up and running with a pretty handy style of football.
Runners in 2016 premiership player Clinton Walker, new recruit Ronald Rankine Jnr, young gun Jacob Trevorrow, and stalwart Jared Weyland were all on song.
Returning players Kieran Yankas and Ben Dougall were good up forward kicking seven goals between them.
Superstar veteran Muffy Kartinyeri played in his son’s debut and Brayden impressed in his first game with three goals.
The Roosters speed is complimented by their big men in ruckman Nick Pearce, defender Matt Altmann and Yakas.
The big oval at Mannum may suit the Roosters’ runners, negating any home-ground advantage. This is a match that could go either - the Roosters look like they have an even spread but must restrict Mannum’s scoring.
The Standard’s tip: Mannum, 1-10 points.
- J. Bormann
- J. Boylan
- Z. Bullard
- C. Cook
- J. Cook
- A. Cooper
- J. De Zylva
- E. Giles
- I. Hampel
- B. Hayes
- B. Herrmann
- M. Heward
- C. Horstmann
- D. Inglis
- L. Krause
- D. Laubsch
- K. Loechel
- M. O'Malley
- G. Robinson
- B. Tabe
- D. Walker
- B. Webster
- M. Williams
- J. Woollard
- No listed