River Murray football clubs will resume their 2018 premiership campaigns after last weekend’s week off as the association made it’s return to interleague football.
Despite River Murray losing the match to the Hills, the return to representative football was met with much fan-fare and would be considered a success with a large crowd gathering at LeMessurier Oval to watch the league’s most talented players.
Before club fixtures were put on hold for the long weekend representative action, round nine proved to deliver many talking points with some upset wins to make for an exciting round in store.
Meningie won at Jervois, Mannum well and truly got over the top of Ramblers in two upsets while the third match saw Imperials hold off a fast-finishing Tailem Bend side as the Blues recorded their fourth win in a row.
MANNUM v IMPERIALS
The Blues travel to the Mannum Showgrounds on Saturday, chasing their fifth straight victory.
However, the home side will head into this clash full of confidence as their last outing was their best performance to date.
The Roos rolled the Roosters in round nine with a clinical performance at LeMessurier Oval.
Gene Robinson was instrumental with an 11-goal haul as Mannum rolled the top side by 44 points and the Roos proved what they were capable of on any given Saturday.
Mannum midfielder Billy Hayes continued his good form and is having a great seaosn at his new club and as Mannum’s star players all get going, they are going to be hard to beat.
That Mannum star power was on show last week in the interleague game as three of the sides five best players were Roos; Levi Krause, who won the medal as River Murray’s best, Jye De Zylva and Matthew Williams.
Krause started the season battling an injury but he’s getting better and better as the season goes while Jye De Zylva is enjoying another solid season in his second year at the Roos.
Playing coach Michael O’Malley is the general in the back half for his side and while the Roos do lack some depth, he’ll know their top end talent is as good as any going around and he will be confident going into every match in the back half of the season.
The Roos will also be buoyed by the fact they managed to get on top of the Blues in their round three clash.
However, Imperials have now improved to second on the table and are on a hot run.
They have had solid wins against Tailem Bend, Jervois, Ramblers and away to an improving Meningie side and, like Mannum, the Blues are growing each week.
Star player Luke Harrowfield leads from the front, Matthew Williams missed round nine but has been in good touch while Gareth Williams, playing-coach Scott Mcmahon and captain James Clarke have all been solid.
Big Blue Johnny Boras has been impressive so far this season and he gives Imperials a big target up forward.
Mcmahon has his troops playing a good brand of football. This match will be an interesting clash between two sides on the rise and will feature some of the competition’s in-form stars.
The result could go either way but on the back of Mannum’s big round nine showing and with their stars standing up while on interleague duty, we’ll back the Roos.
The Standard’s tip: Mannum, 1-10.
MENINIGE v RAMBLERS
Another round 10 blockbuster will be the match between the Bears and the Roosters at Meningie.
It’s the first-placed Ramblers verses Meningie, who are fifth on the premiership table, but the standings do not indicate a clear favourite. Ramblers copped a bit of a pasting last round while Meningie impressed with a solid win over the highly-fancied Jervois side.
Last time the two sides met, Ramblers won by two goals at LeMessurier Oval.
However, this clash is down at Meningie which is a tough assignment at the best of times, let alone when the Bears are up and about on the back of good performances.
The Bears have won three of their last four matches to improve their record to four wins and four losses.
Meningie’s star players in William and Seb Paynter and Peter Nelson have been good each week. Meningie captain Brodie Martin co-captained the River Murray team last week and Harry Slee, Scott Biddle and Sam Sanders all did well to represent the league.
Ramblers have the best record in the competition with five wins, two losses and a draw and are still leading the charge for the 2018 premiership.
They have hit a few hurdles but overall they have been the best performing club in a tight league and are led by some quality performers.
Big Nick Pearce has been awesome in ruck, Cilnton Walker, Ronald Rankine, Aaron Pratt, Patrick O’Neil and Jarrad Weyland have been solid in the midfield and Kieran Yakas has good in the forward half.
Matthew Altmann co-captain the River Murray association side and has enjoyed some more time forward in recent weeks.
Pratt, Yakas, Weyland, O’Neil and Pearce all joined Altmann on association duties last week and played well. Meningie could easily win this clash, but Ramblers have the runs on the board and will start slight favourites.
The Standard’s tip: Ramblers, 1-10.
MYPOLONGA v JERVOIS
Mypolonga host Jervois for their round 10 clash and the Bluds will be out to get some revenge.
The Tigers pumped the undermanned Jervois side by 54 points in round three and the Bluds will be out to turn that result around.
It will be an interesting contest between third and fourth on the premiership table; the Tigers hold the spot above the Bluds by one premiership point.
Mypolonga had the bye before the association fixture so it will be 21 days between matches for the Tigers. Will this break have a negative effect on Steve Sumner’s men? In their last outing, the Tigers won an important clash at Meningie, but before that they were smashed by a rampaging Ramblers side.
Mypolonga have been with their own injury concerns too, however the regular star performers continue to stand up.
Clint Diment, Jake Altmann, Lachlan Butler, Mitchell Bowley and Ben Gogel have all been solid while James Moss has had some match-winning performances this year and young Kobe Wilson continues his rise as one of the competition’s stars.
Jervois, on the other hand, have a star-studded list, ready to explode in the second half of the season.
Taite Silverlock has been outstanding, Justin Hardy is pure class, Luke Kluske is standing up and young kids like Hayden Schulz and Zane Barry have been solid.
Combine these players with stars like Owen Love, Ryan Willits, Tony Gibson, Peter Zarantonello and Matthew Kempe, and the Bluds have a side that can win each week.
However, the reigning premiers Mypolonga have proven it’s not the list on the park, it’s the application of its players to work hard for its team. Sumner’s men will start favourites on Saturday.
The Standard’s tip: Mypolonga, 11-20 points.