RMFL preview, round 11, 2018: Spearheads to face off

Imperials will host Mypolonga at Johnstone Park for the round 11 clash between the second-placed Blues and the fourth-placed Tigers.

Imperials head into this clash with a better win-loss record and in better form.

The Blues have won their last five games and are quickly emerging as one of the favourites for the premiership.

However, the reigning title holders Mypolonga – who are also expected to be in the race come finals time – won’t be too concerned by Imperials’ form.

It was the Tigers who last beat Imperials, back in round four, by 13 points.

Mypo's James Moss kicked eight goals that day and while Blue Johnny Boras kicked a bag of seven himself, it was the Tigers who got on top.

The Tigers score more than the Blues but have also conceded higher scores than Imperials.

Moss has kicked 41 goals from eight games while Boras has kicked 38 in the same time period, so both sides have key targets who are in form, kicking big bags.

Mypolonga got stitched up by Jervois last weekend after their back-to-back byes and they have won just two of their last four matches with a big loss to Ramblers in their recent history.

To win this week, Mypolonga will need their stars to stand tall.

Premiership heroes Moss, Clint Diment, Ben Gogel and Lachlan Butler never let the side down and all will have to be at their best this week.

Mitchell Bowley and Nathan Wright have been back in the side after a few weeks out with injury and strengthen the list, while Corey Jones played his first game of the season on Saturday.

Imperials have had many contributors in recent weeks.

Luke Harrowfield has been a standout performer but missed last weekend’s match, in which the likes of Jamie Honner stood up and got the Blues over the line.

Gareth Williams, Matthew Williams and Scott McMahon are good every week and the wins keep piling up.

Mypolonga coach Steve Sumner is a smart man and he’ll know his men can bring an end to Imperials’ winning streak.

However, on form, the Blues must start favourites.

  • The Standard’s tip: Imperials, 1-10 points.

RAMBLERS v JERVOIS

Jervois heads to LeMessurier Oval to take on Ramblers for the first meeting between the two sides since their round four draw.

Both of these sides mean business in 2018; the Roosters are on top of the ladder while Jervois are third, just one win behind.

This clash has all the makings of a blockbuster.

The Roosters have won three of their last five matches while Jervois have also won three out of their last five.

Jervois will go into the match with plenty of confidence after turning the tables on Mypolonga.

The all-star Jervois list has had a few hiccups along the way, including a pasting by the Tigers earlier in the year, so to turn the tables and record a big win over the reigning premiers is exactly what the Bluds needed.

Owen Love was sensational with a four-goal best on ground performance.

His work means he is not available for each match but when he is, the Bluds are often at their best.

Justin Hardy continued to star up forward, Matthew Kemp is enjoying a fantastic season and former Mypolonga player Luke Kluske is really starting to his some form in his second year at the Bluds.

For Ramblers, they head into this match after a big win down at Meningie.

The Roosters have been impressive much of the season but like the Bluds, a few hiccups have brought them back to the field of up about five premiership contenders.

Ramblers have a good list and a smart coach in Scott Prebble and if the Roosters can restrict Hardy’s scoring, they will get a lot closer to a win.

Hardy has kicked 41 goals for the season but no other Blud has hit double figures on the goal kicking table.

Big Nick Pearce has been in top form in the ruck, Riley Vanson is playing the best football of his career in recent weeks and the likes of Aaron Pratt, Jacob Trevorrow, Jarred Weyland and Ronald Rankine are hard-working performers who are always busy.

Kieran Yakas, Rankine and David Wilson are among the goal kickers most weeks and the Roosters score more than any side in the competition.

It should be a fantastic game between two sides who are eyeing off the 2018 premiership.

Last time the sides met, it was a draw.

Could we see another one this weekend?

  • The Standard’s tip: Ramblers, 1-10 points.

TAILEM BEND v MANNUM

Tailem Bend hosts Mannum for their round 11 clash in a meeting between the two teams outside of the top five.

Mannum are sixth with three wins, just a game outside of top five while it is a different tale for Tailem Bend.

The Eagles are zero wins and eight losses and despite some promising form, it looks unlikely the Eagles can recover and play finals in 2018.

It’s been a horror season for Tailem Bend.

The Eagles lost their coach a few weeks back, they’ve lost Steven Clay who returned to his home club and forward Mackenzie Hasen is set to miss games with injury.

Everything seems to have gone wrong for the Eagles but to their credit, Tailem Bend continues to fight under stand-in coach Clint Rigney.

The Eagles lost by only two goals in both of their most recent matches against the top two sides in Ramblers and Imperials.

Tailem Bend are around the mark, but just can’t seem to get the job done and now they host the Roos after a 21-day break and without some of their key players.

Mannum, on the other hand, have been better than their season record suggests.

They have only three wins and many tight losses.

The Roos lost to Imperials in a low-scoring tight match on Saturday and the match prior, the Roos pumped Ramblers in Mannum’s best showing of the season.

Billy Hayes has been a stand out, Gene Robinson leads the league’s goal kicking with 56 goals from 10 matches and Jye De Sylva, Michael O’Malley and Levi Krause are in good form.

Mannum’s stars will be too much for Tailem Bend to cover and the Roos should win away.

The Eagles have plenty of fight and don’t give in, but instability in recent weeks has rocked Tailem Bend.

  • The Standard’s tip: Mannum, 11-20 points.

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