River Murray football round 14 preview

ROUND 15 of River Murray football will see only two matches played with Mypolonga hosting Imperials and Ramblers travelling to Tailem Bend.

In action: Mypolonga's Clark Stegmeyer in action in the Tigers' big win over Ramblers on Saturday.

In action: Mypolonga's Clark Stegmeyer in action in the Tigers' big win over Ramblers on Saturday.

The split round has Meninige, Jevois and Mannum out of action with a bye round as the 19 round minor round season works its way into finals.

Winners: Mypolonga celebrate their win over Ramblers on Saturday. The Tigers have climbed to third spot while Ramblers have slipped to fourth.

Winners: Mypolonga celebrate their win over Ramblers on Saturday. The Tigers have climbed to third spot while Ramblers have slipped to fourth.

Each side plays 16 minor round matches and has three allocated byes.

Mypolonga v Imperials

MYPOLONGA hosts top side Imperials on Saturday and the Tigers head into the match full of confidence, hot off their big win over Ramblers last week.

The win elevated the Tigers to third position on the premiership table and it was an important victory for the reigning premiers as they look to lock in a finals spot – and a potential top three finish – with four matches to play. 

The Tigers roared back into form on Saturday and reminded us all they are still in the hunt.

Tiger duo James Moss and Simon Norris kicked four goals each and their experienced players in Nathan Wright, Lachlan Butler and Clint Diment lead the way while Brady Morris and Clark Stegmeyer played well.

Mypolonga snapped a three-game losing streak when they beat Tailem Bend by 10 points two rounds ago and Saturday’s second win in a row was huge for the Tigers.

However, the victory did come at a cost for Mypolonga with star midfield Ben Gogel injuring his shoulder.

Gogel is an important part of the Tigers’ line up and while he was out of the side overseas, the Tigers struggled.

It’s not a case of no Gogel, no Tigers by any means, but the powerful mid is a big out.

The Tigers’ opponents Imperials are coming off a rare 2018 loss.

Imperials went down in their highly-anticipated clash against second-placed Jervois, bringing an end to their eight-game winning streak.

The match was an entertaining clash between two sides who are in the running for premiership and six-point margin indicates we could be set for an exciting final series.

Despite the Blues’ loss, they still sit on top of the table with only three defeats for the season.

One of those losses was against Mypolonga, in round four, however the Blues got their revenge in a big way only a few weeks ago, in round 11, beating the Tigers by 137 points in a dominate display. 

It was raining goals for Imperials during that demolition of the Tigers; Johnny Boras booted nine, Brad Lienert got five and Jacob Rance and Luke Harrowfield both finished with four.

The Blues were restricted to just 71 pointd last week but did kick five goals in the last term to finish just short of a quality opponent.

Another pleasing sign was the form of players like Nathan Daish, Sam Mobbs, Dale Leech and Braden Dalitz which, when combined with the likes of Harrowfield and Gareth Williams, helps spread the workload.

The battle between Imperials’ Matthew Williams and Mypolonga’s Nathan Wright in the ruck will be an entertaining contest while both sides have big forwards capable of kicking bags of goals in Boras for the Blues and Moss for Mypolonga.

The Tigers were impressive last week against Ramblers, but have they done enough to make up the losing margin of 137 to Imperials only four round ago?

It is unlikely.

The Standard’s tip: Imperials, 21-30 points.

Tailem Bend v Ramblers

Tailem Bend hosts Ramblers for the club’s past players’ day and the Eagles will be out to help celebrate the event by recording their first win of the season.

However, the Roosters will head to Tailem Bend with other ideas and an agenda of their own; snapping a three-game losing streak as the look to push back into the top three. 

Ramblers got a touch up from Mypolonga last week.

Last time Ramblers went to Tailem Bend they recorded a narrow 12-point win and since then, the Roosters have only won one match.

It was an entertaining contest but the Eagles were outclassed in the end.

The Eagles have been fast starters in the past few weeks but have not been able to put four quarters together.

Tailem Bend kicked the first six goals against Mypolonga, they had the first four on the board against Meningie but on both occasions they gave up the momentum and ended up losing.

The Eagles even got a jump on the Roosters in both their previous encounters before Ramblers settled and came away with wins.

After a positive start to the season, Ramblers have slid to fourth position and have Mannum nipping at their heels.

Roosters Jarrad Weyland, Aaron Pratt, Brandon Thiele and Nick Pearce have been good this year and Jacob Trevorrow, Matthew Altmann and Kieran Yakas usually have good days against the Eagles. 

And, Ramblers look to have more goal scoring options that Tailem Bend.

Ramblers’ Kieran Yakas has 29 goals, David Wilson 20 and Ronald Rankine 19 while the only Eagle in their company in Nick Westhoff who has kicked 20.

Tailem Bend have proven they are capable of matching it with the top sides for moments.

However, the Eagles haven’t proven they can go the distance and take a scalp and the Roosters are hot favourites to snap a losing streak and heat up in their run home to finals. 

The Standard’s tip: Ramblers, 21-30 points.