River Murray netball finals loom

Last time: Imperials' Laura Berling gets the ball ahead of Ramblers' Jasmine Trevorrow and Lucinda Howell. Photo: William Bailey.

Last time: Imperials' Laura Berling gets the ball ahead of Ramblers' Jasmine Trevorrow and Lucinda Howell. Photo: William Bailey.

With only two weeks of competition remaining we now see the quirks of our competition, Tailem Bend have the bye this week, and next week they play Mannum.

Mannum do not have a B reserves team so effectively the Tailem side currently sitting in third place in the B reserves, will now have two weeks off before fighting for survival in the elimination final on September 2. Some people would say it is a good thing, others not so.

This week in their final game of the minor round, Imperials will play third-placed Ramblers in the game of the round. Imperials have the bye next week so will be looking for a good strong finish to their campaign with the right to say they are undefeated this season.

Over the past few weeks there have been a few tales doing the rounds about one thing that almost at times appears to be a dying art, and that is respect.

Some players are, at times, crossing the line, it has happened in the past but it seems to be an issue that is happening more often these days, within more clubs.

                                                                                                                           Round 18 tip: No matter who you are, or how old you are, respect is not a request, it is a given, for only by respecting your team-mates, your opposition, your coach and other team officials and umpires, can you truly have respect for yourself in sport.

                                                                                                                  Senior playing times: 12.45pm – A res & C grade; 2pm – A grade & B grade; 13.15pm – B reserve.

Ramblers v Imperials

Ramblers will welcome Imperials to their home courts for possibly the final time this season, for if the finals program goes well for the Reds, it could happen again on grand final day.

This week is the final minor round game for the Blues, so everyone at the club will be looking for a big finish; the question is what level of resistance will Ramblers give them on Saturday?

If Rambler coach Mark Dougall and his girls have their way it will be the toughest game for Imperials so far this season.

Imperial coach Carrie Daniels has been happy with her team, probably because they have been able to remain a complete team, with no missing players throughout the competition and she will be hoping for that to continue.

As everyone knows Imperials will have the height advantage over Ramblers as they do over most other teams.

However what Ramblers lack in height they make up for in determination and commitment and will in this game give as good as they get.

No Rambler player gives her all more than centre player Nikki Dougall, and that grim determination is what she uses to lift and motivate her team-mates.

There is a strong belief at the home of the Roosters that the day will come when they will be able to surpass Imperials, but will it be this week?

Ramblers will need to capitalise on any and all Imperial mistakes if they hope to have a chance in this game, for in the minor round of matches is when the Blues are generally at their best.

For only in finals has the Blues stumbled in the past, way past that is, and I believe they have learned their lesson.

Only with good passing, accuracy in goals, defensive pressure from the first whistle, strong rebounding and by minimising errors, will Ramblers have a chance in taking out the two points this week.

For every inch that the Blues give them, the Roosters will need to take that extra mile.

The more miles they can secure the more chances they will have, but for that to happen they will need to perform at 100 per cent and hope the Blues falter when the going gets tough.

No one is yet to see just how strong Imperials can be when pushed for an entire game, some teams have managed a quarter or two but no-one has been able to apply total pressure and that is what Ramblers will need to do, if they want this game this week.

Meningie v Jervois

Meningie will host Jervois this week in what will be a telling game for the Bears.

Next week Meningie must face Mypolonga at the home of the Tigers - if they want to really take the game up to Mypo they must solve their shooter issues this week against the Bluds.

Last week against Mannum, Meningie only got home by 11 goals, they will need more than that for confidence going into finals in two weeks.

Jervois, on the other hand, are generally seen as the underdog and have the advantage of nothing gambled nothing gained.

This week could come up with some player changes totally unexpected by the Bears, which could possibly work in favour of the Red and Black.

Meningie has a settled centre and defensive end of the court in which to take on all challengers, but due to the loss of Mikayla Nicholson, and now Kimberley Graham, the goal circle is the area that needs to be resolved before the possible preliminary final pre-contest against Mypolonga next week.

Jervois faced Mypolonga last week and although the end result was a good win to the Tigers, the Bluds played with belief and conviction,.

Brianna Burt played a brilliant driving game for the first half in at centre and will need to do again this week against Meningie’s Casey Reichelt.

Reichelt has the height advantage, but in full flight Burt is hard to catch and pin down.

Who will play in goals for Meningie?

We will just have to wait and see – last week Stacey Peckover took up the opportunity of working with Marni Hood and although they did manage to connect reasonably well with each other  they are far from a settled combination this close to finals.

Who will take on this new Meningie combination, well there is a number of choices for Jervois coach Leanne Baldock to choose from – Kylie Matthewson, Tessa Thurston, Charly Heym, Mikayla Mills or even Emily Hill could all step up and take on the challenge of shutting down the Bears’ goal circle.

While up the other end Meningie defenders Jessica Eichner and Kate Treloar will face Jervois shooters Catherine Zarantonello, Hill or possibly Burt or Mills, with the circle being ably fed by Jodie Burt at wing attack.

Meningie’s Brigette Lewis or Eichner will have to be on their toes to try and shut the Jervois winger down.

Meningie I believe will hang on for the win but the game won’t go all their own way.

Mannum v Mypolonga

Mannum will take on long-time rivals Mypolonga in what will be the Roos final home game of the season.

Mannum has made progress in the second half of the season with the ongoing development of  younger players.

There has been some challenges for coach Nicky Smith and her team, but the youngsters have stepped up and met those head on, so the future does look bright.

However that future is a little too far away for this week’s game against second-placed Mypolonga.

Mypolonga has taken a little while to settle under new coach Sandy Gates, but they are settling at the right time of the competition.

There will be some match ups that will prove to be interesting, so although some will say the outcome is set, achieving that outcome may not be quite so easy.

Roos captain Amy Loechel will probably take the court at goal shooter, and with Gates wanting to settle her team before finals we could see either Ash Biddle or even Sheridan O’Brien given the task of shutting Loechel down.

Equally interesting could be the battle between Roos wing attack Kimberley Rathjen and Mypolonga’s Courtney Blacker, former team-mates years ago - neither player will want to give the other an inch.

Mannum’s goal keeper Sophie Kroehn could be given the task of standing Mypolonga’s long time shooting ace Kara Martin.

If Mannum want to have a chance they need to stop Martin settling and getting her shooting eye in scoring mode.

There will be other battles going on around the court, players looking to cement their positions within Mypolonga’s finals line up.

However there is a lot of pride in the Roos team and although they will lose this week they will go down fighting, not physically, but they will be just as determined as Mypolonga.