Blues look to lock top

Goalkicker: Imperials' Johnny Boras celebrates a goal in his side's A grade win over Tailem Bend on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.

Goalkicker: Imperials' Johnny Boras celebrates a goal in his side's A grade win over Tailem Bend on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.

RAMBLERS V IMPERIALS

IMPERIALS will start favourites over their arch-rivals Ramblers on Saturday as the ladder-leaders look to finish their minor round on a high.

The Blues will be looking to lock in top spot before having the bye on the last minor round next week.

Ramblers will be fighting to hold onto third sport and the double finals chance with both Mannum and Mypolonga just one premiership point behind them on the table.

While the Blues are favourites, Ramblers are certainly capable of taking it up to Imperials, as shown in round 13 when the Roosters fell agonisingly short of knocking off their rivals, losing by one point. 

At the Blues’ after match presentations on Saturday, Imperial playing-coach Scott Mcmahon said that his side had been down for a little while and not playing their best football but they were ready to return to their best.

That’s a scary thought for the rest of the competition as the Blues have won their last three games, and their only hiccup since April was a six-point loss to second-placed Jervois.

The Blues are a side that gets the best out of themselves.

Their stars shine, their role players play their roles and their kids have a red hot crack.

Scott Mcmahon dominates games, Luke Harrowfield is the barometer of the side and is rarely off top form and big Johnny Boras is always among the goals.

Players like Mitch Lienert and Louis DeMichele are becoming experienced, reliable performers and younger Blues such as Nathan Daish, Jack Laube, William Crane and Lachlan Marsh are also making their mark in a big way. 

Imperials’ ball movement is second-to-none; the Blues hold up when they need to, take the game on when they need to and love to switch the play and use their skills to find a way forward.

Imperials have taken the honours each time the sides have met this season – a 20-point win in round six and that one-point win in round 13.

Ramblers have won just one of their past five games so the Reds’ form isn’t flash.

To win this week, they’ll need their stars to stand up.

Ruckman Nick Pearce has been good all year and feeds Jarrad Weyland, Aaron Pratt, Jacob Trevorrow, Ronald Rankine Jnr  and Clinton Walker well in the middle.

Roosters Brandon Thiele, Kieran Yakas, Matthew Altmann and David Wilson have enjoyed good seasons and they will need to be at their best on Saturday.

However, the Blues will too strong in this clash.

They will know if they win this, they will sure up top spot and with the last minor round bye and a first-place finish giving them the first round of the finals off, the Blues will be set for two weeks off so they’ll come out firing.

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

MENINGIE V JERVOIS

All ears: Meningie coach Ryan Lewis addresses his players during a break in play. Photo: William Bailey.

All ears: Meningie coach Ryan Lewis addresses his players during a break in play. Photo: William Bailey.

JERVOIS are steaming toward September, full of confidence and ready to travel to Meningie and take down the Bears on Saturday.

The Bluds are on a six-match winning streak and belted Mypolonga by 110 points on Saturday.

Imperials may finish on top, but the Bluds could be regarded as the number one contender. 

Jervois are in top form but Meningie will come out firing and can take some confidence going in as the Bears were the last side to beat Jervois.

Meningie are also fighting to keep their season alive as they are one game behind Mypolonga in the top five with two games to play.

If Mypolonga cannot beat Mannum this weekend, it may come down to the last round clash between the Bears and the Tigers to see who nabs the last finals spot.

Jervois’ guns are unstoppable when they get going.

Taite Silverlock, Justin Hardy, Owen Love, Ryan Willits, Matt Kemp and Casey Robins are smooth, experienced operators who control games.

Tony Gibson is a star in his own right, Peter Zarantonello looks as if he injuries behind him and he is playing good footy while Luke Kluske and Brayden Gommers are showing they are solid A grade footballers.

Young Blud star Hayden Schulz bagged six goals last week to even further highlight the talent Jervois has at their disposal. 

However, Meningie won’t go down lightly.

The Bears have stars of their own and Seb and Will Paynter, Brodie Martin and Harrison Slee won’t let the Bluds have it all their way and with Alex Scott back in the line up, Meningie are even stronger. 

But, the Bluds are looking stronger every week and should get the job done on Saturday down at Meningie

The Standard’s tip: Jervois, 31-40 points.

MANNUM V MYPOLONGA

Mannum hosts Mypolonga in what is an important clash for both sides. 

Both teams are on seven wins and seven losses and each side could crack the top three, however both could fall out of finals all together.

The Roos head into this clash in better form and the feeling is Mannum are marching towards finals action while Mypolonga are desperately trying to avoid missing out.

The Tigers have lost their last two matches including last weekend’s 110-point loss to Jervois.

Mannum have won four of their last five with that loss to top-placed Imperials.

Last time the teams met it was a thriller.

Mannum won by three points on that occasion as Tiger James Moss and Roos Gene Robinson both kicked eight goals in a shootout.

It was a tight affair but since then, the Roos have been in better form.

Mypolonga have had a few key players injured and it has been telling.

For Mannum, Isaac Hampel, Zakk Bullard and Matt Williams stood up last week to help Billy Hayes and Jye De Zylva and Gene Robinson took his tally to 84 goals with two matches to play.

He would love nothing more than to kick a big bag against his former side and give himself a crack at 100 goals in the last minor round.

The Standard’s tip: Mannum, 31-40 points.

In action: Mannum's Zakk Bullard in action during the Roos' win over the Bears on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.

In action: Mannum's Zakk Bullard in action during the Roos' win over the Bears on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.