THE opening round of River Murray football saw two new coaches take charge for the first time and a handful of new players in action across the six clubs in action.
Meningie, under new coach Brodie Martin, were strong and came away with a solid win at Mypolonga while Imperials were too slick for Mannum in the clash between last year's grand finalists. Ramblers won the battle over the Bluds at Jervois in a bout between two premiership contenders.
This week, the new look Tailem Bend side will be in action after having the bye in round one while Imperials have the week off with the second round bye.
RAMBLERS v MYPOLONGA
The River Murray round two match at LeMessurier Oval will see opening round winners Ramblers host the 0-1 Tigers as the Roosters look to stamp their authority as one of the early flag favourites.
The Roosters will have their tails up - they started their season in the best possible way with a big away win over a highly-fancied Jervois side and looked good in doing so.
Ramblers had four multiple goal kickers and nine different goal kickers in total in a rounded team effort to bring the Bluds down at home.
The returning duo of Bradley Hartman and Sam Pfeiffer were standouts while the inclusion of Matt Rankine added class and the Roosters were never really troubled by a strong opponent on their way to a 47-point win.
For Mypolonga, however, the start wasn't so sweet as the Tigers suffered a loss at home to Meningie.
It took the Tigers until the last quarter to get going; they had four goals up until three-quarter-time but kicked six in the last to put some respectability on the scoreboard.
Power forward James Moss kicked two, the crafty Lachy Butler got two as did Nathan Stark but it was too little too late in terms of scoring.
Tiger Todd Howson was named Mypolonga's best player in a defensive role while the returning Cruise Pengilly had an impact on the game, Nathan Wright battled hard and the experienced duo of Ben Gogel and Clint Diment were good, as we've come to expect from the talented pair.
It's only early but Ramblers appear to be the bench mark and Mypolonga will need the best out of their stars.
Moss is a match winner, Rory Taggart comes with lots of SANFL league experience and Adam Eckermann is a Mail Medal winner in this league, so the Tigers aren't short of talent and will be looking to improve in round two.
However, Ramblers look too slick, too experienced and have a deep list and should win at home.
The Standard's tip: Ramblers, 31-40 points.
MANNUM v JERVOIS
TWO losing sides from round one will go head-to-head at the Mannum Oval. In a seven team competition with a top five, a 0-2 start isn't a dire situation, but it is far from ideal.
Both the Roos and the Bluds were up against strong opposition last week and both will be hoping to get an early upperhand against their round two opponent.
Mannum introduced a few new players on Saturday but the mystery of how Mannum will look after losing so many quality players hasn't quite revealed itself after just one round.
At stages last week it looked as if the Blues were going to get on top and roll Mannum by a big margin, but to the Roos' credit, they fought back and managed to win the last term, kicking five goals and keeping Imperials goalless.
Experienced forward Daniel Hargraves started his time with the Roos with four goals, captain Levi Krause booted three while Adam Smyth looked the goods.
Jervois has a strong list and will go in favourites this weekend. River Murray best and fairest winner Taite Silverlock picked up from where he left off last season with another good game and Josh Woodall showed Bluds supporters what he can do with a solid display.
Forward Justin Hardy fronted and kicked two goals after he ended the 2018 struggling with injury. If Hardy gets going, he's hard to stop so Mannum will have to put some attention into the big target.
Jervois will be expected to win this week; they had a team capable of winning the premiership last season but unraveled with injury in the finals.
The Bluds managed to keep most of their key players and have a few handy inclusions, so they should bounce back.
Mannum will still be adjusting to a new coach and might find it hard to get on top of a quality Jervois side.
The Standard's tip: Jervois, 31-40 points.
MENINGIE v TAILEM BEND
MENINGIE enters their first home game of the season on the back of an impressive away win over Mypolonga.
The Bears out classed their opponents with a good style of footy that plays to the strength of their list.
Meningie don't have a lot of height but they have a classy midfield and plenty of running players prepared to work hard and break lines.
The Bears have a strong,deep midfield with last year's stars in best and fairest Will Paynter and runner-up Seb Paynter joined by the likes of the returning players strong-bodied Todd Mckay and Myles Warmington and new recruit Alex Moye.
New playing coach Brodie Martin had his side working well in round one and the former River Murray best and fairest kicked four goals, teaming up with Tim Hartman (four goals) nicely up forward.
While the Bears impressed in round one, not a lot is known about how this week's travelling side in Tailem Bend will fare in their first hit out.
The Eagles had the bye in round one and have had a summer of pretty big change with new co-coaches David Higgins and Corey Smelt at the helm.
Tailem Bend side with could boast up to 14 changes from their last round team from last year as they look to revamp their list, improve their style and put a very disappointing 2018 season behind them.
Some old hats are still on the rack; Nick Westhoff, Dylan Hogarth and Jarryd Linde are among familiar faces who have been around a while, but the league's attention will be on just how much the reigning woodenspooners can improve.
Both sides missed the finals last season but the Eagles were further behind that Meningie and have much more ground to make up. Tailem Bend should improve but Meningie look likely to mix it with the top sides in 2019 and will be favourites at home.
The Standard's tip: Meninige, 21-30 points.