Roosters, Tigers emerge as contenders

Sure hands: Mypolonga forward James Moss in action against Tailem Bend on Saturday. Photo: Wiliam Bailey.

Sure hands: Mypolonga forward James Moss in action against Tailem Bend on Saturday. Photo: Wiliam Bailey.

ONE close game and two blow outs was the result of the round six action in River Murray A grade football, as the contenders start to put ground on the pretenders.

Ramblers and Mypolonga are pulling away from the rest of the competition - both clubs enjoyed wins of over 100 points and sit first and second respectively with only one loss each.

A middle tier of Meningie, Jervois and Imperials is emerging, with the Bears and Bluds on three wins and two losses and the Blues in the mix with two wins and three losses.

Mannum and Tailem Bend are slipping away in the bottom two positions.

At the drawing board: Meningie playing coach Brodie Martin makes some moves during his side's win over Imperials.

At the drawing board: Meningie playing coach Brodie Martin makes some moves during his side's win over Imperials.

Meningie v Mannum

The Bears host the Roos as Meningie look for back-to-back wins after a gutsy win on Saturday at Johnstone Park. Mannum, on the other hand, are coming off a big loss to Ramblers.

A week after the jubilation of their one-point victor over Tailem Bend, Mannum got smashed by Roosters and their trip down to Meninige on the back of their last match looms a daunting assignment.

The usual suspects for the Bears stood up when it counted. Big man Peter Reichelt continues to shine in a side that lacks height and he is having a terrific season.

The mids of Alex Moyle, William Paynter, Myles Warmington, Todd McKay and Seb Paynter make up one of the best on-ball ensembles in the competition and playing coach Brodie Martin continues to provide the Bears a target. Martin has kicked 19 goals from five games and proves to be a difficult match up for most sides. He is not overly big as far as key forwards go, but he is smart and tends to reward the Bears on most entries.

Mannum are the lowest scoring team in the competition and that fact has been compounded by the loss of forward Daniel Hargraves who was proving to be a solid target. It's been a tough trot for the Roos so far but the form of some local talent would be pleasing the Mannum supporters.

Roos Isaac Hampel, Mitchell Heward, Zakk Bullard and Blake Tabe rarely turn in a poor performance while the big man Blake Webster battles hard each week.

After back-to-back losses to Jervois and Ramblers, Meningie look likely to make it back-to-back wins, with a victory over Mannum at home on Saturday.

The Standard's tip: Meningie, 31-40 points.

On a roll: Mypolonga coach Ryan Lewis addresses his players at a break in play on Saturday.

On a roll: Mypolonga coach Ryan Lewis addresses his players at a break in play on Saturday.

Mypolonga v Imperials

IMPERIALS travel to Mypolonga to take on the Tigers, who are setting the standard at the moment. Mypo are going from strength to strength and are emerging as premiership favourites.

The Tigers lost first up at home, but they've won four matches in a row, including over the highly-fancied Rambler side.

A 100-plus point win over Tailem Bend on Saturday further showed the strength of the Mypo side and the reigning premier Imperials will travel away underdogs.

Imperials have dropped three of their past four matches and they are failing to find the form which set them up for a grand final appearance last season.

The Blues lost a close one at home to Meninige, were thumped by rival Ramblers, managed a 5-goal win against Tailem Bend, but lost to Jervois the match before.

The Tigers are a well-balanced team with winners in each line.

The midfield has the power of Ben Gogel, Clint Diment, Rory Taggert and a dominate ruckman in Nathan Wright.

There is no better forward in the competition than James Moss. Moss averages 6.4 goals a game with 32 from five matches.

The Blues aren't without a chance of causing what would be an upset, but they'll need a lot to go right. Jamie Honner is having a brilliant season, the veteran Luke Harrowfield never plays a poor game while Matthew Williams always battles hard in the ruck.

Imperials will be looking to their highly-rated tall forward duo of Johnny Boras and Darren Shillabeer to have a big impact this week.

They are both proven match-winners but they must get the supply. It won't come this week as Mypo will be too strong at home.

The Standard's tip: Mypolonga, 41-50 points.

Jervois v Tailem Bend

THE Bluds host the Eagles for the round seven clash between the cross-river rivals.

Jervois have three wins while Tailem Bend have yet to break through and notch up a victory.

It's been a disappointing start for Tailem Bend - just as the Eagles were building, a horror 100-plus point loss against Mypolonga has them well off the competition.

While Tailem are fighting for some credibility and a first win, Jervois are fighting to prove they are not a middle-of-the-table team and a real contender.

The Bluds' injury toll at the business end of last season cost them but they have ramped up again with a talented list and they will be hoping to make amends in 2019.

League best and fairest Taite Silverlock leads the way, Joshua Woodall has proven to be a solid recruit while Bradley Gabell, Casey Robins and Ryan Mckaye continue to enjoy good seasons.

Justin Hardy (17 goals) and Peter Zarantonello (16 goals) have been strong targets for the Bluds and will be hoping to cash in against the Eagles.

However, it is no surprise that some of the Eagles best performers have been in their back half, with Nick Westhoff, Jake Pilgrim and Daniel Perks leading the way.

The Bluds look set to be too strong and should hold bragging rights over their Tailem Bend rivals come 5.30pm on Saturday afternoon.

The Standard's tip: Jervois, 41-50 points.