River Murray Football League preview: round 13, July 6, 2019

Photo: William Bailey.

Photo: William Bailey.

Meningie v Imperials

Meningie hosts Imperials as the fourth-placed Blues and the fifth-placed Bears go head-to-head, fighting for the chance to jump into the top three before the end of the minor round and secure a finals double chance.

Both sides have a five-win, five-loss record and have shown they can flex it with the best in the competition.

Imperials lost their last match against Ramblers on Saturday while Meningie have lost their past two outings, so both will be itching to get back on the winners' list.

Last time the club clashed it was the Bears who emerged victorious by just seven points at Johnstone Park.

The Bears came from behind that day and Brodie Martin was the leading goal kicker on the ground with four majors in a low-scoring bout.

Imperials have improved since then, scoring three wins and two losses since their round six meeting with the Bears, including an important win over Jervois.

Meanwhile, the Bears have lost three matches and won two in the same time frame, with the two wins coming against the two sides out of the top five, Tailem Bend and Mannum.

Both clubs have talented lists, both with high quality recruits and talented locals.

Imperials seem to have their systems in place and they've worked hard to get the most out of their tall forward duo.

Last year's grand final hero Johnny Boras (38 goals) and high profile recruit Darren Shillabeer (37 goals) have combined well recently.

Ramblers were able to contain the Blues to just seven goals last week in wet conditions and Meningie will work hard to limit opportunities for the Imperial tall forwards.

The Blues have a band of experienced campaigners in good form as Luke Harrowfield, Jamie Honner, Matthew Williams, Gareth Williams and James Clarke are in good touch as the Blues prepare to build ahead of finals.

The addition of Sean Samblich, who is back from Sturt in the SANFL, has been huge for the Blues and Samblich will be one for opposition coaches to watch out for.

Meningie, despite losing their past two matches, will go in confident they can return to the winners' list.

The Bears' recent loses weren't by big margins and to two of the best sides in the competition and they were successfully able to keep their opposition's score down.

Bear Peter Reichelt is continuing his great season as a big man in the back half while Todd Mckay, William Paynter and Alex Moyle have been huge in the midfield for Meningie.

Playing-coach Brodie Martin (37 goals) is the Bears' main avenue to goal and he has been impressive in the forward half.

The Blues have improved since their last meeting but the Bears are a strong side who shouldn't be taken lightly, particularly at home.

However, Imps will start slight favourites in a match that could go either way.

  • The Standard's tip: Imperials, 11-20 points.

Mypolonga v Tailem Bend

Mypolonga are back in action this week after a round off with the bye and the Tigers will host Tailem Bend. The visiting Eagles are coming off their first win of the season after their 45-point win over Mannum.

The Eagles managed to climb off the bottom of the ladder, however the party quickly ends for Tailem Bend as they come up against ladder-leaders Mypolonga at the Tigers' den this week.

Mypolonga crushed the Eagles at Tailem Bend in round six and they'll be hoping to do more of the same this weekend. An 11-goal second term at Tailem Bend saw the Tigers so far up at half-time the game was done.

The Eagles have been patchy; they are good for periods of play but they all too often let their opposition roll over the top of them.

Last time they met it was James Moss who got on top of the Eagles with 10 goals and Moss has many goal-kicking friends who will be hard to stop this week in Rory Taggert, Ben Davis and Brad Martin.

Mypo have been the standout team of the competition but they did stumble at their last hurdle as Jervois rolled them before their bye. However, expect the premiership favourites to respond in a big way and Tailem Bend to be the unlucky recipients of it.

Midfielder Ben Gogel, Taggert, Cruise Pengilly, and reigning Mail Medalist Clint Diment have been in great touch and Moss always plays well against the Eagles.

Tailem Bend have some injury concerns to some key players coming out of last week's win which will make matters harder, but it wouldn't matter what the Eagles throw at Mypolonga this week; the Tigers are heavy favourites and will be expecting a big win at home.

  • The Standard's tip: Mypolonga, 51-60 points.

Ramblers v Mannum

Ramblers host the bottom-placed Mannum Roos at LeMessurier Oval, in a match the Roosters will be expected to win easily.

When the Roosters travelled to the Mannum Showgrounds, they won by 115 points in a complete domination of the Roos.

Ramblers are on a three-game winning streak after their win over the much-improved Imperial side last week so they'll be hoping to get the job done against the Roos with ease.

Mannum, however, aren't push overs and their young brigade of locals fly the flag each week.

It's been a rough time for the Roos, having lost so many key players after their 2018 two-point grand final defeat but the club has backed its locals and they are getting valuable A grade experience.

However, they come up against a classy side who are right in the hunt for this year's premiership.

Players like Sam Pfeiffer, Matthew Rankine, Nick Pearce and Alex Pfeiffer have been solid and William Altmann is having a breakout season.

The Roosters will be much too strong for the Roos at home.

  • The Standard's tip: Ramblers, 61-70 points.