River Murray Football League round five preview

In action: Rambler Kieran Yakas tries to evade Mannum opponents during their league clash at LeMessurier Oval on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.
In action: Rambler Kieran Yakas tries to evade Mannum opponents during their league clash at LeMessurier Oval on Saturday. Photo: William Bailey.

TAILEM Bend's upset win over Jervois to claim the Lokan Cup on Saturday has thrown the season wide open.

Only one win separates second from bottom on the table as the season kicks nears it's halfway point ahead of this weekend's round five matches of the 10 round season.

Jervois went into Saturday's match on top of the ladder while the winless Eagles were on the bottom.

Now, Mannum have pulled a game clear on top with a win-loss ratio of 3-1 with the next four teams all at 2-2 and Tailem Bend just one win off the pace at 1-3.

ROUND FIVE AT A GLANCE

MANNUM v JERVOIS

MANNUM will host Jervois for their round five clash at the Mannum Showgrounds.

The Roos are riding high on a three-game winning streak while Jervois are coming off a loss at home to Tailem Bend.

Mannum are on a roll and have been the most improved side in 2020, coming off the woodenspoon in 2019. In round one the Roos lost to Mypolonga by only three points and have since toppled Imperials, Tailem Bend and Ramblers.

Jake Keller, Liam Newton, Adam Smyth, Daniel Laubsch and Isaac Hampel have been stand outs for the Roos.

Jervois will be bolstered by the return of Josh Woodall from suspension and the talk is Justin Hardy may be returning to play as well as coach Taite Silverlock, as he returns from his ACL injury. However, the Bluds have Michael Pope under an injury cloud.

Jervois are due to bounce back but it would be disrespectful to Mannum's solid form to suggest the Roos aren't favourites.

The Standard's tip: Mannnum.

MYPOLONGA v RAMBLER

The Tigers will play at home to Ramblers in a match between the two grand finalists from 2019. Both sides have a win-loss ratio of 2-2.

The Tigers had a good start to the season but have dropped their last two matches to Jervois and Imperials while Ramblers have gone gone win-loss for their 2-2 record - they beat Imperials at home before losing to Mannum last week.

Ramblers have had their moments this season and have some players firing. Rooster ruckman Matthew Hartman - on loan from Meningie - is having another great season while Jacob Trevorrow, veteran Patrick O'Neil, Aaron Pratt and Ben Dougall have been in good form.

Kieran Yakas has come into the side and helps out Hartman in the ruck and the Roosters have a solid core of local talent.

On the other hand, Mypo boasts the best top end talent in the league with James Moss a powerhouse forward, Rory Taggert a force in the midfield together withClint Diment, Ben Davis and Ben Gogel.

The local talent is stepping up too as Kobe Wilson, Liam Altschwager, Corey Jones and Lachlan Butler are having good seasons and it's hard to see the Tigers being held down too long.

It's a tough match to pick a winner, however, Mypolonga are always hard to beat at home and will start the slightest of favourites.

The Standard's tip: Mypolonga.

TAILEM BEND v IMPERIAL

Tailem Bend hosts Imperials for the annual Leahy-Kneebone Cup clash between the two sides.

The match is held in remembrance of two Murraylands girls who lost their lives on local roads. Clubs wear specially designed guernseys for the occasion.

The Eagles broke their drought and got their first win for the season on Saturday and will be up for the fight again this weekend.

Imperials, on the other hand, have two wins for the season, against Jervois and Mypolonga, and head into this clash on the back on a 44-point win over Mypo.

Dylan Hollitt is back to his best, James Clarke is solid every week and Cooper Anderson has come into the side and made a difference.

Johnny Boras is hitting the scoreboard and Sam DeMichele is a weapon up forward and the Blues are rolling along nicely.

Tailem have Will McMurray, Dale Finnie, Ben Hansen and Connor Smelt firing and they put in a good team effort on Saturday.

However, the Eagles lack the experience of the Imperial side with blokes like Luke Harrowfield, Tyson Wait and playing coach Scott McMahon seasoned veterans who know how to get the job done.

The Standard's tip:Imperials.