Boots and All: Blues will be too sharp for Jervois
Peter Dalwood previews round nine, 2021 in the River Murray Football League.
This post was contributed by Peter Dalwood.
The last time the Blues and Bluds met, Jervois were still in the game with a quarter to go but they ran out of gas.
You would expect that Coach Taite Silverlock would have put in a fair body of work into them, as it was some 56 days ago, so we should expect to see a closer result than the 37 points last time around.
Silverlock is smart enough to know results don’t really matter in May, as he has the top-end cattle at his disposal when it counts in September.
Both clubs have the big goal-kickers in John the Boras, from Imperials, sitting on 54 goals; and Josh Scott, on 41.
These players win games – so what?
The punters want to see the big dogs catch up.
They want to see Imperial coach Scott McMahon, a man with more than 100 AFL games to his credit, take on Scott, the hero of the 2019 Glenelg premiership.
One player is in his prime, the other is a veteran at the back end of his career with a ton of experience, but I reckon McMahon is smart enough not to show his cards in round nine.
It’s also a chance for Tom Kluske, the enforcer from Jervois, to take on John the Boras.
Tom can display his new pictures and John can show him how to kick goals.
I’m putting the rent on Kluske but John the Boras is a pretty good operator and if he picks up his regular haul, Imperials win the game.
Tony Gibson is nearly 200 centimetres, so he should dominate the under-sized but gritty Imperial ruckman and give the Jervois midfield silver service in the centre square.
Imperials look a tad more even over the ground at round nine, and they are traveling along quite nicely at this stage.
The toss of the coin could be interesting because if there is a faint zephyr of a breeze you don’t want to be kicking uphill in the last term at Jervois, as you can count the wins this century on one hand kicking towards Mount Everest.
However, Imperials have been rattled at the coin toss on previous occasions.
Imperials by 11 to 20 points.
Tailem Bend v Ramblers
Ramblers are in a world of pain.
They are busily preparing for a huge reunion weekend coming up and it’s not a good sign when the people organising the reunion are in better form than the players.
A bloke was asked where he would rather be: on the Gaza strip, bunkered down with Hamas and rockets raining down all day; or playing for Ramblers?
His reply was “on the Gaza strip” as it was tough going at Ramblers.
The Reds strike Tailem Bend with a couple of gun players missing.
Coach Ben Hansen is in doubt with a hamstring issue; the big dog Connor Smelt has got a knee problem and is doubtful, and without him their forward structure has to be re-jigged; so it’s one soldier down, another soldier has to step up.
That’s the game, and it will test the depth at this club over the next few weeks.
It’s up to Nick Westoff, who has had a very good year to date; and Dale Finnie, Tom Geyer and Ben Rossi, the new boys at the club who have to take up the slack.
If Ramblers get a sniff they are a dangerous opponent, but it’s a long time since Ramblers have had a sniff and I reckon they have forgotten the art.
Matt Hartman and Jacob Trevorrow are in pretty good nick while Jarred Weyland, who has been a grand old warrior with nearly 300 games to his credit, is at the stage where if he had a race with his shadow you would back the shadow.
Ramblers are only an average side at the minute but they are not out of this and this week is a test of the depth at Tailem Bend.
My heart says Ramblers, but my head says Tailem Bend due to a bit of disarray at the Roosters at the minute.
In round one it was the Eagles by 116 points, this week it will be the Eagles by 31 to 40 points.
Mypolonga v Meningie
The Mypolonga Tigers came out of last week bruised and battered on and off the field.
Some players from both teams have got to learn some manners because screaming obscenities at the top of one’s voice is not acceptable with women and children in close proximity.
Harry Allchurch is a young player who gave away 20 kilograms and 20cm to a quality forward and gave a good account of himself.
His opponent jagged six but Prince Harry stood up and had a real crack.
The Tigers are undermanned in every department and you admire the courage of coach Matt Lindner.
He is well aware that the Tigers have to ride this trough out.
It could be a 10-year wait, because the Tigers are going to struggle to win games with the current playing list and this is where Meningie stand a silly chance.
After seven home and away games, Mypolonga have scored a mere nine points more than Meningie – that’s about one point per game – but the Bears leak an extra five goals through their defence.
This deficit is not insurmountable.
Meningie kicked 10 goals for the first time this season against Tailem Bend.
Tyler Robinson, Brody Vandenbrink, Tim Hartman and Darcy Spinks are all getting multiple goals, so maybe some green shoots are starting to appear.
Both clubs have deficiencies, they both know the state of play and they both know someone will receive the wooden spoon after Saturday.
Meningie supporters would be happy to see the 60-point margin in round one trimmed and it’s a big chance for coach Adam Moller and his club to showcase their improvement.
I’ll tip Mypolonga by 21 to 30 points as I get nervous when Meningie travel past the Ashville cemetery.
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