Boots and All: On the cusp of a new world record

Could all three of this weekend's River Murray Football League fixtures give us 100-point margins? Peter Dalwood wonders.

This post was contributed by Peter Dalwood.

Don Bradman scored 29 centuries for Australia during his career, but the RMFL is poised to crack three centuries just this weekend.

It’s the top three versus the bottom three and, given a hint of fine weather, they are odds on to do it.

Here we are at round four and it’s developing into a slaughter, with four of the clubs failing to reach double figures last week.

Big forwards win games in this humble league, they are the men who get paid to deliver and so far they have enhanced their reputation.

Tailem Bend are surging and getting to notch up their fourth straight win would make this their best start to a season since the Boer War.

Dylan Hogarth played his best game in 10 years last week and, as the number-one football scribe for Murray Bridge News, I feel I can take some credit for this as he can’t read anything about himself in his own publication as they print very little about our great game.

There was more action off the field at Tailem Bend than on the field and at one stage I thought I was at TV Ringside.

Ben Hansen is a very classy player but he needs to temper his aggression.

He doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone but, as the coach, needs to know when to hold them and when to fold them.

I’m not sure if Tailem Bend have improved, as the competition has slipped dramatically, but they have done everything right at this stage; the whole club is on a roll in every grade and you can’t begrudge them that.

The Mypolonga Tigers are just battling along at the minute.

They dream about the glory days and when you look at their history they are very patient people.

They waited 50 years for success from 1939 to 1989, and then a further 23 years from 1994 to 2017.

They win premierships in clusters, so on that score, 2044 looms as a big year for the Tigers.

Coach Matt Lindner is playing every kid in the district and they will give it their best shot but they will get bundled aside by the more mature Tailem Bend bodies.

New boy Tom Geyer, the former captain of the Keith Football Club, had a gallop last week and will be better for the run, but the Eagles will extend the winning streak and clean up the Tigers by 100 points plus.

Mannum v Jervois

Mannum caved in last week, failing to trouble the scoreboard after half time and ending up with four goals for the day.

It was a pretty insipid effort and a few blokes need to take a good hard look at themselves.

The player with the rockstar name, Tommy Lee Russo, his first job should be to take a look at the stats sheet.

You get reward for effort and on game day I didn’t see any effort.

A repeat performance could see him appear on Hey Hey It’s Saturday in the red faces section, or kicking the dew off the grass in the early game.

Dylan Ribbons is a tough in-and-under player, but I question his fitness as he looks a bit banged up to me.

It’s going to be a long year for Jake Keller, who will have to carry the load.

Mannum were smashed by more than 100 points in the reserves, so there is not a lot to bring up and the cracks are appearing in the Wayne Knowles game plan.

It’s looking very much like Wayne’s World out there and there is nowhere to hide.

Jervois are just chugging along with the choke still in and they will chop Mannum up Saturday because they have a core group of tough seasoned players in Michael Pope, Josh Woodall, Zane Barry, Ryan McKaye and the old faithful – “Buckets” Burkett – who don’t mind playing a bit of hard ball.

Big Tony Gibson will be too smart for Mannum big man Blake Webster.

Adam Diamond, a likely-looking type from Victoria, is finding his feet; Luke Kluske is going along nicely; and I shudder to think of the effect it will have on the young Mannum players when Josh Scott comes thundering through centre half forward yelling “get out of my way”.

I hope Knowles is a religious man, as I would suggest taking a trip to the nearest synagogue and lighting a candle for mercy wouldn’t be a bad plan.

How good is that Jervois defence?

We won’t know as Mannum won’t test it.

It’s a privilege for Mannum to host Jervois on Saturday but Jervois are looking at retribution for previous years of pain inflicted by the home side.

Jervois by 100 points plus.

Imperials v Meningie

You learn something every day in this business.

Before Easter, Imperials coach Scott McMahon got sent off for 10 minutes for a minor misdemeanor.

He spent a good portion of his time off chatting to the Jervois punters in a very friendly manner – almost like an audition for the Jervois coaching job for season 2022.

In his 120 games with North Melbourne I bet he didn’t observe that friendly behavior from Brad Scott.

He has morphed into “Casper the friendly coach”.

Imperials are coming off a 21-day break and it will take them a few minutes to shake off the rust.

They are chasing a premiership, Meningie are chasing survival.

Brody Vandenbrink, Peter Riechelt, Tim Hartman and Greg Saddlier and big Hughie Greenwood are like the boys with their finger in the dyke.

Sam Sanders is their class player, however an interesting side show will be Jimmy Lawson taking on John the Boras.

Jimmy Lawson might frighten every kid in Meningie, but John the Boras is not going to let him get in his way of taking the Coleman.

If only the 1989 Mail Medalist Dave McKechnie could saddle up this week – he was a champion some 32 years ago but he is still the Bears’ best hope in ruck.

Imperials will use this week as a training exercise and they will politely ask the Meningie boys if they will act as the cone shifters for the training drills.

James Clark is the best defender in a competition not known for its defensive skills.

McMahon is getting games into his young players and they are gaining confidence.

They need Sam DeMichele up and about, as he gives their forward line another dimension with his kicking skills.

Meningie average fewer than seven goals per game and concede nearly 24 goals per game – that says it all.

Imperials by 100 points plus.


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