Boots and All: RMFL's top five are set after round one

Peter Dalwood worries that Meningie and Mypolonga are already out of contention for 2021 in the River Murray Football League.

This post was contributed by Peter Dalwood. Murray Bridge News is publishing Boots and All on a trial basis. Send your feedback to

It’s brutal but it’s true, and now it’s only a matter of getting them in order.

Meningie host the Mypolonga Tigers this week and they are playing for the wooden spoon.

The clubs scored nine goals between them last week and both are undermanned.

Meningie are coming off a 25-goal pasting and they wouldn’t be happy with that result.

Remember Leon Spinks?

He knocked out Muhammad Ali in 1978 to capture the world heavyweight championship and became a boxing hall of fame member.

Last Saturday his long-lost cousin turned out for the Bears but he got his venues mixed up – he thought it was Madison Square Garden, New York not the Meningie Cricket Ground, AKA the MCG; tried to take out Tailem Bend coach Ben Hansen before a ball had been bounced; and copped a send-off.

I reckon it’s time to look in the mirror because this is not good enough.

We have a duty of care towards our players.

It’s up to you, Adam Moller; you’re the coach, you set the agenda.

Five goals won’t win many games in this humble league; the Bears just lack firepower, with the stand-out being Sam Sanders, currently their leading goal kicker with one.

The Tigers are not much better; they were kicked off the park by 75 points against an opponent who took some sympathy towards them.

They are undersized and playing a bunch of kids but I take my hat off to coach Matt Lindner.

He rejected the services of gun midfielder Rory Taggert as he knows that he will be catching the bus to Naracoorte after Easter.

He decided to get games into these kids and take the pain with the rebuild.

Meningie is a club 123 years of age, it’s a proud club with the best oval in the RMFL and the best changerooms in the competition, and nobody wants to see a repetition of last week’s results from either team.

If Meningie get crushed they will go down faster than a fat kid on a seesaw.

The Tigers don’t travel well, especially to Meningie, and they will give the Bears some chances but are they good enough to take them?

I tip Mypolonga by 21 to 30 points.

Ramblers v Tailem Bend

It was Tailem Bend’s best start to a season in 15 years, but let’s put it in perspective.

Connor Smelt had 14 goals in round one, but 31 goals in season 2020 and he is eying off the Coleman already.

It’s alleged a Go Fund Me page has been set up for a bronze statue of him at the entrance to Jaensch Park.

The big man, coach Cory Smelt, wants himself included under the father-son rule but there is not enough bronze in Australia for both of them.

Was last week just a flash in the pan or can Connor back it up with another bag against tougher opposition?

You can only win, but this week they get the chance to show their loyal followers if they are fair dinkum or just pretenders making up the numbers for 2021.

The Roosters are not the powerhouse of yesteryear but they have history of winning games that matter and this is a crunch game for them.

Jacob Trevorrow, Clint Walker and Matt Hartman are a formidable midfield, but if the Eagles can curb their influence you have to ask where the Reds can score their goals from.

These guys are very good when five goals up and running free, but I want to see them three goals down and see how they handle that pressure.

They had their chances last week but couldn’t get the job done.

Tailem Bend are traveling to headquarters with a spring in their step and received a confidence boost last week with an easy kill.

Westoff stood up last week and so he should have; McKenzie, Hansen and Rossi are new additions this year and got the job done but they may get overawed playing in front of royalty.

The big addition to Tailem Bend is the appointment of Shane Peach to the coaching staff – he has added 100 points to the IQ of this coaching group.

He told me he has football smarts and I believe him.

We all want to see Ben Hansen up and about.

He has represented SA against WA, he is a beautiful user of the ball and he can play either end of the ground.

He comes from very good stock, as his dad was a gun and has been known to sample the Rooster hospitality in recent times, but this week I’m tipping he will have the royal blue shirt on.

Tailem Bend by 11 to 20 points.

Imperials v Jervois

This is a replay of the 2020 grand final but when you are a student of history like my good self it will show that in round one of 2020 Imperials had a very nice win.

It was also the first and last game for 2020 for Michael Pope, one of their gun recruits.

He looked very impressive that day and it was a tragedy that he missed the rest of the season through injury.

It cost him a premiership, so we hope he can replicate that performance and get a full season under his belt.

Any club that has Taite Silverlock, Josh Scott and Josh Woodall – all of whom had SANFL experience – and adds Pope to the mix will be around the mark at the business end.

Jervois are notoriously slow starters; they don’t peak in March but there is more talk about adding a set of steak knives.

The rumor up Bridge Street that has even has Joe Biden excited is that Big Ron Hill will return at some stage this season.

A wise old sage told me just recently to google Winx, Black Caviar and Rocky Marciano.

They all have one thing in common: they either retired at their peak or undefeated.

Now Big Ron won the BOG in the 2006 grand final, when bread was a shilling a loaf.

Things have changed in 15 years; he is now a married man with a young family and lives on the other side of the world.

Big Ron, it’s time to ask your mother if this is a smart decision.

Imperials did what had to be done last week even though they lost interest after half time, but they owe Jervois one after last year’s grand final.

John the Boras is a big body up forward who bagged nine goals last week and is feeling pretty happy with himself; Louie DeMichele is not a true ruckman but he is the biggest in the Blues outfit and will take on Tony Gibson; Montgomery looks the part; and maybe Sean Samblich will be back from Port Adelaide.

It’s time for Dwayne Wilson to step up as we have all heard that saying “play for show, putt for dough” – come on Dwayne, let’s see what you have got.

Jervois look a bit fragile in defence at this point in time to me.

My tip: Imperials by 21 to 30 points.

You can help keep local features like this one free for everyone to read. Subscribe to Murray Bridge News today and support your locally owned news outlet, plus get access to exclusive stories you won’t find anywhere else, for just $5.50 a month.