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RMFL preview: Lokan Cup will be on the line at Tailem Bend
Commentator Shane Snell casts his eye over the round six, 2023 fixture in the River Murray Football League.
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Three clubs are starting to rise above the rest in the River Murray Football League’s A grade as the season rolls on.
Where does that leave the RMFL’s clubs ahead of this weekend’s matches?
Here’s what commentator Shane Snell thinks.
Tailem Bend v Jervois
The Lokan Cup will be on the line at Jaensch Park this Saturday, and Jervois will be favourites to take it back home with them.
“They’ve got too much firepower,” Snell said.
“I don’t think Tailem Bend’s defence will be enough to hold Josh Scott and Ben Hansen.
“Peter Zarantonello is in red-hot form, and they’ve got strength on every line.”
The Eagles have had time to reset after failing to kick a goal against the Cats a fortnight ago.
Ageing Nathan Stark, Daniel Perks, Ben Rossi and on-baller Aiden Coakley will need more support from the rest of the team this time around.
They’ll hope to get players back from injury and to make the game a contest.
Shane’s tip: Jervois
Coorong v Imperials
It’ll be worth the petrol money and the entrance fee to get down to Meningie and see Louis DeMichele and Matt Hartman battle it out in the ruck.
“Both are in really good form and provide not only overhead strength and attack work, but also win the ball on the ground,” Snell said.
“They’re similar, nimble players.”
Beyond that, though, he thought Imps would have more bite, despite Clint Diment having come off at three-quarter time last week with a bit of tightness.
He credited Jacob Rance, in particular, for doing some “really clever” work directing traffic across half-back last week.
Sam Ploenges, Brad Thompson and Sam Sanders give the Coorong side a solid backbone, but James Lawson will be tested as he attempts to contain Blues forward Johnny Boras.
Charlie Fisher and Jack Holliday’s strength in the air will be important for the home side.
“The Cats will be licking their wounds from a real sting last week,” Snell said.
“They’ll be back a bit harder and more focused.
“But Imps have got a bit more of an even spread of talent.”
Shane’s tip: Imperials
Mypolonga v Southern Mallee
This one could be a backbreaker for the Tigers, a week after their first win of the season – or it could be a trap game for the Suns.
Midfielder Paddy Davies and consistent Riley Robinson have refreshed Mypolonga’s lineup this season, and Todd Howson and Stephen Mills should both be back in.
Mitch Bowley and Jack Wilkins would be handy around the goals, too, Snell said, and livewire Jack Zadow would get in and under – “they’ll certainly make the Suns work”.
Meanwhile, Ben Moroney kicked seven for Southern Mallee last week, so “they’ll have to keep an eye on him”, and Tommy Howard was another effective forward.
The usual suspects – O’Driscoll, Keough, Smithson – were the movers and shakers, and Jason Brown had been doing well at half-back.
“Could this be the week the Suns take their foot off the pedal, thinking this is going to be an easy game?” Snell wondered.
“They could be surprised.
“I think they’ll be too good, but they’ll have to work for it.”
Shane’s tip: Southern Mallee
Ramblers v Mannum
This game should be an interesting one.
Snell went with his gut and tipped Ramblers in a close one, but predicted it could easily go either way.
Kye Roberts had proven a handy and experienced pick-up for the Roosters, adding to the quality of Alex Pfeiffer, consistency of Cameron Schubert and pace of Jacob Trevorrow.
Half-back Alfie Gollan and regular contributor Matt Wenske rated a mention, too.
However, the injured Daniel Guttilla would be missed.
Mannum’s Ethan Leister had picked up an ankle injury last week, too, Snell said – “we wish him well”.
But the Roos could still call on young ruck Jacob Stagg; strong, pacey newcomer Matt Skrypek; possession-getter Mitchell Smith; goal-scorer Dylan Ribbons; and half-back Aiden Holland.
“They need those guys to support Michael O’Malley and the two Bullards,” Snell said.
Shane’s tip: Ramblers
Correction: Meningie is not playing a match this weekend. Obviously.