RMFL preview: Ramblers head to Mypolonga for Anzac clash
Shane Snell and Matt Hood preview the River Murray Football League's matches for round three, 2023.
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Anzac commemorations will continue in the River Murray Football League this Saturday with a ceremony preceding the live-streamed match between Mypolonga and Ramblers.
Two newly struck medals will be up for grabs in that game: the Bill Martin Anzac Medal for the Tigers’ best player, and the Laurie Debois Anzac Medal for Ramblers.
Both medals – and those given out in other matches over two weeks of commemorations – were named in honour of service personnel with connections to the RMFL’s clubs.
Murray Bridge News asked commentators Shane Snell and Matt Hood for their tips for round three, 2023.
Mypolonga v Ramblers
Ramblers showed plenty of speed and defensive pressure in their round-one loss to Imperials, but they’ll be up against it again this week, Snell said – “they’ll miss Michael Wegener, and they lack a couple of quality tall players”.
Neither he nor Hood had seen Mypo play yet, but with the likes of Nick Hombsch and Patrick Davies lining up, he thought they had a stronger side than last year.
Hood agreed – “the more they play, the better they’ll get”.
Mitchell Bowley was a good utility and Todd Howson, unavailable for the first two rounds, would strengthen the defence if he came in this week.
“When I look at Ramblers, there’s no superstars in there – there’s Aaron Pratt, Keynan Harradine – but the rest of their list are good, honest A grade players,” Hood said.
“Max Marchetti played their last match; Mack Wenske, he was alright; Shannon Callery, he’s a versatile player; Lual Kelei, he’s a really good young junior.
“But I think Mypo will get the job done.”
Shane Snell’s tip: Mypolonga
Matt Hood’s tip: Mypolonga
Tailem Bend v Mannum
Despite having lost to the Suns last week, Tailem Bend didn’t look as bad as our commentators expected in the preseason.
They were in last week’s match against Southern Mallee for three-and-a-half quarters, Hood said, but couldn’t quite get it done – “they made a few turnover errors and the Suns made them pay”.
Jacob Wilson had been a shining light, kicking four and looking elusive, Snell said; Scott Chandler was a good player; and some young players were stepping up to the opportunities on offer.
But he predicted the Eagles would struggle against better sides.
Mannum had Mitchell Smith coming off a medal-winning performance last Saturday, plus a strong defence featuring Michael O’Malley and Bryce Jaensch.
“For Mannum to go down to the wire against the Cats is a good sign for them,” Hood said.
“I think they’ll be too good this week.”
Snell agreed that the Roos had been underdone last week, coming off a round-one bye, but would win this one comfortably.
Shane Snell’s tip: Mannum
Matt Hood’s tip: Mannum
Mallee v Imperials
The Mallee Storm might be winless, but they would make Imperials work hard this weekend, Snell predicted.
“I was quite impressed with their endeavour (last week),” he said.
“Their good players are really key – the big ruck in Riley Bowles, the centre man, the centre half-forward in Lachlan Paddick – a bit of a rock star with long, blond hair who flies for marks – and Michael Leonard the key forward.
“Throw in ‘Rudey’ (Chris Rudiger), who did a brilliant job on (Josh) Scott, and the X factor player, Shane Paech, who can take a big grab and kick a long goal; and they’ve got guys on the periphery who bring the pressure … they’re building as a team.”
But their loss to Jervois had shown them up for a lack of match fitness, Hood said.
Once they improved that, they would be competitive.
For Imps, Johnny Boras, Clint Diment and Jack Penfold all played big roles in last week’s 54-point win, with a talented supporting cast behind them.
“You look through the whole list and there’s not too many passengers,” Snell said.
Shane Snell’s tip: Imperials
Matt Hood’s tip: Imperials
Jervois v Southern Mallee
This one will be a cracker between two undefeated sides.
Both Snell and Hood predicted a tight finish.
Key for the Suns would be Thomas Keough, who took a whack in the ribs in last week’s match, and Josh Smithson.
“I think the Suns will come to play and looking forward to the test,” Snell said.
“They’re looking for a real challenge as they come up to the River Murray.”
A couple of Jervois players copped injuries last week: it looked like a hamstring for Ty Burkett, Josh Scott rolled an ankle, and Ben Hansen got drilled before moving forward for a rest and kicking five goals.
None of it should faze them on their home deck.
“Jervois use the ball well, they spread well, they link up cleverly as a team – they’ve advanced in that department this year,” Snell said.
Shane Snell’s tip: Jervois
Matt Hood’s tip: Jervois