RMFL preview: Rivalries resume as league stars head home
The Southern Mallee Suns will host the Mannum Roos in the River Murray Football League match of the week. Here's Shane Snell's preview of round nine, 2023.
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Normal service is about to resume in the River Murray Football League after last weekend’s inter-league triumph.
Commentator Shane Snell says he can’t remember the last time the RMFL beat the Hills.
What he can do, though, is provide his tips ahead of this this weekend’s matches.
Southern Mallee v Mannum
The match of the round, at Lameroo, will pit the red-hot Suns against the middling and injury-hit Roos.
Southern Mallee are coming off a two-week layoff, since they had the bye a fortnight ago.
But Snell said they “haven’t put a foot wrong” this season and he didn’t expect them to start on Saturday.
“Their good players are in good form – Josh Smithson, Rory O’Driscoll, Ben Moroney – and they all performed really well in the inter-league match, which will put them in good stead for the weekend,” he said.
Thomas Keough will be questionable to return from a rib injury.
Mannum’s Bailey Boughen, Aiden Holland and Dylan Ribbons had all had a solid hit-out too, Snell said.
But he expected the Roos to be up against it – “the Southern Mallee Suns will be too strong”.
Shane’s tip: Southern Mallee
Ramblers v Jervois
Ramblers have been playing a better brand of footy lately, but will it be enough to stop the red and black juggernaut?
Alex Pfeiffer could be a concern for the Murray Bridge side – he came off early in his last match.
More concerning, though, will be Jervois’ forward line.
“Ramblers’ defenders are going to be under a lot of pressure,” Snell predicted.
“I’m not sure they’ve got the firepower to contain Jervois.
“In the middle of the ground they’re really strong, with Riley Vanson, Jacob Trevorrow, Keynan Harradine, Aaron Pratt, those sorts of guys; I’m just not sure where they’re going to get goals.”
Jervois will come into the match on the back of a solid win against Imps two weeks ago, still undefeated and on a mission.
“They’ll be without Ben Hansen and potentially Josh Scott … but ruckman Harry Barnett is performing really well this year, taking his game to another level, and Dylan Barry is in sparkling form,” Snell said.
He noted Mackenzie Hansen, Ben Gogel and Zane Barry, too: “they’re solid across every line”.
Shane’s tip: Jervois
Coorong v Mallee
The River Murray league’s return to Coonalpyn will feature two sides looking to get a leg up as the season grinds on.
The hometown Cats will start as favourites.
“Sam Sanders had a ripper of a game last week,” Snell said.
“Brodie Martin is going to kick goals, Mark and Sam Ploenges will be around the ball, and Alex Stidiford.
“Brad Thompson gives them a bit of run as well.”
The ruck battle could be interesting, though, with Matt Hartman facing the Storm’s Riley Bowles.
“Bowles, what he lacks in height he makes up for in heart and vigour,” Snell said.
“He played a ripper of a game for the league on the weekend.”
Harry Snodgrass will be another player to watch for the Storm, and Andy Vines should be back again after returning from a hamstring injury a fortnight ago.
Shane’s tip: Coorong
Mypolonga v Tailem Bend
Finally, out at Tigerland, Mypo are on a roll.
“Their trajectory is headed in the right direction,” Snell said.
“At the start of the season it took them a while to get off the mark, but now that they’re up and running they’ll shape the final five, and possibly make it.”
They had good players everywhere, he said, from Stephen Mills and Riley Robinson to Jake Altmann and Clark Stegmeyer.
Tailem Bend have a couple of good players in the midfield, of course, in Aidan Coakley and Brodie Edwards.
“They can have a bit of sway in this and be the difference between Tailem Bend having an embarrassing score and being competitive,” Snell said.
“Coakley gets from one end of the ground to the other, he’s got a big motor, he runs all day and he racks up the possessions.”
Tailem’s other assets will include solid defender Patrick Glynn; forward Jacob Wilson, an opportunist who could slip under Mypo’s guard; state country player Daniel Perks; and Ben Rossi: “he’s got a lot of ability but I need to see him around the ball”.
“When you look at Tailem, there’s a lot of players there, but I just think Mypo will get it done,” Snell said.
Shane’s tip: Mypolonga