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RMFL preview: Storm are coming to Le Messurier Oval for the first time
Shane Snell looks ahead to round four of the 2023 season in the River Murray Football League.
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A storm is coming to Murray Bridge – the Mallee Storm, to be specific.
While the match of the round may well be at Johnstone Park, where Imperials will meet the Suns in a top-of-the-table clash, the River Murray Football League’s broadcast team will be across town at Le Messurier Oval, where Ramblers will face another new club.
Shane Snell will be behind a mic on Saturday, but in the meantime – with fellow commentator Matt Hood away on holiday – Murray Bridge News asked him for his tips.
Ramblers v Mallee
The lads from the Mallee are still looking for their first win in the RMFL, and they’ll get a chance on their first trip into Murray Bridge.
Snell predicted that the likes of Riley Bowles, defender Luke Sparks and Michael Leonard would make things close.
“The Mallee Storm are coming – they challenged Imps last week,” he said.
“At one stage I think it was 5.15 to five goals, but the Blues kicked away.”
Still, he reckoned the Roosters would sneak home in a tight one.
“To their credit, they played a good game (last week),” he said.
“Alex Pfeiffer, he went into the ruck at half time after starting at half-back and ended up winning the Anzac medal; Aaron Pratt was pretty solid.
“I think they’d be pleased with the way they played; they will be buoyed by that and I think they’ll need it.”
Shane’s tip: Ramblers
Coorong v Tailem Bend
An Eagles trip down to Meningie normally results in a good tussle, and that’s likely to be no different this season, even with the home side in new colours.
For Tailem Bend, Daniel Perks and Scott Chandler are in good form, but another player to watch might be Brodie Edwards.
“He’s been a key pick-up, the ex-Glenelg player – he’s enjoying a run in the country,” Snell said.
“The son of Tyson Edwards, he’s fitting in really well out there.”
Ruckman Matt Hartman was proving key for the Coorong club, by all accounts, not just with his tap-work but with his run all over the ground.
Pacey Brad Thompson, the darting Ploenges brothers and forward Brodie Martin would help, too.
Snell was on the fence about how good the Cats might prove to be over the course of the season – “they’re still on the improve” – but he expected them to win by two or three goals this week.
“Tailem Bend are a bit better than we thought, but I think Coorong will get the job done,” he said.
Shane’s tip: Coorong
Mannum v Jervois
Jervois are three from three so far in 2023, and will like their chances again this week.
Mannum had been building, Snell said: “they lost a close one to the Cats, then went to Tailem Bend and had a pretty solid game”.
Michael O’Malley had been a stand-out down the back, and Jacob Stagg in the ruck, among others.
But the Bluds will come in with Peter Zarantonello, Lachlan Thomas and Josh Scott in form.
“Although it’s Mannum’s home ground, I think Jervois will open up Mannum with their precision passing,” Snell said.
“That will be the key to this game: possession.
“I think Mannum will make a game of it though.”
Shane’s tip: Jervois
Imperials v Southern Mallee
The Blues and Suns will face off for early-season bragging rights at the top of the RMFL ladder this Saturday.
“Four players come into this match in white-hot form: Jack Penfold and Clint Diment up against Josh Smithson and Rory O’Driscoll,” Snell said.
“That’ll be a very interesting encounter in the middle of the ground – and Thomas Keough is leading the goal-kicking as an on-baller as well.”
Don’t count out Imperial talisman Johnny Boras on that count, either – he snagged six in his last outing, after all.
“(Imps) have got quality all over the ground and I think they’ll get over the line,” Snell said.
Shane’s tip: Imperials