IT’S round four and who would have thought the Mypolonga Tigers and the Meningie Bears would be undefeated and playing for top spot.
The River Murray Football League is set to collapse and the chances of it ever recovering are disappearing by the minute.
Meningie have won the two games they expected to win but due to Easter they are coming off a 21-day break and will have a soft underbelly.
Unlike the Tigers, who have been carrying all before them but have barely raised a sweat in their opening three games and haven’t been tested as yet.
The difference between the teams at this minute is that the Tigers have five of the top eight goal kickers in the competition which gives a potent attack and one that the Meningie defenders in Peter Reichelt and Michael Arbon will struggle to contain.
The Tigers have got the height in Matthew Kowald, the strength in James Moss and Brad Martin and if they regain Gene Robinson from the Crows, where does the Meningie defence start?
William Abbott in the midfield is in career best form, Lachlan Butler gives the Tigers penetration and as we head into May the Tigers look invincible with the biggest decision facing new president David Altmann is how many barrels to order for September 20.
Just at this moment they have a good mix, they are playing with confidence and they are running over the opposition and the wise old sages that hang around the club are very bullish about their prospects.
There are a lot of back-slappers at Tigerland, most of them among the playing ranks but they have been burnt many times before in April-May but still persist in ordering their premiership shirts, and rightly so as that what they do very well.
Meningie are the big unknown in the equation.
No one has seen them, most of us can’t say Myles Warmington let alone seen him.
He is the invisible man of the RMFL but he is leading every award in the competition and I daresay if the season was aborted because of a war in the Crimea, Myles Warmington would be awarded the River Murray best and fairest trophy.
Meningie coach James Moore has kept a lid on the Bears but they have picked up some class players in Jake Liston and Brian Fenton from North Adelaide but there big bonus has been the form of the big man Jarrad Thorpe and their onballers Mthew Brunoli, Dean Rossi and Kieran Stone.
They have been solid in their opening two games and if Josh Benbow turns up to play Mark Brown will have to assign his best defender Corey Jones to shut him down which is something he won’t like doing.
Meningie haven’t journeyed to the hub of the world just yet, they are scouting the suburbs of Jervois and Mypolonga and just getting the feel of it at this stage but Saturday they must put in a performance or otherwise the punters will say nothing changed.
I’m tipping the bubble to burst because I can’t see the Bears defenders shutting down all the Tigers forwards.
I’ve been wrong before but the Tigers by 51 to 60 points
Ramblers v Jervois
There is a lot of history between these two clubs and some of it not pleasant – and with both clubs coming off opening wins they will be keen to build on it.
Jervois had no right to win last week.
If you could line that team up and compare it to a previous team that have pulled on the red and black, the 2014 side’s job would be to cut up the oranges.
Its just about the worst line-up I’ve seen in the past decade but last week they showed what it means to wear the red and black jumper.
Saturday was all about the grind, the grit and the determination that this club instills in its players.
On paper they had no hope but Saturday was about the human spirit and the will to win that’s still alive and well at Jervois.
Ramblers turned the corner last week and they are adjusting to the coaching style of Simon Fidge.
Fidge has got them fit; they have covered their losses and last start they ran all over the reigning premiers
The return of Matthew Altmann has made a huge difference.
He is still short of his best but he is getting stronger each week and the way Fidge has recast the side it’s given the Reds a lot of options.
They have a bit of strike with Altmann, Jake Sutcliffe, Alex Button and last week’s Anzac medallist Jarrad Weyland and this week they run into the league’s most generous defence.
The barometer for Ramblers is if the big three of Altmann, Weyland and Liam O’Neil are firing, Ramblers are firing, and last week that happened.
Alex Mason took it right up to the Mannum talls and against Jervois he can ruck against fresh air because the Bludes don’t have any ruckman, although the return of Darren Foster who will be competitive.
The Pfeiffer family, led by Sam, Ty and Alex have a bit of class about them, a fair bit more than Jervois have got to offer.
Jervois will have a crack led by the classy Matthew Hodge, Clint Richardson has slotted in nicely but they rely on Owen Love to score.
When the big “O” and Alex Button line up from 60 metres you can put down your glasses.
I’m not convinced Jervois are a finals side, they got up last week on grit and determination but you can’t beat class as they lack pace and they lack scoring options and that will catch them out at head quarters.
It’s a big letdown from last week but Ramblers 51 to 60 points
Mannum v Tailem Bend
Mannum coached by “Half-game” Hall, Tailem Bend coached by “Half-game Duane” Eddy should move a motion to allow all patrons half price entry as both clubs are only performing for half a game each week and they are the men responsible.
There are excuses for Tailem Bend but none for Mannum.
This was always going to happen at Mannum that’s why the smartest man at Mannum Shane Yeates jumped ship; he saw it coming and got out right in time.
History shows that after the 2003 premiership Mannum collapsed and it took them 10 years to recover.
It’s no good having the best kitchen in the Southern Hemisphere if there is nothing to cook. Do you want to win My Kitchen Rules or the 2014 RMFL premiership?
It’s obvious the level of fitness at Mannum is a long way off the required level of RMFL football and if they don’t put in the required effort to be competitive Chris Hall may not be there in the second round.
The other question being asked is, is Chris Hall too nice a bloke to coach?
If you ask his stunning wife Amber she thinks he is the salt of the earth but maybe Mannum need a bit more of the Yeates mongrel to motivate them.
Even at round two its obvious they can’t kick enough goals and its a team riddled with class containing some of South Australia country’s finest players who are only going through the motions.
Jeremy Clayton is a champion but if “Jezza” went to the beach people would be ringing talk back radio saying a whale had beached.
Its pretty obvious no Mick O’Malley, no Mannum.
No rebound from defence but at least they are getting something from Rhys Bullard and Brad Wakefield.
Tailem Bend is in a dilemma as they have a life line to Glenelg through Matthew Lokan.
The problem is Tailem Bend would just about beat Glenelg and they players that have pushed out to the Eagles are either recovering from injury or have been cut from the list.
Last week it was Shaun Tapp, the week before Josh Trembath but Matt Lokan is in for a fair shock at Mannum.
At Collingwood he played on the ‘G – but this is the real MCG, the Mannum Cricket Ground where once a man was accidentally bitten and he needed a rabies shot to recover.
For the Eagles Louis Bannister, has had two starts, twice in the placings.
New ruckman Robert Thursby, after an impressive start, is doubtful with an arm injury but its a massive job ahead for the seasoned players in Aaron Wanders, Brendan Moon and Jarryd Linde to get the Eagles up and about for this one and if they get to within 10 goals that’s as good as a win.
Mannum 61 to 70 points.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.