At Barmera the Roos are at home to Berri fighting for the Fisher Cup and will start red hot favourites after hopping back into the winners` circle in a good work out against Renmark last Saturday. On the other hand the Demons simply have not been able to compensate for the loss of key players from 2012, with injury not helping and leaving too much for skipper Peter Safralidis and blokes like Darren Marner, Jake Langdon and Ryan Porter to do.
Last time these rivals met at Berri Barmera Monash won by 106 points and with the stars of that game Jake Smith, Marc and Sam Elliott still in that kind of form last Saturday you would not think much would change for this outing.
At Waikerie the Magpies welcome Renmark for the Gill – Lehmann Cup clash and they will be in an angry mood after the Panthers brought a few weeks of really promising form to an abrupt end in round eight. Waikerie won the earlier game at Renmark this season 13-17 (95) to 8-17 (65) with prize recruit Reid Beeching, Steve Braun and Glen Schrieber making the honours list. That trio and ball magnet Tim Bevan are still leading the way but the man they also desperately need back from injury is Ben Venning to organise the forward area. The Rovers are another club unlucky with injury but their best with Shane Walker, Trevor Thorpe, Tim Blight and Jaryd Rowe prominent has been up with the best . Big Steven Pitt, Nick Malinovski and Josh Warnock fit and firing could take the Rovers to ‘upset’ territory but not in this Cup game in front of the Magpie faithful who didn`t enjoy seeing the feathers fly last week.
Talking of upsets the Tigers nearly pulled one off when they travelled to Panther Park in round four when they led the highly fancied undefeated Loxton North side by 26 points at three quarter time but were caught in the shadow of the post by a Ryan Gray, Josh Nelson, Lachlan Hentschke and Ryan Proud (4 goals) inspired home side. Since then North have lost to Barmera Monash and Renmark but last week with those same players to the fore they returned to form with that win over Waikerie. On the other hand Loxton has undoubtably improved as its Adelaide contingent and new recruits Ryan Nickolls and Brok Schubert add good form to the likes of stalwarts Leigh Kruger, Nick Uren and Ash Montgomery. Whether that improvement is sufficient to see the Tigers at home win the Proud Cup clash against their pacy and well drilled neighbour is the weekend`s big puzzle. The Panthers –just.
——Round eight of the INDEPENDENT competition is chockful of interest as teams like Browns Well and Ramco in particular try to bridge the gap between them and the top four Paringa, East Murray, Moorook Kingston and 2012 premier Blanchetown Swan Reach
East Murray at home to Moorook Kingston should be an absolute cracker. Earlier in the season the Warriors at Moorook served notice that their new assembly of players were a threat by outplaying East Murray by 30 points with Daniel Clarke with seven goals, Matthew Morrell and Ben Will amongst those doing the damage. Well the Tigers will want to watch out for those players again on Saturday as they starred with Clarke booting another seven last Saturday against Wunkar. But East Murray have continued to defy the odds in 2013 showing a lot of old fashioned G&D to wrest some games out of the fire against quality opposition. Having two big men like Chris Rudiger and Blake Milich in this competition is an absolute luxury and with Jesse Smith running into form the 2013 ‘surprise packets’ may still have a lot of upside. Looking at the Warriors` list who could tip against them? Us with no reason except the old reliable ‘home ground advantage’.
BSR after dropping the game against Paringa last outing will be really fired up and in their own territory will not make it a welcoming area for Eagles. But the Redbacks need more players to add bite to the efforts stars Troy Cowland and Dale Payne produce week in and week out or those threats from lower in the order may indeed exterminate them from finals action. Cobdogla has not been able to deliver on its early season promise with injury a curse and too much being left to too few . The home side comfortably.
Wunkar continues to battle it out with super veterans Shane Schulz and Daniel Evans displaying the Bulldog spirit but they host a Paringa side that in defeating the reigning premier indicated that it is building nicely towards the business end. The Swans won by 94 points last time the teams met and were nowhere near flying as high as they are now when they have blokes like Isaac Frahn, Sam Sharley and Blair Dillon finding their way into best players rankings. Much the same again even though it is in Bulldog territory.
Browns Well against 2012 grand finalist Ramco at Paruna looms as a solid home side win now that the Bombers have got over the stage fright of performing in front of their local faithful. Geordie Franks, with five goals last week back in form, Craig Hyde and the highly ranked Brad Williams strutting their stuff seems like too much for a Rooster side that has not quite been able to fill in the gaps left by the stars that vacated from last season. Ramco did give a burst a few weeks ago with Cameron Hawke and Nathan Hart showing the way but you cannot see it beating a Bomber side that is desperately trying to recoup the ground it lost in a number of narrow defeats in earlier rounds.
—–In the MALLEE, remembering that when Lameroo hosted neighbour Pinnaroo in round four and won 22-16 (148) to 16-8 (104), despite the high scoring it hardly seems logical that a meeting of the two rivals this week arguably warrants ‘Match of the Day’ ranking.
But last week the Hawks had a miserable afternoon only scoring 3-10 against Border Downs Tintinara while Pinnaroo, after threatening to do so for several outings, won handsomely against Peake. Last Saturday only Matt Ridgway, Shaun Walker and Ben Grieger waved the Lameroo flag from what had appeared a solid list in upsetting Karoonda seven days earlier and they will need far more help if they are to meet this genuine Pinnaroo threat. Pinnaroo has certainly gained not only confidence but respect from opponents but despite the efforts of inter league star Tyrone Bennetts, Alex Keough, Brad Sheridan and company it may still just fall short of an opponent aware of the rumblings from up the road.
Peake greet Karoonda anxious to turn around the 43 point loss of the earlier 2012 get together. For both of these clubs the performance surrounds who they get out on the grass on the day. Both clubs lost crucial games last week which makes this a must win for each of them. Unless there is a draw then perhaps the Magpies, if they get some important members back from injury and have goal kicker Corey Knight back in health and form may take the points.
Trevor Rigney up forward for Peake remains a big threat however.
At Murrayville interest in the local side`s clash with undefeated top side BDT extends over the whole league an beyond. Can the second placed side finally take it right up to the hot pennant favourite and inject new life into the competition? And the Crows may just be slightly vulnerable with the “Josh Factor” not significant last week with Keller absent and Richardson ‘dulled’ after their super efforts against Mid South East a week earlier. But in Lachy Richardson, Pat Barrett and Ben Hooper and many others there were still plenty to get the job done. Murrayville has really got its game together in recent weeks with Ali Vessali in Mail Medal territory, Clayton Sporn and Clinton Gates showing form and the match winning ability of Drew Crane forever threatening. You have to lean towards the BDT juggernaut but they will be conscious of the Victorians often being unkind to any SA team that dare cross the border.