Last week`s tips on the footy did not suit those that made me a super attractive offer to return to the “Leaders in Sport” for 2014 but I didn`t get off to a very good start on Anzac Day with those two t2013 Grand Final ‘reversals’.
This week in RIVERLAND A GRADE FOOTBALL a ton of interest will centre on the clash of Renmark and Waikerie at Renmark to see where the 2015 Rovers are at.
They have recruited well in the addition of blokes like Kyle Parks and Sam Bamford but also last season`s ‘big guns’ Shane Walker, Trevor Thorpe and Jaryd Rowe were straight down to business in the team`s comfortable first up win over Berri.
In fact I am going for Renmark at home by a few points over a Magpie lineup that got over Loxton and had the ‘must be held’ Damian Stevens, Glen Schrieber and newcomer Adam Braendler hitting the ground running.
At Panther Park Loxton North, with recruits Scott Meneghetti and Jarrad Cramner looking the goods, should also beat a Loxton side that may need time to settle down.
Despite the great start by Leigh Kruger the Tigers need an urgent injection into their midfield to cover the loss of some ‘travelling’ players.
Berri at home is another side that will take time in getting all of its new personal to ‘gel’ and it will struggle against the fast starting Roos.
Barmera Monash has shrugged off its significant player losses and simply got on with business with some excellent youngsters entering the fray.
The Demons would be well pleased at the performances of its stalwarts Peter Safralidis, Darren Marner and Adam Beauchamp first up.
In the INDEPENDENT COMPETITION Cobdogla versus Moorook Kingston at Cobby is a puzzle as both were impressive in round one.
The Warriors are chosen with its near new combination boasting instant form players in Terry Packer, Brett Smith, Matt Morrell and Ben Knispel but it will not be easy against a Cobdogla side that also impressed with Zac Walker, Tommy De Jager and seven goal veteran Darrell Tilbrook showing the way.
Blanchetown Swan Reach made a dream start by toppling the Swans a week ago and with Dale Payne, Troy Cowland and co strutting their stuff it is likely to make it two from two at home against a Lyrup side that understandably will need ‘time’.
At Paruna the Bombers also got off to a flying start with the late arrival of a group from down river complementing the Hampels and Smiths nicely and it should continue to win this week against a Ramco side that may surprise as the season unfolds.
Paringa against Wunkar at Paringa may be a tough day for the visitor with the Swans smarting from their first up loss and set to regain a number of first choice players who missed the opening game.
In the MALLEE LEAGUE all the talk is about Peake after it has won its opening two games impressively. But on Saturday it faces another undefeated side in Lameroo in the Hawks’
 Nest–a tough ask.
Gabe Phillips, Baker and Hare lead a strong Peake lineup but Lameroo also has a host of players in early touch including Haydon Thorpe and goal kickers Agelis and Hunter. The Hawks at home just.
Pinnaroo at home has the Nickolls boys starring but it may not have the depth to match a Murrayville side that put real pressure on BDT last outing. Worsman, the Cranes, Gates, Wyatt and Sporn should carry the Victorian side to victory.
How does BDT 2014 model compare with 2013? The judges are out although Lachie Richardson, Keller and co. Are not a bad nucleus. At Karoonda this week its opponent the Magpies have been disappointing so far with two losses, last week by a comfortable margin to Peake. BDT are chosen to win with Karoonda needing a lot more support for Corey Knight, Graetz and Rudiger.
Most people in the know agree the strict Loxton North A1 Junior Policy is about to produce dividends but gee it is about to be tested tomorrow night
Loxton North versus a Loxton side that also has benefited by the recruiting of Katie Saville from Barmera and return of former star Sharona Edwards.
Loxton was “awesome” last week and is chosen to win narrowly against a side that has obviously gained strength by Lori Sandland`s return to join the likes of Marlee George, Hanna Learhinan, Jordan Jachmann, Erika Sporn and Ellie Thomas.
Bedrri versus Barmera is an interesting one with form still not known.
Berri is still working out some coaching issues apparently while Barmera has the ‘rebuilding’ sign out.
“Tipsy” is going for a Barmera win with Sue Whitbourne, Cobie Drogemuller, Meg Gillespie and Bailey Miller perhaps just giving it the edge over Berri where Amy Henwood, Ellee Eleftheriadis and Katie Krollig made good starts last week.
Waikerie in its return to A1 level last week ran into a rampant Loxton and it does not get any easier this Friday night when it travels to Renmark, the home of the reigning champions.
To its credit Waikerie had a real go last outing with Hannah Lehmann, Emma Ziegler and Tegan Griffiths prominent but it will find it tough against the even strength of Renmark boasting the likes of Denika Gartery, Sophie Croft, Sonja Modlinski, Hannah Foody and co.
The 2014 season starts on Friday night and continues on Saturday and tipping winners is as usual a nightmare for a number of reasons, including mainly, who will line up for the various teams?
Players from Adelaide will continue to return ‘home’ in 2014 when they are free to do so.
The Riverland competitions certainly boast a number of talented players who have been around for some seasons but an exciting part of 2014 will be the number of juniors continuing to force their way into senior teams.
At Glassey Park on Friday night at 7pm in the A grade Women Berri, with Australian Country player Naomi Wetherill joining the ranks, will take on Waikerie. Berri contains a good blend of youth and experience in youngsters Ada Walladge, Kira McMahon, Emma Cetri, Kerry Miles in goals, Australian Masters player Jen Kiel and Jane Hustler.
Waikerie too has good balance through Carlye Waye, Thalia Boatswain, Anna Kroehn, Kristen Pick and rookies Ashleigh Baker and Trinity Schmidt.
In the first of four “toss ups” –Berri.
After that at 8-30 the Berri and Waikerie men meet. Berri has Beau Delaine back and Paul Santos and Matt Reeks have a solid line up including Anthony Segui, Tim Trewren and Dylan Couzner ready to go. But they run into a potentially top side if Waikerie has the nucleus of coach Ryan Edwards, Jason Redemski, Mark and Brenton Kroehn, and rookies Nick Hocking, Adam Hollamby and James Smith on the pitch in the same game.
Waikerie by a whisker.
On Saturday at 5pm at Glassey Park Loxton plays rival Renmark in A grade Women. Loxton beat Renmark in the last game they played as they often do–by one goal in a thrilling 2013 Grand Final.
Rumours suggest Loxton has lost a large part of its premiership team including stalwart Billie Jo Hammerstein but a look at its list – coach Tara Allister, Tracy Townsend, Poppi and Suzi Stivahtaras Steph Baird etc, etc suggests it will still be tough to beat. Renmark will not see much of Juliett Malinson apparently but will be hoping to have experienced Daniel Weeks available and fit to compliment a pretty formidable list including Bec Keynes, Sally Giles, Laura Strout and juniors Chloe Weigall and Brooke Webb.
‘Tipsy’ thinks it is Renmark`s turn—again just.
The final match of the round is Loxton versus Renmark in A Men at 6-30 on Saturday night.
Unlike its women`s team Loxton has retained most of its 2013 premiership team including Karl Hennig, Tim Pannell, Michael Lange, Ryan and Josh Hentschke but has reportedly gained some further recruits. On the other hand Brett Stokes takes his experience back to Renmark and in Dan Shawyer, Callum Benda, Aden Shaw and Stephen Cresp has some talent to work with.
But Loxton to win.