Two Wells v Balaklava
TWO Wells presents as the next challenge for unbeaten Balaklava, in what looms to be a genuine 50/50 proposition.
The Roosters have won two matches, both against Angle Vale, but should be right in the mix come finals time in a few months.
Two Wells should have some names back this week, with Andrew Hardiman back, along with Josh Osbourne.
Michael Abdilla is also set to return, although he is likely to have a run in the reserves this week.
Both Shannon and Ben Slattery should have also recovered from a stomach bug.
Two Wells coach, Neville Seccafien, said the match will mean some possible changes on Thursday night.
“Balaklava will have a bit more leg speed, so we will have to look at that in selection this week,” he said.
Balaklava should regain Brenton Lamond, while Tate Michael (thumb) could be another week away, and Tom Would injured his hamstring at training last week.
Brad Michael should also come up after copping a corky Saturday.
“I think both teams match up well on each other, we play a similar style,” Balaklava coach, Rob Michael said.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge and we nearly beat them there last year but we’ve got a whole lot better side this year.”
Angle Vale v Hamley Bridge
THE Owls copped a heavy loss in what was expected to be a close-run affair in round two against Hamley Bridge.
It was largely the first quarter blowout that had Angle Vale on the back foot early in that fixture, so they will need to guard against another early slump.
The Owls got through Saturday injury free, although centre half forward, Kane Rickard, is looking to leave the club, seeking a clearance to the SAAFL.
The Bombers have a fluctuating line up at the best of times, although they can expect to regain a couple of crucial players, including Luke Collings, skipper, Rhys Darwin, and in-form ruckman, Josh Rosenzweig.
Tall utility, Zak Schubert, is in doubt.
Another big loss here could mean an extensive tough spell for Angle Vale, the Owls facing Mallala, United and Virginia in the following three weeks.
A close loss or even a win would make that difficult schedule a bit easier to get through.
Mallala v HWE
THE Magpies were soundly beaten on Saturday.
It could be the trigger point the squad needed to switch on and get things back on track after a solid start to the season.
Nigel Osborn will return to the Mallala midfield, while Angus Bruggemann has served his two-week suspension and is a huge key to the forward line, especially if Justin Antony ad Brad Griffiths come back in as well.
Dashing winger, Jamie Good, is set to make a return from a shoulder injury in the reserves, while Aaron Cocks and Jason Earl are unlikely to be back this week.
But those four likely ins alone are probably enough to significantly strengthen Mallala.
Mallala coach, Steve Lubcke, said the defeat on the weekend has raised some aspects requiring attention.
“Wins can hide a lot of things but bad losses peel back the layers to reveal areas of weakness to work on,” he said.
It makes it a tough ask for HWE and while they were brave against Virginia, losing Shaun Light in the ruck does hurt, while there is some concern surrounding Josh Gould and a knock to his kidneys.
Dustin Guthberg is also unlikely to be a inclusion, while Nathan Greenshields is still up to a month away.
HWE coach, Harry Taylor, has expressed the need to get value for their forward entries but it is a fine balancing act in how much talent he takes from defence and loads into the attacking 50.
United v Virginia
THE Rams come into this clash with flying form and a solid squad to select from.
Virginia is starting to hit its straps as key players return, none more so important to their structure than Steven Pollock at centre half forward.
Pollock is likely to get the attention from Simon Tyler, while United would need to be mindful of Ben Russell and Brad Robertson out of the middle.
Virginia coach, Stephen Papanotis, said it will be interesting to see how the Tigers structure up this year.
“They’ve got a few new players so it’s a bit unknown, we’ll need to learn how they play their footy but I think we’re in good stead with the blokes we have to come back in,” he said.
Anthony Bascombe, Terry Lioulios and Peter Mylonopoulos are due to return, while Chris Musolino could miss another week or two.
David Creek is an outside chance of playing A grade but could get a run in the reserves in his rehab from a hamstring injury.
United coach, Matt Krieg, is also a chance of coming back from a groin complaint after missing Saturday’s match.
Forward, Jamie Williams, will be out with a calf strain.
Mark Pym made a comeback from a calf concern, although he tightened up late, and Brad Shimmin will miss a week through suspension.
Toby Lynch should come into the team, while Andy Lee is available too.
“We go in looking to be as competitive as possible for as long as possible,” Krieg said.
“These top sides can get a bit nervous the longer you stay in the game.”
NEFL R4 with Terry Bevan
Hawks to be tested by Demons
SOUTH Clare enjoyed a great start to the 2016 season winning their first two games but after going down last week they’ll be keen to bounce back and test the undefeated RSMU Hawks.
The Demons smacked an undermanned Cats line-up by 101 points at Snowtown in round one, followed by a 39-point victory over the Tigers at Clare, but the Saints turned it on in the first term at Robertstown last Saturday to set-up a five-point win over the visitors.
South showed a lot of character to come back from more than six goals down at quarter-time to be nearly level at the last huddle, only to run out of gas, but it won’t hurt them going forward and if they can learn from the experience.
RSMU got off to the ideal start to 2016, defeating the Eagles at Mintaro by 22 points, they obliterated the Rams by 153 points at Riverton in round two and last week, the Hawks got over a plucky Roosters outfit by 28 points at Clare.
The reigning premiers wouldn’t have been happy with their result last week following their dominating opening quarter and they won’t want complacency to creep into their game.
Both teams are gifted with talented ruckmen complementing running, smaller players who can change a game in a flash, so like most games the key to the result will probably come down to which team wins the clearances, but, making the most of the opportunities when either team has the footy might be a bigger key.
If the Demons want to play finals footy this year and mix it with the best of them, it doesn’t get any better than backing up from a narrow loss and taking the game right up to the reigning premiers this Saturday.
Hawks by 17 points
Cats should win at Snowtown
THE Blyth/Snowtown Cats have got the luxury of their third game at Snowtown from four starts this season, taking on the North Clare Roosters.
The Snowtown Oval wasn’t much of a luxury for the Cats in the opening game of 2016, getting thumped by the Demons to the tune of 101 points, they had success there in round two, beating the Saints by a goal and last week they stitched up the Tigers by 57 points just up the road at Redhill.
Blyth/Snowtown put in a more uniformed performance last week with players that were either missing in round one or off colour in round two, finding their better form and bringing players into the game last Saturday.
North Clare has been getting better every week, their first game was abysmal going down to the Rams by 38 points at Clare, they improved in round two but went down by seven goals at Mintaro and last week it was a 28-point difference between them and the reigning premiers at Clare.
Obviously the Roosters are yet to win a game this year but with their new-look team appearing like they’re starting to gel, the game plan the coach is trying to adopt might start to take effect very soon.
While the Roosters are improving ,the Cats silenced a few critics last week and with one very disappointing day out of the way and an average day behind them at Snowtown, Saturday could be the day they turn up the wick on the big track.
Cats by 39 points
Eagles to meet angry Tigers
MIN/Man travels to Brinkworth on Saturday to meet an angry BSR Tigers team that will be hell bent on bouncing back from their poor performance last week.
BSR was the talk of the football world when they defeated 2015 runners-up, Eudunda/Robertstown, by 11 points at Redhill, they were good for a half at Clare before going down to the Demons by 39 points, but last week the Cats smacked the Tigers by 57 points at Redhill.
The big goal for the Tigers this year was to have a more settled team than last season, but with a number of quality young footballers from the club being selected for the WWT Eagles, which is fantastic for the lads and a credit to BSR, but some at very short notice makes last minute adjustments to the selected team a nightmare.
The Eagles have been chugging along, getting the job done since their 22-point loss to the Hawks in round one at Mintaro, they took care of the Roosters by seven goals at Mintaro in round two and last Saturday it was a 40-point win at Burra.
Min/Man hasn’t set the football world on fire yet but they’ve showed signs that something big mightn’t be too far away with a couple of their new players starting to settle in and find their feet.
The Brinkworth Oval is being used sparingly this year in preparation for that big day in September and with the Tigers on the rebound it should be to their liking, and the Eagles should be aware, especially of an angry Tiger.
Eagles by 29 points
Saints confident after first win
THE Southern Saints will go into their clash with the BBH Rams at Robertstown on Saturday full of confidence following their first win for the season last week.
The Saints appreciated being on their home deck at Robertstown last Saturday, nailing their first win for 2016, beating the Demons by five points after a fortnight on the road, going down to the Tigers at Redhill and the Cats at Snowtown.
Eudunda/Robertstown was way off the radar in their first two hit-outs this year but last week they put it all together in a blistering opening quarter to set-up their well-deserved victory.
BBH had a morale-lifting 38-point victory over the Roosters at Clare in its first game for the season, in round two they were brought back to earth by the Hawks at Riverton, getting belted by 153 points, and last Saturday they were better but lost to the Eagles by 40 points at Burra.
The Rams are limited with depth when players become injured or unavailable for selection and if the more ‘recognised’ footballers happen to go down with injury it puts huge pressure on the lads to step-up that little bit more to fill the void.
The Rams will slip down to Robertstown on Saturday and will be expected to give it all they’ve got for as long as they can, but I’m tipping after last week that the Saints won’t go backwards this week.
Southern Saints by 33 points
Footy’s favourite soft spread is going for the upset this week, read on…
Trevor Lemon-Butter on NAFA round five
Tigers rule Wirrabara
Southern Flinders v Crystal Brook
Wirrabara is one of the most beautiful little ovals we get to play on.
It’s a gem and it has seen its share of joy and disappointment over the decades.
This Saturday could be the Tigers big chance to make a statement by claiming the scalp of the seemingly unbeatable Roosters.
I believe it can be done and it will be this current Southern Flinders outfit that will bring it on.
Household names like Millington, Zwar, Mazzone, Ballantyne and Co. will need to bring their A game to Wirrabara and if they do then the upset is on the cards.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Crystal Brook is the benchmark but they will get a fright here.
Southern Flinders by seven points
Roos at home
Orroroo v BMW
Yes, well there’s not much you can say about BMW is there?
They have kicked 11 goals in four games and they would probably need to kick 11 in four quarters to beat Orroroo on Saturday.
So it is not going to happen is it?
I’m guessing they will go harder in this game because a few of the B graders who have found themselves a spot during these troubled times are clearly enjoying the experience and are improving rapidly.
Orroroo though is a pretty good combination of youth and experience and they are getting great service out of their midfield.
They will be very keen to show up here on their home track and atone for last week’s drubbing at Rooster Park.
Orroroo by 45 points
Eagles on a roll
Broughton-Mundoora v Jamestown-Peterborough
The world famous tinny bar at Port Broughton will be the place for the glitterati to hang out on Saturday.
It will do a brisk trade as the Eagles strut their stuff against a hot and cold Jamestown-Peterborough outfit that probably has no chance of winning but will want to make a statement anyway.
The Pies were hammered by Southern Flinders on Saturday while the Eagles produced their best football of the season at Wilmington.
They are on a roll and they will go into this contest full of confidence.
The Pies midfield will struggle against the Dan Baker-led Eagle combination which includes Aaron Wanders, William Hewett, Tom Button and the Bowley brothers.
All are in fine form and Broughton-Mundoora can expect to record a percentage-boosting win on this occasion.
Mind you, the Magpies are no bunnies, especially if Greg Farr, Ryan Simpson and Sam Redden fire up early.
Provided the Eagles get a bit more out of blokes like Nick Hewett, James Cant, Andrew Wilson, Rian Crane – these blokes – they will win big here.
Broughton-Mundoora by 56 points