RSMU v BSR
In the first of a series of one-sided blowouts across the weekend in North Eastern football, last year’s flag winner, the BSR Tigers beat their grand final opponent, another potential premiership candidate, RSMU, by a massive 96-point (16-goal) margin.
The Tigers inflicted Steve Lubcke’s worst loss as a coach in over a decade in his off-field roles across three rural leagues.
The ambush of Tigers, in this game at Riverton Oval, were already 12 goals up at half-time and won the game 19.8 (122) to the Hawks 4.2 (26).
BSR playing coach Liam Whitwell explained that his team played consistent football across the three areas, the forwards, the midfield and in the backlines.
“It was our best win for the year we got the little things right,” Whitwell said.
“When selecting our best player for the game I couldn't separate Alex Morgan and Lachlan Wilsdon, although the latter won the MAC Medal as the best player on the ground.
“I personally didn't play too much in the game, but we had 20 other players that contributed on the day.
“There is still improvement in the group and it was the first time we had the full list on the park this year.”
Along with Wilsdon and Morgan, Andrew Cousins and Jack Haarsma won plenty of contested ball while big Will Hennessy was a tower of strength in ruck and Matty Longbottom was also consistent around the contest. Morgan kicked five goals in a big personal effort.
Todd Culley and Luke Hayes finished with three majors, while teenager Mitchell Catford chimed in with a couple as well.
BSR coach Whitwell was also happy with his defence, saying that Adam MacKenzie kept Craig Mullins to just one goal, with Tom Wilsdon getting on top of Damian Hynes after the first quarter.
Better players for the RSMU Hawks were Patrick Browne and Cooper Behn while Hynes had his moments early.
South v Min-Man
South defeated the 2018 cellar-dwellers Min-Man at Manoora Oval by a massive 121-point margin in a distinctly one-sided affair.
Already 61 points up at half-time they continued to dominate this game all afternoon. The Demons would go on to win the clash quite handsomely, 22.13 (145) to the Eagles modest 3.6 (24).
“It was a good even performance across the entire group and the squad was switched on from the start,” South Clare coach Justin Michael said.
“Previously the Eagles were a strong opponent and this time we used the ball really well especially by foot.
“Kicking towards the Southern or clubrooms end against the breeze we set up the victory.
“We had strong and able performers all over the park and it was an emphatic win; both in the way we went about it and the result on the scoreboard.”
Among the many strong performances for South Clare was Alex Faulkner, who is currently in a purple patch of form, SANFL experienced Dom Costanzo, and Matthew Allen ,who won the MAC Medal in the game.
Alex Heinrich in ruck, young Ben Dinning and defender Reece Hocking all were noteworthy for the Dees.
Captain Brodie Murphy kicked four goals while Dinning and Costanzo both finished with three each.
The pair of Alex Falconer and Mitch Reynolds both kicked two goals and there were 13 different goal kickers for the Demons in the win.
Coach Justin Michael was also happy with the performance of his captain Brodie Murphy up forward and Ethan Featherstonehaugh was also among the better players.
For the beaten Min-Man Eagles side Dylan Ribbons, young Henry Gosse and indigenous talent Steve Rusca were good.
Both Eagles premiership veteran Luke McDermid and Christopher Dodd deserve a mention as well.
North Clare v Southern Saints
The closest match of the round was North Clare’s 80-point triumph over the Southern Saints at Eudunda Oval.
After an even first term North kicked unanswered goals in the second term to set up victory. The Roosters won the game 19.15 (129) to Southern Saints 6.13 (49).
North Clare coach Peter Cook said the team’s defensive pressure was the key.
“After the first quarter we gradually got on top in defence and our key forwards started to get enough of the ball to seriously impact the scoreboard.
“Our four goals into the breeze in the first quarter also helped and the wind dropped the way after half-time.
“Dallas Hill was simply outstanding in the first half and kicked four goals until that break, while Anthony Simpson was an important component at centre half forward and Tyson Pawley got enough of the ball to kick five goals.
“James Brown was a good contributor across half-forward as well.
“Our young ruckmen Jacob Nickolai and (Tom) Huppatz are growing into their roles as well.”
Along with Hill, one of the North Eastern’s Mail Medal favourites, Tom Stevens, and fellow midfielder Jake Panoho, had big days.
Ben Cross, Brown and former SA under 18 player Huppatz also got mentioned in the Roosters best player list for the game.
Pawley finished with five goals while Dallas Hill had snaffled his four majors in the first half.
James Brown and Tommy Stevens both finished with three, while Anthony Simpson snaffled a pair.
For the Saints their best player was Zac Green across half back.
Brodie Launer and skipper Kurubyn Floyd at the coalface, Rhys Schirmer, Jack Wilkins and big man Jed Michalk also have their moments.
Dane Pfitzner kicked two early goals playing up forward, but disappointingly for the Saints, he came off before half-time
Blyth Snowtown v BBH Rams
With a 111-point win and with the Hawks’ loss, Blyth-Snowtown move back into the top two on the premiership ladder after a one-sided triumph over the Burra-Booborowie-Hallett Rams.
The Cats were already nine goals up at half-time and kicked their opponents of the park.
At the final siren the scoreboard read the Cats 21.15 (141) defeating the Rams 4.6 (30).
“It was the best with played in the last six weeks and our six into the breeze towards the Balaklava end of the ground really set up the victory,” Cats coach Carey Payne said.
“When you're nearly 10 goals up at half-time and give you the opportunity to play people in different positions.
“We had Matt Hartwig on a wing for a half and then Ricky Wiseman also played in that role.
“On Thursday night we selected Scott Atkinson to play but he pulled out before the game, so we’ll be cautious with him from now.
“We will get Reuben Ottens back and Ash Giles is available in a couple of weeks as well.
“There had been a bit of a curse on our “milestone” players, but Shay Clifford played one of his best games for the season in his 250th last Saturday.
“I'd mention his wonderful achievement and service to Blyth-Snowtown before the game to the boys and they delivered for Shay.
Tall, fast and agile Cameron Giles across half back and Caleb Lloyd were the Cats best players.
They were followed by Callen Kennett, Ryan Darling and Ricky Wiseman.
Clifford also got a mention, along with kicking three goals.
Matthew Hartwig and Callen Kennett both finished with three goals as well, while Ricky Wiseman, Darling finished with two majors each.
Better players for the BBH side were Tommy Drew and Jack Rowe along with key forward Robbie Bartee and Lachlan McInnis
Chase Webster and Casey Cooper was stoic against the odds as well.