Home' The Murray Pioneer : July 4th 2017 Contents www.murraypioneer.com.au Tuesday, July 4, 2017 SPORT 21
A WELL-drilled Waikerie outfit
took care of an injury-riddled
Renmark side by 52 points in
Riverland A grade football on
It was a tight contest in the first
quarter, with Renmark signalling
its intentions early that it had come
At times Renmark looked like it
had all the answers for Waikerie’s
potent forward line, where young
Rover defender David Strongman
was given the massive job of taking
on Daniel Nobes.
Strongman’s teammates worked
hard to help him compete with
Nobes in the air or block space to
stop the power forward when he
led for the ball.
Nobes kicked five for the day,
but had his usual influence signifi-
The travelling Pies in broth-
ers Matt and Jake Spencely had
immediate and consistent impact
throughout the game at all parts of
Both classy players hit the
scoreboard, with Jake scoring four
goals and Matt two.
Relentless pressure from both
sides created scrappy, stop-start
football, but it was Waikerie’s ball
use that gave it the upper hand.
A first quarter mark from Matt
Halsey was a highlight for the
match, with the Rover midfielder
launching himself at the footy and
clunking an absolute screamer.
Halsey, who was already under
an injury cloud with bruised ribs,
struggled for the remainder of the
game after landing heavily after the
The Rovers trailed by just three
points at quarter time with both
sides only registering two goals in
the first term.
Renmark was its own worst
enemy throughout the match with
many Waikerie goals coming from
skill errors and sloppy play from
Youngster Ryan Shaw domi-
nated the midfield and was eve-
rywhere for the Pies, while expe-
rienced campaigners in Craig
Miller and Ben Venning marshalled
the troops to make life hard for
Renmark’s forward line.
Lapses in concentration by the
Renmark defence allowed players
to slip into space, with operation
Nobes meaning other Waikerie
players were used more.
Up the other end Tim Blight was
Renmark’s most promising avenue
to goal, with the big forward slot-
ting four for the game.
As half-time drew nearer
Waikerie began to gain the ascend-
ency to demonstrate exactly why it
is the hot premiership favourite.
The deficit at half-time was 15
points and Renmark had a massive
challenge on its hands to remain in
Injuries to Trevor Thorpe, Jaryd
Rowe, Halsey and Jacob Neary
were a significant hit to Renmark’s
running game as Waikerie used
its rotations heavily to run out the
Zachary Gartery was dominate
in the ruck for Renmark, but his
midfielders struggled to win the
Waikerie’s depth and talent was
too much for the Rovers who bare-
ly had a bench for the second half.
At three quarter time the game
was slipping away from Renmark
with Waikerie’s lead stretching to
33 points, despite an extremely
inaccurate quarter by the Pies.
The Spencelys continued to run
riot, while Aaron Thompson, Billy
Cameron and Stephen Hausler
were all impressive.
A four goal to one final term
to Waikerie put the result beyond
doubt for the premiership favour-
Despite losing by 52 points
Renmark will take a slither of con-
fidence out of the contest and will
take solace knowing that without
its long list of injuries it could have
been a different story.
IN round five of the RFL season
home side Barmera-Monash
defeated Berri by 153 points, but
on Saturday at Berri the Roos
increased that winning margin
to 198 points over the struggling
This was my fourth visit to a
Berri home game in 2017 and its
losing margins have been 51, 163,
140 and 198 points.
What can be said about
Saturday’s game that has not been
appears to be gradually settling a
side that will again be a challenger
come finals time.
Secondly, the obvious. The Berri
Football Club has an enormous
task ahead of it to get back to even
being competitive out on the grass.
But, you don’t have to look far
for the reason why the Demon
camp has plummeted to this chal-
Any club that lost players of the
calibre of Grady Obst, Matthew
Allan, Ben Grose, Nick Hankin,
Adam Grose, Darren Marner, Scott
Mumford and Steve Raeder from
the previous season would likely
At my previous Berri game I
thought among the trouncing by
Renmark I saw – in a final term
mini-burst – perhaps signs of an
improved effort coming up against
fellow bottom side Loxton.
But Loxton won by 113 points.
In Saturday’s game Barmera-
Monash’s untidy work around the
goals saved Berri from further first-
term damage (5-7 to a very late
But when key forward Matthew
Min, in particular, corrected his
radar the lead extended to 78 and
121 points at the next two intervals.
Berri remained at 0-1 at the last
At that stage I made a hasty
check to make sure I was at the
right game and decided to try to
come up with something positive to
say about the Demon performance.
Firstly, despite the lop-sided
scoreboard, I don’t think Berri
lacked intensity or desperation.
Unfortunately, its strongest work
was done in the many scrambles at
ground level, and it was outclassed
in every other aspect of the game.
Individually, Brody Thompson
again worked tirelessly in ruck and
around the ground, Peter Safralidis
bobbed up everywhere trying his
heart out, Clayton Sporn produced
an example of his considerable aer-
ial skills and Clint Ridgway bored
into the packs against the odds.
Reece Lehmann, Jason Marr and
Jamie Milburn also had their
Assessing the Roo performance
is strangely not easy in such a
result, but on this display, they are
a very even and versatile unit.
Obviously they out-ran and out-
marked Berri, used the ball bet-
ter with hand and foot, showed far
superior teamwork and important-
ly, out-muscled their smaller-bod-
They had to work hard for much
of the first three stanzas to break
clear and get their running game
going, but showed a good level of
fitness to turn the final term into a
We’ve had a Barmera ‘Carp
Frenzy’ and a ‘Pelican Frenzy’, and
with 12.6 kicked in the last quar-
ter (to a last-gasp 1.0 from Berri’s
Martin Barber), it was a ‘Roo
In-form goal sneak Min roamed
far and wide for 10 goals, silky
skilled and roaming winger Sam
Butterworth was perhaps best
afield, while Jake Smith, Matthew
Wutke, clever Alex Norman,
Matthew Wilden, Jack Selfe and
Steve Burton were game and con-
structive in and outside the packs.
But the list didn’t end there.
Jaebyn Drefke read the play
impressively when stationed in
defence, Jacob Fisher returned to
form and Dillon Millard...or to put
it more simply, ‘all played well’.
also lost some very important team
members during the off-season.
But astute planning to add Min
and Fisher and a select group of
emerging local talent to its senior
player ranks has seen it hang out
the ‘business as usual’ sign.
5 Sam Butterworth BM
4 Matthew Min BM
3 Jake Smith
2 Steve Burton BM
1 Matthew Wutke BM
5 Matt Spencely
4 Ryan Shaw
3 Jake Spencely
2 David Strongman R
1 Craig Miller
Spencelys star in Pies win
was a key
in his team’s
Tigers take local bragging rights
LOXTON posted arguably the
biggest upset of the year defeating
cross-town rival Loxton North by
12 points in Saturday’s RFL A
grade match at Loxton North.
Prior to this clash, Loxton had
not won consecutive matches since
2015, indicating progress being
made by the Tigers.
The start of the match saw
Loxton North transition the foot-
ball from defence to attack in a
positive fashion ending in a goal to
Loxton midfielder Lachlan
Smith found a wealth of space
to help his team propel forward,
while Michael Scott provided
the Panthers with rebound from
Loxton enjoyed a strong first
quarter, however, and led by 20
points at quarter time.
At the first break Loxton coach
Leigh Kruger was eager for his
team to improve on its encourag-
ing first quarter by stopping the
Panthers’ midfielders from getting
too much of the ball.
Loxton midfielder Ben Yeomans
continued to find the football in the
second stanza, and he also kicked
a long goal to stretch the Tigers’
The Tigers looked like a team in
full control, while in contrast, the
Panthers looked like a team lacking
confidence in its ball movement.
Prime ball winner Lachlan
Smith continued to find the foot-
ball for the Tigers, while Panthers
defender Brad Beswick was show-
ing stern determination to shut
down Tigers’ scoring opportunities.
Loxton led by 25 points at half
Despite the Panthers getting
the ball forward early in the third
term, they were unable to curb
the influence of the Tigers’ run-
ning defenders Lewis Cregan and
William Lehmann, who consist-
ently rebounded the ball from deep
Injuries soon started to creep
into the game for both teams,
with Loxton forward Matt
Lidgerwood limping off the
ground, and Panthers defender Ben
Harrington’s day curtailed with a
Trailing by 22 points at the final
break, Loxton North coach Shane
Uren urged his players to back
their fitness in the last quarter.
However, after an early Panthers
goal to Ryan Proud from a strong
pack mark, Loxton responded in a
Tigers skipper Brad Yeomans
was instrumental in helping guide
his team through the unfamiliar ter-
ritory of leading a game late in the
A late goal to young Tiger Ross
Romeo sealed the result.
Loxton had a number of strong
contributors, with Jaden Walding
playing a pivotal role in defence,
while the Yeomans brothers con-
tinued to show how much skill and
experience they bring to the Tigers
Matthew Hampel and Michael
Scott were among North’s better
Late dozen for Roos ends 198-point romp
5 Brad Yeomans
4 Matthew Hampel LN
3 Jaden Walding
2 Lewis Cregan
1 Michael Scott
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