Port v West, Port Oval, Saturday
West will be looking to build momentum following their jump back into the top half of the table after some indifferent form of late and will see this game versus Port as exactly what they were looking for. They had a win against Central last week in a very ugly game in which 10 goals in total were scored.
The Dogs will need to start well and will need to hold Hayden Warren quiet. Key forwards Schilds and Woodards will be needed for big games as scoring has been their Achilles heel as they are the lowest scoring team in the competition.
Port circa 2017 simply hasn’t put enough W‘s in the results column for their liking and won’t have many more chances to do so and I'm tipping them to upset the Hawks for the first time this year by four points and only because it’s in Pirie and I may have my Pirie shades on …
South v Solomontown, Central Oval, Saturday
I know I have pumped the possibility of an all Pirie affair in the big dance this year (which might have taken a hit last week) but most impartial judges would see this game as the likely dry run for this year’s grand final.
Solomontown have been looking for a game to test their limits and this is one versus two in Port Augusta – fits the bill perfectly!
South had a few out last week but still won coasting away and will be looking to try and put a dent in the Cat procession at this point as well as growing their own belief the march can be halted. South seem to have changes week-to-week with work and other reasons but will need to manipulate as many of their ‘best 18’ players to win. The Cats will need to stop Colson, and Siemer will be the most likely and that battle alone is worth the trek North. If Muller is out they will need another huge game from Bernhardt as Downey is the number one big man in the league and does everything right, well, except kick, that’s not pretty! Other battles of Davey v Ackland and Hayes v Kildea will also be pivotal.
Sollies are flying but I’m thinking this week they may cop the loss ‘they had to have’ and they won’t make it 10 in a row. This will give Pollard just the shortener he needs to keep his boys under the pump and not let complacency creep in for the finals. South by 4 points.
Lions v Central, Port Oval, Sunday
Centrals are struggling at present and a Sunday game away in early August when you’re bottom is always a hard sell, so the Lions will be looking for an easy kill here as they turn their eyes slowly toward September action. The loss last week all but put a line through their top two chances so they will be now looking only to be right and ready come finals now with no room for slip ups. Edwards looks like his season might be done for the Bloods and he has been their best player but Lions will have too much class at home and the likes of Fuller, Patterson, Edwards, Eckert, Harmer and Marsland will be enough to get the chocolates! Lions by 40.