Its still five weeks away, but should the table remain the same, this one is a preview for the elimination semi-final in the first week of finals. The Prop Risdon Lions won the season opener and the Port Bulldogs reversed the result come round six to leave the ledger even.
A super clash is on the cards. Port were very pleased headed to the first break sitting in clear second a game plus percentage clear, but in the subsequent three games they have dropped them all.
They won’t have given up the chase to get it back so this one is a must-win. They will be hoping for a return of some injured players and to form of some who may have quietened.
They will be looking for forwards to score heavily and compete to give Philips, Coe and Pisani a chance for more. Port's defence has been good and only bettered by South. They will need to be up and about all day.
Lions have been a little up and down as well but at their best they match it with any side .They have regained a break of a game plus percentage over 5th placed Centrals and a win here will lock in finals.
The defence is well served via Ley, Harmer, Browne and Eckert giving them a dependable contests and great rebound.
Lions need more from their attack with Horsnell leading the way with multiples wanted from Bradley and the Marsland. Sam Dyer goes well in both attack and ruck but they don’t have two of him.
Their on-ballers and runners are classy with Slattery, Oliphant, Shaun Edwards and Fuller. I will stick with positions on the table and lean toward Port by 12 points.
Sollies are two games clear in the double-chance second spot and a win here will stretch their run and consolidate this spot come finals.
Sollies have won both encounters this year and will be hoping for 3. Their run is the key to their game with a fleet of on-ballers including J. Hayes, Bearman and Redman.
Add to this Francis, Sciangalepore, Goodridge, Mezzino, Caputo and Nitschke and the Bloods will need to work hard. Bernhardt has been a standout as well. Assisting in the big man department are the Munzberg boys as well as Foster and Heard and back with Mudge and the Head boys.
Central have been very good on occasions but rarely for more than a quarter. They gave Sollies a fright in round 1 and again their greatest asset will be this game in Port Augusta.
Fuller will test the Cat’s big men as his form of late has been excellent.
The Colson twins have not really fired this year but are always dangerous. Everett has been a good recruit and has been one of their consistent performers with Williams and Allen also playing well. It’s been a tough year for new coach Redden at Central and I can’t see them scoring enough to beat Sollies. They have only one player who has scored more than eight goals in the 10 games. Sollies will have too much firepower to win by 24 points.
This will be the last time West face South this year and I am sure they will be glad. Their clashes this year have averaged 21 goal victories and this one may be the same. South by 100 points.