KALANGADOO v HATHERLEIGH
UNDEFEATED ladder leader Hatherleigh is involved in the match-of-the-day for the second week in a row as it is heading to Kalangadoo.
The stocks of the Eagles are at sky-high levels after whipping Mount Burr despite having a number of first-choice players unavailable for selection.
Some changes to the 21 are anticipated ahead of the clash with the Magpies.
Guest player Lacky Button is unlikely to play with the club again while the availability of Adelaide traveller Ben Parish is not certain.
However, Josh Wight is a candidate for a recall if his injury has healed.
Over in the Magpies nest, the club would be pleased it has had only one lapse this season against reigning premiers Robe.
The team has had some slow starts in 2019 but its low-scoring in the opening quarter at Port MacDonnell in round five can be chiefly attributed to the wind disadvantage.
No place in the MSEFL blows like the Bay but Kalangadoo players applied themselves and got back in the groove to win by 13 points.
I think the home ground advantage tips the scales in favour of Kalangadoo.
ROBE V KONGORONG
THE Robe Roosters should make amends for their loss at Glencoe by defeating the Kongorong Hawks at home by a comfortable margin.
It was the first loss of the season for the reigning premiers but they were not disgraced on the home ground of one of the vastly-improved teams of 2019.
The Murphies had Alex Hentschke and Brodie Foster in red-hot form and this week’s opponents don’t quite have the firepower in attack of this pair.
The Hawks have given some heart to their supporters and new coach Will Whitty with wins over Nangwarry and Tantanoola.
The team is gelling well behind Whitty who is relishing the opportunity to put into practice what he has learned from more than 300 games as a senior player at three different clubs.
One of Whitty’s tasks this week is to find a tagger to run with star Robe recruit Troy Lockwood.
The classy on-baller is a potent source if he gets within 50m of goal.
The best-five Kongorong players match up favourably with most of the other clubs in the competition.
It is the so-called second and third tier Hawks who will need to step up at the seaside if the team is to cause an upset win.
After this week, Kongorong hosts Glencoe and then has a three week lay-off on account of the scheduled bye and a break for the South East zone carnival.
TANTANOOLA v PORT MACDONNELL
Has there been a season in living memory in the MSEFL when there have been so many injuries by the end of May?
The region had a fairly dry summer and perhaps the hard grounds may have contributed to the leg ailments.
The MSEFL did not have a pre-season carnival for the first time in a decade and this lack of match practice may have been another contributing factor.
Be that as it may, the trainers’ rooms at Tantanoola and Port MacDonnell have been crowded for several weeks.
Injured players of the calibre of Port MacDonnell’s Daron McElroy and Tantanoola’s Chris Hale would have been just about guaranteed selections in the MSEFL team to take on the two other leagues from this region next month.
One of the silver linings from the injury woes is that there are opportunities for players to take on different roles, young colts to spend more time in A Grade and the re-emergence of some “golden oldies” in senior company again.
Port MacDonnell players realise they let the round five match against Kalangadoo slip from their grasp and they won’t make the same mistake again at Tigerland.
MOUNT BURR v NANGWARRY
THE Mount Burr hierarchy would probably be pleased the draw lists a home game against winless Nangwarry on Saturday followed by a bye.
The Mozzies have been the MSEFL powerhouse in the past decade with six flags, but they lack their “mojo” with three losses so far in 2019.
The club has had a charmed run with injury for several seasons, but it is in jeopardy of losing its ace coach Tom Renzi to a shoulder ailment.
He missed most of Saturday’s 44-point loss at Hatherleigh in round five and his absence was significant.
The statistics from this match speak for themselves as the visitors were goal-less in the first and last quarters and managed only three goals for the whole game.
The Mozzies fielded 15 premiership players and the playing conditions, in the main, were satisfactory.
Although the Eagles had the services of ex-SANFL ruckman Lachy Button, the team was far from full strength.
Hatherleigh was missing players of the calibre of Josh Wight, Jake Wight, Jack Sullivan and Caolan Buckley who were either injured or unavailable.
Mount Burr players will now play a team which is fresh from a bye of its own.
The venue will assist Mount Burr as the home team supporters should crowd the terraces at “Mick” and Jean Walker Oval and give great vocal encouragement.
The Saints will probably be given first use of the ball from recruit George McWaters.
After a season’s break from football, McWaters has impressed in every outing for Nangwarry.
Mount Burr has had trouble securing a key ruckman following the departure of medal-winning ruckman Henry Crauford to Norwood in the SANFL.
Veteran Nick Morrison has been coaxed out of retirement while Jake Dowdy and Sam Wallis have also been called on to share the rucking load.
Nangwarry’s long losing streak will not end and Mount Burr’s stocks should rise with a win.