18.15 (123)





5.10 (40)

Best: Renmark – C Seekamp, M Townsend, B O’Dea, T Thorpe, P Stelzer, A Bryant. Loxton – M Kirk, P Portolesi, M Thiele, S Schubert, B Kurtzer, J Mann. Goals: Renmark – M Camplin 5, A Camplin 4, B Wagnitz, P Stelzer 2, M Stelzer, B Exelby, T Thorpe, S Callahan, H Bevis. Loxton – R Mitchell, L Mitchell 2, C Pampoukipis

Match Report By Nick Kossatch at Barmera

Renmark produced their best football when it counted by obliterating Loxton by 83 points in the RFL Grand Final at a hot, dusty and windswept Barmera Oval on Saturday. 
Matt and Aaron Camplin shared nine goals between them in Aaron’s and Brett Exelby’s last game. What a way for them to bow out. 
The Rovers broke through for their first flag since 1995 in magnificent and clinical fashion despite the horrid conditions and without ruckman Nathan Farr who was a late withdrawal with a back injury. 
Loxton took the risk in playing star forward Peter Smith but it backfired with Smith failing to complete the match. 
From early in the first quarter Renmark were much more composed with excellent foot-skills, in particular, from Adam Bryant, Matt and Paul Stelzer and Brodie O’Dea. 
Ben Wagnitz and Peter Dempsey were dangerous forwards for Renmark but it was Matthew Camplin who slotted through the only three goals for the quarter. 
He was the beneficiary of a free kick for his first goal – a neat kick from an acute angle to get the Rovers rolling. 
Craig Seekamp used his ample body superbly in the ruck contests and was handy around the ground for Renmark. 
When a shanked kick by Tiger captain Leigh Kruger went well wide from goal – it was an early indication that Loxton were in for a terrible day. 
The influential skipper had Matty Martinson tagging him every step of the way. 
38-year-old Mick Townsend was another sensational player for the Rovers often repelling Loxton from their forward 50. 
The shaven-headed veteran combined wonderfully with Whillas Medallist Simon Callahan and Trevor Thorpe. 
The game was all but over as a contest by half time. 
Renmark slammed home another six goals – all from individual goal-kickers started by Exelby. 
Loxton were indecisive, chose the wrong option and did not handle the difficult conditions at all well. 
Only youngster Braden Kurtzer and Pat Portolesi showed any composure against the rampant Rover onslaught. 
When Paul Burne attacked the ball, marked it, then fed a hand pass to a running Thorpe whose goal put Renmark 44 points clear – it was party time amongst the Rover faithful in the stands. 
Callahan was having another big game and he chopped off a Loxton kick-out to boot another major for Renmark. 
The third quarter was Loxton’s best with three goals to Renmark’s two but Scott Jenkins was another player having a ‘big day out’ for the blue and whites. 
The Tigers’ Ash Montgomery finally kicked their first goal of the game at the 18-minute mark soon followed by another major to Lindsay Mitchell. 
Bronte Manual did excite the Tiger supporters after a pulled down a high mark in defence. 
Seekamp marked strongly then helped Matthew Camplin nonchalantly boot his fourth goal. 
Loxton’s ‘min-revival’ was quashed after Harrison Beavis gleefully accepted a pass from Aaron Camplin, after a terrific contested mark, to put another nail in Loxton’s coffin. 
The Rovers rattled another seven majors – three of which were kicked by red-hot Aaron Camplin. 
When Ryan Bennett laced a bullet-like pass onto the chest of the dominant Wagnitz that ended with his second goal – it was exhilarating football from the Rovers. 
Loxton had a rare highlight when Rhys Mitchell escaped the lunges from two Renmark defenders to nail his second major of the game. 
Jenkins again ran hard from defence and involved Beavis in the lead-up to Aaron Camplin marking between two Tiger defenders. 
He soon spun out of a pack and put through his third major and then brother Matthew, the ‘showman’ of the Renmark side, added another for his fifth goal. 
The Rovers had many players who would have deserved ‘BOG’ honours – the Stelzer brothers with their precision disposals, Craig Seekamp who was huge in the ruck, Bryant never wasted a possession nor stopped running, defender Townsend was a flawless defender and Callahan was supreme across half back. 
Wagnitz was awarded best afield with a masterful performance at centre half forward but for the hapless Tigers, it was probably Portolesi, Nick Uren and Kurtzer who were playing to their weight division and Montgomery had his moments in this lop-sided Grand Final. 
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: Renmark had so many. Paul Burne’s diving mark and then handballing to a running Trevor Thorpe. The Rover skipper split the uprights to put his side 44-points up in the second term and Loxton were gone. 
TURNING POINT: Renmark’s relentless pressure from the very beginning unsettled the Tigers and of course Matthew Camplin’s terrific hat-trick of majors helped seal Loxton’s fate very early in the game. In contrast the game became easier for Renmark and they did what they pleased from start to finish. 
BEST ON GROUND: As already mentioned Renmark had a number of stars deserving of best-on-ground status but for the complete centre half forward’s game – one can not go past Ben Wagnitz’ performance in the key forward post. He was the avenue to goal in which the Camplin brothers relished. 

Another GF Beauty On The Cards At Barmera OvalLoxton v Renmark Grand Final Preview

with Nick Kossatch

Wednesday September 9, 2009  

The RFL Grand Final will be between minor premiers Loxton and Renmark that finished fourth at the end of the minor round. It promises to be a sensational match with both clubs keen to atone losing GF’s to Waikerie – Loxton in 2007 and Renmark the following year. It has been a big week for the Rovers’ Simon Callahan who took home the Whillas medals the RFL’s best and fairest player. ‘Fish’, as he is well known, will be keen to add a premiership medallion. Ryan Bennett returned from his successful stint at West Adelaide for Renmark last week and is likely to start in the midfield. He could be opposed to Loxton captain Leigh Kruger. Tiger midfielder cum forward ace Peter Smith will return after three weeks out with a hamstring strain to add more firepower. Big Ash Montgomery is the most versatile big man in the league for the Tigers and he could alternate with Shane Schubert between centre’s half forward and halfback. This GF looms as one where tactical moves to maximise these players’ use will prove decisive. Loxton’s midfield is super quick, skill-full and tough. Kruger, Pat Portolesi, Mitch Fazekas, Jackson Fielke and even Rhys Mitchell along with Nick Uren will match it against the Rovers’ Callahan, Paul and Matt Stelzer, Adam Bryant and Brodie O’Dea. Craig Seekamp, as number one ruckman, is in career-best form for Renmark. This will allow Nathan Farr to roam in the forward line with Brett Exelby, Matt Camplin and occasionally Ben Wagnitz as the go-to men. I just feel Loxton have a little more flexibility and pace and these attributes worried all sides during the year. In a GF pace is paramount and the Tigers should win in another classic by eight points with Nick Uren is BOG.


Preliminary Final – Saturday September 5, 2009





15.17 (107)





9.8 (62)

Best: Renmark – S Seekamp, A Bryant, B Wagnitz, P Dempsey, P Stelzer, R Bennett. Waikerie – N Tape, C Miller, J Sutton, D Stevens, L Horner, S Pogrecki. Goals: Renmark – M Stelzer 3, B Exelby, P Dempsey, A Bryant 2, A Camplin, B Wagnitz, T Davis, P Burne. Waikerie – D Stevens, L Horner 2, M Gibson, C Miller, T Bevan, C Hawke, N Tape.

Renmark Tipped To Oust Waikerie

May Be Out In Straight Sets

Preliminary Final Preview with Nick Kossatch

Thursday September 3, 2009

Renmark or Waikerie have the chance to play against Loxton in Saturday week’s RFL Grand Final when the two sides do battle in this Saturday’s Preliminary Final at Waikerie Oval. If last year’s ‘big one’ is anything to go by – this final should be a beauty. Renmark have form on their side whilst Waikerie have lost their past three, including the 2nd Semi against Loxton last week. There were some good signs though with Nathan Tape, after three weeks on the sidelines, in excellent touch. The Magpies do need Ben Venning to lift at centre half forward. The gun has been ‘double and triple-teamed’ and his influence has waned in recent games but Renmark beware! On the contrary the Rovers have almost all of its’ players in solid form namely Adam Bryant, Simon Callahan and Paul and Matt Stelzer being the prime movers in the midfield. Craig Seekamp is in a rich vein of form with his bullocking work as a ruckman cum forward outstanding in the second half of the year. Brett Exelby and Matt Camplin are reliable goal kickers and Scott Jenkins along with Aaron Camplin and Russell Menz defensive dominators for most of the season. The Magpies, despite playing the final at home will be struggling to get out of their losing ‘streak’. They do have in-form Jim Thomson and ruckman Craig Miller and Cameron Hawke has been very impressive in defence. I am predicting Waikerie’s era to end by the hungry Rovers and therefore putting my pre-season forecast of Barmera-Monash as premiers to shame! Renmark to steam in by 33 points. 

By Nick Kossatch 
Monday August 31, 2009
The Loxton Tigers are through to the RFL A grade Grand Final after their fighting 14-point win against the Waikerie Magpies in the 2nd Semi-Final at Loxton North oval. 
The conditions were very windy which hampered the match but it was Loxton’s Ash Montgomery who stood tall with three second half goals. The tall utility curtailed Waikerie gun forward Ben Venning in the first half before being moved into the forward line and with telling effect. Tiger skipper Leigh Kruger booted two vital majors in the last quarter but it was Waikerie that made the early running in the first quarter. Some dubious umpiring decisions frustrated the Loxton defenders, in particular 100-gamer Mark Theile, whose opponent Tom Hyde kicked two goals. Hyde’s veteran team-mate Craig Griffiths was crunched in the first term and he took no further part in the game with a suspected rib injury. Magpie wingman Jim Thomson was terrific all day with his typical dashes along the wings and Cameron Hawke took timely defensive marks. 
Waikerie led by 15 points at quarter time but were held goalless in the second stanza with the Tigers, superbly marshalled by ruckman Liam Williams and Nick Uren, kicking two goals. The weather was at its worst during the second term when a rain squall hit but Loxton weathered the storm with goals to Pat Portolesi that was set up by Williams and Jackson Fielke made the most of a 25-metre penalty to goal from the goal square. Brett Wheeldon was doing the hard one-percenters across Loxton’s half forward line and the class of Nathan Tape was vital for the Magpies. A well-constructed goal, at the start of the third quarter, from Shayne Stevens, put Waikerie nine-points clear but Loxton booted the following three majors – two from the boot of Montgomery to seemingly take the momentum. The Pies were not done with yet with Tape accepting a handball from Matt Gibson and curling through a great goal and setting up an enthralling final quarter. 
Loxton half back Chris Pampoukidis did some heroic deeds with strong attacks on the ball and player and Kruger sharked the ball off the pack to gleefully slot a goal at the start of the final term. From that point onwards Loxton were never headed and ‘Monty’ added another to the Loxton goal tally before Waikerie’s Tim Bevan nailed one against the trend of play. Shane Schubert’s SANFL experience was invaluable in Loxton’s back line as Waikerie via the likes of Luke Horner, Steve Leibich and ruckman Craig Miller, tried in vain to wrest back the lead. The impressive Mitch Fazekas kicked another goal to put the game out of the Magpies reach and into their third Grand Final in four years whilst Waikerie do battle against Renmark in the Preliminary Final at Waikerie this Saturday. 
RIVERLAND – Second Semi Final, August 29, 2009
Loxton 13.7 (85) d Walkerie 10.11 (71). 

Best – Loxton: P Portolesi, L Williams, N Uren, B Wheeldon, L Kruger, M Fazekas. Waikerie: J Thompson, C Miller, S Nicolson, N Tape, T Bevan, S Stevens. Goals ~ Loxton: A Montgomery 3, L Kruger, L Williams, P Portolesi, L Mitchell 2, J Fielke, R Mitchell. Waikerie: T Hyde 3, M Gibson 2, G Dutton, S Stevens, T Bevan, N Tape, B Venning.

Second and First Semi Final Previews with Nick Kossatch
Renmark and Waikerie set to get physical against Barmera and Loxton
By Nick Kossatch, Wednesday 26 August 2009
Riverland’s much anticipated RFL finals series commences this Saturday and Sunday with the Loxton Tigers taking on the Waikerie Magpies at Loxton North in the Second Semi Final. Sunday’s First Semi Final clash is between the Renmark Rovers and the Barmera-Monash Roos at Renmark. Any of these top four sides can win the premiership. It is as open a race for the ultimate prize as has been for many years. If there is to be a favourite, then it would be Loxton and closely followed by Renmark. 
The Magpies have hit somewhat of a wall with two heavy defeats in the last minor rounds but make no mistake – they are primed to be at their physical best against Loxton knowing that yet another Grand Final berth is there for the taking. I predict Waikerie’s heavier-bodied and more experienced playmakers Luke Horner, Damian and Shayne Stevens and key forward Ben Venning to target the talented Tiger youngsters Jackson Fielke, Mitch Fazekas and Michael Kirk. The likes of Loxton’s Leigh Kruger and Shane Scubert have had league experience and will be under pressure to perform in a final that will be played at almost SANFL pace. There is wet weather predicted and on a dry deck Loxton’s leg speed could be the Pies’ Achilles heel but with the ball expected to be mainly on the ground I predict Waikerie to be back at their finals-playing best form and the returning Nathan Tape to play a starring role. Ben Kayser will get the job on Schubert and the tight-checking Tiger, Mark Thiele, is expected to mark Waikerie goal-kicking machine Tom Hyde. Whoever wins these duels may have their team into a Grand Final and a week’s break. Pies by seven points. 
Barmera-Monash’s last visit to Renmark was a miserable one with the Rovers inflicting a big win. The Roos have hit winning form after a mid-season slumber and Dillon Millard has been the constant in an, at times, inconsistent year to date. Renmark are playing up to their pre-season flag favouritism after opening the season with a 0-3 record. The Rovers’ better players Brett Exelby, Craig Seekamp, Paul and Matt Stelzer, Adam Bryant – to name a few – are in stellar form. Matt Camplin and Exelby have been regular goal kickers. Whillas medal favourite, along with Dillon Millard and Loxton’s Peter Smith, Bryant is another star the Roos will have to dim. It will take a special effort for the young Barmera side to overcome Renmark, who are hungry for the first flag since 1995. The Barmera side will consist of talented youngster and none better, or quicker, than Indigenous forward Travis Wilson. Jack Selfe and Lachlan Middleton will do their best to match it with Renmark’s mentioned gun midfielders whilst Robert Price will be keen to provide experience and nous as a ruckman and forward. Renmark should win by 17 points in front of their high-expectant fans. 
By Nick Kossatch
Tuesday 25 August, 2009

Barmera-Monash easily defeated non-finalists Berri by 43 points in the final minor round in the RFL A-grade at Barmera Oval. 
The Roos produced a scintillating eight-goal first quarter with ruck-rover Dillon Millard in rare form and Robert Price booting three goals. 
Jack Selfe, Lachlan Middleton and Andrew Nunan dominated the stoppages for the home side. 
Berri had no answers to the onslaught apart from determined efforts from Jake Langdon, Ty Allen and Kirk Harwood as it looked like they faced a massive thrashing but Daniel Dawson eased the Demons crisis with their first goal. 
Barmera lead by 44 points at quarter-time but the visitors, courtesy of Dylan Brookes, halved that advantage by half time with a five-goal to two goal second stanza. 
Salisbury North product Brookes produced a purple patch with a four-goal burst after a Murray Middleton six-pointer at the start of the second term. 
The classy David Hankin was the perfect foil for Brookes as Barmera’s earlier momentum was stalled but ‘Mickey’ Millard had some 20 touches in the first half. 
The Roos re-established their authority in the third quarter and Travis Wilson showed all that he is the quickest player in the RFL by burning off his Berri opponent to kick his second goal. 
It is interesting to see if AFL talent scouts are aware of the silky-skilled Wilson. 
Barmera captain Ryan Villis booted two goals as the wind increased making the game somewhat scrambly. 
Price kicked his fourth major after terrific anticipation from Matthew Leigh intercepted a Hankin kick. 
The finals-bound Roos enjoyed a seven-goal buffer at three-quarter time in a stanza highlighted by Brookes’ fifth goal and Dean Storic’s trademark hanger over fellow ruckman Brett Duffin. 
Both sides booted two-goals each in the last quarter as they went through the motions. 
Wilson’s major, after he weaved and sold the dummy to three Berri defenders, would be a ‘goal of the year’ contender. 
If only it did exist in the RFL. 
Dillon Millard was superb from start to finish, Selfe and Nunan were not far behind as contenders for the best afield honours.

Round 16 scores – August 22, 2009

Loxton 21.18 (144) d Loxton North 10.13 (73).

Best – Loxton: L Kruger, R Mitchell, N Uren, S Schubert, B Wheeldon, B Manuel. Loxton North: B Williams, J Nelson, R Proud, B Mules, B Stephens, B Henschke. Goals – Loxton: R Mitchell 5, L Kruger, S Schubert 4, M Fazekas. B Wheeldon 2, L Williams, J Fierke, R Smith, N Uren. Loxton North: R Proud 3, B Williams 2, M Hampel, J Albrecht, D Fielke, J Vowles, B Miller.

Barmera-Monash 17.15 (117) d Berri 11.10 (76).

Best – BarmeraMonash: Dillon Milland, R Price, M Middleton, J Buchecker, D Whitbourne, Danny Milland. Berri: D Brookes, D Haines, K Harwood. D Storic, T Allen, N Geyer. Goals – Barmera-Monash: R Price 4, R Willis, T Wilson 3, J Selfe 2, T Swanbury, L Middleton, Dillon Milland, M Middleton, M Leigh. Berri: D Brookes 6, D Hankin 2, G Branford, K Harwood, D Dawson.

Renmark 26.13 (169) d Waikerie 11.3 (69).

Best – Renmark: A Bryant, C Seekamp, M Camplin, S Callahan, B Exefey, P Stelzer. Waikerie: C Miller, C Griffiths, L Horner, B Kayser, G Dubrich, S Stevens. Goals – Renmark: M Camplin 6, B Exelby 5, A Bryant 3, B Wagnitz, M Stelzer 2, J Rowe, H Beavis, S Callahan, C Seekamp, B O’Dea, P Dempsey, P Stelzer, M Martinson. Waikerie: T Hyde 3, C Griffiths, B Hayes, S Nicholson 2, B Venning, L Horner.

By Nick Kossatch

Monday August 17, 2009

Renmark blew away Loxton North into the Panther Park turf by 103 points in round 15 of A-grade RFL. 
Matt Stelzer and Brett Exelby booted five goals apiece and on-baller Adam Bryant played a magnificent game for Renmark with countless quality possessions. 
The temperature reached near 30 degrees but the Rovers felt the heat early however and they kicked with a five-goal northerly wind. 
Renmark failed to take advantage of it and lead by just nine points at quarter time. 
After an easy goal to Peter Dempsey – set up by a handball from Nathan Farr – Panther Brad Williams replied with a terrific major into the wind. 
250-gamer Matty Martinson, Bryant, Simon Callahan and Paul Burne were finding plenty of the ball whilst ruckman Craig Seekamp relished his role as Renmark’s lead ruckman with Farr used as a forward. 
The visitor’s lead by 20 points following goals to Martinson and then 38-year-old Mick Townsend’s attack on the ball led to Matt Stelzer’s first for the day. 
Jamie Saint restored faith for the Panther fans after his clever left-foot snap split the goals. 
It was courtesy of another centre clearance by Williams. 
Two more six-pointers from stand-in skipper Josh Nelson and Jeremy Payne completed a rousing first stanza by Loxton North. 
For all the excellent work by the hosts in the first stanza, it all unravelled rather quickly in the second half of the second term. 
The Rovers kicked four goals to North’s solitary major during the second term and Callahan’s tireless work-rate preluded to Stelzer’s second goal. 
North’s Chris Kropinyeri booted his side’s only goal in the second quarter as he, Nelson, Williams, Ryan Proud and defender Blake Hentschke, continued their high work ethic. 
The Panthers had to deal with Bryant’s ball-getting ability and find their way out of a 27-point half time deficit. 
Renmark swapped Aaron Camplin to the forward line and Dempsey across the halfback line for the second half. 
Both utility players booted two goals each when played as forwards. 
The Rovers unleashed its’ fury with nine goals in the championship stanza whilst holding their opponents scoreless. 
Seekamp was too strong and mobile for opponents Matthew Hampel and Ben Miller and ‘Bergs’ passed the ball to Stelzer and later Brett Exelby for resultant goals. 
Stelzer’s dummy and then major as he streamed from the centre was of blue-chip class. 
It was more of the same in the last quarter and more misery for the hosts although they did boot three goals from Williams, Proud and Josh Deren. 
The Rovers nailed another nine with Exelby adding two but it was a passage of play that would have pleased Renmark’s coaching staff. 
Seekamp applied a strong tackle on Proud that exposed for all to see. 
The light-hearted incident pleased the female contingent in the crowd as well. 
A series of seven contested marks – started by Seekamp at half back and continuing via Camplin and Farr along the western wing – finished with Martinson successfully converting. 
Not long after the hard-working Townsend put the Rover’s lead beyond 100 points 
Round 15 – August 15, 2009 scores

Renmark 24.16 (160) d Loxton North 8.9 (57).

Best – Renmark: A Bryant, C Seekamp, M Stelzer, M Exelby, T Thorpe, A Camplin. Loxton North: J Nelson, M Hamper, B Williams, J Vowles. Goals – B Exelby, M Stelzer 5, M Martinson, A Camplin, B Wagner, P Dempsey 2, H Bevis, D Pfeiffer, J Rowe, A Bryant, P Burne, M Townsend. Loxton North: B Williams 2, J Saint, B Mules, R Proud, J Payne, C Kropuyer, J Deren.

Barmera Monash 20.16 (136) d Waikerie 8.6 (54).

BestBamiera-Monash: T Swanbury, J Selfe, Dillon Millard, J Buchecker, D Whitbourne. A Nunan. Waikerje: C Griffiths, C Miller, T Bevan, B Venning, B Kayser. S Nicholson. Goals – Barmera-Monash: T Swanbury 6, R Villis, Dillon Millard 3, M Middleton, T Wilson, M Leigh 2, D Whitbourne, M Morrell. Waikerie: T Hyde 3, B Venning, B Haynes 2, M Gibson.

Loxton 16.8 (104) d Berri 10.14 (74).

Best – Loxton: N Uren, S Schubert, L Kruger, A Montgomery. C Pampoukidis, R Mitchell. Berri: D Hankin, B Duffin, T Bonner, K Harwood, J Langdon, L Pearson. Goals – Loxton: S Schubert 5, R Mitchell 4, N Uren 3, C Pampoukidis, E Poutt, B Wheldon, A Smith. Berri: D Hankin 5, D Storie, J Langdon,. G Franks, B Duffin, K Harwood.

Round 14 – August 8, 2009

Renmark 20.21 (141) d Berri 11.11 (77)

Best ~ Renmark- M Townsend, S Callahan, S Jenkins, R Menz, M Camplin, A Camplin. Berri: K Harwood, B Duffin, D Storie, P Safralidis, T Bonner, N Geyer. Goals – Renmark: M Townsend 6, M Camplin 5, B Exelby, B Wagnitz 2, A Bryant, P Dempsey, T Thorpe, H Beavis, N Campaign. Berri: G Franks 3, D Storie, D Hankin 2, J Langdon, N Gevyer, D Beer, K Harwood.

Loxton 15.10 (100) d Barmera Monash 12.10 (82).

Best ~ Loxton: L Kruger, N Uren, P Portolesi, M Fazekas, M Kirk, S Schubert. Barmera Monash: J Selfe, J Buchecker, T Swanbury, A Nunan, D Millard, M Leyson. Goals – Loxton: L Kruger, S Schubert 3, A Montgomery, J Fielke 2, P Smith, L Wiliams, J Mann, R Mitchell, M Fazekas. Sarmara Monash: T Swanbury, L Middleton, D Millard 2, B Wilksch, A Nunan, M Middleton, T Wilson, M Wilson, M Leight, J Selfe.

Waikerie 23.12 (150) d Loxton North 14.15 (97).

Best – Waikerie: D Stevens, A Bland, S Venning, M Gibson, C Hawke, L Horner, C Griffiths. Loxton North: B Williams, B Stephens, J Nelson, R Proud, M Hampel, J Vowles. Goals ~ Waikerie: T Hyde 5, D Stevens, M Gibson, B Venning 3, T Bevan, C Griffiths 2, J Thomson, G Dutton, B Haynes, C Eustice, L Horner. Loxton North: A McLean 4, B8 Perry 2, R Proud, A Cook, J Albrecht, J Voight, B Williams, C Krupinyeri, J Deren, B Miller.


By Nick Kossatch
Monday August 3, 2009

Barmera-Monash rediscovered their winning ways with a character building 12-point win against hosts Berri in the 13th round of A-grade football. 
Both sides produced contrasting form in the first half with the Roos skipping to a 21-point quarter-time lead. 
Jack Selfe, Lachlan Middleton and Jake Smith torched the Demons with their midfield run. 
Chris Bonney mopped up across half back repelling Berri’s forward entries. 
The lightning quick and exciting Travis Wilson added a different dimension to Barmera’s forward line. 
The 16-year-old indigenous player booted an Aaron Davey-esque major and he also outmarked and then outran the much stronger built Les Pearson. 
Wilson is a special talent if he can channel his aggression. 
A pair of goals to Tyson Swanbury helped the visitors to a commanding position at the first break. 
After an out-of-sorts Brad Wilksch handballed to Lachlan Middleton for the first goal of the second quarter, it was all Berri. 
They piled on seven majors on the back of some brilliance from Chris Scholefield, skipper Peter Safralidis and makeshift ruckman Dean Storic. 
Some poor discipline from Barmera-Monash did not help their cause. 
Veteran Terry Bonner kicked two goals and contributed to putting them in front with a great handpass to a running ‘Saf’. 
The captain made no mistake off his left foot. 
The Roos’ drop in work-rate was dramatic and they found themselves 14-points adrift at half time. 
It could have been worse for them had Bonner not missed moments before. 
Berri’s Steve Renfrey was following the usually influential ruckman-forward Robert Price and Daniel Dawson, who replaced the injured Steven Raeder, had Wilksch’s measure. 
Some great pressure from Joe Reeks and Jake Langdon helped Safralidis to his second goal and a 20-point lead early in the third stanza. 
There was a sudden momentum shift as Berri began to ‘cough’ up the ball. 
Dillon Millard’s mark against Storic in the middle of the ground was symbolic of his side wresting Berri’s earlier dominance from them. 
Shortly after Geordie Franks kicked one that made its’ way through – Matthew Leigh was awarded with a dubious free against Dawson. 
The game was up for grabs at three quarter time with Leigh’s goal had Barmera behind by two points. 
Both sides exchanged the first two majors via Leigh and Safralidis. 
That was the last time Berri was to have the lead. 
Wilson manufactured something from nothing to set up Price for his second goal and Roo captain Ryan Villis soon followed suit for a two-goal lead. 
Franks blotched two gettable shots at goal and a few minutes later Lachlan Middleton finished Berri and their finals dream off with a major courtesy of a Demon defensive error. 
Barmera confront Loxton at Loxton Oval this Saturday that may decide second spot whilst Berri again rue a season of lost opportunities. 
Round 13 – August 1, 2009
Barmera/Monash 14.20 (104) d Berri 13.13 (91). 
Best – Barmera/Mopnash: C Bonney, D Millard, J Selfe, J Smith, L Middleton, T Wilson. Berri: S Renfrey, D Storic, C Scholefield, K Horwood, D Haines, J Reeks. Goals – Barmera/ Monash: R Price, T Swanbury, R Villis, M Leigh 2, B Wilksch, L Middleton, J Smith, M Middleton, T Wilson. Berri: T Bonner, G Franks 3, P Safralidis, D Hankin 2, D Brookes, C Scholefield, D Beer.
Waikerie 23.14 (152) d Renmark 9.9 (63). 
Best – Waikerie: J Thomson, A Bland, T Bevan, D Stevens, G Dutton, S Stevens. Renmark: A Bryant, N Faar, S Callahan, M Townsend, P Dempsey, M Stelzer. Goals – Waikerie: T Hyde 5, M Gibson 4, B Venning 3, D Stevens, J Thomson, B Haynes 2, S Stevens, G Dutton, A Thompson, T Bevan, S Nicolson. Renmark: M Townsend, P Dempsey 3, B Wagnitz, B Odea, M Stelzer.

Loxton 31.10 (206) def Loxton North 2.6 (18)


By Nick Kossatch 

Tuesday July 28, 2009

Renmark made a mockery of Barmera-Monash being a premiership contender by giving them a 74-point thrashing at Renmark Oval on Saturday. 

The win places the Rovers in second position on percentage but equal on points with the Roos and Loxton. 

It was the host’s most impressive win of the year kick-started by a barnstorming eight-goal first quarter. 

Craig Seekamp and Brett Exelby kicked three-goals each as ruckman Nathan Farr gave the Rover on-ballers, Adam Bryant and Simon Callahan, first look at the ball. 

Barmera’s Robert Price failed to capitalize early in the first term with three points but Josh Buchecker booted their only goal. 

They simply could not cope with Renmark’s ferocious tackling and attack on the ball and body – underlined by Seekamp’s bump that put Brad Wilksch on his backside. 

Russell Menz and Aaron Camplin were miserly in defence, yet attacked when they had too, from the backlines for Renmark. 

That is why the visitor’s only had two majors to half time. 

Paul Burne lived up to his surname by using his scorching pace and pumping the ball into the hungry Rover forward line. 

His piece of courage allowed Callahan and Harrison Beavis to combine for Exelby’s fourth goal. 

Jack Selfe and Chris Bonney were the only honest triers for the besieged Barmera-Monash side. 

Their misery continued during the third quarter when they failed to kick a goal. 

The cheeky Matt Camplin kicked two goals with the second of those somehow manufactured through some heavy traffic. 

Bryant and Callahan, ably supported by skipper Trevor Thorpe and Matty Martinson, continued along their merry way in the midfield. 

Why did Barmera kick just two goals in the first three quarters in such a big game? 

They had a golden opportunity to be two games clear in second position. 

Now they look like ‘the weakest link’ of the top four teams. 

The Roos more than doubled their goal tally in the last quarter by booting five goals. 

Danny Millard, after being moved to full forward from fullback, responded with two in a positive for Barmera. 

Murray Middleton, after a quiet first three quarters, also slotted two majors but Renmark maintained their intensity highlighted by Mick Townsend diving head first into a pack. 

The Rovers look like benefiting from life without Ryan Bennett, who has established himself at West Adelaide. 

They meet Waikerie in next Saturday’s blockbuster round 13 match in Waikerie.  

Round 12 – July 25, 2009

Berri 14.16 (100) d Loxton North 13.8 (86).

Best – Berri: J Reeks, D Storie, T Allen, D Beer, T Benner, S Renfrey. Loxton North: R Proud, J Nelson, J Voigt, B Mules, M Arnold, J Proud. Goals – Berri: G Franks 4, C Scholefield, A Karver 2, C Ridgeway, D Brooks, T Allen, D Beer, M Hill, K Harwood. Loxton North: A Cook 4, B Perry 3, R McLean 2, K Worsfold, R Proud, B Stephens, B Miller.

Renmark 19.13 (127) d Barmera-Monash 7.10 (52).

Best – Renmark.: S Callaghan, C Seekamp, B Exelby, A Bryant, N Farr, A Camplin. Barmera-Monash: J Smith, C Bonney, J Selfe, D Whitbourne, D Millard, A Nunan. Goals – Renmark: B Exelby, M Camplin 5, C Seekamp 4, H Beavis 2, P Dempsey, M Martinson, B O’Dea. Barmera/Monash: D Millard, M Middleton 2, B Wilksch, J Selte, C Siemers.

Loxton 19.10 (124) d Walkerie 12.13 (85).

Best – Loxton: P Portolesi, P Smith, M Fazekas, S Schubert, L Williams, B Manuel. Waikerie: C Hawke, J Thomson, S Liebich, S Polorechi, M Gibson, B Vennin. Goats – Loxton: P Smith 7, A Montgomery 4, S Schubert 3, R Mitchell 2, J Fieke, P Portoresi, M Fazekas. Waikerie: M Gibson 5, B Haynes, B Venning 2, S Liebich, S Pogorecki. T Hyde.

Round 12 Preview with Nick Kossatch

The ‘Wooden Spoon Cup’ up for grabs in Panthers and Demons match

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Last week Waikerie ended all hope the Berri Demons had of making the finals. Now Berri will be eager of not ‘winning’ yet another wooden spoon. They do battle against fellow wooden spoon aspirants Loxton North, who may I add, will remember the drubbing they copped against the Dees eight weeks ago. At the moment Berri have the better form but have suffered a huge loss with key defender Steven Raeder injuring his finger against Waikerie. Yet another tall they will miss. The Demons will win by 22 points because they have better and classier on-ballers. Jake Langdon and Ty Allen along with Salisbury North recruit Dylan Brookes have shone most of the season. Forward Geordie Franks will have fond memories in his last outing against the Panthers when he kicked 11 goals. North have been playing Anton Cook forward with success. For them to win Cook has to mark Franks and Michael Arnold has to remain at centre half forward. Brad Mules and David Hankin are similar players for Berri and Loxton North and are the future of these clubs. 

Loxton will be pitted against in-form Waikerie at Waikerie and both had wins against each other but not at their home grounds. The Tigers were somewhat unlucky to lose by a point against the Renmark Rovers and probably will welcome back ‘jet’ Peter Smith whilst the Magpies will not have Nathan Tape who is suspended. Waikerie’s younger brigade Cameron Hawk, Scott’s Nicholson and Porgorecki and ruckman Craig Miller have stepped up as has Gerard Dutton. Luke Horner is under an injury cloud but despite this Waikerie should down the Tigers in a tight match by seven points. Shane Schubert may line up on Waikerie goal-scoring machine Tom Hyde if Mark Theile starts struggling. 

Barmera-Monash found some much-needed form last week against Loxton North but Renmark are a different proposition altogether. The Rovers are just starting to gather some momentum with Brett Exelby back to his best in the forward lines. I suspect the Rovers will prosper in Ryan Bennett’s (West Adelaide) absence and another forward Ben Townsend is more than capable. Barmera-Monash surprised by rucking Chris Bonney which left veteran Robert Price as a permanent forward. The Renmark midfielders Adam Bryant, Simon Callahan and even Ben Wagnitz are hard-bodied and utility Scott Jenkins is used as a ‘Scott Stevens’ in that he can play forward or back. Andrew Nunan returned to form for the Roos’ last week and the duel between Bryant and Barmera hard-nut Ryan Villis will go a long way in deciding the match. I am predicting Renmark to win by six points in an entertaining match. 



By Nick Kossatch 

Monday 20 July 2009

Berri’s chances of playing in the RFL finals have all but ended going down by two goals in a fiery round 11 match against Waikerie. 

The Berri Oval clash was at times riddled by errors and was marred by a spiteful melee midway through the third quarter. 

The Magpies had a three-goal northerly wind during the first term and were all over the hosts. 

Nathan Tape was damaging for Waikerie and after a bright start by Ben Venning – the Demons’ Steve Renfrey tightened up on the power forward. 

Tom Hyde booted two excellent goals from general field play instead from his customary marks. 

Hyde turned his Berri opponent Steven Raeder inside out to kick his second goal. 

Blonde-haired duo, Jake Langdon and Salisbury North recruit Dylan Brookes, were prominent in Berri’s goal-less first quarter and they were 25-points in arrears. 

The home side began to win the stoppages via Langdon and Ty Allen and makeshift ruckman Dean Storic’s leaping at the centre ball-ups was spectacular. 

Kirk Harwood and skipper Peter Safralidis booted successive goals for the home side and the game became a keenly fought affair. 

Waikerie over-used the ball at times especially in the scoring zone but wily campaigner Craig Griffiths snapped a regulation goal off a pack. 

It was the visitor’s only major in the second quarter. 

Steve Leibich, Scott Porgorecki gave the Pies plenty of drive from defence and midfield and Aaron Bland was a cool and calculated defender.  

The third term belonged to their team-mate Matt Gibson who kicked three goals and non were better when he booted the ball from mid air for a freakish six-pointer. 

It was moments after an all-in brawl that had Nathan Tape reported and sent off for the remainder of the match and Storic was sinbinned for 10 minutes. 

Geordie Franks kicked an equally amazing major for Berri from the northern end boundary to reduce Waikerie’s lead to 23 points with a quarter remaining. 

The Magpies had some nervous moments in the last stanza being outscored six goals to four and they had a limited bench with Luke Horner and Jackson Sutton injured. 

Hyde booted three in the last quarter to finish with five goals and youngster Gerard Dutton kicked a great goal from the left forward pocket. 

Franks and Harwood were the sparks in Berri’s ‘revival’ that got them to within three goals but their rivals did enough to secure the vital two points and the coveted double chance. 

Round 11 – July 18, 2009

Waikerie 15.13 (103) d Berri 13.7 (85).

Best – Waikerie: A Bland, S Lebsch, S Pogorecki, C Griffiths, S Nicholson, T Bevan. Berri: J Storie, D Brooks, S Renfrey, T Allen, K Harwood, J Langdon. Goals – Waikerie: T Hyde 5, M Gibson 3, D Stevens, B Haynes 2, C Griffiths, G Dutton, 8 Venning. Berri: G Franks, K Harwood 3, T Allen 2, L Pearson, P Safralidis, T Bonner, D Hankin, C Schoefield.

Barmera/Monash 15.15 (105) d Loxton North 7.9 (51).

Best – Barmera/Monash: A Nunan, D Whitebourne, R Price, M Morrell, L Middleton, T Packer. Loxton North: J Nelson, J Vowles, M Mules, J Voigt. Goals – Barmera/ Monash: R Price 8, C Hughes 3, J Buchecker, A Munan, M Middleton, A Grose. Loxton North: A Cook 3, R McLean 2, A Proud, J Payne.





16.11 (107)





15.16 (106)

Best – Renmark: B. Exelby, S. Callahan, N. Farr. Barmera-Monash: S. Schubert, L. Williams, B. Kurtzer. Goals – Renmark: B. Exelby 6, M. Stelzer, A. Bryant, M. Townsend 2, T. Thorpe, R. Menz, S. Jenkins, B. O’Dea. Loxton: P. Portolesi 3, L. Kruger, L. Williams, S. Schubert, J. Fielke 2, B. Manuel, R. Mitchell, E. Pontt, M. Fazekas.



By Nick Kossatch 

Monday 13 July 2009

Renmark’s ‘yo-yo’ season continued after they recorded a 79-point win against bottom-placed Loxton North at Renmark Oval. 

The hosts held a two-goal lead at half time but Ben Wagnitz provided them with much-needed spark to boot five second-half goals in the Rovers’ 14-goal to three blitz in that period. The oval was heavier after earlier rain and the Panthers kept Renmark honest during the first quarter. 

The 2008 runner’s-up failed to take full advantage of the wind and led by just 13 points at the first break with Matt Camplin kicking three goals. 

Craig Seekamp started in ruck with regular ruckman Nathan Farr in the forward lines.  Both players were effective from the outset. 

It was entertaining football in the first term highlighted by North’s Ryan Proud swooping on a loose ball to goal.  Renmark’s Paul Stelzer responded with a major on the boundary – the wind pushing the ball between the uprights.  Anton Cook kicked three goals for Loxton North in the first quarter as well. His team did not capitalize on the use of the breeze in the second stanza with both sides kicking four goals. Farr kicked the first of the quarter during which Renmark’s Adam Bryant, captain Trevor Thorpe, Simon Callahan and Matt Martinson were industrious. 

Brad Mules, with his exceptionally efficient ball use from one so young and iron-willed  captain Michael Arnold, were equally as effective for the Panthers.  Arnold made something from nothing hard up against the boundary on the club side. He dished off a wonderfully weighted handpass to Cook who goaled from point blank range. The navy-blues were up to the challenge just like they were against Waikerie a fortnight ago. Cook booted his fifth courtesy of persistence from Mules and athletic forward Jeremy Payne. 

Mules frustrated opponent Jaryd Rowe – made more-so by his brilliant mark against the speedy Renmark wingman.  Seekamp did ease Renmark’s anxiety with a goal from a well-timed lead to put them 13 points up at half time. Whatever Renmark coach Brenton Venables told his players at the break seemed to work. The Rovers unleashed their 2008 form with a brand of quick, powerful and running football. 

After Brett Exelby kicked his first from a Matthew Stelzer pass – Wagnitz, who spent the whole first half on bench, went berserk kicking his terrific trio of goals. The game was getting away from the visitors but Cook’s sixth major, momentarily gave them a ‘pulse’. Harrison Beavis soon put North to rest with a great running goal that excited the crowd. Renmark built on their 55-point three-quarter-time lead with the opening two goals to ‘Wags’. 

They kept their feet on the ‘gas’ with Seekamp’s fourth goal in the big man’s best game for the year. The Panthers had some positives in the last quarter with Michael Scott very impressive on a wing. Lively Payne booted North’s only goal for the quarter but it was Exelby who put the icing on the cake for Renmark with their fifth and his second goal. Bryant, the Stelzer brothers and Simon Callahan shone in midfield and Russel Menz was solid in defence.  Seekamp and Matt Camplin both booted four majors, Ben Townsend (three goals) and Wagnitz kicked 16 goals between them. 

For North it was Arnold, who was as courageous as ever, Cook led all scorers with six goals and Mules being their best. Brad Perry in midfield and Kyle Worsfold along with Ryan and Justin Proud were dependable in a crisis. 

RIVERLAND – Round 10





11.15 (81)





9.12 (66)

Loxton: N Uren, P Portolesi, R Mitchell, M Fazekas, S Schubert, J Fielke. Berri: D Storic, T Allen, K Harwood, M Hill, N Geyer, L Pearson. Goals – Loxton: A Montgomery 3, S Schubert N Uren, R Mitchell 2, B Wheeldon, M Fazel. Berri: G Franks 4, K Harwood, C Scholefied 2, D Centofanti.





14.17 (101)





6.10 (46)

Best – Waikerie: S Pocorecki, N Tape, S Stevens, C Hawke, T Bevan, T Hyde. Barmera/Monash – C Boney, M Leyson, D Millard, T Swanbury, S Horsley, A Nunan. Goals – Waikerie: T Hyde 7, M Gibson 3, B Venning 2, S Stevens, G Dutton. Barmera: T Swanbury 3, R Price, B Wilksch, C Hughes





24.12 (156)

Loxton North




11.11 (77)

Best – Renmark: N. Farr, S. Jenkins, P. Stelzer. Loxton North: A. Cook, B. Miller, K. Worsfold. Goals – Renmark: B. Wagnitz 5, C. Seekamp, M. Camplin 4, B. Townsend 3, B. Exelby, N. Farr 2, J. Rowe, P. Stelzer, S. Jenkins, H. Beavis. Loxton North: A. Cook 6, R. McLean, J. Payne, R. Proud, M. Arnold, B. Mules.

Round 10 Preview with Nick Kossatch

Waikerie poised to pounce on Barmera Roos 
Thursday July 9, 2009

Waikerie will be keen to entrench itself in the top two when they face the visiting Barmera-Monash in round 10 of the RFL. The Magpies are in form with gun forwards Ben Venning and Tom Hyde working well together. They should dismantle a Roo outfit suddenly bereft of confidence following successive losses to Renmark and Loxton. Matt Gibson and Craig Miller have become ‘support acts’ for Venning and Hyde. Barmera’s Dillon Millard is their most consistent player but the likes of Brad Wilksch and Murray Middleton need to kick bags if they are any chance. The rampant Magpies will give the visitors no chance whatsoever and I predict a 56-point win to the black-and-whites. 

A few weeks ago the Renmark and Loxton North match would have been touted as a one-sided affair but in Saturday’s contest I sense a much closer match. West Adelaide now have the services of Ryan Bennett – a huge loss for the Rovers. Given the Panthers’ strong first-half form against Waikerie, Renmark will need to be wary that the ‘microscope’ is on them following all the pre-season hype that has earmarked them as flag favourites. They still should win because of their array of midfielders. Simon Callahan, Adam Bryant and Matt and Paul Stelzer should pump the ball forward often enough to give forwards Matt Camplin, Brett Exelby and Craig Seekamp scoring chances. Nathan Farr has been a star in the ruck and should be too mobile for North’s Rhett Davis and Ben Miller. The Panthers defender Josh Voigt has impressed as has youngster Brad Mules. They have the inspirational Michael Arnold and medium-sized forward Rob McLean to pose a threat for the Renmark defenders. Renmark are my tips by 34 points. 

Loxton play a Berri side full of self-belief at Loxton Oval in a potentially season-defining game for the Demons. The Tigers are huge ‘monkeys’ that Berri need to get rid off their backs. The battle of the midfield will be enthralling with Loxton having in-form Leigh Kruger and Nick Uren probably matching up on Peter Safralidis and Jake Langdon. I am favouring Loxton, yet again, to defeat Berri with Pete Smith leading the way. Smith has been a sensational recruit for the Loxton Football Club. Steven Raeder has added much-needed height and flexibility to Berri’s structure. The match-up between Berri’s new goal-kicking sensation Geordie Franks and Raphael Liddle will be decisive. Rhys Mitchell is another Tiger that the Demon defence has to worry about. Tip Loxton by 42 points.

By Nick Kossatch
Sunday June 28, 2009

Waikerie withstood a strong first-half challenge by home side Loxton North by overpowering them in the second half to win by 59 points in round nine of RFL. Tom Hyde kicked five goals for the Magpies, well supported by Ben Venning, Matt Gibson and Craig Miller with three each. The Panther’s Rob McLean shone with four majors and was their sole scorer in the second half. North had to atone for their abysmal showing against Berri in the previous round. They began with much more intensity led by centre half forward and captain Michael Arnold despite being down by 17 points at quarter-time. The Magpies drew first blood via Hyde and with Craig Griffiths, Luke Horner and Nathan Tape controlling the midfield – it was feared the floodgates would open and a drubbing loomed. There was desperation however displayed by Arnold’s bump on Griffiths followed by Brad Mules’ spoil on the same player. This led to a more productive second term for the Panthers. Ryan Proud set the crowd in full voice when he drilled a goal on the run from 50 metres to close the gap to 10 points. Whilst Anton Cook kept Venning in check Tape, however, continued to accumulate telling possessions. His ‘dummy’ on Blake Hentschke was superb and it helped set up Hyde for his second major. Josh Voigt and Justin Proud impressed in defence for North with their calmness whilst Mules provided dash. His mark, after running with the flight of the ball, was as courageous as it gets. 
The hosts got to within a goal courtesy of a crunching tackle by Arnold that preluded a goal to Kyle Worsfold. Shayne Stevens was off the ground with a hamstring strain for Waikerie and Panther Brad Williams was hampered with an ankle problem. He had been an effective player up to that point. 
Waikerie led by 11 points at half time following a Venning goal on the siren. The 2007-2008 premiers gradually began to pull away in the third stanza with five goals. North’s Rhett Davis twice had chances to goal – the second of those was marked on the goal line. The ball was quickly moved forward by the ‘Pies. Tape’s releasing handball allowed Jim Thomson to involve Hyde whose attack on the ball assisted Scott Nicholson with a major. A pair of McLean six-pointers was split by Gibson’s goal for Waikerie. Hyde almost put an end to the Panther’s resilience with a Barry-Hall-like brush-off his opponent and goal. It was a procession in the final term with North outscored six goals to one. Miller and Gibson each posted two majors. 
Mules’ mark over Venning was a highlight as was some hard running from Thomson culminated with Venning’s unselfish kick to Hyde who made no mistake. A series of handballs involving Scott Porgorecki, Greg Dubrich and Aaron Thomson finished with Jim Thomson spotting Gibson who converted. It was Waikerie’s best and final passage of play that hallmarked their class. The winners best were midfielders Horner, Tape, Jim Thomson and Griffiths early. Ruckman-forward Miller was damaging and Dubrich solid in defence. Loxton North’s Arnold was a pillar of strength at centre half forward, Mules hardly wasted a possession, Ryan Proud was industrious as was Justin and Hentshke had his moments. 

Round 9 – June 27, 2009





17.9 (111)

Loxton North




7.10 (52)

Best: Waikerie – S Progorech, C Miller, S Liebich. Loxton North – R Proud, M Arnold, B Miller. Goals: Waikerie – T Hyde 5, B Venning, C Miller, M Gibson 3. Loxton North – R McLean 4





18.14 (122)





17.11 (113)

Best: Berri – T Allen, K Harwood, B Duffin, C Scholefield, D Storic, G White. Renmark – P Steltzer, A Bryant, M Townsend, R Bennett, N Farr, M Steltzer. Goals: Berri – G Franks, C Scholefield 4, D Brookes, D Hankin 3, K Harwood 2, J Langdon, M Hill. Renmark – R Bennett 3, H Beavis, M Steltzer, P Steltzer, S Jenkins, N Farr 2, M Camplin, B Exelby, B Wagnitz, B Townsend





13.9 (87)





11.9 (75)

Best: Loxton – M Fazekas, N Uren, L Kruger, P Smith, R Mitchell, J Mann. Barmera/Monash – Dillon Millard, C Bonney, J Selfe, A Nunan, J Smith, M Leyson. Goals: Lonxton – R Mitchell 5, P Smith 4, N Uren 2, L Williams, S Schubert 1. Barmera/Monash – B Wilksch, C Hughes 2, C Bonney, J Selfe, J Smith, R Villas, M Middleton, A Grose, T Wilson

Round Nine Preview with Nick Kossatch

Can the Berri Demons ‘hell-raise’ in second half of season? 
Wednesday 24 June 2009

The jury is still out on the Berri Demons despite their most impressive smashing of Loxton North last Saturday. They now host a Renmark Rovers side gradually finding some momentum following their own 10-goal drubbing over Barmera-Monash last weekend. The Demons potentially may have found the right mix down the ‘spine’. Geordie Franks with 27 goals so far this season has settled nicely deep in attack. Cobdogla recruit Steve Raeder is one of the RFL recruits of the year and has beaten some big names this year at full or centre half back. ‘Raids’ may match up on Rover Ryan Bennett with Berri’s other key defender Steve Renfrey as ‘back-up’ if big ‘Benno’ cuts loose. The Demons’ midfielders – Kirk Harwood, Jake Langdon and Dylan Brooks have all been consistent and the versatile Peter Safralidis is in scintillating form, mainly as an attacking defender. Renmark’s two sets of brothers – Matt and Aaron Camplin and Stelzer’s Paul and Matt are also finding consistency. Simon Callahan is another who is leading the way for Renmark. Ruckman Nathan Farr will find Berri’s Brett Duffin to be most physical at the stoppages. If the Rovers are to threaten the coveted top-two position on the ladder then I predict they will win by a comfortable 27 points. 

The Loxton Tigers will be keen for revenge against the Barmera-Monash Roos on its’ home deck at Barmera’s Bruce Oval on Saturday. Both these sides lost to last year’s grand finalists Waikerie and Renmark raising the question – are these two sides contenders or pretenders? The Tigers, if one can say, have been ‘honourable’ in their losses whereas the Roos have lost both their games by big margins. It is for this reason that the yellow and blacks from Tigerland will come out winners by 14 points. They have match-winners Peter Smith and Leigh Kruger is terrific form. Smith is a replica to Geelong’s Paul Chapman in that both win the ball and kick goals. The host’s Brad Wilksch has been quiet of late and will need to boot a bag probably against direct opponent Shane Schubert, who has returned after a stint with North Adelaide. Dillon Millard is now in ‘superstar status’ form for Barmera and he could go head-to-head with Kruger. This is a match of the round unquestioningly.  

The top-of-the-table Waikerie Magpies meet bottom side Loxton North Panthers at Panther Park in what may become another huge and demoralising loss to North. Apart from the outstanding and regular form of Brad Williams and the reliable Michael Arnold – the Panthers other players need to show something. I suspect big Magpie forwards Ben Venning and Tom Hyde are in for huge days because the likes of Damian and Shayne Stevens and the red-hot Luke Horner will continually feed them plenty of ball. Arnold and Anton Cook will probably be assigned the roles of trying to quell ‘Beaver’ and Hyde. With dry weather predicted yet again then the ‘Pies will trounce the Panthers by 97 points.

Premiership defence on track for Pies

by Nick Kossatch
Tuesday June 23, 2009

Waikerie kept its premiership defence on track, holding off a fast finishing Loxton, to record a hard fought 17-point win before a bumper crowd at Loxton Oval in Riverland A grade football on Saturday. 
The Magpie win, combined with Barmera-Monash’s loss to Renmark, sees them move ominously to the top of the ladder for the first time in 2009. With a blustery wind and the odd patch of rain about, the first three quarters of the match saw a tight, low scoring contest, with both sides managing just eleven goals between them. But in the final term as the wind dropped and players tired, the game opened up. Spectators were treated to a thirteen-goal last quarter shootout as both sides began to move the ball into their respective forward lines with greater freedom. Waikerie kicked the first three goals inside the first seven minutes of the last quarter to extend its lead to a seemingly insurmountable 43 points. But the 2009 Tigers, showing they have a lot more spirit than last year’s model, refused to throw in the towel. On the back of the tireless work of Pete Smith, Leigh Kruger and young Mitch Fazekas, Loxton brought their home supporters to their feet as they kicked seven of the next nine goals, to cut the margin back to just eleven points, and set up the chance of an unlikely win. But Waikerie, showing the benefit of its vast finals experience, settled play and when Tim Bevan kicked the sealer in the final minute, they had finally killed off the Tigers’ challenge.
Waikerie was inspired by veteran defender Steve Liebich. Liebich, who has a heart the size of Phar Lap, was simply magnificent patrolling across the half back line for the Magpies. In the first quarter Liebich was almost impassable, repelling countless Tiger attacks and, but for innaccurate kicking by their forwards, the Magpies could almost have put the match beyond Loxton’s reach at the first change.
In the final term, when the Tigers were mounting their challenge, once again it was ‘Lubba’ who held things together in the Magpie defence pulling in some telling contested marks. Matt Gibson typified the reigning premiers’ attack on the ball, fearlessly burrowing into packs throughout the match, while Luke Horner (two goals) and Nathan Tape, in the absence of injured captain Damien Stevens, stepped up in the midfield to provide an entertaining contest against Smith (four goals), Kruger and Pat Portelesi. 
Fazekas, who demonstrates good poise to match his nice left foot, showed he is a star of the future for the Tigers after another eye catching performance on his wing.
The Magpies’ Ben Venning continued to show why he is the league’s leading centre half forward, and his battle with recently returned SANFL star Shane Schubert was worth the price of the admission alone.
Tom Hyde contributed a lot more than just his three goals with some excellent use of his strength at full forward. This scribe cannot finish his report without expressing his continued admiration for three-time Whillas medallist Craig Griffiths. Griffiths, who has to be carbon dated to measure his age these days, started in the centre for the Pies and quelled the influence of the dangerous Nick Uren. 
‘Griff’ was still running on top of the ground in the final term, when many of his far younger opponents had their hands on their knees sucking in the big ones.

Safralidis-inspired Demons destroy Loxton North

Berri captain Peter Safralidis led his Demons to a 177-point win over Loxton North in Riverland A grade football on Saturday. Safralidis’ run from defence and pin-point delivery were some of the chief factors in the Demons’ decisive win, along with a dominant performance from Geordie Franks. Franks booted 11 goals to take his season tally to 27. The Panthers’ spirit was crushed with a 12 goal to two opening quarter, while Berri had the wind. This was not the main reason behind its crushing win – high work ethic and the hunger to win was a more accurate description of its success. Berri’s midfield was outstanding, with every player proving damaging around the ground, underlining that they can match it with anyone. Loxton North had limited numbers switched on from the word go. Brad Williams, Ryan Proud, Michael Scott and Michael Arnold (before a minor injury) tried hard all day to no avail, as their team-mates made errors and were caught behind most of the game. The run from defence was quick and clean for Berri, led by Safralidis and the ever-ready Les Pearson. This run, coupled with great team play, made the forward line accessible from anywhere, whether it be from the wings or straight up the middle. The forwards had a field day – Franks and Dylan Brooks (five goals) happily took great marks and appreciating their teammates’ delivery.
At the start of the second quarter Berri caught a glimpse of the North spirit, but it was quickly stopped and the Demons were back to business. Each quarter, apart from the start of the second, was a Berri domination.
The Demons had more of the ball and far cleaner skills, and seemed to move around the North players at will. This was not the case earlier in the year, with North having a high tackle count when it defeated the Demons in round three. It was simply a one-sided game that left spectators perplexed, as the Demons seemed to be ‘super-human’ while the Panthers were the opposite at times. It was a dark day for the Panthers, who need to find something in the next week to stop the streak of massive losses. Berri, on the other hand, showed it has what it takes, but needs to maintain this style of play to match it with the heavyweights of the league.

Rovers start to hit their straps
Renmark kept in touch with the top two following its convincing 64-point win over second-placed Barmera-Monash in Riverland A grade football on Saturday. Defender Aaron Camplin, who cemented his position in the team since his return from an ankle injury, managed to prevent the Roos’ flow into the forward line, while young forward Ben Townsend continued to prove himself with four goals. But the Rovers missed the chance to gain a big percentage boost, as they were wasteful in the third quarter – kicking just two goals.
The Rovers had things their own way for most of the game after booting six in the first quarter to the Roos’ solitary goal. Rover captain Trevor Thrope kick-started his side with his pace in the midfield and accurate delivery into the forward line. On-baller Simon Callahan was his usual industrious self, while key defenders Aaron Camplin and Matthew Stelzer were outstanding. Renmark’s skill was precise, very rarely overusing the ball, and their players were disciplined with their defensive action. In contrast, Barmera-Monash struggled to penetrate its forward 50 throughout the game due to the pressure applied by the dominant Rovers. The Roos’ skilful trio of Chris Bonney, Jake Smith and Matthew Morrell turned it up in the second quarter gathering plenty of disposals, but it was not enough to put a lid on the Rovers. Nothing was able to stop Adam Bryant, who was finding plenty of the ball and delivering it with pin-point accuracy into the hands of second term scorers Harrison Beavis, Matt Camplin and Brodie O’Dea. Down the other end, the Roos were only able to put two majors on the board to captain Ryan Villis and Jack Selfe. The third quarter saw the Roos take responsibility for their wasteful first half as they attempted to close down the gap. 
The Rovers coughed up the ball as the Roos lifted their intensity to grab momentum, however none of this showed on the scoreboard. Barmera-Monash claimed most of the footy in the third term, only to kick a single goal off the boot of key forward Brad Wilksch. Renmark still managed to outscore the Roos in the third quarter with goals to Craig Seekamp and Nathan Farr. The Roos often opted for a long kick in hope during the final quarter, as its attacking players were starved of opportunities. This only played into the hands of Renmark defenders, in particular, Russel Menz, as they had time to set themselves under marking contests. 
The Rovers were able to shift the ball from the centre into their forward with ease and accuracy. 
They then managed four more goals to shut the door on the Roos, with Simon Callahan leading the way with a best-on-ground performance and Ben Townsend with four goals under his belt.
The brilliant Chris Bonney was one of only a few Roos living up to their lofty reputation.

Round 8 – June 20, 2009





16.18 (114)





7.8 (50)

Best – Renmark: S Callahan, R Menz, P Stelzer, A Camplin, M Stelzer, T Thorpe. Barmera/Monash: C Bonney, J Smith, M Morrell, P Millard, B Morrelli, M Middleton. Goals – Renmark: B Townsend 4, J Rowe 2, C Seekamp, M Camplin, B Wagnitz, R Menz, P Stelzer, B O’Dea, A Bryant, H Beavis, N Farr, R Bennett. Barmera-Monash: B Wilksch, R Villis 2, J Selle, C Hughes, A Nunan.





33.12 (210)

Loxton North




5.3 (33)

ast – Berri: P Safraldis, C Franks, D Brooks, G White, S Reader, D Storic. Loxton: B Williams, B Stephens, M Scott. Goals – Berri: G Franks 11, C Scholefield, D Brooks 5, P Safraldis, D Sioric 4, M Hill 2, D Beer, D Hankin.





13.14 (92)





11.9 (75)

Best: Waikerie best: S. Liebich, M. Gibson, L. Horner, N. Tape, S. Nicholson, J. Sutton, C. Hawke.   Loxton: P. Smith, L. Kruger, N. Uren, M. Fazekas, P. Portolesi, S. Schubert. Goals – Waikerie: T. Hyde 3, L. Horner 2, T. Lehmann; J. Thomson; M. Gibson; G. Dutton; A. Thomson; B. Haynes; T. Bevan; B. Venning. Loxton: P. Smith 4, M. Fazekas 2, A. Montgomery; B. Kurtzer; P. Portolesi; N. Uren; Z. Kirk



By Nick Kossatch 

Bottom-placed Berri were within a straight kick from defeating ladder-leaders Barmera-Monash in a classic, physical and tough Fisher Cup round seven RFL match at Barmera Oval.  It would have been one of the great Demon wins but unfortunately for them – after being the better side most of the game – Barmera’s Brad Wilksch kicked the match-winning goal to give them a five-point win. 

The match was a terrific advertisement in how football should be played.  There were some tremendous ackling and one-on-one duels and Fisher Medallist, Berri captain Peter Safralidis, stamped his authority on the game by swooping on a loose ball to boot the Demons’ first major. 

The visitors’ fleet-footed midfielders and general pressure worried the Roos but they did respond to Berri’s initial onslaught with a long goal – against the trend of play – to Chris Hughes.  One of the favourites for the Whillas Medal, Dillon Millard, was not having his own way.  He started in the ruck but the burly Demon ruckman Brett Duffin provided an excellent contest at the centre bounces.  Wilksch had a chance to give his side a ‘break’ but they only led by a goal at the first change.  Kirk Harwood, Jake Langdon and Dylan Brookes were troubling Barmera but it was the tattoo-clad Hughes doing the same to Berri.  Hughes’ helped increase the Roos’ lead with a goal early in the second term but from there the visitors took control of the match. 

‘Saf’ was playing like a man possessed and he set up the impressive Geordie Franks with the first of his four goals to narrow the gap to one point. 

Wilksch messed up another shot at goal and when some wonderful awareness by Berri’s Michael Hill gave Franks his second major – the home side were in some trouble.  Berri did not allow any time and space in which Barmera base their game around.  They found themselves nine-points ahead at half time after some brilliant pressure on Russell Boatswain from Safralidis resulted in an easy goal to Duffin.  Brooks, who was having an excellent match for the red and blues, continued his strong-marking form in the forward lines.  A push-in-the-back free to Berri’s David Hankin led to a six-pointer to Franks and they led by 17 points. They held firm and in fact could have led by more if not for Chris Scholefield missing Duffin who was free. 

Duffin failed to goal from another passage of play and the visitor’s 14-point lead should have been more at hree-quarter-time. 

The third stanza produced only one goal with both sides booting four points.  The last quarter saw the hosts applying fierce pressure and Duffin missed another opportunity between majors to Wilksch and Barmera skipper Ryan Villis.  The home crowd sensed their side had momentum when a Hughes goal put the Roos in front.  In the next few minutes Berri regained control. 

A well-weighted kick from Brookes found Hankin and his set shot split the uprights. The Demons led by eight points after a clever mark to Terry Bonner who then spotted Franks.  Franks then nudged his opponent under the ball, gathered it, and drilled his fourth major and it seemed a huge upset loomed.  The experienced Robert Price was awarded a free and the 39-year-old made no mistake but the next passage of play proved decisive. arwood brilliantly spun out of a tackle deep in Berri’s defence and he spotted Dean Beer.  Dillon Millard then superbly intercepted Beer’s kick and followed up by hitting Wilksch on the chest.  Wilksch pumped the air with his fists as the ball sailed through for the match-winning major. 

Berri were not done with however.  ‘Saf’ had an open shot at goal from a centre clearance but Danny Millard was there to effect contact on the ball before it crossed the goal line.  The Demons frantically rushed the ball forward again and it was marked by Brookes well over 50-metres from goal. 

The final siren sounded and Brookes attempt at goal understandably fell short. It was a remarkable finish in a game where Barmera-Monash snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

June 13, 2009 – Round 7

Barmera/Monash 11.15 (81) d Berri 11.11 (77)

Best – Barrnera/Monash: C Hughes, D Millard, M Middleton, R Price, M Morrell, C Bonney. Berri: P Satraliois, K Harwood, G White, B Dyffin, C Scholefield, D Storic. Goals – Barmera/Monash: B Wilksch, C Hughes 3, R Price 2, J Sene, R Villis, M Middleton. Berri: J Franks 4, D Hankin 2, P SafTaliois, D Brookes, B Duffin, K Harwood, C Scholefield.

Loxton 30.11 (191) d Loxton North 9.11 (65).

Best – Loxton: P Smith, N Uren, M Fazekas, L Kruger, P Portolesi, S Schubert. Loxton North: B Williams, A Cook, J Nelson, M Arnold. Goals – Loxton: P Smith 9, R Mitchell 4, L Williams, L Mitchell 3, A Montgomery, B Freundt, P Portolesi 2, I Kruger, S Schubert, R Smith, N Uren, W Pritchard. Loxton North: A Cook 4, R McLean 2, K Worsfold, B Millerm, B Williams.

Waikerie 17.11 (113) d Renmark 12.11 (83).

Best – Waikerie: C Griffiths, T Beven, G Dutton, M Gibson, J Sutton, L Horner. Renmark: R Bennett, S Callahan, A Bryant, B Exelby, N Farr, P Stelzer. Goals – Waikerie: B Venning 4, C Griffriths 3, M Gibson, C Wilson 2, S Liebich, G Dutton, T Bevan, C Hawke, T Hyde, L Horner. Renmark: R Bennett 4, B Exelby 3, B Townsend, H Beavis, C Seekamp, J Rowe, P Stelzer.


Round Seven Preview

Defining match for Loxton and Loxton North 
by Nick Kossatch

Loxton will be keen to get rid of its’ goal-kicking yips that plagued them in their loss to Renmark two weeks ago against Loxton North at Loxton Oval this Saturday. The Tigers have a huge opportunity to build a gap between them and the Panthers in the Proud Cup match. It will happen because Loxton have ace forward-ruckman Shane Schubert and utility Nick Uren in excellent form. Leigh Kruger, too, will hurt Loxton North with his possession rate. Peter Smith should be too clever for the visitor’s defence. They will rely on the dependable Brad Williams and Michael Arnold but that won’t be enough. Loxton will win comfortably by 36 points. 
Berri travel to the Lakeside Oval to take on Barmera-Monash with hope rather than belief. The Demons have some serious talent with the likes of in-form Jake Langdon – who is likely to match up on Barmera’s dynamic Jake Smith. Peter Safralidis can play anywhere and that is exactly where the Berri coaching staff are doing albeit one position at a time. It will be mainly in the midfield against the hosts Andrew Nunan. That will be a great face-off. Brad Wilksch will be a concern for the Berri defence and Terry Bonner may get the gig against Wilksch with Cobdogla recruit Stephen Raeder probably playing in the forward lines. Dean Storic has to play in the position where he won the Whillas Medal last year – that is not in ruck. It may get a bit ugly for the Demons because Barmera-Monash have Waikerie breathing down its neck and hence will be desperate to thrash Berri – most likely by 54 points and take home the Fisher Cup trophy. 
Renmark play host to the might of Waikerie in the Centenary match and will be an epic similar to the 2008 Grand Final. The Rovers are in the form that their potential has promised during the off season with recruits Matt and Paul Stelzer, Peter Dempsey and Nathan Campaign – to name a few. It will a battle of the midfields because both sides have class forwards. The Magpies have Tom Hyde and Matt Gibson kicking goals regularly and of course throw in a bloke called Ben Venning. ‘Beaver’ just shades Renmark’s Ryan Bennett for consistency and this will be the difference. Add Nathan Tape into the line-up to unite with Shayne and Damian Stevens and hard-nut Scott Porgorecki – Waikerie will win by 12 points and entrench itself into second spot. 


Riverland 26.13 (169) def Mallee 10.7 (67)

Best: Riverland – D Millard, S Callaghan, R Liddle, P Safralidis, N Farr. Mallee – J Neary, B Sheridan, C Zerk, B Greiger, C Gregory. Goals: Riverland – M Camplin, B Venning 5, M Middleton, R Proud, P Safralidis 3, R Mitchell, D Stevens 2, P Stelzer, L Horner, S Schubert. Mallee – D Caldwell, T McKenna 2, B Greiger, B Schroeder, D Crane, C Webb, J Jackson, B Sheridan


from Riverland Correspondent Nick Kossatch

Tom Hyde booted 10 goals in the Waikerie Magpies 50-point drubbing of the Berri Demons in Waikerie. It was Demon Terry Bonner’s 200th senior match not the result he had hoped for.  Hyde reeled off four goals in the opening term of the sixth round fixture.  He saw off Stephen Raeder who was later moved forward.  The usual Magpie suspects Shayne and Damian Stevens, Luke Horner and Craig Griffiths were in everything as the hosts kicked three goals in no time.  Berri’s inspirational skipper Peter Safralidis kicked a much-needed major and it lifted them.  Jake Langdon was busy in the midfield for Berri and impressive in close getting the ball out.  Teammate Geordie Franks had Waikerie gun forward Ben Venning’s measure. 

Berri’s David Hankin’s skill stood out in a side struggling in that department.  The start of the second stanza replicated Berri’s poor start in the previous quarter.   Horner was involved in both of Waikerie’s goals early in the term.  A brilliant and willing effort from ‘Saf’ culminated in a goal to Raeder.  Steve Renfrey, after beginning at full forward, found himself on Venning with Franks moved onto Hyde. The Dees concentration and poor kicking into the forward lines was its biggest downfall.  After Hyde slotted through his fifth Berri amazingly were still in the game 19-points adrift at the main break.  

In the second half, Dean Storic, whose hip and shoulder landed Venning on his backside in the previous term, began in ruck. Again the Pies, via a pair of Hyde majors, flew to a 39-point lead.  Damian Stevens continued to find the ball in space unopposed and his brother Shayne added to his tally with a classy snap.  Renfrey had the better of Venning in a positive for the Demons.  The final quarter was lack-lustre but Berri did outscore their opposition by three points.  It was in junk time however.  Waikerie’s intensity dropped after they lead by 53 points at three quarter time. 

Hyde, who missed a set shot moments earlier, accepted a Tim Bevan pass and he made no mistake.  His ninth goal was from general field play and his tenth was from yet another strong contested mark.  Berri’s better performers were Safralidis, Hankin, Langdon and Renfrey but they have plenty of homework to do after the Magpies taught them a lesson in skilful, quick and tough football.

Round 6 – May 30, 2009





21.9 (135)





13.11 (89)

Best – Waikerie: D Stevens, S Stevens, S Nicholson, L Horner, T Hyde, J Sutton. Berri  – J Langdon, P Safaladis, T Allen, D Hankin, S Renfrey, D Storic. Goals – Waikerie: T Hyde 10, S Stevens 4, T Bevan 3, C Griffiths, S Liebich, B Venning, L Horner. Berri: P Safralidis 3, S Raeder, M Hill, C Schoefield 2, T Bonner, D Brookes, D Hankin, D Beer.





12.9 (81)





5.20 (50)

Best – Renmark – S Callahan, T Thorpe, M Martinson, R Bennett, P Stelzer, B Wagnitz. Loxton: N Uren, P Portolesi, B Manuel, P Smith, R Mitchell, M Fazekas. Goals – Renmark: R Bennett 4, B Wagnitz, B O’Dea 2, B Exelby, T Davis, C Seekamp, N Farr. Loxton: N Uren 2, P Portolesi, R Mitchell, W Pritchard.





11.26 (92)

Loxton North




5.11 (41)

Best – Barmera/Monash: T Swanbury, M Leigh, S Hersley, D Munro, M Middleton. Loxton North: B Williams, B Miller, A Cook, C Kropinyeri. Goals – Barmera/Monash: T Swanbury 3, M Middleton, M Leigh 2, R Price, L Middleton, C Hughes, S Housley. Loxton North: R McLean 2, B Stephens, J Nelson, R Davis.


An inspirational performance in the ruck from Barmera-Monash veteran Rob Price led them to a six-point win against a fast-finishing Loxton at Loxton Oval on Saturday.  The round four clash began with the hosts attacking early via ball-magnet Leigh Kruger and youngster Jackson Fielke. Nick Uren had the task of marking Waikerie recruit Russel Boatswain early in the match. The Roos’ Tyson Swanbury and smooth-mover Chris Bonney were working overtime repelling the Tigers’ forward entries. A lapse in Loxton’s defence enabled Barmera’s Jack Selfe to mark directly in front and he booted the game’s first major with Andrew Nunan and Brad Broughton involved in the lead-up. Matthew Leyson, who began across half forward, was industrious gaining telling possessions. Excellent ‘locking in’ of the ball from the visitor’s forwards rewarded Leyson with a second goal to the Roos. Some poor discipline from Boatswain, after his heavy bump on Uren, resulted in a 25-metre penalty. The former skipper nailed the goal and the margin back to four points. Ex-North Adelaide player Peter Smith began to exert his nous on the game. He booted a goal that dribbled through and soon after his 50-metre long bomb goal had the large Loxton crowd sensing an upset. The Tigers were winning the stoppages and centre clearances mainly when Price was not in the ruck.

      Loxton had a superb second stanza with late replacement Tom Edwards a spark in the forward lines. They outscored the Roos by two goals. Edwards kicked two six-pointers in Loxton’s five-goal term. His second goal saw his side with a 14-point break and Kruger continued to gather possessions. Barmera-Monash full forward was well held by the unheralded Mark Theile. At the other end of the ground Peter Smith was proving a handful. He booted his third. The Roos needed Price’s centre square expertise and clearance work. Zac Kirk and Rhys Mitchell played a part in Fielke’s goal and Loxton streaked to a 27-point lead. Price went into the ruck and it paid immediate dividends just before half time. Two quick majors to the rugged Ryan Villis – the first of those was a curling pearler. The visitors knew the two Villis’ goals swung the momentum their way. Dillon Millard was moved onto the rampant Kruger in the third term and he did quell his influence whilst winning some ball himself. Kilburn recruit Chris Hughes snared the first goal for Barmera at the start of the third. Loxton’s lead was cut to just three points when a defensive mix-up led to Sam Horsely snapping truly. The visitors were applying some serious pressure on Loxton’s younger ball carriers. Price, after an earlier miss, gave the Roos the lead after a pinpoint pass from Selfe with Broughton and Murray Middleton also involved in the passage of play. Smith, yet again came to the fore for Loxton. His second effort, after a smother by Josh Buchecker, culminated with a Jamie Fisher goal and Loxton again with the lead. It was to be the last time the home side were to be in front.

      Jake Smith won several centre clearances and Boatswain showed all why he is a class act loving the big stage. He booted two goals and fellow charismatic forward Wilksch kicked one after being at the end of a pass from Terry Packer. ‘Hollywood’ Wilksch snared the first of the last quarter and the Roos skipped away to a 20-point lead. Two ‘gettable’ opportunities from Rhys Mitchell and Mitch Fazekas were points. It preluded a third goal to Edwards. When Kruger linked with Peter Smith and Liam Williams to kick another – the Tigers were just two true kicks from the lead.

      Loxton paid the price for missed chances in the frenetic final term. It was Price who set the Roos alight in their pivotal seven-goal third stanza. 


Waikerie returned to their brutal premiership-winning form with a 76-point thrashing over hosts Barmera-Monash in round five of the RFL. 

The game, touted as ‘match-of-the-day’, was anything but.  Barmera missed the services of stars Andrew Nunan, Terry Packer, Max Baddock and Matt Leyson through injury likewise the Magpies. They had Craig Wilson, Steve Leibich and ruckman Paul Schilling sidelined as well.  Ex-Waikerie player Russell Boatswain booted the game’s first goal from a Robert Price handball.   It was an ideal start for the Roos and the 2008 Waikerie Grand Final game-breaker.  It was also youngster Gerrard Dutton’s A-grade debut for the Magpies.  What an auspicious start it was from him and when he slotted Waikerie’s first, assisted by Craig Griffiths, many agreed the RFL have yet another rising star.  The first quarter was tight with the lead changing several times.  When an off-the-ball incident between Boatswain and Dutton left the latter dazed, the visitors lifted.  It was the turning point.  Dutton took no further part in the match.  Boatswain was sin-binned for ten minutes by the umpires but he did not play any more of the game as well.  Barmera’s three-point quarter-time lead was to be the last time they were to be in front.  Waikerie’s ‘fab four’ midfield of Jim Thomson, Nathan Tape, Shayne and Damian Stevens got on top.  Tom Hyde goaled at the start of the second term and from that point on the ‘Pies were never headed.  They piled on seven majors to the host’s two but Barmera’s Dillon Millard, Jake Smith and defender Tyson Swanbury battled against Waikerie’s barrage.  Ben Venning’s marking was in full display for Waikerie and he is the best contested mark in the league by far.  Dillon Millard was assigned on him just before half time and team-mate Murray Middleton kept the Roos’ in touch with a goal. A Nathan Tape clearance helped Waikerie stretch their lead to almost four goals at half time after Tim Bevan booted truly. 

Late replacement Scott Nicholson began in ruck after the long break for the visitors. His marking and mobility was a feature and so was the linking play between Thomson, Matthew Gibson and Shayne Stevens. It ended with Venning’s second goal and the big forward pulled in a one-handed mark moments later. The resultant goal put his side 35-points clear. Price booted Barmera’s only goals for the term and Gibson kicked a pair to join Venning and Luke Horner as Waikerie’s only multiple goal-kickers to that stage. Cameron Hawke and defender Scott Pogorecki also impressed for the Magpies. 

Hawkes’ long goal at the start of the last stanza added to his side’s highlights but in contrast the Roos’ forward Brad Wilksch struggled to get any distance with his kicking. Price, remarkably, was Barmera’s only goal-kicker in the second half with six. Hyde found his best form in the last term with three goals. His last major curled beautifully between the uprights before 41-year-old Griffiths ended Waikerie’s clinical display with the last goal of the game. The game was a mismatch between Barmera and Waikerie’s lethal playing mix of their old and new. 

Round 5 – May 16, 2009

Waikerie 24.12 (156) def Barmera/Monash 12.8 (80)

Best – Waikerie: S Nicholson, L Horner, D Stevens, S Pogorecki, C Grifftihs, I Thomson. Barmera/Monash: J Smith, R Price, D Millard, T Swanbury, M Middleton, D  Millard. Goals – Waikerie: T Hyde 4, D Stevens, M Gibson, S Venning 3, C Griffiths, C Hawke, L Horner 2, J Dellazoppa, J Thomson, C Muller, T Bevan, G Dutton. Barmera/Monash: R Price 6, M Middleton 2, R Boatswain, B Wilksch, A Villis, D Millard.

Renmark 24.15 (159) def Loxton North 6.8 (44)

Besl Renmark: M Camplin, T Rowe, S Callahan, N Stelzer, N Farr, P Townsend. Loxton North: F Cook, B Henlschke, R Proud. Goals – Renmark: M Camplin 6, B O’Dea, B Townsend, M Stelzer 3, L Goodman, S Tenhill 2, R Blunt, J Bone, B Exelby, C Seekamp, T Davis.

Loxton 19.10 (114) def Berri 16.8 (114)

Best – Loxton: N Uren, P Smith, S Schubert, R Mitchell, B Manuel, L Williams. Berri: P Safralidis, S Raeder, L Pearson, T Allen, D Brookes, D Storic. Goals Loxton: P Smith 6, N Uren 3, S Schubert, P Portolesi, B Ponti 2, L Williams, B Smith, R Mitchell, L Mitchell. Berri: D Brookes 4, G Franks, S Renfrey, M Hill 3, P Safralidis, D Beer, D Hankin.


The RFL Centenary game produced a remarkable and controversial draw between North-Of-The-River and South-Of-The-River after North’s Ryan Bennett booted a 55-metre goal after the final siren. There was confusion when the Renmark Oval scoreboard showed North being five-point victors and they celebrated accordingly. The goal and field umpires conferred and scores were corrected as 84 points apiece. South’s Leigh Kruger kicked a goal late in the third term and was missed by the scoreboard attendants. 

Nevertheless this was a game for the ages. Both sides put in a 100 percent effort.  North began the better in the first quarter into a slight wind and Renmark player Paul Stelzer slotted through the game’s first from an acute angle.  Perhaps North should have been further ahead due to Trevor Thorpe missing two chances while Ryan Proud made the most of his for South.  His recovery and ability to keep his feet was telling.  The Loxton North forward crumbed three times to convert truly.  Defender Raphael Liddle was superb for South reading the play and creating rebound for the South-Of-The-River side.  They got on top in the second stanza holding North goalless.   South’s conversion was perfect.  They kicked five straight in the second and their midfield runners Kruger, Damian Stevens and Luke Horner got on top.  Rhys Mitchell nailed two goals and when a late contest from North’s Les Pearson on Mitchell was dubbed illegal – South had a 17-point lead.  South had an imposing avenue to goal in the form of Ben Venning.  The blond centre half forward had two majors in the first half and at the opposite end Michael Arnold had the better of Bennett holding him goalless. 

Bennett had a couple chances in the first quarter and he missed another early in the third quarter.  Dillon Millard and Chris Scholefield were outstanding for the North side continually carrying the ball out of defence.  His side had plenty of work to do when Venning took a superb mark.  

His third goal saw North in complete control with a commanding 21-point lead at three-quarter time. Pearson, well beaten early, lifted in the last quarter and so too did North.  Bennett’s first goal trimmed the margin to 16 points and it could have been less if not for Anton Cook’s touch on the goal line that stopped a Scholefield major. 

Both sides played desperate football in the remaining minutes. North got on top in the clearances but when Venning’s handball found Lindsay Mitchell, who kicked South’s only goal for the term – it seemed South were to hold on.  Venning made amends for giving away a 25-metre penalty and goal to Brodie O’Dea. North kicked back-to-back goals from difficult angles from Paul Stelzer and Jake Smith and the margin was just six points. 

Another quick forward foray was marked, in a juggling fashion by Bennett moments before the final siren sounded. It was a befitting finale in front of a huge, appreciative and initially confused crowd. 

North of the River 12.12 (84) drew with South of the River 13.6 (84).

Best – North: Pearson, C Bonney, M Middleton, M Stelzer, P Stelzer, N Farr, S Gallahan, D Millard. South: B Venning, R Liddle, L Kruger, D Steven, M Arnold, A Cook. Goals – North: P Stelzer 3, R Bennett, M Stelzer, M Camplin 2, J Smith, C Scholefield, B O’Dea. South: R Proud, B Venning, D Stevens, R Mitchell, L Kruger, L Mitchell.

Riverland Seconds 16.8 d (104) RFL Ind. A Grade 14.11 (95). U18: South 15.7 (97) d North 7.4 (46).

May 9 scores – Round 4

Barmera/Monash 14.11 (95) d Loxton 13.10 (88).

Best- Barmera/Monash: D Millard, C Bennett, R Price, J Selfe, M Middleton, R Villis. Loxton: P Smith, L Kruger, M Thiele, J Fielke, L Mitchell, B Smith. Goals – Barmen: R Villis 3, B Wilksch, C Hughes, M Middleton 2, R Boatswain, R Price, M Leyson, J Selfe, S Horsley. Loxton: P Smith 4, T Edwards 3, N Uren 2, L Kruger, L Williams, J Fisher, J Fielke.

Waikerie 15.11 (101) d Loxton North 10.10 (70).

Best – Waikerie: B Venning, M Gibson, J Sutton, L Horner, B Kayser, C Grifiths. Loxton North: T Arnold, M Arnold, R proud, A Cook, B Miller, J Payne. Goals – Waikerie: M Gibson, B Venning 4, T Hyde, C Griffiths 2, S Stevens, A Thompson, L Horner. Loxton North: J Payne 4, M Arnold 2, R Proud, B Stephens, B Williams, T Arnold.

Renmark 21.17 (137) d Berri 12.8 (80).

Best – Renmark: R Bennett, S Callahan, R Menz, M Stelzer, M Camplin, P Stelzer. Berri: K Harwood, P Safralidis, L Pearson, D Storic, D Hankin, D Beer. Goals – Renmark: R Gannett B, M Camplin, H Beavis, T Davis, B Townsend, M Stelzer 2, T thorpe, S Callahan, J Rowe. Berri: K Harwood 3, D Hankin, D Brooks, C Scholefield 2, D Storic, P Safralidis, J Langdon.   


Loxton’s Peter Smith’s five goals helped his side to an upset four-goal win against Waikerie in the ‘Headspace’ third round of RFL. The Tigers began in blazing fashion and skipper Leigh Kruger along with Braden Smith set the tone. Centreman Kruger helped set up youngster Jackson Fielke for the opening goal. Nick Uren and Pat Portolesi provided plenty of run from defence. Uren in particular and Kruger had the uncanny ability of linking up with one another. Loxton’s tackling and pressure off the ball was sensational. Their Tiger fierceness had the hosts on the back foot. After Fruger spotted Peter Smith, who kicked truly, speedster Fielke’s defensive pressure led to Loxton’s third goal via Brad Pontt. Waikerie superstar Nathan Tape, as he does so often, found space and he pin-pointed Tom Hyde unmarked. It was to be the Pies only goal for the first quarter and they faced a 19-point deficit. 

      Loxton mentor Steve Smith emphasised during the quarter time break to seize their advantage and maintain the standard of footy they set.  The Tigers honoured ‘Goofs’ instruction.  Brilliant linking footy between Uren, Kruger and Rhys Mitchell led to a captain’s major.  Slowly but surely  Waikerie’s gun players Shayne and Damian Stevens, Jim Thomson and Tape dragged their side back into the contest.  An epic was looming.  After the clean-skilled Peter Smith booted his second suddenly Waikerie from there-on-in found some run.  A skipper’s goal to Damian Stevens was a precursor to another to Scott Nicholson.  He took a superb juggling mark in the lead-up.  It was a dramatic shift in momentum and Kruger’s influence waned in the second half of the term.  A curling goal from Tape saw his side within a kick at half time.

      Raph Liddle, after a strong first half in defence for Loxton, started the second half up forward.  Peter Smith was at the end of a precision pass by Kruger and Loxton were on their way yet again.  Their defence held firm with Mark Thiele and the strapping Jamie Fisher was disciplined.  The Tigers third term mirrored their first.  Liddle took a tremendous mark from a Kruger clearance but missed a vital set shot at goal.  Brad Pontt soon kicked another important goal for his second.  The Tigers motored to an unassailable six-goal lead. The Magpies were not to be denied and the lively Matthew Gibson, across half forward, took a great mark.  His major pegged Loxton’s lead to 26 points. 

      It may have been less had it not been for a desperate stretch by Fisher that stopped and almost certain Craig Griffiths goal.   Loxton, for three quarters, had been using the ball better and linking up with handball confidently through the corridor.   The Magpies drew first blood in the last stanza with a goal to the skilful Max Baddock.  The game was still alive and when a terrific reflex goal was kicked by versatile Liddle the visitors weathered Waikerie’s storm.  With some 15 minutes left Gibson again goaled for the Pies.  They were hanging tough but Loxton hardnut Braden Smith who was terrific all day had a hand in Kruger’s assist to Lindsay Mitchell.  He sealed the deal for Loxton.

      Despite the Steven’s brothers, youngster Scott Pogorecki, Gibson and Tape having good moments it was Fielke who stole the show with  a piece of brilliance.  His daring run-away and bounce from Luke Horner culminated another goal to Peter Smith.  There is a bit of Collingwood’s Dale Thomas in Fielke.  With the game all but over Loxton’s desperation did not end.  It was showcased none better than Fielke’s lunge and Pontt’s strong tackle on Horner.  These one-percenters proved a big difference in the end. The Tigers are to be reckoned with. 

May 2, 2009 scores – Round 3

Loxton 16.10 (106) d Waikerie 12.10 (82).

Best -R Smith, Z Kirk, L Kurger, N Uren, B Manuel, J Fielke. Waikerie: C Mudge, M Baddock, M Gibson, N Taps, D Stevens, C Miller. Goals -Loxton: P Smith 5, Z Kirk 3, B Pont 2, L Kruger, J Fielke, R Mitchell, R Liddle, W Pritchard, L Mitchell. Waikerie: M Gibson 3, J Sutton, N Tape, T Hyde 2, D Stevens, M Baddock, S Nicholson.

Barmera Monash 12.18 (90) d Renmark 6.5 (41).

Best – Barmen Monash: D Millard, J Smith, R Price, B Wilksch, C Bonney, J Bychecker. Renmark: S Callahan, R Menz, A Bryant, T Thorpe, R Bennett, M Stelzer. Goals – B Wilksch 7, R Willis 2, J Selfe, J Smith, M Morrell. Renmark: P Dempsey 2, S Calihan, H Beavis, M Camplin, B Townsend.

Loxton North 16.17 (103) d Berri 12.14 (86).

Best – Loxton North: B Stephens, B Williams, C Kropinyeri, T Arnold, M Arnold, J Proud. Berci: B Dupain, G Franks, J Langoon, Ty Allen, S Reader, D Brooks. Goals – Loxton North: B Stephens 7, J Proud, J Payne 2, T Arnold, B Williams, A Zauch, C Kropinyeri, C Edwards. Berri: G Franks 5, D Hankin, K Harwood 2, B Duffin, D Stork, T Banner.

Round 2 – ANZAC Day weekend

Barmera-Monash 12.14 (86) d Berri 5.11 (41).

Best – Barmera-Monash: M Morrell, J Salts, Dillon Millard, T Swanbury, R Villis, A Nunan. Berri: L Pearson, G Franks, C Scholefield, D Brooks, D Hankin, D Raeder. Goals – Barmera-Monash: B Wilksch 5, T Packer 3, R Price, J Seffe, S Horsley, A Ielasi.

Loxton North 6.5 (41) d Loxton 5.7 (37).

Best – Loxton North: B Williams, I Nelson, T Arnold, J Voigt, A Cook, D Fielke. Loxton: N Uren, D Manuel, P Smith, B Pontt, J Fielke, R Smith. Goals – Loxton North: B Stephens 2, M Arnold, R Proud, B Williams, C Karpinyeri. Loxton: P Smith 3, L Williams, R Smith.

Walkerie 12.13 (85) d Renmark 6.6 (42).

Best – Waikerie: D Stevens, C Miller, B Venning, M Gibson, J Thomson, S Pogorecki. Renmark: N Farr, S Callahan, M Stelzer, A Byrant, C Seekamp, T Thorpe. Goals – Waikerie: S Stevens, M Gibson, B Venning, T Hyde 2, J Thomson, C Griffdhs, C Miller, S Ford. Renmark: B O’Dea 2, M Stelzer, H Bevis, P Stelzer, M Camplin.

Round 1 – April 18, 2009

Loxton 21.10 (136) d Renmark 17.9 (111).

Best – Loxton: L Williams, N Uren, L Kruger, R Mitchell, P Smith, B Manuel. Renmark: R Bennett, N Farr, M Stelzer, S Callahan, B O’Dea, M Townsend. Goals -Loxton: R Mitchell 5, R Liddle 4, P Smith, L Williams, W Pritchard, L Mitchell 2, B Freundt, J Fielke, M Fazekas, B Pontt. Renmark: R Bennett 4, N Farr, M Stelzer 3, P Stezzer 2, T Thorpe, M Camplin, P Dempsey, C Seekamp, M Townsend.

Berri 11.16 (82) d Waikerie 10.8 (68).

Best – Berri: B Duffy, D Brooks, K Harwood, J Landon, D Hankin, P Safralios. Waikerie: S Liebich, S Pogorecki, D Stevens, C Wilson, M Baddack, M Gibson. Goals – Berri: K Harwood 4, P Safralios, D McBride 2, G Frank, D Brooks, D Storic. Waikerie: M Gibson, C Haines, B Venning 2, D Stevens, C Miller, M Baddach, L Horner.

Barmera/Monash 18.19 (127) d Loxton North 12.5 (77).

Best – Barmera/Monash: J Selfe, B Broughton, R Price, C Hughes, L Middleton. D Millard. Loxton North: J Nelson, B Stephens, T Arnold, J Vowes. Goals – Barmera/Monash: B Wilksch 4, A Nunan, C Hughes 3, J Selfe, S Horsley 2, T Swanbury, L Middleton, J Smith, R Villis. Loxton North: B Stephens, R Proud 3, M Hampel, C Kropinyeri 2, A Zauch, T Arnold.