Welcome back all. We hope you & your family had a wonderful & safe Christmas & New Years. A little unusual coming back after the festive break to find we are still only at R9, not sure if I'm going to get used to this & given the COVID situation evolving, I'd probably agree with some that only playing R12 on 05 Feb when the WA opens up & not playing R13 does actually make a big difference. Some sides like Basso 1, Wanneroo, Basso 2 & Warnbro might need to think long & hard about what it means if the season gets called early & can they change their current positions in the short term to ensure if it gets called early does it leave them in the right spot?!
We have a few changes this Round, where normally it has been reasonably settled throughout the season so far. Hard to get the balance right for selectors but some sides have made changes to look for an edge or that new player coming in to make a difference & maybe grab a close Agg.
WARNBRO v QUINNS ROCKS
K Cousens, T Dellar, S Ryan, D Sudden
B Kalinowsky, W Baker, T Lutey, C Foster
D Pattullo, L Kellow, A Shone, D Wagstaff
Dr G Jackson, K Bancroft, I Gibson, A De Brouwer IN: No changes OUT:
S O'Neill, B Crawford, A Barker, C Taboni
R Cantrill, S Smith, T Burrows, S Cavanagh
H Ward, L Oldham, C Bartle, M Humphrey
J Berecz, M Hinchcliffe, P Geenacker, L Johnson IN: M Humphrey, S Cavanagh OUT: T Hines, R Thomas
Battle of 9th v 10th where both sides are in a world of trouble. If Quinns do not wish to head back to 1 Blue they'll need to get the jet boosters on fairly quickly & even that would only get them a play-off spot. The Wizards are in similar pain & have dropped some critical home fixtures which leaves the back 9 harder than the front, so they'll need to step up a few gears to get themselves out of trouble. You would think that playing Finals last year & PL the year before will head them through to survival but the results are not coming to date.
Quinns might have a good look at this one as Warnbro won't be expecting much so they could get the jump on them early & see if they can hold out on the home stretch. There were only 13 shots in this game last year so Quinns are not without a chance if Berecz can get some support. With the Wizards running 1 from 5, it might be a great time for Quinns to play them & Quinns did beat them at home last year so they'll know they're not too far off them.
Quinns make 2 changes to the front to try & tighten up the heads & Warnbro are unchanged which won’t be surprising playing at Home. If the Wizards can't get the win here then I'm happy to make a solid move that they will be playing 1 Blue next year as after this Home fixture they only have 3 Home left for the entire rest of the season & 2 of them are against Top 3 sides. Wizards should have enough to grab the Agg so hopefully they got a few big boy pants for Christmas & come with their A game.
Warnbro 6 - 2
BASSENDEAN 1 v MT LAWLEY
S Alden, R Kenyon, D Snelgar, B Tie
S Davies, L Pike, D Killisch Von Horn, J Carrigan
J Krstic, T Lynch, M Whitely, N Kirkup
R Ellis, L McKay, M Watson, G Stokes IN: P Hutchinson OUT: G Stokes
D Rhodes, P Sinden, A Graham, M Bessant
C Bessant, G Herriot, J Bessant, K Cornell
M Masel, J Cottier, K Scott, P Callison
A Jones, L Kelly, S Connell, C Green IN: A Einfeld, T Ingram OUT: S Connell, P Callison
GAME OF THE ROUND: Without doubt the game of the round & probably could be game of the season!! Gez I've been waiting for this one for months now & we really need to dig into these matchups. I do think this will be won & lost on 1 blow out rink. The match fixtures create a perfect nail biting finish to the season but ONLY if Basso can get the biscuits in this fixture. If the Lions drop this one, I'd nearly go as far as saying they can't finish top. I'm sure Basso & the rest of the Division understand the importance of this one. Win this one & the Lions are 1 win behind with a nice run ahead of them. However, if the Mounters win then it's the guts of 20pts ahead which will be very difficult to claw back. Plus Cockburn will probably by-pass Basso into 2nd spot & they have surely had a much harder front 9, than their expected back 9 so I fancy the Roosters will pile on the pressure to grab that 2nd spot on the ladder soon.
Mt Lawley seems to have a few players still in Christmas mode with some omissions on the backend this Round to make this even more interesting. Although they could nearly put out their 2nd side & probably still win 1 White this season, given their dominance.
Rhodes steps in for Einfeld who seems to be missing this big game. Unsure if it was Rhodes requested a non-skippering spot but he’s certainly added value to a rink that only won 9 of 18 games in 1 Blue last year with his PL experience. The synergies seem to be working great this season as that rink is unbeaten to date & travelling superbly. You could think that Rhodes stepping up into the Skippers spot certainly won't disadvantage the Mounters considering his PL experience & more so significant home surface advantage of playing back at Basso. Ingram is also missing so 2 back ends are out & with 2 front end replacements this may swing the advantage slightly towards the Home side when it gets tight late on. The Lions have 1 front end change stated but I’m hearing that Stokes is now playing so maybe no changes for the Lions. However, overall they probably hold the cards if this Home team bias continues to play out in 1 White.
We’ll have eyes & ears all over this one. Expect an absolute cracker, this game may define the season for both sides. If it wasn’t for the dominance of home teams this season it should be an easy pick to tip the Mounters, purely on the fact that Basso have not beaten the same team by more than Mt Lawley so consistency counts. With the few omissions & home track, I’ll swing late for the Lions, although there can’t be more than 8 shots in this one. If you’re free get to Basso for this one.
Bassendean 6 - 2
WANNEROO v ROSSMOYNE
C Bucholz, D Triffitt, B Nelson, R Burns
C Parr, M Nievelstein, S Denny, G Sarich
N Costello, D Griffin, G Jack, B Bucowski
K Toster, B McMurdo, D Anderson, H Whitman IN: No changes OUT:
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, , , IN: OUT:
The Roo's are running 1 from 3 & going 1 from 4 will be curtains for their Finals aspirations & maybe puts them into a mid-table or maybe even lower table position with a real tricky last 4 games to finish the season. Neither sides seem to have forced any changes so both should know what to expect.
The River Rats are running hot at the moment & are probably the in-form team with 3 from the last 4 games with only 1 other team holding that record. Yes they are only 2.5pts off the dreaded 7th spot but only 5pts off Finals. To get to Finals they'll need to grab a few away wins which seem to be very hard to come by for Rossmoyne. In 1 White in 2020 they had a great Away record & that got them into the PL but since March 2020 (correct me if I'm wrong) I don't think they have won an away game, which seems very surprising. They surely have a chance this weekend after what the Roo's produced last Round.
The Roos should have enough firepower to get over the line but expect a close one as the Roos haven’t been putting teams to the sword at home.
Wanneroo 6 - 2
GOSNELLS v BASSENDEAN 2
G Nicol, S Harris, N Tulett, M Crabb
B Holland, G Lynch, T Close, M Rickard
R Foy, E Gahan, P Gale, D Bradbury
F Carbone, C Hickinbotham, P Deas, A Hodge IN: E Gahan OUT: M Byrne
N Strachan, N Hall, R D'Souza, K Durward
E O'Sullivan, T Alden, G Foti-Cuzzola, S Bermingham
M Cook, P Hutchinson, R Maynard, J Holman
P Madigan, B Dinnison, D Blight, R Sheppard IN: P Hutchinson OUT: C Brown
Gosnells will be looking to bounce back after their defeat in R8 & really need to shake off that W-L-W-L-W-L form to climb up the ladder. The Kookaburra's do have a nice margin to 5th but that will be eroded soon enough if they can't get some away wins on the board over the coming weeks. You would think they might have a good chance of a clean 8pts here but Basso do have some strong rinks that will put up a good fight & every point for both sides will be critical. Gosnells know they are only 2 from the last 5 so they need to be putting these games away with some comfort if they want to play Finals. Both sides make 1 change each & both are surprisingly 3rd spots as they look to tweak the backend for some value add.
Basso 2 are one of the inform sides winning the last 2 on the trot, although that might be as good as it gets for a while. They needed those 2 wins & they delivered so that's all you can ask from them. They now have given themselves a chance of survival even if the best they can do is play in the playoffs. If they fancy finishing in 8th they'll only need another 20pts from here, so it's not insurmountable.
Gosnells should have this by 30 shots so it’s whether it’s 7 or 8pts will be the question.
Gosnells 7 - 1
SORRENTO v COCKBURN
I Linford, P Crow, J Brown, M Sharrett
R Bone, C Grisbrook, R Hutchinson, P Webb
A Anderson, J Konig, D Dunstan, W Morrell
R Rogers, B Collins, W Elliott, B Kiely IN: R Hutchinson, P Webb OUT: L Martin, P Bilich
J Marevic, I Mateljak, B Vidovich, V Dropulic
W Tepania, D Bandy, D Ravlich, A Edwards
M Simunovic, M Musulin, D Gurr, D Gibson
M Abonnel, J Ricci, B Blagaich, B Dropulic IN: B Blagaich OUT: J Kop
Good game here for the spectator as both sides are evenly matched & this should be an interesting game. If it was the reverse fixture I would imagine the Roosters have this one fairly easily but the Swans have taken some big home wins already this season against the top sides so the Roosters will have their work cut out. The Swans are still one of the only sides this season to remain unbeaten at home which is a fantastic record & one they will be looking to keep. The Swans have 6 of the next 10 games at home so they could be making a big push for Finals.
Roosters are now 4 from 5 & traveling very well, as they sneak into the Top 3. The Swans are mid-table with no major ambition to top the ladder as they know they can't go into the PL with their top team there already. Mid-table is perfect for them but no doubt they would like to taste Finals to get the experience into a reshuffled side this year. A few changes across both sides this week but mostly covering the front end which should be straight swaps.
If Cockburn can get the win here it will set them up for a massive tilt for a PL on the back 9 as they will have 5 of the 9 remaining games at home. They could easily be 2nd if not higher other than some horrifically close losses Away. The 3 games they have lost away were by 1 shot, 2 shots & 12 shots, so they are very hard to beat home or away.