Tester for Pan­thers, Rams

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DEAN LAW­SON

The level of Na­timuk United and Ru­pa­nyup resur­gence in Hor­sham District foot­ball will slip into the spot­light this week­end when the teams clash at Na­timuk.

Both are com­ing off solid firstround wins and will be keen to build crit­i­cal mo­men­tum.

Na­timuk United scored a com­pre­hen­sive 50-point win over his­toric ri­val No­rad­juha-quan­tong while Ru­pa­nyup had a suc­cess­ful trip to Eden­hope where it shot out of the blocks and was ahead by 33 points at the fi­nal siren.

Both camps have been gen­er­at­ing plenty of dis­cus­sion dur­ing the pre-sea­son build-up and will be keen to gen­er­ate early mo­men­tum.

Last week Ru­pa­nyup, which has had a sig­nif­i­cant in­flux of in­ter­state play­ers under new coach Jack Musgrove, led at ev­ery change against the Saints.

Daniel Read­ing headed best-player cards in Ru­pa­nyup’s sea­son opener, fea­tur­ing along­side Dar­win im­port Jesse Jes­son and re­turn­ing Matt Tyler.

Crit­i­cally, other Dar­win con­nec­tions Hugh Mcmur­trie and Chris Par­ris also fea­tured promi­nently as Trent Grant bagged six goals. Play­ers had to weather hot con­di­tions dished up from Mother Na­ture as well as op­po­nents.

Na­timuk United man­aged to pull away from a youth­ful Bombers out­fit, find­ing av­enues to goal through the likes of Nathan Koenig, five six-point­ers, and Jay­don Stiles, four. New­comer Stiles im­pressed along­side home-grown Rams Jesse and Kym Wilkin­son and Alex and Wil Rids­dale.

Kees take on Saints

While the Pan­thers and Rams grap­ple at Na­timuk, an­other firstround winner Kal­kee will con­tinue Eden­hope-ap­s­ley’s early-sea­son test at Kal­kee.

Kal­kee, an­other club gen­er­at­ing plenty of pre-sea­son in­ter­est, proved too good for La­harum in a drama-packed match last week.

The Kees snatched an early lead be­fore a sec­ond-quar­ter La­harum come­back and then pushed on strongly to record a 48-point win.

The Kees are on a mis­sion this year and that doesn’t au­gur well for an Eden­hope-ap­s­ley side on the hunt for early-sea­son trac­tion.

The re­turn of Lachie Ex­ell and Si­mon Hobbs had an im­me­di­ate im­pact for the Kees on Satur­day as joint coach Hamish Ex­ell steered the home side to vic­tory. Karl Camp­bell and Jasper Gunn were oth­ers to cap­ture at­ten­tion, as was the in­jury to La­harum coach Rob­bie Miller, set to miss up to 10 weeks after suf­fer­ing a bro­ken leg.

In the Saints’ clash against Ru­pa­nyup, mean­while, it was the likes of Dale Smith, Chris Heath, Jak Ryan and Tay­lor Mil­ner who fea­tured promi­nently.

Big winner

One of the big win­ners of the open­ing round was Jeparit-rain­bow, scor­ing a 147-point win over Tay­lors Lake.

Storm will also be favourite to beat No­rad­juhua-quan­tong at Quan­tong but might find the young Bombers a tougher nut to crack.

New as­sis­tant coach Daniel Bat­son and Ash Clugston kicked 18 goals be­tween them for Jeparit-rain­bow last week as the Storm stormed to vic­tory.

Shane Maslin, Brad Hunter and Tim Walker also led the charge for the vis­i­tors.

No­rad­juha-quan­tong showed plenty of spirit against Na­timuk United and will need to rekin­dle the ef­fort for the vis­it­ing Storm.

Jack Vague, Cam Bruce, James Hal­let and Remy Cross all fea­tured in the Bombers’ best last week.

If Jeparit-rain­bow made its sea­son in­ten­tions clear last week­end then Har­row-bal­moral went a step fur­ther and is­sued a warn­ing to the com­pe­ti­tion that it was chas­ing a flag.

The South­ern Roos trounced Pimpinio by 213 points and now set their sights on Tay­lors Lake.

James Staude stole the lime­light with 11 goals but it was the firstup game from new­comer Todd Lawrence, six goals, that gen­er­ated most dis­cus­sion. Will Plush, Har­ri­son Rees and Hamish Mc­crae also shone in the big win.

Tay­lors Lake will need to hold its nerve against the Roos and hope coach Jye Smith and the likes of Matt Mc­cul­loch, Alex Hill and Con­nor Healy can con­tinue to pro­duce good games.

While all other teams have had a chance to blow out the cob­webs, Swifts will join the ac­tion after a first-round bye to take on Pimpinio.

The Bag­gies will be after a first-up win while Nathan Sachse’s Pimpinio needs to quickly re­group and find a way of re­bound­ing.

Liam Jakobi and Dy­lan Arnott joined Sachse and Corey Mann were at the top of the Tigers’ best-player list last week.

La­harum has the bye.

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