As we approach the middle of the season we take a look at the round 9 fixtures with plenty of big games this weekend with top of the table clashes and important matches as we head towards the finals!!

Narooma v Pambula (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 2:30pm
Eden v Merimbula (Eden Football Ground) 2:30pm
Pambula v Tathra (Pambula Sports Complex) 2:30pm
Merimbula v BM Giants (Dickinson Oval, Bermagui) 1:10pm
Narooma v Pambula (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 11:50am
Tathra v Eden (Lawrence Park, Tathra) 1:10pm
Bermagui v Bega (Dickinson Oval, Bermagui) 11:50am
Bega v Merimbula (Roy Howard Field, Bega) 11:50am
Narooma v Pambula (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 1:10pm

Round 9 Preview
Bermagui v Merimbula
This is shaping up to be a huge game in the run for the top 4 with Merimbula needing a win against the breakers to challenge Bermagui for their place in the top 4. The diggers welcomed back some key additions last weekend in Scott Richmond, Will Stroud and Dylan Jordan and can be key contributors this weekend. A win for Bermagui will see the Breakers claim 3 wins against the Diggers and will mean Merimbula will have to claim wins against the top 3 if Bermagui claim maximum points against the Whalers.

Player to Watch: Marcus Smith, Has been a handy inclusion since coming over from Echuca playing well in the midfield and across half forward. Prediction: Bermagui by 18 Points.

Narooma v Pambula
This is the match of the round with both the Lions and Panthers sitting equal top of the ladder with the winner to go 4 points clear on top. The last time these two met it was an instant classic and being in Narooma the Lions will be confident of overturning the round 6 loss. The Lions possess the best forward in the league at present in Simon Mackie who has consistently kicked bags throughout the year. On the flip side the Panthers forward line has been hot and cold and if the Lions can stop their goals from the midfield, the lions should claim the 4 points.

Player to Watch: Ben McCulloch, Played a good shutdown role last weekend against one of the best in Luke Moresi. Prediction: Narooma by 4 Points.

Tathra v Eden
The Sea Eagles will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss against Pambula last weekend as they take on the Whalers this weekend. The Sea Eagles hit the lead in the 4th quarter against a wayward Pambula although weren’t able to claim the 4 points against the ladder leaders. The Whalers job this weekend hasn’t become any easier this weekend with Jordan Merkel set to miss the match with a concussion.

Player to Watch: Ben Kopecky-Mills, The Eden defender will look to have a good game and limit the impact of Tathra’s forwards. Prediction: Tathra by 65 Pts.

There are some cracking games set for this weekend and the women’s grade is no exception. All 4 games should be tightly contested this weekend with 1v2, 3v4, 5v6 and 7v8 playing. The one to watch will be Tathra taking on Eden at home. The Whalers are undefeated and have the edge over Tathra in their past two contests. Tyjana Blacka is a big out for this contest although Tarni Evans has stepped up in 2017 to become Tathra’s best. This should be a 4 quarter match. In Narooma the Lions are yet to claim a top three scalp in 2017. The Lions will be confident of claiming the 4 points although an injury to Madelyne Czubara last weekend will mean the going will be tough against the leagues best player in Madi Whatman. The Breakers have won 3 straight matches and will be looking to make it 4 against the Giants this weekend. Both teams are very similar, with young squads although Bermagui possess greater experience within the women’s grade which should hold them in good stead for the 4 points. The Giants will be competitive in this matchup. In the final matchup the Bombers host the Diggers and 4 points will be on Bega’s mind. This will be Bega’s best opportunity of the season to claim the 4 points although the steady improvement of Merimbula has seen them match it with teams above.

Player to Watch: Samantha Crowley, Samantha has been one of Tathra’s most consistent young players in 2017 with the Sea Eagle being in Tathra’s best on 3 occasions. Big match against an experienced Eden. Prediction: Bermagui, Pambula, Merimbula & Eden.

There are some big games this weekend. Is Narooma v Pambula in the development grade the biggest of them all?? The Panthers have been the team to beat getting valuable contributions from Andrew Clapton and Lewis Hopkins and there depth will be on show again this weekend. In the second match Merimbula will play a close contest with the Giants in Bermagui with the winner to claim 4th.

Prediction: Pambula & Merimbula.

UNDER 16’s
Narooma v Pambula (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 10:30am
Bermagui v BM Giants (Dickinson Oval, Bermagui) 10:30am
UNDER 13’s
Bega v Merimbula (Roy Howard Field, Bega) 10:30am
Bermagui v BM Giants (Dickinson Oval, Bermagui) 9:10am
Narooma v Pambula (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 9:10am
UNDER 11’s
Bega v Merimbula (Roy Howard Field, Bega) 9:10am
Bermagui v BM Giants (Dickinson Oval, Bermagui) 8:00am
Tathra v Eden (Lawrence Park, Tathra) 11:50am
Narooma v Pambula (Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, Narooma) 8:00am

Round 9 Preview
Under 16’s
The Lions claimed an important 4 points last weekend against the Giants as they put together a team and performance to challenge the top three teams come finals time. Narooma will be hopeful of having the same line up again this weekend to take it to Pambula who would like to bounce back after a loss against Merimbula last weekend. In Bermagui the Breakers take on the Giants. Last time these two met the Giants were big winners and the Breakers will be looking to give the Giants a run for their money as they desperately try and cling to their top 4 hopes. The Giants should welcome Theodore Turner back this weekend with the forward dominant so far against the Breakers in 2017. A couple of mouth watering fixtures in the lead up to junior rep football next weekend.

Player to Watch: Jack Hirst, The young Giant is only new to the game although is having a big impact within the competition playing some good football and being selected in the 14.5’s. Prediction: Pambula & BM Giants.

Under 13’s
This weekend will be a big test for Narooma, Bega and the Giants. The Lions have defeated the bottom three teams in 2017 although have not claimed a win against the top three. The Lions should be evenly matched with the Panthers and this ads another quality match to the card at Bill Smyth this weekend. In Bermagui the Breakers will look to build on their winning streak against the Giants whose position on the ladder doesn’t do justice to the level of football they are playing. The Giants have been impressive in patches although have been unable to impact the scoreboard whereas Bermagui have been the opposite finding ways to build scoreboard pressure. In the final match the Bombers host the Diggers. Merimbula will be favourites although Bega have been improving week in week out through some god play from their key players.

Player to Watch: Daniel Piccione, Has been rewarded for his strong play with a selection in the u12’s rep team. Prediction: Bermagui, Pambula & Merimbula.

Under 11’s
A top 4 is starting to develop with key games this weekend. After a promising start the Bombers have fallen out of the top 4 and sit a game behind Pambula in fourth. The Bombers host the top of the table Diggers and a win for Bega would go along way for the team to move into 4th with Pambula taking on Narooma. A win for the Panthers on the weekend will be huge and could see them open a 8 point gap between them and fifth although the Lions have been sensational in 2017. Narooma grinded out an 8 point win last weekend against a determined Giants with the performance showing they will be hard to beat for the remainder of the year. The Giants were impressive last weekend and should have a real chance against Bermagui who have been inconsistent in past weeks. Tasman Simons is a key player for the Giants although will be a tough contest against the Breakers mids. In Tathra the Sea Eagles have a great chance to claim win number one. The Whalers have been highly competitive in 2017 without claiming the 4 points and a win this weekend will give hope to a top 4 spot. Will the tandem of Palmer and Barnes be enough to get Tathra the win?

Player to Watch: Ryan Simper, Was a key player for the Lions last weekend using his strength to break tackles and propel the Lions forward into attack. Predictions: Bermagui, Narooma, Eden & Merimbula.