Unsure if we'll get all games played this weekend with this terrible weather. There could be some split points which might help some sides & not help others so interesting from that viewpoint.
Still some talk around on Sharpie-Gate where on Monday Millers got deducted their points for their Osborne Park game for selecting 2 PL players, which personally I believe is a disgrace. There was no real 'advantage' of playing 2 players who have only won 2 games themselves this season in a division below due to genuine circumstances. Also, one of the PL skippers gets a draw against a Saints rink that's won 2 from 7, so again hardly a clear cut assessment of unfair advantage. The reality is most clubs should accept that changing teams in any format normally shows the initial perceived benefit is not such in reality as change normally affects team performance. South Perth made these changes not for an advantage but to allow their players every opportunity to play for their beloved club while accepting that lifestyles and work rostering is different in today's world. For the promotion of the game and benefit of doubt I believe the decision and precedent it has set is not good for the game.
Anyway, be safe everyone out there this weekend and remember it's only a game of bowls so don't put yourself at risk and talk up if you're feeling the heat.
COCKBURN v BASSENDEAN
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J Krstic, T Lynch, W Davidson, N Kirkup
E O'Sullivan, A Smith, L McKay, P Harber
R Revell, J Morss, R D'Souza, J Holman
M Erceg, P Madigan, G Stokes, D Snelgar IN: G Stokes OUT: B Dinnison
Another game that should go ahead is this one under the Cockburn shed, although who knows what temp it will be in the shade given the latent heat buildup over the week.
No doubt there was some words during the week about last week's draw but 4pts is better than none. The Roosters will be looking to make full advantage of this double pointer against another bottom half team at home as they then go for a 2 back to back road trips & then home to Sorrento. Not getting something from this could leave them in a world of trouble given the next few games away & then a run of some top teams. TePania has lost 2 in a row after a scintillating start so I would imagine they'll be the ones to watch this Round. Marevich is now unbeaten in 4 games but they need a big lift from the Musulin rink who's 1 from 5. Maybe Zusman can move over since he seems to be bouncing around like a pinball as they look to maximise his presence & experience. He's played lead, 2nd & 3rd over the weeks & across 3 different skippers which can't be easy.
Basso are now 2 in a row & starting to find the mojo after the bumpy start. They still need to add a lot more rinks into the forthcoming wins as every point will be critical from here. Again its very similar to most of the bottom teams as a few rinks like Revell, Erceg, Madigan, struggling to get off 1 or 2 wins so far. Krstic is similar but they had a big win last week which helped the Agg so there is plenty of firepower in this 16 to cause the Roosters so serious concerns.
What the Roosters are keeping quiet about is pay back after the Lions touched them up for the 1 Blue Pennant Flag in March, so they'll be keen to erase that recent memory. The fortress is now only 1 win from 3 so surely they'll fix that up to give them a chance of remaining mid table.
Cockburn 6 - 2
WANNEROO v ROSSMOYNE
C Buchholz, K Toster, R Humphryson, H Whitman
D Turra, E Widermanski, B Nelson, B McMurdo
N Costello ***, S Denny, N Palmer, L Bryson
H Ward, D Anderson, G Sarich, B Bucowski IN: D Griffin, S Binnie OUT: K Toster, S Denny
L Jervies, D Price, R Mitchell, V Andrews
E Gollan, R Vind, D Green, B O'Brien
R Lang, R Halse, D Haddow, B Cranswick
A Petchell, W Harvey, G Beacroft, P Lees IN: OUT: No change
The Roo's had it within grasp last week & like it slip so they'll be looking to get back on track this week against the River Rats who also lost late on. Wanneroo at home are a strong team but they haven't really shown the usual high scoring they are capable of yet. In saying that their scoring is 2nd highest & scores against 2nd lowest so they must feel that they should be sitting higher than 4th spot.
Rossmoyne need Petchell back & quickly, their rink is now 1 from 4, which isn't going to work out well for the River Rats if it's one of their primary rinks. Jervies had a few draws but no win in 5 games too but yet they are keeping themselves in most games really well. Some of the heavy lifting is now back on Gollan who's quite accustomed to the pressure & travelling very well winning a very impressive 6 from 7 with the help of Rossmoyne's find of the year last year in Vind. What a progress for him to lead in the 2nd side, move to 2nd, 3rd, skipper 2nd side & now running 6 from 7 in 1 White playing as 3rd, great story & hats off to Rossmoyne for making a pathway for improvement instead of leaving hurdles in the way.
Wanneroo are probably heading into that tipping point for the season. They need to be running 5 from 6 over the mid section of the season if they fancy having a look at PL. Turra is back travelling well 3 from 3 and im sure Buchholz will bounce back after 2 losses in a row to get back to that superb early form. Ward is 1 from 4 after a superb start where they were knocking rink's over by double figures every week, so all eyes on them this week to bounce back.
Wanneroo 6 - 2
MORLEY v OSBORNE PARK
W Mitchell, K Nazareth, B Driscoll, C Hamilton
T Dawson, G Grieve, T Vlahos, B Harris
L Sanders, J Thomas, J Engelen, W Hinchcliffe
W Barker, V Princi, P Wharam, R Dunstan IN: No change OUT:
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Morley are finding a few rinks every week which is good to see & will be playing with more confidence after last week's very impressive draw against Cockburn. Once they control the looser rinks they will always give themselves a chance & it showed last week. They have are only 1 rink win behind Basso in 8th which shows they can get themselves close enough to win a game soon.
Despite last weeks loss, the Saints are travelling well & sit in a comfortable 2nd spot & nearly 1 game ahead of 3rd. Most of the team is travelling well but a little boost for the Thorn rink won't harm as they've only won 1 from the last 6 with a few draws. DiGiuseppe's rink is powering ahead & is their top rink by a reasonable margin & they'll be confident of going 6 in a row this weekend.
For some front end focus, I would like to look at Potts who's been a great addition since R4 and has won every game (4 in a row) since his inclusion. Similar can be said about Mark Pasalich as he's running 4-0 since his inclusion as 3rd so from a Saints perspective it's nice to see most of their changes having immediate impact on the overall score boards.
For the Mavericks there's some nice green shots in Landers & Barker who are both 3 from 7 which is pretty good even most teams around them are struggling to get players on more than 3 wins from 7. The Mavericks won 2 ends last week for the first time in a Round & they'll need the same again this week if they want to edge the Saints at home. If they can get some more from Dawson & Mitchell it'll significantly close the gap in games. Although with the weather, if any game is not going to get played in Round 8 my money is on this one as the light winds surely won't reach them in time to keep it under 40c.
Osborne Park 7 - 1
WARWICK v SORRENTO
J Post, M Golding, V Giuffre, R Newstead
G Hinge, G Smith, R Loran, I Sparrowhawk
J Borkowski, A Hornby, C Boyle, D Herbert
B Ledingham, D Farrell, B McNamara, H Robartson IN: M Golding OUT: L Hill
C Lander, R Cunningham, B Lucas, F Tyson
R Butler, A Barron, M Burton, B Gunson
S Loftus, P Flack, G Taylor, L Oldham
S Rixom, M Hulbert, T Murray, G Murray IN: A Barron, T Murray OUT: B Kiely, P Morgan
Another big game ahead for both teams. Warwick will be disappointed about losing 2 in a row & losing 3 in a row will certainly affect their Top4 chances so they'll be pretty keen in getting back into the winners circle this weekend. Warwick did only lose 2 home games all year last season, so they'll need to find that home form again for this big game.
Warwick are very close in most games so they know they can match it with the best but like many other sides they just need that extra lift from some players like rinks like Hinge's rink who's had some good draws but only won 1 since R1 and Post's rink running 0-3. Borkowski is going very well which is great news for Warwick as he'll look to make it 4 in a row. Warwick can win this & are only 1.5 rinks behind 2nd spot so they are close to the mark.
Sorrento are travelling very well & after last weekend they have given themselves a huge early boost up the ladder & have now collected 49.5pts of a possible 56pts which is the best across all top divisions. Few skippers lost their 1st games last week so you would expect a bounce back this week but it won't be easy for them.
Sorrento have 3 of the next 4 games at home after this so without Warwick making a big dent in their current unbeaten status this is where they'll probably pull away from the rest of the group.
Sorrento 7 - 1
KARDINYA v SOUTH PERTH
G Fewings, N Ball, I Barrie, W Lee
R Knapp, T Cocodis, R McNamara, L Phillips
M Yates, S Vinci, C Booth, J Edgar
C Stokes, C Vinci, J Galipo, R Hawke IN: N Ball OUT: W Bezant
M McRae, G Reagan, D Bandy, M Petrich
B Roelefs, R Negus, J Percival, J McDonnell
D Calvo, R Havercroft, P Holmes, L Moretti
S Kelly, V Santostefano, E Munnelly, B Owen IN: S Kelly, M Petrich OUT: W Skuza, J Cunningham
Kats needed that big win last week & so did the Millers so both will be coming into this week with a little more confidence. Kats are waiting to really fire up this year & only winning 3 from 7 isn't the ideal start but it keeps them slightly out of the danger zone for the moment & if there's another week like last week & they get a big win & the rest lose they could grab a top4 spot.
South Perth are coming into their easier section of the season. After this they have 2 home games in a row in January and some ok away games before they enter the final 1/3 with some tough fixtures. They'll need at least 3 from 4 or 3 from 5 over the next stretch to give them a chance of staying out of trouble. Few more changes again this week which brings their list to the highest of any team with 23 players listed so far.Some personnel move around rinks & Petrich comes back in. The McRae rink seem to now has 4 prominent skippers from Lead to Skipper Petrich/Bandy/Reagan/McRae) so no doubt this will be a strong side, although between the 4 there's only 7 wins from 28 attempts so they'll need to lift for Millers to have a chance. Another performance like last week will do wonders for the Millers coming into the break.
Kardinya are in a very similar boat to South Perth with good players on paper but just not getting the results which shows the tight margins in this division. Fewings is going ok with some big wins & loses but the standout is clearly Yates who's only lost 1 game in R2, not big margins but gusty wins which has being critical to the Aggs. If they can get some wins into the likes of Barrie (running 1 from 7) and Stokes & Knight & some others they'll do well as they get close most weeks. On a brighter note, Conn Vinci will look to continue the 3 in a row as he wins even though every week he's played a different spot. He's gone from lead to 2nd to 3rd last week, if he plays well & wins, will he skip next week?!
Very interesting game ahead which is important for both teams to head into the break with a big win but with only 1 home win this season it might just swing to the Kats in a very tight contest.
With Sorrento, Ossy Pk & Warwick ahead after this Round they'll need maximum points here to maintain some momentum running into a season defining 3 match stint.