This Friday is round three of the TFSA League and it will have a big impact of the direction of the current season. Come 9:30pm on Friday all four permits will have faced each other and there will be clearer idea of which teams are in a strong position and which have work to do.
In the Mixed Division the Eastern Stingrays take on the Central Scorpions. The Rays were satisfied with an improved defensive effort in holding the Wolves to six tries in round two, but have to find scoring options outside of Tim Phillips and Rick Wilkinson if they want to have an impact on this season. They have to hold out a youthful Scorpion team lead in attack by Will Stewart and Toby Gabrisch. The Scorpions should be too strong by three to four tries.
The other game sees the Vipers searching for their first win against the undefeated South West Wolves. Both sides are full of experience, but the speed of Darren Williams, combined with defensive nous of the likes of Elizabeth Sargeant and Ruth Shaw should see the Wolves unbeaten run continue.
The Wolves and Vipers will also face up in the Men’s Division. The Wolves showed some resolve in the first half against the Stingrays last week, but won’t pose any real threat to the team from the Northern suburbs.
Meanwhile the two tallest men in South Australian touch Adam Whitehead and Tim Glazebrook face off in the match between the Scorpions and the Stingrays. The Scorpions will be keen to bounce back after a loss to the Vipers in round two and the Stingrays will be looking to continue to consolidate the form that has seen them score 32 touch downs in the first two rounds. While the Scorpions have a number of genuine matchwinners, the consistency of the Stingrays list from number one to 14 should see them be too strong in this one.
The Viper’s women will be looking for a marked improvement this week. The Vipers have been poor in their first two outings and took until the second half to score against the Stingrays. In contrast, the Wolves have been solid at both at ends of the field going over 10 times in two games. Despite the strong start, the Wolves are definitely weakest in midfield defence and this could be exploited the Vipers strong running game. The Vipers should kickstart their season with a small win.
The Scorpions and Stingrays women round out the preview and this could be the game of the round. The Scorpions have racked up an impressive 11 scores over the past two weeks, but finding the line will not be easy against a strong Stingrays defence. The key for the Stingrays will to be avoid the lapses in concentration that saw them concede to many easy tries against last week. The Scorpions should record back-to-back wins.
For full fixtures and results click here.