Murray league ‘is in great shape’

Deniliquin Rams coach Troy Bartlett says the Murray league is in the best state he’s seen.

Deniliquin Rams coach Troy Bartlett says the Murray league is in the best state he’s seen.

DENILIQUIN Rams coach Troy Bartlett says the Murray league is in the best state he’s seen.

Bartlett, who has spent his entire career with the Rams, said league officials would be “loving” the unpredictable nature of the competition this year.

Eight teams can lay genuine claims to being in contention for this year’s premiership, with eighth-placed Moama knocking off reigning premier Echuca United last weekend.

“It’s good for footy,” Bartlett said.

“We’re loving having a contest every week.

“You’ve got to bring your best.

“The league would be loving the uncertainty, I reckon.

“The crowds and everything are good and you don’t see the blowouts anymore.”

Bartlett said the Rams, who have won eight straight after a shaky start, were expecting a strong response from the Eagles on Saturday.

“Definitely,” he said.

“They and Moama obviously have that good rivalry, like us and Finley.

“I still think they’re one of the best teams in it.

“Them and Barooga are the two that have given us a real touch-up.”

The loser of Saturday’s blockbuster, between the competition’s third and fourth teams, looks all but out of the race for a valuable top-two spot with five rounds remaining after this weekend.

“There’s no rest for us,” Bartlett said.

“Lose and we fall out of the six.

“We’re just worried about keeping our head above water; it’s been like that since nearly the start of the season.”

Moama will be out to cause another shock when it takes on Rumbalara at the Mercury Sports Complex.

Ladder leader Finley, which remains on top despite dropping last week’s clash with the Rams, hosts Tongala, Numurkah travels to Nathalia, while Mulwala should prove too strong from Cobram.

Barooga will look to charge back up the ladder when it hosts Congupna.

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