THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) is back again this weekend, with Round 3 kicking off and teams hoping to generate some momentum.
Central Districts vs South Adelaide
The Bulldogs and Panthers were both involved in tight finishes on Sunday, but ultimately failed to take home the two points. However, Central Districts recorded their first points of the new year after drawing with West Adelaide in the final match of round two. Moments before the Dogs and Bloods took to the field, South Adelaide mounted a remarkable comeback against the reigning premiers, Glenelg. Down by 45 points at three quarter time, the Panthers rallied to stem the margin to within a goal with two minutes left on the clock. The Bays held their nerve to survive an almighty scare, but South Adelaide would have drawn confidence from their ability to score heavily in quick succession. Central Districts also struggled early against West Adelaide. After trailing for all of the match, the Doggies piled on goal-after-goal in the last quarter and took the lead, only for the Bloods to square things up before the final siren sounded.
Central Districts’ reliable captain Luke Habel will again look to set his side up from half-back, after accumulating 23 disposals and five rebound-50s last weekend. Joseph Haines (22 disposals, seven marks and seven rebound-50s) played a similar role for South Adelaide, helping orchestrate much of South’s drive from defence, whilst also spending some time on the wing. He may be directed to pay close attention to Central’s Nicholas Lange after his strong performance. Last round, Panthers key defenders Jake Summerton and Ben Haren faced the daunting task of matching up against Glenelg’s dynamic duo Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds and fought admirably, restricting the gun pair to two goals each.
Veteran South Adelaide midfielder Joel Cross has started the season on fire, accumulating an equal league-leading 58 possessions in two matches. In the absence of captain Matt Rose, who will miss 12 weeks with a shoulder injury, Cross was typically prolific around the stoppages against West, finishing the outing with seven clearances. He could go head-to-head in the midfield with Bulldogs gun James Boyd, who has been excellent since returning to Elizabeth after a stint with Woodville-West Torrens. Jarrod Schiller managed just 14 touches against West, but his pressure around the contest and tackling were excellent. Meanwhile, Panthers midfielder Ben Heaslip got things moving for the blue and white, finishing with six inside 50s. He also used his strong 189cm frame to assert himself around the ball, laying seven tackles. Prized Panthers recruit Matthew Broadbent has made a strong first impression at Noarlunga. Despite having been deployed as an attacking-defender during his time at Port Adelaide, Broadbent has spent more time around the ball for South. Bulldogs ruckman Jonathan Marsh battled hard against dominant West Adelaide tall Andre Parrella and this week appears set to do-battle with 21-year-old Panthers ruckman Cameron McGree, who was soundly beaten by Tiger Jack Hannath in just his third game of league football.
The Panthers coaching staff will have been encouraged by the performances of their young small forwards so far. The talented Hayden Sampson continues to go from strength-to-strength, having booted three-straight in the Panthers loss. Fellow smalls Luke Bogle, Eamon Wilkinson and Liam Fitt each kicked two goals, as did full-forward Sam Overall. Although Beau McCreery was quiet against Glenelg, he was excellent on debut in round one. With luckless forward Daniel Menzel ruled out for the season with an ankle injury, Central Districts assistant coach John Butcher took it upon himself to lend a hand in attack. He booted three goals in the draw whilst potential draftee Corey Durdin and former-Blue and Crow Troy Menzel both nailed two. However wingman, Lange stole the show in just his second league match, booting four goals, laying six tackles and taking five marks. Instrumental in the Bulldogs comeback, Lange has emerged as one of the leagues best outside midfielders and poses a genuine offensive threat to South Adelaide’s on-ballers.
Needless to say, both sides will be hoping for fast starts in this encounter. The Panthers got through relatively unscathed in their round two encounter and could regain Malcolm Karpany for the battle at X Convenience Oval. For the Bulldogs, full-back Ryan Falkenberg will miss a month of football after sustaining a calf injury.
The Bulldogs and Panthers reserves sides will lock-horns following the league match. The Bulldogs remain undefeated in the second-tier competition, after defeating West last weekend. Alternatively, South are still searching for their first scalp of the year after going down to Glenelg by 29-points. The Panthers will likely be without ruckman Damon Freitag, after he injured his ankle.
The Central Districts Under-18s will travel south to Flinders University Oval to clash with the Panthers late on Saturday morning. The Panthers midfield has been impressive so far, with rugged skipper Nick Kraemer impressing alongside ultra-talented bottom-agers Jason Horne and Matty Roberts. The brilliant duo, who starred for SA at last year’s Under-16 National Championships, are certainly two to look out for, having combined for a staggering 63 disposals, 22 marks, 18 tackles and 19 clearances in the loss to Glenelg. The Bulldogs can also lay claim to a promising bottom-aged midfielder in Austin McDonald. He has been the standout for the Bulldogs so far. The bottom-agers might steal the show in this one.
Glenelg vs North Adelaide
Only one team will remain undefeated after North Adelaide heads to the bay to face Glenelg on Saturday afternoon. Glenelg have prevailed by the skin of their teeth in their two matches, first defeating Norwood by three points before eclipsing the Panthers by five. The rejuvenated Roosters kicked off their campaign with a comprehensive win over West and backed it up with a narrow victory over the Redlegs. However the reigning premiers are without a doubt the team to beat and will be a tough challenge for Jacob Surjan‘s chargers, particularly away from home. The Roosters appear to be back to their free-flowing style of football which saw them win it all in 2018, but we’ll know for sure if they mean business if they can match it with the Tigers.
Tigers skipper Max Proud and Matt Merrett will likely be tasked with stopping threatening duo Mitch Harvey or Keenan Ramsey, with Chris Curran expected to provide his trademark rebound. New recruit Jackson Edwards has also performed well down back alongside teenager Luke Parks. For the Roosters, classy half-back Jarrad Almond and small defender Elliott Chalmers will play pivotal roles against their former side. Cameron Craig and Tanner Smith will attempt to nullify the influence of Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds. Young key defender Karl Finlay may also be called upon to provide support, whilst talented Roosters recruit Harrison Wigg will be looking to utilise his damaging left-foot to generate drive from the defensive 50.
The midfield battle is tantalising. After a slightly subdued start to the season, Magarey Medalist Luke Partington was back to his best on the weekend, nailing three goals and accumulating 35 disposals to go with six marks, nine clearances and six inside 50s. Matthew Snook has also been at his best in the trenches and currently sits equal-first in the league for disposals. Restricting their dominance at the stoppages will be the number one focus for Surjan and his coaching staff during the week. But after some handy off-season wheeling-and-dealing, the Roosters have a strong midfield of their own, led by vice-captain Andrew Moore and former-Hawk Billy Hartung. The pair have acclimatised well to SANFL football, with both proving their worth in the middle against the ‘Legs. But it has been inside midfielder Campbell Combe who has really impressed for North. Not only did he accumulate 29 touches against Norwood, but he also laid no-less-than 15 tackles. An old-school, in-and-under extractor, Combe and hard-nosed Glenelg midfielder Bradley Agnew are two of the league’s most ferocious tacklers and will be expected to fight hard for their sides in the middle. Despite being drafted by West Coast as a key position player, Matt Allen has proven himself in the guts for the Tigers and popped up to hit the scoreboard last week. Allen and fellow-recruit Billy Stretch have further added to a Tigers midfield which was already brimming with talent. Club captain Alex Spina, recruit Cameron Hewett and vice-skipper Tom Schwarz, who will play his 100th SANFL game, have also been strong across the midfield for the red and white. Glenelg’s Jack Hannath will have his sights set on continuing his strong early season form against North’s James Craig.
The Roosters and Tigers forward-lines feature some of the games most exciting talent. Glenelg’s attack in largely centred around tall timber Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds, who finished first and second in the league for goals last season. North Adelaide’s mosquito fleet, comprised of skilful young gun Frank Szekely, former-Blue Kym LeBois and speedster Robbie Young, have the potential to carve-up even the dourest of defences. Glenelg’s Cory Gregson, Marlon Motlop and Darcy Bailey are well-known threats forward-of-centre and will be a handful for the Roosters small defenders. Keenan Ramsey and Mitch Harvey have provided excellent service for North Adelaide over several years, with the latter converting two important set shots in last Saturday’s win. Lewis Hender will also be eyeing off another bag in his return to Glenelg, where he spent much of his junior career.
The two sides will by eagerly awaited the fitness tests of Alex Barns (North Adelaide) and Carl Nicholson (Glenelg) after they both suffered from concussion in last weekends respective triumphs. North may also regain Ben Jarman from an ankle injury. All eyes will be fixed on ACH Group Stadium on Saturday arvo for what appears set to be a cracking contest.
The reserves will take to the field a couple of hours before the league sides do battle. Glenelg is yet to loose a match at league, reserves or Under-18s level so far in season 2020, but North Adelaide’s seconds will be full of confidence after beating a talented Norwood line-up by 15-points in hostile territory last Sunday. Keep an eye on promising draft hopeful Cooper Horsnell for Glenelg and North’s Harrison Magor.
With draft prospect Kaine Baldwin set to miss a second-consecutive season after succumbing to another anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, key forward Riley Holder stepped up, booting four goals in the win over South Adelaide. Prolific Sacred Heart College duo Lewis Rayson and Xavier Robins have made strong starts to the year in the yellow and black. Luke Edwards looks set to front-up for the Under-18s once again, however he could push for reserves selection off the back of a series of promising showings. North Adelaide’s Under-18s were beaten by a strong Norwood outfit in round two, despite the best efforts of skipper Jamison Murphy and midfielder Kallis Freer. Able to turn a game on its head, eye-catching forward Tariek Newchurch will certainly keep the Bays defenders on their toes.
Woodville-West Torrens vs Norwood
After loosing close encounters to Glenelg and North Adelaide, the Redlegs will be eyeing off their first win of the season when they head to Maughan Thiem Kia Oval on Sunday afternoon to face Woodville-West Torrens. The Eagles league-leading percentage helped them rise to third spot on the ladder following a comprehensive dismantling of the Double Blues last weekend.
Zac Richards was arguably Norwood’s best afield in the loss to the Roosters, gathering 29 disposals, ten marks, three tackles, four inside 50s and three rebound-50s in his role across half-back and through the midfield. He also kicked a goal to continue his strong start to the season. Cameron Shenton was also named in the sides best players after generating plenty of drive from defence and accumulating seven rebound-50s. Brad McKenzie was similarly effective coming out of defence, providing his side with nine rebounds. Key defender Cameron Ball will likely match up against one of the Hayes brothers and could receive some help by the potential inclusion of Michael Talia. Down back for the Eagles, the key defensive pairing of Jake Von Bertouch and Luke Thompson will be tasked with stopping Norwood taels Tom Pinyon and big-man Luke Surman. The experienced Patrick Giuffreda will be relied upon to blanket one of the Redlegs’ damaging small forwards, with recruit Pierce Seymour expected to provide plenty of bounce from the backline.
The midfield battle is likely the greatest strength of this Norwood side, with the likes of Mitch Grigg, Matthew Panos and Matty Nunn consistently ranked amongst the leagues best players. Along with new recruits Richard Douglas and Ryan Bastinac, Norwood has certainly benefitted from the scoreboard impact of their midfielders over the past few years. It certainly helps when are provided silver-service by dominant ruckman Sam Baulderstone. The experienced bigman was terrific around the ground against North, gathering 19 disposals, a goal, five marks and 34 hitouts. However his six clearances were perhaps most impressive. However Eagles ruckman Jarrad Redden and pinch-hitter Jack Hayes have been in some excellent form themselves, combining for 32 disposals, 49 hitouts and ten clearances between them against Sturt’s Dan Fahey-Sparks last round. Eagles midfielders Jimmy Toumpas and Matthew Goldsworthy have hit some good form early on, with the former gathering 27 disposals, five tackles and five clearances against Sturt, whilst the latter nailed two goals from his 23 touches and eight inside-50s. The Eagles will need wingman Jake Comitogianni, mainstay Angus Poole, bash-and-crash inside midfielder Jesse Lonergan and reigning best and fairest Jordan Foote to be on their game if they are to match it with the talented Norwood on-ball unit.
Small forwards James Rowe (Woodville-West Torrens) and Peter Bampton (Norwood) have both proven to be key components of their respective sides forward lines. Both genuine goal kickers, Rowe has started the season well, kicking six goals in two games, whilst Bampton has booted two. Nick Hayes and Jack Hayes have long been the focal point of the Eagles attack and will again prove a difficult match-up for Norwood’s key defenders, particularly in the air. Both are capable of hauling in big grabs and got plenty of time with ball in hand last week, combining for 31 possessions. Youngster Lachlan McNeil also got himself involved in his supporting role up forward, however he will wish he had converted his two behinds into majors. The Eagles simply must restrict the scoreboard impact of the Norwood midfielders, given their potency in-front of goal. Usually a defender, Von Bertouch booted three goals for the Eagles when moved from defence to the forward-line and adds to the threat posed by Woodville-West Torrens’ forward-line.
Norwood will be hopeful young gun Cole Gerloff and half-backman Nick Pedro can overcome their ankle injuries, whilst the Eagles’ Joseph Sinor and Angus Poole will face fitness tests after sustaining concussion and nose injuries in the win over Sturt.
The two clubs reserves sides will play in the curtain raiser before the league sides do battle, in a re-match of the 2019 reserves Grand Final. The Eagles will certainly be seeking revenge for their loss in last years final day and again appear one of the teams to beat in the second-tier of SANFL football, having recorded wins over South Adelaide and Sturt to kick-off the new season. Meanwhile, Norwood’s title defence has started slowly, recording losses to the Tigers and Roosters in recent weeks.
The Redlegs Under-18s looked impressive in their win over North Adelaide on the weekend. Bottom-ager Cooper Murley was terrific in the midfield and up-forward and already appears one of the standouts of the under-18s competition. Prolific defenders Michael Cavallaro and Matthew Dnistriansky were everywhere in the opening fortnight of action, generating much of Norwood’s rebound from defence. For the Eagles, who remain winless, look out for SA Academy Hub member and potential Power father-son selection Taj Schofield.
Sturt vs West Adelaide
The Double Blues kicked just one goal in the second half last week and coach Nathan Grima will be demanding a response on home soil against West Adelaide. The Bloods, on the other hand, were left to rue some inaccurate kicking in-front of goal in the dramatic draw to Central Districts. However there were some encouraging signs shown by several of West’s youngsters.
The aerial work of key defender Sam Wundke was one of few bright-spots in Sturt’s 51-point loss at the hands of Woodville-West Torrens. He took three strong contested marks (five marks in total) and provided excellent rebound from the backline, finishing with eleven rebound 50s to go with 22 disposals. Young defender Malachi Lines didn’t get a lot of the ball (eight disposals) but showed some promise on debut. Veteran small defender Aaron Anderson was the standout down back for the Bloods, accumulating 26 disposals and three rebounds from defence. Elliott Dunkin also continues to show why he received some attention from AFL ranks towards the end of the 2019 season. His rebound from defence, athleticism and shut-down ability may worry the Double Blues forwards. Logan Hill was also good in the draw, whilst full-back Josh Ryan could be tasked with clamping down on Sturt forward Jake Sutcliffe.
Casey Voss was arguably Sturt’s best player on the weekend. Starting on-ball, the son of Brisbane great Michael, proved he belongs at the level in just his third league match. He racked up 24 touches and kicked a goal but it was the 19-year-old’s work around the stoppages which really stood-out, amassing seven clearances. Whilst much of the Bloods attention may be directed towards established on-ballers James Battersby, Mark Evans, Sam Colqhoun and Zane Kirkwood, they must be wary of newcomer Voss’ abilities around the contest. Voss’ on-ball partnership with fellow 19-year-old Jed McEntee would have impressed Grima. McEntee, a member of SA’s 2019 National Championship side, laid a game-high ten tackles to demonstrate his toughness and excellent defensive pressure. However West’s Kaine Stevens won’t be afraid to teach the fresh faces a few lessons around the ball. His 12 clearances, 26 disposals and five tackles proved invaluable in the Bloods engine room against Centrals. Josh Schiller has had a tough-run with injuries lately, but the inside midfielder’s toughness and contested-ball winning will be vital against Sturt’s talented on-ball unit. Former-Crows top-up player Jordon Boyle has been terrific in his new colours, collecting 55 disposals at 82 per cent efficiency in the opening two games on the wing for the Bloods. Dallas Willsmore‘s link-up ability has also been a feature of the Bloods game-style. The ruck battle between West Adelaide’s Andre Parrella and Sturt’s Dan Fahey-Sparks is intriguing and could prove telling, given they sit first and second in the league for hit-outs, respectively. The athletic Fahey-Sparks has impressed so far in 2020. His tap-work has been strong (accumulated 33 hit-outs against Woodville-West Torrens’ Redden and Hayes last week) and his ability around the ground will get the better of many SANFL ruckman. However the 22-year-old Parrella will prove to be his toughest test yet. The big-man has had a monster start to the season, recording a whopping 92 hit-outs in two matches.
Up-forward, its hard to look past West Adelaide’s ultra-talented draft prospect Riley Thilthorpe. He kicked 1.2 against Central Districts and showed a willingness to get involved around the ground when helping out in the ruck, accumulating ten disposals, 15 hit-outs, five tackles and five marks (two contested). Thilthorpe and skipper Tom Keough, who booted three goals on the weekend, will prove a handful for a Sturt backline without premiership-duo Jack Stephens and Fraser Evans, who both retired in the off-season. Lydon Hupfield has started the year well as a small forward, providing the line-up with energy and goal-sense. Sturt has yet to see the best of boom-recruit Abe Davis, who has failed to fire so far in season 2020. However his strong frame will always ensure he is a danger in attack, along with smalls Josh Hone and Byron Sumner. Athletic tall forward Ash Johnson was electric on debut, taking four contested marks and booting three goals, however he was kept to just one kick against Woodville-West Torrens. However he still managed to break into the highlight real when he almost took an instant mark of the year contender. His liveliness up forward is infectious and presents as another threatening Sturt forward.
The Bloods didn’t pick up an injury during the clash with the Bulldogs, but young forward Josh Koster is still at least a fortnight away from returning from a hamstring complaint. Tom Harms will likely miss another game with a calf injury, but pocket rocket on-baller Tom Lewis could be included for his league debut after making the extended bench last weekend.
Sturt and Westies will play each other at Peter Motley Oval in a curtain-raiser to the league match. Sturt are still searching for their first win of the season whilst West will be looking to return to winning ways after being defeated by a strong Central Districts seconds by 35-points last weekend.
A couple of South Australia’s most talented junior midfielders will face-off when Sturt’s under-18s meet West Adelaide at Hisense Stadium. Sturt’s Tom Powell and Mani Liddy have been utterly dominant across the opening two rounds for the Double Blues. Both prolific but quite different in their playing styles, the duo will go head-to-head in an exciting battle against West Adelaide’s Bailey Chamberlain and Lachlan De Cesare. Also watch-out for Sturt forward Morgan Ferres, who bagged six goals against the Eagles. The Double Blues will go in as favourites and have emerged as front-runners of the Under-18s competition, alongside Glenelg.
NONE of Glenelg’s newly-annointed premiership players were born the last time the Tigers received the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) premiership cup, but history was rewritten at Adelaide Oval yesterday when they knocked off the league’s most successful side, Port Adelaide. The Magpies had been a source of pain for the Tigers in the late 70s and 80s, finally winning a flag in 1986, but Bays fans then had to wait 33 years for their next triumph, which is why the celebrations were no doubt long and hard. In the Reserves, Norwood claimed a youth-inspired victory over Woodville-West Torrens as a host of Under-18 talent starred for the Redlegs to ensure three different clubs took out the three different leagues.
PORT ADELAIDE 0.3 | 2.7 | 5.8 | 6.9 (45)
GLENELG 4.1 | 6.2 | 9.5 | 11.7 (73)
A fast start by Glenelg helped the Tigers claim a magnificent SANFL League premiership, booting the first five goals on their way to a 11.7 (73) to 6.9 (45) win. From the first bounce to the opening minute of the second term, Luke Reynolds had a couple of majors on the board, while Carl Nicholson, Bradley Close and Josh Scott were also on the board and the danger signs were there for the Magpies. Billy Frampton and Sam Mayes had combined for just three behinds up until Tobin Cox finally broke the goalless drought 13 minutes into the second term. Frampton booted his first following three consecutive rushed behinds, but the inaccuracy was hurting the Magpies as Marlon Motlop booted a major a couple of minutes later to ensure Glenelg headed into the main break with a 19-point advantage. By the time Scott and Motlop hit the scoreboard for the second time each in the opening four minutes, the lead was out past 30 points. Cam Sutcliffe did all he could for the Magpies, piling on three of the next four goals around Margarey Medallist Luke Partington‘s major to give Port a sniff going into the final stanza, cutting the deficit back to 21 points. But any hope of a comeback was snuffed out in the opening minute when Scott booted his third goal of the contest, and then the Tigers held on for the next 18 minutes until Cox broke through for his second. A sweet goal at the end of the game to Motlop had the Bays’ supporters over the moon at a drought-breaking victory. Glenelg dominated the keepings-off style with 21 more disposals and 28 more marks, withstanding the 14 extra tackles from the Magpies.
Matthew Snook took out the Jack Oatey Medal for best on ground after a game-high 28 touches, two marks, seven clearances, eight tackles and four inside 50s. Partington was also prominent with 23 disposals, four marks, five inside 50s and five tackles, while Jesse White had seven clearances from 16 disposals, 17 hitouts and six tackles. Under-18 talent Will Gould amassed eight rebounds to go along with his 18 touches and four marks – five of his rebounds came in the opening term, withstanding the Magpies’ heat. Up forward, Motlop and Scott combined for three goals apiece, while Reynolds’ two first quarter goals set the Tigers up. For Port Adelaide, Sutcliffe was the main source of goals with three from 17 touches and two marks, while Cox had his two majors from six touches and three marks. Jarrod Lienert picked up a team-high 27 disposals, as well as three marks, seven inside 50s and five rebounds, while Jack Trengove (25 disposals, eight marks, six tackles and three inside 50s), Mayes (24 touches, three marks, six tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds) and Willem Drew (21 disposals, three marks, seven clearances, 12 tackles, four inside 50s and three rebounds) were all prolific in the game.
NORWOOD 2.1 | 6.2 | 9.4 | 13.5 (83)
WWT EAGLES 3.2 | 3.5 | 5.8 | 9.10 (58)
Norwood claimed the 2019 SANFL Reserves flag with a triumphant 25-point win over Woodville-West Torrens Eagles at Adelaide Oval on Sunday. The Redlegs crucially won the clearance battle by eight despite conceding 10 more inside 50s. Their defence was up to the task in the back half however, rebounding the ball 38 times to the Eagles’ 24. The game started on a strong note for the third placed Eagles as Harrison Morgan booted a couple of majors within two minutes and looked like he would be in for a big day. Under-18 prospect Cam Taheny then responded with a couple of his own and within 10 minutes the Redlegs were back in front by a point. Fellow Under-18 talent Kysaiah Pickett soon got on the board himself with a major, as the Eagles squandered a few opportunities but headed into the break with a seven-point advantage. They could only manage the three behinds in the second term however, as Norwood piled on four consecutive goals to head into the main break with a 15-point lead. Morgan booted his third goal of the contest to cut the deficit to eight points three minutes in o the third, but a response from Lachlan Pascoe and then Cody Szust soon had the minor premiers back on to a 20-point lead. Jake Westbrook added his name to the goalkickers list, but second goals to Pascoe and Szust either side of the final break pushed the lead out to 26. Jamie Coff brought it back to 19, but three consecutive goals to the Redlegs saw it blow out to 37 with 10 minutes remaining. Three consolation goals in the last 10 minutes to draft talents Jackson Mead, Pickett and Lachlan McNeil cut the Eagles’ final deficit back to 19, but it was too little, too late.
Norwood ruck Luke Surman won the Bob Lee Medal for best on ground following his 21 disposals, 18 hitouts, 11 clearances, two rebounds and two marks (one contested), rucking to the likes of Stephens (26 disposals, three marks, five clearances and five tackles and Jed Spence (27 disposals, six clearances and four tackles). Szust finished with three majors from 17 disposals, five marks, five inside 50s and six tackles, while Taheny booted 4.1 from eight disposals and four marks. For the Eagles, McNeil and Harry Schoenberg both had team-high 20 touches, with Schoenberg dominating the clearances with six, working hard with Jordan West (eight clearances, 21 hitouts and 14 touches) and Mead (14 disposals, four clearances and three inside 50s). Westbrook had six rebounds from 19 touches and seven tackles in defence, while Jack Gaffney picked up 19 disposals, three inside 50s and seven tackles.
PORT ADELAIDE has moved through to the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Grand Final, as their AFL rivals Adelaide also won through for the right to a preliminary final. In the Reserves, Norwood won in overtime with a one-point thriller over Sturt, while Woodville-West Torrens held on against Central District.
Adelaide 21.13 (139) defeated Norwood 11.11 (77)
Adelaide’s SANFL side has kept its hopes of a premiership alive with a dominant 62-point belting of Norwood to eliminate last year’s grand finalists. The Crows were on from the first bounce, booting six goals to one, before racing out to a 11.5 (71) to 2.4 (16) lead at half-time to all but end the contest. The margin was 67 points by the final change, before the Redlegs booted some last quarter consolation goals in a high-scoring 11-goal term to go down by more than 10 goals. In a remarkable game, the Redlegs had an extra 41 disposals, but over-used them with 60 more handballs but 29 less kicks, while the Crows ran at an elite 82 per cent disposal efficiency. The Crows also won the clearances (37-31) and inside 50s (59-46) in the other key statistical areas. Patrick Wilson was the Crows’ best ball winner in the match, racking up 27 touches, 12 marks, six tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s, while Myles Poholke booted two goals from 23 disposals, 10 marks, three tackles, three clearances and seven inside 50s. Tyson Stengle booted two majors from 19 touches and four marks, while Ned McHenry snared four goals, and Shane McAdam piled three on. For the Redlegs, Matthew Panos had his fair share of the ball with 26 touches, nine marks, five clearances and two goals, while Declan Hamilton (25 disposals, seven marks and two goals) and Josh Richards (25 disposals, eight marks and six tackles) were also impressive. Under-18 draft prospect Dylan Stephens also stood tall in the final with 23 disposals, one mark, three tackles and three inside 50s.
Glenelg 11.6 (72) defeated by Port Adelaide 11.10 (76)
Port Adelaide Magpies became the first side into the 2019 SANFL Grand Final with a thrilling four-point win over Glenelg in the major semi-final. The Magpies lead at each of the breaks, including 16 points at the last change, but three consecutive goals to open the quarter put the Tigers in front midway through the last. Todd Marshall and Tobin Cox settled the Magpies, before Luke Reynolds booted a late one, but ultimately the minor premiers fell less than a kick short of victory. Port Adelaide played possession football with 21 more disposals and 27 more marks, winning every statistical category except clearances (34-46) and inside 50s (47-49), which kept the Tigers in it. Trent McKenzie picked up a game-high 28 disposals, seven marks and 12 rebounds, while fellow Port Adelaide AFL-listed players, Jarrod Lienert (25 disposals, seven marks, four tackles and five rebounds), Joe Atley (22 disposals, three marks, nine tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and two rebounds) and Willem Drew (22 disposals, four marks, 11 tackles, six clearances, seven inside 50s and one goal) were also among the best. Boyd Woodcock will look for his second successive senior League premiership after saluting with North Adelaide last year and being drafted to Port Adelaide. He picked up 17 disposals, eight marks and two rebounds in the win. For Glenelg, Luke Partington amassed 23 touches, four marks, eight tackles, six clearances, four inside 50s and a goal, while Matthew Snook (22 disposals, seven clearances, eight tackles and a goal) and Jesse White (21 disposals, four marks, 21 hitouts, eight clearances and six inside 50s) were also strong. Under-18 draft prospect Will Gould had 16 disposals, three marks, four tackles and six rebounds in the loss.
Woodville-West Torrens 6.16 (52) defeated Central District 7.3 (45)
An inaccurate Woodville-West Torrens side has come from behind to down Central District and move into the preliminary final after a seven-point victory. The Eagles trailed at quarter time and managed to lead throughout for most of the game after that in what developed to a low scoring slog. Inaccuracy threatened to undo the Eagles, booting six goals from 22 scoring shots to the Bulldogs’ accuracy of seven from 10, but escaped what would have been a disappointing defeat. The Eagles lead by as much as 19 points with less than 10 minutes remaining, but a couple of late goals to Bulldogs’ pair Oliver Shaw and Murray Stephenson gave them a scare. Remarkably, the Eagles had double the inside 50s in the game (54-27), but the Bulldogs’ defence was superb with 47 rebounds to 20, while the Eagles amassed 75 more disposals and six more clearances in the win. Jake Comitogianni had 24 disposals, five marks, six tackles and four inside 50s in the win, the same amount of disposals as Ben Nason (five marks, five tackles and eight inside 50s) and South Australian Under-18 Most Valuable Player, Harry Schoenberg (three marks, six tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s). On the scoring front, Harrison Morgan was crucial with three goals from five scoring shots, while state representative Lachlan McNeil had 21 touches, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal. Jackson Mead was the other South Australian U18 to stand up with 21 disposals, five marks, three clearances and five tackles, while Kysaiah Pickett booted two behinds from 16 touches, five tackles and three inside 50s. For the Bulldogs, Isaya McKenzie had a game-high 28 disposals, seven marks, six clearances, four inside 50s, seven rebounds and six tackles in a big game, while Stephenson had 22 touches and 12 rebounds to go with his goal. Jordan O’Brien was productive again with 21 disposals. two marks, seven clearances, seven tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds, while bottom-age draft prospect Corey Durdin had 16 disposals, five tackles and five inside 50s.
Norwood 8.7 (55) defeated Sturt 7.12 (54)
Norwood has earned a spot in the SANFL Reserves Grand Final courtesy of a lucky rushed behind during overtime. The behind was all that separated the sides by the final siren, with the teams equal after four quarters thanks to a late Sam Barnett goal and a Sturt rushed behind to level proceedings at 48-all. Thomas Condon booted his third goal of the day in the first half of overtime to give the Double Blues the advantage, but after a rushed behind to the Redlegs and a late goal by Luke Surman, the Redlegs escaped one of the games of the year. Both teams were fairly even throughout with the Redlegs winning the hitouts (43-32), but the Double Blues taking care of the clearances (40-35), as Norwood had just one extra inside 50 and rebound for the game. In the end, the efficiency of the Redlegs for them home with four less scoring shots. Jed Spence amassed 30 touches in the win, as well as four marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and seven tackles, while Jack Heard was enormous in defence with 24 touches, 14 marks and seven rebounds. Isaac Saywell (24 disposals, five marks, three clearances and three inside 50s) and Samuel Buckham (22 disposals, five marks, eight clearances, four inside 50s and 13 tackles) were strong in the midfield, while Chris Olsson booted three goals from 20 touches and six marks. Father-son hopeful, Casey Voss was strong with a game-high 32 disposals, six marks, six clearances, six rebounds, four inside 50s and six tackles, while Joel Thiele had 28 disposals, five marks, 13 clearances, three inside 50s and three tackles as the dominant inside midfielder on the day. South Australian U18 winger, Josh Shute had 25 disposals, five marks, five clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds, while Jed McEntee helped himself to 15 touches, three marks, eight tackles and three clearances. 2018 Under-18 key position forward/ruck Hugo Munn also had a promising game with 21 hitouts from 15 disposals, seven marks, four clearances and three inside 50s.
South Adelaide 16.4 (100) defeated West Adelaide 11.9 (75)
South Adelaide has knocked out West Adelaide in straight sets to book a grand final spot against Woodville-West Torrens next weekend. The Panthers lead by eight points at quarter time but broke the game open in the second term with seven goals to two, in order to lead by 36 points at the main break. The Bloods hit back in the second term to cut the deficit by a couple of goals, but missed opportunities on goal with the sides having the same amount of scoring shots but the Panthers capitalising on them more. South Adelaide also had 55 more disposals, 22 more marks, nine more tackles and six more inside 50s, while the Bloods had a plus-14 in hitouts. Jason Horne was the top ball winner for the winners, amassing 24 disposals, five marks, seven clearances, nine inside 50s and three goals, while key forward Daniel Sladojevic also booted three majors from 16 touches, three marks and three inside 50s. Nicholas Kraemer had 21 disposals, four marks, six clearances, five inside 50s and six tackles, while Matthew Roberts (19 disposals, two marks, two tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) and Zac Dumesny (17 disposals, three marks, three rebounds and three tackles) were also solid. For the Bloods, Will Day was a class above dropping back to the Under 18s, having 23 disposals, three marks, nine rebounds, four clearances and four tackles off half-back, while Joel Groom had 20 disposals, five clearances, five tackles, four inside 50s and four rebounds. Noah Hannagan was the dominant goalkicker with five goals from eight scoring shots as well as his 16 touches and four marks – all contested, while potential top draft pick next year, Riley Thilthorpe dominated in the ruck with 36 hitouts from 14 dispoals, two marks, five clearances, five inside 50s and two goals in a losing side.
ANOTHER season is done and dusted in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) with five teams eliminated from the League title race, including reigning premiers North Adelaide. Glenelg finished on top despite losing its final game, with Port Adelaide and Adelaide not far behind, and Sturt and Norwood rounding out the top five.
West Adelaide 6.14 (50) defeated by Norwood 10.8 (68)
Norwood bounced back from poor form of late to record a three-goal victory over an inaccurate West Adelaide at City Mazda Stadium. The Redlegs booted 10.8 to the Bloods’ 6.14 to run out 18-point winners and secure fifth spot on the table. Lewis Johnston had 29 touches, 12 marks, two clearances and two tackles, while Bradley McKenzie helped himself to 25 disposals and 11 marks. Under-18 draft prospect Dylan Stephens had another prominent game in the seniors with 22 disposals, six marks, three clearances and two goals. For the Bloods, Dallas Willsmore (29 touches, 16 marks) and Patrick Fairlie (29 disposals, 10 marks, four clearances and three tackles) produced good numbers, with Kaine Stevens and Christopher Schmidt reaching 30 disposals apiece in the loss.
North Adelaide 10.10 (70) defeated Woodville-West Torrens 8.9 (57)
North Adelaide avoided the wooden spoon with a nice 13-point win at home to finish off the season. The side was pillaged by AFL clubs at last year’s AFL National Draft, and had to overcome a points penalty for the 19th man issue in last year’s finals series, but have now jumped past the Bulldogs to avoid last place on the table. Aidan Tropiano had 29 disposals, 10 clearances, five marks and six tackles in the win, while Jarred Allmond (27 disposals, 14 marks, three clearances and three goals) and Tanner Smith (24 disposals, 11 marks and two tackles) were busy. For the Eagles, Jack Hayes finished with 22 touches, nine marks, four tackles, two clearances and a goal, while Scott Lewis was the other player to reach 20 touches with exactly that, as well as three marks, seven clearances, six tackles and a goal.
Sturt 11.11 (77) defeated Glenelg 9.11 (65)
Despite finishing on top of the table, Glenelg showed there is still much work to go, succumbing in a shock loss to Sturt by two goals. The Tigers booted five goals to three in the final term but the damage was done, already having the minor premiership sewn up, but head into the finals on the back of a loss. Sam Colquhoun (36 disposals, five marks, five clearances and eight tackles) did as he pleased for the Double Blues, while Fraser Evans (25 disposals, 10 marks and a goal) and Matthew Crocker (26 disposals, six marks, four clearances and three tackles) were also prominent. For the Tigers, Under-18 state captain Will Gould racked up 27 disposals and five marks, while Luke Partington finished with 28 disposals, two marks, five clearances and five tackles.
Central District 8.11 (59) defeated by Port Adelaide 22.17 (149)
Port Adelaide made a statement to the rest of the competition to finish inside the top two courtesy of a massive 90-point belting of Central District. Billy Frampton slammed home seven goals from 11 scoring shots, while Tobin Cox nailed five from seven and also took nine marks for his 17 touches. Jack Trengove (34 disposals, 11 marks and five tackles) and Sam Mayes (34 disposals, eight marks, eight clearances and five tackles) both booted goals, as did Zak Butters (27 disposals, eight marks, three clearances and four tackles). It was a disappointing result for the Bulldogs, with Jydon Neagle (18 disposals, seven marks and four goals) and Jarrod Schiller (24 disposals, nine clearances, four tackles and a goal) a couple of players who stood up in the heavy defeat.
South Adelaide 12.11 (83) defeated Adelaide 12.4 (76)
Adelaide suffered a shock loss to Sturt on the eve of finals, going down by seven points in a tight clash. Patrick Wilson was enormous for the Crows with 31 disposals, 10 marks, eight clearances, nine tackles and a goal, while Myles Poholke (26 disposals, six marks, seven clearances and three tackles) and Lachlan Sholl (21 disposals, four marks and four tackles) were also prominent. For South, Joseph Haines and Nicholas Liddle both shared in 31 touches in the win, while Samuel Overall booted 3.3 from 14 disposals and four marks. Matthew Rose (27 disposals, five clearances) and Joel Cross (24 disposals, five clearances and a goal) were other Panthers who stood out.
West Adelaide 10.5 (65) defeated by Norwood 13.10 (88)
Norwood did what it had to do against West Adelaide, recording a 23-point win over the Bloods to finish the season on top of the Reserves table. Lachlan Pascoe (18 disposals, seven marks, three clearances, nine tackles and three goals) and Luke Surman (25 touches, eight marks, 11 clearances and four tackles) were both prominent, while Sam Barnett slotted four goals from 18 touches and 11 marks. For the Bloods, Sam May (28 disposals, seven marks, 10 clearances and seven tackles) and Will Day (26 disposals, eight marks, three tackles and a goal) both had big days out.
South Adelaide 16.4 (100) defeated Central District 9.10 (64)
It was not enough to make finals, but South Adelaide upset Central District to finish its season on the right note. The Panthers trailed by 19 points at half-time in a game that could have been much worse had it not been for the Bulldogs’ inaccuracy of 7.7 to the Panthers’ 5.0. The home side then piled on 11.4 to 2.3 after half-time to run away with the contest by 36 points. Luke Bogle picked up 29 disposals, five marks, six clearances, eight tackles and two goals, while Mark Noble helped himself to a game-high 33 disposals, eight marks, seven clearances and three tackles. Brett Kennedy and Cameron McGree shared in seven goals for the Panthers in the win. For Central, Ari Rigney had 24 touches, four marks, five clearances and a goal, while Isaya McKenzie picked up 26 disposals, six clearances and nine tackles, while Jordan O’Brien booted a goal and laid 12 tackles from 17 touches and five clearances.
Sturt 9.13 (67) defeated Glenelg 7.15 (57)
Sturt wrapped up its season with a narrow 10-point win over Glenelg, surviving a five goals to one final term from the Tigers to get home in a thriller. Potential Brisbane father-son prospect Casey Voss had a mammoth defensive effort with 23 disposals, 14 tackles, 10 marks and a goal in the win, while Hugo Munn worked hard up the ground for 26 touches, four marks, six clearances, 10 tackles and a goal. Joel Thiele (27 disposals, 13 marks, five clearances and nine tackles) and Adam Trenorden (26 disposals, four marks, six clearances, 10 tackles and a goal) were also busy. Josh Koster (28 disposals, four marks, eight clearances and three tackles) and Ben Sawford (25 disposals, two marks, eight clearances and three tackles) stood up for the Tigers in defeat.
North Adelaide 5.8 (38) defeated by Woodville-West Torrens 19.12 (126)
Woodville-West Torrens proved far too good for North Adelaide, smashing the Roosters by 88 points in the clash at Prospect Oval. Under-18 talent Josh Morris had a day out despite inaccuracy, booting five goals and four behinds from 12 disposals and five marks, while Jake Comitogianni (28 disposals, five marks and three tackles) and Jackson Mead (27 disposals, six marks, four clearances and two tackles) were massive. The Reserves side was stacked with potential draft prospects including Harry Schoenberg (22 disposals, eight clearances and a goal) and Lachlan McNeil (15 disposals, three marks, three clearances, seven tackles and a goal), while Harrison Morgan booted four goals from 10 touches and five marks. For North Adelaide, they had three big ball winners with Dylan Aldridge (31 disposals, nine marks and six clearances), James Schwarz (31 touches, three marks, seven clearances and six tackles) and Max Lower (28 disposals, seven marks, six clearances and three tackles) all finding plenty of the football.
Glenelg 17.6 (108) defeated Sturt 10.9 (69)
Glenelg had an all-important win over bottom two side Sturt to book its finals place in 2019. The Tigers had a huge middle two quarters when they piled on 12 goals to one and effectively end the game from there. Potential Adelaide father-son, Luke Edwards had 17 disposals and booted four goals, while Sam Liambis (30 touches, eight marks, six clearances and a goal) and Adam Beaumont (27 disposals, six marks, six clearances, three tackles and a goal) found plenty of the football. For the Double Blues, Mani Liddy (25 disposals, three marks, seven clearances and eight tackles) was strong in midfield, while William Crane (21 disposals, five marks, four clearances, five tackles and two goals) hit the scoreboard.
Central District 3.3 (21) defeated by South Adelaide 11.14 (80)
South Adelaide produced a commanding 59-point win over wooden spooners Central District, never looking like losing as they had 11 scoring shots to one in the first term and went on with it from there. South Australian Under-18 key forward Daniel Sladojevic continued his strong form, booting five goals from 17 touches and six marks, while Tyler Oliver had 21 disposals, five marks, five clearances and four tackles. Samuel Falland (21 disposals, eight marks, two clearances and four tackles) impressed for Centrals, as did Rhys Cannizzaro (14 disposals, three marks, three clearances and nine tackles).
Woodville-West Torrens 11.8 (74) defeated North Adelaide 9.11 (65)
The Eagles knocked North Adelaide out of finals contention and finished on a strong note ahead of the post-season series, doing enough to enjoy a tight nine-point win. Luke Barnett had a game-high 30 touches as well as four marks, 10 clearances, eight tackles and a goal. Eagles teammates, Caleb Poulter (21 disposals, six marks, seven clearances and five tackles), Taj Schofield (18 disposals, five marks, four clearances, eight tackles and a goal) and Lachlan Hoile (25 disposals, six marks and three tackles) were also prominent. Charlie Dinning (29 disposals, five marks, seven clearances, four tackles and two goals) and Harrison Magor (29 dispsoals, five marks, nine clearances and six tackles were the two standouts in the losing Roosters’ side.
Norwood 7.16 (58) defeated by West Adelaide 11.9 (75)
West Adelaide locked up second spot with a crucial 17-point win over Norwood. Joel Groom had a big day out with 24 disposals, six marks, six clearances, eight tackles and a goal, while Mackenzie Nield (24 disposals, seven marks, four clearances, five tackles and two goals) and Beau Nunan (four goals) were busy in the victory. For the Redlegs, Xavier Tranfa was their best with 24 disposals, five marks, nine clearances, four tackles and a goal, while Daniel Fairbrother (19 disposals, seven marks) and Tristan Binder (11 disposals, three goals) also stood tall in defeat.
LAST weekend saw the inaugural SANFL Fast Footy competition played at Norwood Oval. Fast Footy is a modified version of the game, played with 12 per-side across 3 zones and Supergoals able to be scored from outside 50m. Introduced a week before AFLX, this footy format is geared towards fast paced high scoring games.
It was a new concept for players and coaches and most clubs opted for a focus on youth in selecting their sides, giving young players opportunities at a high level with unlimited player rotations. All SANFL clubs, apart from Central Districts, participated in the competition which was held over 2 days with each team playing 2 games, and the top 4 teams playing finals games.
Only two top-age players eligible for the 2018 National AFL Draft took the field over the tournament – those being potential top 10 pick Izak Rankine and his fellow Level 2 AFL Academy member Luke Valente.
Rankine continued to add to his highlight reel, bagging two goals and celebrating one of the with a backflip. Players from all teams were encouraged to celebrate their goals in style. It finishes off a big few weeks for Rankine who recently took first place in the local 100m sprint meet, Camden Classic.
South Adelaide prevailed as the winner of the 10-game tournament with a victory over Woodville-West Torrens by five points in the final and taking the $10,000 prize-money. For the Panthers, former AFL listed player Keegan Brooksby lead the way with solid performances in all games. Other players from Panthers to shine were Matt Raitt, booting 10 goals across the games and youngster Liam Fitt impressing.
Eagles youngsters Cooper Gaffney and James Rowe showed class and a nose for goal respectively in all games, along with former-Magpie Tom Gray, who was their most consistent player.
Port Magpies fielded a young side, seeing Chinese Recruit Chen Shaoliang take to the field for the first time.
Glenelg, under new coach former AFL assistant Mark Stone, showed promising signs for 2018 with Ian Milera and Darcy Bailey being most dangerous around goal.
Sturt lost both their matches, but continued blooding youngsters across their games, with Blake Kennedy hitting the score board.
West Adelaide players Tom Keough (ex-Gold Coast) was a standout, and new recruit Nick Jaensch impressed around goal.
At North, players of interest Keenan Ramsay along with Matt McDonough were solid.
Adelaide fielded a mixture of players currently training with their Academy squad, and Josh Vandermeer was the most consistent.
From Norwood, youngsters like Luke Valente got opportunities, with the under-18 prospect looking like he is in for a good year. Others to contribute were ex-AFL listed players Luke Surman and Declan Hamilton.