Tag: mark evans

SANFL Round 4 Preview: Table-topping clash in League sets up big round of action

ROUND 4 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) will see some quality matchups across the leagues, with a couple teams still looking to assert themselves on the competition while others will look to extend their winning ways.
North Adelaide Vs Woodville-West Torrens
League: Two of the league’s most in-form sides will face off at Prospect Oval on Saturday to open round four of the SANFL Statewide Super League. The Roosters sent a stern message to the rest of the competition when they held on to defeat the reigning premiers, Glenelg, away from home. And after missing the finals last season, the Eagles also appear to have returned to their damaging best after easily accounting for Norwood on Sunday afternoon. With the Roosters and Eagles perched at the pinnacle of the ladder, the rematch of 2018’s infamous ’19th man’ preliminary final is poised to be a beauty.
Usually an efficient side in front of goal, the Roosters were slightly wayward at the Bay, booting 10 goals and 14 behinds. Although accurate themselves, Glenelg were unable to penetrate a dour red and white defence, held together by talls Tanner Smith, Cameron Craig and promising teenager Karl Finlay. The Eagles also had their issues in front of goal at times against Norwood, but bags of three straight goals from key forward Jack Hayes and energetic goal sneak James Rowe helped establish the Eagles impressive margin. North Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens both won the possession battle against their opponents, largely thanks to the contested ball-winning abilities of their respective midfield units. Although the Tigers recorded more clearances, inside 50s and rebound 50s than the Roosters, the ferocious tacking and relentless pressure applied by Jacob Surjan’s men simply overwhelmed the Tigers. They laid 94 tackles to Glenelg’s 69, led by midfield beast Campbell Combe, who added a further 13 to his league-leading tally. The Eagles also lost many of the key statistical areas, including the clearances, hitouts, rebound 50s and tackles, however Woodville were much more effective going forward, recording 55 inside-50s to Norwood’s 34. Veteran Matthew Goldsworthy was the leader in this regard, pumping it inside 50 on a game-high eight occasions. The Roosters must be wary of his precision with ball in hand, with the 29-year-old travelling at 97 per cent disposal efficiency so far this season. In the ruck, Roosters key forward Mitch Harvey filled in for the injured James Craig and did a tremendous job, winning more hitouts than his Glenelg counterpart, former Docker Jack Hannath. Eagles bigman Jarrad Redden went head-to-head with Norwood giant Sam Baulderstone and, despite being well beaten in the hitouts, was effective around the ground and at the stoppages. Regardless of Craig’s potential return, expect the ruck duel to be hotly contested. Both sides boast potent attacks, capable of compiling goals in quick succession. The Roosters small forward fleet of Kym LeBois, Robbie Young and Frank Szekely is arguably the best in the league. Whilst Lewis Hender struggled to make an impact against his former side, Glenelg, his six goals in round one is proof of his match-winning potential. Whilst for the Eagles, the aforementioned Rowe rarely misses out in front of the goals. His goal sense and crumbing ability is excellent and will require attention from the Roosters defenders. The Hayes brothers have been a staple of the Eagles offence for several years and Jake Von Bertouch‘s recent shift forward has been a success.
Although their start has been impressive, the Roosters injury list is growing with each game. Tall Alex Barns has struggled with various complaints so far this year, while speedster Robbie Young (hamstring) and tough onballer Cam Hewett (foot) are also anticipated to miss some time after sustaining injuries in the win over the Bays. Prized recruit Billy Hartung was a late withdrawal last week with a back complaint. The club has listed his expected return as indefinite. Ruckman James Craig will face a fitness test. In contrast, the Eagles have less than a handful of injury concerns. Louis Sharrad injured his hand against Norwood, but youngster Jake Weidemann is available after recovering from a concussion. It was a tough season for North in 2019 after they started the season on -4 points. However they did manage to beat the Eagles in the final round to ensure they avoided the wooden spoon. The Eagles did, however, gain some revenge by knocking them off in round one by 25 points.
Reserves: North Adelaide’s reserves haven’t quite been as successful as the league side in the first three rounds, but a win over the Redlegs and admirable 16-point loss to Glenelg in recent weeks suggests they aren’t a pushover. However injuries to a host of regular senior players may test their depth at reserves level. The Eagles flexed their muscles against Norwood in the seconds too, recording a comfortable 63-point win to remain undefeated. Woodville-West Torrens will head into this clash as favourites, but expect North to be up for the fight.
Under-18s: The Eagles and Roosters Under-18 sides have made slow starts to their respective campaigns. However they boast some exciting talent, particularly through the midfield. North co-captain Jamison Murphy and exciting forward Tariek Newchurch are the ones to watch in the red and white. And for the Eagles, keep tabs on Power father/son prospect Taj Schofield and 190cm Caleb Poulter, who has certainly turned some heads in the first few weeks of action.
West Adelaide Vs Glenelg
League: West Adelaide will be looking to record their first win of the season when they host Glenelg at Hisense Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Bloods have come tantalisingly close over the past fortnight, drawing with Central Districts before last weekends narrow eight-point defeat to Sturt. But, despite their round three loss to North Adelaide, the Bays remain a formidable side, boasting one of the most talented squads in the league.
Whilst the ‘Westies’ may not possess the depth of talent at the disposal of some of their rivals, they showed admirable fight to steal the lead from Sturt towards the end of the third quarter last weekend. They were out-classed by the Double Blues, who won almost all of the key statistical areas. However coach Gavin Colville would have been pleased with their tackling pressure around the ground, along with the spirited individual efforts of forward Isaac Johnson and talented key position teenager Riley Thilthorpe, who got better as the game wore on. Glenelg also went down with a fight, threatening to snatch victory from the Roosters grasp at ACH Group Stadium. The Tigers were reasonably efficient going forward, kicking 11 goals and five behinds from their 53 inside 50s, however their tackle numbers, unlike West’s, were considerably lower than their opponents. Reigning Ken Farmer Medallist Liam McBean kicked multiple goals for the third straight match and hard-at-it midfielder Matthew Snook was typically industrial for Glenelg.
If they are to stand a chance of claiming victory, West Adelaide simply must restrict the scoreboard impact of McBean, who has taken the league by storm over the past 18 months. West key defenders Josh Ryan or Patrick Levicki loom as likely matchups for the 202cm McBean and fellow forward Luke Reynolds, who has proven to be just as dangerous when at his high-flying best. Interestingly, the Bloods restricted McBean to just one goal in the two games between the clubs last season. The midfield battle will also be a huge test for the inexperienced Bloods, who will likely turn to battle-hardened skipper Kaine Stevens and the 24-year-old Brett Turner in the hope of matching it against Glenelg’s potent onball unit. The aforementioned Snook provides the grunt along with inside partner Brad Agnew, with the likes of Partington and Marlon Motlop able to push forward and impact the scoreboard. New recruit Jack Hannath has been Glenelg’s go-to man in the ruck this year, with McBean occasionally providing a chop-out. West Adelaide’s Andre Parrella endured a monster opening fortnight, accumulating 92 hitouts against North and Central Districts, however he missed the clash with Sturt through illness. Stuart Taverner did a terrific job as his replacement, winning 44 hitouts against the talented Dan Fahey-Sparks. Parrella has been listed as available, however, and will be expected to return to the league side. Thilthorpe and captain Tom Keough are the focal points of the Bloods forwardline and their contrasting playing styles could prove a handful for Glenelg’s skipper Max Proud and second tall Matt Merrett.
The Bays reported no injuries from the loss to North Adelaide, however West’s Dallas Willsmore will face a test to prove he has overcome a groin complaint. The two-sides last met in round 17 of the 2019 season, with Glenelg dominating to record a 75-point win. Although it was tighter earlier in the season, Glenelg still managed to record a 16-point victory.
Reserves: Glenelg’s reserves side remain undefeated after they claimed a 16-point win over North Adelaide. They sit third on the ladder, behind Woodville-West Torrens and Central Districts, who are also yet to drop points in 2020. After opening the season with a win over the Roosters seconds, West Adelaide has suffered back-to-back defeats and will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing showing against the Double Blues. If he retains his place in the reserves side, draft hopeful Cooper Horsnell is one to watch for Glenelg in this encounter.
Under-18s: Much like at reserves level, the Bays Under-18s continue to go from strength-to-strength and are yet to record a loss. They boast a talented squad, headlined by potential Crows father-son Luke Edwards, prolific bottom-ager Lewis Rayson and strong marking key forward Riley Holder. In contrast, the West Under-18s have struggled, however talented midfielders Bailey Chamberlain and Lachlan De Cesare have performed well and mounted strong cases for state selection later in the year.
Norwood Vs Central Districts
League: Norwood will be desperate to get their season back on track when they take on fellow winless side Central Districts at Coopers Stadium in the traditional Saturday afternoon timeslot. While the Redlegs troublesome start to the year has been wildly unexpected, Central Districts fans know their club is going through a rebuilding faze, but will still expect a strong performance against a potentially vulnerable Norwood outfit. If there was ever a chance for the Bulldogs to defeat Norwood away from home, now is the time.
The Redlegs really struggled forward of centre against Woodville-West Torrens, who ran all over the top of Jarrod Cotton’s men, who have been a powerhouse of the competition for several years. Despite the best efforts of former-Crow Richard Douglas, strong tackling midfielder Josh Richards and dominant ruckman Sam Baulderstone, the Redlegs were unable to stop the talented Woodville-West Torrens forward line. Central Districts, on the other hand, fought valiantly against South Adelaide at home, but a one-point third term was never going to be enough to grind out a win. It wasn’t James Boyd‘s fault though, with the veteran midfielder racking up 39 touches, six tackles and five clearances. Luke Habel was steady as always across half-back and Troy Menzel showed glimpses of his obvious talent. Nick Lange had just eight touches but he already looks like a star in the forward line. The Dogs were beaten in the clearances, largely out-worked around the ground and smashed in the inside 50s, but their tackling pressure was noticeable.
Richy Douglas has been impressive for the Redlegs up-forward and certainly doesn’t appear to have slacked-off in the gym since leaving West Lakes. The Bulldog defenders must nullify his ability to accumulate the ball and hit the scoreboard in his natural mid/forward role. Current Central Districts captain Luke Habel or former-skipper Trent Goodram could be tasked with the job on Douglas or dangerous small forward Peter Bampton, whilst key defender Rhett Montgomerie will likely match up on Norwood tall Tommy Pinyon. Despite their winless start, the Redlegs still boast one of the most complete midfields in the competition. Mitch Grigg‘s laser-like leg hasn’t been in full swing yet, but at his best the dual Magarey Medallist can be devastating. Matthew Panos has been one of the league’s best onballers for years while Richards and Matthew Nunn are two of the best up-and-coming midfielders. Boydwas everywhere in the Central Districts midfield, but he will require additional help from the likes of Darcy Pisani and Kyle Presbury if the Dogs are to take it up to the Redlegs. Bulldog ruckman Jonathan Marsh has been impressive early in the season and he currently sits fourth in the league for hitouts. Whilst Marsh may go toe-to-toe with Baulderstone in the hitout numbers, he will need to increase his production around the ground to compete with the Norwood bigman, who is arguably as valuable around the ground as he is at stoppages. The Central Districts forward line revolves around key forward John Butcher, however the exciting and dynamic Nick Lange has added an element of x-factor to the attack, alongside the highly skilful Troy Menzel. Michael Talia may have been given the job of stopping Butcher, but he sustained a hamstring injury in the loss to Woodville-West Torrens. Whilst much of the attention of the Dogs forwards will understandably be focused on kicking a winning score, they must be wary of Norwood’s ability to rebound from defence, spearheaded by Brad McKenzie and Emmauel Irra.
Norwood and Central Districts split their two matches last season, with Norwood taking a narrow three-point victory early in the year before the Dogs bounced back, defeating their eastern suburbs opponents by 19 points in the final minor round clash. The Redlegs suffered injuries to three vital players on the weekend, with Michael Talia (hamstring), Luke Surman (hamstring) and Zac Richards (Quad) all expected to miss varying lengths of time with soft tissue injuries. Meanwhile the Dogs may be without Ryan Llewellyn after he injured his knee. Teenager Henry Nelligan was quiet on debut against the Eagles but Norwood have shown a willingness to play their youth in seasons gone by and he will be better for the experience. The Bulldogs also boast a talented young midfielder/forward of their own in Corey Durdin, who has been given an extended run at league level since debuting last season.
Reserves: Although their league side has struggled, Central Districts have been excellent at reserves level, recording reasonably comfortable victories over Sturt, West Adelaide and most recently, South Adelaide. Expect the club to reward strong form in the reserves by promoting their best performers to the senior side. The Redlegs, who won the reserves premiership last season, sit winless at the foot of the ladder but boast a number of talented players and will be buoyed by a return to The Parade.
Under-18s: The form of Norwood’s Under-18s has been a bright spot during what has been a disappointing start for the club. After a loss to pace-setters Glenelg in the opening round, triumphs over North and the Eagles have lifted them into a finals position. Central Districts were easily beaten by a talented South Adelaide outfit at Noarlunga on the weekend, but on-ballers Lewis Cowham and 16-year-old Austin McDonald have battled strongly. Keep an eye on Redlegs bottom-ager Cooper Murley, who is already finding an abundance of the ball at Under-18s level, as well as key forward Finn Heard and prolific defenders Michael Cavallaro and Matthew Dnistriansky.
South Adelaide Vs Sturt
League: Sturt will make the trip down south to take on the Panthers at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Both sides will likely be pleased with their two wins so far. South Adelaide, who will be without captain Matt Rose for 11 weeks as he recovers from a shoulder injury, bounced back from a close loss to Glenelg in round two to hold off the Bulldogs at Elizabeth on Saturday. Meanwhile the Double Blues, who were comprehensively beaten by the Eagles at Adelaide Oval in two weeks ago, held off a spirited fight from the Bloods.
Despite recording two wins, the Double Blues haven’t been entirely convincing. However they did win most of the key statistical areas against West Adelaide. They were largely clean with their ball use in general play (80 per cent disposal efficiency) and in front of goal, booting eleven goals and six behinds. Nathan Grima’s men outworked the bloods, taking 94 marks to West’s 39. While the clearance and hitout numbers were close, the cream rose to the top, with many of Sturt’s stars producing strong showings, including ball magnet Sam Colquhoun, skipper James Battersby and key defender Sam Wundke. South Adelaide weren’t at their best against Central’s, however encouraging signs from teenagers Zac Dumesny and Beau McCreery will have filled coach Jarrad Wright with optimism. The Panthers midfield won the clearance battle 36 to 28, with Joel Cross and Matthew Broadbent accumulating five and nine respectively. Also pivotal to their victory was the work of Tom Highmore and Joseph Haines down back. Haines was simply everywhere, with his strong aerial presence proving difficult for the Bulldogs to penetrate when going forward. He has come on in leaps and bounds this season and has established himself as one of the league’s best defenders, who also has the capacity to push up onto a wing. Although they could have been more efficient in front of goal, the Panthers controlled proceedings for much of the game and smashed Central’s in the inside 50s.
The Sturt forward line has struggled at times this season, but the talent of Josh Hone, Jake Sutcliffe and Ash Johnson is undeniable. Johnson kicked one goal and five behinds last weekend but looks lively whenever he goes near the ball. The Double Blues must also hold Haines, Highmore and Jake Summerton accountable and prevent them from taking intercept marks across the halfback line. They took a combined 29 marks against the Bulldogs. Sturt’s Mark Evans and Zane Kirkwood regularly rotate through the forward line and present a threat for the likes of Jaidan Kappler and Alex Cailotto. In the midfield, experienced SANFL stars James Battersby (Sturt) and Joel Cross (South Adelaide) may go head-to-head. Both are particularly strong at stoppages and prolific around the ground. Sturt’s Abe Davis will be keen to put in a good performance against his former club. He boasts genuine x-factor with his size, strength and scoreboard impact in the midfield. Youngsters Dumesny, Hayden Sampson and Darnell Tucker have all shown encouraging signs, with the former producing his best league performance to-date against the Bulldogs. The Double Blues also have a couple of handy young talents in Casey Voss, Tom Lewis and Jed McEntee. Lewis had just eight disposals in his league debut, but it was no surprise to see him lay a game high eleven tackles. Voss laid nine himself while McEntee’s defensive pressure was particularly noticeable in the opening fortnight of matches. The ruck battle also appears set to feature a couple of emerging talents, with Sturt duo Dan Fahey-Sparks (22-years-old) and Lachlan Burrows (19-years-old) teaming up against 21-year-old South bigman Cameron McGree. Tall forwards Sam Overall and Ben Haren pose strong aerial threats in the South Adelaide forward line, with the aforementioned McCreery and the explosive Liam Fitt impressing as small/medium-sized types. While Haines was impressive for the Panthers, Sam Wundke also stood out playing a similar role for Sturt, with his rebound and intercept marking ability proving invaluable.
The Double Blues will be without small defender Guy Page (hamstring) and wingman Matthew Crocker (quad) for up to three weeks each but the Panthers could regain Malcolm Karpany, who will face a fitness test to prove he has overcome a back complaint. Sturt won both matchups between the two sides last season, by 22-points in round five and 36 in round 12.
Reserves: Although the Panthers league side appears set to battle it out for a finals spot, the immediate future doesn’t look quite as bright for their reserves, who remain winless after loosing to Central Districts by 71 points. Sturt were also staring down the barrel of a zero and three start to the year, but made light work of West Adelaide on home turf. Draft watchers should keep an eye out for Sturt key defender and Crows NGA prospect James Borlase in this one.
Under-18s: This Under-18s clash is shaping as a ripping contest and features some of the state’s brightest prospects. Sturt has been led to an undefeated start by prolific on-ballers Mani Liddy and Tom Powell, who have both accumulated a heap of the ball early on. South Adelaide bottom-agers Jason Horne and Matthew Roberts also have no issues getting their hands on the ball and already appear a class above Under-18s level. In-form forwards Liam Hamilton (South) and Zabien Parker-Boers (Sturt) also loom large for their respective sides.

2020 SANFL Round 1 preview: Football returns to South Australia

AFTER weeks of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season 2020 of the SANFL Statewide Super League will officially kick-off proceedings on Saturday. With Port Adelaide and Adelaide unable to compete, the league’s eight remaining clubs will play rounds one and two in the form of double-headers at the Adelaide Oval, across two weekends. Further fixtures are set to be released at a later date.

Central District V Sturt

Central District will be eager to unveil prized-recruit Daniel Menzel when the Bulldogs lock horns with the Double Blues on Saturday afternoon. Sturt were victorious in both encounters between the two-clubs last season but bid farewell to a continent of premiership players in the off-season. Former AFL-listed trio Abe Davis, Aidyn Johnson and Dean Gore were recruited to bolster the clubs forward and midfield stocks. Centrals finished eighth in 2019 for the second-consecutive season, despite having won three of their final five matches, whilst Sturt reached another SANFL finals series but exited following an elimination final defeat at the hands of Norwood.

As is so often the case, the midfield will likely be where this game is won. Sturt has built a formidable on-ball unit, led by the prolific Sam Colquhoun, brilliant Zane Kirkwood, skipper and clearance king James Battersby and former Cat-turned-Crow Gore. For the ‘Dogs, Travis and Jarrod Schiller, will again be heavily relied upon in the engine-room, having finished second and seventh for disposals last season, respectively. The brothers were prolific, consistent and as industrial as ever in the midfield last season and will again be expected to do much of the heavy lifting, alongside retuning premiership-winning on-baller James Boyd.

Clean-kicking captain Luke Habel, the reliable Justin Hoskin and former-skipper Trent Goodrem will also be integral to their sides success in 2020. The Central District backline will be kept busy attempting to contain lively forwards Josh Hone and Mark Evans, who booted 32 and 30 goals last season, respectively. Meanwhile, with key defensive duo Jack Stephens and Fraser Evans announcing their retirements, the Double Blues will usher-in a new era in the backline, but may have their work cut-out for them by the potent Menzel-brothers.

Central District and Sturt will do battle in the reserves competition at X-Convenience Oval on Sunday. The Bulldogs seconds managed nine wins last season to finish fourth and will benefit from a number of new signings, whilst Sturt were one of the leagues best, finishing the year with 12 wins. Draft hopefuls Corey Durdin (Central District) and James Borlase (Sturt) may feature for their respective clubs at reserves level. Later that afternoon, the under-18s will face-off. Both underage-sides struggled last season, with Centrals finishing last and Sturt seventh. Look out for Bulldogs small forward Isaiah Dudley and midfielder Lachlan Grubb and, for Sturt, on-ballers Mani Liddy and Tom Powell.

 

Woodville-West Torrens V South Adelaide

In the second game of a Saturday double-header, Woodville-West Torrens take on South Adelaide. Both sides narrowly missed out on finals berths last season, with the Eagles loosing four of their final five matches and South pondering what could have been after recording a pair of draws earlier on in the year. The Eagles claimed victory over the Panthers twice in 2019, by 42-points in round 8 and 3-points later in round 13. But South likely enter this clash as favourites, despite losing star Abe Davis to Sturt.

The Panthers recruited well in the off-season, signing long-kicking, former-Power half-backman Matthew Broadbent and promising midfielder James Rose from Sydney. However Rose will not take part in the Statewide Super League season. Although the Eagles didn’t land a big-name recruit, their depth will be bolstered by the return of hard-running wingman Kai Pudney and signing of Rhyan Mansell from North Launceston.

South co-captains Joel Cross and Matthew Rose are amongst the leagues best on-ballers and will go head-to-head with former-AFL listed midfielders Jordan Foote and Jesse Lonergan. Foote, in-particular, has emerged as arguably Woodville-West Torrens most valuable player after winning the best and fairest award in 2019. He averaged 24.7 disposals (at 84% efficiency), 4.6 marks and 6 tackles. The Panthers defensive unit, led by Broadbent and Joseph Haines must nullify the impact of dangerous tall-forward Jack Hayes and lively small James Rowe, who combined to boot 60 goals in 2019.

The two clubs will face each other in the under-18s on late Sunday morning at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, with the reserves to follow in the afternoon. The Eagles and Panthers have been two of the best sides in the underage competition previous years and their round one encounter is likely to be a close-one, with both sides featuring potential draftees, including South’s Zac Dumesny, Nick Kraemer and bottom-agers Jason Horne and Matthew RobertsTaj Schofield, Henry Smith and Lachlan Jones are likely types from the Eagles.

 

North Adelaide V West Adelaide

‘Westies’ and the Roosters will kick-off proceedings on Sunday, with both sides undoubtedly eager to bounce-back after disappointing 2019 campaigns. Having been forced to start last season with -4 premiership points, North Adelaide will be grateful to commence the new season on a level playing-field under recently-appointed senior coach Jacob Surjan. The Bloods ended the season on the bottom of the ladder but will no-doubt be eyeing off a scalp first up, having defeated the Roosters by two-points in round 13 last season for one of their only two victories.

West bid farewell to loyal veterans Chris Schmidt and Jono Beech but gained Sam Davidson and Jordon Boyle in the off-season. The Roosters were exceptionally busy in the signing-department, landing former-Hawk Billy Hartung, tough on-baller Andrew Moore, classy backman Harrison Wigg and regaining small forwards Robbie Young and Kym LeBois from St.Kilda and Carlton. Alongside their flashy recruits, Tom Schwarz, Jarrod Almond and co. are expected to get the red and white over this line in this encounter, but battle-hardened Bloods midfielders Tom Keough and Kaine Stevens will do their best to inspire West.

Stevens was once-again brilliant last season, averaging 27 disposals (at 88 per cent efficiency), 5.2 clearances and 4.8 tackles. Matchups against dangerous Roosters forwards Keenan Ramsey, Mitch Harvey and Alex Barns may prove critical to the end result. Watch-out for exciting young West Adelaide ruckman Riley Thilthorpe, who looks a likely first-round draftee.

The league and under-18 sides from North Adelaide and West Adelaide will meet on Saturday at Prospect Oval. Like their respective league sides, the Roosters and Bloods reserves struggled last season, finishing in the bottom-two spots. However, North Adelaide, in particular, will be hoping an increase in depth via strong recruiting can lift them to the heights of 2018.

West’s under 18s side was strong last season, recording 12 wins but failed to make the grand final. Watch for medium-forward Jye Sinderberry and wingman Bailey Chamberlain for the Bloods. Under-16s skipper Tyson Coe may also break-through for an under-18s game after the competition was cancelled for the year. Jamison Murphy and Tariek Newchurch are likely to feature prominently for the Roosters at either level.

 

Glenelg V Norwood

In what has been marketed as the game of the round, reigning premiers Glenelg face Norwood to close-out the opening weekend. Both sides are tipped to feature prominently come the pointy-end of the season. The clubs split their two contests in 2019, with Norwood claiming a narrow five-point victory in round one before Glenelg earned-back bragging rights with a dominant 46-point win in round 13. This match is brimming with talent across all zones of the ground, after both clubs added further to their talent in the off-season. In the heart of the midfield, reigning Magarey Medallist Luke Partington will be joined by tough-duo Jonty Scharenberg and Matthew Snook, classy wingman Marlon Motlop and recruits Billy Stretch and Jackson Edwards.

They will compete all-night against stars Lewis JohnstonMitch Grigg and Matthew Panos, reigning best and fairest winner Brad McKenzie, impressive youngster Cole Gerloff and experienced new signings Richard Douglas and Ryan Bastinac. The midfield-battle will be hotly contested and looms as the key to victory in this matchup. Following Jesse White’s retirement, the Bays big-men will be up-against-it, battling dominant ruckman Sam Baulderstone.

In attack, Glenelg will be looking to lace-out Ken Farmer medalist Liam McBean, x-factor medium-forward Luke Reynolds and newcomer Matthew Allen, whilst Peter Bampton and Dom Barry will again be the focal points in attack for the Redlegs. Captain Max Proud is set to anchor the Bays defence once-again, whilst Norwood look to cover the departures of retired defenders Jace Bode and Alex Georgiou.

The Redlegs ended a 21-year drought when they defeated Woodville-West Torrens to claim the 2019 Reserves premiership. They should be around mark again whilst the Tigers will be looking to improve upon a fifth-placed finish. The clubs face each other in the lower grades on Saturday at ACH Group Stadium. Glenelg’s Lewis Rayson and Cooper Horsnell are ones to watch at under-18s level, along with Norwood’s Henry NelliganNed Carey and Cooper Murley.

2020 SANFL Club Preview: Sturt

Following an elimination final defeat in 2019, Sturt will be looking to make a deeper finals assault under second-year senior coach Nathan Grima. Although the Double Blues lost a handful of veterans in the off-season, Sturt recruited well to add fresh faces to a finals-hardened outfit.

LEAGUE/RESERVES:

Terrific defenders Jack Stephens and Fraser Evans headline the list of departures. Both two-time premiership players and Jack Oatey Medalists, their retirements leave the club in need of key defensive replacements. Strong-bodied midfielder Aidan Riley also announced his retirement, as did former Power and Docker speedster Danyle Pearce and small forward John Greenslade.  

Former Sydney Swan Abe Davis made the move to Sturt after kicking 51 goals in 50 matches with South Adelaide. The brother of Crows forward Ben, Davis will provide the Double Blues with a strong frame in the forward line or midfield. He averaged 22.3 disposals, 5.4 marks, 3.1 tackles and 3.9 clearances last season and is capable of kicking a couple goals per game, booting multiple goals in six matches in 2019. Dean Gore returned to his native South Australia after a stint with Geelong in the VFL. Known for his inclusion in the Patrick Dangerfield trade, the Double Blues will be hoping the midfielder fills the void left by Riley. Having been delisted by Essendon, medium forward Jordan Houlahan made his way back to his junior club and will be hoping to cause headaches for opponents with his high x-factor and strong aerial ability. Small forward Harry Morrison joined after kicking 35 goals in the NEAFL with Sydney University last season. The 21-year-old’s speed, goal sense and agility has seen him attract attention from AFL clubs. He appears to be one to watch going forward. Sam Smith joined the club from the NT Thunder, Ashley Johnson made the step-up from the Adelaide amateur league’s Scotch Old Collegians, and Sam Wundke moved from North Adelaide.

At 29-years-old and with 206 games under his belt, Zane Kirkwood remains one of the league’s best midfielders. A two-time Magarey Medalist, Kirkwood averaged 24.5 disposals (at 86% efficiency), 5.1 marks, 4.2 tackles and 4.3 clearances in 19 matches last season. He formed a prolific on-ball partnership with former Power draftee Sam Colquhoun, who lead the league for disposals with an average of 29.3 per game to finish fourth in the Magarey Medal count. Stoppage specialist Tom Lewis will be looking to make an immediate impact at senior level, having missed the 2019 season with a torn ACL. Skipper James Battersby will go at it again in the guts, whilst 2019 leading-goalkicker Josh Hone and veteran Mark Evans will again be relied upon up forward.

UNDER-18S:

The Double Blues under-18s struggled last season, managing just five wins to finish ninth, ahead of Central Districts. The club’s 2020 draft prospects are headlined by Crows Next Generation Academy prospect James Borlase. A tall defender, Borlase has impressed with his strength overhead and competitiveness. Already 191cm and 88kg and having played eight reserves matches with the club last season, Borlase could be eyeing off a league debut after the aforementioned retirements of Stephens and Evans. Also included in the 2020 South Australian Academy Hub is hard-at-it inside midfielder Mani Liddy, who appears likely to featured prominently on-ball for SA at the National Championships. He averaged an impressive 25 disposals, 4.2 marks, and 5.5 clearances in the under-18s last season. Tom Powell is the third Double Blue in the hub set-up. An outside midfielder with speed, Powell has been plagued by injury in recent years but will be looking to put his best foot forward in front of recruiters in 2020.

South Australian weekly wrap: Roosters get back on track

SOME of South Australia’s (SA) young talents filtered back into South Australian National Football League (SANFL) games last week, with majority of SA’s U18 and U16 squad still away on National Championship duties.

School footy continues to be on break, so most clubs over the coming weeks will be able to get their best sides on the park, so SANFL club results will be interesting to watch. Jamie Morgan, Tom Wyman and Damon Mattiazzo all took a look at what is making news in South Australia.

League:

Port Adelaide 14.15 (99) defeated West Adelaide 3.4 (22)

Port Adelaide cemented their spot in the top five of the SANFL with an elementary victory over strugglers West Adelaide. The Magpies were in complete control of the contest with West Adelaide unable to cause any threat to the side that only featured one non-AFL listed player in their line-up. Billy Frampton was superb for Port with a dominant display comprising 25 disposals, nine marks and four goals. Former Lion Sam Mayes produced his best performance of the season so far with 28 disposals, seven marks and seven clearances, as Willem Drew and Kane Farrell were also busy with 23 touches each. Matthew Broadbent and Jarrod Lienert controlled the play from the wings with 25 and 24 disposals respectively. Highlight of the game came from Port Adelaide NGA player Martin Frederick who kicked the potential goal of the year with an amazing coast-to-coast goal from inside Port’s defensive 50. For West, former Hawthorn player Dallas Willsmore‘s efforts were left unrewarded in a tireless display accumulating 34 disposals, Chris Schmidt (31 disposals and five marks) and Kaine Stevens (30 disposals and six clearances) were also noteworthy.

South Adelaide 9.8 (62) defeated Sturt 15.8 (98)

The Double Blues grabbed the premiership points away from home at Flinders University Stadium, defeating the Panthers by 36 points. Josh Patullo kicked three majors for the victors and was aided in front of goal thanks to two goals each by mainstays Mark Evans and Josh Hone, Jack Penfold and veteran on-baller Aidan Riley. Consistent duo James Battersby (30 disposals, six marks, three tackles and eight clearances) and Sam Colquhoun (28 disposals, five marks, nine tackles and five clearances) helped their side win the midfield battle. Emmanuel Irra was the only multiple goalkicker for South Adelaide, booting two majors, with Abe Davis (brother of recent-Adelaide debutant Ben) again prolific with 33 disposals. Joseph Haines and Nick Liddle were prolific, recording 31 and 27 touches respectively, with the former also registering an impressive 10 marks and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Norwood 6.15 (51) defeated by Adelaide 13.10 (88)

Adelaide’s strong form in the SANFL continued with a dominant 37-point victory over Norwood. While the game was close in the first half, an eight goals to two second half – including a four goals to zero last quarter – saw the Crows run away with the contest. Adelaide listed players Patrick Wilson (28 disposals, six clearances, three tackles, nine marks and two goals) and Bryce Gibbs (22 disposals, 10 clearances, two marks and three tackles) impressed, as did Riley Knight who booted two goals from 22 disposals. For Norwood, Lewis Johnston continued his great form with 31 disposals, 10 marks, six tackles, two clearances and two goals, while Mitch Grigg and Matthew Nunn both had 26 touches, as well as a combined 17 marks, 14 tackles and 11 clearances in the loss.

Eagles 11.9 (75) defeated by Glenelg 14.6 (90)

This was a tough hitout from two in-form teams with Glenelg holding on by 15 points. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead with Luke Partington clearly best for the Tigers all day. Partington finished with 43 disposals, eight marks, eight clearances, and two goals. The Eagles steadied once again on the back of small forward James Rowe booting two goals in the second quarter who finished the game with four majors, but Glenelg forwards Brad Close (20 disposals, two goals) and Tom Schott (three goals) were key contributors in the win. The Eagles had their chances after being level at three quarter time and were led well by experienced Chris Hall (30 disposals, seven marks) but fell short.

Central District 11.13 (79) defeated by North Adelaide 17.5 (107)

Roosters players and supporters can finally put the nineteenth man saga behind them after securing their second win finally had them out of negative premiership points zone. Aidan Tropiano led the way for the Roosters with 39 disposals and seven clearances, while young forward Frank Szekely finished with four goals and earned a Breakthrough Player Nomination. Consistent performers Travis and Jarrod Schiller had a heap of the footy with 42 and 30 possessions apiece for the Bulldogs.

Reserves

Norwood 10.12 (72) defeated West Adelaide 4.7 (31)

Norwood were able to consolidate second spot on the ladder with a comfortable victory against third placed West Adelaide. Norwood were led by Connor Bristow who was dominant with 29 disposals that included 15 marks and a goal, Bristow was joined by dropped seniors Cody Szust and Christopher Olsson who had 28 and 26 disposals respectively. Brodie Carroll had 19 disposals returning from his stint in the senior side, as former State Academy players Tyler Martin (20 disposals) and Jacob Collins (16 disposals) were also influential. For West, James Bentley had a prolific game with 31 disposals and 1.4 for goal, Connor Fairlie (26 disposals), Lyndon Hupfield (24 disposals and 10 marks) and Aaron Anderson were other standouts.

South Adelaide 9.5 (59) defeated Sturt 7.14 (56)

South Adelaide prevailed by just three points in a nailbitting curtain raiser with Sturt. Returning from State Under-18 duties, Panther Darnell Tucker impressed with two goals from his 12 disposals, however it was his defensive pressure (10 tackles) which really stood out. Luke Bogle was crucial in his sides triumph, winning 31 disposals and getting the ball going his sides way with 11 clearances. For Sturt, Casey Voss was solid in what was a well-rounded statistical outing, collecting 25 disposals, six marks, five tackles, six clearances and seven inside-50s. Perhaps unlucky not to be given a chance in the SA Under-18 side, Anzac Lochowiak was effective again, collecting 23 disposals and laying 11 tackles. Fellow State Academy member Oliver Grivell booted 1.2 from. his 13 disposals. He took two contested marks (five in total) and, crucially, contributed to his sides defensive pressure by connecting with five tackles. Edward Allan was the most prolific player on the ground, amassing 33 disposals, six marks, six tackles and six clearances.

WWT Eagles 9.4 (58) defeated by Glenelg 10.13 (73)

The Eagles have had an inconsistent few weeks, while Glenelg has been improving with the Tigers securing a 15 point win. With some players recovering from injuries, the Tigers look a bit more settled and on the back of strong performances from Tom Feely (28 disposals seven marks,) and Ben Sawford (25 disposals and 10 clearances) the Tigers held on. Young talent Declan Carmody was good with two goals and Finn Betterman was also amongst the best. Eagles struggled to play consistent football and defender/mid Jake Westbrook and Sam Rowland were best for the Eagles.

Central District 17.12 (114) defeated North Adelaide 4.8 (32)

Centrals did a demolition job on the Roosters by 82 points. Darcy Pisani look set for a League call up after a 42-possession, one-goal game and Connor McLean finished with four goals. Max Lower battled for the Roosters to finish with 34 disposals, and youngster Jackson Antrobus (son of Tony) finished with one goal for the losing side.

Under 18s:

Norwood 15.8 (98) defeated West Adelaide 7.4 (46)

West Adelaide easily dispatched a disappointing Redlegs side with a 52 point victory at the City Mazda Oval. Beau Nunan was the star of the game with a performance headlined with six goals for the Bloods, Joel Groom was top ball winner for his side with 27 touches. Eduard Van Den Berg was also fundamental to West’s win, as the Blood’s Riley Thilthorpe kicked three goals from eight contested marks. For Norwood, Henry Nelligan continued his prolific form with 27 disposals, nine clearances and a goal with Mitchell Carroll also impressing with 26 touches and seven marks.

South Adelaide 8.9 (57) defeated Sturt 7.12 (54)

South Adelaide snatched victory from Sturt by three points in a come-from-behind victory down south. The Panthers were led by Sacred Heart duo Marcus Lippett (26 disposals, six marks, six tackles and three inside 50s) – who was strong in the air with three contested grabs – and bottom-aged state representative Zac Dumesny (23 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles and eight clearances). Consistent medium forward Mitch Riddle booted two goals to sit equal-fourth in the under-18 goalkicking standings. Ruckman/tall forward Ben Ryan and Tyler Oliver also contributed two goals, with Nicholas Kraemer‘s 10 tackles also of note. Sturt dominated in the ruck, thanks to 32 hit-outs from Sam Zevenboom and 25 from Amos Doyle. Midfielder Tully Kennett was instrumental in-tight, collecting 36 disposals (including 26 handballs), 12 tackles and winning 14 clearances. Declan Fahey (33 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles and nine clearances) and Charlie Allen (32 touches, five marks, 11 tackles and six clearances) were also especially busy, with Aiden Holland and Angus Kitto Sturt’s multiple goal kickers with two apiece.

Glenelg 12.4 (76) defeated WWT Eagles 9.16 (70)

Despite a late charge from the Eagles, Glenelg hung on to win by six points. Cooper Hornsell impressed with three goals and 17 disposals, and Riley Holder is having a strong season to date again finishing with two goals and 19 disposals. Eagles ball accumulators Lachlan Hoile finished with 30 disposals and six clearances and Taj Schofield (son of Jarrod) was good for the Eagles finishing with 23 disposals. The Eagles retained top spot, but the chase for finals will be tough.

Central District 8.17 (65) defeated North Adelaide 11.7 (73)

North secured an eight-point victory over Centrals. The Bulldogs surged in the last quarter but weren’t able to secure a win. Jack Carpenter from the Bulldogs had a good all round game with 25 disposals, six marks and a goal, while Jakob Thomson impressed with three goals and 22 disposals and 10 marks, six of which were contested. North remain second on the ladder behind Eagles. Tyran Hill was good for North thanks to a two-goal, 25-disposal game and Jamison Murphy continued some solid form again with 28 disposals and two goals as well.

SANFL weekly wrap: Round 4 – South draws again as Norwood continue winning ways

IT has been a busy week for all South Australian National Football League (SANFL) sides and their young talent with Round 4 completed over Easter, along with some short breaks for certain sides. Four top-end SA youngsters in Will Gould, Jackson Mead, Kossie Pickett and Dylan Stephens, participated for the Australian U18 side against Casey as well. Our South Australian writers, Jamie Morgan, Damon Mattiazzo and Tom Wyman all contributed to the review.

Round 5 sees most of the key SA Under 18 talent unavailable for SANFL selection due to SA AFL Academy camp being conducted.

Round 4 Review:

Norwood 20.7 (127) defeated Port Adelaide 14.10 (94)

In the Easter Thursday clash at the Parade, Norwood extended its undefeated start to the season proving to be too strong for Port Adelaide. The Redlegs’ win was a statement to the rest of the competition as they produced their best game of the season without star midfielder Mitch Grigg. The big emergence from the match was Cameron Taheny, impressing on debut with three goals after not making the U18 Australian match against Casey Demons. Former-Crow Lewis Johnston continues to rack up possessions at will with another 35 disposals and a goal to his name, as former-Kangaroo Brad McKenzie provided plenty of run off half back with 27 touches.

Port Adelaide gained Steven Motlop after his omission from the AFL, contributing 10 clearances with 31 disposals but faded when the Redlegs gained ascendency in the third quarter. Jack Trengove continued his incredible start to the season with 37 disposals and two goals and looks to be an early frontrunner for the Magarey Medal. Third year player and former Redleg Peter Ladhams had his best game of his SANFL career so far with 24 disposals and provided plenty ground ball contests.

South Adelaide’s young talent Zac Dumesny was rewarded with an U18 MVP nomination after a consistent few weeks, and no doubt will be a prospect to watch.

Norwood vs South

Reserves: Norwood 11.9 (75) defeated South 9.6 (60)
U18: South 11.4 (70) defeated Norwood 7.8 (50)

Norwood and South split the results in the Reserves and Under 18s. Jacob Collins had a big day out for Norwood Reserves in defence, picking up 29 disposals, 12 marks and six rebounds in defence, while Josh Richards had 24 touches, five marks, eight clearances and six tackles. Cameron Ball and Lachlan Pascoe both finished with 22 disposals, and combined for 18 marks. For South, Ben Heaslip had a team-high 27 disposals, two marks, seven hitouts, seven inside 50s, five tackles and five clearances, while Jaidan Kappler had 10 inside 50s and six clearances from 22 disposals and five marks. In the Under 18s, the talented Zach Dumesny had eight rebounds and seven marks with his 19 disposals in the Panthers’ win, while Nicholas Kraemer had 22 disposals, seven clearances, eight tackles and six inside 50s. Lachlan Williams picked up a massive 44 hitouts and 15 disposals, while Liam Hamilton and Mitchell Riddell booted three goals apiece. Meanwhile Redleg, Sam Morris booted three goals from 14 touches and three inside 50s, while Henry Nelligan had a day out with 34 disposals, five marks, 10 clearances, five inside 50s, three rebounds and 11 tackles. Mitchell Carroll was also superb defensively with 25 disposals, nine clearances and a massive 13 tackles in the defeat.

League: South 10.13 (73) drew with Adelaide 11.7 (73)

In South Adelaide’s second consecutive draw, the Panthers were forced to this time split the points with Adelaide’s Reserves, as Joel Cross had a day out with 29 disposals, four marks, eight clearances, seven inside 50s and two rebounds, while Nicholas Liddle also had the 29 touches as well as six marks, nine tackles, six clearances and three inside 50s. Mark Noble booted 3.2 from 15 disposals, while Malcolm Karpany also kicked a couple of goals in the draw. For the Crows, Myles Poholke has finally done enough to bang down the AFL selection door, recalled to the senior side after a massive 30-disposal, four-goal game which included 15 touches and three goals in the first term. Tyson Stengle also looked dangerous with 14 disposals and three goals, while Patrick Wilson was the top ball winner with 33 disposals, as well as nine clearances, 10 tackles and seven inside 50s.

West vs Eagles

League: West 18.8 (116) defeated Eagles 11.13 (79)
Reserves: West 13.15 (93) defeated Eagles 5.11 (41)
U18: Eagles 13.8 (86) defeated West 7.12 (54)

It was a tough day at Richmond Oval on Good Friday for both Eagles’ League and Reserves sides. West Adelaide looked primed for all contests and clearly dominated the whole day in both games. The Eagles league side had some big ins, but these players looked underdone, and with the absolute dominance of ex-AFL listed Will Snelling and Jono Beech, the Bloods got their season rolling. While in the Reserves, experienced Brett Turner and Kenny Karpany led from the front.

The Eagles accounted for West in the U18s game and the form of Joshua Morris in front of goals continued for the Eagles, finishing with another five-goal haul and other Eagles key movers Harry Schoenberg and Lachlan Holie dominated the possession count for the winning side.

Glenelg vs Sturt

League: Glenelg 11.13 (79) defeated Sturt 10.10 (70)
Reserves: Sturt 14.5 (89) defeated Glenelg 11.6 (72)
U18: Sturt 11.6 (72) defeated Glenelg 9.7 (61)

Coming off the back of a draw to South Adelaide, Glenelg made its way back onto the winners list with a tight 9-point victory over Sturt at the bay. The Tigers midfield was led well by youngsters Jonty Scharenberg and former-West Coast Eagle Luke Partington, who collected 25 and 22 disposals respectively. Eighteen-year-old Finn Betterman played perhaps his best League game to date, managing 18 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Medium-sized goal-machine Lachlan Hosie added four more to his impressive start to the year, with Marlon Motlop also adding two. For the Double Blues, consistent midfielder Zane Kirkwood notched up another 36 disposals. He was aided by 30 touches from former-Power defender Sam Colquhoun and 29 from James Battersby. Mark Evans slotted home three majors in the defeat.

North v Centrals

League: Centrals 10.13 (73) defeated North 9.12 (66)
Reserves: Centrals 14.8 (92) defeated North 8.13 (61)
U18: North 14.9 (93) defeated Centrals 10.4 (64)

Centrals won out in two out of three clashes against reigning League premiers North Adelaide in a successful weekend. Bulldogs prodigal son Troy Menzel continued his promising start to the League season with 4.4 from 19 disposals and 13 marks, while Travis Schiller was their clear-best ball winner with 30 touches. Thomas Schwarz and Jarred Allmond were the only North players to rack up over 30 disposals, with Strato Agorastos booting a clinical 3.0. In Reserves, Brody Mahoney‘s 31 disposals and three goals saw Centrals win comfortably, with two other Bulldogs bagging three majors. Liam Verity (3.2) was North’s best in front of goal in an otherwise wasteful Roosters display, while Max Lower had 27 disposals. North managed to get up in the U18 fixture, with six of its eight goal kickers notching multiple goals. Tyran Hill was one of their best, while Rhys Cannizarro had 27 touches and the highly-touted Corey Durdin managed 22 in the defeat.