Tag: Sam Colquhoun

2020 SANFL Round 3 Preview: Sides prepare to build momentum

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

League: 

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.

Reserves: 

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.

Under-18s: 

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

League: 

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.

Reserves: 

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.

Under-18s:

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

League: 

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.

Reserves: 

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.

Under-18s: 

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

League: 

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 EvansSam 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.

Reserves:

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.

Under-18s: 

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.

2020 SANFL Round 2 preview: Sides return after dusting off the cobwebs

AFTER fans got a taste of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) football last weekend, Round 2 kicks off with plenty on the lines as the teams look to back-up after long layoff heading into Round 1.

Sturt vs Woodville-West Torrens

League:

Sturt will do battle with Woodville-West Torrens to kick off round two of the SANFL Statewide Super League. The Double Blues led all day and ultimately defeated Central District by 15 points in the season-opener last weekend. After missing out on a finals berth last season, Woodville-West Torrens narrowly lost their opening encounter of 2020 to South Adelaide. Despite wrestling back the lead late in the final term, thanks to goals from the Hayes brothers (Jack and Nick) and gun small forward James Rowe, the Panthers escaped with a six-point victory.

If they are to get their season rolling, the Eagles must put time into Sturt recruit Ash Johnson, the brother of current-Crow Shane McAdam, who booted three goals in the win. His aerial ability, athleticism and raw talent ensure he is one to watch. Fellow off-season signing Abe Davis and small forward Josh Hone will also cause headaches for new Eagles coach Jade Sheedy, given their potency up forward. As is often the case, the midfield-battle will be vital to the outcome of this clash. Industrial Sturt skipper James Battersby was arguably to best-on-ground last weekend for his work around the stoppages, collecting 26 disposals, eight tackles and 11 clearances. Dual Magarey Medallist Zane Kirkwood perhaps wasn’t at his damaging best against the ‘Dogs, but will demand serious attention all day.

Jordan Foote and Jimmy Toumpas will again be expected to lead the way in the Eagles engine-room. Foote was a strong inside presence on the weekend, finishing with six clearances, seven tackles and 21 possessions, whilst Toumpas’ class and skill shone on the outside. Midfield mainstays Angus Poole and Sam Rowland will be looking to benefit from the tap-work of big-man Jarrad Redden, who will do battle with Sturt’s Daniel Fahey-Sparks. The athletic Fahey-Sparks looks to have made big strides in the off-season, finishing the match against Central Districts with 52 hitouts and four clearances from his six possessions. Redden will receive a welcome chop-out from Jack Hayes, who proved a colossus in the air against South. Hayes booted two goals, recorded 17 hit-outs and clunked five contested marks but was also effective at ground-level, laying eight tackles and a couple of clearances. Sturt will be hopeful of regaining prolific midfielder Sam Colquhoun, who missed the round one clash with a hamstring injury, and medium-forward Jake Sutcliffe, who was struck down by illness.

Reserves:

The Eagles and Double Blues Reserves will converge at Peter Motley Oval on Sunday morning to continue their seasons. In another close finish, Woodville-West Torrens managed to defeat their South Adelaide opponents by eight points on Sunday, in a match where both sides were efficient in front of goal. However, that was not the case for the Double Blues reserves, who were bombarded early and will rue missing a number of opportunities in their 14-point loss to Central Districts. After a strong season last year, the Double Blues will be looking to notch up their first win against Woodville-West Torrens, who were beaten by Norwood in the 2019 Reserves Grand Final.

Under 18s:

The Under 18s sides will do battle after the reserves game on Sunday afternoon, with the Double Blues looking to build upon a comprehensive 48-point win over the Bulldogs. The Eagles, a traditional under-18s powerhouse, were defeated by close-rivals South Adelaide by ten-points. The Eagles have won the past two U18 Torrens University Cups over the Panthers but South Adelaide gained some round one revenge, despite the best efforts of prolific Eagles midfielder Caleb Poulter.

Poulter, a versatile 191cm prospect kicked a goal and amassed 34 disposals, seven marks (two contested), ten tackles, and seven clearances in the loss. Promising SA Hub tall forward Zac Phillips booted two goals and will prove a difficult match-up for the Sturt defence. The Double Blues will again be looking to feed off the midfield work of Mani Liddy and Tom Powell, who were both dominant in the win over Centrals at Elizabeth Oval. Look out for half-forward Morgan Ferres, who impressed with his clean hands and aerial ability in the victory.

 

Norwood vs North Adelaide

League:

Off-the-back of an impressive round one win over West Adelaide, the Roosters will face a tough test on Saturday afternoon against the battle-hardened Redlegs. In a re-match of the 2018 Grand Final, Norwood will be keen on asserting themselves on the contest, after being narrowly defeated by Glenelg in the marquee game of the opening round. North Adelaide’s x-factor forward Lewis Hender jumped out of the blocks, kicking seven goals-straight in the 29-point win.

Encouragingly for new coach Jacob Surjan, the Roosters off-season signings all started well, with midfielders Cameron HewettAndrew Moore and Billy Hartung getting involved early and finishing with 18, 25 and 19 disposals, respectively. Hewett and fellow inside midfielders Campbell Combe and Tom Schwarz were strong on the inside of the contest, laying a combined 28 tackles. The Roosters on-ball unit will need to be at their best when they face a battle-hardened Norwood midfield, headlined by deadly trio Richard DouglasMatthew Nunn and Mitch Grigg.

Douglas, a star signing in the off-season, recorded eight tackles and four clearances from his 20 touches, whilst Nunn, Grigg and Matthew Panos all benefited from the dominance of premier-ruckman Sam Baulderstone. Roosters ruckman James Craig will have his work cut out for him against the 200cm Baulderstone, who has proven to be the leagues best ruckman over his career. The Norwood on-ball unit is formidable and will only be further improved by the anticipated addition of Ryan Bastinac, who started the season in the reserves.

Norwood defenders Nik Rokahr, Mitch Wilkins and Nick Pedro face the daunting task of shutting down Roosters forwards Frank Szekely and Kym LeBois, who kicked a combined five goals in the win over West Adelaide. Injuries plagued Rooster Harrison Wigg‘s AFL career during stints with Adelaide and the Gold Coast, however his obvious talent was on show for all to see on Saturday, collecting 27 disposals, nine marks and six rebound 50s. Norwood must look to nullify his intercept marking ability across the backline. Redlegs running-machine Anthony Wilson is expected to miss another week with a calf injury, but tall defender Michael Talia faces a test to prove he is over his hamstring complaint. For the red and white, tall Alex Barns and son-of-a-gun Ben Jarman will both face tests after sustaining ankle injuries. The Redlegs will start as the clear favourites, but a revamped Roosters side will be eyeing off what would be a major scalp.

Reserves:

North Adelaide won the reserves competition in 2018 but, much like the clubs league side, slumped in 2019. Wooden-spooners from last season, the Roosters reserves will face the Redlegs seconds at the Parade on Sunday afternoon. Norwood were beaten by Glenelg last weekend and will be eager to bounce-back on home turf. Ryan Bastinac could be promoted to the league side after brushing off the cobwebs in the reserves against Glenelg. Norwood small midfielder Harry Nelligan has attracted the attention of draft watchers for his fierce tackling and prolific ball-winning and will expected to once-again line-up at reserves level on Sunday. For North Adelaide, young midfielder Harrison Magor and promising key defender Dyson Hilder will be looking to build form in the reserves to mount a case for a call-up to the Roosters league set-up.

Under 18s:

Norwood’s Under 18s side failed to land a punch against the Bays on Saturday, going down by 44 points. Matthew Dnistriansky‘s work across the backline was a standout in the defeat. He collected a team-high 25 disposals, nine marks and 10 rebounds. SA Hub member Cooper Murley also showed signs in the loss. The Roosters Under 18s defeated the Bloods by 12-points in round one, with exciting small forward and potential Crows NGA prospect Tariek Newchurch booting three goals. Captain Jamison Murphy has turned the heads of recruiters since picking football over cricket and will again be one to watch in the midfield, after a well-rounded performance at Prospect Oval last Saturday. He collected 26 disposals, three marks, four tackles, two clearances, six inside 50s and five rebounds.

 

South Adelaide vs Glenelg

League:

South Adelaide held off the fast finishing Eagles but face a more daunting task in the form of the reigning-premiers, Glenelg. Ken Farmer Medalist Liam McBean booted four goals to confirm his status as the leagues best key forward and will prove a tough match-up, likely for South Adelaide key defender Jake Summerton, who gains no reprieve after battling the Hayes brothers last weekend. Rugged midfielders Matthew Snook and Bradley Agnew were as industrial as ever and Marlon Motlop‘s silky skills will worry the South Adelaide coaching staff.

Magarey Medallist Luke Partington was not quite at his destructive best, but will prove a handful for the Panthers midfield, which will likely be without skipper Matthew Rose after he sustained a shoulder injury. In his absence, star onballer Joel Cross was left to do much of the heavy lifting and will again be relied upon in the engine room against a strong Glenelg midfield. Encouraging for the Panthers were the senior debuts of small forward Beau McCreery and versatile draft prospect Zac Dumesny.

McCreery proved invaluable in the last term, helping wrestle back the momentum by kicking back-to-back majors late in the final term, and Dumesny did not look out of place, collecting 11 disposals. Although several years older than McCreery and Dumesny, former-Power defender Matthew Broadbent also made a successful debut for the club down back.

Glenelg’s recruits also performed well, with former-Docker Jack Hannath strong in the ruck and Jackson Edwards providing solid rebound from the defensive-50. South Adelaide’s Malcolm Karpany suffered a back injury and will face a test later in the week, and Glenelg’s Tom Condon will also need to prove his fitness before the Sunday afternoon clash. Glenelg deservedly start as favourites, but South will be feeling positive after a win over the Eagles.

Reserves:

The Panthers and Tigers reserves will lock-horns at Flinders University Stadium on Saturday in a mid-morning time-slot. The Tigers defeated Norwood by 22-points last weekend, whilst the Panthers, despite kicking straight, were beaten by the Eagles in a close-encounter at Woodville’s Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. The Tigers Reserves will be looking to build upon the solid start and continue to feed-off the recent success of the league side, whilst the Panthers are aiming to launch a finals campaign after missing out in the previous four seasons.

Under 18s:

The Bays made it three-from-three across the weekend when the under-18s recorded a comprehensive 44-point triumph. SA Academy Hub member and potential Crows father-son prospect Luke Edwards was solid in the win, collecting 22 disposals. His versatility, size and experience as a bottom-ager at the 2019 National Championships will likely see him move beyond under-18s level soon enough. Luke Pedlar was dominant for the Bays, finishing the clash with Norwood with 28 disposals, three marks, six tackles and four clearances, whilst Lucas Schultz bagged four majors. Key tall Riley Holder could prove a handful for the Panthers, as could the running capacity of Xavier Robins. Panthers skipper Nicholas Kraemer is expected to lead from the front once again, after his nine-tackle showing against the Eagles.

 

West Adelaide V Central Districts

League:

In the final match of round two, Central Districts take on West Adelaide, with both sides no-doubt eager to earn their first points of the new season. The Bulldogs struggled to get things going in their forward half, despite the exciting off-season acquisition of Daniel Menzel. Centrals would have been pleased with the efforts of midfielders James BoydJarrod Schiller and Nick Lange, who battled hard against a strong Double Blues on-ball unit.

This week, they will face the likes of former-Hawk Dallas Willsmore and consistent veteran Kaine Stevens. The ruck battle is also likely to be closely fought, between West Adelaide big man Andre Parrella and Centrals’ Jonathan Marsh. Whilst Marsh was beaten in the ruck by Sturt’s Dan Fahey-Sparks, he still managed 37 hitouts and was busier around the ground than his Sturt counterpart, collecting 10 disposals and laying seven tackles. Parrella, one of the competitions best tap ruckmen, beat North’s James Craig on the weekend, winning the hitouts 49 to 29.

The eyes of many draft watchers will remain fixed on ultra-talented ruckman/tall-forward Riley Thilthorpe, who will again line-up in attack for the Bloods, alongside skipper Tom Keough. Energetic small forward Lyndon Hupfeld will be one to watch this week, after his four-goal performance against North. The Dogs enter the round two clash with a clean-bill of health, but Bloods off-season signing Josh Koster will miss with a hamstring injury. Josh Schiller missed a large chunk of 2019 with a shoulder injury and suffered a back complaint in the clash with North Adelaide. He faces a test to prove his fitness. Although both sides are not expected to feature in the finals series, this match-up could prove to be the closest of all the round two fixtures.

Reserves:

Central Districts reserves side will make the trip down into Adelaide’s western suburbs to do battle with the Bloods at Hisense Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Dogs are coming off a hard-fought victory over Sturt, whilst West Adelaide made the Roosters pay for their inaccurate goal-kicking, coming out victorious by 31 points away from their Richmond home. Currently top after the opening round of action, the Bloods will be eager to continue their winning ways after a disappointing 2019 season which saw the side finish seventh. The Bulldogs seconds have been strong performers over the past few seasons, finishing in the finals since 2017 but failing to claim the ultimate prize.

Under 18s:

The Under-18 sides for the respective clubs will also face-off on Saturday. The Bloods and Bulldogs both lost their opening round fixtures but West will likely start this encounter as favourites, given the Bulldogs under-18s struggles in recent seasons. Midfielders Lewis Cowham and 16-year-old Austin McDonald were rare highlights during the hefty loss to Sturt, with both players finding an abundance of the football. McDonald was particularly strong around the stoppages, finishing with a game-high 12 clearances despite his inferior age. After facing Sturt, SA Academy Hub midfielders Tom Powell and Mani Liddy last weekend, the Dogs onballers gain no reprieve and appear set to clash with the prolific Bailey Chamberlain. Forward Jye Sinderberry may also cause some headaches for the Bulldogs defenders.

SANFL weekly wrap Round 1: Tigers hold off Norwood in massive opening round clash

THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) returned over the weekend, seeing matches played out between all eight teams across the three divisions, with the competition barring Adelaide and Port Adelaide this season. In the league division, Glenelg just held on for a daring win over Norwood, while North Adelaide came away with a quality win over West Adelaide to kick off the season.

Sturt v. Central District

League: Sturt 8.3 (51) defeated Central District 5.6 (36)

Sturt made a strong start to the season on Saturday, defeating Central by 15 points at the Adelaide Oval. Sturt fielded seven debutants in the clash after Jake Sutcliffe (illness) and Sam Colquhoun (hamstring) were late withdrawals. The new-look side was strong in the clearances from the outset with ruckman Daniel Fahey-Sparks (52 hitouts) providing first use to midfielders James Battersby (26 disposals, 11 clearances), Zane Kirkwood (21 disposals) and youngster Casey Voss (16 disposals, six clearances). The Blues kicked the first five goals of the game, including three from exciting forward Ash Johnson.

Central worked their way back into the game and ended up dominating the disposals 289-234, marks 107-39 and tackles 97-68. Unfortunately for them, the early deficit proved too difficult to come back from, and Sturt were more efficient with the ball inside forward 50. With Sutcliffe, Colquhoun, premiership wingman Steven Slimming (ankle) and former Port Adelaide livewire Aidyn Johnson (suspension) looking to return next week, Sturt coach Nathan Grima will have his hands full at the selection table.

Reserves: Central District 7.11 (53) defeated Sturt 5.9 (39)

Central’s Reserves side started the year with a comfortable victory over Sturt by 14 points. The final score did not reflect the Bulldogs’ dominance in this game, as they led by 32 points at three-quarter-time before Sturt piled on three goals to none in the last term.

Under 18s: Sturt 14.13 (97) defeated Central District 7.6 (48)

Sturt were far too strong in the Under 18s, getting over the line by 49 points at X Convenience Oval. Central kicked just one goal before half time and trailed by 49 points at the main break. AFL Academy Squad members Mani Liddy (33 disposals, 11 clearances) and Tom Powell (33 disposals, seven clearances) were both impressive for the Double Blues, as was Morgan Ferres (15 disposals, three goals). Lewis Cowham and Austin McDonald both worked hard for the Bulldogs.

Woodville-West Torrens v. South Adelaide

League: South Adelaide 11.8 (74) defeated Woodville-West Torrens 10.8 (68)

Debutant Beau McCreery was the hero for South Adelaide, lifting his side over the line against Woodville-West Torrens in a close encounter. When scores were level late in the final term, McCreery ran down former Port Adelaide player Jimmy Toumpas and converted a goal from long range, before showing his speed one minute later to kick another from the goal square. Although Eagles veteran Angus Poole was able to bring the margin back to six points at the 28 minute mark, South were able to hold on.

Dual Magarey Medallist Joel Cross was outstanding for the Panthers, finishing with 34 disposals, 12 clearances and four tackles. Ex-Port Adelaide defender Matthew Broadbent was steady in his first game for the club with 26 disposals, six marks and seven tackles, while potential AFL draftee Zac Dumesny showed promise early in his SANFL League debut. For the Eagles, Jordan Foote collected 21 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s, and the Hayes brothers kicked five goals between them in an impressive display. The Eagles will look to bounce back next week against Sturt, while the Panthers will take on the Tigers.

Reserves: Woodville-West Torrens 12.4 (76) defeated South Adelaide 10.8 (68)

Last year’s Reserves grand finalists Woodville-West Torrens got their season off to an ideal start, winning by eight points against the Panthers at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. South led for the majority of the contest but the Eagles ran over the top in the final term.

Under 18s: South Adelaide 10.12 (72) defeated Woodville-West Torrens 9.8 (62)

The Panthers had a nice come from behind win in the under 18s, getting over the line by ten points. Max Clifton had 26 disposals, seven clearances and six tackles for the Panthers, while Nicholas Kraemer was tough at the contest with nine tackles. 191cm midfielder Caleb Poulter kicked off his season in style, racking up an imposing 34 disposals, ten tackles, seven clearances, six inside 50s and a goal for the Eagles. He is definitely a prospect to watch in 2020.

North Adelaide v. West Adelaide

League: North Adelaide 15.6 (96) defeated West Adelaide 10.7 (67)

Lewis Hender helped North Adelaide start the season with a bang, kicking seven goals en route to a 29-point victory over the Bloods on Sunday. Hender took nine marks including an early mark of the year contender in the dominant performance. He made the most of some silver service from the Roosters’ experienced midfield made up of former AFL-listed players Harrison Wigg (27 disposals, nine marks), Andrew Moore (25 disposals, seven tackles) and Billy Hartung (19 disposals, four inside 50s). North were prevalent in the clearances (39-32) and tackles (72-53).

While the Bloods were able to regularly get the ball inside forward 50, they did struggle to keep it there as the day went on. Jordon Boyle (27 disposals, eight clearances, six inside 50s) was a standout in his first game for West, while Dallas Willsmore (25 disposals, 11 marks, six tackles) worked hard all day. Potential number one pick Riley Thilthorpe had ten disposals, five tackles and five hitouts in his first game of the season.

Reserves: West Adelaide 14.2 (86) defeated North Adelaide 7.13 (55)

An accurate West Adelaide outfit proved too good in the Reserves, kicking just two behinds in their 31-point win. Kyle Kirk, Mitch Duval and Austin Forbes were impressive performers for the Bloods and will be pushing for League selection next week.

Under 18s: North Adelaide 8.10 (58) defeated West Adelaide 7.4 (46)

North Adelaide were too good in the Under 18s, defeating the Bloods by 12 points at Prospect Oval. West led for most of the game but North ran over the top in a frantic final term. AFL Academy Squad members Tariek Newchurch (three goals) and Jamison Murphy (26 disposals, four tackles) stood out in their first game of the season, as did Kallis Freer (27 disposals, four marks). Bailey Chamberlain was great for the Bloods with 28 disposals, five tackles and five clearances.

Glenelg v. Norwood

League: Glenelg 11.10 (76) defeated Norwood 10.13 (73)

Glenelg have started their premiership defence on the right foot, defeating Norwood by three points in a thriller at Adelaide Oval. The Redlegs got out to an early lead but the Tigers clawed their way back with an outstanding third term, kicking three goals to zero. This set up a final term with multiple momentum swings and lead changes until reigning Magarey Medallist Luke Partington kicked a long-range set shot to give Glenelg the victory.

Carl Nicholson was arguably best on ground for Glenelg, finishing with 21 disposals, eight inside 50s, six marks and a goal. Defensive recruit Luke Parks was brilliant in his first game for the club with 16 disposals and ten marks, several of which were intercepted. Max Proud was also great in defence with six marks and four tackles, while Liam McBean was his usual dominant-self up forward with four goals. For the Redlegs, Matthew Panos worked hard for his 21 disposals and two goals, former Crow Richard Douglas (20 disposals, seven tackles) played well in his first game since retiring from AFL, and veteran ruckman Sam Baulderstone displayed some brilliant ruck craft amongst his 41 hitouts. Norwood’s defence held up well all day and can consider themselves unlucky not to come out with the two points. They will hope to welcome Ryan Bastinac to the side for next week’s clash against the Roosters, while Glenelg will take on the Panthers in what should be an enthralling matchup.

Reserves: Glenelg 12.7 (79) defeated Norwood 8.9 (57)

Reigning Reserves premiers Norwood fell in their first match of the season to the Tigers by 22 points. It is a major scalp for Glenelg’s Reserves side and should give them great confidence going into next week.

Under 18s: Glenelg 12.12 (84) defeated Norwood 5.10 (40)

Glenelg were also too strong in the Under 18s, defeating Norwood by 44 points. The Redlegs failed to hit the front all game as they struggled to get the ball into their front half, losing the inside 50s 34-53. Potential draftee Luke Edwards collected 22 disposals, five clearances and six tackles for the Tigers, while Luke Pedlar (28 disposals, six tackles, six inside 50s) also impressed. Cooper Murley was the sole AFL Academy Squad member to play for the Redlegs in this game, finishing with 20 disposals and three tackles. Matthew Dnistriansky worked hard for his 25 disposals, ten rebound 50s and nine marks.

For more SANFL news and recaps, follow Tom Cheesman on Twitter.

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 season preview: Can the Bays go back-to-back?

LAST year saw a drought-breaking year in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) with Glenelg taking home its first League premiership since 1986. The Tigers were able to bounce back from a loss earlier in the finals series to take out Port Adelaide in the grand final last year. The result also meant seven of the eight non-AFL affiliated clubs have won SANFL titles this turn of the century with only South Adelaide (1964) holding a drought longer than a decade from those sides. We take a look at the eight sides in contention for the 2020 SANFL premiership in order of ladder position last year (minus Adelaide and Port Adelaide).

GLENELG

Finished: Premiers
Wins: 13
Draws: 2
Losses: 3
Best & Fairest: Jesse White
Leading Goalkicker: Liam McBean & Luke Reynolds (53)

The reigning premiers return to the competition as deserving favourites in the new year, as the likes of Margarey Medallist Luke Partington and reigning leading goalkickers, Liam McBean and Luke Reynolds back in the yellow and black.

Over the off-season, the Bays have been able to bring in some young talent including former Crow Jackson Edwards who returns to South Australia, ex-Sydney Academy talent Luke Parks, and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels forward, Mitch Martin. Unfortunately young star Kaine Baldwin will miss the season through another anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. However, the Tigers have every reason to be buoyant about the season ahead.

After all, their list of ex-AFL talent is quite impressive, with names such as Cory Gregson and Billy Stretch alongside Luke Edwards. Expect the Tigers to be the team to beat in 2020.

STURT

Finished: 4th
Wins: 11
Draws: 0
Losses: 7
Best & Fairest: Sam Colquhoun
Leading Goalkicker: Josh Hone (35)

The Double Blues will be confident of a rise up the ladder in 2020 with a couple of handy pickups including talented high-flyer Jordan Houlahan who returns from the AFL, as well as another ex-Cat and Crow, Dean Gore.

Tom Lewis will provide some extra youth and inside hardness alongside the likes of outside movers, Josh Shute and Mihail Lochowiak who have been impressive in past years. Sam Colquhoun has been a star of the competition of late, and with last year’s leading goalkicker Josh Hone also coming back for 2020, Sturt will be competitive once again.

They have a lost a fair chunk of talent over the off-season including ex-AFL talent Danyle Pearce who opted to retire alongside four others including Jack Stephens and Fraser Evans. The Double Blues will likely need to time to adjust in the season.

NORWOOD

Finished: 5th
Wins: 11
Draws: 7
Losses: 0
Best & Fairest: Brad McKenzie
Leading Goalkicker: Peter Bampton (31)

The experience of the Redlegs after a grand final appearance the year before did not end up helping them get past the first week of finals in 2019. They have some serious big names on their list from best and fairest winner Brad McKenzie, to the likes of form AFL-listed talents Dom Barry, Lewis Johnston and Mitch Grigg.

A 2020 recruit in Daniel Johnston will help add some extra height to the side, and provide some firepower alongside the likes of Matthew Panos and Peter Bampton up forward. The biggest inclusion is former Crow, Richard Douglas, who should immediately be in the top five players across the league, whilst another ex-AFL talent in Ryan Bastinac announced yesterday that he would be joining the Redlegs after initially pulling out of the league due to commitments.

If the inclusions are anything to go by, Norwood will be the biggest threat to Glenelg’s crown and could well go all the way if their players remain fit throughout the season.

SOUTH ADELAIDE

Finished: 6th
Wins: 9
Draws: 2
Losses: 7
Best & Fairest: Joel Cross
Leading Goalkicker: Joel Cross (26)

All eyes will be on the Panthers in season 2020 as they try and crack into the top four on the back of some savvy recruiting. Former AFL talent, Matthew Broadbent will help South Adelaide to try and mount a case to rise up the ladder.

Along with the experienced duo, Canberra’s Tom Highmore and Sydney Swans Academy’s Ky McGrath were both vying for draft selection last year, and will be among those looking to take over from a number of Double Blues stars who have left the club. With Brad Crabb and Nick Liddle both exiting, Mark Noble joining his brother in Victoria and Emmanuel Ira also on the out, the main role of the recruits will be to support Joel Cross with some extra depth through the team.

Cross won both the leading goalkicker and best and fairest award last season, and with a young side that has a number of South Australians coming through the state team, the Panthers would be keen to bring through their next crop of players.

WWT EAGLES

Finished: 7th
Wins: 8
Draws: 0
Losses: 10
Best & Fairest: Jordan Foote
Leading Goalkicker: James Rowe (35)

The Under 18s premiers have now lost their array of young talent to the AFL, with the likes of Kysaiah Pickett, Jackson Mead and Harry Schoenberg among those who landed on AFL lists last year. They have brought in Kai Pudney and Mitch Mead from Port Adelaide’s SANFL side, whilst the big recruit might be Liam Buxton from Casey Demons.

It will be an interesting season for the Eagles who have some genuine elite talents through the side, including best and fairest winner Jordan Foote – an ex-AFL talent himself – and small forward James Rowe who made the transition to senior footy seamlessly.

They should be among the mid-table log-jam of teams to battle for a top four place, and with the senior experience still on the list after a seventh placed finish last year, they could well get it done whilst other teams are still trying to gel.

CENTRAL DISTRICT

Finished: 8th
Wins: 5
Draws: 0
Losses: 13
Best & Fairest: Jarrod Schiller
Leading Goalkicker: Troy Menzel (33)

One of the potential bigger improvers in season 2020, Central District has acquired the services of a second Menzel brother with Dan joining Troy at the Bulldogs. Troy was huge last season winning the leading goalkicker award and now the double trouble of the goalsneaks will make life difficult for the opposition. The big question mark will be losing the Neagle trio in Jydon, Jaxon and Matthew back to Wodonga.

Through the midfield, the other brother combination in Jarrod and Travis Schiller will be tough to combat again, whilst former Tiger, Ben Nason has crossed from Woodville-West Torrens. The Bulldogs have also brought in some big ball winners from Victoria, with Murray Bushrangers’ Cam Wild and Dandenong Stingrays’ Jack Toner joining the club along with former Stingrays’ goalsneak Jai Nanscawen for the 2020 season.

Given the talent on the list and two less sides, it would be a near-certainty that the Bulldogs reach the finals.

NORTH ADELAIDE

Finished: 9th
Wins: 4
Draws: 1
Losses: 13
Best & Fairest: Aidan Tropiano
Leading Goalkicker: Lewis Hinder (28)

The ninth placed Roosters have added some extra firepower in 2020 with the recruitment of former Adelaide and Gold Coast ball-winner Harrison Wigg and ex-Hawk and Roo, Billy Hartung. Along with another ex-AFL player in Andrew Moore, and hopefully a full season out of former Port Adelaide goalsneak Jake Neade, and the Roosters will look to rise up the ladder again.

Last year’s reigning premiers were always going to have a tough season after starting on negative points due to the 19th man saga, and losing a number of players to AFL level. They have gained one back in Robbie Young returning to the club. Unlucky overagers not to be drafted last year, Karl Finlay and Dyson Hilder are back again and provide some height in the defensive end.

The recruits will need to take over from Aidan Tropiano who has headed west this season. The Roosters will rise up and expect them to contend for finals again.

WEST ADELAIDE

Finished: 10th
Wins: 2
Draws: 0
Losses: 16
Best & Fairest: Logan Hill
Leading Goalkicker: Jono Beech (21)

The only way is up for the Bloods and with a number of solid recruits alongside the potential number one AFL Draft pick, West Adelaide has what it takes to get off the bottom of the ladder. Riley Thilthorpe will be a much talked about name this year and the talented tall will get plenty of time in the League side in 2020.

The Bloods have also recruited a couple of over-agers and former Sydney Swans Academy members Hamish Ellem and Kyle Martin to provide some strength in attack. With Bailey Chamberlain another talented top-age teenager in the line-up, it will take some of the pressure off the likes of 2019 best and fairest winner, Logan Hill, as well as ex-Hawk Dallas Willsmore.

No doubt it will still be a tough year for the senior side with so many huge recruits to a number of other sides, but the youth in the team will give the Bloods great depth and help out across the board. They will need to overcome the losses of Jono Beech and Chris Schmidt this season who were both huge contributors to the team.

Draft Central predictions:

Premiers: Norwood
Runners-Up: Glenelg
Big Improver: North Adelaide

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: Redlegs stay in title hunt as Magpies fly high

THE first week of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) finals action is in the books, with Norwood remaining alive and Port Adelaide Magpies moving through to face Glenelg next week for a spot in the decider.

LEAGUE:

Sturt 15.6 (96) defeated by Norwood 16.14 (110)

Norwood has kept its 2019 premiership hopes alive with a strong 14-point victory over Sturt. The Redlegs did not make the most of their scoring chances in the first term, booting two goals from six scoring shots, before piling on five goals to three to extend the lead to 14 by half-time. A high-scoring third term resulted in Norwood booting six goals to four to create some separation with a 30-point advantage at the final break. Sturt came home with a tailwind booting six goals to three in the last quarter, but fell short to go down 16.14 (110) to 15.6 (96) by the final siren. Dom Barry was influential with 28 disposals, five marks, three clearances, four tackles and 3.3, joined among the bests with Lewis Johnston (28 disposals, nine marks, three clearances and one goal) and Cole Gerloff (25 disposals, five marks, five clearances and four tackles). Top Under-18 draft talent Dylan Stephens had 14 touches, two marks, two clearances, three tackles and kicked a terrific goal, while Anthony Wilson and Brady Dawe added three goals each. For the Double Blues, Jake Sutcliffe had a day out up forward with 4.2 from 13 touches and six marks, joined on the goalkickers list by Joshua Hone (three goals). Sam Colquhoun was the dominant ball winner, picking up 34 disposals, 11 marks, six clearances and nine tackles, while James Battersby (22 disposals, four marks, nine clearances, six tackles and a goal) and Danyle Pearce (21 disposals, seven marks and two clearances) were also impressive.

Port Adelaide 12.13 (85) defeated Adelaide 8.7 (55)

Port Adelaide Magpies have enjoyed a 30-point win over their AFL Reserve counterparts in Adelaide Crows, booting six goals to four in both halves to secure the win. Neither team could be split in the first term with three goals on the board each, but a three goals to one second quarter opened the game up for the Magpies, before Adelaide hit back with three goals to one of their own in the third term to cut the deficit to just three at the final break, A dominant five goals to one final term resulted in the Magpies running away with the contest, 12.13 (85) to 8.7 (55) at Adelaide Oval. While both South Australian sides are out of finals for the AFL, a number of AFL-listed players still impressed. Willem Drew (32 disposals, four marks, seven clearances and eight tackles), Jack Trengove (29 disposals, seven marks), Cam Sutcliffe (28 disposals, four marks, seven tackles and five clearances), Joe Atley (28 disposals, four marks, 10 clearances and three tackles) and Trent McKenzie (27 disposals, 11 marks) all racked up big numbers for the Magpies, while Peter Ladhams booted two goals – one of which was a ripper – from 23 touches, six clearances, four marks and 23 hitouts). For the Crows, Lachlan Sholl (24 disposals, six marks ad three clearances) impressed, as the retiring Andy Otten also had a team-high 24 touches to go with his five marks and seven rebounds. Alongside him in defence was Pierce Seymour with 22 disposals, four marks, two tackles and seven rebounds), while Matthew Wright (20 disposals, nine marks and three tackles) was also strong.

RESERVES:

Sturt 11.9 (75) defeated Woodville-West Torrens 8.10 (58)

Second placed Sturt has earned the right to face top-of-the-table Norwood next week after downing Woodville-West Torrens in their qualifying final clash. The Eagles started strongly to booted three goals to two in the first term, though missing multiple opportunities to only head in with an 11-point lead. Both sides booted a goal in the second term but it was the Double Blues’ turn to be plagued with inaccuracy, booting five behinds from six scoring shots as the Eagles lead by eight points at the main break. A dominant third term saw Sturt boot seven goals to three and head into the final change with a 16-point lead before holding on in a arm-wrestle of a last quarter with both sides booting two goals and securing the 11.9 (75) to 8.10 (58) victory. Overage key forward Hugo Munn was impressive for the Double Blues, picking up 20 disposals, three marks, four clearances and five tackles, while fellow over-ager and father-son prospect Casey Voss had 19 touches, three marks, two clearances, six tackles and a goal. Joel Thiele had 15 touches, five marks, five clearances and nine tackles, while James Richards and Mihail Lochowiak both booted three goals in the win. Adam Trenorden (16 disposals, two marks, six clearances and 10 tackles) and Josh Shute (15 disposals, seven marks) were others who stood tall. For the Eagles, Ben Nason had a game-high 22 disposals, as well as five marks, two clearances and four tackles, while Jake Comitogianni helped himself to 20 disposals, four marks, two clearances and a tackle. Up forward, Harrison Morgan booted three goals from 12 touches, while Josh Morris kicked 2.2 from four kicks. Other names who played from South Australia’s Under 18s side were Kysaiah Pickett (11 disposals, one goal) and Harry Schoenberg (16 disposals, three clearances and three tackles).

Central District 11.12 (78) defeated Glenelg 3.10 (28)

Central District put Glenelg to the sword in the side’s elimination final at Peter Motley Oval, running away 50-point winners. The Bulldogs booted seven goals to one in the first half, and kept their opponents to just three goals for the game, as the Tigers’ inaccuracy of 10 behinds from 13 scoring shot proved an issue. In a remarkable game, Glenelg actually dominated possession with 56 per cent, also having 62 more touches and 45 more marks, but it was the tackling pressure of the Bulldogs (90-62) that helped Central District get the win. Isaya McKenzie (19 disposals, three marks, three clearances, eight tackles and a goal) and Ari Rigney (17 disposals, 12 tackles and a goal) were among the top possession winners for the Bulldogs, as Jordan O’Brien held that title with 22 disposals, seven clearances and seven tackles in a best-on performance. Fellow South Australian Under-18 representative Oliver Shaw (18 disposals, four marks and three tackles) also had a strong game, while bottom-age talent Corey Durdin booted two goals from 10 touches and nine tackles up forward. For Glenelg, it was Callum Park who stood tall with 20 touches, 12 marks, three tackles and a goal, while a host of teammates picked up big numbers. Ben Sawford had a game-high 27 touches, five marks, two clearances, four tackles but an inaccurate three behinds, while Reid Kuller (25 disposals, six clearances and eight tackles) and Sam Davis (22 disposals, seven marks, five clearances and two tackles).

UNDER 18S:

South Adelaide 13.10 (88) defeated Glenelg 10.3 (63)

South Adelaide kept its season alive in the Under 18s competition with a dominant first term all but ending Glenelg’s hope of an unlikely flag from fourth spot. The Panthers piled on 7.3 to 0.0 in the first term in a complete obliteration, before the Tigers booted six goals to one in the second term to suddenly draw within 15 points at the half. South Adelaide took control again in the third term with four goals to one and opened up a 38-point advantage, with Glenelg flying home with three goals to one, but not enough to overcome the 25-point final siren margin. Nicholas Kraemer picked up 23 disposals, nine marks, six clearances, seven tackles and a goal for the Panthers, while Damon Freitag (21 disposals, five marks, eight clearances and four tackles) and Zac Dumesny (20 disposals, seven marks) were also among the high possession winners. The Panthers had no shortage of players who hit the scoreboard however, with Tyler Oliver (three goals), Daniel Sladojevic (two) and Beau McCreery (two) also having impressive matches. For the Tigers, Kye Dean had a big game with 24 touches, two marks, five clearances, seven tackles and a goal, while Josh Slade (16 touches, four marks, five tackles and two goals) also impressed. Austin Kitschke and Cooper Horsnell both booted multiple goals in defeat, while Luke Pedlar (17 disposals, six clearances) and Will Schreiber (17 disposals, six clearances) were also consistent despite the loss.

Woodville-West Torrens 14.8 (92) defeated West Adelaide 10.6 (66)

Woodville-West Torrens has advanced through to the 2019 SANFL Under 18s Grand Final after downing West Adelaide by 26 points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval on Saturday. The Eagles trailed by three points at the first break, but soon got on top, booting four goals to two in the second term to open up a 13-point advantage at the main break. A six goals to four second half – in which the Eagles booted an extra goal compared to their rivals in each quarter – saw them record a handy 14.8 (92) to 10.6 (66) win. Michael Frederick was the top player for the Eagles with 21 disposals, five marks, two tackles, two clearances and three majors, while Henry Smith (11 disposals, three marks, five clearances, 11 hitouts, nine tackles and a goal) was strong in the ruck. Zane Williams also hit the scoreboard with three majors from 16 touches and three marks, while Luke Barnett (22 disposals, seven clearances and six tackles was strong through the middle. Northern Territory representative Ben Jungfer had the 19 disposals, four clearances and four tackles in the win, while a couple of potential father-sons in Taj Schofield (21 disposals, three tackles) ad Jase Burgoyne (15 disposals, one goal) also contributed. For the losers, potential 2020 number one draft pick Riley Thilthorpe racked up 24 disposals, nine marks, two clearances, eight tackles and a goal, while top-age draft prospect Will Day managed 20 disposals, nine marks and five rebounds in the loss. For others, the consistent Joel Groom had 27 disposals, nine clearances, eight tackles and four marks in a mammoth effort, while Bailey Chamberlain also racked up the clearances with 19 touches, nine clearances and six tackles.

South Australian weekly wrap: Final round of action wraps up

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.

LEAGUE:

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.

RESERVES:

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.

UNDER 18S:

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.

South Australian weekly wrap: Glenelg secures minor premiership as Crows, Redlegs stumble

IN the penultimate round of South Australian National Football League (SANFL) action, Glenelg secured the minor premiership as a number of its rivals stumbled ahead of the final round next weekend.

LEAGUE:

Norwood 11.9 (75) defeated by Central District 13.16 (94)

Norwood was unable to secure a finals spot just yet with a shock loss to Central District on the weekend. The Redlegs were in the game for the most part, but fell at the final hurdle as the Bulldogs booted four goals to two in the final term. Troy Menzel was superb, albeit inaccurate in front of goal with a 4.6 score sheet. as well as 20 disposals, seven marks and two tackles for the Bulldogs, while Travis Schiller racked up 33 touches as well as three marks, five clearances and four tackles. Norwood’s Matthew Nunn led the way for his side with 32 disposals, four marks, nine clearances, seven tackles and three goals, while Matthew Panos was prominent in the middle with 24 disposals, six marks, 11 clearances, six tackles and a goal.

Glenelg 17.17 (119) defeated West Adelaide 6.8 (44)

Glenelg secured the minor premiership with a runaway 75-point win over West Adelaide. The Tigers booted 12 goals to three in the second half to completely dominate the Bloods and assert themselves on the competition. Matthew Snook (37 disposals, five marks, 17 clearances, eight tackles and a goal) was absolutely ridiculous on the stats sheet, while Luke Partington (32 disposals, four marks, four clearances and one goals) was a ball magnet, as was the exciting Marlon Motlop (32 touches, four marks, three clearances, two goals). For the Bloods, Nathan Batley had 27 disposals, five marks and four clearances, and Patrick Fairlie had 27 disposals, four marks, six clearances and seven tackles.

South Adelaide 15.9 (99) defeated North Adelaide 2.8 (20)

South Adelaide kept its finals hopes alive with a dominant 79-point win over North Adelaide at home. Joseph Haines led the way with 31 touches, eight marks and four tackles, while Abe Davis (20 disposals, six marks and three goals) and Jesse McKinnon (21 disposals, three marks, six clearances and three goals) both hit the scoreboard. Aidan Tropiano was best on ground despite the loss, racking up 28 disposals, two marks, 13 clearances and 12 tackles. Alex Spina (24 disposals, six marks) and Thomas Schwarz (21 disposals, dour marks, four clearances and six tackles) were both solid.

Sturt 4.10 (34) defeated by Port Adelaide 6.13 (49)

Port Adelaide has scraped together a messy 15-point win over Sturt on the road with six goals from 19 scoring shots to the Double Blues’ four from 14. Scott Lycett was a cut above in the game, recording 43 hitouts as well as 19 disposals, two marks, eight clearances, seven tackles and a goal. Jack Trengove (27 disposals, four marks, five clearances and nine tackles) and Willem Drew (23 disposals, eight clearances and 12 tackles) were others who continue to push for senior selection. Sam Colquhoun helped himself to 17 touches, four marks, four clearances and nine tackles in the loss, while James Battersby recorded a massive 11 clearances to go with his 21 touches, two marks and eight tackles.

Woodville-West Torrens 5.10 (40) defeated Adelaide 4.8 (32)

Woodville-West Torrens might be out of finals calculations but it did not stop the Eagles upsetting the finals-bound Crows. Jack Hayes (19 disposals, nine marks, two clearances and 12 tackles) and Jordan Foote (22 disposals, two marks, five clearances, 13 tackles and a goal) were prominent, while Matthew Goldsworthy and James Boyd both racked up 25 touches in the win. For the Crows, Matthew Wright had a day out with 34 disposals, four marks, one clearance and four tackles, while tackling machine Hugh Greenwood laid 15 tackles to go with his 21 disposals, seven clearances and a goal. Rory Atkins also pressed his case for a recall with 27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, eight tackles and a goal.

RESERVES:

Norwood 10.13 (73) defeated Central District 8.9 (57)

Norwood has secured a solid 16-point win over Central District to retain top spot on the ladder heading into the final round of the season. Mac Bower had a game-high 28 disposals, as well as seven marks, two clearances and six tackles, while Jed Spence picked up 25 disposals, seven marks, four clearances and 12 tackles. For the Bulldogs, Jordan Furnell had 24 touches, seven clearances and four tackles, while Jordan O’Brien booted a goal from 21 disposals, five marks, six clearances and two tackles.

Glenelg 12.7 (79) defeated West Adelaide 12.4 (76)

Glenelg won a nail-biter of significant importance by downing West Adelaide and snatching up fifth spot on the table. The Tigers had to come from 22 points down at the final break to boot five goals to one and just sneak over the line. Ben Sawford had 29 disposals, five marks, 11 clearances and four tackles in the win, while bottom-age Adelaide father-son draft prospect Jackson Edwards had 20 disposals, two marks, three clearances, eight tackles and a goal. Reid Kuller (22 disposals, four marks, three clearances, nine tackles and a goal) was also strong in the win. Sam May was among the best for the Bloods, notching up 24 disposals, six marks, two tackles and one clearance, while Keelan Laube had 21 disposals, six marks, two tackles and a clearance.

Sturt 11.8 (74) defeated Woodville-West Torrens 8.4 (52)

Second placed Sturt guaranteed a top two spot with a 22-point win over the third placed Eagles. Edward Allan had a big game with 32 disposals, seven marks, eight clearances, six tackles and a goal, while Joel Thiele was also productive with 29 disposals, five marks, five clearances and eight tackles. Eligible Brisbane father-son prospect Casey Voss had 19 disposals, five marks, six clearances, five tackles and a goal. For the Eagles, South Australian Under-18 Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the AFL Under-18 Championships, Harry Schoenberg picked up 26 disposals, six marks, 10 clearances and four tackles, while Cooper Gaffney was also prominent with 26 touches, seven marks, five clearances, five tackles and two goals.

South Adelaide 15.4 (94) defeated North Adelaide 5.9 (39)

A 10 goals to two second half has set South Adelaide up for a big 55-point win over North Adelaide in the bottom two clash. Mark Noble was best in the midfield for the Panthers with 29 disposals, 10 marks, six clearances, three tackles and a goal, while Tate Coleman (27 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and a clearance) and Luke Bogle (25 disposals, five marks, 11 tackles and three clearances) were also impressive in the game. Up forward, Kyle Emery and Brett Kennedy combined for nine goals from 34 disposals and nine marks. For the Roosters, James Schwarz had a game-high 33 disposals, four marks, 10 clearances, five tackles and a goal, while Max Lower had six clearances and five marks from 26 disposals.

UNDER 18S:

South Adelaide 9.9 (63) defeated North Adelaide 5.5 (35)

South Adelaide locked up third spot on the SANFL Under 18s table with a low-scoring 28-point win over fourth placed North Adelaide. The Panthers booted four goals to one in the final term to run away with the contest at Flinders University Stadium. Damon Freitag was prominent in attack with two goals from 19 disposals, 10 marks, eight tackles and four clearances, while fellow South Australian Under-18 representative Daniel Sladojevic finished with 3.3 from eight kicks and four marks. Harrison Magor had a massive 33 disposals, four marks, four clearances and 10 tackles in North Adelaide’s loss, while Charlie Dinning had 23 disposals, five marks, eight clearances and four tackles.

Central District 12.2 (74) defeated by Norwood 13.9 (87)

Norwood ensured Central District remained anchored to the bottom of the table running out 13-point winners despite a five goals to two final term in favour of the Bulldogs. Tristan Binder was superb up forward with six majors from 16 disposals, three marks and four tackles, while Nathan Hearing booted a goal from 17 disposals, three marks, nine clearances and four tackles. For the Bulldogs, Rhys Cannizzaro picked up a game-high 26 disposals, as well as four marks, seven clearances, seven tackles and a goal, while Samuel Falland registered 21 disposals, three marks, four clearances and eight tackles.

Glenelg 12.13 (85) defeated by West Adelaide 15.12 (102)

Second placed West Adelaide kept Glenelg percentage outside the top four after a tight 17-point win at ACH Group Stadium. Noah Hanaga was unstoppable up forward booting six goals from 11 disposals and five marks, and had it not been for inaccuracy (five behinds), he could have reached double figures in the Bloods’ victory, Mackenzie Nield picked up 26 disposals, five marks, five tackles and three clearances, while Joel Groom was also productive with 26 touches, seven marks, six clearances and 10 tackles. For Glenelg, it was Cooper Horsnell who stood tall with two goals from six scoring shots to accompany his 30 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and two clearances, while Kye Dean also had 30 disposals as well as 10 clearances, four marks and five tackles.

Sturt 2.2 (14) defeated by WoodviLLe-West Torrens 11.14 (80)

Minor premiers, Woodville-West Torrens continued its terrific season with a dominant 66-point win over lowly Sturt. The Eagles had 25 scoring shots to four in the huge win, in what was an imposing performance a fortnight out from finals. Luke Barnett racked up 34 touches, seven marks, seven clearances and eight tackles in the win, while Zane Williams hit the scoreboard with three majors from 29 disposals, four marks, five clearances and seven tackles. Caleb Poulter (26 disposals, four marks, three clearances, nine tackles and two goals) and Jase Burgoyne (29 disposals, seven marks and three clearances) were others who were busy in the win. For Sturt, Mani Liddy (29 disposals, four marks, 10 clearances and nine tackles was the clear standout, while William Crane (25 disposals, six marks, five clearances and five tackles) was also among the best.

South Australian weekly wrap: Finalists all but set ahead of big finish

THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) finalists were all but confirmed following the weekend’s results, as Norwood booked in a spot with victory to move two wins and percentage clear of sixth entering the final two rounds of the season.

SANFL LEAGUE:

West Adelaide 5.10 (40) defeated by Adelaide 15.15 (105)

Adelaide edged closer to top spot again with a massive 65-point victory over cellar dwellers West Adelaide. After a tight first half, the Crows booted 10 goals to one to run away with the contest thanks to 30 scoring shots to 15 in what could have even been a greater margin with better accuracy. AFL-listed Crows, Myles Poholke (28 disposals, 10 marks, three clearances, two tackles and two goals), Paul Seedsman (25 disposals, eight marks, five clearances and five tackles) and Jordon Butts (26 disposals, nine marks and two tackles) all performed strongly, while Elliott Himmelberg booted three majors from 15 disposals and seven marks in the win. For the Bloods, Kaine Stevens was the standout player with 34 disposals, two marks, two clearances and four tackles, while Chris Schmidt (26 disposals, five clearances and nine tackles) and Nathan Batley (28 disposals, three marks, three clearances and four tackles) were also strong.

Port Adelaide 18.14 (122) defeated Woodville-West Torrens 8.11 (59)

Steven Motlop‘s five goals helped Port Adelaide Magpies to a comprehensive 63-point win over Woodville-West Torrens. The Magpies dominated throughout and never looked like losing with plenty of AFL-listed stars standing up. Motlop had 15 touches, six marks and four tackles to go with his five goals, while Jack Trengove (33 disposals, six marks, five clearances and 14 tackles) and Willem Drew (38 disposals, four marks, five clearances, six tackles and a goal) both pressed claims for a recall, as did ruckman Scott Lycett, who was simply a class above, having 33 hitouts and seven clearances, to go with his 30 disposals, eight marks and six tackles. For the Eagles, Jordan Foote had 19 dispoals, three marks, two clearances, nine tackles and a goal, while Nicholas Hayes helped himself to 21 disposals, six marks, four tackles, two clearances and two goals. First round father-son hopeful Jackson Mead had the 12 touches, six marks and four tackles in the loss.

Sturt 6.14 (50) defeated by Norwood 17.7 (109)

Norwood all but locked up the 2019 SANFL finalists with a 59-point win over Sturt, joining the Double Blues on 10 wins from 16 outings. Lewis Johnston was massive with 30 touches, five marks, four clearances, four tackles and a goal in the win, while Matthew Nunn (27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, six tackles and a goal) and Cole Gerloff (22 disposals, three marks, seven clearances, seven tackles ad a goal) were productive. First round draft hopeful Dylan Stephens again showed no signs of slowing down with 24 disposals, four marks, six clearances and four tackles. For Sturt, Sam Colquhoun‘s remarkable season continued, racking up 33 disposals, four marks, 11 clearances, five tackles and a goal in an all-round performance, while Zane Kirkwood (24 disposals, six marks, three tackles and three clearances) and James Battersby (26 disposals, three marks, 15 clearances and three tackles) also assisted in massive midfield roles.

RESERVES:

West Adelaide 6.10 (46) defeated by Woodville-West Torrens 14.8 (92)

Woodville-West Torrens grabbed third spot and left West Adelaide’s finals hopes hanging by a string in its 46-point victory over the Bloods. The Eagles jumped past Central District on percentage and now West Adelaide is just percentage clear of Glenelg inside the top five. Lachlan McNeil had a day out with 21 disposals, five marks, five clearances and 12 tackles, wile Jimmy Toumpas (21 disposals, seven clearances, eight tackles and a goal) and Jake Comitogianni (23 disposals, eight marks, four clearances and three tackles) were also strong. For West Adelaide, Angus Rana had 32 hitouts working hard through the ruck to go with his 14 disposals, six marks, six tackles and one goal, while Scott Bentley (25 disposals, five marks and four clearances) had the most touches of anyone on the field.

Sturt 8.11 (59) defeated Norwood 8.6 (54)

Sturt fought from three goals down at the final break to run over the top of Norwood and keep in contention for top spot leading into finals. The Double Blues got the better of the Redlegs in the top-of-the-table clash with eight individual goalkickers from 19 scoring shots. Potential Brisbane father-son Casey Voss was prolific again with 26 disposals, seven marks, seven clearances, four tackles and a goal, while South Australian state winger, Josh Shute had 22 touches, eight marks, four clearances and three tackles. Edward Allan (26 disposals, five marks, three clearances and six tackles) and Oliver Grivell (21 disposals, six marks and two tackles) were others who found plenty of the ball. For Norwood, it was Sam Buckham (24 disposals, three marks, six clearances, 12 tackles and three goals) who was the clear standout, while Cody Szust (22 disposals, five marks, six tackles and three clearances) and Jed Spence (20 disposals, four clearances, 13 tackles and a goal) who were also busy.

UNDER 18S:

Norwood 8.9 (57) defeated by Sturt 12.7 (79)

Sturt edged one win closer to Norwood with a 22-point victory over the Redlegs in a battle of those sides unable to make finals. The Double Blues jumped out to a five goals to one lead in the first term, and despite Norwood coming back in the final term with three goals to one, the game was done and dusted by the final break. William Crane was enormous through the middle with 25 disposals, 11 clearances, 16 tackles and a goal, assisted well by Heath Wingard (25 disposals, eight marks, four clearances, three tackles and three goals) and Keynan Harradine (21 disposals, four marks, nine clearances, eight tackles and one goal. For Norwood, 16-year-old Cooper Murley stood out with 2.3 from 27 disposals, five marks, eight clearances and seven tackles, joined in the bests by Marcus Roberts (24 disposals, five marks, eight clearances, one tackle and a goal) and Mitchell Carroll (23 disposals, three marks, five tackles and a goal).

Woodville-West Torrens 13.9 (87) defeated West Adelaide 3.7 (25)

The top-of-the-table Eagles had no problems dismissing second placed West Adelaide, piling on the last six goals of the game to record a comfortable 62-point win in a statement win to the competition. Zane Williams was huge for the Eagles, racking up 34 touches, seven marks, five clearances, seven tackles and booting 3.3, while Luke Barnett (31 disposals, four marks, 10 clearances, 10 tackles and a goal) and Lachlan Jones (31 disposals, eight marks) both had big numbers. Caleb Poulter (25 disposals, five marks, five clearances, seven tackles and two goals) and Lachlan Hoile (26 disposals, three marks, three clearances and six tackles) were also strong in the win. For the Bloods, Joel Groom (22 disposals, four marks, six clearances, nine tackles and a goal) and Jason Westley (27 disposals, nine marks, six clearances and two tackles) were best in defeat.